Tag Archives: Animals

Justice for Ferdinand

This is Ferdinand (or Ferdi), a much-loved family pet.  On the evening of 30th December 2010 Ferdinand went out of the house and didn’t return. See Ferdinand’s story at Justice for Ferdinand (www.justiceforferdinand.co.uk).

Here is the picture of Ferdinand’s body, as it was found. [Warning: This picture is very distressing.] It cannot be conclusively proved but (thankfully, for small mercies), many of his wounds appear to have been post-mortem. The Justice for Ferdinand website explains the full (and horrific) extent of his injuries.

His owner has since been fighting to get a full investigation done into his death and mutilation. It is probably best to explain in her own words (from her webpage):

“Ferdinand’s death and mutilation has not been investigated by any authorities because it can’t be proved that the person who mutilated his body also caused his death. The Greater Manchester Police Force do not recognise the mutilation of a pet after death as an offence (not even criminal damage), although forces in other parts of the country see this differently. We now have a petition set up demanding that these sorts of cases are consistently dealt with as an offence throughout the UK.”

The petition, which at the time of posting, has had almost 1200 signatures, can be found here. I hope you won’t mind sparing a minute to sign it, in honour of the memory of this beautiful innocent cat. Justice for Ferdinand also has a Facebook page, which at the time of writing this, has almost 1700 supporters. There has been news coverage of the matter as well.

The lady below gives a brief explanation too in case you’re interested:

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Pongo’s in Trouble: the Orangutans are Dying

This post is about our joyfully named cousin in the genus Pongo. I mean, of course, orangutans.  The rest of the story is far less joyful. The intention of this post is not to depress, though it is indeed upsetting writing about it. Did you know that orangutan mothers and their young stay together for as long as six to seven years, and that they use tools and have opposable fingers and toes, like humans do? Orangutan babies that come to rescue centres are often severely depressed and most have lost their mothers to traumatic causes. They require lots of love and care before they recover.

The reason these gentle foragers are already endangered and are dying in gruesome ways- directly as well as indirectly- at human hands- is deforestation of their natural habitat, and of course, the illegal pet trade, bounties being set on their heads, and people killing them to eat them. 

The pictures in the links below are upsetting. But they are part of the reality.

  •  This orangutan in East Borneo died after he was tied to a post. He was tied to it with a rope round his neck in December 2010. He died in February 2011, just a few days before this blog post. Look at his sad eyes as he sits there as if he is nothing, as if he is just a piece of rubbish discarded to die.
  • This baby orangutan in Indonesia lost his mother to a severe beating. The pitiful thing is how he clings to her half-dead (dead?) body. Another tiny baby orangutan huddles in a cardboard box- his mother was beaten to death with iron rods and hacked with machetes in order to kidnap him.
  • Rescue teams have found orang utans beaten unconcious and buried alive, butchered with machetes, bludgeoned to death with iron bars and wooden planks, and doused with petrol and burnt alive.
  • Each day, the killing continues.

© Tbachner via Wikimedia Commons

What can you do? So please, if you can do something- a fundraiser, a charity walk or run, or can sponsor an animal, anything, please consider a conservation charity or an orangutan rescue. Here are a few organisations doing a fantastic job. Oh, and please be alive to the dangers of palm oil.

And here, in a shameless attempt to tug at your heartstrings, are some terribly cute orangutan babies. I would say 1:50 minutes in is the cutest scene, but that’s not true because the rest of it is equally cute.

© FirstScienceTV

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The stegosaur collage

This lonely stegosaur had been in need of a background frame and a story ever since I blogged about him in January 2010.

And here, finally, is the completed collage where he finds himself in company, and what’s more, in the presence of food. Very glad to have finished this, considering this has been waiting to be completed for more than a year now!

"Ernie had a sneaking suspicion that the best ferns were being snapped up on the sly right under his nose."

Click to see the picture in greater detail.

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When life gives you lemons, suck it up

“The tree shafted Fred by letting its fruit fall for the squirrels”.

(Please note that Fred’s abuse of choice is “Cats!” as opposed to “Rats!” Though given that he’s moaning about squirrels, ‘rats’ might have been more appropriate.)

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The Prescience of Octopi

Going by the hoo-ha, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the past few days have been declared April Fool’s Week by the international press. Sure, make paella of Paul with lemon juice- football teams have been losing matches because an octopus lurking in a watery box somewhere feels the urge to have a particular mussel over the other one. Damn that insidious octopus sniggering in his tank! There could be no possible connection with, say, the skill of a team. Or plain old luck. Or incidental things like training, speed or strategy. Should the winning team consider their win pre-ordained and therefore not much credit to them, and the losing team consider that the fates stitched them up?

"Archibald just wanted to be left alone to hide under his coconut shells in peace. He failed to understand what the blinking fuss was all about."

Photo Credit:US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, via Wikimedia Commons

Octopuses (octopi??- anybody?) are controversial in a vastly different circle as well. Without meaning to insult its humble relative, the common garden slug, let me just say- congrats, octopi- you really made it out of that evolutionary bucket! The average octopus is supposed to be the smartypants of the ocean. On the one hand, they’ve been snapped pouncing on coconut shells and scuttling off with them at a clippy pace. You see, the coconut shell is the go-to body armour for your average octopus. Apparently they like to get double shells so they can sit inside. Check out the amazing video here of an octopus legging it with his precious shell. Then they’re supposed to be escape artists par extraordinaire- octopus Sid from New Zealand took escaping to a fine art. On the other hand you have other researcheres who say that we think the octopus is smarter than it is because its intelligence is of a different nature to human intelligence. The markers that we think are smart (such as using tools like coconut shells) are smart in our book but not necessarily for the invertebrate brain. 

Excuse me, but using tools should qualify as smart in any book! Let alone eat them alive, you’ve got to respect that sort of intelligence.. No cultural judgment; they would get eaten alive in the wild. But I doubt they would be kept alive by a natural predator so that someone could have the dubious thrill of eating them alive.

Personally, I stopped eating octopus many years ago when I was served a bowl of spaghetti with a whole baby octopus perched on top, looking at me with mournful eyes. Yes, weak stomach, that’s me.

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Spam, Nori and the Patient Bulldog

Rite of passage alert- I received my first spam comment today, which of course has been moderated so you don’t have to read all about ***TopDealerOnline CHEAP VIAGRA Rep1caR0lexWatches FREE SAMPLES*** CLICK HERE Super 78% sale Free dEl1very. On the other hand it means some spammer somewhere feels it’s worth spamming this little dusty corner of the ginormous universe that is the internet.

Moving on swiftly. Here are the Weimeraner and the bulldog who were waiting patiently outside the Tengelmann Supermarkt in Munich at the crossing of Brudermühlstraße and Implerstraße whilst their owner was buying something inside. I was of course inside trying to buy Paulaner beer and Japanese rice crackers (love the ones with nori– doesn’t sound half as tasty if you call it Porphyra though, OR if you see this picture), absent-mindedly offering pound notes, forgetting to buy a bag, then offering my credit card for a 20 cent bag, and generally making a hash of things in my haste. 

Wolfgang faced dissension in the ranks.

...but he was On The Job.

Speaking of which, check out Lolcats if you haven’t already. Nick Clegg’s hilarious lolcats treatment is analysed in careful detail here!

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One fat baby pigeon

Here is the baleful baby pigeon I captured with my camera in India (Calcutta, to be precise) recently. This baby was curled up on the window ledge under the air conditioner external unit. There was a TREMENDOUS storm the day after this photo was taken – one of those nor’wester types where the wind gets whipped into a frenzy in half an hour flat and you can’t physically open the windows because the wind is so strong. I checked after the storm and he (or she) was fine. What a tenacious little scrap!

"This dame with the portable lightning needs to get out of my face.."

"..or I'll sit and glare at her till she does."

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