Up next at the Festival of Books was the Dogfish series of illustrated books, written by Rita Reed and with art by Craig Cartwright. Starting off with Dogfish Saves The Ocean: “Dogfish is enjoying a beautiful day in the ocean when suddenly he sees his friend Turtle with a straw stuck in his snout! After he calls his friends to help, they all discover that ocean pollution is a BIG problem! Join Dogfish and his friends as they learn more about pollution and what they can do to help.” All the books are available now from Fine Eye Media, including Dogfish Stands Up To Bullying and Dogfish: Just Be You!
As in other European countries, tensions have been growing in Slovakia over the return of wolves and an alleged increase in livestock attacks. Wild wolves in Europe are an environmental triumph; as previously reported on Flayrah, wolves were extinct in many European countries and it was only in the year 2000 that the first wild wolf in 150 years was born in Germany. Recent estimates put the wolf population in Europe at approximately 12 000, with around 300 packs living in the Alps.
Despite unhappiness from certain portions of the population, wolves in Slovakia are likely not in imminent danger. As quoted on Deutsche Welle (the German state broadcaster), Juraj Lukac of the WOLF Forest Protection Movement says:
All of this hype about wolves is just fake. They did not harm anyone, and, since the European Commission had made a clear statement on the matter, the conservation of wolves is safe for now.
Beaks are extremely important to birds, allowing them to hold objects and feed themselves. One can easily imagine the problems that a blue and gold macaw named Max experienced, when his beak was pulled off after two fights with other birds. Human caretakers helped him eat again, and when his remaining lower beak grew too long, they regularly shortened it so it was the right size for his tongue.
In search of a long-term solution, a South African team of veterinarians, doctors and other professionals led by Prof. Gerhard Steenkamp worked together to design and attach a 3D-printed beak for Max. As has been previously covered on Flayrah, many other animals have also received prosthetics when they've needed them.
The wolf is by far the most popular fursona species but, as a recent opinion piece in Deutsche Welle pointed out, they are not universally loved. In Germany, like many places in Europe, wolves were driven to extinction and it was only in 2000, after approximately 150 years, that wild wolves were born in Germany once again. Many people, particularly farmers, are worried about wolf attacks on their livestock – echoing our previous reporting of wolves in France– while others are concerned about the risk to humans. But this conflict is about more than wolves; the conversations about wolves are intertwined with much larger issues.
Discussions around wolves show both the fear of the wild and the human desire to eliminate all danger while seeing themselves not only as superior to other animals but, to use the Biblical terminology, granted dominion over them. This is seen in sentiments that even question the right of other animals, such as wolves, to exist in "our" world.
"Wolves do not fit into our civilization any longer," she said, adding that her fear of wolves means she no longer enjoys walking in the countryside.
Over time, more and more evidence has accumulated that, due these attitudes, we are responsible for a widespread decline in animal populations and species that leave us with a dangerously low level of biodiversity. This is termed the sixth extinction.
World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. It is on Sunday, June 5 in 2016. This year’s theme is: “fight against the illegal trade in wildlife”, with the slogan "Go Wild for Life”, and some search engines are getting on board:
Baidu’s India office will launch a new social campaign named “The Last Conversation” to raise awareness of wildlife depletion. The campaign will feature Baidu’s mascot, the “DU bear”, having a final conversation with different endangered animals through a series of posts on Facebook and Twitter, with the goal of urging people to avoid products that cause harm to wildlife. (Baidu India’s 31 May press release)
Baidu's campaign, which started June 1st on Facebook and Twitter, shows the ultra-cute DU bear interviewing critically-endangered species living in India, such as the Himalayan brown bear, as well as other popular species of lesser concern, such as the Bengal fox.
The Cartoon Brew presents the 4'11" “Shave It”, from the Buenos Aires CGI 3dar Studios, directed by Fernando Maldonado and Jorge Tereso.
A monkey whose jungle home is destroyed by humans, shaves his fur off, puts on clothes, and passes as human in the big city. He rises to the corporate top, and then takes his environmentalist revenge. The brightly-colored, ultra-stylistic design makes this a humorous cautionary parable rather than a horror story.
Anthropomorphic jackals, wolf-men, horses and wild boar - all made of used tires, resin, steel and foam. These are the work of Yong Ho Ji, a Korean whose art has toured the world, from Seoul to Amsterdam.
Yong, who has an M.F.A. in fine arts from NYU and a B.F.A. in sculpture from Hongik University in Seoul, originally formed his pieces from welded iron bones, wooden planks and soil, overlaid with tires, before turning for a while to death-castings. Nowadays, he works in tire-wrapped resin formed on plaster molds.
Within the medium, there is great scope for choice in materials, as noted by Trinie Dalton:
A deer's tender cheekbones and muzzle are rendered with lightly treaded road-bike tires and smooth inner tubes, lining its eye sockets and nostrils to conjure a quizzical expression. The burly neck and forehead of a steadfast rhinoceros uncannily resembles a real rhino's bust because of the broadly treaded tractor tires peering out, like anger-strained tendons, from beneath a rough outer skin made of motorcycle tires.
Some species seem more popular than others; his gallery displays a multitude of deer and eleven models of shark, but only one mink. Herbivores feature on an equal basis - there's even a zebra. [tip: JayGryph]
We've had a Treeless Squirrel; now we have a Waterless Trout.
Environmental groups in Colorado, USA, are trying to stop the diversion of large amounts of water out of the Fraser River, one of the tributaries of the Colorado River. 60% of the river's flow is already diverted to supply the Front Range urban development, and the environmental groups are concerned about plans to increase this by a further 15%.
To raise public awareness, the environmentalists have released a short video featuring a man(?) in an anthropomorphic fish costume. In the video, the fish (a trout) abandons his dried-up riverbed home, and hitch-hikes to downtown Denver, where he is reduced to begging for bottled water on a street corner.
Animation Xpress, vol. 10 #371 for October 4 reports that Delhi Safari, the CGI animated feature about an angry monkey, a laid-back bear, a scheming parrot, a mother leopard, and her cute cub trekking across India to the human city of Delhi to protest the strip-mining of their forest, will release on around 300 screens across India on October 18. The Hindi-language feature has a strong Bollywood voice cast.
Animation Xpress has a long interview with Krayon Pictures’ Nishith Takia that shows its poster and new promotional art. “Our film has got screened at Annecy International Film Festival and has also won the best Animated Feature Film at FICCI FRAMES in India, has boosted our confidence in the way the film has come out.” The film has a positive School Contact program at over 3,000 schools across India because of its strong pro-ecology message.
Delhi Safari has been dubbed into English with an all-star cast (Jason Alexander, Cary Elwes, Christopher Lloyd, etc.) for an American release sometime during 2013. Its English-language trailer was shown on Flayrah last May.
Animation Xpress #351 for 22 August announces that, “Chennai based HappyCloud Studios working on Talkative Tortoise, 26X11 Animated TV Series”, by Zeenia Boatwala. In the usual news story that looks just like a hyperenthusiastic press release, it is announced that:
With a mission to provide high quality animation content for all mainstream media, including Theatrical, TV, Web & DVD; Chennai based HappyCloud Studios is working on its In-house IP Talkative Tortoise, 26 X 11 CGI.
Talkative Tortoise is a humorous show which orbits around a talkative tortoise that always talks about the environment and educates about global warming.
The repopulation of grey wolves in Montana and Idaho led to their removal from the Endangered Species List in 2008, concerning many conservationists. But last August a U.S. federal judge ruled this kind of subdivision of populations illegal.
Now Michael Brune of the Sierra Club says lawmakers seek to withdraw this protection through a budget amendment. [tip: Ezno]
Wolves in Montana and Idaho can breathe easier after a federal judge reinstated their protection this Friday.
Last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted northern Rocky Mountain wolves after the population reached 1,200 in the winter, claiming that "all threats to the wolf population [...] have been resolved."
But Judge Molloy wrote "the plain language of the Endangered Species Act does not allow the agency to divide a [population segment] into a smaller taxonomy."
Wolves off Endangered List
Management of species turned over to Wyoming, Idaho and Montana
Lycos hosts a useful site for people concerned about the environment: ENS, the Environment News Service. Here you can catch up on daily news about the environment, everything from information on the antarctic winds being harnessed for power to possible oil drilling near the Great Barrier Reef. The only annoying thing about this site is that right-clicking on the links will get you an amazing pop-up box about the article being copyrighted. Some of us aren't trying to steal, you know, just trying to avoid evil-nasty frames.
It's strange. Less than 24 hours ago I submitted an article about how oil companies want to drill in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge. I briefly remarked that this is something we cannot permit to happen, because no matter how careful the oil companies are the risk of a spill and ecological disaster occuring is far too high. Now I find an article from the BBC News about the world's largest oil rig providing a frightening example of what I was writing about yesterday: disaster can, and will, happen at any time.