Welcome to the August edition of Digging Up Positivity! Slowly we are sliding into convention season and of course this comes with plenty of the traditional charitable goals. Speaking of which, this months featurette has a big role with that in South Africa. We have some animation news, and we see where badgers teach traffic safety! And also, if you want to win this T-shirt? Then stay until the end of the show!
With so many of the furry fandom's largest conventions originating in the USA, it tends to dominate global discussions of furry culture. In Europe, Germany stands as a major centre of the furry fandom with multiple conventions and events being held within its borders. But, for many other countries, the furry fandom is much smaller, or may just be starting out and is consequentially less visible.
Last August, furs from all over Europe and beyond gathered in Berlin for Eurofurence, the largest furry convention outside of North America. Between all the
furpiles and yiffing fursuit walks, art shows and other activities, some furs took the opportunity to speak about their own furry communities and the challenges faced with starting up the furry fandom in a country where it previously didn't exist.
The Hollywood Reporter recently ran an article about Triggerfish — the animation studio which some refer to as the Pixar of South Africa. Following the international success of Zambezia (about a city of birds) and Khumba (about a young zebra missing half of his stripes), Triggerfish have secured funding which will allow them to begin work on two new films out of a planned slate of five. The company’s stated goal is to release one film a year starting in 2016. First out of the gate is Here Be Monsters, about a young human boy who interacts with a scary sea monster. It’s written by Raffaella Delle Donne, who worked on both the studio’s previous films. Soon after that comes Seal Team, described as “an action-comedy that pits a group of seals against the great white sharks of South Africa.” Khumba is currently screening in Africa, with plans to roll it out to the rest of the world going into 2014.
Johannesburg sexologist JacoPhillip Crous opines that "fursonas can be understood as totem representations ... an animal that's believed by the person to have spiritual or some other, possibly sexual, subjective significance, so the person adopts it as a personal emblem to which [he or she] feels drawn psychologically."
Interpreting this in a way akin to Jungian archetypes, Crous says the fursona is a form of "empowerment" and "self-transcendence" for the individual – and, for the sexually invested, the fursona is the "idealised totemic form that drives the erotic charge for the yiff enthusiast".
The piece quotes Tumblr bloggers, WikiFur, and Internet-based surveys, but no furry fans appear to have been interviewed for it. South Africa has a small furry community, but it is not mentioned within the article.
Sorry, sorry… sometimes you take the easy way out. This movie is actually for people who like birds! It’s called Zambezia, and according to an article at Cartoon Brew, it’s set to premier later this year in Africa — with a possible appearance in North America sometime in 2013. Zambezia is the first CGI feature film to come out of South Africa, produced by Triggerfish Animation. It tells the story of Kai (voiced by Jeremy Suarez), a young African falcon who sets off in hopes of finding a fabled City of Birds. No big shock, he finds it: But at first he has trouble fitting in, and then the entire city finds itself threatened by egg-hungry reptiles! Jeff Goldblum, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonard Nimoy, and Abigail Breslin are among the voices you’ll hear as well. Check out the trailer on YouTube, or the official Zambezia page from Triggerfish, and keep your ear to the sky in 2013.
Jerry Beck reports on Cartoon Brew (Ed: possibly incorrectly) that South Africa has just completed its first 3D animated feature: the CGI Zambezia, about a city of anthropomorphized birds, in which the young falcon Kai (voiced by Jeremy Suarez) travels to the avian metropolis of Zambezia (presumably no connection to the province of the same name in Mozambique) to join its elite Hurricane company of defenders, and saves it from both bird and reptilian predators. The feature is scheduled for release in Africa this year and in America by Sony next year.
Although South Africa has a small number of furs, with just under 200 registered users on the ZAfur forum, it does hold an annual, national furmeet, South Afrifur. As there are so few furs in South Africa the meet is intended to gather as many as possible together, once a year, to get to know one another.
The 2010 meet, organised by Nanukk, Electrocat and Cat147, was held in Port Elizabeth from 7–15 January 2011. The meet was hosted by Nanukk and attended by about 14 furs from around South Africa, though that varied from day-to-day.
No wildlife authorities have come to take him away and his owners have repeatedly said they posses the necessary paperwork to keep their four tigers. Regardless, the incident has raised criticism from the NSPCA over whether wild animals should be kept as pets.
Panjo sometimes even sleeps on his owner's bed, but the 140kg tiger is not fully mature and may become less suitable as a pet as he grows.
It's probably been a dream of every fur to have a wild animal as a pet — but for Goosey Fernandes it's become a nightmare since his pet tiger, Panjo, has escaped.
Panjo was being driven to the veterinarian on the back of a bakkie between Groblersdal and Delmas when he escaped.
Although sniffer dogs are being brought in to find the tiger, so far it has been without success.
A rare Chinese tiger brought to South Africa to learn how to hunt has died, dealing a fresh blow to efforts to save the species from extinction.
Born in a Chinese zoo, "Hope" was sent to South Africa as a cub with his mate "Cathay" in 2003 for a pioneering experiment seen by some as the last chance to preserve the species — a "rewilding program" to encourage the animals to hunt on their own.
"Hope had an infection and he stopped eating meat. He died on Saturday evening," Li Quan, the founder of the "Save China's Tigers" foundation, told Reuters on Monday.
Walt Disney Co. is being sued in South Africa for infringement of copyright on the song The Lion Sleeps Tonight, which was used in the film The Lion King. According to the lawsuit, the song was originally titled "Mbube" and was written by migrant worker Solomon Linda in 1939. Heirs of Linda, who died in 1962, are seeking royalties of more than $1.5 million. A recent legal move by the plaintiffs attached Disney's other trademarks to the lawsuit; if successful, the trademarks could be auctioned off to raise the funds.
For the first time in history, an antelope is likely to be victim to a tiger.
Two rare, endangered tiger cubs from China will be trained to hunt 7,000 miles away in South Africa, as part of a program to preserve the species. The full story via CNN is here.
In South Africa, some antelope had been rounded up by a "private game capture company" to be relocated for a breeding program, presumably to become hunting stock. However, the gamekeepers plans were foiled when wild elephants came to the rescue. Yahoo News has some more details here.
BBC Online reports police in Burundi, Africa, "arrested" a stork on suspicion of spying. The South African stork was fitted with a satellite tracking device and was part of a study of the migratory patterns of the bird. There's a picture of the stork and the device in the story.