The Wildlife Friends Foundation Launches Largest Tiger Rescue In Thailand As Phuket Zoo Closes

The Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) is carrying out the largest tiger rescue in Thailand’s history as the renowned wildlife animal welfare and rescue organisation prepares to take custody of 11 tigers and two bears handed over by Phuket Zoo.

WFFT founder and director Edwin Wiek confirmed the news.

Edwin Wiek of the Wildlife Friends Foundation

“We are finishing off the new side enclosures for the Tigers right now, and we will be ready to pick up the first 4-6 in the coming week. We are still waiting for documents to move the Tigers, but I am pretty sure this ill be done by the end of the week.” Mr Wiek told Protect All Wildlife.

Part of the area at the WFFT site in Phetchaburi that the tigers and bears from Phuket Zoo will soon call home. Photo: Edwin Wiek / WFFT

Mr Wiek explained that he and Sangduen “Lek” Chailert, founder of the Elephant Nature Park, discussed the handover of the animals with the Phuket Zoo owners.

The zoo has been hard hit by the financial crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the facility without tourist visitors for nearly two years.

Despite previous encounters between WFFT and Phuket Zoo over the conditions many of the animals were kept in at the zoo, the parties set aside any animosity in order to determine the safe future for the animals, Mr Wiek noted.

Horrifying scenes inside abandoned Phuket zoo where starving animals are forced to live in squalor

“They were genuinely very concerned about the animals. They said they had refused offers for the animals’ skins and bones,” he said.

“As WFFT has the facilities and expertise to take care of large carnivores and currently houses more than 30 other bears, it was concluded that WFFT could provide the best life-long care for these animals which require urgent rehoming,” Mr Wiek explained. 

Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) will also rehome two bears from Phuket Zoo. Photo: Edwin Wiek / WFFT

The rescue and rehoming of 11 Tigers to a sanctuary will be the biggest Tiger rescue in Thailand’s history. However, due to the financial impact of COVID-219, WFFT must first raise the funds required to rescue these 13 animals. As such WFFT is asking for financial support to undertake this historic rescue, he noted.

“This rescue will be no small feat for WFFT. The financial resources required to rescue and transport 13 large animals from Phuket to WFFT alone will be significant,” Mr Wiek said.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have received more calls than ever from entertainment venues who cannot afford to feed their animals anymore. We try to help as many as we can. The fact is, though, that without financial support, we cannot help more.

“We are urging our friends in Phuket, in Thailand and around the world to please help with what will be a huge rescue, not only for WFFT, but for Tigers in Thailand,” he said.

WFFT is a registered foundation in Thailand. 

“In Thailand, like in every country in the world, animals are abused and exploited for profit and human gratification. There are many examples of animal exploitation within the tourist industry, for example, photo prop animals, animals performing in degrading shows, and elephant camps. Furthermore, there is still a thriving illegal trade in wild animals for pets and medicine,” the organisation explains on its website.

The top three major goals of the organisation are:

  • To rescue and rehabilitate captive wild animals and provide high-quality care and a safe environment for them to live for the rest of their lives, in a setting as close to nature as possible.
  • To campaign against all forms of animal abuse and exploitation in Thailand, work towards ending the illegal pet trade and discourage people from keeping all wild animals as pets. WFFT actively seeks to combat the illegal wildlife trade and to rescue animals from poor conditions or exploitation from human entertainment.
  • To provide veterinary assistance to any sick or injured animal; wild or domestic.

To learn more about Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), visit the official website here: https://www.wfft.org/

This video shows various animals including Tigers, Bears, and Alligators left for dead at Phuket Zoo due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The tourism industry all over the world has definitely been brought to a sudden halt but the animals who played a major role in that have also been abandoned. The clip was originally uploaded on YouTube and was shot by an Australian named Minh Nguyen, who lives and works in Thailand. 

“We are still fundraising for the tigers, and hopefully we will get some more much needed financial support in the weeks to come.” told Protect All Wildlife.

If you like to help fund this amazing rescue operation please donate ANY amount, large or small, at Phuket Zoo Animal Rescue.

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A VIDEO OF A JCB RESCUING A BABY ELEPHANT FROM A DEEP PIT GOES VIRAL

A BABY ELEPHANT GETS A HELPING PUSH UP FROM A JCB

One lucky little Elephant has captured the hearts of people across the internet after it was rescued from a mud pit in the Southern India state of Karnataka.

A video of the rescue operation staged by state forest officials has charmed netizens, as it also shows what some people say was an appreciative gesture from the Elephant, who turned to address the crane that helped to dig it out.

the BABY ELEPHANT being rescued FROM A DEEP PIT by a jcb

The incident took place in Siddapura Village in Coorg district of Karnataka, reported Indian Express.

A good Samaritan recorded and shared the clip, which has been viewed over one million times on Twitter alone. The beginning of the video shows the Elephant struggling to climb up and out of a slippery mud put. Each time it tries, it slips back down the hole’s steep walls. Eventually, an excavator machine pulls in and begins to dig mud out from around the Elephant.

THE ELEPHANT KEPT SLIDING BACK INTO THE PIT

Bystanders can be heard cheering as the arm of the JBC crane reaches behind the Elephant and gives it a gentle push, giving it the boost it needs to finally get its feet back on solid ground.

The lumbering animal then turns back around to face its rescuers, bumping its head and tusk to the machine’s bucket in what some are viewing as a sign of appreciation. Onlookers can be heard cheering loudly as it does, then officials set off a small firecracker to encourage the Elephant to leave the area and return to the forest.

Sudha Ramen, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Tamilnadu Forest Department shared the video from her Twitter account. She told Newsweek, “Elephants are mostly human-friendly until they get aggressive stimulated by human behaviour or have some hormonal imbalances. They are known to recognize the aid received when they are in need.”

Even though this behaviour can be observed in subadult and adult Elephants, young ones are not as human-friendly or expressive.

She added that when such rescues happen in a crowded environment, the animal is usually in panic mode and may get aggressive because of human presence or too much noise.

“But in this situation not many outsiders were present. Still, I do not say that the animal returned a gesture in this case. It may be an exhibit of stress too,” Ramen told Newsweek, addressing the belief shared by many that the head bump was ‘thank you’ in the Elephant language.

Her tweet with the video has been viewed more than a million times. She credited the video to Indian actor Satish Shah who initially shared it on his Twitter page.

Sudha Ramen, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Tamilnadu Forest Department shared the video from her Twitter account.

The usage of machinery such as a JBC depends upon the terrain, the animal involved in the rescue, and other safety factors, according to Ramen. The vehicle often comes in handy as many of its features make it able to handle slushy, slippery ground, and many rescue operations are carried out in the forest or nearby in areas that are usually non-motorable larger vehicles.

“Such operations are done only in the presence of the forest officials and vet doctors, so the driver gets guided by them,” Ramen told Newsweek.

“This made my day 1,000 times. Kudos to the construction crew and operator. And Mr. Elephant is the classiest mammal I’ve ever seen,” commented one user.

While many appreciated the machine operator’s work, some also questioned the use of smoke crackers in the end.

“It seems the Elephant was actually very grateful to the JCB for helping her/him by doing a head bump with it. Instead of busting smoke to scare it away, we could be gentler next time by keeping some food nearby so that they can replenish and get busy without charging at anyone,” wrote another.

THE RESCUED ELEPHANT APPEARS TO THANK THE JCB

However, the rescue team is always advised to carry the smokers along for safety reasons, Ramen told Newsweek, saying it is not necessarily standard practice to use them but they are commonly deployed when herds venture into villages or human habitations.

“It is used on occasions to direct the animal back into the forest and also to protect the nearby people if the animal tries to attack them,” she said.

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‘IF THEY DIE, WE ALL DIE’ – DROUGHT KILLS IN KENYA!

The withered carcasses of livestock are reminders that drought has descended yet again in northern Kenya, the latest in a series of climate shocks rippling through the Horn of Africa.

Mohamed Mohamud, a ranger from the Sabuli Wildlife Conservancy, looks at the carcass of a giraffe that died from hunger. (AP Photo)

As world leaders addressed the global climate summit in Glasgow, pastoralists watched their beloved animals suffer from lack of water and food. Yusuf Abdullahi says he has lost 40 goats. “If they die, we all die,” he says.

Herder Yusuf Abdullahi walks past the carcasses of his forty goats that died of hunger in Dertu, Wajir County, Kenya. He said “If theY die, we all die!” (AP Photo)

Kenya’s authorities has declared a nationwide catastrophe in 10 of its 47 counties. The United Nations says greater than 2 million individuals are severely meals insecure. And with individuals trekking farther in quest of meals and water, observers warn that tensions amongst communities may sharpen.

Wildlife have begun to die, too, says the chair of the Subuli Wildlife Conservancy, Mohamed Sharmarke.

“The warmth on the bottom tells you the signal of hunger we’re going through,” he says.

Rain has failed for two seasons in the east African country, leaving families without enough food and water. It also has snuffed out pasture for livestock, crippling herder communities throughout the nation.

In September, Nairobi and aid agencies estimated that 2.1 million people in 10 counties were affected by the drought. The numbers are expected to rise to 2.4 million by this month, relief agencies reported.

The harrowing footage was taken by Kevin Mtai, a climate campaigner from Pokot in Kenya.

He said: “In Kenya we have contributed less carbon emissions, but we are the ones paying the highest price.

“Animals are dying and people are suffering because of the climate crisis.”

The children of herders walk past cattle carcasses in the desert near Dertu, Wajir County, Kenya. (AP Photo)

Experts warn that such climate shocks will become more common across Africa, which contributes the least to global warming, but will suffer from it the most.

“We do not have a spare planet in which we will seek refuge once we have succeeded in destroying this one,” the executive director of East Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Workneh Gebeyehu, said last month.

As if in a macabre parade, cattle carcasses line the two sides of the dusty road leading into Biyamadow, a sleepy village in northern Kenya’s Wajir county.

The grisly spectacle of dismembered animals rotting beneath the scorching sun is the result of a prolonged drought that has been pushing pastoral communities here – and the livestock they exclusively rely on – to the brink of disaster, reports Aljazeera. 

“In 72 years of life, I have never seen something like this,” said Ibrahim Adow, a Biyamadow resident.

cattle carcasses line the two sides of the dusty road leading into Biyamadow, a sleepy village in northern Kenya’s Wajir county.  [Virginia Pietromarchi/Al Jazeera]

Gabriel Ekaale, a policy officer for the World Food Programme based in Lodwar told Sky News: “It’s estimated about 600,000 members of the population in Turkana County are in need of food or cash assistance.”

Kenya’s Catholic Bishops met in Nairobi this week to ask the country’s Catholic faithful to donate food to regions affected by severe drought, the Vatican News reports.

They released an open letter stating: “It is becoming clear that the frequent droughts that we are experiencing in many parts of our country are as a result of global climate change and environmental degradation.

“Here in Kenya, it seems our model of development has led to a culture of degradation of our environment and the depletion of our natural resources.”

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AN ABANDONED BABY FOX WHO CAN’T USE HER BACK LEGS GETS A SPECIAL WHEELCHAIR

ASIA IN HER WHEELCHAIR

One little fox has been gaining a lot of attention on social media, for one very unique reason. While she may have a disability, the folks at the Kentucky Wildlife Center are determined not to let that stop her.

When you walk through the doors at the centre, you may be greeted by the friendly house cat waiting for an ear scratch, or the curious bunny ready for her close up.

“That’s what we do here. We take care of every animal to the max,” said PK Blankenship.

For some, it’s a place to rest and rehabilitate before being released back into the wild. For others, it becomes their home.

“She’s come a long way, she really has. It used to be that there wasn’t any movement in those back legs at all,” Blankenship said.

Asia the three-month-old Red Fox became a “permanent resident” back in May. She was found by a Boone County couple who immediately called the center’s director, Sam Opp, when they saw Asia try to walk.

“They noticed she wasn’t using her back legs,” Opp said.

It’s a disability Opp believes Asia has had since birth, and something that would have left her defenceless, and eventually dead, in the wild.

“You would never know she can’t use those back legs. She thinks she’s a regular fox. She pounces like a regular fox. She jumps like a regular fox. She crawls over you like a regular fox,” Blankenship said.

But what you may not see on a regular fox is the shiny wheelchair.

“Sometimes it’s funny. We put her in it and she’s like a NASCAR race driver. She takes off,” Blankenship said.

While Asia may have the need for speed, learning to use the chair isn’t always a smooth ride.

“I’m not saying she won’t bump into something, it does frighten her. It’s just like as a child. She would tumble off her mom and shake it off,” Blankenship said.

Still a wild animal, there are days Asia isn’t in the mood for physical therapy.

“If she’s just having a bad day, she’ll get more free time, which is after every session anyways,” Opp said.

With the help of Opp, her handler Blankenship, and the wheelchair, she will most likely be able to walk using her back legs one day.

“She has shown improvement in using those back legs to actually stand on her own. She is a very determined fox kit. She’s not giving up and we’re not giving up on her either. We’re in it for the long haul,” Blankenship said.

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Bird Aid : URGENT Help Needed For Hailsham Gull Sanctuary

A bird charity has very little time to save itself, and the thousands of injured gulls it cares for.

Bird Aid‘s sanctuary in Hailsham, East Sussex, houses 250 attacked or injured birds at any one time, including 100 permanent residents.

It needs £170,000 to buy the land it’s on, after an investor pulled out.

Owner Julia Gould said: “We need help, time is nearly out. We’re the only gull rescue centre in the country, we’re vital, without us thousands will die.”

JULIA GOULD WITH SOME OF HER GULLS

“I know they have a reputation for stealing people’s food, but they’re not nasty birds and they have no talons, no hooked beak, no weapons,” Mrs Gould said.

“It’s a shame Brighton or Sussex doesn’t adopt them as our county bird and do more to appreciate and protect them.

“The seaside wouldn’t be the same without them.”

Bird Aid began in Eastbourne at the home of Julia and Ian Gould. Julia had worked with garden birds and gulls for many years and decided to set up a separate charity dedicated to gulls. They had aviaries in the garden and four learning disabled adults who came for work experience. The facilities were limited so they decided to look for a bigger property. A large factor in their decision was an urgent need to give their, much loved, blind gull a better life by building him a bespoke aviary.

One of the Trustees said he wanted to give some of his own money to the Gould’s so that a larger place could be purchased. He said he was fully supportive of Julia’s work with the gulls and wanted Bird Aid to help as many gulls as possible. After a long search they found Hydeaway, which was perfect for the birds and would provide plenty of work for Learning-Disabled volunteers too. Hydeaway is set on a two-acre site which now has superb facilities that cannot be bettered by any rescue centre. 

 After a change in circumstances we have had to come to an agreement that Bird Aid has one year to raise enough money to buy this person out. If the money cannot be raised, then this centre of excellence for gulls all over Southern England will close.

Herring gulls are on the RSBPs red list for threatened birds, as the species has seen a sharp decrease in population over last 25 years.

Mrs Gould has been operating the centre for eight years and said she has seen some horrific injuries to the seaside birds.

One came in with a broken leg, wing and ribs after being “beaten to near death” by a man in Eastbourne. t recovered but due to neurological damage can never be released back into the wild.

“People attack them, throw them into bins, it’s horrendous,” she said.

Gulls from across the country are taken to Bird Aid, and people from all over the world ring Mrs Gould for advice on caring for injured gulls.

“People call them a nuisance, but they adapt to us. They’re not wanted on the beach, we keep building hotels, houses, towns on the beachfront and they’re not wanted there either.

“They need to live somewhere. They have a right to be here, and be treated kindly.”

If you would like to help you can donate here: Help Hailsham Bird Sanctuary

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A HIKER SAVED THE LIFE OF AN ALASKAN TIMBER WOLF—4 YEARS LATER THE WOLF STILL REMEMBERED HIM

Deep in the Alaskan wilderness, a prospector came to the rescue of an injured mother wolf and her pups, and a lasting connection is formed.

One spring morning many years ago, I had been prospecting for gold along Coho Creek on south-eastern Alaska’s Kupreanof Island, and as I emerged from a forest of spruce and hemlock, I froze in my tracks. No more than 20 paces away in the bog was a huge Alaskan timber wolf—caught in one of Trapper George’s traps.

Old George had died the previous week of a heart attack, so the wolf was lucky I had happened along. Confused and frightened at my approach, the wolf backed away, straining at the trap chain. Then I noticed some­thing else: It was a female, and her teats were full of milk. Somewhere there was a den of hungry pups waiting for their mother.

From her appearance, I guessed that she had been trapped only a few days. That meant her pups were probably still alive, surely no more than a few miles away. But I suspected that if I tried to release the wolf, she would turn aggressive and try to tear me to pieces. Here are the proven skills to survive any emergency.

So I decided to search for her pups instead and began to look for incoming tracks that might lead me to her den. Fortunately, there were still a few remaining patches of snow. After several moments, I spotted paw marks on a trail skirting the bog.

The tracks led a half ­mile through the forest, then up a rock­-strewn slope. I finally spotted the den at the base of an enormous spruce. There wasn’t a sound in­side. Wolf pups are shy and cautious, and I didn’t have much hope of luring them outside. But I had to try. So I began imitating the high­-pitched squeak of a mother wolf calling her young. No response. A few moments later, after I tried another call, four tiny pups appeared.

They couldn’t have been more than a few weeks old. I extended my hands, and they tentatively suckled at my fingers. Perhaps hunger had helped overcome their natural fear. Then, one by one, I placed them in a burlap bag and headed back down the slope.

When the mother wolf spotted me, she stood erect. Possibly picking up the scent of her young, she let out a high­-pitched, plaintive whine. I released the pups, and they raced to her. Within seconds, they were slurping at her belly.

What next? I wondered. The mother wolf was clearly suffering. Yet each time I moved in her direction, a menacing growl rumbled in her throat. With her young to protect, she was becoming belligerent. She needs nourishment, I thought. I have to find her something to eat.

I hiked toward Coho Creek and spotted the leg of a dead deer sticking out of a snowbank. I cut off a hindquarter, then re­turned the remains to nature’s ice­box. Toting the venison haunch back to the wolf, I whispered in a soothing tone, “OK, Mother, your dinner is served. But only if you stop growling at me. C’mon, now. Easy.” I tossed chunks of venison in her direction. She sniffed them, then gobbled them up.

Cutting hemlock boughs, I fashioned a rough shelter for myself and was soon asleep nearby. At dawn, I was awakened by four fluffy bundles of fur sniffing at my face and hands. I glanced toward the agitated moth­er wolf. If I could only win her confidence, I thought. It was her only hope.

Over the next few days, I divided my time between prospecting and trying to win the wolf’s trust. I talked gently with her, threw her more venison, and played with the pups. Little by little, I kept edging closer—though I was careful to re­main beyond the length of her chain. The big animal never took her dark eyes off me. “Come on, Mother,” I pleaded. “You want to go back to your friends on the mountain. Relax.”

At dusk on the fifth day, I delivered her daily fare of venison. “Here’s dinner,” I said softly as I approached. “C’mon, girl. Nothing to be afraid of.” Suddenly, the pups came bounding to me. At least I had their trust. But I was beginning to lose hope of ever winning over the mother. Then I thought I saw a slight wagging of her tail. I moved within the length of her chain. She remained motionless. My heart in my mouth, I sat down eight feet from her. One snap of her huge jaws and she could break my arm … or my neck. I wrapped my blanket around myself and slowly settled onto the cold ground. It was a long time before I fell asleep.

I awoke at dawn, stirred by the sound of the pups nursing. Gently, I leaned over and petted them. The mother wolf stiffened. “Good morning, friends,” I said tentatively. Then I slowly placed my hand on the wolf’s injured leg. She flinched but made no threatening move. This can’t be happening, I thought. Yet it was.

I could see that the trap’s steel jaws had imprisoned only two toes. They were swollen and lacerated, but she wouldn’t lose the paw—if I could free her.

“OK,” I said. “Just a little longer and we’ll have you out of there.” I applied pressure, the trap sprang open, and the wolf pulled free.

Whimpering, she loped about, favouring the injured paw. My experience in the wild suggested that the wolf would now gather her pups and vanish into the woods. But cautiously, she crept toward me. The pups nipped playfully at their mother as she stopped at my elbow. Slowly, she sniffed my hands and arms. Then the wolf began licking my fingers. I was astonished. This went against everything I’d ever heard about timber wolves. Yet, strangely, it all seemed so natural.

After a while, with her pups scurrying around her, the mother wolf was ready to leave and began to limp off toward the forest. Then she turned back to me.

“You want me to come with you, girl?” I asked. Curious, I packed my gear and set off.

Following Coho Creek for a few miles, we ascended Mount Kupreanof ­ until we reached an al­pine meadow. There, lurking in the forested perimeter, was a wolf pack—I counted nine adults and, judging by their playful antics, four nearly full­-grown pups. After a few minutes of greeting, the pack broke into howling. It was an eerie sound, ranging from low wails to high-pitched yodelling.

At dark, I set up camp. By the light of my fire and a glistening moon, I could see furtive wolf shapes dodging in and out of the shadows, eyes shining. I had no fear. They were merely curious. So was I.

I awoke at first light. It was time to leave the wolf to her pack. She watched as I assembled my gear and started walking across the meadow.

Reaching the far side, I looked back. The mother and her pups were sitting where I had left them, watching me. I don’t know why, but I waved. At the same time, the mother wolf sent a long, mournful howl into the crisp air.

Four years later, after serving in World War II, I returned to Coho Creek. It was the fall of 1945. After the horrors of the war, it was good to be back among the soaring spruce and breathing the familiar, bracing air of the Alaskan bush. Then I saw, hanging in the red cedar where I had placed it four years before, the now­-rusted steel trap that had ensnared the mother wolf. The sight of it gave me a strange feeling, and something made me climb Kupreanof Mountain to the meadow where I had last seen her. There, standing on a lofty ledge, I gave out a long, low wolf call—­something I had done many times before.

An echo came back across the distance. Again, I called. And again the echo reverberated, this time followed by a wolf call from a ridge about a half­ mile away.

I had no fear. The wolves were merely curious. So was I.

Then, far off, I saw a dark shape moving slowly in my direction. As it crossed the meadow, I could see it was a timber wolf. A chill spread through my whole body. I knew at once that familiar shape, even after four years. “Hello, old girl,” I called gently. The wolf edged closer, ears erect, body tense, and stopped a few yards off, her bushy tail wagging slightly.

Moments later, the wolf was gone. I left Kupreanof Island a short time after that, and I never saw the animal again. But the memory she left with me—vivid, haunting, a little eerie—will always be there, a reminder that there are things in nature that exist outside the laws and understanding of man.

With four tiny pups to feed, the mother wolf would need to stay nourished.

During that brief instant in time, this injured animal and I had some­how penetrated each other’s worlds, bridging barriers that were never meant to be bridged. There is no explaining experiences like this. We can only accept them and—because they’re tinged with an air of mystery and strangeness—per­haps treasure them all the more.

This story originally appeared in the May 1987 issue of Reader’s Digest.

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A Critically Endangered Sumatran Tiger Has Been Found Dead In An Animal Trap In Indonesia

MEMBERS OF NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION AGENCY INSPECT A SUMATRAN TIGER FOUND DEAD AFTER BEING CAUGHT IN A SNARE TRAP IN PEKANBARU, RIAU

A critically endangered Sumatran Tiger was found dead after being caught in a trap on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, authorities said on Monday, in the latest setback for a species whose numbers are estimated to have dwindled to about 400.

A STUNNING SUMATRAN TIGER

The female Tiger, aged between 4 and 5 years, was found dead Sunday near Bukit Batu Wildlife Reserve in the Bengkalis district of Riau province, said Fifin Arfiana Jogasara, the head of Riau’s conservation agency.

Jogasara said an examination determined the Tiger died from dehydration five days after being caught in the snare trap, apparently set by a poacher, which broke one of its legs.

She said her agency will cooperate with law enforcement agencies in an investigation.

Sumatran Tigers, the most critically endangered Tiger subspecies, are under increasing pressure due to poaching as their jungle habitat shrinks, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It estimated fewer than 400 Sumatran Tigers remain in the wild.

It was the latest killing of endangered animals on Sumatra island. Conservationists say the coronavirus pandemic has led to increased poaching as villagers turn to hunting for economic reasons.

Three Sumatran Tigers, including two cubs, were found dead in late August after being caught in traps in the Leuser Ecosystem Area, a region for tiger conservation in Aceh province.

In early July, a female Tiger was found dead with injuries caused by a snare trap in South Aceh district.

An Elephant was found without its head on July 11 in a palm plantation in East Aceh. Police arrested a suspected poacher along with four people accused of buying ivory from the dead animal.

AN ELEPHANT FOUND WITHOUT ITS HEAD AFTER BEING KILLED BY POACHERS

Aceh police also arrested four men in June for allegedly catching a Tiger with a snare trap and selling its remains for 100 million rupiah ($6,900). Days later, another Sumatran Tiger died after it ate a goat laced with rat poison in neighbouring North Sumatra province.

Via A P News

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A Dolphin Deemed ‘Too Fat’ To Perform Slammed His Head Against Tank Before Lonely Death

In 1996, Makaiko the Dolphin was driven from his pod in Japan and forced into a life of captivity – hauled from venue to venue in painful conditions and starved in a cruel bid to teach him tricks.

MAKAIKO

Driven mad by years of loneliness, Makaiko took to smacking against his tank in a heartbreaking act of self-harm.

Snatched from his family in 1996, the poor bottlenose was starved and forced to perform for human crowds – but ran out his final years alone after being deemed “too heavy” and “foolish”.

He died a lonely death some ten years ago after being snatched from a life in the sea with his 80-strong family pod – that were either murdered or taken too. No one noticed he had got tangled in a net at the dolphinarium and quietly drowned.

Makaiko  — meaning  “inner strength” — was born in 1996 in the waters of Taiji, Japan, where she socialised with other pods and spent carefree days playing and roaming the wide-open spaces of the Pacific Ocean.

His former trainer Lorena Kya Lopez recently opened up on his heartbreaking tale in a grim warning about the wildlife trade, which “subjects millions of wild animals to suffering every day”.

Born in 1996, Makaiko roamed free with other pods, playing in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Taiji, Japan.

One day, however, the sound of motorboats approaching the group left mothers desperately scrambling to gather up their young.

Hunters threw down heavy nets, scooping up dolphins to harvest for their meat or to sell into the tourist entertainment industry.

“While the water turned red from the blood of the dolphins who tried to escape or were killed, Makaiko was lifted out of the water, unable to move in the net,” Lopez told World Animal Protection.

THE ANNUAL TAIJI DOLPHIN DRIVE HUNT

“Makaiko had been captured. And so began the rest of his life in captivity.”

Alongside his sister Kumiko, the young animal was sold to a dolphinarium in Japan.

During transportation, he was painfully laid out on a stretcher and sprayed with water to keep his skin from drying out.

It was days before the pair were given any food. When they finally arrived at their temporary home, Makaiko was put in a small tank treated with chemicals to keep it clean.

“It wasn’t until they went to the surface and people approached them and started throwing dead fish at them that they had a chance to eat,” explained Lopez.

“The dead fish were not as nutritious as the food they would normally get in the ocean, but at that point, it was better than nothing.”

The meals came with a catch – the trainers would only feed the dolphins if they obeyed orders to perform tricks.

Weak and disorientated, Makaiko learned to jump and pushed trainers around the tank for hours on end.

After 10 months, the siblings were suddenly moved into a pitch black transportation box. For over two days, they were unable to see anything.

Hauled out on to a stretcher, Makaiko was treated with a cream to stop his skin drying again, but he was left in agony – visibly bleeding.

Eventually, they landed at the Six Flags dolphin venue in Mexico, where Lopez first came across the distressed creatures.

Here, trainers continued to teach them the tricks they had struggled with in Japan, but Kumiko was depressed and sadly died soon after.

Makaiko was once again moved, this time to the island of Isla Mujeres.

While the tanks here were bigger, the dolphins were still given punishingly little food and Lopez took sympathy.

“I would always come back at night to give them some extra food so they wouldn’t be as hungry,” she said.

“The water was too warm, leading to skin irritations and fungus infections. The sun was too bright, causing skin burns.

“The dolphins were getting weaker each day.”

Concerned about the animals’ welfare, Lopez supported a rescue mission which failed.

MAKAIKO TRAGICALLY DIED ALONE – DESPITE CAMPAIGNS TO FREE HIM

The trainer was fired over her involvement and was only allowed to come back one more time to say goodbye to the dolphins, which was “one of the hardest days” of her life.

Distressed dolphin dumped for being ‘too fat’

For Makaiko, however, the stakes were even higher.

When it came time for his pod to be moved again, he was said to be a “foolish” performer who refused to listen to orders and was deemed too big and too heavy.

While the rest of the animals were transported to another island, he was left behind – increasingly lonely and depressed.

“He stayed alone for some time, without food, and with a growing sense of anxiety he started banging his head against the walls,” said Lopez.

“At some point, people would come in with dead fish, and to clean the water. This was the only time Makaiko wasn’t alone.”

Makaiko’s fortunes changes after an intervention by the Mexican government.

He was rescued and placed with a company called Aqua World, where Lopez was able to lead a rehabilitation process.

Yet the years of mistreatment had left a deep impression on the distressed dolphin, who continued to self-harm.

He was finally transported to Dolphin Discovery at Isla Mujeres, where he would see out the last four years of his life.

While he was able able to swim in the ocean once more, it was only in a confined area and he was required to perform for crowds again.

One day, following Tropical Storm Emily, tragedy struck.

“Nets had been put down due to the destruction and Makaiko got tangled up in them,” said Lopez.

“The people looking after them didn’t see any of this, so Makaiko died. He lay tangled up in the nets in the dolphin venue where he was exploited to entertain thousands of people.”

Image Credits: Rocio Cue

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The Moment A Koala Joey Climbs Up A Boy’s Arm In An Adorable Embrace

A mother and her son got the surprise of their life in their Adelaide backyard when a curious Koala Joey climbed off its mother’s back and onto the boy’s arm and refused to let go.

MOTHER AND BABY KOALA

If you live out in the country, you are used to seeing wild animals. The rest of us aren’t, but when we do come across them, we often find that these little creatures unsurprisingly don’t want anything to do with humans.

Meagan Pfitzner and her teenage son had a different experience. The pair were outside when they saw a baby Koala and its mother. They live in Adelaide, South Australia, where Koalas are plentiful, so weren’t surprised to see a Koala family in their yard. There was a puddle outside of their home, so the mother Koala decided to take a drink from it. The boy knew that Koalas eat eucalyptus leaves, so he grabbed one and offered it to the Koalas.

THE BOY OFFERS THE KOALA A EUCALYPTUS LEAF

However, instead of accepting the treat, the baby Koala decided to get friendly with the teenager instead.  The curious little Koala just climbed off its mother’s back and climbed up the boy’s arm. Koalas are known as very asocial creatures and the bond between the mums and their little joeys are unbreakable. Therefore, this unlikely interaction is even more fascinating.

THE BABY KOALA LOOKS ADORINGLY INTO THE BOY’S EYES

After a little coaxing, the little mammal slowly climbs down and has an adorable moment with his friend. He stares at the young boy’s face in spite of the young man’s insistence that he return to his mom.

As the boy gets up and turns to leave, the little joey takes a step forward seemingly wanting to follow his new friend. The boy has to point his fuzzy friend back towards his mother who at this point was still drinking.

All Credits: Meagan Pfitzner

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A Woman Rescued A Baby Elephant, And Now Moyo Follows Her Everywhere

ROXY AND MOYO

Roxy Danckwerts is the founder of Wild Is Life, an animal sanctuary in Zimbabwe. And one day, while working, she stumbled upon a baby Elephant that seemed to be lost and separated from her herd. The small baby Elephant almost drowned in a river while the herd was trying to cross it, and her health was in a critical condition.

The baby Elephant was found on the shore of Lake Kariba, and the efforts to find her herd were in vain because there were no Elephants in the area. At that time, the Elephant was just a few days old, fragile, scared, and separated from its family. Roxy decided to nurse the Elephant back to health, but what she didn’t expect was for the two of them to become best friends.

ROXY AND MOYO SNUGGLE UP TOGETHER

Roxy spent a lot of time with Moyo, giving the baby 18 litres of a specialised milk formula every day. They spent a lot of time together, and Roxy even slept with her, so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that she became so fond of Roxy and now follows her everywhere she goes.

WRECKING COUCH

Moyo – which in African translates to ‘Of The Heart’ ~ is now 5-years-old and growing up fast. Moyo has become so attached to her savior Roxy, that she sees her as a second mother and doesn’t let her out of her sight.

While there’s plenty of room for her to go play outside in the wildlife sanctuary, Moyo seems to be enjoying life inside the house and doesn’t really care for outside activities. The cute elephant regularly visits the kitchen, munching on peanuts, brownies, salt, and he also seems to be really into silverware.

TOO MANY COOKS

The fact that Moyo almost drowned while crossing the river left the poor Elephant with a great deal of trauma and a fear of swimming. However, her caring guardian Roxy has been there the whole time, to help Moyo recuperate, and after 15-months of therapy, Moyo was finally able to overcome her fear of swimming. 

ROXY ENCOURAGES MOYO TO OVERCOME HER FEAR OF WATER

And with the selfless help of the people at the Zimbabwe sanctuary, Moyo and other orphaned and injured animals like him get special care and lots of love and attention to overcome their fears and traumas.

MOYO CAUSING HAVOC

WILD IS LIFE

“Little by little, a little becomes a lot.”

Wild Is Life is a genuine wildlife sanctuary in Zimbabwe. It is also home to the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery (ZEN), Zimbabwe’s first elephant nursery which rescues, rehabilitates and re-wilds orphaned and injured Elephants.