The first Andean Bear to be born in mainland Great Britain has emerged from its den at Chester Zoo.
The rare cub, which is yet to be sexed, arrived to parents Lima, age 5, and Bernardo, age 7, on January 11. After spending months snuggled away in its den, the cub has started to venture out and explore for the first time.
Made famous in the UK through the classic children’s character Paddington Bear, the Andean Bear is the only Bear to inhabit South America. They are found in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.
The species is listed as Vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Conservation experts from the zoo say the birth of this cub is especially significant given how threatened the species is.
Tim Rowlands, curator of mammals at the zoo, said, “The cub was tiny when it was born but Lima is doing a fantastic job, particularly given that she’s a first-time mum, and the cub is developing quickly. Lima is keeping her new charge close and she certainly has her paws full. But even though she’s not letting it stray too from her side, we can already see that her cub has a real playful side."
“This is a momentous breeding success for us. To become the first zoo in mainland Great Britain to ever breed the species is an amazing achievement,” Rowlands said.
Little is known about Andean Bears in the wild. Information learned from the zoo birth will aid conservationists working to protect these Bears in South America.
Population estimates for the species were last made a decade ago, placing wild numbers at just 20,000. Conservationists are convinced that the Bears' numbers have decreased further, but are unsure how many remain in the wild.
The main threat to the Andean Bear is habitat loss, with some 30% of the forests that contain sufficient food disappearing in the past 20 years. Hundreds of Bears are also illegally killed by farmers and business owners every year, largely to prevent them from raiding crops and livestock.
Chester Zoo works with scientists in Bolivia to study Bear-human conflict.
See more photos of the cub below.
Two Mexican Gray Wolf pups born at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo swapped places with two wild-born pups in New Mexico as part of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Mexican Grey Wolf Recovery Program.
The pups born at Brookfield Zoo are now integrated with a wild Wolf pack in New Mexico, and the wild-born pups are being reared by the zoo’s Wolves. This process, called cross-fostering, maintains genetic diversity in the wild and zoo-dwelling populations of this endangered species.
In early May, teams from Brookfield Zoo gathered up the largest male and female pups from a litter of five born at the zoo on April 22. At just 11 days old, the pups required feedings every four hours as they were transported by plane and van to the San Mateo Wolf pack’s den in New Mexico.
As the adults in the San Mateo pack moved down the canyon, the zoo’s field team entered the den and counted eight pups in the litter. Two were selected to bring back to the Brookfield Zoo.
Scents are important to Wolves, so each of the new puppies was rolled in their new den's substrate, urine, and feces to ensure that all the pups smelled the same and they’d be accepted as members of their new families. The zoo reports that the zoo's pack is providing excellent care to the pups, and they emerged from the den with their foster siblings in late May.
Keepers Lauren Gallucci and Racquel Ardisana explained the thrill of participating in this meaningful conservation effort. “We began our careers in animal care because we want to make a difference in wildlife education and conservation, connecting zoo guests to the larger issues in our natural world. Having the opportunity to make such a direct impact on the conservation of a species for which we care every day really hit home!”
Native to southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, western Texas and northern Mexico, Mexican Gray Wolves were hunted to near-extinction in the 20th century. By 1927, they were thought to be extirpated from New Mexico. The last wild Mexican Gray Wolves known to live in Texas were killed in 1970.
After the species was listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 1976, plans to reestablish the species began. By the mid-2010s, more than 100 Wolves were living in the recovery area.
The zoo’s participation in the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program shows how zoos can partner with other conservation organizations to help save species.
Please call your senators. Please. Some people are going to get really, really screwed, and there's only so much kindness to go around for all of us needing to directly help keep everyone else out of medical bankruptcy, let alone death. I wish it didn't sound this overbearing but sometimes the stakes are the stakes.
We're about to find out how much everyone really cares about other people. How far do you to go to find out about this?
I'm off to Columbus, Ohio, for ASEE for a few days. Small chalkboard comics to follow in the meantime. Might be able to meet-up with any interested readers - send me an email if you want me to set something up.
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Don’t forget that if you want to vote in the 2017 OTW Election, you have to become a member by June 30. Join today! https://goo.gl/yUZHvQ
The Jackson Zoological Society is proud to announce the birth of two critically endangered Red Ruffed Lemurs.
On Saturday, May 27, Jackson Zoo keepers arrived at work in the early morning to discover two newborn males in the Lemur exhibit!
New mother, Nekena, arrived at the Jackson Zoo in December of 2016 from Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon. She joined the Zoo’s resident father and son, Timmy and Phoenix, respectively, as part of the Red Ruffed Lemur Species Survival Plan.
“The 2017 Breeding and Transfer Plan was published this past February. At that time we had 187 Red Ruffed Lemurs in the Species Survival Plan®(SSP), where we recommended 18 males and 16 females for breeding,” said Christie Eddie, Red Ruffed Lemur SSP Coordinator at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. “We are in the midst of birthing season and these offspring are among birth reports from five SSP institutions. I expect more to come!”
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Red Ruffed Lemur (Varecia rubra) as “Critically Endangered”. Found only in a small area of Madagascar, they are the most endangered type of Lemur in the world due to increased cyclones, illegal logging, and the illegal exotic pet trade. According to the IUCN, there are only approximately 35 Lemurs on average per square kilometer in their native habitat and declining rapidly. Less than 65% of newborn young survive to three-months of age in the wild, and there are less than 600 in zoos or refuges in the world.
“We are absolutely delighted to see these two little ones arrive, both for our park and the species as a whole” said Jackson Zoo Executive Director, Beth Poff. “More than a third of the animals at the Jackson Zoo are either endangered or threatened, and although every birth here is special to the staff, adding numbers to an endangered species is that much more precious.”
The Jackson Zoological Society participates in Species Survival Plans for many other animals, including successful births for the Pygmy Hippo and the Sumatran Tiger. The Jackson Zoo also regularly submits information and samples to dozens of ongoing international studies.
Now barely three weeks old, the Red Ruffed Lemur brothers are getting stronger every day. Unfortunately, it was the first pregnancy and birth for their hand-raised mom, Nakena, whose inexperience with newborns was apparent. Vet Tech, Donna Todd, stepped in and has been hand-raising the endangered babies ever since May 27th.
According to the Zoo, the two are like ‘night-and-day’ when it comes to temperament (one decidedly vocal, one much quieter). But both boys are eating well, have bright eyes, are jumping and playing equal amounts, and are more curious about their surroundings every day.
Special public viewings at the Jackson Zoo Vet Hospital are being arranged, and the Zoo hopes to be able to let the public “meet” them (at a distance) within the next month or so.
Visitors and Jackson Zoo members can visit the adult Lemurs during regular zoo hours (seven days a week from 9 am to 4 pm), and follow the Jackson Zookeepers on Instagram (@JacksonZoo) for close-ups and behind-the-scenes photos of all the park residents. People can also “adopt” the baby Lemurs (or their parents) for twelve months by contacting EJ Rivers at: email@example.com.
London South Bank University
Theme: Creativity and Agency
Deadline for proposals: Monday 18 September 2017
We are pleased to invite you to submit abstracts, panel proposals and posters for the next Annual MeCCSA Conference, to be held on 10—12 January 2018 at the School of Arts and Creative Industries, London South Bank University.
The conference is the annual presentation of the best work across the whole range of MeCCSA interests, and is also an opportunity to hear about and discuss important topics in both media and HE policy relevant to MeCCSA members.
We welcome scholarly papers, panels, practice contributions, film screenings, and posters across the full range of interests represented by MeCCSA and its networks, including, but not limited to:
• Cultural and media policy
• Film and television studies and practice
• Radio studies and practice
• Representation, identity, ideology
• Social movements
• Digital games studies
• Women’s media studies
• Disability studies within media studies
• Approaches to media pedagogy
• Children, young people and media
• Diasporic and ethnic minority media
• Political communication
• Methodological approaches
• Media practice research and teaching
The theme of the MeCCSA 2018 conference is Creativity and Agency. ‘Creativity’ is a concept that is, at least implicitly, central to many courses in our subject area, which often entail analysis of ‘creative industries’ and include elements of ‘creative
practice’ as part of the curriculum. Yet it remains a highly contested concept, from the official promotion of the ‘creative economy’ through to more recent debates about the commodification of everyday ‘creative labour’ via social media. How has the concept
developed in the twenty-first century? How should we interpret today’s creative landscape?
Confirmed keynote speakers:
• Professor David Gauntlett (University of Westminster)
• Professor Angela McRobbie (Goldsmiths, University of London)
• Professor Andy Miah (University of Salford)
We invite proposals for papers, practice contributions, themed panels and other presentations which engage with the various artistic, organisational, social, political, economic, individual, collective and technological dimensions of creativity and agency.
Potential topics could include, but are not limited to:
• art and activism
• creativity and cultural policy
• everyday creativity
• public service media as a creative agent
• technology and creativity
• creative entrepreneurship and cultural industries
• individual and collective conceptions of creativity
• non-fiction and creativity
• creativity and pedagogy
• creative labour and social media
• creativity and practice research
Deadline for proposals: Monday 18 September
Individual abstracts should be up to 250 words. Panel proposals should include a short description and rationale (200 words) together with abstracts for each of the 3-4 papers (150-200 words each including details of the contributor), and the name and contact
details of the panel proposer. The panel proposer should co-ordinate the submissions for that panel as a single proposal.
We actively support the presentation of practice-as-research and have a flexible approach to practice papers and presentations. This may include opportunities to present papers and screenings in the same sessions or as part of a separate screening strand.
We also welcome shorter papers in association with short screenings/sharing. We have dedicated presentation spaces to display practice artefacts including screenings and computer-based work. For displaying practice work, please include specific technical data
(e.g. duration, format) and a URL pointing to any support material when submitting your abstract.
There is just one week to the deadline for abstracts. We have received some wonderful abstracts, but there is still time to submit! Deadline is 30th June.
The Melodrama Research Group presents: At home with horror? Terror on the small screen
27th-28th October 2017
University of Kent
Keynote speaker: Dr Helen Wheatley (University of Warwick)
CALL FOR PAPERS
The recent horror output on TV and the small screen challenges what Matt Hills found to be the overriding assumption ‘that film is the [horror] genre’s ‘natural’ home’ (Hills 2005, 111). Programmes such as American Horror Story, Penny Dreadful and The Walking Dead are aligned to ‘‘quality TV’, yet use horror imagery and ideas to present a form and style of television that is ‘not ordinary’’ (Johnston 2016, 11). Developments in industrial practices and production technology have resulted in a more spectacular horror in the medium, which Hills argues is the ‘making cinematic’ of television drama (Hills 2010, 23). The generic hybridity of television programmes such as Whitechapel, and Ripper Street allow conventions of the horror genre to be employed within the narrative and aesthetics, creating new possibilities for the animation of horror on the small screen. Series such as Bates Motel and Scream adapt cinematic horror to a serial format, positioning the small screen (including terrestrial, satellite and online formats) as the new home for horror.
The history of television and horror has often displayed a problematic relationship. As a medium that operates within a domestic setting, television has previously been viewed as incompatible with ‘authentic’ horror. Television has been approached as incapable of mobilizing the intense audience reactions associated with the genre and seen as a medium ‘restricted’ in its ability to scare and horrify audiences partly due to censorship constraints (Waller 1987) and scheduling arrangements. Such industrial practices have been seen as tempering the genre’s aesthetic agency resulting in inferior cinematic imitations or, ‘degraded made-for-TV sequels’ (Waller 1987, 146). For Waller, the technology of television compounded the medium’s ability to animate horror and directed its initial move towards a more ‘restrained’ form of the genre such as adapting literary ghost stories and screening RKO productions of the 1940s (Ibid 1987). Inferior quality of colour and resolution provided the opportunity to suggest rather than show. Horror, then, has presented a challenge for television: how can the genre be positioned in such a family orientated and domesticated medium? As Hills explains, ‘In such a context, horror is conceptualised as a genre that calls for non- prime-time scheduling… and [thus] automatically excluded from attracting a mass audience despite the popularity of the genre in other media’ (Hills 2005, 118).
Helen Wheatley’s monograph, Gothic Television (2006), challenges the approach of television as a limiting medium for horror, and instead focuses on how the domestic setting of the television set is key to its effectiveness. Focusing on the female Gothic as a domestic genre, Wheatley draws a lineage from early literary works, to the 1940s cycle of Gothic women films and Gothic television of the 1950s onwards. Wheatley argues for the significance of the domestic setting in experiencing stories of domestic anxiety for, ‘the aims of the Gothic drama made for television [are] to suggest a congruence between the domestic spaces on the screen and the domestic reception context’ (Wheatley 2006, 191).
Developments in small screen horror are not restricted to contemporary output. In his work on the cultural history of horror, Mark Jancovich argues that it was on television in the 1990s where key developments in the genre were taking place (Jancovich 2002). Taking Jancovich’s work as a cue, Hills develops his own approach to the significance of horror television of the 1990s. Hills cites Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X Files as examples of programmes striving to mobilise the genre’s more graphic elements while existing as a ‘high-end’ cultural product: ‘authored’ TV that targeted a niche fan audience (Hills 2005, 126).
Taking these recent developments into account, the aim of this conference is to engage with such advances. Can we say that it is on the small screen where critical and creative innovations in horror are now being made? How has the expansion of satellite television and online sites impacted the genre? How has the small screen format developed the possibilities of horror? Is the recent alignment with ‘quality TV’ evidence of horror’s new mainstream status? This conference will also reflect on seminal works on television horror and revisit the history of the genre. In addressing these questions the conference will underline the importance of the small screen for horror, within the study of the genre and of the medium, and ask: is the small screen now the home of horror?
Topics can include but are not limited to:
* The seasons and horror on the small screen
* Gothic television
* Gender and horror
* Historical figures and events in small screen horror
* Small screen horror as an ‘event’
* Adaptation from cinema to small screen ‘re-imaginings’
* Production contexts
* Censorship and the small screen
* Serialisation and horror production
* National television production of horror
* The impact of Netflix and Amazon Prime
* TV history and horror
* Literary adaptations
* Children’s TV and horror
* Genre hybridity
* Teen horror
* Stardom and horror
Please submit proposals of 400 words, along with a short biographical note (250 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> by Friday 30th June. We welcome 20 minute conference papers as well as submissions for creative work or practice-as-research including, but not limited to, short films and video essays.
Conference organisers: Katerina Flint-Nicol and Ann-Marie Fleming
Football, Politics and Popular Culture: 2017 Annual Conference of The Football Collective.
Hosted by the Popular Music and Popular Culture Research Cluster, University of Limerick.
‘The Football Collective’ is a dedicated International network of over 200 academics and practitioners across a range of disciplines (Sociology, Musicology, Business Management, Economics and Finance, Political Science, Gender Studies, History, Social Media and Fan Studies, Corporate Governance etc.). Through sharp analysis and research it has provided a platform for thought provoking critical debate in football studies.
Football has always been political. For example, on 13th May 1990, just weeks after parties favouring Croatian independence had won the majority of votes in an election, a riot between the fans of Dinamo Zagreb and Red Star Belgrade marked a game in the Maksimir Stadium. Zvonimir Boban, the Zagreb captain and future AC Milan star kicked a police officer who had allegedly been mistreating Croatian fans. Some argue that this moment marked the end of Yugoslavia, with a devastating Civil War following soon afterwards and many of the protagonists on that day swapping the terraces for the front lines.
The bodies of clubs, players and fans are enmeshed with politics. Clubs have been born as a result of population upheavals and migration; have been associated with ethno-national and religious communities, and political ideologies and parties to name but a few. In the contemporary context, football continues to be tied to political events and symbols. The ongoing movement of people into Europe has witnessed voices raised by football supporters both in support of and opposition to migration. Racism and anti-racism practices play out on and off the pitch. Broader contemporary international political controversies such as the prohibition of the flag of the Palestinian State, the wearing of symbols such as the British poppy or the commemoration of Irish Independence continue to spark controversy among player and fan communities alike.
Football also manifests at times in artefacts of music and broader popular culture. Football chants for example are a sophisticated socio-political activity, which connect to early forms of communication where humans used music, chant, and dance to bond as social groups. ‘Performance’ also has a unique ability to make difference visible and audible, and songs in particular have been shown to have powerful agency in the negotiation of ‘Self’ and ‘Other’.
We invite you to join us at the University of Limerick, on Thursday and Friday 23rd – 24th November 2017 for the Annual Conference of The Football Collective which is organized in association with the Popular Music and Popular Culture Research Cluster @UL. “Football, Politics and Popular Culture” will bring together interdisciplinary football researchers, academics and students to share research findings, interests, stories, and methods, in order to develop better research and collaboration across the Collective. We will also host guests from outside of the academy. In this conference, we therefore particularly welcome papers that address (but are not limited to) football and the following:
· Fan culture
· Political songs and chants
· Islamophobia/anti-Muslim racism
· Ethno-national formation
· Class politics
· Gender and Sexualities
· Its representation in popular culture (including film and literature)
The conference is designed to offer opportunities for all to present research, research ideas, potential projects, and innovative methods of data collection or public engagement. Thus it aims to discuss research that (a) has been undertaken, to share findings and gain insight and feedback on data analysis, representation, and potential outputs (b) is being proposed as a potential option for the Collective group to understand an existing issue or (c) has been published, to share findings and discuss future research needs. Please submit a Word document containing your paper title, a 250 word abstract, and author information including full name, institutional affiliation, email address, and a 50-word bio to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6th September 2017. A maximum of 20 minutes will be allocated to each conference paper. Panel proposals (three presenters – 60 minutes) should include a 150 word overview and 250 word individual abstracts (plus author information listed above). We also welcome proposals for workshops, film screenings, performances etc. We particularly encourage submissions from PhD scholars and early career researchers. Notifications regarding acceptance will be sent by 15th September 2017.
Dr. James Carr, Dept. of Sociology, University of Limerick.
Dr. Martin Power, Dept. of Sociology, University of Limerick.
Dr. Stephen Millar, Popular Music & Popular Culture Research Cluster, University of Limerick.
For further information please visit https://footballcollective.org.uk/2017/
It's pretty simple. There was a study that indicated that for every 830 adults who gained health insurance, there was 1 fewer death a year. So if you craft a health care system that will cause 23 million people to lose their health insurance, then there are going to be some people who become post-existing. And that's before we start including other people who will have health insurance that just won't cover what people need it to anymore.
There's going to be a lot of post-existing, and maybe that's what they're counting on to make this law pass - if people aren't around later on, they can't vote against the death-mongers who passed it. So no repercussions.
Call your senators, especially if you live in a state where the threat of your vote would actually matter. Maybe you feel good about your health insurance right now - but you probably know someone who will be a lot worser off. Hope you're willing to care about them at the very least. Do it.
Cotswold Wildlife Park is celebrating the birth of the first Porcupine twins in the Park’s forty-seven-year history!
The as-yet-unnamed and unsexed twins were born recently to first-time mother, Stempu, and father, Prickle. The newborns are currently on show in the enclosure they share with a trio of inquisitive Dwarf Mongooses.
According to Cotswold staff, the twins are perfect miniature versions of the adults, even born with a full set of quills, which begs the question visitors have been keen to ask keepers: “How does the female give birth without injury?” After a gestation period of approximately one hundred and twelve days (the longest gestation period of any rodent), the female gives birth to offspring covered in soft, moist and flexible quills, enclosed in a thin placental sac. Immediately after birth, the quills quickly harden in the air and become prickly. The babies, also known as Porcupettes, are also born relatively well developed, with eyes open and teeth present.
African Crested Porcupines (Hystrix cristata) are the largest of the twenty-five Porcupine species. They are also the third largest rodent in the world, behind the Beaver and Capybara.
Their Latin name means, “quill pig”. Porcupines possess a spiny defense that is unique among rodents: approximately thirty thousand sharp quills adorn their back. Contrary to popular belief, they cannot fire their quills at enemies, but the slightest touch can lodge dozens of barbed quills into a predator’s body. Quills are modified hairs made of keratin (the same material as human hair, fingernails and the horn of a Rhino). Each quill can boast up to eight hundred barbs. If threatened, Porcupines reverse charge into a predator, stabbing the enemy with its sharp quills. The resulting wound can disable or even kill predators including Lions, Leopards and Hyenas.
Section Head of Primates, Chris Kibbey, commented, “Dad, Prickle, and mum, Stempu, were introduced in October 2016, and it wasn’t long until love blossomed and keepers were delighted to recently discover little Porcupettes running around the enclosure. The babies are born about Guinea Pig-sized and although are born with quills, they are soft at birth, making things considerably easier for mum. The twins are doing really well and have already developed their mother’s habit of stamping their feet, indicating their frustration at keepers disturbing them.”
Four-year-old Stempu is notorious for her feet stamping (her name means ‘stamp’ in Swahili), and she protects her first litter with great ferocity. Her pups were recently caught on camera stamping their tiny feet. Three-year-old Prickle (also the collective noun for a group of Porcupines) is far more relaxed and both are proving to be formidable parents.
Another area of great curiosity from visitors is: “How do Porcupines actually mate?” Mating is a ‘thorny’ challenge due to the spines and quills of the participants, but the answer was discovered in the first scientific study of its kind (published in the Italian Journal of Zoology in 1993*). The nineteen-month study into the mating habits of African Crested Porcupines found that the male prepares for mating by ‘stepping’ with his hind legs on the spot, followed by the female raising her tail onto her back, relaxing her quills, anchoring them firmly against her body and raising her rear. This enables the male to mount her without risking injury from her quills. The male’s forelegs do not hold onto the female’s back at any point. He clasps her sides with his front paws and carefully balances on his hind feet. The study also uncovered that this monogamous species showed an exceptionally long mating pattern (one to five minutes), compared to the known mating behaviors of other Porcupine species.
The African Crested Porcupine is found in Italy, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. The Romans were credited with introducing this species to Italy, but fossil and sub fossil remains suggest it was possibly present in Europe in the Upper Pleistocene (approximately 11,700 years ago). They have been extinct in heavily settled parts of Uganda since the 1970s.
African Crested Porcupines have been found at altitudes of 11,480 feet on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Porcupines are formidable opponents. In addition to piercing a predator’s skin with their barbed quills, they hiss, growl, click their teeth, stamp their feet and rattle their spines in warning when threatened. The crest of spines and quills can be erected at will to make the animal look enormous and threatening.
This Porcupine species feeds on a variety of roots, bark, bulbs and fallen fruit.
They are currently classified as “Least Concern” by the IUCN. Because they eat cultivated crops they are seen as agricultural pests, and farmers use dogs to hunt them. Farmers are also known to illegally use poison to kill them. They are also killed for their quills, which are used as ornaments and talismans. In North Africa, they are killed and sold for use in traditional medicine.
Porcupine Papa, "Prickle":
Today is ‘World Giraffe Day’, and what better way to celebrate than by announcing a new Giraffe birth!
On June 8, the Fort Worth Zoo welcomed a male Reticulated Giraffe to the herd. At birth, the soon-to-be named calf weighed 185 pounds and stood roughly 6 feet tall. When fully grown, he will weigh up to 3,000 pounds and measure about 18 feet from head to hoof.
The Fort Worth Zoo houses Reticulated Giraffes, and their name describes the mammal’s chestnut-brown rectangular markings. Like human fingerprints, each Giraffe pattern is different. Native to the African savannas, a Giraffe’s most distinguishing feature is its long neck, which can account for 7 feet of its height.
The new calf, along with the rest of the herd, will soon join several other species in the Zoo’s new African Savanna exhibit, scheduled to open next year. Guests will not only see mixed species interacting and sharing the space, but will also have an opportunity to stand eye-to-eye and feed these gentle giants.
According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF): “World Giraffe Day is an exciting annual event initiated by GCF to celebrate the longest-necked animal on the longest day or night (depending on which hemisphere you live!) of the year – 21 June – every year!
Not only is it a worldwide celebration of these amazing and much loved animals, but an annual event to raise support, create awareness and shed light on the challenges giraffe face in the wild. By supporting World Giraffe Day (WGD) you directly help save giraffe in Africa. With only 100,000 giraffe remaining in the wild, the time is right to act NOW!
Zoos, schools, NGOs, governments, institutions, companies and conservation organisations around the world are hosting events on 21 June every year to raise awareness and support for giraffe in the wild.”
For more information on ‘World Giraffe Day’, please see GCF’s website: https://giraffeconservation.org/
More great pics below the fold!
I know it's easy to get sick of this song quickly, but I own the whole album and have been playing it a lot the past week for some reason? "Amnesia" and "Scapegoat" are also strong tracks, at least in my very humble personal opinion. Anyway, it's a reasonable life mantra to get behind until at last you're knocked down for the final time, so at least let's all bounce around and headbang the little hair we all have while we can.
Kaboodle, a 14 year-old Walrus at SeaWorld Orlando, welcomed her first calf in early June. This is a first for the SeaWorld Orlando family, and they are justifiably excited!
According to SeaWorld’s animal care ambassadors, who kept a close watch on Kaboodle throughout her pregnancy, mom and calf immediately bonded and have been inseparable ever since.
Guests won’t be able to see Kaboodle and her calf, just yet. The adorable pair is currently under 24-hour care with their husbandry team to make sure than mom and calf are growing and thriving together.
Check with SeaWorld’s social channels and website for updates: https://seaworld.com/
The Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is a large flippered marine mammal with distribution about the North Pole in the Arctic Ocean and subarctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere. It is the only living species in the family Odobenidae and genus Odobenus. This species is subdivided into three subspecies: the Atlantic Walrus (O. r. rosmarus) which lives in the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Walrus (O. r. divergens) which lives in the Pacific Ocean, and O. r. laptevi, which lives in the Laptev Sea of the Arctic Ocean.
Adult Walruses are recognized by their prominent tusks, whiskers, and bulkiness. Adult males in the Pacific can weigh more than 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) and are exceeded in size only by the two species of Elephant Seals.
Walruses live mostly in shallow waters above the continental shelves, spending significant amounts of their lives on the sea ice looking for benthic bivalve mollusks to eat. Walruses are relatively long-lived, social animals, and they are considered to be a "keystone species" in the Arctic marine regions.
Gestation lasts 15 to 16 months. The first three to four months are spent with the blastula in suspended development before it implants itself in the uterus. This strategy of delayed implantation, common among pinnipeds, presumably evolved to optimize both the mating season and the birthing season, determined by ecological conditions that promote newborn survival. Calves are born during the spring migration, from April to June. They weigh about 45 to 75 kg (99 to 165 lb) at birth and are able to swim.
Mothers nurse for over a year before weaning, but the young can spend up to five years with the mothers. Calves are born with robust whiskers, which help identify the shellfish they can eat. Because ovulation is suppressed until the calf is weaned, females give birth at most every two years, leaving the Walrus with the lowest reproductive rate of any pinniped.
Walruses live about 20-30 years in the wild.
While Walruses are not yet classified as a threatened species by the IUCN, they have been adversely affected by global climate change. That’s where SeaWorld Orlando has stepped in to help. With the permission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the park has been able to aid and care for orphaned Walrus calves.
Dear Story Nurse,
I’m currently stalled out on both short stories I am writing. While they are both fantasy stories, each one deals with a theme that is important to me. One is a romance with a genderqueer shifter and the other features a character embracing her chronic pain. While both of these topics are important to me, I’ve not been writing them because it’s stirring up unresolved feelings in me on both of these issues.
My question is this: Writing #ownvoices is important, but how do I support myself in exploring hard topics that stir up unresolved feelings in me, and relatedly, how do I manage the fear that I’m not doing #ownvoices stories well enough, sensitively enough, or with enough compassion and good representation?
Thanks for your time, and I understand if you want to split the questions up!
I sympathize a lot with this letter. I’ve run into this problem with my own novels in progress. We are surrounded by wonderful conversations about representation, but that can come with an increased feeling of pressure to get it right. That can then get tangled up with internal anxieties around identity, such as the feeling of being not [identity] enough or doing [identity] wrong. So I definitely think these two questions go together.
A couple of years ago, Ken Liu was a guest on the podcast I co-host, discussing his silkpunk novels based on Chinese historical myth. (You can hear the whole interview here.) He said, “I didn’t want to write a magical China story because I think magical China stories are very difficult given the history of the colonial gaze and orientalism. When we invoke a ‘magical China’ setting, there’s a set of associations that I think gets in the way of the story I want to tell.” His solution was to move the books’ setting away from mainland China and onto nearby islands, as there aren’t nearly so many common cultural notions about what a story in such a setting should look like.
How would a similar solution work for you? What are the stereotypes of genderqueer people and people with chronic pain, what aspects of those lives are often filtered through a cis or abled gaze, and how can you move your stories in other directions? For example, people with chronic pain are often assumed to be unable to leave their homes or participate in vigorous activities; if you write a story about someone with chronic pain who’s in a sailing race around the world, there are many fewer rules for how it’s supposed to go, and you can write it from the heart without fear. Trans people are often depicted as leaving their marriages and families when they transition, usually with their cis spouses feeling angry and betrayed; if you write a story about a genderqueer person whose marriage has stayed happy and stable through their transition, suddenly you have so many more options for your narrative.
Don’t try to tell an “authentic” story; to quote Ken again, the whole concept of “authentic” has been colonized. Instead, tell an “inauthentic” truth. There are as many truths as there are people. Your genderqueer experience is not the same as mine; your chronic pain experience is not the same as another person’s; your fictional characters’ stories will not look exactly like any real person’s story. You get to choose which truths you tell. I get into that more in my post on excavating internalized biases, which I think will be useful for you.
As for supporting yourself through your internal struggles—which is a wonderful framing for it—I suggest going back to my post about facing the challenge you set for yourself. In addition to the advice I have there, I think it would be a good idea to find or create a support group of people who are familiar with your particular marginalizations and can give you targeted advice and support. When you’re struggling to feel like you’re allowed to write these stories, or you’re wrestling with your inner demons, it can help a lot to chat with other folks who’ve felt the same way and can remind you that those feelings have everything to do with culture and nothing to do with you. If you have access to a knowledgeable and understanding therapist, they can also be a great help. Part of supporting yourself is surrounding yourself with others who support you too.
You are yourself. You are sufficiently yourself. You are being yourself correctly. You are allowed to be you. You are allowed to write all your truths, even and especially the ones that look nothing like the stereotypes.