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Documentary exposes dangers of animal captivity - Central Florida Future.

Documentary exposes dangers of animal captivity - Central Florida Future. | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

A documentary titled Blackfish aired recently on CNN. It told the story of Tillikum, a 12,500-pound bull orca owned by SeaWorld, and the death of Dawn Brancheau. Branchaeu was a lead trainer at SeaWorld Orlando when Tillikumkilled her in front of an audience of SeaWorld guests and trainers.

SeaWorld blamed the experienced trainer for her death, with its spokesperson saying that she wasn’t following protocol and her unfortunate mistakes resulted in her death. The documentary includes interviews with numerous former employees, many of whom worked closely with Branchaeu, insisting that she was a stickler for the rules and always certain to exercise caution when working directly with the animals, especially Tillikum.

There are a lot of things wrong with the situation involving Tillikum and SeaWorld. The first one being the fact that he’s a 12,500-pound killer whale and he’s forced to live in a glorified swimming pool and expected to remain obedient to trainers. It’s a shame that people had to die in order for the unsafe environment perpetuated by SeaWorld to be noticed.

Taking animals out of their natural habitats and imprisoning them to perform tasks and to entertain people is inhumane and barbaric. I’ll admit as a child I loved the idea of SeaWorld; the whales scared me, but I loved the penguins. Sadly, it wasn’t until watching Blackfish that I became aware of the unsafe and unfortunate situations that these captive animals are forced into and the dangers surrounding their captivity.

Tillikum has killed someone before. Of course, SeaWorld does not advertise this, but Tillikum used to be owned by Sealand of the Pacific until he took the life of a young trainer in 1991.

Keltie Lee Byrne had fallen into the pool Tillikum shared with two other whales when he killed her. Sealand closed down shortly after, and Tillikum was sold to SeaWorld.

Tillikum, then the largest bull orca in captivity, was a commodity that SeaWorld was eager to get their hands on, subsequently using him for breeding. Currently, 54 percent of SeaWorld orcas share Tillikum’s genes. Tillikum is also held responsible for the death of Daniel P. Dukes in 1999, a man who had reportedly fallen into the pool after park hours and was found dead upon opening the next day. The circumstances surrounding his death are unclear, but he was found inside of Tillikum’s pool and his death was reportedly a product of “horseplay."

After Brancheau’s death in 2010, Tillikum was placed in a solitary confinement of sorts; he was unable to swim freely and his contact with trainers and other orcas was minimal. Today, Tillikum is back to performing.

SeaWorld needs to be sent a clear message that the treatment of their animals is not acceptable and neither is blaming their trainers for confrontations that were not their fault. Regardless of what Brancheau could have done differently, the simple explanation of her death is that she was working closely with a known killer and numerous potentially hazardous animals. When Steve Irwin was killed, nobody was to blame but himself. He knowingly put his life at risk, as did Brancheau and as does all SeaWorld trainers.

You can’t expect to work with dangerous creatures and never witness or be a victim to an incident. Tillikum should not be treated as a commodity. He is a living, breathing creature and deserves an organic habitat and environment of his own. Expecting any living being to not become aggravated and aggressive when it is held captive is unreasonable. The deaths of Tillikum’s victims could have easily been prevented if SeaWorld and similar companies gained some humanity and let these animals be free to roam the open oceans.

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Japanese ships killing whales 'inside sanctuary'

Japanese ships killing whales 'inside sanctuary' | Titan Explores | Scoop.it
Aerial footage released by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society appears to show the bloodied remains of three minke whales.

By Hannah Strange

3:31AM GMT 06 Jan 2014

Three minke whales lie on the deck of the Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin Maru in the Southern Ocean (Sea Shepherd Australia Ltd/Tim Watters)

Activists have captured rare images of protected whales slaughtered by a Japanese fleet in what is said to be an internationally recognised ocean sanctuary, offering a stark insight into Japan’s secretive but much-criticised whaling practices.


Via Garry Rogers
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Via @EndSeaworld Save the Whales From #SeaWorld Our newest #OrcaAvenger "Thanks"

Via @EndSeaworld Save the Whales From #SeaWorld Our newest #OrcaAvenger  "Thanks" | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

How you can help Boycott SeaWorld?

 

- inform your friends of what's really going on

 

- don't invest in anything their company will benefit from

 

- help spread the truth about SeaWorld to stop people from attending these shows.

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We must put a price on #Nature

We must put a price on #Nature | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

There can be little doubt that producing enough food without doing irreparable damage to the Earth's biodiversity and to our health is one of the biggest challenges we face. It is a problem exacerbated by the enormous problems of climate change and rapid global population growth.

As some of you know, for the past three decades I have sought to demonstrate the benefits of an agro-ecological approach through my own efforts as a farmer. So I appreciate only too well from first-hand experience just how difficult it is to make the approach viable and, more to the point, why it is so difficult in economic terms.

The financial odds are heavily stacked against you and the polluter most definitely does not pay! I was therefore tremendously heartened that my plea two years ago in Washington to work out what it really costs us to produce food in different ways struck such a chord with many of you here today.

If I was to identify one of the biggest pieces missing from the jigsaw it would be the principle of the polluter paying for the damage the polluter causes. The damage done to soils and water systems - let alone to the oceans which are out of sight and out of mind - is one of those costs not factored into farming at the moment, and yet it is such a huge cost.

Understandably, the idea of making the polluter pay suggests that costs will go up and profits will be limited, which is a big concern for those involved in large scale, industrial food-producing operations.

There are powerful vested interests at stake in our centralised food systems, but if you consider the sheer scale of the damage done by maintaining that status quo - in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, the depletion of natural capital, public health costs and its impact on the social and cultural fabric of communities -then it quickly becomes clear that we play a dangerous game if we neglect the welfare of the very elements that support food production.

What is more, does the idea of the polluter paying actually result in business suffering? There are plenty of examples in other sectors where it is quite the reverse.

Take the idea of a landfill tax. When a charge has been placed on the dumping of waste it has dramatically changed a society's approach to recycling - and produced jobs. Or take the deal struck by Norway and Guyana to pay for the preservation of rainforests through funds earned from fossil fuel extraction.

So, I wonder, could it be the same for food and farming? Could the principle of the polluter paying actually inspire innovation that leads to economic benefits and generally propagate the practice of a more responsible approach?

This is just one of the bullets we have to bite. We have to find a way of valuing, in financial terms, the increasing damage done to the Earth's life-support systems by our over-reliance on intensive, chemical-based, monocultural farming systems. And then we have to look honestly at how producers can enjoy a profit if they switch to a more agro-ecological approach.

I say this because I meet many open-minded farmers and food companies who tell me they would love to take a more ecologically sound approach, but they simply cannot afford to - the numbers just don't add up.

It is hard, if not impossible, to compete against specialised systems of cropping or intensive livestock production, given the costs of the damage done by non-renewable chemical fertilizers and pest controls are passed onto the environment, human health and to future generations. And often it is perverse subsidy regimes which perpetuate such a situation.

It is the economic invisibility of Nature that is the root problem. The value of the planet's ecosystems has not been taken into account, fully and consistently, in our decision-making systems; we forget that the ultimate source of all economic capital is natural capital and not the other way round.

This is why I set up my Accounting for Sustainability Project almost ten years ago to help organizations, some of which are here today, account more accurately for natural and social capital.

And this is why I very much hope that the outcome of today's gathering will be the commissioning of a major study to explore, once and for all, whether it is actually more affordable and profitable in the long term to farm by putting Nature at the heart of the process - that is, if we include the true costs in the bottom line, rather than exclude them.

This is key. Otherwise our capacity to feed the world's rising population on the back of increasingly weakened ecosystems will lead to more and more conflict and misery on an unimaginable scale, which is not a legacy we can leave to our children and grandchildren.

That is why your discussions today are crucial, and why I can only encourage you to dismiss the feeling that you are swimming against a much greater tide. The ripples your efforts produce from events like today's do have the capacity to turn that tide. Not only that, but they will!

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#Charity Sector Must Address Criticisms Following Six Figure Salary Revelations.

#Charity Sector Must Address Criticisms Following Six Figure Salary Revelations. | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

How charitable is the charity sector? It depends who you ask. If you are the executive of one of Britain's leading foreign aid charities you are likely to give a positive answer, but then you would be a beneficiary of this generosity of spirit. If, however, you are one of thousands of unpaid interns currently working for free for charities across the UK, you might be inclined to disagree.

Earlier this week the Telegraph reported that the number of executives paid more than £100,000 has risen from 19 to 30 at Britain's 14 leading foreign aid charities, over the past three years. The research also revealed the number of workers earning more than £60,000 increased by 16% between 2010 and 2012. The indignation expressed by some charity bosses in response to criticism at the revelations was telling.

"Charities shouldn't be ashamed of paying people what they are worth," fumed Sir Stephen Bubb, Chief Executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (Acevo), "It's essential that the sector attracts skilled and experienced professionals, not keen amateurs."

Sir Bubb's point was reiterated by several prominent figures, and it might have some merit were in not for the blatant hypocrisy involved when one considers the sector's flagrant and widespread exploitation of young talent.

The news about executive pay follows a report on unpaid internships in the third sector, published by the campaign group Intern Aware and Unite the Union in May. The report revealed the disturbing prevalence of unpaid internships within charities, which are often advertised as 'volunteer opportunities' to evade paying the national minimum wage.

Calling for an end to unpaid internships, the report claims that over a third of the top 50 charity employers in England and Wales don't pay their interns. Its findings were corroborated in a government review by the former head of the NSPCC, Dame Mary Marsh, who also criticised the prevalence of charity internships and recommended they be replaced by a new recruitment strategy, similar to Teach First - the Government's strategy to widen participation in teaching.

In light of these circumstances the six figure salaries earned by some charity bosses appear particularly obscene, as do any attempts to justify them on the grounds that they are necessary in order to attract the best talent. For this argument to have any credibility it would need to be applied across the board - not only to those at the top but also to those starting out on their career path.

Yet the reports on unpaid internships were also met by indignation from some sections of the charity sector. In a blog on the website thirdsector.co.uk entitled 'Are unpaid interns really a problem?' former senior charity worker Wally Harbert issued an impassioned argument in favour of the current recruitment model. "...should people be stigmatised for wanting to volunteer?" he asked, adding that "today's gross inequalities will not be undone by tampering with the system of interns, which will lead the wealthy to obtain privileges in other ways."

Of course nobody is suggesting that getting rid of unpaid internships is the answer to all of society's woes - though it might be a start - still less that volunteers should be stigmatised. But while the legal lines between legitimate voluntary roles and unpaid internships may be blurred, many charity interns are clearly victims of exploitation. Often they are given high levels of responsibility, conduct tasks which the organisation relies upon and work on a full time basis. All the while they are told the organisation cannot afford to pay them a wage, an excuse some graduates may now be less willing to accept.

Rather than continue to dismiss legitimate criticisms aimed at their sector, charity leaders must act in collaboration with the Charity Commission - The regulator for charities in England and Wales - to ensure they are appropriately addressed. This would involve implementing some of the recommendations proposed by Dame Marsh in her review, as well as heeding the advice of William Shawcross, the head of the Commission who warned that "disproportionate salaries risk bringing organisations and the wider charitable world into disrepute."

Failing to act could have grave consequences for a sector whose virtues are in danger of being severely undermined by the elitist structures of some of its largest organisations.

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StumbleUpon @TitanExplores Titan Exploration Industries: #Tweet4Taiji #Adventurewithus

StumbleUpon @TitanExplores Titan Exploration Industries: #Tweet4Taiji #Adventurewithus | Titan Explores | Scoop.it
Freyr Titan @TitanExplores While exploring the #World online, #Researching, #Archiving oh and we also campaign for the rare & awesome Animals of this Planet! Sponsored by Apex Evolution
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Humans AREN'T The Smartest Species?

Humans AREN'T The Smartest Species? | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

Think humans are way smarter than other animals? Not so fast, Einstein!

Researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia argue in an upcoming book,The Dynamic Human, that humans really aren't much smarter than other creatures -- and that some animals may actually be brighter than we are.

"For millennia, all kinds of authorities -- from religion to eminent scholars -- have been repeating the same idea ad nauseam, that humans are exceptional by virtue that they are the smartest in the animal kingdom," the book's co-author Dr. Arthur Saniotis, a visiting research fellow with the university's School of Medical Sciences, said in a written statement. "However, science tells us that animals can have cognitive faculties that are superior to human beings."

Not to mention, ongoing research on intelligence and primate brain evolution backs the idea that humans aren't the cleverest creatures on Earth, co-author Dr. Maciej Henneberg, a professor also at the School of Medical Sciences, told The Huffington Post in an email.

The researchers said the belief in the superiority of that human intelligence can be traced back around 10,000 years to the Agricultural Revolution, when humans began domesticating animals. The idea was reinforced with the advent of organized religion, which emphasized human beings' superiority over other creatures.

"The belief of human cognitive superiority became entrenched in human philosophy and sciences," Saniotis said in the statement. "Even Aristotle, probably the most influential of all thinkers, argued that humans were superior to other animals due to our exclusive ability to reason."

But reasoning, Saniotis and Henneberg argue, is just one form of intelligence.

"The fact that [animals] may not understand us, while we do not understand them, does not mean our 'intelligences' are at different levels, they are just of different kinds," Henneberg said in the statement.

Some animals leave complex scent markings in their environment to communicate. Humans can't interpret these markings, Henneberg said in the statement, but they "may be as rich in information as the visual world."

Killer whales share a complex language of their own, and dolphins have individual names -- just like we do-- based on whistle signals. "This means that dolphins have a concept of 'self' and special others," Henneberg told HuffPost Science.

Elephants, he said, grieve their dead and have excellent memories. Beavers are able todam rivers and build underground homes. Weaver birds produce intricate, multi-story nests. The list goes on.

What do other experts make of their argument? Dr. Gordon Burghardt, professor of psychology and evolutionary biology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, told The Huffington Post that he generally agrees with the researchers' assertion. He has no connection with their book.

"Generally the claim is made that with language and now permanent record keeping we have a cumulative culture that allows us to accomplish many things that other animals could not," Burghardt said. "But that does not mean that individual humans are superior in all abilities to all other species. Just as a gibbon does not need a house, we have evolved in environments where we do not have to capture fish underwater with our bare hands, but brown bears do, and can do so better than us."

Freyr Titan's insight:

Most humans tend to say they are superior to other species but their actions prove otherwise, sad really!

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Cave Dig Brings Another Big Surprise About #Neanderthal Life.

Cave Dig Brings Another Big Surprise About #Neanderthal Life. | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

New research suggests that Neanderthals kept a tidy home. During excavations at a cave in Italy where a group of our closest known extinct relatives once lived, scientists say they found a strategically placed hearth and separate spaces for butchering and tool-making.

In recent years, researchers have discovered that Neanderthals made tools, buried their dead, used fire and maybe even adorned themselves with feathers, bucking our ancient cousins' reputation as stocky brutes. The new findings add to that growing list of intelligent behaviors similar to those of humans.

"There has been this idea that Neanderthals did not have an organized use of space, something that has always been attributed to humans," study researcher Julien Riel-Salvatore, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado Denver, said in a statement. "But we found that Neanderthals did not just throw their stuff everywhere, but in fact were organized and purposeful when it came to domestic space." [Image Gallery: Our Closest Human Ancestor]

Riel-Salvatore and colleagues discovered that Neanderthals may have been rather domestically inclined while the scientists were digging at Riparo Bombrini, a collapsed rock shelter on the coast of northwest Italy. Excavations revealed some "provocative patterns" of artifact distribution, the researchers wrote in their study detailed in the Canadian Journal of Archaeology.

The scientists think the cave's ancient occupants divided the space into sections for different activities: a top level for butchering and preparing animals, a middle level for long-term living and a bottom level for use as a short-term base camp.

In the main living level, a hearth was positioned near the back wall of the shelter, which likely allowed warmth to circulate among the living space. Meanwhile, stone tools and animal bones were concentrated at the front of the cave, the researchers say.

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I Didn't Know Animals Could Do That!

I Didn't Know Animals Could Do That! | Titan Explores | Scoop.it
The following graphic shows some of the things that we have in common with our animal friends—and some of the differences that humans can only envy.
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Gill Plate Trade | #Manta Trust

Gill Plate Trade | #Manta Trust | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

Manta and Mobula rays are large filter feeding animals, whose flesh is considered to be of relatively poor quality by humans all around the world. As a result these animals have not been widely targeted for human consumption through commercial fisheries in the past. However, in recent years this has changed. Manta rays and their close relatives are now rapidly becoming a more desirable product, making them a target for fishermen all over the tropical and temperate oceans of the world.

So what has happened? Why the sudden change of fortunes for these unfortunate rays? The underlying answer to these questions is not a new story, in fact it’s a tale of depressing repetition played out in our oceans and throughout our planet on a regular basis. The difference this time is that the latest targets are the mantas, which are paying the price of becoming the latest commodity in the often senseless and environmentally destructive Chinese Medicinal Trade. The ray’s feathery gill plates, which they use to filter the plankton from the water, have become a product and as a result these harmless animals are paying the price of humanity’s selfish ignorance…


What are Gill Plates?

The gill plates, or branchial filaments, are thin cartilage filaments that enable the manta and mobula rays to filter plankton out of the water column. Every manta or mobula has five pairs of gills, each protected inside a gill slit.

Inside each of the ten gill slits there is one complete feathery gill plate which forms a circle around the periphery of the slit, trapping their planktonic food as it is funnelled through the mobula or manta ray’s mouth and out through these gill plates.

 

The Fishery

These plates, once dried, are the most valuable parts of the mobulid rays and drive the commercial fishery of these rays around the world, with particularly large fisheries present in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Although the plates comprise just a tiny percentage of a manta or mobula’s mass, they sell for significantly more than the rest of the body parts put together.

 

While plates are used from both mobula and manta rays, the gill plates from mantas (usually oceanic manta rays; M. birostris) fetch the highest prices, followed by the larger species of mobulas (generally M. tarapacana and then M. japanica), with the price reducing as the size of the plates decreases.

The demand for gill plates is so high that in certain countries, such as Sri Lanka, fisherman who used to avoid catching mobulid rays, due to their propensity to destroy and entangle fishing nets, are now driven to fill their boat’s holds with mobulid rays when returning to harbour.

This demand, coupled with the dwindling supplies of more desirable fish catches (such as sharks, tunas and billfishes) now gives the fishermen even greater incentives to actively target mobulid rays in order to maintain their livelihood.


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#Manta Trust | Conservation through Research, Awareness and Education.

#Manta Trust | Conservation through Research, Awareness and Education. | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

Our Vision

A sustainable future for the oceans where manta rays thrive in healthy, diverse marine ecosystems.

Our Mission

The Manta Trust takes a multidisciplinary approach to the worldwide conservation of manta rays and their habitat through robust science and research, while raising awareness and providing education to the general public and community stakeholders alike.

Our Motivation

Manta rays are among the most charismatic creatures that inhabit our oceans. With the largest brain of all fish their intelligence and curiosity make encounters with these creatures a truly amazing experience.

However, despite their popularity with divers and snorkelers many aspects of these creatures lives remain a mystery, with only snippets of their life history understood. More worryingly, in recent years, a fishery for these animals has developed with devastating effects on populations of these animals globally.

The Manta Trust was formed in 2011 to co-ordinate global research and conservation efforts for these amazing animals, their close relatives and their habitat. As charismatic megafauna manta rays act as flagship species, helping to promote and engage the general public in the wider message of marine ecosystem conservation. Through this top down approach to conservation the manta ray becomes the catalyst for change, engaging and motivating the general public, governments and local communities alike. A UK Registered Charity, the Trust brings together a number of projects from around the globe, both new and long-standing, including the Republic of Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mexico and Indonesia. By conducting long-term, robust studies into manta populations in these locations we aim to build the solid foundations upon which Governments, NGO’s and conservationists can make informed and effective decisions to ensure the long term survival of these animals and their habitat.

Good conservation requires a holistic approach. The Manta Trust researchers and volunteers work closely with tourists, local communities, businesses and governments to ensure the preservation of these amazing animals through good science, education, community based initiatives and government legislation. As the scope of the Trust’s work continues to grow our goal is to expand these efforts globally.

 

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The Japanese Government: Stop The Slaughter Of Dolphins In #Taiji

The Japanese Government: Stop The Slaughter Of Dolphins In #Taiji | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

Petition by Anonymous India Anon, India.

 
Greetings, citizens of the world. This is a message from the Anonymous Collective.

We have been receiving disturbing reports of dolphin slaughter in the village of Taiji in Japan. Innocent and fun loving dolphins are being lured into traps laid out by the Taiji butchers, and are ultimately either captured and transported to marine parks worldwide, or are killed, and their flesh is sold as whale meat by companies such as Yahoo, despite several health concerns.

The ultimate purpose of this message: Government of Japan, we have been watching you and your sick actions from a very long time. Despite several pleas from the international community, you have not stopped butchering these mammals, for your personal gains. You are putting your people's lives at risk by allowing them to consume whale meat. Not only that, you have brought great shame upon Japan by performing these acts.

This is our final warning, STOP these slaughters IMMEDIATELY, or get ready to face the extent of our wrath.

To the activists at Taiji, know that Anonymous stands with you in your every step. Keep documenting these violations, something which the main stream media will never bother to do. As for the Japanese Government, you have been warned.

We Are Anonymous.
We Are Legion.
We Do Not Forgive.
We Never Forget.
#OpKillingBay initiated.
#OpJapan revived.
Expect Us.
Anonymous Message To The Japan Government
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Polar #Bears don't belong in captivity - The Manitoban. Why do we humans love to play the role of God?

Polar #Bears don't belong in captivity - The Manitoban. Why do we humans love to play the role of God? | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

Chris Hearn, volunteer staff

Why do we humans love to play the role of God or Mother Nature? What gives us the right to decide the fate and future of every other living thing on this Planet?

Nature can take care of itself best. It always has and always will. Attempts by humans to change and control everything else do not serve nature well.

Case in point is a recent decision by the Manitoba government to change restrictions on taking polar bears into captivity. For 30 years, the law said that bears could only be taken into captivity if they were less than two years old. Well, no more.

Zoos aren’t exactly known as being the ideal home for any animal that ought to be out in the wild. While some zoos have worked hard trying to simulate natural environments for the animals they cage, humans cannot ultimately simulate what Mother Nature has provided. But we seem to insist we can do it and that what we are doing is right!

The key words surrounding the justification for zoos are “conservation,” “education,” and “research.” Although there is some merit in these concepts—in the sense that understanding other species, their environments, and their plight is important—the ideals cannot be fulfilled by sticking animals behind bars in a man-made environment, often hundreds of kilometres away from their real, natural homes, and in completely different climates.

The justification for easing restrictions on taking polar bears into captivity has been that climate change has deeply affected polar bears and they are facing hardships and death as a result. This also leads to increased contact with humans, which often ends poorly for the bear. So, rather than individual polar bears facing death, humans, in their infinite wisdom, have decided that a life in captivity is far better for these bears in the long run.

But is it? Is a wild animal stuck in a cage really better off than one who dies because its environment can no longer sustain it? Polar bears do not fare well in captivity because of what they are used to in their native habitat, which man cannot effectively recreate. Is our solution to a climate crisis that we have caused, and seem to be none too eager to fix, bringing animals affected by our mistakes into captivity?

If we really want to help, we have to deal with climate change immediately. If we don’t effectively tackle climate change, we will just keep sticking more and more individual animals affected by our environmental recklessness into zoos while the rest of their species will die off.

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"My photo used to help raise awareness of the ethics behind Civet Cat coffee." Paul Williams.

"My photo used to help raise awareness of the ethics behind Civet Cat coffee." Paul Williams. | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

Posted by Paul Williams

'Cut the Crappacino' - my photo used to help raise awareness of the ethics behind Civet Cat coffee.

A few years ago I tried the curious 'cage-free' blend of Civet cat coffee when I visited a coffee farmer in India. Now one of my civet cat photos is being used as part of a campaign against the booming industry of farmed civet cat coffee in South East Asia "Cut the Crappucino"

Civet coffee, or Kopi Luwak as it’s known in Indonesia, is one of the world’s most expensive drinks, selling for up to £70 per cup - you can try some in Selfridges. It’s made from coffee beans, which have been partially digested by Civet cats, small mammals that look like a cross between a weasel and a cat. Their digestive enzymes denature the beans and alter the final taste, which according to coffee experts, gives the coffee its uniquely smooth and rich flavour. But is it cruel or unethical?

The Ethical Blend: In a small village close to Bangalore in South India I met Ganesh, a coffee farmer, locally famous for his special brew. Every December his estate is visited by a hoard of tiny palm civets who come for the succulent red coffee fruits, selectively picking the ripest and sweetest, wolfing them down during the night. While the damage is minimal many crop producers might go to the extreme to protect their livelihood from such an invasion, yet for Ganesh, a keen Wildlife watcher, it's actually a treat. Since reading an article in National Geographic about the production of Kopi Luwak in Korea he has simply just let the Civets get on with their nocturnal gorging. On occasion he even catches them in the act and just keeps his distance observing them as they stand on their hind legs to reach the best fruit. 'It's only the fruity outer layer that their interested in' He goes on to tell me how the two coffee beans at the core of each fruit are concentrated, cleaned and processed as they pass through the civets digestive tract, eventually being dumped - usually under a coffee plant for Ganesh to find in the morning. 'All I have to do is go around popping the poop into a basket for roasting later.' he says with a grin.

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Sea #Turtle Finds Lost Camera, Films Itself Swimming (Video)

Sea #Turtle Finds Lost Camera, Films Itself Swimming (Video) | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

An Incredible Adventure, Caught on Film
When Dutchman Dick de Bruin accidentally dropped his waterproof video camera while scuba diving in Aruba, he must have figured he would never see it again--but he was wrong. Six months later, the camera was found on a beach in Florida, a thousand miles away containing an amazing video. It turns out the camera's strap became tangled around the shell of a passing sea turtle. Somehow, the animal had inadvertently switched the camera on, capturing at least part of its thousand mile journey on film.If the circumstances surrounding the turtle-directed video weren't enough, luck would have it that the camera was found six months later, all the way in Florida. According to De Telegraaf, US Coast Guard officer Paul Shultz found the waterproof device on a beach in Key West and charged the battery, at which point he discovered de Bruin's vacation photos--and the aquatic adventure filmed by the sea turtle.

In hopes of tracking down the camera's rightful owner, Shultz posted theturtle's video on YouTube, along with a note about how he obtained the camera. He contacted diving group around Aruba to see if anyone had lost a camera. Eventually, word of the video spread until someone close to de Bruin saw and informed him of the story. "You will not believe it," de Bruin told De Telegraaf, "but it really happened..."

Paul Shultz, via YouTube, writes to de Bruin:

Mr. Bruin - I am very excited to get your camera back to you. Hunting you down was a challenge... I'm still amazed it floated all the way to Key West. I will be shipping it Fed-Ex to you tomorrow.
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Stand your ground. Individually, we all matter! " #OrcaAvengers @TitanExplores

Stand your ground. Individually, we all matter! " #OrcaAvengers @TitanExplores | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

Apex Evolution Inc: Working in partnership with

TITAN EXPLORATION INDUSTRIES, by Freyr Titan: " Stand your ground. Individually, we all matter! " #OrcaAvengers @TitanExplores

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Public Input Sought on New Rules for #Bears in Captivity.

Public Input Sought on New Rules for #Bears in Captivity. | Titan Explores | Scoop.it
December 16, 2013

RESTON, Va. - In Virginia and around the country, hundreds of bears in captivity live in small, concrete pits and cages without a hint of their natural habitat. Since they cannot speak for themselves, one of the world's largest animal welfare groups wants humans to speak up for them. 

Delcianna Winders, director of captive law, PETA Foundation, said the USDA is taking public comment on stronger rules for humane treatment of bears, prompted by a lawsuit by her organization. Under the Animal Welfare Act, she said, bears used for exhibition are supposed to be treated humanely. 

"However, the regulations that are applied are exceedingly general," she said, "and the USDA has failed to protect bears under these standards."

PETA'S lawsuit asked for more space, proper nutrition and a place for bears to forage, climb and bathe, among other conditions. Winders said roadside zoos are the biggest culprits for violations. About a year ago, a roadside zoo director in Fairfax County was convicted of animal cruelty and sentenced to a month in jail. 

Scientific research has surfaced over the years showing what bears need, Winders explained. Bears are intelligent and as complex as primates, and can suffer from stress and physiological dysfunction in captivity, she said.

"So, 30 years ago, there may have been an excuse for keeping a bear in a concrete pit, arguably. At this point, there's absolutely no excuse," Winders said.

PETA has been working for more than a year to get federal government attention on this issue, and is counting on the public to weigh in, she added.

Public comments are being taken by the USDA until Jan. 27 at www.regulations.gov.

- See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2013-12-16/animal-welfare/public-input-sought-on-new-rules-for-bears-in-captivity/a36298-1#sthash.P4CWSNBs.dpuf
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Director, Environmental, Health & Safety (Operations) - #SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Careers - Jobs at SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and Sesame Place.

Director, Environmental, Health & Safety (Operations) - #SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Careers - Jobs at SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and Sesame Place. | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

Director, Environmental, Health & Safety (Operations)


Requirements and Competencies

• Must have a minimum of 10 years experience in the field of Safety, Environmental, Risk Management or Health Services
• Must have a minimum of 5 years of Safety focused job experience
• Must have a minimum of 7 years of leadership experience
• Demonstrated conflict management skills
• Must be fluent in all federal and state safety regualtions and environmental regulations
• Must have experience in working through risk management. Must have extensive claims experience, including trial preparation, testimony in trial and negotiation
• Must be able to manage multi-discipline and technical staff performance
• Advanced knowledge of safety systems, those used in a theme park environment preferred 
• Experience with wastes, wastewater, hazardous waste transport, dive safety and pyrotechnics is preferred
• Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills
• Must be available to work varying shifts or hours based on business need

Desired Qualifications

• Bachelor’s degree in related field strongly preferred
• Continued education in the EHS field



Primary Responsibilities

• Ensure that all operations are conducted in accordance with all existing federal, state, local, corporate, park and EHS operating policies and procedures; to include: site inspection and interfacing with regulatory personnel and government.
• Oversee the General Liability/Workers Compensation process including daily guest satisfaction, claims and litigation management
• Responsible for the oversight and development of several levels of professional and para-professional staff
• Emergency/Crisis Planning and Business Resumption Initiatives 
• Assist in coordination of park accessibility issues
• Ensures continuous improvement of relevant areas in a rapidly-evolving field
• Manage competing priorities effectively in a complex organization and fast-paced environment
• Make effective decisions independently in high-pressure situations
• Oversee statistical analysis and trending of various critical areas
• Develop/Administer an operating budget recommend, develop and administer capital projects
• Participate in special projects such as: serving on various local, national and international professional committees and maintaining community and regulatory relationships
• Participate in Park Duty manger rotation, requiring development and demonstration of operational competencies
• Participation on internal committees and work groups 

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Peter Burton. Powered by RebelMouse

Peter Burton. Powered by RebelMouse | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

All things nature and wildlife FB http://t.co/uWMnkACcd9. Powered by #RebelMouse

Freyr Titan's insight:

All the very best  @peteswildlife

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Why Bio: Help us spread our message of a recyclable, renewable, non toxic & biodegradable lubricating oil. Tweet, like, pin and post our videos, infographics and your own comments.

Why Bio: Help us spread our message of a recyclable, renewable, non toxic & biodegradable lubricating oil. Tweet, like, pin and post our videos, infographics and your own comments. | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

Petroleum-based motor oils and industrial lubricants are contaminating our water supply and causing irreversible damage to our environment, and to us. Replacing these oils with safer, cleaner alternatives would reduce petroleum consumption and protect us, and our environment from these toxic pollutants. Get the facts about what petroleum-based motor oils are doing to us, and the environment. We need your support to get biodegradable, renewable and non-toxic BIO-based oil in the marketplace.

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Can Animals Really Make Friends With Other Species?

Can Animals Really Make Friends With Other Species? | Titan Explores | Scoop.it
Animals can forge bonds across species boundaries if the need for social contact pre-empts their normal biological imperatives. A cat raised with dogs doesn’t know it’s a cat, the logic goes.
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#IDtheManta | Manta Trust.

#IDtheManta | Manta Trust. | Titan Explores | Scoop.it
IDtheManta

If you have seen a manta anywhere in the world you can contribute directly to the global research and conservation of manta rays by submitting your images and sighting encounters through our sightings upload form. Alternatively you can email us your images directly to IDtheManta@mantatrust.org but please don’t forget to let us know where and when you saw your manta!

Ideally we are looking for images which best show the spots on the underside (ventral surface) of the manta rays. These spots are unique to each and every manta ray, just like a fingerprint they can be used to identify every single individual. Other images which show the top (dorsal surface) of the manta rays, or the tail (ventral) area, can also be used to identify the specific species you encountered and/or the sex of the individual. The more information you provide, the more feedback we can give you on your encounter, so please take a few minutes to send us your sightings.

By cataloguing photo IDs of manta rays, we can develop a better understanding of how large populations are and how the individuals within populations are utilising certain sites in particular areas and where they travel…

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Monk And Tiger Sharing Their Meal At Thailand Tiger Temple.

Monk And Tiger Sharing Their Meal At Thailand Tiger Temple. | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

Look at this heartwarming picture of a monk and tiger sharing their meal at the Thailand Tiger Temple. If only more people in this world were as kind and generous.

While visiting the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi Thailand, Wojtek found this monk and a tiger sharing their food.

This sacred place is a Theravada Buddhist temple in western Thailand that was founded in 1994 as a forest temple and sanctuary for wild animals.

[SEE ALSO - Pictures Of A Siberian Snow Tiger]

In 1999, the Thailand Tiger Temple received the first tiger cub, one that had been found by villagers; it died soon after. Later, several tiger cubs were given to the temple. As of May 2012, the total number of tigers living at the temple has risen to over 100.

Many people have claimed that the tigers are actually drugged to keep them calm but in 2008, ABC News spent three days at the temple and did not see any evidence of drugging or mistreating of the animals.

Both Thai and Western employees who were interviewed claimed that the animals were well treated. The abbot of the monastery stated that the eventual goal was to breed tigers for release in the wild.

[BONUS - Visitors To Busch Gardens Zoo Play Tug Of War With Tiger]Have you ever visited the Thailand Tiger Temple?

Source: Wojtek Kalka At 500PX

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Keeping animals in captivity for our own entertainment must stop - Daily Life.

Keeping animals in captivity for our own entertainment must stop - Daily Life. | Titan Explores | Scoop.it

If modern society was cast in a Greek tragedy then our character description would be this: exhibits hubris - grotesquely arrogant, casually cruel, doomed to be clubbed to death by a winged deity. And the only proof that the audience would need of our hubris would be a few examples of the way we treat animals, or more accurately, the way we share our planet with the other animals.

From the cashed-up, drunken swill at the Melbourne cup roaring and vomiting up betting tickets while a majestic race-horse buckles, collapses and is slaughtered in front of them, to the 17,000 greyhound dogs per year in Australia that are killed for not making the grade, to keeping chickens and pigs in factory farms, to testing cosmetics and pharmaceuticals on mice, there is no doubt that we are the unfeeling unthinking tyrants of our world. Humans, it seems, are profoundly inhumane.

Of this list of everyday sadisms, there is one particularly repugnant practice that should be banned:  keeping animals in captivity for our own entertainment. I am not talking about animals kept in captivity for conservation or rescue purposes. There are certain zoos that perform good work. But if we wince at the idea that only a few decades ago you could find lions in circuses, or if we read with horror of gladiatorial combat with bears in a blood-soaked Roman empire then surely supporting any modern industry that converts animal cruelty into human amusement, makes hypocrites of us all.

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Arizona Wildlife in Danger. Many species of Arizona wildlife are drifting toward extinction.

Arizona Wildlife in Danger. Many species of Arizona wildlife are drifting toward extinction. | Titan Explores | Scoop.it
Most species of Arizona wildlife are declining.

Conservation Status of Arizona Wildlife.

Many species of Arizona wildlife are drifting toward extinction. Over half of the larger animals listed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) are in danger, and the status of many smaller species such as the three butterflies above is uncertain.

 

The table shows the percent of existing native species that the AZGFD specialists consider critically imperiled (S1), imperiled (S2), and vulnerable (S3).  Lacking adequate data, I did not include butterfly, moth, damselfly, and dragonfly percentages in column D, and I subtracted their numbers before calculating the total percent.

 

*Bats are shown separately and they are included in Mammals

Conservation Status Symbol Definitions  S1         Critically Imperiled: Extremely rare or some factor(s) is making the species especially vulnerable to extirpation.  Typically five or fewer locations or very few remaining individuals (<1,000).S2         Imperiled:  Rare or some factor(s) is making the species very vulnerable to extirpation. Typically 6 to 20 occurrences or few remaining individuals (1,000 to 3,000).S3         Vulnerable:  Rare or found only in a restricted range (even if abundant at some locations), or because of other factors making it vulnerable to extirpation.  Typically 21 to 100 occurrences or between 3,000 and 10,000 individuals.Symbols Used for the Endangered Species Act (ESA)LE         Listed Endangered:  Imminent jeopardy of extinction.LT         Listed Threatened:  Imminent jeopardy of becoming Endangered.Next Steps for Arizona Species Conservation

Two major problems must be solved before Arizona species will be protected.  First, the people of the state do not know enough or care enough about wildlife to make an effort to protect species.  Second, there is not enough information or resources to effectively protect species.  The first problem must be solved before the second can be.

Public education in all possible forms is needed.  One thing every interested person can do, is choose a species group and begin learning more about it.  Learn to recognize species in the group, and make notes when you see them.  My blog posts contain references to books and internet sites.

Species Checklists: Amphibians Ants Bats Birds Butterflies and Moths Damselflies and Dragonflies Fish Grasshoppers Lizards Mammals Snakes Turtles


Via Garry Rogers
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