I just love seeing a big, burly bloke go all Superman to help an innocent animal, don't you? Well, Damien Mander's story is just that. And it's got buffalos and elephants and snares and rangers and special ops and ... how about I just let him tell you about it:
Wow! What a great question Mander poses to everyone at the end! Now I know, as an Unleashed member, you're brave enough to speak up for animals, so I'd like to pose a different question to you:
What are you going to do this week to make a difference for animals?
We all fell in love with Sea Turtles when Marlin hitched a ride with them along the East Australian current to find his beloved son, Nemo. But did you know that all sea turtles in oceans worldwide are endangered?
We want to get behind these friendly guys, so we're calling on our less bashful supporters to help us help them.
Sea Turtle hatchlings use the moon over the horizon to navigate into the ocean after emerging from the nest at night. But the bright lights of residential or tourist areas along the coastline can confuse the baby turtles so that they end up on the road instead of in the water.
Now we don't want their first attempt at swimming to be a 'bummer'Â so we're going to show them ours!
They may have trouble spotting one moon on the beach, but they can't miss a hundred of them! The more moons to guide the babies to water, the better!
Of course, we won't know exactly when the hatchlings will emerge, so we must keep vigilant and be ready to drop our dacks and run to the waters edge at a moment's notice.
Time will be of the essence to pull this off. As will the glow of our bright white derrieres!
Let us know if you feel like being liberated enough to help liberate these little guys on to their lifelong ocean journey!!
So if you took part in our recent action calling on Qld Premier, Anna Bligh, to protect roos instead of encouraging Queenslanders to eat them, then you might have received the same lame response from the Qld Govt that I did. If you haven't here's a few snippets:
The kangaroo is an iconic Australian animal. It is also the foundation of an important commercial industry ... and contributes approximately $270 million annually to regional economies.
Kangaroo numbers in Australia have increased substantially since European settlement…
The commercial harvesting of kangaroos in Queensland is strictly monitored and controlled by the Department of Environment and Resource Management.
The National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes 2008 has been produced to ensure that all harvesting of kangaroos is undertaken in a way that minimises pain and suffering. The Code also provides for the humane euthanising of pouch young and young at foot.
In other words: "Don't worry, we've got it under control. There's plenty of kangaroos, and bucket loads of cash to be made. So what are you worried about?"
What the Premier neglects to mention is the fact that severe droughts have seen roo numbers in shooting zones across WA, SA, NSW and QLD drop by more than half since 2001. She also doesn't mention the fact that the 'humane euthanising of pouch young and young at foot' recommended by the National Code of Practice is for joeys to be killed by decapitation or a blow to the head from a blunt object (like a towbar).
But the part of her letter that really rubbed me up the wrong way was this bit:
The working group that produced the Code included representatives from Commonwealth, State and Territory Government authorities responsible for kangaroo management and welfare, the kangaroo industry, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and Animals Australia.
Animals Australia was on that working group - to represent the animals' interests - but unfortunately the final product did not reflect our recommendations. So to suggest we supported the final recommendations is about as far from the truth as you can get. It's bad enough that the Queensland Premier is planning to hock slaughtered Aussie wildlife to Queenslanders as food! But to suggest that an animal protection group gave a tick of approval to codes that permit joeys to be decapitated is not cool.
We were so appalled by this gross misrepresentation of Animals Australia's stance that we had to respond. If you want to check out the response from Animals Australia's Executive Director, Glenys Oogjes, to Anna Bligh's letter click the image below. And please take a moment to let the Premier know that she should be looking out for our national icon, not supporting it's slaughter.
The NSW Shooters Party are presently pushing for changes to animal cruelty laws to legalise 'canned hunts' – where hunters pay thousands of dollars for the privilege of shooting trapped animals, including endangered species. One member of the Shooters Party is a Mr Bob McComb.
Over the last 3 years Dubbo Zoo has sold 24 blackbuck antelope - a seriously endangered species - to Mr McComb. If the Shooters Party's bill passes, then these 24 blackbuck antelope may be the first visitors to Mr McComb's planned 'private game reserve' (ie. canned hunt).
Hmm… where to begin?!
As if it weren't enough that Australia is driving our own native species to extinction faster than the rest of the world, now we need to breed other countries' endangered animals just so they can be shot?
I've heard many a zoo pat themselves on the back for their 'conservation' work, through breeding programs. So when the Dubbo Zoo says these 24 endangered antelope were 'not required' for their collection, and sells them to a hunter, you've got to wonder if they've checked the definition of conservation in a dictionary lately!
Of course, Mr McComb seems to be a little confused about what the word means as well, "I see private game reserves as a very effective way to achieve that conservation". I tell you what … if I were an endangered animal Mr McComb (and the Dubbo Zoo for that matter!) would be the last person I would want to see running to my rescue!
I could rant about this all day, but instead, I'll ask you to join me in writing to Dubbo Zoo to tell them how appalled you are that they would sell any animal (endangered or otherwise) to a hunter.
Q: What do gorillas and mobile phones have in common?
A: They're both native to the Congo.
Ok, so that might be a stretch. But there is a tiny piece of metallic ore inside your phone, called coltan, which was mined in the Congo. And every time your mobile rings, it's the coltan inside that makes that call possible.
It turns out that whilst a mobile may be convenient for you and me, the mining of coltan to make that phone isn't so convenient for gorillas. Mining in the Congo River Basin is causing deforestation and unrest in the region. And that's bad news for the gorillas, whose populations are dropping at a troubling rate.
Fortunately the ever amazing Jane Goodall is onto the case, and is spearheading a mobile phone recycling program, "They're Calling on YOU". Giving the coltan in your phone a second life, might just help spare a gorilla's in the process. Not to mention the fact that recycling your phone means less landfill. And to top it all off, the sale of refurbished phones helps fund the Jane Goodall Institute's primate conservation work in Africa!
If you're saying "bye bye" to your old hand set then hand it over to the "They're Calling on YOU" recycling program to help protect gorillas.
We’re supposed to let you know that the ideas expressed here are the views of the individual authors, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Animals Australia or Animals Australia Unleashed. So now you know.