All posts for the month September, 2012

Published September 28, 2012 by delia1979

Canadian Horse Defence Coalition's Blog

wild horses, Alberta
Wild horses stand on Parker Ridge near Sundre. Alberta officials have estimated that fewer than 700 horses are left in the wild. Photo by: Leah Hennel-Supplied Picture-Calgary Herald

The Wild Horses of Alberta Society is a non-profit group dedicated to saving our province’s free-roaming horses.

Wild horses have been a part of Alberta’s west country since the 1800s. These horses have evolved over the years, with natural selective breeding creating a gene pool distinct to Alberta.

Please read the whole article here

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Published September 28, 2012 by delia1979

Dogpaddling Through Life

Autumn’s in the air,

leaves are turning brown.

Squirrels are gathering nuts.

birds are heading down

to now-warm southern countries.

Bears will soon be sleeping.

Days are getting shorter.

Cold air comes a’ creeping.



But happy is the dog

that smells fall in the air.

Our coats are thick and warm.

We run without a care.

The smells are fresh and new!

We chase squirrels up the trees.

We smile, those crisp, cool mornings,

and jump in piles of leaves.

Welcome cooler mornings!

Welcome cooler days!

Summer’s finally over,

and Arctic Dogs say YAY!!!

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Talkin’ Big Cats and Giveaway!

Published September 25, 2012 by delia1979

Dogpaddling Through Life

Oh Dog! Recently The Tiniest Tiger asked me to participate in her Red Carpet Cat VIP Emmy Blog Tour! And I said of course!!!!

Gracey was also on the red carpet at this year’s Emmy Awards to meet the stars and talk to them about wildlife conservation!  Is she the coolest or what!!!!

And now Gracey is asking bloggers like me to share the word with you about her blog and about how we all gotta work together to save OUR large animals.

The sad truth is that many of the earth’s most majestic creatures are close to extinction. Why? Because there are fewer places for them to live. Because people kill them for their pelts or their horns to sell to other people.  Because of hunting.

There are many reasons, but it’s humans that are responsible, and only humans can solve the problem.

The Conservation Cub Club blog is…

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Home Is Where the Herd Is

Published September 23, 2012 by delia1979

–>Tina at Elephant Sanctuary

Article originally written for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

By Carol Buckley

When I first met Tina, she was serving a life sentence in solitary confinement at the Greater Vancouver Zoo. Born in captivity, the 33-year-old elephant had spent much of her life alone in a cramped, barren pen.

As the co-founder of The Elephant Sanctuary, the U.S.’ largest natural habitat refuge for captive elephants, I can assure you that elephants desire companionship and freedom just as much as you and I do.

For elephants, family is everything. Births are joyous celebrations; deaths are mourned. Adults share news and provide support while youngsters play together under watchful eyes. Female elephants stay at their mothers’ side their entire lives.

Tina was born in a captive breeding program. As a mere toddler she was torn away from her mother and sold to a zoo. Captivity had taken a heavy toll on her. Lack of exercise, improper diet and years of standing on unnaturally hard surfaces caused her to develop debilitating arthritis and osteomyilities, a terminal foot disease.

Thankfully, the zoo staff realized that Tina deserved a better life and rallied to have her retired to The Elephant Sanctuary in August of 2003. Adopted into a family of six sisters, including Winkie from Myanmar and Sissy from Sri Lanka, Tina finally had a herd to call her own!

Elephants have a remarkable capacity to create new families with fellow survivors of captivity. Playful Tarra became one of Tina’s favorite companions. Sissy, who carried a tire around with her as if it were a security blanket, routinely shared time with Tina, especially at night when she and Winkie returned to the barn. Winkie, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, often hung out with Tina under her favorite oak tree.

Tina’s magnetic personality captivated all of her sanctuary caretakers. Each developed a deep bond with her. We watched with pleasure as she maneuvered her way into the woods, swatted at butterflies and played enthusiastically with the plastic 50-gallon drum suspended from a mighty oak tree.  She chirped incessantly and we often found ourselves singing along when she broke into song.

We worked hard to heal her feet, watching over her with caution and guarded optimism. Her positive attitude and strong will to survive was an inspiration to all.

Tina soon became the darling of the late night ele-cam—our live streaming video. Fans tuned in to watch as Tina savored her dinner while receiving her nightly foot care. And everyone shared in her excitement when, following foot soaks, her enrichment toy was filled with her favorite treat—purple grapes.

Then in mid-July of 2004, we watched with concern as Tina’s condition worsened. Her osteomyilities was critical. Managing her pain had become a challenge. One week later, on July 21, I watched in desperation as Tina slowly lay down on the barn floor for the first time since her arrival. I knew what this meant. I couldn’t help myself, and I begged her to stay. But she just looked at me in her tender Tina way, and I knew that her decision was made. She calmly closed her eyes and peacefully passed away surrounded by her adopted family of humans and elephants.

Our sorrow covered the Sanctuary like a heavy cloud. The suddenness of Tina’s death filled us with inconsolable sorrow and unanswered questions. Later, a necropsy would show that a heart problem, very possibly a genetic defect, caused her death. But we could not escape knowing that two decades of osteomyilities had caused her a lifetime of pain.

As we humans busied ourselves with the details of laying Tina to rest, her herd mates held a vigil over her body. Tarra was the first to come in from the habitat to visit Tina. Sissy and Winkie, who had spent the most time with her, spent the entire night and next day standing quietly over their departed friend. Visibly distraught, Winkie pushed and prodded Tina as if trying to get her to wake up. As Tina was being buried, Winkie and Tarra stood at the edge of the grave, unwilling to allow the bulldozer to cover Tina’s body with dirt.

Their grief was heartbreaking. Tarra kept grabbing my hand and guiding me towards Tina in a gesture to “go get her.” All three girls spent the evening and the next day at the grave. Before they left, Sissy gently placed her beloved tire on the top of Tina’s grave like a wreath.

Tina embodied love and compassion, and I feel blessed to have known and loved her. Watching her experience the joys of freedom and friendship was a wonder to behold.

I remember the first time she left the barn and entered the world of trees and vegetation. Using her sore feet like shovels, she gleefully flung mounds of dirt onto her back. She spent hours in the shade of the forest canopy immersed in nature, savoring her new home. Later in the barn, she emanated tranquility. As she leisurely munched on fresh cut bamboo stocks, she appeared to be miles away, almost as if she were in a dream.

Like Tina, Mali—the Manila Zoo’s lone elephant—also deserves to know freedom and family. Mali has been in solitary confinement for far too long. Nothing would make Mali happier than spending the last 30-plus years of her life as part of a herd.

Carol Buckley is the founder of Elephant Aid International. She has dedicated her life to rescuing and rehabilitating elephants, and provides hands-on care and compassion-based training for captive elephants worldwide.