Serbia: Very Sad News From Shelter Felix. Very Fond Memories From Danica Of 3 Sweeties Who Have Just Passed.

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We should’ve gotten used to it by now that whenever something good happens, something bad is right around the corner and the bad overshadows the good way too often…

Just when we relaxed a little bit after finally filling up the gas tank, we suffered a huge heartbreak totally unexpectedly, with no warning and absolutely out of the blue. We didn’t see it coming, we couldn’t possibly have seen it coming and it doesn’t make the impact of the brutal blows any easier to accept and handle.

In only the matter of a couple of days, we lost three of our protégés, three beautiful, amazing furry creatures. Joca, Veca and Luce are no longer with us and what makes things even harder to bear, if they can conceivably get any harder, is that they were not “just cats”, but our friends, our companions, our four legged furry jewels that we’ve been taking care of, cuddling, comforting and fighting for since we first laid our eyes on them.

They were the ones we vowed to love with all our hearts until the last breath, theirs or ours…until the last breath and beyond.

However heart-wrenching it may be, I simply have to write about them one last time, as if this loving final farewell to each one of these forever gone beauties will somehow release them and set them free. So here’s to our angels, our precious meowing gems…

Luce was an 18 year old kitty girl whose owner sadly passed away last year and she evidently couldn’t reconcile herself to the loss of her beloved human. She’d been protesting and behaving badly at home for months before she arrived at the shelter last autumn, terrified and confused, as she had always been the only pet. However, it didn’t take her long to nicely adjust to her new surroundings and get used to our kitty crowd, but she never really bonded with any of us here. She was gentle, quiet and lovely, she seemed to enjoy petting, but not one single time did she ever approach us first. Almost unnoticeable, she neither sought nor wanted attention; she was always in her own world where there was room for only one person, her long gone owner of many years. She didn’t exactly look sad, but her pensive and distant expression was clearly showing that she was living back in the past when her life was filled with love and joy and she was spending her days by her late owner’s side. The present without her human soulmate was totally irrelevant to her and meant nothing. Yet she was here, sweet and nice, doing what most of the cats do, until she suddenly collapsed a few days ago without any warning and we found her lying motionless on the floor of the biggest cats’ room. The vet said she probably had a massive stroke and didn’t suffer one bit, her time had come and she went painlessly, just like that. Shocked and utterly sad, we choose to believe she is finally eternally happy and cuddling in her owner’s arms, never to be separated again.

Veca was the next to leave us. At the age of 22, we knew she could fall asleep and not wake up at any possible moment, but she was holding on well, she was still the same old Veca, tiny and frail but strong willed, grumpy, untouchable and uncatchable. When she ate, no one else would come near, when she walked by, all of the cats would move out of her way. She was surprisingly agile and fast and lived her life to the fullest right up until her passing. She went quietly, in her sleep, and only now that she’s not here anymore we’ve come to realize what a big hole in our hearts such a tiny cat could and did leave…

Whoever said that “misfortune always come in threes” was right.

Joca was between 12 and 15 years old, in perfect health and great shape, a big affectionate kitty boy who was cuddly to boot. He was beautiful and he knew it, which made him absolutely irresistible and everybody, literally everybody loved him – cats, dogs and humans. Not even in our worst nightmares could we imagine that his life would be cut short. It happened in the morning, one of those gloomy and grey mornings when he was shining like a star with his mostly white fur in our otherwise dark yard. One moment he was alright, the next minute he was dragging his rear legs and we couldn’t believe our eyes. He suddenly became paralyzed and no one had any idea why. He was quickly rushed to the vet, but the X-rays showed nothing abnormal, his blood work was excellent and what had happened to him was still pretty much a mystery. He was given corticosteroids, antibiotics, vitamins, painkillers (though he didn’t seem to be in pain) and we were told to wait and bring him back tomorrow.

Around 3 a.m, when I checked on him, he was restless in his cage and evidently unable to understand why he couldn’t get up – by dawn he was already gone. The vet thinks he died of a thromboembolism; a blood clot that firstly blocked the aorta, cutting off the blood flow to both hind legs which left him paralyzed, and during the night it ultimately passed to his heart. Joca went quickly and without pain, but we are still wondering how much more sorrow can someone endure before it breaks them completely.

Godspeed and farewell, my little darlings…at least for now.

Spread your wings out wide and soar above the skies, fly free bathed in love, embraced by the light. One day we’ll meet again, somewhere where time ceases to exist.

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USA: El Jefe, the only known wild jaguar in the United States Needs help – Can You Support ?



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Dear Mark,

He’s magnificent. This week the Center for Biological Diversity and our partners at Conservation CATalyst released video footage of El Jefe, the only known wild jaguar in the United States. It’s the first publicly released footage of this amazing cat — and it’s stunning.

But this cat is also under serious threat.

Ever since El Jefe was discovered in southern Arizona in 2011, the Center has been fighting to provide him and any other jaguars that might arrive with protected habitat vital for their survival. In 2014 we secured more than 750,000 acres of federally protected critical habitat for jaguar recovery in Arizona and New Mexico. But powerful mining interests want to construct a massive copper mine right in the middle of El Jefe’s home range, and we need your help to stop them.

You can support the Center’s work to protect El Jefe from development that will destroy his home with a gift to the Center’s work today.

Jaguars once roamed from Louisiana to California, but were wiped out in the United States in the past century. The last female was killed in Arizona in 1963, but since then male jaguars such as El Jefe have periodically dispersed north from Mexico to claim new territories in the mountains of New Mexico and Arizona, where jaguars lived for thousands of years. We hope that El Jefe — named after the Center organized a voting contest among Tucson schoolkids and others — will be a pathfinder for the return of jaguars across their historic range. But this will never happen if El Jefe is killed or driven back across the border by the massive Rosemont copper mine project, which seeks to build a huge open pit and bury thousands of acres of public land with toxic mine waste in the heart of his habitat. This project will cut off the most viable corridor for jaguars to return to America.

That’s why we need your help. We’re watching out for El Jefe and taking on the Rosemont mine — we have a plan to stop this disaster before it happens.

The Center is headquartered in Tucson, and we’re all thrilled that the only known wild jaguar in America is in our backyard. But we’ve got to protect his home and save space for other jaguars to come. You can help by making a contribution today to the Center’s crucial work.

For El Jefe,

Kierán Suckling
Executive Director
Center for Biological Diversity

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Tanzania: Poachers Shoot and Kill Do-Gooder Pilot Who Was Trying to Save Elephants.



Poachers Shoot and Kill Do-Gooder Pilot Who Was Trying to Save Elephants

As activists mourn the loss of one of their own, they remain committed to protecting Tanzania’s wildlife.

Samantha Cowan is an associate editor and helms TakePart’s weekend coverage.

Although poachers present a deadly threat to African elephants, they can be just as dangerous for the conservationists attempting to stop them.

British pilot Roger Gower was fatally shot while trying to track down poachers in the Maswa Game Reserve in Tanzania on Friday, The Associated Press reports. The 37-year-old worked as an accountant before earning his pilot’s license in 2004, according to the BBC. Coworker Pratik Patel described him as “a great guy, a great friend, a great pilot” who loved his job.

Working with Texas-based organization the Friedkin Conservation Fund, Gower was on a joint mission with Tanzanian authorities when a group of poachers fired on his helicopter from the ground with AK-47s. His copilot was injured but survived.

“This tragic event again highlights the appalling risk and cost of protecting Tanzania’s wildlife,” Dan Friedkin, chairman of the Friedkin Conservation Fund, said in a statement. “We are profoundly saddened by the loss of our dear friend.”

Tanzanian officials have arrested three suspects in Gower’s death. “The suspects are in the hands of police,” said Jumanne Maghembe, Tanzania’s natural resources and tourism minister, according to The Guardian. “They are cooperating, and soon more people making up the poaching gang will be netted and brought to justice.”

Park rangers also discovered the carcasses of three elephants that were killed by the same group of poachers, according to the AP.


Canine Cops Target Ivory Smugglers in Africa

Demand for ivory in foreign markets such as China has caused the African elephant population to drop dramatically, from 3 million to 5 million elephants populating the continent in the early 1900s to less than 500,000 today. Tanzania has lost more than half its elephant population in just five years, declining from 110,000 elephants in 2009 to fewer than 44,000 elephants in 2014, according to a government survey.

Conservationists fear that if poaching rates are not curbed, African elephants could become extinct within the next 20 years.

While elephants are vital to maintaining local ecosystems, killing off the species would also cause African economies to suffer. Both a decline in the likelihood of catching a glimpse of the remaining elephants and safety concerns prevent tourists from making the trip to Tanzania and other African countries. Tanzanian officials estimate that poaching will cost Africa 3.8 million jobs over the next 10 years if it continues at current rates.

As Gower’s family and friends mourn the loss of the conservationist, the Friedkin Conservation Fund continues its efforts to protecting Tanzania’s wildlife.

“We are committed to honoring Roger and his work,” Friedkin said. “We believe that Roger can best be honored by redoubling our commitment to protect elephants and our priceless wildlife heritage.”