(GRAPHIC IMAGES) 24 bomb-sniffing German Shepherds slaughtered to seek revenge;100 still at risk!

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“WTF…how evil must one be to kill these beautiful & intelligent dogs over unpaid salaries??? What the hell is the fate of the other 100 German Shepherds? Are these monsters going to get away with brutally killing them too? I have posted this everywhere because there must be somebody or some group who can save the remaining dogs. I’ve never been as shocked about such torturous killings over something so petty as a bloody contract & money. Praying for all those dogs still at risk that they will be saved somehow…sobbing my eyes out!!!”

By: ABP News Bureau | Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 June 2016 1:51 PM

New Delhi: The tale of the brutal abuse of animals is not a new one but the merciless massacre of about 24 German Shepherds by the employees to seek revenge for unpaid salaries is certainly a horrifying incident.

According to reports, up to 24 dogs that were used for protection by the Eastern Securities, a security company in Kuwait, were killed after it lost its lucrative contract to provide Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) with explosive detection dogs for their oil rigs.

Due to which, despite years of faithful service, these K-9s were simply thrown into the trash. On June 17, 2016, disturbing pictures of the dead dogs began circulating on Facebook; one that showed them piled up against cages….

……while the other that showed a man taking pleasure in standing over the innocent dead creature.

Turns out that the 140 dogs (out of which about 100 continue to be at the risk of being slaughtered) owned by the Eastern Securities became a liability for the company, the moment KNPC cancelled its contract. The cost to feed them and to house them was too much for the Kuwaiti company to take and thus, instead of turning the dogs over, the company decided to kill the bomb sniffing dogs.

Reportedly, the killing wasn’t carried out by a licensed veterinarian and allegedly, the dogs suffered excruciating pain as they died because the medicine used to kill them wasn’t meant for them.

Animal abuse has been on a steady rise for quite some time now. Efforts have been made by animal rights activists and other organizations for their welfare but all in vain.

Animals continue to be tortured and butchered in various parts of the world and such incidents continue to depict the evil side of the man that would go to any extent to fulfill its selfish needs.

News Link:http://www.abplive.in/lifestyle/24-bomb-sniffing-german-shepherds-slaughtered-to-seek-revenge-371488

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Polar Bears Are Left Out In The Cold By CITIES – Born Free : Videos & Petitions To Sign Please

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“This news arrived in my inbox. Just devastating news from the CITES convention for polar bears…who it seems are going to be left out in the cold!!! Watch the video then read the briefing below!!

Polar bears left out in the cold by CITES

Published on 7 Mar 2013 – Born Free

Will Travers, Born Free CEO, is saddened by today’s vote at the Bangkok meeting of CITES, which soundly rejected a proposal to increase protection from commercial trade for the polar bear, imperiled by the impacts of climate change.

This morning, the Conference of Parties to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) currently taking place in Bangkok, discussed a proposal by the United States asking for higher protection of the iconic polar bear (see video above).

This species, completely dependent on sea ice for survival, has seen its number s fall to around 20,000-25,000 in recent years. This has in part been caused by a dramatic decrease in the extent of both winter and summer sea ice (showing a reduction of up to 20%) over the past 30 years, exacerbated by hunting for domestic and international trade amongst other factors.

Found in just five countries in the circumpolar region (Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Russian Federation, and the United States), this species has caught the attention of the international community in recent years as the story of their decline has become common knowledge.

So, what will CITES Parties do to increase its protection and offer a life line to the world’s largest and best known bear species…WELL NOTHING!!!!

The precautionary principle, on which this proposal was largely based states that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation’.

So what this means is that if we are not sure of the effects an action is having, better to stop and reassess rather than proceed, possibly past the point of no return.

Today however, the Parties to CITES unfortunately threw precaution to the wind and voted not to increase global protection through greater trade restrictions despite the numerous current and ever looming threats to this species. It remains to be seen how this will contribute to the polar bear’s demise

News Link:-http://www.bornfree.org.uk/campaigns/bears/bear-news/article/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=1259

ENDANGERED POLAR BEAR

Uploaded on 2 Oct 2010

Polar bears are inquisitive, flexible and opportunistic, adept at exploiting their Arctic habitat.  Global warming is considered to be polar bears’ greatest threat and causes ice to melt earlier and freeze later. 

Bears have less time to hunt, have a longer summer fast and wait longer to resume hunting, causing loss of condition and potential conflict situations when hungry bears come in contact with peopleMeanwhile in captivity, intelligent and adaptable polar bears can suffer particularly badly in zoos, circuses and marine parks.

Polar bears are dying. As global warming accelerates, the sea ice they depend on for survival is literally melting away. Bears are starving and drowning as they have to swim farther and farther to reach solid ice. Some are even turning to cannibalism in a desperate search for food. Those trapped on land hundreds of miles from the nearest ice often wander near villages in search of food and are shot.

As if that weren’t enough, oil and gas drilling is destroying and polluting their fast-dwindling Arctic habitat.

A third of all polar bears — including all bears in Alaska — will be extinct by 2050 if current trends continue. The rest of the species will be gone by the end of the century.

But it’s not too late to save the polar bear if we join together and take immediate action. The science is clear.  We know what needs to be done — we just need to build the political support to do it.

Please sign the petition below to encourage President Barack Obama to rein in global warming and save the polar bear now.

Click the link below to sign the petition please:-

Petition & News Link:http://www.savethepolarbear.org/

Global Ban On Polar Bear Trade Turned Down

Published on 7 Mar 2013

An international conference of 178 member nations of an environmental group opts to allow trading of polar bear parts to continue.An international ban on trade in polar bears has been banned because of fears it would distract from the bigger threat of global warming.
The proposal put to representatives of the 178 member nations of the Convention on International Trade In Endangered Species (Cites) had divided conservationists.
They all agreed that the main risk to the world’s largest carnivorous land animal came from habitat loss but differed over whether international trade also put the bears at risk of extinction.
Polar bears, widely seen as the animal on the front line of global warming, are predicted to be hard hit by melting polar ice caps.
But the debate at the Cites meeting in Bangkok focused on the additional threat to the species posed by international trade. “The polar bear is facing a grim future, and today brought more bad news,” said US delegation head Dan Ashe who warned the polar bear population could fall by two-thirds by 2050.
“The continued harvest of polar bears to supply the commercial international trade is not sustainable.”
The ban was rejected by 42 votes to 38, with 46 abstentions among the nations who participated in the poll in Bangkok – the proposal needed a two-thirds’ majority support to be passed.

Polar bears are prized for their skins – particularly in Russia – as well as other body parts such as skulls, claws and teeth and their are strict controls over their international trade.

About half of the roughly 800 polar bears killed each year end up in the international trade, mostly wild bears from Canada, according to expert estimates cited by the US.

The US, Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and Norway are home to a global population of 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears.

The WWF, which chose to oppose the ban in favour of concentrating on global warming said “habitat loss from climate warming, not international trade, is the primary driver” of an expected population decline.

Canada, which hosts the largest portion of the global population of polar bears and is the only country that still exports polar bear parts, opposed a ban, citing the need to preserve the traditions of the Inuit, an indigenous minority living mostly in the north of the country.

“The polar bear advances strong emotion. It is an iconic symbol of the Arctic,” said Canadian delegate Basile Van Havre.
Глобальный запрет на Polar Bear торговли Отклонен
ホッキョクグマ貿易に関する世界的な禁止が下がってい
全球北極熊的貿易禁止拒絕
Prohibición mundial de oso polar Comercio Rechazado
Proibição global de urso polar Comércio recusou

Please sign, Just a few on-line petitions to help save the polar bear:-

Protecting the polar bear, great links & facts:- http://animals.about.com/od/bears/a/polar-bear-protection.htm

Say NO To Palm Oil For the Environment, The Animals & Your Health

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“I know I have just recently done a post on palm oil, but the following web site gives so much more  information…stuff I had no idea about! So please, protect the environment & save the orangutan…read the following then visit the links at the end. Please also sign the petitions below!!

 A Bit more info on Palm Oil…I think you might find useful; find out more at the link below:-

Rescue by COP

Palm oil is mainly used in foods, cosmetics and cleaning agents, but it can also be found in some bio-fuels. This fatty vegetable oil is mixed with a number of other fuels and liquids to create an ‘Eco-Friendlybio-fuel.

This ‘Eco-Friendly’ bio-fuel has already become mandatory in numerous countries including Malaysia (where 5% of all fuel must contain palm oil), and if it continues to be voted into petrol stations around the world, the future for our orange primate cousins and their rainforest homes will be very bleak.

In supermarkets in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, United Kingdom and many European countries, 50% of all baked goods, confectionery, spreads, body products, cosmetics, cleaning agents, air fresheners and sometimes even paint and printer ink contain palm oil, and the average first-world citizen consumes at least 10kg of palm oil each year.

These statistics dramatically increase with countries that span across Asia. Fact is, a large percentage of products in your household will contain palm oil, and almost anything that contains a high level of saturated fat will have palm oil in it (except for some dairy products, which gain their saturated fat from full cream milk).

However, you often don’t know if products you are buying contribute to this detrimental destruction?You see, there are no laws on the mandatory labelling of palm oil in most countries, so palm oil is often hidden under the name of ‘vegetable oil’ or over 170 other names.

This means that consumers are blinded as to which products they buy are contributing the destruction of our natural world and it’s inhabitance.

 Due to its high saturated fat content, palm oil promotes heart disease, increases cholesterol levels, raises blood pressure and therefore is a contributing factor to obesity. These four health issues are the main causes of one of the world’s biggest killers; cardiovascular disease (also known as heart disease). This extremely common disease claims one life every two seconds. Palm oil is also high in Omega 6 fatty acid, which is associated with arthritis, inflammation, and even breast and prostate cancer.

Some people argue that we need palm oil in this day and age in order to produce certain foods and products. But what about 30 years ago? 

Back then, palm oil was virtually non-existent in most supermarkets in the first-world, so why is there such a high demand for it now? Unhealthy, processed foods, chemicals to add to cleaning products, and fuel. We don’t need palm oil.

Alternatives to palm oil include: canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil, but unfortunately none as cheap or efficient, which is why companies are reluctant to switch.

Did you know that each and everyone of us is fuelling one of the world’s biggest ecological disasters and acts of primate genocide in history? 

Despite this amazing biodiversity and delicate web of species, AN AREA THE SIZE OF 300 FOOTBALL FIELDS OF RAINFOREST IS CLEARED EACH HOUR in Indonesia and Malaysia to make way for the production of one vegetable oil.

That’s 6 football fields destroyed each minute. This vegetable oil is called palm oil, and is found in hundreds of the everyday products, from baked goods and confectionery, to cosmetics and cleaning agents… many of which you buy in your weekly shopping.

Due to the massive international demand for palm oil, palm oil plantations are rapidly replacing the rainforest habitat of the critically endangered orangutan; with

Orangutan killed to make way for Oil plantation

over 90% of their habitat already destroyed in the last 20 years.

Orangutans are some of our closest relatives, sharing approximately 97% of their DNA with humans. Orangutan means ‘Person of the jungle’ in the Indonesian language. It is estimated that 6 to 12 of these ‘jungle people’ are killed each day for palm oil.

These gentle creatures are either killed in the deforestation process, when they wonder into a palm oil plantation looking for food, or in the illegal pet trade after they’ve been captured and kept as pets in extremely poor conditions and provided with extremely poor nutrition. 

Orangutans are considered as pests by the palm oil industry. In the deforestation process, workers are told that if wildlife gets in the way, they are to do whatever is necessary in order to dispose them, no matter how inhumane. Often orangutans are run over by logging machinery, beat to death, buried alive or set on fire… all in the name of palm oil.

Government data has shown that over 50,000 orangutans have already died as a result of deforestation due to palm oil in the last two decades. Experts say that if this pattern of destruction and exploitation continues, these intelligent acrobats of the jungle will be extinct in the wild within 3 to 12 years (as early as 2015). It is also thought that their jungle habitat will be completely gone within 20 years (approximately 2033).

Around 50 million tons of palm oil is produced annually; with almost all of that being non-sustainable palm oil, that replaces 12 million hectares of dense, bio-diverse rainforest. That’s the equivalent landmass of North Korea deforested each year for palm oil alone! 

Think of the consequences next time you do your weekly shopping; the consequences not only for orangutans and other animals, but for us as the human race; for we cannot survive without the rainforests either.

We have a choice, orangutans do not.

Please Read morehttp://www.saynotopalmoil.com/

Pictures of Orangutans on site -Click link below: – Locked away, chained up, boxed in – Rescues by COP

“When we saw the big male approaching our camp we were afraid. So we quickly ran over to him, doused him in petrol and set him on fire.” – Fermin, a bulldozer driver at a logging sight in Borneo.”

Images –  Viewer discretion advised:-http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/images.php

Rescues by COP – Centre for OrangutanProtection:http://www.orangutanprotection.com/indexina.php?lang=eng&menu=show_weblog_index1.php

Willie Smits

Dedicated rescue teams, such as COP, devote their time to rescuing orangutans from logging sights, palm oil plantations, zoos/ animal parks and pet owners.

These strong teams face the reality of the palm oil crisis each day, being their first-hand to save the orangutans from their horrible fate.

Groups like COP rescue many orangutan from the local people who have been keeping the apes as pets in small cages, boxes or tied-up on chains.

Willie Smits, Sean Whyte and Richard Zimmerman are the pioneers in orangutan protection and conservation.

If you would like to help raise awareness about the palm oil crisis and raise funds for orangutan centres, take a look at the ideas and suggestions below.We must work together to give the orangutan a voice!:- http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/how-to-help.php

More pictureshttp://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150953263103819.438182.764913818&type=1

Suffering Species

The animals are not only losing their habitat, but the roads constructed for the plantation workers expose the forest to poachers and animal smugglers. 

Roads in a drastically deforested area close to Sentarum Lake National Park. The land has been cleared by PT KPC, a subsidiary of Sinar Mas Group, Indonesia’s largest palm oil producer Coordinates: N 000 05 22.83 – E 110 33 30.06. By Daniel Whittingstall

These roads allow the poachers and smugglers to access the forest and capture the exotic wildlife within. These animals are often sold on the illegal pet trade market, used in the entertainment business, slaughtered in order to make medicines, killed for their fur, skin or ivory, or, in the case of Sunbears; put in small cages and milked for their bile (fluid in liver).
 
Orangutans, along with many other endangered South-East Asian animal species, can now only be found living in fragmented pockets of remaining rainforest. This is not only due to habitat destruction, but also these sickening acts of cruelty and murder.

 Below are just a few of the many wildlife species under threat due to palm oil.

Link to the above:-http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/suffering-species.php

Please sign the petitions:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/848/079/208/stop-importing-unsustainable-palm-oil-into-the-uk/

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/americans-against-global-warming-from-palm-oil.html

http://www.gopetition.com/tag/palm%20oil

Here is a list of other website/blogs you can visit to learn more about palm oil and it’s affects on orangutans, and how you can help!

http://www.scribd.com/doc/17699654/Palm-Oil-Response-Spreadsheet

http://www.kalaweit.org/

Did Palm Oil Plantation Workers Poison 14 Pygmy Elephants Found Dead In Borneo?

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  • A total of ten of the creatures have been discovered in the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve, Borneo, over the past three weeks
  • Conservation officials believe the endangered animals had been poisoned
  • Estimated to be fewer than 1,500 Borneo pygmy elephants in existence

Please note graphic images are at the end of this long post; viewer discretion advised. A Video is also at the end of this post!”

Palm oil plantation workers were today blamed for the deaths of 14 pygmy elephants on the remote island of Borneo.

Wildlife rangers believe that the creatures could have eaten toxic substances laid to keep away ‘pests’ from the highly lucrative crop.

The animals live on land in the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve which is very close to palm oil fields.

Thriving: The orphan pygmy elephant is being cared for at a wildlife reserve where it was taken after the death of its mother

A total of 14 pygmy elephants are now know to have died. Four adults were discovered yesterday in addition to ten bodies found earlier in the week.

Vets said that all the dead elephants had suffered severe bleeding and gastrointestinal ulcers, suggesting they had been poisoned.

Among the survivors is a three-month-old calf which was pictured pitifully trying to rouse his mother after she dropped down dead.

It is now being cared for at a wildlife park in Sabah where rangers have found it a home with other orphans.

Wildlife workers fear that more elephants could have been poisoned and are lying undiscovered in the remoter parts of Borneo.

Laurentius Ambu, Sabah’s director of wildlife, said: ‘We are very concerned that many more carcasses are going to turn up.

‘Because the elephants travel in herds they are going to be picking up the poisons together so we fear that there are still more dead that are going to be found.

Great loss’: A three-month-old elephant calf attempts to wake its mother; one of ten pygmy elephants found dead in Malaysia’s Sabah state

He said that rangers were scouring the island for areas where poison could have been laid.

‘My hunch is that there may be more (carcasses). I don’t think it’s an accident,’ he added, explaining that the area where the dead elephants were found is part of a 100,000-acre (40,469-hectare) piece of ‘commercial forest reserve’ land managed by state agency Sabah Foundation.

He said the area was slated to be used as a tree plantation for sustainable logging. So far, two palm oil plantations and a logging company operate in the area, he said.

Mr Ambu said far too many jungle areas in Sabah were being broken up by agricultural or logging activities, without corridors linking them to allow animals to pass through.

‘This shouldn’t be. The fragmentation of forests has disrupted the elephants’ traditional routes to look for food.

‘It is highly suspected that the poisoning is blatantly done or that it’s a well-planned programme.’

Attached: The baby elephant sticks close to the body of its mother, while a wildlife department official gives it a drink

Police are investigating the deaths and officials have declined to say whether there are any suspects.

Meanwhile, conservationists say they are deeply concerned about the effects the palm oil industry is having on the wildlife of Borneo.

A spokesman for the WWF said that the dead elephants were found in areas being converted for plantations, giving fresh urgency to activists’ warnings of rising conflict between man and wildlife as development accelerates.

‘The central forest landscape in Sabah needs to be protected totally from conversion,’ the group said in a statement.

‘Conversions result in fragmentation of the forests, which in turn results in loss of natural habitat for elephant herds, thus forcing them to find alternative food and space, putting humans and wildlife wildlife in direct conflict.’

‘Sad day’: A total of seven female and three male pygmy elephants have been found in the forest over the past three weeks

The first ten known deaths of the pygmy elephants were made public this week, capturing wide attention as only about 1,200 of the elephants exist worldwide.

Authorities released several photographs of the elephant carcasses, including a particularly poignant one of the three-month-old surviving calf trying to wake its dead mother.

Most of the pygmy elephants live in Sabah and grow to about 8 feet (245 centimetres) tall, a foot or two shorter than mainland Asian elephants.

Known for their babyish faces, large ears and long tails, Borneo pygmy elephants were found to be a distinct subspecies only in 2003, after DNA testing.

Sabah is one of the poorest states in Malaysia. Sabah Foundation was granted huge forest concessions, totalling about 14 percent of total land area in Sabah, by the state government to enable it to generate income to fund its aim of improving the lives of poor rural people.

The Sabah Foundation website said it had adopted sound forest management policies to ensure the areas are managed on a sustainable basis.

Tragic: The carcasses of the endangered animals were found in the forest over a period of three weeks

Read morehttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2271230/Endangered-pygmy-elephants-killed-plantation-workers.html#ixzz2JhuUcjW4
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Pygmy Elephants Found Dead In Borneo

Published on 29 Jan 2013

Pygmy elephant calf desperately tries to wake up dead mother who was one of ten animals found poisoned 

A baby pygmy elephant tries in vain to rouse its mother, one of ten of the endangered creatures found dead in a Malaysian forest.

Experts believe the rare, baby-faced animals, whose bodies were found in the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve in Sabah state, Borneo, had been poisoned.
Wildlife officials rescued this three-month-old elephant calf, which was found glued to its dead mother’s side in the jungle.

The seven female and three male elephants, which were all from the same family group, have been found over the past three weeks.

Sabah’s environmental minister Masidi Manjun said the cause of death appeared to be poisoning, but it was not yet clear whether the animals had been deliberately killed.

There are believed to be fewer than 1,500 Borneo pygmy elephants in existence.
While some have been killed for their tusks in the area in recent years, there was no evidence to suggest the elephants had been poached.

Deepwater Horizon oil spill may have played role in dolphin deaths

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In the first four months of 2011, 186 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were found dead in the Gulf of Mexico, nearly half of them dolphin calves many of whom were perinatal, or near birth. Researchers now believe a number of factors may have killed the animals. Writing in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, scientists theorize that the dolphins died a sudden influx of freshwater from snowmelt after being stressed and weakened by an abnormally cold winter and the impacts of the BP oil spill.

Researcher with dead dolphin calf. Photo courtesy of the University of Central Florida.

According to researchers, oil leaking from the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon could have decimated the dolphin’s prey base, leaving a larger than usual number of dolphins suffering from malnutrition.

“Declines in planktivorous fishes over the shelf in summer and fall 2010 and evidence of genetic and physiological impairment of nearshore fishes support the hypothesis that bottlenose dolphins’ forage base may have been reduced,” the scientists write.

An harsh winter along the Gulf likely worsened matters. Then came high volumes of freshwater snowmelt into the Gulf of Mexico, which was the last straw for many dolphins and their calves, according to the paper.

“Unfortunately it was a ‘perfect storm’ that led to the dolphin deaths,” explains co-author Graham Worthy in a press release. “The oil spill and cold winter of 2010 had already put significant stress on their food resources, resulting in poor body condition and depressed immune response. It appears the high volumes of cold freshwater coming from snowmelt water that pushed through Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound in 2011 was the final blow.”

However, the study argues that the dolphins would likely have survived the freshwater snow melt influx, if they weren’t already stressed and in poor condition. The question remains: just how responsible was the oil spill for the dolphins’ deteriorated health?

Bottlenose dolphins are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List with a global population of over 600,000.

Read more:http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0722-hance-dolphins-bpspill.html#ixzz21jo8m8xt

 

Sumatran Tiger Kills Plantation Worker in Indonesia

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“You can’t blame wild animals for anything they do, when humans destroy their homes & food source. How many more animals & human lives will be taken before those in power say enough? It’s time to stop now, before human greed wipes out this magnificent species! 

Sumatran tiger attacked and killed a palm oil plantation worker in Indonesia, a conservation official said Tuesday, underlining the growing problem of human-animal conflicts.

Animals including tigers and elephants are coming into closer contact with people in Indonesia as forests are destroyed for timber or to make way for crops such as palm oil.

A Sumatran tiger is pictured in its enclosure on June 18, 2012 at the zoo in Frankfurt, western Germany. An 18-year-old woman was killed by a Sumatran tiger at a palm oil plantation in Riau, Sumatra, on Tuesday

The 18-year-old female worker was killed Friday in the village of Indragiri Hulu, Riau, said provincial conservation agency chief Bambang Dahono Aji.

“Some of her co-workers were there when the tiger attacked the worker and tore her apart,” he said.

He added that about two weeks ago a Sumatran tiger was killed in the vicinity after getting snared in a trap villagers set to catch wild boars.

Estimates of the number of Sumatran tigers remaining in the world range from 300 to 400. Several die each year as a result of traps, poaching or other human actions.

News Link:-http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/sumatran-tiger-kills-plantation-worker-in-indonesia/531061

Please sign petition:http://www.thepetitionsite.com/997/620/263/list-indochinese-tiger-as-critically-endangered/

“I found a perfect example of the above from WWF, a camera trap obviously put their for tigers. This was taken in 2010, I wonder how many more acres of tiger land has been taken since!”

Camera catches bulldozer destroying Sumatra tiger forest

Uploaded by  on 11 Oct 2010

A video camera trap clearly shows the impact of palm oil plantations on tigers in Sumatra. Shotlist: 0:15 Tiger on 5 May 2010 | 0:47 Bulldozer on 12 May 2010 | 1:20 Tiger on 13 May 2010. Learn more: http://wwf.panda.org/?195632/Take Action: http://wwf.panda.org/tigers/action

Take action here https://support.worldwildlife.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=655

Shell’s Arctic Drilling Venture Stumbles Toward Reality

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Royal Dutch Shell, the global energy giant, has already invested more than $4 billion in its Arctic drilling venture, but that was apparently not enough to purchase proper mooring in Alaska‘s Dutch Harbor and avoid a subsequent public relations mess.

Precisely what happened is still being sorted out. Official accounts had the Noble Discoverer, one of two massive drilling rigs that Shell had parked midway up the Aleutian Island chain, dragging anchor in stiff winds over the weekend before coming to a halt 100 yards offshore.

Locals, including a shutterbug harbor captain, disputed that scenario and lit up Twitter and Facebook with photographs showing the rig all but on the beach.

“There’s no question it hit the beach,” Kristjan Laxfoss, the harbor captain, told The Associated Press on Sunday. “That ship was not coming any closer. It was on the beach.”

Judge for yourself: 

Whatever the reality, and while Shell plans to send divers down later this week to inspect the hull, no damage to the rig has yet been reported, and the incident appears to have had no environmental impact.

But for a company embarking on what is arguably among the most watched and most contentious oil and gas ventures in recent memory, the image of shore-based personnel scurrying toward a drifting and uncontrolled rig is embarrassing at best, and inauspicious at worst.

It is also a chilling reminder that, despite the most careful planning, things can go awry.

“Our goal remains flawless operations,” the company declared in a statement posted to its website. “Even a ‘near miss’ is unacceptable. While an internal investigation will determine why the Discoverer slipped anchor, we are pleased with the speed and effectiveness of the mitigation measures we had in place.”

Opponents of Arctic drilling were unmoved. “For us,” said Travis Nichols, a spokesman for Greenpeace, “it’s a clear warning sign that Shell isn’t prepared to go up there.”

“Up there” is the unforgiving Chuchki and Beaufort seas, still more than 1,000 miles northeast of Dutch Harbor, along Alaska’s northern coast. That’s where the Noble Discoverer and its sister rig, the Kulluk — along with dozens of support vessels — aim to soon hunker down, between 20 and 70 miles offshore, where they will begin poking exploratory holes in the seabed in the hope of finding oil.

With visions of oil-soaked beaches and BP’s flaming Deepwater Horizon rig still fresh in the minds of many Americans — as are more than two decades of environmental impacts arising form the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound — opposition to Shell’s Arctic ambitions has been fierce. In response, the company has pulled out all the stops in touting its experience in northern waters, including exploration wells it plumbed in the Chuchki and Beaufort the 1980s and ’90s, before low oil prices prompted it to focus on the Gulf.

Shell has also argued that, unlike BP’s operation in the Gulf of Mexico, which was groping in waters nearly a mile deep and drilling to depths of 18,000 feet, the Beaufort and Chuchki operations will be working in comparative shallows of 140 feet or so, and drilling to roughly 10,000 feet or less. Well pressures in the Arctic are also expected to be far lower, the company has said, making the sort of wild, unchecked gusher that BP experienced unlikely.

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