Christmas is a time for festive spirit and family bonding. It doesn’t have to be a human celebration, as staff at London Zoo were keen to show when they gave gifts to some of the animals. On Thursday the 15th December, six-month-old Sumatran tiger cubs Achilles and Karis recieved a pile of gifts to open.
Insect pollinators like bees have always been useful for the environment, and their benefit to people has been well documented. Our relationship with them goes as far back as 6000 BC in Spain, with humans relying on honey for food, medicine and candle-making. Bees are responsible for pollinating more than 90 flowering crops, including apples, cucumbers, cherries, blueberries and avacados.
Birds of prey are some of the most beautiful and graceful animals in the world, whether they’re hunting for food or flying across the sky. Of all the great raptors, eagles stand as the most impressive and majestic with their speed, intelligence and power. I had the pleasure of seeing eagles up close when I spent a day at Cheshire Falconry in Northwich. Previously, I’d visited the centre for a hawk and falconry adventure for my 21st birthday and vowed that I’d be back to see the eagles one day.
Today, it’s been announced that seven new badger culling licenses have been granted to Cornwall, Herefordshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset. Almost 10000 animals are due to be killed with this year’s cull and it continues to threaten badgers across the UK. The culling is in response to eliminating Bovine TB, but there is little evidence to support this barbaric practice has any positive effect.
When Sylvia Plath wrote her poem ‘Goatsucker,’ she described a bird that flew on “wings of witch cloth” that hunted from dusk till dawn. Nightjars are intriguing birds that have a supernatural reputation, as old tales claim they stole the milk from goats. In reality, the birds were only searching for prey associated with domesticated animals when near any livestock. Their flight patterns are silent, save for a distinctive churring made by males. They feed on moths and other insects, being agile flyers who can pluck their food from the air. (more…)
Banding together to help animals is a rewarding and worthwhile experience. It’s a chance to make a difference and protect rare species who are on the brink of being wiped out. But it doesn’t have to be one person’s fight. There’s power in the united voice and that’s where We Love Our Planet comes in. The Manchester based organisation was created out of a concern for the welfare of animals and their environment.
The noble sport of falconry has been around for many years, with kings and noblemen flying their birds to hunt. To see them in flight is an unforgettable experience and for anyone looking to own a bird of prey the first thing to understand is that it’s not a decision to be made lightly. Bear in mind that you’ll be handling a wild creature that needs to be flown on a regular basis, not to look at or be used as a fashion accessory. Start by taking a course with an experienced falconer and then see how you feel. The British Falconers Club define an ‘experienced’ falconer as someone with at least five years training.
Having recently started volunteering at Manchester Dog Care based in Timperly, I’ve been exposed to a number of dog breeds that are all wonderful and energetic. While working there I’ve grown attached to a couple of Newfoundlands called Bryn and Ned and it’s inspired me to write about the breed and explain why they make amazing companions.
To see a bird in flight is a wonderful experience, particularly when it’s the sight of an eagle or owl soaring high. Birds of prey are among nature’s most beautiful creatures but they still face persecution in certain places. One area is Derbyshire in the UK, where there has been 16 incidents of mistreatment in 2014, including the shooting of a buzzard and sparrowhawk as well as an illegally trapped goshawk.
The UK is a hotbed of wildlife activity, whether you’re walking in the Scottish Highlands or birdwatching in your back garden down south. For anyone who’s planning a trip to the UK and wants to find one of a kind places to see animals in their natural habitat I’ve included five of the most breathtaking.