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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 13th, 2009, 12:52 pm 
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Racing for life
Within 300 km “Rescue” defeated the death


Would the female polar bear have been more experienced she would have continued her march on this very day. She would have continued to wander, deeper into the ice desert of the Arctis, to give birth to her baby. But the polar bear is young – she cannot know, that the hill, into which she is digging her cave, is located on dangerous grounds. On much too thin ice which will melt under her paws with the beginning of spring……. “I got the call in the early morning”, animal welfarist Emanuel Orris says. “It was a code: X – polar bear in danger. Our pilot discovered the mother animal drifting on an ice floe in the direction to the open sea,” The animal protector knew: from now on every minute will count – because with each meter the polar bear is drifting towards dangerous storm areas. “As we located her ice floe she was already 300 km away from the main land” Orris said “adult polar bears can swim that far – but this animal had a cub with her. It was so small – that it hardly could stand the cold, not at all to talk about the icy water.”



From the helicopter they watched how mother and child desperately looked for an escape route, which just didn´t excist. He knows: for a rescue from the air the ice is to thin and every ship would come too late. “Alone the mother bear would have had a chance” he says, but these animals rather die before they would leave their child.” They turned away - and abandoned mother and child to their terrible fate…..

In the same night Orris noted the loss of the female polar bear and as he received three days later again a “Code: X” he is believing in a coincidence:” Infront of the coast an exhausted mother animal was swimming. Per ship they locate their position – and the animal protector does almost not trust his own eyes: “On her back was lying a tiny bundle of fur” he said. “ a bear cub, who, with the last of his strength was clutching her neck.“ With ropes mother and child were heft on board – there was no doubt: “there infront of me the particular polar bear was lying” Orris says. “The very animal I left behind”- he is giving her the name “Rescue” and in this night he is staying on her side. “I never had experienced a female polar bear, who was swimming with her baby on the back”, he said “this is just not possible, because it´s just to much for her. But Rescue made the impossible possible – she defeated the death over 300 km. Against every chance – just to let her baby survive…..

Dorothee Teves

English translation by Brit

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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 14th, 2009, 9:18 am 
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A jump for love
How a polarbear yet still learned how to swim


Polar bears are excellent swimmers. It is proved, that they can swim for 300 km. Infrequent polar bears were seen, who were paddling for two days in one piece through the arctic see. Well, that brings us to Ernest – the only polar bear in the world who cannot swim at all……

“When I saw him for the first time” biologist David Eddson tells, “ he was sitting all by himself at the edge of the ice – I thought he would have gone lost. But in reality he was only waiting for his mother. She was hunting in the see – and Ernest sat there and refused to even put one paw into the water”. “Survival of polar bear Ernest is endangered, if he cannot swim” Eddson notes. What the scientist didn´t know was, that he was wrong with this assumption: because Ernest is serious with his aversion against water. And so Ernest started with an elaborate technic of jumps which guided him from ice floe to ice floe. “It was unbelievable – while the other polar bears were swimming Ernest just followed them jumping”, Eddson tells. “ I have measured quite some 7-meter-jumps….“

So Ernest had, against all natural laws, an easygoing existence. Among the tourists he was quite famous – until the very day he met Sheila. A female polar bear archetypal. “I know you shouldn´t humanize animals” David Eddson says. „But I cannot help myself: for Ernest it was love in first sight.” A love which nearly led him into disaster – because Sheila just swam away from him. “Ernest tried to follow her on the ice floes”, Eddson says, “but sometimes he couldn´t continue. And so he just jumped…..“

What really happened in this very moment nobody knows. But it´s a fact, that it took Ernest quite some weeks to recover from the shock – and that his utterly fearless jump for the love impressed Sheila immoderately. Since that day they are inseperable – and with Sheilas help Ernest learns now how to swim correctly. How far his ability is in the meantime is uncertain. According to observations just now a polar bear couple was sighted about 200 km off shore. On the edge of the ice a youngster was waiting for them to come back. He was sitting there all by himself – and refused to put even one paw into the water ...

Von Dorothee Teves

English translation by Brit

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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 14th, 2009, 11:25 pm 
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I have just discovered this new (to me) workd.
Saltatorial!

Saltatorial describes animals that have evolved to hop or jump efficiently as a way of getting around. Jumping animals, such as gerbils, kangaroos, frogs and grasshoppers, have evolved a long pair of legs with large muscles positioned at the back of their body, for maximum hopping power. The coiled, spring-like tail of the springtail is another jumping mechanism.

They don't mention polar bears though!


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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 15th, 2009, 9:31 am 
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That is very interesting, Jo, and this was also very new to me! Thank you for posting!

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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 15th, 2009, 9:31 am 
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The school of the polar bear cubs
.. and why diving has to be learned


Panting Hutchins is paddling to the edge of the pool. Strained he is moving his paws, always in rhythm, just as he has learned it. “One, two, one, two.” He is listening to the spurring on of his female coach. The yellow rubber-hippo is squeaking between his teeth – and the little polar bear is already very close to his goal. Only a few centimetres divide him from the goal, as he suddenly gasping opens is mouth, spitting out the hippo which he caught with much efforts – and excitingly gasps for air. “Oh dear”” Marie Henderson whispers and consolingly reaches out to pull the dripping bear from the water. “He forgot to open his nostrils again – though we trained that the whole week aground, but today Hutchins really dived for the first time. Of course he cannot remember everything in one time…..”

A polar bear who does not understand how to dive? Until now the scientists thought that this would be impossible: ursus maritimus , so the doctrine, got from birth all abilities he needs for survival. “In reality” Hutchins coach Marie explains, “no animal is that long helpless. Polar bears have to be trained meticulously by their mothers for 2 years – alone they will die within 96 hours.” Reintroduction efforts with orphaned polar bear cubs showed: Nearly 90% drown, starve to death or are lost in the wide of the eternal-ice - because they never learned how to survive.

Marie Henderson has opened the worldwide first school for polar bear orphans: from her Hutchins and his 3 companions learn how to open their webbings correctly; how to close their ears while diving and how to constrict their muscles while jumping. They learn everything – really everything: every step every smell, every hunting tactic. “I am of course not as good as a real polar bear mother”, she says “that’s why my education will take longer. I shall make more mistakes and the cubs too. But one day these polar bears will be reintroduced to the wilderness. They will be able to jump 5 meters far, 2 meters high out of the water, and feel with their paws if there is a seal moving under the ice.” She pauses. “These bears will survive – as long as they open their nostrils right after diving …..”

by Dorothee Teves

English translation by Brit

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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 15th, 2009, 9:45 am 
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Poor little creatures


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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 16th, 2009, 8:30 am 
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A pact for life
About an unusual sucessful team in the eternal ice


Nanook is tired. And it seems as if the polar bear has lost his destination on his way through the open landscape. Nanook has passed a distance of 2.500 km last year – through the eternal ice, in the North polar sea and the area of Spitzbergen.

God knows, it was not a good year for Nanook. A polar bear who looses his luck in hunting is a moribund bear. His chance to survive in this strong and cold winter depends on his weight, and Nanook only weighs about half a ton, he has already lost 150 kilos of his life.

But what was it, that happend in the previous year? The change was not easy to notice. While hunting, Nanook started to fail more often. Many times he missed his prey, the seals. For the zoologist and polar bear expert Dr. Albert Fortouyn, who has been watching Nanook for years, the diagnosis was clear immediately: the bear is going blind. “Polar bears have a special membrane in front of their eyes, to protect them from the strong ultraviolet radiation in the Arctic. Is that membrane wounded, the bears loose their eyesight.” he explaines. It seems, as if Nanook puts up with his destiny. He lays down, tired and worn out.

Miracles often come unforeseen and sometimes in a strange appearance. Nanook’s “messenger of hope” is a winged-one and smart also: a seagull. She wakes up the bear while screeching and picking him with her beak – until he stands up and follows her. It happens that polar bears and seagulls build up a hunting-partnership, but this one is rather special: both of them trust in the sharp eyes of the seagull – and at the same time, Nanook learns how to trust in his other senses: his nose, which can smell seals from a 50 km distance, and his paws, which can feel the moves of seals under the layers of ice.

Nanook and his flying companion become what people call a dream-team. And although the bear is almost blind, he hunts more food than his brothers and sisters, because he hunts with the eyes of a seagull.

An old proverb says: “Giants can look far, but the little dwarfs, sitting on their shoulders, can see further…”

by Jutta Lange

English translation by Brit

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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 16th, 2009, 6:12 pm 
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I have to show you what Sylvia Micky posted in Hartmuth's Forum, it's so funny:

It is fun to explain to visitors who are looking for Knut, that this dark bear ist Knut the polar bear. Mostly followed by sceptical head-shaking.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 17th, 2009, 7:57 am 
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The heritage of the baby seal
Felicitas presented life for her comrades


Groaning the little seal trudged itself on the edge of the ice hole. Her name is Felicitas und she is just 8 days old. Hesitatingly she is testing the water with her fin. The temperatures are beyond minus 20°C - a death warrant because baby seals layer of fat is too thin to save her from the chill of the Atlanic. Felicitas however doesn´t seem to care: with a defiant look she hefted herself - and falls with a shout of joy into the deep ...



Just in about 800 m distant David Spears has an eye on the radar screen: Two days ago the biologist had sendered Felicitas and her mother and his notations indicate, that the baby seal is breaking out every four hours. "This behaviour is inexplainable", he says. "But at least - last time her mother was already so fit in rescuing, that it only took her 10,2 seconds to swim there and bring her baby ashore." Now something amazing happens - because not Felicitas mother, but another seal is pushing the baby back on the ice. Audibly she gave her a slap in the face, pushed it back to the other youngsters - and was posing for the rest of the evening as a guard in front of the ice hole.

Spears was amazed: "Seals as babysitter? This never happened before", he says "These animals live in colonies, but for offspring each is taking care itself!"

In the following days and weeks the seals rotate as guardians. "Felicitas never was successful in running away again", Spears says. The little seal might feel that as personal defeat, at least concerning her furious buzzing sound when she was caught by a babysitter again. But in reality it's an unique victory:" These colony of seals has the biggest survival rate in all times" says David Spears." Exactly 100% - normally less than half survive". And their chances are tremendous - for all generations which will come. Because seals always pass on what they themselves learn as youngster. The knowledge of the hunting grounds and places of birth - and in this case the appreciation of a good babysitter …

by Dorothee Teves

English translation by Brit

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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 18th, 2009, 8:08 am 
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Happy end for snowflake
How an orphaned seal baby yet again got a mother




How wonderful the present of life can show itself – babyboom at minus 20°C: when more than 100 000 snowflakes, as the enchanting seas babies are called in Canada, come into the world nearly at the same time, the arctic ice desert is changed into the largest baby station in the world ...

With unconcealed proud in their eyes, the seal mother presents the just a few minutes old snowflake – this complete happiness Michio Hoshino captured in a film. Yet the photographers just felt like crying – because in the middle of this touching natural scenery moments of unbelievable dramatic take place: Hishino and Ranger Brian Davies watched how an elder seal gave birth for the last time to a snowflake – seconds later Mums hearts stopped to beat. The men know: Without mother the baby has to die! But sometimes there are things for which we humans don´t have any explanation and state it as a wondrous fate. And Brian is looking for such a fate: suddenly he grabs the piteously crying orphan and starts running with the little screamer in his arms – because Brian discovered amongst all happy seal mothers an unhappy one, who just had given birth to a dead baby. As the seal saw the man running toward her, she is diving in shock in her breathing hole. Exactly this reaction Brian was hoping for:”Mother and child recognize each other only on the smell which they memorize in the first minutes after birth.” Snowflake will only get a chance to survive when the seal accepts her as her own baby. Brian is putting snowflake beside of the breathing hole – endless seconds of hope and fear pass. Never Michio Hoshino and Brian Davies will forget the scenery, as the seal finally emerges and for several minutes pushes “her” baby softly with her big nose. Snowflake will live – it´s to cry for ...

by Georg Barthel
English translation by Brit

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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 20th, 2009, 9:10 am 
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Dangerous amour
How a husky tames a polar bear




One stroke with his paw would be enough. A short twitch with the enormous paw – and Hudson would be slashed by the knife-sharp claws of the huge polar bear. But Hudson was not scared. The little husky was the only o0ne to keep cool as on this cold October morning the silhouette of the white giant showed up. One of hundreds of other polar bears who wait since every year in this godforsaken village that the Hudson Bay will freeze up and they can go back to their icy hunting grounds. And he is starved. 3 m high he is standing up, head forwarded: The 500 kg heavy killer machine smells an easy prey. The sled dogs, half crazy with fear, pull their chains. Only Hudson admittedly a little hesitantly, approaches the threatening deadly enemy. Shy he is waving his tail. And the inconceivable happened, unique and nobody can explain: The giant lowers his paws. Creeping, like it would make him looking smaller and less dangerous, on his stomach towards the husky. Until a big polar bear snout touches shortly and excited cold dogs nose. The biggest and most dangerous terrestrial predators had found a friend. Nothing can stop Hudson any more in his joy. He is turning round, jumping up, biting playful ears n the ears of the bear. And the giant is good natured rolling round on his back and let Hudson romp around on his wide polar bear bust. Only a quarter of an hour later, tired of the wild action he is nudges him with his paw softly aside – and disappears in a swaying walk in direction to the horizon.



For ten days the polar bear returned every morning to his little playmate. Than the ice came and the bear went his way. Hudson is still waiting for him. Every morning eleven o`clock sharp.

by I. Schröder

English translation by Brit


Video: polar bears play with Huskys

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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 20th, 2009, 9:39 am 
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I read about this before and on Snopes -- it is amazing that a bear would play with huskies.

I think maybe it is more evidence that play and love is vital to all.
(but still the pictures make me nervous)


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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 20th, 2009, 9:50 am 
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Such a beautiful story, pictures and video! Thank you, Brit!
On that video it seems there are very young bears?

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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 20th, 2009, 10:17 am 
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juta wrote:
Such a beautiful story, pictures and video! Thank you, Brit!
On that video it seems there are very young bears?

In the video the man says something about only allowing fully grown male bears in the area -- I do not know how he controls that but...


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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 20th, 2009, 6:38 pm 
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I also don't know, which age the bears are. But I am very happy, that you like the stories. And I think there is a lot to learn from the stories about animal behaviour and ... sorry to say ... about the cruelty of some people.

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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 20th, 2009, 8:03 pm 
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That´s true about cruelty of some people. Just this evening there was on our TV about one dog which was killed in the forest in extremely terrifying way. It´s impossible to find words...

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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 21st, 2009, 8:05 am 
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So far as the paws go……
How a little Husky saved more than one life

If the tickling on his nose wouldn`t have been – who knows it Tim Houtem would not have awaked at all. He didn´t have any idea, how long he was unconscious. The gale was still blowing furious over the Alaska wilderness. Tim turned his head and is feeling a furred warm. Resistance – and is looking in Laikas eyes. She had rolled herself around his head, the fluffy tail is wagging over his face. That’s how Huskys warm the air before they breath and so Laika protected Tim. While falling the compass and mobile broke. Tim Houtem didn´t lend himself to illusions: Laika and he won´t have a chance ...

Where are the others? 14 huskys were pulling the sledge. Everything went well while training for the Iditarod, the hardest race in the world. With tempo 40 they were flying through the white dessert. Than came the storm and the sight became more and more bad. And Laika the leading dog must have overseen something. A tree root? A rock? The sledge tilted, the harness teared – a hit on the head and Tim lost consciousness. Now he is sitting there at 40°C minus, 200 km away from the next human housing. He feels cold despite the polar bear fur jacket. The sledge is in good condition, but never Laika could pull him all by herself – also when huskys are able to pull through the snow nine times their weight. While Tim puzzles why Laika also didn´t run away, he is hearing something which kills all hopes: The screaming of a bear. He must have smelled the storages – not even 20 meters away he is standing there. Tim does not have a weapon – but he got Laika! Without chances, but with the courage rewarded by fate she opposed against the giant. Out of the wood suddenly another husky is sprinting towards the bear – it is Gizmo, who is running in the team beside of Laika! With pooled forces they rout the bear.

Tim is fixing a emergency harness. What happened than nobody knows. As soon as Tim is lying on the sledge he is loosing consciousness. But somehow the huskys find the way to the cottage of a doctor. 4 weeks later Tim recovered. When he sees Laika for the first time again she is carrying a tiny little bundle in her mouth and putting it in his lap. Two days ago she gave birth to five little huskys. And saved another one. Because a husky never gives up. Never.

by N. Nomis

English translation by Brit

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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 21st, 2009, 10:56 am 
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It is funny because Huskies are famous for not being pets or all that friendly.



(about human cruelty -- I read something -- not the whole article because I could not -- about a cat who returned home covered in burns -- even level 3 -- after being doused in gasoline and set on fire by some kids -- so sickening!)


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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 21st, 2009, 3:37 pm 
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Terrible, I know, Alice44, a worldwide phenomenon, - unfortunately. There are so many terrible stories to read and to be heard ....

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 Post subject: Re: Stories from the wildlife
PostPosted: December 21st, 2009, 10:26 pm 
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A different kind of story but it shows a person being nice to an animal and his fellow human beings.
http://used-outboard-motor.net/Guy_Jump ... s_Dog.html


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