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March 17, 2008

red panda cub for Perth Zoo

Perth Zoo has unveiled its latest inhabitant, Roshani, a tiny endangered Nepalese red panda cub.

Roshani, a female cub, was born on December 21 but has spent the last three months inside her nest box, protected by her mother, Chori.

Perth Zoo senior veterinarian Simone Vitali began Roshani's 12-week vaccination and health check.

"She weighs about 900 grams and appears to be in good health, which is great news," Dr Vitali said.
Read the whole Story

Posted by sue at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2008

Norman and Gypsy need your help!

Please help by donating here, thoughts, prayers and good wishes are also welcome!


The Gabriel Foundation March 13, 2008
Your help and well wishes are needed: Norman's in the hospital.

Norman, TGF's 40-plus y.o. Grey mascot is in the hospital. Our veterinarian and staff are providing the best care possible for this charmer. Radiographs and blood work are all within normal limits, but Norman is still not his outgoing, chatty-chipper self. For those of you that have not met this amazing fellow - his story is inspirational.
Norman came to TGF 11 years ago from a veterinarian whose clients abandoned him there when he was desperately ill.


He was blind in one eye, emaciated, and in terrible feather condition. The veterinarian had performed surgery on Norman's sinus which was severely infected and Pseudomonas bacteria had traveled the optic nerve and blinded him. Norman was also diagnosed at that time with ocular and choanal papillomas.

TGF took in Norman on the condition that we would become financially responsible for his additional required surgeries and care. Ultimately, Norman went to the University of Florida, Gainesville, and surgery was performed by Dr. Avery Bennett. Tissue samples of Norm's papillomas were sent to Dr. Darrel Styles at The Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center at Texas A&M University for further study and typing.

It was then determined that Norman had the 6th genotype of the avian papilloma virus - a unique finding. Norman has lived well with this incurable disease, and he has been a wonderful teacher to us all.

Read the rest of Normans and Gypsy's stories...

Wild caught several decades earlier, subject to poor husbandry, nutrition and lack of veterinary care, Norman developed chronic sinus infections and the papilloma virus. With excellent diagnostics, surgeries and supportive care, Norman's life dramatically improved.

Right now, Norman is hospitalized, on meds, and cultures are pending. Norman has suffered for 11 years from chronic sinus discharge and his sinuses are flushed daily. Surgery to open up the eyelid on his right eye was deemed to be more risky than beneficial. Norman has adapted to his extremely limited eyesight.

Due to his weight loss, he is being tube fed and consistently monitored. He is not comfortable perching right now, remains in an incubator, and has a head tilt.

We make the 45-minute drive to visit him twice daily to keep his spirits up and everyone at the veterinary hospital is doing their best to insure that he makes it through this rough time.
Anyone who has met Norman delights in his cat, kitten, pig, duck, chicken and cow sounds, not to mention his laugh at the most appropriate times!

Norman has our love, our prayers for recovery and a tremendous fan club. If you can help us by donating to Norman's hospital fund, your tax-deductible donations will be greatly appreciated and are very much needed.

Gypsy is hospitalized again!

As of today, Gypsy, the 32 y.o. Blue and Gold macaw remains hospitalized at Texas A&M at The Schubot Center. Her prognosis is uncertain and we are awaiting biopsy results. Gypsy's veterinary care has been over $3000 to date. Your donations to help with Gypsy's veterinary care will help TGF greatly.

Your donations can be sent on our secure website link provided below or called in at 303.629.5900 x214. All donors to Norman's and Gypsy's veterinary care funds will be posted on our website unless anonymity is requested. Please, won't you help us with these two birds in need? Thank you for your compassion and care.

Julie Weiss Murad CEO, President and Founder The Gabriel Foundation

Gypsy is hospitalized again!


As of today, Gypsy, the 32 y.o. Blue and Gold macaw remains hospitalized at Texas A&M at The Schubot Center. Her prognosis is uncertain and we are awaiting biopsy results. Gypsy's veterinary care has been over $3000 to date. Your donations to help with Gypsy's veterinary care will help TGF greatly.

Your donations can be sent on our secure website link provided below or called in at 303.629.5900 x214. All donors to Norman's and Gypsy's veterinary care funds will be posted on our website unless anonymity is requested. Please, won't you help us with these two birds in need? Thank you for your compassion and care.

Julie Weiss Murad CEO, President and Founder The Gabriel Foundation

Posted by sue at 09:36 AM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2008

psychology behind hoarding animals

From MSNBC please read the Full Story

Shocking but true: Earlier this week, 800 small dogs were seized from a filthy triple-wide trailer in Tucson, Ariz., where the elderly residents were overwhelmed trying to care for the animals. Also this week, Kentucky police found 117 starving and diseased dogs during a raid of a local animal shelter.

What explains behavior like this? Is there malicious intent involved, or are these cases of well-meaning people simply getting overwhelmed? Dr. Gary Patronic of the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium helps explain this unusual behavior.

Q: Why do people hoard animals?

Posted by sue at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2008

Conservationists Helps Rare Parrot Once Feared Extinct

(the newspaper www.proaves.org has this story in Colombian.)

American Bird Conservancy's partner group Fundación ProAves has established the first private protected area for the critically endangered Fuertes's Parrot. The species, whose population size is estimated at just 160 individuals, lives only in a small area in the Andes of Colombia that is heavily impacted by deforestation.


"Until recently, the Fuertes's Parrot was feared to be extinct," said Paul Salaman, American Bird Conservancy's Director of International Programs. "The species inhabits a cloud forest threatened by clearance for cattle ranching and agriculture. By conserving the remaining patches of forest and taking other steps to help this species, we hope to see its numbers rebound."...

In 2002, Fundación ProAves' President Alonso Quevedo found a flock of 14 Fuertes's Parrots (or Indigo-winged Parrots), and confirmed the survival of a species that had last been seen in 1911.

The 1,500 acre reserve is in the same area, and at the core of a site identified by the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) as essential to maintain this species. The AZE, a coalition of biodiversity conservation organizations from around the world, prioritizes protection for endangered and critically endangered species, such as the Fuertes's Parrot, that are in their last remaining refuge.

The reserve, a joint project of American Bird Conservancy, ProAves, and IUCN NL/SPN, sponsored by the Netherlands Postcode Lottery, and supported by Robert Giles and Robert Wilson, consolidates a 5,000 acre zone of protected lands with the municipality of Genova in the department of Quindío. A management plan and guidance on how to conserve the Fuertes's Parrot have been developed for the area, and an education and outreach program to local communities is underway.

"Public education together with forest protection is critical for the long term conservation of the Fuertes's Parrot," said Alonso Quevedo. "Since 2005, the ProAves 'Parrot Bus' has brought the conservation message to communities across the Central Andes, the priority zone for threatened parrots and biodiversity in Colombia."
The Parrot Bus has proven to be a practical way of reaching the remotest rural communities and represents an important mechanism for gaining support for conservation actions.

The Parrot Bus helps to protect Fuertes's Parrot and acts as a mobile environmental education classroom. Since its first tour in 2005 it has reached over 70,000 children and adults who have attended demonstrations and workshops, and received information on the conservation of birds and their habitats. This education project has been made possible by support from the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund

Posted by sue at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)

Parrots are fun, but they're also a big responsibility

Fact Box

Fresh Start Bird Rescue, based in the Lehigh Valley, offers the following points to consider before adopting one of their parrots. Bonnie Kinzey of East Freedom, who also rescues birds, said the guidelines apply to any type of hooked-beak bird.
- Messiness: Food is flung everywhere. Bird droppings will make their way past the cage to bird toys, dishes, owners, the floor and furniture.
- Chewing: Parrots don't know the difference between wood toys in their cage and furniture.
n Loud noises: A normal parrot screams at least twice a day for five to 15 minutes at a time. Para-keets and cockatiels are small, but they also have voices, and some can whistle or call for hours on end.
- Biting: If you spend much time with a parrot, eventually you will be bitten — blood-drawing, skin-ripping bitten. Even small birds can bite extremely hard.

Fresh Start Bird Rescue: www.orgsites.com/pa/freshstart

Meet Abner
When Wendy Geesey's three children left home, it seemed natural to her to fill her empty nest with a bird. Kermit, a green Hahn's Macaw, came to live with Geesey and her husband, Ken, about two months ago.

''He's bonded to me,'' said Geesey, 44, who lives in Altoona. ''He thinks I'm his mate.''

Kermit is among the 11.2 million pet birds in the United States, according to the American Veterinary Medicine Association's 2007 census of pet ownership. Bird keeping is ''centuries old,'' said Linda Rubin, public relations chairwoman for the American Federation of Aviculture Inc.

''Much has been written about (bird keeping),'' Rubin said in a telephone interview from her home in Boston. ''One very popular story is that Alexander the Great kept a parakeet.''

Geesey said her interest in birds was sparked when she heard of Alex, an African Grey parrot who had a vocabulary of more than 100 words, understood the concept of zero, could identify materials by touch and could count to seven. Irene Pepperberg of Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., was studying Alex's cognitive and logic abilities when the bird passed away last September...

Geesey acquired Kermit through a family who wasn't able to keep him, and he's about 2 1/2 years old. She said he has a life expectancy of about 30 years; some larger parrots can live up to 60 years. Birds can be purchased through pet stores or breeders or acquired from rescue groups and animal shelters.

One hour of interaction a day is recommended for birds like Kermit, but Geesey said she spends much more than that with him. Kermit spends the first hour or so of his day cuddling with Geesey and sometimes accompanies her on shopping trips, enclosed in a plastic bird carrier.

''He's spoiled,'' she said with a laugh.

In the time she's had Kermit, Geesey has taught him to ''stick 'em up'' (lift his wings on command) wave hello, give kisses and fetch. He says ''hello'' and ''thank you,'' among other phrases, and makes laughing noises.

''He talks a little bit,'' Geesey said. ''But I wish he could talk more.''

She's owned dogs and cats before, but Geesey said her bond with Kermit is different than the way she interacted with other pets.

''Birds seem to live on a higher emotional plane,'' she said.

Birds' need vary depending on the size and breed, said Bonnie Kinzey of East Freedom — and she would know. She's devoted an entire room of her East Freedom house to the 49 birds she's rescued since 1998. She's taken in finches, parakeets, love birds, a canary, java rice birds and a cockatoo.

The biggest reason birds are surrendered to Kinzey? Owners lose interest or don't realize what they're getting into.

''I would say of every 100 birds sold in Blair County, 75 don't make it to their first birthday," Kinzey, 65, said. "People lose interest in them.''

Research, she said, is key to knowing whether bird ownership is for you.

''Read up and study on them,'' Kinzey said. ''Find out about the noise and the dirt, and then make your choice.''

Bird care isn't limited to cleaning and playing — nutrition is a big responsibility, too. Kermit enjoys his own type of carrot cake, from a recipe Geesey modified to include more carrots and less oil and sugar. It's important that birds be fed a variety of meat, produce and dairy items, said Dr. John Wells, a general practice veterinarian at Blair Animal Hospital in Duncansville.

''Most commercial feeds ... are seed-based,'' Wells said. ''They're high in carbohydrates and low in proteins. It's a diet similar to you and I eating nothing but potato chips. We recommend that (bird owners) feed a wide variety from their own tables.''

Kinzey spends the first hour and a half of her day feeding her birds. She has them on a fruit and vegetable feeding schedule that alternates every two weeks, and they get lettuce every other day. She ends each night by covering all of the birds' 29 cages — they need 10 to 12 hours of sleep a day.

''I think they're beautiful, and I just love them,'' she said.

Posted by sue at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2008

Watch out Picasso ; Pawcasso ?

When Tara McClung went out of town for about a week two years ago, the last thing she expected to find when she came home was her cat's new hobby.

Engine(her cat) had discovered wire sculpting.

Read about many more Picassos and the mediums they all work in!

Please read the full story here

Posted by sue at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2008

White Wale in Alaska

News Release: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (NOAA)

Scientists aboard the NOAA research vessel Oscar Dyson in the North Pacific have sighted a creature of great rarity and even myth: a white whale. The white killer whale was spotted with its pod about two miles off Kanaga Volcano, part of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, on Feb. 23.

At the time, Kodiak-based Oscar Dyson was on a research expedition for NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center, assessing pollock fish stocks near Steller sea lion haulout sites. The white whale is a fish-eating type of killer whale, as were all the killer whales photographed on the expedition. Fish-eating killer whales are the most frequently seen whales around the Aleutian Islands during the summer. The winter sightings represent important evidence that they may be common year-round.

Holly Fearnbach, a research biologist at NOAA’s National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle, was able to photograph the whale’s white fin and back. “With hundreds of killer whales documented around the Aleutian Islands, this was equivalent to finding a needle in a haystack,” she said.

“Despite the typical stormy weather that makes research operations very difficult in the winter, the scientific team on Oscar Dyson has been pulling in a huge amount of planned research data,” said Alaska Fisheries Science Center director Doug DeMaster. “Extraordinary sightings like this white whale are icing on the cake.”
Few white killer whales have ever been seen, according to Fearnbach, much less scientifically documented. Continue reading and see High Resolution pictures here.

Posted by sue at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)