Showing posts with label Animals and Pets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Animals and Pets. Show all posts

26 May 2021

'Spirit Animal' - A Solo Exhibition Featuring the Artwork of Lucia Heffernan

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'Spirit Animal' - A Solo Exhibition Featuring the Artwork of Lucia Heffernan
Lucia Heffernan "Bubble Bath"
Rehs Contemporary has announced the opening of Lucia Heffernan's Spirit Animal, which will be on view in-person and online beginning June 1st, 2021. As with all her work, these 15 freshly-painted pieces are as humorous and imaginative as ever – a collision between animal nature and human sensibilities.
Heffernan began exploring her artistic side from a very young age, inspired by her mother who was an artist herself. She would study Fine Art at Binghamton University before jumping into the world of digital art and graphic design. In 2000, her focus shifted to oil-painting as she began creating a personal body of work that touched on the "twists and turns that make our life stories a little more interesting."

The ideas for her compositions are born out of every-day life, whether she is observing others as they go about their day or simply self-reflecting on experiences. By imagining what animals might do if inserted into these situations, she injects a sense of theatrics and whimsy. As Heffernan says of her subjects, "I shine a spotlight on both their innocence and raw instinct."

'Spirit Animal' - A Solo Exhibition Featuring the Artwork of Lucia Heffernan
Lucia Heffernan "Political Mooovment"
Take, for instance, her work Bubble Bath… You could imagine pouring a glass of wine and filling a warm bubble bath after a hectic workweek; but now swap yourself for an adorable seal in a shower cap, lounging peacefully beside her favorite rubber duck. Some of the works truly make you burst out laughing at the sight of them… Political Mooovement portrays a herd of cows mid-protest; signs read "Make Milk Not War" and "I'm Not Just A Piece of Meat," as one shouts into a bullhorn. Or Dirty Bird Saloon – a small 7x5 inch oval-shaped work, which depicts a little fluffy bird with an edge; he's seated at a wood-top table wearing his favorite cowboy hat, with a lit cigar and half pour of bourbon.

The animals Heffernan chooses to employ in her artwork range wildly… from critters commonly found in our communities like birds and mice to wildlife we may not cross paths with as often, such as otters and narwhals. Regardless of the species, Lucia's unique sense of humor coupled with her incredible artistic talent allows for the creation of such fanciful paintings. Ultimately, it is her respect for animals and nature that continue to inspire her, as well as a desire to bring a smile to the faces of all that view her work.

  • Spirit Animal featuring the artwork of Lucia Heffernan will remain on view for the month of June and is open to the public during normal business hours, as well as on weekends by appointment. Please be advised that face masks are still required when visiting the gallery in person.
'Spirit Animal' - A Solo Exhibition Featuring the Artwork of Lucia Heffernan
Lucia Heffernan (Photo via Rehs Contemporary)

About Lucia Heffernan:

(Via luciahefferman.com)
My body of work is an expression and exploration of my lifelong fascination with animals. Through my paintings, I seek to give animals a voice and a personality, while making light of our uniquely human existence. By imagining what animals might do if put in human situations, I stage tableaus that shine a spotlight on both their innocence and raw instinct. This collision between animal and human sensibilities creates a whimsical, theatrical, and often humorous world that viewers can relate to on an emotional level.

A graphic designer by trade and an oil painter by design, I am continually experimenting with different styles of contemporary realism that balance my artistic sensibilities, technique, and unique sense of humor. As I evolve, what remains constant is my respect for the animals that inspire me, and my desire to bring a smile to the face of every viewer

About Rehs Contemporary:

Rehs Contemporary is regarded as one of the top galleries in New York City and is a platform for new, emerging and established contemporary artists; many of whom have received extensive academic training. The gallery offers high quality works to art lovers of all kinds, from first-time buyers to major collectors.

7 May 2021

Even Species at Risk are Cramped at Home

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Short–eared Owl © Gordon Court (CNW Group/Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada)
For over a year now, Canadians have been urged to stay home. Sometimes, though, home can not only feel too small, it can be too small. At their most recent virtual meeting, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) assessed the status of 26 wildlife species, some of which have particularly small spaces to call home. While not all are actually declining, a single stroke of bad luck could eliminate their entire Canadian population. And climate change may bring that bad luck.
Two rare lichens were assessed. Both live in specialised environments, one on the Pacific coast and one on the Atlantic. 

  • The tiny Seaside Centipede Lichen occurs on a narrow strip of western Vancouver Island and nearby islands. It occurs only on small Sitka Spruce twigs that are within a few metres of the forest floor. This lichen also needs a nitrogen supply, and so is usually found on trees near Bald Eagle perches and sea lion haul-outs where poop supplies that key nutrient. 
  • In Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Vole Ears Lichen occurs in a few forests near the coast where necessary fog is common. We know more about this rare lichen because of the increased interest of naturalists -- the Canadian population is the only one remaining in North America and may number fewer than 2000 individuals.
Increasingly severe storms can damage the lichens and their host trees on both coasts, layered upon local threats. Seaside Centipede Lichen was assessed by COSEWIC as Threatened and Vole Ears Lichen as Endangered.

Black Hills Mountainsnail © Robert Forsyth (CNW Group/Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada)
Black Hills Mountainsnail has been isolated in the Cypress Hills on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border since glaciers covered much of the continent. The Canadian population is one of only four in the world that survived on rare hills or "sky islands" above the ice (the others are in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota). Climate change-fueled megafires could affect all these Canadian snails in one fell swoop. COSEWIC assessed this snail as Endangered.
"Large wildfires can damage and even wipe out snail populations -- they really can't just run away!" noted Dwayne Lepitzki, Co-chair of the Molluscs Subcommittee. "The Cypress Hills had major fires in the 1880s and we know that wildfires are getting bigger and more common in western Canada. Hopefully, fire management can help protect this snail."
Edwards' Beach Moth © Nicole Kroeker (CNW Group/Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada)
The attractive Edwards' Beach Moth is restricted to a few windswept beaches and small dunes around southern Vancouver Island, isolated from populations known in California. Thanks to work by dedicated volunteers, invasive vegetation is being kept at bay. However, climate change is a threat because warming brings rising sea levels and more numerous and intense storms that threaten to destroy the upper beaches and dunes where the moth lives. It was assessed as Endangered.

Fully 15 of the 26 wildlife species assessed by COSEWIC are threatened by climate change. Not all of them have restricted ranges. Short-eared Owl is still widely distributed, but Christmas Bird Count and Breeding Bird Survey volunteers have documented a worrying decline in their numbers.
"Citizen science observers across the continent are fundamentally important in determining population trends for this and many other species," commented Birds Subcommittee Co-chair Richard Elliot. "We couldn't do it without them."
Climate warming in the North is resulting in shrubification of tundra habitat, making it less favourable for the owl, and adding to human impacts it faces further south. Short-eared Owl was assessed as Threatened.

  • Altogether, COSEWIC assessed 5 birds, 5 plants, 3 insects, 3 reptiles, 3 molluscs, 2 sharks, 2 lichens, 1 amphibian, 1 freshwater fish, and 1 mammal wildlife species. Further details on all the wildlife species assessed at this meeting can be found on the COSEWIC website.

Definition of COSEWIC terms and status categories:

  • Wildlife Species: A species, subspecies, variety, or geographically or genetically distinct population of animal, plant or other organism, other than a bacterium or virus, that is wild by nature and is either native to Canada or has extended its range into Canada without human intervention and has been present in Canada for at least 50 years.
  • Extinct (X): A wildlife species that no longer exists.
  • Extirpated (XT): A wildlife species that no longer exists in the wild in Canada, but exists elsewhere.
  • Endangered (E): A wildlife species facing imminent extirpation or extinction.
  • Threatened (T): A wildlife species that is likely to become Endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to its extirpation or extinction.
  • Special Concern (SC): A wildlife species that may become Threatened or Endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.
  • Not at Risk (NAR): A wildlife species that has been evaluated and found to be not at risk of extinction given the current circumstances.
  • Data Deficient (DD): A category that applies when the available information is insufficient (a) to resolve a wildlife species' eligibility for assessment or (b) to permit an assessment of the wildlife species' risk of extinction.
  • Species at Risk: A wildlife species that has been assessed as Extirpated, Endangered, Threatened or Special Concern.
Even Species at Risk are Cramped at Home
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) Logo (CNW Group/Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada)

About COSEWIC:

COSEWIC assesses the status of wild species, subspecies, varieties, or other important units of biological diversity, considered to be at risk in Canada. To do so, COSEWIC uses scientific, Aboriginal traditional and community knowledge provided by experts from governments, academia and other organizations. Summaries of assessments are currently available to the public on the COSEWIC website and will be submitted to the Federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change in fall 2021 for listing consideration under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). At that time, the status reports and status appraisal summaries will be publicly available on the Species at Risk Public Registry 

At its most recent meeting, COSEWIC assessed 26 wildlife species in various COSEWIC risk categories, including 7 Endangered, 9 Threatened, and 10 Special Concern.

COSEWIC comprises members from each provincial and territorial government wildlife agency, four federal entities (Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Canadian Museum of Nature), three Non-government Science Members, and the Co-chairs of the Species Specialist and the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittees.

SOURCE: Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada

27 April 2021

Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port [Documentary Video Included]

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Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port [Documentary Video Included]
Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port: Port of Newcastle (Screengrab)
Alley Cat Allies has launched a special investigation into a ghastly mass-shooting of feral cats, also called community cats, directed by the Port of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, that left at least 12 cats dead, maimed or missing. Becky Robinson, the president and founder of Alley Cat Allies, is calling on the Port's leadership to immediately end all killing and instead embrace humane, nonlethal management practices for cats.
"The Newcastle Port Authority called this a 'cull,' but there is no whitewashing the fact that this was a massacre, plain and simple," Robinson said. "Cats are sentient creatures who feel pain, and the cats who were the victims of this late-night hunt by the Port Authority endured horrific injuries and tremendous suffering. Killing cats does not have a rightful place in conservation strategy. The Port Authority must stop shooting and killing cats and needs to make a public commitment that it will never happen again. We demand that they adopt sane, humane, effective methods centered on spay and neuter, also known as desexing."
Alley Cat Allies, in collaboration with supporters in Australia and the Animal Justice Party of Australia, learned that the Newcastle Port Authority hired a contract killer to hunt down and shoot sterilized cats at the Stockton Breakwall, a public beach jetty, in December 2020. The next morning, devastated caregivers for the cats discovered a bloody, disturbing scene.

Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port [Documentary Video Included]
Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port (Screengrab)
  • One cat, Rosie, was shot in the eye. The attack left another cat, Lily, blind and with a hernia. As many as eight cats are missing and presumed killed. Some surviving cats still suffer from their gunshot wounds as caregivers scramble to trap them. The caregivers and local veterinarians have grave concerns that these powerless, wounded cats remain in danger.
The Port Authority's attack came despite the fact that the cats were sterilized, vaccinated and cared for through a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program practiced by compassionate caregivers. TNR successfully reduced the number of cats at the Port from 100 to approximately 40 in recent years. These caregivers were neither warned about the hunt nor told that the Port took issue with community cats in the area to begin with.

Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port [Documentary Video Included]
Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port (Screengrab)
  • Killing cats is not an effective means of population control because of a well-documented scientific phenomenon known as the Vacuum Effect. When cats are killed, new cats move in to take their place.
"The Port's actions serve as a reminder that in far too many places around the world, including in Australia and the United States, there persists an archaic mindset that killing cats is viable and necessary," Robinson continued. "Humane, nonlethal sterilization is being utilized all over the globe because it works. Killing does not work. The Newcastle Port Authority needs to wake up to the reality that hunting cats is not acceptable and join the rest of civilized society with a lifesaving policy for its cats."
The Alley Cat Allies investigation has prompted international condemnation of the Newcastle Port Authority's actions. Alley Cat Allies has posted a short documentary film with the findings from its investigation at alleycat.org/StocktonBreakwallCats, where it will continue to post more information from the case as it becomes available.

The Documentary:

About Alley Cat Allies:

Alley Cat Allies is the leader of a global movement to protect cats and kittens. Now in our 31st anniversary year, we are joined by more than 650,000 supporters worldwide.

Alley Cat Allies believes every cat deserves to live out his or her life to the fullest. We exposed an entrenched system in which animal control agencies and shelters have been killing millions of cats for over a century. Today, the programs we introduced in the United States are mainstream.

To achieve our goals, we collaborate with grassroots advocates, animal shelters, municipal managers, and lawmakers to replace deadly laws and policies with ones that protect cats. We defend all cats by offering cutting edge education online, in person, and through one-on-one dialogue. We advance lifesaving innovations such as Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and Shelter-Neuter-Return (SNR), high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter, microchipping, anti-declawing legislation, and any program that best serves the interests of cats.

SOURCE: Alley Cat Allies

4 April 2021

IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" [Trailer Included]

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IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" [Trailer Included]
IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong"
IMAX scored its biggest domestic opening weekend in more than a year as "Godzilla vs. Kong" earned $4.5 million on 284 screens. Over 1,000 domestic IMAX shows were sold-out over the 5-day opening, nearly 25% of all IMAX showtimes over that period. 
  • Globally, the Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures' monster hit continued to smash expectations, earning $13 million this weekend across all markets.
IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" [Trailer Included]
IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" (screengrab)
"'Godzilla vs. Kong' has emerged as a symbol of the enduring strength of the theatrical experience for blockbuster filmmaking, delivering great box office even with many theatres still closed and significant capacity restrictions," said Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. "Make no mistake — this film has become a global event because it received a global theatrical release, and the phenomenal pipeline of tentpole films ahead have the chance to capitalize on the same opportunity."
Despite capacity limitations of up to 25% in North America, a particularly challenging environment for IMAX given its theatre design, and a day-and-date release on streaming, "Godzilla vs. Kong" now stands as IMAX's best domestic opening since January 2020. IMAX screens accounted for 9.3% of the overall weekend box office domestically. Notably, many capacity restrictions including the 25% limit in California are planned to be eased in the coming weeks.

IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" [Trailer Included]
MAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" (screengrab)
The film continued its success globally, earning another $6.5 million since Wednesday in China while reaching a 10-day cume of $18 million, over 13% of the nationwide box office and the highest 10-day cume of the Godzilla and Kong franchise ever for IMAX in China. The China cume to-date is already nearly double the final IMAX China box office for "Kong: Skull Island" and "Godzilla: King of the Monsters".

The impressive results follow a pandemic-best opening internationally for the film last week, with some markets increasing their IMAX box office over last weekend's openings. IMAX has earned $28 million across all markets globally for the film to-date, 10% of the overall total.

TheTrailer:


  • "Godzilla vs. Kong" will continue its run in IMAX through April 21 in domestic markets and mid-to-late April in most international markets including China, with openings in Brazil and Japan, scheduled for April 29 and May 14, respectively.
IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" [Trailer Included]
MAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" (screengrab)

About "Godzilla vs. Kong":

"With the world still shaken from the battle between Ghidorah and Godzilla, humanity has begun to try and co-exist with the Titans. But after Godzilla begins his own reign of terror, humanity must call on another legend to stop him: Kong. Not everything is as it seems when Monarch travel to Skull Island, where a mysterious young girl known to communicate with Kong must warn him of the impending danger. As Godzilla rages across nations, destroying everything in his path, the fate of the world in the hands of these two legendary Titans as both Kong and Godzilla battle for the right of King, and to stop the real threat that faces them..."

19 February 2021

Over 200 Dogs From China Saved From Slaughterhouses, Dog Meat-Trade, Abuse & Neglect Will Soon Arrive in the U.S. on Their Way to Their Forever Homes

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Over 200 Dogs From China Saved From Slaughterhouses, Dog Meat-Trade, Abuse & Neglect Will Soon Arrive in the U.S. on Their Way to Their Forever Homes
Dogs in China awaiting to be adopted by a forever family in the United States.
China Rescue Dogs, an organization committed to rescuing and saving dogs from China and adopting them into homes in the U.S., is calling on the public to help them save over 200 additional dogs.

One hundred forty-five (145) newly rescued dogs will arrive via three cargo planes on March 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2021 at (JFK) John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. An additional sixty (60) will, hopefully, arrive in the United States at the end of March -- but it all depends on donations.
  • These dogs were saved from the inevitable. Many were saved off meat trucks, from slaughterhouses and rescued from abuse, and neglect.
"What was once the end of their lives, is now a new beginning for these beautiful babies," said Jill Stewart, President and Founder of China Rescue Dogs. "They all have been quarantined, micro-chipped, and received all the necessary vaccinations. Now, it is time for them to live the rest of their lives being safe and happy with their forever families."
China Recue Dogs is a 501c3 organization founded by Jill Stewart, an ardent advocate of animal rights worldwide, and especially in China. Their global mission is to rescue and rehabilitate dogs from China and provide them with loving forever homes in North America.

Stewart, along with her small team of volunteers are calling donors and fund-raising for this new life saving project. They now need to raise an additional $30,000 so they can bring in all two hundred (200) dogs and not have to turn any away.

Over 200 Dogs From China Saved From Slaughterhouses, Dog Meat-Trade, Abuse & Neglect Will Soon Arrive in the U.S. on Their Way to Their Forever Homes
Jill Stewart, President & Founder of China Rescue Dogs, welcomes a flight of dogs into JFK airport in January.
"Funding is crucial," admits Stewart. "We never say no to any dog -- mixed breeds, banned breeds, disabled dogs and seniors. We try to rescue them all. Unfortunately, we cannot do that without the public's continued support."

About China Rescue Dogs:

China Rescue Dogs is a 501c3 rescue with the purpose of rescuing dogs from the meat trade, abuse and neglect in China and providing them with loving homes.

SOURCE: China Rescue Dogs

3 February 2021

The Cat Fanciers' Association, ZYMOX & Oratene Present: TrapKing's "From Feral to Fancy" TNR Fundraising Cat Photo Contest

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The Cat Fanciers' Association, ZYMOX & Oratene Present: TrapKing's "From Feral to Fancy" TNR Fundraising Cat Photo Contest
Cat owners can enter their cats in the competition beginning Sunday, February 7. Spectators can vote on their favorite cats from February 14 through 26 and the judges will announce the winners on Facebook February 27 and 28.
What do you get when you team up rapper-turned-trapper Sterling "TrapKing" Davis with the world's largest cat organization, two top pet healthcare brands, and 10 well-known internet purrsonalities? A CFA Virtual Cat Competition destined to turn 11 lucky kitties into mini-celebrities!
Davis is an African American cat rescuer dedicated to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), widely considered the only humane way to stop cat overpopulation. It's endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the American Humane Association, and many other progressive animal welfare organizations.

The Cat Fanciers' Association, ZYMOX & Oratene Present: TrapKing's "From Feral to Fancy" TNR Fundraising Cat Photo Contest
Sterling "TrapKing" Davis (Photo via vcc.cfa.org)
TrapKing's From Feral to Fancy TNR Fundraising Cat Photo Contest offers cats everywhere the chance to compete for 100 prizes with their photos. "I love how CFA realizes that rescue, shelter and feral cats are just as beautiful as the fancy pedigree ones," said Davis recently. Top winners in each of the competitive categories will enjoy photo appearances in New York City's Times Square! 

  • Proceeds from the event will go to Davis' nonprofit, TrapKing Humane Cat Solutions, which will use the money to teach cat rescuers the basics of TNR.
CFA is partnering with Davis because of his exemplary work in bringing diversity to the animal world. "It's no secret the cat scene is dominated by white women, and Sterling brings a message of acceptance and compassion. He's trying to bridge the racial divide between the cat world and the black community," says Desiree Bobby, CFA's Marketing Director. Davis is known for his motto, "You don't lose cool points for compassion." 

  • The show is also sponsored by the brands ZYMOX and Oratene, veterinarian recommended solutions that have been helping pets have healthy ears, skin and mouths for over twenty years.
The event is part of CFA's Companion Cat World Program, reflecting the organization's mission to enhance all cats' lives. 

Kitty contestants can choose from 11 categories, including: 

  • Main Event
  • Me & My Cat Lady/Cat Daddy
  • Beautiful Eyes 
  • Gotcha! Day,
  • Cats in Costume
  • Outdoor/Adventure
  • Cats Looking for Fur-ever Homes. 
The judging lineup includes well-known cat influencers NathanTheCatLady, SunglassCat, Adventure Cats, "Catification" designer Kate Benjamin, Two Crazy Cat Ladies and Pet Behavior Expert Arden Moore, plus many more. 

SOURCE: The Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc.

29 January 2021

Royal Entomological Society: "Discovering The Miniature Safari All Around Us"

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Royal Entomological Society: "Discovering The Miniature Safari All Around Us"
1st Prize Under18: James Spensley
The winners of the National Insect Week Photography Competition have been announced by the Royal Entomological Society.

A record 2443 entries were received from amateur photographers in 72 countries during 2020. Each winning photograph captures a moment in the busy and often beautiful lives of insects. People of all ages have been discovering the smaller animals we see around us every day, even during the pandemic.
Head judge Dr Tim Cockerill from Falmouth University's Institute of Photography said "In a year that has been memorable for all the wrong reasons it is wonderful to see how so many people around the world have taken solace in nature.

Life has gone on as normal for insects and it's clear that watching wildlife has been a great comfort to many of us. Every one of the photographs entered into the competition represents someone turning their attention to insects. They are truly fascinating animals and are all around us, but often go unnoticed. Photographs like these really allow us to appreciate them and the great many roles they play in nature
."
The winner in the over-18s' category German wasps drinking by Alan Clark features a group of German wasps (Vespula germanica). 

Royal Entomological Society: "Discovering The Miniature Safari All Around Us"
1st Prize Over18: Alan Clark
Dr Cockerill said "This brilliant image reminded the judges of those classic wildlife photography shots of antelope drinking around a water hole on the African savannah. To see this in a much-maligned insect like the wasp made for a striking and memorable photograph."
In the under-18s' category, Marmalade hoverfly on a pink flower by Jamie Spensley (age 17) is a bold and striking composition featuring a hoverfly nestled within a flower from an impressive young wildlife photographer.

Other judges were TV presenter and naturalist Nick Baker, Ashleigh Whiffin from National Museums Scotland, and Lucia Chmurová from the conservation charity Plantlife.

About National Insect Week:

National Insect Week is organised by the Royal Entomological Society to encourage people of all ages to learn more about insects and entomology, the study of insects. It is supported by a large number of partner organisations across the UK with interests in the science, natural history and conservation of insects.

About The Royal Entomological Society:

The Royal Entomological Society is one of the oldest entomological societies in the world. Many eminent scientists of the past, including Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, have been fellows. The Society organises regular meetings for insect scientists, as well as hosting international symposia and events for the public. It publishes journals and books as well as identification guides. It has fellows and members all over the world. 
The aim of the Society is "the improvement and diffusion of entomological science".
SOURCE: Royal Entomological Society

18 January 2021

Shackleton presents Antarctica NOW: Why does Antarctica Matter to All of Us?

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A seven-day online festival that takes participants on a virtual journey to discover: ‘Why does Antarctica Matter to All of Us?’
British Expedition Apparel brand Shackleton presents Antarctica NOW, a seven-day online festival celebrating the extraordinary continent that for centuries has captured restless imaginations and transformed understanding of the rest of the world. 
Normally January would be a time when thousands of people head to the Antarctic, whether for work or exploration, but COVID-19 has inevitably impacted on that. As borders close and lockdowns intensify, we invite people instead to come with us on a virtual journey. Through dynamic presentations and discussions, provocative writing and pioneering photography, this is a chance to explore the unique wonder and vital significance of Antarctica today.
Over a century ago, when the brand's namesake Ernest Shackleton led three expeditions to Antarctica, exploration was about discovering new lands and breaking records. Today's explorations in the seventh continent are more focused on fields of science, climate and conservation, all of which are playing a pivotal role in our understanding of the planet.

We are realising what we learn from the frozen continent today will be paramount in fighting climate change in the future. This is why Shackleton has decided to host Antarctica NOW, in order to spread awareness of what's happening in the coldest place on earth right now - and why it's crucially important to every single one of us.

Shackleton presents Antarctica NOW: Why does Antarctica Matter to All of Us?
Shackleton presents Antarctica NOW: Why does Antarctica Matter to All of Us? (screengrab)

Discussion topics at the 7-day festival will include:

  • What's the polar power struggle playing out in Antarctica right now?
  • How do events in Antarctica impact on everyone?
  • What's left for Antarctic explorers? Who gets to decide who goes?
  • How fast are the ice shelves melting?
  • What's the link between Antarctica and space research?
  • What can the ice tell us about the past - and the future?
  • Are we winning the wildlife conservation battle?
  • How can we make the world sit up and notice?
Antarctica NOW opens on Monday January 25th and runs until the 31st January with a lead speaker broadcast live on Zoom and Facebook at 6pm each evening, as well as a host of other interviews, briefings, writing, photographic essays and a discussion forum available via Shackleton's website and social media channels.

Curated by writer and editor Rachel Halliburton (Avaunt Magazine), the festival brings together some of the most exciting and significant voices in the Antarctic community, including explorers, geopoliticians, scientists from the European Space Agency, cartographers and prize-winning photographers, to investigate and raise awareness of the most urgent and critical issues threatening the frozen continent..
"Antarctica is our spiritual home - it's where Sir Ernest Shackleton made his name as a polar explorer over a century ago and where our expedition-grade apparel is tested and used today. 'Like me, anyone who's seen Antarctica first-hand feels compelled to protect it" says Shackleton co-founder Martin Brooks. 'The aim of the festival is to raise awareness of the critical issues surrounding Antarctica, and how these impact all of us across the globe. As Shackleton said himself, 'It's in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown. The only true failure would be not to explore at all,' We invite everyone to explore what makes Antarctica both critical and wonderfully compelling.'
Shackleton presents Antarctica NOW: Why does Antarctica Matter to All of Us?
Shackleton presents Antarctica NOW: Why does Antarctica Matter to All of Us? (screengrab)

The Event Schedule:

  • Monday 25th
6:00 PM - Klaus Dodds, Professor of Geopolitics at Royal Holloway University of London
A new Cold War? - why the Antarctic is on the brink of an international power struggle

  • Tuesday 26th
6:00 PM - Mark Drinkwater, Head, Earth and Mission Science Division at the European Space Agency
Checking Earth's Pulse at the Poles from Space: Are 2020 vital signs cause for concern?

  • Wednesday 27th
6:00 PM - Dr Mackenzie Grieman, Post Doctoral Research Associate at the Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University
Ice as a time machine – what stories can glaciers and ice sheets can tell us about our past?

  • Thursday 28th
6:00 PM - Sebastian Copeland, Photographer, filmmaker, explorer & philanthropist
Waking the giant – how can photography help bring about change?

  • Friday 29th
6:00 PM - Lizzie Daly, Biologist & wildlife broadcaster
From gentoo penguins to Antarctic blue whales – what needs to be done to win the wildlife conservation battle?

  • Saturday 30th
6:00 PM - Hugh Broughton, Architect and leading designer of research facilities in the Polar Regions
Polar architecture – what are the challenges of designing for the world's most extreme environment?

  • Sunday 31st
5:00 PM - Steve Jones, Expedition Manager at Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions
Earth's final frontier – what advice do today's explorers need and why did Scott and Shackleton's expeditions go wrong?

6:00 PM - Louis Rudd MBE, Record-breaking polar explorer & SAS Soldier
Tales of the Unexpected - the inside story on The Spirit of Endurance Expedition.

Related Video:


SOURCE: Shackleton

14 December 2020

Emerging Canadian Artist Alicja Hlibowicka’s Art Rules the Roost

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Emerging Canadian Artist Alicja Hlibowicka’s Art Rules the Roost
"David" by Alicja Hlibowicka
Move over COVID-19, Alicja Hlibowicka’s bright and colourful bird art is ready to reinvigorate 2021 with positivity. Currently settled in Luxembourg, she has found a niche in her work that is as vibrant and fun as her own personality. Her roosters and chickens are displayed in bright, energetic and reflective images, each with their own distinct character.
Alicja hopes people who see her art will enjoy the colourful, fun elements and tap into the more rounded characters she gives her birds. In fact, the artist stumbled upon her art-form by accident, after looking for an animal that represented a close friend.
My friend David is such a distinct, flamboyant character - I knew there had to be an animal that reflected his personality. A rooster seemed the perfect fit. These animals are proud but colourful and form such a part of our culture that it was easy to start seeing how I could paint other people and icons who have influenced me as roosters and chickens.” Alicja said.
Emerging Canadian Artist Alicja Hlibowicka’s Art Rules the Roost
"Mini Jackson Solo" by Alicja Hlibowicka
Ever since the history of mankind, roosters have symbolised so much: observance, masculinity, bravery, honesty, prudence, pride, strength, positivity, enthusiasm, and sexuality, all things that we as humans look for. But what is defines Alicja’s work is from others, is the story element which plays a vital component to her inspiration and final work. Often, this is reflected through a vignette of the real person’s life which she captures as a chicken or rooster (i.e. woman or man). 

  • Alicja also incorporates everyday items into the rooster or chicken’s universe that is identified with the original subject. In her original artwork for David for instance, the real person was rarely without a cigarette, Alicja just could not paint the rooster any other way but with a cigarette between his beak.
Emerging Canadian Artist Alicja Hlibowicka’s Art Rules the Roost
"David - LED" by Alicja Hlibowicka
Since the first painting of David, Alicja has now a collection of over 15 originals based on friends’ colleagues, idols and icons, all themed as roosters or chickens. Her work has also expanded to LED and neon lamp versions, which have become favourites among her followers on platforms such as Etsy and Instagram as well as the attendees of her two art exhibitions held in Luxembourg before COVID-19. The lamps are as brightly coloured as her original art which inspired them.
My painting ‘David’ is so popular I turned him into a LED version lamp, which shines beautiful colours. The colour, positivity and optimism told through my art would hopefully lift anyone, especially in these days where there have been so many restrictions on life.” Alicja said.
Emerging Canadian Artist Alicja Hlibowicka’s Art Rules the Roost
Alicja Hlibowicka

About Alicja Hlibowicka:

Alicja Hlibowicka is an emerging artist and the founder of Roosters and Art. She creates contemporary rooster art. She also works for a European Institution. Born in Tunisia to Polish parents, Alicja was raised in Canada. She has been painting for fun since she was a young child.

Alicja first created an art collection during secondary school. Later as a student, she continued to paint based on her mood and inspirations in life. She is chiefly inspired by people's personalities, fashion and colours. Her art depicts animals that emit human psychology. Alicja keeps it fun and colourful so it emits good energy.

"Chicken on White" by Alicja Hlibowicka

20 October 2020

Animal Lovers, Rejoice! New York City Has A Brand New Anti-Hero

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Animal Lovers, Rejoice! New York City Has A Brand New Anti-Hero
The Calico
Sigma Comics, a comic book publisher dedicated to fighting animal abuse, today introduced the world to Calico, the company's first comic book character. As part of the introduction, the company revealed its flagship comic book series, entitled, "Calico Volume 1: Pin-Up Gallery". 
While there are other comic book superheroes that are Vegan, Calico is the first Vegan "Anti"-hero. "What's funny is, on the surface, it might seem like a gimmick, yet there's no reference to Veganism anywhere in the series," said Calico-creator H.H. German, and founder of Sigma Comics. "This is just one rough hombre who doesn't eat meat, and really, really hates bullies."
Animal Lovers, Rejoice! New York City Has A Brand New Anti-Hero
Calico Volume 1: Pin-Up Gallery, Issue #1 - Front Cover 
Set in the rough outer boroughs of New York City, Calico Volume 1: Pin-Up Gallery follows Hector Gil, a former boxer from The Bronx with a huge chip on his shoulder, created by life regrets. He decides to enter a prestigious boxing tournament, and as he trains, his new Brooklyn neighbors are unaware of the double-life he leads. On choice evenings, Hector Gil becomes the Calico, to pay unfriendly visits to people who abuse and kill animals. He is supported by a varied network of technically savvy and resourceful data professionals, all bent on making sure Calico completes his missions without a hitch.

Calico Volume 1: Pin-Up Gallery will be an 8-book series, with each issue featuring 22 pages of story by H.H. German and art by Javier Orabich, with cover art by Garnabiel. The first issue is expected to be released just in time for Christmas 2020. 
"If you love animals and comic books, this is an absolute must-have for your collection," said German. "The response has been incredible. I really appreciate the support we're getting from different groups of people, including Vegans, animal lovers, and comic book fans that are tired of lackluster comic books. Your unfriendly neighborhood Calico represents a big departure from the average superhero comic book. I'll leave it at that."

Introducing Calico - Video:


  • Calico Volume 1: Pin-Up Gallery, Issue #1 is now available for pre-order at:igg.me/at/sigma.

About Sigma Comics:

Sigma Comics, LLC is a comic book publisher dedicated to fighting animal abuse. The company's goal is to reach a growing audience of readers across the globe, in order to promote animal rights advocacy and provide a powerful mechanism for animal rights charities to promote their efforts. 

  • Comic book fans can learn more about Calico and Sigma Comics at sigmacomics.com.
SOURCE Sigma Comics, LLC

17 September 2020

According to New Survey, 85% of Cat Owners Experience Therapeutic Benefits from Their Cat

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Purina Cat Chow is donating $30,000 to Pet Partners to encourage the training and registration of therapy cat teams like Tommy the blind cat and his owner Christy.
According to a recent survey conducted by Purina Cat Chow, 85 percent of cat owners agree that they have had therapeutic benefits from their cats and that becoming a cat owner has improved their quality of life (86 percent). While three-fourths of cat owners agree that society does not understand the benefits of having a cat, nearly all (94 percent) agree that many people can benefit from spending time with cats.

Purina Cat Chow recognizes the benefits of cats as therapy animals and like Pet Partners wants to improve health and well-being through the human-animal bond, a mutually beneficial relationship that improves the physical, social, and emotional lives of both animals and people who interact with them regularly.
"While most people tend to associate therapy animals with dogs, cats also provide a variety of mental and physiological benefits," said Dr. Annie Valuska, Ph.D., senior pet behavior expert at Purina Cat Chow. "Cat owners often have lower stress levels than non-pet owners, which can improve blood pressure and cardiovascular health over time. Cats can also boost our mental health, decreasing feelings of loneliness and increasing a sense of purpose."
Purina Cat Chow's recent survey confirmed that while most (94 percent) pet owners associate dogs with animal-assisted therapy, only 41 percent of pet owners associate cats with therapy animals. 

  • However, more people, especially cat owners, understand the special benefits cats provide, with 72 percent of cat owners believing cats could be effective therapy partners and 60 percent interested in learning more about how their cat could potentially improve others' lives.
Cats of all kinds can become great therapy animals. Take Tommy the blind cat for example. Even after losing his sight, the eight-year-old tabby passed his therapy pet evaluation with excellence. Now, as a registered therapy cat with Pet Partners, he loves helping people of all ages with his handler, Christy Santoro.
"For pet owners seeking to keep their therapy cats healthy and prepared to serve their communities, it is important to ensure their cats receive balanced nutrition, like that found in Purina Cat Chow, in addition to plenty of rest between visits. It's also key for owners to keep the bond strong with their cats, prioritizing time for play and affection," adds Valuska.
According to New Survey, 85% of Cat Owners Experience Therapeutic Benefits from Their Cat (image via Catster)
As people spend more time at home with their cats, Purina Cat Chow and Pet Partners encourage cat owners to learn how to become a therapy animal team with your cat. Thanks in part to Purina Cat Chow's donation, Pet Partners is offering online training courses and discounted registration of therapy cat teams. Cats and cat owners can give back without even having to leave their homes. Together, Cat Chow and Pet Partners are working to enhance the well-being of local communities with the help of cats.

About Pet Partners:

Pet Partners is the national leader in demonstrating and promoting the health and wellness benefits of animal-assisted interventions. Since the organization's inception in 1977, the science proving these benefits has become indisputable. With more than 13,000 registered teams making more than 3 million visits annually, Pet Partners serves as the nation's most prestigious nonprofit registering handlers of multiple species as volunteer teams. Pet Partners teams visit with patients in recovery, people with intellectual disabilities, seniors living with Alzheimer's, students, veterans with PTSD, and those approaching end of life, improving human health and well-being through the human-animal bond. With the recent release of its Standards of Practice for Animal-Assisted Interventions and international expansion, Pet Partners is globally recognized as the industry gold standard. 

About the Survey:

This survey was conducted by Dynata on behalf of Purina Cat Chow. The survey was conducted among a sample size of 2,500 pet owners across the U.S. Data was collected between August 14-24, 2020 and was carried out online. These online surveys are not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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SOURCE: Purina Cat Chow

14 September 2020

Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon Goes Global to Help Orphan Pets [Video Included]

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Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon Goes Global to Help Orphan Pets
Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon Goes Global to Help Orphan Pets (image via Helen Woodward Animal Center)
Despite the pandemic's effect on all regularly scheduled frivolity this year, Helen Woodward Animal Center held its signature event, the Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon sponsored by Blue Buffalo, this past Sunday, September 13th. 

The 15th annual competition looked a bit different in 2020, with the necessary kibosh placed on a gathering that unites thousands of fans and participants at Del Mar Dog Beach each surf season. However, a new, on-line twist to the competition revealed an exciting silver lining – over 80 paw-some participants (from San Diego and as far away as New York, Honolulu, Japan, England, and Brazil) came together to reveal their love for surfing pups and to support orphan pets. 

  • Starting early August, Helen Woodward Animal Center's Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon PAWticipants took to the beach with their favorite humans. 
  • Registered in one of five weight classes for the virtual surf contest, sponsored by Petco Foundation, comPETitors submitted videos of their best wave (filmed between 8/6-9/6).
  • Last week, a panel of judges including Sunshine Makarow, long-time Surf Dog judge, former US surf team member and Founder/Publisher of Surf Life for Women magazine; Mark Richards, life-long surfer and proud rescue dog owner; and Lisa Scarpa, surf aficionado and dog mom to HWAC alum Max, analyzed the surFUR "best wave" videos for length of ride, wave technique, and enthusiasm and confidence on the board. 
  • Titles were given to the best surFUR in each weight class, with the top competitors in each weight class given a second viewing by surf judges for the "Best Overall" titles. 
 All video footage was compiled into an official Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon video, which premiered yesterday morning with winners announced.
Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon Goes Global to Help Orphan Pets
Rescue Sugar takes this year’s title of “First Overall” in Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, sponored by Blue Buffalo.
  • Leading the pack of phenomenal surfing-Fidos this year was rescue-dog Sugar, who has 25 surfing awards to her name and claimed this year's title of "First Overall." 
  • 5-year-old Labrador Charlie Surfsup came in "Second Overall," 
  • and TV and Instagram famous Surf Gidget the Pug came in "Third Overall."
5-year-old Labrador Charlie Surfsup wins “Second Overall” in Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, sponored by Blue Buffalo.
The surFUR competitors' "best wave" videos also received on-line votes from the viewing public to select their favorite surfing dog. Surf Gidget the Pug, with over 4,000 votes, scored highest for the "People's Choice Surfing Dog" award. 

Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon Goes Global to Help Orphan Pets
Surf Gidget the Pug wins “Third Overall” in Helen Woodward Animal Center's 15th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, sponored by Blue Buffalo.
  • Petco's Free Style surf competition (where costumes, flair and creativity points weigh in beyond mere athleticism) was another way SurFUR pups could compete in this year's Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon. Freestyle surf winners included: The Seven Pupmariners (Brandy the Pug, Carson Surf Dog, Derby California, Faith Surfs, Flofy Tiny Surfer, Rusty the Surfing Min Pin and Team Tristan) in 1st Place; Oak, Koa, Lee and Asako in 2nd Place; and Myriam & Rafael from Honolulu in 3rd Place.
For our land-loving pups, the competition was adorably "ruff" in the Couch Surfing Photo Contest, sponsored by Naturally Fresh. Entries came in from as far away as London, Brazil, New Orleans, Washington, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. 

Couch Surfing Photo Contest Judges included actress, Kristin Bauer, cartoonist and author, Patrick McDonnell, media personality, Larissa Wohl, and producer, Michael Levitt. 

  • Top winners included Frankie in a "Surfing through Dozer's Book" costume in 1st Place, Flofy Tiny Surfer from Brazil with her "Shark Surf-A-Thon Week" costume in 2nd Place, and Blackie with his "Couch-A-Bunga" costume in 3rd Place.
Of course at the heart of the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon is the cause. Thousands of dollars were raised by participants and surFUR fans with all proceeds supporting the pets and programs at Helen Woodward Animal Center. Topping the fundraisers was surfing-Bulldog Rothstein owned by John Garcia.
Perhaps most heartwarming of all, however, is the way these surFUR pups united people across the world at a time when "social-distance" has kept so many apart. It also serves to remind us that "man's best friend" can do phenomenal things.

The Video:


  • For more information on the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon visit animalcenter.org or call 858-756-4117. You may also stop by Helen Woodward Animal Center at 6461 El Apajo Road, Rancho Santa Fe in Rancho Santa Fe.
SOURCE: Helen Woodward Animal Center

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