Friday, May 16, 2008

Pandas, Tigers, Lions, Chickens and Kangaroos....

These animals are all related only in that they are all in my thoughts right now for different reasons. I have been horribly amiss in blogging of late, as things have been crazily busy. A quick catch-up post is in order.

First, although the quake in China is devastating and the NPR reports heartbreaking, there is a little good news: the pandas are okay so far. There is a panda breeding center in Chengdu. See the story here. Whenever there is a tragedy, we focus on the impacts to people, but there are also impacts to animals and its nice to see them get news coverage. Animals in captivity can be hit the hardest as they can't flee or fend for themselves if their captors don't set them free.

In Burma, I have been wondering how the tigers fared with the cyclone. Burma is home to a small populations of very rare tigers and I have not heard any reports of whether they were impacted. I expect it will be awhile before anyone knows, given the problems of access to that country and the overwhelming loss of human life.

My article on Botswana, Namibia and Zambia should be available soon in the June issue of Budget Travel. When I have time, I'll post photos of the trip on the blog that were not used with the article. I saw many new species and am looking forward to being able to blog about the trip at some point. I miss Africa even though I was there just three months ago. I was picking out some flowers the other day and I noticed some available that I saw growing in the wild in Africa - it's neat to know where they came from.

The pet menagerie is doing well. Gwen is 100% better and other than some lost feathers you would never know she had such a close call. She resumed egg laying after about 10 days. I am having a fenced run and new, larger and secure coop built for them and I will put up details on that in the next few days. The goats, horses, dogs and cats are all doing well too.

As for kangaroos, it's only a week until our Australia trip. I am excited to get to another continent and hope to have some great interactions with wildlife there to report on in June when we get back.

I haven't been blogging as I was too busy finishing the kitchen remodel, taking care of the pet kids, and gearing up for the wedding and the trip. The wedding in particular has been a source of a lot of humor, but not animal related, unfortunately. As it turns out I am horribly ill suited to interacting with the retail wedding world. I had no idea that you have to shop for dresses by appointment only, that a "not white" dress can be interpreted as an off white dress (champagne, ivory, ecru, diamond, etc....not blue, red, green, etc.), that you are expected to order cakes, flowers and clothing six months in advance, etc. The industry is keyed up for people who care far more than I do about all those things. Every time I have shopped I have thought about how much I would rather be home with the goats, or any of the other animals! It will be nice to get past all that stuff and get on to the koalas and kangaroos.

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