Tag: Louisiana

All is takes is love!

Too easy to be very disheartened about us humans so this makes a wonderful contrast.

As seen on Mother Nature Network and republished to offer you all a ‘Saturday smile’.

Dolphin returns to the ocean with a helping hand from humans | MNN - Mother Nature Network
Dolphin returns to the ocean with a helping hand from humans | MNN – Mother Nature Network

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Dolphin returns to the ocean with a helping hand from humans

Noel Kirkpatrick May 4, 2016.

With a swish of his flipper, a dolphin named Octavius became the first to be rescued, rehabilitated and released back into the wild off Louisiana’s coast. The rescued dolphin returned to the Gulf of Mexico on April 29 after five months of rehabilitation and medical monitoring in Louisiana.

The process from rescue to release was spearheaded by the Audubon Nature Institute and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) with assistance from the NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service and Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program.

After receiving a call from a private citizen regarding a washed up dolphin on Grand Isle Beach, biologists from the LDWF headed for the scene in October 2015 to see if the dolphin could be saved.

“We had a short window to diagnose whether the animal could be released or brought back to Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center (FMASSC) in New Orleans for treatment,” said Audubon’s Stranding and Rescue Coordinator Gabriella Vazquez. “He was lethargic and had short, shallow breaths. We attempted a soft release in the surf, but he showed no initiative to swim back into the Gulf.”

The dolphin was transported to FMASSC where the process to get him ready for reintroduction to the ocean began.

Determining if the dolphin — named Octavius in honor of the veterinarian working most with him — was ready for release was a multi-step process. Octavius was monitored for behavioral challenges, ranging from swimming and breathing to becoming reliant on and desensitized to humans. Octavius demonstrated no such issues.

“Dolphins are very intelligent animals. Over time, they can learn to associate humans and boats as a source for food, which is why it is illegal to feed them in the wild,” explained Mandy Tumlin, the Louisiana state stranding coordinator for marine mammals and sea turtles.

The next two steps Octavius had to clear dealt with his overall health. He demonstrated no signs of hearing impairment, a key component for dolphins’ survival. In addition to hearing, veterinarians checked Octavius’s blood for congenital defects or other medical problems that could make surviving in the wild more difficult.

Octavius passed all three of the steps related to release, but vets weren’t through just yet. Because of his potential age — vets estimated Octavius to be between 1 and 7 years old — Octavius was affixed with a tag to the dorsal fin by Dr. Randy Wells, director of the Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program.

“The tag allows for satellite tracking as well as radio tracking. Since he could be a younger animal, this type of monitoring is necessary to ensure he is thriving back in the wild,” said Tumlin.

After all of this, Octavius was transported to Barataria Bay where he was released and swam back into the ocean of his own volition.

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Enjoy this video.

Published on May 2, 2016

A young dolphin has been released back into the waters off Louisiana’s coast after being found stranded on a beach a year ago. The Audubon Nature Institute believes that high waters and rough sears from Hurricane Patricia likely caused him to get stuck there. He was lethargic and short of breath. They named him Octavius and brought him back to their facility for rehabilitation. Before he could be released he had to reach milestones that include behavior and medical tests.

Meet Molly.

A most heart-warming story! Beats the heck out of murders, politics and terrorists!

This was sent in by John Hurlburt for Jean who has been a bit of a ‘horse lady’ in her times and is devoted to the two miniature horses we have here in Oregon.

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Meet Molly

molly1

Molly is a gray speckled pony who was abandoned by her owners when Hurricane Katrina hit southern Louisiana . She spent weeks on her own before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled. While there, she was attacked by a dog and almost died.  Her gnawed right front leg became infected and her vet went to Louisiana State University (LSU) for help.

However, LSU were overwhelmed and Molly became a ‘welfare’ case. You know where that goes, don’t you!

Then surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly and changed his mind. He saw how Molly was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn’t seem to get sores.  He saw how Molly allowed people to handle her. She protected her injured leg. She constantly shifted her weight and didn’t overload her good leg. She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic.

Surgeon Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee and a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly walked out of the clinic and, in a very real sense, that’s where her story really begins.

This was the right horse and the right owner!” Moore insisted.

Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million patient. She’s tough as nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain. She made it obvious she understood that she was in trouble. The other important factor, according to Moore , is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the horse.

Molly’s story turns into a parable for life in Post-Katrina Louisiana.  The little pony gained weight and her mane finally felt a comb.  Then, amazingly, a prosthesis designer built her a leg.

The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life, Allison Barca DVM, Molly’s regular vet, reports:

And she asks for it. She will put her little limb out and come to you and let you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off too. And sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca. “It can be pretty bad when you can’t catch a three-legged horse,” she laughs.

Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Kay, the rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. Anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired people, and she had a good time doing it.

It’s obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in life,” Kay said. “She survived the hurricane, she survived a horrible injury, and now she is giving hope to others.

Allison Barca concluded, “She’s not back to normal, but she’s going to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself.”

This is Molly's most recent prosthesis.
This is Molly’s most recent prosthesis.

Wherever Molly goes, she leaves a smiley hoof print behind.  Literally as well as metaphorically.

The photo shows the ground surface that she stands on has a smiley face embossed in it!
The photo shows that the bottom flat surface of the prosthesis has a smiley face embossed in it!

Leave you with that wonderful feeling of love for Molly?  Feel free to share it with all the animal lovers that you know.

Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism and Tony the Tiger

You may well ask what on earth does this Blog title mean!

I have on previous occasions acknowledged the splendid job that Yves Smith does in terms of publishing the blog, Naked Capitalism.  I’m sure that I will have cause to mention her splendid Blog again.  Frankly, I don’t know how Yves finds the time to relentlessly publish every day a whole skew of articles and lots of links to other articles that have caught her eye.   So why the mention today?

Well this evening is the first of four evenings where I am running a course at our local Church Hall.  It’s a new project for me and the last few days have been ‘interesting’ as I get my stuff together and fret about it all, as I am wont to do!

So it was a blessing to find that the links presented on Naked Capitalism yesterday (10th) contained some wonderful stories that seemed appropriate for all you good readers, with the bonus that it allowed me to focus on last-minute preparations for the course.

Here’s the first one that caught my eye, published on the Care2 website, not a website that I had come across before.

Victory! ALDF Wins Freedom for Tony the Truck Stop Tiger

Tony, the 10-year-old Siberian Bengal tiger who’s been at the heart of an ongoing catfight over his living conditions at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, La., has had his freedom granted!

On Friday, May 6, District Judge R. Michael Caldwell of the East Baton Rouge District Court granted the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) request for a permanent injunction against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), preventing them from renewing the annual permit that allows Michael Sandlin to keep Tony as of this December 14.

Unbeknownst to Tony, he’s garnered the attention of people around the world who have been fighting to have him freed from the concrete cell he’s spent his entire life in for years. Unfortunately, officials have bent the rules and looked the other way when it came to the Tiger Truck Stop.

From the Care2 article, there was a link to the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the following press release.

Victory in Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Lawsuit to Free Tony the Truck Stop Tiger

May 6th, 2011

Baton Rouge Court Grants Permanent Injunction, Ordering Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to Stop Issuing Illegal Permit Allowing Tony to Be Kept on Display in Iberville Parish 

For immediate release

Contact:
Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund

BATON ROUGE, La. – This morning, a judge in East Baton Rouge District Court granted the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) request for a permanent injunction against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, preventing the Department from renewing the annual permit that allows Michael Sandlin, owner of Grosse Tete’s Tiger Truck Stop, to displayTony, a ten-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger. When the current permit expires in December 2011, Sandlin will no longer be able to keep Tony confined as a roadside exhibit at the truck stop where he has languished for over a decade. The court also assessed costs against the Department in the case.

In preparation for the day the current permit expires and Tony is finally free, ALDF hopes to work with the Department to find the best possible new home for him, providing recommendations for reputable sanctuaries where Tony can live out his life in a peaceful, natural environment, free from the 24-hour exposure to noise and diesel fumes that have plagued his life to date.

ALDF’s lawsuit to free Tony has drawn the support of high profile advocates like Leonardo DiCaprio and True Blood’s Kristin Bauer and has galvanized activists around the world. This week, ALDF delivered to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries over 31,000 signed petitions urging it to revoke Sandlin’s permit to keep Tony. Tony has been on exhibit at the Tiger Truck Stop since 2001; he has lived there with no other tiger companions since 2003. Joining ALDF as a co-plaintiff in the case is former Louisiana Representative Warren Triche, who authored the state’s law that led to the ban on the private ownership of big cats, including tigers. Two other Louisiana residents, also deeply concerned by Tony’s long-time suffering, are additional co-plaintiffs. The law offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, P.C. are providing pro bonoassistance with the lawsuit.

“Today, the law was upheld in the state of Louisiana, which has explicit regulations designed to protect tigers like Tony,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “It is an incredible victory for ALDF, the tens of thousands around the world who have supported this campaign, and most of all, for Tony. We eagerly look forward to the day that he leaves behind the noise and fumes of the Tiger Truck Stop for a new life of freedom that he has never known.”

Tony the Tiger

Splendid, splendid result which serendipitously led me to another aspect of tigers that I want to present to you tomorrow.

Nature can be very cruel

This is a guest Post from Chris Snuggs, a good friend of Learning from Dogs.

Dog Pack Attacks Alligator In Florida

At times nature can be cruel, but there is also a raw beauty, and even a certain justice manifested within that cruelty. The alligator, one of the oldest and ultimate predators, normally considered the “apex predator”, can still fall victim to implemented ‘team work’ strategy, made possible due to the tight knit social structure and “survival of the pack mentality” bred into the canines.

See the remarkable photograph below courtesy of Nature Magazine.

Note that the Alpha dog has a muzzle hold on the gator preventing it from breathing, while another dog has a hold on the tail to keep it from thrashing.  The third dog attacks the soft underbelly of the gator.


This is pretty gruesome, so I have made a link to it instead
of showing it at once in case you would prefer not to see it.

More about Chris here.