There's a photo in today's Jakarta Post of a couple of orangutans in a cage in a wildlife protection center in Rathcaburi province, about 125km west of Bangkok. Wildlife officials from Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are scheduled to meet on April 21 to decide the fate of dozens of orangutans that were smuggled into Thailand nearly two years ago.
Why has it taken nearly two years?
I blogged about the case then and linked to various sites, including Send Them Back Home
.Internationally, animal welfare and conservation organizations strongly urge the Thailand Government to stop the illegal custody of over one hundred Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) from Indonesia -
they are endemic to Sumatra and Borneo - in Safari World, Bangkok and other Zoos, Farms and Parks in Thailand.
So what are we to make of the news that Cheetah is 74
Who, you may ask? The star of Tarzan movies
, that's who.
There was a documentary on the Discovery Channel the other day which gave some insights into the use of animals in movies. I remember it mainly because the narrator was John Peel. Anyway, times have seemingly changed for animals bred in captivity. They are 'protected' whilst earning their keep. They haven't experienced life in their 'natural environment', so, if one ignores genetic and hereditary instincts, one could argue that we are not interfering with Nature.
Our closest relatives are simians. Considering that laughter is generally the response to a stimulus which strikes a chord of remembrance, I've always found it bizarre that humans laugh at apes' antics. We rarely laugh at something we don't understand. (Unless, that is, we're Indonesian. Here laughter is often a way of disguising perceived bad news or an inabilty to respond meaningfully.)
If anything, we ape apes.
Our lips are perhaps our most simian characteristic given that we are a Planet of Whistlers
.The story begins with a rocket ship travelling to the Planet of the Whistlers, which has been taken over by the Cone People, who appear as white cones of different sizes. Their buildings are like big bells. On the ship are Captain Slay, a Whistler named Shrill, our hero Ryan and a young woman called Mary Ellen, as well as a mysterious man called Trine.
It turns out that the Cone people have not taken over the Whistler planet, they are only caretaking it because the Whistlers are too lazy. Trine and Mary Ellen fall in love - he is a Cone, and he turns into his Cone form later, and changes Mary Ellen as well. The rocket ship returns at the end of the book, leaving Mary Ellen with Trine - she can turn back to her human form at any time but is happy as a Cone because "they think only good thoughts."
Sorry, wrong webpage.This
is the one I meant because in Louisburg, North Carolina, USA this week is Happy Whistlers Week
and it's a serious business.When contestants step up to the microphone in the Louisburg College Auditorium, dressed in ball gowns and tuxedos, their lips - sometimes called a pucculo - have undergone rigorous conditioning.
Steve Herbst, a professional whistler and International Grand Champion from New York, says "dry, chapped lips are a whistler?s worst nightmare." Generous dabs of lip balm, water and two-hour practice sessions are all a part of his daily routine.
I wonder what Cheetah did to prepare for his performances.