Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

Posts tagged “Wildlife

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A Sami child riding on a reindeer in Norway; ca. 1900.

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In our infinite arrogance, we take our fellow mammals for granted…

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When I was taken to Sea world as a child the entire experience was saddening to me. I mean, I did have fun, like any child would while watching spinning dolphins and jumping whales, but I remember being so sad. When we were waiting for the Shamu show to start, I apparently had taken off (I used to run away a lot as a kid, not really run away but I would adventure off.) My aunt says she turns around and sees me right around a slide-out area— which is a platform submerged about a foot into water; I was standing on the edge looking in the deep part of the water. Luckily for me a gentleman had spotted me and swooped me up before I fell into the water. The only thing that used to separate the public from the tank was only a chain that said “Do Not Enter”, which means absolutely nothing to a kid who can’t read. When we were leaving I remember there was a long hallway with windows on both sides where you could walk and you’d be able to see the whales below, I have no idea if it is still there or not, but I remember looking at one of the whales and all it was doing was swimming back and forth and back and forth and I, being like 5, ran up and down the hallway with it. I felt SO SAD! I was five years old at Sea world and I just wanted to cry! I remember asking my Grandma about the whales and why they were so sad.

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Orcas are one of those things when you see in the flesh you’re almost taken a back by the sheer beauty of the natural world and at the same time you realize how fucked up humanity is sometimes for trying to contain such an amazing creature.

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Elephant using giant typewriter- New York World’s Fair, 1940.

 An elephant using an oversized typewriter is the cutest thing I have ever seen in my entire life.

An elephant using an oversized typewriter is the cutest thing I have ever seen in my entire life.


Belle the hippo during the siege of Leningrad, 1943.

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“Belle survived the war thanks to her caretaker, Yevdokia Dashina. In 1941 water was turned off throughout the city and Belle’s pool was empty, so her skin began to dry out and crack. Every day, Dashina would drag a 40-liter barrel of water from the Neva river and rub the suffering hippo with camphor oil. Eventually, Belle’s skin healed and she was able to hide underwater through the air raids.” (Source)

*In this case, none of the zoo animals were eaten, but some, like Betty the elephant, died during the air strikes (sad picture warning!) Most of the cats and rats were indeed eaten, unfortunately.

*An adult hippo night should receive from 36 to 40 kg of feed. But during the blockade she ate 4-6 kg of a mixture of herbs, vegetables and press cake, adding there 30 kg filings, just to fill her stomach. (The zoo workers also shared their rations with the animals.) If you see this picture of Belle from 1935 you can tell that she lost a lot of weight. So she probably didn’t have “enough to eat”, but enough not to starve to death.


Feeding polar bears from a tank; ca. 1950

 Russian tanks were designed to be driven with one arm.

“There’s a good bear, now go and maim those Nazis on this other side of this hill.”

This is quite possibly the most Russian photograph ever taken.

Polar bears look really freaking cute, but they’re the only animal that actively predates on humans.

Wolves will give it a long and hard thought about whether they want to attack humans. Polar bears? Nope. If they see you, and you can’t protect yourself or seek shelter, you’re dead.

 


Wojtek, the Soldier Bear, circa 1942.


The Life And Times Of The MGM Lion.

One glorious hair toss of that mane and you've got yourself a L'Oréal advert.

One glorious hair toss of that mane and you’ve got yourself a L’Oréal advert.

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Pioneers of Alaska posing for a photo in the mid 1940s

That fellow on the right is a looker. Definitely fits the stereotypical Alaskan man image - handsome, big, strong, outdoorsy. His hands look quite large to me, though it may just be that the two fellows next to him are average sized.

That fellow on the right is a looker. Definitely fits the stereotypical Alaskan man image – handsome, big, strong, outdoorsy. His hands look quite large to me, though it may just be that the two fellows next to him are average sized.


Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) in cage. Lincoln Park Zoo. 1900

I can only imagine how difficult it was to get that guy there without tranquilizers etc.

I can only imagine how difficult it was to get that guy there without tranquilizers etc. (Perhaps a large net?)


Wild Gaur

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Herbivorous megafauna are typically imagined as a group that includes elephants, rhinoceros, and giraffes. However, one of the most spectacular examples of megafauna is a bovine from India. At 3 meters (10 ft) tall, the gaur is a truly gargantuan beast, and the world’s largest wild cow species. This massive creature with truly formidable horns crashes through Indian forests and fields, and sometimes invades gardens. While it’s a threatened species due to poaching and habitat loss, it’s a match for most threats and weighs up to 1,600 kilograms(3,500 lbs). Among the megafauna that crash and devour their way through tropical vegetation, only the elephants, rhinoceros, and giraffes are bigger or taller. The gaur is more docile than African buffalo, but human fatalities do occur now and then. In one case, a gaur was attacked by a tiger. The gaur responded by literally snapping the tiger in half.