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Native to South America, the Fourniers regroup eight species including the Red Fournier, emblem of Argentina. Their oven-shaped nests are the origin of their name. To make them, these little architects work tirelessly for several weeks. They start by collecting mud or dung, which they mix with different materials, such as straw, to form a mortar. They then deposit it layer after layer to shape this structure.
A perfectly organized interior
But it is mainly inside that hides the most important part: a curved wall forms a chamber designed to house the eggs. Accessible only by a narrow opening, this part of the nest is thus protected from predators. Their nests would also have a thermal utility: the interior temperature is warmer than outside and know less variations.
Fourniers rarely re-use a nest from year to year. They usually build a new one before each laying, often next to or even above the old one. Other species of birds can then take advantage of the old nests to lay eggs in their turn.
Dogs and cats can become infected with corona through humans. To reduce the risks for them, animal shelter Crailo has set up a platform. “Pets from corona patients can now go to host families until their owners are better again.”
Rianne Steenbeek of the animal shelter Crailo already knew that dogs and cats can become infected with the coronavirus. The cats in New York, the cat in Belgium and the dog in Hong Kong had all received COVID-19 from their sick owners. Steenbeek is not surprised by the message from Minister Carola Schouten that the first cases have now also been discovered in the Netherlands, but she thinks it is sad. “The three Dutch cats lived on the mink farm where earlier this month the mink became infected by the staff and the dog became infected by his sick owner. So it is the people who infect the animals, and that gives a responsibility.”
What the word ‘zoonosis’ has to do with the coronavirus
“Not in bed, no licking and no stroking”
Dr. Herman Egberink of the Virology Laboratory at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Utrechtis a veterinary virologist and studies animal viruses.He will conduct further research into corona infections among pets. “And especially pets in a household where there are human covid patients. Testing cats for corona will be part of the research. We hope to gain more insight into the number of infections. But we only do that with cats. who have a sick owner. There is no point in testing all pets that are sniffling. “
For corona patients with pets, Egberink recommends keeping the dog or cat indoors to prevent other infections from taking place. “Now if you say, try to avoid contact, do it with your pet. Don’t leave it in bed, don’t lick it, and don’t pet it.”
“The pet is really the victim here”
Research shows that infected cats can also infect other cats, although that number is very small. So far, no case of animal-to-human contamination is known, Egberink says. “The pet is really a victim of humans here and not the other way around.”
To reduce the contamination risks for pets, Rianne Steenbeek has therefore started a platform on which people can register as a host family for animals with a corona patient as their owner. “You do not want to put your great-aunt’s dog in a busy shelter, which is pathetic and not good for such an animal. It just has to be taken care of in a homely environment and waiting for a blanket to heat up until its owner is better again. “
Press the shelters
70 host families have already registered in ‘t Gooi. Steenbeek hopes that other asylums in the Netherlands will follow suit. “We hope that this will reduce the pressure on the shelters and increase the welfare of the pets.”
In the Netherlands, there are already a few pets that have contracted the coronavirus. Although the chance that your pet will be infected with the coronavirus is very small, it is of course nice to know what to do in such a situation.
Therefore, here a few useful tips from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).
Most important points
Are there people in your household who have complaints that are appropriate for the corona virus? And your pet gets sick too? Then, according to the RIVM, there is a small chance that it concerns the coronavirus in your pet. In this case it is important that all housemates avoid intensive contact (such as hugging and licking) with the sick animal. If possible, it is wise to have a non-sick roommate take care of the animal. Also consider the following things:
Good hygiene is now extra important (so wash and disinfect your hands regularly and clean well at home).
Don’t let your pet run free outside. So keep your cat indoors and let your dog out on a leash. If you have corona-like complaints yourself, you should not go outside anyway. In this case you will have to arrange someone to walk your pet for you.
Make sure your pet doesn’t go to a place where many animals are together, such as a boarding house or dog walking service.
Does your pet have severe shortness of breath and / or diarrhea? Then contact the vet by phone. He or she will then assess whether the pet’s complaints fit the coronavirus.
Also read: why you should think carefully if you now take a pet
Risk of infecting others
If you have a cat that is infected but does not show any signs of disease, it is not contagious. The chance that a sick cat can transmit the coronavirus to a human is very small. A dog probably cannot transmit the virus to another dog. There is also no evidence that a dog can transmit the coronavirus to a human. Antibodies against the new coronavirus have so far been found in one dog in the Netherlands, which means that the animal has been infected with the coronavirus.
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An unknown owner buried his dead dog in a suitcase in the nature reserve near Gardelegen. The investigation is ongoing.
Gardelegen l Ramona S. regularly goes for a walk with her dachshund in the cellar mountains near Gardelegen (Altmarkkreis Salzwedel). In wind and weather, even on that day almost three weeks ago. The dachshund pulls on the leash at the rest area in the Kämmereiforst, where the heather flower festivals were celebrated until a few years ago. He wants to go to a tree, starts sniffing and digging. Ramona S. (name of the editor known) takes a closer look at what her dog is doing and why. She discovers cans of cat food, a bluish-colored line, a food bowl – and a closed suitcase, half buried in the ground. She is afraid to take the suitcase out and open it. But she already has a bad suspicion. She quickly goes home, the municipal regulatory office informs. Nothing happens for days. She informs the veterinary office and police officers of a patrol that she meets on one of her walks in the basement mountains. She reports back to the regulatory office. Then the space is cleared, only the suitcase is still half buried in the ground. Again she calls the regulatory office and also turns to the Gardelegener Volksstimme editorial office.
Florian Kauer, responsible for order, security and general security in the administration, sets off late Wednesday afternoon of the previous week. And what he finds there leaves him speechless: a dead dog, packed in a suitcase, buried in the Natura 2000 reserve. “It is a huge mess to dispose of an animal so unworthily in a place with a lot of traffic,” says Kauer, who has never experienced anything like this in his term of office, as he confirms when asked by the popular vote. It is a mixed breed dog with dark fur, about the size of a pug. The dog is not chipped.
Investigations are ongoing
The investigation has started. Because the owner of the animal violated several legal bases, including the “Animal By-Products Disposal Act and the Animal By-Products Disposal Ordinance”. It regulates where pets, including dogs, can be disposed of, explains Kauer. Among other things, dogs may be burned in an incinerator, buried in a place specially approved for this by the competent authority, such as animal cemeteries, or on the animal owner’s property.
However, this is not allowed in water protection areas and not in the immediate vicinity of public paths and squares. The animals should be covered with a layer of earth that is at least 50 centimeters thick. “Depending on the incident, anyone who violates these regulations can be fined or at most sentenced to a custodial sentence of up to one year,” says Kauer. In this case, he also included the district veterinary office. Official veterinarian Ramón Rulff has arranged a section of the dog to determine the cause of death because there is suspicion of killing contrary to animal welfare. “We work closely with the district to solve this disgusting act,” said Kauer.
He now hopes for clues from the population. “If you can give hints, even if they are so small, please let me know. I personally follow up on any information, ”assures Kauer. And further: “And if a cause is found, the maximum penalty comes.” However, this could be a little lower if the dog owner volunteers. Kauer rejects the criticism that the regulatory office acted too late. He himself had the case on April 28 on the table. An employee was then on site and disposed of the garbage, but unfortunately overlooked the case. Anyone who can provide information is asked to report to the municipal regulatory office on 03907/71 61 40.
Even if the gorilla shares more than 98% of our genetic heritage, we are its worst predator. There are only a thousand left in the mountains. Our reporter spoke with Emmanuel de Merode, director of Virunga Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the oldest nature reserve in Africa
Emmanuel de Merode has just entered the thick rainforest when he hears the gunshots. This July 22, 2007 will mark him forever: between the brushwood, he discovers the still hot remains of nine mountain gorillas. Killed at close range. One injured female was even sprayed with gas and ignited. On the bodies are four babies: they are the only survivors of the massacre. “This family of gorillas approached the men because they trusted them,” explains Emmanuel de Merode. This horrible sight convinced me that something had to be done. “
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A year later, the anthropologist and primatologist was appointed by the Congolese authorities, director of the Virunga park. This nature reserve, created in 1925 by Belgian settlers, is the oldest on the African continent. Classified as World Heritage of Humanity, it shelters, on the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 300 mountain gorillas, i.e. almost a third of a world population estimated, in 2017, by the International Union for Conservation from nature, to 1,004 individuals. There were only 254 in 1981: the efforts of the authorities in Rwanda, the DRC and Uganda paid off!
Also read:Animals, we love them, save them: birds
However, vigilance has not diminished. Even devoid of murderous intent, man remains a serious threat. Gorillas have no resistance to viral and respiratory diseases like the common cold or the flu. In normal times, visitors, never more than six, must therefore wear a mask and stand more than seven meters away. Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, the Virunga park has closed its doors to tourism, which nevertheless represents 50% of its revenues. Even the guards no longer enter this 25,000 hectare forest, or around 3% of the park’s area. The same caution during the Ebola epidemic (which ended just a few weeks ago …) helped protect the gorilla sector from infection when two-thirds of the park was contaminated. Elsewhere, in the western plains, notably in Gabon, Congo Brazzaville or Equatorial Guinea, 90% of the gorilla population has been decimated. A massacre.
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From “King Kong” to “The Planet of the Apes” to the “Tarzan” of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the gorilla has aroused many fears and fantasies. Several generations have been terrorized by these legends telling of the abduction of women, fertilized by these giant primates. The explorer Paul du Chaillu, the first Westerner to have studied gorillas in their natural environment from 1856 to 1859, wrote: “A devilish expression on the face, seeming out of a nightmare vision, such stood before us the king of the african forest […]. Emmanuel de Merode has a completely different feeling: “It is an incredibly sensitive animal, very fragile, even if the” silverbacks “(adults) have an extraordinary power. No other species in the world gives off such a mixture. “
Born in Carthage, Tunisia, this Belgian prince grew up in Kenya. Little boy, the wild world already populated his imagination. “From the age of 8, 9, I dreamed of working with gorillas. And, if possible, Virunga. He succeeded in 2001. “Being in a group of gorillas is an extremely sweet experience … Very social, they have no aggressiveness towards humans … It is one of the only species that can invite us to participate in his family life. It is intense and warm. They spend the day playing together, a moving spectacle. I have been fortunate enough to experience it a thousand times, but today as on the first day, it still touches me as much. In the documentary “Virunga” produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, one of the guards, André Bauma, spoke of “their great affection” and even their “love” for human beings.
Also read:Animals, we love them, save them: the elephant
Gorillas are gifted with language. Whether to communicate with each other or to intimidate their rivals, they use shouts, grunts, facial expressions. A 2009 study by scientists at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, identified some 102 signs that would form their common language. But Koko, a female gorilla born in 1971 and died in 2018, educated by the ethologist Penny Patterson at the San Francisco Zoo, knew much more: she absorbed more than 1,000 words from the American sign language. It was not her only skill: she took care of pets and was particularly fond of a cat.
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These studies have shown that gorillas have a certain awareness, that they are capable of feeling complex emotions. “You look them in the eye and you see something for yourself,” said Stacy Rosenbaum, biologist and anthropology researcher at the Dian-Fossey International Foundation. After chimpanzees and bonobos, gorillas, with whom we share more than 98% of our genetic heritage, are our closest cousins.
Fifteen to twenty families live in the Virunga Park. With 44 members, one of them is probably the largest group of mountain gorillas in the world. At the age of 14 or 15, the young male becomes a silver back, that is to say that his backbone turns white. He can then take several females as well as young to form a new group. Females can only have one baby at a time, which they raise until the age of 4. Nomadic and vegetarian, even if he sometimes eats insects, the gorilla, which does not like water, finds in plants something to hydrate.
By attacking the gorillas, the militias hope to discourage the guards who protect the forest
The bushmeat trade, which supplied affluent customers in large cities and was long a scourge for the survival of primates, has stopped in Virunga for ten years. But the gorillas remain victims of the warlike madness of the men who have been fighting in this area for almost thirty years. “Each time, we were able to negotiate with the parties to the conflict,” explains Emmanuel de Merode. But even in a civil war, you never leave the place. Many fighters have taken refuge in the park. They hope to take control of its natural resources. Illegal fishing, illegal crops, but especially the cutting of trees for “malaka” (charcoal) would represent a turnover of around 170 million dollars per year!
Thanks to the vigilance of 700 guards, the park remains the only place in the region where the trees have not been cut down. By attacking the gorillas, the militias hope to discourage the guards who protect the forest. These men are paying a heavy price for their devotion: since 1996, 189 of them have been killed. On April 24, 13 died in an attack attributed to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, a group of Rwandan Hutu rebels, refugees in the DRC. “If it is a question of dying, I must die for the gorillas,” says André in the documentary “Virunga”. He adds: “If we lose them, we will have lost something very important to humanity. “No other park in the world has made such sacrifices,” said Emmanuel de Merode. But this fight, he too could have been the victim.
In 2010, the park’s petrol fueled the lusts of the British company Soco International, which was awarded a concession located half of its limits. Despite the prohibitions of international law and Congolese law. Condemned by the United Kingdom and the European Union, Soco – whose attempts at corruption have been revealed by numerous NGOs, including WWF and Global Witness – will have to leave the DRC in 2015. But a few months earlier, on 15 April 2014, when he had just handed over to the Congolese authorities a file against the company, Emmanuel de Merode fell into an ambush. He was hit by several bullets. And his attackers will never be found. Other scientists have sacrificed their lives on the altar of this cause: Diane Fossey, author of the bestseller “Gorillas in the mist”, murdered in Rwanda in December 1985, Ymke Warren, who studied the gorillas of the Cross river at Cameroon, killed in 2010.
Emmanuel de Merode hopes to give work to 100,000 people
Emmanuel de Merode knows this: without the support of local populations, the park has no future and neither will its gorillas. This reserve deprives arable land of the 5 million people who live on its outskirts in extreme poverty. So, to fight against this “social injustice”, he bet on the development of a new economy, a project called Alliance Virunga, which has already helped create new industries, such as factories for chocolate, soap and production of chia seeds. Energy from the park’s rivers is converted into electricity and the first hydroelectric plant was built in 2013. Of the 10,000 jobs already created, some are occupied by veterans. Ultimately, Emmanuel de Merode hopes to give work to 100,000 people. “This program,” he said, “could constitute a possibility of peace in the region. “
In a 2019 selfie, you can see behind one of the guards two standing gorillas, as if posing. These are the females Ndazki and Ndeze. An encouragement to keep hoping: in 2007, they were among the babies found by Emmanuel de Merode at the site of the massacre. Today, they live in Rumangabo orphanage, where the Virunga headquarters are located. “But one day, they will form a family … And their young will constitute a new population of mountain gorillas resulting from this tragedy. “In Virunga, since the beginning of the year, we have already registered six births.
WWF in Cameroon “rehabilitates” gorillas to humans
By Gaëlle Legenne
For a “silver back”, Eno-Nku, 52, curator biologist and coordinator of the WWF KuduZombo program in Campo-Ma’an National Park, got up very early. With his group of trackers, he had to walk for hours before hoping to see him. This approach cannot be improvised. The process of “habituation”, which allows the habituation of gorillas to men, has been validated by primatologists since the 1990s. It takes place in seven stages: the gorilla first detects human presence, then flees, load, fuss. His curiosity aroused, he feigns indifference and, finally, accepts this presence.
“Our teams sometimes take turns for years, always at the same hours. Facing the gorillas, you have to clap your hands, click your tongue, hit your chest, vocalize. They recognize us physically, but they also spot us by sounds. One evening, I understood that this male identified me thanks to the particular clapping of my hands. He was no longer fierce. He accepted me, “says Eno-Nku. Today, the latter oversees the WWF habituation program for the 2,265 great apes (including chimpanzees) of this biodiversity that stretches over 700,000 hectares, between Equatorial Guinea and the Cameroonian region of the South.
“We had to convince communities that a living gorilla is more profitable than a dead gorilla,” he said. “Getting gorillas used to humans” also means enabling ecotourism, which supports families, since around 110,000 people live around Campo-Ma’an. The habituation process also allows monitoring of great apes in the wild. They become less vulnerable to poaching and can benefit from a health monitoring program.
Because “primates are very sensitive to infectious diseases. Also, their organic waste is regularly sampled and analyzed in our laboratory, ”explains Eno-Nku. Before concluding: “Out of a group of 18 individuals, there have been three births in the past six months. Something to regain hope: the population of western lowland gorillas had decreased by 60% in twenty-five years.
The House passed a provisional coronavirus backup bill of $ 484 which will pay for the tests and offer assistance to small businesses and medical providers.
Win McNamee /.
The House voted a $ 3 trillion bailout against coronaviruses, dubbed the HEROES law, with a vote of 208-199.
Spanning 1,815 pages, the bill sets out a list of priorities, including another $ 1,200 series of stimulus checks, an increase for essential workers and increased health insurance coverage.
Despite its passage in the House, it is unlikely to be supported by Senate Republicans, who have expressed their disapproval of the bill.
When released by the Democrats in the House earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the bill “a high priority list for pets” which “has no chance to become law ”.
However, being promulgated is not entirely the mission of the HEROES law.
“Instead, his passage was intended for Democrats to demonstrate their priorities and signal what they will fight for in a later bipartisan bill that could be passed in June,” reported Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider.
Visit the Business Insider home page for more stories.
On Friday, the House passed a second $ 3 trillion bill to bring relief and support to those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill, known as the Omnibus Emergency Solutions for Health and Economic Recovery Act, or HEROES Act, follows the first coronavirus rescue plan signed in late March with the support of two parties, the CARES law.
The rescue package was approved by a vote of 208 to 199, but is unlikely to be adopted in the GOP-controlled Senate.
When House Democrats introduced the HEROES law earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the bill “a top priority list for pets” which “No chance of becoming law”.
Spanning 1,815 pages, the $ 3 trillion bailout is not ready to become law. “Instead, his passage was intended for Democrats to demonstrate their priorities and signal what they will fight for in a later bipartisan bill that could be passed in June,” reported Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider.
The bill includes a list of priorities, including another set of 1,200 stimulus checks, an increase for essential workers, increased health insurance coverage and nearly $ 1 trillion in financial assistance to local governments and States.
With this newborn, the park, which is the main dolphinarium in France, now has 11 dolphins.
Pink notebook at the Marineland water park, in Antibes (Alpes-Maritimes). A dolphin, himself born on the spot, gave birth to a baby, announced Friday May 15 the animal park by stressing that it was the first representative of the 2nd generation of dolphins born in the park.
The newborn, a female weighing about 15 kg for 85 cm, was born on May 8 and is doing well, fed by breast milk, says the park. “The animal does not suck strictly speaking, because there are no teats, it is positioned on the side, in the right place on the breast slit, and then the mother expels the milk”, explains Damien Montay, zoo director of the park.
During parturition, the mother, Nala, 10 years old, was helped, as happens in this species, by a more experienced female, in this case her own mother, Malou. The gestation lasted a year.
With this newborn, Marineland Park, which is the main dolphinarium in France, now has 11 dolphins.
This birth comes while the reproduction of dolphins in captivity is contested by several NGOs. In January 2018, the water parks had obtained from the Council of State the cancellation for procedural defect of a ministerial order prohibiting the reproduction of dolphins and orcas in captivity.
In a letter to State Secretary Blokhuis of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Food Transition Coalition asks to take more account of recent research into healthy and sustainable food. The coalition thus responds to an ongoing consultation of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport about the product composition of food. In that consultation, only the opinion is asked about the amounts of salt, saturated fat and sugar in foods. Sustainability is completely disregarded.
The recent experience with COVID-19 makes it clear that public health requires much stronger government control and that the government must focus more on the use of healthy food. Furthermore, this crisis shows that many obese people are extra vulnerable. This means that policy development on healthy food and product improvement should pay more attention to recent developments in food science about the causes of obesity. In particular, it turns out that highly processed food is an important cause of obesity because this type of food leads to extra intake of calories, says the Food Transition Coalition.
The coalition thinks Blokhuis’ proposal is too non-committal and lacks hard instruments such as a sugar tax or meat tax. The parties argue that not only should the amount of salt, saturated fat and sugar in food products be considered, but also carbohydrates, fiber and proteins. The government wants a shift from animal proteins to more vegetable proteins in the diet, but this has not been addressed in the Blokhuis consultation. In addition, the consultation does not ask about the opportunities it would offer to internalize external costs for health care in prices throughout the chain.
The letter to State Secretary Blokhuis and the response to the consultation on a new approach to product improvement can be found on the website of the Food Transition Coalition.
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By overexploiting the environment, humanity reveals microbes “hidden in the shadows”. But this subject is the subject of too little research, alert researchers.
The exact origin of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes Covid-19 disease, has yet to be determined. If this research is still ongoing, scientists have suspected for months a recombination between the viruses of two different animal species, probably the bat and the pangolin, and which has caused a zoonosis, an infection of animal origin transmissible to humans. ‘To be human.
However, the deeper man enters wilderness areas, the more we exert pressure on flora and fauna, and the more likely these emerging infections will occur. This hypothesis, still debated in the scientific community, has gained momentum in recent weeks and has been reinforced by an analysis published in Frontiers in Medicine by experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (United States) . According to them, the more the natural habitats shrink, the more the wild animals concentrate on smaller and smaller territories or migrate towards inhabited areas, thus favoring interspecies infections. “Humanity must change the way it treats nature, or else more deadly pandemics than the Covid-19 will unfold,” they warn.
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