It must be so hard for zoo staff to lose a new mother and especially so for an endangered species like the Cheetah. Difficult decisions have to be made with breeding all animals in captivity but some are more fragile like Willow the cheetah. Only 5 years old she gave birth earlier this month after a C section which sadly proved too much for her to recover from. The 5 surviving cubs are doing well with the help of an Australian shepherd dog acting as comforter and companion. Even though the mother was lost, without the rare C section to aid in the birth the cubs would also have been lost so mum has contributed to helping the species survive.
Feathertailed gliders are the smallest flying mammals and utterly gorgeous. It was to my everlasting regret that one of my cats caught one on our deck at night some years ago. Even though our cats are strictly indoor and the deck is about 8 metres off the ground the feathertailed glider obviously found his way to the railing and puss found him. We took the glider to Australia Zoo's hospital but sadly the poor little guy didn't make it. I'll never forget how small and vulnerable it was and utterly defenceless. Taronga Zoo in Sydney has announced a world first in successfully breeding these dear little Australian animals.
We have to believe there is hope for elephants and in fact all wildlife in this world where human populations have exploded. The immense pressure on the wild world to survive at times creates a gloomy outlook but if nothing else wildlife is incredibly resilient and there are more people and organisations than ever working relentlessly to protect some of the most vulnerable animals like elephants that are poached in staggering numbers for their ivory. The big tuskers, the old mature bulls with enormous tusks form the backbone of elephant populations providing invaluable genetic material for future generations. Without them elephant populations are at great risk of collapse and sadly they are the ones targeted by poachers who hunt them down for their large tusks. It can help to remind people to refuse to buy ivory either old or new. Tusks belong on elephants not adorning humans or adding to their trinket collections. Personally I would love to see a total ban on the trade of all ivory products including old and antique objects not just new things. Surely the day has come to take decisive action before these amazing animals just disappear altogether.