International Animal Rescue needs our help to rescue Nelson the bear. He's been in this cage, captive for 30 years. He's gone blind.
His owner apparently loves him. But Nelson deserves better than life in this cage.
This poor bear has spent years going round in circles, desperate to relieve his boredom, walking on a floor of compacted filth.
International Animal Rescue (IAR) says that the Armenian government must get involved and order the owner to give the bear up. The charity is putting as much pressure as possible on the government to make this owner surrender the bear. It will then act to rescue Nelson and care for him.
Nelson needs treatment and care to relieve his pain. Veterinary attention will establish if he could ever see again. Once he is under anaesthetic, the vets will be able to give him an initial health assessment to see what sort of condition he in. Then Nelson will head to the rescue centre in the mountains for quarantine and tests - the latter will give a clear idea of his health.
Do you ever hear about the incredibly brave work wildlife rangers do on the front lines to protect the beautiful wildlife we all love to much?
The job of a wildlife ranger is becoming increasingly dangerous – the African Wildlife Foundation says that they must be prepared to act in a number of roles:
A law enforcement officer
A community liaison
Even whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on, they have been working to protect the species, landscapes and communities in Africa.
Image copyright African Wildlife Foundation
They undertake rigorous training and face difficult conditions as they work – and they are vital in investigating wildlife crimes. Both poachers and the very wildlife rangers are trying to protect can be dangerous and deadly.
The hours are long and rangers may not see their families for a long time. Communications can be very limited which means access to urgent help can be difficult or even impossible to come by.
So the African Wildlife Foundation is giving us all a wonderful opportunity to thank these rangers – we can send them a note in time for World Ranger Day on 31 July!
And it’s good to know that there is something you can do to help wildlife and locals in their communities at the same time, and we thought we’d do a roundup of charities and organisations working to help in this way. Sometimes wildlife rangers are called wildlife guardians.
Based in Australia, the Foundation works with ranger groups, ranger associations and conservation partners in over 60 countries. They say it’s estimated that over 1,000 park rangers have been killed n the line of duty over the past 10 years. They are dedicated to providing Rangers worldwide with the assistance they deserve and need.
Project Ranger supports a range of patrols such as horse patrols, foot patrols, motorbike, aerial, truck and K9 patrols. In doing so it protects a number of species in national parks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, conserved land and wildnerness areas. There are plenty of ways to support their work so visit their website to find out more!
The World Land Trust has a Keepers of the Wild initiative. The rangers are working on the front line of conservation, safeguarding some of the world’s most threatened animals and the crucial habitats in which they live. They protect reserves from poaching and logging, and importantly, link to local communities, building trust, helping to change attitudes and find practical solutions to problems. You can support Keepers of the Wild by making a donation.
This organisation works to save wildlife from extinction through education, anti-poaching and conservation efforts. It does this by using anti-poaching units, awareness and education and on the ground action, working on wildlife’s problems. You can adopt a ranger (also there’s a K9 poacher tracking unit) – find out what the options are to adopt a ranger here.
The Gorilla Organisation has a supporting rangers scheme in the Democratic Republic of Congo and they act as the eyes, ears and voice of the forest. They cut snaes, save injured gorillas, combat the militias running the blood minerals trade, monitor the gorillas’ health and collect vital conservation data every day. Find out more here.
Thousands of people worldwide take part by celebrating, learning about and taking action to protect species who are threatened and endangered.
Most of the events will be online or consist of digital actions but there will also be nature hikes, garden plantings and litter clean-ups!
The day is organised by the Endangered Species Coalition. Their mission is “to stop the human-caused extinction of our nation’s at-risk species, to protect and restore their habitats and to guide these fragile populations along the road to recovery.”
They work to safeguard and strengthen the Endangered Species Act. The law means every citizen can act on behalf of threatened and endangered wildlife and the wild places they call home.
For a start, there’s a Pollinator Party, a Chalk Art Event and a Youth Art Contest. And there are other events around the world, too.
The Coalition is a network of organisations and hundreds of thousands of individuals, all dedicated to protecting the US’s disappearing wildlife and remaining wild places.
They help protect the Canadian lynx, Gray Wolves, Grizzly Bears, Mexican Gray Wolves, the beautiful Monarch Butterfly and Wolverine.
New research suggests that it can have the same positive impact as exercise such as cycling or running.
Those who garden every day have wellbeing scores that are 6.6% higher and stress levels that are 4.2 lower than those who don’t garden.
And gardening two to three times a week can lead to better wellbeing and lower stress levels too!
The RHS Wellbeing Fellow and lead author is Dr Lauriane Chalmin-Pui, who said "This is the first time the 'dose response' to gardening has been tested and the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the more frequently you garden - the greater the health benefits.”
As we garden, we are distracted by the nature around us which moves our focus from ourselves and our stresses. Gardening restores our minds. It reduces negative feelings.
The research looked at why people get into gardening.
5,766 gardeners and 249 non-gardeners responded to a survey that was distributed electronically in the UK.
6 in 10 people garden because of the pleasure and enjoyment they get from it.
Under 30% said they garden for the health benefits.
One in five said wellbeing is why they garden.
15% of gardeners said it makes them feel calm and relaxed.
Gardening can boost mental health; those with health problems said that gardening eased episodes of depression (13%), boosted energy levels (12) and reduced stress (16%).
Why do I garden?
I’ve never met anyone who says “I’m going to improve my health and wellbeing by going out and doing some gardening” in the way you get people who say “I’ve been to the gym” with the specific purpose of getting fit, keeping fit, losing weight etc. I don't garden because I want to get fit.
People I know who garden just do it because they love doing it, spending time with nature, seeing immediate results from their endeavours – even if it’s just planting seeds and knowing there will be a few weeks or months before they come up.
The fitness benefits are an added benefit.
Maybe that’s why it’s easier to keep gardening than going to the gym for so many of us?
And could it be because nature doesn’t answer back; she listens, she is kind and giving (except on those days when the wind blows all your flowers down, or a lack of rain is killing everything off).
In short, gardening is a very gentle activity, good for the body and mind. It doesn’t feel as strenuous as going to the gym. It can be done at home without the journey there, unless you’re working on an allotment or community garden.
All I know is that it makes me feel happy, relaxed, less stressed – and that I can look forward to sitting in the garden with a cup of tea and piece of cake, or a glass of chilled white wine, listening to the birds tweeting and chirping away, watching the bees and butterflies flutter here and there, drinking in the beautiful colours of my flowers and just being at one with nature.
If we make the choice, we can garden to help wildlife which can bring its own extra benefits. You could end up with your own nature show that you can watch from your arm chair! Wildlife watching can give you a whole new interest of its own and it's amazing how involved you can get in creating habitat for wildlife and a garden in which they can thrive!
The RHS says the key things to do to help wildlife in your garden are: