Polar Bear Tundra Buggy

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A Tundra Buggy, originally invented & built by Leonard D. Smith in 1979, is an all-terrain vehicle used to view, photograph and study polar bears, in the Cape Churchill Wildlife Management Area, of Manitoba, Canada. Smith took his first trip on his Tundra Buggy to Cape Churchill in 1979 with a group of explorers and a ‘National Geographic’ film crew which created the movie “Polar Bear Alert”. Smith also created a company he named “Tundra Buggy Tours” and went on to build 14 Tundra Buggies and The Tundra Buggy Lodge. The lodge consists of a diner, lounge, two bunkhouses, kitchen, muktuk saloon and utilities unit. It is towed from Churchill, Manitoba, behind the Tundra Buggy vehicles for several miles and connected together like units of a train, on the west shore of Hudson Bay.

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Polar bears congregate every year along the shores of the bay, waiting for the freeze up and to feed on ringed seals. Leonard D. Smith received the Manitoba Tourism Innovation Award in 1989, and the Order of Manitoba in 2004, celebrating 25 years of the operation of Tundra Buggy Tours. In the year 2000 Smith sold Tundra Buggy Tours to Frontiers North Adventures, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

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A Cat From The Planet Cheron

On stardate 5730.2, the Federation starship Enterprise is on a mission to help decontaminate the polluted atmosphere of the planet Ariannus, when sensors track a Federation shuttlecraft reported stolen from Starbase 4. The craft is disabled and brought aboard along with its strange alien pilot, who is found injured and taken to sick bay. The man later awakens and identifies himself as Lokai, a political refugee from the planet Cheron, who requests asylum. Lokai’s most striking feature is that his skin is half black and half white, the two halves split perfectly down the center of his body. Science Officer Spock remarks that his physiology may be “one of a kind”.

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Emotional Support Animals on a Plane

An emotional support animal (ESA) is a companion animal that a medical professional has determined provides benefit for an individual with a disability. This may include improving at least one symptom of the disability. Emotional support animals, typically dogs, but sometimes cats or other animals, may be used by people with a range of physical, psychiatric, or intellectual disabilities. In order to be prescribed an emotional support animal the person seeking such an animal must have a verifiable disability. To be afforded protection under United States federal law, a person must meet the federal definition of disability and must have a note from a physician or other medical professional stating that the person has that disability and that the emotional support animal provides a benefit for the individual with the disability. An animal does not need specific training to become an emotional support animal.

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The Air Carrier Access Act establishes a procedure for modifying pet policies on aircraft to permit a person with a disability to travel with a prescribed emotional support animal, so long as they have appropriate documentation and the animal is not a danger to others and does not interfere with others (through unwanted attention, barking, inappropriate toileting, etc.

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CNBC

Want to travel with an emotional support dog, duck or miniature horse? Starting next month, United Airlines will want passengers to show they can behave.

The airline is setting more stringent requirements for emotional support animals, joining Delta Air Lines in cracking down on a sharp increase in such animals in the cabin. Delta complained that some of the animals soiled cabins or bit travelers.

United said the number of customers bringing emotional support animals on board has risen 75 percent over the past year.

“The Department of Transportation’s rules regarding emotional support animals are not working as they were intended to, prompting us to change our approach in order to ensure a safe and pleasant travel experience for all of our customers,” United said.

Late last month, a Brooklyn artist tried to bring a peacock on board a cross-country United flight, but was turned away by the airline because of the bird’s weight and size.

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“As a reminder, animals currently prohibited from traveling in the cabin include hedgehogs, ferrets, insects, rodents, snakes, spiders, reptiles, sugar gliders, non-household birds, exotic animals and animals not properly cleaned or carry a foul odor,” said United.

The animals below are not on the prohibited list.

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Last 2 images above courtesy of Markozen photoshop.

 

Cow walks on wild side with Polish bison

Cow among wild bison, Poland, January 2018Image copyrightRAFAL KOWALCZYK
Image captionThe young cow stands out from the herd of bison

A domesticated cow has surprised Polish naturalists by spending the winter living with a herd of wild bison in the primeval Bialowieza Forest.

The cow “chose freedom” by running away from a farm late last autumn, and has been seen lingering on the fringes of a herd of some 50 bison in the forest on the Belarusian border, Poland’sTVN24 news portal reports.

Ornithologist Adam Zbyryt was the first to spot the cow. He made the news in November when he told TVN24: “it’s not unusual to see bison near the Bialowieza Forest, but one animal caught my eye. It was a completely different light-brown shade from the rest of the herd. Bison are chestnut or dark brown”.

He dropped his initial idea that this was a mutation when he trained his binoculars on the creature, and saw that it was Limousin cow – a French breed popular in Poland. The young animal appeared healthy, and unthreatened by the larger animals. Naturalists assumed it would wander back to its pasture once winter set in.

Then biologist Rafal Kowalczyk spotted the cow again this week, still apparently healthy, and keeping pace with the herd.

Cow among wild bison, Poland, January 2018Image copyrightRAFAL KOWALCZYK
Image captionThe cow has survived the winter unscathed

Dr Kowalczyk told TVN24 that this is the first time he has seen a cow join a bison herd. “She is not very integrated with the group, as bison act like one organism and she stands out.” He added that the herd had probably saved her from the wolves that prowl the edges of the Bialowieza Forest through the winter.

Although the cow may be out of danger, Dr Kowalczyk warns she could pose a threat to the bison themselves.

The unusual friendship could lead to mating, which would contaminate the vulnerable population of about 600 Bialowieza bison with hybrids. “Another danger is that hybrid calves are large, and the cow could die giving birth,” the biologist told TVN24.

The interloper is still too young to breed, but it looks like her winter adventure must end in recapture before spring comes.

Cow among wild bison, Poland, November 2017Image copyrightADAM ZBYRYT
Image captionAdam Zbyryt first spotted the cow lingering among the bison last November
BBC

Reporting by Martin Morgan

Elephant Thwarts Lion Attack on Baby

An incredible video out of Kenya features the dramatic moment when a lion attempts to pounce on a baby elephant but is rebuffed by the creature’s monstrous mother.

Captured at the Samburu National Reserve earlier this month, the breathtaking video begins with Nablus, as she is known by wildlife workers, walking along with her baby behind her.

Suddenly, a ferocious-looking lion comes charging out of the brush headed straight for the unsuspecting calf.

Either by the sound of the grass swooshing as the big cat approached or perhaps mother’s instinct, Nablus deftly pivots around at the very last moment, causing the lion to pass on the attack and scurry away.

Clearly unhappy with what had just transpired, the enormous elephant throws dirt in the air to create almost a cover for her baby and stands guard over the calf in case any other danger was afoot.