Unstable ice affects polar bears

Earth is showing sings of warming and an increase in average temperature. It affects all of us and not just the polar bears. Around the world, average temperatures have climbed to 1.4 degrees f. and the rate of warming is increasing. In recent years it has been the hottest of many years and the poles are feeling the effect the most.

“From 1985 to 1994, most pregnant female bears, 62%, wintered in dens on ice floes off Alaska’s north coast. A few years later, 1998 to 2004, only 37% of female bears were denning on pack ice, and they entirely stopped using the pack ice lying west of Barrow (currentresults)”

Pack ice helps make dens for polar bears which are very important and without dens polar bears cannot sustain the winter or raise their young safely. It allows them to breed and aid in their survival. Pack ice must be stable and have a large snowdrift to make a good den for a polar bear. There are two reasons that pack ice has less snow. Small pressure ridges that don’t provide enough snowdrift to dig a den and the decline in snow as warmer temperatures cause rainfall instead of snow.

“Drowning-related deaths of polar bears may increase in the future if the observed trend of regression of pack ice and/or longer open-water periods continues (humanevents)”

It can’t be only hunters or the predators for the reason polar bears are decreasing in number. It is the climate change that is affecting the winter and reducing ice density that the polar bears rely on for walking and to stay dry, to stay out of the water and use them to their advantage when hunting for food, and dens. To preserve the habitat is a Genesis goal and action must be taken to take in these animal and care for them if their habitat is disappearing.

Click to read more on Current Results about Unstable Ice Causes Polar Bears to Move Ashore or read more on Human Events about Global Warming Link to Drowned Polar Bears

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Unique to the core: white-faced Owl

The owl has four very distinct and different features of any other bird which are stealth, vision, hearing, and camouflage.

They may appear as if they don’t have much of a neck but it is hidden in their feathers. Many people don’t have much knowledge about Owls and a few things to know are that owls have fixed eyes and move their head to look around because they cannot move their eye balls. their large eye are adaptable to the night as they are nocturnal and hunt during the night-time. One thing to keep in mind is that an owl can hear from great distance and can pinpoint exactly where the noise is coming from. Their distinct hearing is specialized in a way that their ears are asymmetrical placed on the skull that allows the owl to pinpoint the location of its prey and can find from where the sound is coming from by turning its head until the sound reaches both ears at the same time and flow of sound. the feathers around the ears and eyes utilize the capability of hearing and sight. Also, from the capability of its feathers the owl is silent in flight and makes no noise while flapping its wings and this makes it very stealthy. Another unique feature is camouflage and the ability to change its shape is an Owl that holds this feature like no other. The white-faced Owl changes its shape to look bigger or smaller in order to scare off predators.

Expanding the knowledge of animals is a core goal for Genesis and the Owl is a bird that is unique and different from other birds. Owls are a nocturnal bird specie that are found almost in all regions around the Earth except Antarctica, so you might not see one but you might hear them from their unique hoot sounds that they make.

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Opossums in your home

Opossums are everywhere and a personal experience I have had in the past with these animals lead to an understanding of the importance of the Genesis goal to provide care for animals and their habitats. I did not now anything at all about Opossums after I found them in my back yard eating my cats food. They don’t look pretty so my first instinct was to chase it away, so I took a shovel and tried scaring it. It did not move at all but opened its mouth and stared at me. I guessed it was really hungry and it did not want to leave so I left it there eating my cats food. After a while I started scooping it up away from the porch door so I could close it and not have it come in again. It looked like a rat that later I found out it does not come from the rat family.

Despite their rat looks, opossums are not related to rats at all.  Opossums are marsupials which means they are pouched mammals. They carry their young in a pouch on the abdomen of the female. Their relatives are the koala and kangaroo. The opossum holds the distinction of being North America’s only marsupial so this is an important specie for north America because it is the only one of its kind. It is important to spread knowledge of opossums in Florida for people to understand how to deal with these animals and also a benefit for Genesis.

To read more about opossums and answer any questions you might have, read Opossum Problems and Solution

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Killer whale and trainer; Orlando

A trainer at Sea World Orlando, was taken under water by the killer whale and drown. The whales name is Tilikum and it is the oldest and largest killer whale in captivity at Sea World.

Killer whales known as orca are found in all oceans and they are called killer whales not because they are killers but because they kill whales for prey. They are apex predators that can hunt prey larger than them. Killer whales are not considered a threat to humans rather they are highly social and make a perfect candidate for the marine theme parks. Although killer whales are social and intelligent creatures and make great animals for spectators, such wild animals get stressed in pens resulting in attacks on their handlers in some cases.Tilikum had killed twice before and was still kept in play for tourist. Should have the killer whale been retired after the second killing or was it the right thing to do to keep Tilikum in captivity? The two killings prior to the killing of the sea world trainer Dawn Brancheau was said to be play, thus they kept Tilikum performing for the tourist but forced under water for 20 minutes does not sound like play.

In 1991, a student trainer fell into the tank in Canada and was taken under by Tilikum and tossed her back and forth in the air them like a toy with the other whales. The attack eight years later was harsh as a person sneaked into the pool at Sea World and his corpse was found the next day on the whale’s back.

Genesis benefits from keeping these whales alive and feeding them, this for Genesis it would be in favor to retire Tilikum or keep him in captivity rather than putting the whale to sleep. It is not the whales fault for doing what it did. Also, the trainers sister doesn’t want anything to happen to the whale as she says Brancheau would want the same thing for the killer whale to be safe. Read more on Shamu.

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Extinct and back

Known as the Tasmanian Tiger or Tasmanian Wolf, This predator is now extinct.

The death of the last thylacine was on September 7th 1936. It is devastating to know that such a beautifully unique animal had to fall in the ignorance of man.

The thylacine looks like a wolf or coyote with a long head and it is known for its unique jaw that opens 120 degrees wide with a strong neck. It has zebra-like stripes on its lower back and a tail like a kangaroo and has been said that it can stand up on its back legs. The thylacine is a marsupial and closer related to kangaroo than to the wolf, zebra, opossum, or coyote. Also it has a pouch with an opening reverse of a kangaroo, including males.

The question is, would it be right to work on a clone of a Tasmanian tiger? Watch video on thylacine behavior.

In February 2005 this project was going to be cancelled due to the samples of genes being to degraded, three months later it was restarted with backup from interested universities and a research institute. Cloning is not perfect because there are many more things that scientist don’t have knowledge of that information, thus cloning has many hurdles to overcome.

If these difficulties are overcome and made possible to bring a thylacine back, what other difficulties are there still to come? How much do scientist know about the behavior of a thylacine and how much of it is in the DNA? Should it be released in the wild or kept in captivity? And how will these clones breed?

Article: Tasmanian Tiger clone, One step closer to completion.

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Tiger kills worker at Florida Animal Park

The Siberian Tiger is one of the biggest cats growing to about 9 feet long and up to 42 inches tall. It is one of the endangered species that the Genesis presents. Known for its orange, and/or black and white fur, famous in coats it has been usually hunted for its very thick fur. Protecting these tigers from being hunted for their fur is a Genesis goal. However, with that being less of the issue now, a five hundred-fifty pound Siberian tiger named Tia was shot and killed by the owner of a wild animal park in central Florida after the big cat fatally attacked a park employee.

Savage Kingdom breeds and raises exotic animals for zoos and attractions around the world. The forty-nine-year-old worker that was attacked by the tiger had secured the animal in a cage at the Savage Kingdom. The worker was making repairs on the tiger’s cage at the time of the incident, as it appeared the tiger broke through a chain-link fence attacking the employee. Another employee alerted the park owner, Robert Baudy, who shot the tiger with a rifle, allowing rescue workers to enter the cage. According to paramedics, Tia severely beat the man’s head and neck causing a fatal attack.

The question here is that was there correct security measures taken to secure the tiger in the cage from escaping, before working on the cage and making repairs? Had there been a greater measure of security such as having more than one employee work with tigers or help in the securing of a cage, would there is a possibility of avoiding an attack or the killing of Tia?

Siberian tigers do not attack unless they are threatened. It is ethical to say that killing the tiger was the right thing to do when a life is in jeopardy. Tia broke through the cage and attacked the employee but what caused Tia to break the cage. Was it hunger or was it something that bothered the tiger to attack. More info on Siberian Tiger kills worker.

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Salamanders losing their stripes

Amphibians are everywhere! There are many different types of species that are closely related but different in lifestyle. One of the groups is the amphibians family that is largely spread throughout earth. Closely related to lizards and geckos that are the same specie is the salamander. Found on wetland, they have short legs and long bodies. They are unique to regenerate lost limbs or other body parts. The skin of a salamander is scale-less and smooth to the touch and a few that are strictly land salamanders have a skin that is velvety and dry to the touch. The issue rising today is that warming of the atmosphere is causing a species of salamanders that live in cold temperatures to lose their red stripes. Striped salamanders are predisposed to living in cooler temperatures. Plain salamanders don’t survive as well in the cold as striped salamanders. Plain salamanders take cover earlier in the fall and have a lower metabolic rate. Warming is causing salamanders to change in order to survive and this threatens the specie to be extinct. Extinction is a reason that the Genesis Zoological Center Inc is trying to eliminate and provide preservation and rehabilitation to the species that need it. Fighting extinction is not an easy job.

Donations and volunteers are a great help, but care for these animals is the greatest feeling to have knowing that you are part of the fight against extinction. “Scientist from State University of New York who discovered the decline in red backs figure that even more than regional climate warming, changes in forest cover are spurring the color shift (currentresults.com).” There are many factors that spur change in species and the causes of these factors are human needs such as cutting down forests, expanding on new land, and an increase in population means a higher rate of increase in warming. A benefit to the Genesis society is taking salamanders and keeping them in cool temperatures so that the don’t lose their stripes. Genesis can then release these salamanders to cool temperatures that are habitable and increase the survival of these amphibians. To read more on salamanders and find more information, click here.

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