Pros and Cons of Zoos

There are many opinions on animals in captivity. Many people think that keeping animals in captivity is abusive and that we should not use these animals for our entertainment. This is true, animals should not be held in these cages. Other people think we are saving these animals because they are rehabilitating these animals and if they were in the wild they would die. Both of these opinions are true. With zoos there is no black and white, it is grey.

Many animal activists believe that the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to zoos. Doris Lin speaks on the standpoint of animal rights activists when saying a con about zoos is “we do not have a right to breed, capture and confine other animals, even if they are endangered. Being a member of the endangered species does not mean they have fewer rights.” This is quite true, God did not intend for animals to be put in cages. Some animals are bred in captivity and only know life caged and never have seen the wild. These animals that are held in captivity have high stress levels and suffer from boredom and confinement.

Breeding animals in captivity leads to a huge surplus of animals and this can lead to animals being sold to other zoos, circuses, and can even be slaughtered. Most programs that breed animals do not release the animals back into the wild, they are left in the zoo system. On the topic of whales being in captivity Naomi Rose speaks against it. Orcas in the wild have a longer life expectancy than those in captivity. Orcas that live in the wild have a life expectancy for females live up to 80-90 years and males 60-70 years. For orcas in captivity both male and females live up to their early 20s and maybe even late teens. Sea World has lost 26 orcas in the past 29 years. That is a considerable amount of orca deaths. When these orcas are in these pools their aggression levels and stress levels are high. There have been 4 deaths of whale trainers. As we can see orcas should not be held in captivity.

On the other hand there are some pros to zoos. Zoos bring people together and teach the public about endangered animals. This can be a great thing for a community. Zoos also help endangered species by giving them a safer home and breeding them because in the wild it may be hard for them to find a mate. “Zoos benefit conservation not only through direct efforts such as captive breeding, wild survival training and reintroduction but also in indirect ways (Aziz).” Almost 50 percent of people live in areas where disconnected from nature. So in these cities zoos and aquariums enrich the lives of the citizens and make them want to preserve animal life. “Research on captive animals increases knowledge of animal biology, genetics, behavior, interactions, food habits etc (Aziz).” These are all very good pros for zoos but, we see that there are a lot more cons.

Here are both the pros and cons for zoos. Ultimately we all have our own opinions about the effectiveness of zoos. After we see all the facts about zoos we see the grey areas. Zoos do a lot more harm than good when it comes to these wild animals. Animals deserve to live their lives free not in cadges for our entertainment.

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Animal Warning Signs

Dealing with animals, especially the wild ones, is not a simple task. Animals, by nature, may pose various dangers to people around them. If you are taking care of an animal that may cause harm to your neighbour or to any other person, it is very important for you to install sufficient signs. Not only will this protect the public by providing them caution but it can also save you from expensive litigation in case your animal causes danger.

Animal Warning Signs

Adequate installation help communicate to individuals that they must be cautious and alert to prevent harm or danger. Here are some of the most common for human safety, for animals and vice versa:

1. “Beware of dogs” signs

“Beware of dogs” signs can be renamed as “Caution: dog might bite” and “Dog on duty” signs. Whatever the words you use, they mean the same thing-there is a dog and it can be dangerous. If a person sees this sign, he will have to be careful to avoid risks. With this, you can promote everyone’s safety.

2. “Slow animal” signs

One common road sign in UK country sides are “Slow animal” signs. This communicates to drivers and other individuals that they should be cautious to prevent accidents and cause danger to slow-moving animals. While protecting the animals, this protects the public as well.

3. “Caution: venomous snakes and reptiles” signs

If you are leaving near a place where there can be snakes and dangerous reptiles, installing caution signs about the existence of these animals is very important. Adequate warning must be afforded individuals passing by to help prevent life-threatening events.

4. “Warning: Dangerous animal” signs

Many zoos in UK install warning signs to caution viewers on the danger wild animals may cause. The “Warning: Dangerous animal” sign is one way of informing the viewers that the animal can cause harm and that they should not approach the fence or get near the animal. Installation of signs involving dangerous animals is also essential in compliance with regulations.

5. “Watch for foxes” signs

Foxes can be potentially harmful especially at night. In places where foxes are very common, “Warning for foxes” signs are very important to prevent danger among individuals who are unaware of the risk.

6. “No animals allowed” signs

Many establishments such as restaurants and clinics must install “No animals allowed” signs to prevent misunderstandings with individuals entering the establishment with their pets. Some places need to be free from animals, especially furry ones, as these can cause health risks to some individuals.

7. “Do not feed the animals” signs

Children love to feet animals in zoos but doing this can be very harmful especially if the animals are not as friendly. Installing “Do not feed the animals” signs can help prevent this danger and protect individuals.

Where to Buy Animal Warning Signs

You can find these signs from different online stores at very affordable prices. Although installing them may not necessarily be required for by law, you should install them for your safety and the public’s.

Visit a good warning signs manufacturer for more information. Remember to choose signs that provide good communication to everyone who reads them.

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Are Exotic Cats a Threat to Public Safety? Why Exotic Pets Are Not Dangerous

I would like to address some of the statements I have found on the web and in proposed ban bills portraying servals and other small wild felines as unpredictable and dangerous creatures. This is a clear case of “what you don’t know you will fear.” First of all, I would like to clarify for everyone that we are talking about tame, hand-raised pets bred in the United States. It’s not like you take a trip to Africa, rope yourself a serval, and drag it home hissing and spitting!

In his best-selling book Fear Less, security and threat analysis expert Gavin de Becker writes “Unfortunately, when it comes to security, the American way has often been to implement procedures that are more relevant to assuaging public anxiety than they are to reducing risk.” Ban laws are a prime example of an action that may ease anxiety, but fail to make the nation safer.

By saying that tame wild cats are “extremely unpredictable and dangerous creatures,” people show their lack of understanding of animal behavior. These statements are wild exaggerations of the reality. Even wild animals in-situ (i.e. roaming untamed in the wilderness) do not behave in a dangerous, unpredictable fashion. Every animal has species-specific behavior patterns. These behaviors can be learned and understood by the owners of such animals in captivity, especially since they are very similar to the behaviors of a domestic cat.

These behaviors are not greatly different from domesticated animals. For example, the pattern of naturally occurring behaviors in wolves and domestic dogs is virtually identical. A poorly socialized domestic dog with a careless or un-informed owner can be far more “dangerous” than a serval or a caracal.

Our society’s standard for a safe and lovable pet predator seems to be the domestic dog. However, even man’s self-proclaimed best friend has been known to injure and sometimes kill us. Statistics suggest that between 2 and five million dog bites occur yearly. In fact, during the five-year period between 1989 and 1994, domestic dogs killed 45 children. Why doesn’t this sad figure shock us more deeply?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that during a similar length of time, an estimated 4,605 children were killed by humans (Lindsay, Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training). Approximately 5 children lose their lives every day due to maltreatment and child abuse homicide (U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1995).

To further put this in perspective, we must now consider the fact that even with the enormous number of dog bites each year and the number of fatalities due to dog bites, a child is statistically safer in the presence of the average pet dog than with its own family! The number of children murdered each year by their own parents and guardians overwhelmingly overshadows the number of people killed by dogs. We ourselves are the most dangerous and unpredictable animal on the planet.

Am I saying that servals and other exotic cats are not dangerous? No, if we define “dangerous” as having the potential to cause injury to a human being. Every animal can be dangerous, and every human can be dangerous. One thing I teach my dog behavior clients is that all dogs have the potential to bite. They will show aggression if placed in the wrong situation, just as even the most benevolent of humans will react with violence when sufficiently provoked.

However, these cats are certainly no more inherently dangerous than a domestic dog of comparable size. In fact, they are probably safer than domestic dogs; there has never been a report of a serval killing a human being, and their owners are generally very responsible about keeping them controlled.

Whether a dog, a person, or an exotic cat eventually injures someone depends on an uncertain balance of genetics, temperament, environment, and the unique circumstances they find themselves in.

Horseback riding is an example of a far more hazardous animal-related activity. In fact, many stables and equine event centers post signs informing patrons that participation in equine activities is inherently dangerous. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 1218 people died while riding an animal between 1983 and 1994.

Horses have been known to viciously attack and kill their handlers and even people entering their pastures. A single kick from a horse can cause serious injuries or death. Horses are so powerful that even the strongest person stands no chance of restraining one if it is determined to break loose. When frightened, they flee and can easily trample one to death. Yet, horseback riding remains a popular youth sport.

Why doesn’t the neighbor’s 1200 pound horse or his Great Dane inspire as much fear as his cougar? I think two factors are involved: fear of the unknown and fear of predators. One of man’s most primal fears is that of being eaten by a wild animal, of being the hunted rather than the hunter. Police canine units are so effective in subduing violent individuals that officers report that criminals are often more afraid of a dog than a gun. Offenders are more willing to risk death than a non-fatal bite from a German Shepherd.

Horses and dogs are deeply familiar to us; we’ve lived with them for centuries, watched them on TV, read cute and fuzzy stories about them, and associate them with companionship and service. When one happens to attack or kill us, we see it as an anomaly.

We know little of exotic cats through direct experience; for most of us, exposure is limited to nature programs emphasizing their killing power and the occasional sensational news article announcing the mauling of some hapless zoo employee. When you think about it, it comes as no surprise that we develop a disporportionate fear of these animals.

The text of a failed Oregon ban bill stated “It is almost impossible for an exotic animal to adapt to traditional household settings” and that “Exotic animals are by nature wild and dangerous and do not adjust well to captivity.” These statements are both contradicted by the many thousands of examples of exotic companion animals living healthy, happy lives with Americans nationwide.

I would challenge anyone who truly believes those words to observe my serval Sirocco as he greets me with ecstatic purring and rubs against my legs when I come home from work, and then to watch him curl up beside me purring and licking my face as we watch a movie together. This is not rare; in fact it is typical of the experiences of the majority of exotic cat owners. This cat is as much a member of my family as the domestic dogs and cats you yourself may have lived with and loved.

The failed Oregon HB 3065 stated, “This 2003 Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, an emergency is declared to exist.” There is no emergency. Try to find any evidence of a public health or safety crisis being caused by the ownership of exotic animals. I assure you that you will find none. The number of people in the general public killed by escaped exotic cats in the past decade, across the entire United States, is believed to be zero. This includes not only small felines like servals, caracals, and bobcats but also lions, tigers, and cougars.

Now turn your attention to how much death and destruction has been caused by drunken drivers, parole violators, shoddy building contractors and even catholic priests. Shouldn’t we as a country focus our efforts on legitimate public safety threats, rather than discriminating against the safe and legitimate activities of the citizens?

These bills are redundant. There are already laws in place providing for the criminal prosecution of those whose actions (and the actions of their animals) recklessly endanger the public. Our civil system is already a more than adequate means to punish those whose animals harm or otherwise disturb members of the public and to provide restitution to those who have been harmed. The extremely low number of incidents involving exotic animals proves the effectiveness of these current laws.

This article may be reprinted in its entirety only. Permission is not granted to reproduce in edited form or to support the ending of exotic pet ownership.

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Can We Save the Rhinos From Extinction?

As custodians of this planet it is our duty to take care of, and be the voice for the magnificent creatures that walk the same soil as we do.

Unfortunately many are being slaughtered in horrific barbaric ways every day and may soon be extinct.

We need to be the voice of the animals. We need more voices so we can shout louder to stop the trade of Ivory and Rhino Horn and other animal body parts.

We need to help those on the ground,the rangers and volunteers risking their lives on a daily basis in order to protect these beautiful creatures form the monsters, poachers and hunters that dare to call themselves part of the human race.

As a child growing up through the 70s I was introduced to Joy and George Adamson through a book given to me called Born Free, which is the iconic story of Elsa the lioness who was orphaned, taken in and cared for and raised to an adult by Joy and George at their home near Lake Naivasha Kenya before finally being reintroduced back into the wild. The proceeds form the books and films have gone on to support many conservation projects all over the world since.

The amazing nature of Joys writing made me feel as if I actually knew all the characters and animals personally. I went on to read all of Joys books, Born Free. Living Free. Forever Free. Pippas Challenge. The spotted Sphinx and more.

I fell in love with the idea of Africa and its wild animals, and I dreamed of visiting and seeing the animals with my own eyes.

My dream came to fruition just a few years ago when I participated in a sponsored cycle ride through the Rift Valley in Kenya, raising money for charity.

I was actually lucky enough to cycle through some of the areas that Joy had written about in her books, I was on safari on a push bike, cycling through the National Parks of Kenya.

The main gate at Hells Gate National park is named ‘Elsas gate’ which refers to the name of the orphaned lioness Elsa from the iconic story Born Free.

It was amazing to see the animals in their natural environment with no fences ditches or wires, total freedom.

Since my return I have thought daily about what the human race is doing to destroy the remaining Rhinos and Elephants and other endangered species of Africa including entering the reserves and poaching endangered species and killing the rangers.

I recently heard about an amazing guy called Tony Fitzjohn who had worked with George Adamson reintroducing lions and rhinos and other endangered animals back into the wild.

Tony Fitzjohn is still very much alive and has also fairly recently written a book which he aptly titled ‘Born Wild’. It is his story of how after being a bit of a London bad boy he went deep into the African bush and became a wildlife warrior working with George Adamson up to the point when George was killed by Somalian bandits back in 1989.

Tony is still (2015) very hands on working in the field in Mkomazi in Tanzania preserving the lives and habitat of Rhinos and various endangered species.

All his work is funded purely by donations, and he works tirelessly as he has done for nearly 50 years re introducing lions leopards Rhinoceros and African hunting dogs..

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Manatees – Should You Touch Them In the Wild?

You have probably seen the “do not touch” signs for manatees and wondered why this would be so after hearing about places like Crystal Springs, Florida where people go to swim with the manatees. I’ve heard the stories too: manatees rolling over on their backs to have their bellies scratched. People saying how much the manatees seem to like it.

So what is the problem? If they like it, why shouldn’t you touch manatees in the wild?

Before I explain why in detail, let me just cut to the bottom line first and say that if you do touch them, you put them at higher risk for getting injured and/or killed. You also put the whole species at risk of dying out forever.

As manatees interact with people, they lose their natural fear of people. They also lose their natural fear of things associated with people that could hurt them like boats. In other words, if you take the “wild” out of a wild creature, it loses one of its best defense mechanisms: the instinct to avoid certain situations and run away when necessary. For a manatee’s protection, it is very important that it remain wild and retain its natural wild instinct.

Manatees are an endangered species. This means there are so few left in the world, they are barely hanging on by a thread. In fact, not only are their population numbers low, they are also declining at least 20% every generation! Losing just one manatee to a senseless pre-mature human caused death is a REALLY big deal at this point. It is critical that we do everything we can to protect them. Otherwise, we could lose this amazing creature forever within the next 100 years. It is a sad thought to think that your Great-Grandchildren could live in a world where there are no manatees in the wild.

Another important issue to consider is that manatees only reproduce every 3-5 years. The female stays pregnant for more than a year and manatee pups stay with their Mother for about 2 years. This means that manatees have a slow growing population under the very best of circumstances. They can’t quickly replace themselves like other mammals like rodents and rabbits who reproduce far more frequently. If you take out a single manatee, it can have a huge impact on the population at this point.

Boating accidents are one of the primary ways manatees get killed and seriously injured today — and boat traffic continues to increase across their entire range. Manatees can stay under water for 15 – 20 minutes. However, like all other marine mammals, they have to come to the surface to breath. If there is a boat in the area when they do, they can get hit by the hull or cut up by the propeller. To make matters worse, manatees are short-sighted creatures — they see better up close than far away. If a boat is traveling fast, they may not even see it coming before it is too late. Manatees that have become accustomed to people are more likely to associate the sound of a boat motor with people and they will be more inclined to move into areas where there is high boat traffic. The number of boat related accidents with manatees has skyrocketed over the last decade.

Another issue with manatees getting too comfortable with people is that not all people are nice and it only takes one bad apple to kill or injure a manatee. If manatees become accustomed to getting their bellies scratched by people, they may expect ALL human beings to be so friendly. Unfortunately, we know that not all human beings are this friendly. In fact, there are some who would actually get some sort of sadistic pleasure out of harming a manatee. It is much safer for the manatee if they don’t lose their instinct to avoid people.

It is especially important not to touch or even interact with a manatee Mother when she is with her pup. It takes two years for the Mother to teach her pup all they need to know to survive on their own. Interacting with the Mother and/or pup at this critical stage can result in the two of them getting separated. If this happens, the pup may not be ready to fend for itself and it could very well die, not to mention the negative effect it will have on the forlorn Mother.

Most people who are compelled to touch a manatee are this way because they love animals. They want to touch it because they are drawn to such a fascinating and wonderfully strange creature. They mean the manatee no harm. They just don’t realize that touching the manatee could actually harm it or put it at higher risk for being killed. It is mostly for those people who I am writing this article for.

Please understand that for the manatee’s sake, the best way to observe it is to keep a respectable distance. There is also a BIG advantage to you doing observing them in this way — a big advantage that you may not have realized before. When you observe a wild animal from a respectable distance, you get to see how the animal behaves naturally! As fun as it may be to touch a manatee, it is even funner to actually get to see what it does in the wild. If you go out with an ethical eco-tour operator, they can show you how to see animals at a relatively close range but without disturbing them. This can be one of the richest most memorable experiences you’ll ever have.

So, if you see a manatee while swimming or snorkeling, try to keep a respectable distance and just observe how it behaves naturally. The less you interact with it, the more acclimated it will be around you and the more natural it will behave. You will be richly rewarded for showing the animal this respect, I assure you! If you are with a group, be sure not to completely surround the manatee, even at a distance, as this will make them feel trapped.

If you are driving a boat and spot a manatee, be sure to slow way down to avoid any chance of a collision. If you are taking a guided excursion and someone else is driving the boat, if they don’t slow down, point out the manatee to them and ask them nicely to slow down. Sometimes when manatees surface for air, most of their body stays below water and just their snout sticks out. In these cases, they can be tricky to see and the driver of the boat may have missed it. In this way, even if you are not driving the boat, you can really help by keeping your eyes peeled for them.

Remember that manatees are a true treasure in this world that could disappear if we aren’t extremely careful about how we behave around them. Please pass this information on to anyone you know who cares about manatees and other endangered wild animals. You can help save them just by getting the right information out there.

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Photographing and Displaying Wildlife Pictures

If you are searching for a way to fill up those empty picture frames, it can be a great deal of fun taking your very own wildlife photographs. Even city dwellers might take opportunities to photograph critters, such as the birds that nest outside of the high rise office building windows. Wildlife may be either truly wild, living naturally, or it may be under the charge of humans, like animals in a zoo or aquarium. Either form of wildlife can provide glorious subject material for the amateur photographer. On your next day at your neighborhood zoo you might get such nice pictures of the animals you find yourself trying to find picture frames to display them in.

Capturing Wildlife Photography

Wildlife shots might be a little bit harder to snap than traditional subjects. It’s not very easy for you to ask one of the animals to smile and say “cheese”. However the time and energy put in taking wildlife shots may be truly worthwhile once you end up having memorable shots that you love. The tips that follow can help you shoot and capture beautiful wildlife images with ease:

• When you are taking pictures of wildlife, don’t just limit yourself to head shots. A much better image includes the environment the animal lives in, along with the animal itself. This offers a feeling of location to your photograph, and in many cases, the environment is quite spectacular anyway. Permit the background of your wildlife photographs to become a significant part in the overall composition of the picture while still giving significance to your wildlife subject.

• Don’t let yourself be afraid to take the wildlife photographs from a car. In some instances, it is possible to get close enough to the animal by walking to shoot its photograph, but generally, an approaching person scares off a wild animal. However, animals living in national parks tend to be adjusted to seeing cars along with other vehicles, and they’ll not feel as threatened by your presence in a car.

• When possible, work with a tripod. If you’re not in a position to bring your tripod along with you, then use some kind of support for your camera to help take the best wildlife shots.

• Pick a good time of day to photograph your subject. If a chosen wildlife subject may be shot when there are ambient lighting conditions present, this is the best time to shoot outdoor shots, period. Avoid taking pictures of wildlife in the middle of the day in direct sunlight. As a matter of fact, the perfect move to make is usually to shoot in the shade because this allows your subject to keep its subtle relationship between dark and light.

• To capture sharp images in low light, consider purchasing an image stabilization lens. This decreases the amount of movement that occurs with the camera inside your hand, which will result in the best photographs.

Displaying Your Wildlife Photography

The very best technique to display your wildlife photographs is in matted picture frames. If they are properly framed, a wildlife photograph is a superb way to add an exciting feel to the interior space. Whether you determine to display wildlife photos on your desk, mantel, side table, or any other position in the home or office, the best shots in carefully chosen picture frames can be a beautiful addition to your décor.

Taking photographs of wildlife and displaying your favorite wildlife shots in picture frames is usually invariably rewarding.

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Persian Carpets, Oriental Rugs: Designs With Animal Motifs

In the designs of Persian carpets and Oriental rugs, animals, birds, and insects are often displayed. They can be highly stylized, or extremely realistic like the wild animals on the hunting designs of some Persian rugs. Bat, bee, beetle, butterfly, crab, camel, deer, dog, dove, dragon, duck, lion, elephant, magpie, parrot, peacock, phoenix, rooster, scorpion, sparrow, squirrel, stork, tarantula, tiger, and tortoise are the animals most frequently found in the pattern of Oriental or Persian carpets. As you might have expected, most of these creatures have a symbolic value above and beyond their mere decorative presence and meaning.

The scorpion and the tarantula denote viciousness and poison, and also represent defense. They are often found in the borders of Caucasian rugs such as Kazak and Shirvan. Perhaps their continued presence beneath the feet teaches children to be fearless and therefore diminishes the risk of them being stung by attempting to run away from a live example. The camel denotes wealth and happiness. This is a logical symbol since this animal is both an invaluable means of transportation for desert nomads and a great source of food as well. The crab seems to have no symbolic significance, although it is, of course, one of the great astrological signs. Three universal power symbols are the dragon, the elephant, and the lion. The elephant is a symbol of royalty in India. The dragon symbolizes evil in Persia and death in India, whereas it represents a commanding power in China. The lion is an almost universal image for strength, authority, and in some countries such as India, royalty. Where fighting animals are displayed on Oriental and Persian carpets, the eternal struggle between good and evil is perhaps intended to be underlined. Among Chinese symbols, the bat represents happiness, the bee immortality, and the beetle denotes creation. The butterfly, often shown on the border of Chinese rugs, represents pride while the crow is a sign of ill luck both for the Chinese and the Indians. The dove universally indicates peace and companionship, and the duck is always a symbol of a faithful and happy marriage. The tortoise, perhaps because of its own slowness and extremely long life-span, naturally represents longevity and immortality as does the deer.

The parrot represents the courier of life whereas the rooster often symbolizes the devil and is found on some rugs as a charm against evil. The magpie, although seldom displayed on rugs, represents fortune and good luck. The squirrel is sacred to Hindus, signifying the God’s protection. Symbols of flowers and fruits, such as palm and willow, are also seen on carpets, often indicating deep religious meaning and heavenly immortality through death.

The presence of animals and birds in the designs of rugs is not only for decoration purposes, but also helps in determination of their origin, although it takes a long time and years of experience to pinpoint the exact place of birth for hand-knotted rugs. A serious interest in Persian and Oriental rugs, without a doubt, should have its own rewards if the student looks at, examines, and reads about as many rugs as he possibly can. The task becomes so much easier with technological advances which make all types of information so readily available.

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Preventing Animal Attacks

Thousands of animal attacks occur every year in the US. Ranging from small scratches to fatalities, these attacks could come from your neighbor’s dog or from a bear on a camping trip. Although some are more prone than others, any and every animal is capable of attacking. However, many of the attacks that occur could or should have been prevented.

Animal attacks usually occur when an animal fears that it is in danger. Their natural response is to fight for their lives. Whether we mean harm or not, our actions can cause an animal to believe that we are putting them in danger. This is usually more common for wild animals. The animals that we own as pets are much more accustomed to human interaction as a result less likely to become fearful of humans.

Owners of household pets are usually liable for any attacks from their pet. This means that pet owners should not only take steps to prevent injury to others but also to reduce their own risk of liability. There are a number of ways that pet owners can do this.

–          Keep your pets from leaving your property. You can keep your pets inside or in your back yard. It doesn’t matter how you do it. You just don’t want your pet to be able to run off of your property and attack another person.

–          Always be present and alert when your pet meets strangers. Being around when your pet meets a stranger will reduce your animals fear and reduce the chances that it will attack.

Wild animals are like an entirely different race of animal. They are used to fighting with other animals for food and for their safety. It is fun to go camping or to go into the wild and see these wild animals but the best way to avoid an attack from is simply to let them be. Viewing them from a distance is usually not a problem as most animals will just run off if they feel that they are in danger. If you try to get too close and the animal feels cornered, there is a good chance that the animal’s natural response will be to attack, so just be smart and don’t put a wild animal in that position.

When attacks occur due to another person’s negligence, the attacked does have the right to seek compensation for those injuries. To get more information on animal attacks or real animal attack cases that have been pursued, visit the website of this Chicago personal injury lawyer.

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Wildlife Art – Its History and Development


Some of the earliest of all known art (pre-historic cave and rock art) features wildlife. However, it might be more properly regarded as art about food, rather than art about wildlife as such.

Then for a lot of the rest of the history of art in the western world, art depicting wildlife was mostly absent, due to the fact that art during this period was mostly dominated by narrow perspectives on reality, such as religions. It is only more recently, as society, and the art it produces, frees itself from such narrow world-views, that wildlife art flourishes.

Wildlife is also a difficult subject for the artist, as it is difficult to find and even more difficult to find keeping still in a pose, long enough to even sketch, let alone paint. Recent advances such as photography have made this far easier, as well as being artforms in their own right. Wildlife art is thus now far easier to accomplish both accurately and aesthetically.

In art from outside the western world, wild animals and birds have been portrayed much more frequently throughout history.

Art about wild animals began as a depiction of vital food-sources, in pre-history. At the beginnings of history the western world seems to have shut itself off from the natural world for long periods, and this is reflected in the lack of wildlife art throughout most of art history. More recently, societies, and the art it produces, have become much more broad-minded. Wildlife has become something to marvel at as new areas of the world were explored for the first time, something to hunt for pleasure, to admire aesthetically, and to conserve. These interests are reflected in the wildlife art produced.

The History and development of Wildlife Art…

Wildlife art in Pre-history.

Animal and bird art appears in some of the earliest known examples of artistic creation, such as cave paintings and rock art

The earliest known cave paintings were made around 40,000 years ago, the Upper Paleolithic period. These art works might be more than decoration of living areas as they are often in caves which are difficult to access and don’t show any signs of human habitation. Wildlife was a significant part of the daily life of humans at this time, particularly in terms of hunting for food, and this is reflected in their art. Religious interpretation of the natural world is also assumed to be a significant factor in the depiction of animals and birds at this time.

Probably the most famous of all cave painting, in Lascaux (France), includes the image of a wild horse, which is one of the earliest known examples of wildlife art. Another example of wildlife cave painting is that of reindeer in the Spanish cave of Cueva de las Monedas, probably painted at around the time of the last ice-age. The oldest known cave paintings (maybe around 32,000 years old) are also found in France, at the Grotte Chauvet, and depict horses, rhinoceros, lions, buffalo, mammoth and humans, often hunting.

Wildlife painting is one of the commonest forms of cave art. Subjects are often of large wild animals, including bison, horses, aurochs, lions, bears and deer. The people of this time were probably relating to the natural world mostly in terms of their own survival, rather than separating themselves from it.

Cave paintings found in Africa often include animals. Cave paintings from America include animal species such as rabbit, puma, lynx, deer, wild goat and sheep, whale, turtle, tuna, sardine, octopus, eagle, and pelican, and is noted for its high quality and remarkable color. Rock paintings made by Australian Aborigines include so-called “X-ray” paintings which show the bones and organs of the animals they depict. Paintings on caves/rocks in Australia include local species of animals, fish and turtles.

Animal carvings were also made during the Upper Paleolithic period… which constitute the earliest examples of wildlife sculpture.

In Africa, bushman rock paintings, at around 8000 BC, clearly depict antelope and other animals.

The advent of the Bronze age in Europe, from the 3rd Millennium BC, led to a dedicated artisan class, due to the beginnings of specialization resulting from the surpluses available in these advancing societies. During the Iron age, mythical and natural animals were a common subject of artworks, often involving decoration of objects such as plates, knives and cups. Celtic influences affected the art and architecture of local Roman colonies, and outlasted them, surviving into the historic period.

Wildlife Art in the Ancient world (Classical art).

History is considered to begin at the time writing is invented. The earliest examples of ancient art originate from Egypt and Mesopotamia.

The great art traditions have their origins in the art of one of the six great ancient “classical” civilizations: Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, India, or China. Each of these great civilizations developed their own unique style of art.

Animals were commonly depicted in Chinese art, including some examples from the 4th Century which depict stylized mythological creatures and thus are rather a departure from pure wildlife art. Ming dynasty Chinese art features pure wildlife art, including ducks, swans, sparrows, tigers, and other animals and birds, with increasing realism and detail.

In the 7th Century, Elephants, monkeys and other animals were depicted in stone carvings in Ellora, India. These carvings were religious in nature, yet depicted real animals rather than more mythological creatures.

Ancient Egyptian art includes many animals, used within the symbolic and highly religious nature of Egyptian art at the time, yet showing considerable anatomical knowledge and attention to detail. Animal symbols are used within the famous Egyptian hieroglyphic symbolic language.

Early South American art often depicts representations of a divine jaguar.

The Minoans, the greatest civilization of the Bronze Age, created naturalistic designs including fish, squid and birds in their middle period. By the late Minoan period, wildlife was still the most characteristic subject of their art, with increasing variety of species.

The art of the nomadic people of the Mongolian steppes is primarily animal art, such as gold stags, and is typically small in size as befits their traveling lifestyle.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) suggested the concept of photography, but this wasn’t put into practice until 1826.

The Medieval period, AD 200 to 1430

This period includes early Christian and Byzantine art, as well as Romanesque and Gothic art (1200 to 1430). Most of the art which survives from this period is religious, rather than realistic, in nature. Animals in art at this time were used as symbols rather than representations of anything in the real world. So very little wildlife art as such could be said to exist at all during this period.

Renaissance wildlife art, 1300 to 1602.

This arts movement began from ideas which initially emerged in Florence. After centuries of religious domination of the arts, Renaissance artists began to move more towards ancient mystical themes and depicting the world around them, away from purely Christian subject matter. New techniques, such as oil painting and portable paintings, as well as new ways of looking such as use of perspective and realistic depiction of textures and lighting, led to great changes in artistic expression.

The two major schools of Renaissance art were the Italian school who were heavily influenced by the art of ancient Greece and Rome, and the northern Europeans… Flemish, Dutch and Germans, who were generally more realistic and less idealized in their work. The art of the Renaissance reflects the revolutions in ideas and science which occurred in this Reformation period.

The early Renaissance features artists such as Botticelli, and Donatello. Animals are still being used symbolically and in mythological context at this time, for example “Pegasus” by Jacopo de’Barbari.

The best-known artist of the high Renaissance is Leonardo-Da-Vinci. Although most of his artworks depict people and technology, he occasionally incorporates wildlife into his images, such as the swan in “Leda and the swan”, and the animals portrayed in his “lady with an ermine”, and “studies of cat movements and positions”.

Durer is regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern European Renaissance. Albrecht Durer was particularly well-known for his wildlife art, including pictures of hare, rhinoceros, bullfinch, little owl, squirrels, the wing of a blue roller, monkey, and blue crow.

Baroque wildlife art, 1600 to 1730.

This important artistic age, encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church and the aristocracy of the time, features such well-known great artists as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velazquez, Poussin, and Vermeer. Paintings of this period often use lighting effects to increase the dramatic effect.

Wildlife art of this period includes a lion, and “goldfinch” by Carel Fabrituis.

Melchior de Hondecoeter was a specialist animal and bird artist in the baroque period with paintings including “revolt in the poultry coup”, “cocks fighting” and “palace of Amsterdam with exotic birds”.

The Rococo art period was a later (1720 to 1780) decadent sub-genre of the Baroque period, and includes such famous painters as Canaletto, Gainsborough and Goya. Wildlife art of the time includes “Dromedary study” by Jean Antoine Watteau, and “folly of beasts” by Goya.

Jean-Baptiste Oudry was a Rococo wildlife specialist, who often painted commissions for royalty.

Some of the earliest scientific wildlife illustration was also created at around this time, for example from artist William Lewin who published a book illustrating British birds, painted entirely by hand.

Wildlife art in the 18th to 19th C.

In 1743, Mark Catesby published his documentation of the flora and fauna of the explored areas of the New World, which helped encourage both business investment and interest in the natural history of the continent.

In response to the decadence of the Rococo period, neo-classicism arose in the late 18th Century (1750-1830 ). This genre is more ascetic, and contains much sensuality, but none of the spontaneity which characterizes the later Romantic period. This movement focused on the supremacy of natural order over man’s will, a concept which culminated in the romantic art depiction of disasters and madness.

Francois Le Vaillant (1769-1832) was a bird illustrator (and ornithologist) around this time.

Georges Cuvier, (1769-1832), painted accurate images of more than 5000 fish, relating to his studies of comparative organismal biology.

Edward Hicks is an example of an American wildlife painter of this period, who’s art was dominated by his religious context.

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer was also painting wildlife at this time, in a style strongly influenced by dramatic emotional judgments of the animals involved.

This focus towards nature led the painters of the Romantic era (1790 – 1880) to transform landscape painting, which had previously been a minor art form, into an art-form of major importance. The romantics rejected the ascetic ideals of Neo-Classicalism.

The practical use of photography began in around 1826, although it was a while before wildlife became a common subject for its use. The first color photograph was taken in 1861, but easy-to-use color plates only became available in 1907.

In 1853 Bisson and Mante created some of the first known wildlife photography.

In France, Gaspar-Felix Tournacho, “Nadar” (1820-1910) applied the same aesthetic principles used in painting, to photography, thus beginning the artistic discipline of fine art photography. Fine Art photography Prints were also reproduced in Limited Editions, making them more valuable.

Jaques-Laurent Agasse was one of the foremost painters of animals in Europe around the end of the 18th C and the beginning of the 19th. His animal art was unusually realistic for the time, and he painted some wild animals including giraffe and leopards.

Romantic wildlife art includes “zebra”, “cheetah, stag and two Indians”, at least two monkey paintings, a leopard and “portrait of a royal tiger” by George Stubbs who also did many paintings of horses.

One of the great wildlife sculptors of the Romantic period was Antoine-Louis Barye. Barye was also a wildlife painter, who demonstrated the typical dramatic concepts and lighting of the romantic movement.

Delacroix painted a tiger attacking a horse, which as is common with Romantic paintings, paints subject matter on the border between human (a domesticated horse) and the natural world (a wild tiger).

In America, the landscape painting movement of the Romantic era was known as the Hudson River School (1850s – c. 1880). These landscapes occasionally include wildlife, such as the deer in “Dogwood” and “valley of the Yosemite” by Albert Bierstadt, and more obviously in his “buffalo trail”, but the focus is on the landscape rather than the wildlife in it.

Wildlife artist Ivan Ivanovitch Shishkin demonstrates beautiful use of light in his landscape-oriented wildlife art.

Although Romantic painting focused on nature, it rarely portrayed wild animals, tending much more towards the borders between man and nature, such as domesticated animals and people in landscapes rather than the landscapes themselves. Romantic art seems in a way to be about nature, but usually only shows nature from a human perspective.

Audubon was perhaps the most famous painter of wild birds at around this time, with a distinctive American style, yet painting the birds realistically and in context, although in somewhat over-dramatic poses. As well as birds, he also painted the mammals of America, although these works of his are somewhat less well known. At around the same time In Europe, Rosa Bonheur was finding fame as a wildlife artist.

Amongst Realist art, “the raven” by Manet and “stags at rest” by Rosa Bonheur are genuine wildlife art. However in this artistic movement animals are much more usually depicted obviously as part of a human context.

The wildlife art of the impressionist movement includes “angler’s prize” by Theodore Clement Steele, and the artist Joseph Crawhall was a specialist wildlife artist strongly influenced by impressionism.

At this time, accurate scientific wildlife illustration was also being created. One name known for this kind of work in Europe is John Gould although his wife Elizabeth was the one who actually did most of the illustrations for his books on birds.

Post-impressionism (1886 – 1905, France) includes a water-bird in Rousseau’s “snake charmer”, and Rousseau’s paintings, which include wildlife, are sometimes considered Post-impressionist (as well as Fauvist, see below).

Fauvism (1904 – 1909, France) often considered the first “modern” art movement, re-thought use of color in art. The most famous fauvist is Matisse, who depicts birds and fish in is “polynesie la Mer” and birds in his “Renaissance”. Other wildlife art in this movement includes a tiger in “Surprised! Storm in the Forest” by Rousseau, a lion in his “sleeping Gypsy” and a jungle animal in his “exotic landscape”. Georges Braque depicts a bird in many of his artworks, including “L’Oiseaux Bleu et Gris”, and his “Astre et l’Oiseau”.

Ukiyo-e-printmaking (Japanese wood-block prints, originating from 17th C) was becoming known in the West, during the 19th C, and had a great influence on Western painters, particularly in France.

Wildlife art in this genre includes several untitled prints (owl, bird, eagle) by Ando Hiroshige, and “crane”, “cat and butterfly”, “wagtail and wisteria” by Hokusai Katsushika.

Wildlife art in the 20th Century, Contemporary art, postmodern art, etc.

Changing from the relatively stable views of a mechanical universe held in the 19th-century, the 20th-century shatters these views with such advances as Einstein’s Relativity and Freuds sub-conscious psychological influence.

The greater degree of contact with the rest of the world had a significant influence on Western arts, such as the influence of African and Japanese art on Pablo Picasso, for example.

American Wildlife artist Carl Runguis spans the end of the 19th and the beginnings of the 20th Century. His style evolved from tightly rendered scientific-influenced style, through impressionist influence, to a more painterly approach.

The golden age of illustration includes mythical wildlife “The firebird” by Edmund Dulac, and “tile design of Heron and Fish” by Walter Crane.

George Braque’s birds can be defined as Analytical Cubist (this genre was jointly developed by Braque and Picasso from 1908 to 1912), (as well as Fauvist). Fernand Leger also depicts birds in his “Les Oiseaux”.

There was also accurate scientific wildlife illustration being done at around this time, such as those done by America illustrator Louis Agassiz Fuertes who painted birds in America as well as other countries.

Expressionism (1905 – 1930, Germany). “Fox”, “monkey Frieze, “red deer”, and “tiger”, etc by Franz Marc qualify as wildlife art, although to contemporary viewers seem more about the style than the wildlife.

Postmodernism as an art genre, which has developed since the 1960’s, looks to the whole range of art history for its inspiration, as contrasted with Modernism which focuses on its own limited context. A different yet related view of these genres is that Modernism attempts to search for an idealized truth, where as post-modernism accepts the impossibility of such an ideal. This is reflected, for example, in the rise of abstract art, which is an art of the indefinable, after about a thousand years of art mostly depicting definable objects.

Magic realism (1960’s Germany) often included animals and birds, but usually as a minor feature among human elements, for example, swans and occasionally other animals in many paintings by Michael Parkes.

In 1963, Ray Harm is a significant bird artist.

Robert Rauschenberg’s “American eagle”, a Pop Art (mid 1950’s onwards) piece, uses the image of an eagle as a symbol rather than as something in its own right, and thus is not really wildlife art. The same applies to Any Warhol’s “Butterflys”.

Salvador Dali, the best known of Surrealist (1920’s France, onwards) artists, uses wild animals in some of his paintings, for example “Landscape with Butterflys”, but within the context of surrealism, depictions of wildlife become conceptually something other than what they might appear to be visually, so they might not really be wildlife at all. Other examples of wildlife in Surrealist art are Rene Magritte’s “La Promesse” and “L’entre ed Scene”.

Op art (1964 onwards) such as M. C. Escher’s “Sky and Water” shows ducks and fish, and “mosaic II” shows many animals and birds, but they are used as image design elements rather than the art being about the animals.

Roger Tory Peterson created fine wildlife art, which although being clear illustrations for use in his book which was the first real field guide to birds, are also aesthetically worthy bird paintings.

Young British Artists (1988 onwards). Damien Hirst uses a shark in a tank as one of his artworks. It is debatable whether this piece could be considered as wildlife art, because even though the shark is the focus of the piece, the piece is not really about the shark itself, but probably more about the shark’s effect on the people viewing it. It could be said to be more a use of wildlife in/as art, than a work of wildlife art.

Wildlife art continues to be popular today, with such artists as Robert Bateman being very highly regarded, although in his case somewhat controversial for his release of Limited-Edition prints which certain fine-art critics deplore.

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A Wedding Invitation Business is Inexpensive and Easy to Do

If you’ve been thinking of opening a wedding invitation business, let me just say, “Do It!” It’s very easy to do and, depending on which way you decide to go with your business, the start up cost can be as little as a few hundred dollars.

There are three types of wedding invitation businesses. The first type, where you work as a manufacturer’s representative, is probably the least expensive in terms of start up costs, and also probably the easiest way to get into the business, especially if you’ve never had your own business before.

In this business model, you simply sell the manufacturer’s ready made cards, you act as their representative in your area. They provide you with samples and order forms, and there’s usually some type of training or support system in place to help you when you have questions. Although there may be some small investment required to get sample books from the manufacturers, you don’t have to invest in any stock or supplies with this method.

If you’ve never sold wedding invitations before, this is a good way to start. All the work is done for you. The invitations are already printed and packaged, the order forms are already created and the pricing is already set by the manufacturer. All you have to do is sell the invitations and you earn a commission for each sale from the manufacturer. This way, you can concentrate on learning how to run a business, and the ins and outs of selling wedding invitations, without investing any of your own money.

Another option you have is to sell Bespoke. These are invitations that you create yourself from card stock, pretty papers and embellishments like ribbons and pearls and flowers. This type of invitation business requires the largest investment of time and money, usually $1000 to $3000, but also has the largest profits because you can set your own prices. And if you’re the artistic type, you’re creations can command a very pretty penny. This business model, though, requires that you have more than a basic understanding of business because, since you’ll be making the invitations yourself, you’ll have to know how to control your costs and how much mark up to include in order to make your business run profitably.

The third type of wedding invitation business, which is the best method in my opinion, is the combined business. In this case, you sell sell pre-made blank wedding invitations and stationery, that you get from a supplier, and you finish it off on your home computer. With this method, you’re not working for a manufacturer, you’re purchasing the blank invitations from a supplier. The cards are already decorated on the outside, all you have to do is print inserts for the invitations and other assorted cards, and then put the inserts inside the invitations.

Opening a wedding invitation business that concentrates on selling the combined invitations is really the best way to go because you have very little initial investment, only the few blank cards that you want to start off carrying, and you get to set your own prices. While not quite as profitable as selling Bespoke, this method is more profitable than if you were a manufacturer’s agent.

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