Kigali, Jun 25 (AP/UNB) — Five critically endangered eastern black rhinos from wildlife parks in three European countries were transported to Rwanda's Akagera National Park on Monday.
Two male and three female eastern black rhinoceroses were released into protective enclosures and will eventually be introduced into open plains to increase the genetic diversity of the park's rhino population, said officials.
The eastern black rhino is in critical danger of extinction with about 1,000 remaining in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The five rhinos from European zoos and safari parks will bring to 20 the number of eastern black rhinos in Akagera Park after a number of the rhinos were delivered from South Africa in 2017.
More than 50 black rhinos once lived in Akagera's savannah habitat, which is considered excellent for black rhinos, but their numbers declined due to wide-scale poaching and the last confirmed sighting of a rhino was in 2007.
"The newly translocated rhinos will bolster the founder group that we introduced in 2017, contributing to the reestablishment of a robust eastern black rhino population in Rwanda," said Jes Gruner, manager of Akagera Park. "This unique achievement represents the culmination of an unprecedented international effort to improve the survival prospects of a critically endangered rhino subspecies in the wild. Their arrival also marks an important step in Akagera's ongoing revitalization, and one that underscores the country's commitment to conservation."
Clare Akamanzi, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, said the eastern black rhinos are "crucial to wildlife conservation and biodiversity protection efforts, both in Rwanda and across Africa."
Africa's rhinos remain under intense pressure from poachers who kill them to meet demand for their horns in illegal markets, primarily in Vietnam and China.
Under the management of the African Parks group, Akagera has rebuilt its wildlife populations. In July 2015, Rwanda reintroduced lions to Akagera, 15 years after they had disappeared.
Rwanda is actively promoting tourism as part of its recovery from the genocide 25 years ago, in which some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.
Tourism has become one of Rwanda's largest earners of foreign exchange and 1.3 million visitors came to the country in 2017, according to government statistics. Many come to encounter the rare mountain gorillas and Rwanda is increasing the ability for tourists to see other big game such as elephants, lions, leopards and buffaloes, as well as rhinos.
The five eastern black rhinos were came from the Safari Park Dvur Králové in the Czech Republic, Flamingo Land in Britain and Ree Park Safari in Denmark. The five began their journey from the Czech Republic on June 23 following months of preparation at Safari Park Dvur Králové. Precautions were taken to minimize stress and ensure their well-being throughout the translocation process. They were flown to Kigali before being transferred by truck to Akagera Park.
Washington, Jun 24 (AP/UNB) — As Democratic presidential hopefuls prepare for their first 2020 primary debate this week, 74 medical and public health groups aligned on Monday to push for a series of consensus commitments to combat climate change, bluntly defined by the organizations as "a health emergency."
The new climate change agenda released by the groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Heart Association, comes amid early jostling among Democratic candidates over whose environmental platform is more progressive. The health organizations' policy recommendations, while a stark departure from President Donald Trump's approach, represent a back-to-basics approach for an internal Democratic climate debate that has so far revolved around the liberal precepts of the Green New Deal .
"The health, safety and well-being of millions of people in the U.S. have already been harmed by human-caused climate change, and health risks in the future are dire without urgent action to fight climate change," the medical and public health groups wrote in their climate agenda, shared with The Associated Press in advance of its release.
Among other things, the groups are pressing elected officials and presidential candidates to "meet and strengthen U.S. commitments" under the 2015 United Nations climate agreement from which Trump has vowed to withdraw. They're also pushing for some form of carbon pricing, although without any reference to potential taxation of emissions, and "a plan and timeline for reduction of fossil fuel extraction in the U.S."
Former Vice President Joe Biden's climate change plan, released earlier this month, tracks broadly with several of the medical and public health groups' priorities. While the groups call for a reduction in petroleum and natural gas use in transportation, they do not go as far as several of Biden's rivals in supporting an outright ban on the oil and gas extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which involves injecting high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals into rock.
Other groups signing onto the list of climate policy priorities include the American Lung Association, the American College of Physicians and multiple state-level and academic public health organizations. That the agenda's endorsing groups do not operate with "a political axe to grind" could help them draw more attention to climate change, said Ed Maibach, director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University.
For voters who view climate change "primarily as a threat to things in the environment, like polar bears," talking about the issue as a health problem could reframe their thinking, Maibach said.
"It's incredibly helpful when health professionals point out the actual reality of the situation, point out that this is also a threat to our health and well-being now ... and it's likely to get worse, much worse, if we don't take action to address it," he said.
Dhaka, Jun 24 (UNB) - It’s essential to take time out for travelling as vacations not only help release stress but also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, reveals a new study, reports the Indian Express.
The study, published in Psychology and Health journal, found that a vacation can help people reduce their metabolic symptoms and therefore their risk of cardiovascular disease.
“What we found is that people who vacation more frequently in the past 12 months have a lowered risk for metabolic syndrome and metabolic symptoms,” said Bryce Hruska, Assistant Professor at Syracuse University, US.
“Metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. If you have more of them you are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. This is important because we are actually seeing a reduction in the risk for cardiovascular disease the more vacationing a person does. Because metabolic symptoms are modifiable, it means they can change or be eliminated,” Hruska added.
For the study, the researchers included 63 employees eligible for paid vacation. The participants underwent blood tests and completed an interview assessing vacationing behaviour in the past 12 months.
The study’s findings showed that the risk for metabolic syndrome decreased by nearly a quarter with each additional vacation taken by participants.
Researchers suggest it is important for people to use the vacation time available to them.
“One of the important takeaways is that vacation time is available to nearly 80 per cent of full-time employees, but fewer than half utilize all the time available to them. Our research suggests that if people use more of this benefit, one that’s already available to them, it would translate into a tangible health benefit,” Hruska concluded.
Dhaka, Jun 24 (UNB) - The starving polar bear who has been wandering around the Siberian city of Norilsk for four days was captured Thursday by wildlife experts from the Royev Ruchey Zoo, The Siberian Times reported. She is in a "dangerous state" after eating human garbage and will be flown to the zoo tomorrow for treatment, experts said reports EcoWatch.
When the bear was first sighted, some speculated she had traveled from the Arctic seeking food. Royev Ruchey experts now say that might not be the case: it is typically males who travel long distances, and her coat is cleaner than would be expected after such a journey. Instead, they think she might have been caught by poachers as a cub and raised in or near Norilsk for her pelt. Stronger punishments for polar bear poaching were put in place last year, which may have prompted her captors to release her, the experts said.
An exhausted, starving polar bear has been spotted wandering around the Siberian city of Norilsk, Reuters reported Tuesday. It is the first time a polar bear has entered the city in more than 40 years.
The bear was first seen Sunday evening in an industrial part of the city's northeast, environmental services official Alexander Korobkin told AFP.
"He is still moving around a factory, under observation by police and the emergency services, who are ensuring his safety and those of residents," Korobkin told AFP Tuesday.
Both BBC News and Reuters identified the bear as female.
The bear had wandered hundreds of miles from its Arctic habitat to reach Norilsk, an industrial city known for nickel production. More polar bears have gone on land to search for food as the climate crisis has been shrinking the sea ice they depend upon. Parts of the Russian Arctic are melting twice as fast as they were 10 years ago, a 2018 study found. This has led to more interactions between bears and humans.
In February, Russia's Novaya Zemlya islands declared a state of emergency after polar bears entered the settlement of Belushya Guba to scavenge for food. Around 52 bears were counted near the settlement starting in December, and they were not afraid to enter human homes or buildings.
In 2016, polar bears besieged five scientists at a Troynoy Island weather station in the Arctic, interfering with their work and killing one of their dogs, BBC News reported.
Local wildlife expert Oleg Krashevsky told Reuters he wasn't sure why this particular polar bear had entered Norilsk, but said it was possible she had gotten lost, because she showed signs of poor vision.
The bear lay on the ground for hours at a time Tuesday, standing only sporadically to sniff for food. Her feet were covered in mud.
State wildlife experts will arrive in the city Wednesday to examine the bear, but Krashevsky said he wasn't sure what could be done for her, since she appeared too weak to return home.
Paris, Jun 24 (AP/UNB) — It was quite literally the final curtain for Kenzo's Carol Lim and Humberto Leon at Paris Fashion Week on Sunday, after the duo's eight successful years at the creative helm of the house came to a close.
With a 100-meter (110-yard) curtain on set, a surprise performance by singer Solange and thousands of guests in attendance, the duo's departure was a farewell to remember.
Here are some highlights from the final day of spring-summer 2020 men's and co-ed collections from the Kenzo show and others by Lanvin and Paul Smith.
A MONUMENTAL KENZO SHOW
For their final show, Leon and Lim went back to the homeland of house founder Kenzo Takada: Japan and its legendary seas.
More specifically, they paid homage to the Ama, a dying community of aging Japanese females who free dive into their late 70s.
"For over 2000 years (they) have dived to the ocean floor to forage for seafood such as shrimp, urchins or even pearls... They have become known as the last mermaids," Leon said.
An accessorized neoprene suit began the show, heralding the aquatic-theme with ankle bracelets in pearly coral clusters.
Men's bags were fashioned in wide netting.
A loose-fitting blue suit had a wrinkled look and white markings that suggested it had been dried on the sand and bleached in the sun. It was a beautiful piece.
In the co-ed show, the female models sported floor-length hairpieces while wearing anything from swimsuit hybrids and Japanese Okobo sandals in sea-lily print, to a silver dress that had segmented pieces around the bust to resemble shells.
Typical of Leon and Lim, the mermaid look was capped contradictorily by blue jeans and sneakers.
Still, it felt as if many of the exhaustive 74 designs had been seen before.
KENZO DESIGNERS' FINAL CURTAIN
A large seascape-covered curtain served as a powerful element in the show.
The monumental installation by photographer Yamazaki Hiroshi charted the sun's course over the ocean using a long exposure lens.
The visual metaphor for the passing of time had guests spellbound and called attention to the end of an era for the duo of American designers who've made a deep mark on the Paris fashion industry.
Loud bass music reverberated around the warehouse venue before the curtain was sucked up into the roof in a split second, as if by magic. The audience gasped.
The surreal air defined the entire presentation, as dancers moved by bending forward and back on Japanese "geta" clogs.
Solange, wearing alien-like beaded jewelry, appeared out of the darkness while conducting a brass band. She then sang "a capella" on the catwalk to raucous whoops.
LANVIN IS NAUTICAL BUT NICE
Inside a lofty indoor swimming pool, Bruno Sialelli unveiled his highly-anticipated sophomore collection for Lanvin.
Given that the former Loewe staffer is the storied house's fourth designer in four years, there are lots of hopes pinned on him to rescue the world's oldest continually running couture maison from the creative wilderness.
Channeling styles that might be described as "sailor punk," Sialelli did just that — rising to the challenge with a show that overflowed with clever ideas.
Rich color — which seems to be Sialelli's touchstone thus far — was used with panache in a carefully stage-managed set that featured men's and women's designs. The pale blue swimming pool doors and multicolor wall mosaics were visible in the background.
A saffron hoodie accompanied a pair of baggy indigo waterproof pants. A duffel coat was fashioned in Air Force blue. And a white sailor's collar looked like a large, almost diagonal lapel in the Asian style.
Elsewhere, the collection was just plain fun, with a boat print on what resembled a silvery loose pajama.
PAUL SMITH'S SHOULDERS
The ultra-wide shoulders that defined London in the late 1970s were the focus of British fashion icon Paul Smith, who used the exaggerated style in a pared-down collection.
High, retro-looking buttons on a suit jacket also stood out, as did oversized pockets that looked like a separate layer of clothing.
Smith is a master colorist.
For spring, women's shades included maize, pastel gray, dandelion and baby pink. The men fared just as well in vivid auburn, sage and blood red.
An ochre coat with crimson lining had perhaps the most sumptuous color combination seen this season.
The one-time provocateur Hedi Slimane continued in his more toned-down direction at Celine this season in his second menswear showing.
The signature shaggy-haired models this spring raided the wardrobe of the 1970s. Delivered in fine and neat silhouettes, denim jackets, flared jeans, black leathers pants mixed up with a black shimmering tuxedo, flower brooches and a retro military jacket with epaulettes and gold buttons.
A donkey brown check teachers-style suit jacket, meanwhile, came with shirt and tie to provide a touch of humor, while a glistening snake jacket provided a touch of spice.
But the colors were generally muted, as was the collection as the whole.
Still, demonstrating Slimane's continuing cachet, Bernard Arnault, Europe's richest man and CEO of LVMH, the luxury group that owns Celine, sat pride of place on the front row with his daughter Delphine.
Arnault's arch-rival Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering, used to sit in the same place when Slimane designed for Saint Laurent.