New Orleans, Feb 6 (AP/UNB) — The jaguar that escaped last summer and killed nine animals is back on display at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans.
Valerio apparently chewed a hole in the 4-inch-wide (10-centimeter-wide) steel mesh roof above a column in the exhibit sometime before the zoo was to open July 15.
"We're assuming he probably went up to chase a possum or a raccoon or a cat or something that was walking across the top of his habitat," said Joel Hamilton, curator and vice president at the zoo.
Now the walls and roof are of 2-inch (5-centimeter) mesh, too small for Valerio's jaw. The twisted steel is also thicker.
The zoo also installed four video cameras and an electrified wire around the roof, including around the tops of internal columns. The "hot-wire" is used on a number of exhibits, but hadn't been installed in the jaguar exhibit before Valerio's escape.
"We have added that as another level of precaution," Hamilton said.
Tuesday was the 3-year-old adolescent's first time on public view since his July escape, when he killed five alpacas, an emu and three foxes. He had been allowed into the habitat for about an hour Monday, a day the zoo is closed.
Valerio spent a while Tuesday morning exploring a new ramp, two new platforms and snarfing chunks of meat that keepers had placed on them.
"That's his new playground," Anne Zwerner of New Orleans told Bonnie Jane Zwerner, 3, and her 2-year-old brother, Ryan Kent Zwerner. Their 6-month-old brother, Carson James Zwerner, shared a double stroller with Ryan Kent.
After Valerio ate the biggest chunk from the top of the ramp, he investigated the damp wood where the food had been set out.
"What is he eating right now?" asked Bonnie Jane.
"You know, like how you can lick the plate? He was licking his plate," her mother said.
Valerio is alone in the display. The zoo's female jaguar, Ix Chel, who had given birth to five cubs, was euthanized in September because of kidney failure. The zoo is looking for another female who is genetically compatible with Valerio, Hamilton said.
In the meantime, Hamilton said, the animal doesn't mind his solitude: "Jaguars, like most large cats — other than lions — are solitary animals."
Bonnie Jane wanted to know about the small crowd of reporters, photographers and videographers who had cameras and cellphones aimed at Valerio.
"He's famous today," Zwerner said. "He's always famous. But he's extra-special famous today."
Dhaka, Feb 5 (UNB) - The presence of gas in the digestive system is part of the normal process of digestion. Getting rid of this excess gas, either by burping or passing gas, is also normal. The gas not moving well through the digestive system or getting trapped may lead to gas pain.
Gas normally enters the stomach when we swallow air while eating or drinking but most of it is released when we burp. Gas forms in large intestines when bacteria break down some of the undigested food. In addition to other signs and symptoms, digestive system disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease may intensify gas pain.
Often, simple eating habit changes can help lessen the gas. But yoga can help, too. Certain yoga poses can help release excessive gas and improve the digestive system.
Here are five poses to help relieve gas-
Lie on your back with legs and arms extended. Take a deep breath and exhale, draw both the knees to the chest and clasp them with the hands. Hold on to the right knee and release the left leg and extend it along the floor. Maintain this pose for 30 seconds to one minute. Now, draw the left knee towards the chest and clasp your hands around the knees again. While holding the left knee, release the right leg and extend it along the floor. Hold this pose for the same amount of time. Finally, bring both knees to the chest and press the thighs on the abdomen, clasp hands around the legs as if hugging the knees. Then, try to touch the knees with the chin. Hold here for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Gently release the hands and keep legs straight. Take rest for 30 seconds.
Wide legged forward bend
From a standing position, step the legs 3 to 4 feet apart into ‘Five Pointed Star’. Exhale and lean forward, bring the palms to the floor under the shoulders. Use the arms to pull the forehead down towards the floor, bending the elbows towards the back wall. Now press into the feet, lengthening the legs to press the hips up towards the ceiling. Feel the spine being pulled in opposite directions as you press the head down and lift the hips up. Breathe normally and hold the posture for 30 seconds to 1 minute. To release, reach the arms out to the sides and inhale back up into standing position.
From standing position, drop your knees to the floor and spread them as wide as your mat. Keep the toes on the floor with the big toes touching each other. Now, make fists and place them on the thighs to touch the lower abdominal area. Take a deep breath, exhale slowly and drop your head on the floor or mat. Try to put pressure on the abdominal area with fists by touching the floor or mat with your forehead. Breathe normally and hold the pose for 1-2 minutes.
Half Spinal Twist
Sit erect with your legs stretched out. Make sure that your feet are placed together and your spine is absolutely straight. Now bend your left leg so that the heel of the left foot lies next to the right hip. Then, place the right leg next to the left knee by taking it over the knee. Twist your waist, neck and shoulders towards the right – make sure your spine is straight. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute and breathe normally. Exhale and release the right hand, waist, chest and neck. Repeat the steps on the other side and then exhale and come back to the front.
Lie on your stomach with your feet, hip width apart and your arms by the side of your body. Fold your knees, take your hands backwards and hold your ankles. Breathing in, lift your chest off the ground and pull your legs up and back, look straight ahead with a smile on your face. Your body is now curved and taut as a bow. Breathe normally and hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Now exhale and gently release your legs, chest and relax.
(Saldin Yogi is a registered Yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance, USA. The opinion expressed in this article is the writer’s own. To learn more about Saldin, please visit www.saldinyoga.com)
Geneva, Feb 5 (AP/UNB) — A Geneva art museum says Facebook prohibited it from promoting an upcoming exhibit with images of two statues — a half-naked Venus and a nude, kneeling man.
The Museum of Art and History took to Twitter to say it had wanted to post pictures of the statues on Facebook to promote the "Caesar and the Rhone" exhibit that opens Friday, but the social media platform "prevented us from it, because of their nudity."
The museum instead put the images on Twitter on Friday with the French word for "censored" over the statues' presumably private parts, adding: "Maybe it's time that this platform changes its policy for museums and cultural institutions?"
Facebook didn't immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.
The museum's 3½ -month exhibit pulls together works from the Louvre Museum in Paris, an antiquities museum in Arles, France, and other institutions to convey Caesar's invasion of the Rhone River region running through Geneva and southeast France to the Mediterranean.
The marble statue of "Venus of Arles" was made in the first century and depicts the goddess posed with one arm outstretched and a robe draped around her waist. The first-century B.C. bronze of a bearded captive shows him with his hands seemingly bound behind his back, symbolizing Rome's triumph over Gallic tribes.
Museum of Art and History spokeswoman Sylvie Treglia-Detraz said a first attempt to post the images drew a Facebook response: "We don't allow ads that depict nudity, even if it isn't sexual in nature. This includes the use of nudity for artistic or educational purposes."
The issue strikes at the differing attitudes about nudity in Europe, where topless and even nude beaches and parks aren't unusual, and in the United States, where government officials have been known to cover up topless statues.
Dhaka, Jan 31 (AP/UNB) -The first generic version of the popular Advair asthma inhaler has been approved by U.S. regulators.
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Mylan's version in three strengths for ages 4 and up.
The inhalers are used twice daily to keep airways open and prevent flare-ups of wheezing, shortness of breath and other symptoms of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. About 42 million Americans have those conditions.
The device contains two medicines, inhaled in a precise mixture. That complexity has stymied a couple of other companies developing generic versions of GlaxoSmithKline's Advair Diskus inhaler, which costs about $400 a month.
Generics generally are cheaper. Mylan didn't immediately respond to queries about when its inhaler, called Wixela Inhub, will be available or what the price will be.
Prayagraj, Jan 30 (AP/UNB) — Laxmi Narayan Tripathi expertly applies eyeliner while discussing religious matters with Hindu holy men and attending to an endless stream of visitors eager to touch her feet and receive her blessing.
Among India's best-known transgender activists, a Bollywood reality TV star and a former Asia Pacific representative to the U.N., Tripathi is capitalizing on the ruling Hindu nationalist party's emphasis on the nation's Hindu heritage to claim a place for transgender people among its religious elite, stirring both admiration and controversy.
Her newly formed Kinnar akhara, or monastic order, has set up camp at the weekslong Kumbh Mela festival, a series of ritual bathings that rotates among four Indian sites every three years and draws tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims.
The Kinnar camp on the edge of the festival grounds is adorned with images of Ardhanari, a half-male, half-female composite of the Hindu god Shiva and his consort Parvati, that religious scholars date to the 1st century.
Although hijras — the term Indians use to describe eunuchs, androgynous and transgender people — were an integral part of the ancient Hindu society described in the religion's Vedas scriptures, they have been marginalized in modern India, forced out of their family homes as children and often sold into sex trafficking.
Hindu families have continued ancient practices of paying hijras to dance at births and marriages, considering their presence auspicious, while simultaneously denying them access to these same rites.
One of the most orthodox orders, the Juna akhara, invited Kinnar to take part in the Kumbh's first royal bath — a saint-led procession into the river — on Jan. 15. Since then, Tripathi has been pushing for recognition by the umbrella group that sets rules for the akharas.
Tripathi, born a Brahmin, the highest Hindu caste according to the Vedas, said she was inspired to form the akhara after a 2014 Supreme Court ruling that found transgender citizens were a "third gender" due all rights and protections accorded by India's Constitution.
"I was not at all religious. But after the court verdict, I had a space already in my religion, so why should I see another religion than the one which I was born? What was mine had to be mine. We decided to reclaim it," she said.
Unlike other akharas, which are only open to Hindu men, Kinnar, founded in 2015, is open to all genders and religions. On the Kumbh's first bathing day, Tripathi led a train of 21 tractor chariots from their tent camp to the bathing ghats at the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers, with devotees following on foot, as observers showered them with flower petals.
One notable absence: naga sadhus, the ash-smeared Hindu ascetics — the onetime-armed defenders of the faith — naked except for prayer beads and garlands of marigolds who lead the akharas' procession on royal bathing days.
"We have stripped enough in our lives, let us just have fun," Tripathi said.
They bathed in the presence of Juna members.
"For them to bathe with one of the oldest and most orthodox of the monastic orders, I consider that quite revolutionary," said Ashok Row Kavi, chairman of the LGBTQ advocacy group Humsafar Trust.
Kavi said, though, that Tripathi had "put herself between a rock (and) a hard place" by challenging the akharas' all-male order on the one hand and, on the other, by siding with Hindu nationalists in their call for a temple to the Hindu god King Ram to be built on the site of a 16th-century mosque that Hindu hard-liners destroyed in 1992. Many hijras are Muslim.
The temple campaign is part of a broader effort by members and sympathizers of India's ruling Bharita Janata Party — led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi — to establish Hinduism as the center of Indian heritage, downplaying the multiculturalism that resulted from India's place on the old Silk Road and the hundreds of years of rule by Muslim Mughal kings and the British empire.
Kinnars celebrated their inclusion at Kumbh as a victory, but greater acceptance by Hinduism's most powerful leaders — in the religious and political spheres — remains to be seen.
Mahant Suresh Das, the head of Digambar akhara, one of the largest monastic orders, said a statute limits the number of orders to 13.
"Moreover, they are hijra," he said. "They are neither man nor woman. The nature has punished them for the misdeeds of their previous lives. We are pure who follow (ancient Hindu religion). The Kinnars are impure."
The Kinnars traveled to Prayagraj, recently renamed by the Hindu nationalist-led Uttar Pradesh state government from the Mughal-era Allahabad, in October 2017, when 60 transgender people were ordained as monks.
Kinnar saint Pushpa Maa said being ordained gave new meaning to her life, "which was otherwise reduced to seeking alms by dancing in marriage or during birth of a child," she said, adding, "I used to beg in trains or main crossings of the city. (Tripathi) helped us to erase that image. We are no longer a hijra but part of an organization which is fighting for our religious rights."