Horns for Sale: South Africa lifts ban on rhino horn trade

first_imgToday the South African high court ruled the selling of rhino horns to be legal within the country, placing an already endangered animal in even greater jeopardy.The ban on rhino horn is being lifted after a year in which poachers killed more than 1,000 of the endangered rhinos. Seventy percent of the rhino population resides in South Africa, and poaching has increased dramatically in the past decade. With the lifting of the rhino horn ban, many conservationists fear that poaching will increase even further. “We will see a significant rise in poaching, as poachers use the significant loopholes to cater to the increased demand for horn in the Far East,” said Morgan Griffiths, of the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa, in National Geographic.Supporters of the legalization of rhino horn trade believe that the use of rhino farms, where they can trim off the rhino’s horn which grows back in three years, will put an end to the over poaching of these animals.Most conservationists disagree. They believe the lifting of the ban will lead to even more demand for the endangered rhino’s horns.“Legalizing domestic rhino horn trade in South Africa opens the door to further illegal exports of rhino horn,” Susie Watts of WildAid‘s Africa Program, told The Dodo in a statement. “There is no domestic demand for rhino horn products and, as the pro-trade lobby very well knows, the reason why the moratorium was implemented in the first place was to prevent domestic trade from being used as a cover for smuggling.”last_img read more

The Mandalorian Season 2 Episode 2 Recap: Baby Yoda Loves Frog Eggs

first_imgCornered, the Mando pushes into gear and tries to flee, diving into a nearby planet’s atmosphere to evade the New Republic patrol. Hurtling through the clouds and pulling off some brave manoeuvres isn’t enough to lose his tail though, but he’s eventually able to find a hiding spot after entering an ice canyon. The trouble with an ice canyon is that it’s impossible to tell if there’s earth beneath a spot or not. The Razor Crest crashes through the landing base, falls onto the surface below, and gets severely damaged. A frustrated Mando tells the Frog Lady that the deal is off, and tells her to go to sleep as he will inspect his spaceship in the morning when the temperatures are better.The Frog Lady is quite impatient though, and spots the severed head of the droid Zero, lying in the hull of the Razor Crest. The Mando is rudely woken up from his slumber by its familiar voice (Richard Ayoade) as the Frog Lady reveals that she got hold of its “vocabulator” — an instant voice translator — as they were unable to communicate. Mando didn’t speak or understand Frog, while the Frog Lady only understood the common tongue but couldn’t speak it. She then explains that he must get them to Trask because these are the last eggs she will ever lay, and the planet her husband has found is the only one hospitable for their species. She then reminds him about the Mandalorian code, which finally gets him to start the repairs.Can someone convey that to Baby Yoda too? He’s currently the biggest threat to the survival of the Frog Lady’s family line, having slowly been consuming her eggs whenever no one is looking. Baby Yoda, you monster! Given that he’s constantly keeping track of where the eggs are, it’s Baby Yoda who points to the Mando that the Frog Lady has taken off with her eggs. The two find her in a nearby hot water pool, with the eggs being given the heat they need. The Mando notes that it’s not safe and begins to pick up the eggs, and reprimands Baby Yoda — again — when the green critter unashamedly tries to grab an egg for himself, right in front of the Frog Lady.mandalorian season 2 episode 2 baby yoda mandalorian season 2 episode 2Baby Yoda is sad that he can’t eat more Frog eggs in The Mandalorian season 2 episode 2Photo Credit: Disney/LucasfilmPushed away from the eggs he loves, Baby Yoda starts exploring the rest of the ice cave. He finds and breaks into another tomb-shaped egg and consumes the offspring whole — good god, does the Mando not give Baby Yoda any food or what? — which somehow wakes up all the other eggs around it. Tiny white spiders, of all sizes, start to stream out of the eggs and are soon followed by their elder brothers and sisters — and the giant mother spider. With hundreds of spiders on their tail, the Mando picks up Baby Yoda and asks the Frog Lady to make a run for it.As they run through the ice cave, the spiders begin to surround them for all sides, and the Mando blasting off a few here and there doesn’t deter them at all. He then deploys a series of explosives to hurt the mother spider but its progeny keep following them, right into the Razor Crest. Somehow, the three — the Mando, Baby Yoda, and the Frog Lady — make it into the cockpit, which is then closed shut by Mando as he uses his arm flamethrower to fry off the immediate invaders. A few remaining ones climb over Baby Yoda, and The Mandalorian season 2 episode 2 suggests that he’s vapourised them with his mind powers, only to reveal a tiny blaster in the hands of the Frog Lady.Just as they are about to take off in the Razor Crest, the mother spider bursts in from the top and pierces through the glass hull of the cockpit. But then, the giant spider falls flat on its face as red blasters light up the air outside the Mando’s spaceship. He exits the cockpit to find out who the miraculous rescue party is, and discovers to his surprise, that it’s the same New Republic X-wing pilots he had fled from earlier. As a wondering Mando looks at them, the elder pilot explains that they ran through the full story of what happened on the New Republic prisoner transport.mandalorian season 2 episode 2 dead spider mandalorian season 2 episode 2Pedro Pascal in The Mandalorian season 2 episode 2Photo Credit: Disney/LucasfilmThough Mando busted out a prisoner (who was later blown up), he also left behind three of his back-stabbing teammates, who were themselves “priority targets on a wanted register.” Additionally, he risked his life to protect a New Republic lieutenant. Mando expects to be arrested, but the pilots let him go because these are “trying times”, which is a good reminder that The Mandalorian is set just five years after the collapse of the Empire in 1983’s Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. Mando tries to go a step ahead and ask for their help in fixing his broken ship, but the pilots rebuff him and remind him to fix his transponder just so they won’t blow him up the next time they spot him.He then gets to work on the repairs himself, before taking off for Trask with one of two engines barely functioning. Will the next episode be another going-nowhere-chapter that finds the Razor Crest floating in space without power? Hopefully not — The Mandalorian season 2 only has eight episodes and it needs to get going now — but if that does happen, at least one character will be very happy: Baby Yoda, who has somehow sneaked another (precious) Frog egg that he happily gulps down.The Mandalorian season 2 episode 2 “Chapter 10: The Passenger” is now streaming on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar wherever available. New episodes release Fridays around 1:30pm IST. Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian season 2 episode 2.Chapter 10: The Passenger — directed by Peyton Reed (Ant-Man) and written by The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau — has just one new character and was made up of just around five scenes in total. The new character is a Frog Lady — that’s the only name we’re given — who is voiced by animal vocalisation veteran Dee Bradley Baker (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and played by Misty Rosas, who is also the performer for the “I have spoken” alien Kuiil.The mechanic Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) introduces the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) to the Frog Lady, who needs passage to her husband on the estuary moon called Trask in the system of the gas giant Kol Iben. The Frog Lady is carrying a cylinder of eggs that need to be fertilised soon, if she is to keep her family tree alive. Everyone’s favourite “the Child”, or Baby Yoda as he’s better known, is instantly attracted to the transparent cylinder with a bright-blue liquid and the floating eggs, for all the wrong reasons as we will learn.- Advertisement – For Mando, there’s one caveat: he can’t turn on the hyperdrive because it will kill all her spawn. Determined to find other Mandalorians, our titular protagonist agrees. Of course, travelling “sublight” is going to come with its own problems. And it does. The Mando encounters a New Republic patrol of two — one of the pilots is played by Star Wars veteran and The Mandalorian executive producer Dave Filoni — who request him to send a “ping”. He’s naturally hesitant as it will allow them to look into the Razor Crest’s past, which isn’t rosy, as you might remember. In The Mandalorian season 1 episode 6, Mando boarded a New Republic prisoner transport to bust someone out.mandalorian season 2 episode 2 x wing new republic mandalorian season 2 episode 2The Mando is greeted by a New Republic X-wing in The Mandalorian season 2 episode 2Photo Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The Mandalorian gave us possibly its most frivolous episode to date with season 2 episode 2 — titled Chapter 10: The Passenger — making the Star Wars series feel like it’s already spinning its wheels. That’s not a good look one episode into a new season. Sure, The Mandalorian has never been one for pushing its plot at a rapid rate, but this is going nowhere at this point. That tease from The Mandalorian season 2 episode 1 “Chapter 9: The Marshal”, featuring Jango Fett actor Temuera Morrison is essentially forgotten. And yes, you could argue that episode 1 didn’t do much for the plot either, but it was thrilling to watch and offered a lot more.The Mandalorian Season 2 Episode 1 Recap: Belly of the Beast- Advertisement –last_img read more

Domino’s head’s new home a stunner

first_imgLarge windows make the most of the view.His new home in Hamilton was built in 1960 but has been significantly upgraded and has a massive 910sq m block under it and “spectacular” views over the Brisbane river.It underwent a contemporary renovation beforehand, with all the entertainment space designed to make the most of views toward the Gateway Bridge, river and city skyline.The five bedroom, four bathroom, four car garage home was marketed by Alma Clark Real Estate Ascot as a “luxurious family residence” and comes complete with two kitchens, butler’s pantry, formal and informal living and dining rooms, temperature-controlled wine cellar and full security.FREE: GET THE COURIER-MAIL’S REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO INBOX Domino’s CEO Don Meij didn’t want to move too far away in Hamilton. Picture: Annette DewBRISBANE success story Don Meij of Domino’s Pizza has great taste and the cash to back it up after selling out of one of the Queensland capital’s best homes for another one two minutes away.Freshly cashed up after cashing out of the stunning Hamptons’ style home he’d bought from Fone Zone founder David McMahon, Mr Meij didn’t have to look too far for somewhere else to unpack the cutlery.In fact his new home was a mere two minute drive from the designer house he’d agreed to sell after a keen househunter offered him $11m for the property.Considering Mr Meij had paid $8.615m for Hamptons’ style home, that’s a gain of almost $1.2m a year for him.The home in Hamilton sold for $7.25m.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market19 hours agoThat’s truly open plan.last_img read more

Dominica: The world’s leading eco-tourism destination?

Sharing is caring! 46 Views   no discussions Share The Freshwater Lake in Dominica.BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Of the 249 places in the world in which human beings live and work, the small Caribbean island of Dominica (751 sq km) ranks at 187 in size.  Even so, it is bigger than well-known Caribbean tourism destinations such as St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Cayman Islands, St Kitts-Nevis, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and St Marten.  Two reasons account for Dominica being left behind by neighbouring Caribbean islands in the development of tourism. The first is that it has no white, sandy beaches – the iconic symbol of “Caribbean tourism”; and, second, it doesn’t have an international airport.  It is served by small aircraft operated by American Eagle from Puerto Rico, and LIAT for inter-island transportation.   Nonetheless, the island is a veritable garden of trees, plants, and colourful flowers.  Much of it is luxuriant rain forest, majestic in its spread over mountain ranges and into lush valleys. The entire terrain is adorned by gushing waterfalls; narrow, flowing rivers and hot sulphur springs.  Not surprisingly, it is home to hundreds of species of birds. Private operators in Dominica have also developed a vibrant whale-watching industry, taking advantage of the country’s marine life, and providing an added attraction for its visitors.  The island, therefore, is as an eco-tourism paradise.In an effort to expand the tourism plant on the island, the government has considered borrowing US$60 million from the Export-Import Bank of China.  The loan would amount to 16 per cent of GDP and, if it is consummated, Dominica would not achieve the debt to GDP ratio of 60 per cent which the IMF considers desirable.  For the time being, this potential borrowing from China is on hold unless a private sector partner can be identified.But, millions of dollars have already been ploughed into spectacularly natural eco-tourism resorts in Dominica by dedicated private investors, and there could be even more financiers if the country’s future as a desirable eco-tourism destination had a greater level of confidence than now exists.  Dominica is agriculturally well-endowed.  But that endowment is in the ground and doesn’t translate itself into income and employment.  The island’s last viable agricultural product, bananas, was dealt a mortal blow by a combined US-Latin America challenge at the World Trade Organization to its traditional preferential market in the European Union. A once vibrant small farmer community of some 9,000 persons has been reduced to about 500. Still, Dominica has the capacity to supply neighbouring Caribbean islands with fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance if it can overcome two constraints: no regular and scheduled refrigerated-transportation; and high quality packaging that satisfies the requirements of the tourist markets in these islands.  Both are a tall order, and beyond the resources of the Dominica government alone.  Therefore, eco-tourism is the star that shines brightly in Dominica’s economic sky.  It could guide the country to a prosperous future, but this will depend substantially on the ecological policies that any government of the country pursues.  Among those policies should be a serious and unshakeable commitment to maintaining Dominica as an environmentally friendly island. This means any government there will have to adopt and maintain international best practices with regard to the island’s maritime and land resources, creating both as sanctuaries. It will also have to instill in its young people, from kindergarten to tertiary education, that a foremost value of Dominican society and culture must be the protection and preservation of the environment.Already the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) – an influential conservation organisation with a global outreach – is working with the Ministry of Education in a very popular “Floating Classroom” project in which fifth graders study the ocean as an integrated part of their school curriculum. The project combines cross disciplinary classroom study, hands-on learning during an ocean excursion, and a student-led conservation initiative.  Children who undertake the programme have become the custodians of their heritage in the sea, and are strong advocates of conservation, showing their elders the benefits of protecting and preserving their natural environment.It is also in Dominica’s national interest for the government to assert itself as a Champion of the environment in the international community.  In return, Dominica would earn the respect of the world’s environmental and conservation organizations, and the support of their millions of members worldwide.As an example, after the Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, moved his government away from supporting Japan’s continuing determination to overturn rules at the International Whaling Commission so as to legitimize killing of hundreds of whales, including endangered species, Greenpeace – another major international conservation organization with regional offices in 48 countries – told its millions of supporters: “If you are going to spend your hard-earned cash on a vacation to a Caribbean island, why not make it to one that has made the commitment to ending whaling.” That is a mighty message, one that has already brought many new Eco-tourists to Dominica and could bring thousands more every year, particularly if the call is repeated by every major conservation organisation in the world.  Such support is possible if Dominica demonstrates that in all aspects of conservation it will be amongst the first countries to stand-up. Undoubtedly there would be a coalition of international groups ready to reward the Dominican people by putting their millions of members behind them.  If only a small percentage of the worldwide supporters of conservation and environmental groups said ‘Yes to Dominica” for their vacations, its tourism would boom and contribute substantially to the country’s GDP and to employment and foreign exchange earnings. The demand for seats into Dominica would encourage large airlines to allocate much more space to the island on their flights into Caribbean hubs such as Antigua, Barbados, Guadeloupe and Martinique.  In light of the money that could be made, feeder carriers, such as LIAT, might then be ready to schedule pick-up fights from the hubs into Dominica.The potential for sustainable economic growth, led by eco-tourism, is great.  Dominica could become the world’s leading eco-tourism destination. Sustainable environmental policies by its government and strategic alliances with global environmental bodies could take it there.  By: Sir Ronald SandersCaribbean 360 News LocalNews Dominica: The world’s leading eco-tourism destination? by: – May 6, 2011 Tweet Share Share read more