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Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI posted this yesterday -- with the title, "Hippos, Turtles, and Cats, Oh My" -- but many didn't see it.

This morning, I've edited and updated this diary after seeing this story:  "Tsunami Could Make Turtle Species Extinct," and I realized the importance of sharing with you, again, the links below to the World Turtle Trust and's Tsunami fund.  [PHOTO: A hawksbill sea turtle, hunted almost to extinction for its spectacular shell.]

Please share with your friends and family the links in the section below, THE HELPING GROUPS -- THEY NEED YOUR SUPPORT.  We can perhaps save these turtles from extinction.

I'd also like to draw your attention -- which I failed to do yesterday -- to the economic benefit of Humane Society International's work (HSI's Asian tsunami disaster fund).

HSI is helping subsistence farmers save their livestock so that they can continue to make a living. (See quote below the fold with photo of HSI's Asian director Sherry Grant.)

So I searched for groups that are on site in the tsunami areas, and are actively helping orphaned pets, farm animals, and wildlife.

This diary is devoted to what I discovered about:

  1. the plight of endangered wildlife

  2. the plight of many animals

  3. groups that are helping, and how you can help too. See donation links below.

Don't miss the story of the baby hippo below.  There's even a rebuke for the fundamentalists saying the tsunami is God's punishment:

Of note, before we go on, a word about our fantasies about animals:

We were charmed by countless press reports that animals, with their acute senses, sensed the tsunami and mostly survived. But:

In India, the Blue Cross told the Humane Society that thousands of dead animals lined beaches after the tsunami struck. It also said that all the animals at the Point Calimere wildlife sanctuary, including 1,800 black buck, were probably dead. Yahoo


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[TODAY's UPDATE] Tsunami Could Make Turtle Species Extinct, AP/Yahoo, Jan. 9, 2005

At least 24 turtles swept up by the waves have been found on the shores of Phuket island, some dead, others with cuts, scrapes and broken shells.

But the titanic wave also swept away about two dozen endangered olive ridley turtles that were part of a breeding program which had been increasing their numbers.

"In the worse-case scenario, the effect of the tsunami could make some species of sea turtles extinct," said Kongkiat Kittiwattanawong, a marine biologist at Phuket Marine Biological Center, said.  


Sri Lankan Turtles Even Rarer in Wake of Tsunami, Jan 7, 2005:

BENTOTA, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Sri Lankan conservationist Kithsiri Kannangara wipes a tear as he stands over a patch of sand and broken wire mesh, the only surviving incubation pit of his hatchery for endangered sea turtles.

Twelve days after giant tsunami waves destroyed the hatchery, washing away 20,000 eggs, seven rare green turtles [GREEN TURTLE IN PHOTO ABOVE RIGHT] and $500,000 worth of research equipment, Kannangara is still trying to come to terms with the loss. ...

"The beaches are all gone, they won't be able to nest here," said Harry Andrews, director of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Environmental Team.

See also:  CNN's report on the turtles' plight, "Saving Sri Lanka's sea turtles" and The Sunday Observer story, "Preventing a 'turtle' disaster."

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usA BABY hippopotamus, swept into the Indian Ocean [OFF KENYA] by the tsunami, is finally coming out of his shell thanks to the love of a 120-year-old tortoise.

Owen, a 300kg, one-year-old hippo, was swept down the Sabaki River, into the ocean and then back to shore when the giant waves struck the Kenyan coast.

The dehydrated hippo was found by wildlife rangers and taken to the Haller Park animal facility in the port city of Mombasa.

Pining for his lost mother, Owen quickly befriended a giant male Aldabran tortoise named Mzee - Swahili for "old man".

Haller Park ecologist Paula Kahumbu said the pair were now inseparable.

"It is incredible. A hippo has adopted a male tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to be very happy with being a mother... The hippo follows the tortoise the way it follows its mother.

"The hippo was left at a very tender age. Hippos are social animals that like to stay with their mothers for four years."

Officials are hopeful Owen will befriend a female hippo called Cleo, also a resident at the park. Daily Telegraph, Jan. 8, 2005


The tsunami has left millions of animals -- both companion animals and farm animals -- without food, water, shelter, or companionship.

"I had to hold back the tears at the sight of a dog standing on the foundation of a demolished house.  He looked out from the rubble to the river as if anticipating the arrival of his owner who would never return". HSIAsia

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI help a wonderful group rescue cats in Sequim, WA.  When I saw CNN footage of a sickly abandoned cat, my heart sank. (Right, Yahoo/AFP: "A cat walks among the debris in search of food on the worst hit Thai island of Phi Phi.")

While Anderson Cooper was reporting, dogs were hanging around him.  He petted them, talked about their plight, but didn't mention giving them food.

And many animals are now regarded as dangerous because of disease or aggression:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usPhoto right: "A dead dog is pulled away as a government worker waits with lethal injection to kill stray dogs near the government hospital in Nagapattinam, India, Wednesday Jan. 5, 2005. Civic workers have been ordered to kill packs of stray dogs that have started attacking tsunami survivors as their behavior changed after eating human and animal flesh from rotting carcasses ..." (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan, AP - Jan 06, 2005)

The remarkable team from Humane Society International (the international arm of HSUS -- Humane Society of the United States) sees the interconnectedness of humans to animals:

The tsunami that pounded South Asia last week has created a second tier of victims: animals.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usDogs are homeless in Thailand. Cows, water buffalo and goats have died in Sri Lanka. [F]arm animals are roaming destroyed grazing land and drinking polluted water since their owners have died, said Sherry Grant [SEE HER PHOTO ABOVE RIGHT], Asia director for Humane Society International. [See below for contact info.]

Humans and animals have a "dynamic connection," Grant said during a three-country tour of Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

"The animals and their well-being ... connect to the humans because they are the providers" and can generate economic recovery, she said. Subsistence farmers "need those cattle, they need those oxen to pull their plows, to work those fields."

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usDogs are roaming what appear to be their hometowns in Thailand ... volunteers have supplied 800 kilograms (1,764 pounds) of dog food.

"One of the concerns we have ... while a farmer is trying to get himself back on his feet economically, he may not be able to feed those cows ... those cows are his livelihood."

[T]he Humane Society will likely provide financial aid, equipment, create dog feeding programs and clean watering holes.

Grant also noted that dogs were important companions for humans, but devastated families were now having to decide if they can feed one more mouth.

Dog owners in Phuket began dropping their pets off at a new shelter, which Grant said the government now can no longer afford to operate.

Dogs "fill the void of loneliness, and, my God, is there going to be some big voids in these families," she said.

"Animals across South Asia in danger after tsunami muddies water, kills owners," Jan 4, 2005


+ HSIAsia

Note: See photo right, below, of a dog being vaccinated -- thanks to HSIAsia -- at a refugee camp,  Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

Donate to HSUS's Diaster Fund - Asian Tsunami

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIn the wake of the massive tsunami ... Humane Society International (HSI), the international arm of The HSUS, is receiving many reports from local humane organizations in the areas... assessing the animal situations in Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, and Indonesia and plans to work with our many international partners ... to deliver relief to animal victims and their caretakers.

... Currently, food, water, and shelter for displaced animals appear to be the most urgent needs. HSI is receiving monetary donations to support our local partners to provide appropriate assistance. Your tax-deductible gift will be used to support this disaster and other animal disasters worldwide.

You saw HSI Asia DIrector Sherry Grant's photo above. Here are links to her fascinating Web logs on conditions after the tsunami:  Web Log Day 1 (including her amazing, politically complicated story about rescuing a dolphin) and Web Log Day 2

+ A group of volunteers from South Africa's National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) is on the ground:

... volunteers in Asia have had to cut loose tethered goats and cattle, rescue cats, dogs and even snakes, and feed surviving dogs on city beaches.

Displaced animals needed to be fed, treated and placed in safe areas (impounded if necessary) to prevent scavengers being victimised or inhumanely treated for scavenging. Injuries needed to be treated and animals beyond saving put out of their misery in a humane way.

Donkeys and horses should be found and treated not only for their own sake but as part of the rescue mission, as they could go where vehicles could not, the NSPCA advised. ...

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+ Help sea turtles:

Indian Ocean Tsunami Sea Turtle Fund

The fund "will be used to help rebuild damaged and destroyed infrastructure related to sea turtle research and conservation in the region. ... An advisory panel of sea turtlers from the region is being established to determine how funds should be disbursed."  [PHOTO RIGHT: A Hawksbill sea turtle]


Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThere have been widely reported stories about the heroism and help of the marvelous working Thai elephants -- one of whom saved children during the tsunami, and another group of elephants that trumpeted warnings just before the tsunami. What's left out: The Asian elephants are trained with vicious beatings. And they're chained up on short chains.


From a remarkably rich and compassionate essay by a writer in The Philippines:

When Tilly Smith, a 10-year-old British girl, told her mother with her distinctive British accent, "There's going to be a tsunami, Mummy," she predicted something significant. Tilly made a practical application of what a geography teacher taught her about earthquakes and what they can do and how they can cause tsunamis.

This is a perfect example of the importance of a solid grounding in science education. Now you can see what education is all about - preparing children to have a positive impact on the lives of people they encounter. In Tilly's case, she saved hundreds of lives at Maikhao Beach in Phuket, one of the few places where no one was killed.

In China, it is folk knowledge that pigs and ducks are the first to sense earthquakes. A young Hong Kong couple, billeted in one of the Thai resorts, woke up noticing an unusual number of cockroaches crawling in their room.

The wife told her husband that she sensed something would go wrong. So they immediately left the room and warned other guests on their way to higher ground. ...

"Tsunami tales," BABE'S EYE VIEW, By Babe Romualdez, The Philippine Star, 01/09/2005 [Do read it all.]

So I ask: Isn't it better that little Tilly learned the science of earthquakes and tsunamis, and used her knowledge to save many lives -- and that that young couple paid attention to, and acted upon, empirical evidence (the cockroaches) -- rather than being told that this was "God's will"?

And it's obvious we need nature more than it needs us.  Let's all help.

Originally posted to SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 09:54 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And even at home ... (4.00)

    We got snow in Pt. Angeles on Friday.  It's always rather exciting. (And, yes, east coasters, nobody here knows how to drive in the snow.  Even without snow, we kill each other with regularity on Highway 101.)  

    I usually feed the birds every day -- I give them stuff like cookie crumbs, bread (with peanut butter), and my leftover cooked oatmeal.

    Last night I put out a tub of cat food on the back steps.  All gone.... and there are little paw prints all over the snow.

    Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

    by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 09:46:19 AM PST

    •  This really affected me deeply (4.00)
      when I read it yesterday, and again, today.  I'll be donating some of my next paycheck to one of the organizations mentioned that will help out the animals.

      The thing that got to me was the hippo-turtle story.  I cut and pasted that, and e-mailed it to a ton of people.  Something about a 120 year old turtle adopting a baby hippo just moved me. I can just hear the Right backlash - "If single male turtles are allowed to adopt hippos, what's next?  Gay penguins adopting kangaroos?  Will Mother Nature stop at nothing???"

      Bush/Cheney - in your guts, you know they're nuts.

      by Lufah on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 11:08:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you so much ... (none)

        ... there's something special about helping animals.  Especially ones far away.  There's no thank you note in the mail.  There's no phone call.  

        There's something liberating about giving without expectation of reward.

        ... yes, that hippo story.  And that marvelous old tortoise.  And to think that mother hippo was swept away to her death on the coast of Kenya -- so very far away.  

        It's like that 1964 earthquake in Alaska when 11 people died, so far away, in Crescent City, CA.  (I wrote a diary about that -- just click on my name.)

        Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

        by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 11:30:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hippo-tortoise story (none)
          While it is a touching story on some level, that hippo-tortoise story is nonetheless one of the absolutely WEIRDEST stories I think I've ever read.

          How is this happening? I mean, what is at work here? Really, a mammal adopting any other mammal, I understand. It's pretty much biological on many levels. But tortoises don't raise their young, do they? What is up with that? Well, I hope it's good for the orphaned hippo, poor thing, and hopefully gives the tortoise . . . something, not sure what the old tortoise gets out of it. Companionship? Like I said, very odd.

          •  You're correct (none)

            I hadn't thought about the story that way.  Perhaps it's one-sided.  The hippo is so incredibly lonesome, it went for the nearest big creature it could find.  

            I hope the park officials can bond the baby hippo to the female hippo they have in mind.

            And I still can't believe that the tsunami hit Kenya's coastline -- so far from the source -- enough to wash an adult hippo out into the ocean.  

            Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

            by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 07:45:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Explaination? (none)
              Tortoises are extremely tolerant and because they are so well protected, large ones are not all that worried about other animals in their vicinity.  

              The baby hippo, on the other hand, is extremely needy of a "mother figure".  Like baby ducks imprinting on a person or a dog, the hippo is most likely following the tortoise's every move while the tortoise simply ignores and tolerates it's presence.

              It is a great story, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to say that the two are "inseperable".  The hippo, for now, needs the comfort the tortoise provides, and the tortoise could really care less.

    •  are you sure? (none)
      I dont think we east coasters know how to drive in the snow too well. Here, if it snows about half an inch, the entire DC region gets paralyzed. Hell, a forecast of snow will shut down half the area.

      Great diary though, made my heart bleed.

      You know what would be a great HS graduation gift? Taking back the House, Senate, and Governorships

      by jeff06dem on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 11:47:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was just (none)

        my kneejerk defense against all the people who live with snow every winter and who make fun of those of us who don't get it very often.

        There are idiot drivers everywhere, eh?

        My heart bleeds too.  

        We can only forestall extinction -- and the annihilation of nature -- by the most brave, daring, imaginative, self-sacrificing ventures that mankind has ever devised.  

        But there must be a will to do so.  And I see very little.

        Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

        by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 11:55:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the unfortunate truth... (4.00)
          We can only forestall extinction -- and the annihilation of nature -- by the most brave, daring, imaginative, self-sacrificing ventures that mankind has ever devised.  

          But there must be a will to do so.  And I see very little.

          That's the unfortunate truth, environmental concerns are not a major concern anymore. Here's an article that addresses such the problem:
          A World Is A Terrible Thing to Waste

          Yeah, its whoring my school paper, but I think it's a valid point that needs more exposure.

          You know what would be a great HS graduation gift? Taking back the House, Senate, and Governorships

          by jeff06dem on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 12:13:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Great article by you! (none)
            First:  Fifteen to twenty years ago, the environment was discussed far more. Local Seattle TV stations had "Environmental Reporters."  Sections of newspapers were devoted to the environment.  No more.

            In your article, you write:

            Fifty thousand children in the D.C.-metropolitan area suffer each day from the debilitating effects of asthma, which is often triggered by airborne contaminants.

            Nearly half a million cars pass our school and athletic fields, exposing Blair's students and athletes daily to the effects of pollutants. ...

            Yes!  True confession. I smoke.  One night, I'm standing outside a Chinese restaurant waiting for a table.  Patrons leave the restaurant.  A woman walking by me waves her hand in the air -- and gives me a disgusted look -- as if my smoke is polluting her.  She then climbs into her V8 SUV, and turns on the ignition.

            All I'm trying to say is that minor pollution offenses -- like cigarette smoke outdoors -- are socially acceptable to attack.  But, by god, don't protest people's right to drive their gas-guzzling, polluting SUVs.

            And what is more harmful to the young lungs of children than the airborne contaminants from automobiles, trucks, buses, industrial plants, etc., etc.

            Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

            by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 12:23:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  DC and snow (none)
        Here, if it snows about half an inch, the entire DC region gets paralyzed. Hell, a forecast of snow will shut down half the area.

        Yeah, but that's even more a function of how inadequate and overburdened the road/traffic system is here in the region, rather than people not knowing how to drive in the snow (tho that's also a problem!).  The system also slows down considerably in heavy rain, which indicates to me more a systemic failure that is just barely functioning in the best of conditions and any detrimental change, like bad weather can seriously overburden it causing breakdowns/failures.

        It would be interesting to note when radio stations started the now instutionalized into regular beats, "traffic reports". (Equally interesting that unlike weather, traffic reports are strictly local deals.  While the national morning shows give cursory national weather glimpses before cutting to local weather, which by necessity is paired with local traffic, there is no comparable national traffic view.)

        Geez, do I need a life, or what?

        In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

        by a gilas girl on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 06:09:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  from animals to traffic... (none)
          Right. And public transportation here sucks to. Metro's definitely showing its age, and the service is totally sucking, hardly worth the price anymore.

          And then I saw the article about them proposing to remove seats in order to increase capacity, which is when I definitely realized that mass transit needs some serious attention in this country.

          You know what would be a great HS graduation gift? Taking back the House, Senate, and Governorships

          by jeff06dem on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 06:48:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Where are the "5"s when you .... (none)
      ...need one? First-rate diary, Susan.

      We don't inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. - David Brower

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 05:02:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you :) (none)

        Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

        by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 06:20:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yahooey (none)
          I've been out all day, finally got home and this is the first chance I 've had to sit and relax.

          And what do I see?
          This diary!
          It made it!
          When I opened it I just got this big big smile on my face.
          I'm so happy you updated it for today.

          Yeah...I know this is a silly response and post.
          I sounded better yesterday.
          But I loved your diary that much.
          I even asked Gilas Girl why this didn't make the list when it had so many R's yesterday.

          I'll shut up now.

          Susan, I'm with Meteor - I wish they allowed you a few fives a year.
          This would get one of mine.

          One of my S.O's gifts (well, three of them) was adoptions from The Farm Santuary in CA and NY. He now sponsors a rescued pig, a cow and rabbits, so it's kind of obvious why I loved your hard work so much.

          Thank for directing us how on we can help.


          "It is time to look to the next horizon. For America, the hope is there. The sun is rising. Our best days are still to come."

          by jpschmid on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 08:59:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Farm Sanctuary (none)

            what a wonderful, wonderful endeavor.  My daughter is a huge fan.  How neat that your SO has adopted so many!  And thanks for your lovely post.

            Nearby, we have Pasado's Safe Haven, which takes in farm animals and other critters + is a leading influence in cruelty cases.

            Memory lane ... about 22 years ago, I went to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and asked to do an op-ed piece on veal factory farms in the area.  They accepted, and even paid me.  I met with several farmers and toured their barns, with the young calves in tiny stalls, unable to move or ever lie down.  They reached out and sucked on my arm -- because they were babies, and needed to suck on something.  

            Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

            by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 10:24:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Susan... (none)
              Hi Susan...

              I just got home from work a little while ago and just saw your reply.

              In case you happen to see this, I thought I'd attach two of the pictures from the animals we sponsor from the Farm Sanctuary. I know the quality is very poor, I reduced them way down so they would load quickly. But you can sort of see them. :-)  It's from our visit there in June (human is me). You probably know how incredibly sweet they are, and how intelligent the pigs are.

              It breaks my heart to pieces when we go there. As much as I love being there and love what they do, it hurts to know what I now know.  We watched this video when we were up there called The Peaceable Kingdom. I was broken for days. I could barely get throught the video, I was sobbing so hard. So yeah..I know about about the veal. And every other single thing.

              I dunno.
              I just don't know.

              I can't believe your daughter knows about the F.S. :-) We've been members for the past four years. We go up to the NY one a few times a year to visit.

              Watching that movie, and going to the Farm, had me make some drastic drastic changes in my lifestyle. It brings me a little peace.  Takes away the hurt.

              Thank you again for all the love you give away,
              Christine (hey, i got 3 cats. want one?) (okay. kidding, but the stray we took in is INSANE and thinks she's a rabbit. (yeah, we rescue those too. want one? :-) ).

              "It is time to look to the next horizon. For America, the hope is there. The sun is rising. Our best days are still to come."

              by jpschmid on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 09:32:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks! (none)

                Such sweeties.  I've always wanted to have a pig just as a pet.

                We had pigs on our farm when I was growing up, and I loved to take down the dinner leftovers to them because they were just so much fun to watch.

                No rabbits, thanks :) I need to find my foster cat Althea a home!  Because I want my own compaion cat Bear back -- he's camped out at my daughter's while I socialize Althea.  But I miss Bear too much :(:(  He's my soulmate.

                Is there something wrong with the cow?  

                Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

                by SusanHu on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 09:24:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Driving in snow (none)
      The secret to driving in snow is . . .

      . . . slow down.

      Yup, that's it. Nothing else to it.

      By the way, thank you for this diary.

      •  Umm, yes, do slow down, and... (none)
        also brake early, and as gently as you can. Especially if there might be ice under the snow.

        And -- this doesn't apply to a half-inch fall, but -- if you find yourself in snow up to your axles, don't stop unless you absolutely have to. Keep moving slowly. Stop, and you'll get stuck.

        Oh, and if you do get stuck, don't gun the motor. That just spins the wheels and makes ice where you want traction. First try to rock your way out: little bit forward, little bit back, little bit more forward... like that. If that doesn't work, you'll have to get out and shovel.

        And buy one of those slotted steel traction plates to get you out of the deeper snowdrifts.

        Also join AAA. Sometimes there's nothing for it, you need a tow.

        But if all you're worrying about is half an inch of wet white stuff that's going to melt by the end of the day... yeah... slow down about covers it.

        Massacre is not a family value.

        by Canadian Reader on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 09:33:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here's a wonderful post (4.00)
    from yesterday's diary that I thought deserved more views:

    Thanks for posting this, Susan (4.00 / 4)

    One of the local organizations the Humane Society Internation works with is the Soi Dog Foundation in Phuket. Here's an excerpt from their diary of the disaster -

    We do get comments now as to how I can focus on dogs when there are so many people suffering.  I understand that many people don't realize this, but animals also suffer tremendously when disasters like this happen.  Fortunately, people are really pulling together to help each other - a disaster like this truly brings the best out of people.  People who suffered through this are not able to help the animals themselves, even though many want to - the temple in Kamala is a good example.  This place is totally ruined and 3 monks perished as well, together with about 15 of their dogs and some a few cats living there.  There are now about 10 dogs left who have are now finding their little place amid the ruins of in the bell tower which is still standing.  While I was feeding there the other day, 2 monks who used to live there, were taking a look at what was left of their beloved temple.  Fortunately, 1 of them was the abbot, the head monk, who did everything for the dogs and who has taken several dumped pups off our hands and raised them.  Now, he cannot do this anymore - he looked so stoic but it was obvious that he was hurting and incredibly sad. He was so happy to see that his dogs are being fed - when I saw him, I was bringing drinking water in large bottles, which I poured into a few big pails I just bought - I hope they stay there!

    My company matched my donation to the HSI tsunami relief fund.

    Free the heel, free the mind
    by Blue the Wild Dog on Sat Jan 8th, 2005 at 14:28:17 PST

    Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

    by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 09:49:25 AM PST

  •  Thanks for this (4.00)
    I hope you don't get comments that say "with all the human beings who are suffering, how can you care about the animals?"

    I believe that our treatment of animals is a critical indicator of whether our species is likely to survive. If we don't understand that we're all in this together, we're doomed. It's not humans vs. nature -- we're it, it is us.

    Did you read the story about the dog in India who saved the little boy? His family had run to higher ground and somehow he got left behind. The family dog found him hiding in a shed or something, and literally dragged him out of there and led him up the hill. His parents thought he was gone for sure... in the news piece I read, the mother said the dog is now her god.

    Thanks for your thorough and informative post.

    •  Thank you (none)

      It's always a worry:  Will people criticize because we should concentrate on the human toll.  But, what I love about what HSI's director Sherry Grant said above is that -- as she said -- we're all interconnected.

      I did read the story.  I had it in my notes + a photo of the dog.  But I had to cut it -- with a lot of other stories -- so this wouldn't be too long.  

      I believe that our treatment of animals is a critical indicator of whether our species is likely to survive. If we don't understand that we're all in this together, we're doomed.

      Wow.  You've said it all.  

      Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

      by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 10:07:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's the story of the dog and the boy (none)
      Family dog saves boy from waves

      Dinakaran [the 7-year-old boy] didn't follow. He headed for the safest place he knew, the small family hut just 40 meters (yards) from the seashore.

      Sangeeta[his mother] thought she would never see him again. The family dog saw to it that she did.

      While water lapped at Sangeeta's heels as she rushed up the hill, the scruffy yellow dog named Selvakumar ducked into the hut after Dinakaran.

      Nipping and nudging, he did everything in his canine power to get the boy up the hill....

      Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

      by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 10:47:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're all in it (none)
      I get mad when people will say "oh it's only an animal" if I donate to the Humane Society, but as you said, it's NOT an either/or proposition.  I donated to Oxfam, and I will donated to the HSI.  What people who say that don't understand (and Bush), is that EVERY living creature is connected somehow, and if a species becomes extinct, there will be some consequences for humans down the line. As this diary states, cows need to be fed so the owners can live off of them, in some cases, dogs may be the only family left for some of these people-animals and humans depend on each other, and we can (and should) be able to help out both.

      Your silence will not protect you.

      by SairaLV on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 12:55:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In general... (none)
      ...people suck. Animals need my help much more. If you treat an animal right it will treat you right. Can't say the same for homo sapiens.

      Fight terrorists wherever they be found/Well why you not bombin Tim McVeigh's hometown?? - Michael Franti

      by missreporter on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 03:01:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. (4.00)
    I'm glad to be reminded that humans aren't the only beings suffering from the tsunami.  I will donate to HSI as soon as I get paid.  (Nothing to give at the moment.)

    Good diary.

  •  I'm glad (4.00)
    you posted this again. It should have made the recommended list yesterday - I hope it does today.

    Free the heel, free the mind

    by Blue the Wild Dog on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 10:15:58 AM PST

  •  Orangutans and humans (4.00)
    Orangutan Animal Welfare Group Helps

     The  Sumatran Orangutan Society  (SOS) has been a leader in the fight to preserve the endangered Sumatran orangutans.  Now they are working harder then ever to help save the human lives that remain after the devastating tsunami.

    SOS, like many animal welfare groups in the region, are mustering there field and triage experience to come to the aid of the tens of thousands who have suffered in this tragedy.

    SOS is headquartered near Medan, Sumatra, which has become a major staging area for aid destine for the Aceh province about 432 km (270 miles) southeast of Banda Aceh, the provincial capital.

    It is very difficult to get a clear understanding of the scope of the disaster because communications have been cut off.  The electricity is off and communications with Aceh is intermittent with hand phones.  People are also conserving with what is left of their battery power.

    SOS is coordinating purchasing in Medan of urgently needed items which will be delivered to two coastal communities in Aceh, Meulaboh and Tapaktuan (see map).  These communities are thought to be the hardest hit as they are the closest to the earthquake epicenter.  However, as yet,  no reports have been received from the area.

    (The Sumatran Orangutan Society has been sponsored by HSI Australia)

    Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

    by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 10:43:50 AM PST

  •  Thanks for posting this.... (4.00)

    Nice to see something on the plight of animals
    on dailykos, and turtles are a special concern of mine.
  •  a bit more about the turtle crisis (4.00)
    The waves killed thousands of baby turtles that were to have been released into the sea the very day the tsunami struck.

    "It was more than 20,000 turtle hatchlings ready to go," says Kannangari. Of those, only 400 were saved.

    It is effectively a wipeout. Even in ideal conditions, only one hatchling in a thousand survives to adulthood in the wild.

    All but one of his adult turtles were also swept away -- "a green turtle about 3 years old, very beautiful," says Kannangari....

    "Saving Sri Lanka's sea turtles," by Hugh Riminton for CNN

    More information:  Exploitation of sea turtles and their eggs continues all along the coastline year-round, despite the fact that all sea turtles and their eggs are protected by law.

    Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

    by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 11:05:34 AM PST

    •  Warning: this is disturbing (none)
      A dead and decomposed male hawksbill sea turtle [see photo of a hawksbill above] was found on the beach on the morning of 12 October 1989 (Table 1). No external wounds were present on the body of the turtle, but the base of the neck, tail, and flippers were swollen and had a bluish tint. On the carapace, only the nuchal and marginal scutes were present. The vertebral and costal scutes had been removed; probably the turtle died during scute removal.

      The method by which scutes are removed from hawksbill turtles has been described in the literature (Bennet, 1843; Deraniyagala, 1939). The procedure involves suspending the turtle up-side-down over a fire and stripping the scutes from the live animal. Later, the turtle is released alive, the belief being that it will regenerate new scutes. archives

      Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

      by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 11:08:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  From (none)
      Hi Susan,

      Thanks very much for the mention. We definitely appreciate the help.


      Michael Coyne

      Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

      by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 07:06:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  An under-reported miracle of survival (4.00)
    I heard a fascinating story on NPR this week regarding 5 or 6 small island tribes that are considered to be very endangered cultures. These tribes have shunned the outside world and still live in a Hunter- Gatherer fashion- isolated from the modern world.

    It had been speculated that these endangered cultures had been wiped out by the Tsunami that innundated their small islands.

    Recon flights checking for survivors reported being greeted by a volly of arrows over one island.

    Reports from these islands after making contact to check out how badly they had been impacted indicated that for the most part, these communities survived without any casualties.

    The reason? They read the signs of nature, and headed for high ground, far from the coast.

    The one tribe that experienced a significant loss of life is the one that has actually adopted a more modern lifestyle.

    Says something about staying connected to Nature- doesn't it?

    Thanks for this diary - it was very informative.

    "As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together, we make a mighty fist" Watanka Tatanka (Sitting Bull)

    by wild salmon on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 11:21:13 AM PST

    •  Do you remember which show? (none)

      I'd love to listen to that report.

      A friend sent me a story, though, that many of those stone age tribes have been removed from their islands.

      (One of my favorite photos:  That tribesman aiming his arrow at a helicopter.)

      Connectedness.  Yes.  And we lose it the more "civilized" -- actually separated -- we become.  

      Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

      by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 11:32:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I went searching ... (none)
      and found this story posted to a mailing list I'm on:

      Stone-Age Tribes Evacuated From Indian Isles

      PORT BLAIR, India - Indian authorities have evacuated dozens of the world's most primitive people from their tsunami-hit homelands in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, potentially exposing them to unwelcome outside influence.

      More than two dozen of the dwindling Great Andamanese tribe were moved from a government reserve on Strait Island to a guesthouse in the capital, Port Blair, after their homes and habitat were destroyed.

      Eight members of the tiny hunter-gatherer Shompen tribe were also flown out by helicopter after their settlement on Great Nicobar island was submerged. They have been settled in relief camps on a nearby island, a government officer said on Thursday.

      "We had to do it, there wasn't a choice. The area has become distressed," said K.C. Ghoshal, assistant commissioner in the tribal welfare department.

      He said aerial surveys suggested the rest of the nearly 400-strong Shompens, who lived in the forests and hills on the island, had survived the tsunami.

      Ghoshal said the Shompens, who almost never leave their island, have been kept in a special area in Campbell Bay island to protect them from external influence. "We are very aware of the dangers involved in unnecessary exposure."

      The cluster of more than 550 islands, of which only about three dozen are inhabited, are home to six tribes of Mongoloid and African origin who have lived there for thousands of years.

      Many of these tribal people subsist by hunting with spears, bows and arrows, and by fishing and gathering fruit and roots. They still cover themselves with tree bark or leaves.

      Many of the tribes have been gradually exposed to outside influences since colonial rule and their numbers have steadily dwindled over the same period, making many anthropologists pessimistic about their longer-term chances of survival.

      "Moving them out from their natural habitats is certainly cause for concern. You wouldn't want them to be exposed to our culture," said Samir Acharya, who runs the Society for Andaman and Nicobar Ecology.

      "I am sure they wouldn't be happy being brought out either, and the faster we return them to their homes, huts whatever, it's better."

      Among the most exposed -- and most threatened -- are the Great Andamanese, who now number just 49.

      Once a large and fierce tribe of around 10,000 people, the Great Andamanese were defeated in an 1859 battle against British forces, who conducted a series of punitive expeditions over the decades that followed.

      Their numbers continued to fall from conflicts with Indian settlers, death and disease.

      An army helicopter also rescued 17 tribal people stranded on the worst-hit Katchal island, which had been swamped with seawater, Lieutenant General B.S. Thakur told reporters.

      Thakur said the Nicobarese, the largest tribal group in the island, had lived on bananas and coconuts since the Dec. 26 tsunami, which killed more than 15,000 people in India.

      Rescue teams have also reached the Onge on the devastated Little Andaman islands. Officials said the Onge, who are less than 100 in number, were housed in a special camp in a school on the island and were in good condition.

      But there are fears the Onge could be mixing with other settlers in the relief camp and being exposed to alcohol and tobacco.

      "They have remained isolated because they have made a choice. We shouldn't be trying to foist things on them," Acharya said.

      Last week, the Sentinelese, the most isolated of all the tribes in the Andaman, greeted a military helicopter that flew low over the island with arrows and stones.

      (Additional reporting by Kamil Zaheer)

      Story by Sanjeev Miglani

      Story Date: 7/1/2005

      I hope they're alright.

      Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

      by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 05:53:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's a link (none)
      to a column that reported similar story shortly after the quake/wave.  While some of the folk in the Counterpunch stable are a little iffy, Gary Leupp is one of the more credible and reliable authors over there, IMHO. I've always found his pieces sensible and reasonable and have learned a great deal from reading him.

      In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

      by a gilas girl on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 06:14:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary, and (4.00)

    That particular brand of binary, either-or thinking always infuriates me.

    Particularly when it comes from "devout" Dominionists, as if their God didn't build in enough compassion in humans to care about their fellow humans AND about the other creatures with whom we share this Earth.

    Anyway, I thought I'd vent so you didn't have to.

    And thanks again for a timely, informative, and well-constructed post. And thank you in particular for putting in a plug for rational thinking and science education, both endangered species in themselves worthy of urgent rescue efforts.

    "Politics is at its best when we create and inspire a sense of community." - Howard Dean

    by galiel on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 01:56:06 PM PST

    •  Yes, it was. (a great diary) (none)
      And I've had people say that to me. From your first sentence.

      And I donate to human based and animal charities.
      But the animal ones honestly do get more more from me because most of them get so little. I have a few favorites that need every dime they can get.
      They have to beg, borrow, and beg some more since most people do put people first.  
      And they really suffer when times are hard and people can't spare much, or there's a national tragedy and donations are all going to that.

      I always struggle how to answer them.

      1. I don't think it's any of their business who I donate to. (they find out if they see something at home or on my desk, or I may make a comment.)
      2. I think they're rude to even voice that outloud.  It's obvious it's a judgemental question, and they're trying to make me feel like a callous cold hearted person when it comes to humans.
      3.  What I do wind up saying is that if I had to make sure every single human being on this planet was taken care of first before I could help animals, who almost no one helps as evidenced by the extinction of one species after another and cruelty against most of the others that not too many care about because humans come first, then I'll never be able to help them in my lifetime or  a hundred other lifetimes.

      I mean. God. Talk about being on the bottom of the totum pole. :( Society puts them even beneath that.  Kind of.

      "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
      Mohandas Gandhi


      "It is time to look to the next horizon. For America, the hope is there. The sun is rising. Our best days are still to come."

      by jpschmid on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 09:16:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Man-Made Disaster Avoidable (none)
    Excellent Diary Susan Hu on plight of Animals!
    Latest BBC video shows devastating force of tsunami water in centrum of Banda Aceh, four miles inland from coast!

    Collective failure of governments and science for not acting.
    In the choice of a battle against natural disaster,
    why not correct issues that are man-made?
    STOP Slow Self-destruct of our ENVIRONMENT!

    Man-Made Disaster Avoidable

    Protective role of coral & mangroves

    Terra.wire - Tsunami calamity highlights key
    protective role of coral, mangroves

    PARIS (AFP) Jan 06, 2005 Long-term environmental lessons must be drawn from Asia's tsunami disaster, especially the consequences of ripping out mangroves and destroying coral reefs that help protect coasts from sea and storms.

    "Places that had healthy coral reefs and intact mangroves were far less badly hit than places where the reefs had been damaged and the mangroves ripped out and replaced by beachfront hotels and prawn farms," said Simon Cripps, director of the Global Marine Programme at the environment group WWF Internationational.

    "Coral reefs act as a natural breakwater and mangroves are a natural shock absorber, and this applies to floods and cyclones as well as tsunamis."
    In comparison the outcome of the tsunami in the Maldives, the low-lying archipelago which emphasises good coral management in its policy of upmarket tourism; and the Thai resort of Phuket, where mangroves and a coastline belt have been replaced by aquaculture and a hotel strip.

    Amazing  video  from  Banda  Aceh
    BBC- VIDEO New amateur footage
    from centrum of Banda Aceh  

    Footage has emerged showing huge waves sweeping through Indonesia's Aceh capital city. The water engulfed a busy street, picking up cars and sending people scrambling. All located four miles inland from coastline and within 15-20 minutes after quake hit area.
    [BBC has VIDEO button on right side by pic of eyewitness]

    In 2005 - Be Liberal, Be Free Especially Amongst Family And Friends

  •  As others have said... (4.00)
    Thanks so much for posting all of this.  I have been wondering how the wildlife had made it through, but due to various events in my life I haven't had the time to do much research.  I appreciate you doing the hard work in that regard.

    And as others have also said, I would like to preemptively defend you from anyone who thinks that this means that you/we aren't concerned about the humans as well.  I am always amazed that people can be so apparently unconcerned with the suffering of creatures that are unable to defend themselves.  If I was killed in some disaster, but my pets survived, I would hope that they would be taken care of.

    •  You raise a big issue (none)

      how we can care for our pets in a disaster.  I found some info on it and plan to post a diary about it later.... but I still have too many questions before I post anything.

      For one thing:  No shelters (e.g., those hosted by the Red Cross) permit animals.  So, what in the hell do we do if we have our pets with us?

      Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

      by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 05:56:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You rock! (none)
    Thanks for bringing attention to an issue that might otherwise have languished in the shadows of the strictly human aspect of the disaster.
  •  Thank you (none)
    I am adding my gratitude for your diary, Susan.  I have sent an email far and wide requesting aid for animal tsunami victims. I've donated to both human and animal relief efforts and will continue to do so.  Both are so important.

    Compassion is the very essence of a spiritual life.


    •  Thank you for all you're doing (none)

      I just posted the kind note from Michael at (it's a few posts above these).  

      And I was thinking about the turtles.  The turtles, who've been on this planet for 10 million years.  Through and beyond the dinosaurs.  And to think that, because of us, they might be all gone soon?  It's too much to bear.... and I began crying :(

      Your note cheered me.  Your kindness.

      Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

      by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 07:13:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  That's interesting (none)
    I was just writing to my partner who is now in Thailand - on a conservation journey when I came back to kos and read this.  

    I have to admit - I loved reading that the animals could sense the disaster and knew to get away - it might have been true with some but I guess it's silly to believe that all the animals magically escaped onto noah's ark just in time.

    Wishful thinking. Thanks for posting.

    "I will never accept an analysis that says a leader who stands for equality and fairness and who has the courage of his convictions is doing the wrong thing."

    by CrazyDem on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 08:03:55 PM PST

  •  Something else to cry about... (none)
    Makes me realize how important animal rescue programs are in times of natural disaster. Thank you for this diary.
  •  Susan Hu's diaries are prettiest. (4.00)

    "If no one seems to understand / Start your own revolution and cut out the middleman" Billy Bragg

    by spot on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 08:20:42 PM PST

  •  Sixth Sense (none)
    Hey, I have already written a critique of the "sixth sense" in animals (,, but here it is again, pretty much the same argument as mine, from the Washington Post:
    A Sense Of Doom: Animal Instinct For Disaster

    "Knowledge is Power"! Visit me at my blog, or go to the White House

    by coturnix on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 09:25:59 PM PST

    •  Thank you (none)
      for straightening this out in such a coherent way.

      I was very suspicious of the "feel-good" sixth sense stories ... a bogus theory employed by a lot of reporters to explain a few lucky experiences had by various animals. Because happy stories about animals sell. When, in fact, vastly more of them died.

      Somehow the links got mixed together.  Here's the link to the first:
      Sixth Sense? Give Me A Break!

      Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

      by SusanHu on Sun Jan 09, 2005 at 10:35:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  thank you - (none)
    recommended again, to keep it on top.

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