Last year, in mid July, Homayun, an Afghani merchant and his cousin Hekmat came in a truck to the monkey-infested Courtallam town, the holiday resort in South Tamilnadu, India. Immediately they went about searching for a place to stay and were lucky to find a large dilapidated warehouse near the five-falls that had served as a granary thirty years back. Pleased with the place, they gave frantic calls on their mobile phones. A week later three large trucks arrived at the warehouse and unloaded a lot of wired cages. The Afghans were now ready to launch their monkey business.
They offered to buy monkeys for rupees 25 each. Their offer spread virally and the poor folk of the town saw it as a god-sent opportunity to make some money. The municipality welcomed the offer by the Afghans to buy monkeys that were a nuisance to the tourists who came to the resort town from all over India.
During the first week of trading, the Afghans bought more than a thousand monkeys of all sizes. The monkeys, sensing danger retreated to the hills and the supply diminished. Homayun doubled his buying price to rupees 50 for each animal. This offer spurred the monkey catchers to venture into the hills.
The Municipal councillors beamed with joy, as there were no free monkeys to trouble the tourists and the live ones were in cages in the warehouse of the Afghans. However, this disappointed the older tourists as they were unable to show even a single monkey to their wards.
On Monday, the following week, only three monkeys came up for sale and the monkey catchers haggled over the price, and Homayun settled for rupees 250 for each animal. Since he had to go to Chennai for a week on business, and did not have the time to bargain, he promised the monkey catchers that he would from then on, buy the monkeys at rupees 300 each when he returned after a week.
On Tuesday, Homayun’s cousin Hekmat was occupying the seat of the older Afghan at the warehouse. The cunning fellow told a selected few that he would give them the caged monkeys at rupees 150 each, which they could sell to Homayun for rupees 300 when he returned from Chennai after a week. This offer spread like wildfire and Hekmat sold almost all the monkeys in five days time except a few sick and dying animals.
On Monday, when the people arrived at the warehouse, they saw it locked, and the Afghans were nowhere, and they understood that the Afghan duo had duped them.
In mid September, Paramdeep Singh, a Punjabi merchant and his cousin Pavitar Singh came in a truck to a village, near the monkey-infested city of Varanasi, the holy city of the Hindus, situated on the banks of the river Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, India.
One day a farm horse, fell ill. The veterinarian inspected the virus afflicted horse. He prescribed some medicines and told the farmer: “Give these medicines to your horse. If he is not better after three days let’s shoot him.”
The goat that stood outside the stable heard the conversation between the farmer and the vet.
The following day, after the farmer left giving medicine to the horse, the goat entered the stable. “You better get up and walk and pretend you are well; else they will put you to sleep,” the goat said to the horse.
On the second day after the farmer left the stable, the goat came in and said: “Come on you. Get up and walk; else you will die!”
On the third day, the Vet came to the farm. He inspected the horse. Since he did not see any improvement he told the farmer, “No hope. Let’s put him down tomorrow. If not the virus might spread and infect the other horses too.”
After the farmer and the vet went out of the stable, the goat approached the horse and said, “Listen to me my friend. It is now or never! Get up and walk!”
The horse got up with tremendous effort. After some encouragement more encouragement from the goat, he trotted and then galloped.
The farmer and the veterinarian saw the horse running in the field. “My horse, my horse, he is okay” the farmer shouted in joy.
“Yes. My medicines cured him,” blurted the stupefied vet.
The farmer said: “Let us have a grand party. Come, let us kill the goat!”Moral of the story: Do not poke your nose into the affairs of others and keep your trap shut.
Honeybees pollinate diverse crops such as apples, blueberries, almonds, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and hundreds of other fruits and vegetables that make up one-third of the food on our table. Millions of beehives worldwide have emptied out as honeybees mysteriously disappear. The question is, “Will we be able to eat any fruits and vegetables ten years from now?”
Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives. Beekeepers in the United States have lost about 30 percent of their bees each year, over the past five years.
Dave Hackenberg makes a living by moving his beehives from field to field to pollinate diverse crops such as Florida melons, Pennsylvania apples, Maine blueberries, California almonds, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and hundreds of other fruits and vegetables that make up one-third of the food on our tables. Hackenberg trucks his honeybees up and down the East Coast and often coast to coast.
In the fall of 2006, as he had done for more than 42 years, Hackenberg migrated his bees from their central Pennsylvania summer home to their winter locale in central Florida. Initially, when he checked on his pollinators, the colonies were “boiling over” with bees. However, a month later, a thunderstruck Hackenberg noticed that more than half of the 3,000 hives completely devoid of bees. Many of the remaining colonies had lost large numbers of worker bees, and only the young workers and the queen remained and seemed healthy. However, no dead bees were in sight.
In 2009, George Langworthy, Maryam Henein produced a documentary “Vanishing of the Bees.” This follows commercial beekeepers David Hackenberg and Dave Mendes as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S.
The documentary centers around the sudden disappearance of honeybees from beehives around the world, caused by the poorly understood phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. This documentary takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications of the global disappearance of the honeybee. It looks at farming landscape and celebrates the age-old and sacred association between man and the honeybee. The “Vanishing of the Bees” unfolds a stirring tale of science and mystery. It highlights this extraordinary crisis and its greater meaning regarding the association between human beings and Mother Earth.
This is a gruesome scene photographed on May 2012.
About half of the worlds estimated 3,200 tigers are found in dozens of Indian tiger reserves set up since the 1970s.
In mid May 2012, while international and national Tiger conservationists, NGOs, and many others were busy in Delhi, counting the world’s tiger population, discussing and deliberating over cocktails in 5-star venues, poachers after trapping and killing one more tiger cut it into pieces.
Now, Maharashtra has declared war on animal poaching to curb rampant attacks against tigers, elephants and other wildlife. They have issued a “Red Alert” in the State anticipating such incidents of tiger poaching. Nevertheless, the poachers have defied them and have enacted this heinous act.
On April 26, a tiger was found killed and another seriously injured in the Tadoba reserve.
On May 18, this tiger was found cut into pieces by poachers believed to be of Bahelia community of Katni, Madhya Pradesh. The poachers took with them the head and paws of the tiger and had left the remaining body.
On May 20, three leopards were found killed. They might have died of electric shock.
After these incidents of carnage, Patangrao Kadam, the state’s Forest Minister said that the high-powered committee of forest officers took the decision to empower their state forest department guards with logistic support and orders to shoot poachers on sight in Maharashtra’s four tiger reserves. He also announced that 523 new guards will be recruited soon and deployed at four forest reserves of the state – Tadoba, Pench, Melghat and Sahyadri.
“Killing poachers won’t be considered a crime and no case will be registered if the forest staff catch them in the act and open fire. The guards have been provided with state-of-the-art arms. They will also be given 100 vehicles. The department has been given more funds for hiring informants,” Kadam said.
Further, Minister Kadam said that a CID will probe the death of two tigers at the Tadoba reserve to find out whether they were electrocuted or poached. A committee of four forest officers will conduct a parallel inquiry in to the death of the tigers.
The Shiloh Shepherd is the most awesome rare breed of dog on earth, first developed in the 1970s by Tina M. Barber, who has been involved with German Shepherd dogs all of her life. She breeds American Kennel ClubGerman Shepherd Dogs (AKC), trains and titles dogs for NASA Schutzhund and personal protection, lectures across the country, writes many articles for major publications such as the GSQ, publishes Shiloh Shepherd newsletter.
She started her own training kennel and breeding program in 1962. Thus began her quest to develop the ultimate companion.
The Shiloh Shepherds are meant to resemble the German Shepherds but their coats can be a variety of colors and color mixes. Shiloh Shepherds are larger and have a straighter back than most modern Alsatians and German Shepherds.
They are bred for their intelligence, size, and stable temperaments. Very gentle with little children, they compete in obedience and agility. They can baby-sit children, lead a blind person safely across the streets and do a lot of other chores. They work as therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, livestock guardians and service assistance. They are often reared as family protectors.
In 1962 Tina had a dream. She was obsessed with producing the “perfect” dog. With no degree in genetics, she developed efficient genetic research methods. She went beyond research and theory. Here are her own words:
“I knew in my heart what I wanted to produce….. SUPER INTELLIGENCE…HUGE SIZE… GREAT HIPS!!! Those where my 3 “biggies” but I also wanted a specific “TYPE”– a “look” that would stop traffic!!! I worked very hard during those first 12 years, but I just couldn’t get the “package” I dreamt of! I would get HUGE size, but the hips would fall apart! I would get super intelligence, with good hips, but they would be small “bitchy headed” ugly (foxy looking) dogs! I would get looks, with no brains! A few nice ones would raise my hopes, but then they would produce absolute nightmares!! I was actually about to give up the whole “dream” as a totally unattainable fantasy! The money, time and energy I expended, didn’t reap any kind of reward, only heartbreak! There was no such thing as a “perfect” Shepherd type!!! After 12 YEARS of disappointments, I realized that without a “miracle” my dream was about to die!
“… Nevertheless, I finally gave up my pride & invited Jesus as my personal saviour on 2/26/74. Being a rebellious child, the first thing I did was to start “fleecing” my Saviour! Then one day while I was reading the story of Hannah, how she desperately wanted a child (she was barren) and how she went to SHILOH, to the house of the Lord to petition him for a son…promising that if he granted her desire, she would dedicate her son back to the Lord, etc… I realized that this was what I had to do too! So I went out to my kennel, and sat among my dogs, and grabbed a hold of the throne room, petitioning the Lord to grant MY DREAM!! Promising him that I would ALWAYS acknowledge him as my partner in life, as well as in the creation of these magnificent animals, and that FOREVER they would carry his name, and the symbol of his provision (the Fish) as a testimony to him! It was on that day that I changed my Kennel name to Shiloh Shepherds™.
“The word “Shiloh” appears in the Bible 33 times. Thirty-three is the number of PROMISE!!”
In 1990s Tina’s dogs entered the rare breed world as Shilohs Shepherds, named for the kennel of origin. She wrote the Shiloh Shepherd Breed Standard. You can view it by clicking on this link
The Shiloh Shepherd is still under development but stands as a model of what pure breeding is all about.
On March 31, 2012 my wife Assuntha and I with our son Subas, daughter-in-law Ligia and grandson Rohan were lucky to be at the The Blossom Kite Festival on National Mall in Washington, DC. There, we saw a group of Shiloh Shepherds with their owners. They were huge and burly but looked benignly gentle, calm, and not a bark.
We were very much fascinated by these gentle dogs because this was the first time we have seen such fine specimens. In fact we have not seen such a handsome breed in India.
One dog named Ender owned by a young man Kevin was the only one active among the 6 shepherds that were there; others were lying serenely besides their owners who caressed them ever so lovingly.
My grandson Rohan was exuberant when he saw those gracious, amiable and gentle super intelligent Shiloh Shepherds and from the way he got all agitated we understood that he wanted to pet them.
The owners of the Shiloh Shepherds were glad when I asked them permission to photograph them with their pets. Kevin the owner of Ender was happy and eager to allow my grandson Rohan to pet his Ender.
Here is a video of my grandson and the group of gentle Shiloh shepherds.