Hiding deep in the Andean Cloud Forests of Columbia and Ecuador was the little, brown, arboreal animal that avoided detection until very recently. The olinguito is the first carnivore discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years. For quite some time it was mislabeled in zoo’s and museums as an olingo, which looks fairly similar but tends to be about double the weight, but with a similar body structure. People simply believed it was just a small olingo.
Yasuni National Park in Ecuador has been dubbed the most diverse place in the world. The nearly 4,000 square miles are home to 150 species of amphibians, 121 species of reptiles, 382 species of fish, 596 species of birds, over 100,000 species of insects, and a number of un-contacted indigenous tribes. It comprises a mere 0.15% of the Amazon Basin but holds almost 1/3 of its amphibian and reptile species. This area is teeming with life, and yesterday, the government of Ecuador approved a plan to begin drilling for oil inside the boundaries of Yasuni National Park.
This is my third time to Paris, and the last two times I visited I went to the natural history museum and it is by far my favorite museum in the entire world. Their collection of stuffed specimens is fantastic, and they even have a stuffed dodo bird. But every time I have wandered through those gardens that lead to the museum I never knew that there was a beautiful zoo just beyond the row of trees.
I am currently on vacation in France with my mother and two cousins and was thinking, how could I incorporate my little jaunt to Paris into a post. I decided to talk a little bit about the beast of Gévaudan, a man eater who was believed to be werewolf by the people of the small town of Les Hubacs.
Biruté M. F. Galdikas was born to parents leaving Lithuania at the end of WWII for greener pastures in Canada. She was raised in Toronto in an ever-growing Baltic community. She states, “because of my mother’s tales and my parent’s fondness for nature, I became that unlikely combination of bookworm and nature lover”(39, Reflections of Eden). While growing up in Canada she often explored in the woods behind her home, envisioning herself becoming a great adventurer like the Man in the Yellow Hat from Curious George a favorite book form her childhood.
I am an anthropology and journalism student who is passionate about animal conservation. My dream was always to move overseas and have a first hand experience in saving my species of choice.