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VIDEO: Cholita, the real-life Paddington bear gets a manicure



Cholita, ‘the real-life Paddington bear’ who won peoples’ hearts with her sad life of abuse in the circus, has been given a full heath check and manicure by her rescuers, Animal Defenders International (ADI). A new video shows 25-year old Cholita’s ultrasound, health check, manicure of overgrown back claws and heart-warming first steps on her restored paws.

Cholita was stolen from the wild as a baby and taken to the circus where her fingers were brutally cut down to stumps to remove her front claws and her teeth broken off. The stress of her captivity caused her to lose nearly all of her hair, prompting support from Paddington bear author Michael Bond. The author of the bestselling children’s books said: “Bears, especially from Peru, obviously have a special place in my life. It is such a horrendous story. I very much hope that, with the charity’s help, Cholita will get the care she needs to recover.”

The loss of her front toes has left Cholita permanently crippled, but the condition of her back feet, with severely overgrown nails, needed attention. With her advanced age and delicate state of health, sedating Cholita to trim her nails and perform a thorough veterinary health examination was a concern. The team waited until Cholita’s health and strength had been improved enough to move to her new forest home, and once she was settled in, it was time to move forward with the procedure.

Cholita was lured with grapes and darted with a very carefully balanced sedative. Once she was asleep, she was hooked up to a constant oxygen supply and monitors for blood pressure and temperature as ADI vets worked quickly to perform blood tests, ultrasound scans, a dental check and full physical examination. Finally, Cholita’s nails were trimmed, buffed and oiled, experiencing the best manicure a bear can have.

Animal Defenders International President Jan Creamer said, “Everyone who has lived with an elderly animal knows sedation is a risk, so it was wonderful to see her up and about and ready for a hearty breakfast as soon a she woke up.  Considering her age and the hard life she has endured our veterinary team are pleased with her progress.

“Now that Cholita’s claws on her back feet are normal, she will be much more comfortable moving around and she will have a better quality of life.  Since arriving she has been in her pool, she reaches up into the trees, lays on her log platform and likes to get into her dry earth hole as well, when she is not napping in her cave. She really is home where she belongs and I don’t think even she can quite believe it!”

Cholita was seized from a Peruvian circus and now lives in a large habitat funded by ADI supporters at Reserva Ecologica Taricaya, next to the Tambopata National Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon, where ADI will fund her care for life.  The organisation hopes to establish the new habitat as a centre for more rescued bears.

Jan Creamer, “We hope to have even more exciting news for Cholita, because we are negotiating for the handover of two more spectacled bears called Lucho and Sabina. Lucho was confiscated from a circus like Cholita, and Sabina is from the illegal wildlife trade. We have started work on enclosures for them, next door to Cholita. It will be the perfect happy ending to Cholita’s story to see and hear other bears again after all these years.”

Long time Animal Defenders International supporter Joanna Lumley OBE launched an emergency fundraising appeal to enable the animal protection organisation to rescue the two bears and return them to their natural forest home. Joanna said, “The suffering and abuse Cholita endured was so clear to see. Animal Defenders International has given her a happier life, but now urgently requires our help to rescue two more bears in need. Please donate now to give these bears the storybook ending they deserve.”

UK volunteering organisation Projects Abroad is helping with construction of Lucho and Sabina’s rainforest habitats and ADI is providing the materials and transport to the remote sanctuary.

ADI is urgently calling for funds for lifetime care and veterinary attention for Cholita and friends.  Please donate now or 020 7630 3340.



Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage



water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism



When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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