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Cheetahs in Malawi: Poaching and Wildlife Trafficking endangers Africa’s most Iconic Species

A total of four cheetahs – two males and two females – were airlifted to Liwonde National Park in Malawi from South Africa in May

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Cheetahs back from the brink in Malawi
The cheetahs spent their first three weeks in an enclosure before being released into Liwonde National Park in Malawi. VOA
  • Liwonde National Park in southern Malawi has just welcomed some new inhabitants – four cheetahs
  • Liwonde National Park has a population of 12,000 large mammals including bush buck, water buffalo, and antelope
  • Park officials say they also plan to reintroduce leopards and lions to restore the park’s lost glory

LIWONDE NATIONAL PARK, MALAWI, June 10, 2017: Poaching and wildlife trafficking have endangered some of Africa’s most iconic species and the loss of the animals has cost African countries critical tourism revenue.

But at least one national park is getting a second chance. Liwonde National Park in southern Malawi has just welcomed some new inhabitants – four cheetahs relocated there from South Africa courtesy of the nonprofit African Parks group.

Park rangers lured the first cheetah out into its new home with a fresh carcass. It’s the first cheetah Malawi has had in the wild in two decades.

The cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world, but even that couldn’t protect the species in Malawi. Poachers killed off the cheetahs’ prey and ultimately the cheetahs themselves.

“They were last seen in Malawi about 20 years ago,” said Craig Reid of the Liwonde National Park. “Specifically in Liwonde area, they have been absent for over a 100 years. So, as part of the rehabilitation of the park, we feel it is very important to bring back the cheetah to Malawi and Liwonde specifically.”

A total of four cheetahs – two males and two females – were airlifted to Liwonde from South Africa in May.

Before being released into the park, the cheetahs spent their first three weeks in an enclosure to allow them to become acclimated to their new surroundings.

Liwonde National Park has a population of 12,000 large mammals. These include bush buck, water buffalo and antelope.

ALSO READWhy China’s Tiger Farms are a Threat to the Species!

The cheetah is the first large predator to be reintroduced to the park.

“We have a very healthy animal base and now that the protection measures are in place as we have got a very good law enforcement in the park,” Reid said. “The numbers of animals are increasing very rapidly and, as a result to that, there are more than enough animals to provide for some carnivorous animals such as the cheetah”.

Officials are holding meetings with communities surrounding the park.

“Those people are likely to face danger,” said David Nongoma of African Parks. “And our message to the community is to say that…they refrain from entering the park and stop doing what they used to be doing because these animals are definitely very dangerous. They can kill a human being.”

Park officials say they also plan to reintroduce leopards and lions to restore the park’s lost glory. (VOA)

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Signs of Generosity are declining worldwide but Africa continues to grow more generous: World Giving Index

World Giving Index is an annual report published by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF)

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In this Nov. 19, 2014 photo, a boy receives rice from a novice Buddhist monk near Mahar Aung Myae monastery in Hlaing Thaya, northwest of Yangon, Myanmar. Monks in the desperately poor neighborhood combine whatever food they received during morning alms into a giant pot and redistribute it to the less fortunate.
In this Nov. 19, 2014 photo, a boy receives rice from a novice Buddhist monk near Mahar Aung Myae monastery in Hlaing Thaya, northwest of Yangon, Myanmar. Monks in the desperately poor neighborhood combine whatever food they received during morning alms into a giant pot and redistribute it to the less fortunate. VOA
  • The score is a combined measure of respondents in 139 countries who were asked whether they had given money to a good cause, volunteered their time and helped a stranger
  • Globally, donating money and helping a stranger fell by nearly 2 percent
  • Myanmar held the top position of the World Giving Index as the most generous country

New York, USA, September 6, 2017: The world’s poorest continent continued to grow more generous according to a yearly index of charitable giving called World Giving Index released on Tuesday, bucking the trend of otherwise declining signs of charity worldwide.

Africa was in a 2016 survey the only continent to report a continent-wide increase of its index generosity score when compared to its five-year average.

The score is a combined measure of respondents in 139 countries who were asked whether they had given money to a good cause, volunteered their time and helped a stranger.

“Despite the many challenges our continent is facing, it is encouraging to see that generosity continues to grow,” said Gill Bates, Southern Africa’s CEO for the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) that commissioned the poll.

Numbers for donating money dip

But globally, donating money and helping a stranger fell by nearly 2 percent, while volunteering dropped about 1 percent, the index showed.

From the United States to Switzerland and Singapore to Denmark, the index showed that the planet’s 10 richest countries by GDP per capita, for which data was available, saw declines in their generosity index score.

Myanmar leads the world

Myanmar, for the fourth consecutive year, held the top position of the World Giving Index as the most generous country.

Nine in ten of those surveyed in the Southeast Asian nation said they had donated money during the previous month.

Indonesia ranked second on the combined measure of generosity, overtaking the United States which held that position in last year’s index.

Big jump for Kenya

A star performer, CAF said, was the East African nation of Kenya, which jumped from twelfth to third place in a single year.

Yemen, the Middle East’s poorest country, which has been grappling with the effects of civil war ranked bottom of the World Giving Index.

The index is primarily based on data from a global poll of 146,000 respondents by market research firm Gallup. (VOA)

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Young Girls in Africa Undergo Breast Ironing to Curtail Rape and Male Gaze

The girls in Africa have to go through unbearable pain during the process of ‘breast ironing’, the purpose of which they are unaware at the delicate age

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Young girls in Africa undergo Breast Ironing to curtail rape and male gaze
Psychosocial workers help rape survivors. Wikimedia Commons

August 08, 2017: How brave is the world we live in – Just Imagine! They have come up with a solution to battle with increasing rapes – “Breast Ironing“, undoubtedly the most sickening thing ever. We always cry and shout that “RAPE” should be stopped. How does one ask for it? By changing minds, by treating women as equal counterparts, and by not misusing them in illicit activities. Nevertheless, in Africa, mothers are doing breast ironing of their daughter to save them from rape and to curtail salacious activities. Women are suffering either this way or that way. In Africa, people find it right because it will save young girls from sexual harassment and the male gaze.

What is ‘Breast Ironing’? 

It is a method of crushing and flattening young girl’s developing chest. The girls have to go through unbearable pain during the process of ‘breast ironing’, the purpose of which they are unaware at the delicate age. The rationale being- people will not look at their childish appearance and there will be no point of premarital pregnancy, rape attempts, and other licentious activities etc. In the process of crushing their chest, large stones and a hammer is been heated over the hot coals and is used to compress the breast tissue, so that women will look younger than her age

What’s more heart wrenching is that their mothers think it’s the only right thing to do. “Breast ironing is a well-kept secret between the young girl and her mother. Often the father remains completely unaware. The girl believes that what her mother is doing is for her own good and she keeps silent. This silence perpetuates the phenomenon and all of its consequences”, mentioned in TOPYAPS.

This practice is condemned in many parts of the world, however, fortunately, a year ago many people cornered and whined about this practice. It is truly disturbing to feel that something like will spare ladies from assault. Breast ironing is unquestionably painful and it also causes problems like cancer, itching, breast infections, discharge of milk, and tissue damage.

This method is so painful that women have started to feel disgusted and they refuse to touch their breasts. Women in Africa also hate their bodies, which is even more depressing.

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Presently, steps are being taken to stop this heinous practice. They’ve been shown that breasts are made by God and they are not filthy. They are a piece of the human body, and ought to be acknowledged. The men should control their thirst and should keep out of mischief.

There are numerous associations that are progressing to spread awareness concerning the matter. A London-based charity Women’s and Girl’s Development Organization and the Association of Aunties are spreading awareness.

The practice ought to be ceased on the grounds that it’s not sparing lives, but rather it is harming ladies’ body to an ever increasing extent.

 


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Researchers Find Hints to a ‘Ghost’ Species of Ancient Human in Africa

In a new analysis of a protein found in saliva, researchers discovered evidence of archaic admixture in modern people living in sub-Saharan Africa, indicating that another species had contributed to the genetic material of their ancestors.

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Ghost Species
Evolution of homosapien. Pixabay

July 23, 2017: Researchers revealed ancient Africans may have involved in a ‘sexual rendezvous’ with a ‘ghost’ species of archaic humans. The new research is among more recent genetic studies showing that ancient Africans also had rendezvous with other early hominins.

The research summed to a growing body of evidence implying that sexual rendezvous between different archaic human species may not have been unusual.

In saliva, University at Buffalo scientists detected hints that a “ghost” species of archaic humans contributed genetic material to ancestors of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa today.

Also Read: Ancient Human Ancestor was Tallest known member of Prehuman Species, best known for Fossil Skeleton nicknamed “Lucy” 

“It seems that interbreeding between different early hominin species is not the exception – it’s the norm,” said lead researcher Omer Gokcumen to Business Standard.

“Our research traced the evolution of an important mucin protein called MUC7 that is found in saliva,” he remarked. “When we looked at the history of the gene that codes for the protein, we see the signature of archaic admixture in modern day Sub-Saharan African populations.”

The researchers came upon their discoveries while exploring the reason and origins of the MUC7 protein, which helps give spit its slimy consistency and ties to organisms, possibly freeing the assortment of sickness causing microscopic organisms.

The examination inferred that MUC7 seems to impact the structure of the oral microbiome, the accumulation of microorganisms inside the mouth. The proof for this originated from an examination of organic specimens from 130 individuals, which found that diverse forms of the MUC7 quality were connected with various oral microbiome compositions.

“From what we know of MUC7, it makes sense that people with different versions of the MUC7 gene could have different oral microbiomes,” lead researcher Stefan Ruhl said. “The MUC7 protein is thought to enhance the ability of saliva to bind to microbes, an important task that may help prevent disease by clearing unwanted bacteria or other pathogens from the mouth.”

-By Staff writer at Newsgram