Tuesday, 31 January 2017

London's amazing new baby a from Central/South American migrant parents: A baby ANTEATER

Beanie, Born Dec 28th 2016

With the current state of the world going on about migrants, and taking our jobs, taking back our country, banning you from here, but not from there, and all those alternative facts your mind might just be about to burst, so just for a moment, revel with me in the good, no great baby news of London!

London, has a new arrival, from migrant parents! A (very cute) baby Anteater named Beanie.
Born just after Christmas, Beanie, weighing just 1.2kg, has a surrogate mum in the shape of lovely fluffy yellow teddy bear. 
Beanie's first time mum Inca rejected her new offspring, but the stripy baby will soon be introduced to the rest of the giant anteater family at ZSL London Zoo, where keepers hope that more experienced female Sauna will take over other mothering duties, such as carrying Beanie around and socialising her, so she can grow up part of the group.

Young anteaters get around by clinging to their mother’s backs, so the newborn has been keeping a firm grip on zookeeper Amy Heath’s shoulder, Amy keeps a watchful eye on Beanies development keeping a record of all her activities, eating, sleeping and of course the ol' bowel movements.
Little Beanie is bottle fed and hand fed (which will go on for about the next 6 months) before getting all cosy and falling asleep cuddling her giant teddy bear.

She's already developed her curved claws, which will grow up to four inches in length and are used to dig around in the ground to find tasty ants and termites.

Beanie with her surrogate muma teddy
 Amy, loves caring for the baby Anteater;
“Giant anteaters are an incredible species, they’re unique to look at and their iconic snouts are perfectly designed to sniff out their food. While they’ve got no teeth, their claws are the perfect tools for digging an opening into ants’ nests and Beanie has been practising her digging skills on her teddy bear, or even sometimes my shoulder! She’s a very strong youngster with a sweet personality; she loves to burrow her long snout into my neck for a cuddle!”
Beanie weighs 1.6kg having gained weight since her birth- and despite Beanie's tiny size now she’ll grow to be around 7ft in length and weigh as much as 45kg.
She looks adorable and such a welcome addition to the London population, Anteaters are naturally from Central and South America, which have the largest of four species of existing anteater.
They are endangered because of  threats including habitat destruction, fire, and poaching for their fur and as bushmeat, classed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. 
aww, look at that face.
Proving that having this animal in a safe welcoming city like London, can save this animals from crazy people with guns and a mortal fate, and caring people like Amy is exactly what London and it's people are about.
Looking at her sweet innocent face though I might be a little gentle with my hugs given her long sharp claws!
Do find out more about the Zoo and the good work it does to protect all species.
Their slogan: "Imagine a world without Wildlife"  I'd rather not, if that's OK. Get involved at: www.zsl.org

*note: despite rumours disseminated by 'alternative facts' agencies, Inca was never heard to have said 'these teddy bears, come here, to the Zoo, taking our babies! Anteaters first!'  at any time in the enclosure at London Zoo'
The surrogate teddy may or may not have been made in China, it matters not, we are all welcome in London.

Friday, 9 September 2016

London Loop, tranquility hikes INSIDE London

Yes, this is still London.
Pic Credit Hina Pandya 2016©️
When I had a rather hectic time at work my friend suggested I take a hike.
Now, I love hiking, so it wasn't hard to say yes.
But I couldn't really travel far to the hills of the Brecon Beacons in Wales or to the beautiful Ben Nevis in Scotland.
I live in London, a city, buildings not greenery... or so I thought.

I was wrong. Apparently the London Loop which has long been in existence is signposted and has trails you'd never know existed.
Secret alcoves with nesting birds, Pic credit Hina Pandya 2016 ©️

Straight off the tube we hiked 10 miles through trails of trees, besides waterways of the Grand Union canal, down across field of cows, through corn fields- yes I said corn fields, across deep forest where we were quiet enough- and slow enough- it was uphill to see wild deer, and all in London.
The instructions to find the paths can sometimes be very obscure like "find a big bush and turn right into the forest" Bizarrely you find it.

Seriously amazing.
It feels like a real accomplishment.

Forests with deer, be very quiet or you'll miss them
Pic credit Hina Pandya 2016©️
It completely shook me out of my city hectic mode, and took me to a wonderful magical area I thought was only accessible by a plane or by many hours of driving, and actually all it took was a few stops on the tube.
We followed the directions from a book bought specifically to do all 24 hikes, but event TFL has a link to the London Loop here.
None of the walks are too strenuous I'd say. But some inclines and uneven grounds. These can be avoided too, by following the instructions from the book.

*We went from Uxbridge to Moor Park. 10 miles.
Uxbridge to Harefield West
Harefield West to Moor Park