Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rhino Conservation Hits The Cannes Film Fest!

     Colin Egglesfield and Bill Skarsgard pair up at a benefit held by Mammoth Entertainment and LyonHeartLove Foundation to protect illegally poached African Rhino on Friday (May 17) at Villa L’Albri in Cannes, France.

     The event was held during the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where Billpromoted the documentary Rhino, which is currently in progress.

     He was joined at the benefit by producer Todd Courtney and director Andreas Ohman at the event, as well as the Variety Studio earlier in the day, where they chatted about the new film. Watch the clip below!


Friday, May 17, 2013

I've Never Seen Footage Like This Before!!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"JOJO": The Little Saviour For My Son........

My son, William, had a breakdown after many years of battling mental health issues 3 years ago. In January of 2011, we had to say goodbye to our little Bandit (a Shihtsu) after he was with us for 16 years. William was heartbroken and lonely, as many people with serious mental health issues are. Our home was too empty without a four-legged friend. Rather quickly, we decided to give a rescued dog a home and the search began. William found JOJO on the Mississauga Humane Society website and immediately felt that he was the one. When we met JOJO at Tom’s, his foster parent’s home, we fell in love with him instantly. JOJO was showing off in ways that Tom hadn't seen before, so clearly the feelings were mutual!

JOJO was 9 years old when he found us...and we've had such fun trying to figure him out. He 'talks' to me when I play with him or give him cuddles, but doesn't do this with anyone else, including my son, who he's best friends with. I imagine that maybe this was something he did with his former mom, who I understand had to go into a nursing home. My son is lavished with kisses often though!

From the moment we got him from The Mississauga Humane Society, he adjusted quickly and was very well-behaved! He doesn't like the groomer much, but comes home proud as a peacock after each visit! JOJO is a great communicator and every day we continue to learn together! He came to us with a minor ear infection, which was resolved quickly and also resulted in us discovering that he's allergic to chicken, a common food and treat ingredient that was causing the ear problems. So, he now has salmon and veggie food that has resolved the ear issues and vegetarian teeth-cleaning treats that we get from our vet clinic! JOJO has now gone through several ropes which he's very protective of. For Christmas he got a new colourful nesting blanket that he just loves.

Jojo was a saviour for my son, who rarely went outdoors and was rather lonely and isolated as a result of his condition. They quickly became best friends and went for long walks together. About 6 months ago, they met some friends at one of our local parks and now, every day, at 5pm, they all meet up to play! Sometimes, one of the moms in the club invites everyone back to her place for a doggy party!

Going back to school... Last summer, the progress my son made (thanks to JOJO’s companionship) gave him some newfound confidence, which led him to go back to school; something neither of us thought would ever happen again. They miss each other a lot when they're apart, but happy reunions happen after each night class!! He's happy and healthy and gives us so much joy with his loving personality, cuddles and kisses!

Thank you for all that you do and for all the foster parents that give so generously of their time and love until these beautiful animals find their forever homes! We know JOJO has!!   By: Cris Sturino

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hope For The Hammerhead Shark!


     With the listing of hammerhead sharks in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) during the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (CoP16) held from March 4th -14th in Bangkok, Thailand, the world expressed the urgent need to protect this species from the threat posed by the international trade of its products,
particularly fins, which are highly prized to prepare shark fin soup in Asia. The latest scientific information available indicates that up to 100 million sharks are killed each year to meet the demand of the international market, which has led to a 90-95% demise of global hammerhead shark populations.  The need for action is 

Randall (second from left) with fellow Hammerhead supporters in Bangkok

     Costa Rica, along with Honduras and Brazil, proposed the inclusion of hammerhead sharks in Appendix II of CITES, hoping to finally interrupt this unsustainable extraction of sharks, which has been denounced for decades but for which no effective measures have been taken in a regional, or even less, a global context. It must be pointed out that the listing of hammerhead sharks in Appendix II does not mean that a total ban on the international trade of the species will be installed, but rather guarantees through the issuing of a “Non Detriment Finding”by the exporting country that the extraction of specimens from the wild population was done in a sustainable manner.  Failure to do so translates into economic sanctions. This of course, directly interferes with the current unsustainable extraction of sharks, 
something that the Asian block of nations, led by Japan and China, weren’t about to allow. 

Randall Arauz and Jose Truda Palazzo Jr from Divers For Sharks

     Lacking any technical arguments, they claimed before the delegates of the world that this measure would not only be too difficult to implement, but it would also have adverse effects on artisanal fisheries in developing countries. Nothing could be farther from the truth!  Is Cites meant to work only when
implementations measures are easy? In addition, artisanal fishers are not affected by Cites any way whatsoever, as they trade mainly juvenile sharks in domestic markets.  In any case, if anything at all they benefitted by the measure, as it guarantees the sustainable exploitation of adults in the high seas. incredibly enough, one of the main hurdles to overcome in order to achieve this victory in Cites emanated internally, from the very own fisheries management departments of each Central American country, all of which echoed the same technically unsubstantiated claims by Japan and China to oppose the proposal.  

     Thanks to the favorable opinion of the Central American Environment and Development Council (CCAD), the Central American countries were able to override their own fisheries 
authorities and thus consolidated a block in favor of the hammerhead shark, which was joined by South America, Mexico, Canada, USA, the European Union and a block of West African nations. And thus, Japan and China failed in their attempt to derail the hammerhead proposal, which was supported by more than two thirds of the 177 CITES member countries, as well as their effort to call for a second vote during plenary meeting, which could have 
succeeded if they would have had the support of one third of the member countries.  

     Their defeat was overwhelming.  Hurrah for Hammerhead Sharks! I believe that if Japan and China learned anything at all, its that in Latin America we aren’t going to take the overfishing and depletion of sharks anymore. I just hope that the fisheries authorities of the region, that have been dedicated for decades to defend the interest of foreign fleets over the public interest, learned this lesson as well.  

- Randall Arauz
President of Pretoma
Originally published in La Nacion Costa Rica on April 1st 2013

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Enough Is Enough

My beloved Raabia Hawa speaking on behalf of the countless animals that have been poached in Eastern Africa this past year.  Please take a moment out of your day to watch and share her passion.  We can ALL make a difference!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bindi Irwin Censored By Hillary Clinton

     Unbelievably, my beloved Bindi Irwin has been silenced by former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding overpopulation   Bindi was invited to write a 1000 word essay in regards to why she was so commited to being a Wildlife Warrior.  Unfortunately, freedom of speech was clearly not allowed.  Please take a few minutes to watch Bindi's reaction to receiving a cut-down version of her essay which was returned shortly after she submitted it to Mrs. Clinton's department.

     And now you have the opportunity to hear Bindi Irwin read her FULL speech which she submitted to Hillary Clinton before it had been revised.  If our governments cannot even listen to and feel threatened by the honesty of a fourteen year old then I am very worried at what the next 20 years are going to look like.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gorilla Munch Cereal Continues To Support Conservation Efforts!

*Dian & Her Beloved Gorilla's*
     Nature’s Path EnviroKidz Gorilla Munch cereal has a new look!  If you’ve seen or purchased this organic gluten-free cereal in a grocery store, you are familiar with the smiling silverback looking out over a bowl of cereal and strawberries. Now, on the new packaging you’ll see a young gorilla sitting behind the cereal bowl, raising his arms in delight. While the new illustration catches your eye, the important change is in the updated information, games and resources on the rest of the box - both inside and out. The information includes facts about gorillas and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International; ways to help; and a gorilla adoption promotion. EnviroKids has also paid special attention to making the new box easy for children to read. Fossey Fund staff were pleased to help write both the original text and the updated version.
*Beautiful New Box!!*

     Nature’s Path, an environmentally friendly organic cereal manufacturer, produces the EnviroKidz line of cereals geared to children. One percent of the sales of each box of EnviroKidz cereal benefits non-profit organizations that support endangered species and habitat conservation and environmental education for children. All the boxes display educational copy as well as games and jokes related to the featured animal.

The independently run company was founded in Vancouver, Canada by the Stephens family, who are committed to supporting a sustainable environment through their business.  Leaders in their field, the Stephens family opened the first certified organic cereal manufacturing facility in North America. Nature’s Path now sells its products in more than 42 countries.                          

     “We have been working with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund for over 10 years, and we are inspired by what they have been able to do for the endangered mountain gorillas of Africa,” says Nature’s Path’s Sustainability Manager Jayson Boyce. “Our funds have supported research and education in Africa that directly benefits both gorillas and humans, and we are proud to be partners with the Fossey Fund.”
*A Picture I Took When I Visited Uganda In 2010*

     Nature’s Path has supported the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International since 2001. They began by giving a small gift and featuring the Fund’s gorilla adoption program on the Gorilla Munch box, which raised almost $100,000 by 2010. Their contributions grew over the years to include a Giving Back Award in 2009 which supported conservation education in schools near Volcanoes National Park; internships at the Fossey Fund’s Karisoke Research Center for biology students from the National University of Rwanda; and programs at the community-based Tayna Center for Conservation Biology (TCCB) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have also supported the expansion of a Disney Company-designed conservation education program which the Fossey Fund offers to primary schools near the park; the revival of environment clubs at secondary schools near the park; and the Fossey Fund’s annual hosting of a gorilla trek for local community leaders, which has led to community members becoming actively involved in helping to protect the park.

     In 2011, Nature’s Path selected the Fossey Fund as one of a small group of organizations that would receive at least $20,000 per year for three years for special projects without having to compete for the grant each year, which has made planning easier. During the past couple of years, Nature’s Path’s support has made it possible for the environment clubs' programs to expand to include:
  • a Citizen Science initiative which trains secondary school students to conduct their own field research
  • a special coloring book for younger children
  • a nature walk program for at-risk youth who are not in school
  • a film program for the communities around the park
  • production of a conservation-themed radio drama for airing on TCCB’s student-run station.

     “Nature’s Path has set a great example of a responsible corporate citizen through their long-term commitment to saving endangered species, especially through conservation education,” says Fossey Fund President and CEO Clare Richardson. “We hope the new box with its engaging design and text will inspire a new generation to support gorilla conservation.”

Friday, February 1, 2013

Every Egg Counts!!

My fav Guatemalan conservation organization, ARCAS, is starting a campaign to help reconstruct two hatcheries that will house Olive Ridley and Leatherback Sea Turtle eggs for their 2013 turtle nesting season.  I volunteered with ARCAS back in 2009 and had such a wonderful experience protecting the turtles and their eggs against the countless poachers!  Please read below and share with all of your family and friends!! :)

Campaign Overview

Support sea turtle conservation in the rural town of Hawaii, Guatemala by helping to build a secure hatchery for sea turtle eggs.
Our Goal
Help us save leatherback and olive ridley sea turtle eggs and hatchlings in Guatemala by helping us build a new hatchery!

Our Background
Despite their endangered status, virtually all sea turtle nests in Guatemala are poached and the eggs sold as a supposed aphrodisiac. This practice has contributed to the decline of leatherback and olive ridley populations in the Pacific Ocean. To counter this, the government established an egg donation system whereby local egg collectors are allowed to harvest nests as long as they donate a dozen eggs per nest to a local hatchery, and that is where ARCAS (the Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Association) comes in! With the help of international volunteers, ARCAS solicits donations of sea turtle eggs from local collectors, reburies them in one of its two hatcheries and after an incubation period of roughly 50 days, releases the hatchlings into the sea.

Your Contribution
Now this is where you come in! ARCAS’s main Hawaii Hatchery is over 18 years old, severely deteriorated by the wind and salt blowing off the Pacific Ocean, and is in urgent need of reconstruction. The hatchery can no longer accommodate the growing numbers of eggs that ARCAS collects and is no longer a secure place to incubate eggs. Holes in the protective fencing and the walls of the hatchery allow predators to get inside the hatchery and steal precious eggs and hatchlings.

Help us raise the money we need to build a proper and secure hatchery! Your donation will have a direct conservation effect, ensuring the survival of the endangered sea turtle eggs and hatchlings of the beaches of Hawaii!
Important Note! 
Because there is no PayPal service in Guatemala, our friends at the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) have kindly offered to act as our fiscal sponsor for this campaign by allowing us to use their PayPal account to process payments.
Both WIDECAST and ARCAS are nonprofit organizations so your donation is tax deductible (in the US). Please feel free to email us at with any questions.

Tipping Point Goal: $2,500

Total Funding Goal: $6,800

How your money will be used: 
$2,500 covers the most essential materials that will allow us to start building the initial structure for the hatchery: all the cinder blocks, fencing, cement, and wood.
$3,400 covers all of the costs of building one hatchery including labor and transportation costs.
$6,800 covers all of the costs of building two hatcheries including materials, labor, and transportation costs.
If we were lucky enough to raise even more, we would use additional funds to rebuild ARCAS’s third hatchery in the fishing village of El Rosario, 6kms to the east of Hawaii. Additional funds could also go to building educational exhibits or to covering the salary of a hatchery manager.

Total Price
Wood (3/8")
Wood (1/4")
Plastic fencing        
TOTAL Quetzales

Thursday, January 31, 2013

This Video Gives Me Goosebumps!!

     With Earth Hour 2013 fast approaching I wanted to share with you WWF's "I Will If You Will" video!!  I have participated in Earth Hour for the past several years and my biggest fear is this amazing event slowly fizzling out!  With your help we CAN keep this movement alive!!

What are you doing this year for Earth Hour 2013????  


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Visiting Touch of Life Animal Shelter in Egypt!!

   *Myself with 3 day old puppies born at the shelter*
          Well, it has been a crazy few months!  Not only did I all get through the relentless holiday rush and Christmas celebrations, I also visited one of the most unique countries on earth......Egypt!  I had the most amazing time with my good diving friend Maria who hails from Sweden.  We spent a week diving the most Southern part of the Egyptian Red Sea!  Being able to dive up to four times a day, being surrounded by the ocean and in the company of fellow enthusiasts, Maria and I couldn't have had a better week!

        Upon returning to land from sea, Maria and I spent a day touring the temples of Luxor and then we had 3 days in Cairo.  During my final day in Egypt (after Maria had flown back to Sweden) I had the opportunity to visit the Touch of Life animal shelter in Giza.    

         I had such a wonderful time and spent 5 hours with the founder of TOL; Anouchka Mellin, her good friend and fellow volunteer Manal Gad and their two shelter staff.  The animal shelter is actually a rented house on some beautiful property which houses everything from donkeys, horses and goats to dogs and cats.  The dogs were so well cared for and clearly had so much fun running around the property.

         The cats are all indoors and have access to the three levels of the house.  I honestly couldn't believe how well they all get along and the fact that there was NO smell and EVERYONE used the litter boxes was astonishing!


     Unfortunately, as in many parts of the world, animal welfare is basically non-existant in Egypt.  Every day dogs and cats are abused, hit by cars and simply thrown away as trash.  With only 3 working shelters in Cairo/Giza it is a constant uphill battle to save as many lives as possible.  I was so glad I visited Touch of Life as they are one of the smaller and lesser known shelters in the area.  Anouchka has dedicated her life to rescuing as many animals as possible and changing the way Egyptians treat their pets.

       From Canada, I brought a small animal carrier filled with toys for both the dogs and cats, towels, medical gloves, plastic syringes, masks and leashes & collars that can be used for years to come.  I was also fortunate enough to leave $80.00 which will be used to purchase medications for some of the cats which have come into the shelter with eye infections. I have visited many shelters and animal rescue groups from around the world but for some reason TOL has really touched my heart and I am dedicated to helping them however I can!  I am currently holding a 50/50 raffle for TOL and so far a total of $225.00 has been raised for the shelter and $225.00 for the winner!  If you are interested in purchasing some tickets please leave a message below!!  Tickets are $3 each or 5 tickets for $10!!