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Tuesday, July 29 2014 @ 02:48 PM EDT

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Police Officers Discover Someone Keeping An Ocelot As A Pet in Tocumen

Animals & PetsOn Friday morning the National Police announced the discovery of an ocelot in a vehicle at the entrance to the neighborhood of Nuevo Tocumen, on Thursday. (more)

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"Free Pass" Through The Corridors For Mother's Day Eve

Animals & PetsToday, drivers can go through the North and South Corridors at no cost.

This measure was applied, according to the Executive Branch, as one of the alternatives to reduce traffic, especially due to the upcoming holidays.

The Cabinet Council approved this free pass for the 23, 24, 30 and 31 of December, in order to improve traffic during this time of the year.

In the Resolution, the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) was authorized to allow this free pass through the corridors for Mother’s Day, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

This initiative was announced beforehand by President Ricardo Martinelli. (Telemetro)

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Cop Who Killed Pitbull Fined and Charged

Animals & PetsThe Fifth Circuit Prosecutor presses charges against an officer of the Institutional Protection Service (SPI) who shot and killed a Pitbull named 'Zeus'.

The incident happened last August in the Carrasquilla neighborhood of Panama City.

Sources in the prosecutor's office said last week the prosecutor Ruth Morcillo signed the resolution to press charges for animal cruelty against the agent, whose name was not disclosed.

The officer has already been fined $1,000 by the Justice of the Peace in San Francisco. (Prensa)

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Panama Signed The Universal Declaration On Animal Welfare

Animals & PetsPanama adopted the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, grouping together member countries of the United Nations to prevent and eradicate animal mistreatment.

Panama is the third country in Central America to sign this agreement, which is an initiative of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), after Nicaragua signed it on 2011 and Costa Rica on 2012.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fernando Nuñez Fábrega, sent an official letter to the WSPA stating the commitment of the Panamanian government with this cause, and said “this represents progress towards a fairer society for human beings, the environment and animals.”

The manager of programs for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean of the WSPA, Marcela Varga, celebrated Panama’s decision and said “with this support, Panamanian authorities prove to the world that the country is committed to caring for animals.” (Estrella)

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Ayú Prado Demanded An Explanation From Moncada On The Budget For The Judicial Branch

Animals & PetsThe magistrate of the Criminal Chamber, José Ayú Prado, asked the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, Alejandro Moncada Luna, an urgent and extraordinary meeting to explain why the Judicial Branch only received $105 million for the budget for 2014.

Ayú Prado’s inquiry arises because Moncada Luna informed the Court on August 28 that the Budget Committee of the Assembly approved $27 million more, so the total was going to be $132 million.

Ayú Prado, in a note sent in October 16, requested Moncada Luna to call for “an extraordinary and urgent meeting” with the representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Finances, and the members of the directive board of the Assembly to clarify the difference between the numbers.

Also, he suggested the rest of the magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice to go with him to this meeting “showing their solidarity.”

The note of Ayú Prado was sent the same day that the National Assembly approved, in third hearing, the general budget of the State for 2014, in which the $105 million budget for the Judicial Branch was confirmed.

This amount was formalized in Law 75, dictating the general budget of State for 2014 and published in the Official Gazette 27400-A of October 22. (Prensa)

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The Office Of The First Lady Organized The "Animaloton"

Animals & PetsThe Office of the First Lady organized the “Animaloton” for tomorrow from 11 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Parque Omar.

The First Lady, Marta Linares de Martinelli, said this activity was organized to support four different organizations for animals who work with bare necessities, due to the lack of supplies, caring for and sterilizing pets.

During this event, they request people to help by providing food for dogs and cats, collars and leashes, sheets, antibacterial soaps, syringes, toys, trash bags, as well as shovels.

At the same time they will be giving animals on adoption, which is why people interested in adopting must bring along their water or electricity bill and give a donation of $15 or $20.

The campaign takes place after several unfortunate events in which dogs have been stabbed, shot at and burnt with hot water.

Ms. Martinelli said Law 70 from 2013 is in force, which punishes animal mistreatment, therefore she recommends the people to report any related incident before the Police, representatives and the Ministry of Agricultural Development. (TVN)

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Golden Frogs Are Reproduced In Captivity At The EVACC

Animals & PetsThe tenacious scientific work to preserve the tiny golden frog, a symbolic animal for Panamanians since pre-Colombian times, and endangered due to the spread of a fungus began to bear fruit through captive reproduction.

The El Valle Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project (EVACC), involving Panamanian and foreign scientists, announced they have managed to reproduce 42 healthy golden frogs, they now have six months of age.

Frogs have an average lifespan of eight to ten years. The project's director, Heidi Ross, said it is the first time since 2006, when he started the initiative, that they have managed to add the golden frog in their list of amphibian species bred in captivity at their facility. The EVACC is located in the Amphibian Conservation Center at the Anton Valley, in Cocle, which also works successfully in the conservation of other 18 species, 11 of those are endangered. (Critica)

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SPI Who Killed Pit Bull Was Fined With $1,000

Animals & PetsThe agent from the Institutional Protection System (SPI) who shot a pit bull dog in Carrasquilla last month was fined with $1,000 by the representative of San Francisco, Alba Mena.

It was known the agent appealed, so know it’s up to the authorities to accept or deny the resource.

On the other hand, a meeting was organized for the 21 representatives of the city to analyze the issue on applying fines in cases involving animal abuse. During this meeting, organized by the coordinator of representatives, the Association “Angels of Animals” also participated.

The purpose of this meeting was to educate the representatives on how to apply Law 70 from October 12, 2012, which establishes sanctions from $500 to $1,000 to those who harm domestic animals in any way.

It was also known that many of the representatives had no idea of how to apply Law 70. (TVN)

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Families Gathered With Their Pets At The Causeway To Defend Pitbulls

Animals & PetsMany people joined the international movement against a law about having pitbulls as pets. This was a family event in which pets were the main characters.

Pitbulls of all ages were taken by their owners to the Causeway. They marched supporting other countries where the authorities want to introduce Law 158 regarding the prohibition of introduction, possession, breeding, purchase and sale of this breed.

Different pitbull clubs and families walked with their pets, where they showed how good these dogs were and how it all depends in how they are raised. Some of these pitbulls were even adopted to be the companions of children.

After the recent incident where a woman died after a pitbull attacked her, breeders explained any race can be violent, it depends on the education they receive, and if there are people using these dogs for fights, they must be sanctioned.

It was a walk where the owners had a good time with their pets and showed how they were part of their families too. (TVN)

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Harpy Eagles Are Recovered From Kusapín And Chocolatal

Animals & PetsTwo harpy eagles were rescued yesterday in Kusapín, Ngäbe Bugle region, and Chocolatal Arriba in Metetí, Darien, near the Wargandi region.

The eagle in Kusapín was rescued thanks to an anonymous report from the citizens, who said a harpy eagle was held captive in a house.

Upon arrival, members of the National Police and the National Environmental Authority (ANAM) realized the eagle was kept captive in a wooden box.

Later, it was given to the ANAM park rangers and taken to the city, where it received veterinary care.

The eagle recovered from Chocolatal was found on the floor by some local farmers, who kept the eagle for eight days in their home.

Even though they were feeding it with chicken meat, the animal seemed undernourished and exhausted, probably due to the long distance travelled on horseback until Chocolatal, said Agustín Corrales, ANAM’s Regional Administrator. (Prensa)

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The Harpy Eagle "Panama" Arrived in Panama

Animals & PetsThe harpy eagle “Panama”, which was born in 2009 at Miami Zoo, arrived this morning to the country from the United States. She arrived on a flight from American Airlines in a special cage.

Ron Magill, communications director of the Miami Zoo, said the eagle "traveled in first class" and was quiet during the journey.

"I couldn’t sleep for three days wondering how her trip would be (…) she is a very curious animal, because she stares at people, but I can say she remained calm during the flight," said Magill.

The bird will be taken to the premises of the "Harpy Eagle" from the Summit Park and it will be presented on June 17.

Since her birth, “she was taken care of by her parents, i.e. the adult eagles, which makes her special, because it is the first time a harpy eagle is born in a U.S. Zoo," said the National Environment Authority. (Prensa)

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Martinelli Has A Reunion With Members Of Different Parties

Animals & PetsAnel "Bolo" Flores, of the PRD, considered it an "honor" and a great opportunity to discuss national issues with the President of the Republic of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, the invitation of his to meet with other members of the PRD.

The meeting was held in the Casa del Marisco restaurant, where the president and leader of the ruling Democratic Change, have held political meetings with figures from other parties, such as the president of panameñismo, Mireya Moscoso.

Flores praised the work of the government. "The quality of life of Panamanians will change soon when they get on the subway and get home in less than 22 minutes" and referred to the figure of José Domingo Arias as a presidential candidate, recognizing he had a successful start.

In the meeting, the State Secretary of Communication, Luis Eduardo Camacho and Rep. José Muñoz, were also involved. (Mi Diario)

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Canine Units Are Awarded For Drug Seizures

Animals & PetsIt is not common to see animals being decorated in this country.

However, a month ago, three dogs from the Canine Unit of the National Police (PN) were honored for their contribution in the seizure of narcotics in the country.

The National Police decided to reward the three most effective dogs in drug seizures from December of last year until March 2013. This trio of trained pets has been involved in 36 cases of drug retention.

The first place was the unit Arena, a female Labrador who was participated in 14 cases.

The second place belongs to Daron, a cocker who has participated in 12 events of drug seizure; he has been for seven years in the unit. Finally, the Belgian Shepherd Dir, with 10 cases. (Panama America)

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A Meter Long Lizard - As A Pet?

Animals & PetsA lizard of about a meter long was rescued when he was found inside a residence located in Juan Diaz.

Police said some missionaries who passed through the area realized young people had the lizard as a pet and offered them money in exchange for its release.

Police said they called on the National Environmental Authority (ANAM), but received no response, so the reptile will be taken back to its natural habitat. (TVN)

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Opossum Causes Short Circuit - Knocks Out Power to 12,000 People

Animals & PetsAn opossum that tried to walk through some high voltage primary cables at the power substation located in Changuinola in Bocas del Toro caused a blackout.

The short circuit caused severe damage to the battery bank of eight thousand volts and 200 amperes at the distribution plant.

Enoch Arauz, director of the Office of Rural Electrification (OER), said the blackout was a fortuitous situation, because the animal caused the short circuit which subsequently caused the damage to the battery bank.

The blackout, which left more than 12,000 users without electrical service in the district, occurred at about 11:45 pm last Tuesday. Service was restored by 8:00 am on Wednesday morning.

At the time of this writing, the Chamber of Commerce of the province had not yet quantified the economic losses generated by the blackout. (Siglo)

Editor's Comment: In Panama they use the term "zorra" when they are talking about opossums, a word which in the rest of Latin America normally means a "fox." That's where the sword fighting Mexican hero "Zorro" comes from - because he was as crafty as a fox. In reality, "zorra" is usually slang for "slut."

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Ancient seaways carried crocodilians to South America

Animals & PetsBy Tanya Lewis - Crocodilian fossil skulls found in the Panama Canal may provide the missing link between the mouthy reptiles of North America and their kin in South America, scientists say.

The skulls belong to two new species of ancient crocodilians (a group that today contains alligators, crocodiles, caimans and gharials) that lived about 20 million years ago during the Miocene epoch. These new findings, detailed in the March issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, suggest these alligator brethren slinked between the continents using ancient seaways much earlier than once thought.

"The tropics hold some of the greatest diversity on the planet. Yet there's still so little that we know about them," study co-author Jonathan Bloch, a paleontologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History, told LiveScience. The fossil record in Central America is limited, because rocks there tend to be covered by forest, Bloch said, so the Panama excavation provides "a new window back into the past that's very difficult to get at in the tropics."

An interdisciplinary team found the fossils of the new species, Culebrasuchus mesoamericanus and Centenariosuchus gilmorei, during the current expansion of the Panama Canal, as part of a fossil hunt called the Panama Canal Project. Culebrasuchus mesoamericanus was probably about 6- to 7-feet-long and Centenariosuchus gilmorei was about 4- to 5.5-feet long, the researchers say. Analysis of the reptiles' evolutionary trees revealed the new species are related to caimans, South American relatives of alligators.

When these creatures lived, North America and South America were separated by a seaway. It was only later, about 2.6 million years ago, the Isthmus of Panama rose up to form a land bridge between the continents. That pathway allowed mammals such as armadillos and giant sloths to move into North America while relatives of horses and other animals spread into South America.

The discovery of the new crocodilian species living on both continents before the emergence of the land bridge suggests caiman ancestors crossed a saltwater seaway to reach South America. The finding is somewhat surprising, because alligator and crocodile species lack salt glands for processing seawater. Recent evidence suggests that perhaps the seaway separating not as wide as scientists thought, the authors say.

These caiman predecessors probably followed a North-to-South migration, lead author Alex Hastings, a paleontologist at Georgia Southern University, told LiveScience. "We know there was a transition from alligators to caimans, but we didn't have any evidence (until now)," Hastings said. "We are just scratching the surface of what we can learn from Central America."

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5 Meter Long Boa Constrictor Swallowed A Man Whole In The Darien

Animals & PetsA huge boa constrictor that was more than 5 meters (16 feet) long swallowed a man whole.

This incident - which has not been confirmed by the authorities - allegedly took place in the jungle community of Embera-Wounaan ethnicity, known as Sierpe, in the Darien province.

The incident was reported on 30 January this year, when natives of the community caught the reptile that was moulting or shedding its skin.

At the same time, when they saw the snake in the Darien jungle, they noticed that the lump inside of the snake was shaped like a human being.

The reptile was caught by hunters and taken to the community by more than a dozen men.

The snake measured the length of a "red devil" bus - those that are used in the capital.

When the huge reptile was cut open they found the body of a dark skinned man inside, which was already in an advanced state of decomposition.

All that happened to the amazement of those present.

In order to get to that community one must cross the Santa Barbara river.

After removing the body of the unidentified person, the tribal chiefs proceeded to perform a ritual for the soul of the body, which was later buried.

The community bears the name "Serpie" which in the Embera-Wounaan language means "Snake".

It was learned that when traveling to that place, between the trails in the jungle, one always encounters all kinds of snakes.

After the fact, the rumor about the unusual event ran for three days through all of the Darien communities, and only recently reached the ears of the officers of the State Border Service, a source revealed.

"Critica" tried to obtain an official statement from the Public Ministry from one of their prosecutors, however, it was reported that none of the offices held or file a report on the incident.

For his part, the director of the State Border Service, Frank Abrego said they have no report of that event, claiming the institution is responsible for issues and news related to the police, such as drug trafficking and countering narco-terrorist organizations. (Critica)

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Killer Bees Send Five To The Hospital in Panama

Animals & PetsFire Department paramedics from David took five people to the Regional Hospital who were attacked by Africanized bees.

It was learned the bees were swarming in the holes and fixtures of a utility pole located in front of several houses in this sector.

The frightened residents reported that for months they have been asking the company Union Fenosa to suspend electric service in that area, so they could eliminate the swarm, but they have received no answers.

They said on the day of the attack four dogs were killed by bee stings, and another four were affected to a lesser extent, and this situation has them very fearful.

"We have to live locked inside of our houses, with nets to keep our children from being stung," said Jorge Santos, one of the frightened inhabitants.

They called on the authorities to act quickly to avoid a new incident. (TVN)

Editor's Comment: All of the honey bees in Panama are the more aggressive Africanized bees. You can literally run into a swarm anywhere in the country.

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Counting Bugs In Panama? Get Out Your Tree Raft

Animals & Petsby VÉRONIQUE LACAPRA for NPR - An Ambitious Insect Census. Researchers collected almost 130,000 arthropods from more than 6,000 species from a section of forest in Panama over two years. It took another eight years for the insects to be classified.

There are more species of insects than pretty much anything else in the world. And scientists know there are millions they haven't even identified yet. Now, in a tropical rainforest in Panama, a multinational team of scientists has just completed the first ever insect census.

Scott Miller, an entomologist at the Smithsonian who worked on the Panama, shows off one of the species from the survey that's at the National Museum of Natural History's insect zoo in Washington, D.C.

"We're standing in front of a colony of leafcutter ants," he says. "There you see one of the worker's who's carrying a leaf above its head and across its back as if it were sort of a sail, it looks sort of the like a sailboat, walking across the rock here."

Miller says the leafcutter ant is one of thousands of arthropod species in Panama's San Lorenzo forest. Arthropod are insects, plus spiders, mites, centipedes and pretty much everything else that lives on land and has at least six legs. Click on this link to read the rest of the story...

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Large Crocodile Frightens Area Residents

Animals & PetsA crocodile frightened several residents in the area of San Bernardino, in the district of Arraiján.

People did not dare to cross the San Bernardino bridge where this dangerous reptile was located, for fear of being attacked.

Firefighters attended the emergency, and they took the crocodile away from the area, which normalized traffic over the bridge area. (Mi Diario)

Editor's Comment: I told you it was a big lizard...

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Needed - RFID Chip Reader in Panama (Dog, Vets)

Animals & PetsBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I need to find a veterinarian in Panama who has one of those scanners that can read a "Radio Frequency Identification" (RFID) chip implanted under the skin of a dog, ASAP. The chip was implanted in the United States (in case that makes a difference.) If anyone has a lead on a vet with that sort of capability, please let me know via email don@panama-guide.com or cell 6614-0451. Muchos thankos.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Two Children Missing After Going For A Swim - Might Have Been Attacked By A Crocodile

Animals & PetsTwo children have been missing since they went swimming in a stream last week, located between Villa Lucre and Santa Clara, on the edge of Via Domingo Diaz. Another boy who was with them informed the family they had been attacked by a crocodile. Officers from the National Police and the National Civil Protection System responded to the area to start searching for the boys, who are 10 and 11 years old. Early reports indicated the boys were selling stickers at the Villa Lucre mall and they decided to go for a swim in the creek, and since then they have been missing. The children live in the sector of Mano de Piedra and are of indigenous origin. (Telemetro)

Editor's Comment: Always assume there's a very large lizard in the water, because there usually is.

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Africanized Bees At The Technological University of Panama

Animals & PetsFrightened are some students, administrators and teachers of Technological University of Panama by the presence of Africanized bees on an electric pole. Firemen responded to the campus to control the situation, but they are having problems with the electrical cables, because making contact with them might be dangerous. (Dia a Dia)

Editor's Comment: All of the honey bees in Panama are "Africanized" - so leave them alone if you see them, especially near a nest or a swarm - because they will light you up if they get agitated. The firemen normally put on their protective gear and spray a combination of soapy water and insecticide on the nest to kill the bees, but in this case they apparently can't use their favorite trick, because they might get "sparky" when the water based solution hits the electrical cables.

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New Snake from Panama Says ‘Nay’ to Overexploitation

Animals & PetsThe new snake, called Sibon noalamina, is completely harmless for humans. The light and dark-ringed reptile at first sight resembles a well-known and widespread species of snail-eater. However, closer examination revealed the non-venomous snake to represent a hitherto unknown species. "The three individuals that we caught during several expeditions between 2008 and 2010 in the montane rainforests of western Panama differ markedly from all known species of snakes, especially in scalation characters. Therefore we newly described the species – it now bears the name Sibon noalamina,” said Dr Sebastian Lotzkat, a research associate of the Herpetology Department at the Senckenberg Research Institute and lead author of a paper published in the journal Zootaxa.

The scientific name of the new reptile is derived from the Spanish ‘no a la mina!’ meaning ‘no mining.’ It was chosen to call attention to the fact that the habitat of this harmless snail-eating snake is severely threatened by human interventions. The biologists alert that other species of amphibians and reptiles, which were discovered in the region during the last years, share the same fate.”

“Sibon noalamina stands with its name against overexploitation of nature and for the conservation of the highland rainforests of western Panama.”

“Without the establishment of protected areas and the development of sustainable alternatives to large-scale forest clearance, these unique ecosystems will vanish in the foreseeable future,” Dr Lotzkat said. “And with them, the congenial colubrid, its crawling and croaking fellows, and the livelihoods of the indigenous population.”

Like all representatives of the genus Sibon, the new species belongs to the so-called snail-eaters. Apart from snails and slugs, these nocturnal animals feed on other soft-bodied prey like earthworms or amphibian eggs. Instead of defending themselves with bites, the non-venomous colubrids deter potential predators with their appearance: with its alternating light and dark rings, Sibon noalamina mimics the contrasting warning coloration of the venomous coral snakes.

The snake inhabits the mountain range known as Serranía de Tabasará in the Comarca Ngöbe-Buglé, an autonomy territory established in 1997 for the indigenous peoples Ngöbe and Buglé. Here, the extreme poverty among the population has a share in the highest deforestation rate within Panama: more than one-fifth of the Comarca’s forests were lost in the 1990s alone. Moreover, the region’s enormous ore deposits – especially the copper deposit in the Cerro Colorado area – are in the focus of mining companies.

As the exclusive home of several amphibian and reptile species only known from this mountain range, the Serranía de Tabasará is a little biodiversity hotspot of its own, although still largely unexplored.

“We know from Rogelio Moreno, whose consent as chief general of the Comarca has made our studies possible, that the local people completely depend on the natural resources for their livelihoods,” Dr Lotzkat said. “We request the Panamanian authorities to initiate, in due collaboration with the indigenous authorities, measures to better explore, conserve, and sustainably use the exuberant biodiversity of the Serranía de Tabasará!“

Editor's Comment: What a crock of shit. Meet Panama's Spotted Owl. First of all, in truth and fact Cerro Colorado doesn't have anything growing on it except grass - there are no trees, no snakes. Secondly, any biologist in the world can stand where one of these snakes were caught, and the closest mine is hundreds of miles away. The Indians in this region are poor, and they apparently want to stay that way, because Panama recently passed a law that makes mining in Cerro Colorado illegal. Now they will get hungry, and eat the damn snake. "No a la mina" will probably turn into "yes, for dinner." I hate it when people twist facts on the ground for supposedly environmental reasons. This, my friends, is bullshit. Nice snake, but the politics I could do without. Who cut down the trees? The Indians. Why are they poor? Because they live in the mountains where there are no jobs. "No a la mina" can also be translated to "we would rather starve." I sort of doubt that this is a new snake species at all, and it was probably just invented by some over zealous anti-mining nut to serve as a poster child. Shame, really.

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Drug Puppy Sniffs Out 75 Kilos Of Guabala Blow

Animals & PetsGUABALA. Chiriquí - A total of 75 kilos of cocaine were seized at the checkpoint in Guabala, Tole district, province of Chiriqui. To make the seizure it was necessary to use the services of the National Police canine unit, that located the illicit cargo after sniffing the inside of a red Nissan Frontier with license plate number 383309. Jorge Espinosa, a member of the police in the Chiriqui area, gave details of the seizure. Espinosa said one person is in custody, a resident of the Puerto Armuelles sector. (Prensa)

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Chicken Farmer Wants Stable Electrical Service

Animals & PetsCarlos Salcedo, a poultry farmer of Finca Tara said increases in the cost of electricity will affect producers. He said the increase could be up to 25 percent in direct costs of production. "Electricity is fundamental to the process of raising chickens," he added. He said in the last 10 years, farms have been modernized very significantly in order to reach levels of competitiveness through the use of control systems that makes them totally dependent on energy. He added that the supplies they use also cost more due to the increases in the cost of power.

"We need to reliable energy so that our product (chicken) can reach market. We have been asking Union Fenosa to provide reliable energy, but that's not happening," he said. Salcedo said during the month of July 9,067 chickens died because of power outages. He said in recent years there have been more than 100 energy service interruptions, hurting their farm and all citizens. "Union Fenosa has proven to be inefficient because they do not guarantee a good and steady supply of quality power to the residents," he said.

According to the owner of the Villa Tara, when this situation occurs the company avoids taking any responsibility. Salcedo said in this situation they are proposing to create a National Front for the Recovery of Energy Sovereignty. "I ask all Panamanians come together and we contact to create this front and keep this company for continuing to hurt us," he said. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: Scientists have recently discovered a new and magical invention which can be used to avoid these types of situations. It's called a "generator" and you use it to keep the lights on when the power line goes dead. That would have kept those 9,000 chickens alive - until they were slaughtered. Did anyone miss the irony there? And can do it again, slower this time, if necessary...

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Killer Bees Attack in Panama - Five Hospitalized

Animals & Pets Macaracas, Los Santos - At least six people were stung this Wednesday, July 4, by a swarm of Africanized bees in the community of El Cedro Abajo, in the province of Los Santos. Five of those who were stung were taken to a emergency room of the Luis H. Moreno hospital by members of the Fire Department of that province. It was reported firefighters are trying to control the aggressive swarm of bees. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: All honey bees in Panama are now "Africanized" - meaning they are more aggressive and prone to swarm and sting anything they see as a potential threat.

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Drought And Malnutrition Killing Cattle in Los Santos and Guararé

Animals & PetsThe majority of the cattle farms located in the coastal districts of Los Santos and Guararé have no water or forage, where since November they have been hit with a drought that has begun to register the first carcasses. The most critical situation is displayed in the districts of Santa Ana and El Espinal, where this year there has been just one heavy rainfall in early April, but since then the outlook has worsened. Joaquin Bernal, a cattleman of the region, said the situation is very hard, because they ran out of grass and water, while the forage reserves they had are already being depleted.

Six Months Without Rain - Edilberto Peralta, representing the village of Santa Ana, said they have gone for more than six months in this region without a drop of water, and the shortages of pasture has forced producers to go out and buy elsewhere in the province, which is increasing costs. According to Peralta, the livestock that weigh more than a thousand pounds during the winter now weights less than 500 pounds, while those cattle that fall cannot rise again due to their advanced state of malnutrition.

Meanwhile, the governor of the province, Armando Batista asked the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA) for the implementation of a contingency program. MIDA director, Alexis Bravo, said they would be forming a working committee. (Mi Diario)



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Harpy Eagle "Cheyenne" - 51 Years Old - Died At Summit Zoo

Animals & PetsCheyenne, the Harpy Eagle on display at the Summit Municipal Park since 2005, died Friday afternoon at the age of 51, after suffering from bone and cartilage wear of old age, said the Mayor of Panama. The city park's emblematic bird has been in the clinic since March 27, where he received all possible attention of the Mayor of Panama, the Board of Trustees Friends of the Eagle and other health professionals advised by predatory specialists from the United States, were watching over Cheyenne's health status, because the average lifespan of these birds is 40 to 50 years. The press release from the Municipal government says that for health reasons, Cheyenne could not appear in the last Festi Harpy in April, an activity in which the Mayor of Panama celebrates the adoption of Law 18 of 10 April 2002, that protects and provides the Harpy Eagle as the national bird of Panama. On 19 June 2012 the Director of Summit Park will travel to the United States to visit the Miami Metro Zoo and formalize the transfer of the Harpy eagle "Panama" to our country. (Estrella)

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Big Lizard Has Residents of Las Garzas Concerned

Animals & Pets
Crocodiles Can Grow To Be Very Large in Panama
Crocodiles Can Grow To Be Very Large in Panama
Residents of the community of the Las Garzas are concerned about the presence of a crocodile, which according to some is some 4 to 5 meters in length, located in a stream in the area. Residents call for support of the National Environment Authority, fearing the lizard may eat pets or attack children. The presence of wildlife near the villages occurs primarily due to the growth of human settlements encroaching on forest areas. (TVN)

Editor's Comment: Four or five meters? That's one big friggin' lizard.

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