World News

Rescued endangered Loa water frogs have 200 offspring

A "Rana del Loa" (Loa Frog), under threat of extinction, is pictured in Santiago, Chile, October 20, 2020.IMAGE COPYRIGHTREUTERS
image captionFourteen Loa water frogs were taken to Santiago zoo in 2019

Conservationists in Chile are celebrating after a group of critically endangered Loa water frogs produced 200 offspring in Santiago zoo.

Fourteen Loa water frogs (Telmatobius dankoi) were airlifted to the zoo in 2019 after they were found in a muddy puddle, all that was left of their habitat in Chile’s Atacama desert.

Herpetologists managed to nurse 12 of them back to health.

Earlier this month, the frogs successfully mated.

A Loa water tadpole in Santiago, Chile, October 20, 2020.IMAGE COPYRIGHTREUTERS
image captionTo the joy of conservationists, there are 200 tadpoles

The rescue mission was launched last year after herpetologist Andrés Charrier found that the stream outside the city of Calama – the only place where the Loa water frogs are known to live – had dried up.

The 14 specimens left in a muddy puddle were dehydrated and malnourished and with their habitat threatened by illegal water extraction for mining, agriculture and real estate development, the decision was taken to transfer them 1,500km to the south to Chile’s National Zoo in the capital, Santiago.

Challenges ahead

The rescue of the 14 frogs received international praise and even caught the attention of Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who celebrated their safe transfer in an Instagram post.

Zoo Director Alejandra Montalba praised the team which looks after the frogs – and now their 200 offspring as well – for their meticulous work.

Scientists work inside the laboratory in Santiago, Chile, October 20, 2020IMAGE COPYRIGHTREUTERS
image captionThe team has received praise from the zoo’s director and the Chilean government

“They had to replicate the exact conditions of the water… to keep them alive,” she said.

Gabriel Lobos, who with Andrés Charrier has spent years studying the Loa water frogs, told local media that the challenge now was to restore the frogs’ habitat to allow their return to the wild.

Mr Lobos had said last year that one of the problems of conservation efforts for the Loa water frog was getting attention for the species.

That is where the team at Chile’s National Zoo has received some help from their colleagues at Bolivia’s Museum of Natural History “Alcide d’Orbigny” in Cochabamba.

Desperate to find a mate for “Romeo”, a Sehuencas water frog which was believed to be the last of his species, the team at Alcide d’Orbigny gained worldwide publicity for their search when they placed a dating ad for Romeo.

Not only was their approach successful – a mate was found for the lonely frog – but the team behind Romeo has also been helping out other frogs in need.

Last year, a letter “from the desk of Romeo” offered some encouraging words to the Loa water frogs: “I know you’re far from home. I know you’d much rather be snuggling up in your own stream, eating the wild snails and earthworms of your choice. But look, there are lots of reasons to be hopeful, there are 14 of you.”

And in case words were not enough, a Spotify account under Romeo’s name also offered an uplifting playlist for the Loa water frogs including titles such as Al Greens’ “Take Me to the River”, Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) and Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing”.

— bbc
World News

Hunter Biden Email Names Kamala Harris, Others as Key Contacts for ‘Joint Venture’ With China Energy Co.


Hunter Biden Email Names Kamala Harris, Others as Key Contacts for ‘Joint Venture’ With China Energy Co.

The emails purported to be Hunter Biden’s on that abandoned laptop have been verified by one recipient. They’re real and they’re spectacularly damning, according to Tony Bobulinski, a former business partner of Hunter Biden.

Another email begs for answers from Joe Biden’s vice-presidential running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris. Fox News reports:

A list of “key domestic contacts” for a joint venture involving Jim and Hunter Biden and now-bankrupt CEFC China Energy Co. included former Vice President Joe Biden‘s current running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, among other prominent Democrats, Fox News has learned.

An email exclusively obtained by Fox News, with the subject line “Phase one domestic contacts/ projects” and dated May 15, 2017, Biden’s brother, Jim Biden, shared a list of “key domestic contacts for phase one target projects.”

The email is unrelated to the laptop or hard drive purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son.

Jim Biden is the Democratic nominee’s brother.

It’s a shame the media won’t stir itself to cover this. Or, when they do, they’ll spin it faster than a NutriBullet.

Because it looks for all the world like the whole Biden family trades on Joe’s long and mediocre career in politics, with Hunter as the tip of the lucrative spear.

And they don’t care at all about who they trade with, including the communist oligarchy that rules China.

Here is the actual email. Mr. Bobulinski is one of the cc’d recipients, along with Hunter Biden and two others.

The Biden camp has not responded to it in any way. Joe himself remains under his self-imposed lid until after tonight’s final presidential debate, which will be moderated by a journalist with longstanding Democratic ties. Harris has yet to hold any sort of press event. The malevolent media have not clamored for one.

Sen. Harris is specifically named in the email, along with several other prominent Democrats and one Republican.

The list, included Harris, D-Calif.; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; former Virginia Gov. Terry McCauliffe, among others.

One question comes quickly to mind: Was Harris ever contacted about this, and if so, by whom? Will the moderator ask it of Joe?

Will the moderator ask about Joe’s nickname?

Bobulinski has confirmed both the authenticity of the laptop email related to him and that the cryptic reference to “the Big Guy,” who would supposedly rake in $10 million from the deal with a Chinese energy company, is in fact a reference to Joe Biden.

Bobulinski was referring to an email, Fox News obtained last week, dated May 13, 2017, which included a discussion of “remuneration packages” for six people in a business deal with a Chinese energy firm. The email appeared to identify Biden as “Chair / Vice Chair depending on agreement with CEFC,” in an apparent reference to now-bankrupt CEFC China Energy Co.

Reaction from most of the media and the Biden camp: crickets.

CEFC is close with the communist government, as are all successful mainland Chinese companies, and has been involved in Beijing’s “Belt and Road” initiative by which China has sought to use its economic and manufacturing might to displace U.S. influence around the world.

— CF