Tuesday

A woman who saved a dog after it fell onto some train tracks in Lima, Peru, could face jail time and a possible lawsuit for her actions, AOL reports.

 The dog, who belonged to a pedestrian waiting for the train (she's the woman wearing red in the video above), somehow escaped, ending up on the tracks. It tried jumping back onto the platform a few times, to no avail.

But because dogs are awesome and people still have hearts, another woman (she's the one in teal) jumped down onto the tracks to save the dog. Both she and the dog were OK. Happy ending, right?

Not quite. La Republica newspaper reports that Metro de Lima administrators argue that going onto the tracks for any reason is illegal and punishable with jail time (the organization posted a reminder on its official Facebook page too). Subsequently, Metro de Lima is reportedly considering pressing charges against the woman, though it remains unclear whether the organization actually will.


People have been taking to Twitter to voice their support for the woman, with some calling her a hero and arguing that Metro de Lima could afford to let the rules slide in this case, since she saved the dog, and no one was hurt.
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VIDEO

A bison scratches his head on a side view car mirror in Yellowstone Park

Yellowstone is the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times.

A number of Native American tribes especially revere Yellowstone’s bison as pure descendants of the vast herds that once roamed the grasslands of the United States.

 The largest bison population in the country on public land resides in Yellowstone. It is one of the few herds free of cattle genes. An estimated 20 to 30 million bison once dominated the North American landscape from the Appalachians to the Rockies, from the Gulf Coast to Alaska.

Habitat loss and unregulated shooting reduced the population to just 1,091 by 1889. Today, approximately 500,000 bison live across North America. However, most of these are not pure wild bison, but have been cross-bred with cattle in the past, and are semi-domesticated after being raised as livestock for many generations on ranches. Fewer than 30,000 wild bison are in conservation herds and fewer than 5,000 are unfenced and disease-free.


VIDEO

Pug puppy discovers himself in the mirror

This puppy really wants to play… with himself, and he’s met his match in the mirror! Finally a pup with his own amount of energy. Best friends for life? No way around it.

Many people are puzzled by the fact that dogs seem to ignore images of themselves reflected in a mirror. Young puppies encountering mirrors for the first time may treat the image as if it is another dog.

They may bark at it, or give a little bow and an invitation to play as if they are encountering a real dog and engaging in a social interaction.

However, after a short while they lose interest. Afterwards then often seem to treat their reflections as if they were of no consequence at all.


VIDEO

Monday

A cross-species friendship between a dog and a lamb makes us think biological boundaries may be a figment of the imagination.

The boisterous pair has an incredibly spirited play session together, regardless of identity.

The pup springs up and surprises the lamb. To keep the game going, the dog rolls over a ball ...... and the lamb, in response, gleefully tumbles over the dog and ball. The dog nuzzles the lamb. And the lamb nuzzles the dog. Now that's friendship.

NOTE: Videos of unlikely animal pairs romping or snuggling have become so common that they are piquing the interest of some scientists, who say they invite more systematic study. Among other things, researchers say, the alliances could add to an understanding of how species communicate, what propels certain animals to connect across species lines and the degree to which some animals can adopt the behaviors of other species.
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VIDEO

Preserving traditional medicine knowledge in the Amazon

In one of the great tragedies of our age, indigenous traditions, stories, cultures and knowledge are winking out across the world.

 Whole languages and mythologies are vanishing, and in some cases even entire indigenous groups are falling into extinction. This is what makes the news that a tribe in the Amazon—the Matsés peoples of Brazil and Peru—have created a 500-page encyclopedia of their traditional medicine all the more remarkable. The encyclopedia, compiled by five shamans with assistance from conservation group Acaté, details every plant used by Matsés medicine to cure a massive variety of ailments.

"The [Matsés Traditional Medicine Encyclopedia] marks the first time shamans of an Amazonian tribe have created a full and complete transcription of their medicinal knowledge written in their own language and words," Christopher Herndon, president and co-founder of Acaté, told Mongabay in an interview .

The Matsés have only printed their encyclopedia in their native language to ensure that the medicinal knowledge is not stolen by corporations or researchers as has happened in the past. Instead, the encyclopedia is meant as a guide for training new, young shamans in the tradition and recording the living shamans' knowledge before they pass.


"One of the most renowned elder Matsés healers died before his knowledge could be passed on so the time was now. Acaté and the Matsés leadership decided to prioritize the Encyclopedia before more of the elders were lost and their ancestral knowledge taken with them," said Herndon.

Acaté has also started a program connecting the remaining Matsés shamans with young students. Through this mentorship program, the indigenous people hope to preserve their way of life as they have for centuries past.


"With the medicinal plant knowledge disappearing fast among most indigenous groups and no one to write it down, the true losers in the end are tragically the indigenous stakeholders themselves," said Herndon. "The methodology developed by the Matsés and Acaté can be a template for other indigenous cultures to safeguard their ancestral knowledge."
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