White Spirit Animals

“If you talk to the animals, they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them, you will not know them, and what you do not know you will fear. What one fears, one destroys.”

— Chief Dan George of the Tsleil-Waututh (a Coastal Salish band, British Columbia) (1899-1981)

Order and Read More at Inner Traditions – Bear & Co.

Explores the powers and wisdom of sacred White Spirit Animals

Beautiful rarities of nature, all-white animals are held sacred by many indigenous cultures and offer deep wisdom to all who will listen. In addition to the White Buffalo, there are other revered white animals, such as the White Wolf, White Lion, White Elephant, and White Bear. Each of these White Spirit Animals belongs to a species at the apex of their ecosystem, meaning the environment in which they live will unravel without them. Speaking through ancient and modern prophecy and the many humans who communicate with them, these White Spirit Animals are urgently calling to humanity to restore balance and protect our animal kin, ourselves, and the earth.

Zohara with two of her dogs, camera-shy Bella in front, and Omaha
Zohara with camera-shy Bella in front, and Omaha

Combining sacred elder lore, science, and her own telepathic dreams, Zohara Hieronimus looks at the special role played by White Spirit Animals in spiritual traditions and prophecy around the globe, where they are seen as guardians of animal wisdom, each with a special purpose and gift. She reveals how they have collaborated with humanity since the last ice age, inspiring spiritual practices and conferring shamanistic powers, and are considered the stewards of the great spiritual transformations that occur during transitional times. Sharing the waking vision of White Spirit Animals that called her to write this book, and their message of CPR for the earth–conservation, preservation, and restoration–she explains how to use shamanic dreaming and trans-species telepathy to communicate with these great spiritual teachers.

Exploring each one of the major White Spirit Animals–White Buffalo, White Lion, White Elephant, White Wolf, and White Spirit Bear–and the cultures in which they are honored, the author shows, for example, how the White Buffalo is called a harbinger of peace and abundance by many Native American tribes and the White Bear, the great earth healer, teaches us about nurturance and patience.

As a bridge between the spiritual and physical worlds, between humans and animals, White Spirit Animals are calling us to open our hearts to the wild, to the sacredness of the wind, the water, the earth, and dream a new world into being to heal our own personal and collective wounds and restore the earth to balance.

  • Wild Bison Are Returning to England’s Forests for the First Time in 6,000 Years
    European bison in Germany – Michael Gäbler, CC license

    By Andy Corbley for GoodNewsNetwork.org

    A relative of the iconic beast that roams the American Great Plains is going to be released in an ancient forest in Kent, England—where they haven’t resided for 6,000 years.

    But the four animals won’t be arriving by way of South Dakota or Wyoming because Europe has their own subspecies—the European wood bison.
    The project is slated to begin in Spring of 2022, when a single male Bison bonasus and three females arriving from Poland and the Netherlands will be allowed to roam and reproduce naturally in the remaining wilds of Britain—and it is hoped that their presence will ignite a chain reaction throughout the forest.

    Bison have the power to change a forest in dramatic ways; ways that humans don’t have the time or manpower for, and they are being considered as a possible solution to species loss in Great Britain.

    The project called Wilder Blean, named for the reintroduction site, West Blean Woods, was organized by the Kent Wildlife Trust (KWT). The experiment isn’t just about bringing the bison back for the sake of something to look at, it’s part of a controlled trial to see if the large herbivore can reinvigorate forest ecosystems more productively than conservationists.
    “European bison are being used in this project because they are ecosystem engineers, meaning that they are able to change their environment through their natural behaviors,” explains the KWT on their website. “Bison can change woodlands in a way that no other animal can.”

    Once ranging across the continent since the last Ice Age, European bison were hunted to extinction in the wild, but have since been reintroduced from captivity into several countries—mostly the forests of Poland, with smaller populations spread out across eastern and southern Europe.

    Known as a keystone species, similar to krill in the ocean, tigers in India, or bees in a meadow, bison provide services that allow the ecosystems they live in to operate at a much higher capacity in terms of ecosystem activity. In conservation terms, a keystone species is one that plays a role in the preservation of other species, and the ecology as a whole.

    Bison are the forestry experts

    Bison kill weak or dead trees by eating their bark or rubbing against them to remove their thick winter fur. This turns the tree into food and habitat for insects, which in turn provide food for birds. The resulting pocket of sunlight allows new plants to grow, replenishing the woodland.

    In an unexpected way, the attempted restoration of bison in the English ecosystem is more about halting England’s current species loss than it is about restoring some kind of Stone Age ecology to the island, and while the KWT anticipate a keystone species like Bison bringing additional eyes upon the value of conservation and the health benefits of interacting with great nature, the purpose of the project is to create healthier English forests that can support larger numbers of animals.

    RELATED: 15 Giant Tortoises Finally Returned to Their Galapagos Island Home After Saving Their Species With 1,900 Babies

    “Using missing keystone species like bison to restore natural processes to habitats is the key to creating bio-abundance in our landscape,” said Paul Hadaway from the KWT.

    European bison with calves – Pryndak Vasyl, CC license

    Funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund, which donated £1.1 million, Wilder Blean will cover 500 hectares (1,236 acres) of the largest area of ancient forest in the UK. Once the bison are established within a 150 hectare parcel, the KWT hopes to reintroduce “iron age pigs” and free-roaming longhorn cattle, in order to make West Blean Wood as near to the original product as possible.

    Thousands of years ago, auroch—an enormous species of wild cattle, extinct as recently as the 1600s—would also have roamed the English countryside, and the longhorn cattle are ideal for attempting to replicate the unique effects that the aurochs no doubt had upon the landscape.

    RELATED: Historic Deal to Protect Millions of Monarch Butterfly Habitat Acres is Unprecedented

    In fact, European bison are likely hybrids of both the extinct subspecies called steppe bison and the auroch, because scientists have analyzed their DNA and found that the animals possess up to 10% of the genetic code of the auroch.

    “The partners in the Kent project have long dreamed of restoring the true wild woodlands that have been missing from England for too long,” said Paul Whitfield, of Wildwood Trust, a conservation charity that will monitor the health and welfare of the bison.
    “People will be able to experience nature in a way they haven’t before, connecting them back to the natural world around them in a deeper way.”

  • Hair From Ghostly Bears Reveals New Genetic Secrets

    First Nations peoples along British Columbia’s Central Coast led research to help preserve the area’s white-furred Spirit bears.

    A white-furred Spirit bear in territory of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation. Video by Philip Charles.

    Lesley Evans Ogden for The New York Times

    Douglas Neasloss was skeptical that Spirit bears existed. A member of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation in Canada, he had heard the stories of white-furred bears that roamed British Columbia’s rainforest. But Mr. Neasloss, a former tour leader and cultural interpreter, had never seen one until 2005, when he experienced “one of the most magical moments” of his guiding career. During a hike, he caught sight of a cinnamon-tinged white bear as it walked out ahead of him, then lay down 50 feet away to munch on a freshly caught salmon.

    After his first Spirit bear encounter, Mr. Neasloss asked community elders why these bears weren’t widely discussed. During the fur trade of the 1800s, he learned, existence of the ghostly bears was kept secret to keep them safe. Today, they are the official mammal of British Columbia, and known also as the Kermode bear.

    And now that the secret is out, coastal peoples, including the Kitasoo/Xai’xais and Gitga’at Nations, are determined to preserve the bears’ uniqueness. That’s part of what motivated Indigenous-led research, co-authored by Mr. Neasloss, who is now resource stewardship director for his Nation. The study, published Sunday in Ecological Solutions and Evidence, suggests that the gene that turns the coat of these Spirit bears ghostly white is rarer than previously estimated, and that their habitat in the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada is not yet adequately protected.

    Though culturally significant to First Nations, scientific understanding of these bears is in its infancy. And ecotourism, including viewing bears, now drives employment and revenue along British Columbia’s Central Coast, where the largest tract of intact temperate rainforest left on the planet was partially protected in a 2016 agreement designating the Great Bear Rainforest. The Kitasoo/Xai’xais and Gitga’at Nations have spearheaded a collaboration with scientists to better understand the prevalence of Spirit bear genes, while also probing how well Spirit bear hot spots are protected.

    Spirit bears are not albinos, but born with the same genetic quirk that causes red hair in humans.Credit: Cael Cook
    Spirit bears are not albinos, but born with the same genetic quirk that causes red hair in humans.Credit: Cael Cook

    Taking the pulse of this rare bear in a remote, mountainous, boggy and largely roadless rainforest archipelago is no easy task. Previous studies had largely confined sampling to areas like river mouths where bears were already known to occur. But Mr. Neasloss and his colleagues, including Christina Service, a bear scientist with the University of Victoria and the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Stewardship Authority, cast the net wider, undertaking noninvasive sampling of DNA from bear hair collected across a vast region.

    Bear hair snagging involved a corral of barbed wire erected around a smelly lure: a gray oily sludge made from odor-enhanced fish fertilizer.

    “Absolutely repulsive to us, very delectable to bears,” Dr. Service said.

    Though snagging bear hair on barbed wire might sound painful, it’s not. In the spring, bears are happy to rub against anything that helps them shed some of their thick winter coats, making for a convenient, culturally respectful sampling method that does not require the capture and tranquilizing of bears.

    Snagged hair tells many stories. From it, researchers can discern a bear’s species, sex, stress level, food preferences and — central to this study — whether it’s a carrier of the coat-lightening Spirit bear gene.

    Spirit bears, though whitish, are not albinos.

    “Albinism affects all the pigment cells in the whole body,” while Spirit bears typically have black feet and slightly orange fur, said Kermit Ritland, a geneticist at the University of British Columbia. In 2001, he and collaborators identified the gene responsible for the Spirit bear’s white coat. It’s the same genetic quirk that causes red hair in humans, and auburn fur in dogs and mice. Spirit bears can be born to parents that may or may not have white fur themselves. For example, a mama and papa black bear each carrying one copy of the recessive gene can produce a white-furred baby.

    The frequency of the gene variant that causes the snowy coats was half as common as previous studies estimated.Credit: Doug Neasloss
    The frequency of the gene variant that causes the snowy coats was half as common as previous studies estimated.Credit: Doug Neasloss

    The researchers mapped the bear genetics using hair from 385 bears snagged at over a hundred evenly spaced high- and low-elevation sites on First Nations territories, during May and June from 2012 to 2017. They found that in some places previously known to be hot spots for Spirit bears, the frequency of the gene variant that causes the snowy coats was half as common as previous studies estimated.

    They could not say whether the finding reflects changes over time, versus different sampling designs. But it is clear from the new data that the Spirit bear gene variant, while rare, is more widely distributed across the landscape than previously documented. And, by overlaying the geography of the gene’s occurrence with protected areas, the researchers found that many Spirit bear hot spots are not yet adequately protected from habitat loss from logging. Current protected areas have “missed the mark,” Mr. Neasloss said.

    Dr. Ritland welcomed the new estimates of Spirit bear gene frequencies, which provide a useful view of their prevalence over a wider range. He questioned the new study’s suggestions about the evolutionary forces that maintain Spirit bear genes, which run counter to his own conclusions, but he commended the wide-ranging sampling and the lead role taken by First Nations researchers.

    In Kitasoo/Xai’xais culture, bears are considered closely related to humans. Bear and human diets of berries, plants and fish are very similar. In his culture’s stories, Mr. Neasloss said, the bears “taught us how to survive off the land.”

    Now the bears’ hairy, high-tech teachings suggest that a thriving ecotourism economy requires the survival of more intact land for bears.

  • Sent by a Listener in Zoh’s home town — a White Squirrel

    which is showing up more and more frequently

  • Zohara Featured on the Night-Light Radio Show with Barbara DeLong

    White Spirit Animals: Prophets of Change by Dr Zohara Meyerhoff Hieronimus portrays these amazing animals as a bridge between the spiritual and physical worlds, between humans and animals, White Spirit Animals are calling us to open our hearts to the wild, to the sacredness of the wind, the water, the earth, and dream a new world into being to heal our own personal and collective wounds and restore the earth to balance.

    Barbara DeLong hosts the Night-Light/Spiritually-Speaking radio show, a forum for spiritual enlightenment, cosmic understanding and insight into those etheric realms that ever surround us.

  • Trees “Look After Each Other” and “Form Bonds Like Old Couples”

    Author: Sara Burrows for www.ReturnToNow.net — February 7, 2020

    Trees form friendships, look after each other, and even “cuddle,” claims author of The Hidden Life of Trees

    Trees have friends and can even “form bonds like an old couple, where one looks after the other,” claims German forester Peter Wohlleben in his book The Hidden Life of Trees.

    “These trees are friends,” he told a New York Times reporter. “You see how the thick branches point away from each other? That’s so they don’t block their buddy’s light.”

    “Sometimes, pairs like this are so interconnected at the roots that when one tree dies, the other one dies, too.”

    While some might dismiss his romantic anthropomorphic language as nonsense, Wohlleben’s book is based on decades of scientific research.

    According to biologists, trees can count, learn, remember, send nutrients to sick neighbors, and warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the “Wood Wide Web.

    “I use a very human language,” he explains. “Scientific language removes all the emotion, and people don’t understand it anymore. When I say, ‘trees suckle their children,’ everyone knows immediately what I mean.”

    Trees are very social beings, he claims in a documentary called Intelligent Trees.  “The parents, the mother trees, are looking after their offspring.”

    While it used to be assumed that trees compete for nutrients and sunlight, more recent research has demonstrated that within species, trees support each other.

    “If a tree is attacked by insects, it warns all the others,” Wohlleben says.

    Germans used to artificially space out trees in their plantation forest to ensure they got enough sunlight. But, in his decades of work as a forest ranger, Wohlleben has demonstrated that creating too much space between trees disconnects them from their support networks.

    “Trees like to stand close together and cuddle. They love company.”

    Boabab trees in Madagascar.

    When we think of a tree, we think only of what is visible above ground, but the major part of its life takes place underground, explains ecology professor Suzanne Simard.

    In the film, she explains how trees communicate underground through a vast tangled web of hair-like mycelium that interconnect their roots.

    “Trees don’t do well when they’re by themselves. They really are caring for each other. They’re making sure they’re a productive, healthy, vibrant, diverse community of trees.”

  • Cherokee Nation Becomes First American Tribe to Send Heirloom Seeds to Global Seed Vault in Norway

    Author: Sara Burrows for www.ReturnToNow.net — February 7, 2020

    Sacred Native American crop varieties will now be preserved “forever,” along with the rest of the world’s important food crops, in a frozen fortress near the North Pole

    A vault built into the side of a frozen mountain on a remote Norwegian island serves as the world’s safety deposit box for something more valuable than gold – seeds.

    The seeds stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault represent nearly a million diverse crop varieties developed by horticulturalists and agriculturalists around the world for millennia.

    The vault, located as close to the North Pole as you can fly by plane, was build to stand the test of time and be impervious to natural or manmade disaster.

    “Permafrost and thick rock ensure that the seed samples will remain frozen even without power,” says the vault’s website.

    “The Vault is the ultimate insurance policy for the world’s food supply, offering options for future generations to overcome the challenges of climate change and population growth. It will secure, for centuries, millions of seeds representing every important crop variety available in the world today. It is the final back up.”

    Last week Crop Trust, the non-profit that operates the vault, invited the Cherokee Nation to add nine of their most important crop seeds to the collection.

    The tribe selected four strains of corn, including White Eagle Corn, the tribe’s most sacred corn typically used during cultural ceremonies. Other seeds sent to the seed bank include Cherokee Long Greasy Beans, Cherokee Trail of Tears Beans, Cherokee Turkey Gizzard black and brown beans, and Cherokee Candy Roaster Squash.

    All nine varieties sent to the seed bank predate European settlement.

    “It is such an honor to have a piece of our culture preserved forever,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. told Anadisgoi.com.

    “Generations from now, these seeds will still hold our history and there will always be a part of the Cherokee Nation in the world.”

  • More Than 220 Sheep Saved From Australian Bushfires After Heroic Pup Herds Them to Safety

    By McKinley Corbley – Jan 13, 2020 for www.GoodNewsNetwork.org

    This courageous pup is being credited for saving an entire flock of sheep from impending bushfires in Australia earlier this month.

    On New Year’s Eve, Stephen Hill saw the wildfires approaching his sister’s farm in Corryong, Australia sometime around 4:15AM.

    Hill and his 6-year-old pup Patsy then rushed over to the farm, hopped onto a 4-wheeler, and rode out to where the sheep were wandering the fields.

    RELATED: Here Are a Dozen Different Ways the World Has Rallied Behind Australia During the Bushfires

    Quick as a flash, Patsy rounded up the herd and ushered them into a barn while the owner of the farm fended off the flames with a tractor and water pump.

    Thanks to Patsy’s quick actions, almost every single one of the roughly 220 sheep were saved from the fires.

    “If you haven’t got a good dog, you can’t do so much with the sheep,” Hill told NBC News. “They’re really difficult to move in any way, shape or form unless you have a good dog.”

    Since Patsy’s heroic story has been shared across international news outlets and social media, her owners have started an Instagram account for the terrier-shepherd mix—and it has already garnered several thousand followers.

    Thankfully, Australian meteorologists are hoping that this week’s forecast for upcoming rainfall will help bring a much-needed break to the province’s bushfires.

  • New Zealand Now Recognizes ALL Animals As Sentient Beings!

    Published on www.TrueActivist.com by Sophie McAdam

    A laughing owl. Flickr, by merec0

    New Zealand has just set a great example to the world by recognizing what animal lovers have known forever- that our furry friends are as sentient as we are, and (obviously, dur) they have feelings just like we do. It’s a theme we have coveredtime and again here at True Activist, but this landmark ruling by NZ is the first time this shift in perception and policy has been extended to all animals, not just chimpanzees, orangutans, or dolphins.

    The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, passed last month, aims to make it easier to prosecute people in animal cruelty cases, as well as banning animal testing and research.

    Animal rights activists have celebrated the decision. “To say that animals are sentient is to state explicitly that they can experience both positive and negative emotions, including pain and distress,” said Dr Virginia Williams, chair of the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee. “The explicitness is what is new and marks another step along the animal welfare journey.”

    New Zealand Veterinary Association president Dr Steve Merchant said the bill greater clarity, transparency and enforceability of animal welfare laws, according to the country’s regional newspaper the Nelson Mail.

    “Expectations on animal welfare have been rapidly changing, and practices that were once commonplace for pets and farm stock are no longer acceptable or tolerated,” he said. “The bill brings legislation in line with our nation’s changing attitude on the status of animals in society.” You can read the entire Bill here. Let’s hope the rest of the world follows suit!

  • How To Prevent Year Zero, When All Wild Animals Are Gone

    Year Zero is the future date when all wild animals are gone.

    Words by Dr. Sailesh Rao

    In 2015, I was visiting India on a project field trip when the main news in New Delhi was the spate of farmer suicides occurring on a daily basis. And I was shocked to discover that the farmers were committing suicide because they had harvested a bumper crop of potatoes! The price of potatoes plummeted and many farmers were dumping their potatoes by the side of the road instead of taking them to market in New Delhi. They were then drinking pesticides and killing themselves because they couldn’t repay their debts.

    We live in a socioeconomic system that depends on scarcity and it tries its best to turn natural abundance into artificial scarcity. Globally, 7.5 billion human beings consume about 1.5 billion tons of food annually. However, we procure almost 9 billion tons of food, six times as much food as we really need. But we turn this natural abundance into an artificial scarcity through Animal Agriculture. We feed nearly 7.5 billion tons of food to our animals and in return, they give us less than 190 million tons, a nearly 40 fold reduction in dry weight. Since animal foods are scarce, we compete over them and in fact, around 9 million people actually die of starvation each year, despite the fact that we are procuring 6 times as much food as we really need!

    Since Animal Agriculture uses 83% of the food that we extract from Nature, it is the #1 cause of global deforestation, rainforest depletion, soil degradation, water pollution, desertification, ocean dead zones, ocean acidification, water scarcity, chronic diseases, premature deaths, food insecurity and yes, even climate change. And yet, Animal Agriculture is one of the most heavily subsidized industries patronized by governments of every stripe, throughout the world. Processed meat, which has been labeled a Group 1 carcinogen by the UN World Health Organization (WHO) alongside asbestos, cigarette smoke and plutonium, is still served to children in school lunches throughout the world, subsidized by our governments.

    What is going on? Why would our governments deliberately subsidize an industry that is killing us, killing innocent animals and killing all wildlife?

    Read more at Sustainable Human.

  • When Beloved Local Crocodile Passes Away After 130 Years, 500 People Attend His Elegant Funeral

    By McKinley Corbley for Good News Network.

    Though most people might be afraid of a giant crocodile, this particular reptile has always been considered a beloved part of his village. So when he finally passed away of natural causes earlier this week at the age of 130, the village gave him a funeral fit for a king.

    The ancient crocodile, named Gangaram, had grown to be almost 10 feet long (3 meters) at the time of his passing. Despite his intimidating size, the Indian residents of the Bawamohatra village in Chhattisgarh adored the scaly giant.

    “Even the kids of the village could swim around him and Gangaram had never harmed or attacked anyone,” one of the villagers told Hindustan Times. “Gangaram was not a crocodile, but a friend and a divine creature.”

    More info at Good News Network.

  • Iguanas Successfully Reintroduced to Galapagos Island After They Were Last Seen By Darwin 184 Years Ago

    By McKinley Corbley for Good News Network.

    It has been almost 200 years since land iguanas were seen on this region of the Galapagos Islands – but thanks to an intensive park restoration project, the reptile has just been reintroduced to its natural habitat once more.

    The land iguana was wiped out from the park’s Santiago Island due to invasive predators such as feral pigs, rats, and dogs preying on their eggs.

    Due to careful conservation measures and the removal of these invasive species, however, ecologists successfully managed to transfer 1,436 iguanas from another region of the park to Santiago Island this week.

    “The presence of living land iguanas on Santiago Island was reported for the last time in 1835, during the visit that Charles Darwin made to the northeast of the island,” said the Galapagos National Park Facebook page. “Almost two centuries later, this ecosystem will once again have this species through this restoration initiative.”

    More info at Good News Network.

  • Belugas to Become Residents of the World’s First Retirement Home for Ocean Animals in Show Business

    By McKinley Corbley for Good News Network. Photo by Sea Life Trust.

    These two beluga whales have been performing for spectators at a water park in China for the last 7 years – but soon, they will be the residents of the world’s first retirement home for oceanic animals in show business.

    Little Grey and Little White are the two whales currently living in a concrete tank at Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai. For years, animal rights activists have been urging the aquarium to rehome the 12-year-old belugas to a healthier, more humane environment – but since the whales have been raised in captivity, they would be unable to survive in the wild.

    Thankfully, conservation group Sea Life Trust has come up with the perfect solution.

    The organization is transforming a rocky oceanic inlet into the world’s first open sea sanctuary for whales and dolphins.

    More info at Good News Network.

  • Large pride of lions spotted in the Kruger National Park

    by Erene Oberholzer for TheSouthAfrican.com

    An overseas visitor recently caught 15 Lions – one of the largest pride of Lions ever spotted in the Kruger National Park – on camera.

    Ram Goyel was reportedly so mesmerized by his astonishing lion encounter one day on the H6 near Satara that his heart was literally beating outside of his chest.

    To his greatest delight, the white lion was among this pride as well.

    Ram told Latestsightings.com:

    “We were just returning from the N’wanetsi Picnic spot and this beautiful sighting came along and greeted us. It was a quiet morning and there were no other cars at the time. It was sheer disbelief!

    “In the end, my family and I were jumping out of our skin. We were so lucky and thankful that the lions were walking towards us. I pulled over to the side and just let them come to us. My hand was shaking with exhilaration so the video is not perfectly still I’m afraid.

    “The sighting ended a few minutes later when a few other cars showed up, and then literally pushed the lions off the road into the bushes.”

  • Era of ‘Biological Annihilation’ Is Underway, Scientists Warn

    Clockwise from top left: A rare male king cheetah, a lion, a pangolin and a orangutan, all members of species that have experienced sharp declines in recent decades.Credit Clockwise from top left: John Wessels/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images, Ben Curtis/Associated Press, Roslan Rahman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images, Ulet Ifansasti for The New York Times

    By Tatiana Schlossberg for The New York Times, July 11, 2017

    From the common barn swallow to the exotic giraffe, thousands of animal species are in precipitous decline, a sign that an irreversible era of mass extinction is underway, new research finds.

    The study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, calls the current decline in animal populations a “global epidemic” and part of the “ongoing sixth mass extinction” caused in large measure by human destruction of animal habitats. The previous five extinctions were caused by natural phenomena.

    Gerardo Ceballos, a researcher at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City, acknowledged that the study is written in unusually alarming tones for an academic research paper. “It wouldn’t be ethical right now not to speak in this strong language to call attention to the severity of the problem,” he said.

    Dr. Ceballos emphasized that he and his co-authors, Paul R. Ehrlich and Rodolfo Dirzo, both professors at Stanford University, are not alarmists, but are using scientific data to back up their assertions that significant population decline and possible mass extinction of species all over the world may be imminent, and that both have been underestimated by many other scientists.

    The study’s authors looked at reductions in a species’ range — a result of factors like habitat degradation, pollution and climate change, among others — and extrapolated from that how many populations have been lost or are in decline, a method that they said is used by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

    They found that about 30 percent of all land vertebrates — mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians — are experiencing declines and local population losses. In most parts of the world, mammal populations are losing 70 percent of their members because of habitat loss.

    In particular, they cite cheetahs, which have declined to around 7,000 members; Borneo and Sumatran orangutans, of which fewer than 5,000 remain; populations of African lions, which have declined by 43 percent since 1993; pangolins, which have been “decimated”; and giraffes, whose four species now number under 100,000 members.

    The study defines populations as the number of individuals in a given species in a 10,000-square-kilometer unit of habitat, known as a quadrat.

    Jonathan Losos, a biology professor at Harvard, said that he was not aware of other papers that have used this method, but that it was “a reasonable first pass” at estimating the extent of species decline and population loss.

    Dr. Losos also noted that giving precise estimates of wildlife populations was difficult, in part because scientists do not always agree on what defines a population, which makes the question inherently subjective.

    Despite those issues, Dr. Losos said, “I think it’s a very important and troubling paper that documents that the problems we have with biodiversity are much greater than commonly thought.”

    The authors of the paper suggest that previous estimates of global extinction rates have been too low, in part because scientists have been too focused on complete extinction of a species. Two vertebrate species are estimated to go extinct every year, which the authors wrote “does not generate enough public concern,” and lends the impression that many species are not severely threatened, or that mass extinction is a distant catastrophe.

    Conservatively, scientists estimate that 200 species have gone extinct in the past 100 years; the “normal” extinction rate over the past two million years has been that two species go extinct every 100 years because of evolutionary and other factors.

    Rather than extinctions, the paper looks at how populations are doing: the disappearance of entire populations, and the decrease of the number of individuals within a population. Over all, they found this phenomenon is occurring globally, but that tropical regions, which have the greatest biodiversity, are experiencing the greatest loss in numbers, and that temperate regions are seeing higher proportions of population loss. Dr. Ehrlich, who rose to prominence in the 1960s after he wrote “The Population Bomb,” a book that predicted the imminent collapse of humanity because of overpopulation, said he saw a similar phenomenon in the animal world as a result of human activity.

    “There is only one overall solution, and that is to reduce the scale of the human enterprise,” he said. “Population growth and increasing consumption among the rich is driving it.”

    He and Dr. Ceballos said that habitat destruction — deforestation for agriculture, for example — and pollution were the primary culprits, but that climate change exacerbates both problems. Accelerating deforestation and rising carbon pollution are likely to make climate change worse, which could have disastrous consequences for the ability of many species to survive on earth.

    Dr. Ceballos struck a slightly more hopeful tone, adding that some species have been able to rebound when some of these pressures are taken away.

    Dr. Ehrlich, however, continued to sound the alarm. “We’re toxifying the entire planet,” he said.

    When asked about the clear advocacy position the paper has taken, a rarity in scientific literature, he said, “Scientists don’t give up their responsibility as citizens to say what they think about the data that they’re gathering.”

  • White Whale Spotted Off North East Coast of New Zealand

    By Ryan Dunlop, Reporter, NZ Herald

    A rare white humpback whale was spotted off the coast of Gisborne. Expert Ingrid Visser says it is likely Migaloo, a white humpback known to frequent Australian waters.

    A white humpback whale sighted off the coast of the North Island is a significant find, according to whale biologist and expert Dr Ingrid Visser.

    It is likely the whale is Migaloo, a famous white humpback found in Australian waters, or the first sighting of a new white whale, both extremely rare finds.

    Commercial cray fisher Joshua Whitley was out casting pots about 16km off the coast of Gisborne when he noticed something strange near the boat.

    “I just happened to look up and see a whale spout. We decided to go over and have a look.”

    Upon approach Whitley noticed something wasn’t quite right with one of the whales – “It was completely white”.

    Whitley and his crew were “completely buzzing” at the “once in a lifetime” sighting.

    “When we left, we thought it was Migaloo, he was right underneath the stern, it was crazy.

    “At first, they were pretty spooked, they were cruising at 5 knots. Once they got used to the boat and knew we weren’t going to hurt them they came closer.”
    A rare white humpback whale was spotted off the coast of Gisborne. Expert Ingrid Visser says it is likely Migaloo, a white humpback known to frequent Australian waters.

    Visser said just from the footage it was difficult to identify the whale which was probably Migaloo.

    However, there was a possibility it was the first documented sighting of the third recorded white humpback whale.

    The second recorded white humpback is located in the Atlantic Ocean and Visser was 99 per cent sure it would not be that whale.

    It was also possible the whale was the offspring of Migaloo, she said.

    The whale in the video was either albino or leucistic, meaning white pigmentation. The difference between the two was albino animals have pink eyes while leucistic animals have black eyes.

    “If it was, then it would show he was on a different migration pattern, then it’s a real biggy.

    “Humpback whales do move between different areas. There are reports of humpbacks moving from the west coast of North America to Japan.”

    In the next week, the whales would continue north which, if spotted again, could provide another opportunity to identify the animal.

    However, Visser stressed observers should follow the law and give the animals more than 50m of space and travel no faster than 5 knots when near them.

    Both Migaloo and the white humpback from the Atlantic have identifying features on their tails.

    “The Atlantic whale has black on the underside of the tail whereas Migaloo is all white.

    Migaloo also has a distinctive dorsal fin, she said.

    It was “a very exciting find” for Visser who had gained an interest in white marine mammals after publishing a report of all the black dolphins and whales around New Zealand in 2004.

    A white whale, later confirmed to be Migaloo, was spotted in the Cook Strait in 2015. DNA analysis by Oregon State University in the United States confirmed that a skin sample taken from the white whale matched the genetic profile taken from Migaloo off Australia, confirming it is the same whale.

    Anyone who sights the latest white whale is asked to report it to the Orca Research Trust on 0800 733 6722.

    Marine Mammals Protection Act

    * Do not disturb, harass or make loud noises near marine mammals.

    * Contact should stop if marine mammals show any signs of becoming disturbed or alarmed.

    * Do not feed or throw any rubbish near marine mammals.

    * Avoid sudden or repeated changes in speed or direction of any vessel or aircraft near a marine mammal.

    *There should be no more than three vessels and/or aircraft within 300m of any marine mammal.

    * Ensure that you travel no faster than idle or “no wake” speed within 300m of any marine mammal.

    * Approach whales and dolphins from behind and to the side.

    * Do not circle them, obstruct their path or cut through any group.

    * Keep at least 50m from whales (or 200m from any whale mother and calf or calves).

    * Swimming with whales is not permitted.

  • White Chipmunks in Worcester, Mass.

    By George Barnes for the Telegram & Gazette Staff

    WORCESTER — Hoping to give his mother something pleasant to look at off her balcony at Plantation Towers, Bill Chappell set up a bird feeder and spread some seeds on the ground in a garden space near the parking lot.

    He got a lot of birds, but he also attracted a couple of nature’s oddities. “I put out the seeds, and I was out watching birds, when I noticed something white,” he said. “It was an albino chipmunk.”

    As it turns out, there are two. A second white chipmunk was seen a few days later, also dining beneath the feeder.

    The chipmunk appears to be albino, but could be leucistic: They are all white except for light stripes on their backs. Their eyes appear to be red. Although many albino mammals are pure white, some retain partial coloring.

    Along with red eyes, albino animals have a near complete loss of pigmentation. Leucism may occur partially and sometimes in patches in mammals, birds and reptiles. An article in Missouri Conservation magazine explains the differences in an article on albinism.

    Albino animals have a complete lack of melanin, which creates normal colors. Leucistic animals may have all the traits of an albino, including all white skin, hair or scales, but have dark, rather than pink or red eyes and possibly color in their nails.

    In 2010 a leucistic partially white robin was seen in Athol. In November, a leucistic white squirrel was photographed in Hubbardston.

    “Leucism coloration can occur in individuals of any animal population – always fun to see when they show up,” said David H. Small, president of the Athol Bird and Nature Club.

    Albinism is also found in humans, with the most famous case that of musicians Johnny and Edgar Winter.

    The white chipmunks in Worcester are wary, but play well with ordinary chipmunks at the feeder, although Mr. Chappell said one of their cousins chased one away last week.

  • Rare White Orca spotted in Bering Sea

    June 11, 2018 by Pete Thomas

    A white orca has been spotted by Russian researchers near the Commander Islands in the Bering Sea.

    The extremely rare sighting was of a leucistic female orca that had not been documented in several years.

    Russian Orcas, a research group, announced the sighting early Monday on Facebook:

    “On the first day of our fieldwork in the Commander Islands, we encountered a large aggregation of several groups, including one with a white individual.

    “Not the famous Iceberg this time, but the female CO210 also known as ‘Mama Tanya’ (named after the main photo ID researcher of our project Tatiana Ivkovich, who is also blonde).

    “CO210 was encountered for the first time in 2009 and re-sighted several times in 2010, but then disappeared for a long time. We are happy to greet her again!”

    Iceberg, an adult male, was first documented in 2012 off the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia.

    Only a handful of albino or leucistic orcas have been documented around the world. (Leucistic animals boast some pigment and are not as white as true albinos.)

    The Commander Islands are located about 100 miles east of the Kamchatka Peninsula.

    –Images of white orca are courtesy of Russian Orcas


  • White Lion of Kruger

    May 18, 2018 by Big On Wild

    The famous white lion was seen with 8 other sub adult male lions.

    Update on the White Lion of Kruger
    © Morne Boitjie Vermeulen

    The white lion can be found on the around the H6/S41 area around Satara, he was born in 2014 and he was fathered by the Shishangaan male lions.

    Update on the White Lion of Kruger
    © Morne Boitjie Vermeulen

    On Tuesday he was seen by Morne Boitjie Vermeulen on the H6 with 8 other sub adult males.

    Update on the White Lion of Kruger
    © Morne Boitjie Vermeulen

    The other males also belong to the Shishangaan pride.

    The territory around the H6 and Singita is dominated by the 4 Shishangaan males, if these 9 males decide to stick together they would be able to take over the area.

    Update on the White Lion of Kruger
    © Morne Boitjie Vermeulen

    Having such a big male coalition is possible the Gomondwane males down the South of Kruger had a total of 6 males.

    Update on the White Lion of Kruger
    © Ronesh Parbhoo

    The only problem that big coalition face is the sourcing of food, feeding 9 males is difficult therefore they would have to kill atleast 2 buffalos to feed all of them.

    Mating with females also becomes a problem because only the most dominant is allowed to mate with a female, which can cause fighting for dominance within the coalition, often you then see the coalition break up.

    The Skybed Males were also a coalition of 9 when they were still young and they eventually split in a group of 4 and 5 lions.

    He isn’t the only wild white lion in the Kruger, one was recently born in Ngala private game reserve.

    Update on the White Lion of Kruger
    © Morne Boitjie Vermeulen

    We are glad to see this white lion doing well and we can’t wait to see when he is a fully grown male lion.

    Update on the White Lion of Kruger
    © Morne Boitjie Vermeulen

    We would like to thank Morne Boitjie Vermeulen for the images.

  • White Bison Joins National Buffalo Museum Herd

    The white bison is a year old and was introduced to the National Buffalo Museum herd. Image Credit: Searle Swedlund / Jamestown Tourism

    By Chris Olson for The Jamestown Sun

    A new white bison from Shirek Buffalo Ranch was quick to get out into the summer pasture where the bison herd overseen by the National Buffalo Museum roams each day.

    “She got out of there (the trailer in which she was transported) so fast, it was like a shot,” said Ilana Xinos, National Buffalo Museum executive director.

    Xinos said the museum is trying the year-old bison cow out on a trial basis with the herd.

    “We’ll see how things go, sometimes it takes a little time for the herd to adjust to a new face,” she said.

    Xinos said the North Dakota Buffalo Foundation, the nonprofit organization that founded and operates the National Buffalo Museum, has a committee that reviews any animals being considered for inclusion in the bison herd. When the white bison was born last year, the committee had been talking with Shirek Buffalo Ranch officials about adding the white bison cow to the herd. The North Dakota Buffalo Foundation Board of Directors decided in May to bring the cow here, at least for a trial basis.

    White Cloud became a Jamestown and North Dakota icon as White Cloud lived for almost 20 years as part of the museum’s bison herd. An albino, White Cloud bore another white bison calf, a son who was named Dakota Miracle through a contest. Dakota Miracle is still a part of the museum’s herd.

    Xinos said having white bison with the herd sparks people’s interest in bison as a whole.

    “A question we get from a lot of people is ‘How rare is a white buffalo?’” she said. “Rather than us saying ‘one in a million’ or ‘I don’t know,’ we want to engage in some testing and work with professionals to get an answer to that question.”

    Xinos said the North Dakota Buffalo Foundation is working with the North American Bison Registry, which is part of the National Bison Association, to find answers to the question about rarity of white or albino bison.

    “We want to find out what it is about the gene pool of this ranch, Shirek Buffalo Ranch,” she said, “or what are the factors that may cause more cases of albinism or leucism.”

    Albinism is the partial or complete lack of pigment in the skin, hair and or eyes. Leucism is the partial or complete lack of pigment in hair, skin or cuticles, according to information from mothernaturenetwork.com.

    Xinos said the museum’s bison herd will be participating in a study called the Great American Bison Diet. She said around 40 bison herds will send stool samples to the North American Bison Registry. Those stool samples will be analyzed and the specific types of forage and grasses the bison eat will be determined. She said the National Buffalo Museum’s herd could be termed “grass fed” as the bison mainly eat pasture.

    “When the pasture gets low in the winter, we feed them hay,” she said.

    Xinos said the museum would also like to start building a DNA database of the herd as a way getting visitors to the museum interested in more than just coming to the museum to look at the displays.

    “We want to get people thinking about the grasses the bison eat and about the prairie on which the grasses grow,” she said.

    Read at The Jamestown Sun

  • White Bison “Ghostbuster” expecting in Hays, Missouri

    Baby bison born in Hays; more calves expected

    May 14, 2018 by

    Hays Post

    The city of Hays welcomed two baby bison to its herd last week at Frontier Park.

    One was born Tuesday and another was born Friday.

    The first calf was born to one of the herd’s 5-year-old cows. Another calf was born Friday to one of the 4-year-old cows. Neither the cows nor the calves have names.

    Jeff Boyle, director of the city’s parks department, said the bison’s keeper thinks all five of the cows in the herd will likely have calves this season, including the herd’s white bison, sometimes referred to as Ghostbuster.

    The bull in the herd does not exhibit any albino traits, so it is unknown if Ghostbuster would have a white or brown calf.

    Boyle said the best time to see the calves is in the early morning or at dusk.

    He noted visitors should not attempt to climb the bison’s fences. Bison can weigh between 800 and 2,000 pounds. They are very territorial. They have been known to charge, and victims can be gored by their horns.

  • Rare White Deer Fawn in Wisconsin

    Maggie, a Labrador retriever owned by Trent Zimmerman of Baraboo, stands near a white deer fawn in a woodlot in Sauk County. Zimmerman and Maggie encountered the rare deer while searching for mushrooms. Photo courtesy of Trent Zimmerman.

    Trent Zimmerman of Baraboo and his dog Maggie went searching for mushrooms and shed antlers on Sunday in Sauk County.

    The sheds totally eluded them and they came home with a grand total of one delectable fungi.

    But they did encounter something even rarer and more memorable than old antlers or sprouting shrooms.

    Just moments after finding the only morel of the day near a cluster of elm trees, Zimmerman and Maggie walked a few steps and surveyed the forested landscape.

    Twenty yards ahead stood a tiny four-legged form shining like a full moon in the shaded woods: a white deer fawn.

    The deer locked eyes with what were likely the first human and dog it had seen in its young life.

    It was definitely a first for Zimmerman and Maggie.

    “We just sort of pulled up in shock,” said Zimmerman, 38. “What a sight.”

    The fawn was standing, Zimmerman said, but didn’t try to run.

    The animal was entirely white except for its dark eyes and pink nose. Zimmerman estimated its height at 17 inches and weight at 8 pounds.

    Zimmerman pulled out his cellphone and began taking video of the encounter.

    The fawn tottered on its spindly legs as Maggie, a 1-year-old Labrador retriever, walked over to investigate.

    Zimmerman can be heard on the video telling his dog to back off, an order to which Maggie promptly complied.

    Zimmerman, an avid hunter and angler who owns a sealcoating business, spent about the next minute looking in amazement and capturing video.

    Trent Zimmerman of Baraboo photographed this white deer fawn in Sauk County. The animal was likely born just hours before Zimmerman and his dog Maggie encountered it on May 13, 2018. Photo contributed by Trent Zimmerman.

    “Its hair was still damp and looked like it had been born just hours before,” Zimmerman said.

    With a white-tailed deer herd of more than 1 million animals in Wisconsin, it’s not uncommon for people to see deer fawns in spring.

    But it’s extremely rare to view one that has all-white hair.

    Most animals feature a range of color variations, including albinism (an absence of pigment) and leucism (a partial loss of pigmentation).

    The fawn Zimmerman saw was leucistic since it had colored eyes.

    A third color classification – piebald – is used to describe deer with patches of brown and white hair.

    How rare are white deer? It’s difficult to determine the frequency, according to scientists, but some estimates put it at 1 in 20,000 or 30,000.

    What’s known is there are local populations that harbor higher proportions of white deer in Wisconsin.

    A herd that includes several white deer near Boulder Junction draws visitors each year and was the subject of “White Deer, Ghosts of the Forest,” a book featuring the photographs of Jeff Richter and text by John Bates.

    In southern Wisconsin, white deer are sometimes observed near Dousman in Waukesha County, said Rick Reed, warden supervisor for the state Department of Natural Resources.

    Zimmerman said they are also known to live on and around the property in Sauk County where he saw the white fawn.

    White animals tend to survive at lower rates in the wild since they are easier to spot by predators.

    In Wisconsin, white deer are protected by DNR rules and may not be shot by hunters.

    Most white-tailed deer in Wisconsin give birth in late May or early June.

    The white fawn encountered Sunday in Sauk County is part of the advance guard of the 2018 class.

    As with all young wildlife, it’s important to leave fawns where they are found. An adult is likely near and will return soon.

    Female deer will leave their offspring in grassy or brushy areas and return several times a day to feed them. The process continues until the fawns are strong enough to run and follow the doe.

    White animals are also revered in American Indian lore.

    In many tribal legends, the sighting or birth of a white animal portends good things to come.

    Zimmerman, who has hunted and fished for more than 30 years and founded Huntn & Fishn Kids to help introduce youth to outdoors activities, knew it was important to limit contact with the fawn.

    After capturing three short video clips of the animal, Zimmerman summoned Maggie and they backed out of the area. The entire encounter lasted less than 2 minutes.

    At first the fawn attempted to follow Zimmerman.

    “I told the little guy he was right where he needed to be,” Zimmerman said. “He gave us a huge highlight by just crossing paths with us.”

    See the original article at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

  • Charlie Russell, Who Befriended Bears, Dies at 76

    Charlie Russell in an undated photograph with a young grizzly bear at a lake on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia.
    Credit: Maureen Enns Studio Ltd.

    By Neil Genzlinger

    Charlie Russell, a Canadian naturalist who researched grizzly bears by living among them and argued for a view of the animals based on coexistence rather than fear, died on May 7 in Calgary, Alberta. He was 76.

    The cause was complications after surgery, his brother Gordon said.

    Mr. Russell was outspoken in his belief that the view most people — including many of his fellow naturalists — held of the bear was wrong.

    “I believe that it’s an intelligent, social animal that is completely misunderstood,” he said in a PBS “Nature” documentary about his work. To prove the point, he and his partner at the time, Maureen Enns, a photographer and artist, spent months each year for a decade living among bears in a remote part of eastern Russia.

    They wrote several books based on those experiences and were the subject of documentaries and countless articles. Mr. Russell’s ideas, though, were not embraced by everyone.

    Some fellow naturalists worried that they might lead people to be unwisely casual around wild animals. And in Russia, Mr. Russell ran afoul of criminal elements and corrupt politicians tied to bear poaching.

    His and Ms. Enns’s experiment on the Kamchatka Peninsula ended heartbreakingly. When they returned there for the 2003 season, they found that almost all the bears they had become acquainted with were gone, presumably slaughtered. A bear gallbladder — the prize for poachers, valued in some countries as an aphrodisiac and general health remedy — had been nailed to their cabin wall, like some kind of warning.

    “The bears were killed so we would go home,” Mr. Russell told The Globe and Mail in July 2003. “It is a brutal ending to our research.”

    But he continued to promote his views, and they have influenced policy and practice in areas where bears and people encounter one another.

    “His work with bears was groundbreaking,” Kevin Van Tighem, an author and former superintendent of Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, said by email, “and he has changed the landscape of possibilities in which bears, and humans, will have to find their common future.”

    Mr. Russell with a young grizzly. He was outspoken in his belief that the view most people held of bears was wrong. Credit: Maureen Enns Studio Ltd.

    Andrew Charles Russell was born on Aug. 19, 1941, in Pincher Creek, Alberta. His parents, Andy and Kay (Riggall) Russell, ran an outfitting business; his father led guided horseback adventures into the mountains near the family ranch, trips that might last three weeks.

    Andy Russell was also a noted naturalist and writer, and when he decided to make a documentary about the white subspecies of black bears on Princess Royal Island in British Columbia, he took Charlie and his brother Richard along as assistants. The experience, Charlie said later, helped him begin to think differently about bears.

    The three found that they were mostly capturing footage of bears’ backsides as the animals ran from them — until they left their rifles behind when they went out to film.

    “The three of us eventually came to the conclusion that bears could sense that we were not a threat,” Mr. Russell told The Edmonton Journal in 2002, “that somehow they realized that without a gun, we would do them no harm.”

    Mr. Russell became a rancher on the family land in Alberta, and he began to wonder if the traditional rancher view of bears as an enemy was fair. Mr. Van Tighem said that Mr. Russell, who had no college education, was not interested in studying bears in the usual way.

    “Anybody can become a bear ‘expert’ by reading about them and sitting through lectures at a university,” Mr. Van Tighem said. “Charlie wasn’t that kind of expert. He didn’t see bears in the way that other bear researchers might — as objects of study. He saw them as his teachers.”

    But to really get at the innate nature of bears, he needed to find ones that had no history of negative encounters with people. That is what sent him and Ms. Enns to Kamchatka, which had been off limits to civilians for military reasons during the Cold War and thus was full of bears that had had no contact with humans.

    They first scouted the area in 1994. In 1996, Russian officials granted them permission to build a cabin near a remote lake. Every year they would fly in, using a small plane Mr. Russell had built from a kit, and stay for four or five months.

    The bears grew to know them, Mr. Russell said, and became comfortable enough with them that sometimes a few would come to the cabin and linger to see if he and Ms. Enns wanted to go for a walk with them.

    The couple also won permission to bring in three orphaned cubs from a Russian zoo to try to reintroduce them to the wild, and they succeeded despite the skepticism of some naturalists. They would eventually work with a total of 10 orphaned cubs.

    While elsewhere in the world naturalists were studying bears by tranquilizing and putting trackers on them, or doing chemical analysis of their blood and bodily wastes, Mr. Russell wanted no part of that.

    Mr. Russell said of the bear, “I believe that it’s an intelligent, social animal that is completely misunderstood.” Credit: Maureen Enns Studio Ltd.


    “I don’t care how many miles a bear walks in a day or how many mouthfuls of grass it eats,” he told Backpacker magazine. He cared, he said, about only two things: what annoyed bears and what didn’t.

    His conclusion that bears were not naturally hostile to people earned him enemies among hunters.

    “A lot of it is because the hunting culture needs to promote an animal as fearful so that people can feel brave about killing it,” he told the Australian newspaper The Age in 2009.

    His live-with-the-bears approach also drew criticism from some wildlife officials. “He’s teaching people how to get mauled,” one said.

    Sometimes people were indeed mauled — most memorably in 2003, when another bear advocate, Timothy Treadwell, and his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, were killed and partly eaten by a bear in Alaska.

    Mr. Russell, though, had always advocated taking precautions, like carrying pepper spray or using electric fencing, and had criticized Mr. Treadwell for not doing so.

    “I have always understood that for the bears’ sake it was very important that I did not add to their problems by making a mistake myself that caused me to be hurt or killed,” he wrote on his website in response to those deaths. The incident, he said, played into the hands of hunting interests, which were starting to lose the public-relations war as bear-viewing tourism grew.

    “Hunters desperately needed Timothy’s blunder to put the danger back into bear encounters,” he wrote.

    Books by Mr. Russell and Ms. Enns include “Grizzly Heart: Living Without Fear Among the Brown Bears of Kamchatka” (2002) and “Grizzly Seasons: Life With the Brown Bears of Kamchatka” (2003).

    Their relationship ended in the aftermath of the slaughter of the Kamchatka bears in 2003, an incident that also left Mr. Russell with the fear that, by teaching the bears to trust humans, he had inadvertently conditioned them not to run from the hunters.

    “I can see how easily they were killed,” he said. “That’s my nightmare image.”

    Mr. Russell’s marriage to Margaret Hynde ended in divorce in the early 1970s. In addition to his brothers, he is survived by a sister, Anne Raabe, and a granddaughter.

    Mr. Van Tighem said Mr. Russell’s influence went beyond changing views of bears. He said that Mr. Russell also built bridges in Canada between ranchers and conservationists, and between ranchers and park officials, resulting in land preservation initiatives and “a whole new era of collaborative approaches to landscape conservation in the west.”

    Walking with Giants – The Grizzlies of Kamchatka Siberia. Credit: Video by mb1968ca

    Daniel E. Slotnik contributed reporting.

    Read at The New York Times

  • Zohara joins host Arielle on Starseed Radio Academy
  • Exploring the Bizarre (KCORradio) on the powers and wisdom of sacred White Spirit Animals

    Hosts Tim Beckley and Tim Swartz welcome J. Zohara Meyerhoff Hieronimus who explores the powers and wisdom of sacred White Spirit Animals. Says the author: ” Beautiful rarities of nature, all-white animals are held sacred by many indigenous cultures and offer deep wisdom to all who will listen. In addition to the White Buffalo, there are other revered white animals, such as the White Wolf, White Lion, White Elephant, and White Bear. Each of these White Spirit Animals belongs to a species at the apex of their ecosystem, meaning the environment in which they live will unravel without them. Speaking through ancient and modern prophecy and the many humans who communicate with them, these White Spirit Animals are urgently calling to humanity to restore balance and protect our animal kin, ourselves, and the earth”.

    Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZHoHpJTx4ZA

    Read more about Exploring the Bizarre on KCORradio

  • Indie Shaman Book Review of White Spirit Animals

    This book explores the author’s journey and relationship with several White Spirit Animals; namely the Bear, Lion, Elephant, Wolf and Buffalo and is based on both her own Shamanic and Telepathic dreaming and conversations, as well as numerous interviews with animal conservation enthusiasts and professionals in order to give a vibrant picture of these animal ambassadors. These shamanic animals who have been considered by many indigenous peoples to be great teachers and wisdom keepers and who, for thousands of years, have provided a sacred link between the mundane and spirit worlds.

    It is the author’s assertion that these animals carry a message of, to use her own phrase, Conservation, Preservation and Restoration (or C.P.R.) for the Earth and that trans-species communication can be used to learn the lessons they have to offer.

    Each animal is given a chapter containing a wide ranging account of the history, mythology, biology, astronomy, cross cultural, spiritual and even nursery aspects of their relationship with humans and also of the impact our behaviour and, more importantly, our ‘dissociation’ of behavioural cause and effect has had on them and the species they represent.

    There is a final section which explores the beings of legend and of ‘hidden history’ and which draws together the themes and lessons previously covered; along with examples of how we continue to harm our home planet and some of the methods, spiritual and otherwise, that may help to heal Her.

    This is a fascinating and thought provoking book for anyone who wishes to walk with White Spirit Animals, find guidance and answers in the dreaming of them and explore their message of C.P.R. for the Earth.

    J. Zohara Meyerhoff Hieronimus D.H.L. White Spirit Animals: Prophets of Change. Bear & Company (October 2017). ISBN: 9781591432470

    Reviewed by Martin Pallot for Indie Shaman Magazine and published in Issue 36.

  • N.Y.T. Opinion – Pet Owners Gone Wild

    Illustration by Joe Sutphin

    April 8, 2018 · By Margaret Renkl

    Being the caretaker of two very old dogs means frequent visits to the pet-supply store, but I don’t take my geriatric companions with me when I shop. In their sore, deaf, rickety old age, they are made anxious by the bounding puppies in the store’s cavernous fluorescence. For my dogs, a pet supermarket is a chamber of tortures.

    And not just for them. I recently crossed the main aisle just as a big man pushing a stroller was coming the other way. The screen covering the stroller was zipped, and the animal inside had scooted back as far as it could, so I caught only a glimpse. “That dog looks just like a fox,” I said.

    “It is a fox,” the man said.

    I squatted for a closer look. The creature inside drew back, but I could see it well enough to know it truly was a fox.

    The man must’ve read the shock in my eyes because he immediately volunteered that he owned the fox legally, having bought it as a kit from a licensed breeder. This fox, a male, was skittish, he said, but his family also owned an arctic female who was friendly with strangers. Standing in line a few minutes later, I saw him leaving with a woman pushing a white fox in an identical stroller.

    I’ve seen many foxes in the wild — and heard their unnerving screams in the dark — and I was sure the man was breaking the law. But I was wrong.

    It’s illegal here in Tennessee to remove any animal from the wild to keep as a pet, but wild animals raised in captivity are a different matter. With proof that the animal came from a legal source, it is indeed permissible to keep a captive-bred fox as a pet, as long as it doesn’t belong to a species native to Tennessee. The fox in the stroller looked like a full-blooded Tennessee gray fox to me, but he must have been some other state’s fox.

    “Taming” a wild animal is merely the act of desensitizing it to human beings, and the temptation to do it seems hard-wired into us. In high school I taught a backyard squirrel to climb into my lap and take shelled pecans from my fingers. Last summer, I would whistle for the bluebirds every time I filled the mealworm feeder, and they would fly to the nearest branch and wait impatiently for me to step away. To anyone watching, it must have looked as though I had a pet family of bluebirds, and in truth it would have been no great trick to move my chair closer and closer to the feeder until those birds were eating from my hand.

    But doing that would have been an unkindness.

    Few animals in the wild can tell the difference between the person who feeds them and any random person in the same vicinity. My tame squirrel used to startle my mother by creeping up and licking her toes while she hung laundry on the line. A tame animal can easily be mistaken for rabid by people who don’t know it’s tame. That’s why “pet” animals in the wild are often euthanized.

    And orphan animals raised by humans are the most vulnerable of all, unprepared to live in the wild, if they even survive a clueless rescuer’s attempt to feed them.

    As a college student in Alabama, I was trained as a wildlife-rescue volunteer, and I raised many orphaned animals — rabbits, squirrels, opossums, songbirds — and released them according to a protocol designed to give them the best chance at survival. These days if I find an injured bird or an orphaned squirrel, I take it to Walden’s Puddle, the wildlife rehabilitation center closest to me.

    And yet all over social media, I see images of cute baby animals being reared by well-meaning people who have found a cottontail rabbit’s nest and assumed the little bunnies to be orphaned, or fledgling birds assumed to have fallen from the nest. In most cases, the babies are fine and the anxious parents are nearby, just waiting for the bumbling humans to leave them alone.

    These wild animals may eventually be tamed, but they’ll never be domesticated. A tamed animal might seem affectionate, but it maintains all the normal propensities of its species, and its offspring will not exhibit any inherent friendliness toward humans — the babies will need to be tamed all over again. Domesticated animals, by contrast, have been selectively bred for human companionship across thousands of years.

    It’s possible to domesticate foxes, as Russian scientists in Siberia have proved — a story fascinatingly told by Lee Alan Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut in “How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog).” But it takes many generations to do so. Some offspring don’t exhibit the traits of domesticated animals despite nearly 70 years of selective breeding.

    I sympathize with the desire to bring wild animals into the human sphere. Every spring, I sit outside near the safflower feeder in the sun of a Sunday afternoon, as still as I can manage, and a tufted titmouse will invariably land in the tree next to me, hopping closer — limb to branch to deck rail to chair back — until finally she is sitting on my head. I thrill to feel her tiny passerine claws scrambling against my scalp. I try not to yelp when she yanks out my hair to line her nest.

    But the best way to love a wild animal is to leave it in the wild, a world that coexists with our own but is always apart from ours. I can’t shake the image of that fox in the pet store — its lowered head and averted eyes, the intelligence of its ears, the delicate precision of its paws. What a magnificent animal, revered since the earliest days of human culture for its cleverness and wiles. What a terrible fate, to be zipped up in a nylon stroller and wheeled between the electric fences and the rhinestone collars.

    Margaret Renkl is a contributing opinion writer.

    From The New York Times

  • Zohara on the Maiden, Mother, and Crone podcast

    The Maiden, Mother, and Crone of Green Egg bringing aspects of the magazine to life on the Pagan Musings Podcast, you can find their live shows on alternating Saturdays.

    Zoh has been called a visionary and futurist and is as well, a trans-species telepath who communicates with animals both wild and domestic. Zohara is well known for her participation in consciousness studies, the spiritual science of self mastery as described in kabbalah, and is a broadcasting personality hosting numerous radio shows over the past 30 years.

    Listen to this show on the Maiden, Mother, and Crone page

  • White Bison Spotted in Park County, Colorado

    Image Credit: Coleen Graybill

    Life on the Summit: Hey, Spike! writes on Graybills and white bison

    by Miles F. Porter IV

    It was two rare white wildlife species — a red-tailed hawk in the San Luis Valley and a bison in Park County — that brought about this week’s column.

    Pursuing details about the raptor I spotted near Center when down south recently for another Monte Vista Sandhill Crane Festival preview, it developed into the online meeting with Buena Vista newlyweds and professional photographers Coleen and John Graybill.

    Coleen and John are recent transplants from Colorado Springs, but only met in Buena Vista.

    John had already moved to Buena Vista after two career retirements from Midas for 29 years, followed up with a stint as an Apple Genius.

    With a degree from the Rhode Island School of Photography, he had done portrait and wedding photography for five years, an interest much like his great-grandfather Edward S. Curtis, well-known for his early Native American photographs published in the 20-volume “The North American Indian.”

    (Historical anecdote: Edward Curtis gave his stamp of approval to Spike!’s great-aunt Gene Stratton-Porter’s penning of “The Fire Bird” poem book in 1922.)

    Coleen had a 26-year career in the image-capturing business, shooting portraits and weddings in the Springs, while raising her two boys.

    Photo postings on Facebook by Coleen of the white bison on the Downare family’s Elk Mountain Ranch near Hartsel led to seeing her (and John’s) Mountain Spirit Photography offerings and the equally rare white raptor.

    Knowing Native American folklore about the spirituality of albino-like creatures piqued Coleen’s interest.

    “I photographed both the white bison and the leucistic (white) red-tailed hawk at the end of February to mid-March. I have a thing for spirit animals, and especially animal totems not usually seen as white. They bring a deep spiritual meaning with them. I was very excited about the hawk and how unusual the sighting was,” she says.

    “I have seen up to three white bison at the same time there, but never had my camera with or they were too far out in the field to photograph well,” Coleen notes. “We photographed there again just a couple days ago on our way to Colorado Springs. We will be working up a couple of new images this week.”

    The recent developments for the Graybills has been a whirlwind.

    “We have been married just over one year. We met through a mutual photography friend when she found out that I wanted to move to Buena Vista and she knew John had moved here full-time a year prior to that. She thought John could help show me locations to photograph,” says Coleen. “Last year was our first year in business as Mountain Spirit Photography and doing only landscape and fine art photography. We initially thought we wanted to spend a ton a time in our national parks photographing those iconic places.”

    They went to Mt. Rainier twice, Death Valley, Bryce Canyon and Kings Canyon, Sequoia and Yosemite national parks, as well as a trip around Michigan.

    Those extensive travels led them back to their new home in Chaffee County, between Park and Saguache-Rio Grande counties.

    “We discovered that it was too much traveling for one year, and our own backyard was as beautiful as any of them,” she says. “So this year we are concentrating on the Arkansas Valley and surrounding areas. Buena Vista is the top of our list to live, work and photograph. It’s why we both ended up here.”

    Another meshing of their combined interests came with both using Nikon camera systems.

    “We are now photographing beautiful sunsets, mountains and wildlife. Though so many people think it’s a dream job, I have to remind them that they don’t have to get up a 4 a.m. to make it to the sunrise location in time and dress for 10-degree zero windchill,” Coleen comments.

    Future plans have Coleen and John putting together a Buena Vista calendar for next year and are also considering a coffee table book on the area.

    For more info see their website:


    Read the article online at Summit Daily

  • White Buffalo in western Colorado

    Hidden near Hartsel, a spectral rare white buffalo

    in The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

    Apr 1, 2018

    HARTSEL — Life is full of surprises.

    My husband Steve and I were driving to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument when we spotted a full-grown white buffalo grazing in a field just west of the South Park hamlet of Hartsel.

    Full disclosure: I couldn’t find any information about this particular creature, one of a small herd of standard, chocolate-brown-furred bison, so I’m going to speculate. Its eyes were dark, meaning it probably wasn’t albino. And since the National Bison Association’s code of ethics prohibits members from deliberately crossbreeding the American bison (Bison bison) with other species, it probably wasn’t a bison-cattle cross.

    The bison association estimates that the extremely rare white buffalo (common usage has made the word “buffalo” an acceptable synonym for “bison,” although scientifically speaking, “bison” is correct) occurs just once in every 10 million births. Recessive genes trigger the trait; a similar biological process produces black bears with blond or cinnamon-colored fur.

    Native Americans revere the white buffalo and consider the birth of a white buffalo calf the most significant of prophetic signs.

    To the Lakota Sioux and other tribes, the white buffalo is Earth’s most sacred living creature, a manifestation of White Buffalo Woman, who appeared some 2,000 years ago as a messiah, explained the connection between all things and taught the people how to pray, follow the “proper path” and make respectful use of the bison.

    Before departing, she also foretold that someday, the people would have to choose: The right choice will renew the planet; the wrong one will lead to irreparable disharmony.

    The white buffalo is a symbol of hope, abundance, spiritual rebirth and better times to come. And Steve and I feel so grateful to have seen one.

    — Lynda La Rocca


  • Rare Albino Squirrels of Olney, Illinois
  • Surprising Snow-White Animals Video

    From www.NationalGeographic.com

  • Exploring the Power & Wisdom of Sacred White Spirit Animals with Zohara Hieronimus on Voices of the Sacred Feminine with Karen Tate

  • The Dr. Pat Show: Talk Radio to Thrive By!: White Spirit Animals: Prophets of Change with Author Dr. Zohara Hieronimus, D.H.L.

    Dr. Pat and Zohara Hieronimus discussing White Spirit Animals in spiritual traditions and prophecy around the globe, where they are seen as guardians of animal wisdom, each with a special purpose and gift.

  • White Spirit Animals Featured in InnerSelf Magazine

    Photo credit: Stano Novak, CC BY 2.5

    No matter who we are, no matter
    in which part of the world we dwell, we are one.
    We are one with each other. We are one with the Earth.
    We are one with the moon, the sun, and the stars.
    –Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, Zulu Lion Shaman

    In the land where trees are called “growing people” and ancestral spirits are consulted in community decisions, we meet the White Lions of Timbavati, South Africa.

    Like indigenous leaders in whose homeland other White Spirit Animals are born, here too, in Africa, Zulu elders teach that there is vital significance in the appearance of the White Lions in Timbavati at this time. As with all the other White Spirit Animals, the White Spirit Lions have come to warn us of dramatic Earth changes, encouraging us to work together in these perilous times. Protecting the Earth, as Lions have protected humans throughout time, is our noble-hearted duty.

    The African White Lions are regarded as animals from the last ice age and their white color is considered testimony of those conditions. One traditional explanation given to the White Lion’s stature stems from when, it is described, all of humanity suffered from disease and famine and the “anger of Mother Nature.” During those desperate times, tradition teaches, the people prayed all night and day. In response, the gods sent down the White Lions to teach the people how to survive, how to hunt, how to keep warm in the bitter, wild cold. Their mission of helping humankind during profound Earth changes is shared with Bear and the other White Spirit Animals.

    Native legends recount that the White Spirit Lions, after helping the impoverished and stricken humanity overcome their adversities, left, promising only to return when humankind is in danger once again. And so they have returned. First observed in the 1930s and 1940s, and later in 1975, the White Lions’ reappearance in the twentieth century affirms ancient Zulu prophecy.

    With Earth changes upon us from war and climate disruptions, millions of people are currently moving around the planet looking for both food and shelter, and there is a developing food scarcity in major cities around the world whose export polices have bankrupted food supplies in their native lands. World Wildlife Fund’s CEO Carter Roberts states, “We’re gradually destroying our planet’s ability to support our way of life. . . . We know that we all live on a finite planet and it’s time that we started acting within those limits.”

    Taking Responsibility with Love and Compassion for All Life

    Conservation means taking responsibility worldwide and enacting practices in each locale that show love and compassion for all life. It was prophesized that the White Lions would return when humanity was on the verge of disaster. Apparently, now is that time.

    The White Animals are messengers of change. They are wisdomkeepers and chroniclers of Earth events much like human historians. They speak to the ancient past and the vast, unfolding future. Similar to human prophets who warn of great challenges or pending calamities, they also teach that the impacts of these events can be attenuated. Credo Mutwa, Africa’s preeminent Isanusi (high-ranking shaman) and Guardian of Umlando (the “Great Knowledge”), says, “Today we live in the most important time for human beings. We live in a time of catastrophes and real miracles.”

    The Maasai Lion Guardians

    Heart intelligence can help us transform past destructive practices into approaches that sustain and elevate life. The Lion Guardians organization, founded in 2007 by Leela Hazzah and Stephanie Dolrenry, is an important example of transformation in Africa.

    The Maasai of East Africa live in present-day Kenya and northern Tanzania. For centuries, they have hunted lions as part of their initiation into manhood. The Lion’s imminent extinction has not stopped these rituals. But Lion Guardians offers an alternative manhood initiation by emulating another Lion quality, that of protector.

    The Maasai live a mostly pastoral life and depend on their livestock to feed their families. If they lose any of their livestock to lions, or believe that it was from lions, they retaliate by killing lions. Lion Guardians helps return lost livestock, rebuilds animal fencing, tracks lions, and notifies herders when Lions are near, enabling them to take different routes. They employ sixty-five Lion Guardians throughout East Africa, who are paid the equivalent of $100 a month, taught to read and write, and tasked with tracking, naming, and knowing the whereabouts of the Lions they protect. Their ultimate goal is to prevent any conflict with Lions and to reduce Lion killings, increasing their now dangerously small populations.

    In the past fifty years Africa has lost 50 percent of its Lion population. But in Amboseli, Kenya, the Lion Guardians have documented a near tripling of the Lion population since beginning their work.

    Here we see that an ethos of care rather than exploitation and destruction can change a death economy to a life-elevating economy, enlisting members of local communities to reshape and redefine their relationship to their own environment and its populations, human and animal.

    As the symbolic alchemist, Lion reminds us that protecting the Earth is our noble-hearted purpose.

    Read the article online at InnerSelf.

  • Zohara Joins Susan Kolb on Temple of Health

    This interview originally aired on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 12 Noon Eastern.


  • Watkins Mind Body Spirit Magazine features White Spirit Animals

    Watkins Mind Body Spirit is a quarterly magazine published by Watkins Books in London. Like the famous bookshop, the magazine covers a wide range of subjects from contemporary spirituality to self development and mysticism to Eastern philosophy. Each issue contains specially commissioned author’s articles and interviews, alongside the very latest book releases.

    Zohara’s article with excerpts from White Spirit Animals features many photographs from the book. Read the article (PDF).

    Visit Watkins Magazine online

  • Zohara will be a guest on Answers With the Astral Baglady

    Hosted by Rev L Newman & Tom Force, the show is dedicated to metaphysical research in human potential. Listen live online Thursday, February 15, 2018 from 12 Noon – 1PM Eastern.

    Listen online during the air-time: www.ParaXRadioNetwork.com/shows/answers/

    or head back to this post for an archive.

  • Calling All Earth Guardians – Zoh’s article in Species Link Journal

    Species Link focuses on our many ways of being in relationship with all animals and our natural environment. To have a vibrant and honest relationship with our animal kin and our ecosystems requires developing greater compassionate action, establishing personal, political and financial will to restore our precious earth. The entire world faces serious challenges we must respond to.

    As an eco-activist for half a century, I like many of my peers expected society to take obvious steps needed for protecting the earth. Like others, I realized that we have limited amounts of clean water, air, and soil on our planet; that what we do to the earth and our animal kin, we do to ourselves. This truth is the big truth around which so many philosophies revolve worldwide, and which all indigenous traditions teach: the inherent unity of The All. Becoming an Earth guardian at 14 was a natural personal fit. I lived among animals, the fields and Eastern woodlands my entire childhood and navigated with joy the unbounded harmony and love of life such a deep relationship brings our hearts. But instead of society progressing down a straight line these past 50 years toward protecting the sacred Earth, there has been an uphill, downhill journey, which now it seems is careening madly off course. Since I first became and activist by handing out flyers in 1965 for a program being given by Ralph Nader on acid rain hosted by the South East Community Organization in Baltimore where I was a young volunteer, there has been a rapid diminishment of the ecosystems, our natural resources and wildlife worldwide. What we have learned since then is sobering and alarming. We are all called to action beginning in our own hearts and communities.

    Species Decline Accelerating

    According to the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) 2014 Living Planet Report, Earth’s wild vertebrate population —all mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish—declined by 52 percent between 1970 and 2010. In the span of a single human lifetime, wild vertebrates have had their populations cut in half as a result of human hunting and land appropriation. Rampant human population increases, unsustainable land use, and poaching are lead causes. The report also states that “The No. 1 cause of wildlife declines is habitat loss and change, which is reducing 45 percent of the animals studied. Hunting and fishing, both intentionally and via ‘by catch’ is next at 37 percent.” Population sizes of vertebrate species—mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish— have declined by 52 percent over the last forty years. In other words, those populations around the globe have dropped by more than half in fewer than two human generations. (WWF Living Planet Report 2014, www.worldwildlife.org/pages/living-planet-report-2014.)

    Inner and Outer Conditions Interact

    In my new book, White Spirit Animals: Prophets of Change (Inner Traditions, Bear & Co.), I describe how we are being asked by the animals around us to protect and bond with nature, to act upon our inner voice, and to perform intentional right action—all of which enables engagement in the purposeful and wise actions of everyone and everything. The message of the animals is simple: “Improve life around you,” to which I like to add, “and the life within us.”

    Westerners in particular have been focused on impacting the outer world and dominating the landscape. Adopting new ways of relating to the world is our task at hand. His Holiness the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, explains the link between our hopes and actions in his eloquent work Interconnected: Embracing Life in our Global Society. As he shows, while we may be inspired to do a good thing, following through with action depends a great deal on each person’s inner qualities that lead to compassionate action.

    “For compassion to blossom, we need to nourish our courage, our altruistic aspirations, our empathy, our sense of responsibility, our wisdom…. Bringing together the right environment within us allows us to respond well to the environment around us. Inner conditions and outer conditions interact; the interplay between them creates the reality in which we live.”

    The inner life of each person and the outer world we create together, are interconnected and interdependent at all times. (Interconnected: Embracing Life in our Global Society, The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.

    When I began my own efforts as an Earth steward, a cause to which I have dedicated my life, I mistakenly believed that if people simply were given the right information about any particular problem, that the response would hearken up a “we can do it” attitude. Unfortunately, as with many other elders in the activist communities burnished by decades of effort for the environment, for social justice, for workers rights, consumers’ right to know, animal rights and the Earth’s unequivocal need for our right action, we have discovered that information alone is not enough. It was not enough to argue nursery school understandings such as dumping poison in the water poisons the water.

    Though all life is dependent on clean water, it has not mattered more than cutting corners and lowering costs to companies and municipalities who contaminate our waterways worldwide. It was not enough to acknowledge that allowing toxic effluents into the air contaminates the air and destroys the lungs of children and adults. We were not successful in stopping nuclear proliferation on land and in space and all the horrors such weaponry and technology pose for centuries to come. The list of such unacceptable risks and violations of the “public trust,” seems endless, together constituting the reckless endangerment of all life.

    I share this for its essential lesson. Most people need to feel, in some emotional sense, how each issue affects their own lives so that the issues become more personal. So my advice when encouraging others to join in becoming an Earth guardian is to share real stories about real people. Information is not enough. Touching people’s hearts is essential. We can celebrate the activities by millions of people around the world today and who in every state of our nation, are using the state and federal courts to challenge transgressions; who are saving animals and their natural habitats; who grow and distribute organic foods; who fight for social justice as part of the ecological imperative. It is a fact that when any one of us improves the world anywhere, the entire planet benefits. We are planetary citizens in our local habitats. Often, when people get involved in these various ecological, and social justice issues, they can grow very disheartened seeing progress in one area followed by failure or setbacks. Many of us are alarmed about the current administration’s misbegotten endeavor to revive the outdated, dirty, unnecessary and life-degenerating coal plants in America, among other rollbacks to both science and law enforcement for a better, cleaner environment and more just world.

    From the activist and spiritual interests I have pursued since childhood, I have learned to appreciate the time it can take for change to occur. But at this moment in time, emergency measures are called for. The White Spirit Wolf taught me that what the Earth needs now is CPR: conservation, preservation and restoration.

    The 8 Laws of Change

    In his magnificent book The 8 Laws of Change, Stephan Schwartz explains what the abolitionist and civil rights movements, women’s vote, public education, public health, and Greenpeace share in common. A few Quakers who wanted to improve the world for others began all of these movements. Schwartz discovered eight basic laws that appear to govern the Quaker philosophy and that were applied in these instances, but are not exclusive to them.

    Schwartz asked the question, “How does a small group of people actually change the world?” He spent almost two decades searching for the answers. Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King and their hundreds of thousands of supporters did it. They instigated successful change against tyranny. How? By making a conscious effort to embody the qualities they wanted to see in the world and, unlike the American revolutionaries who also seized freedom from oppression, these movements were all done by foreswearing any and all violence. Schwartz found eight principles that these historic group efforts were guided by, successfully changing laws and the behavior of individuals. These principals are in alignment with those of countless spiritual communities across the ages, as well as with the basic nature of the animal communities and the societies that revere them. Here are the eight laws of change.

    First Law. The individuals, individually, and the group, collectively, must share a common intention.

    Second Law. The individuals and the group may have goals, but they may not have cherished outcomes.

    Third Law. The individuals in the group must accept that their goals may not be reached in their lifetimes and be okay with this.

    Fourth Law. The individuals in the group must accept that they may not get either credit or acknowledgment for what they have done and be authentically okay with this.

    Fifth Law. Each person in the group, regardless of gender, religion, race, culture, must enjoy fundamental equality, even as the various roles in the hierarchy of the effort are respected.

    Sixth Law. The individuals in the group must foreswear violence in word, act, or thought.

    Seventh Law. The individuals in the group and the group itself must make their private selves consistent with their public postures.

    Eighth Law. The individuals in the group and the group collectively must always act from the beingness of life-affirming integrity.

    (Schwartz, Stephan A. The 8 Laws of Change: How to Be an Agent of Personal and Social Transformation. Rochester, Vt.: Park Street Press, 2015.)

    As Schwartz points out, groups of people all over the world have undertaken positive change using these principles. Perhaps they did not identify them in the same way, but in essence they embodied them in their own culturally unique ways. If we remind ourselves of these guidelines, we will be less frustrated with the pace of change and more likely to have hope and appreciate the rewards of our efforts, which will extend beyond our own lifetimes. This is important. We may not desist from right action, but we must also be forgiving, courageous,and inventive while, as White Wolf made clear, administering CPR to the earth; conservation, preservation and restoration. This is the shared work of Earth Guardians worldwide.

    (Portions of this article are excerpted from the author’s upcoming book, The White Spirit Animals, Prophets of Change, Inner Traditions/Bear & Co., Oct. 2017)



    Visit the Species Link Journal website.

  • Conscious Community Magazine Review of White Spirit Animals

    Review by Kayla Hancock

    White animals have always been honored by indigenous cultures as great spiritual teachers. As Zohara Meyerhoff puts it, they act as a connection between the physical and the spiritual worlds, reaching out to humanity to restore balance on our planet. Meyerhoff shares sacred lore, science and her own telepathic dream experiences with readers to take a deeper look at White Spirit Animals and their role as the guardians of animal wisdom. She also tells of their importance in opening our hearts and healing the collective consciousness on Earth.

    Read it online at www.ConsciousCommunityMagazine.com

  • Joanna Harcourt-Smith interviews Zohara on the Future Primitive Podcast

    In this week’s episode Zohara Hieronimus speaks with Joanna about: who are the White Spirit Animals; a waking vision with a message from them; trans-species and dream telepathy; a constellation of meaning about Bear; what Buffalo said; an antidote to the human species entitlement; the alchemical teachings of Lion; the sacred purpose of each of the White Spirit Animals; restoring the local soil together; a new way of feeling and being; small acts of love matter.

  • Uplift Your Life: Dr. Paula Joyce and Zohara Hieronimus Talking about White Spirit Animals

    Hear Dr. Paula Joyce and Zohara discussing the White Spirit Animals, Zoh’s process of writing the book through dream communication, trans-species telepathy, and the messages the animals have for all of us.

  • Beautiful White Deer on Video
  • Zohara on Supernatural Girlz

    Supernatural Girlz host Patricia Baker and co-host PK had author Zohara Hieronimus on their show to share her knowledge of White Spirit Animals in spiritual traditions and prophecy from around the globe.

    All-white animals are held sacred by many indigenous cultures and offer wisdom to those who will listen. They call to us to listen to all things sacred. Visit their archive page.

    View the video on Facebook.

  • Chief Arvol Looking Horse Speaks of White Buffalo Prophecy

  • White Animals From Around the World
  • White Giraffes in Kenya

    A villager in Kenya was herding animals one day recently when he came upon a head-turning sight. A ghostly creature with a mighty long neck was grazing off in the distance.

    Upon closer inspection, the vision was revealed to be a female reticulated giraffe — tall, majestic and preternaturally white — and she was accompanied by a smaller apparition: a pale baby giraffe.

    Read more coverage from The Telegraph

    From the New York Times

  • Film & Pictures of White Sacred Animals

    Sacred White Animals herald both a Blessing and a Warning Apart from the prophesized white Buffalos (which are among the most sacred animals a person could ever encounter), other rare and beautiful white animals have begun to appear the world over: Lions, Servals, Giraffes, Zebras and Gorillas; Robins, Foxes, Sparrows, Bats and Hedgehogs; Tigers, Elephants, Raccoon Dogs, Pythons, Cobras, Monkeys, Leopards and Peacocks; Kangaroos, Wallabies, Kookaburras, Koalas, Possums, Emus, Echidna and Kiwi; Ravens, Crows, Deer, Black Bear, Skunks, Moose, Squirrels, Pronghorns, Coyotes, Horned Owls, Hummingbirds, Rheas, Pumas, Rattlesnakes, Alligators and Lynx and Whales, Penguins, Fur Seals, Dolphins and Sea Turtles, with many appearing in the last four years, or directly before, during or after world events that call for peace and global unity.
    According to Chief Arvol Looking Horse, traditional leader of the Lakota clan of the Sioux nation and 19th generation Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Bundle, the appearance of these white animals heralds a time of great urgency for the Earth and humanity as a whole. It is said that the appearance of such unusually coloured animals is a sign; an omen calling for us to unite as a People and walk as One; to see past the colour of our neighbours skin or the ancestry of their people and to come together and embrace them as brothers, sisters and all-related children of the Earth Mother.
  • Zohara M Hieronimus – Spirit Animals, Dreams and Prophecies on The Science of Magic Show

  • Elusive White Moose Finally Captured on Video
  • Rare White Crocodile Spotted In Australia

    Watch on Coast to Coast AM

    Tourists aboard a wildlife cruise in Australia were treated to an incredibly rare sight when they spotted a mature white crocodile swimming in the water.

    The ghostly reptile, believed to measure around 10 feet long and given the nickname ‘Pearl,’ was seen on the Adelaide River during an excursion by the Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise.

    According to wildlife experts, the creature’s coloring is due to a condition known as hypomelanism, which causes low pigmentation of the skin.

    While the condition is not altogether uncommon in crocodiles, the fact that the creature was able to survive its childhood, when the pale animal would have been particularly vulnerable to predators, is seen as quite remarkable.

    Indeed, the discovery of Pearl has captivated wildlife watchers in the area as one elated individual told the BBC that “I spent most of the day in tears watching her.”

    With that in mind, keeping an eye on the creature may be the ideal way of appreciating Pearl, since it is suspected that she may be related to a similar-looking white crocodile that was killed after it ate a fisherman in 2014.

    Source: nine.com.au

  • White Spirit Animals featured in The Edge Magazine’s New Books for Winter
  • BLT (Not a sandwich) but a wonderful story

    Baloo the American black bear (Ursus americanus), Leo the African lion (Panthera leo), and Shere Khan the Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris); known as “The BLT” came to Noah’s Ark in 2001 after they were discovered by police officers in a basement of an Atlanta home during a drug raid. At only a few months old, all three cubs were frightened, malnourished, and infected with internal and external parasites when the Georgia Department of Natural Resources brought them to Noah’s Ark.

    Baloo the American black bear was in the worst condition of the three cubs rescued with a severely ingrown harness digging into his flesh because it was never loosened as he grew in size.  The harness was so ingrown that his flesh had begun to grow over and around it, and surgical intervention was required to remove the harness and clean his deep, infected wounds.  During Baloo’s surgery was the only time the three brothers have ever been separated from one another, and Shere Khan the tiger and Leo the lion became extremely agitated because of it, pacing and vocalizing for the lost member of their family to return.  After his surgery, Baloo was returned to his brothers and the three have been together ever since, with hardly a quarrel between them.  Baloo is a very confident and relaxed bear and will do anything for a sweet treat.  American black bears are native to most of North America and vary greatly in both size (the largest recorded was over 800 lbs) and color (can be black, brown or blonde).  They are skilled survivors and have a conservation status of “least concerned” despite the increasing number of human/ bear conflicts.  Baloo, Leo and Shere Khan eat, sleep, and play together and even seek out grooming and affection from one another, head rubbing and licking each another.  Their terrifying early months in life bonded the three together and they are truly inseparable despite their obvious differences.

    Leo Celebration of Life July 2001—August 2016

    On August 11th Noah’s Ark said goodbye to their beloved Leo, the 15-year-old lion in our “BLT” trio. During surgery,  veterinarians discovered that over 80% of Leo’s liver was full of inoperable masses and because of this, the heart wrenching decision was made to let him go. Leo’s brothers, Baloo (bear) and Shere Khan (tiger), were able to say goodbye to Leo and have been doing well since his death. They are being watched closely by their keepers and are given plenty of extra enrichment & attention. Animals are so perceptive and with the incredible bond the BLT had since being rescued together from a drug dealer’s basement in 2001, it is highly likely that Baloo and Shere Khan knew their lion brother was terminally ill long before Leo began displaying outward symptoms. Leo was buried by the trio’s clubhouse, which was their favorite resting spot. Even in death, Baloo, Shere Khan and Leo will always be together.

    Read more about the trio in this article from HuffingtonPost.com or visit Noah’s Ark on Facebook.


  • Sign the petition to Congress: Permanently ban import of all big game trophies to United States

    By Daughter#3 (Cecil) CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    Trophy hunting is unbearably cruel. Please help to pass a permanent ban on importing ALL big game trophies to the United States.

    Trophy hunting is the selective hunting of wild game for human recreation. The trophy is the animal or part of the animal kept, and usually displayed, to represent the success of the hunt. The primary game sought is usually the oldest and most mature animal from a given population.

    Last week, news broke that the Trump administration was going to allow hunters to import trophies of elephants killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia back to the United States, reversing the trophy import ban implemented by the Obama administration in 2014.

    After a massive public outcry, Trump put the policy on hold, saying he needed to “review all conservation facts.”

    Trump’s flip-flopping on this issue is unreasonable. We need smart, decisive policies — not a President who is obviously completely unaware of the details of the decisions his own administration makes.

    It’s time for Congress to step in to pass a permanent ban on importing ALL big game trophies to the United States — elephants, lions, and any other animal rich, greedy hunters want to bring home as proof of their murder and cruelty.

    Sign now to call on Congress to permanently ban import of all big game trophies to the United States.

  • Zohara Hieronimus on Whitley Strieber’s Dreamland exploring the magic, power and meaning of the White Buffalo, the White Bear and more.

    Learn about the White Spirit animals, how they urge us to conserve as many of them as we can, and their eagerness to help us withstand the Earth changes all around us. Also discussed are: Zoh’s journey into shamanic dreaming with the animals for years before she began research and wrote the book, Matata the Bonobo matriarch and her message of co-creating resilience with humankind, the Mayan Sixth Sun and how science is now calling our era the Sixth Extinction. Dreamland is about empowerment and hope, not a dark litany of hopelessness and empty warnings.

    If you join up, or are a member of Whitley Strieber’s Dreamland, you can read the original post and check out the member comments or leave your own.

  • Zohara’s Book In-store at Goddess Isis Books & Gifts

    Goddess Isis Books & Gifts is celebrating 36 years as the premier metaphysical source on the world-wide-web and in Denver, Colorado. At Isis Books, all world spiritual traditions and healing methods are honored as they seek to bring ancient wisdom into the modern world. Shop their store online, or in person if you are in the Englewood neighborhood.