Orangutan Sheds a Tear During Heart-Warming Moment With Pregnant Woman
A popular orangutan at a zoo in England is making headlines again after he was seen on video having a touching moment with a pregnant woman.
Kayley Bettany was visiting Colchester Zoo in Essex with her husband, Kieran, when the zoo's 48-year-old great ape, Rajang, came over and started caressing her belly through the glass.
Orangutang's reaction to a woman with a baby bump in Colchester Zoo. https://t.co/q7Tufo1nqh— Daniel Holland (@Daniel Holland)1473776705.0
"When he started playing around with my bump through the glass it amazed me," Kayley told The Daily Mail. "I never thought the orangutan would react this way—he even had a tear in his eye."
The Bettanys have since been back to see Rajang with their daughter, Brooke.
This isn't the first time Rajang has been seen on video completely enthralled with a bun in the oven. Last year, Maisie Knight was at the zoo when her partner Jamie Clarke told her to put her baby bump up against the glass.
Clarke caught the sweet exchange on video, which he later posted on YouTube, of Rajang kissing her bump through the glass.
"Me and my 37 week pregnant partner visited Colchester zoo and [were] amazed when we visited Rajang the orangutan," he wrote on the post. "She is heavily pregnant and before long he was trying to kiss my partner's belly through the glass ... Truly a special animal that has touched our hearts."
As the video gained the attention of the world via social media, the zoo acknowledged Rajang's curiosity and penchant to interact with visitors:
"Rajang has always been a curious orangutan! He loves belly buttons, scars and of course baby bumps! His inquisitive way means he loves to interact with visitors particularly those who might be expecting!"
Following Rajang's most recent exchange, two keepers at the zoo who are expecting are taking his interest one step further to see if he can predict what the sex of their baby will be.
In Indonesia, scientists say the extraordinary Leuser Ecosystem is among the most important forests left in Southeast Asia and is critically important to the continued survival of species including orangutans, tigers, rhinos and elephants. However, it is being lost to palm oil production.
The issue was recently exposed in a short video from the team behind the film Racing Extinction. The video shows how the blind growth in demand for palm oil—the cheapest vegetable oil on the planet which is found in more than half of all packaged goods in an average local supermarket—has recklessly pushed massive, industrial-scale plantations deeper into the heart of Indonesia's rainforests.
"Given the scale of the climate and biodiversity crisis, we must act now to stop the bulldozing of the Leuser Ecosystem for palm oil," Chelsea Matthews, forest campaigner at Rainforest Action Network, said upon the film's release.
By Governor Jay Inslee
Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.
In just a few days in early September, Washington state saw enough acres burned – more than 600,000 – to reach our second-worst fire season on record. Our worst fire season came only five years ago. Wildfires aren't new to the west, but their scope and danger today is unlike anything firefighters have seen. People up and down the West Coast – young and old, in rural areas and in cities – were choking on smoke for days on end, trapped in their homes.
Fires like these are becoming the norm, not the exception.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Bill McKibben
To understand the planetary importance of this autumn's presidential election, check the calendar. Voting ends on November 3—and by a fluke of timing, on the morning of November 4 the United States is scheduled to pull out of the Paris Agreement.
President Trump announced that we would abrogate our Paris commitments during a Rose Garden speech in 2017. But under the terms of the accords, it takes three years to formalize the withdrawal. So on Election Day it won't be just Americans watching: The people of the world will see whether the country that has poured more carbon into the atmosphere than any other over the course of history will become the only country that refuses to cooperate in the one international effort to do something about the climate crisis.
By Oliver Milman
The climate crisis is set to be a significant factor in a U.S. presidential election for the first time, with new polling showing a clear majority of American voters want decisive action to deal with the threats posed by global heating.
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America's largest national forest, Tongass National Forest in Alaska, will be opened up to logging and road construction after the Trump administration finalizes its plans to open up the forest on Friday, according to The New York Times.
Aerial view of the Tongass National Forest. Alan Wu / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
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By Ruby Russell and Ajit Niranjan
Hamstrung by coronavirus lockdowns, frustrated school strikers have spent months staging digital protests against world leaders failing to act urgently on climate change.
Pandemic Stalls Protests<p>Last November, the head of the UN Environment Program was among the public and scientific figures to warn that 2020 offered a last chance to cut emissions. Then, few could have suspected this deadline would coincide with an unprecedented public health emergency.</p><p>The pandemic has <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/tough-times-ahead-for-climate-protesters-during-corona-pandemic/a-52978469" target="_blank">dealt climate activism a blow</a>. Niedeggen says that as a movement demanding that the world act on scientific advice, the school strikers took lockdown restrictions extremely seriously, halted public protests immediately and took their activism online.</p><p>On April 24, Fridays for Future organized a "digital strike," with Niedeggen hosting a that racked up close to a quarter of a million views. "We were not physically standing together, but we were all fighting together," she says.</p><p><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/climate-strikers-get-inventive-during-the-covid-19-crisis-fridays-for-future/a-53229262" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Activists also gathered thousands of placards</a> from across Germany to lay out in front of the German Bundestag around the central slogan: "Fight every crisis."</p>
Opportunity for a New Normal<p>Last September's Global Climate Strike drew young and old protestors around the world, with organizers estimating a global turnout of 7.6 million, including an estimated 270,000 people in Berlin. Activists have adjusted this year's event to account for social distancing and different levels of coronavirus restrictions in cities taking part.</p><p>They say COVID-19 also presents opportunities.</p><p>"The pandemic shows that we can change our normal daily life, and we are very able to adjust to a situation of crisis," she says. The key question is how economies get back on their feet: "We have the possibility to build a new normal, to build a renewable world order, and an environmentally just, climate-just normal for everybody."</p><p>In July, Jeng was among 20 female Fridays for Future activists from the Global South to sign an open letter to G20 finance ministers warning that their decisions in "exclusive backrooms" over stimulus packages and corporate bailouts would "lock in development pathways for decades."</p><p>"The system is not broken, it was built to be unjust. We don't need recovery, we need a reboot," the letter reads, stressing that "black people, indigenous peoples and people of color," have been disproportionately hit by the economic, climate and coronavirus crises. </p>
Policy 'Not Quite There Yet'<p>Figures on stimulus spending do not suggest their words had much impact. The ministers were criticized for failing to relieve the debt of poorer countries, and according to <a href="https://www.energypolicytracker.org/region/g20/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Energy Policy Tracker</a>, G20 countries by August had pledged $169 billion (142 billion euros) to fossil fuels since the beginning of the pandemic.</p><p>Katrin Uba, associate professor of political science at Uppsala University in Sweden, is researching Fridays for Future. She says that despite the movement raising awareness and gaining access to policymakers, real policy change "is not there yet."</p><p>Still, she stresses that social movements go through waves of mobilization as public attention on their core issues ebbs and flows. And perhaps one of Fridays for Future's biggest achievements is birthing a politically active generation that will keep the fight up long after corona becomes a memory. </p><p>"We know clearly from our research that many of the people who came to the streets hadn't done any protesting before in their lives," she told DW. "And we also know that if you do one protest, you are likely to do more."</p>
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