7 decades later, a Native American Marine’s remains come home from Korea

A lifetime of mourning for a 74-year-old member of the Gila River Indian Community has come to an end. Laverne McAfee was finally able to welcome her father home.

It was a day Laverne McAfee never expected. Her father, Sgt. Johnson McAfee Jr., who was killed in one of the Korean War’s most brutal battles, received full military honors at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona on March 23.

“We celebrate you today, sir,” said Bishop Rick Garrett, Sr. “We celebrate your life and we celebrate your accomplishments.”

As six Marines carried a flag-draped coffin holding Sgt. McAfee’s remains, his daughter’s eyes filled with tears. Still, she said this is a time to celebrate because she’s spent 68 years mourning.

McAfee’s remains were apparently included among the more than 2,700 sets of remains that were returned to the U.S. as part of “Operation Glory” after the war and were among the 848 sets that were unidentified and were buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the “Punchbowl” in Honolulu. His remains were positively identified by the DPAA last year and returned to his family.

“His country gave him a Purple Heart medal and his Lord gave him everlasting life,” said Yasmine Dorsey, the great-granddaughter Sgt. McAfee never met.

She shared his life story with a group gathered at the main stage. “He decided to enter the Marine Corps instead of entering the University of Arizona, putting his desire to become a teacher on hold.”

When a local newspaper reported Sgt. McAfee’s death it included a quote from his enlistment application. McAfee said he wanted to join the Marines because they’re tough. He wrote, “A Pima boy was killed recently in the South Pacific and I want to take his place.” Sgt.McAfee fought in World War II before deploying more than 6,000 miles away to Korea.

The Red Lake Tribal Council to remove oil pipelines from its land

“We just want them to move their lines and clean up the pollution and the damages they’ve done the past 70 years,” Seki said.

The Red Lake Tribal Council voted Tuesday to remove Enbridge-owned oil pipelines from its land.

The unanimous vote came two months after the council agreed to rescind a resolution accepting a land swap agreement with the Canadian energy company. That Jan. 9 vote paved the way for Tuesday’s action, according to Red Lake Representative Robert Smith.

The pipelines in question are located on a 24-acre parcel of land about 30 miles northwest of Bemidji. They were installed by Lakehead Pipeline Co. Inc. sometime before the 1980s, when the reservation realized it owned the land.

Enbridge Energy now owns the pipelines, but does not own the land under which they are installed. So in December 2015 the tribal council voted to accept $18.5 million — meant to be spent on other land — in exchange for the parcel.

The deal appeared to fall apart in January when band member and anti-pipeline activist Marty Cobenais, acting as a concerned citizen, addressed the tribal council and described the land deal as unconstitutional.

Though some at the January meeting interpreted the deal as a constitutional land swap, others saw it as an unconstitutional land sale. The council voted 5-3 to rescind Resolution 281-15 and back out of the deal.

And on Tuesday, Red Lake Representative Romas Stately, Jr., made a motion to remove the pipelines entirely. Smith seconded to motion and nine council members voted in favor.

Enbridge spokesperson Shannon Gustafson said Wednesday that Enbridge had not yet been contacted by the Red Lake Tribal Council in regard to the removal of pipelines.

Red Lake Chairman Darrell Seki, Sr., said the band’s attorneys will contact Enbridge…




First ‘critically endangered’ white lion cub born in three years in South Africa

‘This new cub is now the only one of its kind in Kruger and was born to two tawny-coloured lions.’ Two wildlife photographers snapped the four-day-old cub in a den at Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Mike Sutherland, 30, captured the first photo of the newborn. Daryl Dell, 40, said he would always cherish’ the moment he caught the tiny cub being carried by its mother

Two wildlife photographers were lucky enough to snap the four-day-old cub as it hid with its mother and siblings in a den at Kruger National Park.

Before other tourists on safari flocked to see the lioness and her three cubs, Mike Sutherland, 30, managed to capture the first photo of the newborn.

The safari guide and photographer had been taking a group of guests on a tour from the Ngala Safari Lodge last Monday when he was told of the cub sighting and rushed to the national park to catch a glimpse of the new arrival.

‘White lion cubs are an extremely rare thing to see, and given its age, we were in absolute awe.

Another guide and photographer Daryl Dell, 40, said he would always cherish’ the moment he caught the tiny cub being carried by its mother in front of him.

‘This was a once in a lifetime moment – a moment that I will never forget and always cherish,’ he said.

Black Jaguar Swimming Caught On Film In Rare Stunning Moment

With only 600 individuals left in the wild, it’s extremely rare to catch sight of a black jaguar. To see one paddling through the Amazon River is an even rarer sight.

Jaguars are strong swimmers and climbers and require large areas of tropical rain forest and stretches of riverbank to survive.

A model for conservation, the Amazon Region Protected Areas ensures 150 million acres—three times the size of all US parks combined—of the Amazon are protected in perpetuity.

A group led by the World Wildlife Fund spotted just that in the 150 million-acre Amazon Region Protected Areas.

Black jaguars are cats with a dominant gene for melanism, meaning that their dark coats nearly blot out the distinctive yellow and black rosette patterns that most jaguars have.

As the video shows, these apex predators are powerful swimmers, thanks to their stocky, muscular limbs

Listed as near threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, jaguars suffer from habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as hunting for their prized coats. See this page for ways to help save jaguars.


Activists Block Road to Yellowstone Buffalo Trap

Activists had locked down to three concrete-filled barrels in an attempt to block slaughter trucks from accessing the trap and transporting wild buffalo to slaughter facilities.

More than 1,000 wild Yellowstone buffalo have been hunted, slaughtered, or held for quarantine (domestication) so far this winter. Fewer than 3,700 buffalo remain in the country’s last wild, migratory herds.

The Wild Buffalo Defense press release stated that the two men who locked down today have been identified as Wolf and Coyote. Their release reported that the men “blocked the gate with three 55-gallon drums filled with concrete, locking their arms inside the barrels.” The barrels contained two messages: “Protect the Sacred,” and “Honor the Treaties.” Yellowstone’s trap and the maltreatment of the country’s last wild buffalo is viewed by the majority of indigenous people as a continuation of genocide. By around 9am, the two men had been removed and arrested.

Wild Buffalo Defense’s release included statements from the two men:

Wolf stated, “My father is from Michaocan, Mexico, so I have both Native and colonizer blood. Since I wasn’t raised in a Native setting, this is my way to give back to the Native community. I’m from Illinois — it’s called the Prairie State, and there’s less than one-one-hundredth of the prairie left. It’s all strip malls and corn fields…I don’t like seeing just concrete and steel. Seeing how peaceful the buffalo are and how strong they are, they go through enough hardship in their lives in the forest and the plains, then with what Yellowstone National Park is doing to them, they still carry on. They inspire me to keep going.”

Part of Coyote’s statement read, “I’m doing this to … protect the buffalo and the lands that they roam… Whenever I’m with the buffalo, I feel like my heart runs with them. When I’m with them they already know the questions, they already know the answers, and I don’t have to respond because they already know.”

Due to extensive law enforcement sending people away from the scene, Buffalo Field Campaign patrols were unable to see the men, but they did report seeing yellow barrels blocking the access road. Wild Buffalo Defense reported seeing tractors making a new road (photo), and later BFC witnessed the stock trailers using this road to drive around the blockade, destroying habitat (photo) important to elk, deer, pronghorn, and buffalo, in order to access the trap and load up wild buffalo for slaughter. BFC was able to get some photos and footage before being asked to leave by law enforcement, who claimed they were “obstructing” the adjacent county road, Old Yellowstone Trail. Footage and photos are available upon request.

This is the second time that Wild Buffalo Defense has targeted Yellowstone’s trap. On March 6 (BFC press release), two men locked down to the squeeze chute – the Silencer – inside Yellowstone’s bison capture facility.

“The Stephens Creek buffalo trap stands as a monument to oppression and control over beings who were born to roam free,” said Stephany Seay, media coordinator with the wild buffalo advocacy group Buffalo Field Campaign. “The buffalo are the embodiment of wildness and freedom, and these qualities are precisely the reason they were chosen to represent this nation, supposedly the land of the free. It is ironic that these two brave men have been arrested for trying to protect freedom, and that Yellowstone is the one punishing them for trying to protect the buffalo — a job the Park should be doing.”

The press release from Wild Buffalo Defense concluded with, “…Buffalo are sacred creatures to the Plains Indians. Blackfeet and Lakota prophecies say that when the wild buffalo return, the people and the earth will be healed. Yellowstone National Park currently captures and slaughters about 25% of the herd every year. If this mismanagement of the population continues, these prophecies will never be fulfilled.


Highway of Tears: Native children’s powerful poem becomes internet sensation

“Within the studios’ residency, original songs are created containing messages that focus on cultural identity, language, struggle, love and self acceptance,” reads the program’s website.

The video that accompanies the ballad shows a girl who hitchhikes on Highway 16 — nicknamed the “Highway of Tears,” for the high number of women that have disappeared along the route over the past 50 years — while the teens sing about resilience and their community’s strength.

“I’m bothered by how my nation has been bullied and controlled, living here has been so hard and there’s a road that leads to tears,” raps one student.

“The Highway” was produced by N’we Jinan, a non-profit organization that aims to encourage First Nations youth to express themselves through the arts. The group brings a mobile recording studio into schools, where participants can learn about sound recording and music production.

The song called “The Highway” was penned by students at the ‘Na Aksa Gyilak’yoo School in Kitsumkalum First Nation, just outside of Terrace in northern B.C.

The N’we Jinan Tour is a music initiative that brings a mobile recording studio and a video production team into schools and youth centres across First Nation and Native American communities. The program offers youth the chance to create an original song and music video that explores relevant issues and topics while promoting positive messaging, community engagement and collective voice.

Four Guys Sing A Native American Pow Wow Song In English

Antoine Edwards shared this video of him and his friends singing a traditional Native American Pow Wow song in English when they were on a road trip recently and the recording is now going viral, with over a million views.

Antoine, who is sitting on the passenger side, lives in Omaha, Nebraska and is a rap musician. He is from the UMOnHOn & Lakota tribes and travels throughout North America not only sharing his music but as a motivational speaker to youth.

This popular tune is is simply beautiful. Take a listen for yourself and share it with your friends.

33 Circus Lions Finally Return Home To Africa After A Lifetime Of Misery

Thirty-three former circus lions are finally able to feel grass and dirt under their paws, and the warm African sun on their backs after a lifetime of pain and misery bestowed upon them by travelling circuses in Peru and Colombia.

The lions have been able to make the longest journey back all thanks to the heroic rescue efforts of Animal Defenders International (ADI).

Tim Phillips, Animal Defenders International co-founder told ‘eyewitness news’ that they had faced incredible challenges in tracking down and rescuing the lions from illegal circuses in Peru and Colombia.

ADI have worked with governments to impose bans on Circus animals, but sadly once they are banned they begin to only operate in remote areas and are pushed underground. ADI have worked tirelessly to track down the circuses still in operation and seize the animals.

“Many times we were accompanied by SWAT teams and riot police in order to secure and rescue the animals. we had to transport the lions back from remote areas in the Andes and back to our rescue centres.” Said Tim Phillips.

This was not a quick job, it took the efforts of hundreds and over 18 months but it was well worth it.

Of the 100 or so total animals rescued, 33 were lions. These beautiful regal big cats have suffered almost a lifetime of abuse and unnatural conditions, confined to tiny cages.

Since these lions have been kept for so long, they would no longer be able to survive in the wild. Many have had their claws removed and their teeth filed down.

“They can’t go back to the wild but they can go back home,” Tim said in an interview

Here is a second video of the lions taking their very first steps on African soil

Sudan, the world’s last northern white rhino, dies aged 45

Sudan, the last male northern white rhino on Earth, died on Monday aged 45.

Only one of three of its subspecies, Sudan came to represent the last hope, protected by round-the-clock armed security and given a 700-acre enclosure at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

Suffering from age-related health issues and a series of infections, Sudan’s condition worsened over Sunday and Monday. He was unable to stand up, clearly suffering, leading to a decision to euthanise him by his veterinary team.

“We on Ol Pejeta are all saddened by Sudan’s death,” Richard Vigne, Ol Pejeta’s CEO, said in a statement.

“He was a great ambassador for his species and will be remembered for the work he did to raise awareness globally of the plight facing not only rhinos, but also the many thousands of other species facing extinction as a result of unsustainable human activity. One day, his demise will hopefully be seen as a seminal moment for conservationists worldwide.”

Sudan’s death leaves only known two northern white rhinos remaining, his daughter Najin and granddaughter Fatu, as conservationists hope the collection of his genetic material may aid future efforts at reproduction.

There’s also hope that Najin and Fatu may be able to become pregnant with in vitro fertilisation (IVF) techniques, combining the two female’s eggs with stored northern white rhino semen from males and surrogate southern white rhino females.

Sudan was named for the country he was captured in. He was taken to the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic, alongside five other northern white rhinos back in 1975, but was moved to the conservancy back in 2009.

Breeding efforts were unsuccessful in years gone by, in part due to Sudan’s old age. Rhinos have long been in decline due to hunting and habitat loss. Since 2006, no northern white rhino has been spotted in the wild.

The last northern white rhino death was back in 2015, when Nola died at San Diego Zoo Safari Park aged 41.

Blue whale appears to blow rainbow heart

This incredible photograph appears to capture the moment a blue whale blew a rainbow coloured HEART as it came up for air.

Photographer Tanakit Suwanyangyaun was lucky enough to capture one of the magnificent animals clearing its blowhole.

But the way the water droplets and the sunlight fell gives the appearance of the whale blowing a rainbow coloured heart.

Tanakit had spent the day swimming among the whales, as he toured the area, near Sri Lanka, with a scuba dive tour.

And after capturing images of himself with the world’s largest mammals under the water – he was thrilled to take this extra special picture above the water too.

He said: “The photos are a dream come true for me.

“I’d longed to swim with blue whales all my life – it was such an unforgettable experience.

“The whales were swimming past quite quickly, we only saw each one for a few seconds before it swam off, so I was very lucky. “I’d go back again and again if I had the chance.”