Tag: jungle

Humans Are An Alien Invasive Species, New Study By Feline Science Institute Finds

Homo sapiens are an invasive species who do irreparable harm to the environment and other animals on an unprecedented scale, a new study by the Feline Science Institute has found.

The results prompted feline scientists to add homo sapiens, commonly known as humans, to a database of destructive and invasive animals maintained by the Academy of Scientific Studies.

Cat scientists have only just glimpsed the breadth of human-initiated impact on other animals, Dr. Oreo P. Yums, lead author of the newest research paper, told reporters.

“We found humans are astonishingly, almost indescribably destructive,” Yums said. “For instance, although they fret about birds, humans kill more than a billion of them a year just with their skyscrapers, which birds are prone to fly into due to their mirrored surfaces. Add in wind turbines, cell towers, power lines, habitat loss and slow die-offs due to chemicals, and by conservative estimates we’re talking about billions of birds killed by humans every year without even tallying active measures like hunting.”

Humans have killed off an estimated 70 percent of the world’s wildlife in the last 50 years alone and show no sign of stopping. Oceans are overfished, animals like pangolins and big cats are ruthlessly hunted to extinction to feed demand within the Chinese traditional medicine market, and human addiction to palm oil means the “two-legged demon monsters don’t even have sympathy for their fellow primates,” mewologist Charles Clawin said.

“In Borneo and Sumatra there are entire schools, filled to capacity, for critically endangered orangutan babies who were orphaned by human contractors clearing ancient jungles to make room for more palm oil plantations,” he said. “Often, the humans use industrial equipment to tear down trees while the orangutans are still in them. Other times, they dispatch the mothers with pistols, not realizing there are babies clinging to them.”

In Africa, where the elephant population has plummeted in the last century, more than 110,000 elephants have been slaughtered in the past 10 years alone for their tusks. The elongated incisors are used to make jewelry and piano keys, and items made from ivory have become a status symbol in China, where growing middle and upper classes seek to show off their wealth with luxuries.

In 2019, Chinese businesswoman Yang Felan, dubbed the “Ivory Queen,” was arrested and charged with smuggling $2.5 million worth of tusks from Tanzania to her home country. Yang, “a key link between poachers in East Africa and buyers in China for more than a decade,” was a respected businesswoman, investor, restaurateur and vice chairwoman of the China-Africa Business Council.

“Poachers continue to slaughter elephants and our big cat brothers and sisters,” said Luna Meowson, who tracks the illegal wildlife market for the University of Nappington. “Having extirpated tigers from virtually their entire range, poachers are turning to South America, where jaguar poaching increased 200 fold between 2015 and 2020. It never stops.”

Big Bruce the Lion Slayer
A human hunter poses victoriously after heroically slaying a lion (panthera leo) from atop his trusty steed, a mobility scooter, after a team of guides drove him around the bush in an air-conditioned SUV, then lured the animal directly into his line of sight. A female of the species, presumably his mate, looks on proudly.

Although the earliest details remain murky, fossil records show Homo sapiens first emerged in Africa about 200,000 years ago. The invasive species, which has a gestation period of about nine months, began rapidly breeding and immediately went to war with fellow members of the genus Homo.

After wiping out two-legged rivals including Homo neanderthalensis, Homo altaiensis, Homo denisova and Homo bodoensis, the victorious Homo sapiens set their eyes on other species. Throughout their history they’ve also proven remarkably adept at murdering themselves and continue to hone their skills.

“Those OG humans, they had to really work at slaughtering other species and extirpating wildlife,” said Chonkmatic the Magnificent, King of North American cats. “They didn’t have attack helicopters, stealth bombers, tanks, carrier battle groups, daisy cutters, artillery, mortars, phosphorous, napalm, biological weapons, or even small arms like rifles. In those days a pimply kid from Oklahoma sitting in an air-conditioned base in Virginia couldn’t wipe out an entire city 5,000 miles away by pressing a button ordering a drone to drop a nuke. They had to put some sweat into violence, you know?”

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Breakthroughs in recent centuries have led to innovative and more convenient ways for Homo sapiens to author mass destruction and render entire sections of the Earth lifeless.

The species, known for its aptitude for tool-making in addition to eating ultra-processed foods and staring at screens, began with simple tools of destruction like the Mark I Spear, early bows and even torches. Over the centuries they innovated, coming up with clever and inventive new ways to inflict pain and end life until the advent of electricity, the industrial era and the brutally destructive war machines of modern times.

Human scientists have tried to obscure their species’ impact on wildlife and the planet by declaring species like felis catus “invasive” and “alien,” but even if cats are “guilty of grabbing a forbidden snack every now and then,” they don’t have the coordination, technology or will to carve up habitats, render entire swaths of the Earth uninhabitable with nuclear fallout, create Everest-size mountains of garbage, or effortlessly drive millions of species to extinction, Clawin said.

“They’re so good at it, they don’t even have to try,” he noted, pointing out human accidents or incidents of negligence like oil spills and chemical run-off into rivers. “We tend to think of humans out there with shotguns and rifles, cackling maniacally as they shoot anything that moves. And, sure, they do that, especially in places like Texas where the sight of any animal always prompts the question ‘Should we shoot it?’ But our research shows they can wipe out entire categories of fauna in their sleep. It’s remarkable.”

Additional reading: Polish institute classifies cats as alien invasive species

Buddy the Cat Spotted With Jaguars In The Amazon

MATO GROSSO DO SUL, Brazil — Fisherman and naturalists working in the Pantanal have reported a strange sight in recent weeks — a domestic cat tagging along with jaguars.

The gray tabby was observed lounging on the banks of the Amazon, napping in a tree and struggling to take bites out of a caiman killed by a generous jaguar, witnesses reported.

“HQ, we’ve got something extraordinary here,” a naturalist was heard reporting over local radio channels. “A jaguarundi is — no, scratch that — a house cat! A house cat is following a group of jaguars from the river bank into the deeper jungle.”

The feline in question was identified as Buddy the Cat of New York after his concerned human reached out to local authorities and appealed to the Brazilian press for his safe return.

“He does this all the time,” the New York man, identified as Big Buddy, told an interviewer from Folha De S. Paulo. “First he broke into the tiger exhibit at the Bronx Zoo and tried to get the tigers to accept him, only to be claimed as a cub by one of the tigresses. It took weeks to convince the zoo to get him out, and when I got him home I had to bathe him five times just to get the stink of tiger saliva off his fur.

“Then somehow he made his way to Tanzania, where he wandered around the Maasai Steppe for a few weeks trying to get into a lion pride. He failed miserably in that endeavor, too. Now with the jaguars. It never ends.”

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Buddy the Cat, known as Kinich Bajo to his jaguar friends, pictured here in the Amazon.

The exasperated New York man claimed responsibility for his failure to keep his “ridiculous” cat from adventuring, but also blamed the transportation industry for accommodating Buddy.

“Who the hell allows an unaccompanied cat to take a bus or board an airplane?” he asked. “How did he end up in first class, sipping champagne and buzzing the stewardesses for more turkey every five minutes? I’m told he got quite drunk and threatened to become combative if he didn’t get an entire fried turkey.”

Asked why his cat was obsessed with ingratiating himself to larger cat species, Big Buddy answered without hesitation.

“He’s a dumbass,” the human said. “Don’t get me wrong, he’s a very cute, very loving little guy, and often a good boy, but a dumbass all the same.”

Buddy’s human said the 10-pound domestic cat often tears around the house, ambushing animate and inanimate objects and practicing his roar, “but he sounds like Elmo singing a funk song in falsetto.”

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Credit: Wikimedia Commons

As of press time, Buddy the Cat still hadn’t returned home. Jaguars are known to be extraordinarily laid back compared to other big cats, and a loosely-affiliated group of the South American apex predators seemed to tolerate the domestic kitty.

“I can’t leave now,” Buddy told reporters. “They’ve begun to accept me! It would be a violation of trust if I just left them to eat all this delicious food by themselves.”

Kinich Ahau, the local jaguar elder, said his extended family had taken a liking to Buddy.

“Have you heard of this turkey? We did not know of it. It is wondrous!” the great jaguar said. “Buddy, or Kinich Bajo as he is known to us, has also shared great wisdom in the form of new and comfortable napping techniques. On the first night, we observed him construct a soft bed of leaves for himself in the crook of a branch, and over the following suns and moons we have come to appreciate softer napping spots.”

Buddy had sparked a renaissance in jaguarian napping technique, Kinich Ahau said.

“Nobody naps like Buddy,” he said. “No one!”

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Brothers: Xibalbá, left, with Kinich Bajo and Ek B’alam.

With the fond support of the Amazon’s jaguars, Buddy was set to undergo an ancient shamanistic ritual involving the imbibing of Ayahuasca, a powerful psychoactive brew said to reveal cosmological secrets to those who drink it as part of a spiritual ceremony.

“We would not have invited Kinich Bajo, or Buddy as you call him, to commune with the ancient B’alam (jaguar) spirits if we did not sense a deep spirituality and wisdom inside him,” said an elder jaguar shaman named Mike the Melanistic. “He has shown us the way in matters of snacking and napping, and now as we welcome him to our ethereal fraternity, we shall accompany him on his journey to the stars, where he will drink of the deep knowledge of our ancestors.”

Buddy himself told a reporter he was looking forward to the ceremony.

“It’ll grant me, like, awesome powers and shit,” he said. “I’ll be able to disappear in a puff of mist like the jaguars do, my muscles will get bigger and, like, I’ll be able to sniff out snacks from up to a mile away. Pretty cool, if you ask me.”

At press time the jaguar shaman elders said the ceremony does not, in fact, grant such powers.

Spectacular Photos Show Big Cats As They’re Meant To Live

One photo shows a melanistic leopard — better known as a black panther — cautiously but curiously poking its head out from behind a tree. Another shows the same cat, tail raised and ready to spring as it stalks prey in the jungle mists.

The photos went viral this week, accumulating millions of views as people hailed the leopard as the second coming of Rudyard Kipling’s Bagheera, the beloved leopard from The Jungle Book.

Both photos come from the lens of Shaaz Jung, known as the “Leopard Man of India” for his astonishing shots of the majestic cats taken deep in the country’s jungles and forests.

“When people see these pictures, they think there are several leopards, but actually there’s just one black panther where we are — one melanistic leopard in the dense forest of Nagerhole. So it was like finding a needle in a haystack,” Jung told BusinessInsider.

The leopard has been named Saya by local wildlife enthusiasts, and he’s a bit out of his element in the deciduous Kabini forest, which is also home to a tiger preserve. Normally, leopards like Saya live in dense jungle, where the thick canopy and lack of light play to their advantage.

Jung patiently followed Saya, snapping photos of the big cat hunting, fighting and courting potential mates.

“He’s not just surviving, he is thriving,” Jung said.

Jung is a wildlife photographer, NatGeo’s director of photography for films and a big cat specialist in his own right. He also photographs India’s tigers, and his shots reveal a connection to — and a deep appreciation of — these regal apex predators who have been pushed back by human development and the resulting habitat loss.

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The man behind the camera: Shaaz Jung.
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Tigers share a quiet moment as they trade scents. Photo: Shaaz Jung
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Leopards are known for their exceptional climbing ability as well as their preternatural hunting skills. Photo: Shaaz Jung
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A leopard enjoys a mid-day respite from the sun — and bothersome rivals — on a broad tree branch. Photo: Shaaz Jung
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A tiger stops for a drink with the water reflecting its wary gaze. Photo: Shaaz Jung
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Tigers are the world’s largest, heaviest cats, the apex predators among apex predators. This close-up is a reminder of how beautiful and regal they are. Photo: Shaaz Jung

Unused Audio Commentary: The Jungle Book (2016)

Big Buddy: Okay, so we’re taking a break from horror and science fiction for a little while and going with something more Buddy-friendly.

Buddy: More family-friendly.

Big Buddy: Yes, but we chose this one so you don’t spend the movie hiding in your litterbox. Anyway the movie opens with the young Mowgli and a pack of young wolves running through the jungle. They’re being chased by a black panther.

Buddy: Wow! That guy is really cool! Look at him.

Big Buddy: Looks like the panther is catching up to Mowgli and the wolves.

Buddy: Get ’em, panther! Get ’em! Eat them!

Big Buddy: Calm down, dude.

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Buddy: You calm down, he’s…oh! Mowgli fell off a branch! The panther is on him…Mmmm I wonder what human tastes like.

Big Buddy: Seriously?

Buddy: I bite you, don’t I?

Big Buddy: This topic is getting uncomfortable. Thank God you’re only 10 pounds. So it turns out the panther is a more civilized cat than Buddy and we learn he’s not gonna eat Mowgli. The panther is Bagheera, Mowgli’s friend and kind of like a surrogate dad to the “man cub.”

Buddy: Cool! I didn’t know jungle cats have human servants too. Mowgli must have to shovel for hours to clean Bagheera’s litter box.

Big Buddy: Uh, sure. Something like that. Mowgli, Bagheera and the little wolves head off together toward home, where they join the wolf pack and Raksha, who is Mowgli’s adopted mother.

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Buddy: This is not realistic. Why is the panther not eating the dogs?

Big Buddy: Because this is a Disney movie. And those are wolves, little dude. Did I not feed you today or something? Damn. Now the wolves have the cubs recite the law of the jungle, and we’ve got a voice-over montage by Bagheera.

Buddy: Wow, a lot of days pass without rain. Bagheera says it’s “the driest season that anyone could remember.” The jungle looks all shriveled up. What is this place?

Big Buddy: That’s the Peace Rock. It’s where all the animals of the jungle come during the drought to drink from the pool and sate their thirst.

Buddy: It looks like a lunch buffet. Rhinos and wildabeasts and birds and delicious-looking animals with antlers. They all back away when they see Bagheera because they know what’s up. Cats rule.

Big Buddy: But according to the laws of the jungle, there is no fighting or killing or eating each other at Peace Rock.

Buddy: Well that stinks. Why would anyone agree to that?

Big Buddy: Because it’s Peace Rock! And the law of the jungle says during droughts, when the water is so low that you can see the rock, all animals can come and drink without fear of being eaten.

Buddy: Mowgli’s scooping up the water and…whoah.

Big Buddy: A tiger.

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Buddy: He’s majestic! Wow, look at how the other animals back up like 100 feet. That’s respect!

Big Buddy: That’s Shere Khan, the most feared animal in the jungle.

Buddy: He looks like me! He has stripes, I have stripes too. He has long whiskers, I have long whiskers. He has big muscles, I have big muscles!

Big Buddy: Oh yeah. The resemblance is uncanny.

Buddy: Thanks!

Big Buddy: Have I ever told you what sarcasm is?

Buddy: Like those coffins the ancient Egyptians used, all decorated and stuff.

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Big Buddy: No, you moron. It’s…

Buddy: Wow! Listen to that roar! The other animals give Shere Khan as much space as he needs. Peace Rock becomes his own personal watering hole.

Big Buddy: Shere Khan is not happy with the wolves.

Buddy: Of course he’s not. They’re talking trash. Shere Khan is obviously the hero of this story. Go Khan! Go Khan!

Big Buddy: Now Bagheera is getting between Shere Khan and the wolves. Shere Khan says he smells a “man cub.” This is about Mowgli.

Buddy: Ah! Okay, so humans are in short supply in the jungle, and Shere Khan isn’t happy that Bagheera has his own human, but Shere Khan does not. He wants Mowgli to brush him, bring him food and scoop his box.

Big Buddy: Not exactly.

Buddy: Like anyone wants to hear your interpretation, Mr. “Jon Snow and Daenerys Rule Happily Ever After on Game of Thrones.”

Big Buddy: Touché. Hold the fort down for a minute, will you? I’ve gotta take care of numbah one.

Buddy: Okay.

Big Buddy: Remember, no dead air!

Buddy: Okay.

Big Buddy: What the &@$% did you do?

Buddy: I’m Shere Khan!

Big Buddy: Are those…crushed Cheez Doodles all over my floor? What in the world possessed you to roll all over them as if they’re catnip?

Buddy: Because I wanted to be orange, like Shere Khan! Now I look exactly like him! ROOOOOAAAAARRRRR!

Big Buddy: Give me that broom.

Buddy: Get it yourself, Shere Khan does no one’s bidding!

Big Buddy: You little…

— END OF RECORDING —

 

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