Most times biologists and zoo specialists struggle with the news that an endangered species is shrinking in number and getting closer to extinction. However, for the Amur leopard population, there’s been a bit of good news instead. That’s because the Saint Louis Zoo has now become the latest in being able to help bring a pair of leopard cubs into the world.
The Amur leopard traditionally inhabited regions between Russia and China. It was never a well established animal, rare to begin with a preferring remote locations than those near people and development. However, by modern times there were estimated to be only 120 individual leopards left, and practically any new cubs have entirely happened in captivity, at least among those counted.
For the birth in the St. Louis Zoo, the arrival of a pair of two new cubs is a huge achievement for the leopard program. Named Anya as well as Irina, they are both female, and have been born healthy with flying colors. Now the challenge since their birth in the third week of April will be to maintain their growth and make sure there are no hitches. Their tenure in the maternity den will last a couple of months, through the summer, before they are introduced to the regular leopard containment.
The mother of the cubs, Dot, is expected to handle her job just fine. Following instinct, the big cat dotes on her cubs, never letting them out of her sight, even in the Zoo environment. For the zoo experts on hand, just seeing the cubs as they fumble around and develop their sense of the world is a gem. Most have only studied Amur leopards based on adults in the Zoo or through video files and similar. Seeing a cub from birth has been a first for a good number involved with their care. Not to mention, there are plenty of visitors as well wanting to see the same, even if just a glimpse.
The genesis of the cubs started with the arrival of their father, Samson, in 2021. He remains at the Zoo in a different enclosure, separated from the mother and cubs for their safety. Based on the pairing with Sampson and Dot, the results of a tremendous amount of genetic work proved successful with the pregnancy of Dot and the ultimate arrival of the cubs.
With their first vet check take care of, the cubs are rated in solid health, already weighing in at 2.5 pounds each. By the time they reach adulthood, each female leopard will carry a solid 125 pounds in muscle and fur. This kind of conservation effort and program may very well prove to be the primary means that saves the Amur leopard from complete extinction. It would be fitting given the fact that the animal’s decline was at the hands of human hunting and development in the first place.
Kindergarten Help Line, Dial For An Adorable Pep Talk
Positive news is hard to come by. Give it a try and most folks will probably find it a bit of a challenge to find a positive headline in the news. Negative is the norm, and it’s not surprising that people end up chronically depressed or stressed reading the news on a regular basis. And that’s in addition to life’s normal challenges. Add in the 24/7 spin of cable news and a constant barrage of bad news via the Internet and mobile devices, and people could be downright clinical after a while without a break.
Kindergarten to the Rescue
Fortunately, a creative project in Healdsburg, CA came up with a way to inspire thousands of adults on a daily basis with the help of kindergarteners. Yes, you read that right, five and six-year-olds are actively working to help adults make sense of modern life. The project was the brainchild of teachers at West Side Elementary, who thought it would be a good pick-me-up for the local folks to have a “hotline” where they could hear positive messages from the town’s kids. So, a phone number and hotline was set up with recorded messages one can hear by making a selection in the related phone tree once the call connects. The number provides options for folks who are frustrated, nervous, stressed or just need a pep talk to brighten up the day. What callers get on the other end of the line is a Healdsburg kindergartner’s voice giving the caller a mental boost.
Callers get a message reminding them to be thankful, positive reinforcement, humor and similar. The kids themselves are not talking live, but grade students from West Side Elementary in Healdsburg provide all the messages in recordings, which are then provided based on the caller’s menu selection.
A Darn Good Idea – Of Course it Came From Teachers
The Peptoc hotline was managed and put together by two teachers at the same school, Jessica Martin as well as Asherah Weiss. Given all the craziness that happened in 2020 thanks to the COVID pandemic and, given their rural location, the wildfire risk in the general area of Healdsburg, the two teachers felt something needed to be done to help boost the community’s mood. What they didn’t expect was that Peptoc was going to become so popular it would spread. Now folks are calling from all over, even outside of California, to get a bit of cheer and positive messaging from Healdsburg’s mighty kindergartners.
Anthony Harris, Eagles Safety Switches Position to Take Texas Teen to Father-daughter School Dance
Getting a celebrity to grant you a random favor is no easy feat, especially during a busy time of year. Of course, it was a special time during the football season. However, for one Philadelphia Eagles player, helping out a young girl who had lost a parent was a no-brainer.
That Philadelphia Eagles star made that teenager’s fantasy come true by going deep into the heart of Texas.
It would be the worst year Audrey Soape had ever had. She lost both her dad and grandfather in a matter of days.
Therefore, when Audrey’s school’s “Daddy-Daughter Dance” rolled around, her mother, Holly, sprung into action and reached out to her beloved Eagles safety, Anthony Harris, via social media.
Holly scoffed, saying, “It’s a tremendous task.” “I simply inquired whether he’d be open to coming if he was so inclined. ‘Not only will I be there, but I also would like to help ensure she feels something like a princess,’ he remarked.”
“Around one week before the event, I was informed of its existence. And to begin with, I was somewhat anxious, “Audrey stated.” “I was a little nervous all week that I’d goofed up.”
The expense of Audrey’s gown, footwear, makeup, and hair were all funded by Harris, who flew in especially for the event.
‘He sent a car and driver to get her from home,’ Holly recalled. To ensure that she had the finest possible experience, he made every effort.
He even took a moment to greet Jackson, Audrey’s sibling.
“He didn’t just appear around to see Audrey for the ‘Daddy-Daughter Celebration,’ he drove over to see me as well,” Jackson recalled of the visit.
A professional photographer was on hand to document the memorable evening.
Since “not a lot of things happen to individuals like this, and specifically me,” Audrey remarked, “I feel incredibly unique.”
However, even though the Eagles didn’t play last weekend, the Soape family considers Harris’ appearance in the dance as a personal victory.
As for Audrey’s mom Holly, despite not knowing what the outcome would be, daring to ask was not a problem as she was driven by the love for her daughter.
According to Holly, “we will all do whatever possible for our children when we know that they are suffering”. This tragic event has been transformed into a victorious time for me because I understand that there are others out there who would also help support my children and myself.
While the dance did not replace their father’s absence, the moment has etched an unforgettable memory in their brain. It will at least help to soothe pain each year that she reflects on her loss, that there is still hope out there.
UPS Driver Showered With Gifts After Leaving Inspiring Message for a New Mom He Delivered Package To
One thing we have come to know in recent years is that no matter how much cyberbullying occurs on social media, an act of kindness will quickly pull everyone together.
The moment someone reports a good deed that a regular Joe did, they’ll be happy to shower them with love, including money and gifts. In the most recent case that will blow your mind, it was baby showering!
As a result of a small act of compassion, we have formed a lasting connection.
While on his rounds in Roswell late last month, a UPS driver made a brief stop to bid the new parents of a baby boy congratulations.
Almost at the same time, he revealed, he too had given birth to a boy.
“My best wishes go out to you and your family, should this be the ‘it’s a boy house’ who recently welcomed a baby boy. I’m glad to hear that things are going well for you and your family; I had my first child at almost the same time as you did.” In a Nest doorbell video, a UPS driver, later named Dallen Harrell of Marietta, remarked, “God bless, have a good Christmas.”
Jessica Kitchel and her spouse are the proud owners of the doorbell camera they’ve installed in their home. As she said to us on Thursday, “I simply watched the replay then saw his comment and was just simply blown away by it.” “I suppose I needed this the most at that time. It’s only a little bit of motivation.”
Kitchel shared our story on social media, sharing it approximately 60,000 times and being seen by a large audience.
Several days later, Kitchel and Harrell eventually met face-to-face.
“I was delighted to meet him and applaud him because of what his words meant to me,” stated Kitchel.
But that was just the start. Kitchel wishes to congratulate Harrell because he recently welcomed a baby son of his own.
There had been no baby shower for her and her fiancé, so she inquired as to whether she might see his baby register.
Almost all of the wedding gifts Harrell and his fiancee needed were sent to them by individuals they didn’t even know after she put his registry information online.
The two of them are strangers. They’re so indistinguishable from a can of spray paint. When we spoke with Harrell on Thursday, he told us, “We’re just vessels for God.”
He claims that he was also given a raise at work. “It seemed as though my entire world had flipped upside down.”
They both agree that the most excellent present they’ve received is the friendship they’ve made, which began with a simple act of compassion. In other words, I don’t want this to be a one-off. As Harrell put it: “It’s not a season, but a lifetime.”
Kitchel believes there is a more important lesson to be learned here. In these trying times, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the negative, so seeing someone take a moment out of their day to do something nice meant a lot.”
A Homemade Bench Shows up the Local Government
Sometimes a person just has to take matters into his own hands.
Today, a simple but powerful bench is located on a particular street in the town of A Estrada, Spain. The bench is nothing in terms of anything fancy, but the story behind it makes the outdoor furniture very unique.
A Couple Just Wanted to Keep Up Daily Walks
The carpenter who crafted the wooden bench was a former lathe craftsman. However, years after his career, he realized in his 80s both he and his wife needed a simple place to sit as they walked back and forth when going for a daily walk. Walking has been strongly advised for seniors worldwide in terms of keeping their mobility and mental acuity, but for Manuel Souto and his wife, Maria, things were getting a bit harder due to her osteoarthritis. Simply put, walking was becoming more difficult.
A simple bench along the normal walkway would have made a big difference, so Manuel pitched to the local city council a request for benches to be installed. Unfortunately, the council wasn’t interested in the idea and refused. So, Manuel decided to solve the problem himself.
Solving a Problem the Old-Fashioned Way
In about 30 minutes or so, according to Manuel, he was able to craft the bench. With some wood, a home saw and a bit of creativity, Manuel shaped, cut, formed and finished a working bench that could sit at least two people in a sturdy fashion without any concern. Of course, in hindsight, the bench could have used a bit more work and some protective veneer, but the assembly did the job. So, with the approval of the local shop owner, Manuel had the bench installed outside right on the Suotos daily walking path.
Maria loved the bench. As soon as she saw the outdoor furniture and realized it’s purpose, she turned and gave Manuel a big hug and kiss. Of course, being a public bench, the Soutos aren’t the only ones using the town bench. Many locals love it as well as visitors. However, Manuel has made it clear the bench should be made available to seniors as first priority. Of course, his methods are simplistic as they are direct; he left the message on the bench with a permanent marker pen.
The council might have been a put off a bit by the upstaging Manuel pulled off, but they haven’t reacted with much more. Manuel jokes he could be arrested, but then somebody would have to provide him with his smoking tobacco. Overall though, people have been quite positive about the whole affair. And, no surprise, Manuel has gotten repeated requests for more benches. Unfortunately, he’s not interested in starting a whole new career at 82. Manuel is quite happy with the one that he shares with his wife on their walks.
Hero Risks Life to Save Drowning Woman — and They Fall in Love!
When Nupur Gupta waded into the Arabian Sea off the balmy beaches that speckle Goa’s coastline, she did not know what was about to happen. Gupta had been visiting Goa, India, for a two-week vacation retreat for yoga enthusiasts. It was early 2019 and the weather was warm, bright, and balmy. At the time, Goa’s beaches were brimming with a warm glow while the sea beckoned Gupta in. What could go wrong?
By the time that Gupta realized she had been pulled out to sea, it had become too late. Gupta says to CNN Travel, “I tried not to panic.” Or at least that was what she thought. Instead, a figure appeared in the water and her life was saved.
Miracle and the Sea
Goa is located on the southwestern coast of India, geographically located within the region we know as Konkan. Goa has a huge international tourism sector that continues to grow by leaps and bounds thanks to the beautiful white-sand beaches and rich natural wonders surrounding the region. For Nupur Gupta, a visit to Goa meant an escape from her grind and a chance to refresh at a yoga retreat. It also meant that she would come close to drowning at sea.
When Gupta realized that she had been pulled too far from shore to easily swim back, she had to stop herself from panicking. Taking deep breaths, Gupta shifted her focus toward incremental progress. “If I constantly and with consistency keep swimming… I might make it.”
By the time that Gupta realized the error in her thought process, it was too late. Her arms were failing and her strength was going with it. As she began to crawl back to shore through the waves, the current kept dragging her back, pushing her further away from the surface.
It was at this moment when it would have been so easy to give up, that a miracle manifested. Gupta said of that moment, “Then I saw this man coming towards me.”
Meet Attila Bosnyak
Attila Bosnyak had been visiting India from his home in the Netherlands. A financial adviser comfortably in his forties, Bosnyak was also a student at the yoga retreat that Gupta had been attending. A strong swimmer and apparently an alert one as well, Bosnyak saw Gupta’s struggle and dove into the waves after her.
As Bosnyak neared Gupta, he felt the waves get stronger with the current. Despite his lack of fear, he was still struggling. It was at the last moment that Bosnyak struck out his arm. Gupta says of that moment, “He came very close to me but just about that time, I was pulled in by the ocean.”
Bosnyak knew he wasn’t strong enough to haul Gupta back to shore. Trying to remain as calm as possible, Bosnyak would help Gupta swim to a cluster of rocks nearby. They figured that they could climb onto the rocks and hold on for dear life while waiting for a lifeguard to notice. The process was rocky and Gupta thought several times that her savior might lose his way, but they eventually made it.
After making it to the rock, Bosnyak climbed atop before pulling Gupta after him. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before a lifeguard saw them atop the rocks. It was around this time that Bosnyak realized he had been covered in bloody scratches from holding onto Gupta and the rocks.
Once they returned to shore, Gupta and Bosnyak would spend time together. Gupta would run to a nearby store where she’d get disinfectant and, randomly, chocolate ice cream to share. Bosnyak says, “I think that was the magic moment.”
Bosnyak and Gupta would end up traveling the world, visiting Bosnyak’s family in the Netherlands, before officially getting married on March 21, 2020.