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At a warong in Changgu, a young woman with striking tattoos walked past. I asked her if I could take a photo. She said she was travelling. Thankyou Lina goodluck on your journey.

Evidence of ivory trade in Hong Kong

Farewell photos of the Gatwick boarding house boarded up and sold in St Kilda on Fitzroy Street

The mad grooves of people’s lives are missing from these photos. Where are they? The photos of the empty windows and locked doors seem to ask. Apart from the lone former resident of the Gatwick poised and sentimental on the footpath. A New Yorker, happy to be photographed, who said The Gatwick and the two women who ran it saved his life when he came from New York. The main character of the photos is The Gatwick itself, hurriedly dressed in new clothes for the final scene. Wallpaper glue, evicted scrawlings and photocopied feelings from the faceless and chaotically dispersed. On the front door behind the new security grill the landladies give the finger to the forces of gentrification that are pulling threadbare rugs from under soft feet of men and women banks don’t finance. Not a word of poison, just heart in hard copy. Though they are as anonymous as FB you can touch it. Smell the breath, the bristles, the butts, the socks of the not so down and out who loved The Gatwick. The romance and the glory of The Gatwick. The Hilton of the wanted and the unwanted. All photos copyright of Mic Smith.

“No Surrender” at La Mama by Mic Smith. Opening night


“No Surrender” is a tale of a triple poaching attack in South Africa: the personal story of Roger the Rhino. Based on a real event and fictionalised, it was written by me and performed with me as Roger the Rhino and my old “cobba” Denis McArdle (Deno) in two roles as the poacher and Robert Ingersal, the head ranger on Francis Bacon Game Reserve. From first concepts, it was a bit of a journey getting to opening night but with plenty of “chookas” and “break a legs” it “went alright on the night”. Here are some photos of opening night featuring many friends and VIPs, for as is the case with all my shows I knew nearly everyone in the audience. Dedicated to animalitarians and humanitarians, the wild and the managed wild. Vale Sam Shepard (died July 27, what a dude). Happy birthday La MamaTheatre – 50 years you beauty!


Chlamydia Koala recovers thanks to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital and Wildcare

koalaCurrumbin Wildlife Hospital and Wildcare will be releasing a young female koala on Thursday 3rd August, the hospital says in a media release

“Tsuki” was rescued three months ago suffering from koala chlamydia, she has made a full recovery and has grown from just 2 kg to 3.5 kg.

With the busy season approaching, Wildcare are calling out for any people that are interested in caring for sick and injured wildlife in their homes.  People interested in becoming a wildlife carer should apply online at

Currumbin Wildlife Hospital also needs more volunteers to assist in the wildlife hospital, people interested in volunteering should go to the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation website

Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters has stepped down because of discovering surprise dual Australian/Canadian citizenship

larissa“It is with great shock and sadness that I have discovered that I hold dual citizenship of Australia and Canada. As people would know after the recent departure of my dear friend and former colleague Scott Ludlam, section 44 of the Australian constitution means I cannot hold office in the federal Parliament,” Queensland Senator Larissa Waters said in a statement

“I left Canada as a baby, born to Australian parents studying and working briefly in Canada before they returned home. I have lived my life thinking that as a baby I was naturalised to be Australian and only Australian, and my parents told me that I had until age 21 to actively seek Canadian citizenship. At 21, I chose not to seek dual citizenship, and I have never even visited Canada since leaving at 11 months old.

“However after Scott’s shock discovery, I immediately sought legal advice, and was devastated to learn that because of 70 year old Canadian laws I had been a dual citizen from birth, and that Canadian law changed a week after I was born and required me to have actively renounced Canadian citizenship.

“I had not renounced since I was unaware that I was a dual citizen. Obviously this is something that I should have sought advice on when I first nominated for the Senate in 2007, and I take full responsibility for this grave mistake and oversight. I am deeply sorry for the impact that it will have.

“It is with a heavy heart that I am forced to resign as Senator for Queensland and Co-Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens, effective today.

“I apologise wholeheartedly to all those who have supported me and helped me to become a representative for the wonderful people of Queensland over the last six years.

“I have been incredibly fortunate to be able to represent my values and speak for Queenslanders who want a fairer and cleaner world. There is no greater honour than to be entrusted with that responsibility and I have discharged it to the best of my ability, with the support of many.

“The Queensland Greens have never been stronger. Despite today’s events, Queensland will still have a Green voice in the federal Parliament. And I am confident that we will continue to grow by electing some Greens MPs into our State parliament this coming election.

“From being the first woman to breastfeed in federal parliament, to being part of stopping the dumping of dredge spoil on the Great Barrier Reef, overturning cuts to domestic violence services and keeping key environmental decision making powers in federal hands, I have relished every moment to make positive change as a Greens Senator.

“But the challenges we face as a nation are still so great, and I will not be stepping away from them. I have spent my working life protecting the environment and helping the community have better say in decision making, and that will not cease.

“We must stop the Adani mega mine, and we must support women to be free from violence, sexism, and pay discrimination. While my future remains uncertain, I have more to contribute and will be talking with my party about what lies ahead. Whatever the outcome, I will always work for gender equality and to protect the environment.

“It has been an honour to work with my Greens colleagues in the parliament and in the Queensland party. They are the best of people and I am devastated to leave them. My focus now is on working with the party to ensure Queenslanders still have a strong Green voice in the Senate, and working with our state candidates, members and supporters to elect  Greens into the Queensland State Parliament.

“Despite my personal circumstances, I still have unshakeable hope for our common future on this planet. Our movement is so much bigger than any one person, and we will win in the end.

“Farewell dear friends.”

Seven right whales found dead in ‘devastating’ blow to endangered animal

Carcasses found off Canada in recent weeks in what may be biggest single die-off of one of world’s most endangered whale species, expert says

Researchers examine a dead North Atlantic right whale along the Gulf of St Lawrence in Canada.
 Researchers examine a dead North Atlantic right whale along the Gulf of St Lawrence in Canada. Photograph: HO/AP


Seven North Atlantic right whales have been found floating lifelessly in the Gulf of St Lawrence, off Canada, in recent weeks, in what is being described as a “catastrophic” blow to one of the world’s most endangered whales.

The first whale carcass was reported in early June. Within a month, another six reports came in, leaving marine biologists in the region reeling.

“It’s devastating,” said Tonya Wimmer of the Marine Animal Response Society, a charitable organisation dedicated to marine mammal conservation in the region. “This is, I think, the largest die-off they’ve ever had for this particularly species, at once.”

The global population of North Atlantic right whales – which live along the eastern seaboard of Canada and the US and can reach up to 16 metres in length – is thought to be around 525, meaning that more than 1% of the population has died in the past month. “So it is catastrophic in terms of potential impact to this population.”

‘This is, I think, the largest die-off they’ve ever had for this particularly species, at once,’ says an expert.
 ‘This is, I think, the largest die-off they’ve ever had for this particularly species, at once,’ says an expert. Photograph: Marine Animal Response Society

At least two of the whales were female, with one of them known to be entering its reproductive years. “You’re talking anywhere from five to 10 babies in their lifetime. And now they won’t happen. It’s heartbreaking,” said Wimmer.

With no obvious causes for the deaths, a team including federal scientists, pathologists and veterinarians have been racing against time to figure out what is happening. Last week they carried out necropsies on three of the whales, hoping to find clues before the carcasses decompose.

While their findings are still preliminary, they found signs of severe blunt trauma and bruising on two of the whales, suggesting collision with a vessel, while the third had been tangled in fishing gear for weeks.

The findings still don’t explain why the deaths have seemingly occurred within such a short time frame, said Wimmer, though “regardless, there are some aspects of the last stages of their life that were impacted by human activities in that area.” As scientists move into the laboratory to carry out further analyses, some have speculated that the deaths may have been caused by toxic algae or something the whales ate.

A team including federal scientists, pathologists and veterinarians have been racing against time to figure out the cause of the deaths.
 A team including federal scientists, pathologists and veterinarians have been racing against time to figure out the cause of the deaths. Photograph: Marine Animal Response Society

The North Atlantic right whale has struggled since being nearly hunted to extinction by whalers in the late 18th century. In recent years, researchers have noticed the whales moving into the Gulf of St Lawrence in large numbers, leading to increased interactions with humans.

Earlier this week, reports came in of a right whale in the area that was tangled in fishing gear. Some six hours after it was first spotted, scientists were able to cut the whale free of a fishing line in its mouth.

The entanglement, along with the unprecedented number of deaths, may suggest that fishing gear needs to be set out differently or that vessels need to start moving more slowly through the region, said Wimmer. “Right now there’s still a lot of questions,” she added. “There’s probably more questions than there are answers.”

 “Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd”. 

@ashifa_k Saturday 8 July 2017 Last modified on Saturday 8 July 2017 

See for Gold Coast Australian context

Gold Coast Surfing Champ Mick Fanning poses as a rhino poacher for a antipoaching dog practice in South Africa

Former surfing World Champion Mick Fanning is doing his bit for rhinos while he is in South Africa for the J-Bay open.

Check out this link to see him volunteer for to help the anti-poaching dogs practice for the real thing.

He’s been on safari with a group called WildArk, a conservation organization that he’s an ambassador for.



Dawie Groenewald walks again after Interpol arrests alleged fake hunt organiser and alleged illegal supplier of rhino horn to Vietnam


Seven years since he was arrested on nearly 2000 charges Dawie Groenewald stands at the Pretoria High Court during his postponement hearing along with the other co-accused. Photo with permission Susan Scott and STROOP

Following Interpol’s arrest of alleged rhino poaching syndicate leader Dawie Groenewald in South Africa, exactly a week after Groenewald’s South Africa’s case was postponed to 2018, Groenewald was granted bail and released from police custody.

At Groenewald’s  appearance in court in Polokwane Interpol unsuccessfully opposed his bail application. The case was postponed until January 29th, 2018.

The US indictment, issued in 2014, charges Dawie and Janneman Groenewald, and their company Valinor Trading CC (Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris) with conspiracy, Lacey Act violations, mail fraud, money laundering and structuring bank deposits to avoid reporting requirements, News 24 reported.
Dawie, his wife Sariette, and nine others, including two vets and professional hunters, had been arrested on World Rhino Day, September 2010, on 1872 charges, but have managed to stave off prosecution for seven years since their arrest.

Authorities had excavated the carcasses of 26 rhinos they alleged were illegally hunted and dehorned without permits.

The spokesperson for the South Africa’s organised crime police, the Hawks, Brigadier Mulaudzi said Interpol’s extradition charges related to the state’s case.

“They [Interpol] are extremely confident. The criminal court case here will still continue, but it will depend on the Department of Justice, Interpol and the NPA to establish which cases they will prioritise,” Mulaudzi said.

The illegal demand for rhino horn in Vietnam and China has put pressure on South Africa’s courts and enforcement in a country that is struggling with corruption, poverty, violent crimes and robberies.

It has also put pressure on Vietnam’s enforcement agencies amid calls from NGOs for government action and international criticism of shortfalls in Vietnam’s enforcement of anti illegal wildlife trade laws that are in place.

The Lacey Act is the US’ oldest criminal statute addressing illegal poaching and wildlife trafficking, making it a crime to sell animal hunts conducted in violation of state, federal, tribal and foreign law.
Details of the charges laid in 2010 are: Nine American hunters paid up to $15 000 (R650 000) per animal for a total of 11 hunts sold at hunting conventions and gun shows in the United States between 2005 and 2010.

The hunters were tricked by the Groenewalds into believing they were shooting legally at “problem” rhino. The Groenewalds obtained no hunting permits from the South African or local government, and the hunters never received the horn “trophies”, the indictment said.

For more on Simon Bloch‘s breaking story:


16 years jail including one year for animal cruelty