This & That

BERNS HERALDIC ANIMAL

30th June 2019

In Bern, Switzerland, where I come from, there is a big bear park right in the middle of the city. Not so long ago, bears were kept here in a very small and ugly pit. That's fortunately the past now. The bear is the heraldic animal proudly presented in Berns banner, but it wasn't treated with respect for a very long time. I'm happy, that the goals of the Dählhölzli Zoo changed into "more space for less animals". They are really focusing on domestic and less animals now and seem to treat them with respect and good care. I still don't like Zoo's much and I believe, animals belong into the wilderness. But there is not much wilderness left and I think, at least the Zoo in Bern is doing a much better job than many other Zoo's in the world and it is introducing the amazing European Brown Bear to people, focusing especially on children. Maybe, and that is my hope, the next generation learns to protect the animals and their space - the wilderness -, better than we do.  What's your cities heraldic animal?

The Mystery about London's Parrots

18 May 2019

Where do London's bright green parrots come from? To be honest, no one knows really. But they got more and more and now it is the 15th most spotted bird in London according to several sources in the net - there are thousands of them and the number increases. First they were more in the south of London, but they took over the whole city in only a couple of years. There are some funny tales about how they got here. One is, that they escaped of the set from the movie "African Queen" in the 50s or another one is, that Jimi Hendrix released a pair of them in Carnaby Street in the 60s. Would be funny, but I guess they just made there way to Northern Europe somehow from Asia (maybe they needed a change).  They are actually been seen in different European Cities now. However, a widely accepted theory is, that in the massive storm of 1987 they escaped when a great aviary collapsed - that would at least fit best in the timeline of the first sightings and seems possible. What do you think? How did they come to London? Do you like them? 

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