[GGN] #8 Landmark Charity Milestone, Heroic Rescue Dogs and Javan Tigers

Day 5,989, 02:09 Published in United Kingdom United Kingdom by Garth Lidlington

Happy good news day! It has been a long week for me personally, and finding these stories always helps me pick up my stride into the weekend. Enjoy!

London Landmarks £50 Million Milestone

Runners taking part in the London Landmarks Half Marathon have raised more than £50m for good causes since the event began, organisers said. The event, organised by baby loss charity Tommy's, was held for the seventh time on Sunday.

Almost 19,000 set off on the 13.1-mile (21km) course, which took in sightseer favourites including Big Ben, St Paul's Cathedral and Trafalgar Square. Steel bands, choirs and other entertainments lined the route.

The first man to cross the finish line was Ben Leaman, repeating last year's win with a time of 1:09:01, and Kate Moulds was the first woman with a time of 1:22.05.

The first visually impaired runner was Breandan Ward who completed the course with his guide runner in 1:35:31. The fastest wheelchair participant, Ryan Baker, finished in 2:3😇3.
Prior to the first runners crossing the line, the annual London Landmarks Charity Mascot Dash also took place.

Heroic Dog Rallies Taiwan Earthquake Response

To be a drug-sniffing dog you have to be impassionate, which is exactly what this golden retriever was not.

Though Roger flunked out of the Kaohsiung City police academy in Taiwan, his career in public service was not over, and has now captured the hearts of his people with his rescue efforts during Taiwan’s recent earthquake.

8-year-old Roger was quickly deployed to the area, where his exuberance and independent streak put him in good stead for locating the body of a 21-year-old victim who hadn’t been found.

Whether Chen Chih-san, captain of the rescue dog unit of the Kaohsiung Fire Department has other dogs that assisted in the rescue efforts, it was only Roger who captured the island nation’s hearts because of his earlier career setback and subsequent redemption arc.

“I’m not saying he was not good or that he didn’t get along with others. But the requirement for narcotic detection dogs is that they can’t be too restless and independent,” Chen said. “But (these attributes) are what we want in rescue dogs.”

These attributes were perfectly on show when he lunged for the reporter’s microphone as his handler was being interviewed by Taiwan’s official Central News Agency.

Hope for the Javan Tiger

Ripi Yanuar Fajar and his four friends say they’ll never forget the evening after Indonesia’s Independence Day celebration in 2019 when they encountered a big cat roaming a community plantation in Sukabumi, West Java province.

Immediately after the brief encounter, Ripi, who happens to be a local conservationist, reached out to Kalih Raksasewu, a researcher at the country’s National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), saying he and his friends had seen either a Javan leopard (Panthera pardus melas), a critically endangered animal, or a Javan tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica), a subspecies believed to have gone extinct in the 1980s but only officially declared so in 2008.

About 10 days later, Kalih visited the site of the encounter with Ripi and his friends. There, Kalih found a strand of hair snagged on a plantation fence that the unknown creature was believed to have jumped over. She also recorded footprints and claw marks that she thought resembled those of a tiger.

The matter eventually landed at BRIN, where a team of researchers ran genetic analyses to compare the single strand of hair with known samples of other tiger subspecies, such as the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) and a nearly century-old Javan tiger pelt kept at a museum in the West Java city of Bogor.

“I wanted to emphasize that this wasn’t just about finding a strand of hair, but an encounter with the Javan tiger in which five people saw it,” Kalih said.

“There’s still a possibility that the Javan tiger is in the Sukabumi forest,” she added. “If it’s coming down to the village or community plantation, it could be because its habitat has been disturbed. In 2019, when the hair was found, the Sukabumi region had been affected by drought for almost a year.”

Another week of good news is in the books! I will leave you with a short clip from the lovely Bob Mortimer!


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