Cetaceans and Humanity

What is Cetaceans?

Cetacean is one of the groups of marine mammals. Just like other mammals, marine mammals have similar characteristics such as covered in hair/fur, breathe air through lungs, warm-blooded, nurture their young with milk produced by mammary glands. In addition to those characteristics, marine mammals have adapted to live in the ocean because they rely heavily on the marine ecosystems for their existence.

Cetaceans are completely aquatic, and they cannot survive on land. They have two front flippers, and their tails are uniquely shaped into flukes, which provide tremendous swimming power. Examples of cetaceans are dolphins, porpoises, and whales.

Cetaceans in captivity

You probably have heard about the controversy of keeping cetaceans in captivity. Due to cetaceans’ intelligence, many people believe that they shouldn’t be kept in captivity. Some even believe that marine mammals can commit suicide, a statement which leads to another controversial discussion. But how true is the statement? According to Dr. Ann Weaver, an animal behaviorist and dolphin researcher, animals can get depressed but there is a powerful survival instinct that prevents them from killing themselves. According to her the continuum from melancholy to the blues to depression to despondency to the step to despair, which is a tipping point in suicide, is uniquely human.
On another hand, Dr. Lori Marino – a neuroscientist and expert in animal behavior and intelligence, believes that humans and dolphins share emotions, that they are more alike than different. “I think the idea that other animals can’t commit suicide because they are hardwired to live is very old fashioned. Basically it says that we are aware of what we are doing and other animals are just driven by this hardwired red in tooth and claw to survive and there is no evidence for that.”
Dr. Lori is internationally known for her work on the evolution of the brain and intelligence in dolphins and whales. She showed a human brain and a dolphin brain and explains how evolved they both are. Such big brains indicate a high level of cognitive processes. Suicide in animals is a provocative inquiry and scientists agree it requires more research.
Speaking of research, to provide and sustain a high momentum of research in marine mammal medicine, there is a need for advance conservation, increased research, more skilled scientists and sufficient financial support to improve the benefits of marine mammal medicine to man. How do humanity benefits from marine mammal medicine?

Cetaceans and human survival

Cetaceans and other marine mammals are sentinels of changes in the oceans and public health. Pollution in the sea and overfishing of seafood resources affects these organisms just as much as it affects human beings. Due to their prime position within the food web, marine mammals therefore have the ability to bioaccumulate pollutants and anthropogenic toxic compounds in the marine environment through a process called bio-magnification. Their long lifespans and unique blubber (fat reserves) have high ability to store toxic compounds. In summary, these compounds progressively move through the food chain and increase in amounts each time they enter a new trophic level, which means that by the time they reach the top (i.e., in marine mammals), their concentrations are generally quite high. Thus they are indicators of change in the marine environment and sentinels for public health and the health of our oceans.
Studies on the presence and levels of organic contaminants in marine mammals essentially provide us with a means to assess the potential risks and exposures to our species. A recent ecotoxicological study on a species of coastal dolphin in Brazil showed that octocrylene/OCT, an ultraviolet filtering agent found in sunscreen products, was detected in high concentrations in the dolphins’ livers. Another study shows that in the southeastern estuarine waters of the United States of America, two dolphin populations were found to carry a high load of chlorinated pesticides and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), amongst other organic contaminants, at levels that have reported adverse effects on wildlife and humans.
If dolphins are accumulating toxic compounds in their bodies from the fish they are eating, which for the most part is also the fish that we eat, we may also consume the same toxins. In other words, from public health and food security point of view, if contaminants are accumulated in the bodies of marine mammals, and marine mammal populations around the world are declining due to a lack of food resources, then it is a bad sign for our species’ viability.
Thomas Goetz, an American public health practitioner, stated that “Better health is not a science problem, it’s an information problem”. For the lack of information dissemination to the general public on the actual state of our marine environment and how it is ultimately linked to our overall welfare, one cannot expect the general public to be aware and want to care about the environment.

Last words, do you think keeping cetaceans in captivity is necessary? Is there a need to keep them for research and educational purpose? While it is better to let the wildlife live in the wild, due to pollution the ocean water may have become toxic for cetaceans. However, there are still some sanctuaries left in this world that provide a safe home for them. More info here.


The bee riddles

Hello there! Now it’s fun time for some bee related riddles. Ready?





  • What do you get if you cross a bee and a rabbit?
    Answer: A honey bunny.
  • What do bees do with their honey?
    Answer: They cell it.
  • What did the mother bee say to the baby bee?
    Answer: Beehive yourself please!
  • What is more impressive than a talking dog?
    Answer: A spelling bee.
  • What did the bee say when she was invited to the party?
    For the answer, please stay tuned at knowledgebeatsignorance.com’s YouTube channel to find out!

New articles and videos coming soon!

I haven’t really posted anything for awhile now, but I’m glad to inform that my articles and videos will soon be available at knowledgebeatsignorance.com! The website is pretty eclectic, and one of the topics they will talk about is (of course) animals and wildlife! It’s not yet live but I’m excited to see my published articles and videos there.

According to their YouTube channel:

This channel has a multidisciplinary approach. It is pretty eclectic. Its main function is to promote the knowledgebeatsignorance.com website. NB, This website is not yet live. We intend to explore the Sciences, social sciences and the humanities, science of learning, mnemonics, memory training, fitness, fashion, languages and communication, animal communication, language learning, law, jurisprudence, international relations, the Commonwealth of Nations, medical science, dance, dogs, meditation, concentration and contemplation, and other things under the sun. Other things far away from the sun e.g. Tabby’s Star or that star’s official name, KIC 8462852.

For someone with a broad range of interests like me (vet med, marine life, surfing, diving, archery, astronomy, calligraphy, cooking, music, human psychology, and many more) it would be a good website to explore. Sounds interesting? I agree!


Career Change

So I’ve been taking care of wildlife for over 4 years and recently I decided to become a small animal practitioner. Why? Well, here is the story….

A trip to Jakarta earlier this year let me meet an inspiring vet who has been practicing as an exotic pet vet for a few years. We both share a strong passion for wildlife and conservation. She then advised me to start practicing as an exotic pet vet too and help illegal wildlife trade victims. If you know how much I am into wildlife conservation, you’d also know that I would be against this idea. Well, I did at first because I believed doing this would encourage exotic pet lovers out there to keep more wildlife at their homes, thus would create more demands for wildlife trade, and there would be more illegal wildlife trade victims. So I shouted out and explained my opinions. She understood of course, as it was her first thought as well, but what she said next really opened my eyes and changed my point of view. She asked me a few questions:

  • Do they, exotic pet owners, consider if there are any exotic pet vets practicing in their town before buying exotic pets? No.
  • Do they stop buying wildlife just because there isn’t any exotic pet vet available in their town? No. Almost everyone thinks a vet is capable of treating all kind of animals.
  • So what made them buy exotic pets? 1 hobby, 2 prestige. The availability of an exotic pet vet is not in their reasons to keep wildlife as pets.

The fact is, these exotic pet owners don’t really care about the availability of exotic pet vets nearby. The existence of exotic pet vet doesn’t encourage pet owners to buy more wildlife. Then what happens when the exotic pets fall sick? Here is a possible scenario:

1. They will bring the exotic pet to a nearby vet, assuming every vet knows everything about all kinds of animals: furry pets, feathery pets, scaly pets, even hairy rhinos. Unfortunately this is not true, since most clinics are familiar with only dogs and cat. Then the vet will say sorry I don’t know, so the pet owners would start complaining and the exotic pet is left untreated nevertheless. Then….

2. They will bring their pets to a number other vets, hoping a vet would know how to treat it before giving up because apparently no vet knows how to treat a sick Cuora galbinifrons (a sick what??),

3. Once they are home with only a little bit of hope left, they will (of course) do what people nowadays call “research” on the internet search engine and read random articles written by a few different people and playing with medicine to see which treatment works.

4. If the animals live, they will boast they do better than vets. If the animals don’t live, they may buy a new one from black market.

So, I decided to make a career change because in my opinion, by becoming an exotic pet vet I can educate the right targets, which is exotic pet owners who create demand for wildlife trade. In addition I can help them to improve their pet life and prevent the pet from dying (which will lead to buying more wildlife to replace the dead pet). By educating them to stop buying wildlife, I’m hoping they’ll educate other owners in the community as well. Many of exotic pet owners aren’t aware of the damage they cause by keeping an exotic pet. If I can prevent them from buying new animals, we can lessen the demand of wildlife in black market and break the illegal wildlife trade cycle.

Exotic pet vs electronics

Another thing that I realized recently is the tendency of buying some particular electronic brands based on the availability of official service center in their countries/cities/towns.

This brand is cheaper and ships faster. Yes, but there’s no service center in our town. What if it breaks or needs servicing?

Yes that’s what people consider before buying electronic goods, but do exotic pet owners consider if there’s a vet who can handle their exotic pets before they buy it (I mean before the mom is killed and the baby is taken and sold in black market)? No, because everyone thinks each and every vet should be capable of treating any kind of animals, from cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, turtles, horses, cattle, bears, and even elephants. If you think all vets can treat any kind of animals, try bringing a snake into vet clinics and see how many of them even dare to open the door and check the snake.

So now that I’ve opined my thought, could you see my perspective? What do you think about becoming a practicing exotic pet vet?


What is BodyTalk?

What is BodyTalk?

BodyTalk is a simple and effective holistic therapy that allows your body’s energy systems to be re-synchronized so they can operate as nature intended. Every cell in our bodies has natural ability to heal itself but due to pollution, stress and our usage of supplements and drugs our bodies slowly forget that natural ability.

A BodyTalk session can restore your natural ability to heal and fix your health issues. It is based on the principle that the body is capable of healing itself at all levels – as evidenced by the healing process that is automatically initiated when a person hurts an elbow or twists an ankle.

body self heal ability

As a consciousness-based healthcare, BodyTalk enhances our natural healing ability and stimulates our bodies to balance and heal itself on all levels. A trained BodyTalk practitioner listens to what your body is saying, thus they can identify the roots of problems in your body and heal the problems on physical, emotional, psychological, and energetic levels. BodyTalk integrates seamlessly with medical science, but it does not substitute medical treatment nor medications.

The BodyTalk techniques provide insights to the areas of your body that need attention. Instead of focusing on the symptoms, BodyTalk practitioners find the underlying causes of illness by addressing the whole-person and their whole-story. What might seem like an obvious problem to you is not necessarily the one your body wants to address first.

BodyTalk symptom

If a BodyTalk technique is performed incorrectly, it simply means that there will be no result or change. It will not make things worse. It follows, therefore, that anyone who receives BodyTalk has nothing to lose and everything to gain as far as his or her health is concerned.

Indeed, every person who is sincerely interested in the concept of total healthcare and has a respect for the power of the potential of human body-mind should find out more about the BodyTalk System.

The concept of BodyTalk:

Innatism: refers to a philosophy of Plato and Descartes who assumed that a God or a similar being or process placed innate ideas and principles in the human mind. Innatism is a philosophical and epistemological doctrine that holds that the mind is born with ideas/knowledge, and that therefore the mind is not a “blank slate” at birth. It asserts that not all knowledge is gained from experience and the senses. This is what we call innate wisdom in BodyTalk.

Innate wisdom lets every single cell, atom, and system communicates constantly with every other cell, atom and system within the bodymind complex at all times. This includes communication through the nervous system, as well as the other subtle energy circuits of the body – such as the meridians and the electromagnetic frequencies that are produced by the body through its functioning. Exposure to stress, pollution, and chemical substances in our daily life can cause these circuits to become compromised, weakening or disrupting the communication between the cells and systems.

A BodyTalk practitioner connects with the innate wisdom, then using BodyTalk protocol chart they will find out which parts of the client’s body have communication breakdown that causes symptoms/problems. The left and right brain will then be balanced with BodyTalk tapping techniques to fix the communication breakdown and to re-synchronise the whole body-mind complex.


The history of BodyTalk:

In 1995, Dr. John Veltheim introduced BodyTalk, a revolutionary healthcare system that uses state-of-the-art energy medicine to optimize the body’s internal communications and allow it to more effectively respond to injury and illness. Since then, the BodyTalk System has been taught to more than a thousand practitioners around the world.

Veltheim, an Australian, once ran a busy clinic for Chinese medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic and naturopathy. He became exhausted, got ill and couldn’t recover. The long search for a cure led him to experiment with blending these and other alternative therapies, creating “acupuncture without needles”.

The breakthrough in BodyTalk was achieved in 1995 when Veltheim discovered that we can tap into the body’s energy circuits by using simple muscle testing to discover areas of sluggish communication. Tapping on the head then tells the brain to “fix” the faulty circuit, followed by tapping on the heart to “store” the fix, just like a computer downloading a programme.

Until today there are over 200 BodyTalk instructors teaching in over 50 countries with translation of training materials into 10 languages, and there are over 1,300 Certified BodyTalk Practitioner helping people in over 40 countries around the world. BodyTalk is used by people in countries across the globe and from all walks of life, from professional athletes looking for a competitive edge to poor communities desperately in need of affordable healthcare.

Benefits of BodyTalk sessions:

  • Balance the brain.
  • Remove psychological and energetic blockages.
  • Balance chakras, meridians, and the energy body.
  • Ease physical discomfort.
  • Minimise negative environmental effects.
  • Helps to balance posture and physical structure of the body.
  • Balance immune system to fight microbes and to reduce allergies.
  • Reduce fear and phobia.
  • Balance unhealthy memory such of traumatic events in the past.
  • Balance the lymph, blood circulation, and nervous system.
  • Balance the functions of each organs, endocrine, body parts.
  • Ease health issues naturally.
  • Enhance your whole health and well being experience.
  • Increase concentration and work performance.
  • Lower stress level.

Who needs BodyTalk

  • People with health problems.
  • People with high stress level.
  • People with physical complaints (Read a testimonial from a professional golf player here).
  • People with emotional complaints.
  • People who wants to improve their well-being.
  • Basically for anyone, even “the superhuman among us – the Barrack Obamas, the Oprah Winfreys” as quoted from The Telegraph (Source here).

BodyTalk Telegraph


Spay And Neuter: The Pros, The Cons, And Things To Consider


The pros and cons of spaying and neutering

Spay and neuter – that’s a very common thing that we hear almost every day now. Many pet owners approach me and ask my opinion regarding the matter. Some are very supportive towards the spay/neuter program, some are still considering whether their pets need it or not, while some others are hesitant or worried about the side effects of it. So what are the pros and cons of spaying/neutering?

Let’s start with the pros:

  • No off-spring (obviously!).
    Finding homes for your new family members is not as easy as you may think. Every year about 17 million dogs and cats were turned over to animal shelters. Only one out of every 10 taken in to the shelters found a home. This means that over 13.5 million had to be destroyed. The tragedy is that this is unnecessary. Much of the problem could be eliminated by a simple surgery: sterilization. By sterilizing pets, owners can help lower the numbers of unwanted and homeless animal companions.
  • No risk of pyometra in queens and bitches. Pyometra is an infection of the uterus that may occur in dogs and cats. The uterus is generally filled with pus. Removing the whole uterus will eliminate the risk of getting pyometra.
  • Less risk of mammary cancer.
  • No dominance and aggressive behavior.
    Dominance and aggression are often (but not always) related to sexual hormone. Getting your pets spayed and neutered removes their sexual hormone which also removes their dominant and aggressive behavior. This is especially helpful to reduce fights in a pack of male dogs or in a clowder of toms.
  • More gentle, more calm, and more affectionate pets.

Apart from the pros, here are the cons of spaying/neutering:

  • Excessive weight. Neutered pets tend to become fatter because their metabolism is slower once the sexual hormones are removed. This problem can be solved by decreasing your pet’s meal portion and take them for more exercise.
  • Hormonal imbalance and diseases related to it. A few examples of common hormonal imbalance diseases are hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease. Dr. Karen Becker wrote that Dr. Jack Oliver, who ran the University of Tennessee’s adrenal lab, said that indeed adrenal disease was occurring at epidemic proportions in dogs in the U.S. and was certainly tied to sex hormone imbalance (read full article here).

De-sex, sterile, intact. Which one is better?

Before we start reading the answers, let’s familiarize ourselves with these terms to make sure we’re on the same page:

  1. De-sex: the animals have all their reproduction organs removed. Females do not have ovaries and males do not have testicles anymore. Hence they cannot breed and they don’t have their sexual hormones secreted. Examples of this practice are spay and castration.
  2. Sterile: the animals have their reproduction organ partially removed so they cannot breed and produce offspring, but they still have sexual hormones secreted by ovary or testicle. They still have their sexual hormones and minimal behavioral change is observed. Examples of this practice are tubal ligation, hysterectomy/ovary sparing spay/partial spay (applicable in bitches, but not preferred in queens), and vasectomy.
  3. Intact: no change is made to the animal’s reproductive systems. They still have their reproductive organs and hormones, and can produce offspring.

Spay and castration are the most common methods for de-sexing, but there’s another option called sterilization. If you ask me which one is better, I always opt for sterilization without fully de-sexing the pets. Popular methods of this option are ovary-sparing spay and vasectomy.

In sterilization, your pets will have almost no risk of hormonal imbalance and behavior change is minimal because the reproductive system is kept in a more natural condition than de-sexing.

Bitches which are sterilized but still have at least one ovary intact will still show signs of heat in their behavior. Some people refer this to “clean heat” because there will be no blood, but the bitch will still show heat behaviors.

Should I get my pets fixed?


Like I always say, you know your pet better than anyone else and eventually the decision is yours. However here are a few things to take into consideration before deciding to have your pets de-sexed or sterilized:

  • Indoor or outdoor pets. If you keep your pets indoor all the time and they have no chance to meet (or breed) with neighboring animals, maybe they need neither de-sexing nor sterilization. However if you don’t supervise your pets outside, please sterilize them so you are not contributing to the stray overpopulation problem. Don’t be an irresponsible pet owner who allows your intact pet outside without a leash and direct supervision.
  • Hyperactive and aggressive pets. Aggression and hyperactivity are related to sexual hormone. Most pets become less aggressive and less active after they’re de-sexed because the hormone producing organs are removed. If your pet is highly aggressive and dangerous, de-sexing is an option, but of course a better solution is to contact an animal behaviorist to alter their aggressive behavior.
  • Number of pets. If you have more than one pets in your place, they make hierarchy and normally there’s only one dominant male leading the group. The presence of other dominant males in the group will lead to fighting and possibly injuries. If you experience this problem with your pets it’s better to have them de-sexed.
  • Species of your pets:
    1. Old bitches are prone to pus-filled uterus infection called pyometra. It can’t be treated with antibiotics and the only way to treat is to remove the uterus through surgery. If you have a bitch then you should consider spaying her in her young/adult age. When a bitch is too old, there are higher risks of getting a surgery done on them (for example they may not survive anaesthesia, they make slow recovery, the surgical wound may lead to a complicated health problems, etc) and in this case often the final solution to pyometra is to put them to sleep.
    2. Spaying in queens have less complication and less negative impacts compared to spay in bitches. The only negative impact they will experience is being overweight. No significant case of hormonal imbalance disease has been observed in spayed queens.

The decision to sterilize, spay, or neuter your pet, at what age, and with what technique is a very personal decision that is based on your pet’s breed, temperament, personality, and your commitment to training, lifestyle management, and responsible pet ownership. – Dr. Karen Becker

Ready to make the decision? Or still unsure? Contact me if you still have questions regarding spay and neuter.


Welcoming A (Not So) Tiny Girl Into This World

“I hope it’s going to be tonight, or tomorrow night.”

That’s what I kept on telling people whenever they asked when Ratu, the pregnant Sumatran rhino, would give birth. Based on calculation from Ratu’s gestation period of Andatu (Ratu’s first calf), she was due last week but there was still no obvious sign of when she would deliver the calf, so all we could do was to wait and see, apart from ultrasound-ing her every few days.

We didn’t sleep well in the last week, worried that Ratu would give birth any night and I had spent some nights going to bed at 2 a.m and waking up at 6.30 a.m only to monitor her condition. However, last week I had a hunch that she would give birth later that night so I took a nap. It was also an educated guess because she showed some behavioral change. So I took a two-hour nap hoping to see a Sumatran rhino calf that night, but unfortunately the pregnant mother changed her mind and wanted to keep her baby inside for a little bit more. That night, I couldn’t sleep and stayed awake watching a rhino sleep soundly through the night. Tricky girl!

Days went by, she was getting more and more restless, and so were we! We were hoping every single day that the calf would be born that night. I communicated with her and did a couple of BodyTalk sessions, only to find out that she did not feel safe with bright lights surrounding her forested enclosure (there were a couple of floodlights installed). I tried to address this issue but some of the staff insisted that the lights were needed. A couple of BodyTalk sessions really calmed her down though, and addressed some of her stress resulted from human’s fear.

Then yesterday, I got another hunch. This one was merely a hunch and there was no educated guess. I successfully took a three-hour nap yesterday afternoon (a piece of cake if you haven’t had enough sleep in the last 6 days) and thought if Ratu was not going to give birth that night or the following morning, I’d spend another sleepless night watching her sleeping and wallowing in the mud – the last thing I wanted to do that night. Well, it was around midnight and Ratu seemed to be restless and sleeping less, so I thought that was a good sign … before she slept again and there was no sign of labor (again! She tricked me twice, that girl!). I waited and waited and waited for almost 3 hours, and she was still sleeping. I started feeling frustrated because of the floodlights, I did not know why but I guess that was a mirror of Ratu’s frustration that I felt. At 3 a.m I was getting sleepy and finally decided to give up, but before going to bed I uploaded a silly picture/status on my Instagram, showing how frustrated I am waiting for Ratu’s calf every night.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 17.32.29

Just after the picture was uploaded, Ratu decided to wake up and walked around her enclosure. I decided to wait a little bit more, but she went behind a big tree and stayed there. It was dark (probably the darkest site where she could avoid the floodlights) and I could not see a thing. I was about to give up again when I heard report that her water broke and there were signs of first stage labor! I was so excited and all the sleepiness suddenly evaporated into thin air!

No words can describe how precious the moments are. From the moment when the calf’s hind legs emerged (it was posterior longitudinal presentation, video here), followed by her small body and head covered in hair, to the moment she started to stand up, fell, stood up again, until finally made her first few steps in this world!! Nature is incredibly amazing, especially when we see an animal birth, they just knew what to do from the very second they are born into this world, without being told or taught by anyone of what they should do. They just knew instinctively. Ratu did not touch her calf for the first couple of hours, and I guessed it was to encourage the calf to stand up and walk towards her to suckle. If she had approached the calf, the calf would not have tried to stand up and walk while it was vital for the calf to use her muscles immediately.


Within less than an hour, the calf really did her best at standing up on her four feet for the first time. It took her less than an an hour and a half to start taking small baby steps, and within 3 hours after birth she had already started suckling. It was funny to see her sniffing Ratu’s belly randomly searching for the teats, not sure where to locate them.

Kudos to the new vet team at Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary! Read more about the birth on IRF’s official press release here.

adinda suckle

So adorable.

So amazing.

So priceless.

Thank you Mother Earth. I hope we, the minority of humans, can continue to preserve the nature while the majority of us are destroying it, even though we are all guilty for that.

PS. I haven’t slept all night as I’m typing this post. Forgive me for a boring-and-not-so-lively story and awful grammar, but I do hope you enjoy the story 🙂

rhino calf wefie copy

The first wefie! I don’t want to disturb the 3 hours old calf so in this case a CCTV wefie works fine as well 🙂