Desert Tawny Owl discovered in Israel.

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Image credit: © Thomas Krumenacker, www.krumenacker.de.
The newly-discovered species, named the Desert Tawny Owl, belongs to the earless owl genus, Strix.
It is a medium-sized owl, 30 to 33 centimeters long, and weighing 140 to 220 grams.
It resembles the Hume’s Owl (Strix butleri) and the Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) in plumage pattern and proportions.
The species’ scientific name, Strix hadorami, honors Israeli ornithologist and writer Hadoram Shirihai.
“It is a special pleasure to name this bird for Hadoram Shirihai, a much-valued colleague and collaborator for 20 years,” Dr Schweizer and his colleagues wrote in a paper in the journal Zootaxa.
“Although Hadoram’s ornithological interests are staggeringly wide-ranging, his name is arguably particularly synonymous with this wonderful owl of wild places in the Middle East.
He discovered, when still a young boy, a live but poisoned specimen (of the Desert Tawny Owl) in En Gedi, which became the first individual to be held in captivity and is now a skeleton in the Tel Aviv University Museum.”
Read on via Desert Tawny Owl: New Species of Bird Discovered | Biology | Sci-News.com.

Endangered: The Vanishing Northern White Rhino, Kenya.

6896The last known male northern white rhinoceros at the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Laikipia County, Kenya.
The conservancy is home to the planet’s last-three northern white rhinoceros.
As 2016 draws to an end, awareness of the devastation of poaching is greater than ever and countries have turned to high-tech warfare — drones, night-goggles and automatic weapons — to stop increasingly armed poachers.
Photograph: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images
See more images via The week in wildlife – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

Elephants Searching for Green Pastures, Zimbabwe.

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As the sun sets over the African nation of Zimbabwe, a herd of elephants journey over the plains near the Limpopo River.
Venturing across this “soft but harsh and beautiful and endless” landscape, as described by Your Shot photographer Jetje Japhet, the elephants were likely in search of food or water.
“I was lucky to be there” to capture this image, Japhet writes.
Photograph By Jetje Japhet, National Geographic Your Shot
Source: Something’s in the Way

Zion, the Lion & Frikkie Von Solms, southern Africa.

tame-pet-lion-zion-frikkie-von-solms-9It goes without saying that you should be careful around lions and other wild animals, but that doesn’t mean that they are un-feeling, cold-blooded killers. Frikkie Von Solms, a 69-year-old lion caretaker in Southern Africa, knows this perfectly well: he has spent a long time raising Zion, a gentle, tender and loving African lion.
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Zion was born in captivity to a lioness named Simba but had to be separated due to fears that his father would kill him.
Growing up with Von Solms, Zion has turned into a softie – when Von Solms goes for a walk with him, he takes his shoes off because their noise bothers the big cat.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience to grow up with him and learn and live with him through all of the stages of being a lion,” Von Solms told the Daily Mail.
“People talk about lions like they are just lions but they have personalities, they have humour and laugh.
Zion is a gentle giant. He has never attacked humans and I trust him completely.”
(h/t: dailymail)
See more Images via 11 Years Of Friendship Between A Lion And The Human That Saved Him | Bored Panda.

Street Art by DALeast.

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DALeast is a Chinese born artist who lives and works in Capetown, South Africa. The 29-year-old, who keeps his real name a secret, has been making art since he was three.
His unusual paintings, which are sometimes hundreds of feet across, looks three dimensional and appears to have been created out of thousands of tiny metal shards.
DALeast showed an interest for drawing since he was two or three. When he grew up, he studied Sculpture in the Fine Art Institute in his hometown Wuhan, but dropped out in the fourth year – one year before he was supposed to complete. DALeast was disillusioned by the conservative mind sets and teaching methods.
While in his first year of study, he joined a graffiti crew called JEJ, which is one of the first generation active graffiti crews in China. The teacher hated him because he would often neglect class work, instead spending his time on the streets painting walls.
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Once, just before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, police broke into a house he was staying in and arrested him and his graffiti crew. They thought they were terrorists after they saw the group all night bombing and tagging.
DALeast spends six months of the year travelling and has tagged walls on nearly every continent. His works can be seen in Cape Town, Miami, New York and London’s Brick Lane, as well as his native China.
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via Street Art by DALeast | Amusing Planet.

Ruacana Falls in Namibia.

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Ruacana Falls in Namibia. (The EPSON International Pano Awards: Hougaard Malan)
“Driving through a drought-stricken Namibia for days to eventually arrive at the mighty Kunene plunging down this gorge, was an experience I’ll never forget.
“Despite having a full two days there, I was immediately overwhelmed with the panic and fear of not capturing this majestic and ultra-rare display of nature.”
See more images via Stunning panoramic photos honoured in EPSON International Pano Awards 2016 – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)