The 87th Annual Terrapin Derby was held along Main Street in Lepanto, Arkansas on Saturday October 7th, 2017. The Terrapin Derby features fair food, music and entertainment but the festival’s main draws is the turtle race. The race features turtles racing down a 60-foot racetrack, all vying for the finish line while being cheered on by the locals. The Lepanto Terrapin Derby is a festival that has been held in Lepanto (Poinsett County) every year since 1930.
The animals showed only mild changes in behavior at the Memphis Zoo during the eclipse, on August 21st 2017---except for the alligators, which became very active. The cicadas were heard singing their evening song at the time of the eclipse, some of the animals acted a bit sleepy or like they were ready to go inside.
At 1:22 p.m., the moon was covering 94 percent of the sun.
Winnie the Hippo was said to have gotten out and played in the sand, during what normally would have been her nap time.
I have created a photo gallery and short video of what I observed while there.
The zoo provided a great backdrop as people waited for the eclipse to unfold. A fourth baby reticulated giraffe has been born at the Zoo; three giraffes have been born there in the last four months. The three that have been born since spring were all out on exhibit, Panya, ‘Bogey’ and Wakati. Angela Kate, Panya’s mother, was the first giraffe calf born at the Memphis Zoo for a decade when she was born in 2006. Wakati slept a great deal today, Panya stuck close to her mother and Bogey just played around. At the time of the eclipse, the giraffes started to head back into the barn.
In the past 15 years, the population of wild giraffes has decreased from 140,000 to 80,000.
Short Video Below
Lisa Marie Presley most graciously greeted her father’s fans at Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee on the 40th anniversary of his death. Fans lit their vigil candles as she thanked them for their devotion to her father. (Photo by Karen Pulfer Focht/Reuters©)
Forty years ago, Aug. 16, 1977, the world became all shook up when news broke about the unexpected death of Rock and Roll star Elvis Presley, of Memphis, Tennessee. Since then, fans and pilgrims flock to Memphis from all over the world, every August, for what has become known as "Elvis Week." With this, the 40th anniversary of his death, Elvis Presley Enterprises will show off many changes and renovations that have taken place at Graceland, the Presley home, and the entertainment complex. The new Guest House at Graceland is also now open with 450 hotel rooms. Photo gallery below.
WATCH VIDEO HERE-
While visiting a whaling museum in New Bedford, Mass we saw this on the wall. "In the 1800s thousands of voyages with tens of thousands of men, killed hundreds of thousands of whales, by traveling millions of miles, for tens of millions of gallons of oil, for hundreds of millions in profits. Today whale watching is a multibillion dollar global industry"
While in Cape Cod we did a whale watching tour. We used a company called Dolphin Fleet in Province town.
Our tour exceeded expectations. We not only enjoyed the boat ride, had a drink during a beautiful sunset, but we were taught about whales and their migration patterns as we watched for the majestic creatures.
We were able to make reservation the same day, which we appreciated.
The boat was large, safe and uncrowded. The evening was perfect; the staff was knowledgeable and engaging. They helped us anticipate where the whale could be rising from the water each time.
We were awestruck as we witnessed the whale’s enormous size from up close. These mammals are simply amazing to watch. We did not hear any whale songs and they did not breach the water, however the acrobatic abilities were evident as they filled their mouths with sea creatures diving in and out of the water.
So glad we made the time.
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Thank you Magnum! - Magnum Photography Awards 2017- Karen Pulfer Focht, finalist, the jury " recognized in a cross-section of the most accomplished image-makers working today; this chosen group represents some of the most talented practitioners in contemporary photography."
"Our jury—consisting of Magnum photographers, world-renowned curators, and experts from organizations like National Geographic and Aperture" ~Magnum Photos-
The winning work will be shown at The Photographers’ Gallery in London later this year.
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“Binti,” a Nile hippopotamus, gave birth to a healthy, 76-pound baby girl on March 23, 2017 at the Memphis Zoo.“This is one of our most significant births in a long, long time,” said Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs. “It’s also incredibly special – as Binti and her baby are carrying on our legacy of hippos in their brand-new home, Zambezi River Hippo Camp.” Memphis, was once called the “Hippo Capital of the World.” Another hippo on exhibit, “Splish” was born on Christmas Day 1988, along with her twin, “Splash.” The zoo would like help naming their new baby.
Because we just can't get enough of baby Winnie!
Latest Video- Winning Growing Up......
April 10, 2017
Giraffes may be endangered, but the Memphis Zoo is doing their share to reproduce this beautiful creature!
Visitors to the Memphis Zoo got to witness a live giraffe birth when the giraffe on exhibit gave birth in the middle of the day, Monday April 3rd, 2017. The little baby was too weak to stand; zookeepers teamed up to move her back with her mother for special nursing and bonding time. Reticulated Giraffes are endangered. The Memphis Zoo has had much success breeding giraffes and they frequently have babies on exhibit.
The Memphis Zoo announce the birth of a baby boy giraffe, “Bogey.” "Bogey was born on Monday, April 3 at noon, while mother “Akili” was on exhibit. The infant was named in honor of Steve Bogarty, a long-time Memphis zookeeper, who recently passed away." Memphis Zoo officials released on Monday.
"Akili did not provide appropriate maternal behavior, so the Zoo’s animal caretakers have stepped in to hand-rear the infant. This is not unusual, as Akili is a first-time mother" officials said.
“Our staff is hard at work, hand-raising our new little guy,” said Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs. “Our team has worked tirelessly around the clock to give him the best care available, and he’s already made great strides. We hope to have him on exhibit in the coming weeks.”
"Reticulated giraffes give birth standing. Infants stand around six feet tall when born, and weigh over 100 pounds. Reticulated giraffes are native to Africa and can grow between 15 and 17 feet tall. Females weigh around 2,500 pounds, while males weigh around 3,500." according to the Memphis Zoo.
As a longtime photojournalist in Memphis, I have been photographing the Memphis Zoo animals for many years. One of my favorite animals to photograph has been the giraffe. Many years ago I photographed this touching shot above of a mother giraffe nuzzling her newborn giraffe shortly after she was born. It has become one of my best known and most loved photographs and one that I will be most remembered by.
The image went viral shortly after publications and has been going viral ever since. It has been published literally millions of times all over the world. Many people have seen it and love it, but because it went viral without credit, often people do not know that it was taken at the Memphis Zoo nor that I had taken it.
"Reticulated giraffe historically ranged from north-central Kenya to southern Somalia and Ethiopia. However, over just the past 15 years they have declined drastically by ~80%, from 36,000 to about 8,600 today. If this trend continued, these giraffe could be extinct by 2020." according to The Giraffe Conservation Foundation.
Signed prints of these images are available for purchase, Contact www.karenpulferfocht.com
I also create gifts, cards and art for the Memphis Zoo gift shop so if you happen to visit the Memphis Zoo stop in the gift shop and browse. https://www.memphiszoo.org
~~~ Karen Pulfer Focht-Photojournalist, Memphis, Tn.
VIDEO FROM THE MEMPHIS ZOO LEAP YEAR BABY LAST YEAR BELOW-
About the Memphis Zoo’s Giraffes (provided by the Memphis Zoo)
The Memphis Zoo’s giraffe herd currently numbers eight. From 1996 to 2006, the Memphis Zoo did not have a single giraffe birth. Since 2006, a new giraffe calf has been born every year. The Memphis Zoo has kept reticulated giraffes in the collection since August 1957.
Akili, the mother, was born at the Memphis Zoo in 2010, to mother “Marilyn.” The father, 7-year-old “Niklas,” came to the Memphis Zoo in 2015 from the Naples Zoo, in Florida. Bogey is the first calf for both Akili and Niklas.
In the wild, reticulated giraffes live in loose herds, constructed of family groups. These groups can range from five to 15 members. The gestation period for a reticulated giraffe is 15 months.
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