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Author Topic: Australia by Tibrogargan January 2007 - present and 155216+ views later!  (Read 543945 times)
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Tibrogargan
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« Reply #820 on: November 11, 2009, 08:12:57 PM »

  These young people are really courageous 


Muffy I cannot believe some of these young people and what they are prepared to attempt at such a tender age.

I also read somewhere recently that a Dutch court had refused permission for an almost 14 year old to set sail around the world and I cannot remember now if it was a boy or girl.
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« Reply #821 on: November 11, 2009, 08:15:32 PM »

Sabi the Army wonder dog found safe

JESSICA JOHNSTON

November 12th, 2009

SHE survived almost 14 months in the unforgiving Afghan desert after being declared missing in action during a bloody battle with the Taliban.

Sabi, an Australian Army bomb detection dog, was reported MIA after she fled from the same battle in which SAS Trooper Mark Donaldson won his Victoria Cross for risking his life to save an Afghan interpreter in September last year.

Nine soldiers, including Sabi's handler were wounded in the ferocious fire-fight that ensured after the Australian, US and Afghan army convoy was ambushed by the enemy.

The black labrador fled from the chaos and was feared dead - until a US soldier found her roaming with an Afghan man in Oruzgan Province last week.

Speaking from Buckingham Palace after meeting the Queen, Trooper Donaldson said Sabi's miraculous survival story closed a chapter of their shared history.

''She's the last piece of the puzzle,'' Tpr Donaldson said.

''Having Sabi back gives some closure for the handler and the rest of us that served with her in 2008.

''It's a fantastic morale booster for the guys.''

The Australian Special Operations Task Group had made repeated attempts to discover the dog's fate and put the call out to their Coalition buddies.

The US soldier who recovered Sabi at the patrol base in north-east Oruzgan said it was immediately obvious that the labrador was no ordinary mutt.

''I took the dog and gave it some commands it understood,'' John said.

After thanking the man, who may hold the secret behind Sabi's amazing survival, plans were put in place to fly the miracle mutt back to the Aussies.

One of Sabi's original trainers met her at Tarin Kowt and a simple game of catch instantly confirmed it was his dog.

''I nudged a tennis ball to her with my foot and she took it straight away,'' the trainer said.

''It's a game we used to play over and over during her training.

''It's amazing, just incredible, to have her back.''

Australian School of Military Engineering Chief Trainer Sergeant Damian Dunne said the soldiers had never given up on Sabi.

''You can never say you have given up hope until you know what actually happened,'' Sgt Dunne said.

''She's a tough little bugger, absolutely as tough as nails.

''For a dog to be missing for so long to be found ... everyone is stoked.''

Sgt Dunne said Sabi's original handler had been devastated at her loss.

''A lot of the guys did feel it, especially her handler. We class them as our best mates, it was devastating.''

Sabi, like her fellow explosive ordinance detection dogs, was sourced from the pound.

''Normally we get medium-sized dogs with a longish snout, labradors, kelpies, collies, basically any working line.

''We've got a couple of bitzers and cross-breeds as well.

''We look at anything that will chase a tennis ball fanatically - they have to love a tennis ball, it is part of their training.

''They have to be fit, bold and not aggressive. They have to be social with other dogs, because they do interact with each other.''

The dogs are trained to sniff out improvised explosive devices - and Sgt Dunne said there was no doubt that they saved lives.

The dogs undergo six months basic training before being appointed to a senior handler for another six months of intensive work.

They are then assigned to a soldier, who will be teamed with the dog either until it retires or the Digger moves on.

Sabi has spent more time in Afghanistan than many Australian soldiers.

She was first deployed to the country in 2007 and was nearing the end of her second deployment when she went missing last year.

The well-travelled mutt was also deployed to Melbourne to provide security at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Sabi appeared to be in good health when she was found, however she was flown to Kandahar to undergo a full vet check.

With rabies prevalent in the country, Sabi has undergone a range of disease tests.

She is currently in quarantine, awaiting her test results, before a decision can be made about her anticipated return to Australia.


http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2009/11/12/93321_hpphoto.html

Pictures of Sabi also at the above link
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« Reply #822 on: November 12, 2009, 07:52:32 PM »

Tibro...what a great story - about Sabi.  Please let us know how it ends.  Will he be retired to one of his trainers or will he continue his old job...?   
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« Reply #823 on: November 17, 2009, 09:04:43 PM »

Hello Mere.  Still waiting to see the outcome on Sabi.  It appears she will be brought back to Australia into retirement, our Quarantine laws permitting. 


Handler never gave up on lost army dog


By Brendan Trembath for PM

PM | abc.net.au/pm

Posted Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:27pm AEDT
Updated Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:53pm AEDT


ADF dog found in Afghanistan

Keeping the faith: "He wasn't going to let go of Sabi. He thought that might one day arrive"

    * Video: ADF dog returns after Afghan sabbatical (ABC News)
    * Audio: Long lost bomb sniffer dog reunited with unit (PM)

The handler of an army-trained labrador that went missing for more than a year says he never gave up hope for the lost dog.

The black Labrador called Sabi went missing in action in southern Afghanistan, during the battle in which the SAS trooper Mark Donaldson won the Victoria Cross.

Now Sabi has been reunited with her Australian unit. The Australian Defence Force says an American soldier spotted the dog last week.

The 10-year-old female was trained to detect explosives like the roadside bombs used extensively by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. This was the dog's second tour of duty.

George Hulse, a retired Lieutenant Colonel and the president of the Australian Defence Force Trackers and War Dogs Association, says he and many others gave up hope when the dog went missing.

But he says this was not the case with the dog's handler, Corporal David Simpson.

"He wasn't going to let go of Sabi. He thought that might one day arrive," he said.

"I on the other hand had abandoned any hope of that and I was trying to console him. But he wasn't having any of that, so deep down I think he burned a candle for that dog and he feels very happy about her recovery now for sure.

"[Sabi] has done two deployments to Afghanistan. She's an exceptionally good worker, very gritty dog and has found improvised explosive devices and she's saved quite a few lives in her work."

Soldier spots dog

He says the dog was recovered by a US soldier who can only be identified as John. The soldier was aware the Australians were missing an explosive detector dog.

He says the soldier reportedly gave it some commands it understood.

"When she did come back we were all overjoyed with what happened," he said.

"I received a telephone call from a person who's in the Australian Defence Force and we sort of chewed the fat over it and then I phone Corporal David Simpson, her handler and found that to his profound relief that the dog had been recovered."

The battle in which the black labrador went missing took place in September last year in Oruzgan Province in the desolate south of Afghanistan.

A coalition convoy was ambushed by insurgents with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades. Nine Australian soldiers were wounded.

The Special Air Service Trooper Mark Donaldson was commended for deliberately exposing himself to enemy fire to draw attention to himself and away from the wounded.

In the heat of the battle the explosive detection dog Sabi disappeared.

Quarantine worry

The dog's return to its unit more than a year later has impressed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

"Things like that, they may seem quite small, but in fact the symbolism is quite strong, and the symbolism of it is us out there doing a job," Mr Rudd said.

"We haven't awarded any Australian a Victoria Cross for 40 years. Trooper Donaldson stands out there as an Australian hero, and now his dog Sabi back is home in one piece and a genuinely nice pooch as well."

The dog will be brought back to Australia as long as he meets the strict requirements of Australia's Quarantine and Inspection Service.

"I'll now be working with AQIS and others to ensure Sabi's eventual return to Australia," Mr Rudd said.

"I fear AQIS may be the greatest challenge."

Explosive detection dogs are in demand wherever security is tight.

Martin Dominick is a Queensland-based trainer who has an explosive detection dog - a black labrador, just like Sabi.

He is not so surprised by her survival in the wilderness.

"They are so outgoing and social and they have this real character about them, just because of the fact that they want to go and chase things and have a fantastic character," he said.

"That would have endeared her to the person that was looking after her or the family or the village.

"I'd imagine that the fact that she is alive now means that she has been looked after and her character would have carried her through that."


http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/11/12/2741352.htm
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« Reply #824 on: November 17, 2009, 09:07:15 PM »

Terri Irwin becomes an Australian citizen

Article from: The Courier-Mail

James O'Loan

November 15, 2009 11:00pm

FAMOUS American immigrant Terri Irwin has used her first day of Australian citizenship to claim this country is in danger of becoming overpopulated.

The environmentalist and wife of the late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin was yesterday cheered by thousands at a special citizenship ceremony at Australia Zoo.

    Pictures: the legacy of wildlife crusader Steve Irwin

With children Bindi and Robert by her side, she affirmed her allegiance to Australia almost two decades after settling here.

Ms Irwin spoke of her pride in becoming an official Aussie but warned Australia could not withstand huge population increases.

She also said she had enough money to continue fighting miner Cape Alumina's plans for a mine on the 135,000ha Steve Irwin Reserve on Cape York.

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26354315-3102,00.html
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« Reply #825 on: November 17, 2009, 09:10:00 PM »

Wheelchair champ masters Kokoda Track

Article from: AAP

From correspondents in Port Moresby

November 18, 2009 10:46am

PARALYMPIAN Kurt Fearnley's "superhuman" effort to crawl Papua New Guinea's Kokoda Track is complete, ending with an emotional and weary celebration.

Fearnley, 28, finished his 10-day trek at Owers Corner, the southern end of the track, just a little after 9am  today.

Fearnley said there were moments he thought about quitting along the 96km track through mud and rugged terrain.

"Mate, I just was hurting, it was the toughest thing I've ever done," he said.

In emotional scenes at the finish, Fearnley was surprised by his mother and father Jacqueline and Glenn, who had travelled from their home of Carcoar in central NSW, to share a few tears and couple of bottles of champagne with their youngest son.

"It's been a very big day and we're glad it's over," his mother said.

Track veteran and Kokoda Spirit team leader Wayne Weatherall said it was the most amazing effort he'd ever seen in his time trekking.

"To call him a superhero or superhuman is not too far from the truth," he said.

Fearnley, the four-time New York wheelchair marathon winner, had to drag himself on his hands along the famous track but had support from 15 family members plus his team of porters and guides.


http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26366810-952,00.html
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« Reply #826 on: November 17, 2009, 09:16:07 PM »

Guardian Moira Kelly's joy as conjoined twins Krishna and Trishna are successfully separated

    * Grant McArthur, Peter Familari
    * From: Herald Sun
    * November 18, 2009 12:00AM
   
UPDATE 12.25pm: TWINS Trishna and Krishna are showing no early signs of brain damage after a marathon 32-hour surgery to separate them yesterday.

Royal Children's Hospital chief surgeon Leo Donnan said there was currently no evidence of brain damage, but doctors won't know for certain until scans are complete and the girls begin to interact with the world.

The medical team has to wait until the sisters are stable enough to be moved to brain scanners.

"Ultimately the test is as these girls wake up and we see how well they actually function and interact with the people they know,'' Prof Donnan said.

He said the odds of the girls coming out of the ordeal relatively unscathed remain at just 25 per cent.

"That was always a long-term prognosis and a long-term view, not just from the surgery that was performed yesterday,'' he said.

Plucked from a Bangladesh orphanage two years ago, the conjoined twins survived 31 1/2 hours of surgery that doctors say will give them every chance of healthy - and separate - lives.

This morning they remain in a serious but stable condition after their first night apart.

All things going well, the sisters will soon be able to look at each for the first time.

Surgeons have no idea how the sisters will react when they are brought out of sedation and greet each other face-to-face.

Prof Donnan said the girls, who are lying next to each other in intensive care, have only ever seen each other with the help of a mirror.

"I don't think any of us know what their reaction will be, whether it will be one of surprise and wonder or shock and horror, we don't know,'' he said.

"We hope that we can provide them with an environment where it happens very gently and very easily and we can nurse them into that.''

Children First's Margaret Smith said this morning she was overwhelmed seeing the twins in their own beds.

"They look beautiful, absolutely exquisite, and to see them in two little cots, I can't tell you what it looks like," she told 3AW.

"They're close together but they're in two beds, and they look so long, after seeing them in a 'V' shape as we're use to seeing them, and now they're not, they're separate, these two long bodies in a bed, it's just magnificent."

Leave your messages of support for Krishna and Trishna here

Emotional guardian Moira Kelly last night told friends, "The girls look absolutely beautiful."

And she asked all Australians to keep praying to help the girls get through the crucial next few days.

Ms Kelly was at the bedsides of the still-unconscious twins as they were settled into the intensive care unit at the Royal Children's Hospital.

As the twins begin their separate lives a hospital spokeswoman warns they still face "a long road ahead.''

Ms Smith said Ms Kelly was overwhelmed by the separation.

"She is overwhelmed and says it's wonderful and what we've hoped for, but we have to wait and see how the girls are going over the next few days and weeks,'' Ms Smith said.

The beds have been positioned as close as possible to reduce any shock the orphans may feel when they wake and find themselves apart for the first time since they were born almost three years ago.

The twins were separated at 11am in a moment that brought tears and elation to the 16-strong surgical team.

Prof Donnan emerged with a huge smile just after 4pm to tell the world the operation had delivered the best result possible.

"We have great news: the girls have now come out of theatre and are in intensive care and everything is going very well," he said.

"They are in great shape, which is fantastic. Everything has gone very nicely.

"The last stage went very smoothly. Everything with the planning and the preparation work just all came together.

"They are both in good condition and healthy.

"I think they are where we thought they would be, where we always planned to be."

The separation came two years and two months after aid workers in Bangladesh turned to Ms Kelly's Children First charity as a last-ditch effort to save the twins.

They would have died within months if the long separation process had not been undertaken.

Joint guardian Atom Rahmon, from Children First, said the Catholic sisters who run the Bangladeshi orphanage had been told of the successful operation as they held an all-night prayer vigil.

"We are all very optimistic and looking forward to the next 48 hours, which is very crucial," he said.

"I remember every minute of Bangladesh 2 1/2 years ago - it is a miracle. But it is thanks to Children First and spectacular work by the doctors, the nurses and everyone who has put in so much.

"The girls, or I as a guardian, or Bangladesh, couldn't have asked for any better than this.

"It is just an absolutely amazing journey."

Surgeons performed a series of complex procedures on the tiny sisters, working through Monday and into yesterday afternoon, while the nation waited for news.

When the delicate task of separating their heads was completed there was widespread relief and joy at an achievement once thought impossible.

"When everyone had known these girls as one, with their individual personalities, to see them as separate human beings is a pretty amazing moment," Mr Donnan said.

"The moment of separation is a rather surreal moment."

After the separation, cranio-facial surgeons stepped in to reconstruct the girls' skulls using a combination of their own skin, bone grafts and artificial materials.

The sisters were out of the operating theatre at 4pm.

"They won't wake up for a few days yet. We've got to make sure they've settled down, they're safe, and we gradually go through the process of waking them up," Mr Donnan said.

They will be kept sedated and on ventilators for several days until doctors are sure it is safe to wake them up slowly.

The twins were given a 25 per cent chance of coming through the operation unharmed, with a 50 per cent chance they would be brain damaged and a 25 per cent chance one of them would die.

Mr Donnan said it may not be known for "a long time" whether they suffered brain damage, so now was not the time for celebration.

"Doing operations like this ... you are guarded. Everyone will be very pensive at the moment," he said.

The team of surgeons was headed by neurosurgeon Wirginia Maixner. They listened to pop music at times and had sleep breaks.

"This is a once in a lifetime operation that teams would do," Mr Donnan said. "For the hospital, it is a historic moment, and for the girls, an even more historic moment."

Plastic surgeon Andrew Greensmith said Ms Maixner and fellow neurosurgeon Alison Wray didn't rest.

"They were on their feet the entire time. They didn't waver. They were completely in the zone," he said.

Anaesthesia director Ian McKenzie said the twins' physiological condition improved as separation neared.

Krishna's low blood pressure began to rise and her kidneys switched back on. Trishna had previously been doing the kidney work.

"We got very excited over five millilitres of (Krishna's) wee," Children First chief executive Margaret Smith said.


http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/guardian-moira-kellys-joy-as-conjoined-twins-krishna-and-trishna-are-successfully-separated/story-e6frf7jo-1225799023322
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« Reply #827 on: November 18, 2009, 06:27:12 PM »

Update on the twins is : So far, so good.  The MRI scans showed no brain damage caused by the separation.  With all the sadness and cruelty perpetrated on children it is a very pleasant change to read of acts of kindness and hope such as this story.

Diagrams, video and photos of the first stage of operation are on this link :

http://www.theage.com.au/national/separated-twins-krishna-and-trishna-remain-unconscious-20091118-ikzl.html

Link to the Foundation's website :  http://www.childrenfirstfoundation.com/childrenstories.aspx
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« Reply #828 on: November 19, 2009, 03:44:21 AM »

Doctors joy over successful surgery on twins

Article from: The Advertiser

November 19, 2009 05:20pm

THE surgical team behind the miracle separation of conjoined twins Trishna and Krishna have recounted their joy at being able to separate the girls.

A team of 16 surgeons, doctors and nurses worked for almost 32 hours to separate the sisters, who were joined at the head.

At a media conference today, the surgeons said they were incredibly proud to be part of the groundbreaking operation and thanked the hundreds of people involved.

Director of Neurosurgery Virginia Maixner, who led the team with neurosurgeon Alison Wray, said she was overwhelmed when the twins were finally separated.

"Sometime in the early hours of Tuesday, I looked at Alison and Alison looked at me and I said 'I think we've done it','' she said.

"And that was an amazing moment. To have struggled for so long, to have worked so hard for what was not just that day but for a whole two years of work. To be able to say 'I think we've done it'.''

Trishna awoke from a coma this morning, while her sister Krishna faces a more difficult recovery owing to the pressures from the surgery.

"Of the two twins Krishna is the one that has to adjust more,'' she said.

"We will plan to wake her up this afternoon. It's looking very positive at this stage.

"(Trishna) looks brilliant. She's talking, she's being Trishna, she's behaving the way she normally did,'' she said.

Ms Maixner said brain scans showed no early signs of brain damage to either of the girls.

"The brains look really, really good on the scans, we're really, really happy.

Ms Maxiner said Trishna was being comforted by the twins guardian Moira Kelly and that she was aware she was no longer joined to her sister.

"I do think they do notice it and it's something we need to start addressing," she said.

"We need to make sure that passage is as smooth as possible for them."

News that Trishna had woken come as the two young Australian women who brought the girls' plight to the world shared their joy at the successful separation

Danielle Noble, 27, and Natalie Silcock, 33, are a big part of the story of the brave girls, and Ms Noble admitted shedding tears as she watched coverage of the marathon surgery to separate them at the Royal Children's Hospital.

"I feel connected to the girls so it's been an emotional couple of days," she said.

Ms Noble first laid eyes on the twins while she was working as a volunteer at a Bangladeshi orphanage nearly three years ago.

The girls were barely a month old and their situation seemed hopeless.

But Ms Noble, who now works for the United Nations in Bangkok, could not walk away.

"Anyone who sees newborn children in distress is going to feel like they have to do something about it," she said.

Holidaying in Queensland, Ms Noble said she felt a mixture of joy, relief and nervousness over the critical next few days for the twins.

"It's been a long journey, and in a way it feels a little bit surreal," she said. "I feel some disbelief that we've come this far, and excitement."

The outcome so far had been exactly what she hoped for when she first started calling Australian doctors and hospitals and raising money for the twins.

"It's just so great, I think, to see that the impossible has become possible," she said.

"Maybe it wasn't a realistic thing to hope for, but I think for everyone involved this whole process has shown that miracles happen."

Melbourne-based disability worker Ms Silcock helped organise Trishna and Krishna's journey to Australia.

She met the twins in June 2007 after visiting the orphanage when working for Australia Volunteers International in Dhaka, and said they had come such a long a way.

"There's been such a big change, particularly in Krishna, the little one," she said.

They had two very different personalities right from the start, but both were fighters.

The twins were already sick when Ms Noble first saw them.

"It was all a bit overwhelming really," she said.

"Their situation seemed a little bit desperate.

"They needed world-class medical attention, and it really hit home seeing them there, that they deserved an opportunity greater than what they had."

The Sydney woman soon realised it was too much for her to take on alone, so the Children's First Foundation became involved.

Ms Noble visits the twins whenever she returns to Australia, and hopes to see them this weekend.

The 15 nuns at the Missionaries of Charity in Dhaka, who each helped in raising the twins, prayed for them as they went into surgery on Monday.

"We prayed from 8am to 8pm," Sister Grace said.

The following day their prayers were answered.

Global interest in the twins has been intense, with the Royal Children's swamped by media attention from countries including Japan, Britain and the US.

Hospital spokeswoman Julie Webber said never before had there been so much attention.

"It's to be expected, it wasn't at all surprising ... we just knew that there would be this amount of interest," Ms Webber said.


http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,,26372503-5006301,00.html
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« Reply #829 on: November 19, 2009, 06:07:41 PM »

Former conjoined twin Krishna waking from coma

Article from: AAP

November 20, 2009 08:46am

FORMERLY conjoined twin Krishna is slowly being woken from her medically-induced coma after life-saving surgery earlier this week.

Krishna and her twin Trishna were separated after a marathon 31-hour operation on Monday and Tuesday.

Trishna woke up yesterday morning and was talking and cuddling her legal guardian Moira Kelly of the Children First Foundation, which was instrumental in bringing the twins from a Bangladesh orphanage to Melbourne.

Krishna was expected to take longer to recover as her body had to adjust to a change in circulation and blood pressure.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Children's Hospital today said that Krishna was being woken up slowly from her medically-induced sleep.

The hospital's director of neurosurgery Wirginia Maixner said MRI scans revealed no damage had been suffered by the girls' brains during the operation, prompting her to perform a quick "chicken dance" of joy.


http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26375457-5003402,00.html
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« Reply #830 on: November 19, 2009, 06:10:23 PM »

Khaki snail named in honour of Steve Irwin

Article from: The Courier-Mail

Brian Williams

November 15, 2009 11:00pm

A NEWLY discovered snail has been named in honour of the late Steve Irwin and his signature catchcry "crikey".

Although new to science, the Crikey steveirwini is already rare. It has been found on just three mountain tops in the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics, near Cairns.

A single example was first found in 1991 by entomologists and it has taken another 18 years to find about a dozen more dead and one live specimen to supply enough material to describe them scientifically.

Queensland Museum honorary research fellow John Stanisic said the snail had rare qualities.

"This is an extremely rare species," Dr Stanisic said. "So far it has only been found . . . at altitudes above 1000m, which is quite unusual."

In contrast with its more drab-coloured ground-dwelling relatives, it has swirling bands of creamy yellow, orange-brown and chocolate, giving the shell a khaki appearance. It was the khaki colour that drew the connection to the television celebrity.

"The only place we have found them are on the ground and one on a shrub," Dr Stanisic said. "I suspect they live high in the canopy as do most tree snails and those we found have fallen."

Smaller than a 5˘ piece, they most likely browse on algae and micro-fungus. Their habitat will be among the first to feel the effects of warming which could make the snail a focal species for monitoring change.

Dr Stanisic has presented a commemorative certificate to the Irwin family.

Terri Irwin, Steve's wife, said her husband would have been delighted to have a new species bear his name.

"Steve also had a long history of collaborating with staff at the museum," Ms Irwin said.

The snail was originally collected by Dr Stanisic's museum colleagues, Geoff Monteith, Heather Janetzki and naturalist Lewis Roberts from Shiptons Flat near Cooktown.

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,20797,26353262-3102,00.html?from=public_rss

 
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« Reply #831 on: November 21, 2009, 08:22:59 PM »

Mum's wish to see twins

    * Trent Evans
    * From: Sunday Herald Sun
    * November 22, 2009 12:00AM

THE parents of twins Trishna and Krishna would love to see their daughters once more.

Both girls - who were separated during 32 hours of surgery on Monday and Tuesday at the Royal Children's Hospital - were awake yesterday after Krishna emerged from her induced coma and blew "raspberries" to her Australian guardian, Moira Kelly.

The girls' surgery has made news in Bangladesh, where their mother, Lavlee Mollik, 22, wept when she and husband Kartik, 35, heard they had survived the surgery.

The couple, from the city of Khulna, gave the conjoined girls up for adoption when they were 16 days old because they were unable to provide medical care for them.

And while they want their girls to grow up with an Australian education and health care, they hope to see them one day.

Mrs Mollik was overwhelmed when told by the Sunday Herald Sun that told both twins were awake yesterday.

"I don't know what to say. I am very, very happy," Mrs Mollik said from Bangladesh.

She said her family had been sleepless with worry for weeks.

"This is such a great relief," she said.

She said the couple had given the children over to an orphanage unconditionally - meaning they had signed over their legal authority - and understood they had no legal claim on the girls.

"I won't want them back," Ms Mollik told a Bangladeshi newspaper.

"I just want to see them once. They are my children and I am a mother. I cannot forget them."

She said her husband, who works in a mill, could not afford to fly them to Australia to see the girls.

Ms Kelly, who has cared for the children since they arrived in Australia from Mother Teresa's Dhaka orphanage two years ago, said she was aware the Molliks wanted the twins to grow up in Australia.

"I couldn't think of a nicer icing on the cake, that even their mother knows they're alive," she said.

Relaxing for the first time since the surgery, Ms Kelly, from the Children First Foundation, said Krishna had finally blown a "raspberry" - a sign she was on the mend.

"The whole hospital is smiling and I didn't have that smile until the raspberry arrived," she said. She said the twins were "neurologically sound" and had shown strong signs of improvement.

Ms Kelly yesterday nursed Krishna for the first time since the separation. Trishna woke up on Thursday, but Krishna took longer to emerge from her medically induced sleep.

- with Ellen Whinnett

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/mums-wish-to-see-twins/story-e6frf7jo-1225801650311
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« Reply #832 on: November 21, 2009, 08:25:43 PM »

Miracle twins beat the odds

Article from: The Sunday Mail (Qld)

Claire Harvey

November 22, 2009 12:00am

WITH one arm firmly clutched around Dorothy the Dinosaur, little Trishna is awake, alert, and ready for life as a normal little girl.

At two years and 11 months, the Bangladeshi orphan has spent her life joined at the head to her twin sister, Krishna – but after last week's 32-hour operation to separate their tiny bodies, the girls are breathing independently and amazing doctors with their stamina.

Krishna took longer than her sister to awake from a medically induced coma at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, first opening her eyes on Friday night, more than 24 hours after Trishna awoke.

Trishna and Krishna: Biological mum want to see the twins

Yesterday, Krishna had smiled and even blown a raspberry to her guardian, Moira Kelly.

"The whole hospital is smiling and I didn't have that smile until the raspberry arrived," Ms Kelly said.

"It's the power of love from around the world."

As the girls' physical recovery continues, they face the psychologically difficult process of getting to know one another as individuals. For the first time, they will look into each other's eyes, hold hands and eventually, hopefully, grow together into healthy adulthood.

"Krishna often sleeps with her legs on Trishna, but her legs are now near the (cot's) railings," Ms Kelly said. "We will put their cots together so they can feel each other."

Ms Kelly said she was thrilled that the girls' mother, Lavlee Mollik, had heard the news of their survival.

"I couldn't think of a nicer icing on the cake that even their mother knows they're alive," she said.

As the twins recuperate, they are lying for the first time in separate beds and clutching their own cuddly toys for comfort: Dorothy for Trishna and Ernie for her sister.

Most importantly, the girls do not appear to have suffered brain damage.

It is a remarkable achievement, given that experts estimated the girls had only a 25 per cent chance of surviving the operation unharmed, and a 50 per cent chance of suffering brain damage. There was also a 25 per cent chance that one girl would die during or shortly after the operation.

A team of 16 specialists separated the girls, then began delicate cranio-facial work to reconstruct the toddlers' skulls, which took more than five hours and ended only when doctors were satisfied the girls would be able to grow up with normally shaped heads.

Throughout the procedure, the girls' bodies slowly began to operate independently; Krishna's kidneys began processing her own blood for the first time, having previously relied on Trishna's kidneys.

It has been an extraordinary tale of survival for these children, who were born in 2006.

The girls' miraculous surgery has made news in Bangladesh, where their 22-year-old mother wept tears of relief and joy when she and husband Kartik Mollik, 35, heard they had survived.

The couple, from the city of Khulna, had given the girls up for adoption when they were just 16 days old because they were unable to provide medical care for them.

At the orphanage, they were cared for by two Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development, Danielle Noble and Natalie Silcock, who came to believe they could – with enormous medical and financial assistance – one day escape the limits of their condition.

The women began fundraising with Atom Rahmon and Ms Kelly of Melbourne charity Children First Foundation, who are now the girls' legal guardians.

The next milestone for the twins is their third birthday, on December 22.

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26382252-953,00.html
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« Reply #833 on: November 21, 2009, 09:11:12 PM »

Thank you Tibro....this is such nice news.   
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« Reply #834 on: November 23, 2009, 05:02:42 AM »

It is great news Mere and such a change from all the tragedies that have been making news about our precious children.

There are pictures, and sometimes videos, at the links I post with each article but if any are not available to be viewed outside Australia please let me know and I can post pictures here.

 an angelic monkey

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« Reply #835 on: November 23, 2009, 05:04:41 AM »

Separated twins Trishna and Krishna making progress

Article from: AAP

November 23, 2009 06:45pm

FORMERLY conjoined twins Trishna and Krishna have made another great step in their recovery, leaving intensive care at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital for the first time.

The twins' shift to an ordinary ward late this afternoon, a week after life-saving surgery to separate them, has thrilled their guardians and staff, hospital spokeswoman Julie Webber said.

 "It's great news; great news,'' she said.

"Staff have been in the process of transferring them through the afternoon. They are being organised now. They are in one room, which they are sharing.''

The girls received one-on-one care from a nurse in the intensive care unit but will now share a nurse, Ms Webber said.

"The ward is certainly less formal (than intensive care),'' she said.

The girls, now nearly three years old, were born joined at the head.

The Children First Foundation brought them to Australia from Bangladesh two years ago for surgery at the hospital.

Krishna's body had more to adjust to than Trishna's and she spent longer recovering under sedation after surgeons toiled for 32 hours to delicately separate their brains and reconstruct their skulls.

Krishna had drifted in and out of sleep since Friday but was now fully awake like her sister, foundation chief executive Margaret Smith said.

"We're very pleased the girls have been moved. We're as pleased as we can be,'' she said.

 "We've just got to let these two get better in the next week or so.

"We're just marking the milestones, and this is one that has been achieved.''

An emotional Moira Kelly - the Children First Foundation founder and the twins' legal guardian - revealed at the weekend she "did a big yelp'' when Krishna once blew her a raspberry.

Ms Kelly had said she would not relax until the signature raspberry appeared, indicating the toddler had pulled through the surgery.

Ms Webber said all the signs so far had been positive for the girls but they still needed more recovery.

"Their vital signs are still being watched, how they are feeding, how their vital organs appear,'' she said.

"(Neurosurgeon) Wirginia Maixner said she could see no damage to the brains; the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) looked good.

"As for the ability of their brains to further develop and recover, that will be assessed along the way.
"They have still got a way to go.''

Their mother, Lavlee Mollik, 23, handed over her girls to an orphanage in Dhaka only a month after their birth because she and husband Kartik, 35, were unable to care for them, it was reported at the weekend.


http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26390189-5003402,00.html
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« Reply #836 on: November 26, 2009, 07:28:33 PM »

   I'm so glad to read the little girls Krishna and Trishna are doing so well.  It's an amazing story.  I hope the girls continue to do well and will have a good, healthy future. 
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« Reply #837 on: November 29, 2009, 05:45:14 PM »

It is wonderful news Muffy.  I hope these little girls continue to thrive and show no ill effects of the operation.  There have been suggestions to bring the parents to Australia to see the little ones.

There was an horrific report of the birth told by their mother which I will post here. Although India is one of the most ancient living civilizations in the world their conditions and standards are nowhere near what we would expect.


Conjoined twins' mum blindfolded during birth


Article from: AAP

November 30, 2009 06:26am

THE Bangladeshi mother of newly separated twins Krishna and Trishna said she became hysterical upon realising her girls were conjoined, after a traumatic birth during which she was blindfolded.

Lovely Golder, 23, has told Woman's Day she was in a state of disbelief and began sobbing so violently that her surgical stitches ruptured.

"I was so upset to see them in that condition," she said.

"Then the doctors pulled the babies away from me.

"I was shouting like a crazy person. I felt I was almost dead with shock."

Ms Golder described how moments after the birth she lay blindfolded with her hands tied and she heard the clicking of cameras.

She drifted to sleep and it wasn't until the next day she first held her daughters.

Without any warning or explanation, they were placed in her arms, she said.

When they were six weeks old, Ms Golder says she made the tough decision to give up her girls.

"I dream my children are safe and happy," she said.

"I want to talk with my daughters and I'd do anything to see them for just one minute."


http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26418828-5003402,00.html

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« Reply #838 on: November 30, 2009, 03:44:40 AM »

Pandas Wang Wang and Funi arrive in Adelaide

Article from: AAP

AAP, CLARE PEDDIE

November 28, 2009 04:34pm

SEE THE PHOTO: This is one of the first pictures of Giant panda Wang Wang at the Adelaide Zoo, after he and his female companion Funi finally arrived in town.

The photo was provided by Zoos SA and photographer Bryan Charlton, and was taken after the pair arrived at their new home around 1pm on Saturday afternoon - driven there in a climate-controlled semi-trailer escorted by police.

They arrived in Adelaide around 10.25am on a Singapore Airlines cargo plane named Mega Ark.

A small group of spectators holding a "Welcome" sign and bamboo greeted the plane on its arrival.

With the pandas still on the plane, an 18-vehicle procession left the airport and headed to Rundle Mall where a free party for the public was held.

Wang Wang and Funi were later taken to clear Customs with chief panda keeper Simone Bayly - who accompanied the pair during the flight from China, through Singapore.

More at our Wang Wang and Funi supersite

"They're doing really well, they've been offloaded and they're just sitting now,'' Zoo spokeswoman Emily Rice said.

"They're in the quarantine area and they're very happy and relaxed.''

Gallery: See the pandas arrival and convoy to the Zoo

A delivery of bamboo from China in addition to Australian stocks has arrived at their enclosure to ensure the pandas feel even more at home, Ms Rice said.

It will be another two weeks before the pandas go on display.

The official launch of the giant panda exhibit by the Governor General, Quentin Bryce, is scheduled for Sunday, December 13.  Public viewing commences on Monday, December 14, but hourly viewing slots are filling fast.

Zoos South Australia chief executive Dr Chris West predicts 262,000 more people from overseas and 1.3 million Australians will choose to visit Adelaide because of the pandas in the next 10 years.


http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,26412260-5006301,00.html


Links to news item and videos at this Panda site :


http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/feature/splash/1,,5019001,00.html

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« Reply #839 on: December 09, 2009, 03:17:37 PM »

Sabi, the hero detection dog, stuck in quarantine

Article from: The Courier-Mail

Ian McPhedran

December 09, 2009 11:00pm

SABI the wonder dog is facing an even greater challenge than 14 months spent wandering through war-torn Afghanistan - strict quarantine rules.

The bomb sniffer dog's miraculous return to the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) at Tarin Kowt last month has been overshadowed by a struggle with the quarantine rules so the heroic mutt can return home to a life of tennis balls and Meaty Bites.

Army Explosive Detection dogs have served with distinction in Afghanistan and four have made the ultimate sacrifice as they protected their "best friends" from the scourge of Improvised Explosive Devices.

Sabi was given up for dead following an ambush in September 2008 that left nine Australians wounded and SAS trooper Mark Donaldson with a Victoria Cross for gallantry on the battlefield.

In the chaos of the battle, after a rocket landed close to Sabi's vehicle wounding her handler, the black labrador was lost and declared missing in action.

Last month she turned up after an American soldier found the pooch wandering in the far northwest of Oruzgan Province, far from her temporary home at Camp Holland near Tarin Kowt.

Sabi is now learning the true meaning of the army saying "hurry up and wait" as she spends her days wandering around the SOTG camp, lapping up the affection of hardened soldiers, calling on the medicos and sleeping on the unit psychologist's sofa.

She has even received fan mail in the form of a postcard from Brandon, Wishbone and Toby in Charlotte, North Carolina, who read her amazing story on the internet.

According to Defence a swag of Christmas cards for Australia's most famous canine are in the mail from home.

Sabi will not receive any special treatment from the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS), which enforces strict guidelines.

All army dogs must be fully vaccinated before leaving Australia and then remain under the control of ADF personnel for their entire deployment and treated against infections and parasites.

Sabi's extended time away from Australian control means she will require a longer period of treatment and observation.

"On return to Australia they undergo a period of quarantine and testing for a range of diseases," an AQIS spokesperson said. "Only dogs meeting all these conditions can be released."

If they don't meet the conditions, they must return via an approved country under the standard import conditions.


http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26464779-953,00.html
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