Archive | September, 2014

POPCON ASIA 2014 : FUN EVENT!!

25 Sep

So Popcon Asia is a pop cultural convention that held once a year. I never know how the event look like before. But a wek before held, it’s quite booming in twitter. Because what? Because I follow the @nusantaranger , and they said that they’re gonna participate on the event! Well..to be a person who work with animals like me.. I’m quite busy..but now I live near Jakarta, a place where many great and good event held. Well I don’t care…I have to come,no matter what happen..

Anyway, the event is in the south Jakarta area start from 19-21st September, in SMESCO building, which I don’t know where is it actually.. Until the last day of the event, I wasn’t sure if I could come or not. But  then I decided to come. Luckily on 21st September, my organization also run an awareness campaign about wildlife trade banned in car free day area in Jakarta. and it’s a joint event with other NGOs..Start from 7-10am. The day before, I provoke my friends in my community to come to the campaign work and straight to the popcon after that. The main issue was to meet the Nusantaranger creator and shop their merchandise! So I got one person to accompany me then, which is Eka, my community coordinator. haha.. For those who don’t know nusantaranger, just check the

http://www.nusantaranger.com

The funniest thing was, both of us don’t know the place at all..So we kept our faith and hope on googles and it’s map…10 am we finished our campaign. We were in monas. We need to take the nearest train station so we could move to south Jakarta area. We decided to go to Juanda train station by walk. Google maps really helped us to reach there, though we got lost couple time, and my friend actually used to perform field navigation in the forest.LOL

Yeay we got the train, but first I had to change my tees. I wore the first version of Nusantaranger’s tees.haha..We need to stop on the nearest station to the SMESCO building which was Cawang train station. Once we stopped there, we had to transfer to MB57 bus or PPD45.We smoothly transferred to the bus. After in the bus for like 5 minutes, Eka told me that we were going to the opposite direction..gosh…we should to move to the street across first before took the bus, but in reality we just instantly took the bus outside the station..ahahahaha…

So we stopped as soon as possible, tried to locate our position, then moved to the right direction. Fortunately it’s just so simple by moved to the street accros and took the PPD45 bus and we were back to the right track yo!!

Finally, we reached the SMESCO building!!yeyeyeyeye….we bought the ticket first,it’s just about 25.000IDR, then we were in! yihaaa..!!

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So this event is a heaven..heaven for those who like comic ,manga, anime, toons, animation, drawing, video game, game card, tokusatsu and stuff like that! Many booths displayed those things..

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And then we stopped at Nusantaranger’s booth..and OMG.. I saw Pandita and Tamy, there was also Sweta with his own Jingga’s booth, next to them…awesome!then I looked around their booth..merchs everywhere dude!!from poster, tees, keychains, papercrafts, pins, stickers, jackets, bracelets..aaawwwh.. The coolest part was, Pandita told me that my tees was cool..many peoples hunt for that…and we had mores chit-chat, then we took photos together..woaaw…Pandita said to not leave earlier, because there would be cosplayer of nusantaranger come at any minute..woaaaaww….well actually I didn’t have much money..and most of the cool merchs were sold out..damn..so I just bought the green nusa bracelet…:D

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The we moved on to others booth..There were H20 booths, Hellknights, Layaria with Dennis Adhiswara who always walking around..(I didn’t have perfect moment to talked with him..:( )

There was a stage special for drawing tutorial, spot many tables for game cards, lego’s booth, local classic comic booth like gundala and the gank, cosplayer everywhere…goossh….i love it…

We almost forgot for lunch…so we ate on the building across..Then eka show the leaflat of the event..There will be Bima X on the stage yo..the latest local tokusatsu in TVs….we got to watch it..But we were late..the crowds blocked our view, in couple minute Bima x already left the stage.But, the MC said that photo session would be held  on the stage..and we watched the Bima x again..posing in the stage with kids who bought their merchs…the costume was so cool…

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After that, I felt really tired.. My knee hurt again..so I decided to sit. Then pororo clowns had their photo session in the stage..

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What really entertaining was the next show.. Faza Meong in the stage to talked about his books, Juki and his #BeraniBeda idea which was actually a strategy to sold his books. He succeed to sold out his books in the very first publish. The book idea was based on the presidential election. He thought that this country actually is just an autopilot country, no matter who’s lead it.  So he made a fictional character for the third candidate by online comic strip, he named it Juki. He mad a site for Juki’s program which was so much out of box and silly.

http://beranibeda.sijuki.com/

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Then he made an online polling. He also made online campaign media for Juki. He made many series of testimonial video to support Juki, involving couples celebrities. And the last one, he made also online election. LOL

Ok, cut the crap..it’s getting late..we decided to visit the nusantaranger booth for the last time…Then we spot a red nusa cosplayer…Rena cosplayer also..OMG…!!yes we won’t miss this chance..we had also couple pictures with them..yeaaay…And we meet also Ines and Masova..So the creator team almost complete…so we took another picture again!!ahahahaha..

Then we had a flash chat. And glad to know if Ines recognized me earlier from twitter..uwoo…so cool…these guys were so cool and creative. Maybe it’s just start from a cheesy fantasy..but they fight to made it come true..and so far..it’s excellent…

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But well..we couldn’t hang out longer..we need to back to Bogor, I need to worked the day after also..

But it was fun you know..these things..were just my old memories during childhood..comics, toons, drawing..video games..it’s just a past..nothing more than that..well maybe most of the parents in my generation, always think that these are bullshit..you got nothing from this in the future..that’s totally wrong perception…because those guys who works in the event, succeed their fantasy, earn money from that, inspiring many peoples… salute.

I wish I fought my own childhood play like those guys who succeed..I wish this pop culture effect could change old lame perceptions..

Live your dream dude.

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Pig tailed Macaque Rescue : Mandalawangi

24 Sep

So on February we got a call from the Mount Gede- Pangrango National Park. They said that they found a pig tailed macaque released by someone in their area. An adult male piggy tailed macaque, very big, probably like 20 kg’s. He was located on pine trees area. We sent a rescue team. Our objective was to catch him and bring it to our center for rehabilitation. Since the macaque used to be kept as a pet by somebody who released him, probably he had a disease transmitted by the owners, or maybe he was too attached  to human. After all, Pig tailed macaque habitat is in Sumatra, it’s not funny at all if this species live in the wild of Java and influence the habitat condition.

So the bad news is our guys failed to catch him. We tried to sedate him orally, but it didn’t work. We shoot him with blowpipe dart and the drugs didn’t run smooth. He wasn’t knocked yet but still attached in a high trees. It’s impossible to top up the drugs without the anesthetic gun in that height. Then when he awake, he run through the forest and disappeared. We never heard any news about him anymore

Until the end of May, we got a call again. This time the pig tailed macaque more persistent. He looked blend with human there, since it was holiday season. Many peoples go there to climb the mountain, waterfall or just to visit the botanical garden. Well we don’t wanna waste our time again. Though it was very risky to work since too many peoples around. But it’s also our advantage because maybe the crowd would divert the macaque.

So on 31st of may, we went for rescue before something bad happen. Lead by me, we were really fucked up because it’s on weekend. We were heading to puncak which is everyone’s direction for vacation. Took almost 5 hours to reach the place. We meet the ranger first to spot the macaque. Just like what we thought, he attracted by peoples. He hang out near food seller in the Mandalawangi resort. Though the trees were very high, he prefer in the ground, looking for a food in the trash or just simply ask peoples around to gave him food.

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Quite difficult, because he already knew blowpipe. So we really need to did that very carefully. My first strategy was trying to sedate him by diazepam orally. He ate everything, so when we gave him bananas with a lot of diazepam inside, he didn’t aware. But he could just separate the drugs from the bananas since we didn’t crush it. Then on the second attempt, we gave him more bananas with pulverized diazepam inside. This time looked very works. On ten minutes, he slightly started to drowsy and dizzy.

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But the crowds around disturbed him from deeper sedation. The awkward part was, he just sat on the ground admiring the crowds. Then we decided to shot him with blowpipe dart fully loaded of high dose ketamine. Bulls eye!Hit him in the first attempt. But he got  panic and climbed the tree…The good news is, he started to show the drugs reaction. Salivation, dizzy, loosing grip.. the bad news is, it was on ten meters height.. if he fell, we don’t have any proper tools to catch him…Then he really freely dive to the ground. I didn’t want to waste time , so I checked him as soon as possible..nothing bad happen to him, so we moved him to the transport cage. Mission accomplished!

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Nice teamwork anyway, we were cool and not panic. Though the crowds were quite irritating and our plans failed for several times. But we did it!! Yeaay..So we named the macaque, Mandalawangi. He is in our center  now starting the rehabilitation program.

Surabaya Zoo : My last visit and overview

11 Sep

During my holiday, somehow it’s just coming out from my head to visit our beloved Surabaya zoo..A zoo that actually once mentioned as the biggest and best zoo in Southeast Asia..A zoo that unluckily messed out by those greed humans who try to exploit the animals. well maybe I’m not a zoo fans, i prefer to watch animals live free in the nature. But zoo has couple function such as place for study and research, breeding effort for some species, the fact that i run my thesis in zoo also..then i applied it in bigger things called conservation. Zoo has standard, bu at least you need to provide animal welfare issues for every animals. Things were not working smooth. Zoo keep improving their standard and their philosophy from old school to the modern one, but that’s not happen yet for the Surabaya Zoo. They didn’t think about it yet, since too many greedy peoples only think about gain money without concerning more for their source of money, the animal. I don’t want to call zoo as a conservation, though zoo also have ex situ conservation function. But maybe it’s just like , fine when you make money from animals, but please give’em a proper living. That’s the Surabaya zoo’s failure so far. They didn’t plan their breeding strategy very good (overpopulation, inbreedings,the others getting old and single) , they prefer cage than enclosure, they didn’t rejuvenate their facilities,also their animals, corruption happen inside (the animals getting hungry), no better educational approach for the visitors (thanks to those who throw garbage inside the cage and let the animal eat it and die)..

Then their mismanagement lead to deaths, blow up by the media, got new name as a zoo of death..what really happen there anyway?corruption, conflict of interest between the boards,lack of knowledge to take care the animals,..

But it’s happen more than ten years anyway. so how’s the condition now?we never know until we visit it right? so here i write what i can write as a vet who work in conservation. I did more focus on primates, but i try to overview everything, except the birds maybe.

I came on Monday around 1 pm. The first impression was, it’s quite clean and neat from the outside. But it’s monday..not a favorite day for visitors. But then what makes me amazed is, we got a special bracelet for visitor!for more than many years, this is very different. And we continued to walk in a block cages. It used for larger primate, but now for middle sized primate, most of them are monkeys and single like baboon, leaf monkey,piggy tailed macaque. The weather at that time was very hot, the cage were too open from sun exposure, without nature ornament as enrichment. The animals prefer to inactive and away in colder place, sometimes they showed the stereotyping. The cage were lack of suitable enrichment, and most of them were alone. 

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Then there was an enclosure that used to be the camel’s enclosure. and now they switched it for a giraffe and a pair of zebras..quite absurd..but again, the enclosure was too “empty”,they try to secure the enclosure with adding electric border inside.

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the komodos enclosure were quite better for my opinion. They separate the enclosure into 4 places and limit the numbers. This is better than to see them everywhere in a bigger enclosure but with a very big chances for inbreeding and canibalism. The enrichment inside is the standard one, but hey..it’s komodo dragon who live everywhere in komodo island.

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Then i passed the ostrich that already moved in different enclosure. smaller enclosure than it used to be and too close to visitors. i didn’t think that it would be safe.

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 then I stopped at the primate island enclosure.there were mandrill,baboon,leaf monkey, japan  macaques,long tailed macaques,piggy tailed macaques, sulawesi macaques, juvenile orangutans. Most of the enclosure have the same issues. Lack of variable enrichment. Giving nutrition enrichment would make them more active. The fact that the weather was very hot, and the enclosure were too open, most of the animals hiding on the hut, doing nothing. it’s happen with the leaf monkeys,sulawesi macaques and mandrill. The mandrill looks shorter,obese,looking for human attention, showing strange locomotion (probably housed in small cage for a long time?). The long tailed macaques were too many in the enclosure. They prefer to swim in the pool during the hot days, and i’m kinda confuse because they were tend more like otters than macaques..hahaha…The orangutans also not too active. The enrichment inside was very lousy, and funny to saw how in the other place you can found kid’s playground that actually very good to applied for the enrichment in orangutan’s enclosure. The problem is, visitors always throw something inside and the animals really expect for there..

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Then continued to the small carnivore block enclosure. The tigers were sleeping, the sun bear were obese. The enclosure was too small for them, no enrichment inside, they were showing too many stereotyping, they less active, found an individual with dermatitis in the inner arm, some enclosure were too close to visitors. To see the animal physical condition, it seems they eat a lot. But i’m wondering where is the other bear, i used to saw black bear also.

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The poorest spot ever is the single primate cage. We can found leaf monkey,squirrel monkey, Capuchin monkey were placed in small closed cage, alone, with very limited enclosure. The problem is. it’s too close to the visitors. They look very stressful, often stereotyping and peoples can easily touch them and feed them.  

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Spotting binturong enclosure, which was very open but small, lack of enrichment like their hiding ornament. The binturong looks obese, active in the day and trying to hide. Kinda surprised that this zoo also have many civets collection, more than the last time i visit. But mostly they are palm civet.

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 Kinda scared to visit the croc’s enclosure. because it’s the saltwater one but with very lack of safety there. But probably they are harmless when escaped someday..

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No significant change on the elephant zone, the fact that the keepers looks busy to taking care their bird pets. They empty the deer’s enclosure and switched it with babirusa. The babirusa looking for muddy place, but it’s only in one small spots inside the enclosure. Long time no visit my research place…

Nothing change with the west carnivores enclosure. But i really attracted with gibbon’s call..then i realized that they already move the gibbons and siamang into the island in the middle of the river. A pair of siamang look not get along each other.they sing but looked not in duet mode, showing distance,didn’t groom each other and I couldn’t define if those siamang were in a same sex or no. but i think the island should be bigger, though it’s great to see them climbing in a high trees. But not with the gibbon. I assumed it’s a pair of mueller gibbon from the song. but only one individual that singing,not duetting. The singing one looked very dominant and active though she showed some stereotyping also. But the other looked very submissive, stereotyping and didn’t sing at all. Don’t know whether it’s an inferior male, or it’s an inferior female. The fact that the island area of the gibbons was very small compare to the siamangs..i hope they were not thinking that the size of animals is equivalent with the hoe range..The gibbons looked very stress when the touring boat sailing around the island, and the dominant gibbon were looking for something through the boat from the top of the tree. probably something bad would happen someday.It’s very good idea to move this small apes here..but i think they need a bigger and higher place. 

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The river actually made for the bekantan, but the island were lack of trees, then the bekantan were more in the ground, doing nothing. funny to realized that the bekantan didn’t swim in the river like in the nature. If they can do it, they can just easily escaped.

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Well that’s it. For more global, i spotted too many false and wrong information board in the enclosure. some spot that very dirty due the visitors, visitors still throwing things inside, keepers still keeping pets inside, but more well set things, i couldn’t find animals that used to live in that area (probably dead?).

Suggest for the management to add more nutritional enrichment for the primates, concern more for safety in each enclosure, give bigger enclosure for the sun bear,more nature enrichment to cover the animals from hot weather.

Hopefully they will getting better and better. The fact that they already improving, even it’s just little thing. Need to appreciate that.

Kareumbi trip : KID’s gath

10 Sep

This was also a very old moment post…ahahahaha…well at present i work in slow loris conservation. So i need to gain more knowledge about slow loris. and there’s actually a community named KID which is Kukang Indonesia, a scientific community that focus on slow loris study as an effort to strengthen the slow loris conservation, since slow loris is getting more and more threaten. The member are students, loris scientist, loris conservation workers. One of the founder is my partner in IAR Indonesia. Since i do have great interest to raise my capability and awareness about sow loris. I think this community is one of the solution to support my works. After all many of the members is my friend also. so KID used to have the gathering event to build their member’s capacity. Once i heard that they were going to held the gathering, I purposed to join the activity. The best part is they were very very open for a person like me.yeaaaay!!!

So on 10th May 2014, in the morning, me with Winar (one of KID’S founder) and her son went to Bogor, to meet Eka (the elected KID’s coordinator). All of us would heading to TBKM (Kawasan Konservasi Taman Berburu Kareumbi Masigit). For those whon want to know more about the place, just visit http://kareumbi.wordpress.com/

 

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It took about 4 hours journey by bus to reach Sumedang area then we continued the travel by rent car up to the Kareumbi site. But first we stopped and have lunch then meet Ryan (the former KID’S coordinator) in the market. Finally at 3pm we reached the site after one hour of travel by car. We still wait for the others participant, Biology students from Pajajaran University. So the event would start after dinner then continued with presentation from Eka about slow loris and slow loris monitoring and also (ehem) me, to talk about zoonoses (well it should be someone else,then they replaced it to me in a sudden way). Then after the presentation stuff, at 10pm we went for the night tracking, sort of nocturnal observation and our goal is to meet wild loris!!

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So, lights on everybody!let’s go!

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we walked about 2 kms for about 2hours. We meet bats,tree mice,lizards and….finally…slow loris!!i’m the one who spotted it first from 10 meters distance. Once we got closer, at least almost 3 meters from the loris. it was in 7-8 meters height, and it just like stunned, not move a lot, cool..!!!we spent like almost 20 minutes with the loris, try to performed the observation with scan sampling method..I did take the picture, but it’s just my phone anyway. so can’t expect for better image..

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Oh my God!!that was my first time encounter with a wild slow loris!!!soo coool!!!!

until the end of our night tracking, we couldn’t find more. So we went back to our resting place, took a sleep..and for sure..that was one of my happiest mooment .. 😀

Then the day after, we discussed our observation. I was thinking like probably the loris wasn’t that wild, because they didn’t feel like afraid with human at that close distance..But Winar said, that it’s common. Because probably the loris already used to meet human and the human there were harmless for them.

woaawww…..such a cute fellow…so sad that some bad peoples still try to hunt them…:(

But anyway..it’s nice experience to joined the KID’s activity and not took a long time, I also joined the community as a member. Would look forward for more of these kind activity. to gain more knowledge, to wipe those stressful thought from working, to be closer to the nature…

hail for the wildlife :3

 

 

 

Batutegi : Macaque Reintroduction Event

9 Sep

This event happened in early of April this year. My first time field duty for releasing the animal to the wild..yeah i know it’s soooo late post.but better late than never :p

Well…my first experience in nemestrina macaques and slow lorises reintroduction anyway..7 macaques and 30’s lorises..quite big number..Those animals were already done the rehabilitation process for some moments, months till years. My bigger role and focus is the macaques.

The releasing process?well they should be quarantined and rehabilitated first, those that i mentioned before.

When the animal ready for the biggest challenge which is health (physically and mentally). Okay the first thing to do is capturing, we can’t just move’em to the wild with the enclosure anyway. Capturing the nemestrina macaques means really restrain them,immobilize, so we can do the final health examination. Luckily we already have the squeeze cage facility. So some of them that easy to moved to the squeeze cage, were easy to anesthetized. But the easier also just by grabbing their hand and inject the drugs. The harder one, using the blow pipe dart.

So Daniel, Johan, Jeni, Rayi need to moved to the squeeze cage first, Kuncen and Hanna were directly grab and injected, Bobby the bad ass one done by the blowpipe dart.

Then continued for their last health examination. weighting,blood sampling, DNA sampling, microchip cross check, auscultation, general examination. No problems for the macaques/

The lorises were captured in the night without anesthetized,  since they’re easy to handle. No need much examination, because we already had their examination couple weeks before.

After all the animals were set on transport box, we are ready to translocate them to Sumatra, to Batutegi, a sanctuary forest in Lampung. Took time about 10-12 hours by land transportation, need to reached the harbor first then sailing across the sea to Sumatra with cargo ship.During the journey, we stop to checked the animals twice. and luckily no problem at all.

Once we reach the last stop in mandiangin region, we need to continue the journey by boat for 30 minutes. After that we have to walked for 2 hours in a challenging track to the habituation cage. I couldn’t join the team to the habituation day in earlier day due my lack of stamina and my preparation stuff.

So here let me try to illustrate the condition. Our base camp in Rilau is near the lake bank. Then we need to walk for 1-2kms,up and down hill, passing the small and big river to reach our emergency car on the river bank. From there to the habituation cage, takes 1-2kms climbing up the hill. The habituation cage differ in 4cages for 4groups. each cage set in distance, about hundred meters to above. Really exhausting for the track. That’s why we need strong and fast peoples for the releasing execution. D-1 day, i succeed  to reach the habituation cage. Need to check every animals and decide if they really ready to released and set the releasing plan on D-day. The keeper and the monitoring guys reported for one problem on Hana who had some kind of swelling on the eye. Apparently the swelling site in his left eye is not a problem at all..probably it’s because the insect’s bite or the the bamboo leaf drop. During my inspection, nothing serious on Hana’s eye (probably it’s already getting better.s from our camp.Bad luck for us on that day. Heavy rain flooded the river. I had to slide all of my way going down. Since the river flood, we stucked just couple meters from the camp Though we tried to crossing back the river, we need o force our self to went back. And i almost died, got drown by it’s very strong stream and slippery way.

we decided to continue  the releasing process, the day after. I didn’t join the team because i wasn’t sure that I have good stamina and fast movement. Because the plan is to released them one by one from the lower cage to the top and try to move as far and fast as we can, to drive’em further, at least from the emergency camp. it need to be  done by strong and fast persons. Person who have more contact with the animals during the rehabilitation, shouldn’t appear on the teams,to prevent the animals follow us easily.

 We have some concerns for some individuals that potentially would be a trouble. It’s Bobby, the most aggressive and dominant one. Then the individuals who are strongly attached to human like Hana and Kuncen. Post rehabilitation macaques sometime have great negative respond to human. either they just gonna follow human or aggressively attack them. So we used to sedate the aggressive just a few moment before they release. But this time, we prefer to not gave any sedative. Because most of them were still adapt in their new habitat,they were less aggressive.

How’s the releasing stuff run?quite good. there was jammed door, Bobby smoothly went out the cage and Kuncen-Hana followed the team persistently to the river.

How’s the post release monitoring? we did the post release monitoring about 2weeks. Hana was staying in the area near the camp, but once she also found very near to the lake. We did the translocation and never appeared again. Rayi was found making connection with the wild population. Bobby was found couple times near his habituation cage, in the tree.

Well i think it’s enough for the story..Hopefully those piggy tailed buddies could survived in the wild without making mess to the peoples… :p

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