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#351 Talaud Bear Cuscus

Critically Endangered

These are not bears, but at some angles they look quite a lot like them. At other times they remind me of Koalas, and at some angles you can see that yes, they are cuscus. I tried to show the bear, but not make it look exactly like a bear. Not long ago these were considered a subspecies of another bear cuscus, but now it is known they are a separate species. That other species can weigh up to 22 pounds, so I can only assume that these can get close to that size as well. I cannot find any real information about these. They are from one, possibly two islands in the Talaud Islands. Only confirmed on one, and thought on the other it may be a different species. Sadly their biggest threat is a lot of hunting. They are a protected species, but it does not seem to be helping much. Habitat loss is another big threat. Apparently when they are agitated they also get stinky and musky smelling. I will confess, I keep calling these "Teddy Bear Cuscus" in my head even though I know that is wrong. They do have such a sweet bear-ish face and they look soft and cuddly, it just seems like it would fit.

As I've mentioned once before, I almost always get to a point where I stop because I like the personality I am seeing starting to emerge. This is when it happened for me today. Sometimes there is barely more than the eyes painted and a faint outline in. During the month I take off, along with working to get funding I will be experimenting with different types of oil paintings, and one of them is along these lines, unfinished, but showing personality still.

Had to take the blind terrier whatsit dog to the vet today. He had a serious allergic reaction to something last month. He was put on meds and got better, then he had another flare up though a minor one just a few days ago. I don't know that it is environmental. Ever since we got him from the shelter he's lived here and we don't use any fertilizers or anything on the grass. The dogs have only ever had fleas once, not many, and we treated them so they died off very quickly. We don't even need to treat them usually. My thought is that it may be the meal worms we have for the birds. The starlings and blue jays absolutely love them, but once they are gone I may not get more. Before his big allergy flare, the bag of them fell over and a good bit of them got under my art supply cart unnoticed. Well, unnoticed by us, our "I'll eat anything" dog found them. I did not put 2 and 2 together though until this more recent allergic reaction. Just a day or two before this reaction I accidentally dropped one or two worms, and before I was able to get them, because he'd heard them fall he scarfed them right down. I don't know what about them he would be reacting to, but that is the only thing I can think of that is causing the allergies.

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