Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Amazing Rescue of Baby Wildebeest and Zebras by Hippo

by Ihor Cap

YoutTube Screenshot from The hippopotamus
rescues a sinking cub of a zebra.
In the frequently wild and untamed animal world of Africa, there are moments of compassion between animals that often go unnoticed by humans. This is one such moment. Some amazing video footage is captured in the rushing waters of the Mara River in Tanzania that is receiving much attention on YouTube lately. It’s a touching video about a Hippopotamus that appears to be saving the lives of a baby wildebeest (antelope) and zebra as they attempt to cross over to the other side of the river. These precious video moments were captured by South African native Tom Yule, one of the Lemala camp guides present at the scene.
It begins with the enormous Hippo nudging the baby wildebeest in distress towards more shallow waters. Just minutes later, the same Hippo does the same for a baby zebra. We can only assume it’s the same “caring” Hippo because the rushing rapids and surrounding landscape also appear to be the same in both events, and the camp guides tell us so. Nearing the end, we see how the Hippo stands by the baby zebra to ensure its total safety while it stands somewhat disoriented on a rock island. Finally, the baby zebra slowly makes its way towards the rest of the herd and the camp guides who are witnesses to these events.
Here is the You Tube Video.
Ihor Cap is a Web Author and Dad.

Tourist Contact Information for Lemala Camps and Expeditions
Camps Operated By
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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

How A Ukrainian Ace Pilot Became Mohawk Chief

blogpost by Ihor Cap

The latest Ukrainian film release "He Who Went Through Fire" or as in the official film trailer's title "Fire Crosser" may be just the blockbuster hit that Ukrainians are wanting to see. Insightmedia Producing Center in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine, and specifically the State Service for Cinematography financed this film in the hopes of finding a movie hero that appeals to a wide range of Ukrainian movie goers, a "Ukrainian Rambo" you might say, except a real one and find him they did in the most unexpected of all places, in Montreal, Canada. 
Film maker Mykhailo Illienko worked on this full-length feature film several years. It has all the elements of a great cinematic tale. "Fire Crosser" is not a documentary but it is based on historical realities. It's about a highly decorated Soviet Ukrainian squadron leader who is captured by the Germans in WW II and considered missing in action. He manages to escape German captivity and cross impossible front lines to return to his squadron only to be arrested and hauled off to Siberia as a traitor. This time he manages to escape Russian imprisonment and ends up in Canada to become a Mohawk chief all the while maintaining his Ukrainian cultural identity.

Ivan Datsenko family photo from archive of Olha Ruban 

The Ukrainian newspaper Istorychna Pravda (Historical Truth) found some pretty convincing evidence to support the movie's main hero Ivan Dodoka (in real life Ivan Datsenko).  As it turns out, a famous Soviet Chechen dancer Makhmud Esambayev who performed at Expo 67 in Montreal said he was flabbergasted by the Ukrainian language fluency of this Iroquois who also sang a well known Ukrainian Cossack song Rozpriahaite, khloptsi, koni¦, [Unharness the horses, boys].   Makhmud  was part of a Soviet delegation that visited the Indian reservation in Montreal and after meeting this Chief, he made repeated claims that the Chief and Ivan Datsenko are one and the same person, says the  January 12, 2012 edition of the daily Ukrainian newspaper Day. Elsewhere it says that Illienko himself only heard of this in 1993 and the story resurfaced again in 2002 in a popular TV program called Wait For Me. On this program, one of  Ivan Datsenko's relative's,   Olha V. Ruban showed two pictures of her uncle. The first picture was of  her uncle receiving the Gold Star, and the second picture was of an Iroquois tribe leader in full battle regalia, war paint, amulets, feathers and all.  Incredibly, expert examination of the two photographs confirmed that the individual in the two separate photographs is the same person!

Mohawk Chief - He Who Went Through Fire
Yaroslav Pidhora-Hviazdovskiy, interviewed the movie director Mykhailo Illienko and asked him where he found information about this little known character? Ilienko explains it in this way:
I've found many investigative reports online. Some confirm his story, others deny it. That's why we put a caption at the end of the film saying, The story is based on the life of a real person... We know that the Germans captured him after his plane crashed and our soviet Hero, like all other prisoners of war, became a soviet antihero. So, Datsenko was sent to other camps, to soviet ones. He escaped. And there trail ends, so we changed his name.
Our character is Ivan Dodoka. We can't use the name of a real person without knowing all details of his life. A branded man, Datsenko had a very simple relationship with society: as a soviet prisoner, a traitor and a runaway, he was on the run. Many years later, he meets a soviet delegation in Canada as chief of an Indian tribe. Nobody knows how he got there. This is our own version, the one I find the most convincing. And it satisfies the crucial impulse without which I wouldn't have started the film. 
When he saw the soviet delegation, Datsenko remembered what it was like, running from the NKVD, so when someone asked How did you get here? he said that he had been born here, in Canada, to a Ukrainian immigrant, and met a daughter of an Indian chief later. He married her and inherited the chief's status. The tribe gave him the name, He Who Went Through Fire. Why would a migrant's son have a name like this? What fire did he go through? Despite some assumptions we've had to make, the version in our film is clearly true. In the synopsis to my movie I wrote that a soldier abandoned by his kingdom has a right to choose another king and this is the story of a soldier who became king himself.

Fire Crosser received its first international recognition at the Grand Prix III Kyiv Film Festival. It was released for public consumption on January 12, 2012 but the unusual storyline of the film has already managed to spark further interest abroad in the USA, Canada, Argentina, Poland, Russia, and Mozambique.

Author Information:
Ihor Cap is a Web Author and Dad.

Online References
In English
In Ukrainian

Note: This article first appeared January 27, 2012 in http:/

Firecrosser: Official Movie Trailer

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Amorous Sharks “Breaching” in the West Coast Waters of Scotland

by Ihor Cap
Some 21 shark species are known to swim the British coastal waters. However, when it comes to amorous basking sharks, recent studies have shown they tend to swim the shores of Scotland four times more than the UK waters. They slowly surf the west coast shores in search of food and a mate, especially around the outer Firth of Clyde. Other recently confirmed hotspots are located in Gunna Sound, between Coll and Tiree, and nearby the islet of Hyskeir, southwest of Canna. Come summer time and sharks as long as 33 feet (10 meters) ‘bask’ the surface of the warm waters feeding on plankton with their mouths wide open. A single ‘basker’ filter’s as much as 1.5 million litres (330,000 gallons) of water through its gills. This dark slaty grey to black fish is sometimes mistaken for a second fish following the other since both the dorsal and tail fins stick out of the water at the same time.

Basking Shark Photo by Chris Gotschalk at Wikimedia Commons
Jet-skiers, speedboats and other boaters must be especially careful this time of year not just because the sharks are feeding along the surface but also because this is their mating season. Basking sharks are loners, but come courting season and a hundred of them can appear in these plentiful waters. What makes basking sharks unusual around this time is their courtship behavior. The nose of one love struck shark follows the tail of the other shark or they may swim next to each other. Sometimes, they lunge vertically out of the water also known as “breaching.” Being the second largest fish in the world, it is easy to see why they are often mistaken for whales.

Shark Breach photo taken from YouTube video Flying Shark: Great White Breaches Off South Africa's Coast
Little is known about these creatures and their behavior. Recent evidence shows that one shark can give birth to as many as six young live ones. Also, they take a long time to mature so the Scottish government has taken measures to protect them, especially around the identified hotspot areas. You can read more about these amazing creatures and their unusual behaviors by visiting the sites mentioned below.

Author Information:
Ihor Cap is a Web Author and Dad.   

Breaching Basking Sharks | World's Weirdest

Sharks in British Seas – 2009 Simon Spear/Richard Peirce/Elasmo Films

Basking shark feeding in the UK 2010

Main Reference:
Basking Sharks at (Used as main reference for my article)

Sharks swim Closer to Extinction 

Additional Readings About Amorous Basking Sharks:
Sharks head west to look for mate at

Experts basking in shark find 

Nature’’s Top 40: No.9 Basking Sharks