Motion-triggered cameras show us some unexpected behavior from night life on the wild side.

"We got cats!"

A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on

This pic of a jaguar's butt, taken by a motion-triggered camera over a decade ago, told a group of wildlife conservationists exactly where they could find jaguars.

That was the beginning of the Northern Jaguar Project, a group that now runs a 50,000-acre reserve dedicated to helping protect the big cats.

Since then, they've collected a lot of great photos of the whole animal.


A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on

This gorgeous jaguar is a male named Osman.

Cameras continue to be really important. The group pays ranchers near the reserve in northern Mexico for photos of live jaguars — the same amount they used to be paid for a dead jaguar.

Since a jaguar's idea of a good meal is baby calf, ranchers aren't used to seeing them in a friendly way. In the past, both the U.S. and Mexican governments supported systematic extermination of jaguars by paying people for their skins.

But now, since the same jaguar can be photographed many times, a live jaguar becomes worth a heck of a lot more than a dead one. And over time, ranchers working with the NJP are learning to live with the cats and have come around to seeing the cats as part of a healthy working landscape.

The motion-triggered cameras have also captured all kinds of animal shenanigans. (Be prepared for jaguars getting it on.)

A video posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on

If you are into growing the jaguar population, this is really exciting stuff. (Do you think they know about the camera?)

Like, since when do skunks chase foxes?

A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on


And what exactly is that mountain lion going to do with that gourd?

A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on

Let's see, we have a badger carrying a toad, a mountain lion carrying a gourd, and a jaguar carrying a rabbit. OK, well at least that last one makes sense.

Hey, handsome!

A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on
A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on


Clearly, these cameras are great at giving us a more intimate and personable sense of some of the wild animals in northern Mexico.

On a more serious note, the conservationists' work is incredibly important for us here in the U.S.: We pretty much no longer have jaguars.

We recently killed off one of the very last of our wild jaguars (thanks to the very people charged with protecting them). In the past, jaguars were present in one continuous population from California, Arizona, and New Mexico all the way south to Venezuela. Although the Feds recently set aside land in Arizona for jaguars, barriers like the giant steel wall we've recently built along the U.S.-Mexico border present a serious threat.

The border wall between Arizona and Sonora has been really hard on wildlife in the area that are accustomed to moving freely in search of food and water. Image by Northern Jaguar Project, used with permission.

Thanks to the Northern Jaguar Project, at least some people are keeping an eye on the big picture.

The folks at NJP say that when the border wall comes down (just like the Berlin wall did), then they will have saved a healthy group of jaguars that can eventually move in and repopulate U.S. wilderness.

A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on

Jaguar guardian Javier Valenzuela checks a motion-triggered camera with his ranch hand and friend, Avery.

Until that border wall comes down though, they're working with local people to create a beautiful, biodiverse home for some of the most gorgeous (and occasionally goofy) creatures on earth.

A photo posted by Northern Jaguar Project (@northernjaguarproject) on

The Northern Jaguar Reserve, a 50,000-acre sanctuary for the world's northernmost jaguar population in Sonora, Mexico.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

True

The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Wil Wheaton speaking to an audience at 2019 Wondercon.

In an era of debates over cancel culture and increased accountability for people with horrendous views and behaviors, the question of art vs. artist is a tricky one. When you find out an actor whose work you enjoy is blatantly racist and anti-semitic in real life, does that realization ruin every movie they've been a part of? What about an author who has expressed harmful opinions about a marginalized group? What about a smart, witty comedian who turns out to be a serial sexual assaulter? Where do you draw the line between a creator and their creation?

As someone with his feet in both worlds, actor Wil Wheaton weighed in on that question and offered a refreshingly reasonable perspective.

A reader who goes by @avinlander asked Wheaton on Tumblr:

"Question: I have more of an opinion question for you. When fans of things hear about misconduct happening on sets/behind-the-scenes are they allowed to still enjoy the thing? Or should it be boycotted completely? Example: I've been a major fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager and it was currently airing. I really nerded out on it and when I lost my Dad at age 16 'The Body' episode had me in such cathartic tears. Now we know about Joss Whedon. I haven't rewatched a single episode since his behavior came to light. As a fan, do I respectfully have to just box that away? Is it disrespectful of the actors that went through it to knowingly keep watching?"

And Wheaton offered this response, which he shared on Facebook:

Keep Reading Show less
True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."