Historic silverback “Cantsbee” earns his name a second time, makes astonishing return

Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund trackers report that elderly and historic mountain gorilla silverback Cantsbee, who disappeared from his group on Oct. 10, and could not be found despite weeks of massive searching, was seen in his group on Jan. 4. Although the group was at some distance from the trackers and would not allow them to approach, a closer look on Jan. 5 provided evidence that the gorilla was indeed the missing Cantsbee!

Due to his advanced age (now 38 years old and beyond the statistical life expectancy for a mountain gorilla), the Fossey Fund had earlier presumed that he must have fallen ill, been left behind and subsequently died, since intensive searching over a month long period did not find any traces of him.

On their regular monitoring of Cantsbee’s former group on Jan. 4, Fossey Fund trackers were shocked to notice, from a distance of about 10 meters, that an “extra” silverback was in the group, which is now led by Cantsbee’s son, Gicurasi. They returned the next day determined to get conclusive evidence, including a closer look and photographs, and to determine the condition of the gorilla.

Cantsbee upon his return, Jan. 5, 2017

More surprises on the second day

Trackers reached the group later than usual on Jan. 5, due to the rough, steep terrain, full of ravines and dense foliage, as well as the distant location of the group. The group was split in two subgroups and our trackers first encountered one of these, led by young silverback Kureba. When they found the second subgroup, it was involved in an intense interaction with another group. But there was no doubt:  elderly Cantsbee and silverback Gicurasi were leading the action and Cantsbee appeared to be in fine shape, running, displaying and smashing vegetation as a show of strength.

After about an hour, the whole group started to move away from the action, led by Cantsbee, with the females and youngsters following him, just like they used to in the past. Gicurasi and the younger silverbacks stayed behind, to continue facing off the intruding silverback, who was still following them. His name is Iyambere and he is a young silverback who just formed his group in 2015. Interestingly, he’s also another son of Cantsbee!

Canstbee (top left) during an interaction with Iyambere’s group

Field staff are amazed

“It’s hard to believe and to explain what has happened,” says Veronica Vecellio, Fossey Fund gorilla program manager in Rwanda. “We don’t know why Cantsbee left the group, where he went, whether he’s back to stay, and how he will work things out with Gicurasi’ dominance. But we are overjoyed to have him back so we can continue to monitor the oldest known silverback, who has been followed since birth and has such a remarkable story!”

“Cantsbee was named by Dian Fossey because she thought his mother was a male and so when she gave birth she said ‘it can’t be’.  And now he has earned his name for a second time,” says Fossey Fund president and CEO/chief scientific officer Dr. Tara Stoinski.

“There are cases where younger males go off and return, usually as they try to establish their own future groups or status, but we have not seen a situation like Cantsbee’s return before. This shows that even after 50 years of close study, the gorillas can and will still surprise us and that there is always more to learn!”

Cantsbee photographed on Jan 5
Cantsbee, Jan. 5, 2017

Story reposted from

Sharon Gannon in Berlin


Yogis, friends,

This is a unique opportunity to study with my guru, Sharon Gannon, the co-founder the jivamukti Yoga method. And Berlin (the most vegan friendly place in the world) is just next door.

I’ll be there, will you?

More details?

1.) Fri. 07.10.2016 11:15-13:45 @ Jivamukti Yoga Kreuzberg, Oranienstr. 25
2 hour JIVAMUKTI OPEN XL CLASS with Sharon Gannon
 followed by ca. 1/2 hour Satsang/Q+A

2.) Fri. 07.10.2016, 19:30-22:30 @ UCI KINOWELT Colosseum, Schönhauser Allee 123
“What is Real? The Story of Jivamukti Yoga” European and German Red Carpet Film Premiere Reception & Screening with vegan apéritifs, finger food by The JiVamukti Canteen and followed by Q&A with Sharon Gannon, Jules Febre + film director Jay Mac present

3.) Sat. 08.10.2016, 12:00-18:00 @ DELIGHT RENTAL STUDIOS, Saarbrücker Str. 37
JIVAMUKTI YOGA WORKSHOP DAY with Sharon Gannon + Jules Febre
(includes approx. 1 hour break at ca. 14:30).

4.) Sun. 09.10.2016, 17:00-19:00+19:30-20:30 @ JIVAMUKTI YOGA BERLIN (Mitte), Brunnenstr. 29
JIVAMUKTI OPEN XL CLASS with Jules Febre followed by Satsang also with Jules

WORKSHOP LANGUAGE: English. Participants should have a basic understanding of English as there will be no translation.

YOGA JOURNAL magazine has called her an innovator in yoga. VANITY FAIR gives her credit for making yoga cool and hip in the West. FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE praised her for having made yoga, for the first time ever, presentable to Western urban dwellers: 

Jivamukti Yoga Berlin feels so blessed to have Jivamukti co-founder Sharon Gannon back again so soon for a very special Jivamukti Yoga workshop weekend on occassion of the German and European premiere event of the new Jivamukti documentary “What is Real? The Story of Jivamukti Yoga”. These events are not to be missed and, as in the past when Sharon came to Berlin, we do expect a good amount of people from all over Europe for a very special celebration of the Jivamukti community here in Berlin.


On Friday morning, you can enjoy a rare chance to take a classic (yet slightly extended to 2 hours) Jivamukti Open XL class taught by the co-founder of the method. So we guess this could be called a Master class (not meaning it is only for masters, but just taught by a master in her field and still open for all). A rare chance to experience how a Jivamukti Open class is taught right from the source. After the asana practice, there will be a ca. 1 hour Satsang & Q+A.

For Friday evening, you have the chance to still get tickets for the European and German red carpet premiere of the new Jivamukti movie “What is real? The Story of Jivamukti Yoga” with Sharon Gannon, Jules Febre and the director Jay Mac present. For more information on this great movie check 

On Saturday, a Jivamukti Yoga workshop day from 12:00 until 18:00 with Sharon Gannon and Jules Febre will leave you blissed out and charged up with new knowledge. Expect new inspiring input on yoga asana taught the Jivamukti way but also new insights on the main philosophical aspects and yogic scriptures that Jivamukti Yoga is based on. But most of all, expect a vigorous asana practice as only Jivamukti Yoga can be. All of this direct from the source, the co-founder and main force behind Jivamukti Yoga: Sharon Gannon, accompanied by Jivamukti master teacher Jules Febre.

On Sunday, Sharon Gannon is off to Munich and Moscow, but we are extremely happy that Jules Febre will teach the 5pm Jivamukti Open XL class as well as the 7:30pm Satsang at our studio in Mitte to phase out the weekend nicely.

This is undoubtedly THE highlight of 2016 for all European Jivamukti Yoga practitioners and teachers (and those interested in becoming such) as well as yogis and teachers of all other styles and backgrounds of yoga. A very special opportunity to celebrate Jivamukti history on occasion of the movie premiere with the international European Jivamukti Yoga satsang. And a great chance to deepen your Asana practice, detoxify your body, heart and spirit, and to obtain a profound spiritual experience with the founder of this internationally recognized and practiced method of Hatha yoga.


Ready to sign up? Here (scroll down)





9 Questions I Often Get Asked About Being Vegan


While many of you might know me as the founder of Jivamukti Yoga, I’m also an avid animal-rights and vegan activist. It is my belief that to be a joyful vegan in the world today, is to become involved in the most radical, positive, political revolution ever.

By choosing kindness over cruelty, we contribute to the sustainability of our planet Earth and can even change the destiny of our species and all the species on planet Earth. My new book contains more than 200 delicious vegan recipes for those looking to create tasty meals, and also for those who wish to start their own radical movement of peaceful, joyful coexistence with all of life.

Here are the questions I get asked most often about being a vegan, and what I’d like everyone to know.

1. Where do I get my protein?

Flesh isn’t the only source of protein. You can get all the protein you need from a varied, plant-based diet. Protein is found in greens, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and seeds, avocados, and so on. According to the RDA (recommended daily allowance), we need between 50 and 75 grams of protein per day.

2. What about iron?

According to Dr. Neal Barnard, founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), the most healthful sources of iron are leafy greens and beans.

3. Don’t I need to drink milk to get enough calcium?

If you eat dark green leafy vegetables like kale, collards, and mustard greens, you can get enough calcium from a vegan diet. Beans, tofu, cabbage, sesame seeds, seaweed, and broccoli are additional sources of calcium.

4. Is it OK to drink organic milk?

Milk is for babies. Human beings are the only species that drinks milk into adulthood and prefers to drink the milk of another species (enslaved cows and goats), and we have come to consider it normal when it is actually a pretty perverse form of sexual abuse!

5. Can I get B12 from a vegan diet?

A vegan must rely on getting adequate vitamin B12 from a supplement or from eating foods that have been fortified with vitamin B12. If we weren’t so dirt-conscious, we would obtain adequate vitamin B12 from soil, air, water, and bacteria, but we meticulously wash and peel our vegetables now and with good reason, as we can’t be sure our soil is not contaminated with pesticides and herbicides. Today “aged” foods like sauerkraut, miso, and tempeh are fermented in hygienically sanitized stainless-steel vats to ensure cleanliness, so we can no longer be sure they will provide us with the B12 we need.

6. If all of life is sacred, then what is the difference if I eat a carrot or a chicken?

This is a question that often comes up when people have started to consider the morality of imprisoning, abusing, slaughtering, and ultimately eating animals. Yes, all of life is sacred, including plants; and yes, there is research that demonstrates that plants have feelings.

They feel it when their leaves or stems are ripped and there is scientific evidence showing while plants do not have brains and nervous systems like animals, they nevertheless actively work to ensure their survival-they want to live, thrive, reproduce, evolve. If it were possible to live without causing harm to any living being at all, then indeed we might well choose not to eat carrots or other vegetables. But that is not possible.

Merely by being alive, we necessarily cause harm to many, many beings: we step on them inadvertently, we breathe them in without noticing, we kill them when we brush our teeth or wash our bodies. The best we can do is to strive to minimize the amount of harm we cause by living.

7. Aren’t humans biologically designed to be meat eaters or at least omnivores?

The anatomical and physiological facts suggest no. We have small, flat mouths with small teeth. We don’t have long, sharp canines to tear flesh. Our teeth aren’t strong enough to chew and crush hard things like rawbones, whereas carnivores can.

Carnivores don’t have an abundance of the enzyme ptyalin in their saliva, which breaks down complex carbohydrates found only in plant foods. Because we lack sharp claws, aren’t very fast on our feet, and aren’t exactly endowed with lightning-fast reflexes, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for us to run down an animal, catch it with our bare hands, and tear through its fur and skin in order to eat it. Biologically, we are designed to be frugivorous herbivores eating mainly fruits, seeds, roots, and leaves.

8. Isn’t it natural to eat meat? Even animals eat other animals. Shouldn’t we try to live a more natural life?

Lions and other carnivorous animals do eat meat, but that doesn’t mean weshould. They also live outdoors in all weather, don’t wear clothes, don’t drivearound in cars, and don’t shop at grocery stores or farmer’s markets. Why cite justone of the many things they do and argue that we should imitate them? Thisdoesn’t make much sense.

9. Human beings have been eating meat forever. Why should we change now?

There are many activities that human beings have been doing “forever.” We might argue from that perspective that eating meat should be allowed to continue. Human beings have been waging war and destroying the environment for a long time. Just because it has been going on for along time and become an unquestioned habit, does that mean it should be allowed to continue?

War, slaughtering, and exploiting other animals are not hardwired into us-these are learned behaviors, and that means they can be unlearned. And that’s good news! So let’s pick up our forks and chopsticks and let the peaceful revolution begin.

Reprinted from Simple Recipes for Joy: More than 200 Delicious Vegan Recipes by Sharon Gannon. Courtesy of Penguin Press.

Reblogged from

Someone without compassion can’t be happy

Before eating, we may take a moment to reflect on our food. In the five contemplations we vow to eat in a way that preserves our compassion and reduces the suffering of living beings. Someone without compassion can’t be happy, because they’re cut off from others and can’t relate to the world. We need to have compassion, too, for the Earth, our mother – Thich Nhat Hanh, Excerpt from « Love letter to Earth »

Serengeti, Tanzania
Serengeti, Tanzania

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.