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Animal News

Elephants Near Timbuktu Make Astonishing Migration Treks

Published 12/18/12
By Live Science

A group of elephants near Timbuktu makes an epic journey each year in their quest for food and water. Researchers found that they travel across an area of 12,355 square miles (32,000 square kilometers) in the deserts of Mali, marking the largest known elephant range in the world. The animals' extreme journey is a product of life in harsh conditions.

Link: LiveScience.com

Meeting to Consider Everglades Restoration

Published 12/17/12
By David Fleshner, Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

After several restoration projects on the fringes of the Everglades, a state and federal team has begun work on a plan to revive the sawgrass sloughs and tree islands at the heart of the vast marsh. The Army Corps of Engineers will hold a public meeting Tuesday (Dec. 18) in Coconut Creek to hear opinions on four plans for increasing the natural flow of water through the Everglades, a project intended to restore wildlife habitat and deliver desperately needed fresh water to Everglades National Park.

Link: Sun-Sentinel.com

Bighorn Sheep Population on the Rise in North Central Washington

Published 12/14/12
By The Wenatchee (WA) World, K.C. Mehaffey

Wild bighorn sheep appear to be thriving in North Central Washington, including three herds in Chelan County, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife says. Recent surveys indicate those herds are growing at a rate of about 10 percent a year, said Jon Gallie, the agency’s assistant district biologist.

Link: WenatcheeWorld.com

Wildlife Crime Said to be a Risk to Governments

Published 12/13/12
By United Press International

Wildlife crime not only threatens animals but puts the stability of some governments at risk, a report released by the World Wildlife Fund says. The global illegal trade in wildlife is worth $19 billion a year and some of that money from trafficking is being used to finance civil conflicts, the WWF said.

Link: UPI.com

Elephant Relocation Scheme Fails to Prevent Deaths

Published 12/12/12
By Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience senior writer

An attempt to save the lives of both elephants and people by moving the pachyderms away from humans has failed in Sri Lanka, a new study finds. Instead of the relocated elephants living peacefully in their new homes, they wandered, researchers found. Relocated elephants died more often than problem elephants left in their original range. The relocated elephants also killed more people than elephants that stayed put.

Link: Yahoo! News

Web of Intrigue Surrounds Death of Jaguar (VIDEO)

Published 12/11/12
By Dennis Wagner, Arizona Republic

A snare is not complicated — just a thin wire with a noose that, when triggered, closes over an animal’s leg. The device in question was anchored to a mesquite tree near Peñasco Canyon in the remote Atascosa Mountains, about 20 miles west of Nogales and just north of the Mexican border.

Link: AZCentral.com

Britain Sees Decline in Christmas Doves

Published 12/07/12
By Associated Press

Just try finding a partridge in a pear tree in Britain these days. Britain's Royal Society for Protection of Birds says the two icons of the Christmas song — gray partridges and turtle doves — are in alarming decline. It said authorities should act to prevent them from becoming just distant memories within the famed "Twelve Days of Christmas" song.

Link: Yahoo! News

U.S. Senate Passes Two Bills That Help Protect Animals

Published 12/06/12
By Penny Eims, Examiner.com

On Wednesday (Dec. 5), the ASPCA issued a press release applauding the passing of two important bills which help protect animals. By a unanimous vote, the Senate passed the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act which penalizes individuals who attend organized animal fights. Individuals caught attending one of these cruel, organized events will now face federal penalties.

Link: Examiner.com

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy In Kenya Sees 4 Rhinos Shot By Poachers In 2 Days

Published 12/05/12
By Associated Press

Officials at a wildlife park in Kenya say they found four dead rhinoceros shot by poachers in a two-day span. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy said Wednesday (Dec. 5)that two male black rhinos and two female black rhinos were killed. The bodies were discovered on Saturday and Sunday. Lewa has lost 10 rhinos to poaching in the last three years.

Link: Huffington Post

Elephants Are Dying Out in America's Zoos (Part 2)

Published 12/04/12
By Michael J. Berens, Seattle Times

After decades of captivity inside America's zoos, the elephants arrived broken in many different ways. Maggie barely survived the harsh winters of the tiny Alaska Zoo. Confined many days to a cramped, indoor pen, she developed crippling foot and joint disease, collapsing to the floor — lifted only by a crane. Zookeepers conceded that frigid Anchorage was no place for a 4-ton tropical beast.

Link: SeattleTimes.com

Elephants Are Dying Out in America's Zoos (Part 1)

Published 12/03/12
By Michael J. Berens, Seattle Times

As the 1960s dawned, few Americans had ever seen a baby elephant. It had been more than 40 years since an elephant had been born in North America, and then only at a circus — never in a zoo. But in a ramshackle exhibit yard at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, in the summer of 1960, the extraordinary occurred: A 15,000-pound male, Thonglaw, mated with a much smaller female, Belle, and Belle became pregnant.

Link: SeattleTimes.com

Florida Wildlife Officials Capture, Release Crocodile (VIDEO)

Published 12/03/12
By WSVN (Miami/Fort Lauderdale, FL)

A giant crocodile has been relocated to the Everglades after being spotted in the Florida Keys. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission captured the giant crocodile over the weekend. A 7News viewer submitted a picture of the 12-foot, 430-plus-pound reptile as it was captured in Key Largo. Instead of euthanizing the crocodile, FWC took it to the Everglades and released it.

Link: WSVN.com

Nile Crocodile Hunted Near Miami as Potential Danger

Published 11/30/12
By Associated Press

Florida state wildlife officials have given their agents the rare order to shoot to kill in the hunt for a young Nile crocodile loose near Miami. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials made the decision this summer after months of trying to catch the croc. The reptile is only about 3 feet long and not a threat yet, but it could be a danger if it gets bigger.

Link: NBC40.net

Official: Lack of Pipelines Threat to North Dakota Wildlife

Published 11/28/12
By James MacPherson, Associated Press

Too few pipelines moving crude to market is the biggest threat to wildlife in western North Dakota's booming oil patch at present, an industry official said Tuesday (Nov. 27). About half of North Dakota's record oil production is being shipped by rail and truck because of lack of pipeline infrastructure. Obtaining easements from landowners, acquiring permits and building a sufficient pipeline network "is a huge issue to the state of North Dakota and a huge issue to wildlife," said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. But a spokesman for the state chapter of The Wildlife Society said after the meeting that oil development in general is damaging wildlife and its habitat.

Link: Yahoo! News

New Hampshire Officials Release Bald Eagle from Trap

Published 11/27/12
By Associated Press

A bald eagle found in an animal trap on Thanksgiving Day was freed by police who watched it fly away apparently unharmed beyond a small cut on its leg, Salem police said Friday (Nov. 23). On Thursday afternoon James Ransom of Metheun, Mass., who was scouting hunting locations, called police to report he'd found the eagle next to the recently skinned remains of a beaver.

Link: FoxNews.com

Woman Arrested for Allegedly Riding Manatee

Published 11/26/12
By Reuters

A Florida woman photographed two months ago riding an endangered manatee in violation of state law was arrested on Saturday on misdemeanor charges, authorities said. The Pinellas County Sheriff's office said deputies arrested Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez, 53, without incident at her job at a Sears store in St. Petersburg on a warrant for violating the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act.

Link: Huffington Post

Galapagos Tortoise Species Can Be Revived, Scientists Say

Published 11/23/12
By Frank Bajak, Associated Press

Lonesome George, the late reptile prince of the Galapagos Islands, may be dead, but scientists now say he may not be the last giant tortoise of his species after all. Researchers say they may be able to resurrect the Pinta Island subspecies by launching a cross-breeding program with 17 other tortoises found to contain genetic material similar to that of Lonesome George, who died June 24 at the Pacific Ocean archipelago off Ecuador's coast after repeated failed efforts to reproduce.

Link: Huffington Post

Interview With a Thanksgiving's Turkey and Other Creatures of Rituals

Published 11/21/12
By Rym Tina Ghazal

Americans gather together this week with family and friends for one of their most important holidays: Thanksgiving. Throughout American history, it has been in times of great trouble when the holiday has meant the most. Even during the Civil War and Great Depression the country was able to pause and give thanks. But I can think of someone in the United States who never enjoys the fourth Thursday in November: the turkey.

Link: Huffington Post

Wildlife Officials Zap, Scoop Up Koi from Colorado Pond

Published 11/20/12
By Erica Meltzer, Boulder (CO) Camera

A crew from Colorado Parks and Wildlife cruised around Thunderbird Lake on Monday (Nov. 19) scooping up hundreds of bright orange koi that were discovered in the lake earlier this year. An electric current stunned the fish first, making them easy catching. Each pass of the net delivered anywhere from one to a dozen fish into waiting buckets.

Link: DenverPost.com


Lawsuits, Controversy Surround Ban on Exotic Animals

Published 11/19/12
By Tom Beyerlein and Andrew McGinn, Dayton (OH) Daily News

A year after a Zanesville man freed 56 jungle cats and other dangerous animals, triggering worldwide condemnation of Ohio’s lax regulation, the state is beginning to implement a ban on most private ownership of big cats, alligators and other wild creatures.

Link: DaytonDailyNews.com

Wildlife Officials Investigate Deaths of Three Moose in Colorado

Published 11/16/12
By Associated Press

Colorado wildlife officials asking for the public's help in finding who shot a cow moose and her two calves in a subdivision between Granby and Grand Lake. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say a hunter near Mountain Shadows Estates heard several shots Wednesday morning (Nov. 14) and later found the three animals had been shot in an empty lot in the subdivision. No one immediately approached the carcasses to claim responsibility.

Link: DenverPost.com

Wildlife Officer: Slow Down for Migrating Manatees

Published 11/15/12
By News 4, Jacksonville (FL)

Wildlife officers have a message for boaters: slow down for migrating manatees in Florida. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says as the weather cools, manatees move to warmer waters such as freshwater springs or canals near power plant outflows. Boaters are being asked to slow down and watch out for manatees as many of the seasonal manatee protection zones go into effect Thursday (Nov. 15). November is Manatee Awareness Month.

Link: News4Jax.com

Illegal Animal-Meat Ring Netted $10,000 Per Trip

Published 11/14/12
By Arelis R. Hernandez, Orlando Sentinel

Wildlife officials today (Nov. 14) announced they shut down a massive animal-meat ring involving 21 people accused of illegally buying poached animals in Florida and shipping the meat to other states. The animals ranged from whitetail deer — a native species that is illegal to harvest and sell — to several kinds of fish, including snapper, snook, bass and trout.

Link: OrlandoSentinel.com

Wildlife Trainer Says Grizzly Not Involved in Mauling Deserves to Live

Published 11/13/12
By Lauren Maschmedt, KTVM

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Head trainer Demetri Price of wildlife casting agency Animals of Montana said when Fish, Wildlife and Parks asked the agency to kill one of its bears, trainers thought FWP reacted too fast without looking at all aspects of the incident. "This scenario is really unfortunate, and I think their basis to want to kill this other bear without even asking any relevant questions is something that we can't fathom," Price said.

Link: NBCMontana.com

Hillary Clinton Slams Wildlife Poaching

Published 11/09/12
By Agence France-Presse

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Thursday for a stepped up fight against poaching, warning against criminal gangs seeking to satisfy growing demand for ivory and rhino horn. "Over the past few years wildlife trafficking has become more organized, more lucrative, more widespread, and more dangerous than ever before," the top US diplomat told a meeting at the State Department.

Link: Yahoo! News

Helicopter Pilot Accused of Harassing Wildlife

Published 11/08/12
By KGWN, Cheyenne (Wyoming)

Colorado wildlife officials have fined a medical helicopter pilot from Arizona after he was accused of harassing wildlife by a group of hunters who said he was flying low over an elk herd. Authorities said Thursday that Owen Park, of Page, Ariz., was issued penalty points against his hunting and fishing privileges and ordered to pay a $200 fine. The incident occurred on Sept. 23 near the headwaters of Granite Creek, southwest of Grand Junction.

Link: KGWN.tv

Idaho Voters Overwhelmingly Endorse Amendment to Preserve Hunting, Fishing and Trapping

Published 11/07/12
By Todd Dvorak, Associated Press

The right to hunt, fish and trap is now a constitutional right in Idaho. Voters Tuesday overwhelmingly threw their support behind HJR2, the amendment that enshrines the collective right to hunt, fish and trap in the Idaho Constitution. With 83 percent of the vote counted early Wednesday, the measure had approval from 74 percent of voters and was carried by overwhelming majorities in every Idaho county with the exception of Blaine County, where it was rejected by 65.3 percent of voters.

Link: The Republic (IN)

Bear Attack: Man Mauled To Death By Captive Grizzly In Montana

Published 11/06/12
By Associated Press

The trainer at a Montana wildlife casting agency where a man was fatally mauled while cleaning a grizzly pen says the victim may have fallen and hit his head or otherwise lost consciousness before he was killed. Demetri Price with Animals of Montana near Bozeman called Sunday's mauling of an unidentified 24-year-old man a "tragic accident" — but not an attack.

Link: Huffington Post

Boy, 2, Dies After Fall, Dog Attack at Pittsburgh Zoo

Published 11/05/12
By Kevin Begos, Associated Press

A mother’s attempt to give her 2-year-old son a better view of wild African dogs turned into a fatal tragedy after the boy fell into the exhibit and was attacked by a pack of the animals as relatives and bystanders looked on. The mother had picked the child up and put him on top of a railing at the edge of a viewing deck at the Pittsburgh Zoo late Sunday morning, Lt. Kevin Kraus of the Pittsburgh police said.

Link: Chicago Sun-Times

Oregon Deer Hunter Mauled By Wounded Bear

Published 11/02/12
By Associated Press

An Oregon hunter who helped shoot a bear got a violent surprise when the wounded animal roused itself and put him in a "bear hug." Jackson County sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson says the injured animal grabbed 22-year-old Alex Machavo of Medford Thursday and the two rolled down a 50-foot embankment with the bear biting Machavo all the way.

Link: Huffington Post

Pets Lost and Found in Sandy's Wake

Published 11/01/12
By Christina Ng, ABC's "Good Morning America"

Superstorm Sandy's destructive path took lives, forced people from their homes and shut down cities. Its powerful winds and rains also spooked and swept hundreds of pets away from their homes. As people struggle to rebuild their lives in Sandy's wake, many have been left searching for beloved family members — dogs, cats, birds and other pets.

Link: Yahoo! News

Turtle Fossils From Jurassic Period Found In Chinese 'Bone Bed,' Paleontologists Say

Published 10/31/12
By Megan Gannon, Huffington Post

Scientists say they've uncovered a pile of 1,800 Jurassic turtle skeletons in China that had been swept into a mass grave millions of years ago. The fossilized mesa chelonia turtles were found in China’s northwest province of Xinjiang in what paleontologists call a "bone bed" with some of the shells stacked up on top of each other in the rock.

Link: Huffington Post

Virginia Proposes Expanding List of Animals Banned as Pets

Published 10/29/12
By Rex Springston, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Time could be running out for you to get that special gorilla or rhino for your home. A state panel on last week proposed expanding the list of animals Virginia doesn't allow as pets. The list, maintained by the state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, already includes animals such as big cats and bears.

Link: Huffington Post

The Silent Victims of the Greek Debt Crisis

Published 10/26/12
By David Fearnhead

Her long mane of wavy hair is tied back and she hides her pretty face behind an ill-fitting match. She'll emerge onto the streets of Thessaloniki as a polar bear. This is no weird fetish. Nina is a volunteer raising awareness and sometimes money for Arcturos, the Greek-based wildlife charity.

Link: Huffington Post

Tampa Bay Mystery Monkey Caught After 2 Years On The Lam In Florida

Published 10/25/12
By Associated Press

A wild monkey that bit a woman and was on the lam in St. Petersburg, Florida, for two years has been captured. Authorities say a wildlife official shot the monkey with a tranquilizer dart Wednesday. The monkey then went into the woods and trappers were able to grab it. He was taken to an animal hospital for a checkup. The monkey eluded capture for years as it roamed neighborhoods. It even has a Facebook page and most recently bit a woman, causing trappers to ramp up their efforts to capture him.

Link: Huffington Post

In Brazil, Saving Endangered Monkey Helps Forest

Published 10/24/12
By Juliana Barbassa, Associated Press

Three tiny flaming orange monkeys crouched on a tree branch, cocking their heads as if to better hear the high-pitched whistles and yaps that came from deep within the dense green foliage. Then they answered in kind, rending the morning with their sharp calls and cautiously greeting each other in the forest.

Link: Yahoo! News

China arrests 11 for poaching endangered animals

Updated: 2012-10-15 19:01 (Xinhua)

Published 10/15/12

CHANGSHA - Police on Monday said they have arrested 11 people for allegedly poaching endangered animals in a central China virgin forest, and they also seized a large number of bear parts and antelope corpses.

Link: www.chinadaily.com.cn

Dolphins Bound for Combat as Ukraine Navy Announces Plans to Train Them in Underwater Warfare with Knives or Guns Strapped to Them

Published 10/12/12
By Emma Reynolds, The Daily Mail (U.K.)

Dolphins are being trained for military action by the Ukraine navy in a return to Soviet-style underwater warfare, it was learned Oct. 11. The marine mammals will be taught to attack enemy combat swimmers using special knives or pistols fixed to their heads, said a source in Sevastopol, a large port on the Black Sea. They are also able to locate items of military interest and mark them by attaching buoys, or plant explosives in enemy territory.

Link: DailyMail.co.uk

Dolphins Bound for Combat as Ukraine Navy Announces Plans to Train Them in Underwater Warfare with Knives or Guns Strapped to Them

Published 10/12/12
By Emma Reynolds, The Daily Mail (U.K.)

Dolphins are being trained for military action by the Ukraine navy in a return to Soviet-style underwater warfare, it was learned Oct. 11. The marine mammals will be taught to attack enemy combat swimmers using special knives or pistols fixed to their heads, said a source in Sevastopol, a large port on the Black Sea. They are also able to locate items of military interest and mark them by attaching buoys, or plant explosives in enemy territory.

Link: DailyMail.co.uk

Marineland: OSPCA Welcomes More Power from the Province

Published 10/11/12
By Liam Casey and Linda Diebel, The Toronto Star

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wants more funding and sweeping changes to its powers, saying it is handcuffed in its investigations by the current legislation and animals are suffering because of it. With those new powers, the OSPCA would welcome government oversight, said Rob Godfrey, chairman of the board of directors. “There is nothing hidden and there shouldn’t be anything hidden,” Godfrey told the Star on Wednesday (Oct. 10).

Link: TheStar.com

Group Seeking End to Captivity of Animals Issues Report

Published 10/09/12

ENDCAP, which describes itself as "a pan-European coalition of animal welfare NGOs and wildlife professionals from countries throughout Europe, whose members specialise in the welfare and protection of wild animals in captivity," just published its report "Wild Pets in the European Union" (PDF)and sent it to the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council and the Council of Europe.

Ill Girl Gets Wish, Kills 335-Pound Bear (VIDEO)

Published 10/03/12
By CNN

An 11-year-old girl waiting for heart and liver transplants fulfilled her dream of hunting a bear. WAOW reports.

Link: CNN.com

Horses Removed from 'Terrible' Conditions in Washington

Published 09/27/12
By Laura L. Myers, Reuters

Animal control officers in Washington state seized 39 emaciated and sickly horses on Wednesday from inhumane conditions in dark stalls filled with feces on a breeding farm outside of Tacoma, authorities said.

Link: Huffington Post

Chile's Pacific Paradise Endangered by Goats, Cats

Published 09/24/12
By Eva Vergara, Associated Press

It's still a natural paradise far out in the Pacific, with thick jungles and stunningly steep and verdant slopes climbing out of the sea. But much of the splendor in the tiny Chilean islands that likely inspired Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe" castaway novel is being eaten away.

Link: Yahoo! News

100 Most Threatened Species

Published 09/21/12

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Zoological Society of London recently released a list of the 100 Most Threatened Species at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in South Korea.

Link: Huffington Post

Invasive Species In Europe Account For 22 Percent Of Mammals, Study Finds

Published 09/18/12
By Becky Oskin, LiveScience.com

Whether they escaped from zoos or accompanied migrating nomads, invasive species from giant Himalayan bats and porcupines to house mice now account for 22 percent of mammals in Europe, a new study finds. If bats and marine mammals are excluded, the researchers found aliens make up some 28 percent of terrestrial mammals in Europe.

Link: Huffington Post

Dead Fish, Birds Wash Up on Lake Erie Shores in Latest Mystery

Published 09/12/12
By Cavan Sieczkowski, Huffington Post

Tens of thousands of dead fish, along with dead seagulls, washed up on the shores of Lake Erie on Wednesday afternoon in yet another mysterious mass animal death. Rick Nicholls, member of Provincial Parliament for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, is mystified by the mass Lake Erie animal death, telling NewsNet5: “First thing that crossed my mind, is there any potential danger to humans from a health point of view? Secondly, as I got more and more into it, what’s the cause of this sudden fish kill in the lake?”

Link: huffingtonpost.com

Elephant Slaughter (Editorial)

Published 09/11/12
By The New York Times

Not long ago it looked as though elephant poaching in Africa was on the downswing, in part because of more rigorous enforcement of a global ban on trade in most elephant ivory imposed in 1989. That moment is gone and with it, elephants in the tens of thousands every year. These astonishing creatures, which seem more intelligent and emotionally aware the more we know about them, are being gunned down by poachers for their ivory tusks at a fast pace — the worst slaughter seen since the 1980s.

Link: nytimes.com

Zoo Tiger Kills Keeper in Germany, Then Shot Dead

Published 08/30/12
By Associated Press

A tiger escaped its enclosure at Cologne Zoo in western Germany on Aug. 25 and killed a female keeper before being shot dead by the zoo's director, police said. The tiger slipped through a passage between the enclosure and an adjacent storage building, where it fatally attacked the 43-year-old keeper, said police spokesman Stefan Kirchner.

Link: Huffington Post

Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Tom Hardy Team for Anti-Poaching Movie at Warner Bros.

Published 08/28/12
By Borys Kit, Hollywood Reporter

Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Tom Hardy are teaming up to produce an untitled animal-trafficking drama set up at Warner Bros., sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. Hardy came up with the idea, inspired by friends who are former Special Forces operatives and went on to become anti-poaching fighters in South Africa and other nations.

Link: Hollywood Reporter

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