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Animal News

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

Published 10/03/12

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

Denali National Park Bear Mauling: Site Of Richard White's Death Remains Closed

Published 08/27/12
By Rachel d'Oro, Associated Press

About 200 square miles of Alaska backcountry terrain where a California hiker was mauled to death by a grizzly bear remained closed Sunday as investigators continued to piece together what happened. Weather permitting, rangers at Denali National Park were planning to recreate the steps taken by 49-year-old Richard White, of San Diego, before he was attacked Friday afternoon near the Toklat River, park officials said. Before the attack, White photographed the male bear for at least eight minutes from a distance of 50 to 100 yards.

Link: Huffington Post

Why Blake Shelton's Animal-Cruelty Tweet Matters

Published 08/22/12
By Barbara J. King, National Public Radio

This is a story of Twitter and the turtle. Blake Shelton, country singer and a star of TV's "The Voice," tweeted that he swerved his vehicle to "smash" an Oklahoma box turtle. When my friend, herpetology expert John F. Taylor alerted me to the tweet, I replied to Shelton asking if his comment was a bad joke or he was really so cruel?

Link: NPR.org

Jaguars Will Have an Area of Critical Habitat Established For Them in Southwest United States

Published 08/21/12
By Ralph Maughan, The Wildlife News

Not all endangered species receive a designated “critical habitat.” This is a big thing for the big cat that is a rare inhabitant of the SW U.S. The trouble is jaguars may not even inhabit the United States on a continuing basis. There is no doubt that they do from time to time. Photos from “trail cameras,” and the occasional dead jaguar tell us they are really present at times.

Link: The Wildlife News

Thailand Wildlife Trafficking Seizures Increase Tenfold, But Corruption Still Persists

Published 08/20/12
By Denis D. Gray, Associated Press

Squealing tiger cubs stuffed into carry-on bags. Luggage packed with hundreds of squirming tortoises, elephant tusks, even water dragons and American paddlefish. Officials at Thailand's gateway airport proudly tick off the illegally trafficked wildlife they have seized over the past two years. But Thai and foreign law enforcement officers tell another story: Officials working hand-in-hand with traffickers ensure that other shipments through Suvarnabhumi International Airport are whisked off before they even reach customs inspection.

Link: Huffington Post

Giant Pregnant Python Caught in Florida

Published 08/14/12
By Agence France-Presse

The largest Burmese python ever found in Florida has been caught and killed in the Everglades, scientists said Tuesday, and it contained 87 eggs — also thought to be a record. "This thing is monstrous, it's about a foot wide," Kenneth Krysko, the herpetology collection manager at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said of the 17-foot-7-inch (5.35-meter) creature.

Link: Yahoo! News

Wild Sumatran Elephants Enter Indonesian Village

Published 08/08/12
By Associated Press

Villagers and park rangers used torches and firecrackers to herd out about 20 endangered Sumatran elephants that wandered into an Indonesian village in search of food. Local forestry office head Warsito said the elephants entered Braja Indah village in Lampung province Aug. 2 and were still there the next night.

Link: ABC News

Tasmania Zoo Break-In Leaves Birds Slaughtered And Dozens Of Animals Missing In Australia

Published 08/06/12

A media report says nine birds have been slaughtered and dozens of animals are missing after a break-in at an Australian zoo. Australian Broadcasting Corp. says vandals cut the locks on several bird, wallaby and monkey enclosures during a rampage at a zoo in the southern island state of Tasmania late Thursday or early Friday.

Link: Huffington Post

Gorilla Youngsters Seen Dismantling Poachers' Traps — A First

Published 08/03/12
By Ker Than

Just days after a poacher's snare had killed one of their own, two young mountain gorillas worked together July 31 to find and destroy traps in their Rwandan forest home, according to conservationists on the scene. "This is absolutely the first time that we've seen juveniles doing that. ... I don't know of any other reports in the world of juveniles destroying snares," said Veronica Vecellio, gorilla program coordinator at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund's Karisoke Research Center, located in the reserve where the event took place.

Link: National Geographic

Fish With Skin Cancer? Melanoma-Like Lesions Seen In Australian Trout For First Time

Published 08/02/12
By LiveScience.com

The first case of skin cancer in a wild marine fish population looks eerily similar to the melanoma that plagues humans, researchers report Aug. 1. Coral trout living on Australia's Great Barrier Reef are directly beneath the Antarctic ozone hole, the world's largest, which is the result of the depletion of ozone in the atmosphere that normally protects humans from harmful UV rays.

Link: Huffington Post

Tiger Population Rises in Nepal National Park

Published 08/01/12
By Douglas Main, OurAmazingPlanet

Camera traps in Nepal's Bardia National Park identified 37 tigers living in and near the park in 2011, a marked increase from two years before when only 18 were recorded there, according to the conservation group World Wildlife Fund.

Link: Huffington Post

Vietnam's Tiger Farms are Called Trafficking Hubs

Published 07/31/12
By Mike Ives, Associated Press

Nineteen tigers prowl outdoor cages the size of dormitory rooms, nibbling frayed wire fences and roaring at a caretaker who taunts them with his sandal. It looks like a zoo, but it's closed to the public. The facility breeds tigers, but has never supplied a conservation program with any animals nor sold any to zoos. Conservationists allege that Vietnam's 11 registered tiger farms, including this one, are fronts for a thriving illegal market in tiger parts, highly prized for purported — if unproven — medicinal qualities.

Link: Yahoo! News

Gorilla Hangs Himself at Czech Zoo

Published 07/27/12
By Associated Press

A gorilla has died in the Prague Zoo after accidentally hanging himself with a climbing rope, zoo officials said Friday. The zoo said in a statement that 5-year-old Tatu was found hanging with a rope around his neck Friday morning in a sleeping room. Spokesman Michal Stastny said all attempts to revive Tatu failed.

Link: Huffington Post

'Lucky Larry,' 17-Pound Lobster, Released Into Long Island Sound

Published 07/25/12
By Associated Press

A Connecticut man purchased a 17-pound lobster at a Waterford restaurant, then released the crustacean back into Long Island Sound. Don MacKenzie of Niantic tells The Day of New London he knew the lobster, nicknamed "Lucky Larry" by local children, would have to be about 80 years old to reach his current size and felt it deserved to live.

Link: Huffington Post

Alaska Brown Bear Webcam: Live Feed Shows the Elusive Animals in Brook Falls and Katmai National Park

Published 07/24/12
By Mark Thiessen, Associated Press

A new video initiative is bringing the famed brown bears of Alaska's Katmai National Park directly to your computer or smartphone. Without having to go there, you'll be able to watch mature bears compete for salmon at Brook Falls and other sites and cubs tumbling over each other as they play. Starting Tuesday, a live Web stream (http://is.gd/bfPAs8) will allow the public to log on and see the brown bears in their natural habitat.

Link: Huffington Post

Alaska's King Salmon Disappearance Leaves Locals Wondering

Published 07/23/12
By Mary Pemberton, Associated Press

Alaskans again this summer are wondering: Where are the king salmon? Some of Alaska's largest and best rivers are closed to king fishing because state and federal fisheries managers have determined that the largest of the salmon species, also called Chinook, aren't showing up in enough numbers to ensure sustainable future runs.

Link: Huffington Post

3 Canadian Zoo Elephants Flying to California

Published 07/20/12
By Sue Manning, Associated Press

For elephants to fly, you have to do more than load trunks on a plane. Pat Derby, co-founder of the Performing Animal Welfare Society, has been working for two years to get three 10,000-pound elephants in the air. The elephants are scheduled to take off on Aug. 2 in what could be a million-dollar move. The African elephants, Iringa, 42, Toka, 41, and Thika, 31, are being retired from the Toronto Zoo and moved to PAWS' 2,300-acre sanctuary in San Andreas.

Link: Huffington Post

Amazon's Endangered Species Face 'Extinction Debt'

Published 07/19/12
By Joseph Castro, LiveScience Contributor

When species lose their natural habitat to deforestation and other causes, they don't immediately disappear. Instead, they gradually die off over several generations, racking up an "extinction debt" that must eventually be paid in full. New research shows that the Brazilian Amazon has accrued a heavy vertebrate extinction debt, with more than 80 percent of extinctions expected from historical deforestation still impending.

Link: Huffington Post

Better Late Than Never for Minnesota Dolphins

Published 07/17/12
By Will Travers for the Huffington Post

I was intrigued by the Minnesota Zoo's recent announcement that it is discontinuing its captive dolphin exhibit. More than a decade ago we expressed concern about the zoo's acquisition of two dolphins from South Africa. In our letter we asked the zoo to instead consider phasing out the captive dolphin display.

We are thrilled to see that the zoo may finally be heeding our advice. Better late than never.

Link: Huffington Post

Brazil: Dead Penguins Washed Up On Rio Grande Do Sul Beaches By The Hundreds

Published 07/17/12
By Associated Press

Marine biologists and veterinarians say the bodies of more than 500 penguins have washed up on beaches in southern Brazil over the past week. They tell the G1 online news site that the Center of Coastal and Marine Studies is investigating what caused the deaths of the 512 penguins found on beaches of the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. The cause of death should be known in about 30 days.

Link: Huffington Post

Vegas Chimp Caretaker: Wild Animals Aren't Pets

Published 07/13/12
By Associated Press

Poker pro Lee Watkinson put up the money and girlfriend Timmi De Rosa gave her heart to an effort to rescue two adult chimpanzees who had outgrown their youthful cuteness in a northwest Las Vegas neighborhood. "We wanted to build a sanctuary," Watkinson said Friday. "We found them in a bad situation. People have them and play with them for five years and then someone has to come and rescue them. That's what we tried to do. We failed."

Link: FoxNews.com

Leatherback Turtle Eggs And Hatchlings Crushed By The Thousands On Trinidad Beach

Published 07/10/12
By David McFadden, Associated Press

Thousands of leatherback turtle eggs and hatchlings have been crushed by heavy machinery along a Trinidad beach widely regarded as the world's densest nesting area for the biggest of all living sea turtles, conservationists said July 9.

Link: Huffington Post

China to Ban Shark Fin Soup at Official Banquets

Published 07/05/12
By New York Times

China said Tuesday that it will prohibit official banquets from serving shark fin soup, a pricey and popular delicacy blamed for a sharp decline in global shark populations. The ban, reported by Xinhua, the state-run news agency, could take as long as three years to take effect, and it remains unclear how widely it will be implemented across a sprawling nation where orders issued by Beijing are often shrugged off by officials in far-away regions and provinces.

Link: SFGate.com

Wildlife Hospital Takes in Baby Pelicans Displaced by Storm

Published 07/03/12
By Jim Waymer, Florida Today

Two dozen baby pelicans that washed up from islands in the panhandle during Tropical Storm Debby now flap their infant wings and squawk for mullet at the Florida Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary. Panhandle bird rescuers flooded out by the storm had to evacuate, so they delivered 11 of the pelicans last week and another 12 Sunday.

Link: Florida Today

Rufus the Hawk, a Wimbledon Fixture, Stolen

Published 07/02/12
By Sydney Lupkin, ABC News

The hawk that patrols the skies over Wimbledon tennis courts to scare away the pigeons that interfere with play has been stolen, United Kingdom Metropolitan police told ABCNews.com. Rufus, a 4-year-old Harris hawk, and his cage were stolen out of a car either Thursday night or Friday morning in Wimbledon, according to police spokeswoman Kate Campbell. The car was parked on a private driveway, and a back window was cracked open for air, she said.

Link: Yahoo! News

Gabon Torches Tusks, Ivory to Keep out of Smugglers' Hands

Published 06/28/12
By Miguel Llanos, msnbc.com

The Central African nation of Gabon on Wednesday burned all the elephant tusks and ivory ornaments it had in its stockpile — an amount equivalent to 850 elephants — so that smugglers, via corrupt government officials, won't get their hands on the black market commodities treasured in China and other parts of Asia.

Link: msnbc.com

Cee Lo Takes Heat for Plans to Have Cockatoo on TV Show

Published 06/25/12
By TMZ.com

Cee Lo is taking some serious heat over plans to rock out with his cockatoo out on the upcoming season of "The Voice" ... over concerns that stress from the show could cause the bird to self-mutilate.

Link: TMZ.com

Nepal To Use Drone Aircraft To Combat Poaching Of Endangered Species

Published 06/23/12

Poaching has long contributed to the dwindling populations of endangered species worldwide. Now, conservationists in Nepal are combating the illegal trade by using unmanned drone aircraft in an effort to protect the country's endangered tigers and rhinos from poachers, Agence France-Presse reports.

Link: Huffington Post

New NY Bill Attacks Exotic Animal Owners

Published 06/21/12
By James Arkin, New York Daily News

A new bill passed by the Assembly and Senate today would increase the restrictions and punishments concerning exotic animal owners in New York State. Owners would not be penalized with a fine for the intentional or negligent release of exotic animals and are required to report the release to law enforcement immediately. Adam Roberts, an exotic animals expert for the animal advocacy group Born Free USA, said mistreatment of animals and danger to the public are both at play.

Link: NYDailyNews.com

Will Elephants Still Roam the Earth in 20 Years?

Published 06/18/12
By By Cyril Christo, Special to CNN

At the start of the 1980s there were over a million elephants, during that decade 600,000 were destroyed for ivory products. Today perhaps no more than 400,000 remain across Africa, according to Samuel Wasser of the University of Washington, who is widely recognized as an authority on the subject. It is a tragedy beyond reckoning and humanity needs to pay attention to the plight of the elephants before it is too late.

Link: CNN.com

Bear Chased From School Grounds By Alaska Authorities

Published 06/15/12
By Huffington Post

Authorities say a bear had to be chased away after wandering into an Anchorage, AK, high school. Police say the small black bear on Wednesday wandered into Bartlett High School — home of the Golden Bears — through a door left open for construction workers. Police responded and searched the school for the bear. They found clues like knocked-over trash cans that contained food.

Link: Huffington Post

Cougars Returning To Midwest, Study Finds

Published 06/14/12
By Jim Suhr, Associated Press

Cougars are again spreading across the Midwest a century after the generally reclusive predators were hunted to near extinction in much of the region, according to a new study billed as the first rigorous statistical look at the issue. The findings, detailed in The Journal of Wildlife Management, showed 178 cougar confirmations in the Midwest and as far south as Texas between 1990 and 2008. While confirmed sightings of Midwest cougars were sporadic before 1990, when there were only a couple, that number spiked to more than 30 by 2008, the study shows.

Link: Huffington Post

Mange Killing Western Gray Squirrels in California

Published 06/11/12
By David Danelski, Riverside (CA) Press-Enterprise

State biologists are asking residents of the San Bernardino Mountains to help track Western gray squirrels that have been hit hard by a deadly skin disease. Reports on current and past sightings of the iconic mountain animal will help researchers with the California Department of Fish and Game gauge how the animals are coping with mange caused by a specific species of mites.

Link: Riverside Press-Enterprise

'Pet' Monkey Finds a New Home in Texas (VIDEO)

Published 06/06/12
By Channel 5, San Antonio

A pet monkey that endured years of heartbreaking cruelty has finally found a loving home at a primate sanctuary in Dilley, Texas. Officials at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary said the long-tailed macaque was never let out of his small cage to exercise in the 10 years he lived with his former owner in Michigan. The former owners even allegedly got JR high on marijuana and drunk off booze.

Link: Kens5.com

Snake-Handling Preacher Dies from Rattlesnake Bite in West Virginia

Published 05/31/12
By Gil Aegerter, msnbc.com

West Virginia preacher Mark Randall "Mack" Wolford, who believed Christians should handle snakes to test their faith, died after a rattlesnake bit him over the weekend. Wolford was bitten on the thigh about 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon, but he didn't come to the hospital until 10:30 p.m., a nursing supervisor at Bluefield Regional Medical Center told the Charleston Daily Mail. The incident occurred during an outdoor service at Panther State Forest, about 80 miles west of Bluefield in southern West Virginia, the paper said. Wolford had turned 44 on Saturday. He had seen his father die of a snakebite when he was teenager, the Daily Mail reported.

Link: msnbc.com

Devastating Disease Found in Tennessee Bats

Published 05/30/12
By Laura Zuckerman, Reuters

A disease that has killed millions of hibernating bats in the United States has been detected for the first time in endangered gray bats in Tennessee, a finding that government scientists on Tuesday described as "devastating."

Link: Yahoo! News

India Declares Open Season on Tiger Poachers

Published 05/29/12
By LiveScience.com

The world's "most dangerous game" is on. A state in western India has given its forest rangers permission to shoot poachers on sight in an effort to curb poaching of tigers and other endangered wildlife.

Link: Yahoo! News

U.S. Lawmakers Hear Pleas to Save African Elephants, Rhinos

Published 05/25/12
By Michael Bowman, Voice of America

The survival of elephants and rhinoceroses in Africa is being threatened by poaching — a multi-billion dollar illegal industry that helps bankroll militias in conflict zones and places local civilian populations at great risk. That was the message experts delivered to U.S. lawmakers, along with a plea for urgent action.

Link: Voice of America News

Maine Governor Signs Legislation To Rebuild State's Deer Herd

Published 05/24/12
By Associated Press

With hopes of rebuilding a deer herd that has shrunk sharply in parts of Maine, Gov. Paul LePage has signed legislation to implement strategies that include restoring habitats that shelter the animals in the winter and thinning out the population of their main predator, the coyote. One concern that has prompted the new laws signed May 21 is that areas known as "deer yards" have been lost due to logging and to spruce budworms, pests that have killed large tracts of forest.

Link: Huffington Post

Whales Adjust Their Hearing Sensitivity

Published 05/17/12
By Scientific American

Have you ever wanted to turn down the volume at a deafening concert or noisy bar? Envy the whale: A new study finds that toothed whales can reduce their own auditory sensitivity when they expect a loud sound. The work is presented at this week’s Acoustics 2012 meeting.

Link: Yahoo! News

Big Cat Rescue Backs Law that Could One Day Put It Out of Business

Published 05/16/12
By Eddie Daniels. Tampa (FL) Tribune

Carole Baskin spends much of her life with big felines — tigers, lions, leopards and such. As founder of Big Cat Rescue, a nonprofit educational sanctuary in Citrus Park, she takes pride in the way the sanctuary is operated — with attention to the animals' well-being and the public's safety. Not everyone is so scrupulous. Baskin said she wasn't shocked in October when a man in Zanesville, Ohio, intentionally released 56 big cats from a private piece of property. Of the 56 animals turned loose in the southwestern Ohio community, 49 were killed to protect the public — including 18 Bengal tigers and 17 lions.

Link: Tampa Bay Online

Two Giraffes Die as Vandals Terrorize Polish Zoo

Published 05/15/12
By Agence France-Presse

Two giraffes at a zoo in central Poland's Lodz died of stress after unidentified vandals went on a night-time rampage, the zoo's management said Monday, May 14. The vandals broke in overnight Saturday to Sunday, destroying benches, signs and sculptures and hurling pieces of the debris at the animals.

Link: Yahoo! News

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