Retired fisherman Sada Fall is upbeat. His two sons are returning from sea with a boatload of "gold", as he calls shark fins, whose value has near-obliterated the ocean's top predator in these seas. Fall, 62, walks along the beach in this fishing village in the north of Senegal, his blue-grey boubou flapping in the dry, dusty wind, a bright red flowered umbrella shielding him from the scorching sun.
Link: Agence France-Presse
MONTERREY, Mexico — An escaped pet tiger named Deborah spurred a massive deployment of police, firefighters and other first responders in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, authorities said. Apolonio Armenta, the Coahuila delegate of Mexico’s environmental protection agency, Profepa, told Efe that alarmed residents began calling police late Dec. 28 with reports about a tiger roaming the streets of Saltillo, the state capital.
From the comforts of a 100-year-old Georgian Colonial he shares here with former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, his partner, Mark O'Donnell has become the unlikely champion of legislation that could give New Jersey some of the nation's toughest anti-tiger trafficking laws.
Link: Wall Street Journal
A final autopsy report reveals that Terry W. Thompson, the Muskingum County man who released 50 wild animals he kept as pets before killing himself in October, was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of his death. The autopsy, released Dec. 21 by Muskingum County Coroner Perry M. Kalis, provides additional — and in some cases gruesome — details about the death of Thompson on Oct. 18.
Link: Columbus Dispatch
A naturalized U.S. citizen from Vietnam whose primary means of employment is as a nail technician allegedly was supplementing his income by trafficking in black bear paws and gall bladders in Hamblen County, Tennessee, authorities say. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has evidence of three bear-parts transactions conducted by 49-year-old Kheim Tung "Michael" Quach, according to Nathan Ripley, a Hamblen County TWRA agent.
A transfer of 113 primates from the defunct Wild Animal Orphanage to the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Dilley was approved Monday by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas. In August 2010, the Northwest Side animal orphanage announced on its website that it was being dissolved because of overpopulation, underfunding and inadequate housing. More than 190 animals were at two locations, a 7-acre site at 9626 Leslie Road and 102 acres on Talley Road, at the time of the announcement.
Thousands of migratory birds were killed or injured after apparently mistaking a Walmart in Cedar City, football fields and other snow-covered areas of southern Utah for bodies of water and plummeting to the ground in what one state wildlife expert called the worst mass bird crash she'd ever seen. Crews went to work cleaning up the dead birds and rescuing the injured survivors after the creatures crash-landed in the St. George area on Dec. 12.
The Obama administration has issued a new interpretation of the Endangered Species Act aimed at streamlining the classification of threatened plants or animals. The Bush-era policy was withdrawn last spring after two federal courts rejected it. The new policy would clarify that a species could be listed as threatened or endangered if threats occur in a “significant portion of its range,” even if the threat does not apply in the entire range.
Link: Washington Post