Maggie retired from the petting zoo at the Brevard Zoo shortly after her 16th birthday. A fallow deer with familiar white dapples on her back, Maggie had lived at the Florida zoo since 1994, where staff and guests alike knew her for her calm, sweet nature and attraction to men wearing strong cologne.
"Elsa: The Lioness That Changed the World" (Brian Leith Productions/BBC/WNET) captured the prestigious Conservation Hero prize at the 11th Jackson Hole (WY)Wildlife Film Festival Awards this week. In the competitive world of documentaries, the work and legacy of pioneering conservationists George and Joy Adamson won plaudits from judges and the public.
Link: Born Free Foundation
Florida is now officially the world capital for invasive and potentially invasive reptiles and amphibians, according to a 20-year study verifying that 56 non-native species of these animals have become established in the sunshine state.
Nevada's controversial bear hunting season has just become permanent. State wildlife commissions voted 8-0 at a meeting in Reno on Sept. 24 to continue Nevada's first ever bear hunt again next year and every year after that from Aug. 20 to Dec. 31. The commission will review the season annually and could alter the number of bears that can be shot in a given year. The current limit is 20 bears, only six of which can be females.
Link: AP/San Jose Mercury News
Zimbabwe's wildlife authority says poachers have begun poisoning watering holes, killing nine elephants and at least five lions in recent weeks.
Link: AP/Huffington Post
There may be fewer men and women sporting full-length sable coats today, but as the cold kicks in, plenty of people are still donning fur earmuffs and fur-trimmed hats and coats. Fur wearing has become more democratized, and now that fake furs look increasingly realistic, it’s hard to tell what comes from an animal and what comes from a machine. And recent controversies over real fur marked as fake prove that the situation isn’t getting any clearer. All of which makes the work of those who know the real cost of fur and are working to end it that much tougher.
Link: E magazine
Small furry mammals partial to a daily dose of hibernation in winter are probably extending their lifespan at the same time, according to a study published Sept. 14. Experiments with Djugarian hamsters native to Siberia showed that when the tiny rodents temporarily lower their metabolism and body temperatures, a state called torpor, it stops and even reverses a natural breakdown of chromosomes linked to aging.
Link: AFP/Yahoo! News
A polar bear swam continuously for over nine days, covering 687 kilometers (426 miles), a new study has revealed. Scientists studying bears around the Beaufort sea, north of Alaska, claim this endurance feat could be a result of climate change. Polar bears are known to swim between land and sea ice floes to hunt seals. But the researchers say that increased sea ice melts push polar bears to swim greater distances, risking their own health and future generations.
Link: BBC Earth News