A slick black head breaks the surface, drawing delighted shrieks from whale watchers in a growing, and lucrative, activity that some say should replace Iceland's controversial whale hunt. Since their meager beginning in the 1990s, whale safaris in this island state have grown to attract tens of thousands of visitors each summer. But its proponents tensed up when Iceland reintroduced commercial whaling in 2006, and the two sides remain uneasy bedfellows.
MANYANI, Kenya — Record prices for ivory are fueling a sharp increase in poachers killing elephants, even those in protected areas, conservation groups warned July 20 — the same day that Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki burned five tons of confiscated ivory to highlight the problem.
The long-tailed macaque is being threatened with extinction by a huge surge in international trade and the destruction of its habitat in Southeast Asia, conservationists said on July 15. Species Survival Network (SSN), an international coalition of more than 80 charities, says trade in the species had more than doubled in the second half of the last decade.
BERLIN - Two runaway circus elephants in Germany surprised passers-by and police by showing up at a bus stop during a brief bid for freedom, officials in Hanover said on July 12. Dunia, a 40-year-old Indian elephant, and her counterpart Daela, a 25-year-old African elephant, were apprehended by police near the western city of Hanover over the weekend nonchalantly munching on tree leaves and looking for all the world as if they were waiting for the bus.
Link: Reuters/Yahoo! News
As our heat wave continues to intensify, the over 500 monkeys at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary down in Dilley, Texas are going about their monkey business to stay cool. The "splish splashes" of monkeys doing cannonball jumps into the water and drenching themselves with water hoses can be heard in enclosures across the sanctuary's 186 acres.
Link: KXAN.com (Texas)
The Bahamas on July 5 joined the growing global movement to protect sharks, betting that the endangered animals are worth more to visiting divers than they are to fishers. The law, signed into effect by Lawrence S. Cartwright, the agriculture and fisheries minister, bans all commercial shark fishing in the country’s 243,000-square-mile territorial waters and prohibits trade in shark products.
Link: New York Times
Taeko Nose says she may never forget the image of her two dogs - "her children" as she calls them - tied up on a leash as she was forced to leave her home during Japan's nuclear crisis. Certainly three months afterwards, it's still etched in her mind.
Link: Reuters/Yahoo! News
The Dutch parliament has passed a bill banning the slaughter of livestock without stunning it first, removing an exemption that has allowed Jews and Muslims to butcher animals according to their centuries-old dietary rules. If enacted and enforced, religious groups say observant Jews and Muslims would have to import meat from abroad, stop eating it altogether, or leave the Netherlands.
Link: Associated Press/Google