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Animal News

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

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