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 The Bush-era policy was withdrawn last spring after two federal courts rejected it.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
(WARNING: The video this story links to contains graphic images.)
PHOENIX — A tiger cub named Orion born at the Wildlife World Zoo in the west valley was eventually given to a small roadside zoo back east — a zoo that had a history of problems. Now Orion is coming back to Arizona, but it got us wondering — what else can happen to tigers in captivity? It turns out Orion is one very lucky cat.
A Senate panel has approved a measure intended to serve as an international model to prevent trafficking in tigers and their body parts. The bill (S3061) would establish strict reporting and registration requirements for captive tigers in New Jersey to prevent their illegal trade. It cleared the Senate Economic Growth Committee unanimously. “This bill will send a message throughout the country and indeed the world that this illegal trade in tiger parts is horrible,” said its sponsor, state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union).
Horses could soon be butchered in the United States for human consumption after Congress quietly lifted a 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections, and activists say slaughterhouses could be up and running in as little as a month.
Link: AP/Huffington Post