The dwindling population of a whale in Hawaiian waters has led the Obama administration to propose classifying the species as endangered, environmentalists say. The Hawaiian "false killer whale" has a small and ecologically important population that has suffered a significant decline over the past 25 years and only 150 of the animals may be left, a Natural Resources Defense Council release said Nov. 17.
Police suspect a fire that killed 26 animals in Karlsruhe Zoo on Dec. 12 was caused by arson. The fire brigade were too late to save miniature donkeys, ponies, dwarf goats and sheep but were able to lead elephants, hippos and flamingos to safety. Fire experts launched an investigation on Dec. 15.
Link: Spiegel Online
While setting aside massive swaths of land would seem to provide powerful strongholds for biodiversity, a new study finds that such reserves often don't reach their full conservation potential because of poor placement — they are put in areas that are convenient for people to avoid, but not for threatened species to thrive.
Fulton County Commissioner Tom Lowe argued Nov. 3 that nobody loves animals more than him — he cries when he puts his dogs down — but he said there is a place for cattle prods and bullhooks. The commission went along with Lowe, voting 4-3 against a proposed ban on the use of bullhooks by circus elephant trainers.
Two suspected ivory poachers were in custody and three others were killed by Kenyan authorities in the past week in a pair of incidents, the Kenya Wildlife Service said Nov. 1. Five elephants also were killed in the incidents.
Link: CNN (Warning: The link includes a mildly graphic picture of confiscated elephant tusks.)
BEIJING – China has urged zoos to stop serving wild animal products and holding wildlife performances in an attempt to improve the treatment of tigers, bears and other animals amid concerns over widespread abuse in zoos and wildlife parks.
Valerie Mayen is a recent winner of Born Free USA’s fashion challenge. Tommy Garrett of Canyon News recently interviewed Mayen and posted the Q&A.
Link: Canyon News
Suppose everything the circus people say is true. The elephants they use in their shows are not harmed, and the training is humane. The animals are healthy and happy. Even if all that is right, it doesn't change the bigger picture. Performing elephants should have long since gone the way of the circus freak show. It's something future generations will look back on in embarrassment.
Link: Connecticut Post