Uganda: Lions found dead in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Lion at Queen Elizabeth National Park
A resting lion… The lions at this park are known for their ability to climb trees

Sun, March 21, 2021, 3:38 AM·1 min read

Six lions have been found dead and dismembered after a suspected poisoning in one of Uganda’s most famous parks.

The lions were found in Queen Elizabeth National Park with their heads and paws hacked off, and their bodies surrounded by dead vultures, officials said.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) said it “cannot rule out illegal wildlife trafficking”.

An investigation has now been launched, with conservationists working with local police at the scene.

These particular lions are known for their ability to climb trees.

In a statement, UWA’s communications manager Bashir Hangi said they were “saddened” by the killings.

He added that nature tourism is an important part of Uganda’s economy, contributing about 10% of its GDP, and plays a vital role in the conservation of animals.

“UWA strongly condemns the illegal killing of wildlife because it does not only impact negatively on our tourism as a country, but also revenue generation, which supports conservation and community work in our protected areas,” he said.

There have been a number of previous incidents where lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park were believed to have been poisoned.

In April 2018, 11 lions – including eight cubs – were found dead after a suspected poisoning. A similar incident led to the deaths of five lions in May 2010.https://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-6-0/html/r-sf.html

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Orphan rhino reportedly killed by poachers

Rhino

Image via: Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre / Facebook

The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) said it is devastated following the brutal killing of Olivia the rhino. According to the centre, she was killed at the hands of poachers on Monday 1 March 2021. 

OLIVIA DIES IN THE SAME MANNER AS HER MOTHER FIVE YEARS AGO

The HESC said the rhino was killed on the reserve that was released into by the centre back in September 2019. The South African reached out to the centre to find out which reserve, however, there was no response at the time of publication. 

“She died at the hand of ruthless rhino poachers and was found butchered with her horn hacked off. She died as her mother had died five years ago – killed in cold blood by merciless thugs who illegally trade in rhino horn,” the HESC said in a Facebook post.  null

Olivia the rhino arrived at HESC in April 2016 as a little four-month-old rhino after she had witnessed the savage killing of her mother and was left orphaned. 

“She was terrified and very traumatised, but eventually made friends and settled down with Khulula, Nhlanhla and Lula, three other orphans in our care. She was released back into the wild after rehabilitation when she was old enough to manage on her own,” it went on to say.  

“Our hearts are broken,” it added.  null Image via: Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre / Facebook

Image via: Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre / Facebook

READ: Anti-poaching ranger attacked and killed by lion in Pilanesberg

R53 MILLION IN RHINO HORN SEIZED AT OR TAMBO

On Thursday 4 February 2021, exactly one month ago, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) confirmed that rhino horn worth R53 million was seized at OR Tambo International Airport. 

According to the revenue service, the consignment was on its way to Malaysia.  null

“The Customs unit of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) made a bust of rhino horn with an estimated value of R53 172 000, in a shipment destined for Malaysia,” SARS said. 

“This is the fourth rhino horn bust by SARS Customs at the O.R.Tambo International Airport between July 2020 and February 2021. The overall weight of the rhino horn seized in these four cases is 277.30kg – with an estimated value of R234 114 206,” it added. 

“I’m Andrea Chothia. I studied Journalism and English Literature at the University of the Western Cape. I’ve been in the media industry for over 6 years as a multimedia reporter and magazine editor. I enjoy words that are strung together beautifully, and in the correct way. If not, my OCD levels will rise. The first love of my life was hard news, the second was my cat. I believe that nothing good comes easy. If success just falls into your lap, there’s been a mistake. My recipe for victory is constant hustling and recognising everyone you meet as a teacher.” https://d-12075869531346409986.ampproject.net/2102200206006/frame.html Next Meet Speed: Kim Kardashian West gets a scaly new pet »Previous « Just in: eNCA journalist Karima Brown dies of COVID-19

https://d-12075869531346409986.ampproject.net/2102200206006/frame.html Published by Andrea Chothia Tags: Limpoporhino poachingSouth Africa 2021-03-04 09:45

https://www.thesouthafrican.com/news/olivia-the-rhino-killed-in-poaching-incident/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Staying warm in the cold

Webcam: Red Wolves – you can follow Charlotte, Jack & Family | Wolf Conservation Center

https://nywolf.org/meet-our-wolves/webcams/webcam-red-wolves-charlotte-jack-family/

The Startling Link Between Animal Cruelty and Human Abuse [UPDATED 2020]

ladyfreethinker.org

In the early 1970s, notorious serial killer Ted Bundy began a brutal killing spree that likely resulted in the death of more than 100 innocent victims. He admitted to the murder of 36 women.

About two decades earlier, Bundy tortured defenseless dogs and cats.

Similar stories are true of Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, “The Boston Strangler” Albert DeSalvo, and many others. But the connection between early animal abuse and later human abuse isn’t confined to serial killers.

Animal cruelty is linked to all forms of human abuse, from domestic violence to sexual assault.

Despite clear evidence suggesting the connection between animal abuse and future criminal behavior, authorities have failed to treat cases of animal cruelty with the same severity as violence against humans. They allow murderers like Bundy to hone their sadism without consequence.

Until January 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) filed animal abuse under the “All Other Offenses” category in their National Incident-Based Reporting System.

But then John Thompson, the current deputy executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association, stepped in.

Thompson, who has close to four decades of law enforcement experience, didn’t initially recognize that harming animals is a strong indicator of future violent crimes against people – what some call “The Link.”

“I spent 35 years in law enforcement and couldn’t have cared less about animal abuse,” Thompson admitted to The Atlantic. “I was stupid. No one was educated.”

When he did make the connection, Thompson pressured the FBI’s policy advisory board to create a separate category for filing animal abuse, which the agency did.

That decision may save lives.

It’s worth noting that not every person who abuses animals has committed or will commit another crime. But harming people is statistically more likely when animal cruelty is involved. And animal cruelty must be taken seriously.

Animal Cruelty and Murder

school shooting

Image via Flickr/Phil Roeder

The link between animal torture and the world’s most sadistic serial killers has long been established.

Ted Bundy tortured his pets. Jeffrey Dahmer decapitated dogs and nailed cats to trees. John Wayne Gacy set turkeys on fire with gasoline-filled balloons. Albert DeSalvo stuffed helpless dogs and cats into boxes and shot them with arrows.  Dennis Rader, or the “BTK Killer,” hanged cats and dogs.

All of these heinous crimes occurred during the killers’ childhoods.

Recent studies also have revealed that many school shooters also abused animals prior to turning their guns on people.

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, of the Columbine High School shooting, bragged about mutilating animals to their classmates. Kip Kinkel, before his attack on Thurston High School parents and students, blew up cows and decapitated cats. Luke Woodham , who murdered his mother and two schoolmates at Pearl High School, wrote in his journal about setting his dog Sparkle on fire.

Unfortunately, animals are easy first victims for killers.

“Animal abuse is often the first sign of serious disturbance among adolescent and adult killers,” Gail F. Melson, professor emerita of developmental studies at Purdue University, wrote in Psychology Today.

Without severe consequences for animal cruelty, killers will continue to escape the penalty and psychological intervention needed to prevent future crimes.

Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence

violence against women

Image via Pixabay

Household pets are often used as a way to control or further harm victims in cases of domestic violence. 

Domestic violence survivors have reported in studies that their abusers threatened to kill, torture, or otherwise harm their companion animals — or actually followed through on the threats — to prevent them from leaving their abusive situations.

Abusers also use animal abuse or threats against survivor’s beloved animals to isolate victims and children, to eliminate competition for attention, and to force the family to keep violence a secret, according to an article published via the Animal Legal and Historical Center.

This cruel behavior is commonplace for domestic violence victims, with more than 85% of women entering shelters discussing incidents of pet abuse in their families.

Another study, published in Violence Against Women, found that women in domestic abuse shelters were 10 times more likely to report their partner had hurt or killed their pet, compared to a group of women who had not experienced intimate violence. 

The violence toward animals harms more than just the pets; victims of domestic violence also suffer trauma and fear, which makes escaping their abusers. 

Animal Cruelty and Child Abuse

child abuse

Image via Pixabay

In households prone to family violence, animals are often the first victims of abuse, followed by children, according to Cynthia Hodges.

The statistics supporting a direct link between animal and child abuse are staggering:

  • 88% of families surveyed that had incidents of child abuse also had incidents of animal abuse
  • 63% of children entering shelters admitted to incidents of pet abuse in their families
  • More than 80% of families being treated for child abuse reported animal abuse in their homes
  • More than 60% of families with child abuse and neglect also had pets that endured abuse and neglect

But it gets worse: When violence becomes “normal,” some children sometimes push the boundaries of their own desensitization by becoming animal abusers themselves.

More than 30% of pet-owning victims of domestic abuse reported that their children had hurt or killed a pet, according to a survey by the Humane Society of the United States. 

Why do children who are abused, or witness abuse, sometimes become abusers themselves?

A report published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health posits that severe and prolonged trauma, especially when experienced at a young age, can stunt children’s emotional and social development.  Some children therefore become less empathetic toward animals and more likely to copy the abuse they see in their homes.

Randall Lockwood, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)’s senior vice president for forensic sciences and anti-cruelty projects, also described how witnessing animal abuse can have a severe psychological impact on children.

Lockwood described how children suppress their feelings toward pets as a coping mechanism for the pain they experience when watching persistent animal abuse. This negatively impacts healthy empathetic development. In certain cases, children kill their pets themselves to gain control over the situation and end the animals’ suffering, Lockwood said.

Animal cruelty must be taken more seriously if this vicious cycle of abuse is ever going to end. 

Animal Cruelty and Sexual Assault

sad cat

Image via Pixabay

Bestiality is a taboo subject, but the practice exists and is part of the animal cruelty problem.

According to one study, of the juveniles who admitted to sexually abusing animals, 96% also abused humans. 

“The results suggest that animal sex offending may be linked to other criminal behavior,” the study concluded. 

While reliable scientific data on the prevalence of bestiality is limited, preliminary studies suggest sexual abuse toward animals is a pervasive and underreported issue with infrequent penalties. Complicating the matter is a lack of state and federal legislation prohibiting the inhumane acts.

Engaging in sex with animals is actually legal in four states — Wyoming, Hawaii, New Mexico, and West Virginia — and the District of Columbia. In more than 20 states, bestiality is only a misdemeanor crime.

There are no federal laws against sexual abuse to animals.

The leniency in existing legislation means that people who commit bestiality often go unpunished. Of 456 bestiality-related arrests made over the last 40 years in the United States, less than 40% resulted in prosecution.

The lack of prosecution also means the animal abusers are free to go on to commit crimes against people: More than 50% of animal sex offenders had prior or subsequent criminal records, including human sexual abuse. 

Animal Cruelty and Non-Violent Crimes

theft

Image via NeedPix

Research also shows a positive correlation between animal abuse and nonviolent crimes, like theft and drug use.

One study, published in Between Animal Abuse and Human Violence, found that men who abused animals were four times more likely to have committed property crimes and three times more likely to have committed drug and disorderly conduct offenses.

Another study, on the relationship of animal abuse to violence and other forms of antisocial behavior, published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, sampled persons ranging in age from 11 to 76 years. Of those sampled, over 40 percent of animal abusers had committed property crimes (compared to about 10 percent of non-abusers), and over 35 percent of animal abusers had committed drug and disorderly conduct offenses (compared to slightly over 10 percent of non-abusers).

Animal Cruelty Is a Human Problem

dog and woman

Image via Pixabay

Animal cruelty is a serious offense and is predictive of past and future criminal activity, from violent mass murders to minor drug offenses. In this area — as in many others, ranging from  zoonotic disease to combating climate change — helping animals is helping people. 

By taking animal cruelty more seriously, policymakers and law enforcement will save lives. Animal and human victims will be safer. Abusers can receive the psychological intervention necessary to prevent violent crimes in the future. Ultimately, the world will be a more peaceful and compassionate place. 

https://ladyfreethinker.org/the-link-between-animal-cruelty-and-human-abuse/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

Taiji: The Killing Cove

Happy National Black Cat Day

Dictator Kim Jong-un orders citizens to turn over their dogs to be used as meat • Pet Rescue Report

petrescuereport.com

Cheryl Hanna

In July, the dictator of North Korea,  Kim Jong-un, announced having a dog as a pet would be against the law. Stating that pets are a symbol of capitalist ‘decadence,’ dogs in Pyongyang are being confiscated and being sent to either restaurants or zoos for meat to solve the nation’s food shortages.

According to the Daily Mail, dog meat has continued to be a delicacy on the Korean Peninsula, and even though there has been a downturn with younger people, there are still one million dogs raised on farms for human consumption.

“Authorities have identified households with pet dogs and are forcing them to give them or forcefully confiscating them and putting them down,” a source from South Korea’s Chosun IIbo newspaper stated.

Pet owners have little choice even though there have been reports of “cursing Kim Jong-un behind his back.” Anyone refusing to give up their dog could be viewed as an act of defiance by Jong-un, who commonly refers to himself as the Supreme Dignity.

In 1989, pets were encouraged in North Korea and used as a symbol of economic development, sophistication and wealthy families could be seen walking their dogs on state run television programs. In 2018, Kim Jong-un gifted the South Korean president two home grown hunting dogs presenting them as “peace puppies.” Those obviously were the lucky pups.

North Korea now faces a widespread food shortage – 60% of the population of 25.5 million people are included.


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‘Easygoing’ Black Bear Tranquilized, Killed After Locals Admitted to Luring Animal for Photos

people.com

Benjamin VanHoose

“You were willing to coexist, but people were not,” wrote the North Shore Black Bear Society about the bear

A wild black bear was killed after becoming accustomed to humans in Canada.

Last Wednesday, the North Shore Black Bear Society reported on Facebook that a bear they’ve encountered on several occasions this summer — whom they affectionately named Huckleberry — was tranquilized and put down by local conservation officers for being too comfortable around humans.

The North Vancouver, British Columbia-based organization wrote that the bear had been lured and allowed to eat food left out by local residents, who wanted to capture the animal on camera.

“On July 31st you were eating berries at the edge of the forest. We headed out to make sure you were not being crowded or chased by dogs. By the time we reached you, you were being followed by residents who wanted a video of you eating organics from an unlocked cart,” read the post. “Due to the crowd of people, it wasn’t safe for us to move you on. When you finished eating, you calmly walked by and left our gaze. That was the last time we saw you.”

“Later that day you were tranquilized by the Conservation Officers and taken away to be killed,” they continued. “You were willing to coexist, but people were not.”

NSBBS added that Huckleberry “showed us every time we met that you were a good-natured bear, we are deeply sorry that we couldn’t save you.” The team added, “We’ll always have a place in our hearts for you, sweet boy.”

RELATED: Colorado Officials Looking to Euthanize Bear After It Entered a Home and Attacked Owner

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NSBBS representatives recalled on Facebook that they first encountered Huckleberry on July 2. During this initial meeting, Huckleberry was quick to get out of the way of humans. Their next interaction would lead to the story behind the bear’s name.

“The next time we met, you were at the roadside eating berries. As we walked you back to the forest, you stood and sniffed a garbage can,” NSBBS shared. “We used a firm tone and told you to leave — you listened. As you walked away, you left a bright pink scat full of huckleberries! We were so proud of you for eating natural foods, despite all the tempting treats residents had left available to you. From that moment, we named you Huckleberry!”

NSBBS remembered that Huckleberry would “roll” his tongue out at them to “smell the air as we walked together back to the forest” — a behavior NSBBS said showed that the bear recognized them.

RELATED VIDEO: Jeff Corwin Warns Sad Moments Are ‘Part of the Story Arc’ on Alaska Animal Rescue

RELATED: Two Bears Brawl in the Middle of a Highway as a Wolf Watches Quietly from a Distance

NSBBS said nearby residents admitted to allowing the “easy-going, calm bear” to pick through their garbage so they could photograph him.

“Reports started coming in of you finding easy rewards from garbage and organics carts. People admitted they allowed you to do that for a video and they neglected to move you on … a death sentence,” they wrote. “If only people had used a firm voice with you, you would have listened. Or respected you enough to not have any garbage or food scraps accessible in the first place. We did you a disservice, Huckleberry.”

  •  

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If you find yourself needing to find a home for pets…

Sometimes circumstances due to loss of finances, illness,death and even finding a pet, can put pets in great danger… please do your homework first and go through rescues groups or shelter and never put an ad on Craigslist or other social media sites!

Image

Today is World Snake Day

IMG_20200514_222425

Think Your Dog is a Good Communicator? Congratulate Yourself

firepaw.org

Researchers have found that dogs adapt their communicative strategies to their environment and that owner behavior influences communicative effort and success.

Study Overview

Given the remarkable sensitivity of dogs to human vocalizations, gestures and gazes, researchers have suggested that 30.000 years of domestication and co-evolution with humans may have caused dogs to develop similar principles of communication — a theory known as the domestication hypothesis.

On this basis, researchers designed an experiment that would examine the factors influencing the form, effort and success of dog-human interactions in a hidden-object task. Using 30 dog-owner pairs, researchers focused on a communicative behavior called showing, in which dogs gather the attention of a communicative partner and direct it to an external source.

While the owner waited in another room, an experimenter in view of a participating dog hid the dogs` favorite toy in one of four boxes. When the owner entered the room, the dog had to show its owner where the toy had been hidden. If the owner successfully located the toy, the pair were allowed to play as a reward. Participants were tested in two conditions: a close setup which required more precise showing and a distant setup which allowed for showing in a general direction.

Results Overview

The findings indicate that a crucial factor influencing the effort and accuracy of dogs’ showing is the behavior of the dog’s owner. Owners who encouraged their dog to show where the toy was hidden increased their dog’s showing effort but generally decreased their showing accuracy.  Bottom line: the current study indicates for the first time that owners can influence their dog’s showing accuracy and success.


Journal Reference: Melanie Henschel, James Winters, Thomas F. Müller, Juliane Bräuer. Effect of shared information and owner behavior on showing in dogs (Canis familiaris). Animal Cognition, 2020; DOI: 10.1007/s10071-020-01409-9


https://firepaw.org/2020/07/07/think-your-dog-is-a-good-communicator-congratulate-yourself/#like-7045#like-7045

This is the way we brush our teeth brush our teeth

38 dogs found dead on Toronto-bound flight from Ukraine

theglobeandmail.com

Images are unavailable offline.

People leave the terminal after arriving at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Monday, March 16, 2020.

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is investigating after dozens of dogs were found dead or sick on a flight from Ukraine at a Toronto airport.

Approximately 500 puppies landed at Pearson International Airport last Saturday, according to the agency. Thirty-eight were found dead on arrival, and many others were dehydrated, weak or vomiting.

“CFIA officials are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident and will determine next steps once the investigation is complete,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

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In a Facebook post Friday, Ukraine International Airlines apologized for the “tragic loss of animal life” on one of its flights.

“UIA is working with local authorities to determine what happened and to make any changes necessary to prevent such a situation from occurring again.”

The airline did not immediately respond to questions about the incident or its policies for transporting animals.

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of the Canadian branch of Humane Society International, called on authorities to get to the bottom of how so many puppies were transported at such high temperatures, possibly in violation of industry animal safety standards.

“It raises a lot of questions. And I definitely think the Canadian public wants answers to these questions,” said Aldworth.

“Responsible airlines will not transfer transport animals in extreme heat, because they know there is a risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion and even suffocation.

“And I would question what airline has the capacity to put 500 dogs on one plane.”

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Aldworth said the circumstances bear all the hallmarks of a puppy mill.

“My organization has been working for more than a decade to shut down puppy mills in Canada. And we are devastated to see that animals continue to be imported from equally horrific facilities in other parts of the world into this country,” she said.

“People are looking for (pets) on the internet, they’re buying sight unseen, and they’re importing cruelty into this country when we have so much of it to deal with right here at home.”

The CFIA spokesperson said the agency has rigorous standards for the importation of animals to Canada to prevent the spread of disease.

Penalties for failing to meet these requirements can include removal of the animal, fines or legal action, the spokesperson said.

Federal regulations also prohibit carriers from transporting animals in a way that would cause injury or undue suffering, the spokesperson added.

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They declared them companion animals… But this is still going to happen!!

Animal Lives Matter

Here’s why Easter Is bad for bunnies

https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/news/2017/04/rabbits-easter-animal-welfare-pets-rescue-bunnies?__twitter_impression=true

By Natasha Daly 13-17 minutes


PUBLISHED April 12, 2017

Roger, a rescued rabbit, peers over his owner Kyle Daly’s shoulder.

Photograph by Rebecca Hale, National Geographic

Editor’s note: Amid the coronavirus pandemic, shelters and rescue groups across the U.S. and around the world report a greater need for people to foster or adopt domestic pets, including rabbits. Some shelters even offer remote adoption screening and curbside pickups. If you’re interested in fostering a rabbit, here is a list of rescue groups by state and by country.

It’s the Saturday before Easter weekend at Petland in Fairfax, Virginia. Sixteen baby bunnies sit in three open pens, all for sale. Two teenage girls reach into a pen, scoop one up, and plop down on the floor, squealing over its cuteness: “I need it!”

The rabbits are all very young. No adult rabbits are for sale here.

“What happens to the babies who grow up before they’re sold?” I ask a salesman. “The breeder picks them up,” he says.

“What does he do with them?”

“I don’t know.”

It’s Picture Day for These Adorable Bunnies

Rabbits are the third most popular pet in America, after cats and dogs, according to the Humane Society of the United States—and the third most abandoned. Most Americans have a sense of how long cats and dogs live, the kind of care they need, their behaviors. But rabbits? I asked several of my colleagues how long they think domestic rabbits live. “One to two years?” “Maybe three?” In fact, with proper care, rabbits live 10 to 12 years. People’s understanding of them seems to be out of step with their ubiquity.

This disconnect appears to drive impulse pet rabbit purchases, says Anne Martin, executive director of the House Rabbit Society, the largest rabbit rescue organization in the U.S. Because many people think they’re short-lived, low maintenance, cage-bound animals, rabbits are seen as “starter pets,” akin to goldfish, perfect for kids. This misconception may help drive a glut of baby bunny sales ahead of Easter—and a subsequent rise in rabbit abandonments.

Jennifer McGee, co-manager of the Georgia chapter of House Rabbit Society, a shelter in the southeastern part of the state, says they normally receive one to two calls a week about abandoned rabbits. But in the six weeks after Easter, the shelter gets three to four calls a day. House Rabbit Society chapters in Idaho and Chicago report a more noticeable rise in summer, as “Easter bunnies” hit puberty and reality sets in for owners.

And here’s the reality: Although rabbits can make delightful companions, they’re not easy-care pets. Vets and insurance companies consider them exotic pets, so medical care can be more expensive than for a cat or dog. Rabbits need a lot of exercise and shouldn’t simply be pent up in a cage. This means they need to learn to use a litterbox (yes, rabbits can be potty trained), which takes patience, just as it does for cats. They’re also prey animals, and we’re, well, predators. They generally don’t like to be picked up by humans; they prefer to be in control, their feet on the ground.

“It takes a patient person to become friends with these silent and subtle animals,” says Margo DeMello, president of the House Rabbit Society.

Roger pops his head out of his travel carrier—he smells banana, his favorite treat. Likely around four years old, he was rescued from a park in Washington, D.C, where he’d been left in a cage.

Photograph by Rebecca Hale, National Geographic

Rabbits’ complexity means they often face a grim fate when purchased on a whim. Seemingly cute and cuddly, once baby bunnies mature, at between three and six months old, they can become aggressive and even destructive. Proper exercise, litterbox training, and spaying or neutering curbs the problem for most rabbits. But many new owners assume that the undesirable behaviors are the sign of a problem rabbit and get rid of it. Others may do a little research and balk at the time and money it takes to change bunny behavior. McGee says she’s often met with shock and frustration from parents: “What do you mean I have to spend $200 to fix a $30 rabbit?”

ABANDONMENTS: A YEAR-ROUND PROBLEM

It’s unclear how many rabbits are abandoned in the U.S.—and how many are Easter bunnies. There isn’t a central organization collecting data, DeMello says. Most individual shelters track how many dogs and cats are found, adopted, or euthanized, but they typically lump rabbits in with birds, reptiles, and small mammals in the “other” category.

Rescuers in local rabbit shelters from California’s Bay Area to rural Georgia to suburban Connecticut all tell National Geographic that although abandonments spike in the weeks and months after Easter, they’re a big problem year-round.

According to Martin, about two-thirds of rabbits rescued in Northern California are strays left to fend for themselves. In some cities, Las Vegas and Spokane, Washington, for example, public parks and empty lots have become dumping grounds overrun with hundreds of unfixed, unwanted rabbits. People abandon many rabbits outdoors, likely unaware that this is a death sentence. Domestic rabbits lack the survival instincts of their wild cousins, Martin says, and are unable to fight infection, build safe shelters, or adapt to heat and cold.

Kiba, an 11-year-old Netherland Dwarf, poses for the camera. He was surrendered to a shelter in 2012 in bad condition: underweight, with broken toes. He now has his own Instagram account: @kibabunny.

Photograph by Rebecca Hale, National Geographic

Shelters struggle to keep up. The Georgia House Rabbit Society gets more than 500 requests a year from owners looking to get rid of their rabbits—far more than they have the resources to save. Edie Sayeg, a rescuer with the group, believes thousands of rabbits are simply ditched outdoors in Georgia.

Elizabeth Kunzelman, a spokeswoman for Petland, a major national pet retailer that sells rabbits, says the spring months are “a perfect time for a child to begin caring for a new pet and learning responsibility.” But DeMello believes this mindset is problematic. “Children, honestly, want something cuddlier and more obviously attentive and are often frustrated when rabbits don’t respond to them the way they expect.” Other pet stores, including Petco and Petsmart, stopped selling rabbits several years ago because of concerns about abandonment. Kunzelman says Petland has a take-back policy for rabbits and other animals.

But two years after I visited the Petland in Fairfax, Virginia, the Humane Society of the United States released undercover footage documenting alleged mistreatment and deaths of rabbits at the store. Fairfax County police investigated and found 31 dead rabbits in a freezer in the store in April 2019. Lieutenant Ronnie Lewis, who oversaw the investigation, says that his team seized the dead rabbits as well as 17 living rabbits from the store. Police placed the surviving rabbits in custody of a municipal animal shelter. All 17 rabbits are now in foster homes and will be available for adoption shortly.

Petland has since terminated its franchise agreement with the store, saying in a statement that the company is “saddened and outraged at this alleged gross violation of Petland’s animal care standards.” The store is now closed. The cause of the rabbit deaths remains under investigation by police.

It’s not just pet stores that promote rabbit purchases. Farm stores, 4-H clubs, backyard breeders, and Facebook and Craigslist users across the country advertise baby bunnies ahead of the Easter season. Suzanne Holtz, director of Illinois-based Bunnies United Network, says these sellers can be even more problematic than pet stores because the rabbits often have a misplaced “halo of rescue” about them. Her shelter will get calls from people looking to surrender a bunny they “saved” from Craigslist, where selling animals is ostensibly banned.

It’s a challenge to discourage people from buying rabbits as Easter gifts without discouraging responsible would-be owners from having them at all, Martin says, because for those who understand how to care for them, they make fantastic pets.

I know: I have two rescue rabbits of my own. Roger, a Blanc de Hotot (a French breed notable for black-rimmed “eyeliner” eyes) was found abandoned in a small cage in a park. Rescued by D.C.-area group Friends of Rabbits, he’s curious, fearless, and loving. Penelope, an English Angora, was found on the street as a baby. A Washington Humane Society rescue, she’s bonded with Roger—they’re companions who groom and play with each other—and is opinionated and ornery. They’re litter-trained, have free rein of our apartment, and bring me and my husband joy every day.

Editor’s note: This story was updated on April 19, 2019, to include new information about the Fairfax, Virginia, Petland.

To learn more about rabbit care, visit House Rabbit Society at rabbit.org. If you’re interested in adopting a rabbit of your own, you can reach out to your local HRS chapter, or an animal shelter in your area.

Spring safety tips

Do I need to worry that my dog has coronavirus?

worldanimalprotection.us

The simple answer is no. It’s understandable that many of us are feeling concerned about the possibility of contracting coronavirus, but to turn our attention towards dogs would be entirely misguided.

Just last month, heartbreaking images of pet dogs and cats emerged from China’s Hubei Province – their eyes glazed over, their bodies lying lifeless on the pavements, some surrounded by a pool of their own blood. The fear of catching the virus had terrified their owners, believing their pets could be carriers – they were thrown from the windows of the high-rise tower blocks. People’s fears were leading to cruel and unnecessary loss of life.

While not common, some authorities have reported pets being killed (either by force or humanely euthanized) or abandoned as a precaution. Thankfully, this doesn’t appear to be the common response, and most people realize this is a completely unnecessary reaction to the coronavirus rumor mill.

Coronavirus is frequently being compared to the SARS outbreak of 2003 as it bears striking similarities. Just like with SARS, there were also fears that pets could spread the disease. By the end of the epidemic, just eight cats and a dog tested positive for the virus, but no animal was ever found to transmit the disease to humans.

Now, the world is turning its attention to Hong Kong, where an elderly, 17-year-old Pomeranian dog has tested ‘weak positive’ for coronavirus. A dog of this age might typically be quite vulnerable to infections, yet it is still showing no signs of disease relating to COVID-19. Experts will be monitoring the dog and will be repeating the test in the coming days, although more tests need to be done.

To put it into perspective, consider that there are around 750 million dogs living in the world, mostly alongside people, and of all these, just one single dog, has tested weakly positive for coronavirus. This is an extremely rare and isolated case. We need to prevent a knee-jerk reaction to our canine companions, preventing any drastic measures.

It’s still early days, and experts are unsure how the disease interacts with other animals. There have been questions on whether the dog has actually contracted the disease, or just that the virus is being harbored in its body. After all, the dog was in close proximity to its owner, who does have the disease. For a dog to contract coronavirus, the disease will have had to mutate to enable it to latch on to dog cells. Right now, we don’t know for sure if this is the case, so this example tells us very little.

It’s also important to consider that the genes of dogs are very different from the genes of humans. While it looks as though the coronavirus might have originated in a bat, it’s a mystery how the virus jumped from bats to humans, and if there was another animal in the middle, bridging this gap.

Even if this case does show that the virus can jump to dogs, we don’t know enough at this stage about its possible transmission to other dogs, animals or even back to humans again. Take distemper, canine parvovirus, and heartworms for example – these are all examples of infections that cannot be transmitted from dogs to humans due to the differences in our genetic make-up among other things.

Pets are great companions and they shouldn’t pay the price of our fear by being abandoned or cruelly mistreated. We’re urging people to continue to protect their pets by trying to avoid crowded places for dog walks and keeping their time outdoors to a minimum where possible until we know more about the transmission of the coronavirus. This should also serve as an important reminder to be a responsible pet owner by microchipping, vaccinating and neutering your animals. For pets belonging to a household with COVID-19 infections, we recommend pets are also placed in quarantined facilities where possible or kept isolated from other animals at least.

Our message is clear – we need to look after our animals and not panic. There is no evidence showing that pets can be the source of infection of coronavirus. All around the world, dogs improve and add value to our lives. They keep us company, protect homes and livestock, and can learn to do extraordinary tasks – so let’s make sure we keep them, and ourselves, protected.

https://www.worldanimalprotection.us/blogs/pets-dogs-coronavirus-transmission

Cat Rescued After Escaping from Dogfighting Ring

onegreenplanet.org

By Sharon Vega

Dogfighting is a horrible blood “sport” in which dogs are forced to aggressively and violent fight each other for the entertainment or profit of humans. Horrible people gamble over the suffering and violence between animals. Many dogs suffer tremendously not just when forced to fight, but when used as bait dogs. But dogfighting affects other animals too. Cats and rabbits are also used as bait in dogfighting rings. It’s as horrifying as it sounds.

In order to train dogs to develop a blood lust, part of that involves tying up other animals and painting them red to teach the dog to chase and maul them and tear them apart. It’s sickening and disgusting.

A cat that was going to be used in this appalling way thankfully somehow got away and was rescued!

On Tuesday, February 18th, a UPS driver found a black and white kitten whose white fur had been dyed red. Thankfully, the driver saved the kitten and took him to Southside Animal Shelter nearby.

The shelter explained that among animal rescuers, it’s common knowledge that a cat with fur dyed red means they were being used in dogfighting rings.

News site WTHR also explains: “In dog fighting, many times cats and kittens are dyed different colors with people then betting on which one will be killed by the dog first, put up the best fight or survive the longest.”

The sweet cat has since been named Cosmo. He needs to put on some weight and get neutered, but then he’ll be put up for adoption. We are so glad he somehow got away from the horrible fate that awaited him and that the kind UPS driver was compassionate and caring enough to get him to safety.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/cat-rescued-after-escaping-from-dogfighting-ring/

Experts say hunters are killing eagles

They do the mating call 12 hours a day for weeks

Even Animals Fall in Love ❣️

Live feed of snow goose migration in Lancaster County | fox43.com

HDonTap, in conjunction with the State Game Commission, has a live feed of the snow goose migration. Thousands of birds are gathering there.

Go here to get the live feed of the snow goose migration.

https://www.fox43.com/amp/article/news/local/lancaster-county/watch-live-feed-of-snow-goose-migration-in-middle-creek-wildlife-management-area-in-lancaster-county/521-bf9e9dfd-3071-4d4a-a723-5d6c762582d4?__twitter_impression=true

Stray dogs are beaten to death in china to “stop” spread of coronavirus

dailycolumn.com.au

Footage has emerged of a Chinese community officer savagely beating a defenceless stray dog to death with a large wooden club, claiming to “Prevent the coronavirus from spreading”.

As The death toll from the Coronavirus hits 1,019 Chinese citizens throughout mainland China, the fears of the disease spreading by stray and domesticated Animals is manifested.

Horrified citizens in the city of Nanchong, Sichuan Province were witness to a brutal attack which involved a stray dog being brutally beaten to death with a large wooden club by a community officer. Sources claim the stray dog had bitten a resident and caused havoc.

A shocked resident filmed the entire incident which is too graphic to be shown, which shows the officer beating a medium sized dog repeatedly with a large wooden club, the officers actions have been condemned by animal rights groups as being “cruel” and “atrocious”.

The citizens residing the the complex where the incident took place were later instructed by officers to keep their pets indoors and that no pets were allowed outside.

‘As long as [we] see a dog in the complex, no matter if it is on the lead or not, we will beat it to death,’ the officers were quoted saying.

The footage later shows one of the two dogs which was beaten to death being taken away by a man on a scooter.

The WHO (World Health Organisation) has stated that there has been no evidence to suggest the coronavirus can be spread by cats and dogs at this time.

So far the coronavirus epidemics death toll has reached 1,019 lives with 43,140 people in 28 countries and territories around the world infected with the majority of those cases being in China.

https://dailycolumn.com.au/stray-dogs-are-beaten-to-death-in-china-to-stop-spread-of-coronavirus/

Tonight at 9 p.m. Orangutans

Roving band of herpes-ridden monkeys now roaming northeast Florida

monkeysnypost-com.cdn.ampproject.org
By Paula Froelich

February 1, 2020 | 3:43pm
rhesus macaques monkey Florida

A rhesus macaques monkey is pictured in Silver Springs, Fla. in 2017. AP

Forget Florida man, now there’s Florida monkeys.

A roving band of feral, herpes-ridden monkeys is now roaming across northeast Florida.

The STD-addled rhesus macaques had previously been confined to Silver Springs State Park near Ocala, Florida, but are now being spotted miles away in Jacksonville, St. Johns, St. Augustine, Palatka, Welaka and Elkton, Florida according to a local ABC affiliate, First Coast News.

Even more worrying: over a quarter of the 300 feral macaques — an invasive species native to south and southeast Asia — carry herpes B, according to a 2018 survey, National Geographic reported.

The monkeys were introduced to the area in the 1930s by a local cruise operator, Colonel Tooey’s Jungle Cruise, which released 12 monkeys over a series of years onto a man-made island inside Silver Springs State Park. The monkeys swam to freedom and reproduced at alarming rates and are now wandering around residential areas.

“The potential ramifications are really dire,” University of Florida primate scientist Dr. Steve Johnson told First Coast News. “A big male … that’s an extremely strong, potentially dangerous animal.”

In 1984, the then-Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission allowed licensed trappers to cull the monkey population by trapping and hunting. Over a thousand of the monkeys ended up in zoos or research facilities — or were simply killed. It was “a program that proved deeply unpopular with the public,” FCN noted. Since 2012 there has been no active management of the monkey population.

Greta Mealey, who works for DuMond Conservancy for Primates & Tropical Forests in Miami, told FCN that the monkeys are not a major threat to humans. “They’re not going to come up to us and interact with us. They would be more fearful.”

But, she added, “It’s not the kind of animal you probably want hanging around.”

Mealey’s grandson, Jason Parks, 8, of Julington Creek, saw one of the monkeys and described it as “being about chest high with ‘sharp claws and stuff. … My sister named him George.’”

https://nypost-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/nypost.com/2020/02/01/roving-band-of-herpes-ridden-monkeys-now-roaming-northeast-florida/amp/?usqp=mq331AQCKAE%3D&amp_js_v=0.1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fnypost.com%2F2020%2F02%2F01%2Froving-band-of-herpes-ridden-monkeys-now-roaming-northeast-florida%2F

Coronavirus – Cats and dogs ‘thrown from tower blocks’ in China after fake news rumours animals are causing spread

thesun.co.uk
Coronavirus – Cats and dogs ‘thrown from tower blocks’ in China after fake news rumours animals are causing spread
By Jon Lockett
3-4 minutes
VIRUS PANIC

Graphic Warning

31st January 2020, 3:33 pm

Updated: 1st February 2020, 1:14 pm

PANICKING pet owners are reportedly throwing cats and dogs out of towerblocks following bogus claims deadly coronavirus can be passed on by animals.

Chilling pictures coming out of crisis-hit China are said to show the bloodied corpses of animals lying in the road after being hurled to their death.

Chilling pictures coming out of crisis-hot China are said to show the bloodied corpses of animals lying in the road

AsiaWire
Chilling pictures coming out of China are said to show the bloodied corpses of animals lying in the road

One dog was found dead after allegedly being thrown from one block of flats in Tianjin City in Hebei Province – home to the outbreak epicentre Wuhan.

Five cats were also thrown to death in Shanghai, with locals apparently saying they were pets as they had smooth and clean fur, say unconfirmed reports.

Local media stated the pooch was thrown from the upper floors of a tower block at 4am and smashed into the sunroof of a car before ending up on the ground.

Reports state the noise of the dog hitting the car woke sleeping locals as it sounded like a tyre explosion.

Sickened families then found the poor pet lying dead on the ground with its blood staining surrounding bricks.

It’s reported mulitple pets were killed following bogus claims they could spread coronavirus

AsiaWire
It’s reported multiple pets were killed following bogus claims they could spread coronavirus

The shocking incidents were sparked after Dr Li Lanjuan said on Chinese state TV said : “If pets come into contact with suspected patients, they should be quarantined.”

However, a local media outlet then reportedly tweaked her words into “cats and dogs can spread the coronavirus”.

The false rumour spread quickly after Zhibo China posted it on social media platform Weibo.

In a bid to put and end to the false claims, China Global Television Network posted a quote from the World Health Organisation.

It read: “There is no evidence showing that pets such as cats and dogs can contract the novel coronavirus, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday.”

PETA Asia press officer for China, Keith Guo, said: “We hope the police can find the cold-blooded guardians of those poor animals as soon as possible.

“In fact, it’s the filthy factory farms, slaughterhouses, and meat markets that threaten the health of every human being on the planet by providing a breeding ground for deadly diseases like coronavirus, SARS, bird flu, and more.”

On Thursday we reported how dog owners in China were rushing to buy face masks for their pooches as experts warn pets could also catch the deadly virus.

One online seller from Beijing told Mail Online he is selling more special masks than ever before.

Zhou Tianxiao, 33, started selling special masks for dogs in 2018 to help protect them from air pollution.

But since the deadly new outrbreak, he has gone from selling 150 masks a month to at least 50 a day.

The killer bug has now spread to every region of China and 22 other countries including the UK.

The death toll has reached 213, with almost 10,000 people infected in what the WHO has called a global health emergency.

China’s first coronavirus hospital opens as empty building is rapidly converted in just TWO days into 1,000-bed unit

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10863349/coronavirus-cats-and-dogs-thrown-to-death/amp/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebarweb&__twitter_impression=true

These contests need to stop!

Tiny but mighty