It’s Your Chance To Be There Angel

Celebrate Your Squirrely Side

Catch me if you can…

102 kilometers per hour would round that off to 63.38 miles per hour… That’s one fast Kitty 🐆

Soviet Space Dogs

“Space dogs” redirects here. For the 2010 Russian computer-animated film, see Space Dogs.

During the 1950s and 1960s the Soviet space program used dogs for sub-orbital and orbital space flights to determine whether human spaceflight was feasible. In this period, the Soviet Union launched missions with passenger slots for at least 57 dogs. The number of dogs in space is smaller, as some dogs flew more than once. Most survived; the few that died were lost mostly through technical failures, according to the parameters of the test. A notable exception is Laika, the first animal to be sent into orbit, whose death during the 3 November, 1957 Sputnik 2 mission was expected from its outset.[1]

Training

Dogs were the preferred animal for the experiments because scientists felt dogs were well suited to endure long periods of inactivity.[2] As part of their training, they were confined in small boxes for 15–20 days at a time. Stray dogs, rather than animals accustomed to living in a house, were chosen because the scientists felt they would be able to tolerate the rigorous and extreme stresses of space flight better than other dogs. Female dogs were used because of their temperament and because the suit the dogs wore in order to collect urine and feces was equipped with a special device, designed to work only with females.[3][4][page needed]

Their training included standing still for long periods of time, wearing space suits, being placed in simulators that acted like a rocket during launch, riding in centrifuges that simulated the high acceleration of a rocket launch and being kept in progressively smaller cages to prepare them for the confines of the space module. Dogs that flew in orbit were fed a nutritious jelly-like protein. This was high in fiber and assisted the dogs to defecate during long periods of time while in their small space module. More than 60% of dogs to enter space were reportedly suffering from constipation and gallstones on arrival back to base.[5][page needed]

Sub-orbital flights

Dogs were flown to an altitude of 100 km (62 mi) on board 15 scientific flights on R-1 rockets from 1951 to 1956. The dogs wore pressure suits with acrylic glass bubble helmets. From 1957 to 1960, 11 flights with dogs were made on the R-2A series, which flew to about 200 km (120 mi). Three flights were made to an altitude of about 450 km (280 mi) on R-5A rockets in 1958. In the R-2 and R-5 rockets, the dogs were contained in a pressured cabin.[6]

Dezik, Tsygan, and Lisa-1

Dezik (Дезик) and Tsygan (Цыган, “Gypsy”) were the first dogs to make a sub-orbital flight on 15 August 1951.[2] Both dogs were recovered unharmed after travelling to a maximum altitude of 110 km (68 mi). Dezik made another sub-orbital flight in 1951 with the first dog named Lisa (Лиса, “Fox”), although neither survived because the parachute failed to deploy.[2] After the death of Dezik, Tsygan was adopted as a pet by Soviet physicist Anatoli Blagonravov.[7]

Lisa-2 and Ryzhik

Lisa-2 (Лиса, “Fox” or “Vixen”) and Ryzhik (Рыжик, “Ginger” (red-haired)) flew to an altitude of 100 km (62 mi) on 2 June 1954.

Smelaya and Malyshka

Smelaya (Смелая, “Brave” or “Courageous”, fem.) was due to make a flight in September but ran away the day before the launch. She was found the next day and went on to make a successful flight with a dog named Malyshka (Малышка, “Baby”). They both crashed after the rocket failed to deploy a parachute, and were found the next day by the recovery team.

Bobik and ZIB

Bobik (Бобик, common Russian name for a small dog) ran away just days before his flight was scheduled to take place on 15 September 1951.[2] A replacement named ZIB (ЗИБ, a Russian acronym for “Substitute for Missing Bobik”, “Замена Исчезнувшему Бобику” Zamena Ischeznuvshemu Bobiku), who was an untrained street dog found running around the barracks, was quickly located and made a successful flight to 100km and back.[8][2]

Otvazhnaya and Snezhinka

Otvazhnaya (Отважная, “brave one”, fem.) made a flight on 2 July 1959 along with a rabbit named Marfusha (Марфуша, “little Martha”) and another dog named Snezhinka (Снежинка, “Snowflake”). She went on to make 5 other flights between 1959 and 1960.[9]

Albina and Tsyganka

Albina (Альбина) and Tsyganka (Цыганка, “Gypsy girl”) were both ejected out of their capsule at an altitude of 85 km (53 mi) and landed safely. Albina was one of the dogs shortlisted for Sputnik 2, but never flew in orbit.

Damka and Krasavka

Damka (Дамка, “queen of checkers”) and Krasavka (Красавка, “little beauty” or “Belladonna”) were to make an orbital flight on 22 December 1960 as a part of the Vostok programme which also included mice.[10] However their mission was marked by a string of equipment failures.

The upper-stage rocket failed and the craft re-entered the atmosphere after reaching a sub-orbital apogee of 214 km (133 mi). In the event of unscheduled return to the surface, the craft was to eject the dogs and self-destruct, but the ejection seat failed and the primary destruct mechanism shorted out. The animals were thus still in the intact capsule when it returned to the surface. The backup self-destruct mechanism was set to a 60-hour timer, so a team was quickly sent out to locate and recover the capsule.

Although the capsule was reached in deep snow on the first day, there was insufficient remaining daylight to disarm the self-destruct mechanism and open the capsule. The team could only report that the window was frosted over in the −43 °C (−45 °F) degree temperatures and no signs of life were detected. On the second day, however, the dogs were heard barking as the capsule was opened. The dogs were wrapped in sheepskin coats and flown to Moscow alive, though all the mice aboard the capsule were found dead because of the cold.[11]

Damka was also known as Shutka (Шутка, “Joke”) or Zhemchuzhnaya (Жемчужная, “Pearly”) and Krasavka was also known as Kometka (Кометка, “Little Comet”) or Zhulka (Жулька, “Cheater”). After this incident Krasavka was adopted by Oleg Gazenko, a leading Soviet scientist working with animals used in space flights. She went on to have puppies and continued living with Gazenko and his family until her death 14 years later.[10] After the incident Sergey Korolyov, who was the designer of the rocket, wanted to make the story public, but was prevented from doing so by state censorship.[citation needed]

Bars and Lisichka

Bars (Барс (pron. “Barss”); “snow leopard“) and Lisichka (Лисичка, “little fox“) were also on a mission to orbit as a part of the Vostok programme, but died after their rocket exploded 28.5 seconds into the launch on July 28, 1960.[2] Bars was also known as Chayka (Чайка, “seagull“).

Other dogs that flew on sub-orbital flights include Dymka (Дымка, “smoky”), Modnitsa (Модница, “fashionista”) and Kozyavka (Козявка, “little gnat”).

At least four other dogs flew in September 1951, and two or more were lost.

Orbital flights

Laika

Laika on a Romanian post stamp

Laika (Лайка, “barker”) became the first living Earth-born creature (other than microbes) in orbit, aboard Sputnik 2 on 3 November 1957.[2] Some[who?] call her the first living passenger to go into space, but many sub-orbital flights with animal passengers passed the edge of space first, for instance the rhesus macaque Albert II. She was also known as Zhuchka (Жучка, “Little Bug”) and Limonchik (Лимончик, “Little Lemon”). The American media dubbed her “Muttnik”, making a play-on-words for the canine follow-on to the first orbital mission, Sputnik. She died between five and seven hours into the flight from stress and overheating.[12] Her true cause of death was not made public until October 2002; officials previously gave reports that she died when the oxygen supply ran out.[9] At a Moscow press conference in 1998 Oleg Gazenko, a senior Soviet scientist involved in the project, stated “The more time passes, the more I’m sorry about it. We did not learn enough from the mission to justify the death of the dog…”.[13]

Belka and Strelka

Belka

Strelka

Belka (Белка, literally, “squirrel“, or alternatively “Whitey”) and Strelka (Стрелка, “little arrow”) spent a day in space aboard Korabl-Sputnik 2 (Sputnik 5) on 19 August 1960 before safely returning to Earth.[9] They are the first higher living organisms to survive orbit in outer space.

They were accompanied by a grey rabbit, 42 mice, two rats, flies and several plants and fungi. All passengers survived. They were the first Earth-born creatures to go into orbit and return alive.[14]

Strelka went on to have six puppies with a male dog named Pushok who participated in many ground-based space experiments, but never made it into space.[15] One of the puppies was named Pushinka (Пушинка, “Fluffy”) and was presented to President John F. Kennedy by Nikita Khrushchev in 1961. A Cold War romance bloomed between Pushinka and a Kennedy dog named Charlie, resulting in the birth of four puppies that JFK referred to jokingly as pupniks.[16] Two of their puppies, Butterfly and Streaker, were given away to children in the Midwest. The other two puppies, White Tips and Blackie, stayed at the Kennedy home on Squaw Island but were eventually given away to family friends.[15] Pushinka’s descendants were still living at least as of 2015.[17] A photo of descendants of some of the Space Dogs is on display at the Zvezda Museum in Tomilino outside Moscow.[18]

A Russian animated feature film called Belka and Strelka: Star Dogs (English title: Space Dogs) was released in 2010.

Pchyolka and Mushka

“Mushka” redirects here. For the racehorse, see Mushka (horse).

Pchyolka (Пчёлка, “little bee”) and Mushka (Мушка, “little fly”) spent a day in orbit on 1 December 1960 on board Korabl-Sputnik-3 (Sputnik 6) with “other animals”, plants and insects.[9] Due to a reentry error when the retrorockets failed to shut off when planned, their spacecraft was intentionally destroyed by remote self-destruct to prevent foreign powers from inspecting the capsule on 2 December and all died.[citation needed] Mushka was one of the three dogs trained for Sputnik 2 and was used during ground tests. She did not fly on Sputnik 2 because she refused to eat properly.

Chernushka

Chernushka (Чернушка, “Blackie”) made one orbit on board Korabl-Sputnik-4 (Sputnik 9) on 9 March 1961[19] with a cosmonaut dummy (whom Soviet officials nicknamed Ivan Ivanovich), mice and a guinea pig. The dummy was ejected out of the capsule during re-entry and made a soft landing using a parachute. Chernushka was recovered unharmed inside the capsule.

Zvyozdochka

Zvyozdochka (Zvezdochka, Звёздочка, “starlet”[20]), who was named by Yuri Gagarin,[21] made one orbit on board Korabl-Sputnik 5 on 25 March 1961 with a wooden cosmonaut dummy in the final practice flight before Gagarin’s historic flight on 12 April.[20] Again, the dummy was ejected out of the capsule while Zvezdochka remained inside. Both were recovered successfully.

Veterok and Ugolyok

Space dogs Veterok and Ugolyok

Veterok (Ветерок, “light breeze”) and Ugolyok (Уголёк, “ember”) were launched on 22 February 1966 on board Cosmos 110, and spent 21 days in orbit before landing on 16 March.[4] This spaceflight of record-breaking duration was not surpassed by humans until Soyuz 11 in June 1971 and still stands as the longest space flight by dogs. The two dogs showed signs of “cardiovascular deconditioning” with dehydration, weight loss, loss of muscle and coordination and took several weeks to fully recover, though they showed no long term issues.[22]

See also

References

  1. ^ Berger, Eric (3 November 2017). “The first creature in space was a dog. She died miserably 60 years ago”. Ars Technica. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Gray, Tara (2 August 2004). “A Brief History of Animals in Space”. NASA.
  3. ^ Canine Nation (3 November 2002). A Few Facts about Russian Space Dogs Archived 8 January 2006 at the Wayback Machine via dogsinthenews.com.
  4. ^ a b Chris Dubbs (2003) Space Dogs: Pioneers of Space Travel, iUniverse, ISBN 0-595-26735-1
  5. ^ Chris Dubbs and Colin Burgess, Animals In Space: From Research Rockets to the Space Shuttle, Springer, 2007, ISBN 0387360530
  6. ^ Ushakova, et al., Istoriya Otechestvennoi Kosmicheskoi Meditziny, Moskva-Voronezh, 2001.
  7. ^ Asif Siddiqi, Sputnik and the Soviet Space Challenge, University Press of Florida, 2003, ISBN 081302627X, p. 96
  8. ^ Lileks, James (1 November 2019). “Remembering Laika the space dog”. StarTribune.
  9. ^ a b c d DE Beischer and AR Fregly (1962). “Animals and man in space. A chronology and annotated bibliography through the year 1960”. US Naval School of Aviation Medicine. ONR TR ACR-64 (AD0272581). Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  10. ^ a b Kate Baklitskaya (1 May 2013) The remarkable (and censored) Siberian adventure of stray dog cosmonauts Comet and Shutka. Siberiantimes.com. Retrieved on 14 May 2013.
  11. ^ John Rhea, Roads to Space: An Oral History of the Soviet Space Program, Aviation Week Group, 1995, ISBN 0076070956 pp. 197–199 and 415–417.
  12. ^ “First dog in space died within hours”. BBC. 28 October 2002. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  13. ^ Dick Abadzis, afterword to Laika, First Second, 2007, ISBN 1-59643-302-7
  14. ^ Georgiou, Aristos (3 November 2019). “Laika the dog: These are all the animals that have been launched into space”. Newsweek.
  15. ^ a b John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. Reference Desk: Pets. Accessed 8 July 2007
  16. ^ Bark At the Moon: A Short History of Soviet Canine Cosmonauts From About.com Space / Astronomy. Accessed 8 July 2007
  17. ^ Mosher, Dave. “I traveled to Russia and met the first dogs to ever survive space in this rare museum”. Business Insider. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  18. ^ Dogs in Space: James M Skipper’s visit to the NPO Zvezda Museum, The Skipper Family magazine. Accessed 7 July 2007
  19. ^ Sputnik 9 and Chernushka (March 1961) on YouTube
  20. ^ a b Asif A. Siddiqi (2000). Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945–1974. NASA. SP-2000-4408. Part 1 (page 1-500), Part 2 (page 501-1011). p. 267
  21. ^ Gagarin, Jurij (2020). Put do zvezda (in Serbian). Translated by Kitanović, Ana. Belgrade: Laguna. pp. 157–158. ISBN 978-86-521-3878-4.
  22. ^ Brian Harvey; Olga Zakutnyaya (2011). Russian Space Probes: Scientific Discoveries and Future Missions. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 314. ISBN 978-1-44198-150-9.

External links

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_space_dogs#Belka_and_Strelka

62 years ago today Belka and Strelka were the first dogs to safely return to Earth after being in orbit

Belka and Strelka

Belka (Белка, literally, “squirrel“, or alternatively “Whitey”) and Strelka (Стрелка, “little arrow”) spent a day in space aboard Korabl-Sputnik 2 (Sputnik 5) on 19 August 1960 before safely returning to Earth. They are the first higher living organisms to survive in outer space.

They were accompanied by a grey rabbit, 42 mice, two rats, flies and several plants and fungi. All passengers survived. They were the first Earth-born creatures to go into orbit and return alive.

Strelka went on to have six puppies with a male dog named Pushok who participated in many ground-based space experiments, but never made it into space. One of the puppies was named Pushinka (Пушинка, “Fluffy”) and was presented to President John F. Kennedy by Nikita Khrushchev in 1961. A Cold War romance bloomed between Pushinka and a Kennedy dog named Charlie, resulting in the birth of four puppies that JFK referred to jokingly as pupniks. Two of their puppies, Butterfly and Streaker, were given away to children in the Midwest. The other two puppies, White Tips and Blackie, stayed at the Kennedy home on Squaw Island but were eventually given away to family friends. Pushinka’s descendants were still living at least as of 2015. A photo of descendants of some of the Space Dogs is on display at the Zvezda Museum in Tomilino outside Moscow.

Belka and Strelka in graffiti. 2008

‘Horrified’: Council members react to animal shelter crisis – Los Angeles Times

www.latimes.com

Dakota Smith

Two L.A. city councilmen called Friday for more resources for the city’s struggling animal shelters following a Times article about crowded kennels, shelter dogs that go for weeks without walks and staffing shortages.

“Angelenos deserve the services we pay for,” said City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, whose South L.A. district includes Chesterfield Square Animal Services Center. “We expect animals to be treated humanely and require the city to do better.”

Chesterfield Square is the most crowded of the city’s six animal shelters and houses some 300 dogs, some of whom face long confinement periods. The city relies on hundreds of unpaid volunteers to walk and exercise the dogs, but volunteers say that they can’t keep up with the influx of animals.

At the same time, staffing shortages are hurting the department. Animal Services lost more than 20% of its workforce through a program that encouraged older city employees to retire. It was launched in the first year of the pandemic in 2020 when it wasn’t clear that federal funding would be available.

Today, staff at Animal Services are frequently absent because of COVID-19-related issues, staff and volunteers told The Times.

Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who represents the west San Fernando Valley, said he was “horrified” to read about conditions at the shelters. “My heart breaks for the animals,” said Blumenfield, who said his family has both fostered and adopted shelter dogs.

Blumenfield questioned why more “red flags” weren’t raised about the shelter’s challenges.

Yet, members of the public regularly call into meetings of the Los Angeles Animal Services Commission, which is made up of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s appointees, to complain about conditions at the shelters, including the dogs’ long confinement.

And in May, an employee at the city’s San Pedro shelter emailed supervisors to alert them to overcrowding issues, including dogs that were being housed in shower stalls and in wildlife cages.

“We should be able to deal with this as a city,” Blumenfield said. “We have the resources and we have the know-how.”

He said the city shouldn’t be in a position where its dogs “are kept in shower stalls and not having walks.”

Blumenfield, who was critical at the time of the city’s retirement program because he feared a big loss in staff, also said the department needs more employees and better technology make it easier for the public to volunteer and adopt animals.

Animal Services’ interim general manager Annette Ramirez said in an interview last month that a new website will launch soon.

Harris-Dawson also said the neighborhood around the shelter “is filled with folks who love pets and are willing to give their time to turn the situation around. If Animal Services engages with the local community, they will show up.”

KTLA reported Thursday that Claudio Kusnier, a volunteer at the West Valley shelter, was suspended after he talked to the news outlet about conditions at the shelter.

Kusnier told KTLA that the shelters need to stay open past 5 p.m. so more people can volunteer. At one point — Kusnier was also interviewed after the suspension — he blamed department “mismanagement” for the loss of two key staff members who recently left. Both of those staffers are now working at other animal services agencies.

Jean Sarfaty, a former 911 city operator who volunteers at the West Valley shelter, told The Times that she was also suspended after talking to the media on Thursday. She said she was told she was suspended because she gave an interview without permission. She was wearing an Animal Services t-shirt at the time, too.

“I didn’t say anything negative,” Sarfaty said. “I said that the city employees work hard and that volunteers help to do the things that the city workers aren’t doing because they don’t have time.” The Times was not immediately able to get a comment from Animal Services about Sarfaty’s account.

Agnes Sibal, a spokesperson for Los Angeles Animal Services, said the department doesn’t comment on “staffing-related or personnel issues.”

Speaking generally about volunteer interviews, Sibal said volunteers need department approval prior to speaking to the media “when they are going to speak and represent the department [as a volunteer] to the media.”

Sibal also appeared on CBS2 this week and said that the dogs receive care, although some may not be walked for weeks.

“All the dogs in our shelters actually get daily enrichments,” Sibal told the news station. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that they get walked every day. However, they do get some form of exercise and interaction with volunteers or staff.”

Asked what exercise the dogs get every day, Sibal told The Times the animals get enrichment activities.

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“Dogs receive exercise through canine enrichment by engaging them in activities designed to stimulate their mind while also keeping them active,” Sibal said.

“Enrichment activities happen daily and vary day by day and may be outdoors via playtime in the yards or walks, or in their kennels, when they get their daily treats from staff/volunteers; receive Kong toys with treats inside; or when they enjoy frozen treats during hot weather,” Sibal said.

Other activities include blowing bubbles for dogs to pop and chase and reading to the animals, Sibal said.

She also said that city staff’s enrichment activities may not be reflected in any logs.

Former Animal Services supervisor Thomas Kalinowski, one of the staff who recently left the department, said that he personally interacted with dogs that hadn’t been out of their kennels in weeks or months.

Mike Long, communications director for SEIU 721, which represents some Animal Services workers, said Friday that “more animals will continue to suffer” if the city doesn’t act.

“We have to face facts — we need more dollars for staff and facilities because clearly, relying on the good will of volunteers and on private, one-time donations from pet-loving celebrities alone just isn’t enough,” Long said.

City Councilman Paul Koretz, who chairs a committee overseeing animal issues, has scheduled an emergency committee meeting next week to discuss conditions at the shelters.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-07-16/l-a-city-council-members-called-for-action-city-shelters

Homeless man throwing birthday party for his dog goes viral and leads them to a better life

mypositiveoutlooks.com

Choko Matos hugging his dog

For some people experiencing homelessness and isolation, their pet companions serve as their only hope. These animals give them a reason to smile and celebrate, as was the case for a man in Bucaramanga, Colombia, named Choko José Luis Matos.

Earlier this year, Choko was spotted by a bystander sitting on stairs at a local park with his four-legged companions, Shaggy and Nena.

At first, it looked like the trio was basking in the warm night air, but the party hats suggested this was a special day.Facebook

As it turns out, the friends were celebrating Shaggy’s birthday. Before revealing a small cake and candles, Choko gave the sleepy dogs some pets. Then, he started singing them a “Happy Birthday” while clapping his hands.

Choko Matos celebrating his dog's birthday

Choko lit the two candles on the cake while the two dogs observed him. After the flames were blown out, the homeless man gave each pup a kiss on the cheeks. He then grabbed a small plastic knife to cut the cake.Facebook

Choko cut a slice for each of his pets, placing the cake on paper plates before offering it to the animals. He also got his own plate and began to eat. While they ate, it seemed like Choko got emotional and started wiping tears from his eyes.

If you think about it, the party hats, plates, and candles probably cost Choko money that he could have used to buy food. But as a loving pet owner, he knew the dogs deserved a celebration.

Choko Matos celebrating his dog's birthday

Choko then watched the birthday boy finish up his cake before giving him a hug. The other dog got more kisses from his loving owner.Instagram

After he stopped filming, the person who captured the precious moment approached Choko to ask him about their lives and offer help. He found out that Choko had escaped an abusive home and had spent the last several years living on the streets.

Despite having no home and job, Choko made sure that Shaggy and Nena were always taken care of. After all, they were his only family, and he loved them with all of his heart.

The person who took the video shared the sweet scene online, inspiring people to donate food, supplies, and money to help Choko and his family get back on their feet.Instagram

Choko Matos and his dogs-4

The park where the party was held became a gathering place for other animal lovers. The man and his pups also became overnight celebrities as people had him posing with their own dogs for pictures.

That was only the beginning of the blessings that would come upon Choko’s life. Someone who heard his story gifted him a new phone, allowing him to start his own Instagram page, which now has over 186,000 followers.

On one Instagram live, he shared his story and stated that he was originally from the municipality of El Peñón. Talking about the viral video, Choko said that Shaggy was celebrating his 4th birthday that day, while Nena will be celebrating hers in November.Instagram

Choko also shared his dreams of pursuing music and building an animal shelter.

Choko Matos and his dogs-5

Looking at his Instagram, it appears that things are looking up for Choko, Shaggy, and Nena because they now have a place to stay and a better life. And the good man has already started giving back by creating and selling some shirts and donating a portion of the profits to help fight animal abuse.

“In so many years living on the street I was never alone. My dogs were always there to bring joy to many sad days and now together we are going to help many who need us!” he shared.

We’re so glad to hear that this trio is thriving and now helping others!

Click on the video below to see the precious moment between Choko and his dogs.👇

https://mypositiveoutlooks.com/homeless-man-throws-birthday-party-for-dogs-gets-better-life/#respond

Donations Needed

“Wild Turkey Attacks People on DC Trail | NBC4 Washington”

Animals Don’t Belong At The Circus

National Love Your Pet Day on Sunday 20 February

katzenworld.co.uk

Society of Companion Animal Studies

Remember, you don’t need to be extravagant or extraordinary to mark National Love Your Pet Day 2022, on Sunday 20th February! Here are five ideas to consider…

Hard on the heels of Valentine’s Day, National Love Your Pet Day on Sunday 20 February, is the perfect day to spoil your pet more than usual and show them just how much they mean to you. (Although all pet owners know that every day is National Love Your Pet Day, whether you’re a cat lover, dog lover, rabbit lover or general all-round animal lover!).

You don’t need to spend money to mark this special day. Here are five things you might like to consider: –

  1. Your attention is priceless!

If your pet loves attention, then make sure you spend some extra time making them feel special – perhaps play their favourite game or give them a belly rub.

2. Take them on an extra special walk

Figure Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels

If you have a dog, why not take it to one of its favourite places and let them stay there a little bit longer so they can fully enjoy the spot they love most, or why not look up a new walk that you can both discover together.

3. Make a new pet toy

Whether you turn an old t-shirt into a braided tug-of-war rope for your dog or create a cat flat or hideout from old cardboard boxes. It’s super fun and inexpensive to make toys for your pets from materials you might have in the house already, (but please make sure to check that they are safe for pet-use).

All that’s needed is a little creativity, a short amount of time from you – and some love!

4. Teach your pet a new skill

Positive reinforcement with praise or treats (as part of their daily allowance) can help you teach your dog a new command or perhaps train your cat how to high-five. The fun you’ll have training will help strengthen the bond you share.

5. Be in the moment

Put down your phone. Stop thinking about that Zoom call. Make a conscious effort to live in the moment, just like your pet. For our dogs and cats, fish or parrot, there are no worries of about yesterday or tomorrow; they live in the moment. Learning to live in the present can prove to be a present, not just to your pet, but to you as well.

Whatever way you decide to spend National Love Your Pet Day 2022, SCAS hopes you have a safe and enjoyable time with each other.

https://katzenworld.co.uk/2022/02/19/national-love-your-pet-day-on-sunday-20-february/

Mammoth tusk mining in the Arctic, and the price of ‘ethical ivory’

www.abc.net.au

Mammoth tusk mining in the Arctic, and the price of ‘ethical ivory’

Zoe Kean

Kim Akerman plucks a small, creamy hand-carved figurine from a handmade box resting on his kitchen table.

The little mammoth is made out of the tusk from a real woolly mammoth that died eons ago.

Although carved recently, the piece of ivory with its striking amber eyes has the feel of something ancient.

Kim is an artist, anthropologist and collector, who has been carving since he was a teenager in the 1960s.

Even then he was fascinated with the Ice Age.

One of the first pieces he ever created was a palm-length carving of a woman made out of whale tooth in the style of Venus figurines made by the Ice Age artists in Eurasia.

Kim Akerman holding carvings
Kim Akerman, 74, has been carving since he was a teenager.(Supplied: Zoe Kean)

The ivory mammoth is one of many pieces created out of a large chunk of tusk that travelled through time and space to make it to his kitchen table in suburban Hobart.

Kim acquired the ivory a few decades ago when he was working for the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

Someone offered to sell the tusk to the museum, but the piece was large and not suited to the collection, so the institution passed on the offer. 

But Kim and his colleague could not turn down the opportunity to own ancient ivory, so they pooled their money and purchased it. They cut off a small, more manageable piece for the museum, and kept the rest for their art.

Close up of carving tools.
Kim carved the handles for his tools from whale bone.(Supplied: Zoe Kean)

Kim is unsure of the mammoth ivory’s provenance, but suspects the seller may have picked up the tusk on a business trip to Siberia.

While it seems odd for carvings made from the tusk of an ancient Ice Age animal to end up in Hobart, the mystique of mammoths has caused people to mine and trade their remains for millennia.

Mammoth rush as north melts

Most mammoth tusks are mined from frozen ground, or permafrost, in the Arctic.

The best-preserved specimens are found in far northern Yakutia — also known as Sakha — in Siberia.

In the years since Kim acquired his piece of tusk,  swathes of permafrost in the region have thawed as the world has warmed.

As the ground melts, the remains of the ancient beasts are easier to prise from their icy graves. This has created a “mammoth rush” over the past decade, explains Zara Bending of the Centre for Environmental Law of Macquarie University.

Map of Sakha or Yakutia
Yakutia — or Sakha — is a republic in north-east Russia covering more than 3 million square kilometres of land.(Wikimedia Commons: Stasyah117)

An estimated 100 tonnes of mammoth tusk are now thought to be exported from Yakutia each year, according to local media.

Some tusks are sold in Russia, but most are exported around the world with major markets in China, Vietnam, and the United States.

The rush was further fuelled by domestic bans on the sale of elephant ivory in the United States and China in 2016 and 2017.

Mammoth ivory is sold to conscious consumers as “ethical ivory”, even adorning former US first lady Michelle Obama.

High risks, big money

Mammoth mining is dangerous, remote, all male and often illegal, explains anthropologist Prokopieva Aleksandra from the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“Currently, mining is mainly carried out by private individuals in the form of groups with mining licenses,” Ms Aleksandra says.

a view of the Duvanny Yar from the banks of the Kolyma River, showing melting permafrost
The pace of permafrost thawing in Siberia is increasing as the planet warms.(Reuters: Maxim Shemetov)

Many of the miners operate illegally, or on edges of illegality, but “the state is increasingly striving to control this process,” she says.

Mining parties will set up camp in mammoth-rich areas on the Arctic coast and rivers and travel in detachments to mine sites.

Locations are closely guarded, and only trusted people are invited to hunt for carcasses. 

“[Miners] don’t just take random people,” she says.

Sometimes tusks can be collected by walking along a melt line, and occasionally tusk hunters will use dive equipment to extract mammoths.

Russian law stipulates that only mammoth tusks that have come to the surface, usually via permafrost melting, can be harvested.

In reality, most miners hurry this process along by pumping water through high-pressure hoses to blast away the permafrost, creating vast tunnels.

man spraying mud cliff with water
Water is blasted into the permafrost to expose the remains of mammoths.(Amos Chapple/Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

It’s low tech, but effective.

From the water blasting and melting, Ice Age creatures appear. Skulls and tusks abound, but these miners also unearth more grizzly remains: occasionally mummified animals emerge with flesh, blood, and hair preserved.

But the process also accelerates permafrost loss, pollutes rivers with muck, and tunnel collapse is an ever-present danger.

Once extracted, tusks are moved on and sold to a global market.

Just like gold rushes of old, some miners strike rich, but many invest huge amounts of money and risk their lives only to return home empty-handed.

“This is associated with both high risks and big money,” Ms Aleksandra says.

man with a mammoth tusk
Some mammoth hunters strike it rich, others leave empty handed.(Amos Chapple/Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

Can extinct mammoths save living elephants?

Although mammoth ivory is marketed as an ethical alternative to killing elephants for their tusks, not everyone is convinced this works in practice.

There is concern that elephant ivory could be passed off as mammoth, explains Ms Bending.

In 2018, this practice drove Israel to attempt to have mammoth ivory listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a convention limiting the international trade of listed plants and animals.

Israel withdrew its proposal as the CITES committee was not convinced there was enough evidence to confirm the sale of mammoth ivory provided the opportunity for elephant ivory laundering.

The issue is due to be re-examined after further research in November 2022 at CITES CoP 19.

man standing near remains of woolly mammoth
Palaeontologist Valery Plotnikov stands near mammoth remains that have been confiscated from illegal collectors.(Getty Images: Mladen Antonov/AFP)

Under Russian law, tusks need to be accredited as genuine mammoth and not elephant.

At the beginning of last year, the government banned the export of tusks more than 3 metres long or weighing over 100 kilograms.

The size regulations were introduced to preserve the tusks’ cultural and scientific value.

But it’s estimated a third of the mammoth tusk trade is illegal, and the new regulations may push even more of the trade into the shadow economy, Ms Bending says.

“You’re potentially making an opportunity for crime to move in, it’s an unknown calculus at this point,” she says.

To get around size limits, tusks may be further cut up or made into beads before export.

Whole mammoth tusks are very easy to tell apart from elephant tusks, but small pieces are hard to distinguish.

Cutting large tusks may muddy the water in the ivory market, making it easier to launder elephant ivory.

Few ways for Indigenous people to earn money 

Employment and profit are hard to come by in the far north of Russia, with both Ms Bending and Ms Aleksandra emphasising that mammoth mining brings money to communities who need it.

However, it’s often not the miners who reap the biggest rewards, but middlemen who export the tusks, Ms Bending says.

When trade is illegal, the chance of miners being exploited by middlemen increases.

“Today, the extraction of mammoth tusk is becoming an acute issue, as it affects the spheres of the shadow economy, land relations and the bowels of the Earth,” Ms Aleksandra says.

Miners and the environment may be more protected if mammoth mining were included in Russia’s official list of Indigenous crafts or trades, such as hunting and fishing, she suggests.

“This entitles Indigenous peoples to benefits, compensations, and advantages in matters of land use,” she says.

“If the tusk mining had been included in this list, it might have been easier for Indigenous peoples to start doing this legally and not allowing outsiders to prey [on Indigenous miners].

“As a native of Yakutia, I can say that at the moment, this is at least some opportunity to earn money in the Far North.”

An ancient tradition

Ancient ivory combs and spoons in museum exhibition
People in the region have been carving objects out of mammoth ivory for thousands of years. (Wikimedia Commons: Daderot)

The fates of mammoths and humans have been intertwined in Yakutia since before the mammoth went extinct in the region about 10,000 years ago.

For carver Kim, this is part of the intrigue.

“People stood up against them and harvested them and their remains,” he muses.

Stories of the behemoths have survived in the Yakutian oral tradition.

And mammoth artefacts are common in the archaeological record, Ms Aleksandra says.

shield carved from mammoth ivory next to illustration showing pattern of carving
This shield carved from mammoth ivory dates back to the Iron Age.(Supplied: Prokopieva Aleksandra)

Evidence of tusks being mined stretches back to the Mesolithic (8000BC-2700BC).

“In the Bronze and Iron Ages, armour, shields, ritual calendars, and combs for combing plant fibres were made from [mammoth] tusks,” she says.

Export of mammoth tusk products increased soon after Yakutia was colonised by Russia in the 17th century.

By the late 19th century, the first mammoth rush was on, and curved tusks filled the warehouses on London docks.

black and white image of two men and woolly mammoth remains
Excavation of woolly mammoth remains from Siberia in 1902.(Getty Images: Sovfoto/Universal Images Group)

Scientists and miners in an unlikely alliance

Mammoth tusks run the risk of being lost to science when they are exported.

The mining process can also damage archaeological sites, depriving anthropologists like Ms Aleksandra the chance to study Ice Age humans.

However, tusk hunters and scientists have formed an unlikely alliance.

Miners are responsible for most of the significant scientific finds to come out of the Siberian permafrost in recent years, according to Albert Protopopov, whose team at the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) studies the ancient Ice Age animals.

Man sitting on ground
Scientists such as Professor Albert Protopopov work with miners to recover mammoth remains.(Supplied: Albert Protopopov)

When Professor Protopopov gets word of a significant find from miners, he, or his colleagues, will travel to the site by plane, all-terrain vehicle or — when funds allow — helicopter.

It is then their turn to use water pumps to uncover the find.

“All large finds sooner or later get to us. But often small finds like animal skulls are often sold. This is sad,” he says.

Later this year, miners and scientists will meet at the International Mammoth Forum in Yakutia to discuss how they can better work together.

Resurrection of the mammoth

Despite being extinct for thousands of years, woolly mammoths grip our imagination.

“I think dinosaurs are interesting, but [mammoth remains] are basically flesh, bone, blood and hair, so they connect a bit more,” Kim says.

The very flesh and bone that make mammoths so tangible to Kim may lead to their resurrection via advanced genetic technology.

Woolly mammoth mummy
Yuka is the best preserved mammoth carcass ever found.(Wikimedia: Cyclonaut)

In 2010, tusk hunters found “Yuka”, a young mammoth that died nearly 30,000 years ago.

Yuka’s cells were so well preserved that researchers in Japan were able to cajole them into the early stages of cell division, Professor Protopopov explains.

While they could not complete the process, he hopes more preserved mammoth mummies like Yuka will be found.

“But [next time] we will be better prepared for cell preservation. We have the experience we need.”

When this happens, researchers will be one step closer to using ancient DNA to resurrect the woolly mammoth.

For now though, when Kim carves mammoth tusk, he reflects on what the animal was like when it was alive.

“You are sort of paying homage to the animal itself, it lives in another form,” he says.

mammoth and Venus figurines in palms of a man's hands
Kim has carved many figurines over the years, including his first ever piece (right) from a whale tooth.(Supplied: Zoe Kean)

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2022-02-06/woolly-mammoth-mining-siberia-ethical-ivory/100763684

Beautiful Float

Petition · Help O’Hara Get a Diploma · Change.org

www.change.org

My name is Bella, and I am a Biology student who happens to be blind.

O’Hara is a guide dog, who helps me navigate daily life. We have been a team since 2018, and O’Hara has spent my entire 4 year college career with me and has attended every class and lecture that I did. We both graduate in May, 2022. 

My hope is for O’Hara to receive an honorary degree from our college. This would not only have meaning to me personally, but it would also have meaning to her social media supporters who have been following our college life and are wondering if she will also get a diploma. It will also mean a lot to her puppy raisers and Guiding Eyes for the Blind, where she was trained. This would be a lighthearted choice for the school to show support for how hard service dogs work and a cute way to acknowledge her attendance. 

Please help O’Hara receive her own little diploma this upcoming May!

https://www.change.org/p/the-college-president-help-o-hara-get-a-diploma

Funds needed for this poor little puppy

The cost of pet food is also going up and causing a lot of animals to be dumped at the shelter and on the streets and many animal rights activist vote for Democrats claiming they are more for wildlife and the environment…what a joke!

We Celebrate National Dog Day

The sad life of Marjan

World’s feral pigs produce as much CO2 as 1.1m cars each year, study finds

www.theguardian.com

Donna Lu

The climate impact of wild pigs around the world is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of 1.1m cars annually, according to new research.

Modelling by an international team of researchers estimates that feral pigs release 4.9m metric tonnes of carbon dioxide each year globally by uprooting soil.

Researcher Dr Christopher O’Bryan of the University of Queensland said feral pigs were one of the most widespread vertebrate invasive species on the planet.

“Pigs are native to Europe and parts of Asia, but they’ve been introduced to every continent except Antarctica,” he said.

“When we think of climate change, we tend to think of the classic fossil fuel problem. This is one of the additional threats to carbon, and to climate change potentially, that hasn’t really been explored in any global sense.”

Feral hogs uproot soil while searching for food, in a process O’Bryan likens to “mini tractors that are ploughing soil”. Doing so exposes microbes in the soil to oxygen. The microbes “reproduce at a rapid rate and then that can produce carbon emissions [in the form of] CO2.”

“Any form of land-use change can have an effect on carbon emissions from the soil,” O’Bryan said. “The same thing happens when you put a tractor through a field or you deforest land.”

The researchers estimate that wild pigs are uprooting an area upwards of 36,000 sq km (14,000 sq miles) in regions where they are not native.

Oceania had the largest area of land disturbed by wild pigs – roughly 22,000 sq km – followed by North America. The pigs in Oceania accounted for more than 60% of the animal’s estimated yearly emissions, emitting nearly 3m metric tonnes of CO2, equivalent to about 643,000 cars.

The findings of the study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, were drawn from three models. One model predicted wild pig density globally across 10,000 simulations, based on existing information about wild pig populations and locations.

A second model converted pig density into an area of disturbed land, and a third estimated the amount of CO2 emitted when soil is disturbed.

Nicholas Patton, a PhD student at the University of Canterbury, said there was some uncertainty in the modelling as a result of the variability of the carbon content in soils and the densities of wild pigs in different areas.

“Areas that are peat bogs or black soils … especially ones that have a lot of moisture, they’re a sink for carbon,” said Patton. “When pigs get in there and root around, they have a lot more potential for that carbon to be released [than from other soils].”

In addition to their climate impacts, the destructive impact of wild hogs has been well documented. O’Bryan said managing the animals was a challenge that would involve prioritising whichever of their impacts was deemed most significant.

“If all we care about is agriculture, then the cost and the benefits of managing pigs will be different than if all we cared about was carbon emissions, than if all we cared about was biodiversity.

“At the end of the day, feral pigs are a human problem. We’ve spread them around the world. This is another human-mediated climate impact.”

… we have a small favour to ask. With much of the US now trapped in a vicious cycle of heat, wildfires and drought, our climate journalism has never been more essential, and we need your support to keep producing it.

Perhaps you’re familiar with the Guardian’s reputation for hard-hitting, urgent reporting on the environment. We view the climate crisis as the defining issue of our time. It is already here, making growing parts of our planet uninhabitable. As parts of the world emerge from the pandemic, carbon emissions are again on the rise, risking a rare opportunity to transition to a more sustainable future.

The Guardian has renounced fossil fuel advertising, becoming the first major global news organisation to do so. We have committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2030. And we are consistently increasing our investment in environmental reporting, recognising that an informed public is crucial to keeping the worst of the crisis at bay.

More than 1.5 million readers, in 180 countries, have recently taken the step to support us financially – keeping us open to all and fiercely independent. With no shareholders or billionaire owner, we can set our own agenda and provide trustworthy journalism that’s free from commercial and political influence, offering a counterweight to the spread of misinformation. When it’s never mattered more, we can investigate and challenge without fear or favour.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/19/worlds-feral-pigs-produce-as-much-co2-as-11m-cars-each-year-study-finds

Today is National Chimpanzee Day watch there incredible story

Pet Owners Beware: Popular Flea Control Products Contain Toxic PFAS Chemicals

chemical-free-life.org

Leading flea-control products have been found to be filled with toxic PFAS ‘forever chemicals’*. This, according to new laboratory test results posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. More specifically, the report found that popular pet flea collars and treatments contain high levels of toxic PFAS chemicals.

The Findings

Popular flea and tick products were sent to a certified lab, which found that:

  • Frontline Plus for Dogs, a popular topical flea and tick product, contains 2,390 parts per trillion (ppt) of four different PFAS, including GenX. Frontline is a liquid pesticide applied between the pets’ shoulder blades once a month; it spreads throughout the skin and fur.
  • Seresto flea and tick collars contain 250 ppt of a long-chain PFAS. Seresto is a plastic band impregnated with insecticides and other ingredients that are released over time and coat an animal’s fur.

Why this is a problem

“One major concern is that people can be exposed to these products though their skin by petting and playing with their pets. And children face even greater risk through their frequent hand-to-mouth behavior.

A recent study found dogs and cats are highly exposed to PFAS and often exposed to concentrations well above the minimum risk level identified for humans.

The troubling findings regarding PFAS in flea-control products comes after documents obtained from the EPA revealed the agency has received more than 75,000 complaints linking the Seresto flea collar to harms ranging from skin irritation to nearly 1,700 pet deaths. Yet the agency has taken no action in response to the reports such as recalling the product or issuing a nationwide warning to the public of its potential dangers.

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal legal petition last month urging the EPA to cancel the registration of the Seresto collar, which is also linked to nearly 1,000 incidents of harm to humans.” (source)

_

*PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they do not break down and can accumulate in the human body, animals and the environment. They are associated with a variety of ailments, including suppressed immune function, altered gut microbiome, thyroid disease, testicular and kidney cancers, and liver damage. In addition to groundwater and drinking water, PFAS chemicals can be found in a wide variety of products including food packaging, nonstick cookware, bake ware and other products, cleaning products, firefighting foams, electronics, including laptop computers and smartphones, sporting equipment, waterproof and stain-proof items including carpets and upholstery, and much more. (source)

https://chemical-free-life.org/2021/06/12/pet-owners-beware-popular-flea-control-products-contain-toxic-pfas-chemicals/#like-11786

Petition · Make All Shelters in USA to be “NO KILL SHELTERS” · Change.org

www.change.org

Carmita Paredes started this petition to Counties and States Congresmen

Every day around the country many dogs are killed in shelters, just because they need space. In fact approximately 3 million dogs and cats die each year. Precious dogs that can still have many years to live and have a lot of love to offer. Euthanasia should be reserved only for animals who are suffering or are too aggressive to safely reside in our communities. But animals that die are so loving, and their trusting faces are just asking for love and companionship. This is barbaric. Let’s do something about this cruel practice. Let’s put a stop to this unnecessary murdering. We can educate the public about spaying and neutering, about adopting instead of buying, about population control. People need to be aware of how many loving dogs are killed in USA, just because the shelters lack space and funding. But stopping the shelters from euthanizing animals is not enough to save them. Others will find a way to get rid of what they perceive to be an unwanted pet. And unscrupulous breeders are off the hook. We must do more…

We need more shelters, so there would be enough spaces for every dog, and we need NO KILL SHELTERS. Shelters should be a temporary transition place for animals. The term shelter means to protect, not to kill. and the animals should be taken care of until they are adopted.  This can be achievable. We can help getting the communities involved too, to donate and help, to serve as volunteers, to “sponsor a pet” in the shelter. Even if you can’t adopt a pet, we might be able to help there, we can advocate to get him/her adopted, we can volunteer at the shelter, we can provide funding. The shelters can be encouraged to provide a once a month “sale” to the dogs that have being there longer, for people to get them cheaper or free. We can help with better advertising of animals put up for adoption. Sometimes people don’t have the money to adopt in a particular moment, but they can still offer a loving home to a dog. Instead of killing them, give them for free to someone suitable that will love them and offer a home. The rescue groups do the impossible to bring back to life animals they find abused, neglected, and to the brink of dying, many times thanks to private funding to help with vet expenses. They also advertise and advocate daily for pets in shelters that are at risk of getting euthanized. But in the end many don’t get to go to loving homes. In those high killing shelters, if someone doesn’t rush in a short period of time to adopt these poor dogs or cats that have suffered so much, that have overcome so much, at the end, after all that effort, they will get killed. They are the unwanted, the forgotten, yet beautiful pets that all they need is more time to find a loving home. This is senseless, unfair, and tragic. There is no excuse that they are murdering healthy, previously owned, neglected, abused dogs and cats or highly adoptable.  While we are disgusted by events like the Yulin festival in China, we let millions of our own animals die every day, every year. Let’s do something. Let’s be better. Let’s save them.

 Let us advocate for only NO KILL SHELTERS unless the animal is suffering or violent. And more importantly, let’s treat the root of the problem: lobby for laws that are effective in reducing unplanned births and shelter intakes by developing low-cost or free sterilization programs for dogs and cats, laws that limit the number of animals bred for profit, laws that promote responsible pet ownership like contracts, laws for pet stores to carry only shelter pets and providing better education for pet owners. And finally, please get out there and help out. Together we can make a change.   Their lives matter.  Every animal deserves a chance to get their forever home.  Some may take longer than others, but there should not be a time limit on life.

https://www.change.org/p/make-all-shelters-in-usa-to-be-no-kill-shelters?recruiter=430932126&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition

Zoos and other prisons – not vegan, not ‘conservation’, not ‘education’

Zoos and aquariums are just two types of place where members of nonhuman species face lifelong incarceration for the ‘entertainment’ of our species. Many with vested interests are quick to claim that the ‘entertainment’ aspect is only part of the story; that the main reason for imprisoning other species has something to do with ‘education’ or about ‘conservation’, and there’s no doubt that both these words frequently allow a free pass from criticism or even critical thinking for these widespread and lucrative businesses. 

Zoos , ‘wild life parks’, and sea world equivalents crop up frequently on social media and one doesn’t have far to look to discover that the folk myths about ‘education’ and ‘conservation’ are alive and well, and have been since long before the days of TV and film.

We may arguably live in at a time when the use of other animals is increasingly frowned upon as unethical in circuses, but meanwhile every family heading to look at imprisoned creatures for a day’s ‘entertainment’ is doing their bit – to the sound of cash registers and burger stalls – to reinforce the continuing message that humans are superior creatures and that other species exist for our entertainment.

I decided that it’s important to start to compile the best information and links into a single resource to be added to as more comes to hand, providing something to share when the subject is raised by those whose self interest blinds them to the facts. I start with a piece that I recently came across by the great Tom Regan. The other articles are in date order.

Are Zoos Morally Defensible?

1995  In this piece comprising a chapter of a larger work authored by others, Tom Regan (1938-1917) examines and discusses the ethics of zoos from the Animal Rights position, by providing valuable insights into how the sharply contrasting ‘utilitarian’ or ‘holistic’ stances affect the subject. He writes,

‘As will become clear as we proceed, my own moral position is not that of a neutral observer. Of the three tendencies to be considered, I favor one (what I call the “rights view”) and disagree rather strongly with the other two.’ https://d.lib.ncsu.edu/collections/catalog/mc00236_2596514_20201001_7045#

The Case Against Zoos

June 11 2021 ‘I find one statistic particularly telling about their priorities: A 2018 analysis of the scientific papers produced by association members between 1993 and 2013 showed that just about 7 percent of them annually were classified as being about “biodiversity conservation.”
People don’t go to zoos to learn about the biodiversity crisis or how they can help. They go to get out of the house, to get their children some fresh air, to see interesting animals. They go for the same reason people went to zoos in the 19th century: to be entertained.
A fine day out with the family might itself be justification enough for the existence of zoos if the zoo animals are all happy to be there. Alas, there’s plenty of heartbreaking evidence that many are not.’
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/11/opinion/zoos-animal-cruelty.html

The neural cruelty of captivity: Keeping large mammals in zoos and aquariums damages their brains

September 24 2020 ‘Some people defend keeping animals in captivity, arguing that it helps conserve endangered species or offers educational benefits for visitors to zoos and aquariums. These justifications are questionable, particularly for large mammals. As my own research and work by many other scientists shows, caging large mammals and putting them on display is undeniably cruel from a neural perspective. It causes brain damage.’https://theconversation.com/the-neural-cruelty-of-captivity-keeping-large-mammals-in-zoos-and-aquariums-damages-their-brains-142240

It’s Time to Stop Pretending Zoos Are Good for Animals

March 9, 2020 ‘We imagine the zoo as Noah’s Ark, preserving the last remnants of endangered species. And yet, 83% of species in zoos are not endangered, or even threatened. Why are these animals kept, if the zoo is all about conservation? Of the few zoo animals that are endangered, almost none of them will be released into the wild — they’ve been bred and raised for the entertainment of humans, and would not survive in nature. But even if zoos were successfully preparing their animals for release on a grand scale, it would be an inefficient use of resources: Conservation in the wild is far more effective than captive breeding, in almost all cases.

Going to the zoo to support conservation is like buying an extra load of groceries so you can donate $3 to St. Jude at checkout. https://tenderly.medium.com/its-time-to-stop-pretending-zoos-are-good-for-animals-ca72fd4599e5

Zoos are outdated and cruel – it’s time to make them a thing of the past

August 14 2019 ‘If zoos are so abysmal, why do they still exist on such a large scale? The answer is simple. Zooreaucracies and zoo-rocrats have a stamp collector’s mentality and an appetite and preference to please the public with iconic and non-threatened species, leading to their needless captivity and “consumption” for entertainment.

In other words, the public come first and not the animals. Is that conservation? Zoos don’t want you to know these facts because it would expose the fundamental flaws in the arguments they put out for their existence, and as a consequence merely prove that they’re in the conservation of business and not in the business of conservation.’

~ Damian Aspinall, Conservationist  https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/zoos-cruel-wildlife-conservation-species-a9056701.html

Zooicide: Seeing Cruelty, Demanding Abolition

November 16 2018 

  • ‘Zoos do not protect endangered species.
  • By making them objects of entertainment, they may serve the opposite function.
  • On average, zoos spend about 2-3 percent of their budgets on research. That’s it.
  • Zoos educate nobody. The didactics at most zoos are rudimentary at best.
  • Zoos are unhappy places for animals. Like people, they want to be free and among their kind.
  • The biggest threat to animals is habitat loss. So, what do zoos do? They sell McDonald’s hamburgers, KFC, and every other kind of fast food grown on lands that could have been used to sustain wild populations of animals.’ https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/animal-emotions/201811/zooicide-seeing-cruelty-demanding-abolition

Are zoo animals happy? There’s a simple empathy test we can apply

April 16. 2017 ‘If we are to continue keeping animals in confinement … Making animals happier must be a top priority, and written into the budgets of zoo managers. Nevertheless, we need to remember that enrichment is just a Band-Aid solution. It serves, like the Valium given to SeaWorld’s whales, to manage the symptoms. But it can’t treat the underlying disease. Only freedom from captivity can really resolve the illness.’ https://www.salon.com/2017/04/16/are-zoo-animals-happy-theres-a-simple-empathy-test-we-can-apply/

Do Zoos and Aquariums Promote Attitude Change in Visitors? A
Critical Evaluation of the American Zoo and Aquarium Study

2010 ‘Modern-day zoos and aquariums market themselves as places of education and conservation. A recent study conducted by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) (Falk et al., 2007) is being widely heralded as the first direct evidence that visits to zoos and aquariums produce long-term positive effects on people’s attitudes toward other animals. In this paper, we address whether this conclusion is warranted by analyzing the study’s methodological soundness. We conclude that Falk et al. (2007) contains at least six major threats to methodological validity that undermine the authors’ conclusions.
There remains no compelling evidence for the claim that zoos and aquariums promote attitude change, education, or interest in conservation in visitors ‘https://www.wellbeingintlstudiesrepository.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=acwp_zoae

https://theresanelephantintheroomblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/16/zoos-and-other-prisons-not-vegan-not-conservation-not-education/

theresanelephantintheroomblog.wordpress.com

Fear Triggers Aggressive Dog Behavior, say researchers

firepaw.org

New research studying the behavior of 9,000 dogs demonstrated that fearfulness, age, breed, the company of other members of the same species and the owner’s previous experience of dogs were all associated with dogs’ aggressive behavior towards humans. These findings can potentially provide important tools for understanding and preventing aggressive behavior.

Backstory

Aggressive behavior in dogs can include growling, barking, snapping and biting. These gestures are part of normal canine communication, and they also occur in non-aggressive situations, such as during play. However, aggressive behavior can be excessive, making the dog a health threat to both humans and other animals.

Study overview

The canine gene research group active at the University of Helsinki surveyed connections between aggressive behavior and several potential risk factors with the help of a dataset encompassing more than 9,000 dogs, a sample from a larger dataset from a behavioral survey dataset of nearly 14,000 dogs. The study investigated aggressiveness towards both dog owners and unfamiliar human beings. Dogs were classified as aggressive if they growled often and/or had attempted to snap at or bite a human at least occasionally in the situations described in the survey.

Results overview

Dogs’ fearfulness had a strong link to aggressive behavior, with fearful dogs many times more likely to behave aggressively. Moreover, older dogs were more likely to behave aggressively than younger ones. One of the potential reasons behind this can be pain caused by a disease. Impairment of the senses can contribute to making it more difficult to notice people approaching, and dogs’ responses to sudden situations can be aggressive.”

-Salla Mikkola, doctoral researcher University of Helsinki

Small dogs are more likely to behave aggressively than mid-sized and large dogs, but their aggressive behavior is not necessarily considered as threatening as that of large dogs. Consequently, their behavior is not addressed. In addition, the study found that male dogs were more aggressive than females. However, sterilization had no effect on aggressive behavior.

The first dogs of dog owners were more likely to behave aggressively compared to dogs whose owners had previous experience of dogs. The study also indicated that dogs that spend time in the company of other dogs behave less aggressively than dogs that live without other dogs in the household.

Significant differences in aggressive behavior between breeds

Differences in the aggressiveness of various dog breeds can point to a genetic cause.

“In our dataset, the Long-Haired Collie, Poodle (Toy, Miniature and Medium) and Miniature Schnauzer were the most aggressive breeds. Previous studies have shown fearfulness in Long-Haired Collies, while the other two breeds have been found to express aggressive behavior towards unfamiliar people. As expected, the popular breeds of Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever were at the other extreme. People who are considering getting a dog should familiarize themselves with the background and needs of the breed. As for breeders, they should also pay attention to the character of dam candidates, since both fearfulness and aggressive behavior are inherited.”

-Professor Hannes Lohi, University of Helsinki.

black and white animal dog fur

At-a-Glance Summary of Research Findings:

Factors Associated with Dog Aggressiveness towards Humans

-Dog Fearfulness

-Older dogs encountering sudden moves/situations

-Smaller dogs

-Male dogs

-Dogs of first-time dog owners

-Solitary dogs: Dogs that have no other dogs in the household

-Most aggressive breeds: Long-Haired Collie, Poodle (Toy, Miniature and Medium) and Miniature Schnauzer breeds


Journal reference: Salla Mikkola, Milla Salonen, Jenni Puurunen, Emma Hakanen, Sini Sulkama, César Araujo, Hannes Lohi. Aggressive behaviour is affected by demographic, environmental and behavioural factors in purebred dogs. Scientific Reports, 2021; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-88793-5

https://firepaw.org/2021/05/06/fear-triggers-aggressive-dog-behavior-say-researchers/

IUCN Red List Update Brings Good News, Some Warnings | American Bird Conservancy

abcbirds.org

David Wiedenfeld

David Wiedenfeld

Conservation efforts paid off for species previously considered Critically Endangered, including Peru’s endemic Junin Grebe.

Each year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) evaluates the status of species on its Red List of Threatened Species, a key listing that ranks most of the worlds’ species by conservation need. This evaluation measures carefully chosen criteria, such as each species’ population size and trend. The 2020 update brought some welcome news: In the Americas, an important group of species that ABC and our partners have worked to protect have lowered threat status. A few others, however, moved to a higher threat category.

First, the good news: Conservation efforts paid off for three species previously considered in the highest threat category, Critically Endangered (CR). Peru’s endemic Junin Grebe and two hummingbirds — Black-breasted Puffleg of Ecuador and Glittering Starfrontlet of Colombia — dropped to the lower threat category of Endangered (EN). ABC partners have protected reserves for the two hummingbirds and worked to reduce nesting area loss around the grebe’s lake habitat.

Junin Grebe by ECOAN

Junin Grebe by Pete Morris

Nine species ABC partners have protected changed from EN to less dire Vulnerable (VU) and Near Threatened (NT) status, indicating that dedicated conservation and careful monitoring have had a positive impact. Two of these, the Long-whiskered Owlet and Yellow-eared Parrot, have benefited from ABC’s flagship conservation programs with our Peruvian partner Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos, in the case of the owlet, and Fundación ProAves in Colombia, for the parrot.

For some ABC focal species, though, ramped-up efforts are needed to turn the tide. Three species with which ABC and partners have recently begun conservation efforts shifted from EN to CR status, indicating they are more threatened than previously thought. For one of these, the Lilacine Amazon parrot in Ecuador, ABC and partner Fundación de Conservación Jocotoco have recently initiated projects with local communities to protect roost areas and reduce poaching. For the other two, the Santa Marta Sabrewing hummingbird and Great Green Macaw, ABC and partners have created reserves, but more work is needed to ensure adequate habitat is protected.

Some species for which ABC has yet to begin conservation efforts jumped to more-threatened categories. These include the Perijá Starfrontlet hummingbird that occurs at the border between Venezuela and Colombia and the Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner of Colombia, as well as these island birds: the Great White Heron, Bahama Warbler, and St. Lucia Oriole. The heron, still considered by some experts to be an all-white Great Blue Heron subspecies, also occurs in southern Florida in the U.S. These species will be priorities for ABC and our partners’ work in the near future.

Great Green Macaws by Evgeniapp_Shutterstock

Great Green Macaws by Evgeniapp/Shutterstock

Parrots in Peril

The 2020 IUCN Red List update has moved four New World parrot species — the Great Green Macaw, Lilacine Amazon, Orange-fronted Parakeet, and Black-billed Amazon — to higher threat categories. All are threatened by habitat loss, direct persecution, or capture for the pet trade. Over half of New World parrots are classified as Near Threatened, globally threatened, or extinct, but thanks to targeted conservation by ABC and partners, 12 of these species, including the Lear’s Macaw, Blue-throated Macaw, and Yellow-eared Parrot, have stabilized or increased their populations.


David Wiedenfeld is ABC’s Senior Conservation Scientist.

https://abcbirds.org/blog21/iucn-red-list-update/

Biodiversity: How has the rise of humans affected wild mammals? | World Economic Forum

A child walks near a sculpture displaying a mammoth during sunset on the outskirts of Khanty-Mansiysk, March 4, 2011.  REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva  (RUSSIA - Tags: SOCIETY ANIMALS) - GF2E73716M001
The Quaternary Megafauna Extinction led to the extinction of more than 178 of the world’s large mammals. Image: REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

This article is reposted from Our World in Data 26 Apr 2021

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  • A diverse range of mammals once roamed the planet, but this changed quickly and dramatically with the arrival of humans.
  • Since the rise of humans, wild land mammal biomass has declined by 85%, writes Hannah Ritchie for Our World in Data.
  • For the first time in human history, we can produce enough food from a smaller land area, making it possible for wild animals to flourish again.

Travel back 100,000 years and the planet was rich with a wide array of wild mammals. Mammoths roamed across North America; lions across Europe; 200-kilogram wombats in Australasia; and the ground sloth lounged around South America.

They’re now gone. Since the rise of humans, several hundred of the world’s largest mammals have gone extinct.

Have you read?

While we often think of ecological damage as a modern problem our impacts date back millennia to the times in which humans lived as hunter-gatherers. Our history with wild animals has been a zero-sum game: either we hunted them to extinction, or we destroyed their habitats with agricultural land. Without these natural habitats to expand into and produce food on, the rise of humans would have been impossible. Humans could only thrive at the expense of wild mammals.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. This century marks a pivotal moment: for the first time in human history there is the opportunity for us to thrive alongside, rather than compete with, the other mammals that we share this planet with.

In this article I want to take a look at how the world’s mammals have changed in the past, and how we can pave a better way forward.

As we’ll see, our long history with the other mammals is really a story about meat. Humans have always, and continue to have, a strong drive to eat meat. For our hunter-gatherer ancestors life was about plotting a hunt against the giant 200-kilogram wombat. This later became a story of how to produce the equivalent of a giant wombat in the field. Now we’re focused on how we can produce this in the lab.

The decline of wild mammals has a long history

To understand how the richness of the mammal kingdom has changed we need a metric that captures a range of different animals and is comparable over time. We could look at their abundance – the number of individuals we have – but this is not ideal. We would be counting every species equally, from a mouse to an elephant and this metric would therefore an ecosystem taken over by the smallest mammals look much richer than one in which bigger mammals roam: if the world’s mouse populations multiplied and multiplied – maybe even to the detriment of other animals – then this abundance metric might suggest that these ecosystems were thriving.

Instead, ecologists often use the metric biomass. This means that each animal is measured in tonnes of carbon, the fundamental building block of life.1 Biomass gives us a measure of the total biological productivity of an ecosystem. It also gives more weight to larger animals at higher levels of the ecological ‘pyramid’: these rely on well-functioning bases below them.

I have reconstructed the long-term estimates of mammal terrestrial biomass from 100,000 BC through to today from various scientific sources.2 This means biomass from marine mammals – mainly whales – is not included. The story of whaling is an important one that I cover separately here. This change in wild land mammals is shown in the chart. When I say ‘wild mammals’ from this point, I’m talking about our metric of biomass.

If we go back to around 100,000 years ago – a time when there were very few early humans and only in Africa – all of the wild land mammals on Earth summed up to around 20 million tonnes of carbon. This is shown as the first column in the chart. The mammoths, and European lions, and ground sloths were all part of this.

By around 10,000 years ago we see a huge decline of wild mammals. This is shown in the second column. It’s hard to give a precise estimate of the size of these losses millennia ago, but they were large: likely in the range of 25% to 50%.3

It wasn’t just that we lost a lot of mammals. It was almost exclusively the world’s largest mammals that vanished. This big decline of mammals is referred to as the Quaternary Megafauna Extinction (QME). The QME led to the extinction of more than 178 of the world’s large mammals (‘megafauna’).

Many researchers have grappled with the question of what caused the QME. Most evidence now points towards humans as the primary driver.4 I look at this evidence in much more detail in a related article. Most of this human impact came through hunting. There might also have been smaller local impacts through fire and other changes to natural landscapes. You can trace the timing of mammal extinctions by following human expansion across the world’s continents. When our ancestors arrived in Europe the European megafauna went extinct; when they arrived in North America the mammoths went extinct; then down to South America, the same.

What’s most shocking is how few humans were responsible for this large-scale destruction of wildlife. There were likely fewer than 5 million people in the world. 5 Around half the population of London today.6

A global population half the size of London helped drive tens to hundreds of the world’s largest mammals to extinction. The per capita impact of our hunter-gatherer ancestors was huge.

The romantic idea that our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived in harmony with nature is deeply flawed. Humans have never been ‘in balance’ with nature. Trace the footsteps of these tiny populations of the past and you will find extinction after extinction after extinction.

Hunting to farming: how human populations now compete with wild mammals

We’re now going to fast-forward to our more recent past. By the year 1900, wild mammals had seen another large decline.

By this point, the pressures on wild mammals had shifted. The human population had increased to 1.7 billion people. But the most important change was the introduction of farming and livestock. We see this in the top panel of the chart. This shows the per capita agricultural land use over these millennia – a reflection of how humans got their food.7 Before the agricultural revolution around 10,000 years ago, our food came from hunting and gathering. Agricultural land use was minimal although as we’ve already seen, per capita impacts were still high through hunting. We then see a clear transition point, where agricultural land use begins to rise.

The rise of agriculture had both upsides and downsides for wild mammals. On the one hand, it alleviated some of the direct pressure. Rather than hunting wild mammals we raised our own for meat, milk, or textiles. In this way, the rise of livestock saved wildlife. Crop farming also played a large role in this. The more food humans could produce for themselves, the less they needed to rely on wild meat.

But the rise of agriculture also had a massive downside: the need for agricultural land meant the loss of wild habitats.

The expansion of agriculture over millennia has completely reshaped the global landscape from one of wild habitats, to one dominated by farms. Over the last 10,000 years, we’ve lost one-third of the world’s forests and many grasslands and other wild habitats have been lost too. This obviously came at a large ecological cost: rather than competing with wild mammals directly, our ancestors took over the land that they needed to survive.

We see this change clearly in the bottom panel of the chart: there was a first stage of wild mammal loss through hunting; then another decline through the loss of habitats to farmland.

This shift in the distribution has continued through to today. We see this in the final column, which gives the breakdown in 2015. Wild mammals saw another large decline in the last century. At the same time the human population increased, and our livestock even more so. This because incomes across the world have increased, meaning more people can afford the meat products that were previously unavailable to them. We dig a bit deeper into this distribution of mammals in a related article.

The past was a zero-sum game; the future doesn’t have to be

Since the rise of humans, wild land mammals have declined by 85%.

As we just saw, this history can be divided into two stages. The pre-agriculture phase where our ancestors were in direct competition with wild mammals. They killed them for their meat. And the post-agriculture phase where the biggest impact was indirect: habitat loss through the expansion of farmland. Our past relationship with wild animals has been a zero-sum game: in one way or another, human success has come at the cost of wild animals.

How do we move forward?

Some people suggest a return to wild hunting as an alternative to modern, intensive farming. A return to our primal roots. This might be sustainable for a few local communities. But we only need to do a simple calculation to see how unfeasible this is at any larger scale. In 2018 the world consumed 210 million tonnes of livestock meat from mammals [we’re only looking at mammals here so I’ve excluded chicken, turkey, goose, and duck meat]. In biomass terms, that’s 31 million tonnes of carbon.8 From our chart above we saw that there are only 3 million tonnes of wild land mammal biomass left in the world. If we relied on this for food, all of the world’s wild mammals would be eaten within a month.9

We cannot go back to this hunter-gatherer way of living. Even a tiny number of people living this lifestyle had a massive negative impact on wildlife. For a population of almost 8 billion it’s simply not an option.

But the alternative of continued growth in livestock consumption is also not sustainable. In the short term, it is saving some wild mammals from hunting. But its environmental costs are high: the expansion of agricultural land is the leading driver of deforestation, it emits large amounts of greenhouse gases, and needs lots of resource inputs.

Thankfully we have options to build a better future. If we can reduce agricultural land – and primarily land use for livestock – we can free up land for wild mammals to return. There are already positive signs that this is possible. In the chart we see the change in per capita agricultural land use from 5,000 years ago to today.10 Land use per person has fallen four-fold. The most dramatic decline has happened in the last 50 years: the amount of agricultural land per person has more than halved since 1960. This was the result of increased crop yields and livestock productivity. Of course, the world population also increased over that time, meaning total agricultural land use continued to grow. But, there might be positive signs: the world may have already passed ‘peak agricultural land’. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports a decline in global agricultural land since 2000: falling from 4.9 to 4.8 billion hectares. A very small decline, but signs that we could be at a turning point.

I’ve tried to capture what the future could look like in this final chart. It shows the rise in global agricultural land use over these millennia and the decline in wild biomass that we’ve already seen. But looking to the future, a decline in agricultural land alongside a rise in wild mammals is possible. How can we achieve this?

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about deforestation?

Halting deforestation is essential to avoiding the worst effects of global climate change.

The destruction of forests creates almost as much greenhouse gas emissions as global road travel, and yet it continues at an alarming rate.

In 2012, we brought together more than 150 partners working in Latin America, West Africa, Central Africa and South-East Asia – to establish the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020: a global public-private partnership to facilitate investment in systemic change.

The Alliance, made up of businesses, governments, civil society, indigenous people, communities and international organizations, helps producers, traders and buyers of commodities often blamed for causing deforestation to achieve deforestation-free supply chains. null

The Commodities and Forests Agenda 2020, summarizes the areas in which the most urgent action is needed to eliminate deforestation from global agricultural supply chains.

The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020is gaining ground on tackling deforestation linked to the production of four commodities: palm oil, beef, soy, and pulp and paper.

Get in touch to join our mission to halt to deforestation.

Some people are in favor of a switch to traditional plant-based diets: cereals, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Because the land use of plant-based diets is smaller than meat-based diets this is definitely a sustainable option; those who adopt such diets have a low environmental footprint. But many people in the world just really like meat and for those that can afford it, it’s a central part of their diet. For many of those who can’t aspire to be able to do so; we see this when we look at how meat consumption rises with income.

With new technologies it’s possible to enjoy meat or meat-like products without raising or consuming any animals at all. We can have our cake and eat it; or rather, we can have our meat and keep our animals too. Food production is entering a new phase where we can move meat production from the farm to the lab. The prospects for cultured meat are growing. In 2020, Singapore was the first country to bring lab-grown chicken to the market. And it’s not just lab-grown meat that’s on the rise. A range of alternative products using other technologies such as fermentation or plant-based substitutes are moving forward: Beyond Meat, Quorn and Impossible Foods are a few examples.

The biggest barriers – as with all technologies in their infancy – is going to be scale and affordability. If these products are to make a difference at a global scale we need to be able to produce them in large volumes and at low cost. This is especially true if we want to offer an alternative to the standard ‘wild animal to livestock’ transition for lower-income countries. They have to be cheaper than meat.

It’s going to be a challenge. But it’s an incredibly exciting one. For the first time in human history we could decouple human progress from ecological degradation. The game between humans and wild animals no longer needs to be zero-sum. We can reduce poaching and restore old habitats to allow wild mammals to flourish. Doing so does not have to come at the cost of human wellbeing. We can thrive alongside, rather than compete with, the other mammals that we share this planet with. null Share License and Republishing

World Economic Forum Type may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use. Written by

Hannah Ritchie, Researcher, Our World in Data

More on Environment and Natural Resource Security View all

This small change to farming could reduce agriculture’s climate impact by 30%New research suggests that removing tilling from the farming process produces up to 30% lower emissions, helping to reduce agriculture’s carbon footprint. Sacha Mooney, Hannah Victoria Cooper, and Sofie Sjogersten · The Conversation 30 Apr 20215 sustainable farming methods assessedEnvironmental journalist Lizzy Rosenberg explores whether agriculture can be sustainable by evaluating regenerative, organic, vertical, and vegan farming. Lizzy Rosenberg · Green Matters 30 Apr 20218 quotes from the Agenda Dialogues on tackling the climate crisisJoe Myers 30 Apr 2021From Superior to Eerie – how big are the Great Lakes?Iman Ghosh · Visual Capitalist 28 Apr 2021Wild mammals have declined by 85%, but there is a possible future where they flourishHannah Ritchie · Our World in Data 26 Apr 2021Panama’s plan to go green and reforest 1 million hectares by 2050Anastasia Moloney · Thomson Reuters Foundation trust.org 26 Apr 2021

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/04/mammals-human-agriculture-charts/

Prepare your dogs for Life after lockdown

Here we go…. I was waiting for this to happen!

Mountain lion’s ‘unusual’ appearance in Texas national park sparks a mystery

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Mountain lion’s ‘unusual’ appearance in Texas national park sparks a mystery

Chacour KoopFri, April 30, 2021, 1:06 PM·1 min read

A mountain lion’s “unusual” appearance in a Texas national park has sparked a mystery: Where did it come from?

A mountain lion in and of itself isn’t rare in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. They’ll go just about anywhere mule deer — among the most common animals in the Far West Texas park — can be found.

But this particular mountain lion recently spotted on a trail camera was wearing a collar.

Why is that strange? The park says it hasn’t collared cats since the 1980s.

“This collared mountain lion must have drifted into the park from somewhere else,” the park posted on Facebook. “It’s unusual, but exciting to see this collared individual because it reflects the vast roving and range behaviors of mountain lions.”

A mountain lion, also known as a cougar or puma, requires a huge swath of habitat to survive, according to the National Wildlife Federation. Cubs remain with their mothers up to 26 months but usually separate earlier to find their own territory, the wildlife groups says.- ADVERTISEMENT -https://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-6-0/html/r-sf-flx.html

Guadalupe Mountains National Park shared a photo of the mountain lion in hopes of finding out who collared the cat.

“Since this is not our cat, we wanted to share the image to help whoever is doing research, find and monitor their kitty,” the park posted. “We’ve reached out to local researchers to identify … the cat and its collar, with no luck.”

Watch daring rescue of bobcat stuck atop electric pole for two days in New Mexicohttps://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-6-0/html/r-sf.html

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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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