We’ve featured all sorts of stories about pet owners going to great lengths for their dogs, but I think this may be the most shocking one we’ve ever seen yet.
No one in their right mind would charge, let alone, come near a mama bear taking a stroll with her cubs, but that’s exactly what 17-year-old Hailey Morinico of Bradbury, California, did this Memorial Day weekend.
In a harrowing clip captured by their home’s security camera, a black bear and her two cubs are seen balancing on top of the low brick fence in the Morinicos’ home.
They were heading toward a fruit tree in the backyard when four dogs suddenly bolted out and barked loudly at the mammal.
The bear became upset and swiped at the largest of the dogs, touching the black dog’s nose while still perched atop the wall. Two bear cubs are seen behind her.
Then, out of nowhere, Hailey darted across the yard to save her own babies—her four dogs, who are now in danger of getting hurt.
Using both of her hands, the teen shoved the mama bear, and she disappeared over a wall into a neighbor’s yard. She poked her head back over for one last look before running off.YouTube
The teen said the only thing she had in mind at the time was to protect her dogs.
“I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a bear and it is taking my dog. It is lifting it up off the ground,’” she said. “In that split second, I decided to push the bear, like it was nothing, apparently.”
Hailey then scooped up one of her dogs while the others ran back to safety.
Luckily, none of them suffered any serious injuries; Hailey escaped with only a sprained finger and a scraped knee.
Although it’s the route she took, she wouldn’t advise anyone to follow her example.
“Do not push bears and do not get close to bears,” she said. “You do not want to get unlucky. I just happened to come out unscathed.”YouTube
KNBC Los Angeles identified the bear as a black bear, some of which have brown or tan coats. Human-bear encounters are rare in California, but these animals sometimes come out of their habitats and visit the foothill communities to forage food, particularly on garbage days.
Experts don’t recommend confronting any bears. But just in case you encounter one, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife says you should stay away from them. If they don’t leave, get to a safe place and call 911.
“If you encounter a bear in your yard, chances are it will move on if there is nothing for the bear to forage. If there is enough distance between you and the bear, you can encourage the bear to leave by using noisemakers or blowing a whistle,” officials wrote.
Black bears are characterized by their small, narrow heads and small ears. Their coats can be of a tan, black, or brown color. Females can grow up to 200 pounds, and males can be a massive 350 pounds. Some giants even weigh more than 600 pounds.
The population of black bears in California has been on the rise over the last two decades. During the early 1980s, there were about 10,000 to 15,000 of them. Now, there are an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 of them in the city, and that’s a conservative estimate.
Bears are naturally good climbers who can easily scale a tree or block a wall, like in this case.
About half of California’s bears are found in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and areas to the north and west. Only around 10% of the black bear population lives in central western and southwestern California.
They like to eat plants, insects, nuts, berries, and whatever else they see as edible.
Hailey is definitely one brave fur mom! Here’s the footage of her defending her beloved pets.
ABC’s Cats Indoors program supports simple solutions to keep pet cats and wild birds safe. Check out catio designs and other solutions below to see which is the best fit for you and your cat!
CATIO OPTIONS AND OTHER OUTDOOR ENCLOSURES
Want the best of outdoor access while keeping your cat safe at home? Outdoor enclosures – like a catio – can give your cat the chance to move around freely outside within a sheltered and safe space. Whether you and your cat prefer a perch, a patio, or the entire backyard, enclosures can be modified to suit all situations.
FENCE CONVERSION: Turn your existing fence into a cat-safe fence. These straightforward options modify existing structures to create an escape-proof kingdom for your cat to explore. To learn more, visit: Cat Fence-In, Oscillot, ProtectaPet, Purrfect Fence.
Many strategies exist to safely enjoy the outdoors with your cat, including comfortable restraints that keep you and your pet connected. These options are an excellent choice for joint adventures around town or exploring the neighborhood.
VISUAL ALERTS: Visual cues can alert wildlife to the presence of a cat and prevent harmful interactions. To learn more, visit: Birdsbesafe®.
MECHANICAL OBSTRUCTIONS: Devices that obstruct a cat’s ability to stalk, pounce, or grab prey may reduce impacts on birds and other wildlife. To learn more, visit: CatBib.
AUDIO ALERTS: Noise-emitting devices worn by your cat may reduce the opportunity for direct harm to wildlife. To learn more, visit: Digibell.
CATS INDOORS PLEDGE
Owned, free-roaming cats kill over 700 million birds in the U.S. each year. You can help reduce that number by keeping your pet cat safely indoors, on a leash, or within an outdoor enclosure. Get started by taking ABC’s Cat’s Indoors Pledge today.
Containing cats is an easy way to provide cats with healthy, safe lives while reducing needless bird and other wildlife deaths. If you’ve already taken our Cats Indoor Pledge, here are five more ways you can help:
Dogs could be heard barking from the rows of cages that lines the farm. On the other side of the yard, more exotic animals like civets, racoon dogs and minks were also locked up in tiny containers.
Men used a broom-shaped tool with two probes at the front to electrocute a dog with white fur, immediately sending it falling paralysed to the ground. It struggled to get up and its body twitched. The procedure was repeated several times to more of the dogs, pushing them against the cage before stunning them.
As the animals lay unconscious, they were placed on a stone platform, an apparent signal they were ready to be butchered. In other photos, dead animals were piled up on the ground, with their furs peeled from their bodies.
The bloodied remains of these animals were left on the ground. It is not clear how much protection the men who killed these animals were wearing, but it is clear from the images that there were no attempts to cover up the bloodied remains with anything. It is likely that they may just be left on the ground while more animals would be killed.
These are details from a fur farm investigation in China conducted by the Humane Society International (HSI), which is calling on the British government to ban import of furs following the publication of a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, suggesting wildlife farming could be a potential breeding ground for Covid-19.
It is hard to estimate the actual number of animals at the fur farm visited by HSI, but there appeared to be dozens if not hundreds kept at the site. According to HSI’s estimation, China is home to the largest fur producing industry worldwide, rearing 14 million foxes, 13.5 million raccoon dogs and 11.6 million mink in 2019.
Conservationists have been calling for a more complete ban on wildlife farming around the world, including China. “The WHO’s investigation of the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic was a hugely important step to zero in on the likely sources of the pandemic and the source of future zoonotic spillovers,” said Peter Li, China policy specialist at Humane Society International and associate professor of East Asian politics at the University of Houston-Downtown.
Stop The Illegal Wildlife Trade
We are working with conservation charities Space for Giants and Freeland to protect wildlife at risk from poachers due to the conservation funding crisis caused by Covid-19. Help is desperately needed to support wildlife rangers, local communities and law enforcement personnel to prevent wildlife crime. Donate to help Stop the Illegal Wildlife Trade HERE
Experts from WHO found in their report wildlife farming played a crucial role in introducing the coronavirus to humans. While Chinese experts claimed that the report’s findings vindicate Beijing’s decision to ban trade of wild animals for human consumption, the WHO report found wildlife farms are still allowed to legally operate for the purpose of fulfilling demands from traditional Chinese medicine and fur trade.
“China’s wildlife operation has four other components that are still operating: farming for fur, for traditional Chinese medicine, for display and pets, and for laboratory use,” Prof Li told the Independent. “These four remaining operations are gigantic in scale, holding tens of millions of animals in crowded and intensive farms. This is a mode of production that is an ideal breeding ground for animal epidemics and potentially for zoonotic spillovers.”
Another loophole that Prof Li points out is the inclusion of 12 wild animals in China’s latest National Catalogue of Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources, which allows these animals to be farmed and processed for food.
“[While] the Chinese government took one of the boldest steps by shutting down the wildlife breeding for the exotic food market, it can do more to shut down all remaining commercial wildlife operations,” he said.
In the report, WHO experts suggest further checks into farms as a possible source of the virus. They named minks and rabbits as animals that are at risk of becoming infected with Covid.
“The increasing number of animals shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 includes animals that are farmed in sufficient densities to allow potential for enzootic circulation,” the report said.
“High-density farming is common in many places across the world and includes many livestock species as well as farmed wildlife. There was a large network of domesticated wild animal farms, supplying farmed wildlife,” the report added.
The Independent’s Stop the Illegal Wildlife Trade campaign, which was launched last year, seeks an international effort to clamp down on poaching and the illegal trade of wild animals, which remains one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the future.
The Independent is working with conservation charities including Space for Giants and Freeland to protect wildlife at risk due to the conservation funding crisis caused by Covid-19. As China began some efforts to curb wildlife consumption in the country following the coronavirus outbreak, the Independent works with its partners to gain more insights about the impact of Beijing’s efforts.
(The Independent )
For Pei Su, the founder of ACTAsia, a nonprofit organisation that works to bring about sustainable social change in China, as some of the wild animals have been re-categorised as “livestock” in China, wildlife trade continues across the country, with many of these trading activities being conducted across different provinces in China.
“It doesn’t matter where the wildlife markets are or where the virus comes from, because the more pressing thing is that China still allows wildlife trade even though the coronavirus pandemic is still happening,” Ms Su told the Independent. “I think that’s where the next zoonotic disease spillover could happen.”
Prof Li pointed out that while there is growing willingness among some lawmakers in China to further restrict the remaining wildlife farming operations, there is still strong resistance from the wildlife business in China.
“The country’s national wildlife management agency is not motivated to shut down the operation, while China’s wildlife protection law, which has long been criticised as ‘a law for the management of wildlife resources’ is yet to be revised,” he said. “The law in its current shape supports wildlife farming. If this is not changed, the Chinese government is unlikely to impose more restrictions on wildlife farming.”
To both Prof Li and Ms Su, the international community should realise that wildlife farming isn’t just a problem in China, but a problem that has been recurring around the world. “Wildlife farming is an unsustainable practice but the whole world still thinks wildlife trade is acceptable,” Ms Su added.
Prof Li believes that while the whole world is asking China to close its massive wildlife animal farming and trade, they need to acknowledge and proactively address the same intensive animal farming of other species around the world. “The international community should encourage China to phase out all the remaining commercial wildlife farming operations,” he said.
“The way to do it’s not to vilify or demonise China, or place unfounded charges at its doorstep. It is time that the international community and all governments recognise the fact that the modern mode of animal exploitation is an ideal environment for the spread, cross infection and mutation of viruses.”
Prof Li says it’s important for the international community to stop politicizing a public health crisis and let scientists reduce zoonotic spillover in the future. “Let’s put short-term political gains of partisan politics behind, and let scientists remove future zoonotic spillovers,” he added.
A hunter in his late fifties was killed in Gabon when he was ambushed by an elephant and trampled to death.
The drama unfolded last week in Roungassa village, in the province of Ogooue Lolo, Gabon Media Time reported.
The website reported that the victim was a resident of the village and was “known to all.”
The remains of the man, whose identity has not been revealed, were found lying in the forest by members of the Central Brigade of the capital of Ogooué Lolo, residents told the website.
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This kind of hunting accident has been occurring more frequently in Gabon in recent months. More and more animals, especially elephants, are staying closer to the villages because of deforestation, which destroys the habitat and the trees whose fruits the animals feed on, the website reported.
Similar tragedies have been recorded in the provinces of Ngounié and Woleu-Ntem in recent months, according to the news website.
Gabon is home to a large colony of forest elephants, which can be dangerous when close to humans.
A similar incident took place in Northern Namibia on March 13, when a farmer was killed after being trampled on by an African savanna elephant. Abner Petrus, 46, lost his life after one of the animals attacked him from behind in Okatha-Kiikombo, a village in the Omusati region.
African forest elephants, which are smaller than the African savanna elephants, occupy most of the tropical forests in West and Central Africa, with the largest populations found in Gabon and the Republic of Congo.
Increased threats of poaching and loss of habitat have made Africa’s elephant more endangered, according to a report released in March by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Both the African forest elephant and the African savanna elephant are considered endangered.
The number of African forest elephants has fallen by more than 86 percent over a 31-year period, the report said, while the population of savanna elephants dropped by more than 60 percent over a 50-year period. The International Union for Conservation of Nature rates the global extinction risks to the world’s animals.
Africa currently has 415,000 elephants, counting the forest and savanna elephants together, according to the agency.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has predicted that the African elephant could be extinct by 2040, with poaching and human-wildlife conflict as a result of habitat loss and fragmentation the main threats to the survival of the species.Forest elephants are seen at Langoue Bai in the Ivindo national park, Gabon, on April 26, 2019. A man in his late fifties killed at a hunting party in Gabon after being ambushed and trampled upon by an elephant.Amaury Hauchard/Getty
RIP Harley a Sea Lion who died May 2021 after 23yrs performing tricks at Chessington zoo 💔
There is NO justification for Californian sea lions in zoos as they are not endangered & numbers are thriving in the wild. Please help end cruel sea lion shows by contacting @CWOA. pic.twitter.com/iYU9pp3nbE
Virtually every country in the world has a stray dog problem. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that there are over 200 million stray dogs worldwide.
But for Holland, it’s a different story. That’s because the country recently became the first nation with zero stray dogs.
Holland is making history, and fortunately, they didn’t do it by culling these animals. Instead, its government implemented an effective animal welfare program supported by legislators, public health officials, and animal advocates.Pixabay
The country has dealt with the stray dog dilemma for nearly 200 years—longer than almost any other country. But centuries ago, this wasn’t even a problem.
During the 1800s, dog ownership was a status symbol. Almost every household had at least one dog, if not more. But rabies broke out in Holland in the 1900s, leading thousands of citizens to abandon their canines.
They left them on the streets to fend for themselves out of fear of rabies. This event led to a drastic spike in the number of homeless pets in the country.
After more than 200 years, Dutch officials decided to tackle this issue.
Public health officials, legislators, and animal advocates gathered to come up with solutions to Holland’s growing stray dog population. And they had an ambitious goal—to bring it down to zero.
Their first step was implementing a sterilization program throughout the country. Homeless dogs were multiplying rapidly, and their procreation had to be controlled as soon as possible. Else, the number of strays will only continue to rise.
Within months, they spayed and neutered over 75% of Holland’s stray dogs. This significantly lessened the number of stray puppies being born.
Next, Holland’s officials enforced an animal welfare legislation. The new laws granted all animals, including stray dogs, the right to live a “quality” life.
And to encourage their citizens to take these new laws seriously, anyone who broke them will be subject to $16,000 fines and up to three years in prison. null
The legislation also put a tax hike on store-bought pets to promote pet adoption from shelters and rescues.
A domestic animal task force was also organized to enforce the new laws and ensure that there will always be help available to investigate reports of any individual breaking them. If necessary, the task force was also granted the right to remove any animal in a dangerous living situation.
Next, all strays went through a veterinary check-up where they were brought up to date on their vaccines. This is a necessary step in preventing the spread of contagious diseases such as rabies and parvovirus
Marianne Thieme, the Party for the Animals spokesperson, said:
“Animals — and our entire society — need the animal police. There is a direct link between violence against animals and violence against humans.”
Lastly, Dutch officials campaigned tirelessly across the country to promote pet adoption instead of pet shopping. Doing so decreased the popularity of puppy mills and dog breeders in Holland.
Now, when someone brings a rescued/adopted puppy home, they know they’ve contributed to the nationwide mission of bringing the number of Holland’s stray dogs down to zero. This made the citizens feel included in the fight against pet homelessness.
As of now, over 90% of Holland’s population live with happy and healthy dogs. Because of their cooperation, the entire country managed to save over a million neglected, abused, and homeless dogs.
Holland’s success in eradicating its stray dog population proves that great things can happen when an entire country works towards achieving a common goal. Hopefully, we see the U.S. and other nations follow suit.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
At-a-Glance Summary of Research Findings:
Factors Associated with Dog Aggressiveness towards Humans
-Older dogs encountering sudden moves/situations
-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
When Byron and Melissa Thanarayen found their dogs at home with wet heads, they assumed the canines had simply made a mess at the water bowl. But when they checked their security footage, they got a surprise.
The video showed their senior toy Pomeranian, Chucky, walking along the edge of the backyard pool before he fell into the water. The 13-year-old dog immediately panicked, swimming to different sides of the pool as he tried desperately to escape.
Jessie spent over 30 minutes trying to save her big brother before she got a good grip and pulled him to safety. She even used her paw to move Chucky away from the edge of the pool.
The video then shows Chucky and Jessie happily running off into the sunny yard together after their stressful ordeal.
The Thanarayens are grateful for their heroic girl, knowing that Chucky might not have made it out of the pool alive without Jessie. They say their dogs have been trained to swim but they’re going to buy a pool cover to keep them safer in the future.
A pair of financial companies that were leasing dogs to Massachusetts pet owners will waive the remaining balances owed on dozens of animals, according to the Massachusetts attorney general.
Nevada based companies Credova Financial, LLC and Nextep Holdings, LLC will reportedly forgive $126,000 in balances and give full ownership to dog owners who took out a lease to buy their family pet. Leasing dogs is legal in some states, though Massachusetts, where Thursday’s case was settled, isn’t one of them. Those two companies also agreed to pay $50,000 to the state.
According to the AG’s office, some pet stores allow owners to take out leases to finance a dog, much the same way some people purchase cars. If a payment is missed, the dog can be repossessed. Such loans are said to often come with high finance charges.
In announcing the settlement, attorney General Maura Healey said dog ownership is a big investment for families, both financially and emotionally.
“When the dog is used as collateral in a lease, the end result can be expensive and heartbreaking,” Healey said.
Today, the New York Court of Appeals—one of the most influential state courts in the United States—agreed to hear the habeas corpus case of our elephant client Happy, an autonomous and cognitively complex nonhuman animal who has been imprisoned at the Bronx Zoo for over four decades. This marks the first time in history that the highest court of any English-speaking jurisdiction will hear a habeas corpus case brought on behalf of someone other than a human being.
In 2018, the Nonhuman Rights Project brought a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on Happy’s behalf, seeking recognition of her fundamental right to bodily liberty and transfer to an elephant sanctuary. Happy became the first elephant in the world to be granted a hearing to determine the lawfulness of her imprisonment. Following several days of hearings, the trial court “regrettably” denied Happy’s petition because of prior court decisions, which will now be examined for the first time by the Court of Appeals.
Happy’s case has been supported from the start by leading scientists, philosophers, habeas corpus scholars, legal experts, theologians, and the wider public throughout the country and the world. Having begun the fight for nonhuman rights in New York eight years ago, we are thrilled the Court of Appeals has recognized the urgent public importance of Happy’s case and hope she will soon become the first elephant and nonhuman animal in the US to have her right to bodily liberty judicially recognized.
To learn more about Happy and her court case, click here. To join the over one million people who’ve signed her Change.org petition, click here. To make a donation to help ensure the legal fight for elephant rights is as strong as it can be, now and until all elephants can live freely, click here.
This article is contributed by guest writer, Dawn C.
Everyone loves their pets, and no one ever wants to see them hurt, especially in a fire. So what can one do to protect their pet? The first thing is to make sure you have operational fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. This is not only to protect the pet but also the entire family. The other way to protect your pet is to train them. Socialization and proper training are some of the basic needs your pet requires. Here are the best tips on safety for pets.
About 50,000 pets get affected by fire every year, according to the National Fire Protection Association.Pets cause about 1000 house fires and those are reported cases. Most of these fires are caused by open flames such as candles, fireplaces, or stoves. Here are ways to keep your pets safe from fire or other hazards:
1. Don’t leave an unattended open flame
Pets are mostly nosy, and they don’t understand the risks that fire can cause. Dripped grease or fallen candles can end up becoming a tragic blaze, hence, avoid them when you have pets around. For pets like cats, an ignited candle can be a temptation. You can consider flameless candles.
2. Keep the fireplace secure
A stray spark from a fireplace may burn the entire house. A fireplace is a great place for pets and family to gather, but it’s best to avoid putting fabric items near a fireplace. You can also use a glass fireplace shield to keep the sparks in their place.
Pets can sometimes mistake an electronic cord for a chewing toy. The electric wires can be bound in various creative ways to secure and keep them from being visible. Beginning your pet’s training helps in teaching them good behavior, and not to tamper with cables in the house.
4. Know your pet’s hiding spots
This is essential, especially when you need to evacuate out of your home quickly. Pets mostly hide, especially if they sense danger. You can begin training your pet by crating it in advance to make it easier so that they don’t run when you try pulling them from their crate during any emergency.
5. Rehearse escape routes
Make sure your entire family knows the plan of where to go. If your pet is left behind, it may become exposed to many hazards or get trapped. The American Red Cross informs that it’s essential to decide where you’ll take your pet ahead of time. You can contact a veterinarian to get a list of favorite facilities and kennels. You can also ask for foster care or emergency shelter in a local animal shelter. You can also identify hotels or motels that accept pets.
Another way to ensure itssafety is beginning your pet’s training. It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, especially if it’s a new pet. When you take it step by step, you’ll find it far less hectic. Here are the guidelines on how to get started:
Begin with obedience –Before beginning your pet’s training, you can set a basic foundation. There should be positive reinforcement to lay a great foundation. The method involves giving a pet a reward to encourage it to behave the way you want.
Train your dog in self-control – This technique teaches your pet that nothing comes for free. It needs to earn things like attention, and food through being obedient.
Emergencies tend to happen at any time and can come in a ton of ways. While one may not be able to prevent them from happening, one can prepare their pet and themselves in advance. Training your pet is a way to prevent them from causing or engaging in any danger.
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.”
The feisty Black-capped Chickadee is the most common and widespread of the seven chickadee species found in North America. Named for its call and trademark black cap, this little bird is a common sight at backyard bird feeders, along with species such as the Northern Cardinal, Pine Siskin, and American Goldfinch.
Remarkable Bird Brain
Each fall, Black-capped Chickadees gather and store large supplies of seeds in many different places – an adaptation that helps them to survive harsh winters. But how do they remember where they stash their supplies of seed?
Scientists have shown that Black-capped Chickadees are able to increase their memory capacity each fall by adding new brain cells to the hippocampus, the part of the brain that supports spatial memory. During this time, the chickadee’s hippocampus actually expands in volume by around 30 percent! In the spring, when feats of memory are needed less, its hippocampus shrinks back to normal size. This phenomenon also occurs in other food-storing songbirds, including jays, nutcrackers, and nuthatches.
This remarkable plasticity is related to hormonal changes in the birds’ brains. Scientists are studying this ability in the hopes of eventually helping humans suffering from memory loss.
Weathering the Winter
During extremely cold winter nights, this remarkable little bird shows another interesting ability: Like a Costa’s Hummingbird or Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, it can lower its body temperature and enter short periods of torpor. This ability to go into controlled hypothermia helps it conserve essential energy. In addition, Black-capped Chickadees sometimes cluster together in tree cavities for extra warmth.
The Black-capped Chickadee has nine recognized subspecies and occurs from Alaska through the southern half of Canada and south to roughly half of the lower 48 U.S. states. All populations are nonmigratory, although some birds may move south within their range in the fall or winter.
Black-capped Chickadees live in small groups from late summer through winter, under a dominance hierarchy or “pecking order.” Each bird is known to the other according to rank, which is determined by degrees of aggressiveness.
Black-capped Chickadee. Photo by FotoRequest, Shutterstock
The Black-capped Chickadee’s vocal repertoire is quite complex, with at least 15 different sounds that serve as contact calls, alarm calls, individual identification, territorial markers, or in recognition of a particular flock. They also call when they find food, to signal flock members. Other small birds, such as the Golden-crowned Kinglet and Brown Creeper, also listen for the Black-capped Chickadee’s calls and follow them in search of food during the winter.
Listen to two of the many vocalizations of the Black-capped Chickadee below.
Typical “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” call:
“Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)” Xeno-Canto Thomas Magarian
Black-capped Chickadees eat many insect and spider eggs, larvae, pupae, and nymphs. These adaptable little birds also consume berries, seeds, suet, and even bits of carrion, particularly in the winter when insects are scarce. They are commonly seen at bird feeders, and they can be tame, even learning to take seed from a human hand. In far-northern latitudes, Black-capped Chickadees are among the few small songbirds able to endure the long, snowy winters.
In spring and summer, these normally social birds split up into monogamous breeding pairs. Cavity nesters, they usually select a site in a decayed snag, branch, or knothole. They may also take advantage of old woodpecker holes or nest boxes. They prefer a side entrance to their nest cavities, and if the branch or snag they select is slanted, the chickadee places the entrance on the lower surface, providing protection from the elements.
Chickadees can excavate their own nest cavities in soft, dead wood, taking the wood chips away from the site to avoid attracting predators. Once the nest cavity is established, the female builds a cup-shaped nest of moss and bark at the bottom and lines it with softer material such as animal fur.
Adaptable, Yet Vulnerable
Like the American Robin and Downy Woodpecker, the Black-capped Chickadee seems to thrive in suburban habitats. Although it remains common, this bird faces the same threats as less-adaptable species, particularly predation by cats and collisions with glass.
DENVER— The U.S. District Court of Colorado has ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the law by funding a Colorado Parks and Wildlife plan to kill hundreds of mountain lions and dozens of black bears without properly analyzing the risks to those animals’ populations and the rest of the environment.
In response to a lawsuit brought by conservation groups, the court ruled that the Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act by agreeing to fund the project using federal money without completing its own environmental analysis. Further, the court found the environmental analysis the Service tried to rely upon, completed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, did not adequately analyze the impacts of killing black bears and mountain lions under the plans.
“On behalf of the majority of Coloradans who support coexistence with native carnivores, WildEarth Guardians applauds the court for recognizing the substantial environmental impact that these killing ‘studies’ impose on native wildlife in the state,” said Lindsay Larris, wildlife program director at WildEarth Guardians. “These studies threatened local ecosystems by the extermination of entire populations of bears and lions in these regions, a fact that the Service completely ignored. We hope this ruling ensures that the Service will carefully consider all funding requests for wildlife ‘studies’ long into the future.”
The multi-year plans to kill black bears and mountain lions in the Piceance Basin and Upper Arkansas River areas of Colorado were intended to artificially boost the mule deer population for hunters, where habitat had been degraded by oil and gas drilling. But overwhelming scientific evidence shows that killing native carnivores does not boost prey populations. The killing plans were hatched and approved by Colorado Parks and Wildlife in 2016 and funded by the Service in 2017 despite overwhelming public opposition, and over the objection of leading conservation biologists’ voices.
“This ruling immediately halts the use of taxpayer dollars for the slaughter of Colorado’s mountain lions,” said Andrea Zaccardi, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “I’m so pleased that the court put a stop to this scientifically baseless study that needlessly targeted Colorado’s ecologically important, native carnivores.”
The court agreed that the Fish and Wildlife Service failed to consider the many substantial environmental harms that were likely to result from the plans, such as the harm to the local ecosystem caused by these killings and the suffering and deaths of orphaned cubs and kittens.
“Persecuting bears and mountain lions in this way is not only incredibly cruel to these highly-sentient, social beings who spend years raising their dependent young, but it is also environmentally destructive,” said Laura Smythe, a staff attorney with the Humane Society of the United States. “These inhumane wildlife killing plans left cubs orphaned, who likely died from starvation, dehydration, predation or exposure. Intensive trophy hunting and killing of mountain lions leads to increased conflicts with humans, pets and livestock. The federal government had no business funding this completely unnecessary state-sponsored slaughter.”
The Piceance Basin Plan has been completed but the Upper Arkansas River Plan is ongoing and will be halted as a result of this ruling.
Background: Started in 2017, the Upper Arkansas River Plan was approved to last nine years, during which time Colorado Parks and Wildlife would kill more than 50% of the mountain lion population in the area. Colorado expected the killing of up to 234 mountain lions would cost nearly $4 million, 75 percent of which would be federally funded with taxpayers’ money.
Mountain lions and black bears are critical to their native ecosystems. Mountain lion predation provides food for more bird and mammal scavengers than that of any other predator on the planet. Black bears’ diverse diet of fruits results in broad dispersion of seeds, and their foraging behavior creates disturbances that allow sunlight to reach plants below the forest canopy.
Excluding seldom-seen vagrant species, eight New World oriole species occur in the United States (see list below). Thanks to their distinctive orange-and-black or yellow-and-black plumage, orioles are fairly easy to identify. And because they inhabit large portions of the country — and occasionally visit feeders — many Americans are familiar with these colorful birds.
Despite their relative abundance, most North American orioles are in decline, some steeply. The Baltimore Oriole, for example, has experienced a 42-percent population decline in the last 50 years; the Audubon’s Oriole has been added to Partners in Flight’s (PIF’s) Yellow Watch List (an indicator of conservation concern); and the Altamira Oriole, which numbers fewer than 500 in Texas, has been listed as “threatened” in the state by the Texas Organization for Endangered Species.
The alphabetical list below includes all orioles, both migratory and resident, that breed regularly in the continental United States. The PIF population and conservation data we use is exclusive to the United States and Canada. (Note that only three listed species reach Canada: Baltimore, Bullock’s, and Orchard.) As a result, population estimates shown here do not reflect total numbers for orioles with parts of their breeding ranges in Mexico and Central America. We have included one exotic species on our list, the Spot-breasted Oriole, which has been established in the U.S. for more than 70 years, and we have omitted several vagrant species that rarely visit.
U.S. Population Estimate: <500 Population Trend: Unknown Habitat: Dry forest and brush near Rio Grande Threats: Habitat loss Note: Although most of the Altamira Oriole’s range lies south of the U.S. border, it can be found in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. The Texas Organization for Endangered Species lists the species as “threatened” within the state; however, the Altamira Oriole is still considered common in the southern parts of its range.
U.S. Population Estimate: <5,000 Population Trend: Overall trend unknown; decreasing in the U.S. Habitat: Dry forest and brush Threats: Brood parasitism, habitat loss and fragmentation Note: Formerly known as the Black-headed Oriole, Audubon’s Oriole is the only oriole species in the New World to sport a black hood with a yellow or orange back. Conservation concerns have led PIF to add Audubon’s Oriole to its Yellow Watch List.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 12,000,000 Population Trend: Decreasing Habitat: Open eastern deciduous forest Threats: Habitat loss Note: Like most oriole species, Baltimore Orioles build hanging nests by weaving an assortment of fibers, including hairs and grasses. The nests, which take one to two weeks to construct, are lined with feathers and downy fibers. Baltimore Oriole populations have decreased by 42 percent over the last 50 years.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 6,500,000 Population Trend: Decreasing Habitat: Open western deciduous forest Threats: Habitat loss, possibly pesticide use Note: Bullock’s Oriole enjoy a varied diet, including insects, fruit, and even nectar from agaves and other flowers. They can occasionally be found sipping from hummingbird feeders. Populations of the Bullock’s Oriole have decreased 22 percent over the last 50 years.
U.S. Population Estimate: 350,000 Population Trend: Increasing Habitat: Open woods and brush Threats: Localized brood parasitism by Brown-headed and Bronzed CowbirdsNote: Hooded Orioles, which tend to nest in palm trees, have expanded their range northward, following the introduction of ornamental palms in residential areas. They can now be found as far north as Arcata, California.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 10,000,000 Population Trend: Decreasing Habitat: Open woods and brush Threats: Habitat loss, brood parasitism Note: The smallest of North American orioles, Orchard Orioles have a noted tolerance for other birds. In areas of favored habitat, multiple Orchard Oriole pairs will sometimes nest in a single tree. They are also known to nest in close proximity to Baltimore Orioles, American Robins, and Chipping Sparrows, among others. Orchard Oriole populations have decreased 23 percent over the last 50 years.
U.S. Population Estimate: 1,600,000 Population Trend: Decreasing Habitat: Varied open, arid habitats Threats: Habitat loss and fragmentation Note: Although most birds avoid eating Monarch butterflies due to toxins ingested by the milkweed-eating insects, Scott’s Oriole and several other bird species have learned to prey upon them by eating the abdomens of less-noxious individuals. Populations of the Scott’s Oriole have decreased by 29 percent over the last 50 years.
U.S. Population Estimate: Unknown Population Trend: Increasing Habitat: Lushly planted suburban areas in South Florida Threats: Severe winter freezes, habitat loss and fragmentationNote: Native to southern Mexico and Central America, Spot-breasted Orioles were introduced in the U.S. more than 70 years ago. The birds are now found in areas between Miami and West Palm Beach. They nest in human-altered landscapes with an abundance of flowering and fruiting ornamental trees and shrubs, including suburban yards and golf courses.
Chuck-will’s-widow belongs to a family of birds with the folk name “goatsuckers.” The family name, Caprimulgidae, literally means “milker of goats” and is based on an ancient belief that the birds milked goats with their enormous mouths each night.
In reality, the birds’ attraction to livestock was likely due to the presence of insects. Chuck-will’s-widow forages at dusk and dawn, silently swooping over the ground in search of prey. Specialized feathers known as rictal bristles help funnel insects into the bird’s mouth, which is so large that they may occasionally swallow small birds and bats as well!
The “chuck” is the largest nightjar in North America and is almost entirely nocturnal. During the day, the birds roost along tree branches or on the ground, where their beautifully mottled brown plumage provides perfect camouflage against dried leaves and tree bark.
Chuck-will’s-widow and chicks by Dick-Snell
Chuck-will’s-widows do not build nests, instead laying their eggs on the ground among dead leaves, pine needles, or on bare dirt. Incubating adults are almost invisible against the forest floor and only flush off their nests when closely approached.
Since they have a highly insectivorous diet, Chuck-will’s-widows are impacted by pesticide use. They are sometimes killed by cars when they land on roads at night to pick up grit. Habitat loss on both breeding and wintering grounds is also a continual threat.
This nightjar winters in lowland forests throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America, where it shares habitat with Wood Thrush, Kentucky and Prothonotary warblers, and Painted Bunting. Chuck-will’s-widow is benefiting from ABC’s efforts to “bring back the birds” in these areas, with our focus on conserving geographically linked habitats both north and south.
More than 850 cattle will be slaughtered in Spain after spending a “hellish” two months stuck on a boat in the Mediterranean.
The animals, which were initially due to be sold in Turkey, left the Spanish port of Cartagena in mid-December on board the Karim Allah.
However, Turkish authorities refused to let the animals into the country over fears they had bluetongue virus, a disease that causes lameness and haemorrhaging.
The ship later returned to Cartagena on 22 February, after other countries, including Libya, had also been unwilling to accept the cargo. While tests were being conducted by the Spanish authorities, the cattle remained on the boat.
Last week, a vets’ report seen by Reuters said that many of the animals were unwell after their long journey.
Although it did not say whether the animals had bluetongue, the document suggested that euthanasia was the best course of action.
On Friday, a court in Madrid rejected an appeal against the decision to put them down. As a result, the animals will be taken off the boat on Saturday and slaughtered.
Of the 895 calves that initially left Spain, 22 of them died at sea and were thrown overboard, according to the boat’s captain Nabil Mohamad.
Speaking about the cattle’s plight, Mr Mohamad told the Spanish newspaper El Pais: “I can’t explain it. I’ve been in this for 25 years and nothing like this has ever happened to me. I don’t understand anything, it has been very hard.”
The ‘Karim Allah’ docked in Cartagena, Spain (Reuters)
Miquel Masramon, a lawyer representing the shipowner, Talia Shipping Line, said last month that more than €1m (£866,000) had been spent on looking after the animals at sea. null
However, animal rights groups have questioned how well the cattle had been cared for, with Silvia Barquero, the director of the Igualdad Animal NGO, describing their crossing as “hellish”.
“What has happened to the waste produced by all these animals for two months?” she asked last month. “We are sure they are in unacceptable sanitary conditions.”
It is with a heavy heart that I share devastating news about a beloved matriarch. Red wolf Veronica, also known as F1858, passed away earlier today from a closed pyometra. She was nine years old.
Veronica joined the Wolf Conservation Center pack in 2017 when she and her family arrived from the Museum of Life and Science in North Carolina. Unbeknownst to them, the endangered group quickly burst into the hearts and minds of a global audience thanks to the WCC’s live-streaming webcams. Viewers exclaimed with joy and delight watching Veronica guide her rambunctious pups through their developmental years, and celebrated from afar when the experienced mother of four became a mother of ten – she gave birth to six pups in 2018!
As the family grew in size, so did Veronica’s influence. She taught her children the importance of love, teamwork, and family – and that there’s always time for a quick romp in the snow or a harmonious howl. Red wolf Veronica and her daughter SkyRae enjoying the snow.
We can be better and do better because she lived. Her loving and tenacious spirit will empower us to continue the fight to safeguard the wild legacy she leaves behind.
Our hearts go out to her family (mate Sam and children Tom, Notch, Gilda, Penny, Martha, SkyRae, Rich, Max, Hunter, and Shane) and the many people who she had unknowingly touched. Thanks to her, millions of people are connected to the plight of red wolves and are dedicated to their recovery.
RIP, Veronica. We miss your nurturing soul already.
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
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.
Owls are quintessential creatures of the night (with a few exceptions mentioned below). Beautiful and formidable predators, they inspire admiration, fear, and a sense of mystery.
There are more than 200 species of owls around the world. They are divided into two families, Tytonidae (Barn Owls) and Strigidae, which includes all other owl species. Owls in both families have evolved outstanding hunting skills that allow them to catch their prey with quiet precision.
Great Horned Owl by Alessandro Cancian/Shutterstock
With their superb hunting abilities, owls are truly fascinating. Here are some interesting facts about them that you might not know:
Owls eat other animals, from small insects such as moths or beetles, to large birds, even as large as an Osprey. A few species of owls mostly eat fish, such as Ketupa (fish-owl) and Scotopelia (fishing-owl) species, found in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, respectively. Owls spend much of their active time hunting for food. The Snowy Owl, for example, may have to try quite a few times, but can catch three to five lemmings a day.
Owls Cannot Chew
Like other birds, owls do not have teeth to chew their food. They use their sharp, hooked bills to tear the flesh of prey into pieces, often crushing their skulls and other bones. They can also swallow small prey whole, usually head-first. Any body parts that owls are not able to digest, such as bones and fur, are regurgitated hours later in the form of a pellet.
Although we typically associate them with the night, some owls are diurnal, or active during the day. Species in northern latitudes, such as Snowy Owls, must be able to hunt throughout the continuously bright days of summer. In western mountain forests, Northern Pygmy-Owls hunt small birds during the day, and although they mostly hunt at night, Burrowing Owls are often seen outside their burrows in daylight. Some others are crepuscular, active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk.
Guided by Sound
Mostly nocturnal, owls rely on outstanding hearing abilities to find their prey in the darkness. Barn Owls, for example, are able to locate small animals hiding in vegetation by using their auditory sense alone. The Great Gray Owl (in the video below) can find prey under almost a foot of snow. Owls’ flat faces work like dish antennas — the feathers around the face direct soundwaves to their ears, which are hidden on the sides. Many owl species also have a slight asymmetry in ear position, which helps them determine target distance.https://www.youtube.com/embed/w4OH6gMN6vY?autoplay=1&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fabcbirds.org
Bountiful Years Bring Lots of Chicks
The amount of food available affects owls’ reproduction. While Barn Owls typically lay four to seven eggs, they have been known to lay as many as 12 during years with high rodent populations. In years of food scarcity, however, some owls might refrain from breeding altogether.
The flight of owls is nearly silent, which allows them to approach and then pounce on unsuspecting targets. Because the wings’ surface area is larger than most birds in proportion to body mass, they can glide more slowly without stalling and dropping to the ground. Their feathers also play a role – their shape and soft texture help muffle the sound of the owl’s flight.
Owls’ Water Needs
Owls can drink, but they mostly get their water needs met by the animals they eat. During metabolism, the hydrogen contained in the animals’ fat gets oxidized, yielding around one gram of water for every gram of fat. During northern winters, owls sometimes may be seen eating snow.
While owls’ extraordinary hunting skills and nocturnal habits are the stuff of legend, the dangers they face are often overlooked. Threats like habitat loss, pesticides, and vehicle collisions have already sent a third of all owl species in the United States into decline.
The Northern Spotted Owl (a subspecies of the Spotted Owl) has been protected by the Endangered Species Act since 1990, and six additional owl species have been placed on Partners in Flight‘s Yellow Watch List, indicating the need for conservation action.
By Joseph Laws For Mailonline 16:55 22 Aug 2020, updated 17:13 22 Aug 2020
Oldest polar bear in Britain dies aged 22 after suddenly falling ill in wildlife park
He had terminal kidney failure and after he suddenly fell ill vets put him to sleep
Victor was rehomed in Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster in 2014
Britain’s oldest polar bear has died aged 22 after falling ill on Friday.
The animal, named Victor, was living at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster after being moved from various zoos in Europe.
He had terminal kidney failure and after he suddenly fell ill, vets put him to sleep. The animal, named Victor, was living at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster after being moved from various zoos in Europe
Victor was born at Rostock Zoo in Germany, before moving to Rhenen in the Netherlands.
After he retired from the European breeding programme, he was rehomed in Yorkshire in 2014. He fathered 13 cubs during his time in the breeding programme.
The directors of the park thanked the team of vets from Portland House Veterinary Group who responded so quickly and the ‘dedicated’ team who had ‘loved and cared’ for the bear since his arrival.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park said: ‘Victor was a great ambassador for his species, inspiring generations and drawing attention to the plight of his species in the wild and the threat of climate change. He will be greatly missed by everyone.’ The animal, named Victor, was living at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster after being moved from various zoos in Europe
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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Following an amicus brief filed last week by Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, they are the latest experts to call for freedom and sanctuary for Happy the elephant
July 22, 2020—New York, NY—Two habeas corpus scholars and twelve North American philosophers with expertise in animal ethics, animal political theory, the philosophy of animal cognition and behavior, and the philosophy of biology have submitted amicus curiae briefs in support of the legal personhood and right to liberty of an elephant held alone in captivity in the Bronx Zoo.
The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) recently filed an appeal in its habeas corpus case on behalf of Happy, a 49-year-old Asian elephant who is both the first elephant in the world to demonstrate self-awareness via the mirror self-recognition test and the first to be the subject of habeas corpus hearings to determine the lawfulness of her imprisonment.
The authors of the briefs are:
Justin Marceau (Brooks Institute Research Scholar at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law) and Samuel L. Wiseman (Professor of Law at Penn State Law in University Park):
“One of the greatest blemishes on our justice system is the wrongful detention of persons. The Writ of Habeas Corpus is one of the tools available to correct injustices by requiring a person’s captors to justify the person’s imprisonment to the courts. While the Writ has provided a procedural vehicle for vindicating the right of thousands of humans to not be unlawfully detained, this brief argues that the time has come to consider the Writ’s application to other cognitively complex beings who are unjustly detained. The non-humans at issue are unquestionably innocent. Their confinement, at least in some cases, is uniquely depraved—and their sentience and cognitive functioning, and the cognitive harm resulting from this imprisonment, is similar to that of human beings.”
Andrew Fenton (Dalhousie University), Bernard Rollin (Colorado State University), David Peña-Guzmán (San Francisco State University), G.K.D. Crozier (Laurentian University), Gary Comstock (North Carolina State University), James Rocha (California State University, Fresno), Jeff Sebo (New York University), L. Syd M Johnson (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Letitia Meynell (Dalhousie University), Nathan Nobis (Morehouse College), Robert C. Jones (California State University, Dominguez Hills), Tyler John (Rutgers University-New Brunswick):
“We reject arbitrary distinctions that deny adequate protections to other animals who share with protected humans relevantly similar vulnerabilities to harms and relevantly similar interests in avoiding such harms. We submit this brief to affirm our shared interest in ensuring a more just coexistence with other animals who live in our communities. We strongly urge this Court, in keeping with the best philosophical standards of rational judgment and ethical standards of justice, to recognize that, as a nonhuman person, Happy should be released from her current confinement and transferred to an appropriate elephant sanctuary, pursuant to habeas corpus.”
In 2018, Judge Eugene M. Fahey of the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, favorably cited to an amicus brief submitted by philosophers in his concurring opinion in the NhRP’s chimpanzee rights cases. In that opinion, he urged his fellow judges to treat the rightlessness of nonhuman beings as a “deep dilemma of ethics and policy that demands our attention” and to “consider whether a chimpanzee is an individual with inherent value who has the right to be treated with respect.”
Earlier this year, Bronx Supreme Court Justice Alison Y. Tuitt wrote in her decision in Happy’s case that while she “agrees [with the NhRP] that Happy is more than just a legal thing, or property … and may be entitled to liberty,” she was required to dismiss Happy’s habeas petition because “regrettably … this Court is bound by the legal precedent set by the Appellate Division when it held that animals are not ‘persons’ entitled to rights and protections afforded by the writ of habeas corpus.”
Legal scholar and Harvard Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe also recently filed an amicus brief in Happy’s case, urging the First Department to recognize Happy’s right to liberty as part of New York’s noble tradition of expanding the ranks of rights holders.”
For a detailed timeline of Happy’s case and court filings, visit this page. For more information about Happy’s appeal, visit this page. To download the above image of Happy, visit this page (credit: Gigi Glendinning).
CASE NO./NAME: THE NONHUMAN RIGHTS PROJECT, INC. on behalf of HAPPY, Petitioner, v. JAMES J. BREHENY, in his official capacity as Executive Vice President and General Director of Zoos and Aquariums of the Wildlife Conservation Society and Director of the Bronx Zoo, and WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY (Appellate Case No. 2020-02581)
Media Contact: Lauren Choplin firstname.lastname@example.org ###
About the Nonhuman Rights Project The Nonhuman Rights Project is the only civil rights organization in the United States working through litigation, legislation, and education to secure fundamental rights for nonhuman animals.Nonhuman Rights Project
We are the only civil rights organization in the United States dedicated solely to securing rights for nonhuman animals.
Researchers have found that dogs adapt their communicative strategies to their environment and that owner behavior influences communicative effort and success.
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.
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
“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard