NO HAPPY ENDING FOR HOLLYWOOD ANIMAL STARS. Kathy the bottlenose #dolphin featured in the 60s TV series Flipper, was retired to a tank at an aquarium. Her trainer visited her & noticed she looked anxious. She swam to his arms & ceased to breathe. #AnimalsAreNotEntertainment (1/4) pic.twitter.com/sagGXTgEmU
He tolerated all the fuss that came with being in the White House, had a big bark but no bite, loved to jump in the pool in the summer, was unflappable with children, lived for scraps around the dinner table, and had great hair. pic.twitter.com/1x4VOMsLGR
Yesterday, Cloris Leachman passed away peacefully in her sleep at age 94. Cloris was an Academy Award-winning actress and a comedic genius. I was friends with Cloris for many years, and there was a side to Cloris that not a lot of people knew – her great kindness and compassion towards animals. She was a fearless animal advocate and showed up on behalf of the animals and LCA on numerous occasions. In the 1980’s, Cloris was LCA’s first President.
She will be very sorely missed. She was a great friend to me, to the animals, and to LCA.
Loving an animal feels entirely different from loving a human being. The former—though without a voice—can speak volumes with their actions.
So when a Maine Coon named Marty passed away, his human companions were devastated. They lost someone who was more than just a pet; they lost a family member.
“As a past observer who lived on the summit for four years I can tell you Marty was a special companion, entertainer and so incredibly loved by observers and state park staff and will be sadly missed,” Mount Washington Summit Operations Manager Rebecca Scholand said in a statement.
Marty was a beloved cat who played a very important role in New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Observatory. The structure is situated 6,288 feet above sea level, making the mountain the highest peak in the Northeast.
The meteorologists who work there say they’ve experienced some of the world’s worst weather.
Their job entails collecting weather data every hour of the day. The work they do is important, it becomes especially crucial during the cold winter months. Both interns and meteorologists stay at the summit for a week to make sure the instruments don’t collect ice and remain usable.
The observatory is housed inside a concrete structure built into the mountain. While the meteorologists value their work, the relative isolation they experience can sometimes take a toll on them. That’s where Marty the cat comes in.
The black Maine Coon became Mount Washington’s mascot in 2008. He lived in the observatory for 12 years before succumbing to an “unexpected illness” in November 2020.
Marty was around 14 or 15 years old when he passed away. He served as the staffs’ comfort and connection to the outside world whenever they braved their lengthy and tiring shifts. null
Marty would sit on their laps or rub his body against their legs while they toiled away. Amid their heavy workload, the cat was a constant reminder for them to breathe, smile, and relax.
But just like most cats, Marty was unpredictable. He could be all sweet and cuddly this week and distant the next. Nevertheless, his family in the observatory loved him just the same.
Most cats arrive at a unique location by chance, but not Marty. He was deliberately chosen as the Mount Washington Mascot. The observatory has always had cats since it was established in 1932, and Marty’s tenure was part of that long-held tradition.
The observatory held its first “Mascot Primary” in 2008, and after counting over 8,000 votes, Marty ended up winning as the “Top Cat.” null
He was originally adopted from the North Conway Area Humane Society and moved to the summit in January 2008.
The cat was always featured in the observatory’s social media pages. And in honor of his memory, one of the two 2021 calendars sold by the observatory will feature photos of the feline and be called “Marty on Mount Washington.”
Marty was supposed to retire as the mountain’s mascot in early 2021. In keeping with custom, the observatory will appoint Marty’s successor, although it’s unclear when.
“The summit feline tradition will continue,” the group said in a statement.
But one thing is for sure – that cat will have big paws to fill.
The flower fields at Fennville Cemetery in Michigan feature a beautiful sea of poppies. If you come across this place, you will think that it is an ordinary flower farm. However, there’s a heartwarming and interesting story behind this stunning poppy field.
Two years ago, couple Joan Donaldson and John Van Voorhees started planting the poppies in the four-acre field. This is to honor their son, Mateo Donaldson, who was previously deployed in Afghanistan. He was a beekeeper on this farm before he joined the military and went to Afghanistan. YouTube
“He came home with PTSD and took his own life,” Joan disclosed. Apparently, combat situations have negative effects on the soldiers’ minds and bodies. The families of soldiers who have PTSD are also greatly affected by their loved ones’ unfortunate situation.
“We decided to create the poppy field in memory of him, because all these flowers feed the bees and butterflies, which he loved caring for so much. He’s not buried very far from this field,” Joan added.
Just 200 feet away from the poppy field lies Mateo’s grave. The couple said that looking at the flower fields give them peace, knowing that their beloved son is watching over them. Though Mateo’s death was very sad and tragic, Joan and John still see their son as a hero who fought and died for their country. YouTube
The four-acre field of white, red and blue flowers is not just for the couple to enjoy. A lot of veterans also find solace in this breath-taking flower field when they visit the cemetery. The couple is glad when veterans who have PTSD talk to them and say how much peace they feel when they look at the colorful flowers.
They believe that Mateo is not only watching over them but also his fellow soldiers suffering from PTSD. Even people who are not veterans find interest in this beautiful farm. Whatever it is that they are struggling with in life, the amazing field of flowers seems to take all their worries away. YouTube
“I think, for the most part, we live in a world where people don’t provide enough beauty, or think about it, or how much it could mean to them. So, maybe when they encounter situations like this, they begin to realize how much they need it,” Joan said.
Seeing how the flower fields always become the “calm in the storm” for many visitors, the couple encourages more people to visit their field of poppies. They only have a few rules for visitors to follow: don’t walk in the fields and don’t pick flowers. Facebook
Of course, this field of flowers is very precious for the couple so they are only looking after it. If you would like to visit, simply follow their rules and find yourself in great solace, watching the spectacular view of beautiful and colourful flowers. You can find the farm at 5859 124th Avenue in Fennville, Michigan.
What a unique way to honor and remember a family member! Truly, losing a loved one is a hard battle but their memories and their love will stay in our hearts forever.
Watch this video and be amazed by this lovely field of poppies:
“When we told her she got a letter back, she hugged it.” By Stephen Messenger Published On 04/14/2020
From the very start, 4-year-old Maci and her beloved dog Kendal were inseparable friends.
Where one went, the other was sure to follow.
“She often laid next to Maci while she played,” Crystal Hopkins, Maci’s mom, told The Dodo. “Maci would stop out of the blue and rub Kendal or give a quick hug and say, ‘I love you, you’re a good girl.’”
Doris Day, who died at age 97 on May 13, may be remembered for her famous song, “Que Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be).” But as one of the first celebrities to advocate for animals, we should also remember her for making sure that—as far as dogs and cats are concerned—whatever will be, will be a whole lot better.
Day “didn’t just love animals—she was one of the first celebrities to recognize that star power could be used to advocate for change,” noted the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in a tribute to the legendary actress.
From creating what we now call World Spay Day to co-owning the first pet-friendly hotel, here are some of the ways Day helped make the world a better place for animals.
1. Created World Spay Day
In an effort to reduce pet overpopulation, in 1987 Day founded the Doris Day Animal League (DDAL), a nonprofit lobbying organization. In 1995, the DDAL launched Spay Day USA, now known as World Spay Day. Held on the last Tuesday of February every year, this day is an opportunity for shelters and rescue organizations to raise awareness of and support for their spay/neuter programs.
During its first 15 years, the DDAL provided the funding to spay or neuter over 15 million dogs and cats. In 2006, it joined the HSUS. It now operates as a political affiliate of that organization but remains a separate legal entity.
2. Founded Two Other Animal Welfare Charities
Prior to starting the DDAL, Day became a founding member of Actors and Others for Animals in 1971. This nonprofit also helps address the pet overpopulation problem by subsidizing spay and neuter surgeries in Southern California.
Seven years later, the actress launched the Doris Day Pet Foundation (now called the Doris Day Animal Foundation), whose mission has always been to “help animals and the people who love them.” The DDAF provides grants to nonprofits across the country that care for and protect animals. Last year, it donated $1.5 million to support the amendment that banned greyhound racing in Florida.
3. Advocated for Adopting Shelter Pets
In a public service announcement filmed nearly 50 years ago, Day encouraged viewers to visit their local shelters and adopt homeless pets, like the two of hers sitting in her lap.
“Shelters are unbelievably overcrowded,” she says, “and we can and must do something about it.”
4. Shared Photos of Homeless Dogs and Cats
Decades before there was an internet, social media or websites like Petfinder, Day was known as “the dogcatcher of Beverly Hills,” according to the DDAF website.
She always carried photos with her of dogs and cats needing forever homes and shared them with friends and colleagues. If someone expressed interest in adopting one of the pets, Day would personally inspect their home to make sure the pet would be happy there.
5. Opened the First Pet-Friendly Hotel
A visionary when it came to pet-friendly travel, around 1990 Day became co-owner of the historic Cypress Inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif. This boutique hotel became the first to welcome four-legged as well as two-legged guests.
Day didn’t just make the world a better place for pets—she also helped make it better for the people who love them.
Grumpy Cat, the cat that inspired multiple internet mames thanks to her sour expression, known by her owners as Tartar Sauce, has died Tuesday May 14 at the age of seven from a urinary tract infection.
Continue reading about Grumpy Cat and see some of her famous photos.
On Sunday February 10, the news was shared on a cetacean-interest Facebook page that Amity, Sea World Gold Coast’s oldest dolphin had died. The comments that followed were mostly from people who had known and worked with Amity during their careers, and it was clear that there was a genuine fondness for this captive dolphin.
Amity received her name from the area where she was collected – Amity Banks in Moreton Bay, Queensland. Estimated to be around 3 or 4 years of age, Amity was captured sometime in the mid to late 60’s when wild dolphin capture was still legal in Australia.
It is likely that Amity belonged to the resident population in that area, and as a juvenile Australian Humpback dolphin (Sousa sahulensis), she would either have been taken from her mother or would have recently become independent, as calves of this species usually stay with Mums for around…
Kayla was only 30 years old when she died today, which is normally far too young for a female orca to die (average lifespan is 50 years in the wild) but not at SeaWorld. Kayla’s mother Kenau at the age of 15, her father Orky died at age 26, and her only calf Halyn died at age 2
But at SeaWorld all they lost was money… Please do not support the cruelty!
R.I.P. Ranger Respect Mathebula
While still mourning the tragic death of one of their own late last month, members of the Rangers Corps in South Africa are responsible for the recent arrests of 23 suspected rhino poachers in Kruger National Park (KNP).
Tragically, as previously reported by WAN, on Thursday, July 19th, Respect Mathebula became the second Ranger casualty since 1958 involving a poacher contact in Park. Mathebula was shot after making contact with a poaching group that they had been tracking.
As per the organization, Respect joined SANParks in February 2015 as Field Ranger at Shangoni Ranger Section. In July 2016, he moved to Crocodile Bridge Section in the same position and worked there until he passed away.
In a statement released earlier this week by South African National Parks, Managing Executive of KNP, Glenn Phillips commended the work of the Rangers saying they are resilient in the aftermath of the tragic loss of a colleague.
“The arrests are a sign that the Spirit of Respect is being honored by the Rangers Corps,” noted Phillips. “Further to this, the fact that no poachers were wounded or killed in these contacts is a clear demonstration of the professionalism and discipline that embodies our Ranger Corps.”
According to Phillips, there has been relentless poacher activity since Mathebula’s passing, with 156 incidents reported including contacts.
“We are still making a plea to our neighbouring communities to help us in this fight by exposing those who are exploiting their children, husbands, and relatives to hunt rhino illegally,” continued Phillips. “These people do not have the welfare of the communities at heart but are criminals without a conscience, and they need to be put behind bars for a long time for their criminal acts.”
The 23 arrested suspects were also in possession of 10 high calibre rifles and poaching equipment. They will be facing charges related to poaching and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.
“Very few people have the courage and necessary skills to perform this important task other than Rangers, in which Respect was and will forever be part of. Etlela hi kurhula Respect – May your soul rest in peace,” the organization shared in a tribute to the lost hero who left behind his wife, Wisdom Ndlovu, their four children, five brothers, two sisters and all other family members. “You upheld the Ranger values and flew the SANParks flag high with honour. We are poorer with your absence but will continue where you left off.”
WAN salutes Mathebula and his fellow Rangers who continue to work tirelessly and selflessly to protect some of the world’s most endangered species from some of the planet’s most egregious predators, greedy humans!
Koko, the gorilla who became an ambassador to the human world through her ability to communicate, has died. She’s seen here at age 4, telling psychologist Francine “Penny” Patterson (left) that she is hungry. In the center is June Monroe, an interpreter for the deaf at St. Luke’s Church, who helped teach Koko.
“The Gorilla Foundation is sad to announce the passing of our beloved Koko,” the research center says, informing the world about the death of a gorilla who fascinated and elated millions of people with her facility for language.
Koko, who was 46, died in her sleep Tuesday morning, the Gorilla Foundation said. At birth, she was named Hanabi-ko — Japanese for “fireworks child,” because she was born at the San Francisco Zoo on the Fourth of July in 1971. She was a western lowland gorilla.
Heartbreaking News! South African Cinematographer Carlos Carvalho Passes Away Following Tragic Incident With Giraffe
By Lauren Lewis – May 7, 2018
WAN joins the countless people worldwide who are mourning the passing of award-winning South African cinematographer Carlos Carvalho.
Tragically, Carvalho was attacked by a giraffe while on assignment at the Glen Afric Country Lodge near Pretoria, the capital of South Africa.
“It is with a very sad heart that we have to announce the passing of Carlos Carvalho, one of our favorite DOP’s,” filming company CallaCrew announced on its Facebook page on Thursday, one day after the tragic incident. “Carlos was filming a feature at Glen Afric and had a fatal run-in with a giraffe on set.”
Carvalho had been flown by helicopter to Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, where he later succumbed to his head injuries.
The 47-year-old filmmaker was reportedly shooting close-ups of Gerald, the giraffe, when the animal was spooked by the boom swinger and swung his neck hitting Carvalho against his head.
“When Carlos was standing in front of the giraffe, the animal spread its legs, bent its neck and swung its head at Carlos,” Richard Brooker, whose family owns the lodge told Netwerk24. He further explained that Gerald will remain at the property. “He did nothing wrong.”
The British television series “Wild at Heart” was filmed at Glen Afric Country Lodge, which on its website shares that tourists can “get up close and personal to a number of our resident wildlife.
This incident raises the question of whether wild animals should be used for the purpose of filmed entertainment.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with Carlos’ family and friends during this very sad time, CallaCrew concluded. “He will be sorely missed.”
#WhaleWednesday this week will be dedicated to Kasatka
Six weeks after being rumored to be near death, orca matriarch Kasatka has died.
SeaWorld San Diego announced today that Kasatka was euthanized on the evening of Tuesday August 15, after a long bout with bacterial respiratory infection, or lung disease.
Kasatka’s passing comes just three weeks after the death of 3 month old orca calf Kyara at SeaWorld Antonio (Kasatka’s granddaughter and San Diego born Takara’s daughter).
Kasatka was captured off the coast of Iceland on October 26, 1978, at the age of less than 2 years (she was estimated to be born around 1976). She was captured alongside her pod mate Katina, also approximately 2 years old, and then sold to SeaWorld that same month. For 4 years, Kasatka and Katina lived together, but the two were separated in 1984 when Katina was shipped to SeaWorld Orlando, where she remains…
Rest In Peace To Cecil The Lion’s Brother Jericho, You Will Be Missed!
By Margot Ryan –
November 2, 2016
“Many were saddened by news of the passing of what may have been the best known lion in the world after Cecil. Many were also puzzled by the lack of available information about the circumstances of Jericho’s death, and questioned the authenticity of the source. World Heritage Species has gathered together what is known about the discovery of Jericho’s death. People will still have questions – especially about the cubs and what will happen to them – and all we can say is that nature has and will continue to take its course, sometimes cruel, sometimes kind, but always a miracle.
Jericho was part of the Hwange Lion Research Project being conducted by Andrew Loveridge and Jane Hunt, of which Brent Stapelkamp had also been a part until he left to pursue his own goals. A detailed report released on Monday by the team said Jericho’s body had been discovered on Saturday at about 5pm local time during routine monitoring of collared lions by the Project. Jericho had been fitted with a GPS collar on July 5, 2016.
The report reveals that Jericho’s dead body was found in the Kennedy area, where he had established his territory, under a shaded ‘rest site’ frequently used by animals to shelter from the harsh African sun.
’The way in which he was positioned when found suggests he had died while resting at this point,’ Hwange Park spokesperson Caroline Wahaya-Moyo said.
A post mortem was done. Samples were taken from the body, which was severely decayed, and sent for testing. Jericho’s head was also removed and taken back to Hwange’s main camp for safe keeping. The rest of Jericho’s remains were buried at the site in a deep hole to prevent him being devoured by scavengers. The team did not see any evidence to suggest that he had died due to any kind of traumatic injury such as gunshot, snare and wounds from fighting and did not appear to have struggled prior to death. It is believed that the death was due to natural causes.
“This is very feasible because the lion was 12 and-a-half years of age (born June 2004) at the time of death, which is old for a male lion living in the wild,” the report said.
From World Heritage Species:
The above account suggests that Jericho died just like any number of other lions would have died in this part of the continent – anonymously and in accordance with the laws of nature. The difference in this case was that Jericho was not “just any lion”, but someone many of us felt we had come to know. Still, nature took its course: it had been reported he was looking “frail” during a game count of Hwange animals in September, the years were advancing upon him, the severe drought in this part of the continent may have been taking its toll.
As he fell into eternal sleep under his shady tree, we like to think this feisty warrior, loyal companion, and proud and loving father went peacefully. R.I.P.”
Brent Stapelkamp, a photographer who has been studying the lions in Zimbabwe for years, this is what he had to day:
“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the death of yet another iconic lion, Jericho. It is almost certain that he died of natural causes. The Lion project staff tracked his collar and found that he had died a few days before. Th guides said that they’d thought he was “panting strangely” but I only heard that after the fact. We must appreciate that 12 years is a long time for a wild lion and especially with all the “life” that hejammed into those dozen years. My wife and I are very sad because he is probably the last lion of the generation of lions that we found here when we arrived in 2006/2007 and so knew him very well. My wife named him and his brothers.”
By: World Heritage Species
Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk, World Heritage Species, cbc.ca
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Heartbreaking News: Tundra The 29-Year-Old Polar Bear Passes Away At Detroit Zoo
By Margot Ryan –
September 28, 2016
Tundra, a 29-year old female polar bear who was living at the Detroit Zoo had passed away Monday morning after battling an illness suddenly caught the day before.
The zoo wrote in a Facebook post that zoo officials decided to euthanize her after they noticed a rapid decline in her health while officials tended to her Sunday night and Monday morning. The exact illness she was suffering from has not been determined however, a necropsy will be performed in attempts to figure out the cause.
“We are happy we were able to provide Tundra with a great home for the short period of time she was with us,” the zoo said. “Our hearts go out to the animal care staff and visitors – both in Detroit and Indianapolis – who knew and loved her.”
Tundra was originally from the Indianapolis Zoo and had arrived at the Detroit Zoo only several months ago.
Tundra was moved out of Indianapolis after renovations were being made to the polar bear exhibit where Tundra had lived alone. Staff then decided to relocate her to the Detroit zoo which is advertised to have one of the largest polar bear habitats in North America, called the Arctic Ring of Life. This habitat is a 4-acre exhibit which features indoor and outdoor portions with a pool that holds 300,000 gallons of water.
Scott Carter, chief life sciences officer for the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS), told the Indianapolis Star in June: “The Arctic Ring of Life is an incredible facility for this polar bear to spend the remainder of her golden years.”
Although Tundra’s time at the Detroit Zoo was short lived, visitors enjoyed seeing her in The Arctic Ring of Life habitat which is also home to two 11-year-old polar bears named Talini and Nuka as well as three foxes and five seals.
On Average, polar bears in captivity live between 21-24 years, while wild polar bears pass away at an even younger age of about 15 to 18 years old. Tundra well surpassed this average and lived an unusually long life. The Detroit Zoo says that animals in captivity have a longer lifespan due to better health care and nutrition.
Photo Credit: Detroit Zoo, freep.com
“One Person CAN Make A Difference”
Arturo, the only captive polar bear in Argentina, died of complications from old age on July 3 at the Mendoza Zoological Park. He was 30 years old.
Known as one of the world’s saddest animals, Arturo lived in conditions that animal advocates said made him go “insane.” He often exhibited stereotypic behaviors, repetitive movements that arise from the stress of captivity.
In the last few years, hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions calling for Arturo’s rescue from his concrete pit in the arid South American climate, which can reach temperatures as high as 100 degrees in the summer.
“Arturo spent a lifetime in conditions that I think would be inherently stressful and unkind to him as an animal,” Barry MacKay, senior program associate at Born Free USA, told The Dodo. MacKay was part of the movement in 2014 that tried to have Arturo relocated to a zoo in Canada, where the climate would be more appropriate for him.
“What we were trying to do with the petition was to give him some environment that he spent so many years evolving to live in,” MacKay said. “Every part of a polar bear’s body is designed for snow, for ice, for predatory habits and roaming huge distances. For 30 years Arturo was deprived of it.”
And this deprivation didn’t go unnoticed. “The heat must be unbearable for him, making his lonely life that much worse,” one concerned resident of Argentina wrote. “Seeing the pictures of his despair and suffering is so hard to bear. Could you please reevaluate his situation.”
But some doubted whether Arturo was healthy enough to make the trip, and the Mendoza Zoo refused to give him up.
Now, it’s just too late.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts to inform you that Dear Arturo gave up his fight to live, and passed away today,” an advocacy page for Arturo announced on Facebook on Sunday. “Arturo I wish you had known of the so many people worldwide who loved you, who fought for you, who tried so hard to bring your plight more awareness.”
For many animals in captivity, things really are changing. The Buenos Aires Zoo recently announced that it would release many of its 2,500 animals to wildlife reserves and convert the 140-year-old institution to a park focusing on education.
But for Arturo, who arrived at the Mendoza Zoo when he was just 8 years old, after being born and spending his early life in captivity in the United States, change just didn’t happen fast enough.
“I think it’s a tragic situation, and I hope that we can put an end to keeping these animals in environments that aren’t good for them,” MacKay said.
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