BREAKING: Popular Lion Killed by Hunters on World Lion Day, in Zimbabwe

sapeople.com
Jenni Baxter

A popular male lion, which had been photographed frequently by hundreds of visitors to Hwange National Park in west Zimbabwe, was shot dead by hunters this last weekend on World Lion Day (10 August).
Male lion Seduli has been shot dead by hunters in Zimbabwe. Photo: Drew Abrahamson

In a heartbreaking message on social media on Wednesday evening, Captured in Africa (CIA) Foundation founder Drew Abrahamson announced the devastating news, which she had found out today.

The lion was apparently on the outskirts of the park. CIA had regularly published posts about Seduli and another male lion, Mopane, who had been photographed together by many international safari visitors over the past few years.

Abrahamson said: “Despite our previous attempts as a community online to prevent these two males from being hunted, Seduli has unnecessarily lost his life at the hands of hunters and Mopani now roams the wilds without his companion.”

She posted two photos – one of Seduli, and another showing other Hwange male lions who have been killed in this region over the past decade. One of the most famous lions to be killed was one named Cecil in 2015.

Other Hwange male lions killed by hunters in the past decade. Photo: Drew Abrahamson

“Does this number of male lions shot over 10 years in one region appear sustainable to you given that lion populations have declined across Africa by 43% in the last 25 years?

“Add to this that with each of these males taken out of a pride, came the loss of either lionesses and cubs dying in the change-over or conflict it caused.

“Dispersal of youngsters fleeing into external areas creating potential human-wildlife conflict issues with communities living on the borders of the park is not uncommon and is proven in some cases to be as a direct result of these pride males being taken out by hunters,” said Abrahamson.

Supporters of hunting claim that the sport’s focus is on sustainability, and that the areas in which hunting takes place are not suitable for photographic safaris and therefore by using them for hunting it generates revenue to maintain these wild habitats.

“But how are you protecting the wildlife if you are taking out males from prides who frequent the National Park?” asks Abrahamson.

It’s time, she says, for an independent scientific study on the sustainability of the numbers taken from this region, and the impact these losses are having on the lion pride dynamics, as well as the knock-on affect to communities in these areas.

According to Abrahamson, these are healthy lions being taken out of the gene pool, and lions which are still breeding and actively part of a healthy pride. These lions traverse the park and viable protected photographic areas. She says their loss contradicts the hunters’ philosophies.

Abrahamson asked that readers “share this far and wide to raise awareness of the continued unsustainable hunting taking place on the outskirts of Hwange, and to raise a call for the photographic operators and stakeholders in dialogue with Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to address the issue of continued losses of lions known to and photographed by the hundreds of visitors who pay to visit Zimbabwe annually.”

https://www.sapeople.com/2019/08/14/breaking-popular-lion-seduli-killed-by-hunters-on-world-lion-day-in-zimbabwe/amp/

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Scientists catch ‘ancient’ shark believed to be up to 512 years old

amp.news.com.au
Neal Bakernews.com.au
August 13, 2019 11:44am

Scientists from the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland filmed the rare Greenland shark recently in the Canadian Arctic. Slow swimmers and effectively blind, the Greenland shark is one of the Arctic’s top predators. Scientist Brynn Devine says: The observation and monitoring of marine species can be challenging under the best of circumstances. But sampling at extreme depths and in seasonally ice-covered waters is especially difficult. The videos were recorded during summer sessions in 2017, and the scientists published results of their study of the sharks in the journal Nature in January 2018. Credit: Brynn Devine/Marine Institute via Storyful

Scientists believe they may have discovered the world’s oldest living vertebrate.

A shark believed to be the oldest living vertebrate has been discovered — and it could be older than Shakespeare.

The massive Greenland shark was found in the North Atlantic Ocean by scientists who estimated it is up to 512 years old.

Greenland sharks, which only grow 1cm a year, have been known to live for hundreds of years.

The scientists used the shark’s size to suggest its year of birth as early as 1505.

This was the year the future British King Henry VIII ended his engagement to Catherine of Aragon.

Experts used the length — a staggering 5.5 metres — and radiocarbon dating to determine its age as somewhere between 272 and 512 years old, according to a study in journal Science.

It was the oldest of a group of 28 Greenland sharks analysed for the study.

The shark would have been alive during major world events like the founding of the United States, the Napoleonic Wars and the sinking of the Titanic.

Greenland sharks mostly eat fish but they have never been observed hunting. Surprisingly, they have been found to have remains of reindeer and even horses in their stomachs.

Their flesh is considered a delicacy in Iceland, but the meat is toxic if not correctly treated.

A separate study of the ancient shark’s bones and tissues by the Arctic University of Norway may also provide clues about the effects of climate change and pollution over a long time span.

Already the researchers have mapped out all the shark’s mitochondrial DNA — genetic material held in tiny battery-like bodies in cells that supply energy.An ‘ancient’ Greenland shark is caught by fishermen. Picture: @JUNIEL85 Source: InstagramThe 5.5 metre Greenland shark was estimated to be up to 512 years old. Picture: @JUNIEL85 Source: Instagram

Now they are working on DNA from the cell nucleus, which contains the bulk of the animal’s genes.

The “long life” genes could shed light on why most vertebrates have such a limited life span and what determines life expectancy in different species, including humans.

Professor Kim Praebel, who is leading the research, said the sharks were “living time capsules” that could help shed light on human impact on the oceans.

Many were so old they predated the industrial revolution and the introduction of large-scale commercial fishing.

“The longest living vertebrate species on the planet has formed several populations in the Atlantic Ocean,” said Prof Praebel, who was speaking at the University of Exeter at a symposium organised by the Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

“This is important to know, so we can develop appropriate conservation actions for this important species.”Greenland sharks are known for their longevity, living for hundreds of years. Picture: @JUNIEL85 Source: Instagram

ANCIENT BEASTS: SOME OF THE WORLD’S LONGEST-LIVING THINGS

• Aldabra giant tortoise — Species has been known to live to up to 255 years old, making it the oldest terrestrial animal in the world.

• Glass sponges — Found in the East China Sea and Southern Ocean, examples have been found that are more than 10,000 years old.

• Great Basin bristlecone pine — One tree is the oldest in North America at 5067 years old.

• Endolith — A microscopic organism that lives inside rock. In August 2013, researchers found evidence of endoliths on the ocean floor perhaps being millions of years old.

• Hydra — an ocean species that does not age, making it technically immortal.

• Creme Puff — The oldest known domestic cat, who died in Austin Texas in 2005 aged 38 years and three days.

• Jeanne Calment — French great grandmother who died at 122 years and 164 days in 1997. She outlived both her daughter and grandson by several decades.

https://amp.news.com.au/technology/science/animals/scientists-claim-ancient-shark-is-worlds-oldest-living-vertebrate/news-story/733152b852a783cbbbee03703c6d700f?__twitter_impression=true

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

No, ICE’s Mississippi Raids Are Not an Outrage

Earlier this week, ICE conducted a sweep of illegal immigrants in Mississippi, arresting nearly 700 individuals. This development has been cover as a tragic, outraged, anguish-causing, “secretive” affront by many in the press — with images of tearful children, who were temporarily separated from their parents, driving much of the coverage. This appeal to emotion sidesteps any serious discussion of whether the”textbook” raid was appropriate or not.

Please continue reading here.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2019/08/09/why-are-the-mississippi-ice-raids-being-treated-as-an-outrage-n2551455

See the Elusive Planet Mercury in the Dawn Sky This August | Space

See Mercury above the east-northeast horizon before sunrise this month.

Continue reading here for more information and view the video.

https://www.space.com/planet-mercury-skywatching-august-2019.html?utm_source=sdc-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20190806-sdc

Caravans of Illegals Have Brought Deadly “Assassin Bug” and Chagas Disease to the U.S.

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Many of us have been wondering about diseases brought into the U.S. by illegal immigrants.  Little did we know that deadly bugs never seen in our country have now invaded half of our States.  These bugs come from Mexico, Central America and South America.

The bug goes by various names.  One of these names has a rather endearing sound to it:  the Kissing Bug.  But don’t be fooled. When you see why it was named this, you will be alarmed.

The Kissing Bug name came about because when these insects enter your home, they wait till the middle of the night and bite around the mouth area and also around the eyes.

Here is a map of States where the Assassin bug has been spotted:

Picture of Kissing or “Assassin” Bug from the Internet. This bug was found in Maryland where we live:

Kissing Bug found on the screen of…

View original post 1,436 more words

Scientists scramble to learn why monarch butterflies are dying so quickly

EVANSVILLE, Ind., July 22 (UPI) — Scientists across the country are scrambling to understand why monarch butterflies are disappearing at such an alarming rate as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers listing the butterfly as endangered.

North America’s largest population of monarchs, which migrate between Mexico and the Midwest, has fallen 80 percent, from a billion in the 1990s to 200 million in 2018.

A smaller monarch population in the western United States that migrates between California and the Pacific Northwest is disappearing even faster, dropping from 1.2 million in the 1990s to just 30,000 last year — a 98 percent drop.

“That is a catastrophic decline,” said Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, which is based in Arizona. “They might not be able to bounce back.”

Faced with those numbers, the Fish and Wildlife Service is several years into a massive review of North America’s butterflies to determine if they qualify for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

“We have a species status assessment team that is modeling threat evaluations,” said Georgia Parham, a spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Midwest office, which is leading the review.

“We’re are also soliciting evaluations from monarch experts, and we’ve also launched a monarch database that anyone can enter information into,” Parham said.

The agency plans to announce its findings in December 2020.

But many scientists say conservation efforts cannot wait that long. Groups like the Center for Biological Diversity, which petitioned the service to list the monarchs as endangered in 2014, and the Monarch Joint Venture are spearheading conservation programs based on the latest available science.

That science, they are quick to admit, is incomplete.

Scientists cannot say for certain why monarchs are dying. Several unrelated phenomena could be killing them.

“There are several hypotheses for the decline, all of which are probably contributing to some degree,” said Andrew Myers, a doctoral student at Michigan State University’s Department of Entomology who studies monarchs.

Finding precise causes are difficult, in part because monarchs are migratory insects.

They clump together on tree branches in the mountains of Mexico to hibernate during the winter — turning those forests orange. When it warms, they fly north to lay their eggs on milkweed plants growing throughout the Midwest.

They can then travel as far north as Canada in search of the nectar from flowering plants. And when the weather turns cold, they return to Mexico.

Climate change might be disrupting their long migrations, Meyers said. Urban sprawl could be choking out flowering plants. And the Mexican forests in which the insects overwinter are being logged, which undoubtedly is a threat to their survival.

“Any one of those things is enough to wipe out the monarch population,” Curry said.

But the timing of the eastern population’s decline could be the most telling, she said, because it seemed to begin around the same time as the first herbicide-resistant crops were introduced to U.S. agriculture.

These crops were genetically engineered to survive the application of certain herbicides, allowing farmers to spray those chemicals on their fields and kill off other plants without harming their crops.

One of the plants these herbicides are especially effective at killing is milkweed — the sole food monarch butterfly larvae can eat.

“What happens to milkweed in the Midwest is incredibly important to the monarch population,” said Ian Kaplan, a professor of entomology at Purdue University.

Researchers at Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota in 2013 estimated nearly 60 percent of the milkweed had disappeared from the Midwest landscape since 1999. That decline coincides with an increase in herbicide resistant crops.

Monsanto introduced the first herbicide-resistant soybean plant, called RoundUp Ready soybean, in 1996, followed by a RoundUp Ready corn in 1998. Today, about 90 percent of the corn and 94 percent of the soybeans grown in the U.S. are herbicide resistant, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The monarch butterfly did fine in croplands before RoundUp Ready crops,” Curry said. “That allowed more RoundUp to be sprayed, and that killed more milkweed in agricultural fields.”

Many of the monarch conservation efforts revolve around planting more native milkweed in public spaces, parks, private lands and on the edges of agricultural fields in hopes those plants replace those lost to agriculture.

But it is unclear how big of an impact that is having because scientists still don’t understand how other factors — like pesticide use — contribute to the insects’ decline.

With that in mind, entomologists like Kaplan are devising new studies every year to obtain a more detailed picture of what is happening to monarch larvae in their shrinking habitat.

Kaplan recently conducted a study at Purdue that measured the volume of pesticides present on wild milkweed growing near Midwestern agricultural fields.

“In Indiana, it’s hard to get very far from a corn field,” Kaplan said.

His study found pesticides on wild milkweed throughout Indiana, and although the amount tended to decline the farther from an agricultural field the researchers got, they still found pesticides on milkweed plants more than a mile away.

“Some of these pesticides are very hard to escape from,” Kaplan said.

Kaplan is now studying the impact the various pesticides he found on native plants have on the monarch larvae. He hopes to complete that study sometime this fall.

Elsewhere, researchers at Michigan State University are looking at monarch larvae predators, like lady beetles, ants and spiders.

“Since monarchs have lost their milkweed host plants in agricultural fields, they are now relegated to milkweed growing in grasslands in places like roadsides, fallow fields and agricultural field edges,” Meyers said.

“These areas have more diverse and abundant communities of predators, which results in naturally low survival of monarch eggs and caterpillars to adulthood. I am trying to determine which predators contribute most to monarch egg and caterpillar mortality and specific ways that these interactions take place,” he said.

“The work could eventually lead to grassland management practices that reduce predation pressure on monarchs.”

More work needs to be done, scientists say, but it is possible early conservation efforts are yielding results.

Last year, for this first time since scientists started tracking the butterfly more than 20 years ago, the eastern Monarch’s population increased.

It is impossible to know if that was because of efforts to plant more milkweed in the Midwest, or if other unrelated conditions helped the insect.

“We’re waiting to see if it is a trend, or a one-year thing,” the Fish and Wildlife Services’ Parham said.

But researchers and conservationists are pushing ahead.

“People can help right now by planting native milkweed,” Curry said. “That’s only one of the problems. It’s milkweed loss, it’s urban sprawl, it’s climate change, it’s insecticide use. It sounds really big and overwhelming, but we have to start somewhere.”

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2019/07/22/Scientists-scramble-to-learn-why-monarch-butterflies-are-dying-so-quickly/6961563481223/

This List Of The Dirtiest Beaches In America Shows There’s Fecal Bacteria In Many Public Swimming Areas

Summer is all fun and games until you find out there’s fecal bacteria contaminating your local beach.

That’s exactly what’s happening at public swimming areas around the country according to John Rumpler, the clean water program director at the Environment America Research and Policy Center.

The center released a study in July that examined dangerous bacteria levels at beaches in 29 coastal and Great Lakes states. The study shows the number of days in 2018 that the water had fecal bacteria counts exceeding Environmental Protection Agency standards, which can put swimmers at risk of getting sick.

“It’s hard to believe that 47 years after we passed the Clean Water Act that we are still concerned with poop in the water when people want to go swimming,” Rumpler told USA Today.

Nearly 60 percent of the 4,523 beaches tested nationwide had dangerously high contamination levels in the water on at least one occasion.

South Carolina, Myrtle Beach, Atlantic ocean, Myrtle Beach State Park, sunbather and fishing pier.Don’t be fooled by the view: Part of Myrtle Beach made the list!

JeffGreenbergGetty Images

While most states prioritize shutting down public swimming areas and posting warning signs to beachgoers when pollution levels are high, you should check water quality reports before hitting the sand.

Did your favorite summer hangout make the list of the dirtiest beaches? See below to find out.

Alabama

• Fairhope Public Beach, Baldwin

• Dog River, Alba Club, Mobile

• Camp Beckwith, Baldwin

• Volanta Avenue, Baldwin

• Orange Street Pier, Baldwin

California

• Inner Cabrillo Beach, Los Angeles

• Coronado Ave. Beach, Los Angeles

• Salt Creek Beach, Orange

• Molino Avenue Beach, Los Angeles

• 5th Place Beach, Los Angeles

Connecticut

• Byram Beach (South), Fairfield

• Byram Beach (North), Fairfield

• Seaside Park Beach (Southernmost), Fairfield

• Seaside Park Beach (South), Fairfield

• Seaside Park Beach (Mid), Fairfield

Delaware

• Slaughter Beach, Sussex

• Fenwick Island State Park Beach, Sussex

• Rehoboth Beach, Sussex

• Broadkill Beach, Sussex

• Lewes Beach North, Sussex

Florida

• Bayou Texar, Escambia

• Sanders Beach, Escambia

• Crandon Park on Key Biscayne, Miami-Dade

• Bird Key Park, Sarasota

• Venice Fishing Pier, Sarasota

Georgia

• St. Simons Island Lighthouse, Glynn

• Skidaway Narrows, Chatham

• Kings Ferry, Chatham

• Tybee Island, Polk St., Chatham

• Jekyll Driftwood Beach, Glynn

Hawaii

• Keehi Lagoon (North), Honolulu

• Keehi Lagoon (South), Honolulu

• Punaluu Beach Park, Honolulu

• MS2 (Kapoho Point), Honolulu

• Kalihi Channel, Honolulu

Illinois

• South Shore Beach, Cook

• Calumet South Beach, Cook

• 63rd Street Beach, Cook

• Rogers Avenue Park Beach, Cook

• Howard Street Park Beach, Cook

Indiana

• Jeorse Park Beach I, Lake

• Jeorse Park Beach II, Lake

• Buffington Harbor Beach, Lake

• Indiana Dunes State Park East Beach, Porter

• Washington Park Beach, LaPorte

Louisiana

• North Beach, Calcasieu

• Cypremort Point State Park, St. Mary

• Fontainebleau State Park, St. Tammany

• Rutherford Beach, Cameron

• Holly Beach 4, Cameron

Maine

• Goose Rocks Beach – Site 5, York

• Goose Rocks Beach – Site 1, York

• Willard Beach, Cumberland

• Ogunquit Beach, York

• Kennebunk Beach, York

Maryland

• Camp Pecometh, Kent

• Public Landing Beach near Snow Hill, Worcester

• Ocean City Beach 1, Worcester

• Purse State Park, Charles

• Ferry Park, Kent

Massachusetts

• Nahant Bay at Eastern Ave, Essex

• Tenean Beach, Suffolk

• Nahant Bay at Pierce Road, Essex

• Nahant Bay at Kimball Road, Essex

• Quincy Shore at Channing Street, Norfolk

Michigan

• St. Clair Shores Memorial Park Beach, Macomb

• Pier Park, Wayne

• HCMA/Lake St. Clair Metropark Beach, Macomb

• New Baltimore Park Beach, Macomb

• Singing Bridge Beach, Arenac

Minnesota

• New Duluth Boat Club landing, St. Louis

• Near Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, St. Louis

• Agate Bay, Lake

• Twin Points Public Access, Lake

• Flood Bay, Lake

Mississippi

• Gulfport East Beach, Harrison

• Shearwater Beach, Jackson

• Long Beach, Harrison

• Gulfport Central Beach, Harrison

• Courthouse Road Beach, Harrison
New Hampshire

• State Beach-Left, Rockingham

• State Beach-Center, Rockingham

• New Castle Island-Right, Rockingham

• State Beach-Right, Rockingham

• Sawyer Beach-Right, Rockingham

New Jersey

• Berkeley Township/Beachwood Beach West, Ocean

• Belmar Borough at L Street Beach, Monmouth

• Berkeley Township at West Beach Avon Road, Ocean

• Brick Township at Windward Beach, Ocean

• Highlands Borough at Highlands Recreation Center, Monmouth

New York

• Tanner Park, Suffolk

• Woodlawn Beach State Park, Erie

• Shirley Beach, Suffolk

• Venetian Shores, Suffolk

• Valley Grove Beach, Suffolk

North Carolina

• Sound access at the intersection of E. Main Street/Tooley Street, Belhaven, Beaufort

• NC Maritime Museum Sailing Camp, Carteret

• Pamlico River – City Park, Beaufort

• End of Shore Line Drive, Pender

• Pamlico River-Washington-Trestle, Beaufort

Ohio

• Bay View West, Erie

• Maumee Bay State Park (Inland), Lucas

• Villa Angela State Park, Cuyahoga

• Lakeview Beach, Lorain

• Euclid State Park, Cuyahoga

Oregon

• Sunset Bay State Park Beach/Big Creek, Coos

• Nye Beach turnaround/discharge pipe, Lincoln

• Harris Beach State Park at Harris Creek, Curry

• Sunset Bay, Seep Creek, Coos

• Sunset Bay State Park Beach/North Beach, Coos

Pennsylvania

• Beach 11 West in Thompson Bay, Erie

• Beach 11 East in Thompson Bay, Erie

• Beach 11 Center in Thompson Bay, Erie

• Barracks Beach West, Erie

• Barracks Beach East, Erie

Rhode Island

• Easton’s Beach, Newport

• Conimicut Point Beach – West, Kent

• Goddard Memorial State Park Center, Kent

• Sandy Point Beach – South, Newport

• Oakland Beach Center, Kent

South Carolina

• Withers Swash, Horry

• Myrtle Beach at 24th Avenue N, Horry

• White Point Swash, Horry

• Bear Branch Swash, Horry

• Cane Patch Swash, Horry

Texas

• Cole Park – Site 3, Nueces

• Ropes Park – Site 2, Nueces

• Cole Park – Site 4, Nueces

• Cole Park – Site 2, Nueces

• Poenisch Park, Nueces

Virginia

• North Community Beach, Norfolk city

• Captains Quarters, Norfolk city

• 10th View, Behind Quality Inn, Norfolk city

• 15th Street, Virginia Beach city

• 13th View, North End, Norfolk city

Washington

• Sooes Beach, Clallam

• Lummi Bay, adjacent to second tidegate, Whatcom

• Dakwas Park Beach, Neah Bay, Clallam

• Little Squalicum Park, Whatcom

•Cline Spit County Park, Clallam

Wisconsin

• Cupertino Park, Milwaukee

• McKinley Marina Roundhouse, Milwaukee

• Wolfenbuttel Park, Kenosha

• North Nicolet Bay Campground, Door

• Memorial Park in Chequamegon Bay, Ashland County

https://www.delish.com/just-for-fun/a28527611/dirtiest-beaches-in-america/

(h/t USA Today)

Content Strategy Editor Kelly O’Sullivan is the content strategy editor for CountryLiving.com and also covers entertainment news, from standout moments on “The Voice” to the latest drama on “Chicago Fire.”

Current rules on commercial international trade in elephant ivory under CITES and Proposals to CITES CoP17 | CITES

https://www.cites.org/eng/news/Current_rules_commercial_international_trade_elephant_ivory_under_CITES_Proposals_CITES_CoP17_200716

Supermarket Owners Lose Their Store After Vile Trophy Hunting Photos Go Viral

ladyfreethinker.org
Image Credit: Facebook

A French couple who posed with the dead animals they’d slaughtered during a trophy hunt in Africa have lost their jobs after the grotesque pictures were posted on social media, causing public outrage.

Jacques and Martine Alboud (pictured above, left and right), who ran a branch of the Super U co-operative supermarket in L’Arbresle, eastern France, were pictured standing over the bodies of a number of lifeless animals — including a zebra, lion, leopard and hippopotamus — that they had ruthlessly killed during safaris in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Tanzania in 2014 and 2015.

After the images went viral on Twitter and there were calls on Facebook for customers to boycott the store, last week the supermarket group announced that the couple had given up their franchise with immediate effect.

“In the face of condemnation provoked by these actions at the heart of the co-operative and the legitimate public feeling, the store managers have decided to quit immediately the brand and their l’Arbresle store,” Super U said in a statement, adding that it did not condone safari hunting and that the couple’s actions were “in total opposition with the values defended by us.”

The French animal rights organization 30 Millions d’Amis commented that this story was reminiscent of the death of Cecil the lion — who was murdered in Zimbabwe in 2015 by an American dentist and hunter, Walter Palmer — that sparked widespread condemnation. It says that around 8,000 lions have been reared specifically to be hunted down and killed in the last decade in South Africa, and that there has been a 90% fall in the lion population over a century. “The species could disappear by 2050,” it adds.

The couple have so far declined to comment on their actions.

https://ladyfreethinker.org/supermarket-owners-lose-their-store-after-vile-trophy-hunting-photos-go-viral/

Kids ask McDonalds to ditch plastic Happy Meal toys

treehugger.com

Katherine Martinko feistyredhair July 12, 2019

Their hugely successful petition has even gotten a response – and a promise – from the fast food giant.

The children aren’t happy with their Happy Meals. Concerned about the amount of plastic in the cheap hard toys handed out by McDonalds, and the short length of time that they’re typically played with by kids, two little girls from Southampton, England, have launched a petition, asking fast food restaurants to reconsider what they hand out. Caitlin and Ella, ages 7 and 9, wrote on their Change.org page:

“We like to go to eat at Burger King and McDonald’s, but children only play with the plastic toys they give us for a few minutes before they get thrown away and harm animals and pollute the sea. We want anything they give to us to be sustainable so we can protect the planet for us and for future generations… It’s not enough to make recyclable plastic toys – big, rich companies shouldn’t be making toys out of plastic at all.”

The petition coincided with the launch of BBC One’s series, ‘War on Plastic.’ The first episode, according to Environmental Leader, featured a trip to a recycling facility that revealed how impossible toys are to recycle and even showed brand new toys from McDonalds at the facility, still wrapped in plastic.

So far the petition has gathered an impressive 370,200 signatures (at time of publishing), and McDonalds has noticed. It issued a statement saying it agrees with the girls’ petition: “We are committed to reducing plastic across our business, including Happy Meal toys.”

This problem isn’t limited to McDonalds, or even to fast food restaurants. It’s a problem with our kid culture these days. Cheap plastic toys are given out to children everywhere – in party loot bags, birthday presents, prizes at fairs and school events, the treasure box after an appointment at the dentist or optometrist. These toys are low quality, break almost immediately, are impossible to repair, and must go to landfill.

Parents can try their best to talk to kids about the problems with plastic, but it would be great to have some additional support from businesses and event organizers that understand we don’t want more plastic gimmicks. Cutting it off at the source is always more effective than dealing with it once it’s already in a kid’s hands.

McDonalds says it will focus more on books, stuffed animals (also a form of plastic, but usually longer lasting), and board games. Environmental Leader reports that “that change alone will reduce the number of hard plastic toys given away by 60 percent compared to the first half of the year.”

Way to go, Caitlin and Ella! We need more kid activists like you. You can sign their petition here.

Their hugely successful petition has even gotten a response – and a promise – from the fast food giant.

https://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/kids-ask-mcdonalds-ditch-plastic-happy-meal-toys.html?utm_source=TreeHugger+Newsletters&utm_campaign=e31828afab-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_11_16_2018_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_32de41485d-e31828afab-243719061

GOVE explains why he is launching drive to stamp out big-game hunters

dailymail.com

By Michael Gove, Secretary Of State For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs For The Daily Mail 21:04 14 Jul 2019, updated 22:01 14 Jul 2019

During the passionate debates inspired by Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, one churchman sceptical of evolution asked his contemporaries, ‘are we the relatives of apes or angels?’

We know now, of course, that we are indeed related genetically to our primate cousins. Indeed, more than that, we are connected by the process of evolution to all the other species with which we share this planet.

That knowledge should incline us to treat animals with thought and care. Not least because we know they are, like us, sentient beings who can experience fear and pain alongside contentment and comfort. If we abuse and mistreat animals we are diminishing our own humanity. To accord them the dignity they deserve is to be true to what Abraham Lincoln called ‘the better angels of our nature’.

One of the practices we must look to tackle is the phenomenon called trophy hunting – whereby tourists pay huge sums to kill some of our planet’s most iconic species and then bring home parts of the animal’s corpse to decorate their homes. Pictured: Michael Gove with Tusk Trust rhino art statues outside the Foreign Office

Improving the welfare of animals, both domestic pets and farm livestock, has been one of the missions of this Government. And we have also been determined to do all in our power to protect wildlife from exploitation and cruelty.

That is why we have taken steps to end puppy farming, ban wild animals in circuses, increase sentences for those who abuse animals, protect service animals, invested in higher standards of animal welfare in our farms, installed CCTV in abattoirs to eliminate cruel practices, and will restrict the live export of animals for slaughter when we leave the EU.

We have also introduced one of the toughest bans on ivory sales in the world. But there is still more to do. And one of the practices we must look to tackle is the phenomenon called trophy hunting – whereby tourists pay huge sums to kill some of our planet’s most iconic species and then bring home parts of the animal’s corpse to decorate their homes.

This practice raises profound ethical concerns for me. Trophy hunting involves pursuing another animal in conditions which cause it stress, fear and pain. Trophy hunters do not kill for food, to control pests or to protect other species. For them it is a form of entertainment.

This practice raises profound ethical concerns for me. Trophy hunting involves pursuing another animal in conditions which cause it stress, fear and pain. Trophy hunters do not kill for food, to control pests or to protect other species. For them it is a form of entertainment. Pictured: Outrage – Hunter Larysa Switlyk (far right) posted this picture after shooting an alligator

And what often makes this practice worse is when these hunters glory in the animal’s death with pictures of its slaughtered body by their side on social media. But we must ensure we proceed on the basis of evidence and respect for others. There are thoughtful voices and concerned organisations who do make the case for some measure of ‘conservation hunting’ as a way of bringing income into countries with rich wildlife populations but poor economies.

They argue that commercial hunting provides a strong incentive for those nations to manage and safeguard their wildlife populations. It is said that without income from hunting, the countries would be under pressure to replace wildlife-rich habitats with farmland or other economically productive land uses – which would mean the precious species were without a home. And many say the money raised can be used to safeguard other valuable natural resources from exploitation.

I appreciate the sincerity with which those arguments are made. And I recognise that there must always be, from time to time, the culling of some species to keep nature in balance and the control of predators to protect other species.

And what often makes this practice worse is when these hunters glory in the animal’s death with pictures of its slaughtered body by their side on social media. But we must ensure we proceed on the basis of evidence and respect for others. Pictured: Gove (right) and Zac Goldsmith with Tusk Trust rhino art statues outside the Foreign Office

But I find it hard to see how those justifications can be used to defend those who ‘hunt’ animals which have been bred in captivity for the specific purpose of dying for others’ entertainment. We need to act to stop this sort of exploitation, and because we need to establish just how defensible the arguments for ‘conservation hunting’ are, I plan to issue a call for evidence on trophy hunting overall.

I want to know whether countries with rich wildlife populations couldn’t make just as much, if not more, income from wildlife tourism than from hunting. I want to establish what we can learn from other nations, such as Australia and the Netherlands, which have much tighter restrictions on importing these ‘trophies’.

I hope that as we gather the evidence, we also gather the momentum for action.

And we ensure that this Parliament is remembered for what we did for nature.

Michael Gove aims to crackdown on big-game hunters by banning them from bringing trophies from their kills back to the UK

by Claire Ellicott and Jack Doyle

Michael Gove will take the first steps towards banning imports from trophy hunting, he tells the Mail today.

The Environment Secretary will issue a call for evidence to decide whether to outlaw hunters bringing the souvenirs into the country.

He will also consult on what the UK can do to end its role in the rearing of animals in fenced reserves where they are shot by trophy hunters.

Trophy hunting is the shooting of certain animals – usually big game such as rhinos, elephants, lions, pumas and bears – for pleasure.

The trophy is any part of the animal – its head, skin or any other body part – that the hunter keeps as a souvenir.

Mr Gove said there was an important debate about whether trophy hunting in poorer countries could be used to enhance their economies.

But he added that it was important to explore whether these countries would not benefit more from wildlife tourism.

He also criticised the practice of ‘lion canning’ which involves thousands of lions in South Africa being bred and kept in fenced areas to be shot by wealthy travellers.

He said: ‘I find it hard to see how those justifications can be used to defend those who ‘hunt’ animals, who have been bred in captivity for the specific purpose of dying for others’ entertainment.’

Trophy hunting is rife in certain parts of the world, with 1.7 million trophies legally traded between 2004 and 2014. About 200,000 were from threatened species.

Of those, 2,500 were brought home by British hunters, including hundreds of heads, feet, tails, hides, tusks and horns from some of the most endangered species, including rhinos and elephants.

Lions were hit with the biggest increase in trophy hunting among the big five – despite their numbers decreasing by 43 per cent between 1993 and 2014.

Quite often, hunters cause outrage by showing off their prizes in pictures on social media.

And not all have to travel to far-flung plains to satisfy their blood lust.

Last year, a self-styled ‘Hardcore Huntress’ proudly posted pictures of herself beside the carcasses of sheep and goats she had shot on a trip to Scotland.

American television host Larysa Switlyk had been on a two-week hunting trip to Islay, a remote Scottish island, when she tweeted the images.

The 33-year-old labelled one picture of a dead goat ‘such fun’, prompting a furious online backlash.

Mr Gove has already banned ivory to prevent its trade in the UK and protect threatened species.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7246745/amp/MICHAEL-GOVE-explains-launching-drive-stamp-big-game-hunters.html?__twitter_impression=true

Help needed to get Protect All Wildlife up and running again after original account was suspended by Twitter

img_20190707_1322382011019963.jpg

Xpose Trophy Hunting (@XposeTrophyHunt) tweeted at 0:50 PM on Sun, Jul 07, 2019:
Please RT

Help needed to get Protect All Wildlife up and running again after original account was suspended by Twitter. Can everyone please spread the word to help me do what I love doing best – helping to fight #AnimalAbuse. New account at @PR0TECT_WLDLIFE.

Thanks, Paul 🐾. https://t.co/ismoZpKPYb
(https://twitter.com/XposeTrophyHunt/status/1147910817519734784?s=03)

Get the official Twitter app at https://twitter.com/download?s=13

 

July 4th Quake Centered at Skytop Rocket Propulsion Test Facility; Quake Swarm Appears Mostly Centered in Low Risk Area-Away from Faults

Mining Awareness +


This area of the US Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake dates from the Manhattan Project. Common sense, as well as eye-witness testimony, indicate that there are underground facilities, as well as above ground ones. We can only speculate as to the extent of the underground network. There are likely old mines in the area, as well. Most likely old mines were expanded and turned into underground tunnel-test facilities. The original M 6.4 earthquake was centered in the area of the Skytop Rocket Propulsion Test Facility, described further below. The quakes appear to be apart from known earthquake faults, or at least apart from any major ones. They are almost entirely within the Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake. CalTech estimated that the original M 6.4 earthquake in the area of Skytop was at a depth of 8.7 km (more shallow the USGS). An article written by Dr. Jennifer Andrews…

View original post 2,355 more words

Protect your furry, four-legged companions on the 4th of July! 🎇

Fireworks are a staple for the 4th of July; however, the loud sounds can be incredibly terrifying and stressful for your companion animals.

In fact, July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters because the scary noises often cause animals to run away out of fear. Here are five ways you can help keep your companion animal safe during July 4th celebrations.

1. Make sure your companion animals are properly identified.

In the unfortunate event your companion animal does run away, ensure he/she is wearing a collar with an ID tag that displays your name, phone number, and address. It’s also a good idea to get him/her microchipped and registered (if they aren’t already) to better help identify them if they do run away.

2. Avoid noisy areas.

If you plan on partaking in the 4th of July festivities, avoid bringing your companion animal to crowded, noisy events—especially if they include firework displays.

3. Don’t leave your companion animals outside.

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but even if you think your backyard is secure, do not leave your companion animals outside during the hectic festivities. Keep them safe and help alleviate their stress by bringing them inside.

4. Make your companion animals comfortable.

If you do plan on going out for the 4th of July celebrations, make sure your companion animal is comfortable, and ensure your home is escape-proof. Make sure all of the windows are closed, lower the blinds/close the curtains, and give them a cozy bed or crate to help them feel safe throughout the night.

5. After the celebrations, make sure your yard is clear of fireworks debris.

Even if you didn’t set off fireworks, debris from your neighbors’ 4th of July festivities can make their way onto your property and into the mouths of your beloved companion animals. Before you let them outside to play, ensure your yard is clear of any items that could be dangerous to your pets.

For the Animals,

Campaigns Department
Last Chance for Animals
310-271-6096 x27
http://www.LCAnimal.org

Copyright © 2019 Last Chance for Animals, All rights reserved.

NC animal rescue group wants your old bra to help save injured turtles

Exposing the Big Game

By Amanda Foster  |

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – It sounds bizarre, but it’s also true. The clips on the backs of bras can save a turtle.

It sounds bizarre, but it’s also true. The clips on the backs of bras can save a turtle. (Carolina Waterfowl Rescue)

“It acts like a little fixator, it’s the eyelets that we need,” Keenan Freitas at the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue says.

The group, you could say, is after your unused unmentionables. These are the same people who spend most of their time among a team of injured turtles.

“80 percent of them are hit by cars,” Freitas says. “The other five percent are hit by boats, the remaining are environmental.”

When these sometimes shattered shells come in, they’re not in good shape, and in the summer, there are quite a bit more of them.

“It’s when it…

View original post 204 more words

Iconic desert-adapted elephant ‘Voortrekker’ killed by trophy hunter in Namibia – Africa Geographic

africageographic.com

Voortrekker the desert-adapted elephant before his tusks snapped off © Ingrid Mandt

In yet another blow to big elephant genes, the iconic desert-adapted elephant bull known by millions of fans worldwide as ‘Voortrekker’ was killed by a trophy hunter after being declared a ‘problem-animal’ by Namibian authorities. The surgical removal of Africa’s big-gene animals by trophy hunters continues, and Namibia’s desert-adapted elephants now rely on a small population of mature bulls after two were killed in 2016.

In their announcement on Facebook, Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) said “the elephant bull concerned was put down after it was declared a problem. The animal alongside others have been destroying properties and infrastructure in the area of Omatjete.” On the issue of whether this bull was the legendary Voortrekker, MET responded to Facebook questions by refusing to name the hunted elephant. Several conservation charities have confirmed that the bull in question is indeed Voortrekker. ‘Voortrekker’ is Afrikaans for ‘pioneer’.

MET spokesperson Romeo Muyunda Lee advised that the price paid was N$120,000 (+/- US$ 8,500), but it is unclear at this stage whether this was the total price paid or the portion paid to communities.

A study published in Ecology and Evolution in 2016 found not only that the Namibian desert-adapted elephants were different from their savannah cousins, but that their adaptations are also not genetically transferred to the next generation, rather through the passing on of knowledge by mature individuals. Morphological differences, like the adapted elephants’ thinner bodies and wider feet, also distinguish them from typical savannah elephants.

Voortrekker the desert-adapted elephant before his tusks snapped off © Ingrid Mandt

WAS THE WRONG ELEPHANT KILLED?

A Facebook post, written by Informante reporter Niël Terblanché, asks whether it was in fact Voortrekker who was causing problems for inhabitants of the Omatjete area.

Terblanché reports that an urgent letter addressed to MET official Christoph Munwela by management of conservancies neighbouring the Ohungo Conservancy in the area of Omatjete to prevent the killing of Voortrekker, suggests that a flagrant error was made when the hunting license was issued. The letter points out that Voortrekker is in fact not part of the herd that has been bothering the community of the Ohungu Conservancy in the area of Omatjete.

MET responded publically that “The communities who objected to the hunt were not affected by the elephants as the elephants were mainly causing problems in the Omatjete area.”

Prior to the hunt, the management committees of the Otjimboyo, Sorris Sorris and Tsiseb conservancies asked Munwela for a meeting to discuss ways to avoid the killing of Voortrekker, one of the oldest living bull elephants in Namibia. Their letter said: “Our people are in general accepting of the elephants’ presence and want them to remain in the area … it is our belief that the shooting of elephants does not solve the problem. In fact, this only makes it worse. We want to keep our communities safe and to do this we need to ensure that our elephants are calm and relaxed when entering villages. It is our belief that the shooting of elephants or scaring them off with gunshots, screaming or chasing them off results in aggressive animals and this cannot be tolerated.”

ELEPHANT DAMAGE

MET published photographs that they feel illustrates damage caused to property and infrastructure by Voortrekker, to justify the issue of the hunting license. Some of the images appear to show poorly neglected fences and other infrastructure, but some easily-replaced water pipes and tanks do appear to reflect damage.

Damage to infrastructure by Voortrekker the desert-adapted elephant, as per MET © MET

VOORTREKKER WAS PREVIOUSLY SAVED FROM TROPHY HUNTERS

In 2008 Voortrekker fans donated US$12 000 to MET in an effort to save him from professional hunters who had their eyes on his trophy tusks. At the time, six hunting permits were issued and only Voortrekker was saved from trophy hunter guns – the remaining five elephants were killed.

According to Johannes Haasbroek of Elephant Human Relations Aid, in the period since then, “the hunting outfitters and their sick clients conspired to get this gentle giant declared a problem to justify a hunt”. He went on to say: “We remember Voortrekker as an incredibly gentle, peaceful and magnificent elephant. His presence has often calmed other inexperienced elephants around him. He was known locally as the ‘Old Man’, that was always welcome because he never caused any problems or induced fear.”

Voortrekker the desert-adapted elephant after his tusks snapped off. This photo was taken 7 weeks before his death © Aschi Widmer

VOORTREKKER’S STORY

According to respected safari guide Alan McSmith, Voortrekker was a pioneer elephant for the desert-adapted elephant population in the Ugab and Huab rivers region. This giant elephant was one of the first to venture back to the region after populations were decimated during the turbulent warfare years in southern Africa. A small group of these uniquely desert-adapted elephants took refuge during the war in the remote and desolate gorges of Kaokaland in the north.

Says McSmith: “Voortrekker, one of the bulls to trek north during the conflict years, returned home in the early 2000’s, commencing a relay of south-bound expeditions, penetrating deeper and deeper into the dry and uncertain landscape before commencing with an epic traverse through to the relative bounty of the Ugab River. It was a marathon across arid plains and ancient craters that would ultimately redefine what we know of elephant endurance, intuition and behaviour. Just how he navigated, or knew where to find water, is anyone’s guess. For over two successive summer seasons he returned north to Kaokaland, returning each time to the Ugab with a small family unit in tow. An elephant patriarch. These elephants are still resident in the region and have formed the nucleus of three distinct breeding herds, making the Ugab/Huab Rivers perhaps the most viable desert elephant habitats in the world. Voortrekker continues as the Godfather, a true legend of the Ugab. His ancestral knowledge has been passed down to a new generation of desert dwellers. What a legacy! For me, all of this addresses one of the most crucial fallacies of elephant conservation, trophy hunting, and the notion of sustainable consumption: that older bulls have no value to an elephant community and can be hunted under the banner of ecological benefit.”

A Facebook page has been set up to ‘actively pursue the truth behind the killing of Voortrekker, the Iconic Desert Elephant, and then decide on appropriate action’

https://africageographic.com/blog/iconic-desert-adapted-elephant-voortrekker-killed-by-trophy-hunter-in-namibia/

Digital Exclusive: Dr. Patrick Moore TEARS APART The Green New Deal | Huckabee

Breaking! Golden Eagle Chicks Found In Southern California Mountains For The 1st Time In 30 Years – World Animal News

By WAN –
June 27, 2019
Photos By National Park Service
A pair of golden eagle chicks, a fully protected species in the state of California, have been found in a nest in a remote area of Southern California.
As per the National Park Service (NPS), the last time a nest was confirmed in this remote area of Southern California was in the late 1980s.

The chicks, a 12-week-old male and female, were located several weeks ago when a consultant conducting bird surveys on private property identified the golden eagle pair and notified park biologists. NPS biologists working with biologists from the U.S. Geological Survey and Bloom Biological Inc., confirmed the nest location and activity and tagged them in early May.
Each chick received two bands; one colored and one numbered. The bands are part of the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory to help scientists monitor the status, trends and ecology of resident and migratory bird populations. Biologists also took blood from the chicks for genetic testing.
Loss of habitat for nesting and hunting has reduced their range in much of the state, according to Katy Delaney, an ecologist with the National Park Service.
Delaney is worried about these majestic raptors.
“Humans are the greatest threat to golden eagles,” Delaney said in a statement. “In the past, they were trapped and shot throughout their range, and today, they are vulnerable to habitat loss. Like their mammalian carnivore counterparts, they can die from eating poisoned prey, as well as from lead poisoning, electrocution on power lines and collisions with wind turbines.”
“We haven’t seen them in so many years, though they could have been around and staying away from people.” continued Delaney. “We just went through a huge fire and drought, and we are also not going to experience a decrease in urban development. We not only have mountain lions here, but we have golden eagles, as well.”
Although the chicks recently left the nest, their parents are not total empty nesters, yet. For the next several months, they will continue to rely on the more experienced birds until they learn to successfully hunt on their own, which may be around late fall.
These birds of prey typically feed on rabbits and squirrels, but also take a diverse array of prey species from small birds and snakes, up to mule deer fawns and coyote pups. Carrion is also an important component of their diet. In the case of this family, western gulls were the prey item of choice at the time of banding. There were seven gull wings found in the nest located in a large cave.
Interestingly, golden eagles are thought to form strong pair bonds and exhibit high mate and territory fidelity, meaning they will likely stay with the same partner and return to the same nest each breeding season. Some Southern California adult golden eagles remain on or close to their nest territory throughout the year while others move great distances several counties away. After gaining independence, young eagles generally disperse out of their parents breeding territory traveling between 20 to 1,200 miles away, but usually return when they are four to five years of age to establish their own area for nesting.
The golden eagle, one of the largest birds in North America, is a cousin of the bald eagle. Sightings are extremely rare and both are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Biologists believe the population may be declining in the United States, especially in California.
The golden eagle is one of 11 raptors, birds that hunt and feed on other animals. The most common raptor in the mountains is the western screech owl but red-tailed hawks are seen more often. Dark-colored red-tailed hawks are often mistaken for golden eagles by inexperienced observers.
According to the Chumash Indians, golden eagles had a deep historical connection to Boney Mountain but the last known confirmed nesting there occurred in the early 1800s.
You can help all animals by choosing compassion on your plate. #GoVeg

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-golden-eagle-chicks-found-in-the-santa-monica-mountains-for-the-1st-time-in-30-years/

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Lost and starving polar bear seen scavenging in Russian city

dailymail.co.uk

By Will Stewart In Russia For Mailonline 09:07 18 Jun 2019, updated 09:44 18 Jun 2019

Lost and starving polar bear was spotted wandering in amongst traffic in Russia
Motorists in the nickel mining city of Norilsk watched as the beast dodged cars
Bear thought to have walked nearly 1,000 miles from Russian Arctic Ocean shore
Animal appeared too weak to attack humans and was seen scavenging for food

A starving polar bear has wandered into an industrial city in Russia after ‘walking almost 1,000 miles in the wrong direction’.

The lost beast headed south and inland from shore of the Arctic Ocean, far from its natural feeding habitat.

Motorists in the nickel mining city of Norilsk watched in amazement as the bear crossed busy roads.

The bear was scavenging for food and appeared too weak to attack people who were watching the wild animal – but local officials have warned of the threat to human life.

Locals said it is the first time a wild polar bear has been spotted in the city since the 1970s.

The animal is believed to have made a lonely trek of at least 950 miles crossing Arctic islands and frozen sea to reach Norilsk, according to reports.
The emaciated polar bear was seen on the streets of Norilsk dodging in and out of traffic and the animal scavenged for food
It is thought the polar bear walked nearly 1,000 miles from the Russian Arctic shore south to the mining city of Norilsk

Irina Yarinskaya, a photographer of Zapolyarnaya Pravda newspaper, snapped the bear dodging cars in the city’s traffic.

She told local media: ‘He is seriously hunger-bitten, he is hardly able to blink and keep his eyes open, almost unable to walk.

‘He was lying for a long time, having a rest, then he crossed the road and entered the industrial zone.

‘He went towards the gravel and sand factory. Then he crossed one more road and headed to a dump.’

Earlier, the same bear was spotted at Talnakh on the outskirts of Norilsk.

The animal has become a star attraction in a barren area normally populated by brown not polar bears, reported The Siberian Times.
The lost and starving wild animal appeared too weak to attack humans but was being monitored by the authorities as it still posed a threat to life
During the bear’s long walk it was pictured by residents of Norilsk and at one point was seen lying on the ground in the industrial city’s outskirts
The polar bear reportedly walked around 950 miles south from the Arctic shore to Norilsk

The bear had the ‘wrong compass settings’, and walked across the Taymyr Peninsula to reach the Soviet-era nickel city which is normally closed to foreign visitors.

Local police and emergency services are closely monitoring the bear – which poses a threat to residents.

But they are awaiting a decision from Moscow on whether to sedate the beast and return it to the Arctic shoreline – or move it to a zoo in Krasnoyarsk, the regional capital, come 950 miles further to the south.

Initially the local emergency services refused to believe there was a polar bear in the Talnakh district of the Arctic city which is some 350 miles inland.

Anatoly Nikolaychyuk, head of Taymyr department of state hunting control, said: ‘This is a unique and rare case.
The polar bear was seen wandering around industrial area of Norilsk and walking in busy roads looking for food
Norilsk is an industrial city in Krasnoyarsk Krai region above the Arctic Circle, east of the Yenisei River. It is what’s known as a ‘closed city’ as foreigners cannot visit and during the Soviet-era did not appear on maps, road signs or connect to public transport
Residents took videos and pictures of the emaciated polar bear as it made its long journey from its natural habitat over the Taymyr Peninsula

‘There are two options now – either to relocate him to the shore, or, perhaps, some zoo will take him.’

Local campaigners are demanding the bear is returned to its natural habitat.

Oleg Krashevsky – who specialises in tours to the remote Putorana Plateau – posted: ‘I don’t understand how the bear could have walked such distance, across Taymyr and not come across anyone.

‘He must have encountered many hunters. The same thing happened in 1970’s when a polar bear showed up at an explosives warehouse around the same place as this time.’

Polar bears are an endangered species in Russia’s Red Book.

The bear’s mammoth journey is believed to have started on islands deep in the Arctic either in Krasnoyarsk or Yakutia regions.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7153051/amp/Lost-starving-polar-bear-seen-scavenging-Russian-city-nearly-1-000-miles-natural-habitat.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ico=taboola_feed&__twitter_impression=true

Ottawa passes legislation that bans whale and dolphin captivity in Canada

ctvnews.ca
Liam Casey

Keeping whales and dolphins in captivity will no longer be allowed across Canada under legislation that passed Monday, drawing celebrations from activists and politicians who called it a significant development for animal rights.

The federal bill, which now only requires royal assent to become law, will phase out the practice of holding cetaceans — such as whales, dolphins and porpoises — in captivity, but grandfathers in those that are already being kept at two facilities in the country.

“Today’s a really good day for animals in Canada,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who sponsored the private member’s bill that began its journey in the Senate in 2015 before moving on to the House of Commons.

“Many scientists testified to why it was critical that we stop keeping cetaceans in captivity. We understand why because they are obviously not akin to other animals, for instance, livestock. Cetaceans require the ocean, they require the space, they require acoustic communication over long distances.”

Gord Johns, the NDP critic for fisheries and oceans said the bill’s passage marked “a celebration for cetaeans, for animals rights, the planet and our oceans.”

The legislation, which had its third and final reading Monday, received support from the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois, with some Conservatives opposed.

It bans the capture of wild cetaceans, but does allow for the rehabilitation and rescue of the aquatic mammals. The bill also changes the Criminal Code, creating new animal cruelty offences related to the captivity of cetaceans. Breeding is also banned.

Imports and exports of cetaceans will also be banned under the bill, with exceptions only for scientific research or “if it is in the best interest” of the animal, with discretion left up to the minister, thereby clamping down on the marine mammal trade.

“This is a watershed moment for whales and dolphins, and powerful recognition that our country no longer accepts imprisoning smart, sensitive animals in tiny tanks for entertainment,” said Camille Labchuk, executive director of advocacy group Animal Justice.

Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ont., and the Vancouver Aquarium in British Columbia are the only two facilities in Canada that currently keep captive cetaceans.

The Vancouver Aquarium announced last year that it would no longer house cetaceans and has one dolphin left at its facility. That came after Vancouver’s board of parks and recreation passed a bylaw amendment in 2017 banning cetaceans being brought to or kept in city parks after two beluga whales held at the aquarium died.

Marineland, meanwhile, has told the government it has more than 50 belugas at its facility.

It recently received approval to export two belugas, both owned by the Vancouver Aquarium, to a park in Spain. It also applied to move five more belugas to facilities in the United States, but hasn’t received those approvals yet, a Fisheries spokeswoman said late last week.

The facility told the government it had problems with the way the whale and dolphin captivity bill was written, noting that it would be in violation of the Criminal Code when the law comes into effect since some of its belugas are pregnant and set to give birth this summer.

On Monday, it said it will comply with “all animal welfare legislation in Canada.”

“Marineland began an evolution in our operation some time ago, and as that evolution continues we are confident that our operations remain compliant with all aspects of (the bill),” it said in a statement.

The head of Humane Canada, an animal welfare group, said the legislation was needed.

“If the bill didn’t do something to end captive breeding, we could have ended up with a beluga farm in Marineland,” said Barbara Cartwright.

Phil Demers, a former whale trainer at Marineland who testified at hearings on the bill, said he was “elated” at it passing.

“Marineland could never be again, if it wanted to start today,” said Demers, a longtime critic of Marieland who is engaged in a legal battle with the facility.

Marineland, for its part, has long said it treats its animals well.

“Marineland Canada continues to be a facility where children can learn about and be inspired by cetaceans without invading their natural habitats or disturbing cetacean populations that live in the ocean,” it said Monday. “We’re proud of our work, and our contribution to research, education, and conservation.”

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/ottawa-passes-legislation-that-bans-whale-and-dolphin-captivity-in-canada-1.4459753

Elephant rides to stop at Angkor Wat in Cambodia by 2020

metro.co.uk
Lucy MiddletonSaturday 8 Jun 2019 9:08 am
Author image

Cruel elephant rides at a famous temple in Cambodia are now coming to an end.

The overworked group of 14 elephants will no longer be forced to work at Angkor Wat, where over 2.5 million international tourists visit each year.

They will be transferred to a conservation and breeding centre by early 2020, the The Angkor Elephant Group Committee confirmed.

In 2016, an elephant collapsed and died while ferrying two tourists to the monument, sparking international outrage at the practice.

Two years later, a petition to end elephant rides gained over 14,000 signatures in just 48 hours after another animal died from exhaustion.

Oan Kiry, director of the Angkor Elephant Group Committee, said: ‘In early 2020, our association plans to end the use of elephants to transport tourists.

‘They can still watch the elephants and take photos of them in our conservation and breeding centre. We want the elephants to live in as natural a manner as possible.’

Campaign group Moving Animals, who work to raise awareness of the cruelty behind elephant riding, have welcomed the move, calling it a ‘great relief’.

A spokesperson said: ‘The end of elephant rides at Angkor Wat is truly a watershed moment that shows the tide is turning against cruel wildlife tourism.

‘More and more tourists no longer want to pay to see animals in chains or captivity, and attractions where elephant riding continues, need to ban these rides if they are to stay in favour with tourists and animal lovers.’

There are still believed to be around 70 domesticated elephants in Cambodia, while experts believe there are around 500 in the wild.

This includes around 110 living in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary and nearly 200 in the Cardamom Mountains.
The number of wild elephants in Cambodia and other countries in Southeast Asia has declined over the past due to illegal hunting, the destruction of habitats and conflict between the animals and people, studies suggest.

Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said: ‘The government is working with relevant organisations to formulate strategies to protect and preserve elephants in Cambodia for future generations.

‘To effectively protect natural forest habitats of elephants, law enforcement needed to be strengthened to tackle illegal wildlife hunting and the use of snares.’

He added that awareness among local farmers in protected forests needs to be raised as often they use chemicals on crops or harm elephants when they intrude on their farmland.

https://metro.co.uk/2019/06/08/elephant-rides-stop-cambodias-biggest-attraction-9871921/amp/?ito=cbshare&__twitter_impression=true

5 Things to Know About the State of Our Oceans for World Oceans Day

ecowatch.com
Tropical fish and turtle swim in the Red Sea, Egypt, an inlet of the Indian Ocean. vlad61 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Saturday, June 8 is World Oceans Day, a chance to honor and celebrate our blue planet. Ocean lovers around the world will attend beach cleanings and other events or join a March for the Ocean to call for an end to activities that harm marine life, like offshore oil drilling and plastic pollution.

The oceans generate most of the oxygen we breathe, provide food and medicine and help keep our climate stable, according to the day’s organizers. They are also home to amazing animals and ecosystems, like whales and coral reefs, that make the earth a more wondrous place to live. But the world’s marine environments face unprecedented threats. Here are five things to know about the state of our oceans in 2019.

1. Ocean Plastics Are on the Rise

It’s well-known that eight million metric tons of plastics enter the world’s oceans every year. But a study published in April gave new insight into how plastic pollution has proliferated in the past six decades. Researchers found that equipment used to collect plankton had increasingly been disrupted by plastic since it first got entangled with fishing gear in 1957.

“The message is that marine plastic has increased significantly and we are seeing it all over the world, even in places where you would not want to, like the Northwest Passage and other parts of the Arctic,” Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, England researcher Clare Ostle told The Guardian.

2. Plastic Pollution Threatens Marine Oxygen Production

All that plastic floating in the ocean kills one million birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals every year, according to the UK government. But a study published in May found it could have a disturbing impact on some of the ocean’s smallest life forms as well. Scientists exposed the ocean’s most abundant photosynthetic bacteria to chemicals that leach from plastic bags. The chemicals made it harder for the bacteria to grow and produce oxygen. This is scary because these bacteria are responsible for 10 percent of the oxygen we breathe.

“This study revealed a new and unanticipated danger of plastic pollution,” paper co-author and Macquarie University research fellow Lisa Moore told The Independent.

3. Global Warming Is Already Putting Fish in Hot Water

The oceans and the creatures in them are also threatened by climate change, and a groundbreaking study published in March found that rising ocean temperatures are already shrinking fish populations. A University of Rutgers-led team discovered that sustainable fish populations had declined by an average of 4.1 percent over 80 years. That might not sound like a lot, but it actually amounts to 1.4 million metric tons of fish lost between 1930 and 2010. And in some regions the decline was more extreme: sustainable fish populations fell by 34 percent in the northeast Atlantic and 35 percent in the Sea of Japan.

“We were stunned to find that fisheries around the world have already responded to ocean warming,” study co-author and Rutgers’ Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources associate professor Malin Pinsky told Rutgers Today. “These aren’t hypothetical changes sometime in the future.”

4. Marine Heatwaves Act Like Underwater Wildfires

Ocean warming doesn’t just damage individual species. It devastates entire ecosystems. A first-of-its-kind study published in March found that the number of ocean heat wave days per year is surging: The number has increased by more than 50 percent between two 29-year time chunks compared by the scientists. This has particularly harmed coral reefs in the Caribbean, Australian sea-grass beds and California’s kelp forests.

“You have heatwave-induced wildfires that take out huge areas of forest, but this is happening underwater as well,” lead author Dan Smale at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, UK told The Guardian. “You see the kelp and seagrasses dying in front of you. Within weeks or months they are just gone, along hundreds of kilometres of coastline.”

5. Ocean Acidification Makes Life Even Harder for Coral Reefs

Marine heat waves threaten coral reefs by causing coral bleaching, in which corals expel the algae that give them color and nutrients. But the greenhouse gasses we are pumping into the atmosphere also endanger coral in another way. They cause ocean acidification, which is what happens when carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater and changes its chemical makeup. This reduces the amount of calcium carbonate that animals like corals use to repair themselves after stressful events like bleachings. In research published just last week, scientists found that some corals and algae they studied were not able to adapt to more acidic waters. This could alter the composition and function of reefs.

“We found that corals and coralline algae weren’t able to acclimatize to ocean acidification,” study author Malcolm McCulloch said.

 

https://www.ecowatch.com/world-oceans-day-facts-2638711550.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

Carnival Cruise Lines Fined $20 Million For Illegal Dumping Of Trash Into The Ocean – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
Posts by Alex Larson →
Photo by jonathan leonardo on Unsplash

Carnival Corporation will now have to pay $20 million after a court filing submitted on Monday said Carnival released food waste and plastic into the ocean, failed to accurately record waste disposals, created false training records, and secretly examined ships to fix environmental-compliance issues before third-party inspections without reporting its findings to the inspectors.

The violations took place on Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival.

The settlement reached this week will require Carnival to pay $20 million within seven days, receive additional inspections, invest in more resources to ensure compliance with its probation, reduce the number of single-use plastic items on its ships, and establish teams to improve waste management. If the requirements are not met, they will have to pay penalties of $1 million to $10 million per day.

U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz approved the terms of the deal during a hearing Monday in Miami. She had appeared to grow increasingly frustrated as the company has continued to defy environmental regulations over the past couple decades.

“You not only work for employees and shareholders. You are a steward of the environment,” she told Carnival CEO Arnold Donald, who attended the hearing with other senior executives. “The environment needs to be a core value, and I hope and pray it becomes your daily anthem.”

In 2013, a whistleblowing engineer exposed the illegal dumping of contaminated waste and oil from the company’s Caribbean Princess ship. He told authorities that engineers were using a special device called the “magic pipe” to bypass the ship’s water treatment system and dump oil waste straight into the ocean. The company also tried to cover up this practice from investigators, according to the Justice Department.

http://seavoicenews.com/2019/06/07/carnival-cruise-lines-fined-20-million-for-illegal-dumping-of-trash-into-the-ocean/

Nearly Extinct Pink Dolphin Gives Birth To Pink Calf

 

lifeinsider.me

Uncommon pink dolphin mother gave birth to a charming infant dolphin. She was named Pinky, and the baby dolphin has been seen in the Calcasieu River in Louisiana. The pink calf was there, as well.

This warm-blooded animal became famous 12 years back. Chief Erik Rue was the first to recognize her. The video of Pinky and her child was posted on Pinky’s Facebook page. The dolphins were swimming before a huge boat in the Calcasieu Ship Channel.

As indicated by specialists, Pinky is a Rare River Dolphin who got the pink shading from an uncommon hereditary change. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recorded stream dolphins as jeopardized. Its populace is diminishing.

The birth of the calf gives us trust that calves have acquired their mom’s hereditary change which would help in the exertion of expanding the number of inhabitants in uncommon species.

Skipper Rue clarified that the dolphin is pink from its tail to the tip and has red eyes. Its skin is smooth and lustrous.

Pinky isn’t influenced by the earth or daylight however beyond any doubt likes to stay underneath the surface more than other animals.

She’s a fantastic mammal that conveys delight to local people, and visitors love seeing such a superb well-evolved creature.

Bridget Boudreaux spotted Pinky and her calf in the river some a time ago. She saw them swimming and bouncing around. Recognizing the mother and her child was a great encounter for her, and she even requested that the commander stop the vessel so she can see it better.

https://lifeinsider.me/nearly-extinct-pink-dolphin-gives-birth-to-pink-calf/

50+ items that you actually shouldn’t put in the refrigerator

Do you ever feel like your fridge seems to be getting smaller and smaller? Well, it’s probably because you’re putting things in there that you shouldn’t. Many Americans make the mistake of putting everything they get from the grocery store into the fridge, not knowing that it will actually kill the flavor of many foods. By removing these items from your fridge, you’re not only free up space, but you also improve but taste and quality of the items that should be stored at room temperature.

Here’s a handy list of things that really don’t need to be refrigerated.

https://homehacks.co/53-items-dont-need-refrigeration/?utm_source=twitter_ads&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=6b719901-6d93-af27-a55a-306176976dc0

Man seeks veteran’s family to return lost WWII regalia, including Bronze Star

 

ROY, Utah — A Utah man is searching for the family of a World War II hero.

Jim Thorpe has held onto a casket flag and war medals for nearly a year. He’s hoping he can finally return them to Thomas D. Walker’s family.

Walker was a World War II hero, a brave soldier in the Pacific Theater. He was honored for his conduct in the military and heroism in battle.

“He was obviously someone special that did something to earn those medals,” Thorpe told KSTU sitting on his porch on Memorial Day.

A Purple Heart and Bronze Star engraved with his name are among the five medals in a shadow box. Above them, a folded flag once draped over a casket. In front, a black and white picture of a helmeted young man holding a mortar.

“I feel it belongs with the family,” Thorpe said.

Thorpe never knew Thomas D. Walker. He doesn’t know where he lived or even which branch of the military he served. But in his possession, symbols of Walker’s courage and character.

“I can’t imagine this isn’t missed,” Thorpe said. “Somebody knows this is missing.”

It was found dirty and forgotten, in the back of the closet of a 31st Street Ogden apartment. Thorpe’s friend discovered it and gave it to him last summer.

The grandson of two WWII veterans contacted the US military and searched online for the soldier’s family.

“Honestly, I figured somebody would claim it right away. I didn’t think that I’d be holding onto it for so long,” Thorpe said.

The common name of Thomas Walker overwhelmed Thorpe while searching among 16 million WWII American soldiers.

In the middle of cancer treatment himself, Thorpe discovered two possible connections: one in Oregon, and another in Illinois. While nothing is concrete yet, Thorpe’s not giving up.

“I’d like to learn more about him. He’s been with me for a minute but I would like to get him back to his family. That’s the ultimate goal,” he said.

If you have information on Thomas D. Walker, Thorpe can be contacted through britneythorpe34@gmail.com.

https://fox13now.com/2019/05/27/roy-man-seeks-veterans-family-to-return-lost-wwii-regalia/

An Asteroid with Its Own Moon Will Zip Past Earth | Space

EarthSky reported that during the space rocks’ closest approach, they’ll be most visible in the southern hemisphere, appearing as fast moving shadows again stars in the constellation Puppis. The two remain visible for several days, according to EarthSky. North America asteroid hunters may spot the objects near the constellation Hydra on the evening of May 27.

Continue reading here and watch the amazing video.

https://www.space.com/asteroid-passes-close-to-earth.html

Wow! This Is What SpaceX’s Starlink Satellites Look Like in the Night Sky | Space

You have never seen a night sky sight quite like this.

It’s been one day since SpaceX launched its first 60 starlink internet satellites into orbit, and sky watching sleuth has already spotted them soaring across the night sky.

Neverlands-based satellite tracker Marco Langbroek stunned space fans tonight (May 24) with this jaw-dropping video of dozens of Starlink satellite soaring overhead.

Continue reading here and watch this amazing video.

https://www.space.com/spacex-starlink-satellites-spotted-night-sky-video.html

Hundreds of Sunscreens Don’t Work or Have Unsafe Ingredients, Annual Review Finds

ecowatch.com
Sam Nickerson

Summer is fast approaching, which means it’s time to stock up on sunscreen to ward off the harmful effects of sun exposure. Not all sunscreens are created equally, however.

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group released its 13th annual Guide to Sunscreens this month, which rated the safety and effectiveness of more than 1,300 sun protection products on the market. It found that two-thirds of those products either contained chemicals the Food and Drug Administration says could be potentially harmful or provide inferior protection from the sun.

EWG experts found that only 40 percent of the products it examined — including sunscreens, moisturizers and lip balms — have active ingredients that meet draft safety regulations developed by the FDA in February.

According to the FDA, just two of the 16 common active ingredients in most sunscreens, zinc and titanium oxides, have been tested enough to show they are safe and effective. Another two ingredients, PABA and trolamine salicylate, were found to be unsafe according to the proposed standards, while the remaining 12 did not have enough data for the FDA to indicate whether or not they worked and could be considered safe.

“The good news is that the FDA has reaffirmed what EWG has advocated for 13 years: Based on the best current science, the safest and most effective sunscreen active ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide,” said Nneka Leiba, director of EWG’s Healthy Living Science program, in a press release. “It’s long past time that the chemicals used in sunscreens were tested to show that they will not harm our health.”

Many of the chemical ingredients were not tested enough because they had been grandfathered in when the FDA set more rigorous testing regulations in the 1970s, Time reported, as the belief then was that creams, lotions and sprays did not penetrate deep enough beyond the surface of the skin. A recent FDA study, however, confirmed that common sunscreen ingredients avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule all end up in the bloodstream at levels beyond the threshold for further testing.

Oxybenzone is an allergen and potential endocrine disruptor that can have adverse effects on human growth, development and reproduction, USA Today reported, and could be damaging coral reefs. Oxybenzone was found in more than 60 percent of the sunscreens reviewed by the EWG.

Time also reported that sunscreen manufacturers have put stronger chemicals in their products in response to skin cancer concerns or increased listed sun protection factor (SPF) values, while health experts have suggested more frequent use of these sunscreens, potentially increasing the likelihood the chemicals are absorbed.

Legislation has since been enacted to improve the FDA review process, and the EWG supports an FDA proposal to limit SPF ratings, as research has not shown that higher SPF ratings provide additional protection from all ultraviolet rays. If anything, the EWG says, SPF values greater than 50+ provide a false sense of security leading to increased exposure.

The EWG’s 2019 sunscreen guide did provide some good news: more than 260 sunscreens meet its safety guidelines and would also meet the FDA’s proposed standards. The full list of those products is on the EWG website.

https://www.ecowatch.com/safe-sunscreen-guide-ewg-2638024475.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=9ece4f9c5f-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-9ece4f9c5f-86074753

Beer company creates edible 6-pack rings that feed sea turtles instead of killing them

mypositiveoutlooks.com
Farah R. | Positive Outlooks

In the midst of the massive plastic problem that is being experienced globally, a craft beer company is trying to help fight it by encasing their products in non-plastic and eco-friendly packaging.

The Florida-based beer company Saltwater Brewery, in collaboration with the startup E6PR (Eco Six Pack Ring) – who produces the eco-friendly six-pack rings – has upped their products’ sustainability game by putting their beers in edible six-pack rings instead of the usual plastic ones.

The cardboard-like rings are created from beer by-products – such as barley and wheat – that are left during the brewing process. They are completely safe for fish and humans to eat.

But before you start munching on them in place of your greasy potato chips, know this: The rings are edible for humans too, but they might be contaminated on their way to the production process so it really isn’t recommended. Plus, it doesn’t taste very appealing, with one E6PR founder saying that its flavor is comparable to “a very, very stale cookie.”

There have been many cases of marine life death due to plastic ingestion. Other sea creatures also get stuck within the loops of these plastic rings, causing deformities. If they don’t end up as a meal for fish, the edible rings are also 100% biodegradable and compostable, so disposal problems are avoided as well.

According to the brand, their own design is as sturdy and efficient as the plastic variant. However, the only downside is that edible six-pack rings are much more costly to produce, so customers would have to pay more for them. But they hope that patrons would be willing to shell out more cash to help the environment, especially animal life.

Peter Agardy, head of brand at Saltwater Brewery, said:

“It’s a big investment for a small brewery created by fisherman, surfers and people that love the sea.”

If more beer companies hop on the bandwagon, the company believes that prices will decrease. Also, if more companies invest in the technology of creating edible six-pack rings, then the production cost would go down as well and there is a chance that edible rings would become competitive with the plastic variant.

The brewery sells about 400,000 cans a month, and they hope that their target consumers – “surfers, fisherman, and people who love the sea” – will find the eco-friendly packaging worth spending for – all in the name of saving the environment.

Every day, approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find its way into the ocean, and it is killing our marine life. In fact, 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by plastic pollution yearly.

These are horrifying figures, but we believe that it is not yet too late to reverse it. Initiatives like this one started by EP6R and Saltwater Brewery gives us hope that more and more people and businesses are becoming aware of this serious environmental issue, and that they are doing their best to combat it in ways that they can.

“We hope to influence the big guys,” Chris Goves, Saltwater Brewery’s president, said. “And hopefully inspire them to get on board,”

We hope so, too.

If these edible six-pack rings are embraced by the market, maybe they’ll eventually make their way into soda cans and other packaged drinks! It’s still a far cry from the progress that we currently have, but that future is certainly something to look forward to.

How about you? What steps are you taking to reduce your use of plastic?

https://mypositiveoutlooks.com/beer-company-edible-6-pack-rings/