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When Mysore performed in the Ringling Brothers' traveling circus, she waltzed, she hooked her trunk onto another elephant's tail, and she stood on her hind legs in a line for a trick known as the long mount. Now at the age of about 70 -- and one of the oldest Asian elephants in the world -- Mysore is retired at the circus's refuge in central Florida, where she gets weekly pedicures, daily baths, naps on a giant dirt pile, eats ground-up hay and more than six loaves of wheat bread a day. "Boy, she loves the bread," says Janice Aria, the director of animal stewardship at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation, where Mysore arrived in 2006.
Eleven giant pyres of tusks went up in smoke Saturday as Kenya torched its vast ivory stockpile in a grand gesture aimed at shocking the world into stopping the slaughter of elephants. Lighting the fire in Nairobi's national park, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta demanded a total ban on trade in ivory to end the "murderous" trafficking and prevent the extinction of elephants in the wild. "The height of the pile of ivory before us marks the strength of our resolve," Kenyatta said, before thrusting a burning torch onto the ivory.
More than 30 lions rescued from abuse in Peruvian and Colombian circuses were flown Friday to South Africa, in what campaigners called the largest-ever airlift of big cats. The 33 lions, with names such as Zeus and Shakira, were freed after the use of wild animals in circuses was outlawed in Peru in 2011 and Colombia in 2013. Saved from the lion tamer's whip, they have been rounded up with the help of authorities by Animal Defenders International (ADI), an animal rights charity.
Elephants take a final bow at Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, ending a 145-year spectacle that delighted fans but enraged animal activists, who say the highly publicized retirement is not enough. The last 11 elephants touring with "The Greatest Show on Earth" will leave behind their enormous studded tiaras and begin traveling on Monday to Ringling's 200-acre (80-hectare) Center for Elephant Conservation in central Florida, said Stephen Payne, spokesman for the circus' parent company, Feld Entertainment. Bonnie, Juliette and nine other female Asian elephants are retiring earlier than originally planned, reflecting shifting U.S. attitudes toward animal entertainment.
More tigers have been killed in India already this year than in the whole of 2015, a census showed Friday, raising doubts about the country's anti-poaching efforts. The Wildlife Protection Society of India, a conservation charity, said 28 of the endangered beasts had been poached by April 26, three more than last year. Tiger meat and bones are used in traditional Chinese medicine and fetch high prices.
Top NFL draft prospect Laremy Tunsil tumbled down the list on Thursday before being selected by the Miami Dolphins with the 13th pick of the first round following a controversial video posted on his Twitter account. Just minutes before the National Football League Draft began, the powerful tackle from the University of Mississippi was shown wearing a gas mask and smoking something through a bong. The video was quickly deleted and Tunsil suspended his Twitter account.
Animal rights group PETA said Thursday it has acquired shares in Prada to pursue its protest over ostrich leather handbags from inside the luxury fashion group. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) said the move followed an investigation which revealed that ostriches as young as one were being slaughtered in South Africa to produce the "goose bump" leather the company uses for its costly bags. "Every Prada goose bump bag means a young ostrich has been turned upside down in a stunner then ejected to have their throats cut and be plucked in a miserable and terrifying slaughter," said PETA's Mimi Bekhechi.
Science says "don't hug your dog." And by science we mean one person, who happens to have a degree, who looked at lots of pictures on the Internet. The question of whether or not hugging your dog causes them stress came from an op-ed from Stanley Coren on Psychology Today , earlier in April, who claimed that the act of hugging and immobilizing your dog and can give them severe anxiety. SEE ALSO: It's National Hug Day, but please don't hug me "Dogs are technically cursorial animals , which is a term that indicates that they are designed for swift running," Coren wrote in his op-ed. "That implies that in times of stress or threat the first line of defense that a dog uses is not his teeth, but rather his ability to run away." Some people, seeing Coren's observations published on Psychology Today took this as a clear-cut, data-backed study, when, in fact, the only research Coren conducted was visual clues he personally picked up from pulling pictures from the Internet. "Fortunately for me, the Internet abounds with photographs of people and their pets...I decided to look at a random sample of 250 such pictures," Coren wrote. While it's true that dogs are not, in fact, children, and that you should never squeeze a puppy (or anyone) to the point of discomfort, Coren's dog study is by no means proof that all pups hate hugs. "This is interesting preliminary data which might serve as a good starting point for a formal study. But it's important to note that (to my knowledge) this is not a peer-reviewed empirical paper so I would caution against any firm conclusions before the work can go through this important part of the scientific process," Evan MacLean, co-director of Duke's Canine Cognition Center, wrote in an email to The Washington Post . For a rebuttal to Coren's op-ed, Mashable has taken the liberty of also looking around the Internet for dogs hugging. To our astonishment, we found some very different results. Have you hugged your dog today? http://greendale.tumblr.com/post/35122847194
Efforts to save Cambodia's Royal Turtle, one of the world's most critically endangered species, are being hampered by dredging and illegal forest clearances, a wildlife conservation group warned Monday. The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Cambodian government have been desperately trying to protect the tiny remaining pocket of batagur affinis turtles for more than a decade after their numbers plummeted.
Ivory Coast has deployed teams of rangers to protect the country's last surviving dwarf elephants from extinction, the head of the national park service told AFP Tuesday. Up to 70 percent of the park is occupied by cocoa farmers from neighbouring Burkina Faso, according to the head of the country's office for parks and reserves (OIPR) colonel Adama Tondossama, who accused them of destroying the area's flora and fauna to make way for their crops. The park, a rugged area with rich biodiversity is located alongside the Ivory Coast's cocoa producing region.
Dangling from a helicopter with a high powered rifle, a Kenyan vet fires drugged darts at elephants to sedate them so they can be fitted with satellite collars. Ten minutes after the elephant is darted, the lumbering creature stumbles, and falls asleep. More than 12,000 elephants live in Tsavo Park, threatened daily by poaching, but also more recently, by the construction of a new high-speed railway linking Kenya's coast to the capital.
The attack occurred in a hidden area where tigers eat and sleep at around 2 p.m. local time, zoo spokeswoman Naki Carter said. The tiger was subdued with a tranquilizer and officials treated the injured woman who was rushed to St. Mary's Medical Center but later died from her injuries, Carter said. The victim, Stacey Konwiser, 38, had just reached her three-year anniversary at the zoo, where her husband is also a keeper, Carter said.
Attendance at the company's parks has been falling amid negative publicity and criticism from animal rights activists upset about the treatment of captive marine mammals. The company, which operates marine parks in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio, said last month it would stop breeding killer whales and that those in its care would be the last. SeaWorld said on Friday that Ron Bension, the president of House of Blues Entertainment at Live Nation, would replace former chief executive Jim Atchison on its board.
Poachers shot dead a rhinoceros at a wildlife park in northeast India hours after Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate visited the sanctuary, a wildlife official said Friday. Rangers found the dead rhino with its horn missing on Thursday -- the day the royal couple left the Kaziranga National Park in Assam state, home to two-thirds of the planet's remaining one-horned rhinos. "Poachers used AK-47 assault rifles to kill the adult male rhino and after killing the pachyderm they took away its horn," Subasish Das, a senior forest officer, told AFP.
A team of sniffer dogs set up at a British airport at a cost of 1.25 million pounds have proved adept at discovering small amounts of cheese and sausages but not so good at finding smuggled drugs, a report said on Thursday. An inspection of border security at Manchester Airport in northern England found that during a seven-month period, the six dogs had failed to find any illegal class A drugs, those considered the most dangerous such as heroin or cocaine.
A trio of rare Bengal tiger cubs have become the stars of a Mexican circus in Nicaragua, one of the few Central American countries that still allow circuses to own live animals. The tigers -- one white, one orange and one golden -- were born three months ago to Paulina, a 200-kilogram (440-pound) female in the De Renato Circus, its owner, Renato Fuentes Townsend, told AFP. Bengal tigers are classed as an endangered species, and Fuentes said "it is the first case I've seen" of such varied coloring in one litter.
Britain's Prince William and Princess Kate jumped into a jeep on Wednesday for a wildlife safari that included feeding rhino and elephant calves, during the latest leg of their India tour. The royal couple, wearing handwoven gamochas or scarves that are traditional in India's remote northeastern Assam state, also met wildlife officials who are battling to protect vulnerable rhinos from poachers. In their open-top jeep convoy, the Duke and Duchess, sporting sunglasses, looked relaxed as they navigated the World-Heritage listed Kaziranga National Park, home to two-thirds of the planet's remaining one-horned rhinos.
GAUHATI, India (AP) — With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arriving at the world's largest one-horn rhino park in remote northeastern India on Tuesday, conservationists hope the British royals can help raise global alarms about how black-market demand for rhino horns and other animal parts is fueling illegal poaching and pushing species to the brink.
Gone are the days when a stately spaniel or herding dog was prized to round up sheep or guard the family home. Nowadays, dog lovers prefer their furry companions small, with wide, babylike faces, new data suggest. But the breeding of doggies with adorably silly faces, such as pugs or French bulldogs, may come with a downside.
Based on an incident described in 1820 involving the Nantucket whaling vessel the Essex, the film relays the terrifying tale of an enraged sperm whale turning the tables on its tormenters, using its enormous head as a battering ram to smash a whaling ship to splinters. Recently, a team of engineers took a look at whether the unusual and oversize head of the sperm whale would be able to sustain the force required to demolish a whaling boat by ramming it. Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) are the largest of the toothed whales.