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South African judge lifts domestic ban on rhino horn trade

South Africa says 1,215 rhinos were killed in 2014 for their horn which is used as a traditional medicine in East Asia A South African judge on Thursday lifted a domestic ban on trade in rhino horns, alarming conservationists who described it as an "extremely dangerous move" that could worsen a poaching crisis. The government said it planned to appeal against the ruling, which was delivered in the Pretoria High Court after two South African game breeders fought a legal battle to overturn the moratorium. The court decision came ahead of a meeting in Johannesburg next year of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which could lift the global ban.

Belgian tourist boards parade cats to lure back tourists after lockdown

Belgium's tourist boards have latched onto a social media craze of cats that gave Brussels light relief during a tense five-day security lockdown in the wake of militant attacks in Paris. Images of the city's streets deserted as security forces hunted suspected Islamist militants have dealt a blow to Belgium's tourism industry, with hotels reporting many cancellations. When police on Sunday asked the public in Brussels not to share details of their operations on social media, Belgians took to tweeting each other pictures of their cats.

Goodbye, Nola: Only 3 Northern White Rhinos Remain in the World

Goodbye, Nola: Only 3 Northern White Rhinos Remain in the World One of the four northern white rhinoceros left on Earth died yesterday (Nov. 22), leaving only three surviving members of the critically endangered species. In recent weeks, Nola suffered from a bacterial infection, and on Nov. 13, the aging animal underwent surgery to drain a large abscess in her pelvic region, which veterinarians finally identified as the source of her sickness. When intensified treatment efforts were unsuccessful, the animal's caretakers chose to euthanize her yesterday, in what was a "difficult decision," according to a statement released by the San Diego Zoo.

No charges for Colorado hunter who mistakenly killed gray wolf

Federal wildlife officials said on Monday that a Colorado hunter who shot and killed a protected gray wolf that he mistook for a coyote will not face criminal charges, in a decision that angered conservationists. Prosecutors declined to press charges against the hunter for the April killing after a joint investigation conducted by federal and state authorities concluded that he did not intend to shoot the wolf,  the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a statement. It is illegal to kill wolves without a special permit in most of the Lower 48 states, where the animals are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

2 baby red pandas make debut at New York zoo

This Nov. 2, 2015 photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society shows a red panda flanked by two baby red pandas at the Prospect Park Zoo in the Brooklyn borough of New York, where they have made their debut. The male and female pandas, which look similar to raccoons, are not members of the bear family that giant pandas belong to. The red pandas were born at the Brooklyn zoo on July 1. (Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society via AP) NEW YORK (AP) — Two baby red pandas have made their debut at the Prospect Park Zoo in New York.

Endangered rhino dies at California zoo, three remain worldwide

Handout photo of Nola, a critically endangered 40-year-old female northern white rhino By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A northern white rhinoceros, one of just four left on Earth, died on Sunday at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park after suffering from a bacterial infection and age-related health issues, zoo officials said. Nola, a 41-year-old rhino brought to the Southern California park in 1989 as part of a breeding program, took a turn for the worse over the weekend following a Nov. 13 surgical procedure to drain a large pelvic abscess identified as the infection source, the zoo said in a statement. The 4,000-pound (1,800-kg) rhino had been placed under constant veterinary watch last week as her appetite and activity levels declined.

800 dogs, cats flown places with better odds of adoption

Rescue dogs are boarded onto a plane as pilot Alexei Tsekoun waits to take off at the Van Nuys Airport in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 . More than 800 cats and dogs from California animal shelters took off for Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Illinois and Wisconsin in the largest Holiday Pet Airlift the Wings of Rescue has ever undertaken. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel) LOS ANGELES (AP) — Some 800 dogs and cats from California animal shelters have something to be thankful for this holiday season — a free ride to other states where they have a better chance of finding homes.

Rare pygmy hippo, a week old, dies at San Diego zoo

(Reuters) - A rare pygmy hippopotamus born last week at the San Diego Zoo, the first calf born at the California facility in over a decade, has died, staff said on Friday. The calf was born in seemingly good health at the zoo in southern California on Nov. 11, officials said in a statement, but a veterinary exam later found the newborn was not receiving proper nourishment, despite care from its mother. "Sad to announce the death of our pygmy hippo calf," an official with the San Diego Zoo wrote on Twitter.

Are pets in the bedroom a problem for sleep?

One-and-a-half-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, Ella, sits on a bed at Hotel Sacher in Vienna By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - There are many potential health benefits to pet ownership, but a good night’s sleep may not necessarily be one of them, a small study suggests. Among pet owners surveyed at a sleep clinic, more than half said their non-human friends slept in their bedroom. One in five pet owners described their animals as disruptive, but two in five perceived the pets as unobtrusive or even beneficial to sleep, the survey found.

Giant pandas to remain in Washington to 2020

Giant Panda Tian Tian at the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo in Washington Just three months after the National Zoo in Washington announced the birth of a giant panda, it had more good news Thursday: pandas are there to stay until December 2020.

Mexicans develop taste for mini-pigs... as pets

A pig is seen at a park in Mexico City, on October 15, 2015 Mexico City (AFP) - The pet at the end of the leash is tiny, chubby and wears a little sweater as it is paraded down a Mexico City street by its owner.

Atlanta Aquarium gives up legal fight to import beluga whales

Beluga whales kiss their trainers during a performance at a aquarium in Harbin By Rich McKay ATLANTA (Reuters) - The Georgia Aquarium called off on Tuesday its fight to import 18 beluga whales from Russia and said it would not challenge a federal judge's ruling to block their arrival, handing a victory to U.S. regulators and animal conservation groups. The decision ends two years of litigation by the aquarium to get federal approval to bring the whales to Atlanta and to other facilities in the United States that had hoped to acquire them, including SeaWorld parks. Also known as white whales, belugas are common in the Arctic Ocean's coastal waters and also found in subarctic waters, according to the National Geographic website.

Washington zoo's giant panda cub to make debut January 16

Panda keeper Juan Rodriguez prepares to weigh three-month-old giant panda cub Bei Bei at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington The National Zoo's fast-growing new giant panda cub will make his first public appearance on Jan. 16, the U.S. zoo said on Tuesday. The cub, Bei Bei, was born in August to the zoo's Mei Xiang, one of the top tourist draws in the U.S. capital. A second cub born with Bei Bei died shortly after birth.

The nine lives of Russia's Hermitage cats

This photo taken on October 14, 2015 shows a cat in front of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. For more than a century visitors have marvelled at the Hermitage Museum's precious collections, and for just as long dozens of cats have prowled the Saint Petersburg palace's sprawling cellars. "Our cats are as well-known as our collections," beamed Irina Popovets, who runs the unit. Every morning, art lovers from the world over arrive at the gates of the Hermitage complex on the Neva River housing a collection that spans ancient Egyptian and Renaissance art to modern masters like Cezanne, Gauguin and Degas.

Kenya to destroy vast ivory stockpile from thousands of elephants

Ivory is sought out for jewellery and decorative objects and much of it is smuggled to China, where many increasingly wealthy shoppers are buying ivory trinkets as a sign of financial success Kenya's wildlife authority on Monday vowed to destroy the east African country's vast ivory stockpile from several thousand elephants, nine times more than the largest pile torched so far. President Uhuru Kenyatta set fire in March to a giant pile of 15 tonnes of elephant ivory, which conservationists said then was the largest ever burned in Africa. The promised destruction of the remaining stockpile of 137 tonnes of ivory would dwarf that.

Schwarzenegger stars in campaign to save African elephants

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The Terminator is campaigning to save African elephants from poachers.

Tigers, piranhas may join crocodile guards at Indonesia jail

Indonesia's anti-drugs czar wants tigers and piranhas as prison guards After sparking ridicule with a proposal to build a prison island for drug convicts surrounded by crocodiles, Indonesia's anti-drugs czar has now gone further -- revealing on Friday he also wants tigers and piranhas as guards. In an idea that seemed to come straight out of a James Bond film, Budi Waseso this week unveiled the prison island plan, explaining that crocodiles can't be bribed by drug traffickers seeking to escape jail.

Escape claws: Tigers, piranhas may join Indonesia crocodile prison guard

The head of the Indonesia's National Narcotics Board Budi Waseso looks at a crocodile during a visit to a crocodile farm in Medan, North Sumatra When Indonesia's anti-drugs czar announced plans to guard a death-row prison island with crocodiles, the government rushed to explain that it was just a joke, but on Friday Budi Waseso said he was now thinking of using tigers and piranha fish too. Media quoted the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) chief as saying that he had already obtained two crocodiles from a farm to study their power and aggression and may ultimately put as many as 1,000 in place to keep convicts from escaping. "Because the (prison) personnel numbers are short we can use wild animals.

Native Americans oppose stripping protection from Yellowstone grizzlies

A grizzly bear roams through the Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming By Laura Zuckerman SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - Native American tribes on Wednesday called for the U.S. government to halt plans to strip grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone of Endangered Species Act protection because it would open the way for trophy hunting in Idaho and two other states bordering the national park. Government bear managers have said the 700-plus grizzlies in the Yellowstone area have exceeded their recovery goal of 500 bears and no longer need federal protection. Grizzlies in the Lower 48 states were formally listed as threatened under the law in 1975 after being hunted, trapped and poisoned to the edge of extinction.

Environmental groups want thorny skate on endangered list

This undated photo released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a thorny skate, a bottom-dwelling fish whose habitat in the In the north Atlantic Ocean ranges from Greenland to South Carolina. The thorny skate population has declined since the 1960s, and environmental groups want the skate added to the list protected under the Endangered Species Act. Fishing groups say the listing would add onerous new regulations that they can’t afford. (T. Curtis/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via AP) PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A pair of environmental groups wants the U.S. government to add a species of skate to the list of animals protected under the Endangered Species Act, touching off a drive from some fishermen who say they are already burdened with too many regulations.

Help wanted: Book looks at 50 'Cats on the Job'

This photo provided by Lisa Rogak shows Carlow the cat perched on a fire truck in New York. Carlow was found by firefighters of Engine 22, Ladder 13 in upper Manhattan and became their official mascot. He is named him after a bar down the street. Carlow's job is one of 50 showcased in Lisa Rogak's new book titled "Cats on the Job." (Jessica Mikel Bertolini via AP) LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dogs work. Cats sleep, purr and preen. At least that is what dog people would have you believe. Author Lisa Rogak set out to discover what cats really spend their time doing. The result is her book called "Cats on the Job."

Oregon wildlife managers vote to take wolves off endangered list

A grey wolf is caught on a remote camera in the Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon By Shelby Sebens PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - Oregon's population of about 81 gray wolves will soon lose its status as a state-protected endangered species after a decision by state wildlife managers, who came under fire from animal advocates who said politics had won over sound science. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4-2 late on Monday to remove the wolves from the list, saying they had recovered in sufficiently healthy numbers that they no longer faced the threat of extinction. The action was to take effect after documentation to de-list the wolves was submitted to the Oregon secretary of state for review on Tuesday, commission officials said.

SeaWorld to replace 'Shamu' killer whale show in San Diego

Visitors are greeted by an Orca killer whale as they attend a show featuring the whales during a visit to the animal theme park SeaWorld in San Diego, California By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - SeaWorld said on Monday it plans to replace its signature "Shamu" killer whale shows in San Diego with displays focused on "conservation," after grappling with sagging attendance and years of criticism over treatment of the captive marine mammals. Animal rights activists, pressing to end public exhibition of killer whales altogether, branded the SeaWorld announcement as little more than window-dressing designed to make continued display of the animals more palatable to the public. The move, unveiled in a company presentation to investors, followed a vote by California regulators last month barring SeaWorld San Diego from continuing to breed the killer whales, or orcas, if it proceeds with a planned expansion of their artificial habitat.

Vonn's dogs bite hand that feeds them

Lindsey Vonn of the US poses with her two Globes after winning the World Cup women's Super G race at the Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals in Meribel (Reuters) - Lindsey Vonn needed medical treatment after being bitten by her dogs, the skier said on Saturday. Vonn posted a video on Twitter of her bloodied right hand, the result, she said, of an attempt to break up a fight between her two canine companions. Vonn, 31, has two dogs, named Leo and Bear, that she adopted from a rescue shelter.

Skiing-Vonn's dogs bite hand that feeds them

Lindsey Vonn needed medical treatment after being bitten by her dogs, the skier said on Saturday. Vonn posted a video on Twitter of her bloodied right hand, the result, she said, of an attempt to break up a fight between her two canine companions. Vonn, 31, has two dogs, named Leo and Bear, that she adopted from a rescue shelter.

PETA sues U.S. government over information about elephants with TB

(Reuters) - Animal rights activists have sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, seeking the release of data about elephants and tuberculosis because of the risk that the animals could spread the potentially deadly disease to other elephants as well as humans. The lawsuit, filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeks records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from the HHS's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding TB in elephants.

Oil Spill Aftermath: Why Baby Dolphins May Be Rare in Gulf Waters

Oil Spill Aftermath: Why Baby Dolphins May Be Rare in Gulf Waters Bottlenose dolphins swimming in waters affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are dying earlier and birthing fewer calves than dolphins living in other areas, a new study shows. Just 20 percent of pregnant dolphins in Barataria Bay — a part of the Gulf of Mexico that was most heavily tainted by oil from the spill — gave birth to surviving calves, much lower than the 83 percent success rate in other dolphin populations, the researchers found. In addition, just 86.8 percent of the Barataria Bay dolphins survive every year.

Dogs rescued from South Korea meat farm seek new lives in the U.S.

By Courtney Sherwood PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - Animal rights advocates are seeking homes for scores of dogs raised for South Korea's canine meat market but sent to the United States for adoption after their breeder switched to growing rice, the head of a regional Humane Society said on Wednesday. Nine of 25 dogs rescued by the Humane Society of Southwest Washington have already been adopted, and 78 other dogs from the same Korean farm have been taken in by other shelters in Washington state and California, said Stacey Graham, president of the Vancouver, Washington, nonprofit. The dogs in question are all mixed-breed varieties of either a Japanese Mastiff, also known as a Tosa, which can grow to 130 pounds (59 kg), or of a smaller Korean Jindo, a hunting dog closer in size to an Akita.

Yellowstone-area grizzlies no longer need protection, U.S. says

A grizzly bear and her two cubs approach the carcass of a bison in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming By Laura Zuckerman SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - Federal wildlife managers have determined that grizzly bear numbers in and around Yellowstone National Park have rebounded sufficiently to propose stripping the animals of U.S. Endangered Species Act protections in the months ahead, a spokesman told Reuters. The latest count of grizzlies in the Yellowstone region puts the estimated population of the hump-shouldered bruins at just over 750, well exceeding the government's recovery goal of 500 animals, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

'Quantico' Star Priyanka Chopra Teams With PETA to Voice Mechanical Elephant

The life-size robotic creation will go on a school tour across the United States and Europe.

Whales on French beach may have washed up voluntarily: expert

Firefighters and animal rescuers gather around long-finned pilot whaless stranded on a beach in the northern French city of Calais on November 2, 2015 A school of 10 whales that washed up Monday in northern France may have done so voluntarily after the death of the dominant male, an expert said. "The group was in the middle of a deep-sea migration towards the Faroe Islands to reproduce and feed," said Jacky Karpouzopoulos, of the Centre for Marine Mammal Research at La Rochelle. Six of the black pilot whales were already dead when they were found.

A howler? Israeli minister proposes deporting strays

Claws were out on Monday after an Israeli cabinet minister proposed sending stray dogs and cats to another country as an alternative to government-funded efforts to sterilize them. "Use the budget to transfer stray dogs and/or cats of one gender (all the males or all the females) to a foreign nation that will agree to accept them," Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel suggested in a letter to a cabinet colleague leaked to the mass circulation Yedioth Ahronoth daily. The proposal, which a spokesman for Ariel said had been rejected after initial consultations within the Agriculture Ministry, was roundly criticized by animal rights activists and bemused opposition politicians.

Rare Sumatran rhino 'Hope' arrives in Indonesia to mate

This photo obtained November 2, 2015 courtesy of the Cincinnati Zoo shows male Sumatran rhino Harapan in his crate upon arrival in Sumatra A rare, US-born Sumatran rhino arrived Monday at his new home in Indonesia, an official said, where it is hoped he will find a mate and give his critically endangered species a shot at survival. A senior biodiversity conservation official in Indonesia's forestry ministry told AFP the rhino was "adapting well" after travelling 36 hours by air, sea and land to reach to the national park. "He is healthy and has a great appetite," Bambang Dahono Adji told AFP.

Woman tries to pet Omaha zoo tiger, gets bitten

The woman, Jacqueline Eide, 33, was hospitalized at Creighton University Medical Center after being bitten on the left hand, police said in a statement on Sunday. Eide entered the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium after it was closed and reached into a tiger's cage to pet it. A police spokesman was not available to say if Eide would be charged.

Jay Mohr Trades Blows With PETA Over Dez Bryant's Monkey

"Can't you reasonably assume a monkey owned by a millionaire is being treated ethically?"

US-born Sumatran rhino in Indonesia on mating mission

An 8-year-old male Sumatran rhino named Harapan (hope) sits inside a travel crate as it is prepared to be transported to Way Kambas National Park on Sumatra Island, upon arrival at the cargo terminal at Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Cengkareng, Indonesia, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. The U.S.-born Sumatran rhino has arrived in its ancestral home of Indonesia after a long flight from Cincinnati, Ohio, where it had lived at the city's zoo as the last Sumatran rhino in the Western Hemisphere. Harapan was brought to the country on a mission to mate to help preserve his critically endangered species from extinction. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana) JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A U.S.-born Sumatran rhino arrived in his ancestral home of Indonesia on Sunday, making the long journey from Cincinnati, Ohio, on a mission to mate to help save his critically endangered species from extinction.

Sumatran Rhino begins US-Asia trip to ancestral home

Harapan, a Sumatran Rhino, roams his enclosure on his last day of viewing at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, in Cincinnati. A zoo official informs The Associated Press that the 8-year-old male, Harapan began the air, land and sea journey back to its ancestral southeast Asian homeland Friday afternoon. The trip is expected to take some 50 hours before the rhino reaches an Indonesian sanctuary. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) CINCINNATI (AP) — The last Sumatran rhino in the Western Hemisphere began a journey Friday from Ohio to its ancestral southeast Asian homeland on a mission to help preserve the critically endangered species.

Oregon biologists recommend taking wolves off state endangered list

By Shelby Sebens PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - Oregon wildlife biologists are recommending the state remove gray wolves from its list of Endangered Species while retaining some protections when it votes next month, angering conservationists who said the move is premature and opposed by the public. "The information that we have about wolves, which is all hard data, we believe justifies a delisting," state wildlife commission spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy said on Friday. In reaching their decision, she said, state biologists found the wolves cover a large geographic area, that populations are expected to increase, the probability of extinction is low, and the wolf habitat in Oregon is stable.

Number of Zimbabwe elephants killed with cyanide rises to 60

A group of elephants, believed to have been killed by poachers, lie dead at a watering hole in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park Suspected poachers have used cyanide to kill 23 elephants in Zimbabwe's Hwange national park, raising the death toll there and in the northern part of the country to 60 since late September, officials said on Thursday. Hwange national park in western Zimbabwe currently hosts 53,000 elephants, twice the park's carrying capacity. Park rangers recovered most of the tusks after the 23 elephants were killed with the deadly poison last Friday but poachers got away with three tusks, officials said.

African vultures targeted by poachers, headed for extinction -report

An African White Backed Vulture sits on a tree in the Serengeti National Park plains By Ed Stoddard CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Africa's vultures are vanishing, according to a report released on Thursday, a situation that could affect human health and livestock since populations of other scavengers such as rats and jackals could rise as a result. The assessment, carried out by conservation group BirdLife International, found that six of Africa's 11 vulture species were at risk of extinction. Africa's elephant and rhino populations are being relentlessly poached for their ivory and horns to meet red-hot demand in newly-affluent Asian economies.

Sea Dogs Beat Rock Cats To End Skid

Portland, Maine — William Cuevas, making his Double A debut, allowed one run and four hits in five innings as the Portland Sea Dogs beat the New Britain Rock Cats 4-1 Tuesday night at Hadlock Field.

County says there are 5,000 cats living on the streets

Tuesday afternoon, the director of Clay County Animal Care and Control went before the Clay County Commission to ask for financial help to combat the county’s large feral cat problem.

Purrfect friend for homeless cats

MOVE over Catwoman, there’s a new group of modern day superheroes in town. Barbara Jackson and her team have rescued more than 700 cats since creating Wild Cats in 2010.

Rock Cats Home Opener on Thursday Night at NB Stadium

New Britain, CT- The New Britain Rock Cats Baseball Club, the Double-A Eastern League Affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, will host OPENING NIGHT 2015 this Thursday, April 16 at 6:35 PM against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays affiliate).

Dogs reunited with owners far more than cats

Sometimes people maybe assume something bad has happened to their cat. Maybe they don’t look quite as hard. I do think cats aren’t maybe regarded as much as dogs. — Andrea McDonald, Coquitlam City Hall

More concerns about Raleigh neighborhood dogs: woman’s dog killed

Police were called again about a group of vicious dogs in one local neighborhood.

Releasing feral cats raises concerns

The Orange County animal shelter starts to get busy around this time of the year as people bring in newborn kittens and pregnant mother cats.Celesta Peterson, who has volunteered at the shelter for eight years, said she used to walk past feral cat...

Sick coyotes' habits boost encounters with humans

Certain coyotes are known to have frequent unnerving encounters with humans and their pets in residential neighbourhoods, and scientists now have an explanation. It turns out that coyotes infected with a common skin parasite tend to develop habits that make them problem animals. "These coyotes that were losing their hair and were sick were more likely to run into people in residential areas ...

Yates, Sea Dogs agree to split in surprising move

Sea Dogs couldn't replicate the magic behind their hot start, and it leads to a mutual parting-of-ways for coach and team.

QC’s ‘4 pets per house’ ordinance repealed

First, the good news: The controversial animal regulation ordinance limiting the number of cats and dogs Quezon City residents can keep has become null and void following the approval of another one which does not contain the provision.   The bad news, however, is that the "four domesticated animals per household" policy may still be incorporated into the implementing rules and regulations (IRR ...
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