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The killing of Cecil the lion by a U.S. hunter in Zimbabwe has turned up the pressure on Washington to extend legal protection to the African lion by declaring it an endangered species, but some hunting advocates said that would lead to more regulations that could ultimately harm the big cats. The United States has the world's most powerful animal protection law, the Endangered Species Act, which has been extended by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to many non-U.S. species including the African elephant and cheetah. Adding the African lion to the U.S. list would not prohibit trophy hunting but it would require a permit from the service to import lions or their body parts to the United States.
The killing of a Zimbabwean lion by an American dentist is a vivid reminder of how, in this era of social media, it's a virtual jungle out there. Big game hunter Walter Palmer joins a growing list of individuals -- famous and not so famous -- who have been publicly, even ruthlessly shamed on Twitter and Facebook, the village stocks of the 21st century. "He needs to be extradited, charged and preferably hanged" for slaying game park lion Cecil, said animal rights group PETA in one particularly scathing tweet.
On Saturday (Aug. 1), New York's Empire State Building will be converted into a giant billboard to draw attention to the plight of endangered animals around the world. From 9 p.m. to midnight EDT on Saturday, the Empire State Building's southern face will feature images of a snow leopard, a golden lion tamarin, a manta ray and many other creatures that could soon be wiped out in Earth's sixth mass extinction, according to Louie Psihoyos and Travis Threlkel, the organizers of the upcoming event. Psihoyos, a photographer and Academy Award-winning filmmaker (he directed the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove"), is co-founder of the animal rights and conservation organization Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS).
An American dentist who shot a famous 13-year-old lion, named Cecil, in Zimbabwe spent about $54,000 in permits to kill the top carnivore, according to news sources. Money from sports-hunting permits can fund protected parks that shelter wildlife and engage local communities in animal management, but does paying such exorbitant fees actually help or hurt wildlife conservation? In Cecil's case, Dr. Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, traveled to Zimbabwe to hunt big game.
When baby sloth Edward Scissorhands' mother stopped producing milk and could not care for her infant, a London zoo keeper stepped in as a replacement mother - with the help of a teddy bear from a gift shop. The two-toed, seven-week sloth, born to second-time parents Leander and Marilyn, is being hand-reared by zoo keeper Kelly-Anne Kelleher at London Zoo. "I want the baby to use all of the muscles that he would be using if he was on his mother so what we've done is we've got some carabiners and attached them to the limbs of the teddy bear," Kelleher said.
Two suspected poachers have been arrested in Kenya over the killing of five elephants in Tsavo National Park, wildlife authorities said Wednesday. The Kenya Wildlife Service said a major manhunt was in progress to catch the rest of the poaching gang following the discovery of the bodies of a female adult and four young adult elephants, all with their tusks missing. The killings took place in Tsavo West National Park, which borders Tanzania.
By Ross Adkin KATHMANDU (Reuters) - A temple in southern Nepal known for the mass slaughter of animals at a festival there every five years has indefinitely banned animal sacrifice, India's Humane Society International said on Tuesday. The twice-in-a-decade ritual of slaughtering tens of thousands of animals at the Gadhimai temple, located about 90 miles (145 km) south of Kathmandu, has drawn international condemnation from animal rights groups in recent years. "Obviously we are very happy with this decision," said Manoj Gautam of Animal Welfare Network Nepal, which has been campaigning for an end to the slaughter.
Zoo S01E05: "Blame It on Leo" If you follow the news from "real life" (you know, that boring place that exists outside of the magic TV rectangle), then you've heard how this week some cowardly dentist from Minnesota paid $55,000 (aka nine times my yearly welfare stipend) to hunt and kill a beloved lion named Cecil out in Zimbabwe, much to the ire of the Internet. Ironically, this comes during the first Zoo episode free of animal-on-human-vigilantism. There were no casualties in the beast genocide, real or imagined! Both facts pissed me off—would it have killed "Blame It On Leo" to show bats steal some Uzis and pull a Brazilian drive-by or feature an Alabama alligator devouring a boatload of tourists? No. No it would not have. Instead though, we witnessed an arguably more lethal predator, grand mal seizures... This week's one-off story was as old as time itself, that of the epileptic child whose dog can predict the on set of "fits." This standalone tale back in Beantown would have made an excellent one-act play: girl has seizure, dog runs away and gets hit by car, child casually mentions her own mortality a few times, family laughs like she made a joke about eating extra pie, then mom gives "bedroom eyes" to her husband for mysteriously covering some vet bills. The big reveal here was that this was ol' Mitch Morgan's child—the sickie from his telephone calls. Based on hearsay, conjecture, and her reaction to lines like, "Plan B: make a kid smile, everything else will take care of itself," we were able to deduce that the mom was too poor to fix a broken gate, but still was much happier with the new man in her life. This stepdad had two things going for him: 1) he was NOT Mitch Morgan (whom everyone hates and usually says as much), and 2) he covered the cost of resetting Henry the dog's broken dog bones after first suggesting Mitch Morgan pay for it, then immediately put his step-child in charge of administering medicine. You sure can pick 'em lady! This was the one element of the episode that didn't feature a character spouting technical jargon, only to have another request a dumbed-down version of the same info. So yeah, the main focus this week was a pesky bit of pseudoscience known as the "Mother Cell." Essentially what had happened was the gang found the name "Leo Butler" scribbled all over the Wolfmaster's Holy Bible and did some investigating. What they turned up was the aforementioned skittish scientist shouting all the live long day about a certain trademarked cell owned by Reiden Global that made their products work better, faster, and stronger, just really across the board. This same Mother Cell was in the wolfs that attacked the prison. Finding it was of the utmost importance. But also of the utmost importance was the investigation of some bats in Brazil, so Chloe, Abraham, and Mitch took a hopper flight on down to Rio de Janeiro where bats were NOT acting normal. In fact they were doing abnormal things like swarming over exceptionally poor communities. Naturally this gave Abe some anxiety. Next: Things get batty! (Continued from Page1) Once in Brazil (we knew we were here because of the mandatory giant Jesus Christ statue shot), the team wasted no time in wandering into the area's most dangerous hovels. Sure enough, some bats were eating electricity. Everything was hunky-dory until some neighborhood toughs showed up who looked like they did not get the memo that USA's Burn Notice had stopped airing. If it seems like I'm hitting you with a ton of info or have given my keyboard over to a random word generator, just know that this hour of drama (haha) was exceptionally jam-packed with info that just needed to come out by any means. I guess I should've known the score when Mitch started things off earlier by spouting his share of jargon and Jamie volunteered to be our "dumb down" surrogate. Throughout the episode one character would be all "due to the hyper-saturation of the declining infrastructure, all data suggests..." and another would be like "...me not smart better words please..." I complain, but this happens in doctor dramas all the time. Even so, every few lines a character's eyes would basically roll back in their own heads and they'd start channeling Spiritus Mundi, all speaking tongues about Leo Butler's name being chicken-scratched on molecules or how bats can only see a certain distance. I half expected a bat to start yapping plot details. Despite the lack of animal attacks, the plethora of bats this episode did produce some of my favorite lines ever spoken about bats, such as: So yeah, while Oz and the gang were busy convincing Leo Butler to show them the location of the Mother Cell, Chloe's phone got attacked by a bat. In what seems to be a tradition on this show, Mitch Morgan conducted some more motel science while also talking behind Abe's back. I always have a good chuckle when Zoo feels like it needs to fill us in with character development because it always happens during the most ridiculous activities. Like Mitch was busy looking in a bats mouth when he accused Chloe of having no field experience, and she alluded to the possible scarring events behind his bad attitude. Little did these saviors of humanity know, excitement was just around the corner... The bat was playing dead! Did he do it to gain room access? If so, I'm loving these sneaky methods bats keep employing to get in places. What's next, a bat bracing itself on the underside of a frisbee that flies in off the balcony? A bat pretending to be a toupee? At this point I would expect nothing less. Next: Animal-free violence! (Continued from Page 2) For in the world of Zoo up is down, and logic is a distant, warped memory. The mind unravels and we lose all bearing on that cackling jester we once knew as Truth. In fact this episode might as well have been written by a schizophrenic Olive Garden employee, the way it kept serving up bowl after bowl of insane word salads: Agghhh! Please does someone have a AAA membership for brains that I can borrow because my brain just broke down on me. Quick, someone mimic my brain in a coffee-pot. Mimic my brain in a coffee-pot! The person I envied most in this episode was Leo Butler, because at one point he got to be knocked unconscious, and then later died in a car accident. Ah sweet release! Meanwhile, after the gang in Brazil decided it was a good idea to test Chloe's technology theory out in the jungle, Abe went out carjacking which drew the exact response you'd expect when committing grand theft auto in a foreign country. You guessed it, ol' Mitch Morgan got a taste of his own medicine, which is to say the Brazilian thug made a pretty clever word play on "bats," while also delivering a baseball bat to the stomach. Like, I'm sorry but serves you right for committing a crime in their community like that. At least things went better for Jamie back in Alabama. She got the ninja turtle ooze or whatever and Leo Butler was able to safely return to his life off the grid, except the opposite. Oh no! What on Earth is the Wolfmaster plotting with the Mother Cell? I mean, it sounds like the Mother Cell is already in everything that Reiden Global makes, so I guess he might be able to put it in MORE things? Luckily, that was the ONLY bad thing happened last minute, and we got to end things with a cozy photo of Mitch Morgan and a puppy... OR DID WE... ANIMAL TRACKS – How would you fight the bats? – What's going to happen to Chloe, Mitch, and Abraham? – What is the Wolfmaster going to do with the Mother Cell? – What would you do with the Mother Cell? – Is the Wolfmaster going to stick the Mother Cell up his own ass to absorb its powers? – How will Henry be affected by the Tramadol? – What did you think of "Blame it on Leo?"
Bangladesh has only about 100 tigers living in the world's largest mangrove forest, far fewer of the endangered animals than previously thought, following a recent survey, a top forestry official said Monday. Some 440 tigers were recorded during the previous census conducted in 2004 in the World Heritage-listed Sundarbans, one of the world's last remaining habitats for the big cats. Tapan Kumar Dey, the government's wildlife conservator, said analysis of camera footage from the year-long survey that ended in April found numbers ranged between 83 and 130, giving an average of 106.
Blood-shot eyes fixed menacingly on their foe and snorting furiously, two giant bulls smash into each other with shuddering force: in Japanese bullfighting, matadors need not apply. While the Spanish corrida faces mounting pressure from animal rights activists after being banned in Catalonia in the past few years, bullfighting on Japan's southern island of Okinawa continues to attract big crowds, including families with small children who peer excitedly through the metal bars at the spectacle just feet away. A bloodless spectator sport dating back hundreds of years also known as bull sumo, champion prizefighters are called "yokozuna" -- like Japan's roly-poly wrestlers -- and lead a pampered life.
Zoo S01E04 "Pack Mentality" So on this week's Zoo two lesbian academics did an Airbnb in Antarctica with a bunch of birds to save their marriage, but instead got froze to death by bats while listening to the band Oasis. Meanwhile the Paw'd Squad starred in its very own episode of CSI: Animal Control, doing fun things like making science experiment wolf blood volcanoes from a motel room and bounty hunting escaped convicts covered head to toe in piss, blood, mud, and shit (presumably). I'm SO bummed that "Pack Mentality" is already the fourth episode of this 13-episode exercise in what it would be like if my cable box was possessed by a poltergeist suffering from ghost dementia, because I shall never tire of earnestly delivered lines like, "...he locked himself in the motel room because he thought squirrels were trying to attack us." Nothing ever feels old hat here, as evidenced with this week's new hero-centric credits: See, now Zoo is basically The A-Team where Hannibal is a French lady and the bad guys are 'tude-having beasts of land and sea. We picked up where we left off last week with Mitch rubbing people the wrong way as the gang prepared to head to Biloxi. Abraham used a maybe-made-up proverb to urge Jackson to put his head together with the curmudgeonly scientist by showing him the scribblings recovered from the the radioactive eyeless horse island via Microsoft Surface Pro. Once the team arrived at the site of the wolf prison fire (name of my new band), it took a little lying on Chloe's part to get clearance from FBI Agent Ben Shafer (Geoff Stults, Enlisted). He was pretty much just a rude dude to Chloe but she was able to sweet talk her way past the red tape enough to assign individual missions: Abraham and Mitch would catch a wolf in order to do wolf science, while Chloe, Jackson, and Jamie would go undercover as representatives from the French Embassy to search for clues. Things weren't going to be easy and the clock WAS TICKING (or rather, more people were getting bit). Hey here's something: Abraham and Mitch bonded in a hunting store where the aisles were jam packed with locals looking to get their hunt on. While Mitch and Abraham bought dust-covered net guns from the clearance bin, Jackson, Chloe, and Jamie searched high and low for wolf dung, swapped some stories about the time Jackson's dad locked himself in a motel room because he thought squirrels were plotting on him, and basically discovered that the wolves had hidden their tracks by digging a hole out of the prison like Bugs Bunny. Jackson had a theory about the Wolfmaster being an alpha to the wolf pack, but for some reason everyone kept questioning his suggestions like they were too crazy even though they all had solid evidence that wolves had very recently set a prison on fire. Jamie used her nose for news and $3.99/min motel wi-fi to find some info on the mild-mannered bio-lab employee who would become the Wolfmaster. Next: Time to raid the mini-bar, and why it's not a good idea to rekindle your marriage when bats are around! (Continued from Page 1) It was a long first day for everyone, so the night was spent in recuperation, which translated to Jackson and Oz getting their free drink on. But Chloe had a hard time sleeping so she nipped on down to the motel bar for some very fine motel wine where the FBI agent tirelessly hit on her and questioned her motives in between lots of beer swills. Meanwhile, the previously mentioned troubled lesbians Wendy and Margaret were having a hard time in their relationship, as evidenced by them saying as much. I believe the line was something like "...there was the Edsel, The Hindenburg, the Vietnam war—all trumped by Wendy and Margaret go to Anaractica for two years in the hopes of saving their marriage." Also the fact that bats were covering their solar panels were helping about as much as Wendy's little comments. It was a stirring portrait of a relationship in decline. Curse you beasts! Can't you see they're in pain enough? Did you really need to hitch a ride on Wendy's shoulder and kamikaze their only chance of patching things up? Maybe a bad idea to try and rescue marriages in the South Pole? I'm not one to judge. Next: The makeshift motel-room science laboratory (Continued from Page 2) Back in the muggy forests of Biloxi the hunt was on for Wolfmaster Hartley. Mitch forgot to turn off his cellphone so Abraham and anyone else in the forest were provided a window into his troubled past: namely that he had an ex, and a child with some drama and a kind of nerdy ringtone. HFW it rang in front of people: Anyway, the little stunt led the filthy Wolfmaster right their way and it looked like it was curtains for 2/5ths of the Beastbusters. It was almost too late, but luckily some gunshots went off in the distance and the Wolfmaster high-tailed it. Around the same time, Chloe and Jackson had gone out to warn Abraham and Mitch about the Wolfmaster, but mainly Chloe took a tumble in some guts. While Chloe was busy getting back to nature, Jamie interviewed the widow of one of the Wolfmaster's victims. She mentioned bibles, which made Jamie think to search for a bible in his jail cell. It was there she recovered a photo of Jackson's dad and a young, well-kempt Wolfmaster. Then the crew nabbed the wolf they needed to do some tests on, and it was all sciencey and maybe not possible? I don't know, it seemed kind of far-fetched that someone could test for bacteria in coconut milk using a coffee maker and frankly as a guest it is bad to do wolf science in a motel room and expect the maids to clean up after you. This was very important and stuff, but mainly I got chills when the lesbians died from freezing to death while testing out their (incorrect) theory that the bats wanted the birds to be set free. Honestly, this kind of show doesn't need to do emotional animal-caused deaths, but dang if I didn't feel a pang of sympathy for these two loving gals when—as the temperature steadily dropped—Wendy put on a mix tape in order to remember the good-old days (the CD surface integrity held up surprisingly well), and "Don't Look Back in Anger" played right into their frozen demise. After "Pack Mentality" I'll never look at bats the same way again. I mean always assumed they were trying to murder me, but now I know they want to destroy love in all its forms and that is NOT okay, bats. ANIMAL TRACKS — Where you happy the Wolfmaster killed the Hunter? — What connection does the Wolfmaster have with Jackson's dad? — What's going on with Mitch's ex-family? — Is anybody going to hook-up? — Is the FBI agent working for Reiden Global? — What did you think of "Pack Mentality?"
An Indian charity petitioned the High Court Wednesday for packing off stray dogs and monkeys to a remote corner of the country, saying they were undermining premier Narendra Modi's cleanliness campaign. The Society for Public Cause, a New Delhi-based non-profit group, said the animals must either be exported or sent to Nagaland, a far-flung state in India's northeast where the meat of dog and monkey is considered a delicacy. Stray dogs can be commonly seen on Delhi's streets, and while some are friendly and docile, others are more menacing, barking ferociously at strangers.
A Japanese zoo is trying to do the impossible -- improve the image of cockroaches, putting on an exhibition of one of the world's most hated insects. Staff at Shunanshi Tokuyama Zoo in Yamaguchi, western Japan, say the cockroach gets a bad press, and actually performs a vital job. One highlight of the exhibition will be a five-way race among cockroaches, where visitors can watch the worryingly speedy bugs whizz down a track.
French actress Brigitte Bardot has condemned an Australian plan to cull two million feral cats to stop them harming native animals, a proposal animal rights groups said Wednesday was unlikely to be successful. Feral cats have been identified as the main culprit behind Australia's high rate of mammal extinction, with more than 10 percent of species wiped out since Europeans settled here two centuries ago. Environment Minister Greg Hunt has said the advice he has received is that the cats number 20 million across the country and devour countless native animals every night.
Kolwezi (DR Congo) (AFP) - "I was already saying I'd go live in the Congo when I was nine or 10," says Willem Boulanger, who after satisfying that dream is embarking at age 83 on another -- founding a game reserve near Kolwezi. Tall and tough, with a white moustache but only the slightest stoop, the crew-cut settler is full of tales of the dramatic events that have taken place in the Democratic Republic of Congo since he made his home in southeast Katanga province 56 years ago. Barely installed in his adoptive homeland, Boulanger was swept up in the unrest that followed independence.
Circus bear Mura wound up in the world's biggest brown bear sanctuary in the heart of Romania's Carpathian mountains after refusing to perform any longer, following five years of unbearable abuse. "She's still afraid she won't be fed if she doesn't dance," Libearty guide Paula Ciotlos told AFP. "The establishment of this sanctuary was inspired by Maia," said Cristina Lapis, president of the "Millions of Friends" animal rights support group.
By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - Animal rights groups seeking the release of Lolita, a killer whale in captivity since 1970, sued the Miami Seaquarium and its parent company Palace Entertainment on Monday saying her conditions violate the Endangered Species Act. "For more than 40 years, Lolita has been unable to swim any meaningful distance, dive, forage, or carry out virtually any natural behaviors," said the complaint, filed in the Southern District of Florida by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Activists have long bemoaned her tank, which measures 80 feet (24 meters) long, 60 feet (18 meters) wide and 20 feet (6 meters) deep, as one of the smallest whale enclosures in the world.
When dolphins dive deep below the water's surface, they avoid succumbing to decompression sickness, or "the bends," likely because the massive sea creatures have collapsible lungs, a new study finds. Understanding how dolphins breathe rapidly and maintain lung functionality under immense pressure could help scientists keep humans safe when they are in similarly extreme situations, such as under anesthesia during surgeries, the researchers said. Unlike humans, dolphins do not need to be strapped to an oxygen tank to achieve their impressive diving feats.
By Lefteris Karagiannopoulos ATHENS (Reuters) - Curious and noisy, a group of Madagascar lemurs surround Jean-Jacques Lesueur, founder of Attica Park in Athens, unaware that the special biscuits he is handing out to them are running low and they may soon not have enough to eat. Three weeks after capital controls were imposed on Greece's moribund banking system, supplies of the special imported dietary supplements needed to feed 2,200 animals from 345 species at Athens' only zoo are under threat. "Many of our animals require a special diet, which demands specific nutrition that can only be imported," Lesueur, a 71-year-old Frenchman who has lived in Athens for more than 45 years, told Reuters.
Guatemalan security forces rescued 52 animals from endangered species, including several dozen macaws and some turtles, during a raid in which they arrested two alleged wildlife traffickers, an official said Thursday. The animals were rescued from a construction company in the town of Amatitlan, just south of Guatemala City, national police spokesman Jorge Aguilar told reporters. Among the endangered species were 23 red, blue and green macaws, as well as peacocks, pheasants and turtles, police said.
Film star Johnny Depp's wife, actress Amber Heard, has been charged with illegally bringing the couple's Yorkshire terriers Pistol and Boo into Australia in May, according to the Department of Public Prosecution. The couple drew international attention in May when the Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce ordered the dogs returned to the United States or face death. Joyce accused Depp of smuggling the dogs on his private jet when he returned to Australia to resume filming "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie.