Tourist ranches, mostly in Texas, want to sell hunters the opportunity to kill captive-bred African antelopes in the United States. Until January 2012, they could do so without federal regulation. Although the oryx, addax, and gazelle have been listed as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act since 2005, the original listing rule allowed landowners to continue offering “canned” (fenced in) hunting for antelopes to trophy seekers. That loophole was closed this year and now hunting operations must apply for a permit before killing members of three species of African antelopes in the U.S. The permits require applicants to demonstrate how hunting the animals furthers their conservation in the wild, but Representative Carter wants to waive the permit requirement by reinstating the old rule with the loophole.“Ranchers claim that breeding and killing benefits these animals, but at the same time they don’t want to be bothered to apply for a permit,” continued Hall. “The ‘shooting them to save them’ rhetoric is nonsensical.”
Notably, international travel to obtain the same antelope trophies in Africa has long been banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). The U.S. may violate CITES by enacting the antelope rider.
“The U.S. included foreign species listing in the Endangered Species Act to give CITES teeth, and now Congress is seeking exemptions to that provision 40 years later,” said Mark Salvo, Wildlife Program Director for WildEarth Guardians.
Hunting other captive-bred endangered species in the United States requires a permit, Salvo observed, adding, “Congress should not deprive the Fish and Wildlife Service of the means of evaluating the conservation value of these hunting ranches.”
On Tuesday tracker John Ndayambaje spotted a trap very close to the Kuryama gorilla clan. He moved in to deactivate the snare, but a silverback named Vubu grunted, cautioning Ndayambaje to stay away, Vecellio said.
Suddenly two juveniles—Rwema, a male; and Dukore, a female; both about four years old—ran toward the trap.
As Ndayambaje and a few tourists watched, Rwema jumped on the bent tree branch and broke it, while Dukore freed the noose.
The pair then spied another snare nearby—one the tracker himself had missed—and raced for it. Joined by a third gorilla, a teenager named Tetero, Rwema and Dukore destroyed that trap as well.
The speed with which everything happened makes Vecellio, the gorilla program coordinator, think this wasn’t the first time the young gorillas had outsmarted trappers.
"They were very confident," she said. "They saw what they had to do, they did it, and then they left."
Silverbacks in the Kuryama group have occasionally been caught in the snares, so Vecellio thinks the juveniles would have known the traps are dangerous.
I needed a happy story.
Representative Steve King (R-IA), who is the sponsor of an amendment to the House Farm Bill that is both astonishingly hypocritical and devastating to food safety laws that protect millions of Americans from illness, recently gave an interview to the Daily Caller to brag about what he had accomplished. The King Amendment would essentially prevent states from developing strong independent health, safety, and cruelty standards, even if local voters want them.
However, King might want to reconsider that position, as his amendment would legalize several horrific farming and food practices that some states have chosen to do away with:
- Florida, Ohio, and seven other states have banned confining pregnant pigs in cages that prevent them from moving their limbs or walking in a circle. Pigs confined in so-called gestation crates are forced to defecate where they stand, exposed to serious risk of traumatic injury as a consequence of immobility, and develop sores as a consequence of attempting to move against or bite the bars the bars that confine them. They live their whole lives like this.
- Seven states have banned similar confinement for baby calves. So-called veal creates are designed to atrophy muscles to improve the taste of meat, creating what the ASPCA calls “lives of agony and frustration” for the cows until they are slaughtered at four or five months.
- Three states have banned tail-docking, wherein parts of cows tails are lopped off, occasionally without anesthetic. The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes tail docking as unnecessary and highly painful.
- Maryland prohibits adding arsenic to chicken feed, which – besides the obvious problems – also spreads the poison into the surrounding soil.
King, though, brags that his legislation “wipes out everything they’ve [animal rights advocates] done with pork and veal.” Indeed, King has a long record of opposing animal welfare law — he has, for example, been Congress’ leading advocate against anti-dogfighting legislation. He also believes that the Humane Society and other animal rights advocates are attempting to ban “production agriculture” and has fantasized about exposing vegetarians with “an agenda for our diets” on the House floor.
“While waiting for my grandson to arrive at the Salt Lake City airport, I had six hours to spare. Knowing that Hogle Zoo was nearby, off I went—camera in tow. I spotted a giraffe with her one-week-old calf. It was heartwarming to witness the mother affectionately nestling her head into the arched neck of her newborn. Instead of being inconvenienced, I felt blessed to watch Mother Nature at her best.” - Photographer Barbara von Hoffmann
“I return to a particular cove each winter to photograph the harbor seals during the prime light of morning. This young seal was seen playing along the water’s edge. It paused to gaze right at me, then went about its romp in the surf.” - Photographer Phillip Colla
Nova Science Now : How Smart Are Dolphins?
Off the coast of Honduras, on Roatan Island, a legendary experiment in dolphin communication is being attempted for the first time in 20 years—one that could prove that dolphins can, in effect, “speak” with one another to coordinate their behavior. Other studies reveal that these playful marine mammals can plan ahead and problem-solve in ways few other animals can. (by AhmadMAbdullah)
This is a post about goats
I am filled with so many questions about these pictures: Where are they? What kind of goats are these? Why do they do that? I feel like if they were answered, I could come to a place of great profundity.
Goats just do that. Doesn’t matter where. Goats like to be up high. They’ll climb whatever is around, even other, larger animals, like cows.
Now you know this about goats.
I so want a goat to ‘mow’ my back yard. It is big, hilly and I hate mowing it. Font yard is bigger, but flatter and I don’t mow a lot of the ‘meadow’ area and a lot of the rest is garden. But yeah, this part about goats has delayed doing that. Raised angora goats for mohair as a kid so have had some experience with their climbing. I need to improve some fences and trim some trees first.
Dinosaurs put eggs in wrong evolutionary basket, scientists say
The fact that land-bound dinosaurs laid eggs is what sealed their fate of mass extinction while live birthing mammals went on to thrive.
Iowa is the Most Backward Terrorist Criminally Run State in the Union: Torture OK’d by Iowa Governor.
Despite a fierce campaign to stop the measure, Iowa became the first state Friday to officially make it a crime to enter a farming operation with the intent to secretly videotape animal abuse. Undercover footage filmed by animal rights groups during the past several years have been instrumental in exposing cases of cruelty to farm animals.Republican Governor Terry Branstad signed the law in a private ceremony. Iowa is the country’s leading producer of pork and eggs and the governor is known to have “strong ties to the state’s agricultural industry.”In other news - Terry Branstad, Iowa Governor, Slapped With $1 Million Sexual Discrimination Lawsuit By State Commissioner.
Lioness shows trust in man with her newborn cubs (by BAKUGON28)
Animals gather in a flooded field in the French town of Roquebrune-sur-Argens on November 7, 2011. Heavy rains in southern France have led to over a thousand people being evacuated.
(see more — Nature’s Fury)
Elephants have been known to die of broken hearts if a mate dies. They refuse to eat and will lay down, shedding tears until they starve to death. They refuse all human help.
Scientists are beginning to believe that animals do have emotions and that their feelings may be more intense and unfiltered than our own. Emotion rises from the old brain, the limbic system, which birds and reptiles as well as dogs, humans, and other mammals share. Humans have additional brain structures and symbolic language to process our feelings and a complex array of psychological defense mechanisms that allay or soften the impact of our emotions. We repress, deny, subjugate, dissociate, and use all kinds of conscious and unconscious machinations to separate ourselves from our feelings, but animals have no such recourse, so their emotions are likely to be raw and strong. In fact, this may be one of the reasons we find them so attractive: they wear their hearts on their sleeves, so to speak. People seem to deny the existence of animal emotions so that they can continue to justify inhumane treatment and exploitation and avoid the fact that our actions have a deep emotional impact on our fellow beings.