Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
On Saturday 12 September a small fire started in a utility shed in the bone-dry, shimmering heat of Lake County, California. The flames crept across the landscape slowly at first before exploding into a conflagration that burned 50,000 acres in just 24 hours. By the time Cal Fire had the blaze under control, it had consumed 76,000 acres. It spread so quickly that many communities barely had time to evacuate, with citizens fleeing as their homes burned down in their rear-view mirrors and trees exploded by the side of the road. Many were forced to leave their animals behind, unable to locate them in the rush to escape. Pets and livestock were forced to fend for themselves in the swirling flames, some surviving in miraculously unburnt homes and barns, while others managed to outrun or shelter from the fire.
Monday, September 28, 2015
Smith was destined for execution. The lion had already been castrated, declawed, separated from his mate, Amazonas, and caged with another male’s offspring. He was agitated. Then one day in August 2014, during a circus performance in Peru, as he sat perched on a pedestal above a spectator’s head, which was lowered, exposing the back of her neck, the trainer commanded Smith to jump, and his natural instinct prevailed. He pounced on the audience member, grabbing her in his jaws and dragging her around the ring until a handler beat Smith into submission and forced him back into a cage.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Thanks — sort of — for the disturbing Sept. 19 front-page article on small regional zoos [“Roadside dens of grim captivity”]. I have a hard enough time dealing with the way animals are raised and slaughtered in industrial nations. This reminder of what we do to the animals we want to keep alive is even worse because they have no escape but a slow, grim death from neglect, torment and depression. Such activity should be fiercely regulated or, better yet, banned.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
You know Jane Goodall. She's the chimp lady. Either she's always been there, on the periphery of your everyday consciousness thanks to her celebrity status or — especially for those in fields that involve the study of animal groups — she's been there quite consciously, as a paragon and a guiding light. The English primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist and U.N. Messenger of Peace, now 81, revolutionized the way we think about and study animals. It was Goodall who first realized that in order to understand and learn from animals, we have to live with them in their environments. She's also, over the years, been an impassioned voice for environmentalism, nonviolence, and, speaking generally, for temperance, compassion and a child's sense of wonder.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Following the death of my childhood pet—a black cat named Neo—I had an extended mourning period that included a lot of open weeping and melodramatic Instagram posts. We humans love animals. We house some of them in our homes, treating our pets like family. We stage funerals for those household pets—some places even offer cremation services specifically for animals, like this place in Whitman—and we also mourn the loss of creatures we never even saw in real life. We get indignant when animals are abused, talking about it passionately on social media. We react very strongly when animals are killed–sometimes even more strongly than we do when humans are killed.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Will it one day be possible to bring a woolly mammoth or a Neanderthal back to life? If so, should we? How is climate change affecting the evolution and extinction of species? These are some of the questions explored in science writer Maura O’Connor’s new book, Resurrection Science: Conservation, De-Extinction And The Precarious Future of Wild Things. Traveling the world from Kenya (in search of the white rhino) to a lab in California (where a geneticist is trying to resurrect the extinct passenger pigeon), O’Connor reports on the people and places on the front lines of what has become known as resurrection science.
Friday, September 18, 2015
Science usually steers firmly away from questions about the inner lives of animals. Surely they have inner lives of some sort. But like a child who is admonished that what he really wants to ask is impolite, a young scientist is taught that the animal mind — if there is such a thing — is unknowable. Permissible questions are "it" questions: about where it lives, what it eats, what it does when danger threatens, how it breeds. But always forbidden is the one question that might open the door: Who?
Thursday, September 17, 2015
This dog has more regrets than you. In a video uploaded to Facebook, an Italian man's dog begs for forgiveness for whatever it's done. Bowing its head and giving so many one-sided hugs, the shamed pooch knows that it's in the wrong. Our question: What did this dog do? Did it get too drunk at a party? Did it steal its owners money for drugs? Did it poop on the floor? We don't know. But it must have been awful.http://tinyurl.com/qj7oe2d
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
This dog is showing this hole in a wall who is boss Japanese Twitter user @Onodesu0223 captured this fearless pup defying the laws of physics by sticking its head through a gap in a wall. And just when life tried to tell this puppy, no your head will not fit, he pushed onward, because he will do as he damn well pleases.http://tinyurl.com/qjzvft7
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Arnold Genthe, a Berlin-born photographer, worked a New York portrait studio. He sought to capture the human essence of his subjects, to go beyond a “commonplace record of clothes and a photographic mask.” He used an unobtrusive camera and would not tell the subject when he was going to make the exposure. He photographed many famous and prominent figures of the time, including Sarah Bernhardt, Jack London, Anna Pavlova and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, even Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.
Monday, September 14, 2015
You aren't alone in your nightly tossing and turning. Sea lions do it, too. A new video by National Geographic details the strange ways different animals sleep. Walruses, for example, can sleep floating vertically in the water, their heads bobbing above the waves. When hippos sleep in water, some sleep under the water, occasionally popping up to take a breath. The most disturbingly odd sleeping style in the animal kingdom is, of course, the human grandfather.
Friday, September 11, 2015
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Elephants, giraffes, lemurs, and even a cockroach at the Oakland Zoo have been exploring their creative sides to produce colorful paintings that will be auctioned for charity. The painting sessions were conducted by zoo keepers who used only positive-reinforcement, including plenty of treats, as they worked with the animals, zoo spokeswoman Nicky Mora said. Elephants were helped to hold paintbrushes in their trunks and giraffes in their mouths and produced their artwork one stroke at a time. Goats, lemurs, and meerkats had their hooves, paws or claws dabbed with nontoxic, water-based paint and ran over a blank sheet of poster board while chasing a treat.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
A severely malnourished two-year-old boy was discovered being breastfed by a neighbor's pregnant dog in Arica, Chile, The Indepedent reports. The boy was found by a neighbor, who noticed him nursing on her dog Reina in a mechanic's workshop. He had been abandoned by his family and had apparently sought nourishment from the only place he could find. He was immediately taken to a hospital and put into protective welfare custody. He also had lice and was suffering from a skin infection. When his mother showed up at the hospital, she was drunk but was not charged with a crime because officials said she had not physically harmed the boy.http://tinyurl.com/ojw6rod
Friday, September 4, 2015
A family was driving in their car when they spotted a dog in terrible condition. She was malnourished and covered in wounds and sunburn. The family decided to pull over and take her with them. They named her Kelsey.