Wednesday, March 30, 2016

More Protections Needed for Majestic Animals

When I was first contacted by reporter James West from Mother Jones magazine in November 2015, I was thrilled. After trying to bring attention to the deficits, violations, and rampant breeding at DEW Haven for over a year, I was hopeful there was a source now that could bring this issue to a higher audience than I could never reach. Thankfully an investigative article came to fruition.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Do Animals Have Legal Rights?

Gandhi taught that “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be measured by the way its animals are treated.” The way in which Western Civilization has neglected its duty to care for some of its most precious creatures reflects a callous attitude towards non-human life. This is especially true in legal settings.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Escape Artist Animals Find New Life at Woodstock Animal Sanctuary

One resident was maced by Long Island cops. Another was so brutalized that he needed a prosthetic limb.  And then there’s Magnus, who almost lost his life in a religious rite.  They’re just a few of the escape-artist animals that found salvation in Woodstock Animal Sanctuary — the premiere destination for New York City critters that flee slaughterhouses and make headlines.  Now, the traumatized barnyard bandits are bombarded with affection from the almost-entirely vegan staff of animal lovers.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Boaty McBoatface Inspires Internet to Rename Animals

We can't stop laughing — and it's all Boaty McBoatface's fault.  That ridiculous moniker has been making headlines thanks to a public plea from Britain's Natural Environment Research Council to come up with a name for its new $288 million polar research vessel. The Internet suggested such fine candidates the RRS Henry Worsley, after the British explorer who passed away earlier this year, as well as the RRS David Attenborough, after the famed naturalist. And then came the entry of the RRS Boaty McBoatface which, as of this morning, has amassed an Internet-approved 77,936 votes, 10 times more than its closest competition.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Funding For Endangered Animals Unevenly Distributed

In the world of conservation, it appears some animals are more equal than others. That's according to a new study by Arizona State University researcher Leah Gerber, which claims there's an uneven distribution of funds for endangered animals.  The study, published in PNAS, looked at US funding for endangered species and found a lack of balance when it comes to protecting animals.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Do Animals Get the Monikers They Deserve?

Over the past several days, a massive wave of online support propelled the unlikely name "Boaty McBoatface" to the top of a poll proposing monikers for a British polar research vessel.  And because just enough of a good thing is never quite enough for the Internet, Twitter users followed up by asking the perfectly reasonable question: What if the Boaty McBoatface naming aesthetic were applied to animals?

Friday, March 18, 2016

Researchers: Female Animals May Be Less Colorful to Avoid Harassment

Scientists have come up with a new explanation for why female animals are usually less colorful and decorated than their male counterparts — they could be seeking to avoid sexual harassment.  The reason for the relative drabness of many female animal species has long been a source of puzzlement, with various theories posited over the years.  Males compete for the sexual attention of females, which need to be picky about their mates because in the animal kingdom they generally look after any resulting offspring.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

SeaWorld to End Captive Breeding of Killer Whales, Orca Shows

In a stunning move, SeaWorld has agreed to stop breeding captive killer whales, meaning its 28 orcas will be the last generation owned by the company. SeaWorld also said it would end orca shows at all its entertainment parks by 2019.   SeaWorld made the announcement Thursday morning in a joint statement with the Humane Society of the United States, which negotiated with the company over the past few months to craft the new policy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Documenting the World’s Animals, One Picture at a Time

For years National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore worked far away from home—documenting the astonishing wildlife of Bolivia’s Madidi National Park or scrambling up the three tallest peaks in Great Britain or getting too close to grizzly bears in Alaska. His wife, Kathy, stayed in Lincoln, Nebraska, and took care of the kids. “He never wanted to change diapers or be a stay-at-home dad,” she says.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Chimp Who Spent 18 Years Alone Won't Let Go Of Brand-New Friend

Sometimes the best friends are those who know just what you've been through.  Terry and Jeannie are two chimpanzees who live at Save the Chimps, a Florida sanctuary. While the apes at Save the Chimps live in family groups, Terry and Jeannie had never had the chance to meet — until recently.  And it was friendship at first sight. Terry and Jeannie quickly reached out to grab each other's hands, clinging to each other and playing with each other's fingers through a minute-long clip.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Spay-Neuter Bill Will Reduce Unwanted Animals

A bill that requires shelter animals be sterilized before adoption cleared the Indiana House and Senate with unanimous support and is on the way to Gov. Mike Pence’s desk.  House Bill 1201 is the latest effort to spay and neuter cats and dogs so the unwanted pet populations take a dive.  “We have too many animals (but) not enough homes,” said Sharon Dull, a volunteer with North Central Spay Neuter and Crystal Creek Kennels. “So any overflow, they end up in the shelters; they’re euthanized; it costs taxpayers money.”

Friday, March 11, 2016

Tourists Keep Killing Animals Worldwide For Selfies

For god’s sake people, put your damn phone down and walk away from the majestic creature.  Yesterday marked the third time in recent weeks that a selfie-obsessed clown ripped an animal from its natural habitat for all the likes and shares imaginable, only to leave the unwilling accomplice dead. A woman in Macedonia dragged a white swan from Lake Ohrid because the sierra filter on Instagram is really too irresistible sometimes.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

When Animals Think They're Human

Trick and Treat will be 5 years old soon, so I've dusted off the Dr. Spock book to find out what we can expect from them now.  True, the twins are not your run-of-the-mill Milwaukee youngsters. They're orangutans, but in many ways, they seem so much like the kids next door that baby doctors' advice must apply to them, too.  One of Dr. Spock's comments jumped right out at me like a black cat on Halloween. He said kids about 5 or so often become afraid of animals, even though they have had no bad experiences with them.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Big Brained Animals Are Sicker

Bigger brained animals may be more vulnerable to a barrage of illnesses than species whose evolution has selected for immunity over braininess.“Organisms have to deal with the limited energy they have available -- they cannot have it all,” Alexander Kotrschal of Stockholm University’s Department of Biology told Discovery News. Kotrschal and colleagues Niclas Kolm and Dustin Penn conducted the research, which is published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

12 Genetically Engineered Animals That Changed Modern Science

In recent decades, scientists have gone to Frankenstein-like lengths to find solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing today’s society, particularly the spread of disease.  By modifying existing animal DNA, researchers have been able to engineer anything from glow-in-the-dark sheep to goats that spin spiders’ silk.And though it seems more like weird science fiction than fact, these altered animal species are very real and could potentially lead to greater developments in the way of medicine and environmental health, according to the Food and Drug Administration.   Here are some of the most notable examples of genetically engineered animals to come out of labs in the past 20 years. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Verge Review of Animals: pika vs. Pikachu

As of last weekend, Pokemon is 20 years old, which means franchise mascot Pikachu is also 20 years old. Like many of the characters in the game, Pikachu is loosely inspired by real-life animals — in this case, the pika (genus Ochotona). The interpretation is loose, leaving out some of the most badass characteristics of the pika.

Friday, March 4, 2016

10 Cute Animals To Celebrate World Wildlife Day

Today, March 3rd, is World Wildlife Day, when we recognize Earth's wild animals and plants. The day was created by the United Nations; the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora was signed to protect endangered plants and animals.  To celebrate, here are 10 animals and some facts about them:

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Call for End to Military Trauma Training on Animals

When an American lies wounded on a battlefield, the training of emergency medical personnel can be the difference between life and death.  However, some are disputing what the training should consist of and how important the use of live tissue trauma training is in preparing physicians and paramedical personnel.  Tissue training is when live animals -- mainly pigs and goats -- are cut, shot or have limbs severed while euthanized as medics try to keep the animal alive. The object is to simulate real world conditions of responding to trauma injuries as closely as possible.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

NYU Sophomore Is Giving Animals a Voice

Student by day and activist by night, Ella Azoulay, a CAS sophomore studying environmental and animal studies, spends her free time promoting compassion for animals as a member of the Animal Welfare Collective at NYU. In addition, she interns at The Humane League, a national organization that stands for animal rights.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

This Is Where PetSmart Gets Its Animals, And It's Not Pretty

This is where those cute little lizards live before they're put on display at the store — and it's not pretty.  Last month, pet store giants Petco and PetSmart came under fire for purchasing furry companion animals from a breeder where hundreds of animals were neglected and dying. Now, a new report shows what life is like for reptiles sold at PetSmart, and their situation might be even worse.