Posts filed under ‘Animals (Other Than Us)’
Colorado has now become the 12th state in the country to designate an official state pet. While other states have chosen specific breeds, North Carolina’s state dog is the Plott Hound, Maryland has the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Massachusetts the Boston Terrier, and Alaska with the Malamute, Colorado went in a different direction, honoring all shelter dogs (and cats, too!) as their official state pet.
So, no matter what breed a dog is in Colorado, if he was adopted from a shelter, he’s an official state pet.
Oh, and here in hippie, trippy Boulder, people who “own” animals are officially referred to as guardians instead of owners, which I think is pretty cool too.
Bravo to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam:
NASHVILLE — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today said he is vetoing a controversial “ag gag” bill that would require intentional documentation of animal abuse be handed over to law enforcement within 48 hours.
Haslam, who has wrestled with the issue for days, cited last week’s legal opinion from Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper, who said the bill’s provisions are “constitutional suspect” as regards the First Amendment.
The governor also voiced concerns that it repeals part of Tennessee’s “shield law,” which protects journalists’ ability to collect information.
The bill’s sponsors, both farmers, said the measure was intended to ensure investigations of cruelty to livestock by groups like the Humane Society of the United States are acted on quickly by law enforcement.
But the Human Society charged it was really aimed at thwarting probes such as a successful 2012 investigation that led to a West Tennessee horse trainer pleading guilty to abusing a Tennessee walking horse.
I agree with the Humane Society on this. This was all about being able to prosecute people who make undercover videos of animal abuse perpetrated not only by individuals but by factory farmers.
I tried to find the video of the horse trainer who was found guilty of abusing a Tennessee walking horse. There are several videos on Youtube — awful ones — I could only watch a few seconds — but I couldn’t pinpoint which one is the one referenced above.
Wow. These are gorgeous. Beautiful colors.
Singapore-based artist creates near life-like sculptures of animals relying on little but paint, resin and a phenomenal sense of perspective. Lye slowly fills bowls, buckets, and boxes with alternating layers of acrylic paint and resin, creating aquatic animal life that looks so real it could almost pass for a photograph. The artist is using a technique very similar to Japanese painter Riusuke Fukahori who was featured on this blog a little over a year ago, though Lye seems to take things a step further by making his paint creations protrude from the surface, adding another level of dimension to a remarkable medium.
The headline: East About to be Overrun by Billions of Cicadas
WASHINGTON (AP) — Any day now, billions of cicadas with bulging red eyes will crawl out of the earth after 17 years underground and overrun the East Coast. They will arrive in such numbers that people from North Carolina to Connecticut will be outnumbered roughly 600-to-1. Maybe more.
Since 1996, this group of 1-inch bugs, in wingless nymph form, has been a few feet underground, sucking on tree roots and biding their time. They will emerge only when the ground temperature reaches precisely 64 degrees. After a few weeks up in the trees, they will die and their offspring will go underground, not to return until 2030.
“It’s just an amazing accomplishment,” Berenbaum says. “How can anyone not be impressed?”
There are ordinary cicadas that come out every year around the world, but these are different. They’re called magicicadas — as in magic — and are red-eyed. And these magicicadas are seen only in the eastern half of the United States, nowhere else in the world.
This year’s invasion, Brood II, is one of the bigger ones. Several experts say that they really don’t have a handle on how many cicadas are lurking underground but that 30 billion seems like a good estimate. At the Smithsonian Institution, researcher Gary Hevel thinks it may be more like 1 trillion.
What a bug! I urge you to click the link above and read the whole article.
These guys are born, they burrow into the ground, they hang out for 17 years, they emerge when the soil temperature is exactly 64 degrees, they have sex and die. I mean, think about that…especially the part about hanging out for 17 years. How do they know 17 years have passed?
The article goes on to say they are “amongst the world’s longest living bugs.”
17 years underground all for the promise of a few minutes of sex.
Mother Nature — you blow my mind sometimes and this is one of them.
Wow. What an experience this must have been:
Look at that face.
Via French dentist / wildlife photographer Joe Bunni via JoeBunni.com. Check out this gallery.
Don’t ask me how but a few minutes ago I landed on a YouTube video showing the necropsy of a beached Fin whale on Cape Cod. From there I got to wondering how big a whale’s heart is. Whales come in lots of sizes of course so I settled on the blue whale. Its heart is astonishingly huge:
A blue whale heart is the size of a Volkswagen Beetle and pumps 10 tons of blood through the massive blue whale body. A blue whale aorta (the main blood vessel) alone is large enough for a human to crawl through.
Wow. Every time I see a Volkswagen Beetle I’m going to think of a blue whale heart from now on. Amazing.
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous:
An original hand-made and hand-painted bird takes about two weeks to design, assemble and paint. The paintwork is done with very fine brushes, in numerous thin layers using aquarellic paint and gouachepaint on top every detail and nuance in colouration in the featherpattern is shown. The originals are exhibited in art gallery Petit Amsterdam, wild-life art exhibitions, and in my studio in Leiden, the Netherlands.
I think I’m going to have to read this book:
Barbara King, Chancellor Professor of Anthropology at William & Mary, discusses her new book “How Animals Grieve.”
I suppose it was inevitable:
DirecTV (DTV), the largest U.S. satellite- television provider, will begin airing DogTV, a $5.99-a-month premium channel aimed at canine viewers.
Under a multiyear agreement between DirecTV and DogTV, the channel will be available on the satellite service in the third quarter, according to a statement today. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
DogTV, which calls itself the first and only TV network for dogs, is designed to comfort animals and stave off loneliness when pet owners are out of the house. The DirecTV (DTV) agreement marks the biggest distribution deal for the nascent channel, which is currently available online for $9.99. It’s also being offered as an on-demand channel to Cox Communications Inc. subscribers in California for $4.99 a month.
“We know dog parents are constantly seeking solutions to ease the loneliness and boredom of their stay-at-home pups, and now they will be able to access DogTV through DirecTV (DTV),” Gilad Neumann, chief executive officer of the channel, which is operated by PTV Media Ltd., said in the statement.
To keep dogs stimulated, DogTV broadcasts “scenes with and without other animals, animation sequences and a variety of moving objects,” the network said on its website. It also offers relaxation programming with soothing music. The colors and audio are adjusted to fit a dog’s senses.
I don’t know about this. Dogs rely almost entirely on their sense of smell to identify things so I don’t know if they’ll realize they’re watching a dog on television if they can’t smell it.
So, people are out there horrifically abusing animals and the push isn’t toward finding and stopping them, it’s toward punishing the people who expose them?
What? America? Seriously?
Taping of Farm Cruelty Is Becoming the Crime
On one covert video, farm workers illegally burn the ankles of Tennessee walking horses with chemicals. Another captures workers in Wyoming punching and kicking pigs and flinging piglets into the air. And at one of the country’s largest egg suppliers, a video shows hens caged alongside rotting bird corpses, while workers burn and snap off the beaks of young chicks.
Each video — all shot in the last two years by undercover animal rights activists — drew a swift response: Federal prosecutors in Tennessee charged the horse trainer and other workers, who have pleaded guilty, with violating the Horse Protection Act. Local authorities in Wyoming charged nine farm employees with cruelty to animals. And the egg supplier, which operates in Iowa and other states, lost one of its biggest customers, McDonald’s, which said the video played a part in its decision.
But a dozen or so state legislatures have had a different reaction: They proposed or enacted bills that would make it illegal to covertly videotape livestock farms, or apply for a job at one without disclosing ties to animal rights groups. They have also drafted measures to require such videos to be given to the authorities almost immediately, which activists say would thwart any meaningful undercover investigation of large factory farms.
What corporations want, they get.
Two news items about animals touched my heart today. This one, about the slaughter of hippos in Kruger National Park hit me especially hard because what’s going on there is all about the global recession (thanks again f-ing bankers) and the haves and the have-nots. It’s about people trying to make a buck because they don’t have any other way to do so and it’s about the mutilation and agonizing death of innocent animals who are caught in the middle.
(Warning: Content hasn’t been sanitized because we’re grown-ups and we want to know the truth.)
Poacher Arrested in Kruger Park, Rhino Euthanised
Rhino cow has been put down in the Kruger National Park after being found mutilated, the department of environmental affairs said on Wednesday.
“The animal was bleeding profusely from having its horns, entire mouth, tongue, nose, and eyes hacked off, and had to be euthanized,” spokesman Albi Modise said in a statement.
Who, dear spirits, leaves an animal to die like that?
The rhino was shot on Sunday.
“On Sunday, SANParks rangers heard two shots and reacted with the support of the SANParks helicopter. During a brief contact, one armed suspected poacher was arrested.”
Rangers also recovered a .375 rifle and silencer. The cow was found near the scene.
The search was still on for the poacher’s accomplice.
A total of 203 rhino have been poached in South Africa this year. Of these, 146 have been killed in the Kruger National Park.
Park rangers had recorded 56 incursions by poachers between March 21 and April 1 this year.
Here’s the other story that touched me though thank goodness it doesn’t involve humans. It’s a sad story about the death of an oraghantang who had a “beautiful nature.”
Whale watchers aboard Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari had an unexpected and heartbreaking encounter with a pod of bottlenose dolphins yesterday. A deceased dolphin calf was being carried by an adult bottlenose dolphin on its back.
“I believe this calf has been dead for many days, possibly weeks,” explains Capt. Dave Anderson, “you can see the flesh is decaying. In my nearly twenty years on the water whale watching I have never seen this behavior. Nor have I ever seen anything quite as moving as this mother who refuses to let go of her poor calf.”
This video sends a powerful message about how much a dolphin can care. It is a window into a dolphins heart. This animal is laboring under the strain of carrying this dead animal on its back day and night is probably keeping it near the surface so the departed dolphin can breathe. We can assume this because dolphins do not normally swim with their dorsal fins sticking out of the water continuously like this bottlenose did. We can only imagine what happened.
Let’s banish the notion of “dumb animals” once and for all.
I took one of our “kids,” Miss Tillie (the one on the right)
to the vet today for her annual checkup (I can’t tell you how sick I am of seeing docs). Anyway, while we waited to be called into the exam room, I leafed through a book I found on the waitingroom table called: Street Dogs by Traer Scott:
Traer Scott travelled to Puerto Rico and Mexico to capture these remarkable and soulful photographs of dogs living alone or in packs on city streets. Since many street dogs were formerly pets, they are often friendly, approachable and eager to be adopted into new homes. As Scott documents in her introduction, she witnessed and assisted in the rescue of many of the dogs she photographed for this book; thanks to the collaborative efforts of Puerto Rican, Latin American and US organizations, these dogs have now been adopted into new homes both in the United States and Mexico. It features 90 irresistible, soulful portraits and outdoor photographs of street dogs. It is accompanied by a beautifully written, illustrated introduction by Traer Scott on her experience of photographing and rescuing street dogs. It includes a mini biography of many dogs featured, with details about their rescue and journey to a new home, and contact.
There I was, preparing to spend time and money checking the health of my dog while I read about and saw photos of helpless street dogs who have nothing. No one.
Here are some of the photos in the book:
This dog was so afraid of human beings it ran to the top of a roof to get away from Scott and her crew:
These two dogs are wily:
Per the book, they break out of the dog sanctuary every morning to run around in the street but the staff of the local shelter puts a mattress in the parking lot where they tend to sleep at night. And they’re “inseparable.”
This is an exhausted homeless mother dog who was rescued by Traer Scott and her team. They adopted the puppies out and spade the mom.
What an amazing woman. Thanks to her for the work she’s doing.
The narrator says the giraffe “is believed to have had a hormonal imbalance which triggered the attack.” How about it was tired of tourists oogling and pointing and it wanted them out of his neighborhood?
A two-and-a-half bull giraffe chases a Jeep full of tourists for two miles in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
Way to go humans:
This lagoon [in Rio de Janeiro], called Rodrigo de Freitas, is where the Olympic rowing competitions will be held in 2016. The fish died after oxygen levels in the water dropped because of pollution, local media said.
Per the Humane Society of the United States:
Over 100 government-owned chimpanzees will start a new life when they are retired at Chimp Haven sanctuary in Keithville, La., over the next 12 to 15 months.
This video shows the first of the chimps being released at Chimp Haven. Some of them are as old as 50 years and they’ve been experimented on for decades. Now they’re experiencing fresh air, grass and companionship for the first time ever.
More information here.
From a collection of photographs of elderly animals at URBANAUTICA:
Good morning! Let’s start the day out slowly with a darling newborn baby lamb hanging out with his parents:
If you’re like me, you’ve noticed that there have been a lot of police-shoot-dog stories in the news over the last few years.
Google “police shoot dog” and you get 65,600,000 hits.
As the wife of a former U.S. Postal Service letter carrier, I’ve heard every story in the book about aggressive dogs, pepper-spraying dogs, avoiding dogs, dodging dogs, dogs that bite, dogs that rip mail out of one’s hand. After 35 years on the job, my husband never shot a dog.
Shootings don’t have to happen. My husband learned that carrying dog treats in his pocket did the trick.
So what’s with all the shooting?
Colorado Senators to Introduce Bill to Require Cops Take Dog Training
Two Colorado senators alarmed at the number of incidents where police have shot dogs are planning to introduce a bill next week that would require officers to take annual canine classes.
Sens. Lucia Guzman, a Denver Democrat, and David Balmer, a Centennial Republican, said they hope the training will help police understand the difference between a barking dog and a dangerous dog.
“Landscaping companies, delivery companies — they deal with dogs all the time, and they don’t shoot dogs,” Balmer said.
Both Balmer and Guzman own dogs.
Among those expected to testify in favor of their bill is Gary Branson of Pueblo, whose 4-year-old labrador mix was shot multiple times by a Commerce City police officer after the pet escaped a relative’s home.
A draft copy of Balmer and Guzman’s bill mentions the death of Branson’s dog, Chloe, and other dogs shot by police in the metro area.
The bill would require police departments to adopt policies and procedures for dealing with dogs, including allowing owners to first try to handle the pet. Officers must initially go through a two-hour course, then a one-hour refresher course annually, which could be Web or video training.
Shooting. Everyone’s shooting. Police departments have been militarized and that’s their mindset. Heck, that’s the mindset of the whole country these days.
It’s gotta stop. Congrats to Colorado senators Guzman and Balmer for their work on this.
Memo to Government Officials Everywhere: Want Your Sons to Have Malformed Genitals and Small Penises?
Insofar as most government officials around the world are men, maybe this will get their attention when it comes to dealing with water pollution and food additives:
A new study in Wales has uncovered a disturbing connection between pollution and shrinking penis size in otters. The report, from the Cardiff University Otter Project and Chemicals Health and Environment Department, found that chemicals present in both the environment and the food chain could be altering the hormones of the water mammal, causing a smaller penis bone. Aside from affecting the future spawn of otters, the scientists also worry that these ever-present chemicals could have serious effects on other mammals.
The health of otters is not the only concern in this study, but of male sexual health across the species. The presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals in the water and environment will affect humans as well, and the study questions the link with EDCs and the increasing number of human males with undescended testicles, low sperm count and malformed genitals.
I guess I’m going to have to make it a priority to buy cruelty-free products even though I’m on a tight budget. Here’s one example as to why: Dogs kept in cages, subjected to endless tests and never allowed to play or run. Look at these poor beagles who feel grass under their feet for the first time e-v-e-r. They’re afraid to leave their cages and as for the grass, they don’t know what to make of it.
Happy ending though!
A blind, homeless dog is rescued and he is transformed. Wonderful story:
Wonderful video showing the co-founder of the Great Whale Conservancy, Michael Fishbach’s chance encounter with a humpback whale entangled in fishing net; his fight to free her, and her glorious show of thanks:
Look at these humongous birds’ nests:
No these aren’t haystacks stuck in a phone pole. Visit the Kalahari Desert in the south of Africa and you’re bound to run into a peculiar animal called the Sociable Weaver Bird. The birds are called “social” not just because they live in organized colonies, but because they build massive homes out of sticks, grass and cotton that are home to several other kinds birds. That’s right, the nests are so large that birds of other species are welcome to setup shop, not the least of which is the South African pygmy falcon which lives exclusively inside the social weaver’s nests that often accomodate over 100 birds at at time.
Not only are those some amazing nests but I love that the “Sociable Weaver Bird” lets birds of other species live in the nests too. I think we might be able to learn a thing or two from these guys.
By the way, here’s a view of a nest from below:
The Namaqua Rain Frog (Breviceps namaquensis) is a species of frog in the Microhylidae family. It is found in South Africa and possibly Namibia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry shrubland and sandy shores. It is threatened by habitat loss.
This frog is a burrowing species that spends most of its time underground and does not inhabit water. It occurs generally in dry, low-lying areas that are predominantly sandy and well covered with scrub vegetation – but has also been recorded in hilly areas with more loamy and rocky substrates. When disturbed, these frogs have the ability to inflate their bodies dramatically as a defence mechanism to deter predators. Breeding activity has been recorded in winter, spring and summer. They spend most of their time underground surfacing after the rains to feed on insects.
Who knew a bird could live to age 62? And who knew a bird could fly “up to 3 million miles” over the course its life?
She is described as awesome. And wonderful. And maybe a little weird. She is the world’s oldest known living wild bird at age 62, and she produced a healthy chick that hatched Sunday.
It’s pretty amazing that Wisdom, named by scientists who stuck a tag on her ankle years ago, has lived this long. The average Laysan albatross dies at less than half her age. Scientists thought that, like other birds, albatross females became infertile late in life and carried on without producing chicks.
But Wisdom, who hatched the chick at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific Ocean, defies comparison. Her feat could prompt scientists to chuck some of their early theories about the bird out the door.
Wisdom has raised chicks five times since 2006, and as many as 35 in her lifetime. Just as astonishing, she has likely flown up to 3 million miles since she was first tagged at Midway Atoll at the end of the Hawaiian Island chain in 1956, according to scientists who have tracked her at the U.S. Geological Survey. That’s “4 to 6 trips from the Earth to the Moon and back again with plenty of miles to spare,” the USGS said in an enthusiastic announcement Tuesday.
“It blows us away that this is a 62-year-old bird and she keeps laying eggs and raising chicks,” said Bruce Peterjohn, chief of the Bird Banding Laboratory at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel.
The more we learn about animals the clearer it is they deserve our respect.
I had never heard of the “barreleye fish” until five minutes ago. They’re bizarre but listen to the description and it makes sense they are the way they are.
Gotta love Mother Nature.
Wild African elephants prefer to live in safer, protected areas and become stressed when they leave them.
Scientists have found African elephants living outside Serengeti National Park are more stressed than those within the protected area.
More elephants also choose to live inside the park, suggesting they “know” which areas are safer to live in, and actively avoid humans.
Details are published in the African Journal of Ecology.
Serengeti National Park helps protect animals from threats such as illegal hunting and habitat disturbance.
Breaks my heart.