"The Greatness Of A Nation And Its Moral Progress Can Be Judged By The Way Its Animals Are Treated" - Mahatma Gandhi
I am a wildlife advocate and I am 100% dedicated to raising awareness about wildlife crime and its effect on the environment. Whether it be doing everything to stop poaching, calling for animal free circuses or ending the cruel treatment and exploitation of animals I will do everything I can to highlight it.
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America’s first war dog, Stubby, served 18 months ‘over there’ and participated in seventeen battles on the Western Front. He saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks, located and comforted the wounded, and even once caught a German spy by the seat of his pants. Back home his exploits were front page news of every major newspaper.
Stubby was a bull terrier – broadly speaking, very broadly! No one ever discovered where he hailed from originally. One day he just appeared, when a bunch of soldiers were training at Yale Field in New Haven, Ct; he trotted in and out among the ranks as they drilled, stopping to make a friend here and a friend there, until pretty soon he was on chummy terms with the whole bunch.
One soldier though, in particular, developed a fondest for the dog, a Corporal Robert Conroy, who when it became time for the outfit to ship out, hid Stubby on board the troop ship.
So stowaway Stubby sailed for France, after that Cpl. Conroy became his accepted master, even though he was still on chummy terms with everyone else in the outfit; and in the same spirit of camaraderie that had marked his initial overtures at Yale.
It was at Chemin des Dames that Stubby saw his first action, and it was there that the boys discovered he was a war dog par excellence. The boom of artillery fire didn’t faze him in least, and he soon learned to follow the men’s example of ducking when the big ones started falling close. Naturally he didn’t know why he was ducking, but it became a great game to see who could hit the dugout first. After a few days, Stubby won every time. He could hear the whine of shells long before the men. It got so they’d watch him!
Then one night Stubby made doggy history. It was an unusually quiet night in the trenches. Some of the boys were catching cat naps in muddy dugouts, and Stubby was stretched out beside Conroy. Suddenly his big blunt head snapped up and his ears pricked alert. The movement woke Conroy, who looked at the dog sleepily just in time to see him sniff the air tentatively, utter a low growl, then spring to his feet, and go bounding from the dugout, around a corner out of sight.
A few seconds later there was a sharp cry of pain and then the sound of a great scuffle outside. Conroy jumped from his bed, grabbed his rifle and went tearing out towards the direction of the noise.
The Highly Decorated Sgt. Stubby
A ludicrous sight met his eyes. Single-pawed, in a vigorous offensive from the rear, Stubby had captured a German spy, who’d been prowling through the trenches. The man was whirling desperately in an effort to shake off the snarling bundle of canine tooth and muscle that had attached itself to his differential. But Stubby was there to stay.
It took only a few moments to capture the Hun and disarm him, but it required considerably more time to convince Stubby that his mission had been successfully carried out and that he should now release the beautiful hold he had on that nice, soft German bottom.
By the end of the war, Stubby was known not only to every regiment, division, and army, but to the whole AEF. Honors by the bale were heaped on his muscled shoulders. At Mandres en Bassigny he was introduced to President Woodrow Wilson, who “shook hands” with him. Medal and emblemed jackets were bestowed upon him for each deed of valor, plus a wound stripe for his grenade splinter. Not to be left out, the Marines even made him an honorary sergeant.
After the Armistice was signed, Stubby returned home with Conroy and his popularity seemed to grow even more. He became a nationally acclaimed hero, and eventually was received by presidents Harding and Coolidge. Even General John “Black Jack” Pershing, who commanded the American Expeditionary Forces during the war, presented Stubby with a gold medal made by the Humane Society and declared him to be a “hero of the highest caliber.”
Stubby toured the country by invitation and probably led more parades than any other dog in American history; he was also promoted to honorary sergeant by the Legion, becoming the highest ranking dog to ever serve in the Army.
He was even made an honorary member of the American Red Cross, the American Legion and the YMCA, which issued him a lifetime membership card good for “three bones a day and a place to sleep.” Afterwards, Stubby became Georgetown University’s mascot. In 1921, Stubby’s owner, Robert Conroy was headed to Georgetown for law school and took the dog along. According to a 1983 account in Georgetown Magazine, Stubby “served several terms as mascot to the football team.” Between the halves, Stubby would nudge a football around the field, much to the delight of the crowd.
A FITTING TRIBUTE TO A HERO
Old age finally caught up with the small warrior on April 4th, 1926, as he took ill and died in Conroy’s arms.
It’s said, that Stubby and a few of his friends were instrumental in inspiring the creation of the United States ‘K-9 Corps’ just in time for World War ll.
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Firefighters from Verona (Italy) rescued a Wolf that ended up in a stream, in the city centre. Initially mistaken for a Dog, the Wolf, exhausted, had stopped on the branches of a fig tree and then ended up in the ditch.
he firefighters, who intervened to save the animal that could no longer free itself and get back on the street, took it and put it, in total safety, inside a cage.
The Wolf rescued by firefighters will now be released on the mountains of Lessina, from where it is thought to have reached the centre of Verona.
The fire brigade of the city of Verona often intervene to rescue animals. During 2022, a total of 242 rescues were carried out, about 4% of the rescue operations performed.
It is no longer so anomalous to see wolves trespassing in some Italian cities, as well as other types of animals (in Rome it is now usual to see wild boars). A problem that should certainly be tackled intelligently, to protect citizens and animals.
The new legislation was introduced last year, two decades after a failed attempt by the Scottish Parliament to ban hunting with the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act, back in 2002.
The new Bill will bring into force a number of measures which significantly curtail mounted hunting activity, including reducing the number of dogs which can be used to hunt a wild mammal to just two, instead of a full pack, and reducing the number of dogs which can be used below ground to just one.
The Bill also includes a pre-emptive ban on trail hunting. Trail hunting is a sport which was created after hunting was banned in England and Wales following the passing of the Hunting Act in 2004. Its inclusion in the Bill means trail hunting can not be established north of the border.
The League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, has welcomed the new legislation. Director Robbie Marsland said:
“As of today, Scotland has the most robust law anywhere in the UK to prevent the cruelty of chasing and killing wild mammals for sport – and this is something to celebrate. Despite a persistent campaign from those resolute to keep hunting alive in the Scottish countryside, the Scottish Government has been determined to end the sport of hunting, a sentiment which has today been supported by the Parliament.
“The passing of the Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill now provides an opportunity to right the wrongs of the last two decades and close the loopholes which allowed hunters to continue with hunting as though the law didn’t exist.
“The inclusion of a ban on trail hunting is a significant victory for Scotland, meaning hunts will not be able to use this so-called sport as a smokescreen for traditional hunting.”
The new Bill also includes a licensing system which will allow for a full pack of hounds to be used in certain circumstances. The detail of the scheme has yet to be developed but animal welfare campaigners have concerns this has the potential to be exploited.
Robbie Marsland added:
“After twenty years of flawed legislation it is critical that this Bill is not simply a way of creating new loopholes for hunters to exploit, and the League is yet to be convinced the licensing scheme won’t do this.
“Despite the best of intentions to ban hunting, the determination and deep rooted defiance among those who wish to chase and kill foxes should not be underestimated. The League will work closely with Nature Scot and other stakeholders to ensure the licensing system is robust, effective and fit for purpose.”
The Hunting with Dogs Bill is expected to receive royal assent in the next few weeks and come into force in the autumn.
This is a significant win for campaigners in Scotland, including REVIVE coalition members the League Against Cruel Sports and OneKind, and will increase pressure on the Westminster Government to follow suit.
The proposed licensing scheme, which will allow the use of more than two dogs in “certain limited circumstances” has undoubtedly been brought in to help fend off any legal challenges but the details and effectiveness of the licences remain to be seen.
For example, will the licensing authority NatureScot think that footpacks running amok in public forests, killing foxes to protect gamebirds on grouse moors (e.g. see here) is an appropriate and licensable activity? We’ll see.
Like many young bull Elephants, Brigadier had a strategy. Spending his days in a small patch of forest in northwest Sri Lanka, he would emerge under cover of darkness to feast on crops. One evening, he bundled into an army brigadier’s property, earning him his name and sealing his fate.
Government officials captured Brigadier and trucked him to Maduru Oya National Park. But he immediately took off, probably intending to find his way home, got lost, and wound up 120 kilometres north at Sampur beach. Incredibly, a navy boat discovered him swimming 5 kilometres offshore and towed him to safety.
After his big adventure, Brigadier settled down again, returning to his nocturnal crop-raiding routine. Six months later, he was found dead at the bottom of a well.
Apart from the swimming bit, stories like this are common in Sri Lanka, where habitat loss is forcing Elephants into an increasingly bloody conflict with humans. When I visited the country to report on efforts to stem the bloodshed, I found that the government’s favoured solution of moving problem Elephants into fenced-off national parks isn’t working. Some experts believe it will even backfire, pushing the species to the brink in the country.
The only way to secure the future of Sri Lanka’s Elephants, they argue, is to find ways to peacefully coexist with them. That is no mean feat. And yet, as I saw for myself in several villages, there is a simple solution. The question is, will it be implemented across the island? And will people accept that the Elephants must live among us or not at all?
Asian Elephants are under pressure. Their numbers have declined by an estimated 50 percent in the last 75 years, leaving just 40,000 to 50,000 in the wild. Although they aren’t poached anywhere near as much as their African cousins, their forest homes are being rapidly fragmented. Nowhere is the problem more acute than in Sri Lanka. It accounts for just 2 percent of their total habitat yet is home to over 5000 Asian Elephants – more than 10 percent of the remaining global population.
That so many Elephants remain here is a testament to the species’ cultural importance in the country. The majority of Sri Lankans are Buddhist and Elephants feature prominently in a number of stories about the Buddha’s previous reincarnations. Hinduism, Sri Lanka’s second-largest religion, also enjoys a close association with the animals in the form of the god Ganesh. “Elephants hold a very special place in our hearts,” says Prithiviraj Fernando, chairman of the Centre for Conservation and Research in Tissamaharama.
Yet as the island grows increasingly crowded and their habitat disappears, the lives of Elephants and humans are overlapping more and more. This puts Sri Lanka’s many farmers at constant odds with the animals, often with deadly consequences.
Hungry Elephants raid crops, trampling fields and sometimes people. In response, farmers attack the animals with flaming torches, firecrackers, home-made guns and even explosives embedded in fruit, known as hakka patas or “jaw exploders”. Last year, more than 300 Elephants were killed in altercations with humans and around 70 people lost their lives to Elephants. “Sri Lanka has the highest level of Human-Elephant conflict in the world,” says Fernando. “Wherever there are people and Elephants, there’s conflict.”
For more than 70 years, Sri Lanka has attempted to solve the problem by moving Elephants to national parks. According to the government’s approach, the world’s second-largest land animal belongs in protected areas surrounded by electric fencing, while people belong everywhere else. In many cases, as with Brigadier, problem animals are specifically targeted for translocation. Officials also attempt to clear whole herds using a colonial-era tactic called an Elephant drive. Day after day, sometimes for a year or more, hundreds of people venture into Elephant territory, setting off guns and thousands of “Elephant thunders” (a type of huge firecracker) to corral the animals into fenced areas.
Whichever method officials use to try to confine Elephants to parks, it doesn’t work. In 2012, Fernando and his colleagues published a study showing that of 16 translocated bull Elephants that the researchers had monitored over several years, two were killed within the park they were released in and none of the others stayed put. Some broke out and returned home while others established a new territory where they began raiding crops again.
Elephant drives produce similar results. Many males evade the round-up or break out soon after arriving at a park. The only ones that stick around are the females and calves, which tend to be more risk averse. They soon experience first-hand that Sri Lanka’s parks often lack the resources necessary to support hundreds of additional residents, each of which eats up to 140 kilograms of vegetation per day. The newcomers quickly become “emaciated, walking skeletons, and many starve to death”, says Fernando. “We’ve seen this over and over again wherever Elephants have been driven to parks and fenced in.”
I saw it for myself at Udawalawe National Park. Tourists raised their cameras as a mother and calf stepped out of the thick brush, but the Elephants were a disturbing sight, with jutting ribs, protruding shoulder blades and rope-like backbones. They plucked placidly at the short grass beneath their feet, but it clearly isn’t enough to sustain them. Like many Elephants confined to overcrowded national parks, they were on the verge of starvation.
That females and calves tend to suffer this fate is especially concerning, says Shermin de Silva, director of the Udawalawe Elephant Research Project and founder of Trunks & Leaves, a non-profit organisation focusing on Elephant research and outreach. Elephants have extremely slow reproduction rates, usually producing just one calf every six years. Earlier this year, based on mathematical modelling of Elephant population demographics from Udawalawe, de Silva reported that for Asian Elephants to maintain their numbers, females must reproduce at near-optimal rates and most calves must survive. Nutritional stress, in other words, can quickly push Elephant populations in Sri Lanka and beyond into tailspins. “For Elephants, the biggest threat is the calf that’s never born,” says de Silva.
The stark implications of this finding were reinforced earlier this year, when Fernando and his colleagues published the first nationwide Elephant survey. It showed that Elephants occur across 60 percent of the country – virtually everywhere that isn’t highly urbanised – and that 70 percent of them live side-by-side with humans. This not only means that Sri Lanka’s attempt to confine Elephants to parks has “completely failed”, says Fernando, but also that non-protected areas will have to play a critical role in the species’ survival. If Sri Lanka wants to save its Elephants, it has to find a way for people to live peacefully alongside them.
I saw just how difficult this is when I came across a bloated bull Elephant lying in a ditch by the side of a dirt road in north-west Sri Lanka, flies buzzing around two bullet wounds. A local man guessed it had been shot by a farmer in a nearby field and ran away before collapsing here. The animal was still alive when it was discovered, and a small crowd had gathered and erected a makeshift tent to give it some shade. Someone brought coconuts and bananas to try to feed it. Someone else brought water. Another person called the vet. When the Elephant died, a monk performed a ceremony to help ease it into the next life.
I left the scene feeling nauseous. But just a few minutes’ drive away, past neon green rice paddies and homes shaded by coconut and banana trees, I visited a place that is showing by example that there is an alternative.
In 2013, the village of Galewewa pioneered a programme designed by Fernando and his colleagues to use electric fences to encircle crops and homes rather than Elephants. The locals took some convincing. “People just assumed it wouldn’t be successful because they’d seen the government fences,” says Sampath Ekanayaka, manager of the Centre for Conservation and Research’s community programmes in the region. “To them, this was just another fence.”
In many ways, it is. But there are reasons to think the scheme would work. Elephants that encounter fences in national parks have “all the time in the world” to figure out how to get past the obstacles, says Fernando. Those that encounter a fence surrounding a village or crop field are unlikely to invest the time and energy required to break in because there will usually be people around, and Elephants are afraid of them.
Do Fence Me In
Eventually, after several years of deliberation, the village elders agreed to try the method. Fernando’s organisation paid for 90 percent of the installation costs, but villagers paid the rest, as well as shouldering the burden of maintaining the fences throughout the growing season. After harvesting, they take down the fences, allowing Elephants to forage on the crop remains.
The results have been encouraging. After six years with the fences, no people or Elephants have been killed, nocturnal raids are practically non-existent and crop yields and earnings have significantly increased. Galewewa’s success has prompted around 25 more villages to join the programme, and Sri Lanka’s wildlife department has now established another 30 village fences.
“I would 100 percent recommend this system to others in Sri Lanka,” says J.M.Muthubanda, president of the Fence Maintenance Society in Manakkuliya Gama, a village near Galewewa. “If we didn’t have this fence, many people would have been killed and we would have had to abandon the land. This was the best decision we ever made.”
Fencing can only ever be one part of the solution. Just as important is persuading people to change the way they think about living alongside Elephants – and to adapt their behaviour. People need to take responsibility for protecting themselves and the Elephants they share the land with, says Fernando.
Take drinking, for example. Around 70 percent of men who are killed by Elephants are intoxicated when the incident happens. Simply staying inside after a night of drinking would greatly reduce those deaths, says Sumith Pilapitiya, an independent Elephant researcher and former director general of wildlife conservation in Sri Lanka. “If you’re out drunk on a bike at night and you ride into an Elephant, what do you expect the Elephant to do at that point?” says Pilapitiya. “As human beings, we should be taking much more responsibility for our lives.”
Trains are another problem. Around 15 Elephants are killed each year on the tracks. Sri Lanka has few underpasses or overpasses but there is a straightforward fix. Train drivers could simply slowdown in the areas where Elephants tend to get hit.
What I saw in Galewewa shows that people can peacefully coexist with Elephants, so long as they have the right attitude and some semblance of support. Notionally at least, the Sri Lankan government is on board. As early as 2007, it created a national Elephant conservation plan that largely reflected the findings of Fernando, Pilapitiya and other Elephant researchers, including provisions for implementing seasonal agricultural fencing and educational programmes. But the plan was implemented ad hoc and has failed to live up to its potential as a result, says Pilapitiya, who resigned from his job heading Sri Lanka’s wildlife department in 2015 because of “systemic political interference”. G.C.Sooriyabandara, the current director-general of the Department of Wildlife Conservation, didn’t respond to repeated interview requests.
Still, there are signs of progress. In a first for Sri Lanka, the country’s Southern Development Board, following advice from Pilapitiya and Fernando, agreed to use radio tracking collars to study the movements of several herds of Elephants so it could select a site for a major industrial project that would minimise impact on the animals. “It’s the right thing to do, as far as I’m concerned,” says a high-level official at the board, who asked not to be named because he didn’t have permission to speak to the media.
As more and more villages sign up for his fencing programme, Fernando and his colleagues believe the country as a whole will eventually follow. “This is not something that can be done in a day or a year or even 10 years,” says Fernando. “It might take 25 years. But we’re hopeful that common sense will prevail.”
It is already too late for Brigadier. But if Fernando is right, Asian Elephants can look forward to a brighter future, and not only in Sri Lanka. The country’s human population density isn’t far behind that of India and Bangladesh, but it has almost 10 times the number of Elephants. This makes it a test case for Human-Elephant coexistence, says de Silva. “If we can get it to work in Sri Lanka, we can get it to work anywhere.”
From an original article by Rachel Nuwer for New Scientist
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One Elephant has died after colliding with a train between Habarana and Hatharaskotuwa, leaving two more Elephants injured, according to Habarana Police.
The Pulatisi inter-city express train, which was running from Batticaloa to Colombo Fort, was derailed at 01.30 a.m. today (13) after colliding with three wild Elephants between the Galoya and Hatharaskotuwa railway stations.
The train engine and another carriage were both derailed in this accident. As a result, the train will not run to Colombo Fort.
435 Elephants were killed due to Human Elephant Conflict in Sri Lanka in 2022.
“We have robbed Elephants of their homes to build rail roads, roads, villages and agricultural farms. They have been living in Sri Lanka from way before humans arrived. They have an equal right to live in Sri Lanka” said a spokesperson for Rally for Animal Rights- (RARE)
It’s alleged that the driver of the train has not reduced speed at this wildlife area.
Animal inspectors were heartbroken to find nearly a hundred suffering dogs in a single house. The RSPCA has now launched one of the biggest rehoming campaigns ever in a bid to find these puppies loving homes.
More than 90 malnourished Shih-Tzu dogs were rescued from a filthy breeding house.
The dogs were living in horrendous conditions and needed urgent vet care.
They were split and distributed to the RSPCA centres in southern England and are now in need of loving homes.
Neglected and abused
The RSPCA is looking to re-home a record number of Shih-Tzus dogs and their puppies after they were found neglected in a breeding house in Torquay, Devon, England last year.
Upon discovery, the animals were malnourished and infested with fleas and worms. They were living in filthy conditions and covered in faeces.
This is Chips. He’s one of 96 Shih-Tzus that were removed from a home in Torquay which was breeding dogs in poor conditions. Image Credit: BBC.
The charity has launched an appeal to find loving owners for the original 96 of the breed, along with around 50 puppies that have been born since.
According to its spokesperson Sammy Howard, the RSPCA discovered the dogs as a result of a noise complaint by a resident nearby.
Nearly 150 dogs need caring owners
Although 96 pups were rescued and taken to different RSPCA branches for rehabilitation, there are now around 150 of them as many were pregnant at that time.
The Cornwall branch alone is now looking to re-home 13 of them. According to the staff, many pets came to the shelter fearful as a result of their difficult start to life, so new owners must be patient and support the dogs as they go through training and socialisation.
Matted with faeces, flea-infested, urine stained and terrified, this is the result of over-breeding. Image Credit: RSPCA Cornwall Branch.
They have had a difficult start to life and will not just slot into a home, and be grateful that someone took them on.
According to her, the dogs will be terrified and may take months before they start trusting people’, which is a ‘hard sell’ when asking for someone to welcome a dog into their home.
But the charity assures they ‘won’t give up hope that there are people out there for these dogs.’
When a hunter in Manitoba, Canada legally shot and killed a Gray Wolf in early December 2022, a radio collar found around its neck was the first clue to the incredible journey this animal had been on. The Wolf had been collared in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the summer of 2021, and its GPS data since then showed this Wolf’s multi-state and two-country trek was one for the record books.
A map plotted by Michigan Department of Natural Resources researchers showed this male Wolf travelled through Wisconsin, then Minnesota, made a short stop in North Dakota, crossed the Canadian border into Ontario, then swung up into the Whiteshell area of Manitoba, where the hunter’s bullet found him. In all, this Wolf had travelled 4,200 miles in about 18 months.
This map from Michigan DNR shows the lengthy trek of a collared Gray Wolf from the Upper Peninsula, through other northern states and into Canada.
“The use of GPS collars will certainly add more insight to the movement of these amazing animals and likely show that others may make similar movements over time, but I suspect this will stand as a record for some time for Michigan,” said Brian Roell, a wildlife biologist with Michigan’s DNR.
Use of Wolf Collars
Michigan’s Wolf population has been stable for the last several years, with anywhere from 600 to 700 Wolves spread out across every county in the state’s Upper Peninsula. There’s been evidence a few Wolves have crossed the Straits of Mackinac to enter the Lower Peninsula, but there’s no documented population there so far, the DNR says.
State biologists have run a Wolf-collaring program since 1992. Currently, about 30 of the U.P.’s Wolves are wearing collars. Researchers can typically get about three years of data from a Wolf before the newer GPS collars stop working. Each spring, the DNR catches and collars new Wolves. They try to target Wolves from specific packs they want more information about – packs that might have overlapping territories, where researchers want to get a better handle on the pack boundaries. Or packs that are reportedly getting too close to livestock farms. By tracking any troublemaking packs, the DNR can use hazing methods to try to push them away from specific areas.
Beyond just population measurements, Roell said the collaring effort has given biologists lots of important information on Michigan’s 130 to 140 Wolf packs. “It also gives us insight into biological information on Michigan Wolves, their movement, their territory sizes.”
A Well-Travelled Wolf
But this lone Wolf making the 4,200-mile trip was unusual in the breadth of his roaming, researchers agree. The 92-pound male was collared in the summer of 2021 near Lake Gogebic. This is in the Ottawa National Forest in the north-western part of the U.P.
“It did not stay in Michigan very long after that,” Roell said the GPS data showed. “So it really never settled down.”
The DNR has documented other Michigan Wolves that have taken long trips. One showed up in Missouri. Others have been found in closer locales like Wisconsin or Minnesota. Some have crossed into Canada.
“The new technology that we have been using … has really given us some insight into these long-distance movements,” Roell said. “Often it seems like some of these animals are destined to stay loners.”
As for this particular Wolf, “we know this animal had been going for a while,” before it was legally harvested, he said.
Great Lakes Wolves: One Big Population?
Another group that was interested in this Michigan Wolf’s long trek was the Voyageurs Wolf Project, researchers who study Wolves and their prey in and around Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota. This Michigan Wolf walked though part of Voyageurs – and through at least two Wolf pack territories in that park – on its way north to Canada. When the group recently shared this information and the Michigan DNR’s maps on social media, the post amassed thousands of likes and shares.
A Pack Of Wolves On The Ice At Voyageurs National Park
But beyond just sharing the information, the Voyageurs group said this Michigan Wolf’s trek helps expand people’s understanding of the “Lone Wolf” concept. And it shows how Wolves in the Great Lakes region are more connected than some people might think. After all, Wolves don’t know when they’re crossing state lines, or stepping into another country.
“The travels of this Michigan Wolf, along with many others that our project and other researchers have documented, show how Wolves across the Midwest states and Canadian provinces are connected,” their social media post reads.
“Although we tend to think of Wolf populations based on geopolitical boundaries (e.g. the Wolf population in a given state or province), which are useful for management and conservation decisions, there isn’t much to indicate that these boundaries actually denote the boundaries between Wolf populations.
Four Of The Great Lakes Gray Wolves Population Howling
“Instead, probably the best way to think of Wolf populations in the western Great Lakes area is to think of them as one large, connected population with dispersing Wolves moving between provinces and states all the time.”
Originally posted by Michigan Live.
What you can do to help wildlife:
You can support ‘Protect All Wildlife’ by donating as little as £1 – It only takes a minute but it can last a lifetime for an animal in need.
Suffering: Giant Pandas YaYa And LeLe At Memphis Zoo Credit: Panda Voices
UPDATE! A huge victory for Giant Pandas YaYa, 22, and LeLe, 24, who will be sent back to their homeland of China, according to a statement from the Memphis Zoo. In Defense of Animals and Panda Voices, who have been lobbying for the pandas’ release for nearly two years, announced the news today.
“After far too many years of suffering in a grossly inappropriate zoo exhibit, YaYa and LeLe will finally get improved care at a specialized panda refuge in their homeland,” said Brittany Michelson, Captive Animals Campaigner for In Defense of Animals.
“We applaud the Memphis Zoo and Chinese authorities for making the ethical decision to return the pandas to China once the loan contract ends in April 2023. We thank Billie Eilish and our many thousands of supporters worldwide for helping us encourage the zoo to do the right thing,” continued Michelson. “We are delighted to celebrate this momentous victory. Animals suffer tremendously in zoos, and we hope this will prompt all zoos to put animals’ needs first and release them to accredited sanctuaries.”
YaYa and LeLe have been suffering at the Memphis Zoo since 2003. The pandas are visibly distressed and malnourished and spend their days pacing or sleeping, clearly bored in their dirty, small enclosure. YaYa has a chronic skin condition and LeLe has significant teeth issues resulting in broken molars.
“We are overwhelmed with joy at the news of YaYa and LeLe returning home to China!” said Taciana Santiago of Panda Voices.
“We thank the Memphis Zoo for allowing this to happen and hope they provide the pandas the conditions they need to be fit to endure the long travel. We will continue to monitor their situation until we are sure they are in a suitable environment,” continued Santiago. “We look forward to seeing them live a life of retirement and peace in China. Big thanks to In Defense of Animals and all of our supporters who stayed vigilant on this journey! King LeLe and Queen YaYa will soon be home!”
The campaign to free YaYa and LeLe was supported by singer Billie Eilish.
Thankfully, the loan contract between China and the Memphis Zoo is ending in April 2023 and they will be returning home.
How you can help us support those on the ground:
You can support animals in need by donating as little as £1 – It only takes a minute but it can last a lifetime for an animal in need.
Everyone who donates will receive a Certificate of Appreciation as a thank you for helping animals in need.
The cost of changing a rescue animal’s life forever – PRICELESS!
To feed a dog for one month typically costs somewhere from £16 to £50, depending on the breed. Microchipping costs about £10 to £15. The average cost of essential vaccinations is £64. A vet appointment costs between £40-£60. Physiotherapy/Hydrotherapy – the average cost is £50 for a 30-minute session.
You may wonder, why do you have to pay to adopt a dog?
Well, running an animal shelter is not cheap, with food, heating and other costs, so you money goes towards supporting them in the work. It also pays for vital care that your new pet has had, and covers essential expenses that you’d likely have to pay for anyway if you got your dog another way.
Why do dog shelters charge people to adopt pets?
First of all, animal shelters cost money to run. While they get donations and funding through events like charity runs, the costs are high. They need to pay for food, heating and other bills, as well as any staff costs and expenses like petrol for home visits.
Adoption fees also cover other expenses for the dogs, such as vet bills, which you’d likely have to pay yourself anyway if you acquired a new dog through other means.
Every dog rehomed is vaccinated, microchipped and neutered.
10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD #ADOPTDON’TSHOP!
Adopting a pet has many benefits, some of which you may have not considered. Here are some reasons why adopting a pet would benefit you and your family.
1. You are saving a life
By adopting from a shelter, you are providing an animal with the second chance they deserve. Many have been rescued from horrific circumstances such as cruelty, neglect and abandonment, or quite simply their owners were no longer able to look after them due to illness or a change in situation.
Before and after: these pictures were taken two months apart
Shelter staff work tirelessly to nurse animals back to health, rehabilitate disturbed animals and do everything they possibly can to ensure they are prepared to go to a new home. Sadly, not all of them are as fortunate. Some shelters have to euthanise due to lack of space, meaning many healthy animals lose their lives. By rehoming a pet you can give an animal that has been abandoned through no fault of their own a loving, stable home, and help to stop overpopulation.
2. You will save money
Shelters often microchip, spay, neuter and vaccinate the animals that come into their care. This saves you a lot of money because you don’t have to pay for the procedures yourself and it ensures the pet you are taking home is healthy. Also, the prices of adopting a pet from a shelter are often a lot lower than the rates charged by breeders.
3. Can help to eradicate puppy farms.
A puppy farm, or mill, is the illegal practice of breeding puppies for the sole purpose of maximising profit, without any regard to the dogs’ health or wellbeing. Dogs at puppy farms are forced to breed several times to their detriment and they are often kept in terrible conditions without basic necessities.
Bred Relentlessly For Profit
People who run such places are not concerned with producing healthy dogs, so they can be born with severe problems that emerge over time. The dogs usually don’t receive any veterinary care, and will often be destroyed once they can no longer reproduce. Additionally, dogs at pet shops are often products of puppy farms. Adopting from a shelter aids in stopping dogs from being subjected to such horrific circumstances, because rather than funding this illegal trade you will be rehoming a pet from somewhere reputable that supports animal welfare.
4. Can improve your health and make you happier
Various studies have shown that a having pet can elongate your life, whilst improving your overall happiness and health. It also helps people with depression, stress, anxiety and many other ailments. The affectionate and loyal nature of dogs as pack animals that form close relationships with their owners can help sufferers of depression, who may feel like they don’t have anybody else.
Stroking your pet can reduce your blood pressure and stress levels, and playing with them can increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine your body produces, making you feel calm and relaxed. Walking the pet is a way to exercise and provides sufferers of anxiety and depression with a reason to leave the house. It also creates opportunities for socialising with other dog walkers. The animal you have helped through rehoming can help you.
5. Can benefit children
Children can be taught valuable life skills through pet ownership, such as the importance of maintaining responsibilities. Rehoming a pet will also encourage empathy by making them think about how they have helped to give an unwanted animal a loving home. Pets can help children with separation anxiety and provide them with security, as they can be safe in the knowledge that someone will always be there. As well as this, they can be a loving companion and playmate.
6. Many of the animals are housetrained
Animals at shelters have often been housetrained in their previous home, particularly if they are older. This saves you a lot of time and extra effort when training your new pet where to go to the toilet.
7. Unconditional love
A pet is a companion that will never judge you, will love you regardless of whatever happens and will always be there. As well as making you feel great, their unconditional love raises your self-esteem because of the affection they show you. It is said that animals know when they have been rescued, so the bond between you and your rehomed pet will be especially strong.
8. You could get a pet you never expected
Although you may have an idea of what you are looking for, there are a wide variety of animals waiting to be adopted from shelters. This may mean an animal you would never have imagined could turn out to be the best match for you. Therefore, it is always important to have an open mind when visiting shelters.
9. Older animals can prove to be the best companions
Many people want to adopt puppies and kittens without considering the advantages of having an older pet. If trained in their previous home they will be less likely to destroy furniture than a younger pet, and as such, will probably require less supervision. Older pets are often calmer and quite happy to sit in your company rather than demanding constant attention. They also have more developed personalities than puppies or kittens, so it may be more apparent when visiting them at the shelter whether or not you are suited.
10. Adopting supports spaying and neutering
Spaying and neutering animals is important in controlling the animal population. Many pets that aren’t spayed or neutered often contribute to the problem of unwanted animals, which can lead to more being left at shelters. Adopting an animal from a shelter means that your new pet has been spayed or neutered where possible.
Please help us continue to support animal rescues by donating any amount, large or small. Your donations make our work possible.
And please remember…
…the cost of changing a rescue animal’s life forever is – PRICELESS!