Posts Tagged ‘Bears’

Pair are beary good friends

June 17, 2008

This Asian black bear and pretty puss are still FURRY friends seven years after they became chums.

The odd friendship began in 2001 after Muschi the cat didn’t even paws for thought before trotting into Mausi the bear’s enclosure.

Click here for the full article and BETTER pictures!

Oil Companies Get OK to Annoy Polar Bears

June 17, 2008

Less than a month after declaring polar bears a threatened species because of global warming, the Bush administration is giving oil companies permission to annoy and potentially harm them in the pursuit of oil and natural gas.

The Fish and Wildlife Service issued regulations this week providing legal protection to seven oil companies planning to search for oil and gas in the Chukchi Sea off the northwestern coast of Alaska if “small numbers” of polar bears or Pacific walruses are incidentally harmed by their activities over the next five years.

Environmentalists said the new regulations give oil companies a blank check to harass the polar bear.

About 2,000 of the 25,000 polar bears in the Arctic live in and around the Chukchi Sea, where the government in February auctioned off oil leases to ConocoPhillips Co., Shell Oil Co. and five other companies for $2.6 billion. Over objections from environmentalists and members of Congress, the sale occurred before the bear was classified as threatened in May.

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Polar bear killed after 300km trek

June 12, 2008

Graphic footage of the first polar bear seen in Iceland in 20 years being shot dead by police has been posted on the internet.

The bear, an adult male weighing around 250kg, was presumed to have swum some 300km from Greenland or from a distant chunk of Arctic ice to Skagafjordur in northern Iceland.

It was planned to sedate the animal and move it back to Greenland but the police decided it was safest to kill the bear immediately.

“There was fog up in the hills and we took the decision to kill the bear before it could disappear into the fog”, said police spokesman Petur Bjornsson.

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Courtship is a noisy affair for Giant Pandas

June 12, 2008

They are known to be shy and peaceful, but when it comes to sex, Giant Pandas turn hysterically noisy.

This complete metamorphosis of nature in the animals has been filmed by a BBC Natural History team in the bamboo forest that lines China’s Qinling mountains, when they captured a giant panda‘s courtship and mating sequence.

In the first of its kind sequence on TV, a male panda is shown to be fighting off the competition from other males, while he tries to woo a female who has taken refuge up a tree.

The magic moments, shot for BBC Two ‘s Wild China series, shows the rampaging males indulging in their boisterous calls on the ground, while the female finds save haven up on the tree.

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Animals fare better in zoos as experts learn more

May 30, 2008

Scientists are learning more about how zoo animals feel and how a toy or a little training can sometimes help cut the endless pacing and other repetitive behaviours that are often assumed to be signs of distress.

Some big cats want a high perch from which to view visitors, polar bears want to scratch for hidden caches of food, and male barn swallows could use a tail extension to appeal to potential mates, according to experts from zoos and universities meeting on Friday at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo.

Visitors who see a cheetah pacing or a polar bear swimming in circles might assume they are stressed by confinement. But they may simply be expending excess energy or soothing themselves, experts said interviews at the symposium.

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Homosexuality Common in the Wild, Scientists Say

May 26, 2008

As gay couples celebrate their newfound right to marry in California and opposition groups rally to fight the ruling, many struggle with this question: Is homosexuality natural?

On this issue, Nature has spoken: Same-sex lovin’ is common in hundreds of species, scientists say.

Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins at New York’s Central Park Zoo, were a couple for about six years, during which they nurtured a fertilized egg together (given to them by a zookeeper) and raised the young chick that hatched.

According to University of Oslo zoologist Petter Böckman, about 1,500 animal species are known to practice same-sex coupling, including bears, gorillas, flamingos, owls, salmon and many others.

If homosexuality is natural in the animal kingdom, then there is the question of why evolution hasn’t eliminated this trait from the gene pool, since it doesn’t lead to reproduction.

It may simply be for pleasure.

“Not every sexual act has a reproductive function,” said Janet Mann, a biologist at Georgetown University who studies dolphins (homosexual behavior is very common in these marine mammals). “That’s true of humans and non-humans.”

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Bush’s polar bear legal disaster

May 23, 2008

As expected, the U. S. Department of the Interior added the polar bear to the list of threatened species under the Endangered Species Act last week. Even with the Bush administration’s attempt to render the ruling toothless, this action will almost surely go down in history as the turning point in the global-warming debate.

The department concluded that the past and projected melting of sea ice in the Arctic poses an immediate threat to the polar bear’s habitat. It pointed to greenhouse-gas-induced climate change as a primary cause for the recession of the sea ice, and emphasized that oil and gas development in the Arctic isn’t the reason the polar bear is threatened.

Make no mistake, within a year or two, we can expect the polar bear to begin influencing everyday U. S. economic life.

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Protecting Polar Bears Must Include Mitigating Global Warming, Group Argues

May 23, 2008

Following a three-year legal battle to protect the polar bear from extinction due to global warming, three environmental groups won protection for the species with the announcement today that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is listing the polar bear as a federally “threatened” species.

The decision was issued in response to a 2005 scientific petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, and was required by a court order in a lawsuit brought by the groups to end the administration’s delay in issuing a final Endangered Species Act listing decision.

While the polar bear listing is one of the administration’s clearest acknowledgments to date of the urgent threat posed by global warming, the administration is simultaneously attempting to reduce the protections the bear will receive under the Act. It claims in the listing decision that federal agencies need not consider the impact of global warming pollution on the polar bear; it has also proposed a separate regulation reducing the protections the polar bear would otherwise receive.

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Alaska Will Sue to Block U.S. Listing of Polar Bears as ‘Threatened’

May 23, 2008

The state of Alaska will sue to challenge the recent listing of polar bears as a threatened species, Gov. Sarah Palin announced Wednesday.

She and other Alaska elected officials fear a listing will cripple oil and gas development in prime polar bear habitat off the state’s northern and northwestern coasts.

Palin argued that there is not enough evidence to support a listing. Polar bears are well-managed and their population has dramatically increased over 30 years as a result of conservation, she said.

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Pets shouldn’t roam where coyotes do

May 19, 2008

Our 5-year-old cat, Sully, had survived two years in the near-wilds of Montana, where mountain lions also roam, but he couldn’t make it six months in the northwest Denver suburbs. This fat feline disappeared one night in early December, and we knew he was a goner.

Two weeks after his disappearance, we learned that a neighbor had seen three coyotes supping on our Sully one snowy evening. So fat that people always asked if he was pregnant, Sully didn’t have a chance against three lean, ravenous coyotes.

Sadly, family pets frequently disappear from back yards. It’s not just coyotes stalking them: Foxes, mountain lions, wolves, bears, hawks and alligators also make a dent in the pet population. But few predators are as ubiquitous as the coyote. And hawks and foxes can’t carry off a 30-pound dog.

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When Bears Steal Human Food, Mom’s Not To Blame

May 9, 2008

Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) found that the black bears that become habituated to human food and garbage may not be learning these behaviors exclusively from their mothers, as widely assumed. Bears that steal human food sources are just as likely to form these habits on their own or pick them up from unrelated, “bad influence” bears.

The study, which examines the role of genetic relatedness in black bear behavior that leads to conflict with humans, appears in the latest edition of the Journal of Mammalogy.

“Understanding how bears acquire behavior is important in conservation biology and devising strategies to minimize potential human-wildlife conflicts,” says Dr. Jon Beckmann, a co-author of the study. “According to our findings, bears that feed on human food and garbage are not always learning these habits from their mothers.”

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US Prison Finds Something New to Deter Escapes – a Bear Living on the Grounds

May 8, 2008

The way the warden sees it, the more than 400-pound (180-kilogram) black bear living in the middle of the sprawling Louisiana State Penitentiary is an extra layer of security.

“I love that bear being right where it is,” Warden Burl Cain said Monday. “I tell you what, none of our inmates are going to try to get out after dark and wander around when they might run into a big old bear. It’s like having another guard at no cost to the taxpayer.”

The bear was first seen by an inmate crossing a road in the prison on Friday. It was taking a stroll near the center of the state’s only maximum security prison, which is about 115 miles (185 kilometers) northwest of New Orleans. Most of the roughly 28-square-mile (73-square-kilometer) prison is run as a farm, but about 5.5 square miles (14 square kilometers) is mostly untouched piney woods.

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Why Are Kids So Crazy About Animals?

April 30, 2008

Yeah, zoos are fun. So are cartoons. And I certainly see the appeal of a teddy bear.

But why are kids so over-the-top crazy about animals? I am especially struck by the fact that some of the most popular cartoon and children’s-book animals are among the least appealing animals in real life. Mice, for instance. And pigs and rats and bears and fish.

Here’s what I read the other day in the class newsletter my daughter brought home from kindergarten:

Post Office Money Update: After a vote among all four K classes about how to spend this money, “Animals” received the most votes. (Other choices were Kids, Grown-Ups, and the Earth.) Please let us know if you are aware of any reputable organizations which are devoted to animals.

I wouldn’t expect kids to want to give any of their money to grown-ups. And while kids may be helping to drive awareness of climate change, “the Earth” is a pretty amorphous target.

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Hollywood’s animal trainers not deterred by bear attack

April 27, 2008

By all accounts, Rocky was one of the most gentle and affectionate animals to be found in Hollywood’s vast exotic menagerie of performing lions, tigers and bears — until the day the 700-pound (318-kilogram) grizzly bit down on the neck of a veteran trainer and killed him.

To some animal rights activists, Stephan Miller’s death Tuesday was a tragedy waiting to happen for an industry that should be retiring wild animals in favor of computer-generated images. But to members of Hollywood’s tight-knit community of exotic animal trainers, it represented a rare but accepted hazard in an industry they insist is no more dangerous than racing cars or fighting fires.

“If it came right down to it, if the same protocols were in place, I’d wrestle the bear again,” said veteran trainer Joel Almquist, who tussled with Rocky hundreds of times as he prepared the grizzly for his scene in the movie “Semi-Pro.”

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Show biz grizzly kills trainer at Southern California animal facility

April 24, 2008

A 700-pound grizzly bear attacked and killed a Canyon Country man Tuesday at a compound near Big Bear Lake that trains wild animals for movies and television work, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.

For unknown reasons, the bear lunged at 39-year-old Stephan Miller, a trainer at Randy Miller’s Predators in Action, about 3 p.m. and bit him in the neck, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Beavers.

Two other trainers subdued the 5-year-old, 7 1/2 -foot-tall grizzly with pepper spray and were unhurt, Beavers said. The Predators in Action website says the bear appears in the recent WiIl Ferrell movie “Semi-Pro.”

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VIDEO: Is it a baton, or a bo staff? Only the bear knows for sure!

April 14, 2008

Click here for the AMAZING video of the stick-twirling bear!

How do you sue a thieving bear who keeps helping himself to your honey?

March 26, 2008

Who do you think said this: “I tried to distract him with lights and music because I heard bears are afraid of that”?

No marks if you said it was Eeyore or Tigger speaking of Winnie-the-Pooh, nor if you said it was Mr Brown about Paddington Bear.

It was Zoran Kiseloski appearing recently as the chief prosecution witness in the case against a brown bear accused of stealing honey.

Click here for the full article and more info on lawsuits against animals.

Berlin Zoo director accused of selling animals for Chinese medicine

March 22, 2008

The director of the world famous Berlin Zoo has been accused of overbreeding animals and selling the “spares” to be slaughtered and used in Chinese medicines.

Bernhard Blaszkiewitz is under pressure to quit following the criminal complaint by a leading Green politician that he allegedly illegally sold the animals for slaughter for profit.

He strenuously denies the allegations but they are now being considered by the Berlin public prosecutor who will decide on whether charges will follow.

A pygmy hippopotamus and a family of bears are cited among the animals that were allegedly traded to be killed. It was claimed they ended up at a Belgian slaughterhouse.

The allegations are a public relations disaster for the zoo following a huge rise in its profile over the past year with the celebrity of the polar bear Knut, the cub abandoned by its mother to be raised by human hand. Knut has turned the zoo into Berlin’s biggest tourist attraction and earned it £6 million.

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Teens arrested for shooting at zoo animals

March 3, 2008

Two South Jersey teenagers will be in court on Tuesday accused of targeting animals at a local zoo with a pellet gun.

Ganesha, an 11-year-old white tiger, and Holly, a 12-year-old Asiatic bear, reside at the Cohanzick Zoo in Bridgeton.

Two teenaged boys allegedly shot at the animals using a pellet gun.

“Juveniles are known for bad judgment, but this goes beyond bad judgment when you are actually tormenting animals,” said Bev Greco of the Cumberland County SPCA.

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For more animal-esque music, news, and issues, tune in to Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo online at www.thecapstone.ua.edu, Sunday nights 8-10 central.

Animal rights in China: A small voice calling

February 28, 2008

Human rights, or the lack of them, have long been a focus of China’s critics at home and abroad. But a new rights movement—complete with idealistic local and foreign campaigners—is stirring: animal rights.

Animals are treated dreadfully in Chinese farms, laboratories, zoos and elsewhere. There are grim factories where thousands of live bears in tiny cages are tapped for medicinal bile. At safari parks, live sheep and poultry are fed to lions as spectators cheer. At farms and in slaughterhouses, animals are killed with little concern for their suffering.

According to Zhou Ping, of China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, few Chinese accept that animals have any rights at all. She thinks it is time they did, and in 2006 put forward China’s first national animal-welfare law. Her proposal got nowhere, and there is no sign of progress since. “There is so far”, she says, “only a small voice calling for change…”

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