Posts Tagged ‘Horses’

First Successful Reverse Vasectomy On Endangered Species Performed At The National Zoo

June 19, 2008

Veterinarians at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo performed the first successful reverse vasectomy on a Przewalski’s horse (E. ferus przewalskii; E. caballus przewalskii—classification debated), pronounced zshah-VAL-skeez. Przewalksi’s horses are a horse species native to China and Mongolia that was declared extinct in the wild in 1970.

Currently, there are approximately 1500 of these animals maintained at zoological institutions throughout the world and in several small reintroduced populations in Asia. This is the first procedure of its kind to be performed on an endangered equid species.

The genes of Minnesota—the horse who underwent the surgery—are extremely valuable to the captive population of the species, which scientists manage through carefully planned pairings to ensure the most genetically diverse population possible. The horse was vasectomized in 1999 at a previous institution so that he could be kept with female horses without reproducing. He came to the National Zoo in 2006.

Click here for the full article.

Alabama trainers mold mustangs into cherished pets

June 11, 2008

The marvelous-looking mustangs collect together near the far end of the pen at the sound of the gate swinging open.

Wess Ehret slowly walks toward them, calling out with a calming voice. The horses gather even closer to each other, trying to avoid him as much as possible.

Eventually, Ehret’s patience pays off. He coaxes Colorado his way. That’s the name of one of the friendlier mustangs. Ehret balls his hand into a fist and lets the horse smell it.

Soon, Colorado is convinced Ehret is not a predator, and allows him to pet him.

“This one likes to be pals,” Ehret said.

One by one, the mustangs are warming to trainers Ehret and Katrina Robbins these days.

Their ultimate goal is for the mustangs to become so familiar with people that they will be adoptable, and it seems that goal is on its way to being reached.

The Central Heights couple is among trainers across the nation selected by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for the Wild Horse and Burro Management Program. The effort is designed to help control overpopulation of wild mustangs.

Click here for the full article.

When pets occupy a spiritual space

May 22, 2008

Anyone who has ever cared for a pet dog, neighbourhood cow, kitchen cat or horse at the riding club will verify French writer Anatole France’s statement that “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”.

The emotional bond between humans and animals is easily accepted. With its uncomplicated nature and unconditional love, an animal can expand the boundaries of the human heart. But are animals also deeply connected to the human soul? Like many philosophical systems, Hinduism gives animals prime of place.

One of its chief gods is elephant-headed and another is a monkey. Shiva and Vishnu have several animal incarnations. Anthropologically, animals were useful to humans; they were likely given the status of gods to impress their importance upon the general people. Moreover, since all creatures are considered manifestations of the same paramatma, animals necessarily gain a position of equality with human beings.

Click here for the full article.

Why are Broken Bones Lethal to Horses?

May 8, 2008

After a four-race winning streak, Eight Belles galloped past the Kentucky Derby’s finish line to snag second place. The glory was shattered as the racehorse collapsed on the track. She had broken bones in both front ankles — a lethal injury for a horse.

Unlike us, couch-potato life is not an option for horses like Eight Belles. Immobility can cut off vital circulation within a horse’s body, leading to a cascade of health compromises.

“When [Eight Belles] switched leads to her right front, apparently she landed awkwardly under fatigue, and that was the initiating problem,” said equine veterinarian Celeste Kunz, a spokesperson for the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

Click here for the full article.

Should horse racing be banned? PETA pounces on Kentucky Derby tragedy

May 6, 2008

Anybody who watched the Kentucky Derby on Saturday saw horse racing’s opposite extremes play out within seconds.

There was elation, as the undefeated Big Brown romped to victory with astonishing ease, stamping himself a possible super horse and Triple Crown winner.

And there was devastation, as the filly Eight Belles freakishly broke both front ankles galloping out past the finish line after running a surprising second. She was euthanized immediately on the track.

In perhaps the most poignant moment of the day, Big Brown spooked at the sight of the stiff and lifeless filly as he jogged back to the winner’s circle, throwing jockey Kent Desormeaux from his back.

Unfortunately, Eight Belles’ demise wasn’t an aberration. Too many times, we’ve seen racing’s biggest days marred by tragedy.

Click here for the full article.

World’s first cloned horse has foal

April 29, 2008

The world’s first cloned horse, Prometea, has had a foal

Pegaso, her son, is the first offspring of an equine clone confirms, once again, that cloned animals can grow and reproduce normally, giving rise to healthy offspring.

The name Prometea, a Haflinger mare, is a reference to Prometeo (Prometheus), who was punished for stealing fire from Olympus for the benefit of mankind.

She entered the history books in 2003 when she was unveiled as the world’s first horse clone, one that offered a way to preserve the genetic heritage of many exceptional horses whose genes are presently lost because champion geldings are castrated.

Click here for the full article.

New Swiss law protects rights of ‘social’ animals

April 27, 2008

It is a world in which the goldfish are never lonely, the dogs are always obedient and the guinea-pigs are never tormented by children.

Under a new Swiss law enshrining rights for animals, dog owners will require a qualification, anglers will take lessons in compassion and horses will go only in twos.

From guinea-pigs to budgerigars, any animal classified as a “social species” will be a victim of abuse if it does not cohabit, or at least have contact, with others of its own kind.

The new regulation stipulates that aquariums for pet fish should not be transparent on all sides and that owners must make sure that the natural cycle of day and night is maintained in terms of light. Goldfish are considered social animals, or Gruppentiere in German.

Click here for the full article.

Alright, I’m all for protecting animals, but this legislation crosses the boundary between reasonable and ridiculous.

Switzerland, I’m sure you’re all good people, and I understand what you’re trying to do, but do you really want to mandate that all potential dog owners fund and complete a dog-ownership training program? Maybe it will work for you, but I’m pretty sure that if we tried something like that in the US, we’d just have a lot more homeless dogs on our hands. We just wouldn’t pay to take a class to prove our abilities as dog owners.

As for the rest of the law, well, I’m just too flabbergasted to say much more, and besides – it’s not my country, so it’s really not my business.

Hey reader, read this article for yourself and tell me what YOU think. 🙂

-Kitty Mowmow

Watching pets pays

April 14, 2008

On days when Melanie Lehman can’t come home from work for lunch, she’s comforted to know pet sitter Deb Oerman will be at her Mount Wolf house to take care of Thunder, a 12-year-old Doberman.

Oerman, a York resident who also raises seeing-eye puppies, works part-time as an independent contractor for Pets Plus LLC. The company provides care for dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles other small animals and farm animals, including horses.

“Most pets are pretty glad to see us,” Oerman said. She also said she enjoys caring for pets and the income she gets for doing the work.

“I’m really glad this can be an option for me.”

So is Lehman.

“It makes me feel a lot better,” Lehman said. “The cost is reasonable, especially for the peace of mind.”

Click here for the full article.

This horse would rather ride in a car. And he likes cheeseburgers.

April 14, 2008

S.F. Art Institute halts exhibition showing killing of animals

March 29, 2008

 Citing threats of violence by animal rights activists, the San Francisco Art Institute said Saturday that it is canceling a controversial exhibition that included video clips of animals being bludgeoned to death, as well as a public forum it had scheduled to address the controversy.

“We’ve gotten dozens of threatening phone calls that targeted specific staff people with death threats, threats of violence and threats of sexual assaults,” said Art Institute President Chris Bratton. “We remain committed to freedom of speech as fundamental to this institution, but we have to take people’s safety very seriously.”

The exhibit that sparked the controversy was a one-person show by Paris artist Adel Abdessemed called “Don’t Trust Me,” which opened March 19.

Along with a variety of other elements, the show included a series of video loops of animals being bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer in front of a brick wall. The animals killed included a pig, goat, deer, ox, horse and sheep.

Animal welfare groups had attacked the video clips as degrading and cruel, and accused Abdessemed of killing animals for the sake of art.

Click here for the full article.

Central Asian sport involves horses, animal carcasses and whips

March 17, 2008

Oh golly — this is one weird sport we won’t be trying. Buzkashi is a Central Asian sport involving horses, animal carcasses and whips.

Buzkashi has been likened to polo, but instead of a ball, the headless carcass of an animal — usually a headless goat or calf — is used. The aim is to grab it off the ground while riding and then get it clear of the other players and pitch it across a goal line or into a vat. Play can last for several days.

It’s important during the game that the carcass doesn’t disintegrate, so the calf is normally beheaded, disemboweled, has its limbs cut off at the knees and is soaked in cold water for 24 hours before play to toughen it. Occasionally, sand is packed into the carcass to give it extra weight.

Special horses are trained for the event so they don’t trample the riders, should they be thrown, and gallop at speed towards the goal line when the rider collects the carcass.

Click here for the full article.

‘Stop live animals exports for slaughter’

February 12, 2008

A worldwide campaign aimed at banning the long-distance transport of live animals for slaughter has been launched in London.Animal charity workers shot secret film footage during a two-year long investigation of the global trade in live animals which they say is cruel and unnecessary.

The Handle With Care coalition is using shock pictures of animals being shipped around the world in overcrowded and filthy conditions before they are finally slaughtered.

They hope consumers will be so horrified by the images of sheep, cattle, horses, pigs and chickens moved in horrendous conditions in journeys that can take weeks they will embarrass governments into finally banning the trade.

Click here for the full article.

Animal-esque Artist ” Band of Horses” kicks off tour and performs with Sufjan Stevens

January 25, 2008



Click here for a bit more info on the the Band of Horses tour, from Paste Magazine.

23 – Boston, Mass. @ Paradise Rock Club *
24 – State College, Pa. @ State Theatre *
25 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Beachland Ballroom *
26 – Louisville, Ky. @ Headliner’s (Halfway to Forecastle) *
27 – Newport, Ky. @ Southgate House *
29 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Exit/In *
30 – Memphis, Tenn. @ Hi Tone Café *
31 – St. Louis, Mo. @ Gargoyle *

1 – Norman, Okla. @ Meacham Auditorium (U. of Oklahoma) *
2 – Dallas, Texas @ Palladium Ballroom *
3 – Austin, Texas @ La Zona Rosa *
4 – Baton Rouge, La. @ Spanish Moon *
6 – Birmingham, Ala. @ Bottle Tree *
7 – Tallahassee, Fla. @ Beta Bar *
9 – Orlando, Fla. @ Social *
10 – Orlando, Fla. @ Social *
12 – Mt. Pleasant, S.C. @ Village Tavern *
13 – New York, N.Y. @ Carnegie Hall (Tibet House Benefit) #
20 – Dublin, Ireland @ Button Factory
21 – Glasgow, Scotland – ABC
23 – Birmingham, England @ Academy
24 – Manchester, England @ Academy
25 – Bristol, England @ Thekla Social
28 – Paris, France @ La Maroquinerie
29 – Cologne, Germany @ Gebäude 9

1 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
2 – Hamburg, Germany @ Knust
4 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Vega
5 – Gothenburg, Sweden @ Sticky Fingers
6 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Debaser
7 – Oslo, Norway @ Rockefeller
8 – Stavanger, Norway @ Folken
10 – Berlin, Germany @ Columbia Club
11 – Frankfurt, Germany @ Mousonturm
12 – Milan, Italy @ Garage
13 – Zurich, Switzerland @ Abart
14 – Lausanne, Switzerland @ Le Romandie
15 – Brussels, Belgium @ Botanique
21 – Orlando, Fla. @ The Social
22 – Tampa, Fla. @ The Cuban Room

* w/ Cass McCombs
# w/ Sufjan Stevens, Philip Glass, and others

Animal Vocabulary!

January 8, 2008

Hello Animal Expo readers!

I’m a faithful subscriber to A.Word.A.Day, a vocabulary-building newsletter from This week they unknowingly obliged me by sending out words related to animals, and I’ve decided to pass them along to you. I’m a day late in posting them – hopefully you won’t mind. 🙂 Enjoy!

Your host,

Kitty Mowmow


A few weeks ago we featured terms in the “x’s y” pattern — descriptive phrases that can be called Whose whats. Going by your comments, it was one of the most popular weeks in AWAD’s history. This week we’ll reprise the theme with five more such terms, this time from the animal kingdom.

The English language is filled with everyday terms based on animals, from the lion’s share (largest part) to the dog’s chance (slim chance) and the snail’s pace (very slow) but there are many unusual terms too. For this week’s parade we have selected five mammals: mare, dog, sheep, donkey, and cat.

mare’s nest (mairz nest) noun

1. A confused mess.

2. A hoax or an illusory discovery.

[The original sense of the term was a false discovery since clearly a mare doesn’t have a nest. Nowadays the term implies a confused situation. A term with a similar origin is the Greek calends meaning a time that doesn’t exist: ]

Today’s word in Visual Thesaurus:’s+nest

-Anu Garg (words at

“The previous two sheets of this piece are a mare’s nest of scratched out half sentences, words replaced and replaced again and clauses arrowed in or arrowed out.”
Gary Covington; Learning to Write; Sun Star (Philippines); Dec 30, 2007.

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