Bears kill keepers in creepy Japanese Bear Farm

Miserable bear and customer at Hachimantai Bear Park

Bears escaped from desolate pens where they performed for food (and may have been part of gall bladder harvest). Two of 3 elderly caretakers were found dead.

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Beagletown in the Berkshires

Crazy beagle fun time in Beagletown

Clover Hill Farm’s main work is horses, but it moonlights as an inn and a beagle paradise.

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Men's mags duel over OH zoo gone wild

Tigers shot dead

GQ and Esquire face off over the exotic predator release in OH. Esquire goes all action adventure. GQ tries to figure out how lion, tigers and bears were unleashed on suburbia.

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Ricky Gervais helps stop breeding beagles for research

B&K Universal lab animals

A big campaign blocked–for now–what would have been the UK’s biggest breeding farm for laboratory beagles. About 75,000 U.S. dogs are being tested on; the biggest US breeder, Charles River, has 736 dogs.

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What 60 Minutes' Love Letter to TX Canned Hunts Got Wrong

simitar oryx hunting

Thousands of virtually extinct scimitar-horned oryx survive on TX hunting ranches. But only 110 TX oryx are in the species survival plan that spans 211 institutions worldwide. The species doesn’t need Texas hunters.

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How quickly will national elk feeding grounds spread chronic wasting disease?

In winter animal tourists get close to elk at the refuge. Lori Iverson / USFWS

The century old tradition of feeding elk outside Yellowstone could end up severely hurting the population by spreading chronic wasting disease.

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Wolf advocates not as sheepish as NYT claims

wolfmap

Is there a new dynamic playing out between ranchers and the defenders of wolves since they were taken of the endangered species list? The New York Times thinks wolf lovers and watchers have been chastened by the delisting and are newly compromising. “Aghast, some environmental groups had a moment of reckoning. Had they gone too far in using the Endangered Species Act as a cudgel instead of forging compromises with ranchers?”

Yeah, there’s a new dynamic: ranchers, hunters and government agents can kill wolves like they haven’t in a century. Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity points out that delisting wolves means that the USDA’s Wildlife Services unit, which kills wildlife for farmers and ranchers at taxpayer expense, will now be able to kill even more wolves for even more reasons. Like to promote elk hunting. Even though biologists say the wolves aren’t really hurting the elk.

Only about 1,100 wolves survive out west, but Wildlife Services kills an amazing number: 452 in FY2010 and 481 in FY2009. Wolves didn’t get kicked off the list (this time) by a bizarre political deal until April. In Idaho 169 wolves have been killed so far this year: 122 for hunters, 42 for cows and 5 for elk. Montana has already killed 136, more than half by hunting.

Leslie Kaufman’s story has some sense of history, but the entire premise seems based on a fabulist rancher’s point of view. I don’t know any wolf people who feel they have “gone too far.” Nor do they–we–feel we have been

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Rarest US prairie dog doesn't get endangered status

Utah Prairie Dog (Cynomys parvidens) / Photo by Elaine Miller Bond, prairiedogcoalition.org

The FWS refuses endangered species status for the Utah Prairie Dog, the smallest and rarest of 5 whistle pig species. Ranchers can still kill 6,000 a year

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Top 10 Animal Webcams of 2011

decorah eagles

Just a couple years after the Shiba Inu cam sensation, wild animals are fascinating millions of viewers with reality TV, family tragedies and triumphs.

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How to Celebrate World Turtle Day

soft shell turtle

If you have the chance, help turtles cross roads. Otherwise, avoid certain shrimp caught overseas (or maybe in LA) til shrimpers start really using turtle exclusion devices

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