Idiotic exotic pets in the news: attacking chimp, drugdealer serval, wandering monitor lizard & turtles

News today is full of the bad consequences of idiotic exotic pets, from the face-eating chimp to 10 soft-shelled warm weather turtles dumped in NJ. A drug dealer’s serval find a home at a CT museum. Monitor lizard stalks LA.

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BLM dumps Pickens’ horse sanctuary; Coyote breaches Long Island; Wales gets Whales

BLM kills the idea of the NV Pickens sanctuary late on Friday without much explanation. Long Island may no longer be the last place in US without coyotes; one spotted in Queens. Wales hopes fin whale sightings mean whale watching. Georgia hunter gets away with online remote shotguns to kill feral hogs.

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Wildlife taser; DC keeps adorable pandas & a tour of other animal news

grizzly

AZ company invents high-tech taser for attacking grizzlies; shoots 35 feet. TN and AL get new crayfish species.

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Oregon's Peak Week for Whales; A "South Sudan" Would Be Good For Wildlife

(Sciurus vulgaris)

Gray whales migrating by the west coast now. HSUS gives Obama a B–talk about grade inflation. Scotland plans squirrel safari (this time not hunting grays) & more animal news.

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A turtle needs back wheels like a fish needs a bicycle & other animal news today

Israeli turtle Tzvika now has back wheels. Drug-Sniffing Dogs Mostly Wrong. Right whales return to FL to calve, get stuck in fishing lines. And other animal news today.

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Was the Antarctic tour boat rescue slowed by running out of pre-paid sat phone minutes?

Nat Geo crew to the rescue

A nearby boat run by National Geographic came to the rescue, but was the situation made worse because the cruise ship ran out of pre-paid satellite phone minutes?

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Tasmania hopes Southern Right Whales recover so Hobart becomes a whale nursery again

Right whale calf born in Derwent River, Hobart, Tasmania

Tasmania wants to become a whale watching destination and thinks recovering Southern Right Whale numbers will help, the Mercury reports. The population is about one-tenth its former size, but the first calf born in the Terent River in 190 years in August is offering some hope.

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Blue Whale Bonanza

Risso's Dolphin, Grampus griseus

Capt. Dave Beezer says that, despite stories the media hype, this year isn’t so special. They’re starting to see this many blue whales every year. “Santa Barabara is becoming the best place in the world to see blue whales,” he says.

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Icelandic Whalers Try to Lure Tourists Onto Whaling Boats, Showcasing Organs, Meat and Guns

Iceland whaling boat tries to offer tours

Icelandic whalers fitted a big boat for whale watchers. They’ll showcase whale organs, harpoons and whale meat and hope to win over whale lover

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Whales are People, Too, Group Says

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society announced this weekend that they’ve gotten a bunch of cross-disciplinary experts together and decided  that cetaceans have human rights.

The Declaration of Cetacean Rights, which anyone can sign, basically includes the right not to be killed, captured, abused or owned. The society, which met at the University of Helsinki (nice touch), says their rights to “life, liberty and well-being” are due after we figured out that they have more intelligence, self-awareness and culture than we previously thought. The petition gets at the idea that it’s okay to care about the fate of not just the health of a species population or ecosystem, but an individual animal.

Most westerners would go along with most of that–although the part that would ban Sea World or swim with dolphin programs might shock some. We already don’t hunt whales and changed the tuna industry to avoid dolphins (which are really just small whales). Japan still kills about 23,000 dolphins a year on purpose.  Hundreds of whales are killed each year–no one is sure how many exactly how many–mainly by Japan, Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Russia.

The controversial part, at least in my mind, is that they also “affirm that all cetaceans as persons.” I don’t think they’re persons. Individuals, sure. Anyone who’s spent time with higher functioning animals can tell you they’re individuals. They don’t need to be people to have individuality and rights. Then again, if they didn’t put a little bit of crazy talk

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