Criminal charges possible in killing of Cincinnati gorilla

By Ginny McCabe2 hrs ago



CINCINNATI, May 31 (Reuters) – Police may bring criminal charges over a Cincinnati Zoo incident in which a gorilla was killed to rescue a 4-year-old boy who had fallen into its enclosure, a prosecutor said on Tuesday.

The death of Harambe, a 450-pound (200-kg) gorilla, also prompted the animal rights group Stop Animal Exploitation Now to file a negligence complaint on Tuesday against the zoo with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The group is seeking the maximum penalty of $10,000.

The group said in its complaint letter that the child’s ability to get past the barrier was proof the zoo was negligent and should be fined for a “clear and fatal violation of the Animal Welfare Act.”

Mounting outrage over Saturday’s killing of the Western lowland silverback, an endangered species, sparked criticism of both the zoo and the child’s parents. Online petitions at drew more than 500,000 signatures demanding “Justice for Harambe.”

Cleveland Police are taking a second look at possible criminal charges in the incident after initially saying no one was charged. There was no indication of whether the investigation would focus on the zoo or the child’s parents.

“Once their investigation is concluded, they will confer with our office on possible criminal charges,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters said in a statement.

Witnesses said the child had expressed a desire to get into the enclosure and climbed over a 3-foot (1-meter) barrier, falling 15 feet (4.6 m) into a moat. Zookeepers took down the 17-year-old ape after he violently dragged and tossed the child, officials said.

A child touches the head of a gorilla statue where flowers have been placed outside the Gorilla World exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Sunday, May 29, 2016, in Cincinnati. On Saturday, a special zoo response team shot and killed Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla, that grabbed and dragged a 4-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit moat. Authorities said the boy is expected to recover. He was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)© The Associated Press A child touches the head of a gorilla statue where flowers have been placed outside the Gorilla World exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Sunday, May 29, 2016, in… The boy’s mother said on Facebook that the boy suffered a concussion and scrapes but was otherwise fine.

Thane Maynard, director of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, on Monday stood by the decision to shoot Harambe, saying he was not simply endangering the child but actually hurting him.

Zoo officials were not immediately available for comment on either the negligence complaint or the police investigation but said on Monday the exhibit was safe and exceeded required protocols.

The Gorilla World exhibit has been closed since the incident and will reopen on Saturday.

Looking at the incident through Harambe’s eyes, his former caretaker, Jerry Stones, said in a CNN interview that the breach of his habitat was likely confusing.

“Here is this animal that has this strange thing in his house,” Stones said on CNN. “He knew what adult people were but he’d never been around children. It smells similar, it looks similar but ‘What is it? Do I play with it? Am I supposed to be afraid of it? What do I do?'”

Even Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump jumped into the fray at a news conference, saying, “The way he held that child, it was almost like a mother holding a baby … It was so beautiful to watch that powerful, almost 500-pound gorilla, the way he dealt with that little boy. But it just takes one second … one little flick of his finger.”

In the wild, adult male silverbacks such as Harambe are leaders of groups of gorillas known as troops. They develop the silver patch on their coats as they mature. (Additional reporting by Barbara Goldberg and Gina Cherelus; Editing by Bill Trott)

Dishonest Donald Denies The Ongoing California Drought as Lake Mead Hits New All-Time Record Low


We now find that under the current amount of warming, the probability of a severe drought year has approximately doubled. — Park Williams, assistant research professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute

There is no California Drought. — Donald Trump

The drought is not over. — Association of California Water Agencies


An understanding of basic reality. Accepting that reality as true. And responding to that reality in a mature, adult manner. One would think that these qualities would serve as the given assumed prerequisites necessary for someone to serve as President of the United States. But in these most basic of qualifications for sanity, honesty and much less for serving as any kind of leader of worth and effectiveness, Donald Trump has demonstrated that he is both sorely and entirely lacking.

For contrary to the lack-reality talk-talk of the republican party’s most recent great embarrassment,an estimated 34 million…

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Remembering Dian Fossey–Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

Exposing the Big Game


January 16th, 1932 – December 26th, 1985


Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

Twenty-nine year ago today Dian Fossey was murdered at her camp in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. She was 53.

Fossey was one of the foremost primatologists in the world while she was alive and along with Jane Goodall and Birutė Galdikas, the group of the three most prominent prominent researchers on primates (Fossey on gorillas; Goodall on chimpanzees; and Galdikas on orangutans) sent by Louis Leakey to study great apes in their natural environments.

On three occasions, Fossey wrote that she witnessed the aftermath of the capture of infant gorillas at the behest of the park conservators for zoos; since gorillas will fight to the death to protect their young, the kidnappings would often result in up to 10 adult gorillas’ deaths. Through the Digit Fund, Fossey financed patrols to…

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Fire in the Sky — More Than 330,000 Lightning Strikes Hit Europe in Just Eight Hours


“Whatever happened to normal weather? Earth has always experienced epic storms, debilitating drought, and biblical floods. But lately it seems the treadmill of disruptive weather has been set to fast-forward.”Paul Douglas.


A cold, unstable air mass aloft. A record atmospheric moisture load due to human-caused climate change. Add in 80 degree or warmer surface temperatures and these three ingredients can spark some seriously epic thunderstorms. Such was the case across Europe today as towering thunderheads exploded into the skies, raining more than 330,000 bolts of lightning down upon the continent.

Lightning Strikes Europe

(Extreme lightning strikes in excess of 330,000 impacts were recorded over the course of 8 hours on Friday. The strikes resulted in numerous extreme weather related casualty events across Europe. Image source: Simon Cardy.)

The blasts of nature’s fury hammered a wide region stretching from Portugal through France and the UK, into the Alps, Italy…

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Howl of the Hunted Part III

Continued from and

copyrighted wolf in river

“Lone wolves are rare. Normally wolves live in packs ranging in size from three to thirty members, but averaging less than eight. The pack is essential for the species’ survival and its size is determined by the abundance of prey in a given area. A single wolf can rarely bring down an animal as large as a deer or elk, but a pack–working together with each individual taking a role–can usually, procure enough food for all members. Wolves often have great difficulty overcoming a hoofed animal contrary to older beliefs. This well known by the wolf himself and is reflected in the way he chooses his prey. If the prey does not run at first rush but holds his ground, he’s usually left alone. A good example of wolves ‘testing’ prey comes from L. David Mech’s book, The Wolves of Isle Royale, a study of wolf/moose relationships on a large protected island in Lake Michigan:

‘Seven wolves encountered three adult moose standing a few yards inland among sparse conifers and heavy blowdown. The wolves ran fifteen yards to the nearest moose, but the animal stood at bay and threatened the wolves. Immediately they headed for the second moose, which started running. However, they soon abandoned pursuit, for the animal had a head start. Then they turned to the third moose, which had watched them chase the others. This animal ran upon their approach and when during the pursuit it charged the wolves, one got ahead of the moose. The moose charges this wolf and chased it down the trail for fifty yards while the rest of the pack pursued it. Finally the moose stood next to a spruce and defied the wolves. Within half a minute they gave up.’

“On Isle Royale, Mech regularly observed moose from the air. Of the 160 in the range of the hunting wolves, 29 were ignored by wolves, 11 discovered the wolves first and eluded detection, 24 refused to run when confronted and were left alone. Of the 96 that ran, 43 got away immediately, 34 were surrounded but left alone, 12 made successful defensive stands, 7 were attacked, 6 were killed and 1 was wounded but escaped. These cases he observed over several winters in the 1960s.

“Wolves must be very economical in their energy expenditure if they are to survive. A healthy adult moose has a good chance of escaping and the wolves know they can’t afford to chase for long distances without results. Also a wolf knows he can be seriously injured or killed by his hoofed prey, if it is strong and healthy. Weaker individuals, logically, are easier to catch and the wolves–not caring about making trophy kills or obtaining fine hides–go for the easiest prey possible. Wolves often stare down their prey before deciding which one is healthiest and which one is weakest. The weaker usually show some sign of nervousness not exhibited by healthier individuals.

“The personality of wolves was summed up by Adolf Murie, who spent long periods of time with wolves in Mount McKinley National Park. In his 1944 book, The Wolves of Mount McKinley, he writes, ‘The strongest impression remaining with me after watching wolves on numerous occasions, was their friendliness. The adults were friendly towards each other and were amiable toward the pups.’

“His social nature contributes greatly to the wolf’s personality traits. One of the strongest traits is his capacity to make emotional attachments to other individuals. This is very important to the formation of a pack as the unit of a wolf’s society. Another characteristic necessary for wolf pack system cohesion is the aversion to fighting. This non-violent nature is advantageous considering they must spend much of their time together.”


to be continued…

Multi-Day ‘Siege of Storms’ Follows Exxon Shareholder Meeting


A multi-day siege of severe thunderstorms morphed into a major flash flood event in parts of Texas, Kansas, and other states late Thursday into Friday, and more severe weather is expected into Friday night.Weather Underground.


It was a stifling hot and humid day that set the scene for the Exxon shareholder meeting this week. There, in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday, oil company CEO Rex Tillerson found himself besieged by environmentalists enraged over his company’s decades-long campaign to misinform the public on climate change and by shareholders concerned about the company’s future prospects. But what the climate change denying oil company CEO, and even NOAA weather forecasters, didn’t know was that an extreme rainfall event worsened by the very smoke and fumes emitted by Exxon was starting to gather over Southeast Texas — not far from where the shareholder proceedings were taking place.

Protestors Ice Sculpture Exxon Knew

(Protesters urge stockholders to dump…

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Atlantic Tropical Storm Bonnie May Become Second 2016 Cyclone to Form Before Hurricane Season Start


Ocean temperatures off the East Coast of the US are extraordinarily warm for this time of year. A region of water in the Gulf Stream 100 miles off Virginia Beach now features sea surface temperatures of 81 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees (F) above average. To the south and east, in a stormy zone between Bermuda and the Bahamas, temperatures are around 77 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees above average. Readings more typical of July and not at all usual for May in this region of the world ocean.


(Extremely warm sea surface temperatures ranging from 75 to 82 Fahrenheit off the US East Coast contain enough heat potential energy to support tropical storm and hurricane development during late May. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Ocean heat is a primary driver of tropical cyclone formation. And record warm 2016 land and ocean surfaces contributed to the January formation of hurricane…

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The Howl of the Hunted Part Two

Continued from:

“The mournful, eerie howl, heard at dusk and dawn, contributed greatly to the fears man had of wolves. It was believed his howls at dusk were signaling the coming of the hours of famine, witchery, or, as they were called, ‘the hours of the wolf.’

“In reality, the howl is one of the wolves’ many forms of communication. The howl itself has a variety of meanings: to assemble the pack, to pass on an alarm, to locate one another in a storm or unfamiliar territory, and communicating over a large area (six miles in open terrain). When a group of wolves howls, they harmonize with one another, each one choosing a different pitch. By singing in this way, a group of three or four wolves may sound like a group of fifteen or twenty.

“Other vocal communications include a quiet bark, usually by the female when surprised near her den. Growling is used between wolves during food challenges. Puppies also growl when playing amongst themselves. Intimate sounds between wolves, such as whines and high pitched squeals, are associated with greeting, play and feeding the pups.

“As modern man from Europe immigrated to North America, he brought with him the distorted views of the wolf. North America had a stable wolf population from coast to coast, and in all types of terrain, at this time. Bounties were placed on wolves beginning in 1630, when the Massachusetts Bay Company offered to pay a penny per wolf killed. Shortly thereafter, the other colonies followed suit, each trying to exterminate the wolf from their territory. As colonization spread, it wasn’t long before the wolf was wiped from the eastern seaboard and Appalachian Mountains.”


to be continued…

ACTION ALERT: “House Republicans Unveil Another Anti-wolf, Anti-endangered Species Appropriations Bill”

Howling For Justice

OR7 pup5

Center For Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, May 24, 2016

Contact: Jamie Pang, (858) 699-4153,

Release, May 24, 2016

House Republicans Unveil Another Anti-wolf, Anti-endangered Species Appropriations Bill

114th Congress Has Now Launched Nearly 20 Legislative Attacks on Wolves

WASHINGTON— Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives today introduced a bill to fund the U.S. Department of the Interior that includes a poison-pill rider to end federal protections for wolves in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes and to undermine other endangered species protections. The legislative rider would undo two court decisions affirming that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wrongly removed Endangered Species Act protections for the wolf.

The bill is the 18th attack by the current Congress on gray wolves nationwide and the 12th attack targeting wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming populations.

“This is the most extreme, anti-wolf Congress our country has ever seen,”…

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