Factory Farms Put Climate at Risk, Experts Say in Urging World Health Officials to Speak Out

The Extinction Chronicles


In a letter, 200 experts called on the next director-general of the World Health Organization to confront the role factory farming plays in climate change.

Georgina Gustin


MAY 22, 2017

Concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, have expanded to meet the rising global demand for meat, but they also bring concerns about health and climate. Credit: Jeff Vanuga/USDA/Getty Images

Roughly 200 experts in disciplines from nutrition to animal welfare are calling on the World Health Organization to take a more serious look at the impact of industrial livestock production on human health and the climate.

In a letter sent Monday, the group—which includes former New York Timesfood writer Mark Bittman and environmentalist Bill McKibben—appealed to the WHO, asking that its next director-general work “to reduce the size and number of factory farms.” The WHO’s World Health Assembly got underway Monday, and the body will…

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Two Chinese cities close poultry markets after H7N9 bird flu infections

The Extinction Chronicles



China will shut poultry markets in certain districts of two cities after H7N9 bird flu infections were detected, state media reported on Sunday, the latest incidents in this year’s more severe outbreak of the virus.

A 44-year-old man who sold poultry at a farmers market in southwestern Sichuan province’s Zigong city was diagnosed with H7N9, China News Service reported. Local authorities announced a one-month halt to poultry markets in the city’s Ziliujing district from midnight on Monday.

Separately, a 74-year old man who had visited poultry markets in Shandong province’s Binzhou city was also diagnosed with H7N9, China Central Television reported. Binzhou authorities will temporarily halt poultry markets in three of its districts.

Bird flu can jump from poultry to humans. Human cases of bird flu have been unusually…

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Family of girl snatched by sea lion lambasted for ‘reckless behavior’

“You wouldn’t go up to a grizzly bear in the bush and hand him a ham sandwich,” said an official suburban Vancouver’s Steveston Harbour, where the now-famous incident occurred over the weekend.

The terrifying video of a sea lion snatching a little girl off the edge of a dock and yanking her into murky British Columbia seawater last week is buzzing across the internet and social media today — and drawing some critical insights.

Michael Fujiwara, a college student from Vancouver, B.C., captured the video Saturday at the Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf in the Vancouver suburb of Richmond. It shows the large male sea lion suddenly lurching and pulling the girl into the water, with a man jumping in after the child to save her. There reportedly were no injuries.

Robert Kiesman, chair of the Steveston Harbour Authority, lambasted the girl’s family for reckless behavior, telling the CBC News that signs posted at the popular tourist destination warn people not to feed the sea mammals that frequent the area.

“You wouldn’t go up to a grizzly bear in the bush and hand him a ham sandwich, so you shouldn’t be handing a thousand-pound wild mammal in the water slices of bread,” Kiesman said.

“And you certainly shouldn’t be letting your little girl sit on the edge of the dock with her dress hanging down after the sea lion has already snapped at her once. Just totally reckless behavior.”

Danielle Hyson, a senior marine-mammal trainer at the Vancouver Aquarium, explained to The Vancouver Sun that the animal forewarned of his aggressive behavior.

“You saw him kind of initially lunge out of the water and give a little huff. That’s what we would call an aggressive precursor,” she told The Sun. “So he’s letting the people know that he’s starting to get frustrated. And in that situation, the people should have backed off right away.”

Hyson noted that male California sea lions are powerful animals that can weigh more than 200 kilograms — about 440 pounds.

The powerful animals have big eyes and whiskers that seem cute, she noted.

“They look like they’re water dogs, but they absolutely are not,” Hyson said. “They can do a lot of damage.”

Fujiwara, the college student who shot the video, said in a story carried by NBC News the girl and her family were dumbstruck by the attack.

“They were pretty shaken up,” he said. “Her family were just in shock.”

The family had been feeding the sea lion breadcrumbs, which is probably what attracted the animal to the crowd, Fujiwara said.

“It initially jumped up to the girl to read her, I guess,” he said. “And then it came back up a second time, but this time grabbing the girl by the waist and dragging her down into the water.”

In Washington, the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife does not keep records on sea-lion attacks, department spokesman Craig Bartlett said in an email Monday.

Sea lions typically only bite when they feel threatened or cornered, according to various news reports. They sometimes also go after the same fish people do, resulting in close encounters.

“I’ve seen reports of sea lions stealing fish from anglers on the Columbia River, but I can’t recall anyone actually being injured,” Bartlett said.

While he knew of no known attacks of people in Washington, Bartlett pointed to a 2013 news report about sea lions that have attacked and eaten dogs at Westport.

But commercial and sports fishermen occasionally have reported attacks by sea lions and seals.

A sea lion caught in a Russian commercial fishing vessel’s net was videotaped tossing a fisherman across the boat deck.

In January, an Alaska fisherman was attacked by a Steller sea lion “heavier than a grand piano” when it jumped onto his fishing boat, slammed him into the deck and tried to drag him into the water, according to the Alaska Dispatch News.

And in 2015, a sea lion bit onto the hand of a sport fisherman as he posed with a yellowfin tuna on his boat off San Diego, pulling the man overboard.

“After 15 seconds, I thought I was going to die,” Dan Carlin, the fisherman, later said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I continued to struggle, but thought this is the way I was going to die. It was unbelievable to me.”

But deadly attacks by seals or seal lions are apparently rare.

The fatal attack of a British scientist snorkeling in Antarctica in 2003 was believed to be the first deadly leopard-seal attack on a human at the time, according to National Geographic.

On Monday, tourists and the curious crowded on to Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf to catch a glimpse of the child-snatching sea lion despite warnings to keep a safe distance.

Video shows sea lion drag girl into water near Vancouver, B.C.


(Screenshot of video Michael Fujiwara/CBC)


RICHMOND, British Columbia (AP) — A college student has startling video of a sea lion snatching a girl off a dock and yanking her into the water on Canada’s West Coast.

It happened Saturday in Richmond, a Vancouver suburb. University student Michael Fujiwara tells CBC News that some people started feeding the animal breadcrumbs.

In Fujiwara’s video, the sea lion pops up toward the girl as bystanders laugh. Then she sits by the pier’s edge. In an instant, the massive mammal shoots up, grabs her dress and pulls her into the water as people scream.

The sea lion disappears as a man plunges into the water and helps the girl out. She doesn’t appear injured and walks away with adults.

Marine mammal expert Andrew Trites says the sea lion presumably thought the dress was food.

South African big game hunter crushed by elephant



A South African big game hunter was crushed to death by an elephant on a Zimbabwe game reserve, according to South African outlet News 24. 

Theunis Botha, 51, was leading a hunt when his group stumbled upon a breeding group of elephants at a game reserve near Hwange National Park Several on Friday afternoon, Zimparks spokesman Simukai Nyasha told The Telegraph.  The group of elephants charged at the group and the hunters shot at them, News 24 reported.

News 24 reported that Botha was crushed after one of the members of the group shot an elephant after she lifted Botha with her trunk. The elephant collapsed and fell on top of Botha, crushing him.

Theunis had five children and ran Theunis Botha Big Game Safaris. According to the website, Theunis “perfected leopard and lion hunting safaris with hounds in Africa.” He also pioneered European-style “Monteira hunts” in South Africa.

“Monteira hunts” include the use of packs of hounds to herd deer, boar or or other animals towards hunters who then shoot the animals.

According to News 24, Theunis often traveled to the U.S. to build business with wealthy Americans who were interested in a big game hunt in South Africa.

The news outlet reported that Theunis’ wife, Carika, will travel to Zimbabwe to identify her husband’s body on Monday.

Hilarious Winners of the First Annual ‘Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards’


WINNER-Julian-RadJulian Rad

SILVER-RUNNER-UP-William-Richardson William Richardson.

Highly-Commended-Alison-Buttigieg Alison Buttigieg

Highly-Commended-Graham-McGeorge Graham McGeorge

Highly-Commended-Julie-Hunt Julie Hunt

Highly-Commended-Megan-Lorenz Megan Lorenz

these-baby-baboons-are-going-to-be-besties-for-ever-i-know-it Tony Dilger

Highly-Commended-Marc-Mol Marc Mol

this-silverback-mountain-gorilla-doesnt-care-what-you-think Oliver Dreike

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-31-57fb40d56564a__880 Austin Thomas

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-16-57fb40b431364__880 Austin Thomas

Comedy-Wildlife-Photo-Awards-Shortlist-57fb453b11c53__880 Edward Kopeschny

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-26-57fb40cae94c3__880 George Balan

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-5-57fb409c568e2__880 Mary Swaby

funny-comedy-animal-photography-awards-9jpg Yuzuru Masuda

funny-comedy-animal-photography-awards-4jpg @Charlie Davidson

Be Different Mohammed Alnaser

2016-Comedy-Wildlife-Photography-Awards-Winners-11 Isabelle Marozzo

2016-Comedy-Wildlife-Photography-Awards-Winners-7 Charles Kinsey

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-25-57fb40c8c39a8__880 Ross Couper

Comedy-Wildlife-Photo-Awards-Shortlist-57fb45e4e42fa__880 Barb D’Arpino

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-35-57fb40dd02f48__880 Alex Jevon

164_comedywildlife_oct13 Tony Murtagh

00000140_p Thomas Bullivant

00000156_p Austin Thomas

00000110_p Olivier Steiner

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-18-57fb40b7bed8d__880 Perdita Petzl

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-34-57fb40db53b11__880 Philip Marazzi

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-23-57fb40c339239__880 Mario Fiorucci

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-27-57fb40cca28b7__880 Angela Bohlke

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-30-57fb40d3a4859__880 @Adam Parsons

dutton-robert-for-the-comedy-wildlife-photo-awards-2016-south-africa-april-2012 Dutton Robert

phpaxcvHC Perdita Petzl

2016-Comedy-Wildlife-Photography-Awards-Winners-20 Derek Auerman

2016-Comedy-Wildlife-Photography-Awards-Winners-18 Adam White

funny-entries-wildlife-photography-awards-2016-6jpg Murray Mcculloch

2016-Comedy-Wildlife-Photography-Awards-Winners-16 Yvette Richard

1101_comedy-wildlife-frog-1000x623Artyom Krivosheev

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-2016-8jpg Rob Kroenert

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-12-57fb40ab9cbe7__880 Stephen Biddlecombe

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-4-57fb4099ad5a9__880 Markus Pavlowsky

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-3-57fb409747991__880 Alison Mees

2CD1E54500000578-0-image-a-328_1443424597830 Diaruisz Bress

Comedy-9 Aaron Karnovski

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-11-57fb40a96d56b__880 Yaron Schmid

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-2-57fb409517e2f__880 Brigitta Moser

Comedy-Wildlife-Photo-Awards-Shortlist-57fb470946e67__880 ©Michael Erwin

00000137_p © Vaughan Jessnitz

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-19-57fb40b99484e__880 Hahish Inamdar

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-8-57fb40a27ceb1__880 Usman Priyona

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-10-57fb40a6b5f10__880 Brenden Simonson

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-22-57fb40c0e3dec__880Henrik Spranz

2016-Comedy-Wildlife-Photography-Awards-Winners-9james sharp

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-28-57fb40ce6db78__880 Brigitta Moser

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-13-57fb40aeee845__880 Patricia Bachmam

2016-Comedy-Wildlife-Photography-Awards-Winners-17 Marilyn Parver

2016-Comedy-Wildlife-Photography-Awards-Winners-10 Monkia Carrie

2016-Comedy-Wildlife-Photography-Awards-Winners-12 Nicolas de Vaulx

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-21-57fb40bf1e29b__880 @Anup Deodhar

2016-Comedy-Wildlife-Photography-Awards-Winners-19 Rosario L Cordoba

00000129_p Caroline Tout

2016-Comedy-Wildlife-Photography-Awards-Winners-21 Isabelle Marozzo

comedy-wildlife_06 Megan Lorenz

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-15-57fb40b2b2199__880 @Nicolas de Vaulx

Kung Fu SquirrelJulian Rad

Hilarious Winners of the First Annual ‘Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards’

More info: Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

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Young whale finds its way out of Southern California harbor

May 21 at 3:00 PM
VENTURA, Calif. — A humpback whale that made a big splash with boaters after wandering into a Southern California harbor was on the move again Sunday after finding its way back to the open ocean.

“We have great news,” an ecstatic Ventura Harbormaster John Higgins told The Associated Press. “The whale was able to find its way out.”

Authorities may have helped it on its way by playing a continuous loop of humpback whale feeding sounds overnight near the harbor’s entrance-exit point.

The idea was to draw the whale toward the open water under the belief there would be something good to eat.

The 40-foot-long creature had wowed boaters and passers-by on shore for hours Saturday after it arrived in the small fishing harbor north of Los Angeles.

People stood on small boats and docks watching it swim back and forth and occasionally surface.

Whale experts told Higgins it appeared to be a healthy juvenile, although he didn’t know its age.

The Coast Guard, National Parks Service, authorities and volunteers spent hours trying unsuccessfully to shepherd it back to the ocean.

After blocking its path with boats and banging on pipes failed to work, they tried the whale feeding sounds. The tactic finally succeeded after they cleared everyone out of the area and moved the underwater speakers closer to the ocean.

Authorities discovered the whale had left on its own when they returned in the morning, Higgins said.

As far as he knows, the young humpback was the first to pay a visit to Ventura Harbor.

“We’ve had California grey whales just peek into the harbor as they’re going up and down the coast,” he said. “But none have ever gone into the harbor.”

Approximately 40-50 Pilot Whales Slaughtered in the Danish Faroe Islands

After a chase lasting almost four hours approximately 40-50 pilot whales have been slaughtered on the killing beach at Bøur.
On May 8th 2017 Sea Shepherd Nederland officially submitted a request to the European Commission (EC) to start infringement proceedings against Denmark for facilitating the slaughter of pilot whales and other cetaceans in the Faroe Islands, with the formal support of 27

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Sea Shepherd Faroe Islands Campaign added 4 new photos.


The pilot whales have been driven up onto the beach, after an exhausting chase that lasted almost 4 stressful hours.

The pod has been estimated to be around 40 individuals who are now forced to endure a painful death in the blood of their relatives.

We will update more tomorrow. Please remember to share these posts, and sign our petition to hold Denmark accountable for slaughter of the pilot whales here: http://bit.ly/2rdZEM0

#OpBloodyFjords #OpGrindini #OpGrindStop #Grind #visitfaroeislands

Photos by Jn.fo

Big game hunter is crushed to death when an elephant he was hunting in Zimbabwe is shot and falls on top of him

  • Theunis Botha was crushed to death by one of the elephants he was hunting
  • He was hunting with a group in Zimbabwe when they came across animals
  • The group began to shoot, which spooked the elephants which began running
  • Botha was then reportedly picked up by one of the elephants he was shooting at
  • Another hunter then shot that elephant, which fell over on top of Botha  

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4528048/Big-game-hunter-crushed-death-shot-elephant.html#ixzz4hmDBGGmr
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A South African safari leader and big game hunter was crushed to death Friday afternoon when an elephant was shot and fell and on top of him.

Theunis Botha, 51, was hunting with a group in Gwai, Zimbabwe, when they came across a breeding herd of elephants.

They quickly began to shoot, according to News 24, spooking the animals and causing the elephants to charge at the hunters.

Theunis Botha (pictured right with his wife, Carika), 51, was hunting with a group in Gwai, Zimbabwe, when they came across a breeding herd of elephants

One of the elephants is then said to have picked up Botha with its trunk.

A member of his group shot the elephant, hoping it would put Botha down. Instead, the wounded and dying animal fell on top of him,  crushing him to death.

Kootenay conservation officers believe someone intentionally poisoning wolves

2 wolves dead of suspected poisoning; officers believe there may be more

By Matt Meuse, CBC News <http://www.cbc.ca/news/cbc-news-online-news-staff-list-1.1294364> Posted: May 18, 2017 1:55 PM PT Last Updated: May 18, 2017 1:55 PM PT

Conservation officers in B.C.’s East Kootenay region say someone appears to have left poison in a wolf travel corridor in order to kill wolves moving through the area. <https://i.cbc.ca/1.3961702.1485969914%21/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/lone-wolves.jpg>

Conservation officers in B.C.’s East Kootenay region say someone appears to have left poison in a wolf travel corridor in order to kill wolves moving through the area. (Shutterstock / Dennis W Donohue)

Conservation officers in B.C.’s East Kootenay are investigating after the discovery of two wolves they believe were intentionally poisoned.

Conservation officer Greg Kruger said poison was first discovered in early March in the Dutch Creek region, west of Canal Flats — an area known for its active wolf population.

“Where all these … poison containers have been found are all areas that we know are wolf travel corridors,” Kruger said. “So our investigation is looking at someone specifically targeting the wolf population.”

Discovered by dog owner

Kruger said a man contacted them in early March after his dog found and ate from something that looked like a white cupcake container in the area.

“Within a few minutes, that dog became ill [and] started having convulsions,” Kruger said.

The dog was treated by a vet and survived. Conservation officers investigated the area, and, over the course of a few weeks, found 17 different batches of poison along the same road within several kilometres of each other.

Kruger said a sample of the suspected poison tested positive for strychnine — a toxic chemical commonly used in rat poison.

Likely more dead wolves, poison traps

Then, in early April, two wolf carcasses were reported to conservation officers by members of the public.

Kruger said toxicology tests have not yet come back, but officers suspect poisoning, as there is no evidence of any other cause of death.

Kruger says it’s likely there are more dead wolves in less publicly accessible places that have yet to be discovered — and possibly more poison.

“[The containers we found] are all white, so we believe they were placed in the snow to blend in so they wouldn’t be detected,” Kruger said. “We’ve only found them since the snow has started to melt.”

Kruger asked anyone with information to contact the East Kootenay Conservation Officer Service.

He said under the Wildlife Act anyone found to be intentionally poisoning wolves could face a fine of up to $1 million and more than a year in jail.