Relocated grizzly destroyed after returning to Fernie park

Cranbrook, BC, Canada / The Drive FM

Elk Valley WildsafeBC reports the animal was destroyed over the May long weekend in defense of property in a rural area west of the city.

This is the second bear to be destroyed this season in the area after one had to be removed from Lower Elk Valley Rd about two weeks ago.

Biologists returned to the Elk Valley recently to continue a study started last year that looks at the way grizzlies use the landscape and how they interact with people.

They plan to have radio collars on a sample size of approximately 10 grizzly bears and monitor their activity.

– Josh Hoffman

http://www.thedrivefm.ca/2017/05/26/relocated-grizzly-shot-after-returning-to-fernie-park/?sc_ref=facebook

For the first time, a new strain of bird flu was transmitted human-to-human. This is highly unusual–and could be the first sign of new global pandemic.

The Extinction Chronicles

https://www.undispatch.com/first-time-new-strain-bird-flu-transmitted-human-human-highly-unusual-first-sign-new-global-pandemic/

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Yukon looks to preserve and manage grizzly bear population 

‘There’s been many places where grizzly bears have gone extinct,’ says biologist Tom Jung

By Paul Tukker, CBC News Posted: May 25, 2017 7:22 PM CT Last Updated: May 25, 2017 7:22 PM CT

‘Even within the Yukon, there are areas where they may be doing better than in other areas. And part of the plan is trying to look at ways that we can monitor the situation,’ said government biologist Tom Jung. (Government of Yukon)

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Grizzly bears are generally doing “quite well” in Yukon, according to government biologist Tom Jung — and wildlife officials are aiming to keep it that way.

The territorial government is developing a conservation and management plan for the species, and it’s asking Yukoners to weigh in on what that plan might look like.

The goal, Jung says, is to ensure that Yukon’s grizzlies don’t go the way of their cousins down south.

“Their populations often decline, and there’s been many places where grizzly bears have gone extinct — a lot of the lower 48 [states] for example, some of the prairies provinces,” he said.

The goal, Jung says, is to ensure that Yukon’s grizzlies don’t go the way of their cousins down south. ‘Their populations often decline,’ he said. (Mike Rudyk)

“So, the writing’s on the wall that this is a species that if we’re not careful … we could be in that situation.”

The plan would apply only to grizzlies, not black bears which are also common in Yukon.

Grizzly bears once ranged as far east as the Mississippi River, and as far south as central Mexico. Today, it’s considered a threatened species in much of the U.S., and the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) lists Western grizzlies as a species of special concern. The prairie population is considered extinct in Canada.

2013 status report by COSEWIC estimated there were about 26,000 grizzly bears in Western Canada, with the majority of them in B.C. (approximately 15,000). Yukon had an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 grizzlies.

The federal government says loss and fragmentation of habitat is one of the biggest threats to Canada’s grizzly population. A naturally low reproductive rate adds to the population’s vulnerability.

“Even within the Yukon, there are areas where they may be doing better than in other areas. And part of the plan is trying to look at ways that we can monitor the situation,” Jung said.

“So we’re trying to be proactive here.”

A 2013 status report by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) estimated there were about 26,000 grizzlies in Canada, about a quarter of them in Yukon. (Government of Yukon)

Online survey

Environment Yukon, along with the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, is asking Yukoners to fill out an online survey about grizzlies. It asks about people’s experiences hunting the bears, or seeing them in the wild. It also asks opinions about bear conservation and protection.

“Grizzly bears are kind of a species of national interest, and so if there’s going to be a national recovery plan — as it’s a species of special concern — then we want [Yukon’s] plan to be able to inform the national discussion,” said Tecla Van Bussel of the Fish and Wildlife Management Board.

“We’re hoping to hear from folks across the territory … and make sure it’s representative of everyone’s perspectives.”

The survey asks about specific issues, such as roadside hunting and camping restrictions, but Jung said the resultant management plan “may not get down into the weeds”.

“It’s meant to really be a foundation, or framework, piece that we can use to manage bears from, so that when we do hit certain issues that we want to discuss … that we have this piece and we can [look] back and see whether our actions are consistent with our overall management direction.”

The deadline to fill out the online survey is Saturday.

Alligator forced to drink beer; 2 men charged

http://komonews.com/news/nation-world/alligator-forced-to-drink-beer-2-men-charged

by Gary Detman, CBS12Saturday, May 27th 2017

Two men were charged with harassment of wildlife after posting photos of beer being forced down the throat of an alligator. (South Carolina Department of Natural Resources via CNN Newsource)

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JASPER COUNTY, S.C. (WPEC) – Two men in South Carolina are facing criminal charges for forcing beer down the throat of a young alligator, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Investigators said the men posted a photo of the alligator chugging the beer to social media. A short time later, the SCDNR started getting calls, messages and screenshots related to the incident.

Authorities said the two men, after forcing the juvenile gator to drink the beer, released the reptile back into a pond and watched it swim away.
Wildlife investigators went out to a dirt road near Hardeeville in Jasper County and caught up with the two men. Both admitted to harassing the alligator after seeing it cross the road.
Joseph Andrew Floyd Jr., 20, and Zachary Lloyd Brown, 21, are facing a misdemeanor charge of harassing wildlife.
“Wildlife conservation is a big part of what SCDNR officers do each day,” SCDNR 1st Sgt. Earl Pope said. “This case is a good example of why we strive to educate people about wildlife in hopes that they will respect it.”
The men face a maximum fine of $300.

The demise of Ringling Bros. is a victory for animal rights


 http://portsmouth-dailytimes.com/opinion/16082/the-demise-of-ringling-bros-is-a-victory-for-animal-rights
On Sunday, May 21, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will hold its final “greatest show on earth,” at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.

For the last time, Ringling’s lions, tigers, camels and other captive animals will enter the ring and be forced to perform demeaning and unnatural tricks. It’s a momentous occasion that took the animal rights movement more than three decades to achieve.

I personally led some of the earliest rallies outside Ringling Bros. shows, back in the late 1980s. As the outcry from activists and advocacy groups grew, Ringling willfully ignored it. Instead of switching exclusively to human performers — who perform by choice rather than force — the 146-year-old institution continued to bully animals. This was its downfall.

The reason is simple: When it comes to animal rights, the tide of public opinion has turned. A 2015 Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans — 62 percent — believe that animals deserve protection, and 32 percent believe animals should have the same rights as people. In recent years, many businesses have been forced to change their practices.

SeaWorld announced it would end its orca breeding program last March, and the state of California outlawed such programs a few months later. Several years ago, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to ban the use of bullhooks on elephants, and the city of West Hollywood banned the sale of fur products. Many pet stores have stopped selling dogs from puppy mills.

But while the end of Ringling is a victory for every activist who wrote a letter, signed a petition or protested outside the circus doors, the fight to free animals from cruelty, including in the entertainment industry, is far from over. Other circuses continue to exploit animals for profit, as do zoos, aquariums and rodeos.

For instance, in 2002, an investigator for my organization, Last Chance for Animals, captured footage of elephant training at the Carson & Barnes Circus in Oklahoma. The video showed violent training methods in which elephants were abused with bullhooks, electric prods and blowtorches. At one point, a trainer yelled, “Make ‘em scream!” The footage shook the circus industry to its core. Yet the Carson & Barnes Circus still features animal performers.

The simple truth is that animals should not be used for human amusement. The process often is unnatural and cruel from start to finish. Many are taken from the wild as babies and watch as their parents are slaughtered. Others are born in breeding facilities and never know freedom.

Life for these animals is one of isolation, boredom and trauma — this is why they so often exhibit abnormal behaviors, such as pulling out their own fur, incessant swaying and bar biting.

As we have seen with the demise of Ringling, the power of sustained activism is strong, but legislation could help hasten and strengthen this hard-won progress.

In March, federal legislation was introduced into the House to ban the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling circuses and exhibitions, the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act. We urge Congress to pass it. In April, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to draft a ban on the use of animals for circuses and other live shows, including private parties. We urge the council to write a final version of the bill and enact it.

It took more than three decades for the animal rights movement to put an end to the cruelty Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus inflicted on animals. It shouldn’t take another three decades to eliminate similar animal mistreatment elsewhere.

Chris DeRose is president and founder of Last Chance for Animals (@LC4A), an international nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation.

Study: To Mitigate Problem Predators, Give Wolves More Space, Tolerance

http://klcc.org/post/study-mitigate-problem-predators-give-wolves-more-space-tolerance

MAY 23, 2017

Wolves mostly make the news when they are in conflict with livestock and that’s part of the reason they were once removed from the Western landscape. But a new study shows wolves play an important role, whether we like it or not.

It’s not just wolves that prey on livestock.

“Worldwide, smaller meso-predators like coyotes, jackals and such, actually themselves prey pretty heavily on livestock and can cause a lot of economic damage,” Aaron Wirsing of the University of Washington said.

Wirsing co-authored a new study in the journal Nature Communications. He said current land management policies don’t offer apex predators enough space, but that doesn’t mean he wants to see wolves roaming rampant across North America.

“We need to allow predators to occupy more landscapes than just remote, protected areas,” Wirsing said. “On the other hand, we also need to heavily manage them, recognizing that they do conflict with people.”

That conflict made headlines last summer, when members of the Profanity Peak wolf pack killed four calves in Northeastern Washington. In response, Washington’s Department of Fish decided to shoot members of that pack from a helicopter.

“Historically, our model has been almost a postage stamp model where we protect certain areas and try to maintain intact assemblages of animals,” Wirsing said. “But we have a problem of scale.”

So, for example, areas protected for wildlife and public use might seem large from a human perspective, but what humans ay not consider is wolves can range up to 1,000 miles.

And it’s not only in the forest. Wirsing said wolves also roam the sage brush landscape in the central Northwest.

The study made use of bounty hunting data to show ecosystems function similarly in both Europe and Australia as well.

Copyright 2017 NWNews. To see more, visit NWNews.

Man indicted after shooting, killing friend during hunting trip

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-leeshawn-sutton-arrest-hunting-friend-dead20170524-story.html

by Christal Hayes Contact ReporterOrlando Sentinel

A man was indicted after shooting and killing his friend during a hunting trip last year, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Leeshawn Sutton, 58, turned himself in to the Volusia County Jail on Wednesday, a day after a grand jury indicted him on a manslaughter charge and hunting violation, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say Sutton and his friend Bruce Best, 65, were hunting in a swampy section of Oak Hill, north of Maytown Road, on Jan. 20, 2016, when the accident happened.

Sutton opened fire and hit Best with a 12-gauge shotgun, officials said.

The Sheriff’s Office needed a helicopter to help direct deputies on the ground to the two men. When they arrived, Best was dead.

Sutton was booked on one count of manslaughter with a firearm and one count of violation of game rules and regulations.

Texas Lawmakers Legalize Hunting Hogs From Hot Air Balloons

http://www.sacurrent.com/the-daily/archives/2017/05/26/texas-lawmakers-legalize-hunting-hogs-from-hot-air-balloons

By on Fri, May 26, 2017 at 7:15 am

The future of Texas hog hunting is oddly adorable. - SARAH FLOOD-BAUMANN, SHUTTERSTOCK

  • Sarah Flood-Baumann, Shutterstock
  • The future of Texas hog hunting is oddly adorable.

As state lawmakers gut major bills in the last days of the 85th legislative session, it’s become clear where many of their priorities lie. Child welfare. Religious freedom. Women’s health.

Oh, and hunting feral hogs from hot air balloons.

That last one, oddly enough, is one of the few issues that have managed to float through both chambers unscathed. Thanks to a Wednesday vote by the Texas Senate, a bill allowing landowners to shoot wild hogs and coyotes from the safety of a hot air balloon basket has now landed on Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.

The state’s estimated 2 million feral hogs have long-tormented Texas farmers, leaving destroyed crops and pastures in their wake. This bill is only the latest strategy in a growing list of legal ways to kill these invasive hogs under Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s watch. Balloon-hunting, actually, is a fix to a bill then-Representative Miller passed in 2011, which allowed property owners to shoot hogs from helicopters (he called it the “pork chopper” bill). But according to aerial hog hunters, their prey have become familiar with the buzzing helicopter motor and often scatter when they hear a chopper approaching. Plus, they complain, it’s near impossible to keep a steady aim on a bumpy helicopter ride.

Enter, the hot air balloon.

“We’ve got a problem here, and we are willing to fix it ourself. We have that Western, swashbuckling, cowboying type of way to deal with things,” Representative Mark Keough, a Woodlands Republican, told the Texas Observer in April. “It’s part of the culture, it’s different than any other state.”

Keough has never tried the kind of “swashbuckling” hunting his bill allows. That’s probably because it’s illegal — but also because absolutely no one hunts hogs from hot air balloons. It seems to be an idea Keough basically invented himself. The bill provides no information on how a person can rent a hot air balloon for a hunting excursion (unless you’re throwing down some $22,000 on a personal huntin’ balloon), or if they need to take a certain certification class before taking flight.

Either way, the majority of Texas legislators apparently think it’s a good idea.

Commissioner Miller’s office didn’t return calls for comment Thursday and his wildly active social media accounts lack any acknowledgement of Keough’s bill. This silence, coming from a man who once called for a Texas-sized “hog apocalypse,” is a bit surprising.

It could be Miller’s still sulking after his own hog eradication scheme fell flat in April. Miller was met with quick opposition after legalizing the use of posion-laced hog kibble in February. An unusual coalition of hog hunters, meat processing plant owners, and environmentalists filed a joint lawsuit against the state, claiming too little was known about the toxic chemical’s affects of humans and the environment to approve. The law has been put on hold, and the one toxic hog kibble provider decided to stop selling to Texas after being slammed with a barrage of lawsuits.

If signed by Gov Abbott, Keough’s bill will go into effect in September.

Wolf-like golden jackal discovered in northern Germany

http://www.dw.com/en/wolf-like-golden-jackal-discovered-in-northern-germany/a-38977624

Golden jackals, similar to small grey wolves, have been making their way across Europe into new territory. A German farmer is claiming compensation after the protected, wolf-like predator killed a sheep.

Canis aureus (picture-alliance/dpa/Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald/LfU)A golden jackal was photographed by a camera trap in Bavaria in 2012

For the first time, golden jackals have been detected in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, which borders Denmark, authorities announced this week. The animals are originally native to the Balkans, but have slowly spread to areas they never previously settled, such as northern Italy, eastern Austria and Hungary.

After three sheep were attacked by an animal in the region of Dithmarschen on the North Sea coast this month, authorities first suspected a wolf. A DNA sample, however, revealed the culprit to be a golden jackal (Canis aureus), the state ministry for the environment announced.

The predators are smaller and more slender than gray wolves and normally weigh 8 to 10 kilograms (17 to 22 pounds), while especially large specimens can reach 15 kilograms, according to the ministry. They are protected by German federal regulations.

One of the sheep died following the incident, meaning the farmer can claim compensation. Authorities pay farmers damages when wolves, which are also protected in Germany, kill their livestock.

Spreading north

Despite the name, golden jackals are believed to be more closely related to gray wolves and coyotes than to the black-backed and side-striped jackal species native to Africa.

Portrait of a golden jackal in Rajasthan, India (picture-alliance/blickwinkel/W. Layer)Golden jackals have been spreading through Europe to regions where they never previously lived

Individual specimens have been sporadically detected in Switzerland and Germany over the past few years, the ministry said. In the summer of 2000, evidence of their presence was first discovered in a southern part of Brandenburg state. Specimens popped up in Bavaria in 2012, in Hessen in 2013 and in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Lower Saxony in 2016, gradually moving north.

Europe’s northernmost population of golden jackals is in Denmark. The ministry said it could not accurately determine if the latest findings were evidence of Danish jackals colonizing Schleswig-Holstein.

The animals usually live in pairs and occupy fixed territories of about 3 square kilometers (1 square mile).

They tend to feed on insects, rodents, birds and amphibians but can also eat smaller mammals such as hares and rabbits, rare deer, and their offspring.

This week in southern Germany a golden jackal was struck on the highway near Freising, which is close to Munich airport.