PARIS (AP) — A zoo director says a 5-year-old rhinoceros at the wildlife park he runs near Paris has been shot three times in the head by poachers who stole the animal’s ivory horn.
Thierry Duguet told The Associated Press that poachers broke into the Thoiry Zoo overnight and used a chain saw to remove the horn from the rhino named Vince. Zookeepers discovered his carcass Tuesday in the rhinoceros’ enclosure.
Duguet says police are investigating and the suspects still are at large.
The Thoiry Zoo is famous for its safari park that can only be explored from inside a vehicle.
According to Le Parisien newspaper, a rhinoceros horn can be sold for up to 40,000 euros on the black market because of a strong demand linked to the belief that the horns have aphrodisiac powers.
- by: Kelly Coldewey ~*~ H.O.P.E. Help Our Precious Elephants
- target: Oregon Zoo Director, Donald E. Moore, Ph.D, Oregon
The heartbreaking story of Packy begins when he was born at the Oregon Zoo in 1962 to his Mother Bella. Packy has spent 54 years behind bars.
Packy is the oldest male Asian elephant in North America, and he is in extremely poor health. He was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2013, and is still undergoing treatment. Packy is also plagued by cracked nails, lesions, and abscesses on his right foot. Records reveal that he receives Ibuphofen and Acetaminophen for lameness, and near daily attempts to manage the poor condition of his feet.
Please sign this petition demanding that the Oregon Zoo release Packy the elephant to the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s (PAWS) sanctuary in California. There, he would have the opportunity to roam acres of natural habitat, play in a pond, forage for fresh vegetation, befriend other elephants, and enjoy a full, healthy, and enriched life.
Thank you very much.
“Cecilia, in her 30s, has been kept alone in a concrete enclosure for
years at the shabby Mendoza Zoo in Argentina after the death of two of
Recently, I revisited Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park: a roadside zoo just outside the small town of Orono, Ontario. I had not checked it out in a couple of decades. It opened in 1983.
It’s neither the best nor the worst of its kind. When I sent photos I had taken to Rob Laidlaw of Zoocheck, he replied, “When I look at the images, it just strikes me how absurd and wasted the lives of the animals are living in those cages in Orono; a purposeless and hopeless existence.”
That perfectly expressed my own views. Scattered about the grounds are a series of cages and enclosures in which the usual assembly of animals commonly seen in zoos are imprisoned, without a jungle in sight. There is also a pet cemetery, a motel-like bed and breakfast accommodation, a tiny cafeteria, and a souvenir shop.
The zoo offers a “Safari Zoo Camp experience” each summer. It grandly promises to “protect and conserve the natural world by offering the public engaging wildlife education programs and experiences with animals to help foster the necessary awareness, knowledge, skills and confidence to live in an environmentally friendly way.”
I climbed the “wolf tower” to peer down into an enclosure where some wolves remained, mostly hidden in the weeds. One was pacing in the classical stereotypic manner of confined zoo animals. By pre-focusing my camera at the spot where he was briefly visible, I got a few mediocre snapshots. This is definitely not how wolves act in the wild.
The sign for the European kestrel misidentified him as a female and contained a mishmash of information on that species and the markedly different American kestrel—while doing nothing to protect either species.
Until she read the sign on the cage, I overheard a lady say that the mountain lion, puma, and cougar were all the same species. I guess that’s education.
My concern is that these places make people think that what they see in such facilities is somehow “normal” for the animals they imprison. The parrot on the t-bar, the lemurs jumping on a hanging spare tire and begging for grapes, that owl up in the corner of her cage, or the pacing tiger… This is what they’ll know of each species.
This is not what animals are like, so isolated from the realities they evolved to inhabit. And yet, in or near towns and cities across the continent, I fear that too many people see these facilities as normal components of our own society: the animals serving to amuse us, where we “ooh” over white lions, or gasp at how big a boa constrictor can grow, or laugh at the antics of a squirrel monkey.
Rob calls the last century and a half that the modern zoo has existed the “sanitization and acceptance” period, wherein wild animals in cages are increasingly seen to be perfectly normal… while the spaces they naturally inhabit continue to decline. Sadly, I think he’s right.
Keep wildlife in the wild,
MONTANA: “Problem grizzly killed” reads the headline (article here). NO–the bear was not the problem; it was unaccommodating humans and a state that fails to protect bears with laws. For TWO YEARS these bears have been lured beyond the edge of their habitat by attractants: “…chickens, ducks and rabbits…pet and livestock food…” At least this time the word “kill” is used instead of “euthanize”–I’d go even further and say this bear was *executed* for the crimes of humans who refused to act in a way that kept their wild neighbors safe. Hefty fines would force rural homeowners to eliminate bear attractants; electric fencing is proven to save bears. Montana is not adequately protecting bears from human nuisances.
imagesGREAT NEWS: Citizens’ initiative I-177 has QUALIFIED to appear on the November ballot! Want to help eliminate cruel and archaic traps on our citizen-owned public lands here in Big Sky country? Visit Montanans for Trap-free Public Lands. Congrats to all who worked relentlessly to collect the thousands of signatures required by the state!
Animals like gorillas and chimpanzees are closely related to humans. But they have no rights. Peter Singer, a professor of bioethics tells DW why great apes should be legally recognized and why animal interests matter.
Gorillas are critically endangered with fewer than 175,000 left in the wild worldwide, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The death of Bantu, the last male western lowland gorilla left in Mexico, brought the debate over animal rights back into the limelight, particularly with regard to those those who spend their lives behind bars.
DW had a chance to speak with Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University.
You are one of the co-founders of the so called Great Ape Project. What exactly is it all about?
It’s an effort to achieve basic rights for great apes, for chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans, in particular. We know that they are like us in many important ways: that they are complex beings with rich emotional lives, that they are capable of reflecting on their situation, of thinking, of problem solving, that they are self-aware, that they can think about the future. We argue, that in these respects they are so like humans, that we should give them some basic rights. Meaning rights to life, liberty and protection from torture. We would like to see them recognized in the law as people, therefore as beings who can bring a case in the courts. Obviously, through a guardian or advocate, as a small child would bring a case in the courts. But not simply (being seen) as items of property.
Are terms such as “freedom” and “captivity” not merely expressions of our own creation? Isn’t there a difference between humans and animals due to our capacity to think rationally?
That is certainly true. But you can’t explain these concepts to a two year old either, nor to someone with profound intellectual disability. Nonetheless, we do not lock them up and put them on display for others to look at. We don’t perform the kind of medical experiments on them, that have been performed on great apes. Although, fortunately, now medical research on great apes in many countries has been prohibited and that is, I think, partly a result of the work of the Great Ape Project. But given that we think all human beings have some basic rights, irrespective of their capacity to reason or reflect, or think about freedom as an abstraction, then to grant that to all humans beings, but to deny it to chimpanzees and gorillas is simply saying: “Oh well, they are not members of our species, and only our species has rights.” That is simply not defensible. We think it is very similar to racist or sexist ways of limiting the rights of non-european races, or those of women, as it has happened in the past.
Some argue that zoos serve an educational purpose. An irreplaceable meeting place for man and the animal, without which we would not care about them so much…
I am not aware of any evidence that looking at animals in captivity inclines us to care more about them. I suspect that one major lesson that people absorb through caged zoos is that we have the right to confine animals and use them as, basically, forms of entertainment. I think the educational lesson would be better, if they were kept in much larger enclosures where they can live a more normal life for their species. We would learn much more from that and we would also learn greater respect for them.
You are an advocate of the philosophical current called Preference Utilitarianism. What does this mean with regard to animals?
I am a utilitarian. I think that the right action is the one that has the best consequences. In terms of what those consequences are, utilitarians classically have referred to pleasure and pain. Preference utilitarians refer to the satisfaction of preferences. Whichever form of Utilitarianism we take, it’s clear that animals come in, because they do experience pain and pleasure and animals do have preferences, obviously for avoiding pain and experiencing pleasure, as well as perhaps many other preferences as well. And we are not justified in disregarding or discounting those preferences or those pains and pleasures, just because they are not members of our species. That is why from a utilitarian perspective, animals clearly do have a kind of moral status, that means that we have to consider their interests, and we should not regard those interests as less significant than ours, just because they are not members of our species.
In your book “Animal Liberation” (1975), widely considered to be a pioneer piece of work within the realm of the animal advocacy movement, you discuss the rule of man over animals. Does the apparent growth in interest around topics such as vegetarianism and the defense of animal rights reflect a shift in the greater public consciousness?
Today there’s a greater interest in animal rights, and in part that certainly has something to do with a shift in our diet. Particularly away from factory farmed animal products. Also, I believe there is an increasing recognition that this is environmentally not sustainable, and that it contributes to climate change. So I think that there are a lot of factors that are leading to a significant increase in interest in vegetarian and vegan diets. And I’ve noticed through traveling in many countries that vegan options have become available. Ten years ago you would not have found them.
You have often talked about your positions on assisted dying and suicide, pleading that one should be able to decide freely when to end his or her life. How does this apply to animals?
I think there are differences between different kinds of beings in their capacities to choose their own death, and this would be true with humans as well. You have to be of a certain age, and mentally competent in order to receive physician assistance in dying, in those jurisdictions in which it is legal, for example the Netherlands or Belgium or more recently Canada, and some states of the United States. Non-human animals don’t meet those conditions, and therefore others do have to make that judgement. Sometimes, and I think anybody who has had a cat or a dog might be aware of this, animals become ill and are clearly suffering, and there is little hope of recovery. Then we have to make a decision for them, and that should happen in zoos as well.
You travel a lot. Which general differences in the protection and treatment of animals do you encounter?
I have seen significant improvements in Europe over the past couple of decades, particularly with regard to factory farming. Some of the worst forms of confinement have been prohibited, for example the standard battery cages for egg laying hens. Those are advances which, to the best of my knowledge, do not exist in Latin America. So in general you’d have to say that the region needs to catch up with where Europe is on that kind of progressive legislation. Also on matters like the testing of cosmetics on animals. So there are problems, and not only in Latin America, but also in Asia. Very severe problems in China in terms of animal welfare, where there is really a national animal welfare war.
Why do you think is it so difficult to get through claims for better living conditions for animals in zoos, let alone a ban on keeping apes and other animals in them?
It is always hard to produce change against established interests, and zoos have been doing what they’re doing for a long time. Especially when you have urban zoos with rather limited amounts of land, it is very hard for them to change, because they just do not have the space to provide the proper conditions for animals.
They would have to greatly reduce the number of animals and the variety of different species that they have. For this they worry that people would not come to visit them anymore, so it is a constant struggle. I think we really need to get zoos out of these urban areas where they don’t have enough space, and move them outside cities where they can be more like a sanctuary or wildlife park, and provide dignified conditions for animals.
Interview: Nicolás Mandeau.
Peter Singer is professor of bioethics at the Princeton University and author of numerous books, including most recently: “The Most Good You Can Do. How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically”.
The fate of Harambe, the 17-year-old gorilla who was shot dead in a Cincinnati zoo on May 28, has inspired much debate. Some adamantly defend the zoo workers’ actions, while others point to the hypocrisy of outrage when many sentient animals are killed each day without drawing any attention whatsoever. Seeing Harambe’s face as an innocent animal who was so quickly sacrificed has undeniably struck a chord with many. So, despite some claims that animal rights is the least important issue, the attention that the gorilla’s life received indicates that people are ready to hear the truth: Non-human animals are sentient beings with lives that do, in fact, matter.
All this is another indication of how interest in the issue of animal rights has grown significantly in the past half-century. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, nearly a third of Americans now believe that non-human animals should be given the same rights as people. That’s a considerable increase since 2008, when only a fourth of Americans shared this view.
Taking full consideration of this is pretty awe-inspiring. I chose to be vegetarian as a kid because I felt motivated to protect animals, and so much has changed since I felt like I was the only vegetarian in the world as I grew up in the 1990’s in small town Alabama. We’re quickly making progress, yet animals are literally being tortured to deliver meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, and fish to dinner plates. Even worse is happening to some for fur and other animal byproducts that humans can easily and comfortably live without. It’s clear that people are concerned, and the following reasons show why animal rights should be a central topic of debate.
Established Sentience in Non-Human Animals
Imagine desperately needing to move, yet you were confined to a cage where you had to live in your own urine and feces, never experiencing simple pleasures beyond fear and pain. Many farm animals experience that and worse tortures. Being sentient beings, they are aware of their needs and wants; they fight for their lives to the end.
This isn’t simply imagining what it would be like. Animal sentience is an established fact. Psychology Today reported in 2013 that we’ve had plenty of data for a while to declare that non-human animals are sentient beings. The prominent scientists at the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness declared that many non-human animals are conscious. It’s been shown that animals can worry and lose sleep. Like people, non-human animals will fight to live, and many species have problem-solving capabilities.
A Staggering Number of Beings Who Suffer
If you’re like me, you get upset and even outraged when you see just one person suffer, and you do what you can to help them. Now imagine that happening a billion times over. Given that the sentience of many non-human animals is widely accepted, people should care deeply about preventing the massive amounts of suffering that are currently being inflicted on animals. In the U.S. alone, each year more than 78 billion sea animals and over eight billion land animals are killed for food. That’s not millions, but billions. That ends up to a tragic, extreme amount of suffering among sentient beings every single day in the country.
No one issue facing the world is entirely independent of the others. The case for animal rights also stands alongside other forms of prejudice as an issue that needs to be addressed. Having prejudice against others for their citizenship, race, sexual orientation, gender, or species can have far-reaching effects on society.
An intersectional approach to animal rights is key. Social justice advocate and writer Christopher-Sebastian McJetters recently stated, “Intersectional justice isn’t some ‘sect’ of veganism. Framing it as such is reductive and overly simplistic. Intersectionality is an analytical approach that challenges the root causes of oppression through the lens of people who live daily with multiple intersecting oppressions…people who often lack the social, sexual, economic, and academic mobility of those who needlessly antagonize and harass them.”
It’s not just animals’ lives that are at stake when we disregard animal rights as a core issue. Life on earth as we know it is at stake. Livestock production is posing a rather big risk to human health through the overuse of antibiotics. When bacteria become resistant to the antibiotics because of their overuse, the effectiveness of the medicine is compromised. Also, the high amount of pollution of both water and land caused by livestock production threatens human health.
The damage that’s being done to the planet by animal agriculture is extreme. Environmental advocates like Al Gore and James Cameron decided to go vegan because of this staggering harm. Approximately 30 percent of the world’s ice-free land surface is used to farm chickens, pigs, and cows for slaughter and human consumption. Furthermore, this livestock production, which includes eggs and dairy, takes up more than a third of the fresh water in the world. Time reports that livestock production has a bigger impact on Planet Earth than any other activity humans do.
At least 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock, according to a report that was released by the United Nations. That’s more than the combined emissions from all forms of human transportation, including cars, planes, and trains. Since it’s widely believed that we need to act soon before there’s no turning back on global warming, this is a solid reason all need to be concerned about the harm caused by a disregard for animal rights.
Where We’re at Now
Some leading politicians seem to be getting the message about the importance of animal rights, but we have a long way to go. No current Republican Presidential frontrunners seem to have addressed the issue of animal rights in a serious way, although Donald Trump did seem to mock the cause in a Tweet, stating, “Ringling Brothers is phasing out their elephants. I, for one, will never go again. They probably used the animal rights stuff to reduce costs.” Hillary Clinton’s campaign website claims that the way our society treats animals is a reflection of our humanity, even going on to state, “Hillary has a strong record of standing up for animal rights.” Meanwhile, the website of Bernie Sanders doesn’t address the issue, but Zach Groff, a protester who interrupted Bernie’s May 2016 rally in California said, “He claims to be a progressive, but you cannot be a progressive if you oppose animal rights.” Sanders did receive a recent 100 percent rating for his voting on animals in a Humane Society report.
It’s clear that animal rights should be a core national moral issue, not a side topic that’s viewed as less important than the current topics of debate. Activists, animal rights organizations, and others will need to continue raising awareness and bringing these facts to the forefront of debates in order to ensure that it becomes a core issue.
Last weekend at the Cincinnati Zoo, a child got curious and a gorilla got shot. The 4-year-old boy crawled past a barricade and fell into a moat surrounding the enclosure housing Harambe, whose 17th birthday had been celebrated the day before. In the 10 minutes the two spent together, Harambe showed no intention of harming the boy…
Zoo officials chose to shoot Harambe as the only way to guarantee the child’s safety.