China has banned a dog-eating festival that dates back more than 600 years after a Chinese internet uproar over the way dogs are slaughtered, the official Xinhua news agency reports.
Dogs are chopped up and skinned in the streets of Qianxi township in coastal Zhejiang province during the ancient festival, which is usually held in October, state-run Xinhua says.
The festival marks a local military victory during the Ming dynasty, in which dogs in Qianxi were killed so they would not bark and alert the enemy. FULL POST
By Tristan McConnell, GlobalPost
MOGADISHU, Somalia — Behind a fortified compound encircled with sandbags near Mogadishu’s airport is a large fenced enclosure that was the unlikely home to a pair of lion cubs rescued from smugglers earlier this year.
The two cubs were discovered aboard a ship at Mogadishu port. They were taken in and cared for by foreign contractors in the war-torn city until last week, when they were finally flown out to an animal sanctuary in South Africa.
Grumpy and Scar, as they were nicknamed, (the former has a bad temper and is prone to nipping overfriendly visitors; the latter has a blemish on her forehead) were found and confiscated by port authorities in late February.
Officials believe they were to be shipped to the home of a wealthy exotic-pet owner in the Arabian Gulf, and their discovery sheds light on the hidden plunder of Somalia’s wildlife and natural resources from the country’s anarchic hinterland. FULL POST
Zhu Jianqiang the "Strong-Willed Pig," hailed as a hero after surviving for more than a month trapped in the rubble of the 2008 earthquake, now has six identical piglet clones. Chinese scientists have cloned a pig hailed as a national hero after surviving for 36 days buried beneath rubble after the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan province.
Zhu Jianqiang ("Strong-Willed Pig") reportedly survived in the debris by chewing charcoal and drinking rainwater, and was "as thin as a goat" when he was rescued, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported at the time.
The pig became a symbol for national resilience. More than 90,000 people died or went missing in the devastating 8.0 magnitude earthquake, which affected Sichuan and parts of neighboring Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. FULL POST
King crabs — three-feet-wide red monsters that devour everything in their path — have invaded Antarctica. While it sounds a little like a horror movie, it's actually a large scale global warming problem. According to the New Scientist, three years ago, scientists had predicted that this would happen, but they believed the earth would have warmed to this degree in the next 100 years.
The earth has warmed a little earlier than they predicted. According to Craig Smith, a professor of oceanography at the University of Hawaii, whose team discovered the relocation, millions of these crabs have begun to crawl around by Antarctica. The crabs were known to inhabit the Ross Sea, south of New Zealand, but now they can be found south of South America. Worse, they're wiping out local wildlife, and causing large scale destruction where they go, reports the New Scientist. FULL POST
Activists in the Philippines demanded this weekend that a giant crocodile captured last week be freed. The animal rights activists said the crocodile,which measures 21 feet and weighs 2,370 pounds, should be released back into the wild, reports the Associated Press. The mayor of the town, however, says freeing the crocodile would put the community's safety at risk and should remain in an eco-tourism park.
By Per Nyberg, CNN
It was a dark, windy and rainy night when Per Johansson returned from work to his home in Saro just south of Gothenburg, Sweden.
"It was raining really bad. In the wind I heard something screaming with a very dark voice," Johansson told CNN. "At first I wondered if it was the crazy neighbors, but then I heard it again and went and checked. I saw something really big up in a tree in my neighbors' yard and it was a moose. It must have been drunk after eating fermented apples and as it was reaching out for more fruit it must have slipped and fallen into the tree." FULL POST
Fat Boy, a fat cat from the city of Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan, Canada, has become an unlikely local celebrity.
The "husky" cat weighs in at about 22 lbs, equivalent to a 350-pound person, and since the local animal shelter began chronicling Fat Boy's weight loss journey on Facebook, he has developed quite a following, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports.
By Ben Brody, GlobalPost
At combat outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers often adopt a stray neighborhood dog or two. They provide a huge morale boost for the soldiers there even if they're ornery, diseased and mangy, as the dogs often are.
In Kandahar City, Giselle is the exception — she is healthy, friendly and affectionate.
Soldiers from Apache Troop, 1-10 Cavalry, keep Gisele at their small outpost in the northern part of the city. About the size of a Jack Russell terrier, she trots along with soldiers on patrol every day. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Heather Moore is a staff writer for the PETA Foundation.
By Heather Moore – Special to CNN
The thought-provoking new film Rise of the Planet of the Apes may have people talking long after they leave the Cineplex. In the film, a scientist genetically modifies a young chimpanzee to create a new breed of ape with human-like intelligence. The chimpanzee matures quickly, escapes from his cage and recruits an army among thousands of caged apes. They revolt, and a war breaks out between the species.
While much of the movie is obviously science fiction, hundreds of chimpanzees really are used in laboratory experiments in the U.S.—the only developed country that still conducts invasive experiments on chimpanzees. These animals are cut open, addicted to drugs, kept in isolation, or inoculated with infectious agents—all legally. The U.S. Animal Welfare Act (AWA) does not prohibit any experiment, no matter how cruel or irrelevant. It simply sets minimum housing and maintenance standards for confined animals. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Peter Singer is professor of bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, The Ethics of What We Eat, and The Life You Can Save. For more from Singer, visit Project Syndicate's website, or check it out on Facebook and Twitter.
MELBOURNE – Two new movies released this month – one a science-fiction blockbuster, the other a revealing documentary – raise the issue of our relations with our closest non-human relatives, the great apes. Both dramatize insights and lessons that should not be ignored.
Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the seventh film in a series based on Pierre Boule’s 1963 novel, Planet of the Apes, about a world populated by highly intelligent simians. Publicity for the new film claims that it is “the first live-action film in the history of movies to star, and be told from the point of view of, a sentient animal.” Yet no live apes were used. FULL POST
First Catalonia outlawed bullfighting, which the Economist likened it to a German state banning wurst or a French region condemning berets.
Now Peru's minister of culture has said the sport is "terrible" and that it causes excessive suffering for the animals.
So is bullfighting on the way out? Is it a "tradition of tragedy," as PETA claims, that kills 250,000 bulls annually?
Australian farmers say wallabies are getting stoned on poppy plants and making crop circles as they hop around in an opium-fueled stupor.
The bizarre behavior was reported to a state parliamentary hearing on the security of poppy crops in the southern island state of Tasmania, the BBC reported.
State Attorney General Lara Giddings said the furry marsupials were getting "as high as a kite" and running, or hopping to be more accurate, amok in the state's opium fields.
"We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles. Then they crash," she told the hearing.
"We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high." FULL POST