WildFact
Animal News (Except Bigcats) - Printable Version

+- WildFact (https://wildfact.com/forum)
+-- Forum: Nature & Conservation (https://wildfact.com/forum/forum-nature-conservation)
+--- Forum: News, Events & Updates (https://wildfact.com/forum/forum-news-events-updates)
+--- Thread: Animal News (Except Bigcats) (/topic-animal-news-except-bigcats)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26


RE: Animal News (Except Bigcats) - Ngala - 10-20-2016

Romania bans trophy hunting of brown bears, wolves, lynx and wild cats
Luke Dale-Harris
Wednesday 5 October 2016 16.08 BST

Unexpected move reverses a trend that has seen increasing numbers of large carnivores shot by hunters each year since Romania’s accession to the European Union

In 2016, the largest hunting quotas yet gave hunters the mandate to shoot 550 bears, 600 wolves and 500 big cats over 12 months. Photograph: Radu Sigheti/Reuters

*This image is copyright of its original author

Romania has banned all trophy hunting of brown bears, wolves, lynx and wild cats in a surprise decision that gives Europe’s largest population of large carnivores a reprieve from its most severe and immediate threat.

The move on Tuesday reverses a trend which has seen the number of large carnivores being shot by hunters grow year on year since Romania’s accession into the European Union in 2007. In 2016, the largest hunting quotas yet gave hunters the mandate to shoot 550 bears, 600 wolves and 500 big cats over 12 months.

Over the last decade, hunting has grown into a multimillion-euro industry in Romania, with hunters from all over the world paying up to €10,000 (£8,800) to claim a ‘trophy’ – hunting parlance for the carcass of a hunted animal – from the Carpathian mountains.

The government has claimed that in order to exist, the industry relies on a loophole in European law which allows for the culling of wild animals that have been proven to be a danger to humans. Under the habitats directive, all large carnivores are protected in European Union member states, yet the state can order the killing of specific animals if shown to have attacked a person or damaged private property.

“Hunting for money was already illegal, but it was given a green light anyway,” environment minster, Cristiana Pasca-Palmer, told the Guardian. ‘The damages [clause in the habitats directive] acted as a cover for trophy hunting.”

Each year, hundreds of hunting associations across the country would submit two numbers; the total population of each large carnivore species, and the total number which they believed to be likely to cause damages. The second number would then act as a basis for a government-issued hunting quota for each species. These quotas were then carved up between hunting companies and sold as hunting rights to the public.

“This method raised some questions,” says Pasca-Palmer. “How can hunting associations count how many animals are causing damages a priori – before the damages have happened? By introducing the ban, what we are doing is simply putting things back on the right track, as the habitats directive originally intended.”

Wildlife NGOs claim that the methodology also tended to dramatically overestimate the populations of large carnivores. The official figure for the number of bears in Romania is over 6,000, and for wolves is 4,000. Yet with hundreds of hunting associations each responsible for monitoring a small area of land, and animals prone to wandering, it is understood that individual animals were often counted multiple times, potentially pushing the total population statistics up by thousands.

Announced late on Tuesday evening, the ban is expected to divide Romania’s population, pitching rural and urban dwellers against each other. The government’s decision has strong support in the larger cities, which have seen a growing movement against hunting in recent months. But in much of Romania’s remote countryside large carnivores are a daily threat to villagers and a persistent nuisance to livestock farmers, and many see hunting as the only solution.

Csaba Domokos, a bear specialist with wildlife protection NGO Milvus group, is convinced that the success or failure of the hunting ban rides on the government’s ability to address the rural population’s fears.

“Damages caused by large carnivores are a very real concern in the countryside,” he said. “The system up until now did not work; hunting does not reduce conflicts between carnivores and humans; in fact many studies show that with wolves and large cats, it can actually increase the problem.

“But the rural population believe that hunting is the answer, and unless they can be convinced otherwise, people may well start to take the problem into their own hands. The ban is a great step, but we don’t want hunting to be replaced by poaching.”

Domokos points out that hunters also have a vested interested in the protection of their quarry. “To some extent, hunting acts as a financial incentive for wildlife management, from preventing poaching to conserving habitats. There is some concern that once you take that away, the government will not invest enough to replace it.”

 Hunters pay up to €10,000 to trophy hunt in the Carpathian mountains. Photograph: Nick Turner/Alamy

*This image is copyright of its original author

The government’s response is to take management into its own hands. A special unit is to be set up within the paramilitary police force that will assess any reports of damages by large carnivores and deal with the culprit animal directly. The ministry of environment have discussed the possibility of relocating the target animals abroad to countries interested in ‘rewilding’.

The ban comes amid a growing push for the protection of Romania’s wild mountains that has seen anti-corruption officers convict dozens of foresters, hunters and local officials in recent years.

Gabriel Paun, an activist and conservationist behind a petition that collected 11,000 signatures in the weeks before the hunting ban, sees the government’s decision as a step towards a safer future for Europe’s wild spaces: “The Carpathian mountains are home to more biodiversity than anywhere else in Europe, but for too long they have been ruthlessly exploited for forestry and hunting. Let’s hope the government’s decision is a sign of things to come.”


RE: Hoofed Animals ~ - Kingtheropod - 11-15-2016

Man finds two moose frozen in Mid-fight

It was said that the Moose when fighting likely broke through the ice when the two where fighting and the animals had locked their antlers together resulting in them being stock together.


*This image is copyright of its original author


https://www.rt.com/viral/366791-moose-frozen-ice-alaska/


RE: Animal News (Except Bigcats) - brotherbear - 11-17-2016

Polar bears and dogs: http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=995688&binId=1.1164782&playlistPageNum=1#_gus&_gucid=&_gup=Facebook&_gsc=iNwuePK


RE: Animal News (Except Bigcats) - Bronco - 11-19-2016

2 apprehended for smuggling Red sand boa snakes by the Sashastra Seema Bal (Indian Border Police force)


*This image is copyright of its original author


The snakes are valued for some medicinal properties & goodluck charm & they are sold for unbelievable prices.


RE: Animal News (Except Bigcats) - Ngala - 11-24-2016

In the last decade a mistery disease has hit American snakes
A strange infection has emerged in America and is striking down the country's snakes. Nobody knows why it is happening
By Colin Barras
23 November 2016

In 2006 biologists studying the only timber rattlesnakes in the state of New Hampshire recorded something alarming: a population crash. The already rare animals – numbering about 40 in total – began dying in unusually large numbers. No more than 20 rattlesnakes survived, and the population remained at that new super-low level five years later.

Many of the snakes showed signs of a severe skin infection on their heads and bodies just before they died. It was an early sign of a deadly fungal disease that is now sweeping through the snakes of eastern North America.

Today at least 30 species are affected. "Snake fungal disease" has been documented in more than 16 US states and in parts of Canada. How worried should we be?

A timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) (Credit: Daniel Heuclin/naturepl.com)

*This image is copyright of its original author

Snake fungal disease generally begins with a relatively mild skin infection, often – but not always – where a snake's skin has been physically damaged.

"Until 2015 it was not even clear which fungus triggers the disease"

The snake's immune system kicks into action, but within a few days the skin at the infection site has begun to thicken and die, creating a yellow or brown crust. In some cases this crust breaks off, exposing raw flesh and allowing the fungus to spread.

If the infection reaches the head it can interfere with the snake's eyes or sense of smell, leaving the animal unable to hunt and prone to death by starvation.

Even if the infection remains confined to the body, it can interfere with the snake's behaviour in a way that raises the risk of death. For instance, some infected snakes bask out in the open air at times of the year when they should be hibernating. Doing so raises their body temperature and helps their immune system fight the disease, but it can leave the snake vulnerable to death if ambient temperatures drop suddenly.

This sort of detailed information might give the impression that snake fungal disease is relatively well understood by biologists. That could hardly be further from the truth. 

Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola (Credit: D. J. McLelland/L. Johnson/R. Reuter/CC by 4.0)

*This image is copyright of its original author

In fact, until 2015 it was not even clear which fungus triggers the disease.

"There are sporadic reports of snakes with skin lesions going back decades"

Two studies, published a month apart, formally identified the culprit. Both found that healthy snakes developed the disease if they were infected with a soil fungus called Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola.

The curious thing is that O. ophiodiicola appears to have been present in North America long before snake fungal disease flared up.

"It's in so many different habitats," says Matt Allender at the University of Illinois in Urbana, who co-authored one of the two studies. "I think it was widespread across all landscapes, and certain factors have caused it to emerge as a pathogen-causing disease."

Exactly when the fungus turned into a snake killer is also unclear.

Eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) (Credit: Lynn M. Stone/naturepl.com)

*This image is copyright of its original author

Jeffrey Lorch at the US Geological Survey–National Wildlife Health Centre in Madison, Wisconsin was a co-author on the second O. ophiodiicola study. He points out that there are sporadic reports of snakes with skin lesions going back decades. "[But] we have not yet been able to definitively prove that these older cases were caused by Ophidiomyces," he says.

"The year 2000 is when we start to see its emergence in the area"

Research by Allender and his colleagues suggests O. ophiodiicola might have begun attacking snakes very recently.

The scientists trawled through museum collections across Illinois, one of the states badly affected by snake fungal disease today. "We looked at every massasauga [a type of rattlesnake] specimen that came in since 1880, and re-evaluated and re-examined any animal with any evidence of clinical signs consistent with snake fungal disease," says Allender.

Then the team studied samples from lesions that could have been caused by the fungus and looked at their molecular makeup.

"We saw zero occurrence of the fungus from 1880 all the way through to 1999," says Allender. "The year 2000 is when we start to see its emergence in the area."

This suggests that an event at the turn of the millennium led a relatively benign fungus to become a potent snake killer.

Banded water snake (Nerodia fasciata) (Credit: Daniel Heuclin/naturepl.com)

*This image is copyright of its original author

However, nobody knows what that trigger was. "It is unclear why the disease seems to be becoming more problematic," says Lorch.

It might be significant that environmental conditions in eastern North America were unusually wet in 2006, the year snake fungal disease was first documented. Cool and damp conditions certainly favour fungal activity, as Lorch and his colleagues pointed out in a paper published in October 2016.

"It's in more than 15 genera of snakes"

But, paradoxically, they also say that unusually hot and dry weather could have been a triggering factor. Such conditions might have encouraged snakes to spend more time underground to escape the heat. That could have put them into prolonged contact with the soil-dwelling fungus, giving it more opportunity to attack.

It might be significant that O. ophiodiicola seems to have a greater chance of infecting snakes hibernating in warmer soil, as Allender and his colleagues reported in 2015.

Another of their studies, published in July 2016, suggests a human factor in the rise of snake fungal disease. They explored which disinfectants are most effective against Ophidiomyces.
"We found several things would kill the fungus: bleach, alcohol and over-the-counter cleaners," says Allender. "But what didn't kill it was an agricultural fungicide. It's concerning. Is the emergence of widespread fungicide use linked to emergence of some of these fungal diseases?"

Working out why O. ophiodiicola became so deadly is clearly important. But arguably there is an even more urgent question to answer: exactly how deadly is the fungus?

Massasaugas (Sistrurus catenatus) are affected (Credit: Daniel Heuclin/naturepl.com)

*This image is copyright of its original author

So far snake fungal disease has proved to be astonishingly indiscriminate. "It's in more than 15 genera of snakes," says Allender.

Some affected snakes seem to fare better than others.

"Snakes are an important part of the ecosystem, because they hunt rodents and other animals that can carry diseases"

In a few species snake fungal disease is having a truly devastating impact. "The main species I look at is a rattlesnake called the eastern massasauga," says Allender. "They have a 92.5% mortality rate from the disease."

"In many areas, snake populations are highly fragmented and already in trouble from other threats," says Lorch. "It is these cases where we worry about snake fungal disease contributing to [local or regional] extinction."

Even a reduction in snake numbers – falling short of outright extinction – could be bad news. Snakes are an important part of the ecosystem, because they hunt rodents and other animals that can carry diseases. If snakes begin to disappear from the landscape, these dangerous diseases could become more commonplace. That could pose a threat to human health.
Unfortunately, what little evidence there is suggests snakes are on the decline across the world.

Mud snakes (Farancia abacura) (Credit: MYN/Paul Marcellini/naturepl.com)

*This image is copyright of its original author

In 2010, Chris Reading at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in Wallingford, UK, and his colleagues reported evidence of sharp snake population drops in the UK, France, Italy, Nigeria and Australia.

"It's hard to get people excited about snakes"

"It is possible that environmental pressures on snakes, such as habitat loss or degradation, climate change and prey availability, could all potentially impact on a snake's physiology," says Reading. "[That] might therefore result in a reduced ability to resist otherwise mild infections."

So how worried should we be about snake fungal disease? It is probably too early to say for sure, but it could prove to be a big problem.

To make matters worse, snakes have a terrible public image. That means drumming up support for research into snake fungal disease is a challenge.

Timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) can be black (Credit: Pete Oxford/naturepl.com)

*This image is copyright of its original author

"It's hard to get people excited about snakes. It's not a group of species that many people care much about," says Allender. "And most cases of the disease are in venomous species, which makes it even more difficult to get them excited."

"Snakes have a terrible public image"

North American bat researchers faced a similar public-relations battle a few years ago, when another devastating fungal infection – white-nose syndrome – began killing the flying mammals in large numbers.

Allender says the bat researchers did a "really good job" of explaining that bats bring economic benefits: for instance, by hunting and killing insects that might otherwise eat crops.
"There's a really direct link between bats and agricultural food supplies," he says. "But with snakes we can't simplify the narrative as much."

This might be the biggest challenge the snake biologists face. Finding a way to make the public care about the plight of snakes could be a necessary first step in the fight against snake fungal disease.


RE: Animal News (Except Bigcats) - Bronco - 12-03-2016

African elephants are being born without tusks due to poaching, researchers say

An increasing number of African elephants are now born tuskless because poachers have consistently targetted animals with the best ivory over decades, fundamentally altering the gene pool.

In some areas 98 per cent of female elephants now have no tusks, researchers have said, compared to between two and six per cent born tuskless on average in the past. 


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/elephants-africa-tusks-ivory-poaching-born-without-a7440706.html


RE: Animal News (Except Bigcats) - Pckts - 12-05-2016

(12-03-2016, 09:42 PM)Bronco Wrote: African elephants are being born without tusks due to poaching, researchers say

An increasing number of African elephants are now born tuskless because poachers have consistently targetted animals with the best ivory over decades, fundamentally altering the gene pool.

In some areas 98 per cent of female elephants now have no tusks, researchers have said, compared to between two and six per cent born tuskless on average in the past. 


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/elephants-africa-tusks-ivory-poaching-born-without-a7440706.html
It's already happening to the asiatic elephant, I'm sure the african elephant is just following that path.
I wonder if that is the reason for the smaller horn in the indian rhino sub species as well?


RE: Big herbivores! - Kingtheropod - 12-28-2016

Giraffes now officially listed as vulnerable species

"The world’s tallest animal just joined the increasingly unexclusive extinction watch list

We hear a lot about the plight of elephants, the largest living land animal. Now some some unsettling news shines the increasingly bright spotlight of extinction on the tallest land animal, giraffes.
This week the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) determined that the giraffe population has shrunk so significantly over the last few decades that the animal should be moved from “Least Concern” to “Vulnerable” on the official watch list of threatened and endangered species worldwide. Giraffes are the only mammal whose status changed on the list this year.
There are far fewer giraffes in the wild than elephants, with just under 100,000 accounted for in 2015, down nearly 40% from 1985.

With the giraffe population falling so quickly even as these majestic animals remain common on safaris, in the media, and in zoos, people are referring to their downfall as a “silent extinction.”

“There’s a strong tendency to think that familiar species (such as giraffes, chimps, etc.) must be OK because they are familiar and we see them in zoos,” Duke University conservation biologist Stuart Pimm told the AP. Pimm has criticized the IUCN for not putting enough species on the threat list.
Stephanie Fennessy, co-director and co-founder of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF), said that the main threat to giraffes is human population, including “habitat loss, habitat destruction and fragmentation, illegal hunting in some areas as well was civil unrest.”
“We hear increasing stories that gangs poaching elephant and rhino will kill giraffe for their meat,” she said.
The recent first-ever global assessment of the impact of bushmeat hunting, or wild meat, warned that if major changes aren’t made to limit human consumption and killing of these animals, many of them could reach the point of extinction. Bushmeat is a traditional food source for many rural communities in Asia, South America, and Africa. But as hunting practices become commercialized and inroads are made into even the most remote wild areas, the mammals relying on these ecosystems are no match for the hunting and trapping now taking place.

Fennessy hopes the more critical status will help increase conservation support for the African government and bring giraffes officially onto the international conservation agenda for the first time.
“In the end, giraffes can only be saved in Africa, but it is important to draw attention to their plight,” she said. “That’s why we work with many international partners including zoos to educate people, raise awareness and funding.”
Of the nine currently recognized subspecies of giraffe, five have decreasing populations, three are increasing, and one is stable. Giraffes are widespread across southern and eastern Africa, with smaller isolated subpopulations in west and central Africa.
The IUCN “Red List” of threatened species is the scientific authority on what animals and plants face extinction. At the latest meeting of this biodiversity organization, the IUCN increased the threat level for 35 species, including giraffes, and lowered the threat level for seven species.

The latest edition of the IUCN Red List now contains over 85,000 species in total with more than 24,000 threatened with extinction.
The classification of giraffes as vulnerable fits into a trend of large animals facing “double jeopardy” of extinction—the combination of social and biological factors that together create extreme risk of extinction.
While large megafauna like elephants, hippos, rhinos, and giraffes only make up about 5% of protected species, their killing is highly controversial and intensely scrutinized by a public that has deemed them banner species to rally around for the cause of animal conservation. If something isn’t done to protect them soon, they will eventually fall prey to human-driven extinction like many other large mammals that no longer roam the Earth."



http://fusion.net/story/374544/giraffes-join-the-increasingly-unexclusive-extinction-watch-list/


RE: Animal News (Except Bigcats) - Apollo - 01-18-2017

Animal activists finally have something to applaud at Ringling Bros. circus: Its closure

You can read the full story along with some nice videos, in the link below

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/01/15/animal-activists-finally-have-something-to-applaud-at-the-ringling-bros-circus-its-closure/


RE: Animal News (Except Bigcats) - Ngala - 01-21-2017

Is clear that it's a Caracal.

Vindhya Bachao Exclusive: Are the Wild Cats Caught in Mirzapur Rare Species CARACAL?
Written by Vindhya Bachao on 08 January 2017.

In a major breakthrough today, Mirzapur forest department caught 3 men transporting 6 wild animals of cat family. One is in custody of the authorities, while two others fled the spot. The animals were transported using a cage covered with clothes.

While the forest department believes it to be 'wild cat', there were also assumptions that it is some exotic cat like 'Puma'. Initially, there were also reports that the animals rescued are civets.

However, the photographs made exclusively available to us by local journalists and the description given by them indicates that it may be the very rare species of cat called 'Caracal' which is a protected species under Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Though it is not yet confirmed that whether the animals are poached from Mirzapur, but the forests of Mirzapur have been historically known for Caracal habitats. Bombay Natural History Society has also documented an incident of Caracal attacking a man in Mirzapur in its book 'Wild Animals of India' published in 2004. 

Out of 6 animals rescued, 5 of the animals resembled the likes of Caracal, the sixth one is reportedly of leopard-cat. However, there is no confirmation yet from the Forest Department on the identification of the animals. We have managed to get few photographs of one of the animal which are posted here (photo arrangement: Shiva Kumar Upadhyaya). A person named Aarif is reportedly arrested for smuggling these animals. The exact reason for smuggling these cats is still unknown.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

UPDATE [10/01/2017 21.30 hrs]

All the animals are transferred to Lucknow Zoo today. The identification of the 6th animal has not been completeley confirmed. It was initially identified as leopard-cat. Few wildlife researchers has suspected that it may be the African specis 'Serval'. An update is posted here.


RE: Animal News (Except Bigcats) - brotherbear - 01-21-2017

I agree; caracal without a doubt.

*This image is copyright of its original author



RE: Animal News (Except Bigcats) - Ngala - 01-22-2017

Why these camera trap photos of ocelot kittens are a big deal
January 12, 2017 JAYMI HEIMBUCH

Photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

*This image is copyright of its original author

This year, biologists in Texas were thrilled to discover rare ocelot kittens at den sites they have been monitoring through camera traps and GPS location data from adult ocelots.

The kittens were discovered in April, but the news was released in December to protect the den sites and keep people away, giving the kittens the best chance of survival.

Why is everyone so excited about these ocelot kittens?

Because these cats have become increasingly rare in the U.S., and these are the first to be discovered in about 20 years in the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.

*This image is copyright of its original author

National Geographic reports:

"The news of these adorable kittens is welcome in South Texas, where biologists have identified about 50 of the wildcats by their coat patterns. A statewide estimate currently falls anywhere between 80 to 100 total ocelots. In the United States, ocelots used to range as far east as Arkansas and Louisiana, but today only a small subpopulation lives in the wild in the Lone Star State, and about 95 percent of their original habitat has been cleared."

The kittens represent hope for the species in the state, and the positive results of conservation efforts on both preserves and private ranches. The biggest threats to the cats and car strikes and habitat fragmentation, which also results in a reduction of genetic diversity. Solving these two issues through wildlife corridors and wildlife-friendly road crossings would be a boon for this and other species.

Meanwhile, the birth of the kittens is certainly something to celebrate!

As Matt Miller of The Nature Conservancy notes, "[S]eeing these images of ocelots reminds us the work is worth it. The ocelots are not safe yet. They face many perilous challenges. But they’re still there, hunting and breeding and having kittens in the South Texas shrub. Long may that be true."

Inset photo shows a night-hunting ocelot caught on camera in Brazil. (Photo: Joe McDonald/Shutterstock)


RE: Animal News (Except Bigcats) - Ngala - 01-31-2017

During this time, the wolves in Italy are going through a difficult period.

Wolves shot and mutilated as Italy considers bringing back a cull after more than 40 years of protecting the predator
Nick Squires, ROME 
27 JANUARY 2017 • 3:06PM

Some farmers in Italy say they have been driven out of business because of wolf attacks on their livestock. CREDIT: ALAMY/REUTERS 

*This image is copyright of its original author

Wolves are being illegally shot dead, mutilated and displayed outside towns and villages in Italy in a sign of growing resistance to the species’ remarkable comeback.

In the latest case of persecution, a decapitated wolf was dumped outside the medieval ridge-top village of Pitigliano in Tuscany.

It was the tenth wolf in three years to have been shot dead and left on display in the region, in a macabre protest by farmers against the damage that the carnivores do to their livestock.

There are an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 wild wolves in Italy. CREDIT: LIONEL CIRONNEAU/AP

*This image is copyright of its original author

Farmers in some parts of the country say that attacks by wolves on their flocks are now so frequent that they are being driven out of business.  “There are around 600 wolves in Tuscany and 300 pastoralists have already had to abandon the Maremma,” said Tulio Marcelli, the regional president of the Coldiretti farmers association, referring to an area of southern Tuscany. “We don’t hate wolves, we just want to save our sheep and cattle, and our livelihoods.”

In Tuscany alone, wolves had caused 1.2 million euros’ worth of damage to flocks and herds last year, he said.

A wolf management plan was discussed by government agencies this week and is due to be formally adopted next week.  “In some regions, the presence of the wolf has become a danger,” said Gian Luca Galletti, the environment minister. “There are farms that are closing because of wolves.”

The government wants to expand existing programmes that strive to make co-existence between man and wolf possible, including compensation for farmers whose sheep, goats and other domestic animals are killed, and money for electric fences to keep wolves away from livestock.

Farmers also use large sheepdogs, such as the shaggy white Maremma breed, to keep wolves away from their herds and flocks.  The plan also envisages introducing a limited cull, with the number of wolves to be exterminated to be no more than five per cent of the national population.  If approved, it would be the first cull in 46 years, since the predator received legal protection.

Wild wolves in Italy prey on wild boar and roe deer. CREDIT: BARRY BATCHELOR/PA

*This image is copyright of its original author

Culling is fiercely opposed by environmental groups, who said that wolves were so adaptable and far-ranging that surviving animals would swiftly colonise the territories of those which were killed. 

The best approach was to use electric fences and sheep dogs to thwart wolf attacks. “We have done everything possible to prevent the extinction of these animals and now people want to pick up their guns again,” said Massimo Vitturi, from the animal welfare organisation Lav. A cull would be “ethically unacceptable,” he said. “It would ruin all the progress we’ve made.”

WWF Italia said the cull would “take the country back 40 years in relation to the protection of the species.” 

Capalbio is a village in the Maremma region of Tuscany, where wolves have been illegally shot dead, decapitated, and put on public display. CREDIT: ALAMY

*This image is copyright of its original author

A petition against the cull, organised by WWF, has been signed by nearly 200,000 people. Wolves from Italy have in the last 20 years crossed the border into France, where their range has expanded into the Massif Central and up into the Jura and Vosges mountains.

Conservationists reported earlier this month that wolves are now living in countryside close to Paris.  At least two wolves are living in the Rambouillet forest, southwest of Paris, according to the environmental group 'Alliance avec les loups'. Wolves are on the rebound across Western Europe, from Spain to Germany.

Wildlife experts point out that wolves mostly feed on wild prey such as boar and roe deer, which in Italy are in plentiful numbers, rather than on domestic animals.

Boar, roe deer and red deer have dramatically grown in numbers in recent years as a result of scrub and forest encroaching on abandoned farmland.  Wild boar numbers have risen by around 400 per cent since 2000, while roe deer numbers are up 350 per cent.


RE: Animal News (Except Bigcats) - Ngala - 02-19-2017

Python strangles Indonesian man to death in Terengganu
Saturday, 18 February 2017 | MYT 4:01 PM

*This image is copyright of its original author


KUALA TERENGGANU: An Indonesian man was strangled to death by a python weighing 100kg in Kampung Batu Rambutan, Jabor here Friday night.

The victim has been identified only as Safar, 49.

He was on his way home on his motorcycle after visiting a friend in Jabor prior to the incident.

The victim is believed to have stopped when he spotted the snake crossing the road and then tried to capture the reptile.

However, the snake became aggressive and wrapped itself around the victim's body and strangled him to death.

According to witness Mohd Yazid Ibrahim, 30, he was on his way home in Kampung Jabor when he heard the victim's screams for help and upon checking he saw the snake had coiled itself around the victim's body, from the feet up to his neck.

"We tried to help but the snake acted aggressively and my wife rushed to the village for help," he said.

The victim suffered multiple injuries after being strangled by the snake for an hour before villagers hacked the reptile to release its death grip.

Kemaman district police chief Supt Mohd Said Ibrahim confirmed the incident.

He said the case was classified as sudden death and the body of the victim had been sent to the Kemaman Hospital for a postmortem. - Bernama


RE: Animal News (Except Bigcats) - Pckts - 03-07-2017

https://africageographic.com/blog/giant-elephant-satao-2-poached-in-tsavo-6-super-tuskers-left/

Giant elephant Satao 2 poached in Tsavo, 6 super tuskers left


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author



Sad day that these miracles are all but wiped out.