Category Archives: Wildlife

World Cup: leading Russian animal rights activist arrested

The leading Russian animal rights activist and a chairman of the Alliance for animals, Yuri Koretsky (Юрий Корецких) has been arrested in Moscow on his way to a meeting in memory of culled street dogs #Killed4WorldCup. The moment of silence was planned in Moscow and the other Russian cities, where the mass killings of stray animals took place ahead of the World Cup. ” I’m in police van. Police is next to the clock” – he tweeted.

In absence of infrastructure, in absence of shelters and responsible civil servants in each municipality, the killings of animals will go on. We hoped that FIFA World Cup 2018 will bring joy and festivity to Russia, but our government destroyed the celebrations by killings of tens of thousands of dogs and cat in hosting cities. They broke the promise. It is a grim day for us and for sports– Koretsky said in a distributed ahead of the action press-release.

“People are gathering next to the ‘football clock’ to remember animals killed ahead of the Championship” – the activist wrote shortly before his arrest, retweeting photos in his microblog.

The NGO led by Koretsky invited journalists and all those who care about animals to join the moment of silence next to the World Cup clock.

The Alliance invites press to join our event ‘Killed for World Cup dedicated to brutally taken away lives of homeless dogs and cats in cities hosting FIFA World Cup. The animal rights defenders call Russian government to respect right for life of street animals, to treasure life as such of all sentient being, especially of those, who contribute immensely to humankind like dogs and cats. The Alliance reterierates its call for moratorium on killings of street animals, which will be conducive to public good, while spreading humane and civilized practises”.

However Koretsky had no chance to participate in the event #Killed4WorldCup himself, being arrested without any explanation on the way to the meeting. At present the animal rights activists are very much concerned about his ‘preventive‘ arrest. They communicated that Koretsky is kept in custody until Court hearing in the morning.

15/06 22:00 AMENDMENT: Yuri Koretsky jailed for eight (8) days for his attempt to draw public attention to stray dogs killings in Russia. All the demonstrations and actions during World Cup are strictly prohibited.




Star Raccoon climaxed adventure

The breath-taking scaling of the 23-store St. Paul skyscraper ended by capturing the world star racoon on the roof, where from accompanied by  Minnesota Wildlife  Management department he will travel to safety to be realized in nature, far away from urban stone jungle.

Showing a remarkable tenacity and courage a little fluffy creature continued his adventure to the top during two days, followed by MPR TV channel, and spectators all over the world, beating the record of popularity, and  leading in social media. Among tweets #MPRraccoon stayed in the first ranks the entire duration of the outstanding self-imposed ascendance to the top.

Evan Frost and Tim Nelson, journalists with Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), documented the raccoon’s nerve-wracking journey on Twitter.

The well-wishers cheered the news about the capture of the courageous animal and his anticipated safe journey to natural environment. Good-buy, friend!


Sweden culls wolves ignoring EU laws

Swedish hunters were given the go-ahead to hunt 36 wolves and at the beginning of this week already 28 had been shot. In addition, county Dalarna has decided for an additional seven wolves to be culled starting 24 January. So, all in all 43 wolves might be killed which is more than 10% of the population.

“This news is a setback, because by the time the case would be heard by a higher court, this season’s hunt for wolves will have already ended. But what is most disturbing is that these wolves are endangered according to EU nature laws. The decision to cull them in Sweden is therefore not based on science; it breaks laws and is therefore illegal. We call on the European Commission to ensure that Sweden puts a stop to this in the future”, says Tony Long, Director WWF European Policy Office.

The wolf is protected by EU law but rooted in prejudice a rising tide of hostility is encouraging some politicians to push to kill it. France approved a cull of up to 40 wolves following protests last year. When Germany’s wolf population red wolf 60 packs, its agriculture minister recently argued that numbers must be regulated by culling. Finland has culled its wolf population down to 150, and this winter Norway is slaughtering about half of its wolf population of less than 100 animals.

This winter Belgium recorded its first wild wolf in more than a century, marking the return of the animal across continental Europe after decades of absence. Over-hunting, the clearing of forests and urban sprawl caused wolf disappearance from most of Western Europe since the beginning of the XX century. Romania is one of the European countries where the wolf never disappeared, but while it kept a territory here, its presence is not without challenges, Romanian Insider reports.




#WorldCup2018: Russian animal rights groups demand to stop stray slaughter

The situation around slaughter of stray dogs in Russia ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2018 is becoming critical: the animal rights groups, pet owners, and animal lovers are  protesting against mass slaughter, organizing manifestations in cities hosting the championship. They blame local authorities to poison, shoot, and burn alive stray dogs, presumably to avoid any nuisance for sports tourists, expected to stream to stadiums in one month time. There is also strong suspicion in corruption, and diverting budget foreseen for dog shelters construction into civil servants pockets.

FIFA and the LOC, in no way, condones cruel treatment of wild and stray animals. We take this responsibility seriously and seek to set a good example to others. With that in mind, we have developed a procedure on responding to the appearance of stray or wild animals in the stadiums. The procedure involves a number of stakeholders in monitoring and responding to any case in a humane manner to avoid any inappropriate reaction. The procedure was in effect during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and will be used for the FIFA World Cup this summer” – FIFA spokesperson said.

Furthermore, FIFA and the LOC have made a legal analysis of Russian legislation and the management of stray animals in each of the host cities. We are in contact with the Host Cities with regards to the measures employed and expect them to ensure the welfare of the animal population“.

However the official position of FIFA does not correspond to the realities in Russian cities, massively eliminating stray in the cheapest way as shooting and poisoning.

Russian animal rights groups vow to continue organising the protests until the authorities stop the stray animals killings. They also promised to organise actions during the championship, in case their demands of humane treatment of animals is not heard. In Russia there is no law, protecting animals against human cruelty, although the draft legislation was proposed during the mandate of President Yeltsin, and had in view European ethic standards, it has been blocked by President Putin administration ever since.

“Our demands are very clear. We request to end the stray dogs slaughter immediately” – said to Europe Diplomatic Yuri Koretsky – the chair of the Alliance for Animals, promoting their welfare in Russia.  The group understood that it is useless to continue writing letters and collecting signatures under petitions to Ministry of sports and Duma (parliament), when tenders for companies offering services of catching stray in 11 Russian cities hosting #WorldCup2018 were announced for the total amount of 110 million rubles (apx €1,5 million). The situation aggravated recently, Koretsky continued, explaining that his Alliance receives complaints from animal rights groups on daily basis with mounting evidence of barbaric slaughter, including dogs poisoning in the cities, embellishing their environment  to host the championship. “We have to unite our efforts, and mobilise all those who want to stop barbarism to prevent further mass slaughter of stray in name of football”, Koretsky concluded, indicating that the next protest actions are on the way.


Jaguar cubs starring in Mexico park

Two jaguar cubs are the new stars at Teotihuacan wildlife park in Mexico charming tourists eagerly streaming to the site to admire them, but even more so a huge global internet audience, fascinated by big cats (#bigcats).

The female cubs, who have not been named yet, had to be separated from their parents when just 18 days old as one of them developed a skin condition that caused the decision  of caretakers to start the treatment.

After the treatment the cubs were not returned to their mother to avoid risks of hostilities as her possible reaction on human scent.

Nursed back to health, the cubs are happily playing with their caretakers, who feed them using  baby bottles.

“Seeing them up close, hearing them, smelling them, touching them. You can never forget that, and it awakens you to something bigger,” said Luis Gonzales, the manager of Animal Kingdom in San Juan Teotihuacan.

Jaguars are the largest #bigcats in the Americas, and the third-largest in the world, after lions and tigers.

However they are also “very meticulous killers,” Gonzalez continued, while cuddling two charming cubs. Being able to approach them this close is a powerful experience of wild nature, he added.

Animal Kingdom is trying to capitalize on its young celebrities to teach visitors, especially children, about conservation.

Children are the ones who will inherit these species, and this planet,” said Gonzalez.

Jaguars are classified as a “near-threatened” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which says their population has declined by about a quarter in the past two decades.


Virtual animals disguise drama of endangered spieces

The most iconic animals like elephants, tigers, lions and panda bears are everywhere around us: in movies, books and toy stores. But their wide pop culture presence skews public perception of how endangered these animals really are, researchers discovered.

Online surveys, zoo websites, animated films and school questionnaires were scoured by US and French researchers for the study, published in journal PLOS Biology.

Using these open sources, scientists assembled the list of the top 10 most spectacualar animals: tigers, lions, elephants, giraffes, leopards, pandas, cheetahs, polar bears, gray wolves and gorillas.

 Researchers also found that almost 49% of all the non-teddy bear stuffed animals sold in the United States on Amazon were one of these 10 charismatic animals.

In France, 800,000 “Sophie the giraffe” baby toys were sold in 2010, more than eight times the numbers of giraffes living in Africa.

Lead author Franck Courchamp of the University of Paris said that these animals are so common in pop culture and marketing materials that they create a “virtual population” in people’s minds, one that is doing far better in perception than reality.

Unknowingly, companies using giraffes, cheetahs or polar bears for marketing purposes may be actively contributing to the false perception that these animals are not at risk of extinction, and therefore not in need of conservation,” Courchamp said.

The average French citizen “will see more virtual lions through photos, cartoons, logos and brands in one month than there are wild lions left in West Africa,” said the report.

Researchers urged companies that use these animals in their marketing to donate a portion of the proceeds to conservation groups.

The appearance of these beloved animals in stores, in movies, on television, and on a variety of products seems to be deluding the public into believing they are doing okay,” said co-author William Ripple, a professor of forest ecology at Oregon State University.

If we don’t act in a concerted effort to save these species, that may soon be the only way anyone will see them.” he warned.

Ripple added that “a major threat faced by nearly all of them is direct killing by humans, especially from hunting and snaring,” a reality he described as “sadly ironic, as these are some of our most beloved animals.”

Declared poisoned Skripals cat euthanized

All pets of  Skripals are dead, according to the information delivered to Russian consulate by the UK government, the AFP agency reports. The UK officials are claiming all animals died as a result of nerve agent poisoning, but one of the cats found at home was euthanized to “alleviate suffering”. However there is no evidence that there was an acute need to destroy the animal, while two victims of the incident have recovered, both Julia and policeman are doing well, according to the authorities statements. It is not clear why no chance was given to Skripals pet.

So far no single piece of evidence on Skripals case was shared with public, or Russian diplomatic instances. The entire volume of information is delivered by the UK officials as a narrative without any documented material. The European Union expulsion of Russian diplomats followed in a gesture of ‘solidarity’ with the UK based on Brussels Prime minister Theresa May six pages presentation (including the first page with the title). No photographs of Skipals have been released so far, neither Russian Consul got an opportunity to have an access to them to offer services in person.

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