Just as I did for January and February, here’s a quick list of some of the wildlife stories that caught my eye during March and April. Check them out!
In possibly the most adorable news of the last two months, red panda triplets were born at a wildlife park in Sydney several months ago and recently made their debut to the public. Triplets are extremely rare in red panda births. While I’ve made no secret of my dislike of zoos and wild animals being kept captive, there is no doubt that three healthy males is an amazing boost to this endangered species.
Civilians aren’t the only ones suffering as a result of the war between ISIL and what seems like the rest of the world. Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, has been devastated by bombing and fighting, including its zoo. The zoo was abandoned, with many of the animals dying from starvation or bomb attacks. The last two surviving animals – Simba the lion and Lulu the bear – were finally rescued and transported out of the country after several months and more than one attempt to get them out.
Scientists working in Antarctica attached suction cup-mounted cameras to the backs of humpback and minke whales, allowing them to study in greater depth their feeding habits and social interactions. The footage is amazing, check it out.
While it often seems like conservation efforts make little difference in the face of habitat loss, poaching, illegal pet trade, hunting, etc. (and sometimes that’s true), success stories are out there. Read this post about some of the endangered species that are no longer on the brink of extinction thanks to the efforts of conservationists.
Author and conservationist Kuki Gallman was shot and wounded at her lodge in Kenya. A severe drought in the area has caused conflict between wealthy landowners and the local nomadic cattle herders. Politicians have been stirring up the locals against the landowners in the hopes of doing well at upcoming elections. This comes after another lodge owner, Mr. Voorspuy, was shot and killed by herdsmen in early March. Both Gallman and Voorspuy had property burned to the ground before they were attacked.
Surprise, surprise, Trump makes this list again. In his continued battle against Obama’s protection of the environment, Trump has signed an executive order calling for a review of bans put in place against off-shore oil and gas drilling, including in the Arctic circle. Drilling in Alaska was heavily protested by environmental groups and the ban put in place last year was a huge victory. With climate change having a devastating effect on the Arctic ecosystem (not to mention the rest of the world), if Trump reverses the ban…well, it’s not an outcome I want to think about.
Fundimvelo Thula Thula Rhino Orphange, the wildlife rescue centre in South Africa whose staff and animals were brutally attacked in February, has announced it will be closing permanently. The rhinos and staff have already been relocated to other sanctuaries. After several security assessments, it was decided not to reopen the centre as the extra security measures that would have to be put into place could not be funded.
A research team working off the coast of Tasmania caught possible squid cannibalism on camera when one attracted to the lights of the boat was suddenly attacked by another, larger squid. It’s only about three seconds, but it’s ridiculously awesome. Watch the video –
The last male Northern White Rhino in the world gets a Tinder profile! While Sudan the northern white rhino has two female companions at his home in Kenya, breeding issues – including old age – have arisen. So to spread awareness about this critically endangered animal and to raise funds for research into breeding options, the staff at Ol Pajeta Conservancy has created a Tinder profile for him. Let’s hope it works!
Turns out there are wildlife game farms dedicated to photography in the same way as some game farms are dedicated to hunting. I never knew this was even a thing – a place where wild animals are kept captive and “trained” to pose so that people can photograph them and pretend they caught wild animals doing amazing things on camera. Ugh, these places are no better than zoos. I’ll never look at wildlife photography the same!
I'm a traveller and zoologist who is passionate about seeing the world and the incredible creatures who inhabit it. I love planning new adventures, working with wildlife around the world and promoting ethical animal encounters and volunteer opportunities.
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