Category Archives: Wildlife

Speak Out for Sea Lions

Photo: NOAA National Marine Mammal Laboratory
Photo: NOAA National
Marine Mammal Laboratory

The permission that Washington, Oregon and Idaho received to kill sea lions expires on June 30, and they’ve requested a five-year extention.

Fewer than 20 comments have been made so far. One is from Duane
“Boomer” Wright, general manager of the Sea Lion Caves near Florence, OR. He says it looks like there isn’t enough food for the Steller and California sea lions, and points to the extinction of the Japanese sea lion.

Japan’s fishing industry once blamed sea lions for their low catches; now they’re trying to reintroduce sea lions to reestablish the ecosystem, he wrote.

“I think we should take that as evidence that killing sea lions will not increase the salmon and steelhead populations in the Columbia. The solution to this problem is to increase the population of the salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and all rivers and tributaries along the Oregon Coast. Sea lions, whether California or Steller should not be used as a scapegoat for our misuse of our natural resources,” Wright wrote.

Please add your voice here. The deadline is April 27.

Chai lost 1,050 pounds after Seattle; let’s get Bamboo to a sanctuary

The blood infection that killed Chai in Oklahoma City came after the elephant lost 1,050 pounds in the short time since she’d left Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, The Seattle Times learned from a public records request.

Chai was weighed only twice at the Oklahoma zoo, records show, although she’d dropped from 8,150 pounds when she left Seattle on April 15 to 7,100 pounds when she died in January.

An Oklahoma City zoo veterinarian said they relied on a visual scoring system.  “You couldn’t see her ribs, nothing that would indicate the degree of fat loss that was going on,” Jennifer D’Agostino told Times reporter Sandi Doughton. (Today’s paper also included the supposedly celebratory news that the Woodland Park Zoo has named a baby gorilla it bred in captivity. Her name is Yola.)

If a veterinarian couldn’t see Chai’s deterioration, it would be even harder for a Woodland Park Zoo docent who visited Oklahama City and wrote that Chai’s last days were “happy.”

Now we know they were horrific. Twice in the weeks before she died, Chai was unable to stand up.

We also know from the records Doughton received that Bamboo, the other Seattle elephant who was transferred to Oklahoma instead of to a sanctuary, was distressed enough during one public performance that she knocked Chai off her feet.

It’s not too late to get Bamboo to a sanctuary. On the advice of Nancy Pennington and Alyne Fortgang, co-founders of the Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants, please do these two things in Chai’s memory:

1. Write an email to Mayor Murray and the Seattle City Council. Addresses to cut and paste are below. Just one line will do!

2. Sign this petition: http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/oklahoma-city-zoo-close-elephant-exhibit/

bruce.bohmke@zoo.org, Ed.murray@seattle.gov,Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov, lisa.herbold@seattle.gov ,Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov,
Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov,  Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov, Debora.Juarez@seattle.gov,  Lorena.Gonzalez@seattle.gov, Rob.johnson@seattle.gov

Hoot! It’s Time to Chow Down for Chimpanzees!

PrintThe wonderful Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, which was “founded in 2003 to provide sanctuary for chimpanzees discarded from the entertainment and biomedical testing industries,” is holding its annual fundraising shindig — which is a scrumptuous blast! — on Saturday, April 30, at 6 p.m.

Seven chimpanzees live at the sanctuary — all from a private biomedical facility in Pennsylvania. Before being used to test hepatitis vaccines and (the females) as breeders, they were captured in Africa and/or kept as pets and/or used in entertainment.

Now Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy and Negra live in a safe, peaceful place, making choices about how to spend their time — inside where it’s warm or adventuring outdoors. You can meet them and learn what they’re doing on the sanctuary’s blog.

You can also support them and help the sanctuary expand to be a haven for more chimpanzees by attending Hoot!, an awesome evening of vegan food and camaraderie, with a live auction, dessert dash and raffle.

This year, Hoot! is at The Foundry in SoDo and starts with an indoor bar crawl, followed by a sit-down dinner.

Tickets are $100 through April 1, or $750 for a table of eight. Sign up before they sell out, and we’ll see you there!

In Chai’s memory, please take two actions

When Scientific American described elephants’ lives in zoos as torturous, Chai could have been the poster child. Ripped from her mother as a 1-year-old baby she was crated and shipped from Thailand to a cold, barren barn cell in Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. At 19 years old and after countless failed artificial insemination attempts, she was sent across the country to Dickerson Park Zoo to be bred. Upon her arrival she was beaten for up to 2 ½ hours for which that zoo was fined by the USDA. She lost 1,000 pounds.

chai

Chai came back to Seattle pregnant. Soon after Hansa was born Woodland Park Zoo began the artificial inseminations again. She was violated by this highly invasive procedure 112 times!

Chai endured the death of Hansa who died at only 6 years old from the herpes virus. This disease is almost always fatal to young Asian calves. Even though all the elephants at Woodland Park Zoo had been exposed to the herpes virus, the Zoo continued to artificially inseminate Chai—despite Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants’ relentless protests.

After Watoto died in 2014, the city of Seattle considered filing charges against Woodland Park Zoo.  Watoto went down during the night due to lameness and arthritis directly caused by zoo confinement. Woodland Park Zoo did not seek the assistance of a crane to lift her and she laid on the ground suffering for 4 more hours until she was euthanized. Woodland Park Zoo decided to close the elephant exhibit.

Ignoring science, the vast majority of Seattle residents, powerful media voices, the City Council and the Mayor, the Zoo shipped Bamboo and Chai to the Oklahoma City Zoo—a worse zoo.

We are asking that the Seattle City Council, Mayor Murray and Woodland Park Zoo urge the Oklahoma City Zoo to retire Bamboo to an accredited elephant sanctuary. 

PLEASE do two things in Chai’s memory:

1. Write an email to Seattle’s newly elected City Council, Mayor Murray and the Seattle City Council. Addresses to cut and paste are below. Just one line will do!
2. Sign this petition: http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/oklahoma-city-zoo-close-elephant-exhibit/

Talking points:

  • Woodland Park Zoo does not reflect Seattle’s values. Captivity of wild animals needs to end.
  • Woodland Park Zoo must pay for its negligence in caring for Chai, Watoto and Hansa. Please withhold funds from this rogue organization.
  • Chai, Watoto and Hansa suffered a lifetime of misery at the hands of Woodland Park Zoo.  Citizens demand more oversight.

bruce.bohmke@zoo.org, Ed.murray@seattle.gov, Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov, lisa.herbold@seattle.gov , Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov,
Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov,  Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov, Debora.Juarez@seattle.gov,  Lorena.Gonzalez@seattle.gov, Rob.johnson@seattle.gov

RIP Chai. Rest in your newly found peace.

Nancy Pennington and Alyne Fortgang
Co-founders, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants

Please Stop Showing Images of Birds in Captivity

2009ecard-2In honor of National Bird Day earlier this week, Born Free USA and the Avian Welfare Coalition called for websites and the public to stop sharing online videos of birds in captivity.

“While possibly entertaining to some, videos of captive parrots, parakeets, cockatoos, and others inadvertently promote the myth that birds are domesticated pets,” according to the National Bird Day site.

Birds are actually wild, intelligent animals with emotional and physical needs that cannot be met in captivity.

Laws protect blue jays, cardinals, crows and other native birds from commercial exploitation, but the pet industry allows such treatment of “pet, exotic” birds who even when bred in captivity are not domesticated and suffer terribly.

With nearly 12 percent of the 9,800 species of birds in the world facing extinction, including a third of the world’s 330 parrot species, which are among those that suffer from the illegal pet trade, it’s past time to start working to save them through activism and personal behavior.

Windows kill as many birds as cats. Learn how you can help prevent bird collisions with windows, like:

  • Keeping indoor houseplants and flowers away from windows where birds might see them and assume they’re outside
  • Installing new windows with a slight downward tilt so they do not reflect the sky and trees

Here are a host of other ways to save birds’ lives, including:

Free Trap-Neuter-Release Class in Snohomish

While Australia declares war on cats with plans to kill 2 million cats in the next two years — a violent campaign that will not accomplish its aims – there are legions of people in the United States trapping, neutering and releasing feral cats to ensure they will not proliferate.

The humane way, as usual, is the effective way.

Entire colonies of cats have been eradicated with TNR, in Seattle’s University District and elsewhere.

For those interested in helping, the Community Cat Coalition of Washington is holding a free class in TNR from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Snohomish Library in lovely Snohomish, WA.

A potluck afterward will introduce newly trained trappers to mentors. If enough of us show up, maybe it can be a largely vegan potluck!

RSVP to CCCofWaTNRclass@gmail.com.

More info at the Community Cat Coalition’s website and on Facebook.

tnr

Wild elephants to be ripped from their families!

The Dallas Zoo in Texas, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo in Nebraska, and Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas want to rip 18 wild elephants from their families and home in Swaziland to fill their cages.

Please ask the Fish and Wildlife Service to deny permits to import 18 wild elephants to U.S. zoos. Just a few minutes of your time could spare these wild elephants a lifetime of misery in a tiny yard and in a barren barn cell. But hurry! The deadline for comments is Monday, November 23, 2015.

African Elephants

Please politely demand that the Fish and Wildlife Service NOT grant a permit to import these wild elephants. Some say there is no room for the elephants where they currently live. If so, they could be moved to another location in the wild. The elephants need to stay within Africa.

What you can do

  1. Submit a comment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Just one line will do. Click here to comment.
  2. Make 3 phone calls to your 2 Senators and 1 representative.  Click here to find their phone numbers.

To learn more read Conservation Charade: U.S. Zoo Propose Importing Wild African Elephants and go to Big Rumble’s Facebook page.

Talking points from Big Rumble

  • I am shocked that these zoos intend to engage in the cruel and archaic capture of wild elephants for captivity. Science has told us about elephants’ sensitivity, their intelligence, and their strong family bonds, which zoos will tear apart.
  • It’s wrong to tear young elephants away from their mothers just to put them on display in zoos where they face considerably shorter life spans than elephants in protected wild areas.
  • Captivity is not conservation. None of the Swaziland elephants or any offspring will ever be released back into the wild to help populations in Africa. Zoos need to help protect elephants where they live — that is true conservation!
  • Culling has not been used in Southern Africa for two decades; non-lethal management alternatives are now considered best practice. Zoos should not be shamelessly exploiting threats to kill elephants and pretend to be “saving” them.
  • If you really want to “save” these elephants, then work with BGP to find space for them in Swaziland or elsewhere in Africa — rather than offering a cash incentive not to.
  • Killing is NOT the only alternative to capture. Even if we believe that elephants confined to a tiny part of Swaziland are doing significant damage to the land, there are other protected areas that they could be moved to.
  • There can be no justification for harming elephants, including conserving rhinos. A humane solution exists: Relocate the Swaziland elephants elsewhere in Africa and keep them wild!
  • Both Omaha and Sedgwick County are cold-weather zoos where the elephants would spend significant time indoors, endangering their health. All three zoos have limited space — nothing like the areas elephants naturally need to thrive.
  • Importing elephants from Swaziland has nothing to do with helping elephants. It is a shameless ploy to increase zoo attendance, at a cost to the elephants’ lives, freedom, and families.

Please share this widely. Let’s do all we can to assure a huge outcry over this barbaric scheme. Thank you!

Seattle benefit for Help Animals India

Help Animals India is having its first-ever Seattle benefit for India’s animals.

Date: October 17, 2015
Time: 5 pm
Cost: $15 (tickets available here)
Location: Culture Shakti Dance, Seattle

help animals india

Despite some of the best animal protection laws in the world and a renowned heritage of reverence for life, modern India is a country where millions of animals suffer severe neglect or abuse.

Overpopulation, poverty, pollution, superstition, apathy and ignorance all contribute to their plight. In a country where human misery and impoverishment remain high, the welfare of destitute animals is a low priority.

Help Animals India is a Seattle-based non-profit dedicated to improving the welfare of animals in India by raising money for dedicated Indian animal protection groups and advising them on how to improve their capacity to help the animals.

Join them for a fun evening of Indian Dance Performance by the Dancers of Culture Shakti, Indian and World Vibes Music by Dj Seanuman, Mystic Kombucha on Tap, and a Catered Silent Auction with Items from local businesses.

Delicious Food Provided by Chaco Canyon, The Shop Agora, & Cupcake Royale.

Get your tickets today!

ALL proceeds go the benefit Help Animals India

Can’t make the event? Please consider donating - any amount helps!

You can find out more about Help Animals India on their website  or on their Facebook page.

Weekend activism

Wondering how you can help animals this weekend? Wonder no more. This weekend in jam-packed with amazing opportunities to help animals.

October 2nd (today)

Today is World Day for Farmed Animals. It’s a time to fast, learn, and educate others on the plight of the 10 billion animals this country eats every year.

This afternoon is the March on UW. At 2 pm, at The University of Washington’s Red Square, hundreds of animal rights activists will march against the university’s plans to build a new animal testing lab. Please join us!

The April March on UW

This evening is the circus demo in Everett. Help us educate circus-goers that animals do not belong in the circus.

10712389_10152675347071866_541084071434801380_o

October 3rd (tomorrow)

Three more circus shows in Everett means we’ll have three more demos. Please join us from 10-11:30 am, from 3-3:30 pm, from 5:30-7 pm, or all of the times!

The Global March for Elephants, Rhinos, and Lions is happening from 1-2:30 pm tomorrow in downtown Seattle. The march starts at Westlake Center and is part of a worldwide effort to save wild animals from poaching.

watoto-300x199

October 4th (Sunday)

Another circus demo is Everett begins at 11:30 am. Please join us and let Ringling Bros. know that we won’t stand for animal abuse.

Help make the last circus demo of the year the biggest one ever. We know Ringling beats animals. From 3:30-5 pm, we’ll make sure ticketholders know too.

 

 

 

Fish & Wildlife Wants Feedback. Let’s Do That.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is traveling the state this fall seeking public comments to help determine what values and priorities will drive the department over the next several years.

These meetings will help identify changes in WDFW’s operations and services and help shape policy, budget and fee proposals. The department’s press release says it wants to strengthen relationships with “anglers, hungers, outdoor recreation groups and others interested in fish and wildlife in Washington.”

Let’s let them know what we think — in person and in writing.

They’re taking written comments through October on the department’s website and via email (WildFuture@dfw.wa.gov) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/WashingtonFishWildlife). Public meeting information is below.

There are so many issues, but here’s a start:

Please take a few minutes to let WDFW know what’s important to you when it comes to Washington wildlife, and if you can, attend one of these public meetings, all scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.:

Sept. 30: Center Place, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley

Oct. 6: WDFW Mill Creek Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd, Mill Creek

Oct. 8: Saint Martin’s University, Norman Worthington Conference Center, 5300 Pacific Ave SE, Lacey

Oct. 14: Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver

Oct. 20: Port of Chelan County Confluence Technology Center, 285 Technology Center Way, Wenatchee

jim_unsworth_cropped_250pxEach meeting will include a brief presentation by a WDWF regional director, then participants will break into small groups to chat with department representatives. The department will summarize the comments and suggestions later this year.

Here’s a photo of WDFW Director Jim Unsworth, who started in January. He’s the one who’s making the effort to ask for feedback, which is commendable. Hi, Jim!