News of Note

i Dec 3rd by

GLAMOUR BEASTS: The dark side of elephant captivity
Zoos’ efforts to preserve and propagate elephants have largely failed, both in Seattle and nationally. The infant-mortality rate for elephants in zoos is almost triple the rate in the wild…American zoos face swift and harsh punishment when their aged elephants are retired to a 2,300-acre sanctuary in the California foothills.


The ‘Times’ exposes the elephant abuse it once abetted
Don’t miss Michael J. Berens’ forceful account, in today’s Seattle Times, of a willful tragedy: American zoos’, and especially our own Woodland Park Zoo’s, merciless efforts to breed crowd-magnet baby elephants. But don’t imagine that this much-touted “exposé” is the first exposure of this sad, sorry business. And don’t let the Times off just yet for being a decade late in getting the story, after breathlessly cheering, ad nauseum, the very practices it now deplores.


Animal rights group sues California restaurant over foie gras ban
PETA sued a California restaurant on Wednesday that it says serves outlawed foie gras to patrons, in what appears to be the first lawsuit to enforce a state ban on the delicacy, PETA officials said.  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said that Hot’s Kitchen claimed to have stopped selling foie gras when a ban on producing or selling it took effect in July, but was offering it as a complimentary side dish to customers who order “THE Burger.”


PETA bosses refuse to back down over The Hobbit animal deaths
PETA media officer Wendy Wegner tells WENN, “Five whistleblowers reported more than two dozen animal deaths during the production of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. They raised concerns not just once but repeatedly to both the head wrangler and the head of production about the unsafe housing conditions for animals and about Shanghai the horse, who was hobbled – his legs reportedly tied together when he proved to be too energetic for his rider. But their concerns were outright ignored.

Research Animals Lost in Wolf Hunts Near Yellowstone

For Yellowstone scientists, the loss of the collared wolves isn’t so much a political or an emotional issue, as an issue of the viability of wildlife science.  They are particularly frustrated at the elimination of five wolves outfitted with tracking collars that had spent the majority of their time inside the park border, as well as two others that roamed had through the park though spent much of their time outside.

Life on the run: After six years in hiding, Canadian eco-radical surrenders to FBI
Ms. Rubin’s involvement with radical causes appears to have begun in the early 1990s, after she fell in with Canadian members of ALF and ELF. Their activities expanded into the United States. In 1997, Ms. Rubin allegedly took part in the release of 2,000 minks from a farm in Idaho.
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Marshfield dog is first in state to win domestic violence protection order
A 6-year-old Labrador mix has become the first animal in the state to win protection from a new state law that allows endangered pets to be included in domestic violence restraining orders.
Orthodox Leader Deepens Progressive Stance on Environment
Other religious leaders, including Pope Benedict XVI, the Dalai Lama and the archbishop of Canterbury, have also called for responsible stewardship of the environment. But Bartholomew has gone further than most; some theologians call his stance revolutionary.  “Traditionally in Christianity, sin was what you did to other humans,” said Kallistos Ware, a prominent Orthodox theologian based in Britain, “but Bartholomew insisted that what you do to the animals, the air, the water, the land can be sinful, not just folly, and that was quite a change.”