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Good news for orcas, geese, sad news about Cinder the bear + ACTION ITEM

i Dec 14th by

A quick roundup of this week’s animal news — with a request that you call the governor.

First, the grim: Cinder the bear, who was rescued as a badly burned cub in eastern Washington several years ago, was treated successfully by the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Center and released successfully by Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation. They found her in her den outside Leavenworth a couple years later, well fed and doing well. and found to be doing well when her radio collar was replaced in a den outside Leavenworth a couple years after her release. But this week, her skeleton was found: She was killed by a hunter last fall. It’s heartbreaking. As one commenter on the Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation Facebook page put it, “She had a rough life.” As one of the rescuers said, wild animals including bears would prefer five days of freedom to a lifetime in captivity — so at least she had a couple good years. I’m trying to hold onto the latter thought. It’s more than some animals enjoy.

Now for the more hopeful: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is asking for $1.1 billion and a three-year ban on orca watching in an effort to save the southern resident orcas — the orcas who frequent Puget Sound. Please spread the word that whale watching is harmful. As Gov. Inslee called the temporary ban “a relatively small inconvenience to give them a break. … Someone who is starving should not be scrambling for that last morsel that can keep them alive.”

  • Here’s Gov. Inslee’s number: 360-902-4111. Please call to thank him and ask that he take measures to help Washington’s wolves, too. One of the easiest/cheapest: Inslee must transfer management of wolves from the game managers at the Department of Fish and Wildlife to the nongame division, where they will be managed as endangered species.
  • Also along orca lines, Lynda Mapes at The Seattle Times just published a great story on the stealing of orcas in the 1970s from Puget Sound. Even if you don’t have time to read it, check out the top/featured photo of Lolita/Tokitae’s eye through the net the day she was taken from Whidbey Island’s Penn Cove.

Finally, more good news: Amazon said it will stop selling illegal foie gras in California. That means they were selling it before. And a lawsuit pushed them to this. But at least they’re stopping.