Shoot Down the Connecticut Bear Trophy Hunt Bill

Exposing the Big Game

March 15, 2018 – VICTORY UPDATE:

Connecticut’s black bears are safe thanks to Friends of Animals and our supporters. On Wednesday, a bear trophy hunt bill was shot down by the Environment Committee of the General Assembly 21 to 8.

“FoA is relieved that common sense and truth prevailed among those legislators on the Environment Committee…” said FoA President Priscilla Feral. Thank you to everyone who helped keep CT’s bears safe!


March 7, 2018


Find and contact your Connecticut state senators and representatives at (860) 240- 0100 or use this ONLINE DIRECTORY to make direct contact and tell them to OPPOSE the CT Bear Trophy Hunt Bill.


Contact the state Environment Committee’s Co-Chair Craig Miner at 860 240-8860 and co-chairs Senator Ted Kennedy and Rep. Mike Demicco and tell them Connecticut won’t tolerate a blood-soaked, shoot-first approach to bear management, especially at a time when…

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Fur is dead: Animal welfare groups cheer San Francisco ban

Exposing the Big Game

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco supervisors voted unanimously to ban the sale of fur, further burnishing the city’s animal-loving credentials as it becomes the largest U.S. city to approve the prohibition.

Animal welfare advocates around the world cheered news of Tuesday’s vote, applauding the city for its compassion and hoping that the legislation will catch on.

The ban takes effect Jan. 1 and applies to apparel and accessories featuring real fur, including coats, key chains and gloves. An amendment added Tuesday allows furriers and other retailers to sell current inventory until January 1, 2020.

Wayne Hsiung, co-founder of animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere, said in a statement that “this historic act will usher in a new wave of animal rights legislation across the globe.”

Retailers in San Francisco, however, balked at what they called another social mandate at the cost of their ability to make a living.


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Conservation groups sue to overturn trophy hunting decision

Exposing the Big Game

(CNN)Several animal conservation groups are challenging in court the Trump administration’s recent decision to consider big game trophy import applications on a case-by-case basis.

The groups — which include the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International and Humane Society of the United States — said Tuesday that they are asking a federal court in Washington, DC, to rule that the US Fish and Wildlife Service did not follow the proper process to make its March 1 decision, which withdrew a series of Endangered Species Act findings that apply to some African elephants, lions and bontebok, a type of antelope.
The groups also say the decision violates the Endangered Species Act.
Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle told CNN that the department is reviewing the amendment complaint.
Tuesday’s filing amends a lawsuit the conservation groups filed in November, when the FWS, under Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke, announced it would…

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World’s last male northern white rhino dies

By Joshua Berlinger, CNN
FILE PHOTO: The last surviving male northern white rhino named 'Sudan' is seen at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia: The last surviving male northern white rhino named 'Sudan' is seen at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya, June 2017. The world�s last male northern white rhino has died, leaving only two females of its subspecies alive in the world.World’s last male northern white rhino diesGallery by Reuters

The world’s last male northern white rhino has died, leaving only two females left to save the subspecies from extinction.

The 45-year-old rhino named Sudan had been in poor health in recent days and was being treated for age-related issues and multiple infections.

A veterinary team made the decision to euthanize Sudan after his condition deteriorated significantly, the conservation group WildAid announced Tuesday.

Sudan lived in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, surrounded by armed guards in the days leading up to his death to protect him from poachers.

“He was a gentle giant, his personality was just amazing and given his size, a lot of people were afraid of him. But there was nothing mean about him,” said Elodie Sampere, a representative for Ol Pejeta.

Researchers were able to save some of Sudan’s genetic material in the hopes of successfully artificially inseminating one of the two females left, Sampere said.

It is with great sadness that Ol Pejeta Conservancy and the Dvůr Králové Zoo announce that Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, age 45, died at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on March 19th, 2018 (yesterday).

“We can only hope that the world learns from the sad loss of Sudan and takes every measure to end all trade in rhino horn. While prices of rhino horn are falling in China and Vietnam, poaching for horn still threatens all rhino species,” said WildAid CEO Peter Knights.

Rhinos are targeted by poachers, fueled by the belief in Asia that their horns cure various ailments. Experts say the rhino horn is becoming more lucrative than drugs.

In addition to round-the-clock security, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy also put radio transmitters on the animals and dispatched incognito rangers into neighboring communities to gather intelligence on poaching.

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY NICOLAS DELAUNAYA caregiver calms Sudan, the last known male of the northern white rhinoceros subspecies, on December 5, 2016, at the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Laikipia County -- at the foot of Mount Kenya -- that is home to the planet's last-three northern white rhinoceros.As 2016 draws to an end, awareness of the devastation of poaching is greater than ever and countries have turned to high-tech warfare -- drones, night-goggles and automatic weapons -- to stop increasingly armed poachers. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), at the African Black market, rhino horn sells for up to 60,000 USD (57,000 euros) per kilogram -- more than gold or cocaine -- and in the last eight years alone roughly a quarter of the world population has been killed in South Africa, home to 80 percent of the remaining animals. / AFP / Tony KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images): A caregiver calms Sudan — the last known male of the northern white rhinoceros subspecies — in 2016 at the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Laikipia County, at the foot of Mount Kenya. © TONY KARUMBA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images A caregiver calms Sudan — the last known male of the northern white rhinoceros subspecies — in 2016 at the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Laikipia County, at the foot of Mount Kenya. 

Old and frail

At 45, Sudan was elderly in rhino years and suffered from problems associated with age.

During his final years, he was not able to naturally mount a female and suffered from a low sperm count, which made his ability to procreate difficult.

His daughter Najin, 28 and granddaughter, Fatu, considered young by comparison. Najin could conceive, but her hind legs are so weak she may be unable to support a mounted male.

Sudan made headlines last year when the Tinder dating app named him the “most eligible bachelor in the world” in a campaign to raise funds to save the subspecies.

The western black rhino was declared extinct seven years ago as a result of poaching. All five remaining rhino species worldwide are considered threatened, according to the conservation group Save the Rhino.

Correction: This story has been updated to clarify that Sudan was a northern white rhino.


Exposing the Big Game

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Washington’s gray wolf population increases for ninth consecutive year

UPDATED: Sat., March 17, 2018, 4:22 p.m.

This Smackout Pack gray wolf image was snapped in northeastern Washington by a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife motion-triggered research camera in June 2011. (COURTESY PHOTO / Courtesy)
This Smackout Pack gray wolf image was snapped in northeastern Washington by a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife motion-triggered research camera in June 2011. (COURTESY PHOTO / Courtesy)

WENATCHEE – Washington’s gray wolf population increased for the ninth consecutive year, according to an annual statewide survey, but the increases continue to be primarily in the wolf-rich northeastern quarter of the state.

At the end of 2017, the state held at least 122 wolves, 22 packs and 14 successful breeding pairs, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a report released Friday. That compares with a minimum of 115 wolves, 20 packs and 10 breeding pairs reported at the end of 2016.

The state documented 14 wolves killed in 2017 by official actions, poaching, vehicle collisions or other causes, officials reported. Three of those wolves were killed by Colville Tribe members in a limited hunting season allowed on the reservation. Wolves are protected elsewhere in the state.

The surveys are conducted during winters by state, federal and tribal wildlife managers. The numbers include surveys on the Colville Indian reservation.

The totals are the highest recorded since the state documented an established wolf pack in the state and annual surveys were begun in 2008, said Ben Maletzke, WDFW statewide wolf specialist.

The surveys represent minimum counts of wolves in Washington, Maletzke emphasized. It’s difficult to account for every animal, especially lone wolves without a pack, he said, noting that survey data comes from aerial surveys, remote cameras, wolf tracks and signals from radio-collared wolves.

WDFW spent $1.27 million in 2017 on wolf monitoring and efforts, such as range riders, to prevent wolf attacks on livestock.

“The real value of these surveys is the information they provide about long-term trends, which show that our state’s wolf population has grown by an annual average of 31 percent over the past decade,” he said.

“We’re glad to see that Washington’s wolf population continues to grow, and are particularly excited to see a notable increase in the number of successful breeding pairs compared to past years,” said Mitch Friedman, executive director of Conservation Northwest, a nonprofit group based in Bellingham.

“It’s important to note that social tolerance for wolves continues to grow as well, evidenced in part by growing uptake of deterrence measures by livestock operators and reduced acrimony in the state legislature.”

Stevens County Commissioner Don Dashielle said he was hoping to see a reduction in the number of wolves or at least a spreading of the distribution of wolves that would allow for delisting wolves from state and federal endangered species protections.

“We continue to have most of the wolves and wolf problems,” he said. The commission has suggested translocation of wolves from Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille counties to other portions of the state to accelerate wolves to recovered status. “That’s legal under the state wolf management plan,” he said.

According to the 2017 survey, 15 of the 22 known packs range in Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties in the northeast corner of the state.

Friedman said his group also is disappointed that more wolf packs have not yet become established in Washington’s North and South Cascades, despite quality habitat available in those areas. He hopes that wolves will continue to expand into the South Cascades and Western Washington in 2018.

“The recent confirmation of at least one wolf in Western Washington is exciting news, and unconfirmed reports continue to come in from areas south of Interstate 90,” he said.

The Colville Tribe, in a one-day aerial survey on their reservation, documented four packs of six-eight animals each, including a new pack they named the Frosty Meadow Pack. All of the reservation packs are breeding, the Tribe said in a release. A suspected pack has been named the Disautel Pack.

Maletzke said the other new documented packs include the Leadpoint, and Togo packs in northeastern Washington and Grouse Flats Pack in the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington.

Two previously identified packs – the Skookum and Sherman packs – were not included in the reports pack totals because they no more than one animal could be located.

Wildlife managers have also been tracking the movements of a wolf in the North Cascades in Skagit County that was captured and fitted with a radio-collar last June, but so far no other wolves have been confirmed in the area, Maletzke said.

The state has 13 GPS tracking collars and three VHF collars on wolves in 11 different packs in the state.

Since 1980, gray wolves have been listed under state law as endangered throughout Washington. In the western two-thirds of the state, they are also listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.

As the state’s wolf population has continued to grow, WDFW has expanded its efforts to collaborate with livestock producers, conservation groups, and local residents to prevent conflict between wolves and domestic animals, Maletzke said.

WDFW employed an array of non-lethal strategies last year to reduce conflicts, including cost-sharing agreements with 37 ranchers who took proactive steps to protect their livestock. State assistance included range riders to check on livestock, guard dogs, lighting, flagging for fences, and data on certain packs’ movements.

The methods aren’t foolproof. Two wolves in the Smackout Pack were lethally removed by the state following attacks on livestock that were being watched by range riders. One wolf from the Sherman Pack was killed following repeated cattle attacks.

Maletzke said five of the 22 known packs that existed in Washington at some point during 2017 were involved in at least one livestock mortality. After conducting investigations, WDFW confirmed that wolves killed at least eight cattle and injured five others last year. WDFW processed two claims totaling $3,700 to compensate livestock producers for their losses in 2017.

“We know that some level of conflict is inevitable between wolves and livestock sharing the landscape,” Maletzke said. “Our goal is to minimize that conflict as the gray wolf population continues to recover.”

State management of wolves is guided by the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan of 2011, along with a protocol approved by WDFW to reduce those conflicts.

The Great Totten Glacier is Floating on More Warming Water Than We Thought


It’s well known now that massive glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica are contributing to an accelerating global sea level rise. And while we first thought Greenland was primarily at risk of producing ocean-lifting melt this Century, we have now learned that both West and East Antarctica are becoming involved.

(A massive glacier the size of France is floating on more of a warming ocean than previously thought. Taking into account past reports of thinning along the glacier’s underside, and this is a rather concerning finding. Image source: Australian Antarctic Division.)

How much and how soon and under how much warming pressure is still a matter of some debate in the sciences. But the situation is now looking a bit worse for the Totten Glacier — an enormous sea-fronting slab of ice as big as France that if it melted in total would, by itself, raise sea levels by…

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Born Free USA Sues Administration Over Lack of Transparency on Newly Appointed Council that Promotes Trophy Hunting

Exposing the Big Game

Leading nonprofit animal rights organization files complaint against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over neglected Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding the recently formed International Wildlife Conservation Council (IWCC)

Washington, D.C. — Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation leading the charge against the outdated and brutal sport of trophy hunting, today filed a complaint against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The suit, filed over a neglected Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request about the newly formed International Wildlife Conservation Council (IWCC), also argues that the council was formed under the guise of conservation with no balanced perspectives on the negative impact of international trophy hunting.

The IWCC, which was announced on November 8, 2017, was created, to “… advise the Secretary of the Interior on the benefits that international recreational hunting has on foreign wildlife and habitat conservation, anti-poaching…

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The New Silk Road is Paved With Clean Energy — What America Can Learn From China’s Solar Panel Diplomacy


Have solar panel, will travel.

That appears to be the motto of the insurgent globe-spanning renewable energy economy which China is now investing hundreds of billions to develop. For what we’re now beholden to is an economic powerhouse using both its massive capital and its ability to produce inexpensive clean energy systems to spread influence across the world.

(Solar boat diplomacy. China is using its massive financial power base along with its forward-looking clean tech clout to spread its influence across the globe. Meanwhile, the U.S. under Trump remains mired in the dirty energy systems and harmful related politics of the past. Image source:

As the U.S. under Trump and Republicans withdraws from the world, as it enters a form of  jingoistic protectionism, and as it alienates allies, abandons business opportunities, as it turns a cold shoulder to territories like Puerto Rico — China is making global in-roads…

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Stop the Barbaric Crow Shoot in Vermont

Exposing the Big Game

On April 7, 2018, bloody bodies will rain from the sky. The Boonie Club of Williamstown, Vermont, has scheduled a barbaric crow shoot. In a disgusting show of pure blood lust, teams of four will compete to see who can kill the most crows, with actual cash prizes being awarded to the top killers. This horrific contest is repulsive and archaic, and we can’t let it happen.

Competitions like this only further serve to marginalize birds, who are often considered by thoughtless humans to be nothing more than flying, pooping, and noisemaking creatures, somehow not worthy of their lives. The fact is crows, and all birds, are far more than that.

Crows, like many animals, are far more intelligent than many would like us to believe. For example, crows form complex social structures and are known as the smartest of all birds. They not only use tools, but they make…

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