Tag: Exclusive

WAN Exclusive With Patty Shenker About L.A. City Banning The Use Of Barbaric Electric Prods, Shocking Devices & Other Cruel Instruments On Animals In Rodeos

This week, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to ban the cruel use of electric prods, shocking devices, flanking straps, spurs, and other barbaric instruments from rodeos.

The motion, put forth by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and seconded by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell in December of last year, now moves to the Los Angeles City Attorney to draft the ordinance.

WAN talked with Patty Shenker who, along with Heather Wilson, has been advocating for animal rights for decades. Both Shenker, who spoke at the council meeting, and Wilson, were among those working with Blumenfield to pass this critical measure.

“The writing of the ordinance is just the beginning,” Shenker told WAN, explaining the relevance of a similar law that passed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1992. While the law prohibiting the use of tools of torture on animals in rodeos did not categorically ban rodeos, it did effectively stop them from occurring in the state.

“I was planning to talk to the city council about how dangerous rodeos are and how they are not only an animal issue, but a public safety issue as well,” Shenker told WAN, explaining that while waiting to virtually testify in favor of the ban, she learned from Wilson that the council passed the motion.

When it was Shenker’s turn to speak at the meeting, she graciously thanked the council for advancing the new legislation, and stated: “As violence continues to grow in our country, we need our leaders to lead us to a kinder more compassionate world for all, including animals, you just did that, thank you!”

As noted on a petition that was created by Last Chance For Animals, “rodeos and rodeo-type activities are exhibitions of animal cruelty that are sanctioned in the guise of competition. Due to events like bull riding, wrestling, calf roping, and steer tailing, calves, steers, bulls, horses, and other animals suffer horrific psychological and physical traumas including broken limbs, cardiac arrest, punctured lungs, torn ligaments, ruptured organs, broken necks, crushed tracheas, and more.”

“We should be able to relate to these animals that go through the same insolence, pain, and abuse that humans are sometimes subjected to,” said Shenker who met with Councilmember Blumenfield, his assistant, and Wilson, regarding the ban prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Now is a great opportunity to take care of this before things begin to open up again.”

Help urge the Los Angeles City Council to prohibit the staging of rodeos and rodeo-type activities in the city by signing the petition HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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WAN Exclusive Update On A Controversial Case Of Alleged Neglect Of 20 Farm Animals In Colorado

After receiving a tip over the weekend about an alleged animal hoarding situation in Colorado that included starving pigs left outside in freezing conditions, WAN did some research and uncovered an abhorrent case of animal cruelty.

Sadly, the complex case involves a group of 20 farm animals and others that are innocent victims of severe cruelty and neglect, allegedly under the care of Halina Morley and Laurel Burchell.

One of the reasons this case is unlike most animal hoarding cases, is the small ‘manageable’ number of animals on the property. There are far more pressing issues involved in this case which local police and authorities have been investigating.

Yesterday morning, WAN had the opportunity to speak with the Founder and President of the nonprofit, Denkai Animal Sanctuary, Floss Blackburn, who was first alerted to this situation by Mary Stevens, the 80-year-old owner of the property located in Weld County, Colorado. Stevens leased a small portion of her land to Morley and Burchell, where they keep their animals.

As noted by Blackburn, Stevens is trying to evict her tenants and issued a call for help. Blackburn visited the property on February 3rd  and found the animals enduring subzero temperatures without proper bedding, food or water. Potbellied pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, a rabbit, and a dog were among the live animals Blackburn noticed suffering on the property among those that had already perished.

After finding the horribly neglected animals, Blackburn contacted authorities who reportedly stated that there was no evidence of wrongdoing. Blackburn then called Zachery Vaughn, an animal control officer with the Weld County Sheriff’s Office to request that they perform a necropsy on the dead animals because then they would have the evidence they needed.

The request was denied.

According to Blackburn, who stressed that animal welfare laws in Colorado are severely lacking, Vaughn explained that, “Morley is keeping the care for these animals at just barely the minimum allowed per the statutes, therefore there was nothing that the sheriff’s department could do other than continue to monitor the situation.”

“The bare minimum is not enough for animals to survive,” a frustrated Blackburn told WAN.

WAN also reached out to Joe Moylan, a Weld County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson about the situation and what can be done to save the animals on the property. Moylan stated that they have been investigating this situation for two weeks and recently went to the property but could not find any violations to warrant an animal cruelty charge.

“We considered seeking a warrant,” Moylan told WAN, further explaining that they “called in the state vet who said nothing was wrong.”

It seems as through so much is wrong in this case. Blackburn explained to WAN that people who were present during the visit told them that “the vet did not put hands on the animals to do an accurate assessment.”

The Weld County Sheriff’s Office has reportedly been flooded with calls and e-mails from individuals and rescuers trying to help. Yet, they continue to claim that the law has their hands tied in reference to seizing and providing safe care for the animals.

Unfathomably, as per a statement released by Denkai Animal Sanctuary, the Weld County Sheriff’s Office has reportedly also made it clear that individuals trying to help these animals by bringing food, providing water, posting about going onto the property, and calling in ‘false reports’ in regards to the well-being of these animals, will receive citations and can be arrested.

“The bottom line with this situation is that laws do not sufficiently exist to protect farmed animals from situations such as this. The minimum standard is not enough to keep these animals alive and will ultimately fail them, allowing repeat offenders to get away with continued neglect and abuse,” stated Denkai Animal Sanctuary.

Denkai Animal Sanctuary created a fundraiser to help the animals in need HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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WAN Exclusive With Animal Place Sanctuary Which Urgently Needs To Find Homes For 6 Cows Being Saved From Slaughter In Northern California

Photos by: Marji Beach, Animal Place

What started as a heartwarming story about the rescue of two 20-year-old cows, Honey and Babe, by Animal Place, a nonprofit that provides a safe haven to nearly 400 rescued farm animals, and promotes a compassionate vegan lifestyle, has turned into an urgent call to action to help save six more cows before they are sent to auction to be slaughtered at the end of January.

WAN talked to Kim Sturla, the Executive Director of Animal Place, as well as the organization’s Director of Fund Development, Marji Beach, who secured the rescue of Honey and Babe, which took place on January 16th.


Sturla explained to WAN that there were a total of 13 cows, the majority believed to be offspring of either Honey or Babe, that needed new homes after their elderly caregiver could no longer tend to them and her family was unable to afford their upkeep.


While they were able to find a home for five of the cows at a sanctuary in San Diego, Sturla and Beach are now trying to save the remaining cows before they fall into the wrong hands or are sent to auction where they will most-likely end up being slaughtered for their meat.

“Cows are so hard to find placement for. They are large animals, expensive to care for, and require complex care,” Beach told WAN, noting that the best resolution to the situation would be to find an adopter or adopters for the remaining cows, ideally in Northern California. “Animal Place has a lot of land but, sadly, not enough staff to take care of six more animals. It is hard to find caregivers in rural areas.”

They encourage people who are interested in volunteering or working for the sanctuary to contact Animal Place HERE.

The priority now is to find the six remaining cows new homes. If you are interested in adopting them, please contact Marji Beach at marji@animalplace.org.

Donations to help Honey and Babe, as well as the six remaining cows who need to find their forever homes, can also be made HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post WAN Exclusive With Animal Place Sanctuary Which Urgently Needs To Find Homes For 6 Cows Being Saved From Slaughter In Northern California appeared first on World Animal News.

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WAN Exclusive Update About Florida Manatee With The Word ‘TRUMP’ Etched On Its Back; $5,000 Reward Offered For Information

Photo by: Hailey Warrington, a boat captain for a fishing charter company in Crystal River, Fla.

Following yesterday’s disturbing news that a manatee was found in Florida on Sunday with the word ‘TRUMP’ etched on its body, WAN talked to Christina Meister at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service headquarters who confirmed that they are currently investigating the situation.

While it is an open investigation and updates are limited, Meister did share with WAN that, “The manatee does not appear to be seriously injured as it seems that the word was written in algae on the animal’s back.”

However,” continued Meister, “touching, harming or harassing West Indian manatees is still illegal and is a violation of the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Touching, harming or harassing manatees does cause harm as it can cause stress and or interfere with their natural behaviors in the wild.”

In the meantime, the Center for Biological Diversity is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the cruel act of the threatened manatee in north Florida’s Homosassa River. According to the organization, harassment of a manatee is a federal criminal offense punishable by a $50,000 fine and up to one year in prison.

“It’s heartbreaking that this manatee was subjected to this vile, criminal act,” said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida Director of the Center, in a statement. “It’s clear that whoever harmed this defenseless, gentle giant, is capable of doing grave violence and needs to be apprehended immediately.”

Protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1963, manatees are slow-moving plant eaters with no natural predators. Sadly, boat mortality accounts for an estimated 20% of manatee deaths.

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is aware of this incident and is working closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,” Aurelia Skipwith, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said in a statement sent to WAN. “If you have any information regarding this case, please call our wildlife crime tips hotline at 1-844-397-8477 or email us at FWS_TIPS@FWS.GOV.”

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WAN Exclusive With Filmmaker James Kleinert, The Warrior Who Is Saving America’s Last Wild Horses

Tragically, 455 of America’s wild horses recently became the latest victims unfairly targeted by helicopters during yet another controversial Bureau of Land Management (BLM) roundup under the guise of ‘herd management.’

Not surprisingly, little information about this travesty, which took place between December 5th and December 18th within and outside of the herd areas located in Lincoln County, Nevada, has been shared publicly.

According to James Kleinert, who has dedicated his life to saving America’s wild horses and has also produced several award-winning documentaries about their plight, the lack of information by the BLM is intentional.

WAN had the opportunity to talk with Kleinert about his decades-long career advocating for wild horses as the oil, gas, mining, and cattle industries continue to take away their legal and environmental protections. This is one of the many issues Kleinert addresses in his latest documentary series, Mustangs & Renegades.

“I never intended it to be a political film, but there are all kinds of corruption at the BLM,” Kleinert told WAN, sadly sharing that the BLM only adopts a small percentage of the captured horses after they are savagely ripped away from their families during these brutal roundups. The majority of the wild horses are sent to what Kleinert refers to as “long-term camps” or shipped to Mexico and Canada for slaughter.

As noted by Kleinert, the BLM, which makes it especially challenging to record what goes on during one of these roundups, lies about the number of horses on a range, the appropriate management levels, and the reasons why the ‘excess’ horses need to be removed.

A statement released by the BLM regarding the December roundup in Nevada, claimed that, among other reasons, the wild horses were gathered because of a lack of food and water.

“If the horses on the land get sick or die after drinking polluted water, an alarm is set off which the BLM does not want to happen.” said Kleinert, explaining why former BLM Director Jim Baca, who Kleinert interviewed, called horses an indicator species.

The BLM also reportedly lets the public know about these so-called “emergency roundups” at the last minute, so that little to nothing can be done to protect the horses from them.

Kleinert’s film exposes the truth about what really happens to America’s wild horses, the truth which hurts the BLM’s public image. “The BLM seems to think that, if they can stop the filming, then…problem solved. If there’s no documentation of the violence, then the BLM can plausibly deny that it ever happened.”

“This is also about something much bigger, the complete devastation of our environment by industries, and ultimately people, who are making a living by exploiting wild horses,” stated Kleinert, who filed a lawsuit in 2015 regarding public records and legal proceedings with the Bureau of Land Management. Since the history-making judgement in 2016, Kleinert v. BLM can now be used by any citizen seeking information per the Freedom of Information Act FOIA.

“We are living out of balance and have to start living sustainably,” concluded Kleinert. whose documentaries serve as tremendous educational and awareness pieces about the plight of wild horses, burros, and the environment.

If you would like to watch the new film Mustangs & Renegades, CLICK HERE!

Call to action to Save America’s Wild Horses, HERE!

Please urge President Trump to stop the brutal campaign against America’s Wild Horses and place a moratorium on all Wild Horse & Burro round ups. Call the White House at (202) 456-1111

To help support James and his mission, please consider making a donation HERE!

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WAN Exclusive: Urgent Help Needed To Rehome 32 Chimps From The Wildlife Waystation To Sanctuaries In The U.S.

Sha-Sha is one of the 32 chimps needing to be rehomed in a sanctuary. Photos and images from North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance

When the Wildlife Waystation in Southern California closed its doors in 2019, hundreds of exotic and domestic animals needed to be rehomed. While the majority of the animals were relocated, 32 chimpanzees remained. Now, with a little more than three weeks left before the new year, it is more important than ever to help ensure these precious chimps are placed in their new homes in 2021.

Norma is one of the 32 chimps needing to be rehomed in a sanctuary. 

While the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has been temporarily caring for the chimps, the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA) has been working to secure the chimps forever homes in four reputable sanctuaries throughout the United States.

WAN had the opportunity to speak with several of the people and organizations that are involved in the multi-faceted rescue and relocation effort to save the chimps.

Ewok is one of the 32 chimps needing to be rehomed in a sanctuary.

“It was either we take action or we would have a catastrophe with animals not being cared for,” CDFW Regional Manager Ed Pert shared with WAN. “These chimps have been in difficult circumstances most of their lives and we want to do what’s right for them.”

Most of the chimps have been rescued from animal testing labs, as well as the so-called “entertainment” and “pet” industries, and reportedly cost $100,000 to care for each month.

“The situation is dire and we don’t want funding to run out with the world currently the way it is,” Erika Fleury, Program Director for the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance told WAN, who explained the urgent need for funding to cover the cost of construction and building viable new habitats at the various sanctuaries, as well as for the complex care of the chimps. “This is a massive collaboration involving NAPSA and the participating sanctuaries, our fundraising partner 7th Generation Advisors, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Waystation itself.”

Cy is one of the 32 chimps needing to be rehomed in a sanctuary.

According to Fluery, despite the various sanctuaries being full, they have the potential to get all of the remaining chimpanzees placed in 2021, but financial donations are critically needed to help make this happen.

Sanctuaries need funds to build space as soon as possible and plan for lifetime care costs. In the meantime, funds are needed to provide care for these chimpanzees while their new homes are being created. An anonymous foundation also recently offered a $250,000 matching grant which they want to fulfill by the end of the year.

“All of these pieces have to come together at once,” continued Fleury. “It is nerve-racking.”

For example, Fleury shared with WAN, Chimp Haven in Louisiana, the world’s largest sanctuary of its kind, agreed to take 11 chimps by Spring of next year, even though the sanctuary is currently at full capacity. To facilitate this, Chimp Haven first needs to secure the estimated $1.7 million dollars necessary to create more space and construct new habitats for the animals.

Fleury further explained that six of the chimps are able to be relocated to Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW in Washington by Fall. Another seven can also be rehomed at the Center for Great Apes in Florida. The organization Primarily Primates in Texas also agreed to take eight of the chimps providing they have the financing needed to expand their facilities to accommodate them.

Funds are being raised through the Chimpanzees in Need emergency fundraising campaign that was launched by the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance and the nonprofit 7th Generation Advisors. Contributions to the campaign are collected through 7th Generation-led Wildlife Rescue Fund.

Please help these 32 precious chimps relocate to their new homes in 2021 and make a donation HERE!

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WAN Exclusive: A Heroic Community Unites In Months-Long Effort To Save An Injured Deer Whose Antlers Were Tangled In Wire Mesh

Photo from California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Warden Piedra

An example of compassion, inclusiveness, and the power that each person has to make a positive difference in the world occurred over the past several months when a community united to save the life of an adult male deer in peril, in Glendale, California.

WAN had the opportunity to speak with many of the individuals in the community who worked together to help free the buck whose antlers were tangled in a life-threatening combination of discarded heavy-duty construction wire and mesh.

The harrowing situation began to unfold in late September when Glendale residents Aren Youssefians and Alex Hill spotted the deer on their ring camera with what they believed to be chicken wire wrapped around his antlers. Worried for the deer’s safety, they shared a single post on a neighborhood app, which turned into a thread of hundreds of people wanting to help free the deer.

Ring camera footage and images from Aren Youssefians and Alex Hill

“It was difficult to watch the buck struggle walking up and down the driveway and to witness how his condition was deteriorating in subsequent videos,” Youssefians told WAN, further explaining that they were noticing more deer looking for food and water in their backyard this year, a sad consequence of the recent wildfires in the area.

Animal advocate Mick Davoudian, who shared with WAN that they “kind of lost hope when the deer vanished for two weeks,” was among those responding to the videos that Youssefians and Hill continued to post over the months-long effort to save the deer, who has since been named Houdini.

Photo from California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Warden Piedra

Davoudian contacted fellow animal advocate Lisa Karlan, who discovered that rehab facilities could not help with the compromised animal because adult male deer get captive myopathy; an exertion or stress-induced muscle degenerative disease that affects captured wild animals. Often fatal, the condition is a threat to animals and people.

Determined, Davoudian and Karlan continued to enlist the assistance of others including compassionate veterinarians, Dr. David Robertson, from Select Equine Veterinary Services, and Dr. Krystal Burns, from PAC. “We had everything set up, but no place to go,” noted Karlan, referring to having the vets, a portable x-ray machine, and other materials, as well as transport, on stand-by to help the deer and move him to a rehab facility when needed.

Through a referral by Anna Reams, the Founder of Wildlife Care of Southern California, the team grew to include California Fish and Wildlife Warden Elia Piedra, who was key in saving Houdini’s life.

Warden Piedra explained to WAN that she became more concerned for the deer after viewing the footage taken several weeks after the initial videos. The wire cable was now moving down from the antlers to around his neck. He was also limping on his front right leg.

Ring camera footage and images from Aren Youssefians and Alex Hill

This past Saturday night, Houdini appeared again on the ring camera, prompting the team to assemble, watch, and wait for hours.

While members of the team left around midnight, Warden Piedra and now Warden Bagmanian stayed throughout the night and into the early morning hours. After battling the challenging terrain and hiking numerous times through the dense brush up to the other very steep hillside, they found Houdini asleep. Warden Piedra was then able to use a dart to immobilize the deer so they could help him.

“Removing the antlers was the quickest and safest way to free him. What we thought was netting and rope around the antlers, ended up being metal mesh and cable. So, unwrapping it was impossible,” explained Warden Piedra. “Warden Bagmanian sawed off the antlers while I kept the buck’s head still and monitored his breathing through the process.”

Photo from California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Warden Piedra

It was around 3:06am on Sunday morning when Youssefians and Hill received a text from Warden Piedra that included a picture of the buck without his antlers and the message, “We got him, he’s free!”

“The second that his antlers were off,” Warden Piedra told WAN, “Warden Bagmanian and I literally shouted and gave each other a high five. We knew that he was now going to be ok. And, he was happily snoring throughout the entire ordeal!”

The online community was also thrilled with the news. According to Youssefians, one person replied to the update that she “woke up with tears of joy,” while another commented that “with 2020 being such a chaotic year, this is the best news!”

Ring camera footage and images from Aren Youssefians and Alex Hill

When questioned about what advice Warden Piedra would give to the public to avoid another situation like this, she said, “Just to be aware that we are cohabitating with wildlife. Make a little extra effort to ensure that items like what was wrapped around this buck’s antlers are not just left lying around. It’s not only a hazard to wildlife, but to people as well.”

Dr. Burns, who, as a veterinary student, worked with a team in South Africa that darted deer and giraffes before safely relocating them to safer locations, also said that people should remember that they need to coexist with the animals now that the wildfires have destroyed most of their natural habitat. Be kind and compassionate.

WAN is thrilled to share an update that Houdini the deer has been spotted with some of his friends after being saved. He appears to be healthy and happy. 

WAN appreciates and applauds everyone who contributed to saving Houdini’s life. This is a powerful example of a compassionate community uniting to help an animal in need. 

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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WAN Exclusive With Nina Jackel, Founder Of Lady Freethinker, About Undercover Investigation Exposing Horror At Dog Meat Auction House In South Korea

Photos from Lady Freethinker

A new undercover investigation this summer by animal rights nonprofit Lady Freethinker captured footage and images of confined dogs kept and sold in what is likely the largest remaining dog meat auction in South Korea at Nakwon Auction House in the city of Namyangju.

The auction and investigation took place during the Bok Nal Dog Eating Days, believed to be the hottest days of the year, when dog meat is consumed out of a mistaken belief that it will have a cooling effect. The dogs are typically cooked as boshintang, or dog meat soup, for Bok Nal.

WAN caught up with Founder and President of Lady Freethinker, Nina Jackel, about the investigation which found more than 200 dogs in metal crates and cages yelping in fear as an auctioneer prodded them with a metal hook. The investigation documented that there were 60 numbered cages, each containing three to four dogs.

“Lady Freethinker has partnered for years with an organization in Gimpo, South Korea, called Save Korean Dogs (SKD), run by a dedicated woman named Nami Kim who rescues dogs from the dog meat trade and works with local legislators to end the industry,” Jackel told WAN, noting that they had someone on the ground to film footage of SKD’s work, when the auction house opportunity presented itself. “The videographer was so brave, and wore a hidden camera even though the facility is on high alert for animal activists.”

“The ultimate goal is to save thousands of dogs from suffering at this facility by exposing what happens there,” noted Jackel, who wants officials to close down this auction house, which is most-likely operating illegally by not following regulations. “Our partner Nami, has already met with the mayor’s office following the release of the investigation, and is planning more visits.”

Unfathomably, South Korea remains the only country in the world with large-scale, commercial dog meat farms despite a decline in consumer demand for the meat by locals. The Korean Animal Welfare Association found in a 2019 poll of South Koreans that just 12.2% of respondents were still eating dogs, down from 13% in 2018. And, 41% reported that they used to eat dogs but were no longer doing so, up from 39.5% in 2018.

Lady Freethinker, in partnership with Save Korean Dogs, is also currently sponsoring 20 taxi ads in the city of Paju that state that “Dogs are not food but family,” and has been conducting undercover investigations since 2018; including one that exposed a dogfight breeder in Chile, which resulted in the strongest-ever sentence for animal cruelty in the nation.

While most major dog meat auction houses in South Korea have closed, Nakwon Auction House is believed to be the largest one remaining. The deplorable auction house is operating in a residential area and is advertised as a dog breeding facility. 

Please sign the petition urging Namyangju Mayor Cho Kwang-han to shut Nakwon Auction House down for good, HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post WAN Exclusive With Nina Jackel, Founder Of Lady Freethinker, About Undercover Investigation Exposing Horror At Dog Meat Auction House In South Korea appeared first on World Animal News.

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WAN Exclusive: Your Help Is Needed As 19 Orphaned & Injured Black Bear Cubs Have Been Rescued & Are Being Cared For By The Wildlife Center Of Virginia

The Wildlife Center of Virginia, which is experiencing a record year for black bear rescues, is currently caring for 19 cubs from across the state who have been orphaned, injured, or separated from their mothers. The young cubs were born in January and February of this year.

Upon learning that the Center recently issued a plea for food to help feed the black bear cubs, WAN and our charity Peace 4 Animals wanted to know how we could help.

WAN connected with Lauren Edzenga, a knowledgeable Outreach Educator for The Wildlife Center of Virginia, which holds the only rehabilitation permit for black bears in the state. Hence, the facility is well-equipped to take care of this adorably unique species.

“It is fall, and it’s the time of year when bears in the wild begin to eat excessively as they bulk up for the ‘lean times’ of winter,” Edzenga told WAN. “It is called hyperphagia, and the 19 cubs are now eating us out of house and home.”

According to Edzenga, the Center’s bear-care team has increased bear feeding from 152 pounds to 190 pounds of food per day. That is 10 pounds of food per cub, seven days a week.

Fortunately, many locals have been delivering requested menu items for the cubs, including a variety of nuts.

“While these cubs are not related siblings, they are being raised together in an effort to provide them with the social interaction they require, as well as to reduce the risk of them becoming habituated or used to humans,” explained Edzenga.

To limit human interaction, Edzenga shared that only a few members of the staff care for the orphaned bear cubs. Depending on their age and condition when they arrive, cubs may live in a Zinger crate, in the Center’s Large Mammal Isolation enclosure, or in the Center’s Black Bear Complex.

The Center has some set weight guidelines that help determine when cubs are ready to move to their next stage of housing; the cubs usually move to the Large Mammal enclosure when they are more than 3.0 kg, which is typically in May. Once they weigh more than 10 kg, typically in July, they are large enough to move to the Black Bear Complex. The cubs also must be weaned from their formula before they are moved to the Black Bear Complex, which is a half-acre forest to explore.

“Wild animals require very intensive, specialized care, so it’s important that wildlife in need is given to permitted wildlife rehabilitators so they have the best chance of survival,” stated Edzenga.

The young bears will be cared for by the Wildlife Center until next spring, at the time when they would naturally begin dispersing from their mothers. The 2020 cubs will be released back into the wild in the spring of 2021. 

The Wildlife Center of Virginia is a non-profit formed in 1982 to provide quality health care, often on an emergency basis, to native wildlife. The Center admits more than 3,000 patients annually, accounting for over 200 different species.

For ways to help these adorable orphaned cubs, please donate to The Wildlife Center of Virginia HERE! 

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post WAN Exclusive: Your Help Is Needed As 19 Orphaned & Injured Black Bear Cubs Have Been Rescued & Are Being Cared For By The Wildlife Center Of Virginia appeared first on World Animal News.

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WAN Exclusive With Apex Protection Project, An Amazing Nonprofit That Saves Wolves & Wolf Hybrids In California

Photos from Apex Protection Project

Apex Protection Project is an amazing organization of dedicated people who work to protect wild wolves, captive-bred wolves, and wolf hybrids, as well as who educate the public about their plight. They are currently caring for two wolves and five hybrids that call the sanctuary their home.

There are countless reasons for people to become immersed in animal rescue and welfare and for Co-Founders of Apex Protection Project, Steve Wastell and Paula Ficara, it began with one beautiful wolf.

“Taboo is the reason why we do what we do,” Wastell told WAN, referring to a alpha female wolf hybrid who was their first rescue. “She was our daughter.”

Sadly, Taboo, who was about 60% to 70 % wolf passed away three months ago from cancer. Shortly before, Apex Protection Project experienced another significant loss when Merlin, a 15-year-old high content, 90% wolf, who was Taboo’s companion, also passed away.

“They died two months apart. Their love story was very romantic,” shared Ficara, likening it to when a human couple grows old together.”

“Taboo was the glue that held everything together. A good leader. A peacekeeper,” said Ficara, further explaining how the pack had to mourn Taboo’s passing, while trying to figure out the new structure and who the new alpha would be. “It was interesting and fascinating to watch.”

“Thor, one of the other male wolves became the new alpha, and he was the one who wanted it the least,” said Wastell.

It is not surprising to hear how lovingly Wastell and Ficara talk about their rescued Apex wolf pack, as the organization is dedicated to the care and well-being of the animals, striving to provide them with the happiest and most fulfilled lives possible, in safe and comfortable habitats, with daily exercise and enrichment, vet care, and lots of love and attention.

“Our relationships with the members of our pack are built on trust and respect, the two most important values to both wolves and humans,” noted Wastell. A philosophy that they also pass on to Apex Protection Project’s volunteers.

Having gone without any volunteers for three to four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Apex team is beginning to bring back some of their established volunteers, including trained Animal Pack Caretakers who work daily with the wolves and wolf hybrids.

“While the past months have been hard, painful, and emotional, there has been a lot of beautiful and educational moments as well,” noted Ficara. One such moment is when the pack reunites with their Animal Pack Caretakers. “They miss them,” explained Ficara, further sharing that the Caretakers were even surprised at how the animals responded when they returned.

“They take hikes with them, spend time with them,” noted Wastell, who maintains that their human socialization of the animals make them loving and connected. “The key is building deep relationships. On average, It takes approximately six months to a year to build a strong trusting friendship, and sometimes longer.”

Wastell and Ficara also belong to a national network of rescuers. “On average, there are three to seven messages about wolves that need to be rescued each week,” noted Wastell. “Sometimes they are from breeders who close down, while other times, they are from individuals who can no longer care for them.”

The busy team is preparing to co-host their fourth annual Sedona Wolf Week with their partners Plan B to Save Wolves which will take place virtually November 10th through the 14th. The free event will be full of informative, entertaining, and valuable information from some of the country’s top wolf experts.

Apex Protection Project was founded in 2015. Located in the high desert north of Los Angeles, California, the small but growing organization is now working toward moving to a much larger property so that they may save more animals and provide them with a forever home. Wastell and Ficara told WAN that they would like to rescue between 16-25 wolves in the future.

Please donate to Apex Protection Project to help them continue their critical and compassionate work saving, protecting, caring for, and providing rescued wolves and wolf hybrids with forever homes HERE!

The post WAN Exclusive With Apex Protection Project, An Amazing Nonprofit That Saves Wolves & Wolf Hybrids In California appeared first on World Animal News.

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WAN Exclusive: Urgent Help Needed To Stop The Destruction By Martabe Goldmine Of The Rainforest Habitat Of The Last 800 Critically Endangered Tapanuli Orangutans In Sumatra

Photo of rare Tapanuli Orangutan by: Maxime Aliaga 

Tapanuli orangutans were classified as a new great ape species found in Sumatra, Indonesia, in 2017, there are now sadly fewer than 800 individuals remaining in the wild.

Forest protection is vital for the survival of this rare and critically-endangered species as they live in smaller sub-populations in an already fragmented forest landscape. Tragically, their habitat is under multiple threats including the active Martabe Goldmine, in the Batang Toru region of North Sumatra.

Martabe Goldmine and forested region in February 2020

That is why Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) is calling on British Company Jardine Matheson to URGENTLY STOP destroying Tapanuli orangutan habitat and immediately restore the forest they have already cleared.

Jardine Matheson owns the Martabe Goldmine through its subsidiary Astra International, which is Indonesia’s largest company. In 2018, after acquiring the goldmine, they made a firm commitment not to expand the mine into the Tapanuli orangutan habitat. They reportedly also told environmental organizations that they were concerned about the species and would not alter the surrounding landscape.

However, satellite imagery has now revealed the clearing of orangutan habitat adjacent to the active mine. The extent of the clearing is nearly 21.5 acres of forest. The mine already occupies an area of 67.6 acres which was formerly orangutan habitat before being cleared to allow for the extraction and processing of gold ore.

Martabe Mine with cleared forested area on June 25, 2020

“Destroying the habitat of this rare great ape cousin after claiming they would help in its conservation brings such claims into question, and makes a mockery out of the company and its subsidiaries’ commitment to sustainability in the real world,” Dr. Gary Shapiro, President of Orang Utan Republik Foundation and The Orangutan Project-USA told WAN exclusively. “Jardine Matheson needs to rectify this situation promptly. “

Jardine Matheson also owns the Mandarin Oriental Hotel chain which prides itself on environmentally sustainable practices within its hotels. Guests of the hotel would most-likely be shocked to know that its parent company owns an extractive operation that is destroying the habitat of our planet’s most critically endangered great ape, and of critically endangered Sumatran tigers and pangolins.

“Authentic Corporate Social Responsibility means acting in ways that are consistent with pledges to protect people, wildlife, and the environment. Would their clients think favorably if they knew the company was threatening the survival of our most critically endangered great ape cousin?” questioned Shapiro. “It would be hypocritical for a company to be posturing itself as an environmentally conscious business while operating contrary to those claims in remote areas of the world.”

Please join Orang Utan Republik Foundation and sign this petition urging Jardine Matheson to immediately halt any further destruction of forest adjacent to their active mine and to restore the cleared forest to its former status, HERE!

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WAN Exclusive With The Sergeant Working On A Tragic Case Of Illegal Coyote Trapping In Massachusetts; $5,000 Reward Offered By Animal Legal Defense Fund

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally trapping a coyote in Essex County, Massachusetts.

The male coyote, who was approximately five months old, was caught in a Duke #160 Body Trap, which are illegal in Massachusetts. The barbaric and indiscriminate trap was placed, by a person or persons, in an area near a local golf course where wild coyotes sometimes roam. These lethal traps are often used for capturing smaller animals such as raccoons and groundhogs.

WAN talked exclusively with Sergeant Locke from the Swampscott Police Department this morning to find out the status of the investigation. While he was limited on what he could share since it is an ongoing investigation, he did confirm that the department and animal control are continuing to work on the case.

“There is no update yet, but we are looking for other instances of illegal trapping,” Locke told WAN, noting that they are also trying to find cameras that may contain useful footage. “Hopefully, this gets a resolution because the traps are not safe for animals or anyone.”

Once found, the person or persons responsible for setting the illegal trap will be charged with animal cruelty and illegal trapping. According to Locke, both charges are substantial.

As per Animal Legal Defense Fund, the poor coyote ran off after being trapped and it took authorities a few days to rescue the animal who was emaciated and suffered a broken jaw. In total, the trap was on his snout for about a week, which prevented him from eating. Tragically, the damage to his jaw was irreparable and the young coyote had to be euthanized.

This is yet another example of why the cruel and indiscriminate trapping of animals should be illegal, period.

“Much like the companion animals we consider family, wildlife animals are capable of feeling pain and deserve to be protected under the law,” Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director, Stephen Wells, said in a statement. “We commend the Swampscott Police Department for taking this case seriously and urge anyone with information about this crime to come forward.”

In Massachusetts, it is a felony offense to knowingly and willingly inflict cruelty to an animal. Under a recent amendment to the law, the maximum penalty for animal cruelty is seven years in a state prison or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

If you have information related to this incident, please contact the Swampscott Police Department and Animal Control at (781) 595-1111.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post WAN Exclusive With The Sergeant Working On A Tragic Case Of Illegal Coyote Trapping In Massachusetts; $5,000 Reward Offered By Animal Legal Defense Fund appeared first on World Animal News.

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