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7 years 1 month ago #1 by riada
Wallabies on the loose in Austria - yes, Austria
VIENNA, Thu Apr 18, 05:31 PM

Volunteers are searching for a pair of wallabies hopping through Austria - yes, Austria.

The kangaroo-like marsupials, which are smaller than "roos" and primarily found in Australia, escaped from a farm in the Upper Austrian countryside, about 180 kilometers (about 110 miles) northwest of Vienna. Thursday was the third day of the quest to find them.

There are actually three wallabies on the loose - owner Gabrielle Schrammel says the female has a joey in her pouch.

Austrians often express irritation at being confused for Australians while abroad, and mail meant for Australia occasionally surfaces in this central European Alpine country.

Those Vienna souvenir shops selling T-shirts with the slogan "No kangaroos in Austria" might have to start a recall campaign.

Exotic snakes stuck in Colo. basement after fire
BRIGHTON, Colo., Thu Apr 18, 01:44 PM

Dozens of snakes are in good condition after a home in the Denver suburb of Brighton caught fire. The trick now is to get them out of the basement.

Two adults and five children also got out safely after the fire broke out early Thursday. The home is a total loss.

Brighton Fire Chief Mike Schuppe says firefighters are working with the homeowner to get the hundreds of exotic snakes out of the debris and into a new home.

According to KMGH-TV ( tinyurl.com/cw3dhek ), the cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Boat filled with protected species hits coral reef
MANILA, Philippines, Mon Apr 15, 08:17 PM
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Boat filled with protected species hits coral reef
In this April 13, 2013 photo released by the Philippine Coast Guard, members of the Philippine Coast Guard hold a frozen...More

A Chinese boat that ran into a coral reef in the southwestern Philippines held evidence of even more environmental destruction inside: more than 10,000 kilograms (22,000 pounds) of meat from a protected species, the pangolin or scaly anteater.

The steel-hulled vessel hit an atoll on April 8 at the Tubbataha National Marine Park, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site on Palawan island. Coast guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo said Monday that 400 boxes, each containing 25 to 30 kilograms of frozen pangolins, were discovered during a second inspection of the boat Saturday.

The World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines said the Chinese vessel F/N Min Long Yu could have been carrying up to 2,000 of the toothless, insect-eating animals rolled up in the boxes, with their scales already removed.

"It is bad enough that the Chinese have illegally entered our seas, navigated without boat papers and crashed recklessly into a national marine park and World Heritage Site," said WWF-Philippines chief executive officer Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan. "It is simply deplorable that they appear to be posing as fishermen to trade in illegal wildlife."

The boat's 12 Chinese crewmen are being detained on charges of poaching and attempted bribery, said Adelina Villena, the marine park's lawyer. She said more charges are being prepared against them, including damaging the corals and violating the country's wildlife law for being found in possession of the pangolin meat.

It is not yet clear which of the four Asian pangolin species the meat comes from. The International Union of Conservation of Nature lists two as endangered: the Sunda, or Malayan, pangolin, and the Chinese pangolin. Two others, including the Philippine pangolin endemic to Palawan, are classified as near threatened.

The animals are protected in many Asian nations, and an international trade ban has been in effect since 2002, but illicit trade continues. The meat and scales of the pangolin fetch hundreds of dollars per kilogram in China, where many believe they cure various ailments.

The IUCN says rising demand for pangolins and lax laws are wiping out the toothless anteaters from their forest habitat in Southeast Asia.

Alex Marcaida, an officer of the government's Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, Philippine authorities consider the Philippine pangolin threatened because of unabated illicit trade. He said the Chinese crewmen have said the pangolins came from Indonesia, but officials were still verifying the claim.

WWF-Philippines said the global illegal wildlife trade is estimated to yield at least $19 billion per year, comprising the fourth-largest illegal global trade after narcotics, product and currency counterfeiting and human trafficking. It said the risks are low compared with other crimes, and that high-level traders are rarely arrested, prosecuted or convicted.

The Philippine military quoted the fishermen as saying they accidentally wandered into Philippine waters from Malaysia. They were being detained in southwestern Puerto Princesa city, where Chinese consular officials visited them.

Tubbataha is a 97,000-hectare (239,700-acre) marine sanctuary and popular diving destination 640 kilometers (400 miles) southwest of Manila. The massive reef already had been damaged by a U.S. Navy ship that got stuck in January and had to be dismantled.

The fishermen face up to 12 years' imprisonment and fines of up to $300,000 for the poaching charge alone. For possession of the pangolin meat, they can be imprisoned up to six years and fined, Villena said.

Nor but in sleep findeth a cure for care.
Incertainty that once gave scope to dream
Of laughing enterprise and glory untold,
Is now a blackness that no stars redeem.

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6 years 11 months ago #2 by riada
Replied by riada on topic More Animals Making News...
Hitchhiking cat 'Mata Hairi' headed home to Oregon
HELENA, Mont., Mon Jun 17, 01:16 PM
A well-traveled cat named "Mata Hairi" will soon be reunited with her owner after spending nearly 10 months traveling thousands of miles with a hitchhiker who rescued her from the rain.

The feline adventure started in Portland, Ore., when the cat's owner, Ron Buss, let her out of the house on Sept. 1. The cat, white with patches of dark gray, usually left for no more than a couple of hours at a time, but this time she didn't return.

When Michael King, who has been homeless since 2003, spotted Mata Hairi, she was crouched under a table at a cafe, trying to stay out of the pouring rain.

"I see cats all the time," King said. "I don't pick up cats. I don't want a cat, especially a full-grown one.

And he definitely didn't want to haul around the needed food and bowls that would add 20 pounds to his pack.

"Something told me to grab her. I don't know," King told the Independent Record ( bit.ly/17T7QRQ ).

He named the cat Tabor, for the cafe where he found her.

She traveled with King as he hitchhiked to California, back to Portland and out to Montana, where King's foster father lives.

People often stopped them and asked to take photos.

"She's a hit on the streets of Portland," King said. "Very rarely do you see a cat riding on the top of someone's backpack."


King and his foster father, Walter Ebert, recently took the cat to a veterinarian in Helena, where a scan found a microchip, and the vet was able to contact Buss.

Buss is planning a party marking Mata's return, and King agrees it's an occasion for celebration.

But it's going to be emotional for King, too.

"I didn't want a cat in the first place. I just thought I was saving someone's cat," King said. "And that's what I've done. Now I've grown attached to her.

"My pack will be 20 pounds lighter," he said, "but a big hole, a big hole."

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Cat nurses orphaned pit bull puppy in Ohio
CLEVELAND, Wed Jun 19, 07:20 PM
A cat caring for four newborn kittens is nursing an orphaned week-old pit bull puppy in Cleveland.

Sharon Harvey of the Cleveland Animal Protective League said Wednesday that Lurlene the cat welcomed Noland the puppy to her "unusual little family." The puppy was dropped off at the animal shelter last week when he was a day old.

The staff decided to place Noland with the nursing cat and her litter because bottle feeding doesn't always work.

The puppy will grow faster, so the shelter says it may have to come up with another feeding idea in several weeks until Noland is ready for adoption.



Morris the cat runs for mayor of Mexican city
MEXICO CITY, Sat Jun 15, 11:04 PM
This mayoral hopeful in Mexico promises to eat, sleep most of the day and donate his leftover litter to fill potholes.

Morris, a black-and-white kitten with orange eyes, is running for mayor of Xalapa in eastern Mexico with the campaign slogan "Tired of Voting for Rats? Vote for a Cat." And he is attracting tens of thousands of politician-weary, two-legged supporters on social media.

"He sleeps almost all day and does nothing, and that fits the profile of a politician," said 35-year-old office worker Sergio Chamorro, who adopted the 10-month-old feline last year.

Put forth as a candidate by Chamorro and a group of friends after they became disillusioned with the empty promises of politicians, Morris' candidacy has resonated across Mexico, where citizens frustrated with human candidates are nominating their pets and farm animals to run in July 7 elections being held in 14 states.

Also running for mayor are "Chon the Donkey" in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, "Tina the Chicken" in Tepic, the capital of the Pacific coast state of Nayarit, "Maya the Cat" in the city of Puebla and "Tintan the Dog" in Oaxaca City, though their campaigns are not as well organized as that of Morris.

Politicians repeatedly rank at the bottom of polls about citizens' trust in institutions. A survey last year by Mitofsky polling agency ranking Mexicans' trust in 15 institutions put politicians and government officials among the bottom five. Universities and the Catholic Church were the top two, respectively.


Morris' cuteness, the clever campaign and promises to donate money collected from the sales of campaign stickers and T-shirts to an animal shelter has attracted cat lovers, but Chamorro said most of his supporters are citizens tired of corrupt politicians and fraudulent elections.

"Morris has been a catalyst to show the discontent that exists in our society," Chamorro said. "Our message from the beginning has been `if none of the candidates represent you, vote for the cat' and it seems people are responding to that."

Xalapa, a university city of 450,000 people, is the capital of the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, where residents have in last two years been beleaguered by drug violence, corruption scandals and the killings of at least nine reporters and photojournalists.

During last year's presidential election, a video posted on social networks showed a massive warehouse in Veracruz stuffed with election give-away groceries. Authorities also seized $1.9 million in wads of cash found when police decided to search passengers of a private plane arriving from Veracruz to Toluca, the capital of the home state of now-President Enrique Pena Nieto. Officials later said they had found no wrongdoing and the money was returned.

Giovanna Mazzotti, a 48-year-old university professor from the city of bright colonial buildings and steep streets, said she supports Morris' campaign and plans to go to a party for him being held Friday. The candidate is not expected to attend.

"In this state there is no rule of law, there is no respect for human rights, there are no institutions," Mazzotti said. "It's great that this campaign is showing the fiction in our elections. Every three years politicians laugh at us, it's good to laugh at them a bit, too."

Morris has a website, a Twitter account and a Facebook page with more than 115,000 `likes,' that makes him more popular in social networks than the five human mayoral contenders. Americo Zuniga, the candidate for the ruling party who is leading in election polls, had 33,000 Facebook `likes' as of Friday.

His website has a collection of memes that picture Morris yawning while describing his "ample legislative experience," an image that mirrors photographs of lawmakers sleeping during congressional sessions.

Morris' campaign managers are asking supporters to write-in `Morris' or draw a cat's face on the ballot to send a message to authorities, who are not taking the cat's growing popularity lightly.

Members of the Electoral Institute of Veracruz this week called on voters not to waste their vote on a cat.

"We are asking for people to participate by voting for those citizens registered on the ballots," electoral institute president Carolina Viveros told local media this week. "Everything else is part of expressions happening in social media and I respect that, but you have to vote for the registered candidates, please."

Morris also has international supporters.

On Friday, the animal-welfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wrote Morris congratulating him for his campaign.

Stubbs, a cat that has been the honorary mayor for more than 15 years of the sleepy Alaska town of Talkeetna, has shown support for Morris by posting his fellow feline candidate's spot campaign on its Facebook page.

Nor but in sleep findeth a cure for care.
Incertainty that once gave scope to dream
Of laughing enterprise and glory untold,
Is now a blackness that no stars redeem.

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