March 2016


“…living by voices we shall never hear” (see our slideshow)


  • BLOG UPDATE: Delisting grizzlies; slaughtering national park wildlife
  • Rallying around Tilikum; are sea pens the answer?
  • Insider revelations on canned lion hunts in South Africa
  • From trap to market: How the fur trade works
  • Swimming with pigs in paradise…or maybe not
  • AETA indictment: Is freeing fur-farmed minks a ‘noble cause’? a crime?
  • QUICK LINKS: Just stuff FYI without all the blather
  • The tail end: WAG IT!

T. Mangelsen photo; click image

BLOG UPDATES: “Greater Yellowstone grizzly bear delisting: Have your say” – The comment period is now open for citizens to weigh in on the US Fish & Wildlife Service proposal to remove Yellowstone-area grizzlies from the Endangered Species Act. Many commenters are calling for delisting with management turned over to the states–that’s code for “trophy hunting.” Your voice is critically needed. Commenting isn’t hard and doesn’t take long–everything you need to submit a succinct comment is in this post. Please go to bat for the Yellowstone population of grizzlies–we are their advocates.

“Yellowstone bison: The road to slaughter starts at home”They’re dead now–150 of America’s last wild, native, migratory bison. They were rounded up by Yellowstone National Park personnel earlier in March in what should have been their safe zone–the park–and loaded onto livestock carriers for the terrifying trip to slaughter. This post links you to a video showing the run-up to that final, lethal migration and what they endured in their captors’ hands.

orcaRallying around TilikumAs I assemble this newsletter, SeaWorld’s famous, now-ailing orca Tilikum (the subject of the documentary “Blackfish“) is apparently still alive–updates from SeaWorld have been infrequent (here’s the last one). At 34, Tilikum isn’t “older,” as SeaWorld claims; orca lifespans are equivalent to human lifespans (Orca Network). You can view SeaWorld’s new television ad here (released since their announcement that they would stop breeding orcas and phase out theatrical shows)–the Orca Project calls it “a load of BS”: “…it starts out with a major huge lie about Keiko and his release. He lived free for five years before he succumbed to pneumonia. He died free, bottom line. He was a success. Coastal sea pen sanctuaries are the next step we have to make them take. It’s not acceptable to allow them to die in those tanks.

To learn more about sea pens–where captive marine mammals enjoy room to swim in natural water and can feel the rhythm of the ocean–check out this amazing plan, and see also “Sea sanctuaries for cetaceans: A growing reality” (here) and the LA Times on why it probably won’t happen. Finally, a commentary from Capt. Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd. It’s too late for Tilikum, but thanks to the Blackfish Effect, his captivity and servitude will not be for nothing. 

06_compound_webCanned lion hunts: A bottomless pit of sleaze and moral bankruptcy – This item comes via LionAid, a “UK charity working globally to save lions and end the decline of wild lion populations.” A former professional hunter in South Africa’s huge canned hunting industry posted damning revelations on‘s “hunting Africa” forum. LionAid captured the post before it was removed and the writer banned from the forum. Here’s just one of many examples: “…when the client sees the lion through his rifle’s telescopic sights, he’s not happy. … it is not the lion he ordered – the mane is not dark enough. Back to camp they go, the client points out the sort of lion he wants in the catalogue. Meanwhile the original lion is immobilized and brought back to the pen, a “better” lion is taken out of the pen and put out in the field for the client to shoot.” Read the full posting here.

imagesTHE FUR TRADE: The journey from trap to market – If you’ve ever wondered how local trappers and fur farmers get their ill-gotten goods into markets where they become jackets and hood trim in China, this article tells all. Written by a Montana trapper for Outdoor Life and filled with photos of lives squandered for money (and one of a grinning, fur-swaddled rodeo queen), it’ll provide insight into how this unethical business works–perhaps also why you and I don’t often see wild animals when we’re out wandering the wilds. The author reveals how he gets a coyote to step precisely into his trap (“a glob of gland lure”) and how he turns the stolen skins of other sentient beings into cash, closing with this: “But it’s not all about the money. I’ll be out there setting traps and calling coyotes anyway, simply because it’s fun.” Find it here (and check out the comments posted to it). Related: One fashion editor tells the fur industry where to go; Italy’s famed designer Armani tells the fur industry, “you’re fired.”

Swimming with pigs in paradise…or not – Just google “Bahamas Pig Island” and you’ll get hits and videos galore. Want to book your own tour? No problem–the pigs are a tourist attraction with their own “official home” website and promotional video. They’ve even inspired a children’s book! Unfortunately, from hunger to sunburn to slaughter, life as an island pig ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Learn the story’s dark side at this expose’ written by a pig enthusiast who traveled there, did a bit of digging for answers, and regrettably found she was supporting just another exploitive tourist industry and not the pig paradise she’d anticipated. Be sure to scroll down to the video, “Pig Beach Isn’t Paradise for the Swimming Pigs.”

minkfarmAETA indictment: Is freeing fur-farmed minks a ‘noble cause’–or criminal? Can it be both? You might recall the story from back in August of 2013: two animal liberation activists freed 2000 mink from a fur farm in Illinois (the business subsequently folded). They were indicted under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act–an unconstitutional, G.W. Bush-era law pushed through congress by industries and ALEC (good, concise description here). While freeing suffering animals might be considered criminal under the law, terrorism it is not…but these are the times we live in. The second of the two defendants has now been sentenced; during his recent sentencing, the Assistant US Attorney “described his intentions as ‘noble,'” and again, later, as “a very noble cause,” as reported in Truthout. Additional news story: Chicago Tribune. “Support Kevin & Tyler (fight the AETA)” website; Other Nations AETA resource page, created four years ago. 

quicklynxQUICK LINKS: Just stuff FYI–without all the blather

  • “Stress and lack of exercise are killing elephants, zoos warned” – lifespans half that of wild animals. The Guardian.
  • What are conservation corridors? Who needs ’em? Check out this brief explanation from on Vimeo.
  • What baby tigers are forced to do might shock you – video
  • “Are Animals ‘things’? The law evolves” – Harvard Magazine
  • Photo essay: “The next ‘Blackfish’ controversy might be a Thailand’s Tiger Temple” – Washington Post. Don’t miss the comments posted to it.
  • Hawaiian monk seal rehab–horrors!!! only 1100 individuals are left! Video.
  • “‘drunken’ baby chimp chained up, forced to drink beer” – video.
  • “Pit bull label may triple length of stay in shelters” – here.
  • “Going Veggie Would Cut Global Food Emissions By Two Thirds And Save Millions Of Lives – New Study” – C’mon, people, make it happen already! Here.
  • How a praying mantis changed a man’s lifehere. Includes video.

tailendwagitThe tail end: WAG IT!

  • Check out the awesome, safe kitty playground!
  • Sweet baby bunny dreamshere.
  • Literal wildlife photographers–yes, the wildlife are ‘operating’ the equipment! Check it out.
  • Bold chicken gets what she wants…here.
    • Australian elders facing social isolation and loneliness find companionship with chooksclick to learn their secret!

From the Other Nations Facebook page:

  • Dig these greyhound anticshere.
  • A disabled dog takes his blind friend for a ride on his wheel cart…here.
  • Iraqi refugee family reunited with their cat – grab a kleenex! Here.
  • The friend of a porcupine fish entangled in ghost gear refuses to leave the struggling fish’s side; a compassionate snorkeler comes to the rescue! Here.
  • Water dragon rescue! Here.