Top: Rachel Serafin, The Florida Aquarium coral biologist, presents the Aquarium's coral reproduction success at the World Aquaculture Society Conference. Left: Staghorn coral from the August 2017 spawning. Right: Elkhorn coral from the August 2017 spawning. Credit all: The Florida Aquarium.
 
Rachel Serafin, a coral biologist at The Florida Aquarium, was a featured speaker at the World Aquaculture Society Conference held in Las Vegas from Feb. 19-22, 2018. The World Aquaculture Society is an organization recognized for its professional credibility in aquaculture science, technology and education.
 
Serafin spoke about The Florida Aquarium’s unprecedented success in coral reproduction. This year has been the Aquarium’s most successful year to date in coral reproduction. The Aquarium currently has 120 coral juveniles that have survived and flourished from last August’s spawning event (when corals release eggs and sperm in the water at the same time to reproduce).
 
“Speaking at this conference, on a global stage, is a necessary step forward for coral restoration. Corals are not your typical cute, cuddly animal. They are often forgotten, but they are vital to the health of our oceans. Speaking at such a prestigious conference allows us to bring attention to this critical issue before it is too late and all our reefs are beyond repair,” said Serafin.
 
Corals are the building blocks of marine habitats and oxygen-giving marine organisms, and though they cover only about one percent of the ocean floor, they have a huge effect on the health of the rest of the ocean and the planet. That is why The Florida Aquarium is working hard to protect and restore our oceans and raise awareness about the many threats coral reefs face today, such as increasing water temperature, pollution and overfishing.
 
“Aquaculture is the rearing of aquatic animals such red drum or snook, and coral is no different,” said Serafin. “While some rear fish to replenish wild populations, we rear corals to help replenish those wild populations that are in dire need of our help.”
 
There are different types of coral aquaculture practices that The Florida Aquarium uses to aid in coral restoration, but genetic creation through sexual reproduction was the focus of Serafin’s presentation.
 
The Florida Aquarium is a leading partner during the annual staghorn coral spawn in the Florida Keys. The annual coral spawn gives corals their only chance to sexually reproduce on their own and build future coral reefs, and this process is vital for scientists to witness for coral research and conservation.
 
Every year, The Florida Aquarium and other partners dive 30 feet below the ocean’s surface in Tavernier Key, expertly collecting the spawn from the Coral Restoration Foundation’s coral nursery, and deliver them to teams aboard research boats. Those teams immediately begin the fertilization process using the bundles of eggs and sperm (gametes) and rush them to on-shore labs to maximize the development of embryos and ultimately free-swimming larvae. Some of the larvae were released to the wild, while others were brought back to grow at The Florida Aquarium’s Center for Conservation in Apollo Beach, FL and at other partner institutions.
 
“This year compared to previous years, we have seen an incredible increase in our success rates. We now have 120 coral juveniles in our land-based coral nursery, and they are all doing spectacularly,” said Serafin. “Our goal with these juveniles is to create genetic diversity among Florida coral reefs and their ability to survive changing conditions. We are giving these corals their best chance to survive and flourish.”

Victory! Exotic cats dropped from Dirk Arthur show in Las Vegas

 

Following a 3-week campaign by Animal Defenders International (ADI), the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Cinema has announced Dirk Arthur’s “Wild Magic” show will return minus its signature exotic cats.

 

The Las Vegas Review Journal reported: “Turns out that Arthur is eschewing his exotic cats in his return the stage at the Westgate Cabaret. Arthur had initially announced he would use a bobcat and a snow leopard in the production, which returns at 6 p.m. Nov. 15. Instead, the hotel issued a statement Wednesday that Arthur was ditching the cats and working sleight-of-hand and illusions…”  Westgate cites “space limitations in the Cabaret” in its statement as the reason for the change of plan. https://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/entertainment-columns/kats/jewel-helps-las-vegas-pick-up-the-pieces/

 

Christina Scaringe, ADI General Counsel said: “'ADI is delighted that Westgate dropped Arthur’s cruel exotic cat act; we hope it will adopt a permanent ‘no wild animal acts’ policy. Public attitudes are changing, and as people become aware of the inherent suffering, they turn away from exotic animal acts. It’s time for Dirk Arthur to do the same, and retire his animals to sanctuary.”

 

This is the second time Westgate dropped Arthur’s exotic cat act; ADI hopes that Westgate will join those who have moved with the times to replace cruel and outdated animal acts with successful human performances.

 

Footage previously obtained by ADI shows that Arthur’s exotic cats suffer extreme confinement and environmental deprivation, enduring hours in tiny travel cages and prop boxes, and living in cement and chain link cells, all for only a few minutes onstage.

 
 

ADI’s undercover video compiles findings from our investigations in 2011, 2014, and 2015, of the Dirk Arthur compound (where animals are housed) and performances, including those at Harrah’s Hotel Casino in Reno Nevada, and at O’Shea’s, Riviera, and Westgate Casinos in Las Vegas. For the few minutes Arthur’s exotic cats appear onstage, they must endure approximately six hours a day in tiny travel cages and prop boxes barely larger than their bodies. The animals spend almost a third of their day confined in travel cages that are just 3 feet wide by 3 feet high by 5 feet long – about the length of a bathtub. When not performing, the animals are warehoused in a series of small cement and chain link cells in Arthur’s backyard, in a residential area of Las Vegas.

 

Dirk Arthur has been cited numerous times by the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), including citations for hazards related to a snow leopard’s caging condition and a bobcat entangled in his own neck chain and fencing. Arthur was cited in 2013 for failure to provide adequate veterinary care, after he declawed two juvenile tigers and a juvenile lion. Declawing is a painful, often debilitating, procedure that amputates part of each of the cat’s toes and commonly leads to chronic health problems; declawing is prohibited by the USDA and, since 2006, it’s not permitted under the AWA. The AVMA condemns declawing exotic and wild cats for nonmedical reasons. Arthur has also previously been cited for having enclosures that are too small to allow cats “normal postural and social adjustments and adequate freedom of movement,” including the ability to exercise. Previously, Caesars Entertainment responded to public outcry and these citations with its pledge to not again host Arthur’s show at the Harrah’s Casino. (ADI video reveals Arthur’s cats remained in extreme confinement after that time.)

 

Siegfried and Roy - the most famous Las Vegas exotic cat act – abruptly ended their run at the Mirage in September 2003, after Roy was attacked by a tiger. The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino removed their lion display in 2012, and veteran Las Vegas magician Rick Thomas retired his exotic cats the same year. Exotic cat acts along the Las Vegas Strip have been replaced by successful animal-free human performance shows, such as Cirque du Soleil.

 

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Talkin' Pets News

July, 15, 2017

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celetrial Custom Dog Services

Producer - Lexi Lapp

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guests - Dr. Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of American Humane will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 7/15/17 at 5pm EST to discuss their new National Initiative "Saving America's Vets & America's Pets"

Alice De Almeida Executive Assistant to The Algonquin Hotel in NYC will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 7/15/17 at 630pm EST to discuss Matilda's upcoming birthday event and a lucky listener can win a one weekend night stay free during our chat with Alice

Review written by Jon Patch with 1.5 out 4 paws

Bleed For This

Open Road Films, Verdi Productions, Magna Entertainment, Bruce Cohen Productions, Sikelia Productions and Younger Than You present a based on a true story, R rated, 116 minute, Biography, Sport, Drama, directed by Ben Younger, written by Pippa Bianco and Angelo Pizzo with a theater release date of November 18, 2016.

TPR News
9/10/16
Tomorrow is 15 years since 9/11 we remember all those that have lost their lives and the affect it has had on all of our lives
Host - Jon Patch
Co-Host - Jeremy Miller - The Reptile Expert
Producer - Zach Budin
Network Producer - Ben Boquist
Executive Producer - Bob Page
Special Guests - Author of Purrs of Wisdom Ingrid King will join Jon and Talkin' Pets Saturday 9/10/16 at 5 pm EST to discuss and give away her new book
Anthony Bennie, Founder and Chief Nutrition Officer of Clear Conscience Pet will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 9/10/16 at 630 PM EST to discuss and give away his SuperGravy and Airy Bites
Adrienne Swisher Timberlane Pet Hospital & Resort Practice Manager and event Coordinator of Fashion,Feathers and Furs in Tampa Bay will join Jon and Talkin' Pets at 7:20 PM EST to discuss their event and what it takes to present one in your own city


March 23, 2016 LAS VEGAS, NV—According to the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino ticketing office, Dirk Arthur’s Wild Magicshow - the last Las Vegas act featuring exotic animals - has been canceled. Animal Defenders International (ADI) calls the news a welcome victory for the white tigers, snow leopard, panther, and other exotic cats used as props in the controversial show. A local entertainment site,VegasBright,announced the show had “abruptly closed” and refunds are being offered to ticket holders.

ADI previously released videoofthe extreme confinement and environmental deprivation suffered by exotic cats in Dirk Arthur’s Wild Magic show when it opened at the Westgate last year. The exotic cats appear only minutes onstage, but for this endure around six hours a day in tiny travel cages and prop boxes barely larger than their bodies. 

When not performing, the animals are warehoused in a series of small cement and chain link cells in Dirk Arthur’s backyard, in a residential area of Las Vegas. The tigers were observed performing abnormal, repetitive, stereotypic behaviors, which experts consider are indicative of stress and poor welfare.(A tiger’s natural range varies from 12 to almost 300 square miles.)

Dirk Arthur’s controversial show has a history of animal welfare violations, and has been condemned by animal care experts and a former Las Vegas animal illusionist. He has been cited numerous times by the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including a 2013 citation for declawing two juvenile tigers and a juvenile lion. Declawing is a painful, often debilitating procedure prohibited by the USDA, that amputates part of each of the cat’s toes and commonly leads to chronic health problems. Arthur has been previously cited for enclosures that are too small to allow cats “normal postural and social adjustments and adequate freedom of movement,” including the ability to exercise. ADI has been urging Westgate to cancel this cruel act.

Jan Creamer, ADI President: “Once the Las Vegas Strip was dominated by acts featuring lions and tigers, but times are changing and the public is turning their back oninhumane entertainment. In recent weeks, we've seen indications Cole Bros. Circus may be going animal-free, Ringling Bros. is taking their elephants off the road, and now Vegas is finally rid of these inherently abusive exotic animal acts. Now it is time for Dirk Arthur to retire these cats to a reputable sanctuary.

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CBS Films, Good Universe and Gidden Media present a PG-13, 105 minute, comedy, directed by Jon Turteltaub and written by Dan Fogelman with a theater release of November 1, 2013.

Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, BenderSpink and Carousel Productions present a PG-13, 100 minute, comedy, directed by Don Scardino, screenplay by Jonathan M. Goldstein and John Francis Daley with a theater release date of March 15, 2013.

Lionsgate presents an R rated, 107 minute, action, crime, thriller directed by Jee-woon Kim, written by Andrew Knauer, Jeffrey Nachmanoff and George Nolfi with a theater release date of January 18, 2013.

Touchstone Pictures, DreamWorks and Reliance Entertainment present an R rated, 120 minute horror film laced with moments of humor directed by Craig Gillespie, written by Marti Noxon and Tom Holland with a release date of August 19, 2011.