Animal Legal Defense Fund Urges USDA Inspection for Tony the Tiger
Truck Stop Tiger’s Potential Failing Health Requires Immediate Government Intervention
BATON ROUGE, La. – The Animal Legal Defense Fund has submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture requesting an inspection of Tony, based on recent information raising concerns regarding the tiger’s health. Tony, a 16-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger, is held in a cage at Gross Tete’s Tiger Truck Stop where he lives amidst diesel fumes and the roar of the adjacent highway. The USDA licenses the Truck Stop under the federal Animal Welfare Act.
For years, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has worked to have Tony moved to a reputable sanctuary. While the legal battle continues, recent observations by members of the public and a private investigator raise concerns about Tony’s health, prompting the Animal Legal Defense Fund to call on the USDA to inspect the Tiger Truck Stop facility. The group’s letter urges the USDA to investigate Animal Welfare Act violations and determine whether Tony’s medical condition requires immediate independent veterinary care and treatment.
Tony has been observed experiencing diarrhea, potentially suppressed appetite and lethargic behavior. A veterinarian with expertise treating exotic animals like Tony has reviewed recent photos and video and concluded he is suffering from at least two issues, including a kyphosis (or abnormal rounding) of the T-L spine and an impairment causing him to limp. The Animal Legal Defense Fund is not aware of any evidence that Tony is receiving the adequate veterinary care he is guaranteed under the Animal Welfare Act.
“Tony should have been transferred to a sanctuary years ago, but now that his health is potentially failing, the cruelty of confining him in a gas station parking lot is compounded,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “At this point it’s the USDA’s responsibility to step in and enforce the federal Animal Welfare Act.”
For more information visit, aldf.org.
April the giraffe, whose lengthy pregnancy captivated thousands, finally gave birth to a baby calf at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, N.Y. The baby calf plopped out of its mom around 9:50 a.m. ET. It wiggled on the ground before sitting up. Within an hour of birth, the calf was standing.
Park owner Jordan Patch said staff noticed the 15-year-old reticulated giraffe was in labor about 7:30 a.m. The zoo went live on Facebook about 8 a.m., announcing the development. By that time, two of the calf's hooves were seen sticking out. About 9:30 a.m., the head appeared, and the calf dropped out a short while later, ending weeks of waiting for many who kept up with April through the zoo's livestream.
"Perfect delivery, perfect fall." At the time of the birth, about 1.2 million people watched live on YouTube and nearly 750,000 watched from the zoo’s Facebook page. Now comes the time to name the baby giraffe. Patch said the public will be able to help choose the calf's name through a monetary vote. Anyone interested in casting a vote for a name can nominate it for $1 on the park's GoFundMe page. Money raised will be divided between giraffe conservation in the wild, giraffe care at Animal Adventure and an annual fundraiser named Ava's Little Heroes. Six names will be selected for a social media naming contest.
April had been pregnant for about 16 months. ABC Denver reported the calf would be about 150 pounds and stand 6-feet-tall at birth. Giraffes give birth while standing up, according to Animal Planet, meaning the calf takes a six-foot, head-first fall to the ground. The channel's FAQ on giraffe births said the fall "breaks the amniotic sac, severs the umbilical cord, and most importantly encourages the calf to take its first breaths."
Once the calf is on the ground, Animal Channel explained, the mother cleans it off. The calf then takes its first steps in just a few minutes and is able to run by the end of its first day on Earth. The calf is the third giraffe to call Animal Adventure's giraffe barn home. April came to the park in September 2015. Five-year-old Oliver is the calf's father, and was the park's first giraffe when he arrived four months before April in May 2015.
The calf likely won't stay long at Animal Adventure with its mom and dad. After April has raised her baby naturally and it has weaned itself after six to 12 months, it will move on to another facility for safety purposes The birth of a baby giraffe is a big deal, considering they are "vulnerable" to extinction. Giraffe population has dipped about 40% over the last three decades, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Easter Baskets can be dangerous to your pets...
Different people celebrate Easter in different ways, but Easter baskets are common across the board.
But along with those Easter baskets comes potential hazards to your pets.
Experts warn pet owners to be diligent and to clean up quickly.
Most people know that chocolate can be harmful for dogs, but so can wrappers, fake grass and other items found in Easter baskets.
Animal experts say its best to distract your pets with treats of their own while your kids open their Easter baskets.
Pets are great listeners. Sure, the language barrier could have something to do with it, but so does a pet’s devotion to the humans he or she loves.
Those who don’t have animals in their lives may see having a full conversation with your cat after work as a bit daffy. Well, they are missing out: A new study has found that speaking with your pet is a sign of your intelligence.
According to AOL.com, Nicholas Epley, a behavioral science professor at the University of Chicago who helped carry out the study, found that conversing with pets is one of the many ways humans try to anthropomorphize them, a.k.a. a way we try to make our pets more like us.
This urge to assign animals human characteristics is our way of using the limits of our intelligence that separate us from other creatures.
Historically, anthropomorphizing has been treated as a sign of childishness or stupidity, but it’s actually a natural byproduct of the tendency that makes humans uniquely smart on this planet,” Epley said. “No other species has this tendency.”
Unfortunately, the study found as people get older, their conversations with their pets tend to ebb for fear of looking kooky. Don’t fear the judgement of others! Go ahead and ask your mom to put the cat on the phone so you can catch up — it’s just you exercising your brain. And don’t feel like you have to stop with your pets.
“We think our cat is acting ‘sassy;’ that the stock market is ‘angry’ or ‘working to recover;’ and we ask our car ‘why it won’t turn on’ and call it a ‘rickety old man’ when it starts to stall. This is just the byproduct of having an active, intelligent social cognition — of having a brain that is programmed to see and perceive minds,” Ebley added.
Report Finds Male Pets Are More Likely to Break Your Stuff, Probably Out of Boredom
Hide your tablets, hide your laptops and hide your cellphones, because your pets are out there and they are bored.
SquareTrade, a protection plan provider for electronics, recently released its aptly-named Pet Break Stuff Damage Report, which takes a look at what devices pets are breaking and how they are destroying them.
While TV, tablets, game consoles and laptops are all victims to pet carelessness, it’s smart phones that see the brunt of the damage, with 59% of SquareTrade users polled for the report saying their pets have destroyed at least one phone.
As for the offenders themselves, it turns out males are a little more mischievous than females. Males made up 63% of the tech wreckers, 55% of the culprits were small in size and 58% were middle-aged. So if you have a male Chihuahua that’s around 7 years old, watch out!
Curiosity will kill your gadgets: 63% of responders described their pets as curious and 73% said they believe their pet was bored when they “accidentally” destroyed their stuff.
In regards to how the deed was done, most owners (59%) said their gadget was chewed up by a pet, knocked off a high place came second (19%) and liquid spilled on it came in third (10%).
Overall, these numbers add up to pets damaging an average of 3.3 devices per owner. So keep your phone in your pocket, and maybe think about getting your furry friend a few food puzzles to keep them occupied.