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Talkin' Pets News

January 16, 2021

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celestial Custom Dog Services

Producer - Devin Leech

Network Producer - Darian Sims

Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guests - Holly Sizemore, Chief Mission Officer for Best Friends will join Jon & Talkin' Pets 1/16/21 at 5pm ET to discuss their animal sanctuary 

Nicholas Arrivo Managing Attorney, Wildlife for The HSUS will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 1/16/21 at 620pm ET to discuss the Trump administration’s rule that removed Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states



The AKC National Championship will air on its new network, ABC, as a three-hour special this Sunday January 17, 2021 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. The show features thousands of dogs from around the country and the world competing for the coveted title of National Champion.

Hosting the 20th Anniversary broadcast is veteran sportscaster Mary Carillo, with AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo, and noted sportscaster Carolyn Manno handling the paw-by-paw duties. This year’s AKC National Championship was the largest dog show in North America with 4,008 dogs entered in Conformation from 49 states and Washington, DC and 7 countries combined with competitions in Agility, Obedience, Rally, Diving Dogs and AKC Fastest Dog, bringing the total entries to over 8,000. Dogs competed for multiple titles across various events and more than $150,000 in prize money, the largest in the world of dog shows.

"Each year, it is our honor to host the top canine competitors from around the world, as they display their athleticism across our sports," said Dennis Sprung, Show Chairman, and President and CEO of the AKC. "We are thrilled to televise our signature event on ABC, where dog enthusiasts across the country can learn more about dog sports, responsible breeders and witness the crowning of America’s National Champion.”

Jason Taylor, Assistant Show Chairman and Royal Canin Vice President of Marketing adds, “we are passionate about breeds and what makes each one unique. That’s why we are thrilled to share this passion with dog lovers nationwide as they tune in to watch the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin on ABC. Viewers can look forward to seeing an action-packed show that highlights the magnificent details that make dogs extraordinary.”

The AKC National Championship will air on ABC as part of the newest 3-year content agreement between the American Kennel Club and ESPN. The show will re-air on ESPN television channels, Nat Geo WILD channel and

Award winning company B Live Productions will once again produce the TV broadcast.

Out of an abundance of caution due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AKC National Championship did not have spectators at any of the events held at the Orange County Convention Center December 8-13, 2020. Attendance was limited to exhibitors (handlers, handler assistants and owners), judges, production crew, and event staff. There were also numerous safety requirements in place, including the wearing of face coverings, temperature checks, social distancing, a show & go policy and sanitizing stations.

Additionally, the road to becoming a champion dog – in the ring or our hearts – starts at puppyhood. In advance of the TV broadcast of the AKC National Championship will celebrate the magnificence of puppyhood with the second annual Royal Canin Puppy Pre-Show. Hosted by Emmy award-winning producer, actor and television personality Wayne Brady, the Pre-Show invites dog lovers on a fun, educational and whimsical journey to learn about the magnificence of puppyhood and celebrate their champions at home through a puppy video contest. National Championship host Mary Carillo will put her dog knowledge to test as she crowns a Puppy Best In Show champion..

For more information, please visit


Ben & Jerry’s has introduced Doggie Desserts, two ice cream flavors designed exclusively for pups. Pontch’s Mix features peanut butter and pretzel swirls, while Rosie’s Batch has among its ingredients pumpkin and mini cookies. Both use a sunflower butter base.

In a press release from Ben & Jerry’s, Lindsay Bumps, a global marketing specialist with the company who also is a certified veterinary technician, said, “We know our fans love their dogs and treat them like family. We created this product line so pups can enjoy something even better than belly rubs. Doggie Desserts are the sweetest treat they’ll ever put their paws on.”

When we followed up with questions about who created the recipes, a company spokesperson said, “Ben & Jerry’s worked with pet food experts to develop the Doggie Desserts recipes to ensure all the ingredients are safe for dogs to consume. Our Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Gurus also worked on the recipe to be sure the creation was just as tasty and delicious as our human ice cream flavors!”

When asked for more information about the “pet food experts,” the spokesperson said, “We worked with a veterinary nutritionist and a pet food regulatory consultant. The consultant also helped us register our product in each state. We also had conversations with AAFCO.

“Ben & Jerry’s also worked with NSF International, which provides a comprehensive range of auditing and certification services to help organizations create safe, high-quality animal feed and pet food products.”

In regards a question about sugar and corn syrup being ingredients in a product for pets, the spokesperson replied, “We created Doggie Desserts so that fans can share the euphoric Ben & Jerry’s experience with their dogs in a safe way. All ingredients used are compliant and safe for dogs to eat. That said, similar to all foods categorized as ‘treats,’ the Doggie Desserts are meant to be consumed in moderation and should be introduced to your dog’s diet slowly. As long as your dog has a healthy diet, they deserve to enjoy a Doggie Dessert!”

The new flavors were named for two dogs who spend time at the pet-friendly Ben & Jerry’s headquarters in Vermont: a Frenchie named Pontch and a mixed-breed rescue named Rosie. There are often to 40 pups curled up under desks at HQ.

Doggie Desserts will be sold individually in 4-ounce mini cups or in 4-count multipacks, with a suggested retail price of $2.99 and $4.99. They will be found in supermarkets, mass retailers and select pet stores nationwide.

The company also has partnered with like-minded suppliers to offer pet accessories such as a tie-dye leash made from recycled water bottles and a plush cone toy stuffed with recycled fill. Limited quantities are available at


The American Kennel Club (AKC) announces the newest members of #AKCDogStars, an Instagram influencer program. This educational program aims to spread information about dog sports and responsible dog ownership while also capturing the realities of these dog’s lives both inside the ring and out.

“Since the launch of #AKCDogStar last year, we’ve received such engaging and positive responses from followers all over the country and from around the world,” said AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo. “Many individuals are amazed at how the canines exceed society’s perceptions of their respective breeds. This year, we wanted to keep the momentum going by selecting canine influencers who continue to defy all expectations while they strive for excellence and have fun doing it.”

The second wave of influencers include: Solo & Luna (Beaucerons), Bauer (Golden Retriever), Kirby (Brussels Griffon), and Dash (Border Collie). These four influential canines participate in a wide range of dog sports from Rally to Dock Diving to Agility and even some Barn Hunt! Each dog is busting myths about their breed and demystifying the world of AKC dog sports for their followers.

The group of participants featured a Cane Corso, German Pinscher, Basset Hound, two Border Terriers, and two Old English Sheepdogs, all of which leveraged the power of social media to spread excitement and education on different dog sports and training.

Follow #AKCDogStars and @americankennelclub to learn about these AKC ambassadors!


Love animals and want to make a difference? has a new multi-platform production called the Animal Innovations Show. It’s online entertainment and education that takes an in-depth, closer look at the people who are helping animals across the globe. That could mean an animal rescuer responsible for making a difference for homeless animals in its community, or a pet product that is helping solve problems of the millions of cats, dogs and critters we live with.

For its first show, set to debut on Jan. 7, it is talking to Jessica Schleder of Adoptimize, who created animal shelter technology that optimizes great pet photos, so adopters get a great visual picture of the animal that needs a home.

The Animal Innovations Show is a show for animal welfare advocates and animal lovers alike. Each week it will livestream the show on Facebook and Youtube, and replay on LinkedIn and IGTV. For those who prefer audio only, it will also post it on your favorite podcast sites (Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, etc.)

Host Chris Roy has an action-packed schedule of guests. He’ll interview some of the premier experts in animal behavior, leaders in the animal rescue and shelter world, and some really fascinating people who are boots-on-the-ground die hard rescuers. Saving animals is key to the company’s mission. The show will also feature pet businesses who have products that are making life better for pets and their humans.

Roy is an IT professional in his day job, managing a global team of project managers. The Wisconsin resident runs at night and on weekends and is the driving force behind the technology. The company helps rescues and shelters save more animals through their fostering and transport website. Check out the new show here: Facebook, Youtube, Instagram.


Two gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park have tested positive for COVID-19, the zoo announced Monday. A third gorilla is symptomatic but did not test positive, and several others may also be infected, the zoo said.

The gorillas' fecal matter was tested after two of them began coughing and exhibiting "other mild symptoms" on January 6, the zoo said in a press release. The tests came back positive on January 8 and were confirmed by the USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories on January 11.

It is believed the gorillas may have been infected by an asymptomatic staff member. 

So far, zookeepers say the gorillas appear to be doing well. While only two of the gorillas tested positive, the zoo said it must assume all of them have been exposed since they live together. Lisa Peterson, the park's executive director, told The Associated Press on Monday that eight gorillas are believed to have the virus.

"They are being closely observed and there is nothing to suggest today that they won't make a full recovery," the zoo said. It's believed to be the first instance of the coronavirus being transmitted to great apes.

The zoo said it cannot say for sure if the gorillas will develop any other symptoms, but noted the gorillas exhibiting symptoms are being attended to by veterinarians and the rest of the gorillas are being "carefully observed."

The zoo has been closed to the public since December 6, according to CBS affiliate KFMB-TV.

Animal populations have not been affected by the coronavirus nearly as much as humans, although a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York tested positive last April. In November, Denmark culled more than 15 million mink following an outbreak of a mutated version of the coronavirus. Some feared if the new strain was passed to humans it could have been resistant to the vaccines that were in development at the time.


US greenhouse gas emissions rose less in 2020 than in any year since the second world war as the pandemic caused much of the US economy to grind to a halt. But they are expected to come roaring back when the economy recovers, providing a challenge to the incoming Biden administration. Emissions were 10.3 per cent lower than the previous year across all sectors, far outstripping the fall in the wake of the global financial crisis, according to an analysis by researcher Rhodium Group.

It was the first year since the 1980s that the country pumped less than 5.5bn tonnes CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere. Line chart of Net greenhouse gas emissions showing US emissions plunged in 2020 The decline from the previous high levels was driven mainly by lower transport emissions — the single biggest source of greenhouse gases in the US — which slumped 15 per cent as restrictions imposed to stop the coronavirus spreading kept aircraft grounded and cars off the roads. Analysts warned, however, that the trend would not last. “We wouldn't celebrate these results necessarily,” said Kate Larsen, a director at Rhodium and one of the report’s authors. Recommended Climate change 2020 ties for hottest year on record “Typically, a major recession like the one we experienced in 2009 — and are experiencing now — provides a real hit to economic activity and emissions. But then they largely get back on track for the type of growth that was anticipated.”

Under Donald Trump, the US rolled back swaths of environmental regulations. But Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated as US president later this month, has vowed to make tackling climate change and reducing emissions a priority for his administration. His creation of the new roles of climate envoy and climate tsar underline that ambition. Mr Biden campaigned on the most ambitious climate platform of any president in US history. He plans to rejoin the Paris climate accord, which Mr Trump left, on his first day in office and pledged a $2tn green stimulus package aimed at cutting emissions.

As a result of last year’s shock, the US is likely to exceed its 2020 targets under the Copenhagen accord to cut emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels, Rhodium found. But reducing them by the 26-28 per cent by 2025 targeted by the Paris agreement remains a challenge. One area of the report that provided cause for optimism was a continued slowdown in power sector emissions, which were more than 10 per cent lower despite relatively flat electricity demand, as utilities were weaned off carbon-intensive coal-fired generation. Climate Capital Where climate change meets business, markets and politics. Explore the FT’s coverage here That is a trend that is set to continue, according to Rhodium. But

Mr Biden, who has vowed to reduce emissions from the electricity sector to net zero by 2035, will look to speed up the process. Mr Biden’s ambitious policy changes would need to come quickly, however. Without a swift overhaul, analysts said, emissions would begin to rise again rapidly as vaccines were rolled out and economic activity returned to normal. “If there’s no action taken to build back cleaner and greener, emissions in the US would continue to rise slowly and largely stay around previous levels through 2030, absent new policy,” said Ms Larsen. -------------------------------------------------------------------


Thursday six environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s rule that removed Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states except for a small population of Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made its decision despite the science that concludes wolves are still functionally extinct in the vast majority of their former range across the continental U.S. Earthjustice filed the lawsuit on behalf of Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, Oregon Wild and the Humane Society of the United States

“This is no ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment for wolf recovery,” said Kristen Boyles, Earthjustice attorney. “Wolves are only starting to get a toehold in places like Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, and wolves need federal protection to explore habitat in the Southern Rockies and the Northeast. This delisting decision is what happens when bad science drives bad policy.”

Nicholas Arrivo, managing attorney for the Humane Society of the United States, said, "The delisting we've challenged today represents the latest chapter in the sad saga of the Fish and Wildlife Service's failure to do its duty to protect and ensure the recovery of wolves under the Endangered Species Act. We're confident that the court will strike down this illegal decision and restore the federal protections needed to give America's wolves a genuine opportunity to recover." “Stripping protections for gray wolves in the Lower 48— before they have fully recovered and in the middle of a wildlife extinction crisis— was based on politics, not science,” said Bonnie Rice, endangered species campaign representative at the Sierra Club. “Gray wolves are still missing from vast areas of the country. Without Endangered Species protections, wolves just starting to return to places like California and the Pacific Northwest will be extremely vulnerable. Wolves are critical to maintaining the balance of natural systems and we are committed to fighting for their full recovery.” 

“We hope this lawsuit finally sets the wolf on a path to true recovery,” said Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Restoring federal protections would allow further recovery in places like California, which is home now to just a single pack of wolves. Without federal protections, the future of gray wolves rests in the hands of state governments, many of which, like Utah and South Dakota, are hostile to wolf recovery.”

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s decision to remove Endangered Species Act protection from gray wolves in the lower-48 states threatens populations just beginning to make a comeback in national parks,” said Bart Melton, wildlife program director for the National Parks Conservation Association. “After decades of absence, gray wolves are starting to re-inhabit park landscapes in Oregon, Washington, California, and Colorado. However, these populations are far from recovered. Rather than working alongside communities to support the return of wolves, the administration unlawfully said, ‘good enough’ and removed ESA protections. We are hopeful the court will reinstate these protections.”  

“It is far too premature to declare wolves recovered and to strip protections from them in the Western two-thirds of Oregon,” said Danielle Moser, wildlife program coordinator for Oregon Wild. “Removing wolves from the endangered species list would turn their management entirely over to Oregon’s embattled Department of Fish and Wildlife, which continues to push for hunting and trapping of the state’s already fragile wolf population.”  “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared a premature victory with its reckless decision to strip gray wolves of federal ESA protections,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO with Defenders of Wildlife. “This decision, if it stands, will short circuit gray wolf recovery, limit the range available to wolf packs, and subject wolves to fragmented state laws, some with hostile anti-wolf policies. Defenders is challenging this decision in court and pushing the agency to reinstate needed legal protections.”


Charles Darwin called them “monstrous,” many point them out to be thieves and have nicknamed them the “robber crab”  or “palm thief” after having had pots and pans stolen by them. Whatever you call this thing, it demands respect, for its size alone. That and that fact that once you see it you might have nightmares for a while. This isn’t your class’ pet hermit crab.

The giant Coconut Crab is a creature indigenous to coastal areas. These include, but aren’t quite limited to pacific islands surrounding the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Christmas Island holds the largest population of the crustaceans where they are free to roam all over the land, as they cannot swim and would drown in water. This may or may not be a coincidence as to why they aren’t found in areas that are heavily populated by humans.

Coconut Crabs are the sole species in the entire animal kingdom in the “Birgus” genus. They do however share some relation to the terrestrial hermit crabs; genus Coenobita. Like the smaller hermit crab, the robber crab’s body is a decapod and divided into a front section and midsection. Stack on ten large legs and two claws and you’ve got a Coconut Crab.

This Birgus Latro is one of the largest land-dwelling arthropods and can weigh up to 9 pounds. These behemoths of hermit crabs are also over 1 meter in length, with an intense leg span. Those long legs let them vertically climb trees, usually coconut palms and grab and crack their favorite fruit- coconuts. The Coconut Crab eats mostly fruit and the occasional animal that is too slow to escape it. A few years back when a certain Coconut crab got “lucky” and seemingly brutally murdered a booby. Yes, a full-on booby!

Thankfully, they are not known as predators. Adult Coconut Crabs are scavengers, mostly. This is probably due to the fact that they are noisy and move slowly all while having the lack the ability to sneak up on other creatures. They do have a keen sense of smell, that would come in handy though. They do also have a bit of a bite. A researcher from the Okinawa Churashima Foundation zoological lab, Shin-ichiro Oka, says that a Coconut Crab’s pinch hurts like “eternal hell.” So, I guess here’s a good time to repeat that old adage, look but don’t touch.


The Westminster Kennel Club announces changes to its judging panel for the 145th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show presented by Purina Pro Plan® at Lyndhurst Estate, Tarrytown, New York on June 12-13, 2021 as well as for the 8th Annual Masters Agility Championship on June 11, 2021. In addition, the Biewer Terrier, newly recognized in 2021 by the American Kennel Club will join the three other recently AKC-recognized breeds that are now eligible to enter the dog show — the Barbet, the Belgian Laekenois, and the Dogo Argentino.  

Due to the dog show date change and related matters, there have been some adjustments to the judging panel: the addition of two new breed judges, Mr. James Mitchell and Dr. Elliot More; assignment changes for Mr. George Milutinovich, Ms. Kimberly Anne Meredith, and Ms. Sharon Ann Redmer; and two new agility judges, Mrs. Abbie A. Hanson and Mr. David Nauer. There are no changes to the Best in Show, Group, Sporting, Hound, Terrier, and Non-Sporting breed assignments, Junior Showmanship, or Obedience judging assignments. Here are the changes to the panel:



Ms. Kimberly Anne Meredith of Pleasant Hill, CA: Portuguese Water Dogs, Rottweilers, Siberian Huskies.

Dr. Elliot L. More of Deerfield, New Hampshire: Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, Black Russian Terriers, Cane Corsos, Great Pyrenees, Komondorok, Kuvaszok, Leonbergers, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Tibetan Mastiffs.

Ms. Sharon Ann Redmer of Whitmore Lake, MI: Boerboels, Chinooks, Dogues de Bordeaux, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, St. Bernards.


Mr. George Milutinovich of Fresno, CA: Biewer Terriers.


Mr. James Mitchell of Wilmington, Delaware: Australian Cattle Dogs, Bouvier des Flanders, Collies (both Varieties), Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, Finnish Lapphunds, Pulik, Pumik, Pyrenean Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs, Spanish Water Dogs, Swedish Vallhunds.

Ms. Sharon Ann Redmer of Whitmore Lake, MI: Belgian Laekenois, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervuren, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Pembroke Welsh Corgis. 


The 8th Annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster on Friday, June 11, 2021 will be judged by Mrs. Abbie A. Hanson of Estill, South Carolina and Mr. David Nauer of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Pending American Kennel Club approval, the full 2021 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Judging Panel can be found at


Midwestern Pet Foods Inc. expanded a voluntary recall after fatal levels of a toxin produced by mold were found in some of its products, the F.D.A. said. Midwestern Pet Foods said it had expanded a voluntary recall “out of an abundance of caution” after the deaths of more than 70 dogs.

A pet food company has expanded its voluntary recall of several dry food products after more than 70 dogs died and 80 others became ill, possibly from ingesting fatal levels of a toxin that is produced by mold, the Food and Drug Administration said.

The company, Midwestern Pet Foods Inc. of Evansville, Ind., first issued a voluntary recall in late December after tests of certain products showed that aflatoxin, which is produced by mold, exceeded acceptable levels, the F.D.A. said.

At that time, the F.D.A. was alerted to reports that at least 28 dogs had died and eight others had become ill after consuming the recalled pet food. The expanded recall, which the company announced on Monday, includes additional dry and cat food products made with corn that expire on or before July 9, 2022.

The F.D.A. said in a statement that it was “issuing this advisory to notify the public about the potentially fatal levels of aflatoxins in Midwestern Pet Food products that may still be on store shelves, online or in pet owners’ homes.”

The products include Sportmix, Pro Pac Originals, Splash, Sportstrail and Nunn Better dry dog and cat foods, which Midwestern Pet Foods produces in Oklahoma and distributes nationally in retail stores and online. Retailers were instructed not to sell or donate the recalled products and to contact customers who had purchased the products, if possible.

“As a fourth-generation family-owned company, Midwestern Pet Foods has been committed to ensuring that our products are safe and nutritious for nearly 100 years,” the company said in a statement. “Until recently, throughout our long history, we’ve never had a product recall.”

The company said it was expanding the recall “out of an abundance of caution.” The F.D.A. said its investigation was ongoing and that not all of the suspected cases of aflatoxin poisoning had been confirmed through laboratory testing.

Aflatoxin is produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on corn and grains that are used as ingredients in pet food, the F.D.A. said. At high levels, the toxin can cause pets to become ill or die, or cause liver damage without symptoms, the department said. The toxin, it said, can still be present even if there is no visible mold.

Signs of aflatoxin poisoning in a pet could include sluggishness, a loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice or diarrhea, the F.D.A. said. While no illness have been reported in humans or cats, and there is no evidence that pet owners who handle food with aflatoxin are at risk of poisoning, the F.D.A. suggested that they wash their hands after handling their pet’s food.


Scientists working in the West African country of Guinea have discovered a new orange-furred species of bat. The rare discovery came while conducting field surveys in the isolated Nimba Mountain range.

The find came in early 2018 as scientists were conducting conservation surveys of bat populations in the exceptionally biodiverse Nimba Mountains, a region of West Africa spanning the borders of Guinea, Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire. The researchers were focusing on a series of old mining caves that have since been colonized by bats.

As part of the survey the researchers came across a striking orange-colored bat. The team initially assumed it must be a uniquely colored iteration of the common species they were investigating but further investigation began to suggest this bat was notably different.

While in the field, the researchers called up Nancy Simmons, an expert in bat taxonomy and curator at the American Museum of Natural History. Looking at the photos, Simmons immediately knew the researchers had stumbled across a new species of bat.

"As soon as I looked at it, I agreed that it was something new," says Simmons. "Then began the long path of documentation and gathering all the data needed to show that it's indeed unlike any other known species."

After comprehensive work the researchers have now described the species in a new study published in the journal American Museum Novitiates. The bat belongs to a genus called Myotis, and its location of discovery led to its species name, Myotis nimbaensis.

The Nimba Mountains in Guinea have peaks rising between 1,600 - 1,750 meters (about 1 mile) above sea level and are surrounded by drastically different lowland habitats

Bat Conservation International

"In an age of extinction, a discovery like this offers a glimmer of hope," explains Winifred Frick, from University of California, Santa Cruz. "It's a spectacular animal. It has this bright-orange fur, and because it was so distinct, that led us to realize it was not described before. Discovering a new mammal is rare. It has been a dream of mine since I was a child."

Although the discovery of a new mammal species in itself is not an uncommon occurrence, most new species discoveries occur through complex lab-based genetic investigations. Simmons says finding a new species such as this one while doing field surveys is an unusual event.

“This sort of situation where experienced researchers went out in the field and caught an animal and held it in their hand and went, ‘This is something we can’t identify,’ that’s much more unusual,” says Simmons in an interview with The New York Times. The researchers suggest this particular bat species may be found only in this very specific part of the Nimba Mountains. Work is ongoing to understand how rare this bat is and what role it plays in the broader local ecosystem.

The new study was published in the journal American Museum Novitiates.   ---------------------


Siegfried Fischbacher, half of the world famous Las Vegas magic and entertainment act Siegfried & Roy, died of cancer Wednesday, eight months after the death of his longtime business partner, Roy Horn. Fischbacher was 81.

His sister, Dolore Fischbacher, a nun in Munich, Germany, said Thursday that Fischbacher died Wednesday evening at his home in Las Vegas of terminal pancreatic cancer.

Because of the pandemic, she said, she couldn't visit her brother for the holiday season, but she had kept in touch and was on the phone with him for about 30 minutes before he died.

"He was only able to say 'OK'," said Dolore Fischbacher, 78. "It was kind of like an amen."

"He is not dead. He will live on in my heart," she said.

Siegfried & Roy, known for their work with big cats, put on Las Vegas shows for decades until Horn was in a near-fatal accident that ended their long-running production. Horn died in May of Covid-19 complications at 75.

In 2003, a 380-pound tiger, Mantecore, bit Horn's neck and dragged him off the stage during a show at the Mirage Las Vegas. The attack crushed his windpipe and left Horn, then 60, partly paralyzed.

Fischbacher was born in Rosenheim, Germany, where he developed an early penchant for the art of magic.

He and Horn met more than 60 years ago on a cruise ship, where Horn was a steward and Fischbacher was a magician, according to a statement from the act's publicity firm. Horn helped Fischbacher with his act, and the rest was history.

They hit the Vegas strip in 1967 and, in 1989 they started a 14-year run at the Mirage that transformed the duo into a singular tourism draw. Their $30 million production at the hotel sold out nightly, according to the statement.

The pair used a collection of animals that included white tigers, white lions, leopards, jaguars and an elephant.

On Horn's death, Fischbacher shared a few parting words: "From the moment we met, I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried."

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