Cherokee elders move to close infamous reservation bear pits

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2013: (Actually published on October 8,  2013)

CHARLOTTE,  North Carolina––Eastern Band of Cherokee tribal elders Amy Walker and Peggy Hill on September 23,  2013 served notice of intent to sue the operators of the Cherokee Bear Park for violating the federal Endangered Species Act if the resident bears are not transferred to a suitable sanctuary within 60 days. “The Cherokee Bear Zoo is an open concrete grave for these intelligent animals.  They must be moved from this despicable facility to a place where they’ll be cared for,  not abused and neglected,”  Walker told Mitch Weiss of Associated Press. Read more

Abolishing wildlife captivity gains momentum in Latin America

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2013: (Actually published on October 8,  2013)

SAN JOSE,  Costa Rica––An appeal to an administrative law court filed by the zoo management foundation Fundazoo is the last hope the 97-year-old Simón Bolívar Zoo in San José and the Santa Ana conservation center have to remain open past 2014. Read more

Barnyard scrambles & turtle racing

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  July-August 2013:

RIVERDALE,  California;  DANVILLE,  Illinois;  EUGENE,  Oregon;  BELAIR,  Maryland––Video of a May 5,  2013 “barnyard scramble” at the Riverdale Rodeo in Riverdale,  California obtained and posted online by Showing Animals Respect & Kindness brought the end of the event,  the Fresno Bee reported on June 23,  2013. “The five-minute video shows rodeo organizers tossing animals out of trailers and containers onto the arena floor before children are turned loose to chase them,”  the Fresno Bee described.  Read more

Elephants Among Us: Two Performing Elephants in the 20th Century

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  July-August 2013:

Elephants Among Us: Two Performing Elephants in the 20th Century by Mike Jaynes Earth Books (15200 NBN Way,  Blue Ridge Summit,  PA 17214),  2013. 199 pages,  paperback.  $22.95.

Elephants Among Us is a lengthy, detailed and meticulously researched e-book about the life and death of two performing elephants. Born in captivity in 1973 and later purchased by animal trainers Mike and Sally LaTorres,  the elephant Stoney began performing in 1977.  He was trained by methods including food deprivation and use of the ankus,  a traditional Indian elephant training device also called,  in the west,  a “bull hook,”  since similar instruments were used to drive cattle to slaughter before the advent of electric prods.  Read more

BOOKS: Saving Baby: How a woman’s love for a racehorse leads to her redemption

From Animal People May-June 2013—

Saving Baby:  How a woman’s love for a racehorse leads to her redemption by JoAnne Normile with Larry Lindner  Powder Point Publishing (P.O. Box 530,  Hingham,  MA 02043),  2013.    263 pages,  paperback.  $15.00.

JoAnne Normile entered horse racing relatively late in life,  at age 43,  seven years after convincing her husband to move from urban Detroit to rural Michigan,  where they could keep horses.  

By the end of the 1980s they had two horses.  They entered the racing circuit in 1992 with Normile’s beloved Baby.   Read more

Dolphins in India

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  March 2013:

CHENNAI––The Animal Welfare Board of India on January 14,  2013 ordered state governments and wildlife agencies to deny permits to anyone who “proposes to import or capture any cetacean [whale or dolphin] species for training,  to use as a performing animal for commercial entertainment,  private or public exhibition,  private or human interaction, educational or research purposes.”  The directive formalizes policies which have informally prevailed against would-be marine mammal exhibitors since 1998,  when a now defunct Chennai aquarium called Dolphin City imported four dolphins from Bulgaria.  All four died within six months.  Whether the AWBI directive can be enforced is likely to be tested by would-be developers of dolphin parks in Mumbai,  Delhi,  and coastal Kerala state.

Wildlife SOS saves more bears from Indo-Nepal traffic

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  March 2013:

AGRA,  India––“In an all night anti- poaching rescue operation based on intelligence provided by Wildlife SOS,  four young male sloth bears were seized from poachers in the Sahibganj district of Jharkhand on the Indo-Nepal border,”  Wildlife SOS cofounder Geeta Seshamani e-mailed to ANIMAL PEOPLE on February 19,  2013. Read more

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