It’s time for yet another edition of Hisses and Purrs. Each week we keep you informed on the plight of animals around the word. As always, Hissy Fit Jones steps up first to share some not so good news. Ready, Hissy?
Hisses to the Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver, Canada, for its Yoga with Belugas program. The idea was for yoga practitioners to do yoga by the tanks holding the beluga whales captive. How ironic, an aquarium wanted to promote an activity that stresses liberation and connectedness in a space where animals are held as prisoners. Needless to say, both animal welfare advocates and yoga enthusiasts are protesting.
Hisses to The Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) for demanding that a separate ministry be created for Animal Resources and Livestock Development from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Wait, that would be a good thing…. right? No, because this new government official would oversee the mass breeding of animals for agricultural purposes.
Hisses to backyard chicken enthusiasts in the US. While some enthusiasts are pragmatists and kill hens that no longer lay eggs, many people are now surrendering them to shelters or are, even worse, abandoning them in public places. Mary Clouse of Chicken Run Rescue in Minneapolis reports that last year she got approximately 500 calls from people looking to place old hens in her rescue. Wonder how many of those same folks are buying processed chicken at the local grocer?
Oh no, Hissy! What is going on with these humans? Abandoning chickens? I think we better get June Buggie in here to give us some good news now!
Purrs to Kenya for investing billions in the conservation of wildlife. Sadly, not every country is taking this proactive step. Pakistan, for example, is taking no meaningful action to keep its wildlife, some of which is in danger of extinction, thriving.
Purrs to government officials in Indonesia for intercepting hundreds of captured Slow Lorises, a mammal with a toxic bite, and considered a vulnerable species. The man who had captured the lories was to ship them across Indonesia to be sold as pets. If convicted, the most he could be sentenced to is 5 years in prison and fined 100 million rupiah ($8,700 US). That’s still a bit better than sentences in the US.
Purrs to law enforcement agencies in western Washington state for cracking down hard on the illegal smuggling of animals, both alive and dead, into the US. Washington has been identified as a key port of entry into the US. Sadly, the laws are not stiff enough to discourage smuggling. One man, Quyen To, was caught on video selling 4 Asian arowana fish to undercover officials, netting approximately $12,000. He was fined $5000 and served no jail time. Asian arowana are almost extinct in the wild.
Thanks June Buggie!
In the news, we report the death of lioness Johari at the Dallas Zoo on Sunday, when a male lion suddenly turned on her, bit her in the neck, and held her down until she was dead. The two had been kept together with the lion herd for approximately 5 years with no prior incidents. Many zoo visitors witnessed the event.
We also report that a male zebra at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., bit a zoo keeper multiple times. The incident, reported yesterday, occurred when the keeper was inside the enclosure with the zebra, which is not usual protocol. Sadly, a young gazelle kept in an enclosure nearby died when it ran into a barrier and fractured vertebrae. This was most likely a fear reaction to the incident involving the zebra.
And we sadly report that 4 coyotes were euthanized in Chicago after one bit a 3-year-old child on the cheek. The child and his mother approached the coyote, thinking it was a dog. Animal control officials captured the coyote and the others in a park on the city’s west side.
Do YOU have any hisses or purrs to share this week?