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  Friday, March 06, 2015  Home > Living > Animals & Pets
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  • Director Stephen Daldry on dogs, 'Wicked' and 'Billy Elliot' 6 Mar 2015 | 10:48 am

    This Feb. 5, 2015 photo shows Tony Award-winning director Stephen Daldry posing for a portrait with a pair of Pembroke Welsh Corgis named Mimi and Marco in promotion of his "The Audience" at The New 42nd Street, in New York. (Photo by Drew Gurian/Invision/AP)NEW YORK (AP) — Director Stephen Daldry has two shows opening on Broadway this season and that means juggling two sets of casts — both human and doggie.

  • Before Internet Cats, There Were Circus Elephants 6 Mar 2015 | 10:00 am

    Before Internet Cats, There Were Circus ElephantsBefore Grumpy Cat's sullen mug captured the hearts and Facebook timelines of the masses, the world fell in love with a different four-legged creature. He was an African elephant named Jumbo ("jumbo" became a slang word for "big" in part because of the creature's size), and he's considered the first international animal celebrity. He was, after all, the largest captured elephant at the time, and Barnum and Bailey's superlative-obsessed advertising promised audiences nothing less than the spectacle of a lifetime: The Biggest Brute That Breathes. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's (the two companies were united in a merger in 1919) said Thursday that it would be ending the use of elephants in shows because customers were no longer "comfortable" with the tradition.

  • Ringling Bros. says circuses to be elephant-free in 3 years 6 Mar 2015 | 3:57 am

    In this Jan. 3, 2015 photo provided by Feld Entertainment Inc., elephants perform at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus said it will phase out its iconic elephant acts by 2018. (AP Photo/Feld Entertainment Inc., Gary Bogdon)POLK CITY, Fla. (AP) — Animal rights activists were stunned when the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced it would eliminate elephants from its circus performances by 2018.

  • Ringling elephants say goodbye to the circus 6 Mar 2015 | 1:15 am

    A Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus elephant and dog perform in New York on March 26, 2010Thirteen of the animals currently part of the circus' migrating entourage will be relocated to the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida, the company said. Family scions Nicola and Alana Feld, meanwhile, acknowledged that the decision to retire their elephant act is part of an ongoing cultural shift. It once would have been unthinkable to have a big tent circus act without elephants, long a crowd favorite. Animal rights activists over the years have become more organized, calling attention to what they have said called Ringling Bros. "cruelty" and influencing public opinion in the process.

  • First basketball, now elephants stir up Seattle-Oklahoma City rivalry 5 Mar 2015 | 4:32 pm

    By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - For some in Seattle still angered by the move of the city's NBA team to Oklahoma City, the move of elephants from a zoo in the Emerald City to one in the Red Dirt state stings in a familiar way. Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, which is phasing out its elephant exhibit, said last week it would move its Asian elephants named Bamboo and Chai to the Oklahoma City Zoo, which has a social herd of elephants and a modern facility for the pachyderms. "First they steal our basketball team, now they want our elephants! Is there no satisfying Oklahoma City," one reader wrote in a comment section of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper, referring to the Seattle SuperSonics' move to Oklahoma City in 2008.

  • Amid Record-Breaking Poaching, Wildlife Experts Seek to Smash a Black Market 5 Mar 2015 | 4:10 pm

    Amid Record-Breaking Poaching, Wildlife Experts Seek to Smash a Black MarketEight months ago, you could probably walk a few blocks from here, the Central Park Zoo, and find ivory for sale at a shop on Madison Avenue. But not anymore: Last year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a ban on commercial sales and purchases of ivory and rhinoceros horn. That ban was just one in a series of encouraging signs that lawmakers and law enforcement are serious about stopping illegal wildlife trade around the world. Meanwhile, wildlife crime experts and diplomats were gathered here, at the Central Park Zoo, to deliver a call to action to end the illegal wildlife trade, amid grim outlooks for animals like elephants and rhinos that are killed for their tusks and horns.

  • Ringling Bros to retire its elephants, ending a tradition 5 Mar 2015 | 3:55 pm

    In this Feb. 19, 2015 file photo, four-year-old Asian elephant April rings bell during Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circuspre-show at Knoxville Civic Coliseum, Knoxville, Tenn. The circus will phase out the show's iconic elephants from its performances by 2018, telling The Associated Press exclusively on Thursday, March 5, 2015 that growing public concern about how the animals are treated led to the decision. (AP Photo/The Daily Times, Mark A. Large) MANDATORY CREDITPOLK CITY, Fla. (AP) — Elephants have always been part of The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, ever since showman P.T. Barnum brought Jumbo, "a massive 12-foot African elephant," to America in 1882 to star in the "Greatest Show on Earth." Whenever the circus came to town, parades of pachyderms heralded its arrival, drawing patriotic crowds that boosted sales and even attracted vote-hungry politicians. Feld Entertainment, which owns the circus, still keeps 43 elephants, 13 of which are performing. But years of pressure from activists alleging abuse have caused a "mood shift" among consumers, circus executive Alana Feld told The Associated Press, and the Feld family would rather spend money on elephant care than lawyers. The Felds say they'll phase out elephant acts by 2018 as the remaining performers retire to their 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in central Florida.

  • Americans spent $58 billion to pamper, protect pets in 2014 5 Mar 2015 | 3:00 pm

    FILE - In this Sunday Dec. 1, 2013 file photo, visitors and their dogs enjoy a sunny afternoon at the Sepulveda Basin Dog Park in the Encino section of Los Angeles. The American Pet Products Association's annual report on pet industry spending says Americans spent $58 billion in 2014 on their 397 million pets, which range from freshwater fish and reptiles to cats and dogs. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, file)LOS ANGELES (AP) — We feed them, groom them, clothe them and otherwise shell out the big bucks to protect and pamper our pets.

  • Prince William's wildlife speech draws online applause in China 5 Mar 2015 | 12:19 am

    Britain's Prince William feeds a baby elephant at a sanctuary in Xishuangbanna, southwest China's Yunnan province on March 4, 2015Britain's Prince William won praise Thursday from Chinese Internet users after he visited an elephant reserve in the country and condemned illegal wildlife trafficking as "a vicious form of criminality". William's speech in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province, capped off a four-day visit to China during which he also met with President Xi Jinping in Beijing and chatted with students at a Shanghai football clinic. The trip was William's first to China, and made him the highest-profile royal visitor since Queen Elizabeth II in 1986.

  • How to help cats, livestock and birds cope with the cold 4 Mar 2015 | 4:23 pm

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — All kinds of animal can face problems from a wicked winter that's unleashing frigid temperatures and heaps of snow from the Rocky Mountains to the Northeast.