U.S. charges Canadian antiques dealer with smuggling wildlife
29 Jul 2014 | 6:03 pm
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - An antiques dealer in British Columbia was indicted by a U.S. grand jury on Tuesday for smuggling into Canada more than $500,000 of wildlife items, including rhinoceros horns and sculptures made from elephant ivory and coral, U.S. prosecutors said. Xiao Ju "Tony" Guan, 39, was accused of buying the goods through a Manhattan-based online auction house, and with the help of others smuggling them out of the United States. Prosecutors said Guan would sometimes mail items directly to Canada with false paperwork and without the required declarations. On other occasions, he would allegedly ship the items to Point Roberts, Washington, less than a mile from the border, use mislabeled boxes to deceive customs and border protection agents, and then take smuggled items to his business in Richmond, British Columbia, near Vancouver.
There's a New Awards Show, and It's for Dogs
29 Jul 2014 | 3:03 pm
Awards season in Hollywood is already crowded enough, but next year will feature another show: The CW will air the inaugural World Dog Awards. Per The Hollywood Reporter's Michael O'Connell, the show will honor a variety of dogs, from the show biz types to military and medical service animals. The World Dog Awards are set to to take place in January 2015, right smack in the middle of Hollywood's busiest time.
Quantum Wonderland: Neutron 'Cheshire Cats' Created
29 Jul 2014 | 10:33 am
The Cheshire Cat of the classic children's book "Alice in Wonderland" had a smile that could disconnect from its body. For instance, a particle can apparently exist in two or more places at once or spin two opposite directions at the same time, a property known as superposition. Theoretical physicists last year predicted that the peculiar nature of quantum physics might allow the properties of particles to exist in two or more places simultaneously. This mimics the story of the Cheshire Cat, in which Alice notes, "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin … but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life!"
Rare Sri Lankan leopards born in French zoo
29 Jul 2014 | 9:15 am
Two rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs have been born in a zoo in northern France, a boost for a sub-species that numbers only about 700 in the wild, the head of the facility said Tuesday. "There are only a few of them in captivity with about 60 spread across some 20 European zoos," said Jimmy Ebel, of Maubeuge Zoo.
Kids with Pets More Likely to Avoid Meat
28 Jul 2014 | 7:03 am
Those children who have formed attachments to their pets may develop empathy toward other animals, too, which can result in greater avoidance of eating meat, the researchers suggested. "Once an individual feels empathy toward animals, it makes it harder to eat animals," study author Hank Rothgerber, a professor of psychology at Bellarmine University and a vegetarian for more than 12 years, told Live Science in an email. "For these individuals [who get attached to their pets as kids], the love they feel toward their childhood pet(s) was likely so strong that they have a hard time not seeing some aspect of their companion animal in the meat that they wish to avoid," Rothgerber added. In the study, Rothgerber and colleagues asked 273 people if they ate meat, and, if they did, how much meat they normally ate, as well as whether they owned a pet in childhood and how attached they were to their pets.
Vietnam's taste for cat leaves pets in peril
27 Jul 2014 | 10:59 pm
The enduring popularity of "little tiger" as a snack to accompany a beer in Vietnam means that cat owners live in constant fear of animal snatchers, despite an official ban. At an unassuming restaurant next to a carwash in central Hanoi, a cat is prepared for hungry clients: drowned, shaved and burned to remove all fur before being cut up and fried with garlic. "A lot of people eat cat meat. Vietnam has forbidden the consumption of cats in an effort to encourage their ownership and keep the capital's rat population under control.
Gillnet fishing halted off California to protect endangered turtles
24 Jul 2014 | 9:06 pm
By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fresh-caught swordfish will be off the menu in California restaurants for at least the next month, due to a federally imposed temporary ban on drift gillnets in the Pacific to protect endangered sea turtles starting on Friday. The closure, to remain in effect through Aug. 31, covers 25,000 square miles (62,160 square km) of ocean waters off Southern California that constitute the prime West Coast fishing grounds for swordfish and thresher sharks caught with gillnets. The new gillnet ban marks the first time such a restriction has been imposed off California by the National Marine Fisheries Service as a safeguard for loggerhead turtles, an endangered species that normally feeds in more southern waters off Mexico's Baja Peninsula. The agency's 2003 loggerhead conservation plan calls for closing the waters off San Diego and Los Angeles to gillnet fishing in years when the ocean-warming pattern known as El Nino occurs or is forecast, said Ben Enticknap, a senior scientist with the environmental group Oceana.
Dogs get especially jealous of other dogs: study
24 Jul 2014 | 3:09 pm
One of the objects was a toy dog that barked and wagged its tail when a button on it was pushed. Certain dog behaviors were much more common when owners played with the toy dog versus the other objects, the researchers found. For instance, dogs more often snapped, pushed their owners, pushed against the object and tried to get in between the owner and the toy dog than they did with the other toys. The dogs were about twice as likely to push their owner (78 percent of dogs did this) when he or she was playing with the toy dog than when the interaction involved the jack-o-lantern (42 percent).
Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy: U.S. study
23 Jul 2014 | 6:51 pm
Dogs are capable of feeling a basic form of jealousy, according to a study published in the PLOS ONE scientific journal. The research, said to be the first experiment on canine jealousy, could redefine the view that the complex emotion of envy is a human construct, said Christine Harris, University of California, San Diego psychologist and an author of the study.
US wildlife officials propose limiting snake trade
23 Jul 2014 | 6:22 pm
HONOLULU (AP) — Federal wildlife officials recently proposed strict nationwide limits on importing and shipping boa constrictors and four other snake species in an effort to prevent them from being introduced into the wild.
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