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sexta-feira, 21 de janeiro de 2011

News About Animals - January 21, 2011

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  January 21, 2011

Kangaroo in Australia flood 2011Disaster Relief - IDA Rushing Aid To Australia Following Massive Floods

IDA has played a vital relief role after many natural disasters, from the Oakland, California fires in 1991, to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and, most recently, the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile in 2010.

And now a new tragedy: severe flooding in Australia, where it is believed that the largest toll on animals and local communities in the country’s history has taken place. The RSPCA’s main facility in Fairfield was severely engulfed by the recent floods, but quick acting staff ensured all animals were safely and swiftly evacuated before their kennels, catteries and land became engulfed by water. A sea of animals are still lost, separated from their guardians, waiting to be fed, treated and cared for. IDA is rushing support to the RSPCA Queensland to help rebuild their vet clinic, carry out search and rescue operations, provide much needed veterinary care and reunite animals with their loving guardians.

When disasters impact animals and local communities, IDA is there to help where we can and when we can. And it is your donations to IDA’s Animal Disaster Relief Fund that allow us to act. Help us act quickly now and in future disasters. If you'd like to donate to this fund today, click here to make your tax-deductible gift using our secure online form.

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Queenie at San Antonio ZooTop 10 Worst Zoos For Elephants

IDA’s 2010 list of the Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants exposes the hidden suffering of elephants in zoos, where lack of space, unsuitably cold climates and impoverished social groupings condemn Earth’s largest land mammals to lifetimes of deprivation, disease and early death. "The Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants list is an SOS for suffering elephants and a call for mammoth change," said IDA Elephant Campaign Director Catherine Doyle. "Caging elephants in urban zoo displays is not humane and it is not conservation."

Zoos making the 2010 list are: San Antonio Zoo (Texas), Edmonton Valley Zoo (Canada), Buttonwood Park Zoo (Mass.), Central Florida Zoo (Fla.), Niabi Zoo (Ill.), Topeka Zoo (Kan.), Honolulu Zoo (Hawaii), Wildlife Safari (Ore.), York's Wild Kingdom Zoo (Maine) tied with Southwick's Zoo (Mass.), Pittsburgh Zoo's ICC (Penn.). San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Calif.) earns a dishonorable mention.

Since 2000, zoos in North America have committed at least $500 million to remodel elephant exhibits, and every year spend close to $20 million to maintain fewer than 300 elephants. "You can protect 50 elephants in Kenya for the cost of holding one elephant in a zoo for one year," said Doyle. "Zoos are wasting scarce conservation dollars even as elephants are heading toward extinction." Click here to see why each zoo made the list.

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IDA Urges Change After Death of Knoxville Zoo Elephant Keeper

IDA is calling for all zoos holding elephants to adopt a safer management system, following the death of an elephant keeper at the Knoxville Zoo. The zoo used a management system called “free contact” when the incident occurred; it is still used in about half of U.S. zoos.

“Free contact” requires keepers to share the same physical space with the elephants. The method relies on the keeper establishing dominance over the elephants through a combination of negative and positive reinforcement and physical punishment. Keepers use a steel-tipped bullhook, a controversial device resembling a fireplace poker, to prod, hook and discipline elephants.

IDA is urging the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to recommend that all its member zoos holding elephants adopt a safer and more humane management method called “protected contact.” In “protected contact,” keepers use only positive-reinforcement training. A protective barrier separates keeper and elephant at all times, removing the risk of bodily harm while still allowing for necessary care and veterinary treatment. Click here to read more from the Knoxville News report.

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New Research Reveals That Primitive Humans Cooked And Ate Veggies

Hunter? Gatherer? Vegetarian? New scientific evidence out of George Washington University and the Smithsonian Institute show that primitive man cooked and ate a variety of vegetables and grains, debunking the previously held belief that they were exclusively carnivores. The research has been published by the National Academy of Sciences.

On the fossilized teeth of 44,000 to 36,000-year-old Neanderthal skeletons excavated from Iraq and Belgium, researchers found starch granules in the dental calculus or tarter build-up. This starch was from wild grasses, roots, and tuber foods. Indications are that they were also eating dates, barley, legumes and possibly water lilies. Further, the barley had been cooked, perhaps boiled or baked. Scientists found evidence for walnuts, chestnuts, relatives of chicory and lettuce, and relatives of modern culinary herbs at the sites the skeletons were found. Prior research discovered that they also had access to acorns, cattails and pistachios.

This new discovery challenges the theory that stone-age man ate meat exclusively. It also challenges the notion that a vegetarian diet is not “natural” because our ancestors ate only or mostly meat. Looks like plant-eating has been around for a long time and a healthy, compassionate plant-based diet is just an extension of our natural ancestry. Click here for more information on the vegan diet.

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In Defense of Animals, located in San Rafael, Calif., is an international animal protection organization with more than 100,000 members and supporters dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights and welfare. IDA's efforts include educational events, cruelty investigations, boycotts, grassroots activism, and hands-on rescue through our sanctuaries in Mississippi, Mumbai, India, and Cameroon, Africa.

In Defense of Animals is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We welcome your feedback and appreciate your donations. Please join today! All donations to IDA are tax-deductible.

In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031

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