Washington reports new wolf family
Washington State has a new wolf family, the 19th since the animals began returning to the state in the 1990s.State wildlife managers say part of a northcentral Washington wolf group has split away and formed a new group called the Sherman Pack. So far, the state’s Fish and Wildlife Dept. has only confirmed two adults in the family, though biologists suspect they have pups. The Spokesman-Review reports that at the end of 2015, the state was home to at least 90 wolves and eight breeding pairs. Wolves were shot, poisoned and trapped nearly to extinction in the state in the 1920s and 30s but then began returning from nearby states and Canada in the 1990s.
National Aquarium creates dolphin sanctuary
The Baltimore National Aquarium announced it will create the first U.S. dolphin sanctuary and transfer its eight Atlantic bottlenose dolphins there. "We now know more about dolphins and their care, and we believe that the National Aquarium is uniquely positioned to use that knowledge to implement positive change," John Racanelli, CEO of the aquarium, said in a statement. The sanctuary will be located in subtropical or tropical waters and will provide more space for the dolphins to swim and dive, as well as natural stimuli like fish and marine plants. As most of the dolphins were born into captivity, they will continue to be under human care, but the sanctuary will allow them to live out their days in an environment much closer to their natural habitat. We hope this inspires other facilities that use animals in entertainment to follow suit.
S.C. betrays coyotes
We find it unbelievable that in June the South Carolina Senate revived a statewide coyote-bounty hunt overriding Gov. Nikki Haley’s veto. The program requires the state Department of Natural resources to tag 16 coyotes across the state. If a hunter kills a tagged coyote, they receive a reward – a free lifetime hunting license. Rep. Mike Pitts defended the proposal saying coyotes are "decimating the deer herd” while citizens claim the animals were harming pets. These lethal methods to control predator populations not only have low success rates, but they also have a significant, negative impact on the local environment. Encounters arise when coyotes—the original inhabitants of these areas—find themselves in the midst of human development. The best way to reduce coyote/human interactions would be for humans to make modifications to the way they are living.
VP Candidate No Friend to Wild Horses
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence introduced himself to the nation as Donald Trump’s running mate at the Republican National Convention. But one thing we already knew is that he is no friend of wild horses. According to On the Issues, a non-profit providing info to voters, in 2009 when Pence was a U.S. representative he voted against the “Restore Our American Mustangs Act. Rep. Nick Rhall (D, WV) sponsored the bill because the Bureau of Land Management announced that it had plans to slaughter 30,000 healthy wild horses and burros. The bill included language to ensure that acreage available for wild horses and burros is at least equal to the acreage where they were found in 1971. It also intended to lift a restriction to relocate horses and burros to public lands where they did not exist at the passage of the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971. It revoked provisions that allow the Secretaries to destroy: (1) old, sick, or lame animals; (2) horses and burros for which an adoption demand does not exist; and it required adopters to affirm that adopted animals will not be sold to slaughter.