African wild dogs video


This 20 January 2016 BBC video on African wild dogs is called Partners In Crime – Animals In Love.

Cruel animal experiments in Britain


This video from India says about itself:

24 September 2015

A street dog was curled up in a ball on the side of the road. He was suffering from severe mange and had completely given up hope. Just watch his transformation after we rescued him and gave him the medical care he desperately needed.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Vets used 9,000 animals in ‘disgusting’ experiments

Thursday 21st January 2016

ANIMAL welfare campaigners yesterday slammed “disgusting” experiments on dogs and other animals at Britain’s oldest veterinary school.

Animal Aid said that ongoing research at the Royal Veterinary College involving genetically flawed dogs with the muscle-wasting disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) was in breach of professional ethics.

New figures obtained by the rights group show that the college used more than 9,000 animals for research in 2012, including 38 pigs, 45 horses, donkeys and mules, 76 dogs and around 3,000 genetically modified mice.

“Establishments such as the Royal Veterinary College should be healing animals, not harming them,” said Animal Aid director Andrew Tyler.

The college launched a company RVC Business in August 2014, offering contract animal testing to clients including human drug companies.

“Animal Aid is not alone in regarding the whole enterprise as disgusting and scarcely believable,” said Mr Tyler.

The college stated that it was “wholly committed to animal health and welfare.”

Merry Christmas from the Rhino Dog Squad in Africa


This video from Kenya in Africa says about itself:

Merry Christmas from the Rhino Dog Squad

18 December 2015

This Christmas, brave rangers and dogs will be in the field protecting rhinos and other endangered wildlife.

Please give generously to support the #RhinoDogSquad by donating online.

Years in jail for insulting Thai royal dog?


Men pose next to a 10-metre high dog statue, part of the promotional effort for a film based on Thai royal dog Tongdaeng's life. photo: NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Thai factory worker faces jail for insulting the king’s dog online

A best-selling book about the dog, named Tondaeng, describes her as a ‘respectful dog with proper manners’

Doug Bolton

A Thai factory worker could go to prison for a “sarcastic” post on social media in which he disparaged the king’s dog, Tongdaeng.

The worker, Thanakorn Siripaiboon, faces years in prison for his crimes, which include sedition and insulting the king.

As the New York Times reports, Siripaiboon’s lawyer, Anon Numpa, said the precise insult towards the dog was not specified in the military court where he was charged.

Siripaiboon is also accused of sharing a post on Facebook that alleged corruption in the construction of a monument to previous Thai kings.

The unusual case draws attention to the increasing harsh penalties handed to those who criticise the country’s king, queen, heir apparent or regent. Since a military coup in Thailand last year, authorities have been cracking down on any type of dissent.

Numpa still expressed surprise that the law that forbids criticism of the royals would be extended to the king’s dog, however.

Siripaiboon was arrested at his Bangkok home last week, and had his arraignment on Monday.

Tongdaeng, or Copper, was a stray rescued by Thailand’s ailing 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1998.

A book, titled The Story of Tongdaeng, was written by the king in 2002 and became an instant bestseller in the country. An animated film, based on the stories in the book, also went to number two at the Thai box offices after its release last week.

In the book, Tongdaeng is described as a “respectful dog with proper manners,” who is also “humble” and “knows protocol.”

The book also notes that Tongdaeng respectfully droops her ears and lowers to the floor in the presence of the King.

According to Numpa, the next step in the case will be Siripaiboon’s indictment, but no date has yet been set by authorities.

The Bangkok-based printer of the International New York Times removed this story from the 14 December 2015 print edition of the paper: here.

LOVE YOUR SHRIMP? IT MAY HAVE BEEN PEELED BY SLAVES Modern-day slaves in Thailand may be providing your favorite seafood dish. [AP]

Slaves are used to peel and process shrimp that finds its way in to many major supermarkets and shrimp companies around the world, according to an investigative report by the Associated Press (AP) published last week. At Gig Peeling Factory in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, slaves work 16-hour days, waking up as early as 2 AM with the command, “Get up or get beaten.” Peeling shrimp in ice buckets, small children work alongside their parents, often crying, as their cold hands become numb in the troughs of shrimp: here.

Thai crown prince’s poodle, Air Chief Marshal Foo Foo, has been cremated. Death has prompted surge in coded social media comments on the subject, in a country where it is illegal to openly discuss royal succession: here.

Peruvian dog’s world skateboarding record


This video says about itself:

Otto the skateboarding bulldog – Guinness World Records

The longest human tunnel traveled through by a dog skateboarder is 30 people and was achieved by Otto the Skateboarding Bulldog in Lima, Peru, on November 8 2015. Read full story here.

Otto does skimboarding as well.

Harvest mice in Britain, new research


This video says about itself:

9 November 2014

Eurasian Harvest Mice, Micromys minutus, adults feeding and female with young in the nest. They are the smallest rodents in Europe, weighing an average of just 6 grams. The tail is semi prehensile and is used like a fifth limb when climbing.

Nature, wildlife and macro video library clips shot in the UK by specialist cameraman Steve Downer. Filmed on a JVC HD110 camera, HD 720p.

From Wildlife Extra:

A novel way is developed to sniff out how many harvest mice live in the UK

The tiny harvest mouse will stand up and be counted with the help of a sensitive nose

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) has awarded an ecological grant towards an innovative project headed by PhD researcher Emily Howard-Williams at Moulton College in Northamptonshire.

Her team will train Tui, a flat-coated retriever, to learn to detect the scent of harvest mice, making tracking their presence in the countryside easier and more efficient.

The harvest mouse (Micromys minutus) is one of the most elusive and smallest of mammals in Great Britain and finding their tell-tale signs can be a difficult and time-consuming exercise even for the experts.

Consequently it has proved frustratingly difficult to determine an accurate picture of their current numbers in the UK, up to now.

Typically found in cereal fields, reed beds and hedgerows, harvest mice are believed to have declined in the past 40 years as a result of changes to farming practices and habitat management.

However, to date there have been no reliable studies to quantify this change, and it is unclear as to exactly how many are currently left in the UK.

With the help of Tui, who was bred from working gun dogs, Emily’s team hopes to shed some light on this most iconic species of the British countryside.

As Emily explains, “The harvest mouse appears to have undergone significant declines in parts of the countryside, partly in response to the intensification of modern agriculture, but also due to habitat loss.

“Yet it still remains difficult to ascertain just how many there really are. The funding from PTES will help to train our resident harvest mouse detector dog, enabling us to determine whether using sniffer dogs is the best approach in tracking these creatures!”

Harvest mice create nests, woven amongst tall grasses or reeds, giving skilled trackers key indicators of their presence.

However, these can be hard to find, even for the most expert eye, and nests as well as other indicators can be difficult to locate.

With the aid of a trained dog, Emily’s team will be able to survey a site more rapidly, with less margin for error.

A similar method is already being successfully used in New Zealand to seek out kiwi birds. Two English setters managed to sniff out 30 birds in just four days.

Nida Al-Fulaij, Grants Manager from PTES concludes, “We all know that dogs have an amazing sense of smell.

“The UK enlists the help of sniffer dogs at airports, music festivals and in the army, so why not also use them for conservation purposes to find harvest mice.

“The trained eye may miss a harvest mouse nest, but a trained nose is much more likely to pick up on a familiar scent and alert the handler to the presence of recent harvest mice activity in that area.

“We are very excited to be funding this project and look forward to seeing what results reveal about harvest mice populations in the UK.”

‘Wolves more intelligent than dogs’, new research


This video says about itself:

Wolves and dog

10 February 2009

Friendship of the wolves and the German Shepherd

By Bob Yirka:

Wolves found to be better at problem-solving task than domesticated dogs

September 16, 2015

(Phys.org)—Monique Udell, a researcher with Oregon State University, has found via experimentation, that domestic dogs appear to have lost some of their problem solving abilities as a result of their long history with humans. In her paper published in the journal Biology Letters, she describes a study she carried out and offers some theories on why she believe domesticated dogs may have lost some of their natural skills.

Udell notes that have long been known to work with people as they go about their lives, in contrast to animals in the wild—one such striking behavior is their tendency to look back at their human companion when faced with a perplexing situation—seemingly asking for help. To learn more about this behavior, Udell enlisted the assistance of ten dogs that live as pets (and their owners), ten that live in shelters, and ten that have been raised by humans.

Each of the animals was presented with a tasty sausage, which they were allowed to sniff, but not eat. Instead, the sausage was placed inside of a with a snap-on lid connected to a short length of rope. To open the , the animals needed to pull on the rope while holding down the container—a task Udell deemed relatively easy for animals as smart as dogs and wolves. Udell conducted the experiments in two ways, one where the animal was left alone with the container, the other where there was a human (their owners) standing close by.

Udell reports that none of the pet dogs was able to open the container and just one of the was able to do so, but eight of the ten wolves succeeded. The presence of a person nearby didn’t help much, the same number of wolves succeeded and one pet did so. She notes that all of the dogs from both groups spent a lot more of their time looking at the person, than did the wolves. Next, Udell allowed a human to offer encouragement to the dogs—doing so increased the success rate of the shelter dogs, four of them opened the container, but still just one pet dog was able to do it.

The experiment is intriguing Udell notes, because all of the dogs and wolves were capable of opening the container, but only the wolves were truly motivated to do so, as demonstrated by a much higher level of persistence—the dogs on the other hand appeared much more ready to ask for help.

More information: When dogs look back: inhibition of independent problem-solving behaviour in domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) compared with wolves (Canis lupus), Biology Letters, Published 16 September 2015.DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.0489

Abstract

Domestic dogs have been recognized for their social sensitivity and aptitude in human-guided tasks. For example, prior studies have demonstrated that dogs look to humans when confronted with an unsolvable task; an action often interpreted as soliciting necessary help. Conversely, wolves persist on such tasks. While dogs’ ‘looking back’ behaviour has been used as an example of socio-cognitive advancement, an alternative explanation is that pet dogs show less persistence on independent tasks more generally.

In this study, pet dogs, shelter dogs and wolves were given up to three opportunities to open a solvable puzzle box: when subjects were with a neutral human caretaker, alone and when encouraged by the human. Wolves were more persistent and more successful on this task than dogs, with 80% average success rate for wolves versus a 5% average success rate for dogs in both the human-in and alone conditions. Dogs showed increased contact with the puzzle box during the encouragement condition, but only a moderate increase in problem-solving success. Social sensitivity appears to play an important role in pet and shelter dogs’ willingness to engage in problem-solving behaviour, which could suggest generalized dependence on, or deference to, human action.