Ringling Bros. circus retiring elephants


This video is called Earth Focus Episode 58 – Asian Elephants in Peril.

From Discovery News:

Ringling Bros. to Phase Out Use of Circus Elephants

Mar 6, 2015 09:20 AM ET

Across America through the decades, children of all ages delighted in the arrival of the circus, with its retinue of clowns, acrobats and, most especially, elephants.

But, bowing to criticism from animal rights groups, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced Thursday it will phase out use of their emblematic Indian stars.

The company said the giant pachyderms will be gradually withdrawn from the big top, and will be gone from the show altogether by 2018.

Feld Entertainment — the parent company of America’s best known circus — called the decision an “unprecedented change in the 145-year old ‘Greatest Show On Earth’.”

Thirteen 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.

It added that the retirement decision “was not easy, but it is in the best interest of our company, our elephants and our customers.”

Family scions Nicola and Alana Feld, meanwhile, acknowledged that the decision to retire their elephant act is part of an ongoing cultural shift.

“As the circus evolves, we can maintain our focus on elephant conservation while allowing our business to continue to meet shifting consumer preferences,” they said.

It once would have been unthinkable to have a big tent circus act without elephants, long a crowd favorite.

World’s oldest crocodile dies


This video from the USA says about itself:

The American Crocodile: Waterways

8 June 2013

They’ve been around since the dinosaurs and are certainly as scary as T-Rex (not the band), the American Crocodile has consistently lost habitat, and decreased in numbers. Follow the decades long research and work to save this wonderful, toothy creature.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Rotterdam Zoo mourns after death of the ‘oldest crocodile in the world’

Today, 11:50

In Blijdorp Zoo crocodile Hakuna has died. According to the zoo, he was probably the oldest crocodile in a zoo in the world. How old Hakuna was exactly is not known, but he came to the park in 1930 and was already an adult. He must have been certainly over 85 years.

The zoo has announced the death of Hakuna on Facebook.

Hakuna came along with his female partner Matata to Rotterdam Zoo. They were a gift from singer and actress Josephine Baker. Matata died last year. The two American crocodiles were among the few animals in the zoo which survived the bombing of Rotterdam [by Hitler’s air force] in 1940.

See also here.

Trapped manatees rescued in Florida


This video from the USA says about itself:

Crews save 19 manatees trapped in Florida storm drain

24 February 2015

Thanks to a rescue operation that stretched late into the night, the large marine mammals were set free. Erica Rakow of CBS Orlando affiliate WKMG reports from Satellite Beach, Florida.

By Barbara Liston:

Trapped manatees rescued from storm drain

February 25 2015

About 20 Florida manatees have been freed from a storm drain near Cape Canaveral, where they were apparently trying to warm themselves, officials and local media said.

Video footage showed a rescuer comforting one manatee floating at the opening of the pipe, which was cut open during the hours-long rescue.

The footage, posted online by Central Florida News 13 and Florida Today newspaper, also showed a manatee being carried in a sling to a nearby canal, where it was released to cheers from onlookers, and two other manatees being petted after being hoisted out of the water by heavy machinery.

The rescue in Satellite Beach, a town on the Atlantic coast 24 kilometres south of Cape Canaveral, started mid-afternoon on Monday when Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist, Ann Spellman, sounded the alarm, according to Florida Today.

She told the paper that her hunch led city workers to check the 30 to 45 metre-long drain pipe.

Manatees, also known as sea cows, often leave the Indian River Lagoon during cold snaps for warmer waters in the canals and had probably followed each other into the pipe, she said.

Young loggerhead turtle survives beaching in the Netherlands


This video from the USA says about itself:

25 September 2012

An educational video by SEE Turtles about sea turtle migrations including leatherbacks and loggerheads.

Translated from the Dutch RAVON herpetologists:

Loggerhead survives stranding

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

On Sunday, January 11th a young loggerhead turtle stranded on the beach at Wassenaar. It was the second turtle on a Dutch beach in four weeks because on December 20, 2014 at Den Helder a young Kemp’s ridley turtle had been found. This animal was transferred to Rotterdam Zoo but died that night. The loggerhead is more fortunate.

The young loggerhead (Caretta caretta) was noticed in the morning by hikers in the low surf on the beach, near Berkheide, and was reported to Ecomare museum and the animal ambulance in The Hague. The turtle was then picked up by the animal ambulance and delivered at Rotterdam Zoo. Rotterdam Zoo is along with Burgers’ Zoo the designated place for accommodation of stranded sea turtles.

Upon entering Rotterdam Zoo it was noted that the animal was very apathetic, felt cold, but apparently had no injuries. Also an X-ray examination revealed no significant issues. However, abnormal liver and kidney values were found in the blood. The turtle had a weight of 2.1 kg and a shell with a length of 24.5 centimeters. The first night the turtle was housed in a small amount of water at 14 degrees Celsius to prevent drowning. The next morning, the animal swam around to everyone’s surprise. The water level was increased to 80 centimeters and the temperature was raised in four days time in small increments to 20 degrees. After six days the turtle started feeding and also its blood levels became a lot better. The coming months the turtle will remain in Rotterdam Zoo to recuperate and to see if it has no permanent damage on account of its adventure in the cold North Sea. Then people will look where the animal can be freed again.

The first mention of a loggerhead turtle [in the Netherlands] was in 1707. This animal was exhibited after its discovery in a café in Amsterdam, where the animal died after a few days. Since then, there are seven other reports from the Netherlands. Insofar as is known, only the animal that washed ashore in 2008 at Groote Keeten (Noord-Holland province) survived. This weakened animal was rehabilitated in the aquarium of Burgers’ Zoo and later freed off the Portuguese coast.

The current one is probably from Florida (USA) where a large population nests. Juveniles make journeys with the Gulf Stream to the Azores and Cape Verde Islands after which they return to the coast of America.

An article about the stranding of the young loggerhead will soon appear in the RAVON journal.

Hundreds of manatees at Florida springs


This video from the USA is called Snorkeling & Kayaking with the Manatees of Three Sisters Springs, Florida on February 17, 2013.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Manatees descend on Florida springs in record numbers

A rush in tides prompted a dramatic surge in numbers

Roisin O’Connor

Tuesday 03 February 2015

Three Sisters Springs in Citrus County usually has an average of 65 manatees gathered at once during the cold weather, but a rush in tides at noon prompted a dramatic surge in numbers.

“We have a record number this year,” Ruettiman told USA Today. “We have 150 more manatees here than have ever been recorded in the past.”

Officials said the springs reopened to the public on 3 February but would be closed again as manatees returned to the interior of the springs with the rising tide.

Florida campus police militarization, students protest


This video from the USA says about itself:

Radley Balko on the Militarization of America’s Police Force: VICE Meets

28 August 2014

On August 9th, 2014 a white police officer, Darren Wilson, shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. The death of Brown fueled days of unrest in Ferguson. Protestors took to the streets and were met with heavily armed police officers in armored vehicles. It wasn’t long before Ferguson, a town of 21,000, resembled a war zone. This week’s VICE Meets is a conversation about the militarization of America’s police force, with journalist and author of Rise of the Warrior Cop, Radley Balko.

By Jennifer Portman, Tallahassee Democrat in Florida, USA:

FSU students to protest police ‘militarization’

7:03 a.m. EST January 27, 2015

Members of the Tallahassee Dream Defenders and Students for a Democratic Society plan to have a rally today calling for Florida State campus police to “demilitarize” and give up weapons and a combat vehicle the department purchased through a federal military surplus program.

Such equipment, purchased by thousands of state and local police agencies across the county through a U.S. Department of Defense program, gained attention when it was used by law enforcement officials during last year’s riots in Ferguson, Mo.

“We feel that it’s unsafe for a campus police department to have such excessive fire power,” said FSU sophomore Mark Niekus, president of the Tallahassee Students for a Democratic Society. “There is no conceivable use for them except for using them on students who do not follow the rules.” …

The program, known as the 1033 program, was created in the 1990s to help law enforcement agencies get equipment to assist primarily in counter-drug and counter-terrorism efforts. Through the program, FSU police purchased a brand new amour-plated Humvee for $1,500, which [FSU Police Chief] Perry said would normally cost $83,000, as well as 10 semi-automatic rifles for $680. …

Niekus said the event is in response to the Missouri riots, but took time to come together. The rally is at 2 p.m. today at the Westcott Fountain.

New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton on Thursday unveiled a new militarized police unit that will be trained and armed with heavy protective gear, long rifles, and machine guns to restrain terrorists and social justice protesters: here.