Whales and Cows, Greyhounds and Gorillas
Stranded Whales Have Lots of Help: Three pilot whales are still in special care – the last of 23 who became stranded on the beach at Key Largo, Florida, a month ago. Hundreds of volunteers have been helping care for the whales – from teachers, students and tourists to Olympic gold-medal swimmer Steve Lundquist – standing in the water of a bayside pen at the Marine Mammal Conservancy center, helping the invalids to stay afloat.
Two of the original 23 recovered quickly and were released back into the ocean, but others became too sick and were euthanized. Two of the three still at the sanctuary are youngsters, less than three years old, and the third is a teenager. Working in shifts, day and night, the volunteers are in the water helping the whales to stay afloat and walking around in the water cradling the youngsters in their arms to give them a little swimming exercise.
More at the New York Times.
How Much Greenhouse Gas Comes from Cows? Cows emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from both ends of their anatomy. But how much exactly? Most current estimates are that the effect is greater than from all the cars in the world. Cows, sheep and other ruminants are thought to be responsible for around one-fifth of global methane production, but some scientists have disagreed, and the precise amount has been difficult to quantify. Soon, however, we’ll know for sure. A new technology can determine, from the droppings of any animal, the exact amount of methane they’re sending into the atmosphere. This, in turn, will help us calculate how fast and how much the climate is warming each year.
More at Bioscience Technology.
Stopping Greyhounds from Being Sent to Macau: Chinese animal protection groups are appealing to the government of Australia to stop greyhound racing dogs from being exported to the Chinese gambling mecca of Macau. Currently, as soon as the dogs are retired from the race track, they are killed. It’s just part of a growing animal protection movement that’s beginning to change attitudes to animals in China. There’s a long way to go, but every bit helps.
More at the Macau Daily Times.
Bob Barker Donates $250,000 to Undercover Investigators: The former game show host and animal advocate presented the check to the group Mercy for Animals (MFA) at a gathering of 300 people at the hillside Hollywood home of James Costa. MFA is renowned for gathering covert video and photographs of abuses at factory farms.
After a few words to the assembled company, Barker turned to MFA founder Nathan Runkle and said, “I’m up here babbling away, but you’ve heard the old adage, ‘Money speaks louder than words’? Well, I’ve brought a check. Here you are, Nathan. That’ll help you to continue the splendid work you’ve been doing.”
More at The Examiner.
How Gorillas Stay Trim: How come gorillas don’t become overweight in the wild? Scientists studying a group of mountain gorillas in Uganda observed that they follow a diet that’s similar to what the American Heart Association recommends for humans: protein rich and supplement with fruits. And when they need extra energy, they increase the amount of protein, not the quantity of carbs. The study appears in the current issue of the journal Biology Letters.
More at the New York Times.