Charlie: The Feral Dog Who Came in From the Wild

A new book about a feral dog called "Charlie: The Dog Who Came in From the Wild" by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma shows the importance of shared trust, love, and deep commitment when one chooses to live with a "difficult dog" who came to the author with very special needs that could only be satisfied by a very special human being. This is a most important book for humans and dogs.

New Book Re-examines Lives of Captive and Confined Animals

In his new book called "The End of Captivity?" Dr. Tripp York discusses zoos, pets, conservation, Christian ethics, and much more centering on the lives of captive and otherwise confined animals. It would be a perfect choice for undergraduate and graduate courses in biology and religious studies, and I'm sure high school students would get a lot out of reading it as well.

Now that Yellowstone Killed Blaze Bear What About Her Cubs?

Killing Blaze, a mother grizzly bear, really was a decision that "killed" three bears. Now her two surviving cubs are supposed to go to the Toldeo Zoo, however, there is huge resistance to this move. Zoo administrators like to note that captive bears live long and cushy lives in cages, but that is not what it is like to be a grizzly. They should be returned to the wild.

Humans Are a "Unique Super-Predator" Claims New Research

A new study shows humans have incredibly broad negative effects as predators that are unsustainable. While a BBC essay and others that summarize this study do not make for especially pleasant reading, I urge everyone to read something about this new groundbreaking study, for its results are important for every single human. No one is spared from our predatory ways.

Yellowstone Kills Blaze, a Bear Who Attacked Off-Trail Hiker

Blaze, a grizzly bear who tragically killed an off-trail hiker in Yellowstone National Park, was slaughtered today and plans are being made to place her two surviving cubs in a zoo. Following the killing of Cecil the lion, these sorts of human-animal interactions bring to light our complex and challenging relations with other animals and with spending time "out in nature."

Grief: Cross-Cultural, Cross-Species, and Personal Views

A recent BBC Forum called "Grief" offers a very thoughtful and easy to understand discussion of cross-cultural, cross-species, and personal perspectives in which three women consider a wide array of different forms of grief and loss. I highly recommend it as it surely will encourage listeners to pay more attention to these topics.

Compassionate Conservation Meets Cecil the Slain Lion

A recent meeting on the growing field of compassionate conservation helped to define the field, and much discussion centered on the challenging question if killing "in the name of conservation" is acceptable. Diverse opinions were presented and while some argued that killing animals in the "most humane" way was necessary and acceptable, others argued the killing must stop.

Animal "Euthanasia" Is Often Slaughter: Consider Kangaroos

KIlling baby kangaroos by stamping on their head or decapitating to learn how to kill them "humanely" isn't euthanasia or mercy killing, it's slaughter. The study about which I write here refers to killing joeys who have lost, or will lose their mothers, as euthanasia, which it is not. Many people misuse the word "euthanasia" to sanitize what they are actually doing.

Cats: Owners Say Let Them be Predators and Kill Wildlife

A new study conducted in the UK shows people are fine with free-running cats killing wildlife and that experts disagree with whether or not cats are having a significant ecological impact. One researcher claims that the evidence is "flimsy." Many people also say "let them be cats" and pay the price for being allowed to roam freely. Clearly there are many issues at hand.

Your Brain and Health in Nature: Rewilding Is Good For Us

Two new studies show how walking in nature changes the brain and how trees can make people healthier including cardio-metabolic conditions. For those whose frenetic lives leave little time for getting outside, this is good news. And, there don't appear to be any downsides to taking a short break and getting out in nature and rewilding our hearts.

Why Science Does Not Need Female or Male Mice

An editorial called “Why Science Needs Female Mice” by the New York Times Editorial Review Board relies on a new study that concludes that research performed only on male mice are inadequate to understand human disease. Yet, numerous prominent researchers have concluded that studies on mice and other animals of either sex are inadequate to understand human disease.

Dogs' Noses Know More Than Doctors About Cancer Detection

Dogs are highly accurate in sniffing out various cancers and outperform humans. One researcher goes as far as to claim, "If the dogs can't find VOCs in the sample, nobody can." VOCs are volatile organic compounds indicating various diseases. Disease detection by dogs is a very important area of study and I look forward to learning more about what dogs' noses really know.

A Tale of Two Brains: Are Two Really Better than One?

A recent study of brain-melding -- wiring together the brains of different animals -- raises many important questions about ethics that go beyond neural privacy. While some might think these sorts of experiments are "cool" and futuristic, they raise many frequently ignored questions about the use of animals in these and other research projects.

Beyond Words: A New Book About What Animals Think and Feel

Award-winning scientist Carl Safina's "Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel" is an excellent summary of recent research on the fascinating animals with whom we share our magnificent planet. I highly recommend "Beyond Words" and I hope it will enjoy a broad and global audience. It really is that thoughtful and important. In many ways "Beyond Words" is beyond words.

Fish Smarts: Why Fish Are More Than Just Streams of Protein

Fish are smart, sentient, and know a lot about themselves and others. A renowned researcher concludes, "the extensive evidence of fish behavioural and cognitive sophistication and pain perception suggests that best practice would be to lend fish the same level of protection as any other vertebrate." Stay tuned for more on the amazing cognitive and emotional lives of fish.

Empathic and Fun-Loving Rats also Dream of a Better Future

New research shows rats may dream of the future just as humans do. The rats appear to be "rehearsing totally novel journeys that the animals need to take in order to reach the food” according to one of the researchers.

Guinea Pigs Have a Positive Effect on Autistic Children

Cute and cuddly guinea pigs help make kids with autism spectrum disorder more interactive and less anxious.

Violent Humans Are Animals, but Not Behaving Like Animals

Each time there's a violent incident involving a human animal ("human") there are many snippets in various media claiming something like, "He's an animal." The use of the word "animal" always refers to nonhuman animals and this is a radically misleading and dismissive claim because while humans are animals science shows we are not really behaving like other animals.

Wolves and Baboons in Ethiopia Form Unlikely Friendships

Critically rare and endangered Ethiopian wolves show an increase in capturing rodents when foraging within a gelada baboon herd. Discovering these surprising unlikely relationships in the wild show that there is still much to learn about the magnificent animals with whom we share our wondrous planet.

New Zealand Declares Animals to be Sentient, Bans Testing

In an unprecedented move, New Zealand declares nonhuman animals to be sentient beings and makes animal testing illegal. This new legislation is totally consistent with what we already have known about the cognitive and emotional lives of animals and is precedent setting. U. S. legislation and guidelines do not keep up with the science of animal emotions and sentience.

Dogtology: A New Book About Our Obsession With Dogs

A new book called "Dogtology" explores what the author calls our dog-centric "religion." It's a very interesting read about these amazing animals, however, there are places where dogs are misrepresented as displaying "unconditional acceptance" and living in the moment. Nonetheless, "Dogtology" will make you think deeply about why so many are taken with their furry friends.

Dogs Snub Mean People and Apes Like Positive Spin

New research shows dogs are rather picky and apes prefer positive framing. In the first study, a team of Japanese researchers discovered that dogs will snub people who are mean to their owners, and in the second we learned that, like humans, nonhuman great apes, especially males, are susceptible to positive spin.

Pigs are Intelligent, Emotional, and Cognitively Complex

A recent review of research on pigs shows they are complex sentient beings. Among the many extremely interesting and fascinating findings is the discovery that "not only can pigs connect with the emotions of other pigs, but they can also do so with pigs who are responding emotionally in anticipation of future events." Pigs also have unique personalities and love to play.

Good News for Dogs and Cats, Tragic News for Coyote Killers

Retired research dogs and cats must now be offered for adoption in Nevada and two men working for Wildlife Services tragically die trying to kill coyotes from an airplane.

The Kindness of Dogs: New Book Explains Why Cesar's Gotta Go

"The Secret History of Kindness: Learning From How Dogs Learn" by Melissa Pierson extols behaviorism and positive reinforcement in training dogs. This wide-ranging book provides a detailed history of B. F. Skinner's behaviorism -- where people get it right and many get it wrong -- and how being kind to dogs and other animals is the only way to teach them to live with us.

The Compassionate Equestrian: Loving Horses with Heart

Dr. Allen Schoen and Susan Gordon's new book called "The Compassionate Equestrian: 25 Principles to Live by When Caring for and Working with Horses" is a wonderful read. These most amazing equine beings are found worldwide in environments ranging from those in which they're cherished and loved to those in which they're wantonly abused. This book could be a game-changer.

Pain, Fear, and Death Documented at Monkey Breeding Facility

Videos and pictures documenting the horrific and unspeakable abuse of monkeys have generated a USDA inspection for violations at a primate breeding facility. If you have the stomach for it, you can see a video and some photos online. You can do something about it by filing a petition that already has more than 15,000 signatures. These monkeys really need your support.

New York Blood Center Leaves Chimps to Die of Starvation

An institution that conducted experiments on approximately 200 chimpanzees and made a commitment to provide them with lifelong care has abandoned the ones who are still alive, leaving them to die of starvation. Dr. Brian Hare, an anthropologist and primatologist at Duke University notes, “Never, ever have I seen anything even remotely as disgusting as this.”

Jordan Dog: Dismembered, Abandoned, and Rehabilitated

A video of the rescue and rehabilitation of an abused and abandoned dog named Jordan will force you to question our conflicting relationships with other animals. I hate to say it, but you must watch this video and share it widely. The scientific field of anthrozoology is concerned with the study of human-animal relationships and this video is a must-see for all.

Elephants Rescue Baby Who Lies Down on a Busy Highway

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this video of a herd of elephants rescuing a young herd member who decides for some reason to lie down on a busy highway in Kruger National Park in South Africa is well worth numerous words and the two plus minutes it'll take to watch it. Other animals can teach us valuable lessons about caring, compassion, and empathy.

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