3 teens accused of stoning a swan to death in Italy

Three teenage boys from Denmark, aged 16, 17, and 17, have been accused of killing a swan after pelting the animal with rocks during a school trip to Lake Garda in Italy.

“It was very violent and happened in front of a lot of people. So we want to make an example,” stated police officer Frnacesco Milardo in the town of Peschiera del Garda, reports the Local.

According to the police report, the boys had been walking along the lake when a swan hissed at them and puffed out its chest. With witnesses present and outraged, the boys threw stones at the swan and didn’t stop, even when the animal ran away and tried to hide in the tall grasses. The swan died as a result of its injuries.

A youth court in Venice has been informed of the incident, and it is expected Italian authorities will be in touch with the teens even though they have returned to Denmark. Animal cruelty convictions in Italy can result in prison sentences ranging for four months to two years, however it is unlikely the teens will receive such a strict sentence. More than likely, they will face fines.

Such examples of animal cruelty by teenagers send shivers up all of our spines.

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Sleepy badger found napping in cat bed in a house in Scotland

On Wednesday, the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) were called to a home in the Beecraigs Country Park section of Linlithgow where humane officers couldn’t help but smile when they spotted a badger fast asleep in the resident’s cat bed.

According to the Scottish SPCA Facebook, Animal Rescue Officer Connie O’Neil said,

“I got a surprise when I arrived at the property and saw a badger having a nap! He had gotten in through the cat flap and had eaten all the cat food before going for a sleep on the cat bed. He didn’t seem too happy when I tried to move him, but I was able to slide the cat bed round and it was then the badger noticed the back door was open so made a run for it.”

Superintendent of the humane organization explained it was very unusual for a wild badger to enter a house and encourage residents to call the helpline before attempting to approach any animal.

“Lie all wild animals, badgers can be aggressive when injured or cornered so we would advise not to go near them without giving us a call first.”

Still it was, without a doubt,  an adventure to bring a smile to our faces. No humans nor animals injured in this encounter.

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Tony the Tiger – the roadside truck attraction euthanized after 17 years

On Monday evening, Tony the Tiger was euthanized; he was 17-years-old and for his entire life he had been a roadside attraction at the Tiger Truck Stop in Gross Tech, an Iberville Parish community.

According to the Advocate, Tony’s health had been declining as he continued to suffer from kidney failure. On Monday evening, Ted Baldwin issued a statement on behalf of the tiger’s owner Michael Sandlin.

“The decision was made to end his suffering at the facility… a sad day for his owner Michael Sandlin and the entire (Tiger Truck Stop) family.”

Tony has been an attraction at the Tiger Truck Stop since January 2001 when he was only six-months old. For years, there has been a lot of controversy from humane organizations relevant to Tony’s health, however Sandlin denied the tiger had any serious illness stating he had been regularly examined by a veterinarian and only limped because of age-related arthritis.  Tony lived in a cage with a grassy plot and had a “swimming pool” he used as well as some toys and a hanging tire. In captivity tigers generally live from 14 to 18 years.

For anyone following Tony’s sad story, animal rights groups had waged a long battle to have him removed and sent to a sanctuary stating he wasn’t receiving the proper care. The Animal Legal Defense Fund released a statement that “despite our best efforts, he lived and died caged at a truck stop that could never provide the life he deserved.”

What a shame Tony the Tiger never set his paws upon freedom from a truck stop cage.

Rest in peace big guy.

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Dog reappears 14 hours after family buried his dead body

Man stays with wild animals at risk from raging wildfires

‘A thousand souls’: Safari West lost his own home protecting wild animals from Tubbs fire

Peter Lang, the 77-year-old owner of Safari West, a wildlife preserve located in Santa Rosa, lost his own home to the fire after making the immediate decision to save the animals. The 400-acre facility located on Porter Creek Road was in the fire’s direct path. One-thousand animals were at risk of perishing in the fire; Lang, however had no intentions of giving up.

According to the Press Democrat, Lang stated:

“I have a thousand souls I’m responsible for,” stated Lang as he walked the grounds, dense smoke still shrouding pens and other outbuildings. “It wasn’t even a decision. This is what I had to do.”

As the fire approached, Lang’s wife, employees and 30 guest were ordered off the premises. Armed with garden hoses, Lang began spraying the hot spots threatening the safety of cheetahs, giraffes and rhinoceroses. By daybreak, Lang’s home had been destroyed by the fire, but every animal was safe. Staff from the Oakland Zoo were on standby to attend to the animals just in case. Fire departments were there to help. Small animals, that could have been affected by smoke, had already been evacuated and had left in the employees vehicles on Sunday evening.

An update on the fire and the status of the preserve was posted on the organization’s Facebook page Tuesday evening:

“Thank you for all the messages of love and support. So many of you have offered to donate money or establish funds in our name and we are stunned and humbled by your generosity. Please, if you do feel compelled to make a donation, direct it to a charity or organization that benefits all the victims of this terrible event. Our Safari West family has suffered but we are not alone and our fellow citizens of Sonoma, Napa, and surrounding counties are all dealing with the same heartache and loss. Thank you again for thinking of us.

Today we were able to get some core staff back on site to tend to animals and deal with some of the damage. We are still working to assess the situation and won’t have a full idea of where things stand for some time. Towards the end of the day we evacuated most of our personnel back beyond the fire lines. Tonight a skeleton crew including some keepers and a veterinarian will continue to tend to the animals and do what they can to defend the preserve.

At this point our fences are still intact with all animals contained, accounted for, and safe.”

Tragically the fire has yet to be contained, and dangers still exist. The fires have already burned 27,000 acres and has been blamed for 11 deaths.

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(Photos screenshot from video and Safari West Facebook)





Russian fishermen rescue two drowning bear cubs from lake

In a heartwarming video showing us the kindness and compassion of humans, fishermen plucked two drowning bears cubs out of Lake Vygozero in the Karelia region of Russia. The film shows the amazing trust the two babies placed in the tourists as they clung to the side of the fishing boat.

According to the Daily Mail, the cubs may have lost sight of their mother as they crossed the lake and weren’t able to swim the distance needed to get to the other side. The frightened little ones were sinking and would have surely drowned without the intervention of the kind tourists. Their eyes and expressions of fear showed on their tiny faces.

“They had swum across the lake with their mother,” stated Rusian Lukanin, a tourist from Moscow, “but she overestimated her strength and swam away. The cubs began to sink. We picked them up and dragged them to the island to which their mother had swum.”

Knowing they were taking a chance rescuing the cubs because who would know the reaction of a mother bear if she couldn’t understand the tourists were trying to save her babies, along with the cubs still being dangerous, but despite their razor sharp clubs, the men spoke softly to the cubs encouraging them to just hold on to the side of the boat.

“Take a rest, little one, take a rest. Hold on, hold on, But what if he bites us,” one man said.

“No, he won’t,” replied the second man, “he’s just clinging on for his life.”

“Hold on, Hold on. Look he uses his paw to hold. Need to help him, to hold his bum,” the men decided.

The fishermen placed a net under the rear ends of the cub to help him keep a hold of the side of the boat, and even though they admitted the babies were quite heavy, the men finally reached the other side of the lake. Once they arrived, the exhausted rescuers struggled to lift the babies using the netting and helped the weak little ones to the edge of the forest hoping their mother would find them.

(Photos and video via YouTube)

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Could you say no? Would you risk your own personal safety to save the cubs if placed in the same position?

Check out the video for the heartwarming story:

Outrageous: Sicko golfer has friends video him decapitating goose with club

In a shocking and outrageous animal cruelty case in Finland, authorities are currently investigating a video which shows a sicko golfer lining himself up in the back of the neck of a defenseless goose and then swinging and decapitating the bird. The video is stated to have been filmed at the upscale Vantaa Golf Park near the Finnish capital of Helsinki.

The video, which had been uploaded to LiveLeak, garnered immediate outrage and managers of the golf course notified police. According to the Sun, the managing director of the golf club stated he filed a criminal complaint against the golfer who is stated not to have been a member of the club. The video was uploaded under the title “Finnish Golfer Kills Barnacle Goose.” The person taping the egregious cruelty is heard laughing in the background.

“It is impossible to understand. Such behavior is in complete contravention of all the values and principles on which the golf game is built,” stated the executive director of the Finnish Golf Association, Juha Korhonen. “We hope that the police will find out the identity of the person and that he will be punished according to his actions. “

The bird in the video is said to be a Barnacle goose.

The miserable man has not yet been apprehended, but we all hope it is soon and he is punished to the highest extent of the law.

(Photos and videos of sicko golfer via LiveLeak)

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WARNING: Graphic video – is not suitable for most viewing audiences.

Chinese villager arrested for capturing and later gutting rare white dolphin

Witnesses in Ningde City in China’s eastern Fujian Province used a cellphone to video a local villager capture a rare white dolphin, tie it to his boat and later gut it – uploading the disturbing viral video to social media.

According to the Daily Mail, the video has garnered more than 20 million views. The dolphins, (Sousa chinensis) affectionately known as “mermaids”  and “the pandas of the sea” are endangered species. It is believed to have been captured in the East China Sea and not identified by fishermen  as the rare breed. It is not known if the animal was caught by accident or intentionally, but instead of notifying officials, the villager tied the dying animal to his boat and brought it back to shore where he gutted it.

The villager claimed the animal was dead when he found it and brought it on shore. The man was arrested by the Fujian Ocean and Fisheries Bureau for failing to alert authorities. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the dolphin as “near threatened,” and it remains on the “Red List.” Chinese white dolphins are protected in China; the same status given to giant pandas, Siberian tigers and snow leopards.

An investigation continues.

(Photos of the rare animal via YouTube screenshots)

Graphic Video: Contents may not be suitable for all viewing audiences

Family of swans stop traffic on busy highway as police escort them to safety

A family of swans stopped traffic on a busy highway Friday as they tried to cross for “greener grass” in West Lothian in Bathgate. A Good Samaritan contacted the Scottish SPCA and alerted them about the two adult swans and their five cygnets in the roadway very likely in danger of being hit by a vehicle.

According to the Scottish SPCA, police stopped traffic to allow the birds to be gently guided to the other side using what else – but a pedestrian crossing to help the birds get across. Animal experts escorted the flock back into their pond.

Fiona Thorburn, the Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer commented on the situation and was more than grateful for the help:

“We were alerted after a concerned member of the public spotted the birds near a roundabout and was worried about their safety, The police were in attendance too as traffic had to be stopped to ensure we had no casualties. We were thankfully able to escort them back over the nearby pond before they came to any harm.”

How wonderful that humans can take the time and have the compassion to help those who cannot speak. Why not stop by at the Facebook page of the Scottish SPCA and express your thanks – don’t forget to tell them the Pet Rescue Report sent you and we are all so proud of the police rescue efforts too.

(Photos of family of swans via Scottish SPCA )

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Puppies pulled from a tar pit!

Starving dog wanders onto woman’s porch before hurricane – family decides to give her a home.

Kill bison lottery: National Park Service garners those ‘good with guns’ to cull herd

The National Park Service (NPS) has been looking for volunteers who are “good with guns” to kill bison in the Grand Canyon. Currently statistics state there are 600 bison in the area, and wildlife personnel say there must be 200 or less to adequately maintain a sustainable habitat. Wildlife experts predict the current herd could grow to 1,500 if left unchecked.

The Flagstaff area bison are descendants of those introduced to northern Arizona in the early 1900s as part of a ranching operation to crossbreed them with cattle. Now owned by the state of Arizona, there is an annual draw for tags on the Kaibab National Forest where 1,500 people have applied for one of 122 tags this year, according to the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Hunters are only allowed to kill one bison in their lifetime which makes the prospect even more exciting to those who like to hunt.

“The Grand Canyon is still working out details of the volunteers effort, but it’s taking cues from national parks in Colorado, the Dakotas and Wyoming that have used shooters to cut overabundant or diseased populations of elk,” the NPS stated on their website.

The park is off limits to hunters where the bison currently live. The most recent plan includes a hunter teaming up with a “Park Service employee to shoot bison using non-lead ammunition” because of the presence of the California condors. Hunters will have to pass rigorous health tests to ensure they are able to hike several miles a day and shoot at a precise target.

Some bison will be transferred to other areas. According to the USA Today, Sandy Bahr of the Sierra Club says she’s hopeful the staff at the Grand Canyon will focus mostly on non-lethal removal.

As to what would happen to the heads, hide and meat from the bisons? State officials have stated they would be given to state agencies and tribes or even split among the volunteers.

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Starving dog wanders onto woman’s porch before hurricane – family decides to give her a home.

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Orphaned chimp learning how to trust after he was rescued

A ten-month-old  chimpanzee, who had been kept captive and whose mother had been murdered by a wildlife trafficker, is slowly learning how to trust after having been rescued earlier in September by a charity that fights illegal animal trade in Africa. The orphaned chimp, named Farah had been kept in chains by the man who captured him, until authorities were tipped off and later confiscated the young chimp.

Farah arrived at the sanctuary at Mefou Primate Park in Cameroon, riding in the backseat of a car. According to Ape Action Africa, the chimp had traveled 250 miles; he was “cold tired and thirsty.” Imagine however being in Farah’s position – when a male rescuer from the group reached in to help the little guy out of the car, he panicked, resisted and reeled backwards. As the man gently approached him again, holding out his hand while gently stroking Farah’s face, hands and nose, the little chimp began to relax. The first stop was an enclosure full of leaves:

“Look at it, it’s beautiful, ” the man softly whispers to Farah as the little chimp was gently placed down still wrapped in his blanket.

A woman is able to give Farah some water via a baby bottle, as the little chimp began to relax, however it did take time for the chimp to figure out he was safe.

“The morning after his arrival he met his second caregiver Stephanie, and he sensed straight away that she was someone he could trust,” the group wrote on their Facebook page. “On day two he allowed her to groom him very gently on the head and back. On day three he began playing with the toys she brought him – chewy things for his developing teeth, and soft things to hug and carry around. He allowed our volunteer vet Tamsin to treat the wounds around his waist, where he was tied up tightly with a metal chain. She was also able to begin treatment for tapeworm and tidy up his little white baby tail, that had become hardened with excrement when he was held captive.”

And his recovery slowly continued:

“On day four, Farah began to awaken to the noises around him in the park. For the first time, he climbed up to the window of his nursery room and looked out at the trees, watched our staff walk up and down the road with fruit-laden wheelbarrows and listened to the calls of the gorillas and chimps carrying on the breeze.”

Farah is still very hesitant around humans. His caretakers describe him as a “little lost soul” who doesn’t feel comfortable when picked up nor does he laugh when he’s tickled. Little by little he is learning to trust, and it is hoped one day he will laugh again. Sadly, this is the cost of the illegal pet trade – all those people who think having an exotic wild animal in their homes is so much fun. Primates are not pets.

You can help support this organization’s work by clicking here.

(Photos of orphaned chimp courtesy of Ian Bickerstaff at Ape Action Africa)

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Watch Farah as he arrives at the Ape Action Africa.