Dancing Bears Filmed in Wild

Friday, April 04, 2008
By Jeanna Bryner

 Grizzly bears are getting their groove on, and new hidden cameras are giving scientists a window into the secret lives of these dancing bears.

This is no circus act. Between 2005 and 2007, Kate Kendall of the U.S. Geological Survey and her colleagues took video footage of black and grizzly bears doing what looks like the go-go at their favorite “rub trees.”

They also got film of bears lumbering beneath stretches of barbed wire used to snag hair samples. 

The research is part of a larger study to estimate the population size and distribution of bears in northwestern Montana using genetic analyses of the bears’ hair samples.

Scientists think bears shimmy their backs against trees in a kind of bump-and-grind to scratch hard-to-reach spots and to communicate their presence to other Ursus kin.

“It’s probably primarily a form of chemical communication,” Kendall said. “Often bears will sniff the trees before and after they rub on them.”

Post continues here as well as related stories [ Full Story ]

Advertisements

F.D.A. Says Food From Cloned Animals Is Safe

To clone or not to clone, that is the question.  It takes on a whole new meaning to Wendy’s  “Where’s the beef”
The calf Priscilla was cloned by ViaGen from a slab of beef.
Published: January 16, 2008

After years of debate, the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday declared that food from cloned animals and their progeny is safe to eat, clearing the way for milk and meat derived from genetic copies of prized dairy cows, steers and hogs to be sold at the grocery store. 

The decision was hailed by cloning companies and some farmers, who have been pushing for government approval in hopes of turning cloning into a routine agricultural tool. Because clones are costly, it is their offspring that are most likely to be used for producing milk, hamburgers or pork chops, while the clones themselves are reserved for breeding.

“This is a huge milestone,” said Mark Walton, president of ViaGen, a leading livestock cloning company in Austin, Tex.

Farmers had long observed a voluntary moratorium on the sale of clones and their offspring into the food supply. The F.D.A. on Tuesday effectively lifted that for clone offspring. But another government agency, the Agriculture Department, asked farmers to continue withholding clones themselves from the food supply, saying the department wanted time to allay concerns among retailers and overseas trading partners.

“We are very cognizant we have a global environment as it pertains to movement of agricultural products,” said Bruce I. Knight, under secretary of agriculture for marketing and regulatory programs. He said it was his goal to have the transition last months, not years.

Animal breeding takes time, so even with Tuesday’s actions, it is likely to be several years before products from the offspring of clones are at the grocery store in appreciable quantity.

Further down in the article Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut expressed this proposal:

However, Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut, has introduced legislation to require labels on cloned products, and consumer groups suggested that labeling would be a battleground in the near future.

[For the complete article – continue here] [Share Your Thoughts]

I would be interested in your comments as well.

From this article it is obvious that the food industry isn’t ready to immediately jump in the water without concerns but do feel comfortable that we will see cloning in the not to far future as the alternative way of producing and supplying dairy and meat products. I personally don’t think this is something I could commit to especially and hopefully will require all that is cloned to be labeled as such as given a choice I personally would not choose the cloned product…..flagranny2

Pit Bulls Break Into Washington Woman’s Home and Maul Her

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

GIG HARBOR, Wash. —  Two pit bull terriers broke into a house through a pet door Tuesday and attacked a woman in her bed, mauling her badly, a Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman said.

The woman was able to grab a gun and try to shoot the dogs, then break away from the attack and lock herself in her car, where she called 911, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

The woman, who was not immediately identified, was taken to a hospital in Tacoma, where she was listed in serious condition.

Officers planned to talk to the dogs’ owner.

The pit bulls also killed a neighbor’s Jack Russell terrier, which entered the house during the attack, Troyer said.

“The thought is that the Jack Russell heard noise in the neighbor’s house, came in and was attacked by the dogs,” Troyer said.

Firefighters responded first, locking the dogs in the house, treating the woman and calling for an ambulance.

Officers “had to pepper spray and fight the dogs until they were detained. We almost had to shoot them on site,” Troyer said.

The dogs were taken to a Humane Society and will probably be destroyed, he said.

It was not immediately known why the dogs entered the house, whether the woman had dogs of her own or what set off the attack.

What is it about a “pit bull” that makes it such a wonderful pet?  Don’t yell at me yet, I’m a pet owner and a pet lover of all kinds I just don’t see what it is about the pit bulls that make them such a great pet.  Regardless of how nice they can be they all have that inate instinct to attact to kill but the problem is one never knows when that instinct is going to show up. Owners can have one for a long time with no problem at all but it only takes one time to set them off and this dear pet dog that has been a perfect pet has totally upset and ruined at least one person’s life and possibly the dog’s owner if it becomes necessary to have the dog put down”  ….flagranny2 ]

Dog Shoots Owner in the Back in Memphis, Tennessee – was it something his owner said?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

 If this hadn’t been an accident and the dog’s owner in critical condition, with  Michael Vick’s case regarding “dog fighting” this could have been a story about a dog taking a stand and having a say just what he thinks about the case. 

Unfortunately it was an accident and his own is in critical condition.  Now the owner’s finace is afraid for the dog once his owner gets out of the hospital.   A Memphis, Tenn., man is in critical condition Wednesday after his dog shot him in the back.

Police say King George, a 150-pound Great Dane, accidentally knocked a .22-caliber pistol off his owner’s end table around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. The gun went off, hitting his 21-year-old owner in the back, MyFOXMemphis.com reports.

Click here to watch the MyFOXMemphis.com report.

“I knew he was smart, I didn’t think he was that smart,” the victim’s fiancee, Miesha Lucas told MyFOXMemphis.com. “He was always protective. I didn’t think he would be like that.”

Police refused to name the victim as they do not plan to file charges in the shooting, which they’ve ruled as accidental.

Lucas told MyFOXMemphis.com that she fears what her fiance will do to the pet once he gets out of the hospital.

The shooting occurred in the Raleigh section of Memphis.

Farmers: ‘Monster Pig’ Not a Wild Hog, But Was Their Pet Pig ‘Fred

Oh no! Monster Pig turns out to be Pet Pig Fred!

FRUITHURST, Ala. — The Mystery of the Monster pig appears to have been solved.

The 1,051-pound hog, shot and killed by 11-year-old Jamison Stone and the subject of a world-wide Web firestorm over the photo’s authenticity, really is…

Fred.

That’s “Fred” the pig, and according to Rhonda and Phil Blissitt their humongous hog escaped on April 29, four days before it was killed, according to the Star newspaper.

Late Thursday evening, their claims were confirmed by Andy Howell, Game Warden for the Alabama Department of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.

“I didn’t want to stir up anything,” Rhonda Blissitt said. “I just wanted the truth to be told. That wasn’t a wild pig.”

Her husband agreed.

“If it went down in the record book, it would be deceiving, and we’d know that for the rest of our lives.”

The monster hog gained worldwide acclaim after he was bagged by 11-year-old Jamison Stone, a Pickensville native, with a .50-caliber pistol on May 3 at the Lost Creek Plantation, LLC, a hunting preserve in Delta. The big boar was hunted inside a large, low-fence enclosure and fired upon 16 times by Stone, who struck the animal nearly a half-dozen times during the three-hour hunt.

The saga of young Jamison’s hunt spread as the family posted the story and photos on their Web site, monsterpig.com.

The Blissitts said they were unaware that the hog generating all the media attention was once theirs. It wasn’t until Howell spoke with Phil Blissitt that the pieces of the puzzle came together.

Phil Blissitt recalled Howell asking him about the now-famous hog.

“Did you see that pig on TV?” Phil Blissitt recalled Howell asking him. “I said, ‘Yeah, I had one about that size.’ He said, ‘No, that one is yours.’

“That’s when I knew.”

Phil Blissitt purchased the pig for his wife as a Christmas gift in December of 2004. From 6 weeks old, they raised the pig as it grew to its enormous size.

Not long ago, they decided to sell off all of their pigs. Eddy Borden, owner of Lost Creek Plantation, purchased Fred.

Attempts by The Star to reach Borden were unsuccessful.

While Rhonda Blissitt was somewhat in the dark about the potential demise of her pet, Phil Blissitt said he was under the understanding that it would breed with other female pigs and then “probably be hunted.”

Many other of their former pigs — like their other farm animals — had been raised for the purpose of agricultural harvest.

As the Blissitts recounted the events of the last two days, they told stories and made many references to the gentleness of their former “pet.”

From his treats of canned sweet potatoes to how their grandchildren would play with him, their stories painted the picture of a gentle giant. They even talked about how their small Chihuahua would get in the pen with him and come out unscathed.

“But if they hadn’t fed him in a while,” Rhonda Blissitt said, “he could have gotten irate.”

Phil Blissitt said he became irritated when they learned about all the doubters who said photos of Fred were doctored.

“That was a big hog,” he said.

The information of the pig’s previous owner came out on the same day that officials from the Fish and Wildlife concluded their investigation of the hunt. They concluded that nothing illegal happened under the guidelines of Alabama law.

Allan Andress, enforcement chief for the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, said they learned the hog’s origin as the investigation unfolded.

“We were able to determine that he came from a domesticated environment,” he said. “So, he was not feral to start with. Therefore, he would not violate our feral swine trapping and relocating rule.”

Mike Stone, Jamison’s father, contends that he was unaware of the origin of the pig. Before, during and after the hunt — and until late Thursday night, when contacted by The Star — Mike Stone was under the impression that the hog was feral.

“We were told that it was a feral hog,” Mike Stone said, “and we hunted it on the pretense that it was a feral hog.”

Artist eats dog to protest alleged animal cruelty

CNN.com
POSTED: 8:29 p.m. EDT,
May 30, 2007

In my book I can think of better ways of protesting without going to this extreme to get a point across.  To me this is just as cruel, if not worse.

storymcgowandogap.jpg

LONDON, England (AP) — A British performance artist has eaten part of a corgi — the breed of dog Queen Elizabeth II favors as pets — to protest the alleged mistreatment of animals by the royal family.

Mark McGowan dined on corgi meatballs Tuesday at a table set up on a London street in hopes of drawing attention to media reports that Prince Philip, the queen’s husband, had beaten a fox to death during a hunt. The event was broadcast over a live radio program.

Yoko Ono, featured on the same radio program, also tasted a bit of the dog, McGowan said. Ono’s spokesman did not immediately return calls or e-mails seeking comment.

“We love our animals in Britain,” McGowan told AP Television News. “Why is it then that we then allow people — especially people who are supposed to be ambassadors for this country — to treat animals with such disrespect?”

Buckingham Palace declined to comment, and Britain’s top animal-protection charity said there was no evidence to support the claim that Prince Philip abused the fox.

To make the corgi more palatable, it was minced with apple, onion and seasoning, turned into meatballs and served with salad.

McGowan said the corgi he consumed had died recently at a breeding farm and had not been killed for the purposes of the protest. He did not say what the dog had died from.

“I ate three lumps of it. But I spat two of them out, so I really ate one and a half of them,” McGowan said.

The stunt was aired during the Bob and Roberta Smith radio program, broadcast at a London-based arts station.

The queen has a particular fondness for corgis, and they have the run of Buckingham Palace — even during formal state events.

Boy Who Killed Monster Hog Says ‘It’s Not Fake’

Wednesday, May 30, 2007
By Sara Bonisteel

Due to the amount of negative posts on their web site, it prompted the family to respond and this is the response.  What do y’all think, is it real or fake? 
An 11-year-old Alabama boy caught in the center of a humongous hog controversy denied his monster kill was staged Wednesday in an interview with FOXNews.com.

“I just want to say it’s not fake,” said Jamison Stone of Pickensville, Ala

Stone made news last week when the world learned of his massive kill, a 1,051-pound feral hog, which he shot eight times with a pistol on a hunting preserve in eastern Alabama. But the young man soon found himself in a media maelstrom when some Web sites questioned the veracity of the photographs.

“He did kill that pig,” the boy’s father, Mike Stone, told FOXNews.com. “Those pictures are not doctored.”

“No pictures have been touched,” the 11-year-old said. “They first were saying I couldn’t shoot the gun, but I could and I did.”

What should have been a moment of fun in the spotlight for a middle schooler became a nightmare, with some bloggers asking Mike Stone to take measurements of his son’s skull to prove his claims, he said.

“Before we got to New York this was a feel good story, everybody was excited about it,” Mike Stone said. “And now all of a sudden my family is suffering because people are making fun of it and thinking that it’s not real.”

After Jamison bagged his pig May 3, the Stones took their prize to the Clay County Farmers Exchange in Lineville, Ala., where it weighed in at 1,051 and measured approximately 9 feet 4 inches.

In the heat of the moment, Mike Stone said, they snapped a few photographs for family and friends to share Jamison’s moment of pride.

“We would have took pictures of the scales, we would have took pictures of us measuring it, we would have took pictures of all the stuff if we would have thought this was going to be some big deal,” Mike Stone said.

Jerry Cunningham, owner of Jerry’s Taxidermy in Oxford, Ala., said the feral hog was one of the largest he’d seen.

“They’re about as twice as big as the normal pig,” Cunningham told FOXNews.com. “Five-hundred pounds is big, giant. Most of them that come in to be mounted are between 150 and 250.”

On Tuesday night, Cunningham showed Jamison the hog’s mounted skull. Mike Stone, who stresses to his family the importance of hunting for food, had the rest of the humongous hog made into breakfast sausage.

“We gave a lot of it away … some of them are going to use it at church fundraising breakfasts, some of them are going to use it for school fundraising breakfasts,” Mike Stone said. “We actually do have two big freezers completely full.”

The boy’s pig adventure is documented on http://www.monsterpig.com, where the response from the public has been about 85 percent positive, Mike Stone said.

“Regardless of what the negative e-mails say, we’re not ashamed of the fact that we actually hunt,” Mike Stone said.