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Japan considers curtailing whale hunt further: media

By Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan is considering scrapping a Northwest Pacific whale hunt just days before the fleet's planned departure, media said on Thursday, as the government grapples with its response to an international court ruling against its main whale hunt.

California weighs listing grey wolf as endangered species while other states allow hunts

FRESNO, Calif. - While much of the country has relaxed rules on killing grey wolves, California will consider protecting the species after a lone wolf from Oregon raised hopes the animals would repopulate their historic habitat in the Golden State. The California Fish and Game Commission on Wednesday postponed for three months a decision on whether to list the grey wolf as endangered. Commissioners heard impassioned arguments from environmentalists who want the wolves to again to roam the state and from cattle ranchers who fear for their herds.

Green councillor wants whales, dolphins question on Vancouver's election ballot

VANCOUVER - A Vancouver councillor says the issue of whales and dolphins at the city's aquarium should be addressed through a question on the municipal election ballot. Green party Coun. Adrianne Carr says she wants council to consider the matter at its next meeting on April 29. Carr says the question would only be added to the ballot if the park board and the Vancouver Aquarium don't reach an agreement before the November election to phase out keeping whales and dolphins in captivity.

Teenager uses Facebook to save Romania's stray dogs

By Radu Marinas and Bogdan Cristel BUCHAREST (Reuters) - When French film actress Brigitte Bardot began a campaign to spare the thousands of stray dogs in Romania's capital from being put down, she did it with a $150,000 donation scheme. A similar campaign is being waged by Ana-Maria Ciulcu, a 13-year-old schoolgirl with braces on her teeth who uses Facebook to appeal to dog lovers all over Europe - and to make sure the dogs go to the right homes.

A European bear's point of view, finally on film

They love their larvae, snore like troopers when they sleep on their sides and, for reasons unknown, get a kick out of pushing over the trunks of dead trees. Those are just a few of the insights into the daily life of Europe's dwindling band of brown bears obtained as a result of an innovative film project being shown as part of a hit exhibition at the Natural History museum in Toulouse, in southwestern France.

Rare baby camel makes his debut at a zoo in Hungary

A baby camel of the endangered wild Bactrian or Camelus bactrianus ferus species made a first appearance at Budapest Zoo on Tuesday, following its birth last week. Baby Ilias, a male, was born on April 9, to its eight-year-old mother, Iris, whose maternal line has lived at the zoo for several generations. Ilias -- whose father came from a zoo in Miskolc, a city in north-eastern Hungary -- was only presented to the media on Tuesday to give him time to bond with his mother, zookeepers said.

Britain's love-shy panda artificially inseminated

Britain's only female giant panda, Tian Tian, has been artificially inseminated after failing to mate with her male partner Yang Guang, Edinburgh Zoo said Tuesday. Experts had been hopeful the pair, donated by China in 2011, would mate this breeding season but Tian Tian's hormone levels plummeted before they had the chance. "Time restrictions meant we needed to move quickly to artificial insemination," said Iain Valentine, director of giant pandas for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

Fur flies as US gets to grips with feral cats

It's Friday night in Eckington, a quiet residential corner of Washington, and the back alley is crawling with feral cats -- rich pickings for seasoned cat-trapper Marty King. "Here, kitty kitty kitty kitty," said King after setting four metal traps baited with flaked shrimp and fish cat food and lined with fresh newspapers. "If they're hungry and they haven't seen traps before, they're not hard to catch," she explained. "But some of them are very smart. There's a female I've been trying to get for a couple of years now and I haven't been able to get her yet."

Court bans SeaWorld trainers from swimming with orcas

Washington, Apr 12 (EFE).- The District of Columbia Court of Appeals banned SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. from having employees who train orcas, known as "killer whales," from swimming with the sea mammals in its aquatic parks. The court rejected the appeal entered by the company, which has 11 parks in the United States, against the safety regulation issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration of the U.S. Labor Department which bars workers from approaching these potentially dangerous creatures.

Appeals Court rules against SeaWorld in death by killer whale at park in Orlando, Fla.

WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a regulatory safety finding against SeaWorld in the drowning of a trainer who was pulled under by a killer whale at the theme park. In a 2-1 decision, the appeals court said SeaWorld's challenge to the finding was unpersuasive and that the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission was correct when it found that the SeaWorld park in Orlando, Fla., had violated a federal workplace safety law.
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