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Death, tumors harm efforts to save rare rhinos

Efforts to save critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceroses were dealt a double blow this week with the death of one animal at a US zoo and the discovery of reproductive tumors in another. There are just 100 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild in their native lands of Indonesia and Malaysia, and nine are held in captivity for breeding purposes. The lumbering creatures have dwindled rapidly due to deforestation, humans encroaching on their habitat and illegal poaching for their horns.

Interpol urges global strategy to stem tiger trade

Global police body Interpol on Thursday called for concerted international action to stem the highly lucrative tiger trade "if the species is to avoid extinction." In a statement, the Lyon-based body called for the creation of a "cohesive global strategy" to fight increasingly well-organised gangs trafficking in tiger parts. It called for the setting up of a network of intelligence analysts to coordinate cross-border information exchanges on the trade.

Moose collision lawsuit in Newfoundland alleges province was negligent

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A class-action lawsuit started Wednesday in St. John's, N.L., with emotional testimony from plaintiffs who said moose-vehicle crashes on provincial roads have devastated them. "I never had time to respond," said Ben Bellows, 57, of a 2003 accident that left him a quadriplegic. He sat in a wheelchair as he testified in provincial Supreme Court. The case alleges the province has negligently failed to manage the moose population. It involves 135 plaintiffs — including at least 15 estates of those who died — who were involved in accidents dating back to 2001.

Spain town hires poo 'detective' to spy on dog owners

Fed up of dog dirt underfoot on its streets, a Spanish town has hired a detective to catch owners who fail to pick up after their pets, officials said Wednesday. The mayor's office in Colmenar Viejo, a historical town north of Madrid, said fines and warning signs had failed to coax some owners into picking up their dogs' mess. So from next week dog-walkers will be spied on by a professional "Canine Detective" who will prowl the town to catch negligent dog owners red-handed.

Popular Facebook page taps into trend of adopting senior pets to help find old dogs new homes

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Erin O'Sullivan wants to change lives by finding new homes for old dogs.

April Fool panda joke 'went too far', says Taipei mayor

An April Fool report claiming that one of Taiwan's beloved pandas had been infected by parasites and could be euthanised went "too far", the upset mayor of Taipei said Wednesday. The story, published on the homepages of Next Media websites in Hong Kong and Taiwan, claimed that Yuan Yuan, mother of the first Taiwan-born panda cub Yuan Zai, was seriously ill. "Taipei Zoo officials have been discussing euthanizing her... much like Copenhagen Zoo recently did with its giraffe Marius," the story said.

British Columbia's controversial spring grizzly bear hunt now open

VANCOUVER - British Columbia's controversial spring grizzly bear hunt opened Tuesday, with the highest number of tags issued in decades. Based on government counts that showed stabilization of specific grizzly populations previously closed due to overhunting, the government reopened several areas to hunting this year. An estimated 1,800 tags will be issued, up from about 1,700 last year.

Manitoba eyes lifting moratorium on tundra buggy permits in new polar bear park

WINNIPEG - Manitoba is deciding whether to lift restrictions on eco-tourism as it prepares to designate a new polar bear provincial park on Hudson Bay. The province is hiring a consultant to review the number of off-road tundra vehicles used to carry tourists around polar bear country near Churchill and to recommend how many should be allowed to operate in the new park.

Japan may suggest smaller whale catch after ICJ blow

By Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan could try to rescue its Antarctic whaling program by sharply reducing catch quotas after the highest U.N. court ordered a halt, rejecting Tokyo's argument that the catch was for scientific purposes and not mainly for human consumption.

Saskatchewan takes over rabies programming from federal government

REGINA - The Saskatchewan government is taking over responsibility for rabies programming from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart has announced $500,000 for new rabies response to help farmers and ranchers if their animals are exposed to the disease. Private veterinarians will collect samples from suspect animals, submit the samples for rabies testing and then follow up if there's a positive result. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says bats, foxes, skunks and raccoons are the most common transmitters of the disease.
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