A baby Masai giraffe born weeks ago at the Senaca Park Zoo in Rochester, New York, has been euthanized. On Friday, the zoo released information about the difficult decision to humanely euthanize the calf, who was born on July 12 with a congenital abnormality of his front fetlock joint.
Dr. Chris McKinney, Zoo Veterinarian explained:
“The calf was showing additional signs of degradation. He was increasingly lethargic, nursing less, and showing signs of stress, which indicate decline in the quality of life. While some fetlock issues can heal, the calf’s limb abnormality was especially pronounced.”
Because giraffes bear most of their weight on their front legs, recovering from joint abnormalities is difficult.
Seneca Park Zoo Director Steve Lacy said that the staff is mourning the calf’s death:
“Our animal health and animal care staff are heartbroken. Our staff worked around-the-clock doing everything we possibly could to ensure viability. The level of care the calf received was nothing short of exemplary. I would like to also thank our colleagues at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Bronx Zoo, and San Diego Zoo, as well as Dr. Noha Abou-Madi from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, for their expert guidance and invaluable input to the care of the calf.”
On July 20, police arrested a 50-year-old California man who left a three-month-old puppy inside of his car in a Las Vegas Hotel parking lot for hours while he gambled inside the air-conditioned Bellagio resort. As if leaving a puppy inside of a parked vehicle on a hot summer day wasn’t bad enough, Raul Carbajal had placed tape around the puppy’s muzzle, so he could not bark…or pant to cool himself.
The puppy was saved thanks to alert Bellagio security officers who spotted him inside Carbajal’s Mercedes. The puppy was removed from the sweltering hot vehicle through the sunroof.
The police determined that the pup had suffered in the hot car for two agonizing hours.
The officer who arrested Carbajal sounded angry as he asked the man if he “realized how hot it is outside,” and berated him for leaving the puppy inside of the car with tape around its mouth.
Carbajal is facing a felony charge for willful, malicious torture of an animal.
On July 28, the Las Vegas Police Tweeted that the puppy is STILL receiving medical treatment for the July 20 incident.
St. Louis, MO – A dog trying to maneuver a flooded alleyway in St. Louis, Missouri, was given a helping hand by two compassionate police officers. Stray Rescue of St. Louis shared the officers’ heroics on Facebook Thursday afternoon, writing:
Officers Stevens & Ottengheime are heroes! STL is sadly experiencing more flash flooding The officers found him SWIMMING up a flooded alley behind a liquor store! They got out and helped him out of the water.
The dog was clearly grateful for the help, jumping into the officers’ patrol car and allowing them to dry him off and warm him from the cold water that soaked his body.
The rescued pup apparently did not want to be alone in the backseat, so one of the officers joined him:
He didn’t want to be by himself so Officer Ottengheime climbed in the backseat and cuddled him, too. This is one lucky, happy, and grateful little dude!!
According to the social media post, the dog was taken to Stray Rescue of St. Louis for care.
This week, the St. Louis area has been pounded by record-setting rainstorms that have caused widespread flooding. Continued storms are causing flash floods. Stray Rescue asks for residents to look out for each other, and for pets that may be in dangerous areas.
Osceola County, Florida – A compassionate truck driver took quick action to save dozens of cattle from a horrific death after the tractor-trailer he was driving caught fire earlier this month. The 47-year-old driver told Florida Highway Patrol that he pulled to the shoulder of the Florida Turnpike after noticing smoke coming from the cab of the truck on July 18.
He then opened the hauler doors and released 70 cows who were inside the livestock trailer, allowing them to escape from flames and smoke.
The roadway was shut down for hours to allow rescuers to corral the animals and safely remove them from the freeway.
As reported by Fox 35 News, the truck fire was extinguished by responding fire officials, and no injuries were reported. The name of the driver was not released.
Florida – Police in Monroe County, Florida, arrested two men from Miami after finding a live Key deer in their vehicle. According to a release from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), the men were driving a blue Chevrolet hatchback-style vehicle that “failed to stay in its lane” around 2 a.m. on July 24.
The release describes how the deer was found:
An injured Key deer was inside the vehicle on top of a cooler, lawn chairs and other miscellaneous objects.
The men claimed that they had struck the Key deer on U.S. 1 north of the Seven Mile Bridge and they believed that it was dead. According to the authorities, the type of deer in the vehicle is not typically found in the area where the men claimed to have hit it with the car.
The release states:
The men stated they initially thought the deer was dead but realized the deer was still alive, so they decided to take it to a veterinarian in Miami for treatment. Both men stated they never called 911, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The men, identified as Yoankis Hernandez Pena, 38, and Andres Leon Valdes, 45, were arrested on charges of cruelty to animals and taking, possessing or selling a federally designated endangered or threatened species. Both were taken to jail.
There is good news for tiger enthusiasts – the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has released the latest tiger population assessment and it shows 40 percent more tigers in the wild than there were in 2015.
Luke Hunter, executive director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) big cat program, told NPR that the large increase is primarily the result of more accurate methods of tracking the tigers:
“A fairly significant chunk of that 40% increase is explained by the fact that we’re better at counting them, that many governments in particular have really sort of moved heaven and earth to do massive scale surveys.”
Conservation efforts are also believed to play into the increased number of tigers. Though the number of these big cats, estimated to be somewhere between 3,726 and 5,578, is reassuring, they are still considered to be endangered. Their biggest threat is the loss and destruction of their natural habitat and death at the hands of poachers.
Marathon County, Wisconsin – On Thursday, the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office issued a news release about a horse, in the Town of Ringle, who was possibly being mistreated. According to the authorities, concerns about neglect or mistreatment were sparked on social media after video and photos were circulated showing an injured rear leg.
The images show a leg that appears to be bloodied and severely injured.
The authorities have stated that a veterinarian came out to the property to examine the horse, and determined that the injury is “consistent with a cut from barbed wire fencing” and it is being treated with a red salve.
The release states:
The veterinarian indicated that the wound is healing but will take time due to the horse being nearly 30 years old. Additionally, the veterinarian stated that the owner who is known to take in rescue or injured horses is providing proper medical attention and will continue to administer the bandages and salve. The veterinarian has prescribed additional antibiotics and will follow-up in a few days to continue monitoring the injury.
The authorities determined that there is no mistreatment and as such, there will be no criminal charges.
Richland County, Ohio – A cat who disappeared from home four very long years ago was back in his owner’s arms this week after his photo was spotted on the website of an animal shelter in Richland County, Ohio.
Britni called us today after seeing a post about our big boy Bagel, who looks just like her cat who had been missing for 4 years. We asked her to send us photos and a description, and we were absolutely SHOCKED to realize that Bagel is indeed her boy Tike. Tike and his mom are going to be reunited later today.
The shelter posted photos of the miraculous reunion, writing of the joy everyone was feeling when Britni and Tike were back together again:
Watching the expression on a person’s face when they are reunited with their long-lost pet is an absolutely indescribable feeling. Absolute pure joy. Britni and Bagel (Tike) were reunited today.
According to the shelter, Tike was surrendered by another family who was moving and could not take him with them. Apparently, they found the big cat and decided to keep him at some point after he vanished from his true home.
Welcome home Tike!
(Images via Humane Society of Richland County Facebook page)
California – On July 18, the Wolf Mountain Sanctuary announced the passing of 18-year-old Wacipi, a wolf with an “amazing, gentle soul.” The California sanctuary alerted Facebook followers of the beloved wolf’s death, writing:
With much sorrow, we need to announce that our precious Wacipi has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She could not get up any longer and Mama Wolf had to help her start her new journey. OH, this one was so hard, they all are but this one especially.
According to the sanctuary, Wacipi was taken in at the sanctuary with her brother Yawto and another wolf named Wanagi, in May 2004. She was just two weeks old and she and the others cubs had been “ripped from their mothers” by breeders. The sanctuary took them under its wing and gave them the best life that they could.
The wildlife sanctuary shared more information about Wacipi’s life:
She grew into a beautiful wolf, was an Omega so the other wolves picked on her so Mama Wolf spent much more time with her. She loved cats when she was young and preferred women mostly.
She ended up being quite close to Istas Pejuta when he was alive and they were constantly together. When he passed, she mourned for months. She did not care for Balto much, but tolerated him until we decided to remove her from that compound and let her have the run of the sanctuary. This actually made her come out of her shell and she was much more friendly with all visitors.
And asked for prayers and understanding for those who knew and loved Wacipi:
We will miss her so much, her wandering around and watching over all of the pack and all of us as well. She is now with Istas and all of the pack waiting for us all. Please send your love and prayers to Mama Wolf and all of the wolves and staff that are in mourning.
Florida – On July 3, a quick-thinking police officer jumped into the water to save a drowning dog who had fallen into the water in the Intracoastal waterway. The Lighthouse Point Police Department said that Officer Bob Stebbins responded to a Police Assist call after a frantic caller phoned in for help.
The caller said that her dog fell into the water, and when Officer Stebbins arrived, he learned that the pooch had been treading water for 25 minutes. It was apparent that the dog was struggling to keep its head above water and he could see that the leash was tangled in nearby dock pilings.
Knowing that time was of the essence, Officer Stebbins shed his duty gear and jumped in to save the dog. The department wrote:
OfficerStebbins swam across the dark water, untangled the dogs leash, and delivered the dog to the shoreline safely.
The dog’s owner was “overjoyed” to be reunited with her rescued pup. Great job Officer Stebbins!
Boston, MA – A four-year-old cat who escaped her cat carrier at Boston Logan International Airport in late June has been located, captured, and returned to her family. The frisky feline, named Rowdy, bolted from airport personnel on June 24 after her owner’s Lufthansa flight landed, and a massive search and rescue effort ensued.
For three weeks, Rowdy managed to elude everyone, but the cat and mouse game came to an end last week. Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) spokesperson Jennifer Mehigan told WCVB News:
Whether out of fatigue or hunger we’ll never know, but this morning she finally let herself be caught.
Patty Sahli, Rowdy’s owner, describes her pet as a curious cat who is proficient at hunting – a skill that likely helped her survive her weeks “in the wild.”
Rowdy was captured after walking into a humane trap that had been set. Her identity was confirmed when she was scanned for a microchip, and on Saturday, she was back in her family’s arms.
Rowdy’s owners are grateful to everyone who participated in the rescue effort Sahli said;
“We’re just so grateful to everyone who helped look for her.”
Update: After the publication of this article, research officials confirmed that the deceased whale is NOT Migaloo.
Victoria, Australia – The recent discovery of a beached white whale on Mallacoota Beach has sparked fears that Migaloo, a famous white humpback whale, is dead. The carcass of the whale was found on a remote section of beach by abalone fishermen.
According to The Age, the rare albino whale was last spotted in June 2020 off the coast of Australia. Prior that that, Migaloo had been regularly observed off of the Australian coast since 1991.
Scientists are unsure if the whale carcass is that of Migaloo, but they are working to make a determination. The carcass will undergo a necropsy and photos will also be compared to see if the deceased whale is truly Migaloo.
On Saturday, the Migaloo the Whale Twitter account announced that a media spokesperson for the White Whale Research Centre will make an official statement tomorrow.
It is unclear at this time how the whale died. Officials are hopeful that the necropsy will reveal more about the whale’s manner of death.
Clay County, Texas – After spending the majority of her life without a family of her own, a dog named Jill has finally been adopted. Jill spent 10 years at the Clay County Animal Shelter in Henrietta after being taken in as a stray when she was just a year old. She attended multiple adoption events, to no avail, and in the absence of an owner, shelter staff eventually became her family.
That all changed when Kellie Blassingame met and fell in love with the senior dog. Blassingame told KFDX News:
“All the other dogs were very sweet [Jill] just naturally gravitated towards me. I just knew that a lot of time, senior dogs don’t get adopted very often, so that was one of the main reasons I wanted to adopt an older dog.”
On July 4, Independence Day, Jill (now known as Jill Jellybean) walked out of the shelter and embarked on her new life as Blassingame’s beloved companion.
Cumberland, Virginia – Thousands of beagles destined to be sold to research facilities will instead be up for adoption after being removed from the Envigo breeding and research facility at the request of a judge. The dogs were removed because of multiple Animal Welfare Act violations and failed inspections at the Cumberland breeding facility. Allegations against Envigo included unsanitary conditions, a lack of food and veterinary care, and euthanasia being performed on dogs who were not sedated first.
According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the massive undertaking will take place in stages over the next 60 days. Adoptive homes will be secured through HSUS and its rescue partners.
Miguel Abi-hassan, chief animal rescue, care, and sanctuary officer for the Humane Society of the United States, said:
“These dogs have lived their lives in a massive breeding facility riddled with Animal Welfare Act violations. We are so grateful for the opportunity to work with our shelter and rescue partners to give these beagles a new life.”
On July 13, HSUS provided more information about the rescue partners who are working to place the rescued beagles:
We’re busy coordinating the transport of these dogs. We’ll update the list of partners throughout the next two months and encourage you to check this page often.Please note that while some dogs may travel to the West Coast, the majority will be placed with East Coast and Midwest partners.
Each rescue agency will be responsible for the placement of these dogs. HSUS said:
If you’re interested in adopting, fostering or donating to a local shelter or rescue in your area that is assisting with the placement of the dogs, please contact the individual organizations below for more information.
Please note that each shelter will have its own process for foster and adoption requests and we cannot guarantee that each interested adopter will receive a dog. If you are unable to adopt one of the approximately 4,000 beagles, we encourage you to consider the tens of thousands of beagles and many other animals other pets waiting for a loving home in your local shelter or rescue group.
All dogs will be placed with HSUS Rescue and partners. Find the HSUS Rescue and Partner application at this link.
Uvalde, Texas – Before 18-year-old Salvador Ramos walked into Robb Elementary School on May 24 and massacred 19 innocent students and two teachers, there were warning signs that something was amiss.
Ramos was a loner with few friends. A teen who classmates describe as “aggressive,” and most concerning, a teen with a history of cruelty to animals. One of Ramos’ schoolmates said that “he would go to the park and try to pick on people and he loved hurting animals.”
Others claim that he used the French live streaming platform Yubo to upload videos of animal cruelty. One Yubo user told ABC News that Ramos would “put cats in plastic bags, suspend them inside, throw them at the ground and throw them at people’s houses.”
Jaime Arellano, a high school classmate, claims to have witnessed Ramos beating a dog. He recalled the disturbing incident, stating, “I remember there was one time we saw him beating a little dog senseless.”
Ramos sent messages via Facebook on the day of the mass shooting – messages indicating that he was going to shoot his grandmother, messages that he DID shoot his grandmother, and finally, a message that he was going to open fire at an elementary school. People who knew the teen admit that there were signs of mental instability that should have been reported; tragically, they weren’t.
The teen’s prior acts of animal cruelty, like those of Payton S. Gendron, the teen accused of killing 10 people in Buffalo, New York, perfectly highlight the documented link between animal abuse and human violence. It is one of the many reasons that Animal Victory pushes for substantial punishment for animal abusers. These early warning signs must be taken seriously to prevent even more death and destruction in the future.
Albuquerque, New Mexico – A 22-year-old chimpanzee named Thunder died on July 9 at the ABQ BioPark Zoo. According to a release from the zoo, Thunder had begun showing signs of a gastrointestinal illness in early July and his condition deteriorated rapidly on the day that he died.
The release states:
Like all apes at the BioPark, Thunder is trained to participate in his own healthcare. Thanks to the trust and incredibly strong bond he has formed with his caretakers, Thunder actively ate, drank and took medication during his illness. He responded very well on some days, and staff had high hopes for his recovery. However, Thunder declined quickly on Saturday, and veterinary staff were unable to revive him.
The zoo stated that Thunder tested positive for Shigella bacteria and it is believed that he contracted the bacteria from an asymptomatic carrier in the troop. No other chimpanzees at the zoo are showing signs of infection, but they are being monitored closely for any changes in behavior.
Thunder and his sister, Rainy, were taken in at BioPark in March 2002. The chimps were born at a medical lab during a thunderstorm and upon their arrival at the zoo, they were handraised by staff until they could successfully be integrated into the troop.
Lynn Tupa, zoo manager, said:
“We have been lucky to watch him grow from a youngster to a developing leader and protector of the troop. He was known among staff and guests for his curiosity and mischievous nature.”