Entries in Endangered Animals (3)


Groups Call on US Government to Help Protect African Lions

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As strange as it may sound, the African lion might qualify for protection under the United States' Endangered Species Act.

Various groups looking out for the welfare of this animal say that there are now only 35,000 African lions surviving today -- a decline of 50 percent over the past decade.

One of the reasons for this sharp drop-off has to do with a boost in lion trophies being imported to the U.S.

The Born Free Foundation says lions already have to contend with disease, being slaughtered for meat and being killed by animal predators, which is obviously out of U.S. jurisdiction.

But a move by the Fish and Wildlife Service to consider a petition to protect lions from American trophy hunters could help stave off their ultimate extinction, the groups said.

Along with the Born Free Foundation, the petition was sought by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Humane Society International and Defenders of Wildlife and the Fund for Animals.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Chinese Workers Accused of Eating Zimbabwe's Endangered Wildlife

Hemera/Th​inkstock(HARARE, Zimbabwe) -- Adding to an economy in crisis, Zimbabwe now faces a reduction in its prized wildlife after reports surfaced of Chinese workers killing and eating endangered species.

Chinese companies have increased in the past five years in Zimbabwe and with them an influx of workers. Some of these workers have been accused of buying, killing and eating animals that are expensive fare in their native China, but can be acquired cheaply or at no cost in the southern African nation, according to a report by the Global Post.  

The paper also reports that recently four Chinese workers were fined $300 each and deported after officials found shells of the endangered Bell’s Hinged tortoises in their residence. Pythons, leopards and even local village dogs have been disappearing at an alarming rate in some areas and have become a concern for the Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ZNSPCA).

ZNSPCA tells the Post that the poaching of animals is an issue in the country and with the cash-strapped organization unable to tackle the many cases, they are planning to meet with the Chinese Embassy to discuss what can be done about the poaching.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


‘Gay’ Penguins to Be Separated at Toronto Zoo

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(TORONTO) -- The amorous connection between two inseparable male penguins will soon come to an end when the Toronto Zoo pairs them with females.

“The males will be put in with a specific female so they have the chance to get to know one another and if they bond that’s what we’re looking for,” said Bill Rapley, the zoo’s executive director of conservation and wildlife.

Buddy, 21, and Pedro, 10, lived in a zoo in Toledo, Ohio, before traveling to Canada to become part of the Toronto Zoo’s first African penguin exhibit in 18 years.

Zookeepers quickly observed courtship and mating behaviors that are typically exhibited only between males and females.

“When you put things in captivity, odd things happen,” Kevin McGowan of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y., told ABC News.

“The way penguins work is they do get paired for a long time. Basically, the only other penguin they care about is their mate, so it’s important for them to find somebody who’s compatible, and if you don’t have a normal upbringing then it’s difficult to say how ‘normal’ they can be.”

Buddy and Pedro, who were both raised in captivity, pair together every night, “bray” at one another, groom each other, and never seem to tire of standing alongside each other, the Toronto Star reported.

But because the penguins have “top-notch genes,” zookeepers want them to breed with females to help populate the species, which is endangered.

According to the Toronto Zoo website, the African penguin population initially declined because their eggs had been overharvested, and many of their habitats had been disturbed. Today, oil pollution and a shrinking food supply exacerbated by commercial fishing are the major threats to their existence.

The zoo is now engaged in a species survival plan to help the species populate.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio