Two Dudes Broke Into An Aquarium And Freed A Penguin Named Buddy

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Original source: Two Dudes Broke Into An Aquarium And Freed A Penguin Named Buddy

On certain Wednesday mornings, we must contend with questions. Which is better: the new or the old? Risk or acceptance? A life of comfortable confinement—or true freedom, and its attendant dangers?

This morning, all of South Africa is grappling with these issues after two men broke into an aquarium and stole a penguin named Buddy. The pair entered Bayworld in Port Elizabeth around 3 AM on Wednesday the 21st, the Herald Live reported last week. Surveillance video shows them climbing into the penguin enclosure, taking a few selfies, bundling Buddy up in a shirt, and hightailing it out of there in a getaway car.

When zookeepers realized Buddy was missing, they assumed he was the victim of a drunken prank—like Dirk the Fairy Penguin, stolen from an Australian zoo by British tourists back in 2012. Seabird curator Cherie Lawrence warned the thieves that Buddy “only eats pilchards” and vitamin supplements, making him a high-maintenance houseguest.

But when the perpetrators came forward yesterday, they revealed a different motivation—they just wanted Buddy to be free. After busting him out of Bayworld, they released him into the Indian Ocean, via a nearby beach.

“The individuals stated that they did not agree with the penguins being kept in captivity and that their intention was to capture and then release a penguin back into the wild,” Bayworld said in a statement, after they were contacted by the men’s lawyer.

But Bayworld counters that Buddy lacks real-world survival skills, and had built a happy life at their facility. He had a mate, Francis, and two new baby chicks, one of which died after his father left.

Volunteers have spent the past couple of days searching for Buddy, who has a microchip embedded in his flipper and an unforgettable face. It’s possible that he will be returned to Bayworld a jaded penguin, grizzled by the open sea. In the meantime, let’s hope he’s enjoying his freedom, and eating more than just pilchards.

The Era Of Trump And PETA: Not A Good Time To Be Hispanic

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Original article: The Era Of Trump And PETA: Not A Good Time To Be Hispanic

It’s open season on Mexican-Americans, whether you’re a bigot running for president, or an “animal rights” organization fighting for its right to kill pets.

It’s rare that Trump and PETA are mentioned in the same breath, but get used to it. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal, as you may or may not know, is currently being sued for stealing and killing Maya, a little girl’s pet Chihuahua: not an especially unusual act for PETA, but one that was — uniquely — captured on surveillance video.

Despite PETA’s numerous animal-positive arguments — that the family ought not to be able to sue, because dogs are “worthless” (I kid you not); and that a reasonable person would not consider the theft and killing of a pet “outrageous” (er, really?) — the judge has permitted the case to go to trial.

So what does this have to do with Donald Trump? Nothing much, except that PETA’s latest virtuous strategy is to have their lawyers attack the girl’s father as not-quite-American, and possibly even Mexican — God forbid! This is a page straight out of the Trump playbook, of course: Divert attention from crucial issues by scapegoating a prominent minority, preferably Hispanic.

The court documents have been analyzed by Heather Harper-Troje, a former PETA worker who quit in disgust when PETA’s president allegedly insisted that her staff kill healthy dogs and hide the evidence. She wrote:

Time and time again Wilbur Zarate, the father of Cynthia, the little girl whose dog PETA stole and killed, was asked about his citizenship status, the citizenship status of his family members, the status of his green card by PETA’s attorney during his deposition. He even went so far as to ask if Cynthia was born in the US or in Mexico. Because Mr. Zarate’s citizenship status is relevant to the fact that PETA stole and killed his little girl’s dog how?

Ms. Harper-Troje has for years stood up to this vicious organization, despite a protracted smear campaign by PETA and its unofficial apologists. She has been targeted in particular by one ardent human, Mary Tully, who isn’t on the PETA payroll, but has an entire vast website devoted to justifying PETA’s decades of killing. (To be fair, this takes a lot of justifying: we’re talking tens of thousands of dead cats and dogs.) Read it… if you can. It’s comically dull — mind-numbing details designed to divert attention from the relevant and indisputable fact: PETA (according to its own documents submitted to the Virginia state government) poisons almost every animal unfortunate enough to be referred to its “shelter of last resort.”

Diversion is the strategy of the day. PETA apparently hopes to convince the court that this family — if indeed they are undocumented immigrants — deserve to have their pet dog lured from their porch and summarily put to death.

For a long time, this privileged, overwhelmingly white organization has bullied its neighbors, many of whom are not white and not especially well off. Members of the community worry (for good reason) that PETA will go after their pets. Some of them, to be sure, are not documented Americans and are not likely to report the organization to the police. We know, for instance, that PETA killed more animals that day than Cynthia’s Chihuahua, but the trailer park in which they rounded them up had a number of residents whose status was questionable. Certainly, the community turned out in force to protest the killing of Maya and to push for legislation curbing PETA’s ability to kill animals.

PETA has a lot to lose in this trial: $9.7 million, to be precise. It will be difficult to justify this to well-meaning donors, should the case not go their way. And so Ingrid Newkirk — who was not born in America, interestingly enough — has decided to borrow the ugliest tactic from the Trump playbook: When the game get rough, throw down that potent Mexican-American card.

It will be reassuring if this parallel strategy issues parallel results. May this election humiliate Donald Trump, and this lawsuit annihilate PETA.

Loro Parque breeds the first two specimens of Tasmanian yellow-tailed black cockatoo in Europe

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Loro Parque continues to contribute as an essential part for the protection and conservation of different animal species that inhabit the planet. In this occasion, the family of Loro Parque shows its joy at the birth of two Tasmanian yellow-tailed black cockatoo hatchlings (Zanda funereus xanthonotus), a Australian native psittacine that amazes by its spectacular mix of black and yellow plumage.

This is an important event as it is the first officially registered birth of a hatchling of this species in Europe. The good news took place in the park’s facilities with the birth of the hatchlings in early and late Augus respectively. Furthermore, this is good news for the poultry field as it is considered a key step in this species’ behaviour.


“The few known pairs have not been successful in breeding. After observing that some eggs were not able to develop the embryo, we adjusted some aspects of their nutrition to approach what it was need for their proper development”, explains Rafael Zamora Padrón, biologist at Loro Parque Fundación.

In this regard, Zamora adds that, due to the cockatoo pair’s inexperience in breeding, the eggs were displaced to an incubator to ensure the correct hatching of the eggs. This achievement is certainly a success, as this large, yet lightweight animal has very specific needs to lay eggs”.

Dolphins recorded having a conversation ‘just like two people’ for first time

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A scientific article about the “conversation between two dolphins” has recently appeared on the mass media, being widely reported in their science sections. According to a study, dolphins might have a complex language (as much or even more than humans). If anyone takes the trouble to read the original article, they will be able to check out that the obtained conclusions are not based on experimental data, but on “indirect” tests and demonstrations, as well as highly speculative assumption.

There seems to be some “sensational” tendency in current scientific dissemination, especially in articles related to animal intelligence when conclusions meet latest trends or expectations of a certain segment of society on what they would like science to demonstrate (i.e.: some animals are more intelligent, caring and humane that humans themselves).

Unfortunately, we are far from being able to prove that dolphins have conversations, or that they even might be able to combine sounds to produce words – all scientific knowledge seems to point in the opposite direction. Not even the experiments results published in the article make possible to demonstrate that dolphins have a language. Thus, stating that “[…] humans must take the first step in establishing connections with the first intelligent inhabitants on planet Earth”, as the author concludes, seems slightly premature and unscientific.

Original article: Dolphins recorded having a conversation ‘just like two people’ for first time

Two dolphins have been recorded having a conversation for the first time after scientists developed an underwater microphone which could distinguish the animals’ different “voices”.

Researchers have known for decades that the mammals had an advanced form of communication, using distinctive clicks and whistles to show they are excited, happy, stressed or separated from the group.

But scientists have now shown that dolphins alter the volume and frequency of pulsed clicks to form individual “words” which they string together into sentences in much the same way that humans speak.

Researchers at the Karadag Nature Reserve, in Feodosia, Ukraine, recorded two Black Sea bottlenose dolphins, called Yasha and Yana, talking to each other in a pool. They found that each dolphin would listen to a sentence of pulses without interruption, before replying.

Lead researcher Dr Vyacheslav Ryabov, said: “Essentially, this exchange resembles a conversation between two people.

“Each pulse that is produced by dolphins is different from another by its appearance in the time domain and by the set of spectral components in the frequency domain.

“In this regard, we can assume that each pulse represents a phoneme or a word of the dolphin’s spoken language.

“The analysis of numerous pulses registered in our experiments showed that the dolphins took turns in producing [sentences] and did not interrupt each other, which gives reason to believe that each of the dolphins listened to the other’s pulses before producing its own.

“This language exhibits all the design features present in the human spoken language, this indicates a high level of intelligence and consciousness in dolphins, and their language can be ostensibly considered a highly developed spoken language, akin to the human language.”

Dolphins have possessed brains that are larger and more complex than human ones for more than 25 million years.

The researchers found that Yasha and Yana could create sentences of up to five “words”, but the scientists still do not understand the content.

Dr Ryabov said it was now beyond doubt that dolphins speak their own language and it is time to start studying how to communicate directly with them.

“Humans must take the first step to establish relationships with the first intelligent inhabitants of the planet Earth by creating devices capable of overcoming the barriers that stand in the way of using languages and in the way of communications between dolphins and people,” he added.

Scientists already knew that dolphins use more than one thousand different types of whistle depending on social context but it was unclear if they could communicate directly with each other, one to one.

In 2007 Australian scientists identified specific whistles, which were interpreted to mean ‘I’m here, where is everyone’, ‘Hurry up’ and ‘There’s food over here’.

Dolphins are also thought to have developed a type of sign language in which they communicate with their flippers.

A group of scientists in Florida earlier this year showed that the communication between dolphins increases when they are undertaking a difficult task – in one case removing the lid from a canister – as if they were discussing the best solution.