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    over 2 years ago
    Harshitha Bhat
    Harshitha Bhat liked News Box's article in Animals
    over 2 years ago
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    Rare leatherback sea turtle rescued off South Carolina coastal beach

    Reptile, nicknamed Yawkey and weighing 500lbs, had a low blood sugar and is being treated with fluids and antibiotics at the local aquarium
    500-pound leatherback turtle
    Workers at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston treat a 500lb leatherback turtle, which was found stranded on a remote South Carolina beach. Photograph: Handout/Reuters
    Associated Press in Charleston, South Carolina
    Monday 9 March 2015 19.02 GMT Last modified on Monday 9 March 2015 19.09 GMT
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    A rare leatherback sea turtle, nicknamed Yawkey and weighing an estimated 500 lbs, was being treated at the South Carolina Aquarium on Monday after being rescued on a remote coastal beach – the first leatherback known to have been stranded alive in South Carolina.

    The turtle was spotted on Saturday on a beach on the Yawkey-South Island Reserve in Georgetown County and brought to the aquarium.

    Leatherbacks, an endangered species, are the largest sea turtles and one of the world’s largest reptiles. Adults generally can weigh 800 to 1,000 lbs although some have been reported as large as 2,000 lbs .

    They get their name because, instead of a shell, their backs are covered with leathery, oily tissue.

    It’s the first leatherback to be treated at the aquarium, said Kelly Thorvalson, program manager for the aquarium sea turtle rescue program. During the past 15 years the aquarium has treated and released more than 150 sea turtles.

    Thorvalson said Yawkey’s weight is just an estimate because the aquarium scale was not large enough to weigh it.

    The turtle has low blood sugar and is being treated with fluids and antibiotics.

    Thorvalson said it’s possible Yawkey may have eaten marine debris such as plastic which can appear to a turtle to be jellyfish, their favorite food. Eating plastic could cause a buildup of gas in the digestive tract, making the turtle buoyant and washing it to shore.

    The aquarium hopes to release the turtle as soon as possible because leatherbacks don’t do well in captivity. Since they live in the deep ocean they don’t sense boundaries so they tend to swim into the sides of tanks and bruise.

    Leatherbacks migrate offshore of South Carolina

    “We have seen them stranded and dead,” Thorvalson said. “It’s not that they never wash up. It’s just that we have never had one wash up alive.”

    She expects Yawkey to be able to get back to the ocean quickly.

    “Sea turtles are tough. They are really tough animals,” she said. “This turtle is in good enough condition that we can give it a good head start and release it. I do feel good about its prognosis.”


    over 2 years ago
    Harshitha Bhat
    Harshitha Bhat liked News Box's article in Animals
    over 2 years ago
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    Final trumpet sounds for a US institution as elephants say goodbye to the circus

    Under the circus’s big top, acrobats soar through the sky, lion tamers stick their heads into the mouths of big cats and people swallow swords. The danger and daring required for such acts has led to a long tradition of removing, rearranging and introducing new acts into shows.

    But this week, Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced it was ending an iconic part of the three-ring display. Feld Entertainment, the circus’s parent company, said that by 2018 its productions will no longer feature elephants, an animal that is practically synonymous with the Ringling and Barnum brands.

    The decision signifies the end to a classic, and controversial, element of the American circus as shows around the world do away with the menagerie of animal performers.

    Susan Nance, a history professor at the University of Guelph in Toronto and author of Entertaining Elephants, which traces the history of the animals in the circus, was surprised by Ringling Bros’ decision because of the company’s long tradition of using the animals. “It took a lot of nerve for them to do this – it can’t have been easy,” Nance said.
    Though elephants occasionally appeared in ancient circuses, Nance said: “The biggest innovation that American producers made to the history of the circus was to add elephants.”

    During the golden era of the circus – the late 19th century into the early 20th century – Nance said an “elephants arms race” took place among touring companies that touted the size of their elephant herds to attract audiences.

    But now interest in circuses has waned with the availability of entertainment such as movies, video games and the internet. And easier access to media, alongside animal welfare group campaigns, has increased awareness about the downside of featuring these animals in shows, which campaigners say involves cruelty to the elephants.

    For more than two decades, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, one of the major elephant refuges in the US, has taken in and cared for elephants retired from entertainment. In that time, the group said, “our veterinary and care staff have observed a long list of medical, physiological, and behavioral issues that the Sanctuary’s resident elephants must confront each and every day as a result of their former lives performing and traveling on the road.”

    Greece, Malta and Bolivia ban all animals from circuses, while other countries have laws to ban the use of wild animals, specific species or bringing animals into the country for performances.

    Feld Entertainment cited consumers’ “mood shift” in its release about why it was retiring the company’s entire elephant herd, the largest in North America. “A lot of people aren’t comfortable with us touring with our elephants,” Alana Feld, Feld’s executive vice-president, told the AP.

    Peta’s deputy director of captive animal law enforcement, Brittany Peet, said that she has seen this mood shift while participating in protests outside circuses. Part of the animal welfare group’s extensive activism against the practice includes screening footage of captive elephants outside circus venues.


    almost 3 years ago
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    Plain Jane: Fashion Tips for Women

    Louise Roe, host of the CW's summer makeover series Plain Jane, tells Mediaweek her fashion do's and don'ts for women.


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    Harshitha Bhat
    Harshitha Bhat changed profile photo in My Album
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