Daily news of pets, endangered animals and wildlife around the world. Includes information on dogs, cats, dolphins, whales, and wild animals, plus news on endangered species, animal welfare and wildlife conservation.

Meet The U.K.’s First Polar Bear Born In 25 Years

(WILDLIFE CONSERVATION/BABY ANIMALS) SCOTLAND -- Zoologists are thrilled over the first polar bear cub to be born in the UK in 25 years. Born just before Christmas at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Highland Wildlife Park, the cub did not emerge from the mother's den for weeks. But the little bear is now moving about confidently and will soon receive star status in a documentary airing Sunday, March 18. Cameras were installed outside the female bear’s den to capture every moment, including the cub’s first steps outside. Watch for yourself in the video clip below and continue reading to learn more about the park's conservation efforts. -- Global Animal

Versace Goes Fur-Free: Donatella Says, ‘I Don’t Want To Kill Animals To Make Fashion’

(FUR/FASHION) In a major step forward for the fashion industry, Italian fashion house Versace and handbag and accessories maker Furla have announced they will no longer use real fur in their products, making it the latest high-end fashion retailer to go fur-free. In a recent interview for The Economist’s 1843 magazine, Donatella Versace said, "“Fur? I am out of that. I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right." Versace was synonymous with animal skins for decades, so her decision is a pivotol move coming from a luxury brand that's largely avoided the issue until now. As animal rights groups put increasing pressure on designers and consumer demographics continue to evolve, it's no surprise that a growing number of brands are denouncing their use of fur--this includes labels like Gucci, Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss, Givenchy, Michael Kors, and many more. This just goes to show that compassionate fashion has never been more on trend. Read on to learn more about the fashion retailers' historic decision. -- Global Animal

United Airlines In The Dog House (Again) After Puppy Dies On Flight

(ANIMAL NEWS/PET TRAVEL) A 10-month-old French Bulldog puppy died aboard a United Airlines flight Monday after a flight attendant adamantly instructed the unnamed passenger to place the dog in an overhead storage bin. The airline's policy states all animals traveling inside the cabin should be in a carrier and 'fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times.' Unfortunately in this instance, the carrier was slightly too large to fit under the seat, so the flight attendant advised the pup's parent to store her carrier, with the pet inside, in an overhead bin for the duration of the 3-hour flight from Houston to New York. But this is hardly the first animal to die aboard a United Airlines flight. In April last year, Simon--destined to be the world's largest rabbit--died while traveling on a United flight between London and Chicago. In fact, the airline reported more animal deaths on flights last year than any other U.S. carrier. A shocking total of 18 animals died on United flights last year, whereas there were only two animal deaths, respectively, on Delta and American flights in 2017. There are two important lessons to be learned from this tragedy: 1) pets should never be placed in the overhead bin, and 2) never, ever fly United. Read on for the details behind this sad story, and click here to check out these 10 tips for safe air travel with pets.-- Global Animal

Go Wild For World Wildlife Day!

(WILDLIFE CONSERVATION/PICTURES) March 3 is World Wildlife Day, a day to celebrate and appreciate all that Mother Nature has to offer, from plants to wild animals. On December 20, 2013, the sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General assembly proclaimed March 3—the day the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was adopted—as World Wildlife Day. — Global Animal

SeaWorld CEO Steps Down As Revenue Continues To Dive

(SEAWORLD/ANIMAL WELFARE) Despite marketing campaigns promising a rebound, SeaWorld Entertainment CEO Joel Manby is stepping down after less than three years on the job. Amid fallout from the 2013 documentary Blackfish, the theme park continues to struggle with sinking attendance due to concerns over animals in captivity. Regardless of SeaWorld's announcement two years ago to stop breeding captive killer whales, revenue keeps taking a dive as the company posted a fourth-quarter loss of $20.4 million on Tuesday. While it's unclear whether it was Manby's decision alone to leave the company or that of the board of directors, Manby said in a statement Tuesday, “This is the right time to identify a new CEO as the company enters its next phase of intensified focus on execution and growth.” Read on to learn what's next for SeaWorld and how shifting cultural perspectives are contributing to the theme park's demise. -- Global Animal

Chinese New Year 2018: Happy Year Of The Dog!

(DOGS/ANIMAL NEWS) Today, February 16 is Chinese New Year, the biggest event in the Chinese calendar. Also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year, today marks the start of the Year of the Dog, one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac. In Chinese astrology, a person’s birth year and corresponding zodiac animal determines many of their personality traits. Unsurprisingly, the dog’s most defining characteristic is loyalty. Those born during the Year of the Dog are said to never abandon their loved ones or their work. Much like dogs, people born under this zodiac tend to be honest and quite popular in social settings. With festivities lasting over two weeks, families around the globe are celebrating with huge feasts, parties, costumes, and parades. Read on to learn how pet lovers in Hong Kong are bringing in the Chinese New Year with their pampered pups. -- Global Animal

USDA Records Blackout: Animal Activists Fight For Freedom Of Information

(ANIMAL WELFARE) In February of last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) abruptly removed all animal welfare data from its website, including inspection reports and enforcement records regarding the treatment of animals at research labs, dog breeding operations, zoos, circuses, theme parks like SeaWorld, and other facilities regulated under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). A coalition of animal rights groups, including the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), filed suit in response, arguing the decision to remove these records stands in violation of both the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The lawsuit was initially dismissed, but in last week's appeal, ALDF filed its opening brief arguing that the FOIA statue requires any document requested via an individual FOIA request three times must be placed in a reading room. Animal welfare records are necessary to legally advocate for animals, but obtaining animal welfare records through traditional FOIA requests can be costly and take several months or even years to process. If successful, the ALDF's appeal could potentially lay the groundwork for legal recourse against future information blackouts from other government agencies. Read on to learn more about the FOIA and APA claims defended in the brief. -- Global Animal

Humane Society In The Doghouse As CEO Wayne Pacelle Bows Out Amid Allegations

(ANIMAL ACTIVISTS) The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) voted to keep chief executive and president Wayne Pacelle in his position on Thursday, following three complaints of sexual harassment against him. The controversial news ignited an uprising from staff and supporters, prompting seven board members to immediately resign in protest. Pacelle, who was the face of the HSUS for over a decade, denies the claims, referring to them as part of a “coordinated campaign against the Humane Society.” Regardless, Pacelle announced his decision to resign on Friday, effectively immediately. With its new successor in place--Kitty Block, a lawyer and current president of Humane Society International (HSI), the HSUS' global affiliate--we urge the organization to remember its core mission and keep both animal and human rights at the forefront. Read on to learn more about the allegations against Pacelle and what lies ahead for the HSUS. -- Global Animal

Punxsutawney Phil: Just Another Groundhog Day

(GROUNDHOG DAY) For the second year in a row, famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter--much to the disappointment of winter-weary Northeasterners. Read on to learn more about the legendary weather-predicting marmot and the 132-year-old tradition below. -- Global Animal

10 Worst Zoos For Elephants Exposed

(ZOOS/ANIMAL WELFARE) In Defense of Animals has released its annual list of the ten worst zoos for elephants in North America. The respected list exposes the shocking hidden suffering of captive elephants, including premature deaths, brutal breeding procedures, and flagrant violations of the Animal Welfare Act. To some degree, 2017 was a banner year for wild and captive elephants. At least 44 zoos around the globe, including 29 in the U.S. alone, have closed their elephant exhibits for good, while Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus famously folded up their tents for the very last time. What's more, legislations banning the use of elephants for entertainment are gaining momentum, and were passed in Illinois and New York. But there's still a lot of work to be done to end elephant abuse and exploitation. While performing elephants are becoming a thing of the past, elephants in zoos are still being cruelly exploited and subjected to battering bullhooks, inadequate living conditions, captivity-induced health problems, unnaturally cold climates, debilitating isolation, and sexually abusive breeding programs that do nothing to further the conservation of this ecologically vital species. As the zoo industry desperately tries to cling onto any shred of remaining credibility, the simple truth is elephant lifespans are shorter in captivity than in the wild--even when droughts and poaching are taken into account. Read on to learn more about the worst zoos for elephants in North America, and raise your voice to help end elephant cruelty and captivity by sending a message for elephants. -- Global Animal

Best & Worst States In Animal Protection Revealed

(ANIMAL WELARE/ANIMAL LAWS) The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has released it’s 12th annual report ranking animal protection laws throughout the United States. Over the last few years, over three quarters of the U.S. have improved its animal protection laws, with Pennsylvania being the most-improved state of 2017. For the 10th consecutive year, Illinois ranked in first place, while Kentucky holds firmly to the bottom spot for the 11th year in a row. Read on to learn more about this past year's report and see how your home state ranked. -- Global Animal
Circus Abuse, Disney Movie, Elephants, Elephants in the circus

UPDATE: Ringleader State Falls Short Of Becoming The First To Ban Exotic Animal Circus...

(ANIMAL NEWS/CIRCUSES) After overwhelmingly sweeping the Senate by a vote of 31-0, New Jersey now leads as the first U.S. state to ban traveling wild animal acts. Last year, Illinois and New York similarly banned all traveling acts with elephants, but New Jersey is the first to prohibit all wild or exotic animals in traveling shows. Circuses have been on the decline ever since Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey folded its tents for good in May of last year. As audiences turn away from animal circuses in droves, a number of jurisdictions are considering bans on wild animal circus acts--including a federal bill called the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act. First introduced as “Nosey’s Law," named after an abused circus elephant whose freedom has been the focus of a bitter public lawsuit, the legislation is not the first of its kind and it certainly won't be the last. Read on to learn more about the new law, which activists say has been a long time coming. -- Global Animal

Chris Brown Could Face Jail Time Over Exotic Pet Monkey

(ANIMAL NEWS/EXOTIC PETS) Singer Chris Brown is under fire once again after posting an Instagram video last month of his 3-year-old daughter, Royalty, cuddling with his pet capuchin monkey, Fiji. The video prompted numerous calls to the California Fish and Wildlife Department from concerned fans, inciting agents to seize the monkey from the singer's Los Angeles home on Friday. Brown could face up to six months in jail for failing to obtain a Restricted Species Permit from the wildlife department. Aside from breaking the law, there are a number of reasons not to own exotic pets. Not only does it pose a threat to humans (you can never predict the behavior of wild animals), but it's also near impossible to reproduce the animal's natural habitat. The simple truth is these animals belong in the wild, not in the hands of children or celebrities. Read on to learn more about the controversy, and share your thoughts in the comments below. -- Global Animal

China’s Elephant-Sized Legislation Officially Shuts Down Ivory Trade

(ELEPHANT CONSERVATION/IVORY TRADE) In a major global victory for animals, China's historic ivory ban is now in full effect. One year after announcing its four-step plan to end the legal ivory market, an estimated 170 ivory factories and outlets have shut down, putting an end to all commercial sales and processing of elephant ivory. As one of the world's largest markets for elephant ivory, China's new legislation paves the way for a new era of elephant conservation. Read on to learn more about what conservationists refer to as the “greatest single step toward reducing elephant poaching.” -- Global Animal