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Animal Rights Win: California Bars Animals from Circuses, Becomes First State to Ban Fur Trade

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(TMU) – California has become the third state to bar most animals from circus performances under a new bill signed over the weekend by Governor Gavin Newsom.

A separate bill signed by the governor is the first of its kind in the nation, banning the sale and manufacture of new fur products. The law, which will kick into effect in 2023, follows Newsom’s signing of legislation that outlaws fur trapping.

In a statement, Newsom said:

“California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur.

“But we are doing more than that. We are making a statement to the world that beautiful wild animals like bears and tigers have no place on trapeze wires or jumping through flames.

“Just YouTube the videos showing the cruel way these animals—often stripped from their mothers as babies—are trained to do dangerous tricks. It’s deeply disturbing.”

In December, New Jersey and Hawaii both became the first states in the U.S. to issue legislation banning the use of circus animals, which campaigners have denounced as a systematized form of animal cruelty. The new measures ban all wild animal species including elephants, bears, tigers, lions, bears, and primates from circuses and traveling shows.

The law will exempt domesticated dogs, cats and horses and does not apply to rodeos.

Circuses have faced a major decline in popularity in recent decades. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus permanently dismantled its tents in 2017 after touring the country for 146 years.

The bill was hailed by both animal rights activists and legislators. State senator Ben Hueso, a co-author of the circus bill, said:

“This is a historic day for California, as we join the growing number of states and localities stepping up to implement similar bans on cruel circuses.

“I’m very proud of the work we’ve accomplished to close the curtain on circuses in our state that exploit these beautiful creatures.”

Animal rights group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) thanked their 8,000 supporters for pressuring representatives to support the ban. In a statement quoted by Newsweek, the group said:

“This is a victory years in the making, one that wouldn’t have been possible without our supporters and activists everywhere.”

The fur ban will not apply to products used for religious or tribal purposes. The sale of leather, dog and cat fur, cowhides, deer, sheep and goat skin – as well as any other skin preserved through taxidermy – will also still be allowed.

Animal rights groups accuse the fashion industry and fur trade of subjecting animals to a range of inhumane actions to obtain the fur, including gassing and electrocuting animals.

Cassie King of the Berkeley-based animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere told Associated Press that it is confident that California’s law could set in motion similar bans in other states.

Over 40 countries around the world, with roughly half of them in Europe, have either totally banned or heavily restricted the use of wild animals for entertainment purposes in venues such a circuses or zoos.

Cassie King, an organizer with the group, said:

“Ordinary people want to see animals protected, not abused.”

The fur industry – which relies on products from chinchillas, rabbits, mink, and other animals – could face significant damage from the groundbreaking ban in the nation’s most populous state.

Industry voices who oppose the law claim that a black market could be created by the ban, which they have also tried to depict as a slippery slope to banning other products.

Opponents of the legislation have said it could create a black market and be a slippery slope to bans on other products.

In a press release, Fur Information Council of America spokesman Keith Kaplan breathlessly accused the governor of backing a totalitarian so-called “vegan agenda.” Blasting the bill, the industry spokesman promised that the industry would sue the state and added:

“Chalk this up as a victory for a radical vegan agenda using fur as the first step to other bans on what we wear and eat.

“In the end, there will be no positive impact on animal welfare.

By Elias Marat / Creative Commons / TheMindUnleashed.com

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Animals

Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

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A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

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Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son

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A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

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Blue Whales Return to Spain’s Coast After Disappearing for 40 Years

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Blue whales have been returning to the Atlantic coast of Spain after an absence of over 40 years in the region, when whaling industries drove the species to the brink of extinction.

Blue whales, which are the world’s largest mammals, had long disappeared from the region until the recent sightings.

The first was spotted off the coast of Galicia near Ons Island by marine biologist Bruno Díaz, who heads the Bottlenose Dolphin Research.

Another one of the majestic creatures was spotted the following year in 2018 and yet another in 2019. In 2020, two whales again made their return to the area.

It remains unclear as of yet as to why the creatures have returned to the area, but controls on local whaling industries are believed to play a role.

“I believe the moratorium on whaling has been a key factor,” Díaz remarked, according to the Guardian. “In the 1970s, just before the ban was introduced, an entire generation of blue whales disappeared. Now, more than 40 years later, we’re seeing the return of the descendants of the few that survived.”

Whaling had been a traditional industry in Galicia for hundreds of years before Spain finally acted to ban whaling in 1986, long after the blue whale’s presence in the region had faded away.

Some fear that the return of the massive sea mammals is a sign of global warming.

“I’m pessimistic because there’s a high possibility that climate change is having a major impact on the blue whale’s habitat,” said marine biologist Alfredo López in comments to La Voz de Galicia.

“Firstly, because they never venture south of the equator, and if global warming pushes this line north, their habitat will be reduced,” he continued “And secondly, if it means the food they normally eat is disappearing, then what we’re seeing is dramatic and not something to celebrate.”

Díaz said that while the data certainly supports this theory, it is too early to determine climate as the precise cause.

“It is true that the data we have points to this trend [climate change] but it is not enough yet,” he told Público news.

Another possibility is that the ancestral memory of the old creatures or even a longing for their home may offer an explanation, according to Díaz.

“In recent years it’s been discovered that the blue whale’s migration is driven by memory, not by environmental conditions,” he said. “This year there hasn’t been a notable increase in plankton, but here they are. Experiences are retained in the collective memory and drive the species to return.”

In recent years, researchers have found that migratory patterns are also driven by the cultural knowledge existing in many groups of species.

Researchers believe this type of folk memory, or cultural knowledge, exists in many species and is key to their survival.

A typical blue whale is 20-24 metres long and weighs 120 tonnes – equivalent to 16 elephants – but specimens of up to 30 metres and 170 tonnes have been found.

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