4 More Happy Animal Stories
With the state legislative seasons in full swing, and federal animal welfare regulations facing non-stop attacks, our news feeds seem to have become a never-ending flow of frustrating and cringe-worthy action alerts. It is times like these that we just need some good news. The following are some joyful animal stories and videos for a little boost of happiness to give you a break from the darkness and brighten up your day. Enjoy!
1. Crackdown on Wildlife Trafficking
Following China's recent ban on ivory, and closure of 172 ivory carving facilities in December 2017, police in Thailand have stepped up to the plate and has made an impactful arrest. According to The Guardian, Boonchani Bach, an individual described as 'one of the world's most notorious wildlife traffickers', was arrested in Thailand yesterday.
Boonchani Bach is believed to be part of Hydra, an extensive trafficking network responsible for financing the poaching and trafficking of immense amounts of products from endangered species, including tiger bones, rhino horns, and elephant tusks. Steven Galster, the founder of The Freeland Foundation, an anti-trafficking organization based in Bangkok, had been tracking Bach for nearly 15 years. Galster was elated with the news stating, “This arrest spells hope for wildlife. We hope Thailand, its neighboring countries, and counterparts in Africa will build on this arrest and tear Hydra completely apart.”
US federal regulations prohibit the importation and interstate trade of products from endangered species, however, not intrastate trade. A loophole that states are rectifying by implementing laws that prohibit such trading within their borders, such as Oregon, Hawaii, California, New York, Nevada and New Jersey. New Hampshire also has introduced a similar law this year (SB 451), which is currently under consideration by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
2. This Bull
Christophe Thomas and Fadjen, a bull rescued from the bullfighting industry, create videos to spread awareness about the amazing qualities of bulls and truth about bullfighting, to put an end to the practice for good.
3. Vancouver Aquarium Ends Their Exploitation of Dolphins & Whales
The Vancouver Park Board (Canada) voted unanimously to ban the captivity of dolphins, beluga whales, and other cetaceans for entertainment in March 2017. However, Vancouver Aquarium, a facility where cetaceans are put on display to be viewed by visitors in exchange for ticket prices, asserted that they have the marine mammals to rehabilitate them, and John Nightingale, the aquarium's CEO, stated, "We will fight to the end to preserve our programs."
It looks like that fight has indeed come to its end. After strong public pressure and the Vancouver Park Board officially approving bylaw amendments banning the Vancouver Aquarium from bringing in new cetaceans and using them in "a show, performance or other form of entertainment", the park has announced they will be discontinuing such display and programs after all.
Society has shifted and is slowly recognizing that dolphins and whales should not be used for exploitation. Certainly, any facility with a goal of rescuing or conserving cetaceans, would not subject the very sentient beings they have sworn to protect, to unnecessary confinement and entertainment.
Catherine Evans, a Park board commissioner stated, "It's not only can you do this, but should you do this. And so, I think, yes we can keep cetaceans in captivity ... but I think we have reached the point now where we know that we shouldn't where there are other options."
Back in March when the Board first voted, Animal rights activist and researcher, Peter Hamilton stated, “We can save wildlife by studying them in their natural habitat and protecting them in their natural habitat.” Straight Twist couldn't agree more.
4. Luna, The Miracle Dog
Luna; the name that Nick Haworth chose for his beautiful blue-eyed puppy after 'the moon that guides them at sea.' Little did he know that a year later, that name would become even more meaningful than he could ever have imagined.
At only one year of age, Luna grew quite the pair of sea legs and enjoyed accompanying Nick on his boat. However, during a boat trip in February 2016, something went terribly wrong.
While on the boat about two miles from San Clemente Island, an island off the coast of Southern California, Luna suddenly went missing. Nick said that one minute she was there on the boat, and the next minute she was gone.
He immediately sprung into action and searched the water around the boat, but Luna was nowhere to be found. Although with the weight of a heavy heart, Nick knew she was a strong swimmer and he hung on to the hope that she would make it. He contacted the Naval Base Coronado and continued to search the sea. The Navy also provided assistance and deployed search teams, including flyovers.
But after ten days of searching, Nick had to face the devastating conclusion; Luna was gone forever. On February 20th, he posted a heartbreaking Facebook post with pictures of her, along with the statement, "RIP Luna, you will be greatly missed."
On March 15, 2016, over a month after Luna first went missing, as a group of Navy service members arrived on the San Clemente Island, they discovered a dog wagging her tail.
Sure enough, it was Luna. And she's strong swimmer indeed; she had to swim two miles through treacherous water to make it to the island.
As if that wasn't challenging enough, the island itself is dangerous due to the military training in the area. It is also dry with a lot of cacti and not many animals. In fact, there are no domestic animals on the island due to the sensitive environmental programs that take place there. Luna literally had to dodge bullets from the military training site, and it is believed that she hunted rodents and drank from small puddles to survive.
Sandy DeMunnik, the public affairs officer for the US Navy's Naval Base Coronado, stated, "That is the most amazing dog, we send people out there for serious training, and she did it all on her own."
A veterinary exam confirmed that although a bit leaner than average, she was in good health. Nick was in Arizona when he received the call that Luna had been discovered. He arranged for his good friends to pick her up, but upon Nicks return home, he and Luna had quite the heartwarming reunion.
The extraordinary and beautiful blue-eyed canine now wears her very own dog tags from the Navy, which is engraved with the words, "Keep the Faith."
As for future plans, Nick confirmed that Luna would continue joining him on his boat, but from then on, she'd likely be wearing a life-jacket.
Nick followed-up with another Facebook post stating, "Beyond stoked to have Luna back. I always knew she was a warrior."