China: Giant Panda Accidently Gassed To Death





Giant Panda Accidently Gassed To Death 

Quan Quan, a 21-year-old giant panda that was on loan to the Jinan Zoo in China was moved last week to an indoor enclosure to protect her from the summer heat, but a few hours later she was found dead.  The panda was accidently exposed to deadly gasses that leaked into her habitat through a ventilation system with a design flaw.

Quan Quan, who was about 70 in panda years, was considered a national treasure in China because she gave birth to seven cubs during her lifetime.  Her death has drawn criticism from international animal advocacy groups who are calling for Chinese officials to strengthen the laws in the country that protect animals in captivity.

The autopsy showed the giant panda died from inhaling a mixture of chlorine, chlorine hydride and carbon monoxide.   The fumes made her lungs collapse. 

Reports from The Telegraph and the L.A. Times say that workers had been disinfecting an air raid shelter inside the zoo when the gasses leaked through the ventilation system and into the panda house. 

“The ventilation system was built in 1995,” a spokesman said to The Telegraph.  “It was used to keep the panda house cool, but it fed large amounts of smoke into the panda enclosure.”

Quan Quan was not the first panda to die at the Jinan Zoo.   In 2008 a panda named Tao Tao died of brain complications at the age of 36. 

China has about 250 pandas in captivity that belong to several different breeding facilities.  About half stay at a breeding center, while the other half are loaned to various zoos in the country and worldwide or given as gifts.  Quan Quan came from the Wolong Panda Breeding Center in Sichuan, which is home to 150 pandas.  Pandas are an endangered species with only 1,000 living in the wild.

Quan Quan’s death is causing animal groups and individuals to question the reasoning for having the breeding centers.

Kati Loeffler, veterinary advisor for the International Fund for Animal Welfare told the L.A. Times, “These pandas are being bred for a life in captivity.  Why are they being bred?  Just so they can circulate through zoos and live next to old air raid shelters?”

Loeffler pointed out that pandas have died in Chinese zoos and the breeding facilities because of malnutrition, stress, inappropriate breeding and poor veterinary care.

Chinese citizens have also called for change in how the pandas are treated.   They want an explanation how this type of accident could occur.  Giant pandas are treated as celebrities in the country and Quan Quan was beloved by many people.

A group of mourners that included adults, parents and their children held a funeral service for Quan Quan at the Jinan Zoo to pay tribute to her life.

USA: Pregnant Cow Shooting At State Fair Raises Animal Welfare Questions

Pregnant Cow Shooting At State Fair Raises Animal Welfare Questions

Posted: 10:59 pm PDT July 28, 2010Updated: 12:21 am PDT July 29, 2010

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Protesters gathered Wednesday at the California State Fair in Sacramento, rallying against the shooting death of an escaped cow a day earlier. Police shot the pregnant dairy cow Tuesday after the animal got loose and panicked.

The cow and her full-term fetus died.

Fair officials said the stressed cow bolted while being transferred to a birthing area. They also said attempts to tranquilized the cow didn’t work and officials feared people could me hurt.

“We stayed with it for about an hour, along with the veterinarians from UC Davis,” State Fair Manager Brian May said. “It was very agitated.”

Protesters said the cow was rightfully agitated since veterinarians brought the cow to the fair to give birth in front of fair-goers.

“You know the mayhem of the midway and a deep-fried churro walking by one of those creatures. How are you suppose to gain a real since of this animal’s sentience and consciousness?” said Humane Society’s Jennifer Fearing.

UC Davis officials said Wednesday it wouldn’t rethink performing live births, but would review their procedures on dealing with stressed animals.

Oakland has reviewed its procedures after a wild deer was pursued into a backyard and fatally shot by housing authority officers.

As a result, Oakland Animal Control now carry tranquilizer syringe poles for sick or hurt animals.

“If they’re up and moving and not laying down or unable to walk, we want to just leave those animals alone,” said Megan Webb, who works Oakland Animal Services.

Uk: World’s Oldest Living Species Found in Scotland










World’s Oldest Living Species Found in Scotland

The tadpole shrimp Triops cancriformis has been found in the Caerlaverock nature reserve in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. It is considered to be possibly the oldest living species in the world, because it has remained nearly unchanged for an estimated 220 million years. (Another reference states tadpole shrimp may have been living for 300 million years.)

Scientist Larry Griffin who has studied the rare shrimp, said, “Triops matures rapidly and produces hundreds of eggs in just a couple of weeks. The pond they live in may dry out, but the eggs can survive in the mud for many years.”

Not only are the shrimp unique for having survived several major extinctions, they also can  have both male and female reproductive parts so just one can generate a new colony. Tadpole shrimp live in seasonal, freshwater ponds. Their eggs are very tough. They can resist high temperatures (almost boiling), dryness and even consumption by birds. It is thought they also can remain in a dormant state for years, or even centuries until favorable conditions occur, and then they hatch. Tadpole shrimp have outlived dinosaurs, trilobites and mammoths. They are endangered and protected by law in Scotland.