Category Archives: Animals
by Jeanne Gang at Center for Humans & Nature
People young and old are captivated by Calypso, the Green Sea Turtle who lives at the National Aquarium. Whether swimming in the crystal-blue waters of the Blacktip Reef exhibit, nibbling on romaine lettuce and the occasional squid, or peeking her head out just above the glistening surface, the five-hundred-pound, three-flippered Calypso is a sight to behold. The giant turtle was rescued by the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation in 2000, after becoming cold-stunned and stranded in the Long Island Sound. At the time of her rescue, Calypso weighed only six pounds and had a badly infected front flipper that was later amputated. Due to federal regulations governing the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of endangered marine life, the Riverhead Foundation could not return Calypso to her habitat. Instead, she came to live at the National Aquarium, where she has been delighting visitors ever since as one of the Aquarium’s most popular attractions.
from The New Inquiry
At Hanford Nuclear Reservation, wildlife is imagined as thriving, and violent state policy is extended into an indefinitely long future
THE Internet of 2016 plays host to an eye-catching subgenre of general interest articles that breathlessly describe the lives of wild animals at sites of nuclear catastrophe. In the fevered language of headlines, they imagine for the reader the post-human life of the contaminated space, where Fukushima’s wild boars and Chernobyl’s wolves have managed to acclimate to landscapes considered totally unfit for human life.
The fact that predators are mentioned most often as thriving is worth noting: these animals living their unimaginable lives on the radioactive frontier flaunt their easy symbolism, as manifestations of the landscape’s inherent threat to humans that stretches into a future measured in impossibly long half-lives.
Continue reading here.
From The Forum, BBC World Service.
“The Obama administration recently announced it will spend over a hundred million dollars on deepening our knowledge of the human microbiome – the bacteria, fungi, viruses and other organisms which make their home in and on our bodies. Bridget Kendall is joined by three people whose work in different ways enriches our appreciation of the world of human microbiota – the epidemiologist Mark Woolhouse, microbiology educator Christine Marizzi and gut flora researcher Jeroen Raes.”
(Photo: The NYC Biome MAP part of the Collective Urban Biome MAP project. Credit: Genspace NYC and The DNA Learning Center)
Thanks again to DMF.
Shifting toward an Ethics of Sanctuary
“If Harambe and his gorilla family lived in sanctuary rather than on display at the Cincinnati Zoo, he would still be alive. No curious child would have been in a position to crawl into the enclosure and no care staff would have had to make the horrible decision to kill a highly endangered gorilla. The gorillas would interact with each other and caregivers when they decided to; would exercise their bodies and minds as they wanted; and would be free to make choices about how to spend their time. Many respectable sanctuaries report on the personalities and interests of the animals who live there, so the public can get to know them. Some sanctuaries have live webcams. Supporters may be invited to pitch in on site and special educational activities might be arranged, but the animals decide whether they want to be seen by the occasional visitors. Harambe’s curiosity could have been safely peaked in such an environment and he would have been able to continue to develop into a majestic silverback adult.”
Continue reading below.
“An old man can cry, too. He was a special guy in my life… a gentle giant. Harambe was my heart. It’s like losing a member of the family… I raised him from a baby, he was a sweet cute little guy. He