Tag Archives: hunting

Bloodthirsty ‘Factual’ TV Shows Demonize Wildlife with Lies and Sensationalism

11 Jun

Major US TV channels are promoting hysterical and outdated ideas about wildlife in popular, blood-soaked shows

Wolves are depicted as "mean, ferocious animals and they can tear a man apart real easy" on TV, despite evidence to the contrary. Photograph: Alamy

Wolves are depicted as “mean, ferocious animals and they can tear a man apart real easy” on TV, despite evidence to the contrary. Photograph: Alamy

by Adam Welz / The Guardian

Most people’s wild beasts live in the TV.

What I mean is that, in my experience, most people are highly unlikely to come eyeball-to-eyeball with a large wild animal in their everyday lives, and much of their knowledge of wildlife comes from a screen.

If you’re North American or get US-produced satellite TV, you’ve probably learned a lot about wildlife from outlets like the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and History. You might trust these channels because you’ve seen educational, factually accurate shows on them, unlike the ‘trashy’ material that dominates free-to-air network TV.

But not everything on on these ‘factual’ channels might be as ethical or even as accurate as you might think, and the implications for conservation could be profound.

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Theriophobia: An Excessive Fear of Wild Animals

4 Jun

Barry Lopez, Of Wolves and Men / Animal Post

“Ever since man first began to wonder about wolves…he has made regular business of killing them. At first glance the reasons are simple enough and justifiable…. But the wolf is fundamentally different because the history of killing wolves showed far less restraint and far more perversity. Killing wolves has to do with fear based on superstitions. It has to do with duty. It has to do with proving manhood. The most visible motive, and the one that best explains the excess of killing, is a type of fear: theriophobia. Fear of the beast. Fear of the beast as an irrational, violent, insatiable creature.”

gray wolf, Yellowstone, Wyoming Continue reading

Montana Considering Extending Wolf Hunt, Upping Kill Limit

3 May

Cross Posted from Great Falls Tribune

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HELENA — Montana wildlife commissioners may extend the hunting season for wolves and the number of predators that can be killed by a hunter or trapper.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks is proposing a rifle season from Sept. 15 to March 31. Last year, the season began Oct. 15 and ended Feb. 15, resulting in 128 wolves killed by rifle and bow hunters.

Trappers took an additional 97 wolves, for a total of 225 predators killed.

That is the highest number killed in Montana since federal protections for wolves were lifted for Idaho and Montana in 2011.

The agency also is proposing allowing hunters and trappers to take up to five wolves each, the Independent Record reported Wednesday.

Last year, hunters and trappers could take only one wolf. The state Legislature this year passed a bill that allows the agency to increase that limit.

The changes would allow hunters more opportunities and reduce the wolf population, FWP Wildlife Management Chief George Pauley said.

“We’ve always had a philosophy of incrementally increasing harvest rates and opportunities,” he said.

There were at least 625 wolves in 147 packs in Montana at the end of 2012, a 4 percent decrease from the year before.

Biologists tallied a minimum of 1,674 wolves in 321 packs across the six-state Northern Rockies region, a 7 percent decline.

The commission takes up the proposal at its May 9 meeting in Helena.

In Wyoming It’s Legal to Slaughter Wolf Pups in Their Dens

4 Apr

by Maria Goodavage / Takepart.com Gray-wolf-pups-at-mouth-of-den-1

The term “wolf denning” sounds kind of warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it? It conjures up images of a wolf mom with various members of the pack nurturing new pups that do nothing but sleep, eat, and play in the den.

But I recently learned that “wolf denning” refers to the killing of wolf pups in or near their dens.

In many parts of the U.S., wolves are still protected by the federal endangered species act, but in certain areas where reintroduction efforts in the mid-1990s have been successful, the animals are fair game. Continue reading

Gorilla Youngsters Seen Dismantling Poachers’ Traps

20 Jul

Wild gorillas Rwema and Dukore destroy a primitive snare in Rwanda earlier this week. Photograph courtesy Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

By Ker Than

for National Geographic News

Published July 19, 2012

Just days after a poacher’s snare had killed one of their own, two young mountain gorillas worked together Tuesday to find and destroy traps in their Rwandan forest home, according to conservationists on the scene.

“This is absolutely the first time that we’ve seen juveniles doing that … I don’t know of any other reports in the world of juveniles destroying snares,” said Veronica Vecellio, gorilla program coordinator at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center, located in the reserve where the event took place.

“We are the largest database and observer of wild gorillas … so I would be very surprised if somebody else has seen that,” Vecellio added.

Bush-meat hunters set thousands of rope-and-branch snares in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, where the mountain gorillas live. The traps are intended for antelope and other species but sometimes capture the apes.

Adults are generally strong enough to free themselves. Youngsters aren’t always so lucky.

Just last week an ensnared infant named Ngwino, found too late by workers from Karisoke, died of snare-related wounds. Her shoulder had been dislocated during escape attempts, and gangrene had set in after the ropes cut deep into her leg.

The hunters, Vecellio said, seem to have no interest in the gorillas. Even small apes, which would be relatively easy to carry away for sale, are left to die.

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