We bring you the latest from around the World in wildlife and conservation news.
South Korea’s last polar bear will be sent to the United Kingdom so that he no longer has to contend with the stifling humid summers of the Asia Pacific and can live his life in more appropriate surroundings his keepers say. Tongki is a 23-year-old male polar bear who takes his name from a 1980’s Japanese cartoon character currently lives in a 3,500 square foot enclosure at the Everland theme park on the outskirts of Seoul. He was born in captivity and is the only bear at the zoo after another bear died three years ago.
Conservation agency Smithsonian estimates that there may be thousands more captive tigers in the United States alone than anywhere in the wild. Estimates of the US captive tiger population range from between 5,000 to 7,000. In contrast, the population of wild tigers is just 3,900 says WWF. Just how things got so bad is difficult to explain and arriving at an estimate of the pet tiger population in the United States is difficult because so many owners hide them.
On Antarctica’s harsh frozen landscape, emperor penguins huddle together to defend themselves from the cold and windy weather. The huddling allows the penguins to pool their warmth and conserve energy during periods between forages and breeding. This behaviour has been documented for a long time but now scientists have the technology to observe the evolution of a penguin huddle. The study revealed the main trigger prompting penguins to huddle and reaffirmed the purpose of the behaviour.
There has been an angry line drawn in the sands of the Southern part of the African continent. On one side you will find a pack of conservationists and biologists demanding action and on the other are a group consisting of politicians and hunters refusing to compromise. Recently the United States lifted its ban on the importation of wildlife trophies such as elephants and this has led to the outbreak of all out war between the two groups who both claim to represent the best interests of wildlife.
A UK based conservation group says that growing Chinese demand for elephant skin products is resulting in greater poaching of the protected species. The increased demand poses an even greater threat to the wild elephants of Asia than even the illegal trade in ivory the group claims. The Elephant Family released a report which suggests that the threat to the Asian elephant is most severe in Myanmar and also warned that if conditions continue to worsen, the species could vanish from half the areas they currently inhabit.
A Chinese family who adopted what they believed to be a pet dog has been forced to give it up after realising what they had taken into their family was actually a black bear instead. The family is from the Chinese city of Kunming in Yunnan province, and took in what they believed was a Tibetan mastiff puppy whilst on holiday in the region in 2016. What they in fact had inadvertently brought home with them was an Asiatic black bear cub which has now been handed over to a local animal sanctuary.
Everybody can tell the difference between a lion and a cheetah, but when it comes to telling jaguars apart from leopards, the difference is not so clear cut. Both of these big cats are muscular and have spotted fur. This is why people tend to confuse the two species and many people actually think they are both the same. As a result, we decided to put together a more detailed look at the two big cats so people could see there is quite a bit of difference between the two feline species.
Large scale farming, human encroachment and logging have resulted in habitat loss for orangutans which are now critically endangered. If that threat was not enough, they face another threat in the form of smoke that results from both natural and man-made fire according to the results of a new study. Researchers studying orangutans in the forests of Indonesian Borneo found that their work had to be halted as a result of fires which they helped fight. These fires usually occur every year when small farms and plantations clear the forest to plant crops.