"Elephants are obviously amazing, or rather, they are obvious receptacles for our amazement, because they seem to be a lot like us. They live about as long as we do. They understand it when we point at things, which our nearest living evolutionary relative, the chimpanzee, doesn’t really. They can unlock locks with their trunks. They recognize themselves in mirrors. They are socially sophisticated. They stay with the same herds for life, or the cows do, anyway. They mourn their dead. They like getting drunk. When an elephant keels over, its friends sometimes break their tusks trying to get it to stand up again. They bury their dead. They bear grudges against people who’ve hurt them, and sometimes go on revenge campaigns. They cry. So why would you want to put a bullet in one?"
... Journalist Wells Tower accompanied one of Botswana's final
elephant hunts. This article contains graphic content of an elephant hunt which some may find disturbing.
posted by zarq
on Jun 5, 2014 -
The Dead Zoo Gang
"Over the last several years, millions of dollars worth of antique rhino horns have been stolen from natural history museum collections around the world. The only thing more unusual than the crimes is the theory about who is responsible: A handful of families from rural Ireland known as the Rathkeale Rovers." (Via
posted by zarq
on Apr 2, 2014 -
This August, Washington state's Fish and Wildlife Commission banned
giant Pacific octopus hunting (recreational harvesting) across seven popular scuba sites in the Puget Sound -- not because the species is endangered, but simply because the sea creature is revered by the Seattle community. The law went into effect on October 6. What triggered the ban? Therein lies a story
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 17, 2013 -
Why are owls so wise? Perhaps it's because they're utter badasses.
Ferocity is essential for a bird whose frigid, spotty range extends across northeastern China, the Russian Far East and up toward the Arctic Circle, one that breeds and nests in the dead of winter, perched atop a giant cottonwood or elm tree, out in the open, in temperatures 30 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Dr. Slaght’s colleague Sergei Surmach videotaped a female sitting on her nest during a blizzard. “All you could see at the end was her tail jutting out,” Dr. Slaght said.
The New York Times Science section
gives an update on some current owl research. [more inside]
posted by medusa
on Feb 28, 2013 -
"Decades ago, the Mbuti typically sold about half the meat they captured; now they sell nearly every carcass, saving only the prized entrails and heads for themselves. The hunt, in essence, has devolved into an all-out commercial endeavor, staged not for subsistence, but to feed growing regional markets. And the impact is clear.
posted by Scientist
on Nov 13, 2012 -
- "The process of having cremated ash placed in live ammunition begins when you contact us. You tell us what type of hunting or shooting that the decedent practiced and we can help you decide what will best suit your needs....1 Pound of ash is enough to produce 250 shotshells."
posted by madamjujujive
on Jul 31, 2011 -
William Temple Hornaday was an early--and probably a founding--member of the American conservation movement, and was also director of the National Zoological Park. He wrote a tremendously bitter and accurate report for the U.S. National Museum in 1894 on the extermination of the American bison, an absolute head-shaker, detailing the history of the bison in North America and its destruction at the hands of sportsmen, hunters, mindless dolts and many others who massacred tens of millions of the animal ("murdered" is the word Hornaday uses constantly). To put the whole issue in perspective, Hornaday issued a famous map showing the shrinkage of the North American bison herd, setting out the enormity of the issue instantly on one piece of paper, a summary of hundreds of pages of bad stories and big numbers.
posted by Trurl
on Jun 15, 2011 -
"Welcome to the simplicity movement, the ethos whose mantras are "cutting back," "focusing on the essentials," "reconnecting to the land" - and talking, talking, talking about how fulfilled it all makes you feel."
Charlotte Allen of In Character about the Simplicity Movement, magazines, wild boars, virtue, and 350$ riding boots.
posted by The Whelk
on Apr 25, 2010 -
Jim Corbett's Man Eaters Of Kumaon
(1944) is a collection of true stories about the hunt for man-eating tigers and leopards in India. One of Corbett's most notable kills, the Champawat Tiger, was alleged to have killed some 436 people in Nepal and India. Similarly, the Leopard of Panar possibly killed some 400 people in northern India before she was hunted down herself. [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer
on Feb 25, 2010 -
During the 19th century, thousands of men took to the seas to hunt for whales. The indigenous peoples of the Arctic practiced whaling for several millennia before that. Technological change and changes in mores have reduced the whaling industry to a heavily regulated shadow of what it used to be. But it hasn’t disappeared altogether. Even now, at the dawn of the 21st century, ships prowl the seas in search of a spout or a gigantic fin. A few months ago, Outside magazine published an account of a whale hunt aboard the Norwegian ship Sofie.
posted by jason's_planet
on Oct 23, 2006 -
The hunting of American Bison
got a renewal today. The first hunt of the buffalo, in 15 years, began with a Belgrade, MT, boy killing a bull with 4 shots
, shortly after the hunt began. The 15 year hiatus on hunting Bison in Montana was contentious, if not downright nasty
, but that's over now. Montana has allowed Bison hunting outside Yellowstone park, and it's been a media show
. Of course, this really pisses some folks off
, to which hunters claim, "It's like the hunter's become the hunted
". The mountain west of the US has become a battle ground of flowing ideas
, with man against nature, and man against man. The Endangered Species Act, the very thing that has lead us to this event, is under siege
. People begin to notice when critters die.
Welcome to Bison Hunt, 101
posted by Wulfgar!
on Nov 16, 2005 -
The first bear kill of the Maryland hunting season was made by an 8-year-old girl, notes Joel Achenbach's blog.
It's quite an interesting news story that makes one wonder what values many of us are teaching our kids these days. Just as interesting, however, are the comments, which at least in one case deals with gender stereotyping:
I think that it is important for our kids and especially our girls to experience life and if part of life is killing game, then so be it. After all, if our girls just sit in their little bubble wearing pretty dresses and playing Bach on the piano, we may just end up with lots of Condi Rice's (re: Eugene Robinson's Op Ed).
The blog got lots of comments -- many more than my measly entry will.
posted by PlanoTX
on Nov 3, 2005 -