Animal Talk

(avery) #1
A leopard cub was found stashed in a man’s
hand luggage at Chennai airport, India, when
officials heard noises coming from the plastic
basket. The man arrived from Bangkok with
the 1kg cub and was immediately detained,
but didn’t give clear answers to the official’s
questions. The case is being investigated to see
if there are any connections to an international
smuggling ring.
When found the month-old cub was weak
and in shock, and officials bottle-fed the cub.
Veterinarians assessed the cub and he was
then taken to a zoological park in Chennai.
Our shocked reaction: “Where was this
poor cub heading? Where is his mother and
was he taken from his natural habitat?”
Our expert’s solution: “Leave wildlife in
the wild and don’t fall into the trap of petting
lion, cheetah or leopard cubs.”


news from the animal world


Plastic found in marine animals

A recent study where researchers examined the
bodies of dead marine animals that washed
out on the coast of Scotland, revealed that the
animals had microplastic particles in their guts.
According to the researchers of the University of
Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML),
84% of the particles were synthetic fibres and
pieces of plastic bottles and food packaging.
“The number of particles in each animal
was relatively low, suggesting they eventually
pass through the digestive system, or are

regurgitated. We don’t yet know what effects
the microplastics, or the chemicals on and in
them, might have on marine mammals,” says
Sarah Nelms, lead author, University of Exeter
and PML.
Among the animals who were studied are
various species of dolphins, whales and seals.
This raises the question: are we doing enough
to save the planet – even if it is only one straw
at a time?

Leopard smuggled in
plastic basket


of the

Scots stand up against animal abuse

The Scottish government are looking at ways
to increase the punishment for animal cruelty in
that country. They want to increase the prison

sentence from the current 12 months to five
years, with a possible unlimited fine. The
new penalty will also apply to offenders
who harm service dogs and horses.
“Right now, the maximum penalty
someone can receive is 12 months in
prison or a £20,000 (around R351,000)
fine, but we think for some of the horrific
and truly horrendous crimes we see those
penalties should be tougher,” says Mairi
Gougeon, minister for rural affairs and the
natural environment. She added that “The
penalties should reflect the crime”.
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