animals

Two Sea Lions Die In Trap At Bonneville Dam

May 2, 2015

Two California sea lions died in a trap this week at the Columbia River's Bonneville Dam after a door closed prematurely, confining them for hours.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Rick Hargrave said a veterinarian has determined the two sea lions were likely crushed to death by a 1,500-pound Steller sea lion that was almost three times their size.

With the door closed, the smaller sea lions were unable to hop out of the way. The incident took place sometime between Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning.

Sitting in a stadium that seats 10,000, I look down at the ring and something I never thought I'd see in Asia: a bullfight.

But instead of pitting matador versus beast, two bulls face off in the South Korean version. And befitting a Buddhist country, the battle ends not in death, but in surrender. In some cases, one of the combatants simply turns and wanders off.

"In Korean bullfighting there is no mortal end in sight for these beasts of burden," my interpreter says.

Seattle billionaire Paul Allen is financing a campaign that could ask Washington voters to impose penalties for selling animal parts from certain endangered species.

The proposed ballot measure aims to protect 10 keystone species: elephants, rhinoceroses, tigers, lions, leopards, cheetahs, pangolins, marine turtles, sharks, and rays.

This bushtit is a commong bird found in the Seattle area.
Flickr Photo/ Eric Ellingson (CC BY 2.0)

There is proof that we Seattleites love our native songbirds.

We put an economic value on them of at least $120 million a year, according to a recent study co-authored by a University of Washington professor. That’s roughly $12 per Seattleite and includes spending on birdseed, feeders and bird-supporting activities. 

Bamboo, one of two elephants at Woodland Park Zoo, will be leaving with Chai.
Flickr Photo/Cara_VSAngel (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Do we need zoos to promote conservation?

Kathryn Gillespie, a lecturer and member of the University of Washington’s critical animal studies working group, believes zoos should be phased out.

A gorilla at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park.
Flickr Photo/Willard (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks to Dr. Kathryn Gillespie, a lecturer and member of the University of Washington's critical animal studies working group about the case against zoos. 

Cary Chin works at the front desk of Seattle-based Gravity Payments. CEO Dan Price told his employees this week that he was cutting his own salary and using company profits so they would each earn a base salary of $70,000.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A Seattle CEO cuts his own pay so he can double his employees’ salaries – is this a new model for capitalism? Should Washington state tax the megarich? Does Woodland Park Zoo deserve a boycott?

Bill Radke hosts our weekly news debate with panelists C.R. Douglas of KCPQ13, former state Senate Majority Leader Bill Finkbeiner and Seattlish blogger Hanna Brooks Olsen.

Woodland Park Zoo
Flickr Photo/Jug Jones (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks to Mike Keele, the former director of elephants habitats at the Oregon Zoo, about why he feels zoos are important. 

Note: On Monday The Record will interview Dr. Kathryn Gillespie of the University of Washington. She explains why we should rethink zoos. 

An Orca performs at a SeaWorld location in 2008.
Flickr Photo/Jeff Kraus (CC-BY-NC-ND)

John Hargrove was an orca trainer for 14 years, mainly at SeaWorld. Shortly after quitting the company he gained attention for his part in the documentary "Blackfish." The film chronicles conditions at SeaWorld theme parks and the death of Dawn Brancheau, a SeaWorld trainer killed by an orca in 2010.

Picture yourself at a noisy bar. You realize that you have been shouting at your date all night in order to be heard. Well, orcas in Puget Sound are in kind of the same situation.

Marla Holt, a research biologist with NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center, has found that loud boat noise forces endangered orcas to raise the volume of their calls.

But the question, Holt says, is "so what? What are the biological consequences of them doing this?”

The Northwest’s most iconic bird could get a conservation boost in the coming years.

On Wednesday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing it will review the protection status of the Northern Spotted Owl. The result could be an endangered species listing.

A member of the Teanaway wolf pack in western Washington state. The wolf was in recovery from tranquilizing drug when this photo was taken.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Washington state’s wolf population grew by 30 percent last year – a big success for the state's wolf recovery plan.

But rancher Len McIrvin of Diamond M Ranch doesn't see why state conservationists are patting themselves on the back. And he finds it baffling that people are so fond of wolves. To him, they’re bloodthirsty predators.

Cat and dog
Flickr Photo/Asaf Antman (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Rupert Giles, executive director of the Phew Research Center, about how Western Washington residents responded to a central question of American life: dogs vs. cats. 

Orcas Spotted Off Oregon Coast

Mar 31, 2015

Even orcas head south for spring break. L- and K-pod ocras made their way to Cape Disappointment off the Oregon Coast, according to NOAA Fisheries West Coast — Science and Management on its Facebook page.

Goats graze near Interstate 5 in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/cleverclevergirl (CC-BY-NC-ND)

When Amazon launched its Amazon Home Services this week, the stars of the new initiative were …

Goats.

Seattle goats, specifically, ready to trim back your pesky shrubbery.

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