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Rescued Pit Bull Saves Adoptive Mom from Javelina Attack

12.6.13 - Dog Survives Javelina Attack1

LifeWithDogs: A pit bull whose life was saved when he was adopted in March returned the favor when he and his mom were attacked by an aggressive herd of boar-like javalinas. The dog, named JoJo, was badly slashed, but is expected to fully recover.

Heidi Dietrich was walking her two-year-old pit bull JoJo in a Scottsdale, Arizona park early on Thanksgiving morning when they were attacked.

“We went out at 6 in the morning,” she said. “I didn’t really think twice about it. I’ve taken him out there (before).”

It was still dark out, and Heidi couldn’t see her surroundings. She was knocked to the ground by charging javelinas.

“All of a sudden I just hear hooves behind me,” she said. “I couldn’t see anything. I just know I kicked something.”

But the wild animals were more interested in JoJo than Heidi.

“He wriggled out of his collar, which the leash was attached to and they took off,” she said. “They were after him probably, not me. But he was protecting me.”

She estimated there were about five javelinas, and said the sounds of fighting and yelping were horrific.

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“I’m screaming and crying, laying on the ground in the dark. He finally comes running back,” she explained. “I saw this gaping hole all bloody. I almost passed out.”

She rushed JoJo to Cochise Animal Hospital where it took 50 to 60 sutures to close the deep laceration to his abdomen. His veterinarian, Steven Thomason, said fortunately, no arteries or organs were punctured.

“He’s a pretty muscular dog, so he had a lot of body mass to help protect his internal organs. I think if he had been a smaller or thinner dog, he might not have fared so well,” he said. “As long as we continue to not have any infection, I think he’ll pretty much be back to normal in 10 days to two weeks.”

Javelinas, or peccaries, typically do not attack people and their pets, but can become aggressive when they form large herds. Though they look similar, they are only distant relatives of wild pigs, native to Central and South America. They generally eat grasses and fruit, but will eat small animals. They avoid people, but in this case, may have felt threatened by Heidi and JoJo. Javelinas do not see very well, and may have been spooked in the dark.

“They might have been running from something else and already … felt threatened,” said Jim Paxon of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “But when they came in contact with the lady and her dog, they were reacting to a perceived threat and they were acting like wild animals.

“They’re timid. If you make a lot of noise they typically will run off.” If being chased, “throw rocks (or) holler and jump. Climb a tree or a fence, get out of their way.”

Heidi is just so grateful for having JoJo, who she believes saved her life.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen. I’m just so glad that he’s going to be ok, as far as I can tell.”

December 7, 2013 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Man's Best Friend, Pets, Unusual Stories, Wild Animals | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Obama Admin Gives Green Energy Firms A Pass On Killing Bald Eagles

obama-thumbs-up

Whatever right?

WeaselZippers Via CBS:

The Obama administration said Friday it will allow some companies to kill or injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty, an effort to spur development and investment in green energy while balancing its environmental consequences.

The change, requested by the wind energy industry, will provide legal protection for the lifespan of wind farms and other projects for which companies obtain a permit and make efforts to avoid killing the birds.

An investigation by The Associated Press earlier this year documented the illegal killing of eagles around wind farms, the Obama administration’s reluctance to prosecute such cases and its willingness to help keep the scope of the eagle deaths secret. The White House has championed wind power, a pollution-free energy intended to ease global warming, as a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s energy plan.

In other areas, too, such as the government’s support for corn-based ethanol to reduce U.S. dependence on gasoline, the White House has allowed the green industry to do not-so-green things. Another AP investigation recently showed that ethanol has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today.

This April 18, 2013 file photo shows a golden eagle flying over a wind turbine on Duke energy’s top of the world wind farm in Converse County Wyo. The Obama administration will allow companies to seek authorization to kill and harm bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty in an effort to balance some of the environmental trade-offs of green energy. AP Photo/Dina Cappiello

Under the change announced Friday, companies would have to commit to take additional measures if they kill or injure more eagles than they have estimated they would, or if new information suggests that eagle populations are being affected. The permits would be reviewed every five years, and companies would have to submit reports of how many eagles they kill. Now such reporting is voluntarily, and the Interior Department refuses to release the information.

"This is not a program to kill eagles," said John Anderson, the director of siting policy at the American Wind Energy Association. "This permit program is about conservation."

Wind farms are clusters of turbines as tall as 30-story buildings, with spinning rotors as wide as a passenger jet’s wingspan. Though the blades appear to move slowly, they can reach speeds of up to 170 mph at the tips, creating tornado-like vortexes.

Flying eagles behave like drivers texting on their cellphones; they don’t look up. As they scan below for food, they don’t notice the industrial turbine blades until it is too late.

No wind energy company has obtained permission authorizing the killing, injuring or harassment of eagles, although five-year permits have been available since 2009. That puts the companies at legal risk and discourages private investment in renewable energy.

It also doesn’t necessarily help eagles, since without a permit, companies are not required to take steps to reduce their impact on the birds or report when they kill them.

The new rule makes clear that revoking a permit – which could undermine investments and interest in wind power – is a last resort under the administration’s energy policy.

"We anticipate that implementing additional mitigation measures … will reduce the likelihood of amendments to, or revocation of, the permit," the rule said.

Conservation groups, which have been aligned with the wind industry on other issues, said the decision by the Interior Department sanctioned the killing of an American icon.

"Instead of balancing the need for conservation and renewable energy, Interior wrote the wind industry a blank check," said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold in a statement. The group said it will challenge the decision.

The wind energy industry has said the change mirrors permits already in place for endangered species, which are more at risk than bald and golden eagles. Bald eagles were removed from the endangered species list in 2007 but are still protected under two federal laws.

The regulation published Friday was not subjected to a full environmental review because the administration classified it as an administrative change.

"The federal government didn’t study the impacts of this rule change even though the (law) requires it," said Kelly Fuller, who formerly headed up the wind campaign at the American Bird Conservancy. "Instead, the feds have decided to break the law and use eagles as lab rats."

The Fish and Wildlife Service said the new rule enables it to better monitor the long-term environmental effects of renewable energy projects.

"Our goal is to ensure that the wind industry sites and operates projects in ways that best minimize and avoid impacts to eagles and other wildlife," the agency said in a statement.

Last month, Duke Energy Corp. pleaded guilty to killing eagles and other birds at two wind farms in Wyoming, the first time a wind energy company has been prosecuted under a law protecting migratory birds.

A study by federal biologists in September found that wind farms since 2008 had killed at least 67 bald and golden eagles, a number that the researchers said was likely underestimated.

It’s unclear what toll, if any, wind energy companies are having on eagle populations locally or regionally. Gunshots, electrocutions and poisonings almost certainly kill more bald and golden eagles than wind farms. But with the industry still growing, the toll could grow, too.

A recent assessment of status of the golden eagle in the western U.S. showed that populations have been decreasing in some areas and rising in others.

AP

Feeding the Eagles

The Amazing Bald Eagle

December 7, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Political Change, Unusual Stories, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sledding Shelties

Video: Sledding Shelties

December 7, 2013 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pets | , , | 1 Comment