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Panda Accused of Faking Pregnancy To Get Better Food, Air Conditioning

Expectant pandas are moved to air-conditioned rooms and showered with more buns, fruit and bamboo.

Headshot of Dominique MosbergenBy Dominique Mosbergen – News Editor, The Huffington Post – Posted: 07/30/2015 12:57 AM EDT | Edited: 07/31/2015 02:07 PM EDT

Pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, names together mean "reunion", eat bamboo at a panda base in Ya’an, southwest China’s Sichuan province, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008. A few weeks after this photo was taken, the duo were moved to Taiwan. (Associated Press)

Keepers at the Taipei Zoo were excited. Resident giant panda Yuan Yuan was exhibiting signs of pregnancy — an all-too-elusive event among captive pandas.

There were tell-tale symptoms, like a loss of appetite and a thickening of the uterus. Yuan Yuan’s fecal progesterone concentration was also on the rise.

Yet despite these promising signs, the panda’s pregnancy was a false alarm.

According to China’s Southern Metropolis Daily, ultrasound scans determined that Yuan Yuan, who was artificially inseminated earlier this year, was not pregnant. Now the panda is being accused of faking the pregnancy as a way of getting her caretakers to shower her with better food and care.

Pregnant pandas are typically treated like queens. As China Daily notes, the expectant bears are moved into “single rooms with air conditioning” and given “round-the-clock care.” They receive more buns, fruit and bamboo as well.

Panda experts have speculated that Yuan Yuan, who gave birth to a cub in 2013, may have been feigning pregnancy to reap these added benefits.

Taiwan’s panda cub Yuan Zai, right, and her mother Yuan Yuan enjoy Yuan Zai’s first birthday cake at the Taipei Zoo in Taipei, Taiwan, Sunday, July 6, 2014. (Associated Press)

Last year, another female panda named Ai Hin was accused of trying to pull the same trick. The panda, who lives at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, exhibited pregnancy symptoms for two months before experts determined that she didn’t actually have a cub in the oven.

“After showing prenatal signs, the [panda] ‘mothers-to-be’ are [pampered],” Wu Kongju, an expert at the Chengdu Research Base, told CNN last year. “So some clever pandas have used this to their advantage to improve their quality of life.”

Other panda experts disagree with these accusations.

Zhang Heming, director of the China Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda, told the Guardian last year that pseudo-pregnancies are actually fairly common in the panda world. He attributed the pandas’ behavior to "more of a hormonal issue than a deliberate ruse."

"This phenomenon occurs in 10 to 20 percent of pandas," he said. "After the mother panda is inseminated, if her health isn’t so good, the pregnancy will terminate, but she’ll still behave as if she’s pregnant."

According to a 2010 LiveScience report, scientists "don’t know why pseudo-pregnancies happen, or if they have evolved for an evolutionary purpose."

"In a sense there’s no answer, but there is speculation that perhaps pandas’ bodies just rehearse pregnancy all the time," Lisa Stevens, curator of primates and pandas at Smithsonian’s National Zoo, told the news outlet.

Also on HuffPost:

Alamy AK58HY Giant Panda Cub  Kin Cheung/AP One of the one month old Panda triples receives a body check at the Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou in south China’s Guangdong province Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. China announced the birth of extremely rare panda triplets in a further success for the country’s artificial breeding program. The three cubs were born July 29 in the southern city of Guangzhou. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Panda cub Bao Bao hangs from a tree in her habitat at the National Zoo in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. Today marks her first birthday and the zoo is marking the event with a traditional ‘Zhuazhou’ ceremony, a Chinese birthday tradition symbolizing long life to mark the event. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Getty Images

YA’AN, CHINA – JUNE 29: A giant panda climbs onto a platform at the panda research base on June 29, 2015 in Ya’an, China. China’s Sichuan province is home to the majority of the the world’s nearly 1,900 endangered giant pandas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

leungchopan panda eating bamboo

  Alamy AJC9T9  -  ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

A woman poses for photographers with the part of the 1,600 paper pandas, created by French artist Paulo Grangeon, in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building during the month-long "1600 Pandas World Tour" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin) ABA PREFECTURE, CHINA – JULY 05: (CHINA OUT) Aerial view of people, wearing panda costumes with mahjong tiles, playing mahjong during a mahjong competition at a theme park in Jiuzhai Village on July 5, 2015 in Aba Perfecture, Sichuan Province of China. Over one hundred people wearing panda costumes with mahjong tiles played on a one hundred-square-meter mahjong table during a mahjong competition. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)  

Getty Images

CHENGDU, CHINA – JUNE 30: Giants pandas pause from eating bamboo in an enclosure at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding on June 30, 2015 in Chengdu, China. Twin female cubs were born by artificial insemination to seven-year-old Kelin at the center on June 22. China’s Sichuan province is home to the majority of the the world’s nearly 1,900 endangered giant pandas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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Spanish town gives pets equal rights as citizens

China, Korea, South East Asia: Stop Cooking Dogs, Any Animals, Alive 

Our Weasel Of The Week Nominees!–06.02.15

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August 1, 2015 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nevada Law Would Make ‘Pot for Pets’ Legal

Medical marijuana is dispensed at the Takoma Wellness Center, Oct. 10, 2014, in Takoma Park, DC.

 PHOTO: Medical marijuana is dispensed at the Takoma Wellness Center, Oct. 10, 2014, in Takoma Park, DC.

Evelyn Hockstein/The Washington Post/Getty Images

ABC Health News  – Mar 18, 2015, 1:54 PM ET  -  By LIZ NEPORENT – Cross-Posted at Just One More Pet (JOMP)  and True Health Is True Wealth (THITW)

A new bill introduced in the Nevada state legislature earlier this week would allow owners to give their ailing pets medical marijuana. Many owners across the country said it’s about time, and that “pot for pets” should be legal everywhere.

Becky Flowers, a California ranch owner, said she gave her mare Phoenix regular doses of medical marijuana for several years to help ease the pain of a degenerative joint condition. The horse could barely walk due to extreme swelling in her front legs that traditional and herbal medications didn’t seem to help, Flowers said.

“She would lay there for days and she wouldn’t eat or drink,” Flowers told ABC News.

Flowers said she considered having the animal euthanized but decided as a last ditch effort to give her some of marijuana legally prescribed to her husband who is a paraplegic. In less than an hour, the horse was up and moving, Flowers said. 

PHOTO: Becky Flowers gave her horse Phoenix, right, medical marijuana to help ease the pain of a chronic joint condition.

PHOTO: Becky Flowers gave her horse Phoenix, right, medical marijuana to help ease the pain of a chronic joint condition.

Flowers began giving Phoenix about a tablespoon of medical marijuana in oil every day, she said, noting that the horse lived largely pain-free for two more years before dying in her late twenties. Since then, Flowers has given marijuana to some of her other horses and has recommended it to other horse owners as well.

Medical marijuana does show some promise for easing the pain and suffering in animals, but veterinarians and owners should proceed with caution, said Dr. Robert Silver, president of the veterinary botanical medical association.

“There needs to be a lot more research and education taking place before we introduce this to pets,” Silver said, who is a veterinarian in Colorado, a state where both medical and recreational marijuana are legal for people.

medical marijuana dogStudies show that dogs in particular react differently than humans to THC, one of marijuana’s active ingredients, Silver said. Because they have a high concentration of THC receptors in the back of their brains, they are susceptible to severe neurologic effects and toxic reactions, he added. States where medical or recreational use is legal have seen an increase in canine emergency room admissions associated with the drug, Silver said.

The American Veterinary Medical Association does not have an official stance on the use of medical marijuana with pets but suggests that vets make treatment decisions based on sound clinical judgment that stay in compliance with the law. They note that even in states where medical marijuana is legal, it is still a Class I narcotic under federal law which means vets are not legally allowed to prescribe it to their patients.

If passed, the Nevada law would allow animal owners to get marijuana for their pet if a veterinarian certifies the animal has an illness that might be helped by the drug. The proposal is in its earliest stages and faces numerous legislative hurdles before it could become law. It’s part of a larger bill that would refine the state’s existing medical marijuana law by clarifying penalties for drivers under the influence and allowing the resale of marijuana dispensaries.

**My question is how about Hemp CBD Oil, verses THC oils or marijuana. CBD Hemp Oil (HCHO) is obtained from select strains of CBD rich hemp grown legally worldwide. But always consult your veterinarian.

Interestingly, cannabis smoking is associated with a 45% reduced risk of bladder cancer in humans and a 47-62% reduced rate of head and neck cancer, regardless of whether or not they had been infected with HPV.  And using hemp oils increases the survival success rate of treatments like chemotherapy and radiation by 25%.  JOMP~

Veterinarian Administers Medical Marijuana To Dogs, Says It Works Wonders

More Dogs (and Cats) Getting High, Sick and Fat In States Where Marijuana Is Legal

Canada marijuana growers use wild bears to guard pot

Medical marijuana and the positive effects of hemp oil are a great breakthrough, help and blessing for many… humans and animals with a large variety of illnesses, including Cancer.  But widespread prolonged legal recreational marijuana use, perhaps not so much…

George Soros’ Latest Crusade: Legalizing Marijuana in the U.S.

THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA

March 19, 2015 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Twin pandas born in Atlanta

Giant panda Lun Lun gave birth to a set of twins on Monday at Zoo Atlanta, making the duo the first giant panda twins to be born in the US since 1987.

Twin pandas born at Zoo Atlanta (© NBC News/Zoo Atlanta/Reuters, http://aka.ms/twinpandas)

Panda twins born, first US set since 1987 (they will get cuter and more recognizable)

What’s better than a newborn baby birthed from a cute and cuddly endangered species? Two of ’em!

Giant panda Lun Lun gave birth to a set of twins at Zoo Atlanta on Monday, making the duo the first giant panda twins to be born in the U.S. since 1987. Although twin births aren’t a rare occurrence for pandas, the survival of the two babies would be unlikely in the wild, as the mother panda tends to care for only one of the cubs and lets the other die. Fortunately, Zoo Atlanta’s animal care teams aren’t as callous and will be periodically alternating the twins between their mother’s care and a nursery. [Source]

July 17, 2013 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Success Stories, Unusual Stories | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bears…

grizzly-bear-cubs

Pandas

January 21, 2013 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , | Leave a comment

Canadian Humor

Only in Canada would you see a sign like this!
Read the whole sign.  Fort Steele is near Cranbrook…

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April 14, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Wild Animals | , , , | Leave a comment

Deer Season – First Day

Yesterday morning was opening day of deer season. As I approached my
deer stand, I decided to go home and mow the grass instead.

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h/t to Warbird at Sovereignty in Colorado for the photos

December 14, 2011 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bear Quints – once in a lifetime photo

Black  bears typically have two cubs; rarely, one or three. In 2007, in northern New Hampshire, a black bear sow gave birth to five healthy young.  There were two or three reports of sows with as many as 4 cubs, but five  was, and is, very extraordinary. The photographer learned of them shortly  after they emerged from their den and set a goal of photographing all five cubs with their mom – no matter how much time and effort was  involved. He knew the trail they followed on a fairly regular basis, usually shortly before dark. After spending nearly four hours a day, seven days a  week, for more than six weeks, he had that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and photographed them. He used the equivalent of  a very fast film speed on his digital camera. The print is properly focused  and well exposed, with all six bears posing as if they were in a studio for a family portrait.

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The photographer stayed in touch with other people who saw the bears during the summer and into the fall hunting season. All six bears continued to thrive. As time  for hibernation approached, he found still more folks who had seen  them, and everything remained OK. The photographer stayed away from the  bears because he was concerned that they might become habituated to him, or to people in general, and treat them as approachable friends. This could easily become dangerous for both man and animals.

After Halloween, no  further reports and could only hope the bears survived until they hibernated. This spring, just before the snow disappeared, all six bears came out of their den and wandered all over the same familiar territory they trekked in the spring of 2007. 

The photographer saw them before mid-April and dreamed nightly of taking another family  portrait, a highly improbable second once-in-a-lifetime photograph.

On 25 April 2008, he  achieved his dream.

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When  something as  magical as this happens between man and animal, Native Americans say,  "We have walked together in the shadow of a rainbow." And so it is with  humility and great pleasure that I share these exhilarating photos with you.

November 18, 2011 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animals, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories, Wild Animals | , | 1 Comment

56 exotic animals escaped from farm near Zanesville; 49 killed by authorities; owner found dead

Animal farm owner released the animals, then killed himself… All he had to do was call the authorities and they would have come to get these animals and taken them to the Columbus Zoo

ZANESVILLE, Ohio —Authorities say that in all, 56 exotic animals escaped from a farm in Muskingum County last night, and one could still be missing this afternoon.

Of those animals, 49 were killed. Six animals — a grizzly bear, three leopards and two monkeys — were captured alive and taken to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and a monkey and a grey wolf were at large. The animals that were killed included 18 tigers, nine male lions, eight female lions, six black bears, three mountain lions, two grizzly bears, one baboon and two wolves, Sheriff Matt Lutz said. The escaped monkey poses a danger because it is infected with herpes, the sheriff said.

The sheriff said it is possible that the missing monkey was eaten by a large cat.

The owner of the farm, Terry Thompson, was found dead last night on his property. Authorities say Thompson opened the cage doors and cut the wires on the cages, then killed himself. He died from a gunshot wound. Lutz said Thompson’s body was "bothered" by the animals.

Lutz had previously said a grizzly bear, a wolf and a mountain lion were missing. Today, authorities confirmed they killed the bear on the property last night. The wolf was later found dead; it had been shot last night. An officer wounded the mountain lion, which staggered into a neighbor’s property and died.

Thompson’s wife has returned to the farm and is talking to authorities. Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, said the wife begged authorities not to take her "babies," but he convinced her to let the animals go and work it out later.

"I held her, I felt her shock. Her animals are gone. Her family is gone. Everything in her life is gone," Hanna said.

The animals that were killed by authorities likely will be buried on Thompson’s property.

Lutz defended the shooting of the escaped animals. He said when deputies arrived at the house, there were large animals trying to escape. The deputies had to shoot them with their sidearms.

"Public safety was my No. 1 concern," Lutz said. "I gave the order that if the animals looked like they were going to get out, they were going down."
Hanna called this morning for the state to enact regulations to crack down on the possession, breeding and selling of exotic animals.
"I went to school at Muskingum (College)," he said. "It’s like Noah’s ark wrecked."

Hanna said he has talked to the governor’s office about enacting stricter exotic animal laws.

"We need to set an example in the state of Ohio," he said. "There was a loss of life here, and we thank God it was not human life. It was animal life, and that’s my life."

Hanna also defended the deputies shooting the animals.

The deputies were assisted by the State Highway Patrol, authorities from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and the Wilds, the state Division of Wildlife, the county Emergency Management Agency and township fire departments.

A plan to bring in a patrol helicopter with a thermal-imaging camera to find animals last night was scuttled last night by stormy weather.

Zanesville, West Muskingum and Maysville school districts, as well as Muskingum County Starlight School, all canceled classes for Wednesday to keep children inside. Lutz also recommends that residents remain inside today and call 911 if any wild animal is seen.Lutz said the incident began about 5:30 p.m., when the sheriff’s office began receiving calls that wild animals were running loose in the area of Kopchak Road, which is in Falls Township and just west of Zanesville.

Lutz said that four deputies with assault rifles in a pickup truck immediately went to 270 Kopchak Rd., where a 46-acre “wild-animal-rescue farm” owned by Thompson borders I-70.

There, Lutz said, they found Thompson dead outside his house and “every single animal-cage door open.”Lutz said the deputies saw a number of animals standing outside their cages, still on the property, while others had escaped a fence that surrounds Thompson’s property. Deputies immediately began shooting animals, he said.

Lutz said the fence on Thompson’s property isn’t designed to keep in wild animals.

Lutz said a man who is a caretaker on the animal preserve told deputies that 48 animals lived in cages outside the house on the property. More animals — mostly monkeys, baboons and apes — lived inside Thompson’s house, the man said.

Those inside the house were still in the cages, Lutz said.

Late last night, there was a report of a wolf and a bear still roaming at least 4 miles from the farm property. One animal was struck by a car and later killed.

The Licking County Sheriff’s Office also received at least four phone calls from residents reporting exotic-animal sightings. SWAT officers with night-vision equipment were searching for animals in Licking County early this morning.

Lutz said Muskingum County deputies had fatally shot and killed at least 25 animals when they first drove to the property. A wolf and bear also reportedly were killed along I-70.

Video:  Muskingum Alumni Jack Hanna Hunt Exotic Animals on the Loose in Zanesville, Ohio 10.19.11

He said that officials from the Columbus Zoo and The Wilds came in shortly after the discovery with tranquilizer guns, hoping to capture some animals alive.

Thompson, 62, was released from federal prison just three weeks ago, after serving a one-year term.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had raided Thompson’s Kopchak Road property in June 2008, seizing more than 100 guns. In April 2010, Thompson pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Columbus to two federal charges: possession of a machine gun and possession of short firearms without serial numbers.

Under terms of his release, Thompson was confined to his home for a year.

Thompson also was convicted in Muskingum County Municipal Court in 2005 of cruelty to animals, having an animal at large and two counts of rendering animal waste without a license. The charges stemmed from allegations that three cows and a bison had died on another property he owned, on Boggs Road in Perry Township, east of Zanesville.

Neighbors there had lodged numerous complaints about him letting his animals wander. Thompson was put on house arrest for six months and paid a $2,870 fine in that case. He also was ordered to move his animals to his Kopchak Road land.

Ohio has no rules regulating the sale and ownership of exotic animals.

Former Gov. Ted Strickland had attempted to enforce such a law, but Gov. John Kasich allowed an executive order to expire.

“There really needs to be some legislation changed on how these things are going on in the state of Ohio,” Lutz said.

Kate Riley, 20, who lives in western Muskingum County, said that Thompson has had lions, tigers and a bear get loose in the past.

Riley’s family owns a feed cattle farm nearby and said that Thompson would come and take their dead cows to feed his lions.

“He’d have claw marks all over him,” she said.

Riley said she understands that Thompson’s wife, Marian, recently left her husband and moved out.

Patti Peters, a spokeswoman for the Columbus Zoo, said staff members were at a dinner last night for the International Rhino Foundation when they heard about the incident. Five staff members from the zoo and the Wilds immediately went to help, she said.

Larry Hostetler, executive director of the Animal Shelter Society of Muskingum County, said the sheriff’s office and state officials had visited the Kopchak Road property in 2008 on a complaint that animals weren’t being taken care of there. The inspection, however, found acceptable treatment, Hostetler said.

Adelbert G. Kempf Jr, a retired veterinarian in Heath, said he inspected Thompson’s horses that day. He said that Thompson told him that he was running a rescue operation for horses.

“ He was far from that,” Hostetler said. “He was more of an animal collector.”

At one point, Thompson took three lion cubs to New York City for a photo shoot with model Heidi Klum. On another occasion, he brought animals to a 2007 community pet fair in Muskingum County. Thompson and his wife brought bear cubs, lions cubs and a baby ape, Hostetler said.

He said the wild animals disrupted the fair because they weren’t friendly.

“We had to change the advertisement in following years to say bring your domestic pets,” Hostetler said. “He was a piece of work.”

By  Josh Jarman Quan Truong Jim Woods and  Brenda Jackson Dispatch staff reporter Kathy Lynn Gray also contributed to this story.  jjarman@dispatch.com, jwoods@dispatch.com, jackson@dispatch.com

h/t to the Columbus Dispatch

October 21, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baby Bear Cubs Wrestling… In the Road in Yosemite

In Yosemite National Park, two tiny bear cubs stopped traffic and have become a viral video sensation on the internet.

The palm-sized  bears scrambled around the road, pushing and pawing at each other, while motorists gathered and a wary mother bear kept watch nearby.

Video: Cute Bear Cubs Wrestling in the Street

September 30, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Polar Bear: I come in peace….Unbelievable

Polar Bear: I come in Peace

Norbert Rosing’s striking images of a wild polar bear coming upon Tethered sled dogs in the Wilds of Canada’s Hudson Bay.

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The Photographer was sure that he was going to see the end of his dogs when the Polar bear wandered in.

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It’s hard to believe that this polar bear only needed to hug someone!

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The Polar Bear Returned every night that week to play with the dogs.

h/t to Kim Peters

August 10, 2011 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, animals, Animals Adopting Animals, Dogs, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures, Wild Animals | , , , , , , | 6 Comments