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Aussie Prime Minister Rushed Away From Raucous Protesters

Filed under: AustraliasticPolitik

Prime Minister Julia Gillard got a bit more than she bargained for at an awards ceremony in Canberra January 26th.

Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbot were surrounded 200 protestors outside the restaurant the ceremony took place.

The protestors

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New York Gets A State Dog

Filed under: Legal MattersPolitikDog

New York State dog Hopeful

New York State's official animal is the beaver (yep). Their official insect is the ladybug, fish is the brook trout and shell is the bay scallop.

However the state has yet to adopt an official dog… until now!

Thursday lawmakers introduced a bill that will give the state an official dog.

The first state to claim an official dog was Maryland with the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, flowed by Pennsylvania's Great Dane. North Carolina chose the Plott Hound as it was the only dog breed indigenous to the state. Other official state dogs also are indigenous to their state, including the Boston Terrier (Massachusetts) and the Alaskan Malamute (Alaska).

What is New York's official going to be?

The proposed breed is the Rescue dog!

[Image via WENN.]

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Russia Legalizes Hunting Endangered Polar Bears

Filed under: Sad SadEndangeredPolar Bear

Russia's Polar Bear

WTF???

The governor of Russia's remote Chukotka region, must not understand the meaning of the word "endangered."

Last week he signed a decree allowing the area's indigenous people to hunt and kill 29 polar bears each year, including 19 females.

Russian wildlife campaigners condemned the move, saying the polar bear was already threatened by a shrinking habitat and rampant poaching.

One wildlife campaigner, said the decision would

"threaten the survival of the polar bear in the Russian Arctic and will have not only ecological but serious social and political consequences for us."

The authorities defended the partial lifting of the ban, arguing that hunting polar bears for their meat and their fur was a traditional part of local Chukchi culture in the Russian Arctic. They said hunters would not be allowed to export bear skins or to sell bear meat commercially.

Russia's decision to allow polar bear hunting for the first time since the Soviet Union banned the practice in 1957 was made possible after the Kremlin signed a treaty with the United States governing both countries' polar bear populations on either side of the Bering Strait.

[Image via WENN.]

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Castration Is Key For Arctic Reindeer

Filed under: Wacky, Tacky & TrueDeerWildlife

Reindeer Castration

Reindeer in Norway are getting castrated.

But don't worry. It's a good thing!

The Arctic region is warming at double the global rate and researchers studying the indigenous Sami peoples in the Arctic say castrated male reindeer can cope with climate change more effectively, as compared to reindeer who still have a pair.

Inneresting.

Due to the Arctics varying temperatures, snow can melt and often refreeze to form thick ice over grazing pastures, but sterilized reindeer grow larger and can break through the ice easier.

Svein Mathiesen, coordinator of the University of the Arctic's Institute of Circumpolar Reindeer Husbandry said:

"To make herds more resilient in the future, we need to re-learn the traditional knowledge of castration."

What's the traditional knowledge of castration?

Sami reindeer herders typically BITE into the animal's testicles with their teeth!

Yuck! We'll pass.

This bitting technique is called "half-castration", which causes the animal to become sterile, but still produce some of the male hormone testosterone that promotes muscle growth.

Norway laws limit castration techniques to surgery with anesthetics, and no biting, so they are experimenting with a vaccine to recreate the effects of half-castration.

Castration aside, the survival of this species is important for these Arctic peeps because they rely on these creatures as their chief export as well as use them for practical uses like pulling large sleds.

[Image via AP Images.]

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The Veronicas Speak Out For Animals

Filed under: The Veronicas

Perez recently sat down with rockers and big animal activists The Veronicas about their love of animals, protecting Australia's indigenous species - and more!

Check it out (above)!

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