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Make No Mistake, Orca Mom J-35 and Pod Mates Are Grieving – August 2, 2018

Sad story could be a catalyst for changing the way we think about other animals

Editor's Note: J-35 was still carrying her calf as of August 1, nine days after she died.

I've received numerous emails during the past six days about an orca mother, called J-35, a member of an endangered population of killer whales near San Juan Island, Washington, grieving the loss of her child. It's been a "hot" global media item, and numerous accounts of her and other pod member's behavior can be seen here. J-35 has been observed balancing the corpse on her head and on her nose, and other pod members are also taking turns… more

by: Marc Bekoff

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Why Was the Gorilla Harambe Killed at the Cincinnati Zoo? – May 31, 2016

Grief and outrage over 17-year-old great ape's death

Many people worldwide already know about the shooting of a 17-year-old male western lowland gorilla named Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo to save the life of a four-year old child who fell into the gorilla's cage. The boy apparently told his mother he wanted to meet Harambe and crawled under a rail and over the wall of the moat. As usual, my inbox was ringing constantly with different reports of Harambe's killing, some might call it an execution or a murder. Indeed, the title of Peter Holley's essay in the Washington Post is called "‘Shooting an endangered animal is worse than murder’: Grief over gorilla’s death turns to outrage." 

Harambe the gorillamore

by: Marc Bekoff

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The Ongoing Travesty of the Secretly Abducted Swaziland Elephants – March 23, 2016

It’s Not Only “Animal Rights Activists” or “Extremists” Who Care

I recently wrote an essay called “The Stolen 18: Swaziland Elephants Secretly Shipped to U.S Zoos to Avoid Legal Challenge.” However, it turns out that only 17 elephants were shipped, because according to the zoos one had died in December, but this too was kept a secret.

I learned about this secret transfer in an anonymous email sent to me by a very courageous and compassionate person. I thought that others who are also working on stopping the shipment of the elephants also received the same email, but I discovered they did not. I shared it, keeping the sender’s identity confidential, and this got the ball rolling from a number… more

by: Marc Bekoff

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