A Dwarf Elephant With Outsized Attitude

A Dwarf Elephant With Outsized Attitude

12/22/2014 First seen in 2013, a wild dwarf elephant in Sri Lanka, who is only five feet tall at the shoulder, has been sighted again—as pugnacious as ever. By Vicki Croke The world’s first documented wild dwarf elephant, who was seen briefly in 2013 before vanishing again, is alive and well, according to Pruthu Fernando, from the Centre for Conservation ...
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Spotted Hyenas: Gender Bending, Enchanting, Formidable

Spotted Hyenas: Gender Bending, Enchanting, Formidable

8/1/2014 They crunch bones like popcorn. The females sport pseudo-penises. And the people who study these animals just adore them. A tour of the hidden life of the spotted hyena. By Vicki Croke They can crunch bone, one researcher says, like popcorn. The females have penises (technically “pseudo-penises”), which become erect with excitement, and through which they give birth. Where ...
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Animals Do Have Emotions, But What Should We Call Them?

Animals Do Have Emotions, But What Should We Call Them?

8/28/2014 We share a lot with other animals—emotionally, cognitively, and neuro-chemically—but many humans still use outdated linguistic distinctions that put animals in their (allegedly inferior) place. By Vicki Croke Humans speak. Animals vocalize. We love. They bond. We form friendships, they maintain social bonds. We feel jealous. They resource guard. We have sex, they copulate. Notice a pattern? We humans ...
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Cincinnati Rhino Needed In Sumatra

Cincinnati Rhino Needed In Sumatra

8/26/2015 Ohio zoo sending “Harapan” to Indonesia in hopes he’ll mate and help save his species. By Vicki Croke In order to help save his species, Harapan, the only Sumatran rhino living outside Southeast Asia, is going home—even though he’s a big-city American-raised rhino who’s never even seen “home” before. Members of the Cincinnati Zoo made it official in a ...
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The Half-Captive, Half-Wild Elephants Of Myanmar: A Quirky Road To Survival

The Half-Captive, Half-Wild Elephants Of Myanmar: A Quirky Road To Survival

11/12/14 Have Myanmar's highly endangered Asian elephants been saved in a counter-intuitive way —in part, by keeping them employed in logging camps? By Vicki Croke As President Obama touches down in Myanmar today and many people talk of human rights and democratic reform, conservationists also see an urgent agenda: the future of elephants. Here is a country at the crossroads, ...
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Spying On The World's Most Famous Hawk: Pale Male

Spying On The World’s Most Famous Hawk: Pale Male

11/6/2014 If any bird can be considered an iconic New Yorker, he's it. At 24, a venerable age for a hawk, Pale Male has lived the lyrics of the famous song--he's done it his way. By Vicki Croke If any bird can be considered an iconic New Yorker, I’d say he’s it. Handsome. Successful. Tough, yet caring. Widowed several times ...
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Finding Friendship In The City Of Hyenas

Finding Friendship In The City Of Hyenas

12/30/2015 In a place that welcomes hyenas after dark, an anthropologist ends up bonding with one of the fiercest predators on earth. By Vicki Croke Hyenas aren’t the most popular animals. In Western literature, they are depicted as giggling, cowardly, and dangerous. In almost all of Africa, where the formidable predators are known to bite people’s faces off, kill children, ...
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Saving The Desert Cheetahs Of Iran

Saving The Desert Cheetahs Of Iran

3/24/2016 With just 50 of their kind left, Asiatic cheetahs find an ally in legendary field biologist George Schaller. By Vicki Croke It was a call on a cell phone from a herdsman in Iran saying, “There are some carnivores chasing some gazelles near us!” that tipped off George Schaller. Schaller’s team, including the herdsman’s son, raced a short distance ...
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