Friday, July 24, 2009

Mountain Gorillas Safe From Devastating Brush Fires

Last Saturday, a brush fire which started at the border of Uganda and Rwanda in the Mufumbiro Mountains, quickly spread and forced the endangered population of gorillas to flee.

The region, which harbors 200 animal species, including the pygmy chimpanzee, commonly known as bonobo, is always at risk due to brush fires started by those who need to exploit the area for survival.  According to Uganda authorities, the fire that raged from Saturday on was indeed started by a farmer harvesting honey.

Due to a severe shortage in water, the fire could not be put out immediately and continued to rage until July 21.

Local authorities reported that the gorillas are safe.  

A huge relief since the population of mountain gorillas counts only about 700 individuals.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sad News for Bostonians and the New England Zoo

Due to severe budget cuts mandated by Mass. Governor Deval Patrick, the Franklin Park Zoo may have to close its doors and euthanize some of its residents, zoo officials announced on July 10.  

Gov. Patrick specified these are only a fraction of a substantial $150 million cut aimed at rebalancing the State budget.  

The zoo, which operates on more than 10 million dollars a year, has been receiving 60% of its funding from the State, most of which will disappear. 

These are terrible news not only for an institution that was created in 1913, but also for many Bostonians who may no longer be able to bring their families to an affordable hang out in these tough economic times. 

On July 11, zoo officials corrected the scary statement they had made the day before.  What they meant was that the State would have to take care of the animals and may have to destroy some of them; the zoo would not euthanize any.

Whether the zoo or the State end up destroying the animals is a serious matter that we should ponder.  If this can happen to the New England Zoo, how many other zoos or institutions caring for animals will be affected throughout the nation this year?  

If you want to help, please sign the petition to save the New England Boston Zoo.

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