Hey Y’all, I’ve been gleaning the news for wild animal-related stories and have these to relay:

Last year, a ban on the sale of fur clothing was endorsed in West Hollywood, in November 2011. Although it is estimated to have cost local shops around $2 million, designer Stella McCartney urged fashionistas to shed fur and leather in the run-up to the New York, London, Paris, Milan, Delhi and Mumbai fashion weeks this year, and showed a video expose of the skins trade.

On day one of the Indian fashion week, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)  joined hands with the Fashion Design Council Of India on a new cause – “Fashion for Freedom – Boycott Zoos”. FDCI president Sunil Sethi and PETA India chief functionary Poorva Joshipura were present to make the announcement along with Sethi’s close friend and actor Gulshan Grover, actress Mahima Chaudhary and singer and actress Monica Dogra. Sethi said, “Bollywood and fashion are always present when there is a cause to support. We want freedom for animals, for them to be set free from cages and zoos. It is a great thing to have fashion as a platform for such a noble cause.” [I don’t know these Indian folk but you might so I left their names herein].

PETA also launched an initiative to bring attention to the plight of enslaved and exploited celebrity sea mammals, and The Daily Show‘s Wyatt Cenac was the spokesman. The group filed a lawsuit against SeaWorld on behalf of five plaintiffs — Tiilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka and Ulises — accusing the water park of holding the orcas as slaves and arguing that they should be freed under the 13th Amendment.

This was spooky: the head of the California Fish and Game Commission Daniel W. Richards was photographed with a dead mountain lion he had shot and killed inMontana. WONews.com carried the story and Richards was immensely proud of several things: that he bagged the lion; that he belongs to the NRA; that he broke no laws. He told the press and others to “mind their own business” as what he did away from his office was his affair.

The hunt for the lion was accomplished with the use of hounds, which sounds like a horror for the prey. The local ranch owner upon whose property the hunt and many like it take place maintained that if predators weren’t hunted they would obliterate the deer population and then the mountain lions would be hungry and start to go after livestock, etc.

California and Montana have had similar lion hunting regulations up until 1972 or thereabouts. In California, lions are protected. In Montana 534 kills are allowed each year. When it is estimated that the population in that latter state is less than 3000 lions, 500 allowed kills is definitely excessive and what the rancher who caters to hunters said is hooey. BTW, as the lions have been studied by naturalists they have been tagged and monitored. Each year, sport hunters are responsible for 96% of the lion deaths in Montanaand roughly 65% of those animals had been tagged.

In the good news/ bad news category. Good news: federal wildlife investigators working in several states cracked an international smuggling ring that had trafficked in sawed-off rhinoceros horns for years. These horns fetch stratospheric prices in Vietnam and China as they are supposed to cure cancer. In the well-orchestrated, multi-state raid at least $3 million in cash, gold, jewelry and watches was confiscated along with 20 rhino horns. With the horns reaching over $20,000 per pound, poaching in Africa has spiked, with 450 rhinos killed in South Africa last year.

Bad news: the numbers of  rhinos stand now at about 20,000 whites and 5,000 blacks in Africa with Asian rhinos almost extinct.

BTW, it’s possible to tranquilize the animal and remove its horn, and many preserves did so to attempt to protect the animals. It didn’t help: poachers would kill the animal for the stub.

Please feel free to comment and add stories that would fit. Any ideas you might have for me to research I’d be happy to oblige.