Trophy Hunting: an enhancement to foreign wildlife conservation and survival.

Cecil the lion gained fame after he was killed by Safari Club International member Walter Palmer during an illegal hunt in Zimbabwe. Paula French/ZUMA.

Cecil the lion gained fame after he was killed by Safari Club International member Walter Palmer during an illegal hunt in Zimbabwe. Paula French/ZUMA.

Just the other day, I posted about Amerikka doing its best to reach shithole country status. Naturally, no matter how great a country truly is, there’s always the fucking idiot contingent who moans that they have higher taxes, so bad. I would be more than happy to pay taxes which went to the common good, that’s the point of taxes. Here in Ustates, taxes rarely go to the common good. They certainly don’t under the current regime. Taxes end up in the pockets of the obscenely wealthy and corrupt. Today brings you a fine example of where tax dollars in this shithole go.

The Trump administration has launched a commission at the Interior Department to promote big-game trophy hunting and the “economic benefits that result from US citizens traveling to foreign nations to engage in hunting.” The council, which will cost taxpayers $250,000 a year, is charged with making recommendations to Secretary Ryan Zinke about removing barriers to importing trophy hunting animals—such as the recently overturned ban on elephant and lion trophies from some countries—and relaxing legal restrictions on hunting and importing endangered species.

Anyone impressed by this? Anyone happy about having their pocket picked for this utterly immoral, corrupt bullshit? Wait, it gets worse.

The members of the International Wildlife Conservation Council, which is holding its first meeting Friday, include a reality-TV safari hunting guide, a former beauty queen, gun industry representatives, members and affiliates of a controversial trophy hunting group, and a veterinarian associated with an exotic animal breeding facility in Florida that sells endangered animals to roadside zoos.

“It’s really embarrassing,” says Masha Kalinina, the international trade policy specialist for the wildlife department at the Humane Society International. “I just question the qualifications of each and every one of these people. Notably missing from this trophy hunting council are legitimate representatives of the conservation community with proper scientific credentials and a record of successful conservation programs, along with wildlife law enforcement experts and biologists who have no financial stake in promoting trophy hunting.”

The council’s charter calls hunting “an enhancement to foreign wildlife conservation and survival.” Along with pushing to relax imports of trophy animals, it will also review the way the US complies with an international treaty designed to protect endangered plants and animals that guides regulation of the exotic animal trade. But the membership of the council seems heavily weighted toward people who think the best way to conserve wildlife is to kill it.

Indeed, the country’s largest trophy-hunting lobby seems to have an outsized role on the council. Of the 16 IWCC members, at least 10 have an affiliation with Safari Club International, which represents wealthy big-game hunters who often tangle with the Fish and Wildlife Service over permits to import of game trophies from overseas, particularly for endangered species. The advocacy group, with 50,000 members, frequently lobbies Congress and federal agencies to fight environmental regulations. It sued to overturn the Obama-era ban on importing elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Trump administration ended the ban earlier this month, despite the president’s earlier objections and comments that elephant hunting is a “horror show.”

Those members include Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist and asshole extraordinaire who killed Cecil the Lion.

The principal deputy director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Greg Sheehan, who is effectively running the agency in the absence of a congressionally confirmed director, oversees the IWCC. He is an SCI member and attended the group’s convention in Las Vegas last month when it awarded its “professional hunter of the year” honors to a South African man who has been fined for leading hunts of endangered black rhinos.

It gets much worse from there. It’s a sickening read, and its symptomatic of the rot spreading out like gangrene from the current regime to poison everything. Those people who want to point to higher taxes in other countries, countries which provide healthcare, free education, and many other benefits to their citizens, you need to shut the fuck up when tax dollars here go to such evil, corrupt enterprise.

Mother Jones has the full story, with all the relevant links, and you can read about all the members of this “council”.

The Awful Goodbye.

Doll, © C. Ford, all rights reserved.

Doll, © C. Ford, all rights reserved.

Today marks the last day of life for our Beloved Doll, (half white Shepherd, half Coyote), who was 16 years old. It’s been a grand 14 years for us all. Doll was almost two years old when she came home with us, we were her 14th home, and her last chance. She had been treated abominably at every previous placement; no one understood her, and she was never treated the way she should have been. When she was able, she ran from any home she was placed in, the other times, she was returned to the shelter. She happily joined in our pack at the time, and when Čantemahto and Cachet died, we brought Jayne home, and Doll happily assumed her place as alpha queen. Jayne is very large, but Doll never had a problem going for the throat and rolling him over in play:

Jayne, left, Doll, right. © C. Ford, all rights reserved.


Doll, left, Jayne right. © C. Ford, all rights reserved.

Someone once asked me about having a hybrid, and I wrote out some info. If you find yourself wanting to rescue adopt a hybrid, think at least seven times about it first, then do all this:

No, other animals don’t provide a pack, other dogs provide a pack. You need a minimum of two, already long in place before even thinking of introducing a hybrid. Also, the breed of your dogs makes a difference. Some breeds will not handle a new one, let alone a hybrid. If you’re introducing a male hybrid, best to have female dogs. If you’re introducing a female hybrid, that’s not so important.

We had Čantemahto and Cachet (half Black Shepherd/half Collie, huge, male and half Landseer Newfoundland/half Collie, female) when we rescued Doll.

Trick 1: live a long fucking way away from the other houses the hybrid was in as well as the rescue/adoption center. All hybrids are runners, coyotes in particular. If they run, you don’t have a hope in hell of catching them. A large property is best.

Trick 2: get them in the house and don’t fuss. Let them do whatever they’re going to do, no matter how weird. Let them get acquainted with their new pack on their own terms. Coyotes will dig, generally in the middle of your bed. You just have to deal with that. It will stop eventually. Protip: make sure there’s an under to your bed. They like cave like environs, especially the females.

Trick 3: act like they’ve always been there, treat your other dogs like you normally do, talk to them more than normal though – your hybrid is listening.

Trick 4: when it comes to going outside to do business, if you don’t have a fenced yard, a collar attached to a very long rope is necessary, at least for the first week. You’ll know when it’s okay to lose those. If you do have a fence, suck it up, you have to go out with them every single time for a minimum of a week, and go every where they do. Digging, remember? Also, jumping. You would not believe the fucking jumping. Also, speed. Superman couldn’t catch a hybrid.

Trick 5: have a shitload of toys, all varieties. Also, bones. Real bones, big ass cow joints, with muscle and crunchy bits. No rawhide. Note: if it’s in reach of your hybrid’s mouth, it’s theirs. Don’t even think of taking it away. Your fault for not putting stuff up.

Trick 6: hybrids are hoarders and treasure collectors. Every fucking toy and bone in the house is theirs. Let your other dogs work out how to get their shit back, at least for the first month. Resign yourself to buying new toys and bones for the other dogs a lot the first month. The hybrid will steal those, too.

Trick 7: when your hybrid constantly has a toy crammed in their mouth, ignore it. Do not assume they wish to play and do not take it away! Act like it isn’t there.

Trick 8: hybrids bury their treasure. Just live with the pile of toys and bloody, sharp bones buried under the blankets in the middle of the bed. Have a special box or container near by, where you remove the treasure to, in front of your hybrid. Reassure them they can re-bury their stuff after you’re done sleeping.

Trick 9: don’t be trying to teach them stuff. Let the other dogs (the pack) show your hybrid the routine.

Trick 10: don’t freak out if they snarl when eating.

Trick 11: your hybrid will probably hate and ignore whatever stupid name was stuck on them. They tend to pick their own name. This is out of your control. Trust me, Dolly would not have been an option in our case.

Trick 12: trust. After a bit of work, you have to trust them. If you do, they’ll reward you with trust and loyalty.

Trick 13: learn the vocabulary. Hybrids have a wide range of vocal and gestural expressions. The different howls alone are amazing. Don’t be afraid to howl yourself.

Trick 14: hybrids are acutely visual. Train with them, using small, subtle sign language.

Trick 15: make sure the whole pack gets plenty of play time and get them out and about to sniff ‘n’ pee on new territory on a fairly regular basis.

Trick 16: don’t have heart failure when your hybrid’s idea of play with the pack resembles a psycho hose-beast. That’s normal. Do stop them from chewing all the way down to skin. Tell them that’s a no-no.

ETA: If your idea of having dogs is chaining them up outside, do not get a hybrid. They won’t tolerate it, they’ll become isolated and fucking mean as hell. Do not consider a hybrid at all if you want them as a single dog. They need a pack to be healthy. If you’re someone who thinks smacking dogs around is a fine way to train them, don’t even think about trying that shit on a hybrid. It won’t turn out well.

Goodbye, my sweetest Doll, my Coyote Queen.

Darwin’s Polar Bear.

“Polar Bear”, artist unknown, ca. 1870s — Source.

Musings upon the whys and wherefores of polar bears, particularly in relation to their forest-dwelling cousins, played an important but often overlooked role in the development of evolutionary theory. Michael Engelhard explores.

As any good high school student should know, the beaks of Galápagos “finches” (in fact the islands’ mockingbirds) helped Darwin to develop his ideas about evolution. But few people realize that the polar bear, too, informed his grand theory.

You can read and see much more at The Public Domain Review. The artwork is stunning.

Who Doesn’t Love Balloons?

You’ll love these, amazing animals and plants, from Masayoshi Matsumoto!

Head on over to Isopresso_Balloon to see much, much more!