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Rare and Pregnant Sumatran Tiger Killed by Hunter's Trap
What's worse, the critically endangered Sumatran tiger was pregnant with two cubs when it died and was expected to give birth in two weeks, local reports said.
The death is a major setback to the species, as fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers currently exist, according to WWF estimates.
The tigress was seen Tuesday caught in a pig trap set by a hunter in Muara Lembu village in the Riau province, AFP said. Officers immediately traveled to the site but found that the animal was missing.
The following day, officers searched the area again and found the tiger dead near a ravine with a wire from the trap wrapped around its body.
A necropsy showed that the wire had ruptured the animal's kidney and led to its death, The Jakarta Post reported. The tiger was approximately 3.5 to 5 years old.
Authorities said Thursday they arrested a man—identified only as "E"—in connection with the tiger's death. He said he used the traps to catch pigs and denied killing the tiger intentionally.
"He admitted that he had set up several traps in various areas," the head of the Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency told The Jakarta Post. "I told E that he was supposed to wait around the trap to prevent other animals from being harmed if he actually wanted to catch a pig. If a tiger passed by, then he should shoo it away. What would happen if it was his kid instead who was trapped?"
If convicted, E could face 5 years in prison and a Rp 100 million (US$6,708) fine under Indonesian law, The Jakarta Post said.
There are roughly 3,890 tigers remaining in the wild, according to WWF. As EcoWatch previously mentioned, threats faced by these iconic big cats include poaching for their pelts, illegal rainforest destruction for palm oil production and habitat loss due to climate change, such as coastal erosion due to sea level rise.
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Tropical forests globally are being lost at a rate of 61,000 square miles a year. And despite conservation efforts, the global rate of loss is accelerating. In 2016 it reached a 15-year high, with 114,000 square miles cleared.
At the same time, many countries are pledging to restore large swaths of forests. The Bonn Challenge, a global initiative launched in 2011, calls for national commitments to restore 580,000 square miles of the world's deforested and degraded land by 2020. In 2014 the New York Declaration on Forests increased this goal to 1.35 million square miles, an area about twice the size of Alaska, by 2030.
By Cheryl Leahy
Do you think almond milk comes from a cow named Almond? Or that almonds lactate? The dairy industry thinks you do, and that's what it's telling the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
For years, the dairy industry has been flexing its lobbying muscle, pressuring states and the federal government to restrict plant-based companies from using terms like "milk" on their labels, citing consumer confusion.
By Jeremy Deaton
A driver planning to make the trek from Denver to Salt Lake City can look forward to an eight-hour trip across some of the most beautiful parts of the country, long stretches with nary a town in sight. The fastest route would take her along I-80 through southern Wyoming. For 300 miles between Laramie and Evanston, she would see, according to a rough estimate, no fewer than 40 gas stations where she could fuel up her car. But if she were driving an electric vehicle, she would see just four charging stations where she could recharge her battery.
Fire Continues at Texas Petrochemical Plant as Company's History of Violations Gets Renewed Scrutiny
By Andrea Germanos
A petrochemical plant near Houston continued to burn for a second day on Monday, raising questions about the quality and safety of the air.
The Deer Park facility is owned by Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC), which said the fire broke out at roughly 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Seven tanks are involved, the company said, and they contain naptha, xylene, "gas blend stocks" and "base oil."
"It's going to have to burn out at the tank," Ray Russell, communications officer for Channel Industries Mutual Aid, which is aiding the response effort, said at a news conference. It could take "probably two days" for that to happen, he added.
The hillsides dyed orange with poppies may look like something out of a dream, but for the Southern California town of Lake Elsinore, that dream quickly turned into a nightmare.
The town of 66,000 people was inundated with around 50,000 tourists coming to snap pictures of the golden poppies growing in Walker Canyon as part of a superbloom of wildfires caused by an unusually wet winter, BBC News reported. The visitors trampled flowers and caused hours of traffic, The Guardian reported.
A controversial pesticide test that would have resulted in the deaths of 36 beagles has been stopped, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the company behind the test announced Monday. The announcement comes less than a week after HSUS made the test public when it released the results of an investigation into animal testing at Charles River Laboratories in Michigan.
"We have immediately ended the study that was the subject of attention last week and will make every effort to rehome the animals that were part of the study," Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDupont, said in a statement announcing its decision.