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Saving Horses for 20 Years: Melanie Sue Bowles, Founder of the Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary

By Lavanya Sunkara
March 18, 2012
File under: Conservation, Interviews, Wildlife


(Melanie Sue Bowles, Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary, Arkansas)

HBO’s new racing drama Luck ceased production after the third horse died on the set. The young thoroughbred was euthanized after it hurt its head during a fall. Sadly, the industry that thrives on the backs of these hardworking horses is failing them. The horses are raced at too young of an age before their bones develop, and they sustain injuries as a result. Not all retired race horses get to live out their lives in peace.

Last year I came upon the book, The Horses of Proud Spirit by Melanie Sue Bowles and it opened my eyes to the plight of horses in America. Melanie is the founder of the Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary located in Mena, Arkansas and she has the same philosophy as I do. Riding horses used to be one of my favorite activities until one day I heard about the abuse that goes on in stables and the horse racing industry, and decided to give it up. I consider horses my friends, not merely a means of enjoyment. …read more of Saving Horses for 20 Years: Melanie Sue Bowles, Founder of the Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary here

 
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Saving Elephants in India: Dr. Tammie Matson

By Lavanya Sunkara
December 5, 2011
File under: Animal Protection, Interviews, Poaching, Research, Wildlife

It is not uncommon for newspapers in India to report elephant and other wild animal encounters in towns and villages. These creatures are losing their habitat and finding nowhere to go but the human inhabited areas. Dr. Tammie Matson, a wildlife conservationist, started Animal Works, an organization addressing the issue of human-animal conflict in the Assam region of India and raising money for orphaned elephants.

Dr. Matson is an Australian zoologist who spent over a decade working on threatened species in southern Africa. She ran WWF Australia’s national species program from 2007 to 2008. She has published two books, “Dry Water – Diving headfirst into Africa”, about her experiences being a wildlife researcher in Africa, and “Elephant Dance – a story of love and war in the elephant kingdom” based on her work on human-elephant conflict.

Dr. Matson recently won InStyle magazine’s prestigious Women of Style award for the environment in June of 2010. Here, she talks about her life as a conservationist and what we can do to save elephants.  …read more of Saving Elephants in India: Dr. Tammie Matson here

 
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Saving Elephants in India: Dr. Tammie Matson

By Lavanya Sunkara
September 12, 2011
File under: Animal Protection, Black Market, Interviews, Survival Stories

It is not uncommon for newspapers in India to report elephant and other wild animal encounters in towns and villages. These creatures are losing their habitat and finding nowhere to go but the human inhabited areas. Dr. Tammie Matson, a wildlife conservationist, started Animal Works, an organization addressing the issue of human-animal conflict in the Assam region of India and raising money for orphaned elephants.

Dr. Matson is an Australian zoologist who spent over a decade working on threatened species in southern Africa. She ran WWF Australia’s national species program from 2007 to 2008. She has published two books, “Dry Water – Diving headfirst into Africa”, about her experiences being a wildlife researcher in Africa, and “Elephant Dance – a story of love and war in the elephant kingdom” based on her work on human-elephant conflict.

Dr. Matson recently won InStyle magazine’s prestigious Women of Style award for the environment in June of 2010. Here, she talks about her life as a conservationist and what we can do to save elephants.

LS: What inspired you to become a wildlife conservationist?

TM: I have been passionate about animals from a young age. I grew up in North Queensland on …read more of Saving Elephants in India: Dr. Tammie Matson here

 
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Sea Turtles of Florida’s Canaveral National Seashore

By Lavanya Sunkara
July 21, 2011
File under: Conservation, Interviews, Research, Turtles, Wildlife

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I was in awe of hearing that more than 100 turtles crossed an active runway at New York’s J.F.K airport recently. These diamondback terrapins that inhabit the surrounding brackish wetlands delayed air traffic and caused quite a sensation.

The turtle crossings happen every year during breeding season, with more activity in some years than others. The turtles were safely taken from the tarmac and deposited in a sandy nestworthy area out of harm’s way. Then it dawned on me that we are the ones invading their space.

Many of the turtle species are endangered. Reasons range from global warming to party balloons (who knew?). To learn more, I reached out to a sea turtle conservation expert. Dr. Candace Carter, …read more of Sea Turtles of Florida’s Canaveral National Seashore here

 
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The Endangered Unknown: Eastern Quoll

By Peter Kleinhenz
July 5, 2011
File under: Animal Stories, Interviews, Species Profiles

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When most people think of carnivorous marsupials, known as Dasyurids, the Tasmanian Tiger is the first animal that comes to mind.

Sadly, this magnificent creature became officially extinct in 1936 but it does have a living relative. The Eastern Quoll, now restricted to Tasmania, occupies many habitats where the Tasmanian Tiger once roamed and today it can be found particularly in areas where bush meets pasture.

Eastern Quolls serve an important role by disposing dead animals through scavenging and they also eat grubs that can be harmful to crops, proving their value to the Tasmanian ecosystem. The Eastern Quoll is small, not exactly “tipping the scales” at less than two kilograms. …read more of The Endangered Unknown: Eastern Quoll here

 
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