Animal Stories

Elephant Underpass

by Rebecca on June 28, 2012

in Animal Stories,Animals in the News

From National Geographic:

Road to Recovery?

African elephant picture: animal uses first-ever elephant underpass in Kenya

Photograph courtesy Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

An African elephant approaches an underpass beneath the busy Nanyuki-Meru road in northern Kenya in a recent picture.

The first of its kind for elephants, the underpass will ideally provide a safe corridor for the large mammals to move throughout the Mount Kenya region (map), where highways, fences, and farmlands have split elephant populations, according to Geoffrey Chege, chief conservation officer of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a Kenya-based nonprofit.

Without the underpass, animals that try to move between isolated areas often destroy fences and crops—leading to conflicts with people. (Related pictures: “‘Ghost Chili’ Scares Off Elephants.”)

Since its completion in late 2010, the underpass has been a “tremendous success”—hundreds of elephants have been spotted walking through the corridor, according to the conservancy.

First seeing pictures of the elephants using the underpass “was an awesome moment,” Chege said by email.

—Christine Dell’Amore

The Mount Kenya-Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Corridor Project is a joint effort of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, the Kenya Wildlife Service, Kisima Farm, Marania Farm, the Bill Woodley Mount Kenya Trust, and Ngare Ndare Forest Trust.

Elephant-underpass picture

Beneficial Corridor

Image courtesy Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

The elephant underpass (pictured in 2011) could have at least two other benefits. For one, it could improve the genetic health of northern Kenya elephants, since more genes will mix as the animals move into various territories and find new mates.

The corridor may also mean that elephants will move around more, reducing pressure on habitats—and possibly helping other species that use the same resources, such as the black rhinoceros, according to the conservancy.

(See elephant pictures.)



June 22, 2012: Suzanne Marta holds up her Chinese crested dog, Handsome Hector, Mugly, a Chinese crested dog, owned by Bev Nicholson of Peterborough, England won the title of World’s Ugliest Dog at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California. (AP/The Press Democrat, Beth Schlanker)

A Chinese crested’s short snout, beady eyes and white whiskers earned it the title of World’s Ugliest Dog at the annual contest in Northern California on Friday.

Competing for fame, $1,000 and a year’s worth of dog cookies, Mugly won the honor by beating out 28 other ugly dogs from around the world.

The 8-year-old rescue dog from the United Kingdom will also be invited for a photo shoot and will receive a VIP stay at the local Sheraton.

“I couldn’t speak when they announced Mugly’s name,” said Bev Nicholson, the dog’s owner. “I didn’t know which way to look. I was shaking as much as the dog.”

It’s not the first time Mugly has been recognized for his unattractiveness. Nicholson said he was named Britain’s ugliest dog in 2005.

The contest at the Marin-Sonoma Fairgrounds gets worldwide attention, with reporters and camera crews from around the world traveling to Petaluma, about 40 miles north of San Francisco.

Organizers say the competing dogs are judged for what they term their “natural ugliness in both pedigree and mutt classes.”

Mugly’s victory was the latest for a Chinese crested. Last year’s winner, Yoda, was a Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix.

Read more:



Page 40 of 152««...102030...394041...506070...»»