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Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Beauty is pain for the lab mice, © Rama

Crow’s feet? Creased forehead? Sweaty armpits? Botox is regularly touted as a solution in the Swiss media, but few reports mention the animal cruelty involved.

A Swiss animal rights group, the Verein gegen Tierfabriken Schweiz (VgT), has been staging demonstrations to raise awareness of the problem.

“There’s been a lot reported on botox, but very little about the animal cruelty aspect. So the best thing is to provoke,” according to VgT president Erwin Kessler.

Click here to read the whole story: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/science_technology/Cosmetic_botox_booms_at_expense_of_mice.html?cid=18032542

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Taxidermist René Heim works on a 60,000-year-old mammoth tusk.

Wide-bucket excavators aren’t the tools of choice for archaeological digs, but sometimes you can’t be too picky. An astute workman was quick to realize the machine he was operating struck something special at a Lucerne-area gravel pit. That “something” was a 45,000-year-old mammoth tusk, about 180 centimetres long and about 50 centimetres in diameter at its thickest part.

Read the whole story here: http://www.swisster.ch/news/society/mammoth-findings-display-lucerne-museum.html

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The long-horned bee is the animal of the year.

Swiss conservation organization Pro Natura has named the “long-horned” bee as the country’s Animal of the Year 2010. The conservation group believes the wild bee is a good choice because it calls attention to the millions of other tiny creatures that contribute to biodiversity.

Read the whole story here: http://www.swisster.ch/news/society/bee-replaces-bear-swiss-animal-year.html

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Jaws of life: A rescue dog pulls a boat with her teeth.

Jaws of life: A rescue dog pulls a boat with her teeth.

Flailing and splashing, a panicky-looking woman cries out from the middle of the lake. A Belgian Shepherd leaps from a nearby boat into the water, a lifebelt in tow. Moments later, the dog brings the floating ring to the struggling swimmer. She grasps it and holds on tight as the dog hauls her to the safety of the boat.

Read the whole story here: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/search/Result.html?siteSect=882&ty=st&sid=11040015

You can also listen to an audio version I did for Swissinfo’s weekly podcast.

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/index.html?siteSect=15050&sid=11078599&autoPlay=y

In the 14-minute podcast, I come on at about 7 minutes, 30 seconds.

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Me and my new tarantula friend Sophie

Me and my new tarantula friend Sophie

With nearly 4,000 creatures living in the Zurich Zoo, it’s only natural that there are ample opportunities for visitors to connect with them. Yet some of the zoo’s programmes are quite unusual. For example, how about fixing and serving lunch for the penguins? Or letting a gentle tarantula help you brush away arachnophobia? Or getting married with primates as your witnesses?

Read the whole story here: http://www.swisster.ch/en/news/society/zurich-zoo-offers-direct-connections-with-animals_117-1885106

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