March 15, 2013
Check off another majestic animal species your kids will probably never get to see: The forest elephant of Cameroon. Smaller than savanna elephants and with straighter tusks, the intelligent behemoths are being cut down by poachers at a horrifying pace. This week, the World Wildlife Fund announced the discovery of 28 forest elephants killed in recent weeks in two national parks in Cameroon. That may not sound like many, but with an estimated population of about 2,000 forest elephants, it's quite a lot; at the present rate of poaching, in fact, the animal will be extinct within a decade.
March 13, 2013 |
Conservationists battling illicit global trade in endangered species say at least 25,000 African elephants were slaughtered last year by criminal gangs eager to market the lucrative ivory from their tusks. The poachers' take has risen to alarming levels over the last six years, with about one in 17 wild elephants being felled in 2012, by some estimates. That is a pace that confronts some herds with extinction as elephant births are again being outpaced by the illegal kills. Protecting Africa's majestic mammals from the scourge of tusk hunters was a task conservationists thought they had mastered two decades ago after the 178 nations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, banned crossborder ivory trade in 1989.
March 7, 2013
If you loved the harrowing but comic tale of drug addiction that was "Trainspotting" the movie, you'll be sure to enjoy Harry Gibson's stage adaptation. Irvine Welsh's cult novel comes alive as the Elephant Theatre takes on the story of junkie Mark Renton and his mates Sick Boy, Tommy and Begbie. Elephant Theatre, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica. Through April 13. Showtimes vary. $15 to $20. (323) 962-0046; http://www.elephantstages.com .
February 23, 2013 |
Nothing catches the eye in a listing photo like an elephant - unless it's two elephants. The owners of this property in Acton listed at $1.65 million are an exotic-animal vet who studied in Africa and her husband, whose business is providing movie animals. No, the pachyderms are not included. Neither is the rhinoceros, the leopard or the tiger. The 165-acre site does come with three renovated stone-cabin style houses, built in 1946, for a total of three bedrooms, three bathrooms and 2,900 square feet of living space.
February 7, 2013 |
Get up close and personal with one of the animal kingdom's weightiest - and most interesting - mammals, the elephant. A new volunteer program, sponsored by the nonprofit organization United Planet , is based at an elephant sanctuary in Jaipur, India. It provides participants with an opportunity to learn about animal care and rescue while experiencing cultural immersion. "Working with animals is important, rewarding -- and fun," says Theresa Higgs, a United Planet vice president.
February 7, 2013 |
"Les Misérables" production designer Eve Stewart went straight to the source: Victor Hugo's 1,200-page novel. She didn't just read the book, she channeled it by transcribing key descriptive passages, word for word, onto crib sheets that would inform the look for the musical's film adaptation from director Tom Hooper. Thanks to London-born Stewart's visceral designs, Hugh Jackman's Jean Valjean gets a mud bath, Anne Hathaway's Fantine has a run-in with rotting fish and scores of revolutionary Parisians lose their furniture.
January 8, 2013 |
Two mammals are drawn to a stretch of Northern California's coast at this time of year: northern elephant seals and humans eager to see them. Hundreds of the huge marine mammals cover the sands at Ano Nuevo State Park between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay to fight, mate and give birth. And Seal Adventure Weekend on Jan. 26 and 27 offers a rare opportunity to spend half a day observing and photographing the extraordinary lust fest on the beach. "You'll see males without their own harems--we call them bachelors--lurking outside the harems, and the alpha bulls roaring at them," Joyce Pennell, president of the Coastside State Parks Assn., says of the event held during the height of the January breeding season.
December 7, 2012 |
Starbucks raised eyebrows when it recently started offering coffee for $7 a cup. But that's nothing compared to a brew that goes for a hefty $50 per serving. Why does this coffee cost so much? Because the beans first have to be eaten, digested and then pooped out by an elephant. Apparently that's an exotic enough process to fetch a price of $500 a pound, making this one of the world's most expensive blends. The coffee is called Black Ivory and hails from Thailand. It was unveiled last month at a handful of luxury hotels catering to, well, the sort of people who can afford a $50 cup of joe. Quiz: The year in business "When an elephant eats coffee, its stomach acid breaks down the protein found in coffee, which is a key factor in bitterness," Blake Dinkin, who has spent $300,000 developing the coffee, told the Associated Press . "You end up with a cup that's very smooth without the bitterness of regular coffee.
December 2, 2012
Re "No more curtain calls for elephants," Editorial, Nov. 26 The L.A. City Council's proposed ban on elephants in traveling shows, which The Times supports, is really based on the rhetoric of animal rights activists who oppose all animals in captivity and in entertainment. At a recent City Council committee hearing, so-called experts who are known animal activists were allowed to provide extensive testimony, while veterinary experts from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey were given mere minutes to make public comments.
November 30, 2012
Re "No more curtain calls for elephants," Editorial, Nov. 26 It was a pleasure to read that the Los Angeles City Council will likely ban elephants from performing in the city. Governments in dozens of countries have banned exotic animals from performing in circuses, including most recently the Netherlands and even Greece, with all its economic problems. In Australia, we have banned them in all but two states. Soon, those states will follow the rest of the country's lead. Elephants performing idle tricks for humans' amusement is a blight on our society and should be banned everywhere.