Leave it to beavers to be back in Britain

By Frank Saverino
Columnist

Last Friday, two deer halted rush-hour traffic in three lanes on the Golden Gate Bridge, running from the southern entrance across the bridge into Marin County. Animal-control authorities were called to the scene, but the deer had swiftly exited the bridge before their arrival.

Two deer hold up the Golden Gate. (AP Photo)
Two deer hold up the Golden Gate. (AP Photo)

Recently deceased and infamous comedian and actress Joan Rivers had a serious love for animals. She was an activist for the animal rights organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). She led a movement with other PETA members that pushed the New York City council to create policies that banned chaining dogs in public spaces and endorsements for spaying and neutering. 

After a recent sighting in Otter St. Mary, British environmentalists are frazzled over the reappearance of Eurasian beavers. Being that the last report on beavers in Britain was made in 1789. Over 500 years ago, the English government enacted systematic efforts to hunt down Eurasian beavers from British waters both for trading their fur and protective environmental efforts. A surprise return for beavers has left environmentalists scratching their heads. Some fear that beavers, because of their tree-eating and dam-building habits, will cause a disruption in water patterns if their population re-booms. 

Back in the U.S., a maximum-security prison in Lancaster, California, is using a group of rescued dogs from a shelter in part of a rehabilitation plan for inmates. “Paws for Life”  –  a program partnering with Karma Rescue, a non-profit shelter that has saved over 6,000 dogs in California – and Los Angeles County Prisons has seen tremendous psychological benefits to inmates that applied for positions to take care of and rehabilitate dogs that have been lost, abandoned or abused. One inmate from Lancaster, Jack, reflected in an interview: “It’s a pleasure to simply observe dogs and to be observed by them. Caring for them is an opportunity and a privilege to openly display caring and compassion, and at times let my inner child out when playing with the dogs.”

In China, a retired basketball star is the face of a campaign to stop the ivory trade from places like Kenya and South Africa, where ivory is still legal to trade, and his home country. The former Houston Rockets player, Yao Ming has partnered up with WildAid and appears in their new documentary, “The End of the Wild.” His “Say No to Ivory” campaign ads requesting that the government ban its part in the trade are already airing on television and on billboards in China. WildAid has estimated that about 30,000 elephants are killed in the ivory trade every year.