Animals in the news this month (March 2017)

In the last week of every month we take a look back at the crazy creatures and amazing animals that have made the headlines in recent weeks. Here’s a reminder of what March’s headlines told us about some of the animals that share our planet:

Uproar as trainee bomb detection dog shot and killed

Sadly the amazing work done by sniffer dogs hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons this month. Grizz, a 10-month-old bearded collie cross, was shot and killed after escaping from his handler and running across the runways in Auckland airport. He had bolted at the end of a training shift and staff reported they had spent three hours trying to catch him, during which time sixteen flights were delayed. Clearly this was a serious safety issue, but many have struggled to understand why the dog could not have simply been tranquilised and rescued, rather than being killed. New Zealand’s Aviation Security Service is currently investigating the tragic incident.

Iron Man talks to the animals

It has just been announced that Robert Downey Jr. is to star in Universal’s latest epic tale, ‘The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle’. An ever-popular series of tales featuring a doctor who leaves his human patients behind in favour of working with animals, with whom he can converse in their own tongue, the original big-screen version starred British actor Rex Harrison and received a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars in 1967. Subsequent comedy and cartoon versions of the story have been equally successful, but there’s no news as yet as to when the latest film will hit the big screen. Watch this space!

Smaller, but still perfectly formed?

Scientists at the University of New Hampshire have published research suggesting that the average size of the earth’s animals could shrink as global warming takes hold. A study of fossil teeth belonging to early ancestors of the horse revealed that during Eocene Thermal Maximum 2 (a warming event of 3oC that occurred around 54 million years ago), animals shrank in size by an average of 14%. Climate researchers currently estimate that our planet will warm between 2-4oC by 2100 and thus similar shifts in size in future are possible. Watch this shape!

Until next time, very best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support

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