Written by Jeff Mackey
Ever wondered what it's like to take part in one of PETA's undercover investigations? Tune in to the Discovery
Channel tonight, January 28, at 8 p.m. Eastern time for an episode of Extreme Smuggling that shines a light on
the trafficking of exotic and endangered wildlife and the investigative work that's
crucial to fighting this cruel and illicit trade in living beings.
The program will feature PETA Senior Vice President of
Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch, who will discuss PETA's seven-month undercover
investigation of a massive international wholesale dealer of exotic animals, U.S. Global
Exotics, Inc. (USGE). PETA's investigation led to the immediate closure of USGE, the largest animal seizure in U.S. history, and the pursuit of USGE's owner Jasen Shaw on federal charges of smuggling, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting. Shaw
remains a wanted fugitive.
Hundreds of thousands of animals of all kinds were cruelly
confined, severely crowded, and denied basic necessities such as food, water,
space, heat, and veterinary care during their time in USGE's filthy warehouse. Most
animals' ultimate destination was stores such as PetSmart and
PETCO, massive commercial chains that sell wild animals stolen from their
native homes, imported into the U.S. from breeding warehouses overseas, or bred and sold by massive
mills such as Atlanta-based Sun
Pet and Rainbow World Exotics, a Texas-based dealer that bought animals from USGE and supplied animals to
PETCO and PetSmart stores.
PETA's investigation led to the rescue of more than 26,000 animals from the USGE hellhole.
What You Can Do
Animals sold by PetSmart, PETCO, and other pet stores are
wild-caught or bred in horrific
conditions, leaving countless animals to endure a miserable life in captivity, deprived of
all that is natural and important to them. Please buy your animal-care supplies
only from stores that do not sell any live animals.
Written by PETA
If you're a regular PETA Files reader, you no doubt know that sharks' bad rap is undeserved. While there are a handful of well-publicized shark attacks around the world every year, humans pose the bigger threat—we kill about 73 million sharks annually. According to the Discovery Channel's Shark Week website, you're more likely to be bitten by another person than by a shark! In honor of Shark Week, here are five other facts about these mysterious ocean dwellers:
1. Sharks may seem to be all business, but they also have a playful side. Porbeagle sharks have been observed playing with objects floating in the water, repeatedly rolling themselves in kelp fronds, and chasing after other sharks who trailed pieces of kelp behind them.
2. Sharks work together to obtain food—and mind their manners when eating. Biologist Peter Best once saw several great whites working together to move the carcass of a partially beached whale to deeper waters so that they could eat it. Caribbean reef sharks follow a pecking order when eating, with the biggest shark eating first.
3. Frightfully fast, sharks are excellent swimmers, thanks to scales covered with tiny teeth that enable water to flow smoothly over their bodies. Several years ago, Speedo introduced a swimsuit modeled after shark skin—but the suits worked too well and were banned from major swim meets for giving swimmers an unfair advantage.
4. We don't know if great whites like Great White (ahem), but they love AC/DC. A charter boat operator in Australia has discovered that great white sharks become less aggressive when songs by AC/DC are played underwater.
5. While whale sharks can give birth to 300 babies at a time, most sharks grow and mature slowly, have long gestation periods (up to two years!), and produce few young—making these animals particularly vulnerable to overfishing.
Written by Paula Moore
Have you tuned in to Life yet? Not to be confused with the delicious cereal of the same name or the painfully long bored game, Life is actually a 10-part documentary series that premiered on the Discovery Channel on March 21 and chronicles the complex lives of different species—from komodo dragons to cuttlefish, damselflies to pebble toads. Every episode is narrated by Oprah (could she get any cooler?), and each one has opened my eyes to so many fascinating facts about animals. Last Sunday's installment featured some aerially and aquatically nimble flying fish and resourceful anchovies. The highlight, though, was this unforgettable sequence of mud-wrestling mudskippers:
The two segments airing this Sunday are "Birds" and "Creatures of the Deep." I'm willing to bet that after you watch this preview about bowerbirds, you too will be tuning in to see which male's interior decorating skills are going to win him a mate. I know I will.
Written by Logan Scherer
Move over, National Garden Week! Out of the way, Waffle Week (OK, maybe you can stay). And get off my lawn, all you prevention and awareness weeks. This is the coolest week ever … Shark Week! Catch this (geddit?): The Discovery Channel's Shark Week is back for its 21st year, and I am pumped. When else do you get a whole week of programming dedicated to these pointy-toothed wonders?
Shark Week has another purpose, though, besides just being scary (which it totally is). Shark Week's programs teach viewers that shark populations on the coast of the Eastern U.S. declined by 80 percent in the '70s and '80s because of shark fishing for "sport" and steak.
Sharks are hunted not only because of the high price fetched by their teeth, jaws, and fins but also because of their reputation as human-killers.
True, an average of 10 humans die each year because of shark attacks. However, this is nothing compared to the 100 million sharks (and billions of other sea animals) killed by humans every year—so that humans can eat them.
When you think about the painful way that all fish are slaughtered for fun and food—suffocated, crushed to death, and cut open alive—shark attacks really don't seem all that unprovoked, do they?
On that note, check out our new billboard. It's going up in the cities that see the most shark attacks:
For more information on sharks and fishing, please visit FishingHurts.com—and watch Shark Week! I will!
Posted by Amanda Schinke
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.