Beach-goers post important message to protect baby penguin
This little blue penguin, found alone on a beach in New Zealand, couldn’t communicate directly with people passing by to ask that they respect his space. So, a few kind people stepped up and posted an important message on his behalf, asking people to leave him be and keep their dogs away from him as he waited for his mother to return.
Jeff Mein Smith was cycling past, according to a New Zealand news website, when he spotted a group gathered around the penguin. He rushed home to get his camera and returned to find a couple had made a sign and contacted the Department of Conservation.
Locals then formed “a little penguin protection patrol” to ensure the bird was kept safe, Mein Smith said. Learn more here.
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Walking Dead actor rescues “inseparable” donkey and emu pair
An emu and a donkey that become frantic when anyone tries to separate them are adjusting to their new life in the Hudson Valley together. They’ve been adopted by actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays the character Negan on the “The Walking Dead,” and who heard about the trouble a North Carolina animal rescue group was having trying to find a new home for Jack and Diane.
Morgan immediately reached out to the group and offered the pair a permanent home at his sanctuary in upstate New York. The two arrived last week and have begun adjusting to their new safe haven. Check out Morgan’s Twitter account for updates.
Thousands of songbirds rescued from illegal wildlife trafficking
In the course of 10 days, Indonesian police and quarantine officials intercepted three shipments of wild songbirds who were being transported to Java, Indonesia to be held in captivity in people’s homes as pets. The birds are being returned to their natural habitats.
The first day of the operation, the officials confiscated over 6,000 birds, including songbirds, sunbirds, tailorbirds, prinias, leafbirds, bulbuls and nuthatches. Six days later, 1,536 caged birds were seized from the back of a bus, and four days after that, an additional 2,140 birds were rescued from a private car.
“I think this is the biggest bird seizure that has ever happened in a period of 10 days,” Marison Guciano, executive director of FLIGHT: Protecting Indonesia’s Birds, told The Dodo.
Yelp adds “Liked by Vegans” filter
Review and rating website Yelp recently launched a new tool to help vegan diners identify where to eat. When visiting Yelp, users are now able to determine which restaurants offer vegan dishes by choosing a filter that features the phrase, “Liked by Vegans,” a tag given when the restaurant is well-reviewed for its plant-based options. We’re happy to see vegan options becoming easier to find. Check out our vegan restaurant guide for NYC and San Francisco here for some of our favorite veg-friendly spots!
Colorado students win big by teaching others about endangered species
We’re happy to hear that a talented group of Colorado students found out they won $10,000 because of their work about educating the public about protecting endangered species and are moving on in the Lexus Eco Challenge. The competition asked students to create a program or project centered around the climate and environment. The team at Peak to Peak Charter School created a brochure, social media account, and website with games to educate kids about endangered species in Colorado and what they can do to help.
The students will continue working until the final deadline for the Lexus Eco Challenge in March and hopefully win the grand prize of $30,000. We’re thrilled to see students working on such a vital and important issue that we focus on here at Friends of Animals and wish them the best of luck!