The News You Need: Rescued baby bear is too cute for real life  »

This is Tahoe! She was rescued by Bear League after being found clinging to her dead mother. She was starving but since being rescued, she’s been packing on the pounds! OMG SHE KEEPS FALLING OVER. She’s too freaking cute. And she has a teddy bear!

You can donate to the Bear League here!

via Laughing Squid


Animals Asia sanctuary stays in Vietnam!  »

Animals Asia is the No 1. (if not only) organization that rescues and houses moon bears from the bear bile trade in China and Vietnam, while working to end that awful practice. We love them!

Last year Animals Asia’s $2 million, 29-acre Rescue Center in Tam Dao National Park was threatened with eviction by the Vietnamese government. But they worked it out, and can stay! “Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has concluded that the rescue center’s operation should be maintained, and that construction on the project’s second phase should continue,” said Communications Manager Maya Gottfried.

This is wonderful news not only for the 104 resident bears, but the 77 human employees of the center, as well as the tens of thousands bears being held and milked for their bile in China and Vietnam. Thanks, Vietnam! And thanks to Animals Asia for tireless work on behalf of the bears.

[Photos via Animals Asia]


Dashing and daring Animals Asia rescues two moon bear cubs from smugglers!  »

Wonderful news from Animals Asia: They’ve saved two moon bear cubs!

Two small moon bear cubs, confiscated from smugglers in North Vietnam, were rescued by our Vietnam team and successfully transported home to our Moon Bear Rescue Centre at Tam Dao National Park.

Negotiating flood-damaged roads extended the journey home to 12 hours, with stops every two hours to feed and check on the cubs.

Now happily ensconced in their very own den at the rescue centre’s Cub House, these lucky cubs may be just two of many being spirited across borders to feed the bile farm trade in China.

Get all the details at Animals Asia’s rescue diary. We’ll be here, swooning over the photos of these two fine gentleman.

If you want to support Animals Asia’s fight against the bear bile trade, check them out. They do wonderful work!

[Photos from Animals Asia]


Ben the Bear is FREE! Our pal Ian at the Animal Legal Defense Fund alerted us to this wonderful news. After six years of being confined in a concrete cage as part of a roadside zoo in North Carolina, Ben is now living it up at the Performing Animal Welfare Society sanctuary in San Andreas, Calif. Look at him splash in his new pool!

Read more about Ben at ALDF, and thanks so much to the concerned citizens of North Carolina who sued on Ben’s behalf, and to ALDF and PETA for fighting in court for Ben’s freedom, and PAWS for taking him in. May he live a healthy and happy life amid the California oaks!


Hello, Friends! It’s WTF Wednesday with Mark!  »

You guys, it has been a long couple of weeks. Since I last wrote, I have had two root canals, started summer school, and am about to get two more root canals (I used to have a really bad dentist). I’ve been flossing more, sleeping less, and spent the Fourth of July week (yes, the whole week) in Modesto, which was so incredibly hot and stifling that I did nothing but sit in Allen’s parents’ air-conditioned house and eat burritos. I also set off some fireworks. Allen has an amazing video of me running and screaming from a sparkler, which suggests that perhaps I should stay away from anything that is fire-based in the future.

I wish Allen’s parents had a pool so that I could have escaped the 100 degree wearer, but the only pool owned by that family belongs to Allen’s aunt and uncle who chose not to invite me over for a dip. Because I am a reasonable adult, I did not sneak over there in my American flag speedo. Not like these awesome bears who don’t give a shit about your pool party. Bears, you see, just want to have fun. And cool off. And not have to beg Allen to allow them to turn a fan on.

I bet Allen wishes I were more like this cat and less like those awesome bears. Because this cat is obedient, and will roll over and stand and raise its paws, and those bears will just pee in your pool and then also throw water balloons at your children.

Speaking of water balloons, I went to Allen’s family reunion this weekend and emptied approximately 375,000 water balloons on the children there. Then, when I ran out, I just started filling buckets with water and throwing them at the kids, laughing as they scrambled away, learning a harsh lesson about the world. The harsh lesson being that everyone gets punished when Uncle Mark isn’t invited to swim in the relatives’ pool.

That’s it for this week! I am all tuckered out, and still have to spend the next 15 hours writing PowerPoints. (Pro tip: Don’t take on a new highly theoretical summer class just because you think it will be fun! It won’t be!) Expect a super-sized dose of anger next time!

Send me links for next week and have a Wednesday full of pools parties!

[photo from This Blog Rules via Buzzfeed]


Beards for Bears: Get hairy, help bears!  »

Beards for Bears wants you to grow a beard and save bile-farm bears. It’s kind of like Movember but by Animals Asia for the poor bears being tortured on bile farms. I can’t believe I am only just hearing about this! It ends June 30th! We have to get going! 

The site is pretty awesome. I’m loving the design, very nice. And chicks can get involved too! Be a bear ambassador and get your homeboys to grow some beards! Or just donate to your favorite beard on the site. You can also buy some limited edition shirts to support the drive. 

Oh, last but not least, there’s an app! See how you’d look with a beard! Hilar.


There may now be slightly less bear-murdering in New York state.

NPR reports that New York state, which has allowed the hunting of black bears since governments started making laws regarding wild animal-killing, has just passed the very first regulations on the trade of black bear parts. Wildlife officials don’t want people killing black bears in neighboring states and selling them in New York; poaching bears “has been a problem nationwide for years,” which this law is designed to combat.

Now, anyone selling bear parts in New York must document that the bears whose bodies once held those parts—particularly gallbladders—were killed legally. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem in New York, where permitted hunters can kill black bears, easy peasy. See, they’re not mad about killing bears, they’re mad about killing bears illegally, only for the gallbladders and paws, for use in “Asian medicine.”

Yeah, “Asian medicine.” Remember how in some Asian countries, they farm bears for their bile, and it’s absolutely fucking disgusting? In the U.S., they poach wild bears, take their gallbladders, and leave their bodies. Man we are the BEST at animals, right, humanity?

Listen to the whole story, or read it at NPR. Obviously we hate all bear-killing, but if this law stops the murder of bears exclusively for a few of their parts, it’s not the most objectionable thing. Right?


Go to Sacramento next Tuesday (free transportation!) to support biggest animal protection bill of the year!  »

This is from the good people at HSUS! There’s still time to plan this into your schedule so please come to Sacramento to help bears and bobcats!

Just a reminder that on Tuesday April 24, one of the biggest animal protection bills of the year, Senate Bill 1221, is up for a vote in committee. This bill would prohibit the cruelty of bear and bobcat hounding—an unnecessary and unsporting practice where packs of hounds chase down bears and bobcats. This cruel practice is still legal here in California, despite the fact that it is criminalized in the majority of states. We really hope that you’ll be able to attend this hearing to show your support for this important bill! The fate of bills like this one can literally be decided by the number of people who show up to a hearing. We’re sure the opposition will be there; we hope you can be there.

The hearing will be held at the State Capitol 11th and L Streets Sacramento, CA 95814. If you need help with transportation from the Bay Area, please contact Elise Traub at Elise is organizing carpools and rides to Sacramento. The hearing will be from 7:30 AM - 10:30 AM, and if you can attend, please RSVP.

If you can’t attend the hearing, please call ALL members of the Senate Natural Resources committee BEFORE APRIL 24 and urge an AYE on SB 1221. You can say “Hi, my name is _____________ and I live in California. I know Sen ______ is going to be voting on SB 1221 in committee soon and I want to urge him/her to represent the view of 83% of California voters by supporting SB 1221. Thank you.” It’ll only take a few minutes!

If you happen to live in any of these Senator’s districts (find out here!), be sure to emphasize that you are a constituent.

Senator Fran Pavley (Chair) (916) 651-4023 
Senator Doug La Malfa (Vice Chair) (916) 651-4004 
Senator Anthony Cannella (916) 651-4012 
Senator Noreen Evans (916) 651-4002 
Senator Jean Fuller (916) 651-4018 
Senator Christine Kehoe (916) 651-4039 
Senator Alex Padilla (916) 651-4020 
Senator Joe Simitian (916) 651-4011 
Senator Lois Wolk (916) 651-4005

OK! Everyone call and/or go! Let’s do this for the animals!!!


After the horrors of earlier today, this little slice of heaven brought to you by the Facebook stream of one Diana Stout. By the time these li’l’ guys grow up, the #beararmy will be in the process of conquering the world. Right, guys?! Don’t worry, bear buddies, we’re always recruiting, at all ages.

Bears are being buried alive! Please help!  »

Oh god, this is horrifying: Bears are being buried alive in Appalachia. I guess what’s happening is as companies further clear-cut, bulldoze, and blast the earth in search of coal, the debris is piling up on top of the entrances to black bears’ dens. Mountaintop removal coal mining is FUCKED UP. It doesn’t just hurt bears, though — flying squirrels, salamanders, mussels, and more are all facing habitat destruction. Here’s what you can do: Save your “bear-ied” puns for another day, and give your hard-earned dollars (if you can spare them) to the National Wildlife Federation. The organization is working with local leaders to stop this insanity. Do it to it, my rich(er) friends.

[Photo credit: NWF]

EDIT: I have been alerted to NWF’s support of “sustainable” hunting. Sorry, guys! Still looking for another organization working on this particular problem. Thanks for your comments!

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