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GENEVA - The scaly anteater, which looks like an artichoke with legs and a tail, is being eaten out of existence as its tasty meat is served up at banquets across Asia, conservationists said Tuesday. Credit: Thinkstock The mysterious mammal, also known as a pangolin, is the prey of poachers with more than one million believed to have been snatched from the wild in the past decade. "In the 21st century we really should not be eating species to extinction -- there is simply no excuse for allowing this illegal trade to continue," said Jonathan Baillie, co-chair of the pangolin specialist group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. "All eight pangolin species are now listed as threatened...

Our species caused 322 animal extinctions over the past 500 years, with two-thirds of those occurring in the last two centuries, according to a paper published in a special issue of the journal Science this week. West African Black Rhinoceros (Extinct). Credit: Flickr/Arno Meintjes Wildlife Many animals are threatened with human-caused extinction now, with researchers expressing particular concern over amphibian and invertebrate (creatures without a backbone) losses. Numbers of the latter group have nearly halved as our population doubled in size over the past 35 years. Ecologists, zoologists and other scientists believe that, without urgent steps to stem the losses, we are facing global...

In Poland, Hedgehogs Find a Saviour

KRAKõW, Poland - Too weak to stand on his feet after swallowing poison for garden slugs, Smoky the hedgehog is fighting for his life. Credit: Getty Creative Thanks to a devoted Polish animal lover, he has a chance. Andrzej Kuziomski set up Poland's first and only hedgehog shelter after as a bicycle courier he came across hundreds of the small, quilled mammals that had been killed or maimed in run-ins with humans. "He hasn't eaten anything for days... He weighs less than half of what he should," the 45-year-old says as he holds Smoky, gently stroking his prickly back. The refuge on the outskirts of Krakow has space for up to 50 sick or injured hedgehogs. Driven from their habitat by...

After being left behind by his owners when they moved away, Theo the dog was living on the streets and underneath a garbage trailer. He resided there for more than a year before members of The Mutt Scouts were called in. The poor dog was weak, scared and afraid of human touch. Watch to see what happens after this resilient canine is rescued. Theo is still looking for his forever home, so visit this website if you are living in the Los Angeles area and interested in adopting this adorable pooch. Share this on Facebook? MORE ON PAWNATION: Beagle Freedom Project Rescues More Dogs From Laboratory Chimps See Daylight for the First Time Disabled Kitten Is Protected by Canine Friend...

GOLD COAST - Australian authorities struggled to rescue a beached baby whale Wednesday and were forced to suspend the operation as fading light hampered efforts to return it to sea. Credit: Getty Editorial The whale, reportedly a two-year-old humpback, washed up on Palm Beach on the popular Gold Coast late Tuesday, with rescuers working for hours to try and free it. Hundreds of people gathered at the Queensland beach to watch the rescue, which included fitting a specially-designed harness to the mammal as workers from marine park Sea World tried to coax it back into the water. Rescuers were able to briefly return the whale to sea before it became stuck on a sandbar slightly further...

BANGKOK - Thailand's "out of control" ivory market is driving Africa's elephant poaching crisis, conservationists warned Wednesday, accusing the kingdom of backsliding on its pledges. Credit: Associated Press The number of ivory products on sale in Bangkok nearly trebled from 5,865 in January last year to 14,512 in May 2014, according to the wildlife group TRAFFIC. The Southeast Asian nation, a known hub for the illegal trade in tusks from Africa, has come under pressure to ban the sale of ivory from domestic elephants. This legal trade is blamed for easing the smuggling of ivory into Thailand from other countries, most of which is made into ornaments or taken to China and Vietnam where...