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JOHANNESBURG - Thousands marched in Africa and around the world Saturday to pressure governments to do more to stop the poaching industry that many fear is driving rhinos and elephants to the brink of extinction. Credit: Getty Editorial The protests, dubbed the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, took place in 136 cities and towns across six continents, from Soweto to Nairobi, and Paris to New York and Tokyo. In South Africa, which is struggling to stem a rhino poaching crisis, demonstrators gathered across 17 cities. "We are protesting against the political leaders of the world, who do not have the guts and political will to make changes in their laws," Dex Kotze, one of the march...

SYDNEY - Two great white sharks have been caught and killed off Western Australia, officials said Friday, after an attack in which a young surfer lost parts of both arms. Great White Shark. Credit: Associated Press The capture of the sharks came as a man who witnessed the attack said the 23-year-old surfer involved, Sean Pollard, might have died if he had not received immediate medical attention. Pollard lost one arm as well as the hand on his other arm, and suffered cuts to his leg in the attack off the south coast of Western Australia, reports said. "He's obviously swum about 100 metres with those injuries... it was probably the bravest thing I've ever seen," a witness called Robbie...

PARIS - A survey of over 3,000 species has found that animal numbers have plunged by more than half in just 40 years as Earth's human population has nearly doubled, conservationists said Tuesday. Credit: Getty Creative From 1970 to 2010, there was a 39-percent drop in numbers across a representative sample of land- and sea-dwelling species, while freshwater populations dropped 76 percent, the green group WWF said in its 2014 Living Planet Report. All told, "the number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish across the globe is, on average, about half the size it was 40 years ago," it said. The 52-percent decrease confirms mankind is chomping through nature's bounty much faster...

NEW YORK - Politics can sometimes be unpredictable, as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio learned following reports that a groundhog he dropped during a photo session died last February. Credit: Getty Editorial The groundhog, named Chuck, squirmed out of the six-foot-three mayor's arms while he was posing for photos on February 2 -- Groundhog Day -- and plummeted to the floor, the New York Post reported Thursday. The rodent died a week later from "acute internal injuries," the newspaper reported. According to popular folklore, if a groundhog emerges from its cage and sees its own shadow, winter will continue for another six weeks. If the day is cloudy and the groundhog does not cast a shadow,...

Alarm Over Fate of Monarch Butterfly

MEXICO CITY - The migration of monarch butterflies from Canada to Mexico is threatened by the use of pesticides that have reduced food sources for their epic journey, Mexican experts warned Tuesday. Credit: Associated Press The orange-and-black butterflies consume milkweed as they fly across the United States on their way to their winter grounds in the forests of central and western Mexico. But the availability of the plant has "fallen considerably" due to the heavy use of pesticides in Canadian and US soybean and corn fields, said Luis Fueyo Mac Donald, the commissioner of the National Protected Areas of Mexico. The monarch butterfly population was the lowest in 20 years during the...