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Rescuers Find 150 Cats at New York Home

NEW YORK - A US family is facing cruelty charges after 150 cats were found living in the walls and rooms of a rural home in horrendous conditions, an official said Thursday. The property in Schaghticoke, 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of New York state capital Albany, has been condemned to allow police, fire fighters and the Mohawk-Hudson Humane Society to evacuate the cats. It has taken two days for workers in protective gear to remove 98 of the animals and could take another two days to remove an estimated 50 remaining cats hiding behind the walls, said the group's executive director Brad Shear. They range in age from newborn kittens to six years old, and 12 were found so ill that...

Endangered giant tortoises have staged a remarkable population comeback on Espanola Island in the Galapagos. Credit: Getty Creative A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE reports that giant tortoises on the island now number about 1,000 self-sustaining creatures, after nearly disappearing in the 1960s, when just 15 were counted. "The population is secure," said James P. Gibbs, professor of vertebrate conservation biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and lead author of the paper, in a press release. "It's a rare example of how biologists and managers can collaborate to recover a species from the brink of extinction." PHOTOS: Lonesome George and Animals...

WASHINGTON - Loss of habitat and prey are putting African lions in danger of extinction, and the majestic creatures need protection in order to save their species, the US government said Monday. Credit: Martin Pettitt/Flickr "Following a review of the best available scientific information, the US Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed listing the African lion as threatened under the Endangered Species Act," the FWS said in a statement. "The agency's analysis found that lions are in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future." Such protection would allow US authorities to toughen enforcement and monitoring of imports and international trade, the FWS said. Listing an animal under...

TAIPEI - Animal rights group PETA on Monday praised Taiwanese police for raiding a club which organised gambling on pigeon races, claiming that such races kill 1.5 million birds a year on the island. Credit: Associated Press Agents from The Criminal Investigation Bureau last week searched the office of the club in the southern city of Kaohsiung and froze about Tw$120 million ($3.95 million) in assets. Police also detained three employees on charges of violating the animal protection law and illegal gambling. The move came in response to complaints from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) about the pigeon race gambling industry. "Taiwan authorities have shown the world...

LONDON - A "girlie" gorilla with a fondness for pink celebrated its 40th birthday at London Zoo on Thursday with a colourful gourmet parsnip, potato and carrot cake. Credit: Twitter/zsllondonzoo Zaire, who weighs in at 231 pounds (105 kilos), could be seen in a video from the zoo slowly picking at the pyramid-shaped cake in her enclosure before lying on her side, scooping it up in handfuls and waving a piece of pinkish jelly in the air. The treat was made by Richard Burr, a star baker on a popular television show, who said the cake presented particular challenges as he could not use eggs, flour, butter or sugar. "I've made essentially a vegan cake," he said. Her keeper, Glynn Hennessy,...

LONDON - Britain's Houses of Parliament desperately need some feline protection to tackle the growing mouse population -- but the job would require an impractical number of cats prowling the corridors of power. Parliament looking for resident cat similar to Downing Street Cat. Credit: Getty Editorial A study found that due to the size of Parliament, one or two cats would not be enough, while a "herd of cats" running wild would be unmanageable, lawmaker John Thurso reported to the lower House of Commons on Thursday. The cat plan has been given "full and proper consideration" by the authorities, he announced, but there were "very clear practical and technical difficulties" with the...