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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...

SYDNEY - Timberwolf the koala was lucky to be alive Monday after surviving a terrifying 88-kilometre (54.5-mile) ride down a busy Australian freeway clinging to the bottom of a car. Credit: Thinkstock The four-year-old male, who survived with nothing more than a torn nail, was struck by the vehicle near Maryborough in Queensland state on Friday. The Australia Zoo wildlife hospital said it latched onto the bottom of the car as it sped away, with the family inside not knowing they had a marsupial on board. It was only when they stopped in Gympie after a high-speed freeway drive that they noticed it, and called the hospital for help. The maximum speed on the freeway is 110 kilometres per...

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...

WASHINGTON - Dogs show jealousy when their owners spend time with what appears to be another dog, suggesting that the emotion may have survivalist roots, US researchers said Wednesday. Credit: Getty Creative Scientists tested 36 dogs and their owners with an experiment in which the owners were told to play with three separate objects in front of their dog. One of the objects was a toy dog that barked and wagged its tail when a button on it was pushed. The owners were told to play with it as if it were a real dog for one minute. They were told to do the same in the next phase of the experiment with a toy jack-o-lantern pail, acting as if it were a dog and playing with it. Finally, they...

For the first time in more than 30 years, a litter of wolf pups was born in the wild in Mexico, wildlife authorities announced last week. Credit: Associated Press The Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi), also known as the lobo, went extinct in the wild about three decades ago. But in recent years, breeding pairs of the species have been raised in captivity and reintroduced into the mountains of western Mexico as part of a national conservation effort. Mexican authorities have been closely watching one wolf couple released in December 2013 in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains, and they suspected the female might be pregnant. The signal from her satellite collar was lost for a few days...

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...