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Marc Bekoff
Marc Bekoff is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado. He has published numerous books on animal behavior, animal emotions, and animal protection. His homepages are;

Entries by Marc Bekoff

How and Why Dogs Play Revisited: Who's Confused?

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2015 | 5:14 PM

Watching dogs play is very exciting, and there has been a lot empirical research on how and why dogs (and other animals) engage in this activity with boundless zeal. A number of people have asked me to comment about dog play after reading this section in a new book by...

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The Evolution and Ethology of Terrorism: We Are Unique, Violence Is a Dead End, But There Is Hope

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2015 | 1:05 PM

Recent events across the world make it clear that human animals are capable of horrific within species violence. A number of people have asked me questions about the evolution and ethology of terrorism, and I consider that to be questioning whether or not we can we explain human terrorism and...

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SeaWorld San Diego Claims They're Going to End Killer Whale Shows for New Image: But Are They Really Going to do this?

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2015 | 12:01 PM

For many years SeaWorld has been under intense scrutiny and has been fined because of its rampant abuse of killer whales (orcas) and the death of trainers (for comprehensive reviews please see Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity and

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Teach the Children Wrong: New Zealand Kids Kill Possums and Birds for Fun and Games and a Bathroom

(5) Comments | Posted November 10, 2015 | 4:04 PM

Teach the children wrong

There can be no doubt that youngsters are attracted to nonhuman animals (animals) for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from fascination, to curiosity, to wanton cruelty and abuse (please see here and here). It is also well known...

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The Conservation Charade: U.S. Zoos Propose Importing Wild African Elephants

(4) Comments | Posted November 9, 2015 | 4:51 PM

The American public is under the impression that elephants are no longer captured in the wild and imported for display in zoos. Surely, such an archaic and inhumane practice must have been relegated to the past! In reality, zoos have failed to create a self-sustaining collection of captive elephants in...

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The Florida Bear Massacre: This Thrill Killing Event is a Horrific, Unregulated, and Unscientific Brutal Bloodbath

(2) Comments | Posted October 26, 2015 | 4:49 PM

On October 15 I published an essay called "Florida's Upcoming Bear Hunt: A Tragic Failure to Apply Solid Science, Public Opinion, and Compassionate Conservation." I concentrated on what was then an upcoming bear hunt that was thoroughly ill founded in that it ignored public opinion and sound science.

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"Pound for Pound": A New Book Shows How Shelter Dogs Loved a Woman Back to Life

(0) Comments | Posted October 26, 2015 | 10:35 AM

A few months ago I was asked to write endorsement for a forthcoming book called Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman's Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life by Shannon Kopp, and I was hesitant because my desk was overflowing with other...

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Is Trophy Hunting Really Trophy Murder? Intentions and Words Should Matter

(13) Comments | Posted October 18, 2015 | 10:59 AM

"Still, the need to hurt animals that some children feel doesn't explain why some adults hunt and kill large, and often dangerous, animals that they have no intention of eating. I have searched the psychology literature and, while there's a lot of conjecture about what it means, the...

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Florida's Upcoming Bear Hunt: A Tragic Failure to Apply Solid Science, Public Opinion, and Compassionate Conservation

(18) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 5:59 PM

As evidence mounts around the globe that the emerging principles of compassionate conservation can succeed in resolving conflicts between human and nonhuman animals (animals) while respecting the needs of all stakeholders (see, for example, here and here), painful examples remain of cases in which...

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Boulder, Colorado Bear Killing Challenges Anthrozoology: Why Not Just Say 'No'

(3) Comments | Posted October 12, 2015 | 4:25 PM

"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right." Martin Luther King Jr.

A mother bear was tragically and unnecessarily killed in Boulder, Colorado, on Thursday October...

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Saving Wolves With Compassionate Conservation: The Killing Must Stop

(5) Comments | Posted October 12, 2015 | 3:08 PM

October 12-18 is Wolf Awareness Week.

North Americans are often quick to condemn the brutality of other cultures and countries, inserting ourselves, sometimes using violent force, to establish what we consider peace keeping and a "good life". Why then, has this sense of empathy not reached the...

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"Ridiculously Gorgeous Rare Bird" Photographed, Caught, and ... Killed by Researcher

(59) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 2:45 PM

Nine months ago I wrote an essay called "Harvard Researcher Kills Rare Spider 'In the Name of Education': When Will the Killing Finally Stop?" about a puppy-size female spider called the South American Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi), who was admired by Harvard researcher Piotr Naskrecki and then killed...

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Shame on Naropa University if They Turn Into a Prairie Dog Killing Field

(1) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 2:13 PM

I began my book Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence with the following quotation by Chögyam Trungpa, founder of Naropa University, a place that is supposed to be a contemplative setting motivated by compassion and respect. "When human beings lose their...

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Killing Mountain Lions to Grow Mule Deer: Colorado's Planned Cull Is Ill-Conceived and Unscientific

(13) Comments | Posted September 15, 2015 | 1:35 PM

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is attempting to push through a controversial "study" that would involve killing significantly more numbers of mountain lions (Puma concolor) in hunting units in a portion of Colorado over a five-year span to see if they can increase the mule deer population...

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Psychological Disorders in Animals: A Review of What We Know

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2015 | 5:58 PM

Almost four years ago, I wrote an essay called "Do Wild Animals Suffer From PTSD and Other Psychological Disorders?" in which I summarized much of what we knew then about PTSD and other psychological disorders in nonhuman animals (animals).

I concluded, "Because wild animals don't get the...

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Animals Don't Experience Emotions, Claims Texas Journalist

(1) Comments | Posted September 6, 2015 | 10:45 PM

My email inbox was brimming over today with people asking me to respond to the most absurd claim I've heard in a long time. In an essay that somehow found it's way into the New York Times, a newspaper that has published numerous essays about the detailed scientific research that...

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Now That Yellowstone Killed Blaze Bear, What About Her Cubs? Let Them Go Free

(15) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 7:38 PM

Blaze, a mother bear who was killed -- not euthanized -- by park employees in Yellowstone National Park after she killed and partially ate an intruding human, has become the "poster bear" for all that is wrong with killing a mother with young cubs at her side (for details please...

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Humans Are a "Unique Super-Predator" Claims New Research: We Really do Kill Here, There, and Everywhere

(1) Comments | Posted August 21, 2015 | 1:14 PM

This morning my email inbox was brimming over with news about an essay published in Science magazine by researchers from the University of Victoria (Canada) and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation called "The unique ecology of human predators." While the full essay is currently available, I think...

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Compassionate Conservation, Cecil the Murdered Lion, and Blaze the Slaughtered Yellowstone Bear

(1) Comments | Posted August 21, 2015 | 12:39 AM

"More than ever conservation needs new ideas, risky ventures to find out what will work and what won't; biodiversity doesn't benefit from us calling each other stupid as a substitute for rational discourse." (Harry Greene, 2015, Pleistocene rewilding and the future of biodiversity, in Ben Minteer and Stephen Pyne (editors),...

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Yellowstone Regrettably Kills Blaze, the Mother Bear Who Attacked an Off-Trail Hiker

(29) Comments | Posted August 13, 2015 | 7:38 PM

Blaze, a grizzly bear with a clean record, was killed by Yellowstone National Park workers, and her two surviving cubs will be sent to spend the rest of their lives in a zoo (for more on this story, please see this essay). Coming on the heels...

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