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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

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

(20) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 1:45 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 | 1:13 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

(11) Comments | Posted September 15, 2015 | 12:35 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 | 4:58 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 | 9:45 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 | 6:38 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 | 12:14 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 20, 2015 | 11:39 PM

"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 | 6:38 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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Killing the Grizzly Bear Who Killed a Man in Yellowstone and Her Cubs Is a Horrific Idea

(33) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 4:42 PM

I've had numerous emails asking me to weigh in on the plans to kill a female grizzly bear who killed a man in Yellowstone National Park and her cubs. Of course, this is a horrific tragedy, but there is no reason at all to kill the bear and her cubs...

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Animal "Euthanasia" Is Too Often Slaughter

(3) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 3:48 PM

I've been long interested in how the word "euthanasia" is misused in different branches of science and in venues where nonhuman animals (animals) are killed because they're no longer needed. Euthanasia is defined as "the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering."...

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Why Science Doesn't Need Mice

(14) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 4:44 PM

A recent editorial called "Why Science Needs Female Mice" by the New York Times Editorial Review Board relies on a new study published in Nature Neuroscience by Robert Sorge and his colleagues titled "Different immune cells mediate mechanical pain hypersensitivity in male and female mice."

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New York Blood Center Abandons Chimps to Die of Starvation

(1) Comments | Posted May 29, 2015 | 2:10 PM

"Never, ever have I seen anything even remotely as disgusting as this"

Yes, you can believe your eyes and feel your heart break. It's a fact that a colony of 66 chimpanzees in a Liberian laboratory are being abandoned by the New York Blood Center. As a...

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Butts and Noses: Secrets, Lessons, and Surprises from Dog Parks

(2) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 2:44 PM

I love going to dog parks. So, too, do dogs and their people. Dog parks are a fascinating recent and growing cultural phenomenon. Indeed, I go rather often to what I call my field sites, for that's what they are, to study play behavior and other aspects of dog behavior...

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Wildlife Services Slaughtered 2.7 Million Animals in 2014 in the Name of Coexistence

(1) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 3:13 PM

I've written a number of essays on a federal agency called Wildlife Services whose stated mission, namely, "to resolve wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist," couldn't be further from what they actually do. Federal agents working for Wildlife Services killed 2,713,570 animals in...

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Dogs, Humans, and the Oxytocin-Mediated Strong Social Bond

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 2:56 PM

For many people dogs are considered to be family members and their best friends. Indeed, because of the long period of close association between dogs and humans, a deep bond has evolved (for numerous references and discussion please click here).

While the existence of this co-evolved and special...

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The Modern Savage: A New Book Questions Why We Eat Animals

(2) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 5:10 PM

There's a very good life beyond beef and after meat

Dr. James McWilliams' new book called The Modern Savage: Our Unthinking Decision to Eat Animals is a very thoughtful work about our meal plans in which he covers the ecological and ethical reasons for not eating nonhuman animals...

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U. S. Army Corps of Engineers to Kill Thousands of Cormorants: There Will Be Blood

(9) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 9:17 AM

In August 2014 I wrote an essay called "Birds and Us: Should Cormorants Be Killed to Save Salmon?" in response to Felicity Barringer's essay in the New York Times called "Taking Up Arms Where Birds Feast on Buffet of Salmon." Ms. Barringer's essay dealt with the...

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Do Orcas Go Crazy Because of Petting Pools, Loss of Trust, and False Hopes?

(3) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 5:38 PM

The violent death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in the jaws of an orca named Tilikum in early 2010 triggered a series of journalistic articles and books on the history and conditions of orca captivity resulting in severe injuries and deaths to both orcas and trainers (see for example, "

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Peter Singer Argues for 'Effective Altruism' for Charitable Giving in His New Book

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 2:27 PM

Renowned and controversial philosopher Peter Singer's books and essays have always been brain stimulators for me and numerous other people, including academics and those who reflect on how they live their lives. And, his new book called The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About...

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