World News Roundup: March 4, 2017

March 4, 2017
Maureen McKinney

Top stories this week include zany life with reality TV kitties, thriving life for animals around the Chernobyl exclusion zone, and cruel life for neglected cows in India.

Animals Thrive in Chernobyl Zone (Business Insider)

In 1986, nearly 120,000 people within a 30-km area around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant were forced to flee their homes when one of the plant’s reactors exploded. Although no humans have returned to the area, it seems that wildlife there are thriving. Experts say that although “the lingering radiation is unhealthy for the wildlife, the effects of human activity—like hunting, farming, and forestry—are worse.”

Abuse and Illegal Conditions for Exported EU Animals (The Guardian)

Over a period of 8 months, individuals from the animal advocacy group Animals International obtained “dozens of undercover videos and photographs [showing] live cattle and sheep from EU countries being beaten, shocked with electric prods, held for days in overcrowded pens and covered head to toe in faeces as they are transported from Europe to their final destinations.”

Tracking Alabama Rot in England (Coventry Telegraph)

The clinical effects of idiopathic cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy, commonly known as Alabama rot, can range from appetite loss, tiredness, and vomiting to raging fever, kidney failure, and death. Vets4Pets, an online search site that helps locate veterinary practices across Coventry and Warwickshire, offers an online search tool to help owners track the spread of the disease and #StopAlabamaRot.

Cruelty Against Cows in India (

Despite their sacred status, it seems that cows in the India are “underfed, overcrowded, treated cruelly, and denied proper medical treatment.” According to data from the city’s Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals, more than 60% of animal cruelty cases between 2011 and 2015 involved cattle.

Hemp Chews to Be Sold in New Zealand (Yahoo! Finance)

“True Leaf Pet [a subsidiary of True Leaf Medicine International Ltd.] has entered into an agreement with Liberty Premium Pet Products of Christchurch, New Zealand, to distribute True Hemp innovative pet chews to Animates pet retail stores across the country … marking the first time the product will be sold in the Asia Pacific region.” Animates is the largest pet retail chain in New Zealand.

Kim, Khloe, and Kylie … as Kitties? (

The Internet’s first kitten reality show is here. “Keeping Up with the Kattarshians” is a streaming series from Iceland that features kittens in place of the famous ladies of reality TV. The brainchild of Inga Lind Karlsdóttir, this new series stars shelter kittens living in a dollhouse. "It's fun when they go crazy and ruin the house,” Karlsdóttir says, “but it's also calming to watch them sleep."

New System Predicts a Horse’s Due Date (CBC News)

Lisa Pfister, a student working on her master’s in technology, management, and entrepreneurship at Canada’s University of New Brunswick, has developed a system to predict when a horse is about to foal. "You can usually tell within a month or two of when they're going to give birth, but that's still generally a long wait, and you're anticipating a foal that you planned a year or more ago and you want everything to go smoothly," Pfister said.