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An Environmentalist Was Dragged Until He Asphyxiated To Death For Trying To Protect This Endangered Animal

Egg poaching is killing off Costa Rica’s leatherback turtles.

Fusion recently went to Costa Rica to investigate the happenings of turtle egg poaching. The poaching started decades ago, prompting the Costa Rican government to pass a law in 1996 that criminalized the practice. According to the video, turtle egg poaching is a lucrative business that has spawned an underground market where eggs are sold to restaurants and markets for huge margins. For some Costa Ricans, egg poaching is the only way they can think of to provide for their families and survive. The thirst and popularity for the turtle eggs, which some think serve as an aphrodisiac, has led to the deaths of several environmental conservationists. Most famous was the death of Jairo Mora in 2013. The young environmentalist was found dead on the beach he regularly patrolled. He was dragged behind a car until he asphyxiated on the sand. Fusion’s exposé digs deep into the socioeconomic issues that lead to an increase in illegal poaching and paints a grim future of a world with a continued depletion of the turtle population.


READ: There’s a Place In Latin America Where Hundreds Of Stray Dogs Get To Roam Free

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Hundreds Of Street Rats Were Taken In By A Peruvian Man Who Trained Them To Do Tricks

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Hundreds Of Street Rats Were Taken In By A Peruvian Man Who Trained Them To Do Tricks

Screenshot via YouTube

Rats are such interesting creatures. They’re usually associated with dirt and disease, but they’re also some of the most popular animals on the internet.

Those who have been around rats for longer than a few seconds (hey, that’s how long it usually takes us before we run screaming!) know that they’re highly intelligent creatures.

And no one knows this fact better than Miguel Angel Silva, affectionately known as the “Rat Man of Peru“.

@dorelycaluasalvad

Yo haciendo malabares con mi ex 😂😂😂😂

♬ Dance Monkey – Tones And I

Recently, a TikTok went viral showing a man on the streets of Lima playing with a group of rats on the sidewalk. The video begins with what can only be described as a rat-version of Cirque du Soleil.

The man holds his finger out like a trapeze before one of his rat friends jumps onto his finger and flips around on it like a trapeze artist.

The video continues with the man crouched on the ground, his rats in an orderly line in front of him.

It’s immediately evident that these aren’t your ordinary rats–they’re super obedient. Trained, even.

To make things even more entertaining, the TikTok poster captioned the video with: “Yo haciendo malabares con mi ex.” (“Me playing games with my ex.”)

While the TikToker doesn’t identify the man, he is very-well known to locals. His name is Miguel Angel Silva, otherwise known as “Ratman”.

Silva has been covered extensively by different media channels for his abnormal lifestyle. Not only does he perform tricks with his rats on the street, but he also lives with them–around 100 of them, to be exact.

Silva, who is also a drummer in local rock bands, spends almost all of his time with the rats–he often has one on his shoulder as a travel companion. Camera crew have followed him as he goes about his normal day, running errands, playing music–all with a rat on his shoulder. They even eat from the same plates as him.

In various interviews, Silva has revealed that his love for rats started as a child, when he saved a rat from being killed from his friend. The rat ended up living in his roof for a while before he permanently befriended it. It was then that Ratman was born.

Silva says he loves rats because they are misunderstood creatures, shunned and abused by the public.

He acknowledges that many people judge him harshly for his lifestyle, thinking he is dirty and his home is unsanitary. But Silva says he keeps his rats clean, washing them everyday and making sure they’re never infected with dangerous parasites.

We’re glad Silva is following his dreams regardless of what people think. Hopefully, we’ll see him on the streets of Peru one day.

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Guardians Of The Galaxy Star Offers Reward To Find Who Mutilated A Manatee With The Name ‘Trump’

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Guardians Of The Galaxy Star Offers Reward To Find Who Mutilated A Manatee With The Name ‘Trump’

Just when we thought Trump supporters couldn’t disgust us more, one disfigured a manatee by etching “Trump” into its back.

Sadly, last week, a manatee was found in Florida’s Homosassa River with the name “Trump” scratched into its back. The discovery has prompted federal officials to open an investigation into the disfigurement of the threatened species.

A mutilated manatee was found over the weekend with the name Trump scratched into its back.

According to a report published by the Citrus County Chronicle, it is unclear when and how the manatee was mutilated. It is also unknown whether the current investigation has made any leads in regards to the perpetrators. Still, footage of the abused animal has sparked outrage online.

Douglas Nowacek, a professor of Conservation Technology at Duke University told Vice that the incident is “one of the most horrifying things I have ever seen done to a wild animal.” In a separate email, Ruth Carmichael, a Senior Marine Scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and a Professor of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama described the act a “horrific” to VICE saying “I have no words to express how deeply troubling, thoughtless, and potentially cruel this is.” 

Guardians of the Galaxy actor Dave Bautista has offered a $20,000 reward to anyone who finds the person who etched “Trump” into the Florida manatee’s back.

Bautista offered the reward on Twitter, writing “if there’s not already a reward for the arrest and conviction of the low life scummy MAGATs that did this I’ll throw in $20,000. And I promise there will be bonuses to that reward!”

Marine biologists say that it is unclear just how much harm the mammal endured.

“It’s a little hard to see the extent of damage from the video,” Carmichael explained. “It is harassment regardless. If the scrape penetrates the skin, then it likely caused some pain and stress. The animals have nerves and sensory hairs in the skin. Additionally, open wounds could become infected.” 

According to Graham Worthy, Department Chair and Pegasus Professor at the University of Central Florida who spoke to VICE the letters could mostly be shallow, and may mostly be algae scraped off the animal’s back making“ injury would be virtually non-existent.”

Still, physically hurt or not, the manatee in question was clearly harassed by a person. As such the perpetrator could face severe penalties if found. 

“Violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act may result in fines of up to $100,000 and one year’s imprisonment for individuals and up to $200,000 for organizations,” Worthy told Vice. “It is illegal to approach and make contact with these animals let alone deface or injure them. It is illegal to feed or harass wild marine mammals including dolphins, porpoises, whales, seals, sea lions, and manatees. You are not allowed to feed, swim with, or harass these marine animals… They should be observed from a distance of at least 50 yards.”

The mutilated manatee is a West Indian manatee and is a herbivorous mammal found in coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Up until 2017, the species was considered endangered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Today, conservation status is listed as “threatened.”  

As many users of social media have noted, perhaps one of the most disturbing aspects of the images that humans already cause so much pain and suffering to innocent animals. When does it stop?

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