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At Bellewaerde Park in Belgium, Sam Clauw will attempt to set a new Guinness World Record while raising funds to save the Amur leopard from extinction. The intrepid theme park enthusiast's goal is to spend more than 48 hours on the park's pirate ship ride. Filmed by surveillance cameras, Sam will climb aboard the ride Tuesday, April 29 in an attempt to break the record for the "longest marathon on a fairground/theme park attraction." The current record holder, Clinton Shepherd, spent 48 hours, 8 minutes and 25 seconds on a ferris wheel in Chicago. A donation campaign has been launched ahead of the feat, and the proceeds will go to ALTA (Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance), an organization dedicated to protecting the endangered species.
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd took home a perfect score and topped the "Dancing with the Stars" leaderboard on Monday night and they know that part of their successful formula is their chemistry. That's why we're doing so well together," James told Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson on Wednesday. Asked to describe their relationship, Peta called it a "working" relationship that is "fun." She added that they "have a blast together." There are times when we're upset with each other and stressed, but for the most part, I'm psyched to be with her and she's psyched -- I think -- to be with me," James said.
By Radu Marinas and Bogdan Cristel BUCHAREST (Reuters) - When French film actress Brigitte Bardot began a campaign to spare the thousands of stray dogs in Romania's capital from being put down, she did it with a $150,000 donation scheme. A similar campaign is being waged by Ana-Maria Ciulcu, a 13-year-old schoolgirl with braces on her teeth who uses Facebook to appeal to dog lovers all over Europe - and to make sure the dogs go to the right homes. Ciulcu was a baby when Bardot started her sterilization campaign in 2001. But Bucharest's state-funded wards now hold 2,800 dogs, and 2,000 dogs have been euthanized in the past two months, according to Romania's Authority for Animal Surveillance and Protection.
Paris Zoo reopens its gates on Saturday after a six-year revamp to shed its image as a traditional city zoo and change how humans see wild animals. Swept away is the zoo as a place simply to gawp at animals for being weird, exotic or dangerous -- replaced by an environment designed to appreciate their uniqueness in bigger, less crowded and more nature-mimicking enclosures. "We've invented a new zoo, whose concept is different from 20th century ones, where animals were exhibited like in some amusement park," said Thomas Grenon, head of the National Museum of Natural History, which manages the Vincennes Zoo. "This is a 21st-century zoo, which will show biodiversity and talk about it, and where the animals will live together as they do in their natural environment" -- as far as is practical, of course.
Marc Bekoff, emeritus professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, is one of the world's pioneering cognitive ethologists, a Guggenheim Fellow, and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Bekoff's latest book is Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed (New World Library, 2013). Recently, a reader sent me an essay by Laura Moss of Mother Nature Network called "Do Dogs Really Feel Guilt?" Moss summarizes the excellent studies conducted by a renowned dog researcher, Barnard College's Alexandra Horowitz. Horowitz discovered that people are not very good at reading doggie guilt or shame — and that we often see those emotions when they're not there, when the dogs aren't feeling them or because they didn't do anything that would elicit these sorts of responses. Horowitz goes deeper into these concepts in her new edited book called Domestic Dog Cognition and Behavior.