Few farm animals in this country live out in the open—instead living in vast barns in close confinement. When such facilities catch on fire, the animals are often trapped. From 2013 to 2017, more than 2.7 million farm animals died in the United States as a result of 326 barn fires. The most common culprit is a faulty heating device.
Wild horses in Utah. Wild horses are protected under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which says in its preamble that they are “an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.” Ranchers and state officials who seek unfettered access to western rangelands, however, see them not as integral but rather an impediment. As a result, wild horse numbers are kept artificially low. The Bureau of Land Management is now considering risky ovariectomies of wild mares, despite the availability of effective, far less invasive immunocontraceptives.
A hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate) cruises the reef off Indonesia’s Raja Ampat Islands. Habitat loss and degradation, entanglement in fishing gear, ingestion of marine debris, slaughter for meat, and the tortoiseshell trade have taken a heavy toll on this critically endangered animal.
A male lion in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve strikes a regal pose. Although this lion is protected from trophy hunters, other African lions—particularly in southern African nations—are not so fortunate. US policy on trophy hunting is in limbo: The US Department of the Interior is touting its supposed economic benefits and seeking to lift restrictions on trophy imports. President Trump, however, seems of a different mind on the matter (see page 14).
A 2013 UN report stated that from 2005–2011, over 1,000 orangutans were intercepted from wildlife traffickers. This is only a fraction of the ones taken or slaughtered, however. Poachers routinely kill mother orangutans to steal their babies for the pet trade.