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Minnesota Zoo destroys last descendants of Calgary musk ox

The zoo’s herd started in 1978 with two males from Calgary and two females from Winnipeg. Since then they have become one of the most successful breeding programs in North America with 65 offspring.

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The Minnesota Zoo euthanized its last two musk oxen from a herd that started in Calgary because climate change made it too warm for the beasts.

The zoo’s herd started in 1978 with two males from Calgary and two females from Winnipeg. Since then they have become one of the most successful breeding programs in North America, with 65 offspring.

Zookeepers started to notice a decade ago warmer temperatures in the summer, along with humidity, were having in impact on the animals.

The zoo decided to stop the breeding program at that point.

Over the next 10 years, the herd shrunk until only two senior females remained. Both had a number of age-related challenges that became compounded by the spring and summer heat, so in April, the zoo decided to humanely euthanize the pair.

Zookeeper Cindy Bjork-Groebner cared for animals for more than 30 years.

“The minute I first saw them, I was drawn in. They were unique and impressive and I fell in love with the species,” said Bjork-Groebner, on the zoo’s website.

“We saw firsthand just how much the seasons and temperature and humidity played a role in how they thrived or not.

“You could tell they were thriving when the temperatures were colder and then the minute the heat and humidity hit, that’s when I really started watching and could notice changes.”

The zoo only announced the death on May 13.

“First and foremost, the keepers know these animals more than they know some of their family members,” said Dr. Taylor Yaw, manager of the Zoo’s Animal Health department.

“They are there each and every day and pick up on some of the smaller clinical signs that may indicate something may be going on.

“We have a responsibility to these animals. When it comes to a point that we can’t manage clinical health issues, this is the most humane choice we can make.”

The animals are native to northern Canada and Greenland.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Mars Hill

    May 21, 2021 at 3:55 am

    Don’t worry, my daddy is the top dog in Calgary, he’ll propagate our species

  2. Michael Pollard

    May 19, 2021 at 9:36 am

    The “climate change” allegation is just dumb given that Minnesota is thousands of miles south of the historic range of musk oxen.

    Would a polar bear’s failure to thrive in Miami be evidence of “climate change”?

    Utter nonsense.

  3. John Harvey

    May 18, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    Makes it real hard to support a zoo when you hear this kind of rubbish being spewed how climate change forced their hand. Science tells us the global temperature has risen .8 degrees in the last 100 years, and nothing in the last 20 years. It was just released that there is 27 % more ice in the artic this past year compared to ’98, ’08 or ’18. Everything is about fear mongering, science, facts and truth need not apply.

  4. Left Coast

    May 18, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    “The Minnesota Zoo euthanized its last two musk oxen from a herd that started in Calgary because climate change made it too warm for the beasts.” ? ? ?

    That is just an insane statement . . .

    I grew up in Winnipeg in the 50s . . . in the summer the thermometer often got to 100+ F
    Got sunburned many times at Grand Beech . . . today I have to deal with skin cancer.
    A few hundred miles south of Winnipeg has Gorebull Warming today . . . who knew?

    Canada’s AGW fraud Suzuki said that a 4 degree temp change would lead to the Extinction of thousands of animals . . . every year the temperature in Winnipeg goes from -50F in January to 100 degrees F in July . . . that’s 150 degree swing in 6 months and NO ONE DIES.

    Perhaps the zookeepers are fans of the Suz & Al the Goricle . . . lol

  5. berta baby

    May 18, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    its like when the police burst into someones house and shoot him in the head 5 times because he was going to hang himself…. its the humane way

  6. mm

    Shawn Alain

    May 18, 2021 at 4:05 pm

    So they figured that since climate change was going to kill them, they would just hurry the process up and kill them themselves?

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Penticton joins list of cities cancelling Canada Day celebtations

The mayor reached out to Chief Greg Gabriel of the Penticton Indian Band, to ask how council could support the local First Nations community following the Kamloops discovery.

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The city of Penticton has become the second municipality in BC to cancel Canada Day festivites.

Celebrating Canada Day has been called into question across the country after the discovery of the gravesites of 215 undocumented children at a Kamloops residential school.

“When we heard what happened in Kamloops and they found the 215 unmarked graves of those children, we thought it was appropriate to hold back and wait to see what the federal government was going to announce,” Mayor John Vassilaki told CBC.

The mayor reached out to Chief Greg Gabriel of the Penticton Indian Band, to ask how council could support the local First Nations community following the Kamloops discovery.

“The Chief also made a note that if we were to cool down the celebrations this year, it would be greatly appreciated by the Penticton Indian Band,” said Vassilaki. 

“And we wanted to show respect and reconciliation with what happened in Kamloops.”

St. Albert this weekend became the first city in Alberta to cancel celebrations.

“In respect of our community members who have experienced and continue to experience the effects of intergenerational trauma due to the residential school system, the City of St. Albert will not be hosting its annual Canada Day fireworks display this year,” it said in a tweet.

The city of Victoria was the first out of the block when they cancelled their Canada Day programing last week.

“As First Nations mourn and in light of the challenging moment we are in as a Canadian nation following the discovery of the remains of 215 children at a former Kamloops Residential School, Council has decided to take the time to explore new possibilities, instead of the previously planned virtual Canada Day broadcast,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps in a media statement.

City council, who voted unanimously to change its plans for July 1, noted everyone will celebrate Canada Day in their own way.

“The City of Victoria aims to take leadership and provide an opportunity for thoughtful reflection and examination of what it means to be Canadian in light of recent events and what we already know from our past,” says the City of Victoria in a release.

Helps also made headlines in 2018 when she had a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald – one of the central figures involved in bringing residential schools into Canada – removed from the front of Victoria City Hall.

An estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children attended residential schools between the 1860s and 1996, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Kamloops Industrial School (later known as the Kamloops Indian Residential School) was opened under Roman Catholic administration in 1890 before growing into the largest school in the Indian Affairs residential school system.

While several Catholic bishops across Canada have apologized and requested the release of documents in response to the discovery in Kamloops, the Vatican has yet to issue an apology or release documents.

As for the Canadian government, 15 tons of paper documents related to the residential school system between 1936 and 1944, including 200,000 Indian Affairs files, were destroyed by Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s government, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Final Report.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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News

St. Albert cancels Canada Day fireworks

Celebrating Canada Day has been called into question across the country after the discovery of the gravesites of 215 undocumented children at a Kamloops residential school.

mm

Published

on

The city of St. Albert has become the first municipality in Alberta to cancel some Canada Day celebrations.

“In respect of our community members who have experienced and continue to experience the effects of intergenerational trauma due to the residential school system, the City of St. Albert will not be hosting its annual Canada Day fireworks display this year,” it said in a tweet.

Celebrating Canada Day has been called into question across the country after the discovery of the gravesites of 215 undocumented children at a Kamloops residential school.

The city of Victoria was the first out of the block when they cancelled their Canada Day programing last week.

“As First Nations mourn and in light of the challenging moment we are in as a Canadian nation following the discovery of the remains of 215 children at a former Kamloops Residential School, Council has decided to take the time to explore new possibilities, instead of the previously planned virtual Canada Day broadcast,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps in a media statement.

City council, who voted unanimously to change its plans for July 1, noted everyone will celebrate Canada Day in their own way.

“The City of Victoria aims to take leadership and provide an opportunity for thoughtful reflection and examination of what it means to be Canadian in light of recent events and what we already know from our past,” says the City of Victoria in a release.

Helps also made headlines in 2018 when she had a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald – one of the central figures involved in bringing residential schools into Canada – removed from the front of Victoria City Hall.

An estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children attended residential schools between the 1860s and 1996, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Kamloops Industrial School (later known as the Kamloops Indian Residential School) was opened under Roman Catholic administration in 1890 before growing into the largest school in the Indian Affairs residential school system.

While several Catholic bishops across Canada have apologized and requested the release of documents in response to the discovery in Kamloops, the Vatican has yet to issue an apology or release documents.

As for the Canadian government, 15 tons of paper documents related to the residential school system between 1936 and 1944, including 200,000 Indian Affairs files, were destroyed by Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s government, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Final Report.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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BREAKING: Alberta to drop all COVID restrictions on Canada Day

Premier Jason Kenney announced Friday the province has reached the targets to launch Stage 3 which was a vaccination rate of 70.2% in the province.

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It’s all systems go for Alberta to launch into Stage 3 of its COVID-19 recovery plan.

Premier Jason Kenney announced Friday the province has reached the targets to launch Stage 3, which included a vaccination rate of 70.2% in the province.

He said Alberta will drop all COVID-19 regulations on July 1 and “our lives will get back to normal.”

That means:

  • All restrictions lifted, including ban on indoor social gatherings
  • Isolation requirements for confirmed cases of COVID-19 and some protective measures in continuing care settings remain

“This is a great day for Alberta! Thanks to the diligence of Albertans and the decision of 2.7 million folks to get vaccinated, we are now just two weeks away from getting our lives back to normal,” said Kenney at a Friday press conference.

“This is an important milestone and a great achievement, but we will not stop here. We will keep administering first and second doses as quickly as possible so we’re not just open for summer, but open for good.”

Kenney said the general indoor provincial mask mandate will be lifted, but masking may still be required in limited and specific settings.

And the mayors of Calgary and Edmonton have said they may continue with their municipal mask bylaws.

“With more than 70% of eligible Albertans now vaccinated with a first dose and more receiving second doses every day, the end of this pandemic is near,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

“Thank you to the Albertans who have rolled up their sleeves to get protected. For those who are still thinking about getting a shot, you have only one week to get your shot before we draw for $1 million and other great prizes.”

Anyone in Alberta aged 18 and over can still enter the first Open for Summer Lottery draw for a chance to win $1 million. Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on June 24 and proof of vaccination will be required to claim the prize. The winner will be announced on July 1.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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