Undercover Operation Busts Illegal Caviar Trafficking in Missouri

Categories: Animals, Crime

Photos courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation
Fishing for paddlefish is legal. Harvesting their eggs and selling them as caviar is not
As international demand for caviar causes overfishing of the Caspian Sea's once plentiful beluga sturgeon, fishermen are flocking to Missouri to illegally harvest from the next big name in caviar: the Mississippi paddlefish.

An ancient cousin to the sturgeon, paddlefish are plentiful in Table Rock Lake, Truman Lake and the Lake of the Ozarks, and a female paddlefish can carry as much as twenty pounds of eggs at a time.

"A common black-market price is about $13 an ounce," says Missouri Department of Conservation protection chief Larry Yamnitz. "Therefore, a single large female paddlefish with about twenty pounds of eggs is carrying about $4,000 worth of potential caviar for black-market sales."

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Missouri Baptist Leader Attempts to Have Sex with Dog, Gets Busted in Undercover Operation

Categories: Animals, Sex

Humans having sex with dogs is illegal.
A CEO of a Christian resort center in Missouri was arrested for attempting to have sex with a dog.

Jerry Hill, the president and CEO of the Windermere Baptist Conference Center, a "Christian setting in which life changing experiences may occur," according to its website, was nabbed during a sting operation by the Boone County Cyber Task Force on suspicion of attempted unlawful sex with an animal and attempted animal abuse.

It all started last week when Hill allegedly put an ad on Craigslist looking to have sex with a dog and another animal. Police refused to say what kind of "other" animal, according to the Columbia Tribune.

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Chihuahuas Rescued from Roadside Dumping Pose for Cutest Photoshoot Ever

Categories: Animals

Photos courtesy of Humane Society of Missouri
Sorry, folks, Chase has already been adopted.
Thirty-nine Chihuahuas and small mixed-breed dogs, including three newborn and four six-week-old puppies, rescued from a tragic fate last month are slowly getting healthy enough to be adopted out to forever families.

The dogs were rescued July 22 when a Humane Society of Missouri animal cruelty investigator discovered the dogs' owner as she was preparing to dump a cage containing all 39 dogs on the side of the highway. The investigator was responding to a call for help from the Carter County Sheriff's Office.

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Ride a Camel at Busch Stadium Today for "Hump Day"

Categories: Animals, Sports

schmich on Flickr
"Hop on, kid."
What's the one thing that makes going to a St. Louis Cardinals game even better? Riding around the stadium on camelback, of course.

Grant's Farm is bringing some of it's most popular animals -- camels, baby goats and a Clydesdale -- to Busch Stadium for tonight's Cardinals game against the Boston Red Sox. Starting at 5:15 p.m., fans can ride camels for free outside the stadium and pet the goats and Clydesdale inside.

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Andres Wiltz Gets Probation for Beating Kitten to Death

Categories: Animals, Crime

Krzysztof P. Jasiutowicz/Wikimedia
This is not the kitten who died, but it was probably just as adorable.
A St. Louis man pleaded guilty to hitting a kitten so hard, that it had to be euthanized. He'll serve probation for the cruel deed.

On December 9, 2013, Andres Wiltz brought a five-month-old, short-hair feline into the St. Louis Cat Clinic. According to a probable cause statement, "the feline was pale, cold, and straining to breathe." Veterinarians determined that the suffering kitty had a bruised chest, a large hematoma on its kidney and a torn lung.

The animal docs took x-rays, too. That showed a broken pelvis and broken ribs.
The kitten was too far gone, and the decision was made to put it to sleep.

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Cute Kitties and Kinky Pups: The Best Photos From a Wild Weekend in St. Louis

Categories: Animals

Caroline Yoo, Jon Gitchoff
In the most serendipitous of schedule sync-ups, the St. Louis debut of two nationally renowned, animal-themed events -- the Internet Cat Video Festival and the International Puppy Contest -- made last weekend an historic and exciting one for the city.

Both events let animal lovers glory in the public exhibition of what might typically be a private pleasure, whether it's the chance to lolz at YouTube clips of kitties or to compete in paraphilic puppy play dressed in kinky leather straps.

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VIDEO: Cricket the Kitty Wins Internet Cat Film Festival Contest with Mad Bell-Ringing Skills

Categories: Animals

Chris Ward
Cricket the cat, a future star.
It took Cricket the cat a week to learn to ring a bell for treats.

"I knew Cricket could do this because she was fat and she had a desire to eat at all times," says Sarah Ward, 33, who trained the cat as a surprise Valentine's Day present for her now-ex husband. "If anyone can do this trick, it's Cricket."

But training started slow, especially since Cricket was afraid of the bell. "I think she saw her reflection in it and was scared. When I brought out the food, then she understood, and she was cool," she tells Daily RFT.

Years later, Cricket's bell-ringing skills have paid off. A video remix of her special skill won the Contemporary Art Museum's first ever St. Louis Cat Video Contest this week.

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Internet Cat Video Festival: Vote For Your Favorite St. Louis Cat Video Right Meow

Categories: Animals, Movies

Doug Woods via Flickr
Can I haz vote?
Before the Contemporary Art Museum screens this year's curated collection of lol-able cat videos at St. Louis' first ever Internet Cat Video Festival, one very special cat video will play.

Six local feline enthusiasts are competing to win the St. Louis Cat Video Contest, hoping their one-minute cat short will win social media votes and the approval of museum staff to eventually play at the start of each night of the two-night festival, July 18 and 19.

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Presley the Camel Born at Saint Louis Zoo, Named After Father, Elvis (PHOTOS)

Categories: Animals

Christopher Carter/STL Zoo
Presley the camel was born June 4.
It's a boy!

A baby Bactrian camel was born at the Saint Louis Zoo on June 4, which was a Wednesday or, appropriately, "hump day."

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The Internet Cat Video Festival is Coming to St. Louis, LOLZ

Categories: Animals

Walker Art Center
Meow! St. Louis gets its own Internet Cat Video Festival this summer.
Sick of watching YouTube videos of cats alone on your laptop? Wish you had someone to giggle with as you watch cats play the piano or act delightfully surprised?

Your timing is purrrrfect.

The wildly popular Internet Cat Video Festival is coming to St. Louis for the first time this summer, turning the Internet's most enjoyable non-pornography video experience into a community-wide festival at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis on July 18 and 19.

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