The Paris Aquarium Is Home to a Massive Rescued Goldfish Sanctuary

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iStock

The future rarely looks bright for an unloved goldfish. Its owner may confine it to a small bowl and deprive it of the space or stimulation it needs, or worse, flush it down the toilet while it's still alive. But the Paris Aquarium is offering regretful pet owners a better solution: Any unwanted fish that are brought there will be cared for and given a new home in a massive tank, The Nation reports.

The French aquarium launched its goldfish rescue program two years ago, and it houses roughly 600 rescued fish today. Many of the pets that are handed over arrive in poor health. Each specimen is given medical care, including antibiotics and anti-parasite treatments, and kept in quarantine for a month before transitioning to the tank with the rest of the fish. Some goldfish don't survive the move, but those that do often thrive, growing up to a foot in length.

People have different reasons for taking advantage of the aquarium's service. For some, it's a convenient—and eco-friendly—way to get rid of a pet they no longer want. When fish are disposed of in sewage systems, they face almost certain death, and when they're released directly into a pond or river, they can grow to monstrous proportions and wreak havoc on the local ecosystem.

In other cases, pet owners see that the aquarium can provide a better life for their fish than they ever could. Goldfish can suffer from depression when they're kept in a small, empty environment, and goldfish bowls have even been banned in some parts of the world for being inhumane.

The fish sanctuary is open to members of the public to view—including anyone wishing to check up on a former pet.

[h/t The Nation]

A Same-Sex Penguin Couple Has Adopted an Egg at a Berlin Zoo

LisaStratchan/iStock via Getty Images
LisaStratchan/iStock via Getty Images

At first glance, king penguins Skip and Ping don’t appear to be too remarkable a sight when viewed by spectators at their enclosure at Germany's Zoo Berlin. But look closer and you may see one of them nurturing an egg under one of their skin folds. Skip and Ping, a same-sex penguin couple, have effectively adopted an egg and hope to raise it as their own baby.

A story by writer Liam Stack in The New York Times details their pursuit of parenthood. According to Stack, the penguins arrived at Zoo Berlin in April and were observed to have a degree of baby fever, trying to coddle everything from a rock to a fish. Taking note of their coupling, zookeepers passed on an unhatched egg laid by a female at the zoo. They immediately took to it, taking protective measures and growing ornery when employees got too close. Ping has taken to sitting on the egg in the hopes it will hatch.

That’s not guaranteed. Zookeepers aren't certain whether the egg was fertilized. If it is, it’s likely to crack open in early September, giving Skip and Ping an opportunity to expand their family.

Earlier this year, a same-sex penguin pair named Sphen and Magic began rearing a chick in Australia’s Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. The doting parents sang to and fed their adoptive offspring.

[h/t The New York Times]

Airlines Are No Longer Allowed to Ban Service Dogs Based on Breed

chaivit/iStock via Getty Images
chaivit/iStock via Getty Images

As the species of service and emotional support animals have become more diverse, airlines have had to make some tough decisions. Birds, monkeys, and snakes have been barred from boarding airplanes with passengers, but even more conventional pets like dogs have been rejected based on their breed. A new rule from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) aims to change that. As Travel + Leisure reports, the agency now forbids airlines from discriminating against service dogs of particular breeds, including pit bulls.

Last year, Delta banned all pit bulls from flying, regardless of whether or not they were certified therapy animals. United Airlines also banned pit bulls last year, along with 20 other dog breeds, including pugs, bulldogs, mastiffs, and shih tzus.

Under the new DOT guidelines, these policies are no longer legal. The statement reads: "The Department’s Enforcement Office views a limitation based exclusively on breed of the service animal to not be allowed under its service animal regulation. The Enforcement Office intends to use available resources to ensure that dogs as a species are accepted for transport."

The new rule applies specifically to service animals, or animals that have been trained to perform a job that's essential to their owner's wellbeing. Emotional support animals, which don't require special training and aren't covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act, don't qualify.

Even if a pet is a certified service animal, airlines still have the right to reject them in certain cases. Air travel companies can request documents related to an animal's vaccination, training, or behavior history. If they find anything in the papers that indicates they're not safe to fly, airlines can turn them away on that basis.

In the same statement, the Department of Transportation clarifies which species of service animals should be allowed on flights. Miniature horses are now included on the list of service animals airlines must allow to fly, while ferrets, rodents, snakes, reptiles, and spiders are the only species airlines can ban outright.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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