Private circuses in Russia allow children to pose for photos alongside predators such as tigers for a fee, something some Russians see as just another risk in a dangerous world. Government-run circuses banned the dangerous photo ops in 2010, but private companies continue the practice, despite a number of attacks during the photo sessions. Some critics have accused the trainers of drugging the animals before the sessions. A government animal entertainment worker is attempting to build support for a ban on the photo sessions.
A 6-year-old North Carolina girl died last month after suffering Rocky Mountain spotted fever, marking the first death from the tick-borne disease in the state since 2009, according to public health officials. Dog ticks can transmit the bacteria responsible for the disease, and symptoms in humans include fever, rash, muscle pain and headaches.
Washington state swine farmer Jeremy Gross and butcher William von Schneidau have started feeding pigs marijuana, something they say infuses the meat with a pleasant taste without affecting consumers. However, animal scientist John P. McNamara says feeding marijuana excess to food animals is a bad idea. McNamara points out that drugs and medicines added to livestock feed must be approved by the government before entering the food supply, and he says research has shown that ingested marijuana can enter body tissues.