Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "zoo" ...

  • Women and Danger

    The four stories in this entry zoom in on women and families battling crime and punishment across the world. The stories are not only investigative reports but personal narratives that shed crucial light on the modern battles families face. For instance, in "Thanks for Ruining My Life," a Kentucky teen gets into legal trouble for tweeting the names of two boys who sexually assaulted her—defying a court order to stay silent about the crime. Reporter Abigail Pesta was the first to get an extended interview with the teen girl, Savannah Dietrich, about her legal crisis and the aftermath, a saga that raised questions about the courts and free speech in the age of social media. In "Laws Gone Wild," Michigan mother Francie Baldino starts a movement against sex-offender laws when the laws ensnare her teenage son for having underage sex with his high-school sweetheart, landing him in prison with predators and pedophiles for more than six years. Pesta was the first to report on this new movement of mothers and tell this family's personal story as well. The stories sparked a discussion across the media and blogosphere about crime and modern law, bringing in a slew of letters and comments.
  • Glamour Beasts: The dark side of elephant captivity

    The zoo industry claims that elephants are thriving inside U.S. zoos. But that’s not true. It never has been. The Times found that elephants are dying out inside zoos. For every elephant born, on average two others die. Just 288 elephants are left inside 78 accredited U.S. zoos. Captive elephants may be demographically extinct within 50 years – there won’t be enough females left to breed. The Times conducted a first-of-its-kind analysis of 390 elephant fatalities for the past 50 years. In a desperate race to make more baby elephants, Seattle’s Woodland Park has tried to artificially inseminate their Asian elephant, Chai, at least 112 times, sometimes adopting crude and reckless procedures. As nearly two dozen zoos have shutdown or plan to close elephant exhibits, nonprofit sanctuaries with thousands of acres represent one option for retired or unwanted elephants. But a zoo industry trade group is fighting a bitter battle to thwart sanctuaries and punish zoos that give up their elephants.
  • Glamour Beasts: The dark side of elephant captivity

    The zoo industry claims that elephants are thriving inside U.S. zoos. But that’s not true. It never has been. The Times found that elephants are dying out inside zoos. For every elephant born, on average two others die. Just 288 elephants are left inside 78 accredited U.S. zoos. Captive elephants may be demographically extinct within 50 years – there won’t be enough females left to breed. The Times conducted a first-of-its-kind analysis of 390 elephant fatalities for the past 50 years. In a desperate race to make more baby elephants, Seattle’s Woodland Park has tried to artificially inseminate their Asian elephant, Chai, at least 112 times, sometimes adopting crude and reckless procedures. As nearly two dozen zoos have shutdown or plan to close elephant exhibits, nonprofit sanctuaries with thousands of acres represent one option for retired or unwanted elephants. But a zoo industry trade group is fighting a bitter battle to thwart sanctuaries and punish zoos that give up their elephants.
  • Marine Attractions: Below the Surface

    This investigation examined more than 3,850 deaths of marine animals since 1972. The authors found that animals are often mistreated during captivity, and that thousands have died under human care from clorine posioning, heat exposure, capture shock and stress. This in-depth look at the $1 billion - a - year marine mammal industry reveals that not only is it riddled with problems, but also that the government is doing very little to correct them.
  • Pattern of Mistakes Found in Zoo Deaths

    This investigation uncovered years of neglect, misdiagnosis and other mistakes that caused or contributed to 23 animal deaths at the National Zoo. Zoo euthanasia forms weren't kept when animal went into surgery and the keepers couldn't provide any notes about two rare zebras that starved to death. Veterinary records show that zoo vets did not respond promptly when animals were ill and failed to run standard tests on animals to make sure they were healthy.
  • The Great Ape Debate; Animal Rights Activists Have Campaigned for Their Freedom for Years. Now the Primatologists Can't Even Agree Among Themselves: Is There Any Reason to Keep a Chimp in Captivity?

    Some primatologists liken great apes to humans and feel that it is inhumane to keep them in captivity. Other scientists disagree and feel that captive chimps have been so beneficial to scientific advancements that they should remain in captivity. The article explores the debate.
  • Cruel and Usual. How some of America's best zoos get rid of their old, infirm, and unwanted animals.

    Zoos accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) must abide by a code of ethics restricting animal transfers to other AZA members or to uncredited zoos with the "expertise, records management capabilities, financial stability, and facilities required to properly care" for the animals. But a U.S. News investigation found that even some of the nation's most highly regarded zoos violate those mandates through transfers, sales, and loans of exotic animals to substandard zoos and to private animal breeders and dealers.
  • Criminals Among Us

    A WMMT-TV investigation reveals that there are 5000 wanted criminals in Kalamazoo County who are walking free because the local law enforcement agencies aren't doing their jobs.
  • Oh, What a ball

    In Milwaukee, charity events -- the old school way of raising money -- are resurging. Gala events build awareness, allow for the mingling of powerful and socially ambitious -- and importantly, raise money. Others say they aren't effective and have snob appeal. A "good" charity event ibrings in 50 cents on the dollar, according to charity ball veterans. Many are finding that business are getting more involved. Companies are paying for fund-raising events, donating services or canvassing employees for auction items.
  • Flying Fever

    Doctors learned of the presence of the mosquito-borne West Nile encephalitis when crows and captive birds in the Bronx Zoo began dying. But identifying the malady and treating the cause were difficult, because there is but a handful of experts in mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. To combat the outbreak in the Bronx and Queens, health officials sprayed Malathion to kill flying bugs but no move was made to eradicate breeding areas.