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Americans are becoming aware that animals have intelligence, personalities and rich emotional lives. Accusations of mistreating killer whales and elephants have Sea World and Ringling Brothers changing their business plans. What about captive wild animals at zoos and aquariums?

Also, a string of xenophobic attacks hit South Africa. On today's Talking Point, can Alaska's water ease California's drought?

Photo: Amy n Rob

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Christine Detz
Sasa Woodruff

Xenophobic Attacks Hit South Africa 6 MIN, 30 SEC

South Africa has been a haven of tolerance for refugees from violence in other parts of the continent. But this week, there have been bloody attacks on foreigners in Durban and other cities. David Smith, Africa correspondent for the Guardian newspaper, joins us from Johannesburg.

Guests:
David Smith, The Guardian (@SmithInAfrica)

Americans' Evolving Attitude toward Animals in Captivity 34 MIN, 21 SEC

Scientists now believe that all mammals and birds — even the octopus — are conscious beings, capable of thinking, feeling emotion and suffering. That's creating a sea change in attitudes toward the use of wild animals for popular entertainment. Sea World is still reeling from the documentary 'Blackfish' and now faces three lawsuits alleging mistreatment of killer whales.

Baylor, the Baptist University, has cancelled its annual visit out of respect for "God's creatures." Meantime, Ringling Brothers is retiring elephants from the circus. But, while there may be a "mood shift" against keeping wild animals in captivity, zoos and aquariums are still more popular than sporting events. Are there better ways to introduce kids to the Animal Kingdom, keep species from going extinct and make discoveries about animal intelligence and emotion?

Guests:
Sandra Pedicini, Orlando Sentinel (@SandraPedicini)
Mark Palmer, Earth Island Institute (@earthisland)
Barbara King, College of William and Mary (@bjkingape)
Sarah Cunningham, Unity College (@UnityCollege)

More:
'Which Way, LA' on SeaWorld's announced changes to orca habitats
Blackfish

How Animals Grieve

Barbara J. King

Bulk Water May Be Headed to Parched California 9 MIN, 1 SEC

During a West Coast drought some years ago, Alaska's former Governor, the late Wally Hickel, was ridiculed for proposing what was dubbed "a garden hose to California." Now California is drier than ever and likely to remain so — which could mean a market for Alaska's water after all. A company in Sitka called Alaska Bulk Water says it has signed contracts to ship bulk water to California as soon as a loading station has been completed. Yereth Rosen is Arctic editor and reporter for the Alaska Dispatch News.

Guests:
Yereth Rosen, Alaska Dispatch News (@adndotcom)

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