This Week in Wild Animals for April 26, 2013
A husband-and-wife team of British dieticians was helping thirteen monkeys battle diabetes in Florida. The monkeys are coffee drinkers and addicted to junk food; the dieticians recommended a vegetable juice-based diet.
A dead whale exploded on a beach in the Netherlands. A nuclear chemist, asked by a reporter to describe the horrific stench, said: “You’re going to have methane, which is basically farts; hydrogen sulphide, which is rotten eggs; and you’re going to have ammonia, which smells a lot like cat pee.”
Federal prosecutors made headway in their war on endangered fish bladder smuggling, and bald eagles were creating some welcome excitement in a place called Bland County. On Vancouver Island, a fourth sea lion mysteriously washed up without a head, baffling authorities. “We rely on the eyes and ears of the public,” for information, one conservationist said, rather insensitively, since the sea lions had no eyes and ears.
After being turned away as a customer, a Brookville, Pennsylvania man with “an alcohol problem” threw a dead groundhog and a dead grouse through the door of the his local bar. Brookville’s chief of police explained that the incident fits within the town’s tradition of using dead animals as retaliatory weapons: “A guy will get in an argument and put a dead squirrel on his girlfriend’s doorknob,” the chief said. “That kind of thing.”
Police chased an opossum around downtown Montreal, and firefighters rescued a mother opossum and her eight babies from under a family’s couch in central California. In upstate New York, firefighters freed a female turkey vulture which had been stuck hanging upside-down in a tree for several days.
Government scientists returned from Afghanistan, having successfully identified the many species of birds that military aircraft fly into and kill at American airbases there. (The two biologists assigned to investigate these grisly bird deaths were named Dr. Graves and Dr. Dove.) In California, a biologist pleaded guilty to feeding blubber to wild orcas.
A well-known elk in Yellowstone, named Number 10, passed away after being hit by a car. Many years ago, Number 10 famously got his antlers tangled in a badminton net and also had star turns in the films “Street Fighters” and “Showdown in Elk Town.” He was known for charging into moving vehicles and damaging them.
A Virginia newspaper columnist relayed his recent conversation with a wild turkey. (“I am a hen turkey and I’m hot to trot,” the turkey reportedly told him.) A wild turkey crashed through the windshield of an SUV outside Reno, injuring the driver. (“The turkey landed in the man’s lap, then moved over to the lap of his passenger,” a news story reported.) And three cars hit a single moose on a highway in British Columbia. “No injuries except for the moose that died,” the local newspaper noted.
A 250-pound tiger quietly escaped during a circus performance in Kansas, but was eventually found by a woman using the ladies room after the show.
An alligator in Florida clamped its jaws around the arm of a six-year-old boy, but let go after the boy’s father punched the animal in the face many times. A local man found four alligators swimming near a boat ramp on Long Island, bringing the total number of wild alligators discovered on Long Island since last fall to thirteen.
The Japanese debated the ethics of shipping carrier pigeons by courier. A Rhode Island company started offering its rabbit repellant in a one-gallon sprayer. Local governments in Canada were asked to install Beaver Deceivers to discourage beavers from building dams and blocking important drainage culverts. Police in India hired “snake charmers” to coax poisonous snakes out of their station’s stockroom.
Trash collectors in Raton, New Mexico emptied a dumpster into their truck without realizing there was a napping black bear inside. Then they drove to the dump. “When they dumped this big pile, a bear came out of it,” a game officer explained. “This is just another unfortunate chapter in Raton’s long history of bears and dumpsters.”
Wild dogs infiltrated a Mississippi zoo and killed a klipspringer, a kind of 22-inch tall antelope. (The zoo’s other klipspringer, Amelia, survived.) A photographer rescued an orphaned baby squirrel, tiny enough to fit in the palm of his hand, and named it “Apple Moonbeam.” And a bobcat kitten named Chips, discovered during a California wildfire with scorched paws and an eye infection, was released back into the wilderness after a year of rehab. “Chips will be just fine,” a caretaker said.
Source Article from http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/04/this-week-in-wild-animals-2/
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