Animals, humans, and Yellowstone National Park

In the wake of the story about a three-year-old who breached the barrier at the Cincinnati Zoo last weekend, resulting in the euthanization of a 17-year-old west lowland gorilla named Harambe, a video surfaced this week of a woman at Yellowstone National Park being butted by an elk after she tried to take a photo and got too close for comfort.It's one of several recent stories highlighting the problem of adult humans - grown ups who should know better - interfering with the wildlife. … [Read more...]

A gorilla, a boy, and life in the balance

By now you've probably heard the story about Harambe, the 17 year old west lowland gorilla who was shot by zoo keepers at the Cincinnati Zoo after a small child fell into the gorilla enclosure. I caught bits and pieces of the story over the holiday weekend, but it wasn't until this morning that I was able to devote some attention to the matter.I finally saw the video.Originally, I didn't want to touch this story with a 10 foot pole, mostly because I didn't think that I could add … [Read more...]

Groundhogs, coffin parts, and other cemetery surprises

I was out recently with my Border collie Bandit when he came upon a groundhog hole. That's not unusual; the cemetery where I often walk is a certified habitat with the National Wildlife Federation, and is crawling with squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, deer, birds, and foxes. It's not the first time I've had a close encounter with critters while meandering among the dead.What was unusual this time? Around the entrance to the hole were items the groundhog had hauled to the surface while … [Read more...]

The circle of life in a cemetery

Walking the dogs this morning, I was musing over the life and death of a cemetery.I walk in several cemeteries, from historic Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY, with its hills and dales, forests and lawns, prominent residents, and myriad headstones and monuments, to a small rural cemetery in Pittsford, NY, much smaller but no less interesting.But the cemetery where I walk most often is White Haven Memorial Park. It's close to my house, and because it's a lawn park layout - open spaces … [Read more...]

Musician records video in wolf sanctuary and the wolves join in the song

The great thing about the internet is that sometimes something fascinating shows up in your Facebook newsfeed, something that happened a couple of years ago and you're glad your hearing about it, even if you're late to the party.According to the info on the youtube site for videographers Hutch and Futch, while in Colorado on tour in 2013, Shawn James and the Shapeshifters had the chance to record some video in the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary in Laporte, Colorado. While performing a cover of A. A. … [Read more...]

Gates Police and Fire rescue duckling from storm grate (video)

 In an age where police are wearing body cameras, often as a way to have a record in potentially volitional situations, it's nice to take a moment to view some of that video and get the warm fuzzies.Duckling fuzzies, to be exact.Here's officer body cam footage from the Gates Police Department, a suburb of Rochester, NY.  Officer Shawn Omara and some members of the Gates Fire Dept. came to the rescue of a baby duckling who had fallen through a storm grate. In the video, you can … [Read more...]

Kids, BB guns, and shooting birds for sport

I was visiting with friends recently when one of the kids - we'll call him Joey - came from behind the house to ask a question."Dad, can I shoot a woodcock?" The youngster, about 10 years old, had a BB gun and had apparently spent the morning shooting birds.His dad told him there's an actual season for shooting woodcocks, so no, he couldn't kill one. So Joey went back to shooting robins and grackles and sparrows. When I asked Joey how many birds he'd shot that day, he said eight. When I … [Read more...]

Life in the cemetery (fall foliage pictures)

I spend a lot of time walking in the cemetery. One of our dogs, Bailey, is dog reactive so it's difficult to find places where we can walk and not feed her excitement. It's been two years of training and practice and lots and lots of patience.The more new experiences she has, the less reactive she gets. But it's difficult to find places where we can walk and not run into off leash dogs. (See my discussion about the leash law.) So we walk in the local memorial park and small historic cemetery … [Read more...]

Vote for the most unusual pet insurance claim in the 2012 VPI Hambone Awards

Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. is getting ready to award the 2012 Annual Hambone Award, and  you get to pick the winner!Named after a dog that ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while stuck in a refrigerator, the VPI Hambone Award has since been presented for three equally unusual claims. Past winners include Ellie, a Labrador retriever who gobbled up an entire beehive and its thousands of inhabitants; Lulu, a hungry bulldog who swallowed 15 baby pacifiers, a bottle cap and piece of a basketball; … [Read more...]

Help name the Seneca Park Zoo’s new lions

My husband and I visited the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY a few weeks ago to see the new Step Into Africa exhibit. Everyone has been talking about it.I love the zoo. Over the last decade or so, the Seneca Park Zoo has really made some fabulous changes. I'm a huge fan of the otters, and I could spend hours watching them frolic and slide and swim. I especially love the Rocky Coast exhibit, with the wonderful polar bear habitat and the sea lion pools. What a change from the zoo of my chi … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X