New video from Oakland, California shows a river otter in San Francisco Bay. It’s one more sighting of the adored animal that for thirty years been essentially wiped out of the Bay Area ecosystem. A river otter made another appearance on Monday at the Richmond Marina, showing one more sign of a resurgence of the cute and playful animal.
This is Sutro Sam, San Francisco's first resident river otter in thirty years.
At the Oakland Zoo, the otter sighting was welcome news Tuesday.
“I’ve heard about them in Walnut Creek. They’re coming out everywhere,” said Senior Otter Keeper at the Oakland Zoo, Andrea Dougall, “it’s great news for our environment, for our water, it means fish is returning, the fish is healthy and living longer. It means the otters are coming around and looking for more. Their numbers are increasing and they’re looking for places to go.”
Dougall, who also works with the River Otter Ecology Project, says that as recently as the nineties, there were no otters in the Bay Area at all because of water pollution and hunting. Recently, however, they’ve been spotted all over, in places like Lake Temescal and Lake Merritt in Oakland, the Sutro Baths in San Francisco, and in numerous locations in Marin.
“They’re doing better reproducing, you know, the pups are surviving longer, and they’re able to disperse to new areas, looking for new habitats,” said Dougall.
This is also Sutro Sam, named for the Sutro Baths he took up residence in.
Since they are being seen so often, and because they appear to be so playful, Dougall warns you should not see them as anything but cranky.
“They have very sharp teeth and they actually have the third strongest bite of any North American mammal,” said Dougall. “So, those things combined, not so good for people.”
Rice, who shot the Richmond video, told KTVU he saw the otter in the same spot again on Tuesday.
Musical mayhem ensued when Peter the Elephant joins in a 12 bar blues on piano with his trunk, entirely of his own accord. In fact, he looks like he downright enjoys it.
Peter the elephant lives at the Royal Elephant Kraal in Ayutthaya, Thailand. Elephants have moods at different times of day. Usually in the cooler early evening before nightfall (at least in Thailand) they are in a more relaxed and potentially playful mood.
Peter has NOT been trained to play piano. This video is Peter’s spontaneous reaction to a piano during a brief encounter one evening between Peter and Paul Barton, a visiting pianist to the elephant Kraal where Peter lives.
The guy in the background is Pat, Peter’s mahout. He is Thai. A mahout is a person that devotes his or her life to looking after an elephant, usually in Asia. This is a dangerous job. Pat is responsible for Peter’s well-being, day and night, all year round. Pat’s daily duties include keeping Peter safe from other bull elephants as well as looking after visitors to Peter’s home. They have a very special bond.
Pat is not reading a magazine in this video, he is filming himself with his tablet. Pat is not prodding Peter, he is just reminding him not to get too carried away and smash the piano keys with his heavy trunk as he has, unintentionally, on previous occasions.
The chain around Peter’s neck is flimsy. It is there so Pat can walk at Peter’s side and guide him occasionally around vehicles or other potentially harmful bull elephants on the way to bath and drink in the river, for instance. Those with experience working with elephants in Thailand know this flimsy chain is no restraint to an elephant whatsoever. It is not there to cause Peter any harm, just the reverse.
This video is one of a series in “Music for Elephants”. There are 23 videos with piano and elephants in the playlist http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…
The musical intention behind this video is fully explained in a full length TV documentary “Music for Elephants” directed and produced by Amanda Feldon. This documentary will be broadcast in 2014. The subject of music is mixed with elephant conservation issues.
Piano keys are no longer made of ivory. The piano in this video has plastic keys. All piano keys are made from synthetic polymers and plastics. The use of ivory for piano keys decreased dramatically after World War II and thankfully stopped altogether in 1989 with the CITIES worldwide ban on ivory trade.
You may be going out tonight, but this tired cougar- from the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida- is ready for a nap…. and check out his fangs when his mouth is all-the-way open, they’ll mesmerize you with their sheer hugeness. O_O
I’ve decided that Sunday shouldn’t just be Bunday about rabbits, but for all the rodents too. Rodenday just doesn’t have the same ring as Bunday, but rabbits and rodents are close enough in the animal kingdom, that I think this day should be about all the little furry buck-toothed critters.
So with that, I give you a mouse and his diligent efforts in procuring a giant cracker.