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At the Benderdinker Kayak/Canoe Paddle and Food Festival, in Augusta, Georgia, one patron found an injured baby river otter, and decided to do something about it. He notified Benderdinker founder, Kristina Williams, and her husband rescued the otter and began to rehab him, and contacted Department of Natural Resources.
The DNR suggested taking him to Highland Animal Hospital in Augusta, where he is now getting proper medical care. His injuries are believed to be caused by the talons of a local raptor.
Williams said she named the baby otter “Dinker” in honor of the festival.
Happy Ottersday :#)
An Amur Tiger cub at Germany’s Zoo Berlin made her media debut last week. The cub was named Alisha, which is my name! This is first time I’ve ever heard of any zoo animal given my name, so it’s very exciting for me.
In December, the cub were born to female Aurora and her mate, Darius, the third litter for this pair. Unfortunately, the keepers observed that the cub was in poor condition, so they decided to hand-raise her. Now, little Alisha is thriving under the keepers’ care. She spends much of her time sleeping, but zoo officials expect Alisha to move onto exhibit within a few weeks.
Amur Tigers, also known as Siberian Tigers, are the largest of the six surviving Tiger subspecies. Native to far eastern Russia, the population of Amur Tigers dropped to fewer than 50 cats in the 1940s. Today, thanks to improved law enforcement against illegal hunting, there are now nearly 400 Amur Tigers in the wild. While Amur Tigers are still listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, scientists are hopeful that the upward trend will continue for these magnificent cats.
Happy Caturday =^_^=
Yosemite National Park is excited to report the first confirmed sighting in the park of a rare Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) in nearly 100 years. Park wildlife biologists had gone on a five-day backcountry trip to the far northern part of the park to check on previously deployed motion-sensitive cameras. They documented a sighting of the fox on two separate instances (December 13, 2014 and January 4, 2015) within the park boundary. The Sierra Nevada red fox of California is one of the rarest mammals in North America, likely consisting of fewer than 50 individuals.
“We are thrilled to hear about the sighting of the Sierra Nevada red fox, one of the most rare and elusive animals in the Sierra Nevada,” stated Don Neubacher, Yosemite National Park Superintendent. “National parks like Yosemite provide habitat for all wildlife and it is encouraging to see that the red fox was sighted in the park.”
“Confirmation of the Sierra Nevada red fox in Yosemite National Park’s vast alpine wilderness provides an opportunity to join research partners in helping to protect this imperiled animal,” stated Sarah Stock, Wildlife Biologist in Yosemite National Park. “We’re excited to work across our boundary to join efforts with other researchers that will ultimately give these foxes the best chances for recovery.”
The nearest verified occurrences of Sierra Nevada red foxes have been in the Sonora Pass area, north of the park, where biologists from U.C. Davis (UCD), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) have been monitoring a small Sierra Nevada red fox population, first documented by the USFS in 2010. Prior to 2010, the last verified sighting of a Sierra Nevada red fox in the region was two decades ago.
The Yosemite carnivore crew will continue to survey for Sierra Nevada red fox using remote cameras in hopes of detecting additional individuals. At each camera station, the crew also set up hair snare stations in the hopes of obtaining hair samples for genetic analysis. Through genetic analysis, the park can learn more about the diversity within the population and to confirm whether the fox(es) detected in Yosemite is genetically related to individuals from the Sonora Pass area.
These Sierra Nevada red fox detections are part of a larger study funded by the Yosemite Conservancy to determine occurrence and distribution of rare carnivores in Yosemite National Park. Thank you to all our colleagues who have been helping us with this project in many important ways (UCD, USFS, CDFW, Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, Bureau of Land Management, and Yosemite backcountry rangers and volunteers).
It’s been six weeks since my last blog post. Lately I find that reading and writing about animals makes me sad and lonely for my own cats, who are staying with my parents until I have a home again, and am no longer traveling for work. So, I haven’t been inspired to write anything, until today.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for having wonderful parents, who can and will take care of my kitties while I’m away. Thank-you, so much.
Not all animals are so lucky. Some kitties have no home at all, and live out in the wilds. Come wintertime, the stresses of life can be tough for little feral furries.
Enter: The Cat-Aquarium Man.
This concerned man has built what he is calling a “Cat Aquarium” for Thanksgiving this year. He wanted strays to have a place to go during the weather, so he built a cat aquarium, mounted against his window so the inside of it was visible from inside the house. It’s like having his own kitty tv channel! … which his kids love, of course.
While this many cats is probably too much for one person to rescue, providing a safe place for them to stay is a great idea. Let’s just hope that window stays closed… ’cause they’ll scatter… into a chaotic kitty frenzy!
Way to go, Cat Aquarium Man. May you inspire others to build kitty looking boxes into their home windows. Kitty tv channels for everyone!
An otter at the Tennessee Aquarium has been named “Benny,” after actor Benedict Cumberbatch. The likeness is truly undeniable, and this is quite possibly, the cutest thing, I have ever seen. ^_^
The Chattanooga aquarium made the otter-Cumberbatch connection official, after their Facebook invitation to name seven otters resulted in an overwhelming popular vote for Benedict. The Chattanooga outfit asked Facebook for possible names for the critter, who lives in their new River Otter Falls habitat, and several commenters instantly suggested Benedict, for reasons that will be obvious to anyone who’s spent time watching Sherlock and geek-outing in the Tumblrs of the interwebs.
Needless to say, the aquarium quickly made it official. Benny has been living at the aquarium for several months now, enjoying the limelight with his adorable otter family.
Happy Ottersday :#)
An argument is brewing between British photographer David Slater and the folks at Wikimedia over who owns the rights to a photo a black macaque monkey took with Slater’s equipment. The website says the famous photo should be freely distributed, because it believes the animal’s self-portrait isn’t bound by copyright law. The man who owns the camera equipment feels differently.
The dispute stems from 2011, when Slater’s wildlife photography field trip to Indonesia produced a striking image of a smiling crested black macaque; another image shows it holding the camera. The story went viral, with Slater explaining that a group of macaques had taken over his equipment for a bit during the three days he spent in their company.
As he told The Telegraph back then, ”one of them must have accidentally knocked the camera and set it off because the sound caused a bit of a frenzy. At first there was a lot of grimacing with their teeth showing because it was probably the first time they had ever seen a reflection. They were quite mischievous jumping all over my equipment, and it looked like they were already posing for the camera when one hit the button.”
Slater added that the primates took hundreds of photos, most of them out of focus. By far the most famous of them was the grinning female macaque’s “selfie” that was then licensed for use by many media outlets.
The Telegraph gave us an update on the story this week, saying Wikimedia had refused to change the image’s open-copyright classification. Slater tells the newspaper that he went through a great deal of effort and money to get the photo, noting that he traveled to the area and set up the camera.
“That trip cost me about £2,000 for that monkey shot,” he says. “Not to mention the £5,000 of equipment I carried, the insurance, the computer stuff I used to process the images.”
The folks at Wikimedia don’t agree that Slater is the photo’s author, and they refused his request to remove the image from the Wikimedia Commons section for open-source material.
Perhaps you’re thinking that if Slater doesn’t own the photo’s copyright, then the monkey does. But as GigaOM reports, “the editors at Wikimedia (which manages the library of more than 22 million images and videos associated with the open-source encyclopedia) rejected the photographer’s demands because they believe that no one holds the copyright. A monkey can’t hold the rights to an image, or anything else, for that matter, because they aren’t human, and therefore don’t have the legal standing required to do so.”
Slater notes that a court case might be the only way to resolve the authorship and ownership issues. If that occurs, it’s unlikely that the macaque would be represented in the proceedings, or in the debate its brief career as a photographer has set off.
Happy Monkday :_)