November 12, 2014

5:30 PM | Value
I like when current events in the media combine to illustrate animal welfare in our society. This week’s blog post was impossible to resist. Recently there was a bit of hubbub over a group of scientists discovering what they described … Continue reading →
3:34 PM | SF Zoo Hires Expert
An expert has been hired by the San Francisco Zoo to study what went wrong when a young gorilla was crushed to death in its night quarters. [Note: among Dr. Terry Maple's credentials is his service as past director of Zoo Atlanta; he was also San Francisco Zoo's first "Professor in Residence".] "A security guard was posted at the entrance to the zoo, preventing all media from going inside with TV cameras. So we bought a ticket and walked in with our smartphones." [ABC7]
3:14 PM | Not a Speck!
"Brilliantly blue things in nature- eg. peacock feathers - don't contain a speck of blue pigment" #animals #evolution— Barbara J King (@bjkingape) November 12, 2014
2:56 PM | Indeed!!!
Wow, indeed! RT @WowEarthPics: Elephant standing in water. Photo by Cesare Naldi.— 96 Elephants (@96Elephants) November 12, 2014
2:05 PM | Veterinarians voicing opinions on accreditation are not 'elitists'
Cushing's blog posts driven by undisclosed conflicts of interest
1:30 PM | Should Pets be Included in Emergency Planning?
And can they help vulnerable people be more resilient?Photo: Nika Art / ShutterstockA new paper by Thompson et al (2014) in Australia considers how pets can be incorporated into planning for emergencies such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and forest fires. It can quite literally be a matter of life and death. For example, they say, “over 8% of flood-related fatalities in Australia from 1788 to September 1996 resulted from people’s attempts to save ‘stock, property or […]

Lem, M.,, Coe, J.B.,, Haley, D.B.,, Stone, E., & O'Grady, W. (2013). Effects of companion animal ownership among Canadian street-involved youth: A qualitative analysis, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 40 (4) 285-304.

Thompson, K., Every, D., Rainbird, S., Cornell, V., Smith, B. & Trigg, J. (2014). No Pet or Their Person Left Behind: Increasing the Disaster Resilience of Vulnerable Groups through Animal Attachment, Activities and Networks, Animals, 4 (2) 214-240. DOI: 10.3390/ani4020214

1:14 PM | Semi-Domesticated?
Genomics: after 9000 yrs, house #cats are only semi-domesticated. #Sciencespeakscattruth— Barbara J King (@bjkingape) November 12, 2014Un-domesticated? And disrespectful? Genetic profile resembles that of Near Eastern Wildcat. And they think of each of us as a "big, stupid cat".

November 11, 2014

9:30 PM | Zoo Exodus
Exodus. Movement of zoo people. Winter hours @NCZoo 15 mins. ago.— russwilliamsiii (@russwilliamsiii) November 11, 2014 Straggling now. Mob moments before.
9:24 PM | Closing Time...
.@NCZoo is closed. Winter hours in force this holiday @ State zoo.— russwilliamsiii (@russwilliamsiii) November 11, 2014
9:23 PM | Decisions...
Helping some folks make good exiting decision @NCZoo. Park closes soon!— russwilliamsiii (@russwilliamsiii) November 11, 2014
9:20 PM | Busy Holiday @ NC Zoo
Busy V. Day @NCZoo. African tram line's up to first uphill #giraffe overlook!— russwilliamsiii (@russwilliamsiii) November 11, 2014
9:17 PM | Lion Cubs & Lady Bugs
Lots of @NCZoo visitors (& #LadyBugs!) @ exhibit of 4 #AfricanLion cubs. (Not new #polarbear exhibit; where's #Patches?) Weather perfect.— russwilliamsiii (@russwilliamsiii) November 11, 2014
3:17 PM | Should Dogs Herd Zoo Elephants?
The USDA will look into Pittsburgh Zoo's practice of using dogs to herd African elephants after a complaint by PETA. "“The primary for the safety of our staff. These relationships can be thought of in terms of traditional shepherding practices. In this case, our primary elephant keeper...represents the shepherd; the elephants represent the flock; and the Australian cattle dogs assist the shepherd.” [Zoo spokesperson] "“It’s positive reinforcement and […]
1:19 PM | "the Zoo will refrain from interviews..."
Animal advocates asking questions abt infant #gorilla's death by crushing at San Fran #Zoo #anthropology #apes— Barbara J King (@bjkingape) November 11, 2014

November 10, 2014

9:03 PM | Theme Park Coming to Zoo?!
Zoo Miami and 20th Century Fox partnership takes another step toward "Wild" project.
8:28 PM | An Attractive "Pedal Scent"... not "smelly feet" or "stinky paws". "The researchers found that...the zoo bears were particularly interested [in] the scents left by the wild bears during springtime with the male bears especially interested in the bears of the opposite sex that are ready to mate. The findings mean that the animals use their smelly feet to send over information about themselves to other bears particularly at certain times of the year." This is important, useful research info from "Megan Owen, from the […]
7:42 PM | The State of Science-Based and Alternative Veterinary Medicine Today
Prompted by Dr. Hall’s recent assessment of the state of science-based medicine in Australia, I thought it was time to offer a “state of the profession” update on how science-based and evidence-based medicine in the veterinary field are doing in … Continue reading →
4:56 PM | EBVM 2014 Conference Highlights
This video shares some of the highlights of the recent evidence-based veterinary medicine conference I participated in, EBVM 2014. The full presentations will eventually be available as well, and I will post those also.    
4:30 PM | Can't Help Envying the Russians This
A Russian safari park may soon have a breeding pair of polar bear cubs. "“If it turns out to be a male, we will have a bridegroom for our female polar bear cub of about the same age, who arrived here from the Arctic in August.”" The Russian zoo's newest little bear would pay no attention to me. ["Safari park attendants say the baby polar bear is not afraid of people. “It only growls at tall males and seems to take no notice of those who are not that tall.”] The little […]
2:48 PM | "Making the Case for Zoo Capital Funds"
"A task force consisting of Society, Zoo and DENR will work with an architect to prepare a Zoo Master Plan. It is due to the Governor in January, 2015 to make the case for Zoo capital funds." [NC Zoo Senior Staff Meeting Notes, 11-5-14] Bravo!
2:46 PM | 2014 Turtles: So It Begins!
So it begins. Our 2014 Cape Cod Bay cold-stun season appears to be starting with a bang! In the past two days we have admitted nine live Kemp's ridley sea turtles which brings our total to eleven turtles in house. Read the recent media release announcing the start of the 2014 cold-stun season. NEST-14-011-Lk Entrance Photo Here is an update on the four brought up yesterday and the two that
2:34 PM | Issues & Intros
"Keepers are working with both Polar Bears who are having adjustment issues and choosing to stay out of sight. The new bobcat will go on exhibit next week. The male cougar has a problem with his tail and is on and off exhibit for training. Elk intros continue. Rhinos will soon be in breeding season." [NC Zoo Senior Staff Meeting Notes, 11-05-14] Still hoping for baby polar bears and rhinos (and African elephants).
1:27 AM | I Missed My Connecting Flight Because of What?!
This stubborn swan was anything but graceful as it disrupted planes from taking off at Heathrow airport.— Mashable (@mashable) November 8, 2014
1:16 AM | So Important to Victims
One less hurdle: Women's shelter allows victims to escape with their pets— Mashable (@mashable) November 9, 2014 Some abusers harm beloved pets as added abuse; some victims won't leave because they fear for their pets.

November 08, 2014

11:05 PM | How antidepressants work: the good parts version
[Author’s note: Please consider my last post, How do antidepressants work (in dogs and the rest of us)?, to be the director’s cut of this topic: fairly long and juicy, with some bits in which I indulge my inner geek and perhaps go into more detail than is truly necessary. This, then, is the good parts version: the same material, but presented as an overview from a higher altitude, with fewer details and assuming less scientific knowledge. These posts are both intended as material […]
7:24 PM | Chronicles of Athena – 15 Weeks
I was very insistent this week that I write my own blog post. After all, who knows what I do better than me? My human put up a bit of a resistance, but I won. Of course. This week I … Continue reading →

November 07, 2014

9:53 PM | The field guides are finished!
It is with no small degree of personal pride that I officially announce the completion of the Field Guide to Beached Birds of the Southeastern United States by me, Sarah Courchesne. Of our initial print run of 720 books, 500 will go directly to our funder, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, for distribution to […]
3:50 PM | Update: Producer of Tumexal Warned by FDA to Stop Illegal Marketing of Unproven Cancer Drug
Back in May, I wrote about yet another “cancer wonder drug” called Tumexal. As usual, claims were made by the company that were not supported by real research evidence but only by unreliable testimonials and pseudoscientific  verbiage. There were many … Continue reading →

November 05, 2014

8:35 PM | Summary: 60 Sea Turtles, 32-mile Head Start; Team of 7
60 #seaturtles released 32 miles offshore thanks to the teamwork of 7 #AZA aquariums, @NCWildlife, @zoos_aquariums— NC Aquarium at PKS (@NCAquariumatPKS) November 5, 2014Team members.
6:28 PM | Mother & Child
A handfull. Just tell me this isn't the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. Taken at the Cincinnati Zoo. #Gorilla— Heather Chrisler (@HeatherChrisler) November 4, 2014
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