For the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle—a species on the brink of extinction—saving one life can make a big difference. This species takes about 15 years to mature to the point that they can lay eggs, and a mature female can lay two to three clutches of about 100 eggs each nesting season. But less than one percent of hatchlings survive to adulthood, so every adult turtle is important to the overall population—especially a breeding female. Two veterinarians dive into why every emergency surgery is vital, and explain how you might help.
Carolina Raptor Center
From golden eagles to peregrine falcons, this rehabilitation and education center is a haven for birds of prey.
In 1975, an injured broad-winged hawk found its way to Dr. Richard Brown, an ornithologist at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Along with several biology students, Brown helped the bird back to health and released it into the wild—it would be the first of many rehabilitations.
Over the years that followed, more and more birds were brought into the makeshift clinic in the basement of the university’s biology building. In 1980, Brown and Deb Sue Griffin, one of his students, decided to make things more official. Together they founded Carolina Raptor Center, which has admitted some 20,000 birds over the last four decades.
In 1984, the center moved into a new home inside Latta Nature Preserve, which spans more than 1,400 acres. The preserve offers opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and paddling in the waters of Gar Creek and Mountain Island Lake.
Around 60 percent of the raptors admitted are rehabilitated and then released back into the wild. The birds that cannot be released become permanent residents at Carolina Raptor Center or another facility that can care for them.
Over the years the center has grown in size and complexity—helped along the way by the 300+ Boy Scouts who have completed Eagle Scout projects on its grounds. Today the center is home to 85 permanent resident birds from all over the world, many of which can be seen from the Raptor Trail that encircles the center. One of the highlights of the trail is the eagle aviary, where visitors can take in the impressive sight of golden and bald eagles. Other species on display include a peregrine falcon, red-shouldered hawk, spectacled owl, and turkey vulture.
In 2016, the center began a project that will expand its educational offerings and ability to care for injured birds of prey. This includes Quest, a newly-built facility that will house both the Latta Nature Center and Carolina Raptor Center along with exhibit space, indoor classrooms, and an amphitheater.
Know Before You Go
Carolina Raptor Center is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children. Check the website for more information.
Note: Erosion prevention measures make the trail inaccessible for most powered wheelchairs, but the Visitor Center is wheelchair accessible.
This picture is of a buffy-tufted-ear marmoset. And yes, we know—it can look mildly uncharismatic, which hasn’t always helped its appeal to the general public. But the truth is, the populations of buffy-tufted-ear marmosets are plummeting, partially due to the invasive common marmoset, which wreaks havoc on the food chain. Common marmosets have gotten away with it for one, very specific reason: They’re adorable. Spare a thought for the buffy-tufted-ear marmoset, won’t you?
Who knew there were so many cats in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC?
This is an inspiring video of rescued tigers swim for the first time in their new sanctuary.
From the New York Times - an excerpt on the movement to rescue feral cats. Inspiring!
Last summer, Jali Henry was feeling lonely and depressed after many of her friends moved out of the city because of the pandemic. “I literally had no one,” she said. “I was like, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’” Then she began noticing street cats in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where she lives: first, a group of four that lived behind a school; then, a cat on her block, obviously sick and infested with fleas. Ms. Henry, 28, who had started volunteering with the rescue group Puppy Kitty NYC, corralled the cat and took it to the vet. “I kind of chased her around the neighborhood, it was really crazy,” she said. “Random people stopped to help me.”
Longtime animal-rescue volunteers in the city suspect there are more stray and feral cats on the streets these days, but there are also, it turns out, more New Yorkers like Ms. Henry, who want to rescue and foster them. “On one hand, we have a group of people who are subject to financial and housing insecurity, which makes them more likely to have to part ways with their pet in a very tragic way, which leads to more cats on the street,” said Will Zweigart, the founder of the Brooklyn-based nonprofit Flatbush Cats. “An entirely different group is experiencing this pandemic with more free time. They’ve finished their Netflix queue, they’re aching for a sense of purpose.”
Betty Arce, a retired Education Department administrator who has been rescuing cats for eight years in the Bronx, said that she had never seen as many cats on the streets before, especially friendly cats and, starting last spring, kittens. “We suspect there is an increase, we just don’t know by how much,” said Kathleen O’Malley, who leads the Bideawee Feral Cat Initiative, which focuses on spaying and neutering community cats.
Neighborhood Cats, a group based in Manhattan, said its number of online donations doubled last April and May, and continue to come in at much higher rates than before the pandemic. Bryan Kortis, the national programs director, said he had also noticed an increase in the number of New Yorkers seeking training on how to help community cats. “They’re home more; they’re more aware of what’s going on in the backyard,” he said.
That’s what happened to Carmen Castillo-Barrett, a science teacher who lives in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Last June, she and her husband realized that three newborn kittens were living in their backyard. After she had the kittens and their mother fixed, Ms. Castillo-Barrett, 42, went through what she called an “interesting summer socializing feral cats.” She would sit beside the kittens as they ate, hissing at her, she said, until eventually they would let her touch them with just one finger. It provided a welcome distraction. “It was like a big experiment,” she said. If it hadn’t been for the pandemic, “it’s possible this could have happened and we wouldn’t have noticed.”
Cat volunteers still face major challenges. There is no city or state funding for organizations that trap, neuter and return cats to the streets. That method, which Bideawee practices, is endorsed by the A.S.P.C.A. and the Humane Society. The Audubon Society and other bird and wildlife advocacy organizations, however, oppose the practice because they consider outdoor cats a predatory threat to songbirds. And getting appointments for free or low-cost spaying and neutering, which has always been difficult, is even more so now.
Still, the rising interest in helping street cats during the pandemic offers a glimmer of hope for people like Mr. Zweigart, who, when not rescuing cats, researches the future of work as a brand strategist. “I’m very optimistic that past 2021 we’re only going to see a higher interest in fostering as people have higher flexibility and only spend more time at home,” he said.
Hayong Lau, 28, who lost her job at a cocktail bar last spring, began fostering kittens, even bottle-feeding a newborn every two hours at one point. “Fostering feels like we have something to control, and it just felt good to do something good,” she said. Ms. Henry, who also plans to continue fostering, has started documenting her experiences on Instagram, in the hopes of getting her charges adopted. “I want to eventually take in smaller kittens and expand my expertise,” she said.
From OXY news - Joe will reunite the nations. Not that Joe. Joe the pigeon, discovered the day after Christmas in a suburban Melbourne backyard, looking exhausted and weak, and wearing a tag that appeared to be from Alabama. The bird now faces “humane destruction” to guard the country against alien avian ailments. Australians and Americans alike have campaigned to save the bird, named Joe after the U.S. president-elect. It's emerged in the last hour or so that Alabama racing pigeon authorities are saying the tag is fake, and the pigeon deserves a reprieve, but it's unclear if the disavowal is more about the name than the bird.
UPDATE: JOE THE PIGEON HAS RECEIVED A REPRIEVE
Our dear friend Margot passed away in October. She was caring for these rescued cats who are now available for adoption. Are you looking for more love in your home? Please contact Kiley to get more details.
As a result of the pandemic, pet adoption rates have skyrocketed, increasing by nearly 90% in some cities.
Since so many Americans are also looking to move to a new home this year, the SafeWise team thought this was a perfect time to release their annual report ranking the best and worst states for pet owners.
How we ranked the pet-friendly states
When it comes to pet-friendly states, we wanted to point out places where you and your pet will find a strong community with proper measures to protect animals.
We ranked states on the following:
- Percentage of pet-friendly apartments (30%)1
- Pet population (20%)2
- Pets-left-in-car laws (10%)3
- Veterinary reporting requirement laws (10%)4
- Tether laws (10%)5
- Anti-cruelty laws (15%)6,7
- Animal fighting paraphernalia laws (5%)8
We just wanted to give a shout out to the ASPCA which has been on the front lines for rescue and relocation of pets during these turbulent times.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.
The organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend their anti-cruelty mission across the country, they are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. They are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.
The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”
This amazing organization offers a range of efforts --
No matter the location or scale of the deployment, the ASPCA is prepared to take on animal cruelty cases when needed—from initial investigations to the final placement of rescued animals in homes.
The ASPCA takes every possible action to increase the probability of adoption for homeless animals across the country.
Keeping Them Safe
The ASPCA’s efforts to protect animals span from federal laws to local courts to community engagement. We’re helping to prevent harmful situations for animals and to take action when they occur.