We all know the story. Monkeys in a science lab, top secret research, something goes terribly wrong. It’s no surprise that most cinematic attempts to depict research like this ends up focusing on what happens to the humans.
But what about the ethics of this research, and what it means for the test subjects? In many cases, chimpanzees have been seen as viable in research because of their close relationship to humans.
Cats kill birds. You may have ready about the latest study -- it's really a study of other studies, a crunching of data from 90 other surveys -- which cranked up the estimated death toll of birds from cats. The old number was about half a billion; but the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now put it somewhere between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion.
Wildlife of all kinds thrives in our verdant, wooded state. Most of us are used to seeing squirrels and possums, raccoons and turkeys, some of us even bears and many, many deer.
But what happens when those furry critters rummage through your garbage, scare your kids or even burrow across your neatly trimmed lawn?
Today, where we live - what happens when we get too close to wildlife, and it gets close to us. Do you encourage nature to visit your doorstep? Or do you have unwanted animal visitors where you live? What do you do about it?
Last week, the US House of Representatives managed to pass a $50 billion Sandy relief package, but an amendment tacked on to the bill cut some $10 million to repair Westport's Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge.
Connecticut's third district Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro says damage sustained at the refuge was significant, and the aid package was vital to restoration efforts.
Last week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service announced it had purchased 38 acres of pristine land along the Salmon River from the owner of the former Connecticut Yankee power plant.
The 38-acre parcel of land runs along Salmon River Cove, where the Salmon River meets the Connecticut River in Haddam. The land will become part of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.
Many parts of the country this year have seen an eruption in squirrel populations. I couldn't help but notice many, many more of the critters in my yard this fall. Is Connecticut being overrun by squirrels? Every year, we put pumpkins out on our porch and stoop, and most years we get a few nibbles and scratches on our pumpkins. But this year, they have devoured the pumpkins, just leaving the base. What's going on this year?
Plum Island in New York, off the coast of Connecticut, is currently home to the nation’s only research facility for highly contagious animal diseases. In 2008, the US Department of Homeland Security was directed to examine the need for a research facility. The federal General Services Administration was later directed to sell the island.
Bear sightings in Connecticut are on the rise this year, and their numbers are growing. Appearing to talk about black bears and what you should do if you come across a bear is Paul Rego, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
The core of the black bear population in the state is in the northwestern area, Rego says, in Litchfield County and western Hartford County. They're heading south in dramatic fashion, and somewhat to the east. Rego estimates their numbers at around 500.
The Robin has had it too easy for too long here in Connecticut. It was named our state bird by law in 1943. And what has it done since then? The robin's scientific name is turdus migratorius, but, as you may have noticed, not all of them do migrate. A small percentage of robins, for whatever reason stick around during the winter. More of them are males than females, which figures. "I'm cold? Are you cold?" That's just Stuff Female Robins Say.
We'll look at whether animals have friendships with one another the way humans do. And discover why some people become full of rage after hearing normal sounds, like clearing your throat. Plus: why laws can sometimes mean The Death of Common Sense.
Today's show is already breaking some kind of record for communications from the outside world received in advance of the actual episode. As soon as the promo started airing, we started getting emails, and what those emails told us was:
The Pledge of Allegiance is a 20th century creature. It was written at the end of the 19th century by a Christian socialist minister as part of a general push toward American nationalism, with special regard for the flag. I find people all the time who think it dates back to the founding of the United States. The phrase "under God" was added in the 1950s. There are all kinds of stores about how and why that happened. I think it's fair to sum it up as kind of a Cold War thing. The Soviets were godless. We weren't.
"You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity."
So said Ralph Waldo Emerson who saw, even in the 19th century, the way civilization puts artificial spaces in the natural order of things. Nature is wild. Wild animals are savage. The livestock business is brutal. Pigs are sentient. All of these things are true, but we prefer to have them orbit around, flung as far into space as possible.
Faith meets a man trying to save farmland in a place where developers are hungry -- the exclusive Hamptons. And, meet one of the kindest vets on earth, a man who believes the last breath an animal takes should be as beautiful as possible. Plus, a memoir of farming, food and, love.
Yesterday, The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection announced its preliminary findings on the origin of the now-famous Mountain Lion that was struck and killed by a Hyundai SUV in Milford last month.
We spoke with Deputy Commissioner Susan Frechette today to hear the details.