animals

Serge Melki / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut Supreme Court justices heard an appeal Tuesday that all started with a horse named Scuppy. He allegedly bit a boy, and the family sued. An attorney representing horse owners in Connecticut asked the justices to overturn an appellate court ruling. That court found Scuppy's owner to be liable, saying the species is naturally vicious.

Paul J. Fusco / CT DEEP

Seen a moose lately? Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection wants to know if you have -- and to let you know to be on the lookout while you're driving, as well. If you spot a moose, you can call (860) 642-7239 between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, or use this handy online moose sighting report form.

Saperaud / Wikimedia Commons

Whether it's the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Connecticut, the head of a nasty-looking anvil cloud, or the head of a horse you're looking to avoid: today's Wheelhouse Digest has you covered.

If this is a trick, it's a spectacular one.

A video that purports to have been taken by a GoPro or similarly small camera strapped to an eagle soaring above Chamonix, France, is quickly going viral.

How often do whales clean their ears? Well, never. And so, year after year, their earwax builds up, layer upon layer. According to a study published Monday, these columns of earwax contain a record of chemical pollution in the oceans.

The study used the earwax extracted from the carcass of a blue whale that washed ashore on a California beach back in 2007. Scientists at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History collected the wax from inside the skull of the dead whale and preserved it. The column of wax was almost a foot long.

Johan Hansson/flickr creative commons

The printing press, the pencil, the flush toilet, the battery—these are all great ideas. But where do they come from? What kind of environment breeds them? What sparks the flash of brilliance? How do we generate the groundbreaking ideas that push forward our lives, our society, our culture?

And They’re Off!

Aug 16, 2013

The day was cool and 10,000 spectators crowded the stands at Charter Oak Park to see the gray stallion Alcryon come from behind to beat the great trotting mare Geneva S. and the flagging favorite Nelson in the Charter Oak Stakes on August 28, 1889.

Charter Oak Park opened in 1873 near the Hartford/West Hartford line. In addition to a race track, it also came to include Luna Park, a popular amusement park, and the grounds served as the venue for the Connecticut State Fair, an annual two week event.

Scientists have known for years that dolphins recognize each other by the sound of each animal's signature whistle. But it wasn't known for just how long dolphins could remember these whistle calls.

The individually specific whistle that each dolphin generates before its first birthday "for them functions like a name," says Jason Bruck, who studies animal behavior at the Institute for Mind and Biology at the University of Chicago.

Alan Levine/flickr creative commons

Michael Lejeune

For the past few months, a group of people has been gathering each night along an industrial stretch of Route 5 in Hamden. There, next to a nondescript building, they lift their binoculars,  focus their telescopes and gaze across the street--past the traffic, over the railroad tracks, and up about 70 feet high.  

Nestled in a crook of two branches in a tree sits a large nest.  Inside is a  bald eagle chick, with a watchful adult hidden nearby.

"This is the only birdwatching I’ve ever done."

Michael Lejeune works at the town library. 

lanbullock68 Flickr Creative Commons

According to Wyoming's Game and Fish Department, there has been a 70 percent decline in migratory elk calf production in Yellowstone since 1992. For years, researchers suspected predatory wolves were to blame. Now, a new study details a more complex set of circumstances that account for the low calf numbers. 

Stewart Black/flickr creative commons

You've seen them. Hanging on telephone poles and posted on supermarket bulletin boards.

But have you ever wondered about the stories behind them?

When her orange tabby, Zak, disappeared, Nancy Davidson did what countless people before her had done. She made a lost cat poster. And after days of frantic searching, she found him. Nancy was ecstatic. Zak seemed happy, too—although being a cat, it was hard to tell.

Stewart Black/flickr creative commons

You've seen them. Hanging on telephone poles and posted on supermarket bulletin boards.

But have you ever wondered about the stories behind them?

When her orange tabby, Zak, disappeared, Nancy Davidson did what countless people before her had done. She made a lost cat poster. And after days of frantic searching, she found him. Nancy was ecstatic. Zak seemed happy, too—although being a cat, it was hard to tell.

Lucy Nalpathanchil

This year the state legislature will consider bill that would forbid the outdoor the tethering of dogs between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., prohibit pet shops from selling dogs and cats bred at commercial animal mills, establish the idea of an animal advocate -- probably a law student working pro bono -- to investigate and argue for the welfare of an animal subject to cruelty, and prohibit municipalities from adopting breed-specific dog ordinances.

Lucy Nalpathanchil

This year the state legislature will consider bill that would forbid the outdoor the tethering of dogs between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., prohibit pet shops from selling dogs and cats bred at commercial animal mills, establish the idea of an animal advocate -- probably a law student working pro bono -- to investigate and argue for the welfare of an animal subject to cruelty, and prohibit municipalities from adopting breed-specific dog ordinances.

The legislature is considering a bill that would allow students to opt out of dissecting a dead animal at school. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. State Representative Diana Urban supports the bill.

The legislature is considering a bill that would allow students to opt out of dissecting a dead animal at school.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. State Representative Diana Urban supports the bill. "There are students who actually avoid going to biology class because they object to using an actual animal in their dissection...And I know there's a lot of teasing that goes on in the classes." Urban says students should have a way to choose to use a computer model or simulation instead. Some high schools already allow the choice, while others specifically don't.

DEEP

State environmental officials have joined a national campaign to raise awareness about local snakes. 

No Flipper? No Problem!

Mar 27, 2013
Mystic Aquarium

An 8-month-old harbor seal pup has successfully recovered from a flipper amputation and is now on view at Mystic Aquarium.

She's called Pup 49, and when she came to Mystic Aquarium last summer she was in pretty bad shape.

"Pup 49 was very thin, she came in with a respiratory infection and she had lots of wounds all over her body, but very severe wounds on her rear flippers," said Mystic Aquarium veterinarian Dr. Allison Tuttle. She added that the wounds got very infected over time.

No Flipper? No Problem!

Mar 27, 2013
Mystic Aquarium

An 8-month-old harbor seal pup has successfully recovered from a flipper amputation and is now on view at Mystic Aquarium.

She's called Pup 49, and when she came to Mystic Aquarium last summer she was in pretty bad shape.

"Pup 49 was very thin, she came in with a respiratory infection and she had lots of wounds all over her body, but very severe wounds on her rear flippers," said Mystic Aquarium veterinarian Dr. Allison Tuttle. She added that the wounds got very infected over time.

Tambako the Jaguar, Creative Commons

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.

Backyard Wildlife

Feb 6, 2013
Ken Thomas / Creative Commons

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?

Tylar Greene, Courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service

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.

Jon Sullivan (Wikimedia Commons)

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.

Jiří Nedorost (Wikimedia Commons)

After chronic wasting disease was identified in Pennsylvania and New York, Connecticut is trying to keep the disease from crossing the border.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says whole deer carcasses may not be brought out from these affected areas.

Ray Hardman talked with state wildlife biologist Andrew Labonte about the ban, and about chronic wasting disease.

Sage Ross (Wikimedia Commons)

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?

Kyselak (Wikimedia Commons)

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.

Chion Wolf

Here are a few things that happened this week in the presidential campaign.

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