Monday, March 25, 2013

Wildlife. Bat Babies. 400 Chimps Free. Gorillas. Bison. Smart Husky. Sonoran Desert Toads. Conservation Canines. Animal Prosthetics. Pet Seat Belts. Sugar Ray. MLK’s March. Passover.


For “Mammal Monday”:

“We do not inherit the world from our Ancestors----We borrow it from our Children.”

Wildlife Gardening: Don’t Forget the Neighbors

Certified Wildlife Habitat, Washington, DC

Defined beds of native plants, along with benches and a patio, made this Washington, D.C., wildlife garden more appealing to neighbors. Photo by Laura Tangley.

“When I bought a house on a large corner lot a decade ago, I was in a hurry to convert the lawn as quickly as possible to a lush, plant-filled haven for wildlife. Too much of a hurry, it turned out.

Not only did I make some early bad decisions about cultivating nonnative plants—later corrected—I did not plan ahead to consider how my neighbors might react to the unconventional landscape. It’s too bad I couldn’t have read “Gardening With a Good-Neighbor Policy,” an article by Doreen Cubie published in the February/March 2013 issue of National Wildlife magazine. In the article, Cubie shares 10 “suggestions for redesigning your yard to attract wildlife while at the same time keeping neighbors and local authorities happy.”    Here are three of her tips at:   From Wildlife Promise


Caring for baby wild animals is no joke!

Check out these adorable baby bats from the Australian Bat Clinic & Wildlife Trauma Centre. For more info on their work:  

“Trish Wimberley looks after hundreds of orphaned baby bats and rears them until they can be released into the wild. It's a tireless, never ending job which keeps her awake all hours (she apparently went 3 nights without sleeping once). A typical day may include feeding (the food is about $1000 a week), health checks, doing their laundry (the dryer and washing machine electricity bill costs up to $8000 every 3 or 4 months!), bat transportation for release -- everything they need in order to survive. You'd think she'd need an army of people to help but she makes do with only a few loyal volunteers. It just goes to show, motherhood can transcend between all species and Trish is happy playing that role to assist a creature that is vital to the Australian ecosystem.”    More at:


Bats are Mammals

Bats are Mammals“A long time ago, people used to think bats were birds without feathers.  But now we know that there is no such thing as a featherless bird.  We know that bats are MAMMALS, just like people.

Some of the things that tell us bats are mammals: Bats are warm blooded,  bats nurse their babies with milk, bats have fur. 

But bats are very special mammals.  They are the only mammals that can fly (without an airplane!)  Flying squirrels are mammals too, but they don't really fly.  They jump from high in a tree glide through the air like a kite.  Bats flap their wings and fly like a bird.  Scientific Information:  Bats make up the order Chiroptera.”  More about bats at:


400 Research Chimpanzees to Be Retired


“In late January, wrapping up a two-year assessment of the need to continue use of chimpanzees in research studies, a recommendation was made to the National Institutes of Health to retire 400 of its approximately 450 chimps. According to the recommendation, the remaining chimps would be maintained for possible future use, but with changes to their housing to be implemented over the next five years.

imagesCAMQVV2J Advances in alternate research tools have rendered chimpanzees essentially unnecessary as research subjects. Future use of chimps for biomedical, genomics or behavioral research must meet stringent criteria in compliance with the Institute of Medicine’s guiding principles.

According to Dr. John Pippin of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “… we are inexorably moving toward the end of invasive chimpanzee research in the U.S.”  More at:


Lowland Gorillas, Protected in a Green Abyss.New York Times       

“The locals said it could not be done. It was 1999, and the hardheaded ecologist J. Michael Fay was determined to tromp across 2,000 miles of the Congo Basin. In a northeastern patch, he ran into a swampy tangle so thick that he struggled to advance by a single mile in under 12 hours.

“He later said it was one of the most difficult things he had ever attempted in his life,” said Paul Telfer, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Congo program. When Dr. Fay, also a staff member at the conservation society, emerged from his journey 455 days later, he referred to that wild forested place as “the green abyss.”

Now the government of the Republic of Congo has declared the area a national park, ensuring that the green abyss remains just that. Gorillas, it turns out, do not mind the forests’ tangle.

In 2008, the Wildlife Conservation Society discovered that an estimated 15,000 western lowland gorillas were living there, which helped spur the government to make a decision to protect the forest. “The density of gorillas in this area turned out to be surprisingly high,” Dr. Telfer said. “As big as gorillas are, it’s surprising how nimble they are in these dense understories — it’s their preferred habitat.”  More at:


Bison:  Genus: Bison, Species: bison

Bison bull

“This animal's true name is the American bison, but most people call them buffalo. They are the largest terrestrial animal in North America.

Bison once dominated the grassland and prairie ecosystems of the United States.  When the first explorers came to the Great Plains, it is estimated that over 40 million bison roamed the land.  By 1900, a little over 1,000 bison could be found with only a handful of wild bison left in Yellowstone National Park.  What happened to the bison?”  More at:


Heroic Husky Saves Himself and His Fellow Four-Legged Pals

“In the midst of the 2012 holidays, a clever and tenacious Siberian Husky in London, Ontario gave his fellow four-legged friends the gift of safety and freedom.

13-year-old Kiki had been muzzled by his owners and left in an abandoned moving van along with two cats and two other dogs. Despite having his ability to bark suppressed by the muzzle, he remained determined to find a way to call for help: he honked the vehicle’s horn repeatedly until members of the Police Department arrived.

Human Society’s Judy Foster said she thinks it’s possible Kikki acquired the knowledge that saved her by watching humans. “Dogs are very smart; they watch us all the time.”

Kiki’s desperate plea for help finally caught the attention of a concerned citizen on Monday, December 10.  Police Department found the moving van in a crowded parking lot with its horn still blaring and Kiki in the driver’s seat. Upon investigating the vehicle, the officers discovered two dogs, “Buddy” and “Six Toes,” as well as two cats.  “It was evident that they required medical attention.”

The pet owners have been charged with five counts of cruelty to animals. If convicted, they face possible fines of up to $10,000 or as much as 18 months in prison.  Officials have estimated that Kiki and his friends had likely been left in the moving van for a week. Foster is certain the five animals would not have survived for much longer if it weren’t for Kiki’s efforts.  “We’ve received numerous calls from people asking us to find a hero award for this dog,” Foster told


Beware of Sonoran Desert Toad

“Sonoran Desert toads are big fellows —  as long as 7 1/2 inches. They are slow-moving and depend to some degree on a poison they store behind their eyes. The secretions can disrupt nerve and muscle function in a mammal.

Dogs are often killed by the poison. Some stupid humans believe they will get high by licking the toads. They don't, but they will get sick and maybe even die. The toads are found in the Sonoran Desert of the Southwest, and are sometimes called Colorado River toads.

Dogs often get sick after drinking from their water bowl after a Sonoran Desert Toad has rested in it overnight. Anyone who suspects their dog has been drinking toad tea should call a vet.”


Nature Helping Nature: Conservation Canines

A team of four-legged researchers sniff out critical conservation data to help New Mexico's forests adapt to a changing climate.

Rescue dogs sniff out endangered species

“By training shelter dogs to find the scat of threatened species, Conservation Canines is saving the lives of both dogs and wildlife.

Max, a 5-year-old Australian Cattle dog with Conservation Canines

Max, a 5-year-old Australian cattle dog, is trained to find the scat of wolverines, grizzly bears, barred owls, tigers, leopards and many other animals. (Photo: Center for Conservation Biology)

Dogs like Sadie, a 10-year-old Labrador pointer mix (pictured right), board boats and lead scientists toward the whales’ scat. By leaning a certain direction or twitching their ears, these dogs serve as the research vessels’ four-legged navigators.”  More at:


Bionic animals

“Prosthetics have changed the lives of disabled and handicapped people since the Egyptians first pioneered the idea, but only recently have prosthetic limbs and other artificial devices been used to assist other animals. Pets and farm animals are common recipients, but scientists have also created prosthetics for endangered species to ensure their survival.”









































“Common causes include accident, abuse, untreated fractures that become septic, and neurological disorders, and congenital birth defects. Typically, an animal with a painful leg injury will become lethargic and depressed. Once the leg is removed, the pain is gone and their relief is almost immediate.”

Tripaws are very happy animals.  Let’s take care of our pets, and stop them from getting injured by using seat belts.


Pet Seat BeltsKurgo Leash and Zip Line Combo from Pet Travel Center

Solvit Pet Vehicle Safety Harness from Pet Travel Center

Solvit Pet Vehicle Safety Harness  left

Kurgo Leash and Zip Line Combo   right

“Pet seat belts are essential when traveling with your pet to protect not only your furry friend, but you and your passengers as well. Pet vehicle harnesses are available in a variety of sizes and styles and many have been crash tested to ensure they will do the job in case of a sudden stop or accident.

A 25-pound, unrestrained dog can become a deadly, 1000-pound projectile in the event of a 40 mph crash. Vehicle pet restraints also prohibit your dog from distracting you while driving. Travel safely with your pet by using proper pet seat belts or pet vehicle harnesses. Bark Buckle UP, the safety advocate, rates our PetBuckle Seat Belt Harness as one of their approved 7 Car Safety Products for Pets.”

PetBuckle Truck Tether from Pet Travel Center

PetBuckle Truck Tether will stop your dog from being thrown out of the truck, cause an accident, or run over.

More at:


From me: Outside of this subdivision, no animal is loose in my van.  Cats are in carriers, dogs are in carriers or in padded safety harnesses, but either way they are secured by my seat belts.


On This Day:

Sugar Ray defeats Basilio for middleweight title, Mar 25, 1958:

“On March 25, 1958, Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Carmen Basilio to regain the middleweight championship. It was the fifth and final title of his career. Robinson is considered by many to be the greatest prizefighter in history. No less an authority than heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali has said, "My idol will always be Sugar Ray Robinson, who was, and remains, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters to have ever lived in this century."

Robinson retired in 1952, and went on to try his hand as a dancer and bandleader in his adopted hometown of Harlem. He returned to the ring in 1955, out of shape and sluggish, but still good enough to regain the middleweight title. He lost the title in 1957 to Gene Fullmer, who knocked him down for the first time since LaMotta sent him to the floor six years earlier. Robinson defeated Fullmer in their rematch, but then lost the title to Carmen Basilio, a steady puncher whose claim to fame was that he had never been knocked down. Going into their championship rematch, held this day in 1958, the once-indomitable Sugar Ray was a 2-to-1 underdog.

Robinson and Basilio traded punches for the majority of the match, with Robinson closing Basilio’s left eye completely by the seventh round. (Basilio later said that he could not see after the fourth round.) In the ninth round, Basilio came out attacking, and Robinson stopped slugging and started to box, dancing and jabbing at Basilio. This was the last great fight of Robinson’s career, and he showcased all of his veteran skills, avoiding Basilio’s punches and delivering a stunner in the 15th that nearly knocked Basilio down. In the end, the three judges awarded Robinson the victory and his fifth middleweight title, a record for any men’s division.”


Martin Luther King leads march against the war, Mar 25, 1967:

“The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., leads a march of 5,000 antiwar demonstrators in Chicago. In an address to the demonstrators, King declared that the Vietnam War  was "a blasphemy against all that America stands for." King first began speaking out against American involvement in Vietnam in the summer of 1965. In addition to his moral objections to the war, he argued that the war diverted money and attention from domestic programs to aid the black poor. He was strongly criticized by other prominent civil rights leaders for attempting to link civil rights and the antiwar movement.”


Upcoming 2013 Holy Days
Passover: March 25 (observed evening before)

Feast of Unleavened Bread: March 26-April 1



Ray didn’t have any plans, so he offered to come over and help me.  He said was up to helping me get the repaired washing machine out of my van, and so that is what we did. We found an easier way to do it than when we had Jay helping us.

imagesCADQ68UXWhen I had picked it up from Call-Mark’s repair shop I nearly had a hissy-fit, my brand new stainless-steel clad hoses were not on it.  The rubber washer hoses are not safe if you don’t turn them off when you are not using the machine, as they can flood a house. My shut-offs are too difficult to manage.  Mark jokingly told me he had sold them, just to get me going.  They were inside the machine.  So we re-installed them, and had to re-level the machine again.  We tried it out by washing some rags to make sure it didn’t rock and roll.

We wanted to work on an AC that is outside, but there was too chillier a wind.  So we put the crevice tool on the shop vac, extended it with a taped-on paper towel core, and cleaned out the crud from where the dryer lint trap goes.   There were still some little rubber pieces that had come off a non-slip bathroom rug in there, so I went to reach for ‘the little fingers”, but they weren't there. 

imagesCA82PNW1 imagesCALP8ACK I went out to the motor home to get the ‘little fingers’ out of there, but the porch light didn’t come on automatically when I opened the door.  Oh, oh, that means the back battery is dead. So I had to move extra blankets and stuff that was stored under the dinette bench to attach the battery charger, and we ran a cord to the house through the passenger window.  I tried to just plug the motor home in, to plug the charger in an inside outlet, but both my adapters had disappeared.  I swear there must be gremlins here, as a box of donated cat food, and the timer for the water hose have vanished from the face of my world.

It is great to have a washer again, so it was running all afternoon, while I cooked and de-boned an organic chicken, re-made my bed,  and watched listened to “The Bible”.  I even washed the bedspread, pillow shams, Misty’s blankies and other things in my bedroom, as my sinuses are worse at night.  For a while I thought I might be allergic to Terry, this orange cat, so I let him sleep in the living room for a couple of nights, but it didn’t make any difference.  Orange cats genetic make-up is different.

“Since males only need to have the orange gene on one chromosome to become ginger cats, and females have to have it on two, ginger males outnumber females 3 to 1.”

Female cats produce a lower level of allergens than males, and neutered males produce a lower level of allergens than unaltered males.”   From:  and Terry doesn’t get neutered until the 14th. April.

Terry went out on the screen porch, but didn’t stay there long, the cool wind was ruffling his coat.   I even had to turn the heat on yesterday.

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