Monday, May 13, 2013

Don’t Feed Wildlife. Outwit Squirrels. Importance of Predation. Epoxied Kitten. Pierce Brosnan, “Save Whales”. Elephants. Rhino Mom Finds Calf. Rabies Vaccines. Polk Declares War on Mexico.


For “Mammal Monday”:

Four Reasons Not to Feed Wildlife

Feeding wild animals, whether on purpose or not, does more harm than good


Hand-fed wild animals lose their fear of humans. It's OK to feed squirrels if you'd like, but do so from a feeder—never by hand. Christiaan Arthur Hemerik



The scent of human food, even in a garbage bag, can lure raccoons, skunks, and other wildlife. Keep trash cans securely covered. iStockphoto


Even daytime feeding of pets outdoors can attract hungry wildlife. It's best to feed your pets inside. iStockphoto

We know they're cute and they might seem hungry, but feeding wild animals—whether in your own backyard, a local park, or while on vacation—just isn't a good idea. Here's why.

1. “People” food isn’t good for animals. Human foods aren't nutritious enough for animals and may cause serious health problems (especially when animals are continually fed bread, french fries, and popcorn).

2. It makes wild animals lose their natural fear of people. Feeding can make large, potentially dangerous animals become too comfortable in residential or recreational areas. Once animals learn they can panhandle for food, they can become a nuisance—or even worse, a safety risk.

3. Feeding wildlife from or near vehicles is dangerous to animals, people, and property. Animals can be hit by moving vehicles or might try to enter vehicles in search of food. In Yosemite National Park in 1998, more than 1,100 vehicles were broken into by black bears—causing more than $630,000 in damages.

4. Wild animals who depend on people for food can cause injuries or spread disease. When wild animals gather for food handouts, it can cause crowding and competition. These unnatural conditions increase the chances of fighting and injury among animals. It can also increase the spread of diseases, some of which may be transmitted to pets and humans.

So what can you do for wildlife?

Stop the unintentional food supply:

  • Rinse all recyclable glass and plastic containers to remove any food remnants and odors. Some animals, like skunks, can get their heads stuck in containers and wind up starving to death. Cut and/or crush plastic containers, and cut each ring of plastic six-pack carriers.
  • Feed your pets inside.
  • Make sure plastic food wrap is rinsed and secured in a tied bag or securely covered garbage can.
  • When visiting parks and similar settings, clean up after yourself and follow the rules regarding wildlife. Encourage others to do the same.

Learn when to step in. If you see an animal who you think may be injured or orphaned, make sure the animal truly needs your help before feeding the animal anything or attempting a "rescue."

Feed backyard birds (and squirrels, if you want). We oppose feeding wildlife when it might cause problems, but feeding birds and squirrels is generally harmless. Don’t feed them by hand, though—set up a feeder where you can watch them from a distance. Get our tips on backyard bird feeding »

Provide some natural food sources. Plant some native bushes, trees, or flowers and put up a birdbath or other water feature for your local wildlife. You'll be on your way to creating a backyard wildlife sanctuary.”    From:


Are any human foods UNSAFE to feed ducks and birds?

“Yes. Birds should not be offered many of the foods humans eat.

  • Bread (fresh or stale): provides no real nutritional value for birds; moldy bread can harm birds.
  • Chocolate: toxic to birds, just as it is to dogs and cats (it contains theobromine); never offer birds any foods containing chocolate.
  • Table scraps: some may not be safe or healthy for birds; most table scraps will attract mice or rats.”


8 Tips for Outwitting Squirrels

Squirrel stretching to reach birdfeeder

George Harrison, an experienced birder and the author of several books—including Squirrel Wars and Other Battles with Backyard Wildlife (Willow Creek Press, 2000)—interviewed people around the country who shared the following tips for keeping squirrels out of bird feeders.

Tired of squirrels raiding your bird feeders? Here are eight ways to thwart the furry bandits.
or, if you can't beat them... #9. Feed Them. 

“Some homeowners have simply learned to live with the squirrels – and actually feed them a safe distance from their birdfeeders. After years of battling them at their feeding station, trying nearly every type of feeder and seed, a couple in Boulder, Colorado, started feeding squirrels on the ground a distance away from bird feeders. Not only do they spend only a few dollars a month feeding the squirrels, the couple has found that pine siskins and other birds are also attracted to the feeding area on the ground.”


Importance of Predation

“More than 70 years ago, legendary National Park Service biologist Adolph Murie published research showing predators actually strengthen deer and elk herds by culling out the sick and weak. Numerous peer-reviewed studies followed, also affirming the importance of predation to maintain the delicate balance of our ecosystems. Unfortunately, federal and state policies have yet to true up with these findings, and our laws and regulations continue to allow for the liberal killing of important species like bears, coyotes, foxes and bobcats.

images[8] California made progress in 2012. Long overdue legislation to end the cruel and unnecessary use of hounds to chase and harass bears and bobcats resulted in a law banning the practice. Montana prohibited the unsporting practice back in 1921.  And while there were some human-wildlife conflicts in California that resulted in happy endings and some efforts are afoot to improve responses for some species, we need a comprehensive review of our approach to predators in the context of their role in the ecosystem.”  More at:


Kitten found caked in glue

KEIZER, Ore. – “A kitten found covered in industrial-strength glue and unable to move is recovering after strangers teamed up to save him.  A woman found the kitten in a downtown Salem parking garage stuck in what turned out to be floor adhesive. The Salem Fire Department responded to her call for help and managed to get the kitten free by cutting out part of the floor.

"He got into the corner and the more he felt he was stuck the more he would dig into that epoxy and the deeper he got. So then it was hopeless," said rescuer Penny Mack.  Someone also called a local Ace Hardware, asking if they knew of any type of solvent that would get the glue off the kitten without hurting him.  'He was covered pretty much his entire bottom side and his legs were [stuck from the] adhesives to his chest. He couldn't walk or move," said Joshua Braden, who works at the animal hospital.

The 10-week-old kitten was taken to the Willamette Valley Animal Hospital in Keizer for treatment.  Veterinarian Laura Magruder spent 10 hours carefully pulling hair away from the tiny animal’s skin to remove the glue. No one ever found a solvent that seemed safe to use.”  More at:


A Note From Pierce Brosnan: Help stop a Navy training plan that could kill 1,000 whales

Pierce Brosnan“The threat couldn’t be more dire.  The Navy has announced new plans for training and testing with high-intensity sonar and explosives.  Unless we stop them, more than 1,000 whales and other marine mammals — including rare and endangered species — could be killed over the next five years.  Fortunately, NRDC is mobilizing nationwide opposition to this reckless plan.

Please join me in sending a message to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel right away. Tell him to direct the Navy to put safeguards in place that will stop this deadly assault on whales.  The scope of the Navy’s plans is staggering. They threaten entire populations of marine wildlife off the East Coast, Southern California, Hawaii and the Gulf Coast.

The Navy’s mid-frequency sonar will bombard whales with noise so intense — up to 236 decibels — it can actually cause their internal organs to hemorrhage.  There will be more than 5,000 cases of serious injury — such as permanent hearing loss or lung damage — and tens of millions of incidents in which marine mammals are harassed and harmed.  And these alarming numbers come from the Navy itself!  So it’s all the more distressing that the Navy refuses to put common-sense measures in place that could protect whales during routine training – especially because doing so would in no way compromise our military readiness.

Call on Secretary Hagel to chart a more responsible course by making the Navy take concrete steps to save whales from the deadly impacts of sonar and explosives.   The Navy should start by avoiding key habitats where whales are known to migrate and raise their young — one of the most effective ways of reducing harm.

Time is of the essence. Once the Navy’s plan goes into effect, it will take a terrible toll on marine mammals for five long years.  Let’s not wait for thousands of whales to suffer and die before taking action. Please join me now in making your voice heard at the Pentagon in defense of whales. Thank you.”

Pierce Brosnan



Saving Wildlife   An Eye for Elephants

Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS

“Penny Kalk began working with elephants at WCS’s Bronx Zoo in 1976, looking after the youngest members of the herd. Today, she continues to oversee their care as Collections Manager for the Mammal Department.

Recently, Penny traveled to Laikipia, Kenya, to aid WCS field colleagues studying wild elephant demographics and movement patterns. Her intimate understanding of individual elephants enabled her to identify members of the area's herds by sight, and contribute to a digital research database. In a new video, she talks about her work and the collaborative partnerships that define WCS.”


A Squeak Reunites Rhino Mother And Child

“Observers at the Manas National Park continue to be entranced by the latest addition to the park, a rhino calf born to rescued mother Ganga.

Camera operator Bhaskar Choudhury noticed that Ganga seemed to have lost track of her her calf while grazing. So he climbed a nearby tree overlooking the baby and "squeaked like a calf" until the two were reunited.”

“It seems Ganga let her calf sleep in a thicket while she was grazing nearby but later lost the smell of her calf. The calf also by instinct was immobile inside a thicket. We luckily saw it and I got up on a tree next to it and made short squeaks like a calf to let Ganga be more precise. Ganga nearly missed it thrice but on the fourth occasion she made it.”

“Ganga was rescued herself as a calf by the International Fund for Animal Welfare - Wildlife Trust of India following flooding in Kaziranga National Park in June 2004. She was later moved to Manas National Park as part of the ongoing efforts to restore the rhino population there. supports these and other wildlife rehabilitation efforts through the Gifts That Give More program and support from The Rainforest Site.”


Proposed California Legislation Requires Too-Early Rabies Vaccine for Puppies

“A primary concern is that too-early rabies vaccination can interfere with residual maternal antibodies, with the result that puppies presumed to be immunized against the disease, will not be.

imagesCAARLG2O Another concern is that adding the rabies vaccine around the same time dogs receive their “puppy shots” can significantly increase the risk for serious adverse vaccine reactions.

Dr. Becker and Dr. Dodds encourage pet owners to get informed and involved by visiting the Rabies Challenge Fund website.”    Video and more at: 


Attention: open in a new window.Why Challenge Current Rabies Vaccine Policy?

”Rabies vaccination is required by law in nearly all areas. Even though protection from rabies is documented to last at least three years, current law in some states or areas still requires that boosters be given annually or biannually rather than the standard policy of every three years.

However, vaccination against rabies virus is occasionally associated with debilitating adverse effects. According to the CDC domestic animals account for less than 10% of the reported rabies cases, with cats, cattle, and dogs most often reported rabid. Scientific data indicate that vaccinating dogs against rabies every three years, as most states require, is unnecessary.

images[11] Killed vaccines like those for rabies virus can trigger both immediate and delayed adverse vaccine reactions (termed "vaccinosis"). While there may be immediate hypersensitivity reactions, other acute events tend to occur 24-72 hours afterwards, or up to 45 days later in the case of delayed reactions.

Reactions that have been documented include:

  • Behavior changes such as aggression and separation anxiety
  • Obsessive behavior, self-mutilation, tail chewing
  • Pica - eating wood, stones, earth, stool
  • Destructive behavior, shredding bedding
  • Seizures, epilepsy
  • Fibrosarcomas at injection site
  • Autoimmune diseases such as those affecting bone marrow and blood cells, joints, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system
  • Muscular weakness and or atrophy
  • Chronic digestive problems

More at:


On This Day:

President Polk declares war on Mexico, May 13, 1846:

“On May 13, 1846, the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly votes in favor of President James K. Polk's request to declare war on Mexico in a dispute over Texas.

Under the threat of war, the United States had refrained from annexing Texas after the latter won independence from Mexico in 1836.  But in 1844, President John Tyler restarted negotiations with the Republic of Texas, culminating with a Treaty of Annexation.

The treaty was defeated by a wide margin in the Senate because it would upset the slave state/free state balance between North and South and risked war with Mexico, which had broken off relations with the United States. But shortly before leaving office and with the support of President-elect Polk, Tyler managed to get the joint resolution passed on March 1, 1845. Texas was admitted to the union on December 29.
While Mexico didn't follow through with its threat to declare war, relations between the two nations remained tense over border disputes, and in July 1845, President Polk ordered troops into disputed lands that lay between the Neuces and Rio Grande rivers. In November, Polk sent the diplomat John Slidell to Mexico to seek boundary adjustments in return for the U.S. government's settlement of the claims of U.S. citizens against Mexico and also to make an offer to purchase California and New Mexico. After the mission failed, the U.S. army under Gen. Zachary Taylor advanced to the mouth of the Rio Grande, the river that the state of Texas claimed as its southern boundary.

Mexico, claiming that the boundary was the Nueces River to the northeast of the Rio Grande, considered the advance of Taylor's army an act of aggression and in April 1846 sent troops across the Rio Grande. Polk, in turn, declared the Mexican advance to be an invasion of U.S. soil, and on May 11, 1846, asked Congress to declare war on Mexico, which it did two days later.

After nearly two years of fighting, peace was established by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed on February 2, 1848. The Rio Grande was made the southern boundary of Texas, and California and New Mexico were ceded to the United States. In return, the United States paid Mexico the sum of $15 million and agreed to settle all claims of U.S. citizens against Mexico.”



Even after the events of the evening before, Jay was ready to work on the roof extension, so Misty and I went to get him.

We put up quite a few more rafters on the roof of the new pergola, and we will be ready to put up the translucent white panels soon.  But first I need to make sure that the company that has the ones I want, will have some for sale.  I called them again, and they will be finished with their building soon, so I am hoping that they will sell me what is left over.  I would rather wait for those, than get the panels from Lowes.

Midnight-and-kits Midnight and her kittens are doing well.  As they are all black, except for one tabby, it was difficult to see them in the dark box.  I had to lighten the picture quite a bit to be able to see them.



This is the little tabby kitten. Shay just fell in love with this one. 



I let Midnight out of the Grooming Room into the house again, and she and Misty took to each other right away, it was lovely to see them interact.  But I couldn’t get a good picture of them playing.

Midnight’s ‘grandparents’ arrived about 7.00PM.  They were just on their way home from moving their daughter Angela to Dallas, and they will be taking over the care of Mama and kittens until they are all adopted.  Our SPCA will be getting them checked for FIV/FeLV, spayed/neutered, and vaccinated before they can be adopted.

I thought about taking over the task of raising the kittens, but as long as the cats have someone to take care of them, that will leave me open to take care of some other critter in need.  Misty and I will miss sweet Midnight today.

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