Happy news about animals

Bird-watching a popular pastime

Author: Dora | Filed under: Bird

Bird-watching is the second-most popular outdoor hobby and the fastest growing of all outdoor recreational activities in the U.S., involving about 70 million, according to Don and Lillian Stokes, authors of the Stokes Nature Guide series of books.

Longtime Sandy resident Donna Thorum got hooked in the 1960s when she started throwing crumbs out on the back patio for the “little gray birds.” She was excited one day when she saw a larger, blue bird come in. It was this beautiful Western scrub-jay that started Thorum’s love affair with bird-watching.

“Forty years later, I’m still trying to see every species of bird on earth,” Thorum says.

Nancy Howard, also of Sandy, credits her mother for instilling in her a love of nature. During the 1970s, Howard belonged to an environmental group in which she met nationally recognized ornithologist and bird artist George Miksch Sutton. That association sparked an interest in bird-watching that continues to this day.

Another local, Jack Clark, became interested in bird-watching in 1999 while vacationing in Trinidad and Tobago. As he sat on the verandah of the Asa Wright Nature Center each morning, he was amazed by the brilliant colors of the exotic birds he saw. Later, he visited Costa Rica, Kenya and the Galapagos Islands to scan the skies and trees for beautiful birds.

After retiring a few years ago, Clark viewed bird-watching as a way to “get out of the house and get some exercise.” He has since become active in the Great Salt Lake Audubon Society and leads a monthly survey group to the Mountain Dell Recreation Area.

It’s not necessary to visit Trinidad, Tobago or Kenya to see birds. Over 400 species of birds have been documented in Utah, and many of them can be seen in the Sandy and Draper area.

For her part, Thorum has invested in a variety of feeders and water features. To date, she has identified more than 100 species of birds in her backyard. She also has participated in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Project FeederWatch for 20 years. The project helps scientists track broad-scale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.

A Jacksonville man’s best friend recently gave birth to 13 puppies.

Jeff Godbold has been breeding Boxers for three years and that the dogs usually give birth to about six puppies. So, the baker’s dozen his 3-year-old Roxy gave birth to on Tuesday was quite a surprise.

“I thought I was done at nine, but they just kept coming until we had 13,” Godbold said. “It went on from 12:30 p.m. in the afternoon until 10:30 p.m.”

A litter of 13 means 13 times the wakeup calls and 13 times the food for the Godbold household.

Boxer 13 puppies“She does not have the ability to nurse all 13 puppies at one time, so what we’ve done is we rotate the puppies six on seven off,” Godbold said. “We get up every six hours and we bottle-feed them on top of that.”

At only 6 days old, Godbold said he knows the harder work is still to come. He said he’s positive the experience is helping to prepare him for the future when he hopes to have kids of his own.

“”It has definitely been an experience. It teaches you responsibility. It teaches you what to do, and to put something else first before yourself,” Godbold said.

A cat has been rescued after being found trapped under concrete steps at a school.

The feline was found under the steps at the Tanbridge House School in Horsham on Sunday night and the RSPCA was called and the West Sussex Fire and Rescue came out to help.

RSPCA animal collection officer Steve Wickham tried to get hold of the black and white female cat called Princess by leaning through the gap but eventually a firefighter managed to climb through and get the cat.

The tired and hungry cat was taken to a vet where she was treated for hunger and dehydration.

The vet had details of Princess’ owner who had registered her as being missing two weeks before, so the next morning Princess was reunited with her owner.

Mr Wickham said: “This poor little cat must have been very hungry being stuck under the steps. We are glad the fire brigade were able to help us and we got the cat out.”

Scientists have discovered an entirely new species of cat – the clouded leopard – found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) said Tuesday.

The secretive rainforest animal was originally thought to be the same species as the one found in mainland South-East Asia, it said.

However, “genetic research results clearly indicate that the clouded leopards of Borneo should be considered a separate species,” said Dr Stephen O’Brien, head of the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity of the US National Cancer Institute.

“DNA tests highlighted around 40 differences between the two species.”

That meant the Borneo and the mainland clouded leopard differ as much as a lion, tiger, jaguar or snow-leopard differentiates from each other.

The institute believed the Borneo population diverged from the mainland population some 1.4 million years ago.

The Borneo cat has small cloud markings, many distinct spots within the cloud markings, greyer fur and a double dorsal stripe, the WWF report said. It is altogether darker than the mainland species.

The ones from the mainland have large clouds on their skin with fewer often faint, spots within the cloud markings, with a tendency toward tawny-coloured fur and a partial double dorsal stripe.

“It is incredible no one has ever noticed these differences though we have been looking at this animal for over a hundred years,” said Stuart Chapman, WWF International Coordinator of the Heart of Borneo Programme.

An earlier report of the WWF identified at least 52 new species of animals and plants over the past year on Borneo.

Today 5,000 to 11,0000 Borneo clouded leopards are estimated there and another 3,000 to 7,000 in Sumatra.

WWF said, the last great forest home of Borneo’s biggest predator is the Heart of Borneo, a 220,000 square-kilometre wild, mountainous region covered with equatorial rainforest in the centre of the island.

1 cat rescued, then a second

Author: Dora | Filed under: Cat & Kitten

After rescuing a cat that had been trapped in a Ninth Street sewer since Monday, a group of animal rescue advocates, neighborhood residents, and Bayonne city workers were puzzled yesterday when they heard meows coming from the same sewer moments later.

It turned out that another cat was trapped in the sewer along with the one so recently rescued. Hours later, rescuers lifted the second cat to safety.

“This one neighborhood is full of stray cats,” said Patty Mulligan, a Bayonne resident and a member of the Hudson County Animal League. “And it’s mating season. Males are running after females, and females are trying to run away from males, even if it’s in the sewer.”

Although they were confident that one of the cats was male and the other female, observers did not know which one was which.

Early yesterday afternoon, they rescued a tabby cat after using a tree-branch to prod it into running into one of two catch-nets that had been set up on both sides of the sewer pipe that runs from the main sewer line in the middle of the street to the curb, Mulligan said.

But shortly after being pulled to safety, the cat ran away. According to Mulligan, neither cat has an owner.

“There’s someone who feeds them, but they live on the street,” she said.

Minutes later, after hearing the meows of the second cat – a black cat that has since been nicknamed “Blackie” – the group learned that their work was not done.

The group set up traps on both ends of the sewer pipe where Blackie was.

Neighborhood residents set up surveillance of the area so that when Blackie finally ran into the trap – shortly after 6 p.m. yesterday – he was quickly pulled out of the sewer.

Though grateful that the situation had a happy ending, Mulligan bemoaned the lack of animal control programs in Bayonne.

“Unfortunately, Bayonne has neighborhoods that are plagued with stray cats,” she said. “There are not enough ‘trap-neuter-release’ programs to address this problem.”

Mouth-to-muzzle saves dog

Author: Dora | Filed under: Dog & Puppy

IT was lucky for Beethoven that Kingaroy ambulance officer Travis Comello didn’t mind dog’s breath. If he had, the lively little collie would not be here today.

Mr Comello, a patient transport officer, went above and beyond the call of duty to give the kiss of life to Beethoven recently when the dog choked while playing with a ball.

A reluctant hero, Mr Comello said yesterday he did not even know if administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the apparently lifeless dog would even work “but it just happened”.

He said the drama began just after he had arrived back from work at his home in Harris Rd, Kingaroy, when he heard his neighbour, Rosalie Rudd, yelling for help.

When he saw Beethoven lying on the ground, Mr Comello thought at first the animal had been hit by a car but was told he had choked on a ball.

Putting his fingers down the dog’s throat to extract the ball, Mr Comello said Beethoven was still not breathing but he was able to detect a very faint heartbeat.

Cupping his hand into a fist, he put it against Beethoven’s muzzle and blew in a few puffs of air and then pushed firmly on the dog’s ribs.

“To be honest, I didn’t think it would work but she (Mrs Rudd) was so upset that I thought I’m going to at least try,” he said.

Mr Comello said Beethoven had been “completely out of it . . . not moving at all” but after he administered mouth-to-mouth the dog had gasped several times and regained consciousness.

“He was sitting up in five minutes,” he said.

“He was a bit away with the fairies for a while – a bit dopey and disoriented – but in about 10 minutes he was fine. I was amazed.”

Mr Comello, who has been with the ambulance service for nine years, admitted it was the first time he had saved a dog’s life and only thought of trying the kiss of life “because I’d seen something like that on telly”.

Mrs Rudd said Beethoven would probably have died if not for Mr Comello’s quick actions.

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