animals

When the new baby orca L120 was spotted in just off of San Juan Island in Puget Sound, Ken Balcomb passed out cigars to celebrate.

But the long-time killer whale researcher knew that the southern resident orca pods needed a lot more than one new member. That was back in September 2014. Their numbers were down to 78, the smallest since 1985. L120 was the first baby orca born in two years.

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross that researchers first tagged in 1956, has hatched what could be her 40th chick, leading the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to call her "an iconic symbol of inspiration and hope."

Born at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (which is part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument), the new (adorable) chick has been named Kūkini — the Hawaiian word for messenger.

The fastest land mammal in North America is again running free in north central Washington after a long absence. In late January, the Colville Tribes relocated 52 pronghorn antelope onto their reservation as part of a reintroduction effort.

A crowd gathered at Gobbler's Knob early this morning, awaiting the emergence of the groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil. After a tap of a cane on Phil's tree-trunk cage, his door was opened, and the animal emerged.

When Elizabeth Estes's dog, Ollie, started coughing last year, she didn't think he was seriously ill at first. But then the 3-year-old Jack Russell-chihuahua mix got much worse.

"All of a sudden, he couldn't breathe and he was coughing. It was so brutal," says Estes, who lives in Chicago. "The dog couldn't breathe. I mean, could not breathe — just kept coughing and coughing and coughing and gasping for air."

Are these animals spies? This one was behind bars.

Jan 28, 2016
7
State media

A strange bit of news made its way out of the Middle East this week. Lebanon had detained a griffon vulture on suspicion of espionage. The bird was tagged for tracking by Tel Aviv University, but the GPS transmitter apparently raised suspicion this Mossad agent bird was up to no good. 

Strange as it might seem, this is hardly the first time an animal has been accused of spying, let alone an Israeli animal. 

Oregon and Washington fish and wildlife officials are debating whether to close the only Columbia River sturgeon fishery below Bonneville Dam to protect the fish until the population rebounds.

Some octopuses intimidate their neighbors by turning black, standing tall and looming over them threateningly, like an eight-armed Dracula.

That's according to a study published Thursday that helps show that octopuses aren't loners, contrary to what scientists long thought; some of the invertebrates have an exciting social life.

CORVALLIS -- An expansion project at Oregon State University’s Reser Stadium has uncovered ancient mammoth bones under the football field's end zone.

Construction crews digging in the north end zone Monday found a 4-foot-long femur bone that experts have confirmed came from a mammoth, a prehistoric species that went extinct at least 10,000 years ago.

Further exploration with the help of archaeologists revealed thousands of bone fragments from several extinct mammals including bison and some kind of camel or horse.

Will The Oregon Occupation Ruin Bird Habitat?

Jan 26, 2016

The employees of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge have not been able to go back to their desks ever since the armed occupation started earlier this month.

They’ve been able to do much of their work off-site, but some important stuff is being left undone.

That includes the effort to eradicate an invasive fish from the refuge’s waters.

The common carp arrived in the refuge in the 1920s and multiplied like mad, crowding out native species and severely messing up the habitat.

Juvenile penguin on Genovesa Island. Click on this image to see more penguin photos.
Patricio Maldonado/Courtesy of iGalapagos.org

Bill Radke speaks with University of Washington researcher Dee Boersma about her website iGalapagos, where she is asking Galapagos Islands tourists to share their photos of penguins to help with her research. 

Gary Snyder has holes in his garden fence.

That's not normally the kind of oversight you'd find in a well-kept British garden in a market town like Chipping Norton, 75 miles northwest of London. But the holes are there for a reason: hedgehogs.

 A fashion faux pas could be the worst consequence if you wear the wrong color for the season. But a new scientific paper finds much higher stakes when it comes to mismatched coat colors in the animal world.

It's a cold day in Copenhagen, and the brightly colored snowsuits worn by Danish children make it easy to pick them out of a crowd here at the Odense Zoo, on the Danish island of Fyn. There are dozens of kids — all ages — many of them standing as close as possible to the euthanized lion laid out on a table.

"We're here to see the lion cut open," says 6-year-old Liv.

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