animals

Animal Rights
7:45 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Protesters Clash With Residents In Forks Over Dog Shelter

Images posted by two groups at odds over the conditions at the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, Wash., show starkly different portrayals of life in the shelter.
Credit From Facebook.

About 18 months ago, a volunteer at a Forks, Wash., animal sanctuary took photos of the shelter where she worked. She captured grim images of a rundown warehouse where the animals – mostly dogs but also reptiles – were housed, focusing on their cages, rib cages, feces and exposed wiring.

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Portland's Goat Conundrum
9:02 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Displaced By Development, Urban Goat Herd Needs A New Home

Twelve goats living in Portland's Central Eastside Industrial District will have to move out so a developer can break ground on a new apartment building.

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 1:00 am

A dozen goats tromp around on their very own playground while traffic zooms by in Southeast Portland's industrial district.

Here, on the city's so-called "goat block," bike tours and families with children stop to visit the goat herd outside a chain-link fence. Each goat has a name and a "friendliness" rating posted outside the fence and once a day, a caretaker walks one of the friendly goats around the neighborhood for people to pet.

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Sweetness And Light
12:25 am
Wed November 27, 2013

The Horse Who Picked Up A Paintbrush

Metro Meteor, a retired racehorse, stands with owners Ron and Wendy Krajewski and one of his paintings at Motters Station Stables in Rocky Ridge, Md., earlier this year.
Jeffrey B. Roth Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 7:55 am

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Buzz Kill
10:32 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Oregon Restricts Pesticides Responsible For Bee Die-Offs

Officials say they believe two pesticides – when sprayed on trees that have their own natural toxicity – become fatally toxic to bees and other pollinators.
Credit Xerces Society Photo/Rich Hatfield

The Oregon Department of Agriculture is restricting the use of two pesticide ingredients implicated in the deaths of more than 50,000 bumble bees earlier this year.

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Animal Rights
11:59 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Elephant Crush: Grinding 25 Years Of Tusks To Curb Poaching

Elephants walk through grass in 2008. The lead matriarch of this herd was killed by poachers the next year.
Big Life Foundation Photo/Nick Brandt

They’re calling it The Crush.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service plans to destroy six tons of elephant ivory on Thursday to draw attention to the ongoing decimation of wild elephants by poachers. Wildlife service officials will grind up tusks, trinkets and carvings seized from traffickers over the past 25 years. The tusks are typically trafficked in the illegal Chinese and Japanese ivory market.

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Adorable
1:09 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Another Election?! Relax, This One's To Name A Baby Panda

You can help select a name for the National Zoo's new panda cub.
Abby Wood Smithsonian's National Zoo

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:45 pm

Fresh off Tuesday's election, another is just around the corner: The National Zoo wants you to help name its new panda cub by casting a vote at Smithsonian.com.

You can vote online (no photo identification required and the balloting continues until Nov. 22).

At NPR, we always strive to ensure that our audience is informed of the candidates — even when they're names for pandas.

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Animal Sounds
3:42 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

That's Not What The Fox Says. It Goes Wow-Wow

What does the fox say?
Credit Flickr Photo/US National Archives

"What does the fox say?" — the viral video in which a child’s barnyard sounds book goes “Gangnam Style” — has spurred many parodies,  including one from longtime local drive time show, Bob Rivers on KJR. Their Twisted Tunes team spun the tune into a pep rally ditty for the Seattle Seahawks.

This inspired KUOW host Bill Radke to ponder — and answer — the cosmic question himself. Play the audio clip to find out exactly what a fox says.

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Pets Vs. Livestock
4:55 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

One Girl's Mission To Re-Classify Pygmy Goats

Ava Anissipour and her goat Juju visiting the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Jenna Montgomery

Ava Anissipour is on a mission to convince Federal Way to re-classify pygmy goats as pets, not livestock. Anissipour has had a pygmy goat since she was nine years old; she's 12 now.

Anissipour says pygmy goats make perfect household pets: affectionate, smart and well behaved. The Federal Way City Council plans to vote on pygmy goat classification in the coming weeks.

Marcie Sillman sat down with Anissipour to talk about her efforts.

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Science
6:00 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Weird Science: The Conversation Explores The Natural World

David Montgomery's book "The Rocks Don't Lie"

The world is a mysterious place. In labs and observatories around the world, people are trying to make sense of nature’s secrets. This hour on The Conversation we talk to scientists and science writers about the natural world around us and what scientists are doing to harness its power.

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Film and Books
6:00 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Isabella Rossellini, Creativity With Sir Ken Robinson And George R.R. Martin

Flickr Photo/Sharyn Morrow

Actor, Model Isabella Rossellini On Making “Green Pornos”

Isabella Rossellini became famous for high-fashion modeling and for her acting roles in over 60 films and television shows. But she also makes films about sex. Specifically, the sex lives of animals. From the elephant seal to the little anchovy — all erotic encounters are on the table. Isabella Rossellini joined us back in 2009.

Sir Ken Robinson On Creativity

"All children are born artists. The problem is to remain artists as we grow up," says Sir Ken Robinson, an international expert on creativity. School, he says, encourages us to become good workers, not creative thinkers. So how do we fix it? Marcie Sillman talked with Sir Robinson in 2009 about his book, "The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything," and the challenges of teaching creativity.  

A Conversation With "Game Of Thrones" Author George R.R. Martin

With HBO's "Game of Thrones," George R.R. Martin's world of Westeros is seducing TV viewers much as it captured readers. Martin began writing science fiction stories in the 1970s, and early on his stories were nominated for awards. Raised in a housing project in New Jersey, he used to write monster tales for the neighborhood kids. Steve Scher talked with George Martin in 2012.

Mysterious Migrations
12:01 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Where The Whale Sharks Go

A whale shark dives near the surface in waters off the coast of Mexico.
Marj Awai Georgia Aquarium

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 12:17 pm

Of all the creatures in the sea, one of the most majestic and mysterious is the whale shark. It's the biggest shark there is, 30 feet or more in length and weighing in at around 10 tons.

Among the mysteries is where this mighty fish migrates and where it gives birth. Now scientists have completed the biggest study ever of whale sharks, and they think they have some answers to those questions.

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Human Interest
9:36 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Northwest Chimps Compete In National Art Contest

Courtesy of Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 12:30 pm

Two chimpanzees living in the Northwest are competing in a national art contest.  The chimps and their caretakers are trying to win a $10,000 first prize for their respective sanctuaries. 

The abstract artwork entered by Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest in Cle Elum, Washington was created using children's finger paint enhanced with sunflower seed shells. "It's kind of a mixed media piece," says sanctuary outreach director Diana Goodrich. She says the chimp artist is a retired biomedical study subject named Jamie.

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Cognitive Science
8:00 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Inside The Brains Of Animals

A chimp expresses sadness.
Credit Flickr Photo/Tom Holbrook

Some animals display very human behaviors: chimps grieve, rats love to be tickled, and moths remember living as caterpillars.

Science journalist Virginia Morell explores the complex minds of animals in her new book, "Animal Wise." From field sites to laboratories, Morell shows how animal cognition research has evolved, and how animals possess traits many feel are unique to humans.

She spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company on April 8, 2013.

Impact Of War
12:51 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Four-Legged Warriors Show Signs Of PTSD

Bernie Green is a supervisor with the Department of Defense's Military Working Dog Breeding Program. Experts say dogs can suffer from PTSD-like conditions that can affect their military capabilities later on.
Ryan Loyd KSTX

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 5:04 pm

For years, PTSD — or post-traumatic stress disorder — has been an issue for military members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

But humans aren't the only ones with problems. Military dogs returning from war zones are also showing signs of PTSD. And there's evidence that these canines need some extra tender loving care after their tours of duty.

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Science
12:27 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Honey, It's Electric: Bees Sense Charge On Flowers

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:47 am

Flowers are nature's ad men. They'll do anything to attract the attention of the pollinators that help them reproduce. That means spending precious energy on bright pigments, enticing fragrances and dazzling patterns.

Now, scientists have found another element that contributes to flowers' brand: their distinct electric field.

Anne Leonard, who studies bees at the University of Nevada, says our understanding of pollinator-flower communication has been expanding for decades.

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