animals | KUOW News and Information


The only dog park with a beach in Seattle is at Magnuson Park in northeast Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Wonderlane (CC BY 2.0)

In these hot August days, you're likely to see a lot more dogs taking a swim in Seattle. But there's only one beach dogs are allowed in Seattle, and that's in Magnuson Park.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex skull arrives at the Burke Museum in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Paige Browning

There's a Tyrannosaurus rex in Seattle.

A team from the Burke Museum and University of Washington dug up the skull and other bones in Montana last month. It arrived at the museum Thursday.

Courtesy of David Moskowitz

Bill Radke speaks with biologist and conservationist David Moskowitz about the dwindling herd of mountain caribou in Washington state and what that tells us about the state of conservation efforts today. 

Just 12 years ago, researchers feared that the California Island fox, a species about the size of a cat inhabiting a group of islands off the Southern California coast, was toast. Non-native predators and pesticides had dramatically reduced their ranks. The few that remained were placed on the endangered species list.

Sharks can live to be at least 272 years old in the Arctic seas, and scientists say one recently caught shark may have lived as long as 512 years.

This humpback whale breached off Strawberry Island.
Dan Acosta

Research biologist John Calambokidis talks to KUOW's Kim Malcolm about the death of a juvenile humpback whale on a West Seattle beach, and what the incident tells us about the health of Puget Sound.

Charlie is an ideal colleague. He's energetic, knows how to handle bullies and has serious people skills. His work mostly entails riding on a cart pushed by Kim Headen, who fills orders in the warehouse at Replacements Ltd.

"He loves coming to work," Headen says. "He beats me to the door when we pull up in the parking lot. He knows his way in and to go exactly where I sit."

Charlie is a Yorkshire terrier. He's among the 400 people and about 30 animals who come to work at Greensboro, N.C.-based Replacements, where other varieties of fauna regularly come to visit.

Scan from professor Adam Summers' project.
Courtesy of Adam Summers

Bill Radke speaks with University of Washington professor Adam Summers about his project that aims to scan all the species of fish in the world. Summers is a biomechanist and provided technical advice for the movies "Finding Nemo" and "Finding Dory." 

A humpback whale died at the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock in West Seattle Sunday, but officials aren't sure why.

The 39-foot juvenile female was stranded when the tide went out. Marine mammal experts said she was clearly in distress.

Chickens aren't traditional pets. But with chicken coops springing up in more and more urban and suburban backyards, some owners take just as much pride in their poultry as they do in their dogs or cats — so much so that they're primping and preening them for beauty contests.

For decades, Japanese fishermen have told stories about the existence of a dark, rare beaked whale that they called karasu — the "raven."

But now, scientists say they have genetic proof to back up these tales. Long mistaken for its relative, the Baird's beaked whale, scientists say it represents an entirely new species.

Wild Horse Advocates Sue BLM Over Spay Procedures

Jul 26, 2016

An advocacy organization has announced it will sue the Bureau of Land Management over proposed spaying procedures for wild horses in eastern Oregon.

It was hot at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., this weekend. Really hot. The iPhone weather app displayed a sweltering 100 degrees.

"It feels like a million degrees," says Tammy Long, who was visiting from Pennsylvania with her husband and 2-year-old daughter. "It's sweltering out here."

Parents and kids crowd under what look like giant shower heads throughout the park. Cool mist covers them from head to toe.

Families camp out in the shade, many with ice cream in their hands. Craig Saffoe says this works for the lions and tigers, too.

'If, for my birthday dinner, I could order anything I wanted, I'd request a Maine lobster or a tarantula spider. ' - David George Gordon
Courtesy of Chugrad McAndrews

Deborah Wang speaks with Seattleite David George Gordon, author of the "Eat-a-Bug Cookbook," about his favorite insects to eat and why. Plus: what he serves to trick-or-treaters at Halloween.

Want to get started with entomophagy? See Gordon's recipe for deep-fried tarantulas. Or head over to Central Co-op in Seattle to pick up some crickets.

Smack in the middle of this summer of American political and societal turmoil, I'm hearing a lot about how important it is to seek out and listen to people whose ideas diverge from one's own.

None of us should want to dwell in an echo chamber. Taking up this philosophy, today I embark on a series of conversations (to appear about once a month) with people whose ideas diverge significantly from my own.

The goal? To get past hard-and-fast assumptions, to open up a space for dialogue, and see what happens.

First up: hunting.

Humpback whale off of Victoria, British Columbia.
Flickr Photo/Ivan Wong Rodenas (CC BY ND 2.0)/

This summer is proving to be a bonanza for whale-watchers.

According to The Pacific Whale Watch Association, tourists and researchers are seeing groups of humpback whales in the Salish Sea and Puget Sound nearly every day.

Washington's increased bald eagle population may dismiss them from the endangered species list.
Flickr Photo/Kenneth Cole Schneider (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/

Nationally associated as an emblem of authority and statehood, bald eagles are "sensitive."

At least that’s how they’re classified by the Washington State Wildlife Commission. But there's power in numbers -- and their population continues to grow.

A plan to effectively remove the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list has been successfully added to a larger U.S. House appropriations bill.

The House voted to attach the amendment to legislation funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior.

A federal agency has approved the continued killing of California sea lions that are eating salmon and steelhead near the Columbia River’s Bonneville Dam.

NOAA Fisheries announced Wednesday it is allowing Oregon, Washington and Idaho to continue what the agency is calling the "lethal removal" of those sea lions until the middle of 2021.

More than 5,000 black bears live in New Hampshire, and can be found in almost every part of the state. But Andrew Timmins, who grew up there, didn’t see his first bear until he was nearly 20. Now, as the state’s Bear Project leader, he sees lots of them.

Sean Hurley of Here & Now contributor New Hampshire Public Radio spent a day with Timmins at a bear hotspot near a popular ski resort and learned how Timmins catches and relocates troublesome bears.

This story has been updated.

A wildfire that broke out near Cle Elum Saturday has been fully contained according to the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office. The 50-acre fire caused several homes to be evacuated and threatened Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.

week in review radke
KUOW/Bond Huberman

On Wednesday Seattle media devoted their coverage to people experiencing  homelessness. That same day billionaire Paul Allen announced he would invest $1 million to build 13 units in Columbia City for people who are homeless. Is this a workable solution? 

Top read: This little yellow house tells the story of Seattle

Earlier this year two Seattle police officers shot and killed a man named Che Taylor. This week the Seattle Police Department’s Force Review Board ruled that the shooting was “reasonable.” Are these shootings happening because the police have a problem with implicit bias?      

The Sound Transit 3 plan is ready for your ballot this November, but are we ready for it? Is Sound Transit moving too fast with this major transportation plan?

Frigatebirds, seagoing fliers with a 6-foot wingspan, can stay aloft for weeks at a time, a new study has found. The results paint an astonishing picture of the bird's life, much of which is spent soaring inside the clouds.

NOAA: Don't touch the seal pups

Jun 29, 2016
Harbor seal pup
Flickr Photo/Tambako the Jaguar (CC BY ND 2.0)/

Bill Radke speaks with Michael Milstein, spokesperson for NOAA Fisheries, about why people should not interfere with seal pups even if they look to be abandoned. 

If you want to know how our relationship with wildlife has changed, consider how two different Seattle aquariums provided their visitors up-close encounters with one of the world’s largest predatory sharks.

In the 2000s, the Seattle Aquarium used underwater cameras so guests could watch sixgill sharks glide through the waters of Elliott Bay.

A crisp wind rakes the surface of Hood Canal, a narrow, 68-mile waterway and Puget Sound’s westernmost reach.

A group of divers emerges from the chop and wades ashore. They’ve just finished their first open-water dive.

“Congratulations. You’re certified,” said Callie Renfro, the dive instructor.

Sixgill shark in the waters around Seattle.
Screenshot from YouTube

Emily Fox talks with filmmaker Michael Werner about his new documentary, "Mystery Sharks of Seattle." It airs on Wednesday at 9 p.m. on KCTS.

When you think about fish, it's probably at dinnertime. Author Jonathan Balcombe, on the other hand, spends a lot of time pondering the emotional lives of fish. Balcombe, who serves as the director of animal sentience for the Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that humans are closer to understanding fish than ever before.

"Thanks to the breakthroughs in ethology, sociobiology, neurobiology and ecology, we can now better understand what the world looks like to fish," Balcombe says.

A Colorado woman managed to fight off a mountain lion that was attacking her 5-year-old son.

During the harrowing rescue Friday evening, she "reached into the animal's mouth and wrested her son's head from its jaws," The Aspen Times reported.

The Oregon Supreme Court says dogs are more than simply property. Justices Thursday overturned a lower court's ruling that found that taking a blood sample from a dog was a warrantless search.