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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.

In an unusual sign of tension between two of Oregon’s most powerful Democratic officeholders, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio wrote a blistering letter to Gov. Kate Brown saying she appeared to mislead him on a controversial environmental issue.

DeFazio is a key congressional champion of recovering wolf populations that were once hunted to the point of extinction. In his June 9 letter, he criticized Brown and her staff for the way they handled a bill in the Oregon Legislature that could weaken protections for wolves.

Baltimore's National Aquarium has announced plans to create an oceanside dolphin sanctuary, billed as the first of its kind for the marine mammals in North America.

The aquarium says it hopes to move its colony of eight Atlantic bottlenose dolphins to an outdoor facility with natural seawater by 2020. A team is currently scouting locations in Florida and the Caribbean for the habitat, which they are calling "a new option for human care of dolphins."

It’s been an unseasonably warm June week at Oregon’s Diamond Lake.

This makes for some lovely fishing weather, but it’s not ideal for fish stocking. And that’s what a small group of employees with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are here for.

“As soon as Greg gives me the word, I’ll dump ‘em in,” says the fish deliveryman.

The thousands of fish traveled via small trailer through the night from a hatchery in Utah. The driver arrived about two hours early in an attempt to beat the heat.

A small monkey brought Kenya's electrical infrastructure to its knees for more than three hours on Tuesday with a nationwide blackout.

A powerful new technique for changing genes in insects, animals and plants holds great promise, according to a report from an influential panel of scientists released Wednesday. But the group also says it's potentially very dangerous.

Baby gorilla Yola and mother Nadiri at the Woodland Park Zoo.
Courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo/Jeremy Dwyer

Last November, Woodland Park Zoo was excited to announce the birth of gorilla Yola.

The birth was natural, as zookeepers had hoped – they didn’t intervene. But then Nadiri walked away from her baby.


Beekeepers Feel The Sting Of Stolen Hives

Jun 6, 2016

Between December and March, beekeepers send millions of hives to California to pollinate almond trees. Not all of the hives make it back home.

"The number of beehive thefts is increasing," explains Jay Freeman, a detective with the Butte County Sheriff's Office.

In California, 1,734 hives were stolen during peak almond pollination season in 2016. In Butte County alone, the number of stolen hives jumped from 200 in 2015 to 400 this year, according to Freeman.

The federal government is moving to ban virtually all sales of items containing African elephant ivory within the U.S. For a long time it's been illegal to import elephant ivory. This new rule extends the ban to cover ivory that's already here.

"Women belong in all places where decisions are being made," U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said.

Thanks to scientists from The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, it might be time for an update:

Worldwide reaction continues in the aftermath of last Saturday's tragic incident at the Cincinnati Zoo in which the 17-year-old western lowland gorilla Harambe was shot to death by zoo personnel.

Male orb-weaving spiders get devoured by the females they mate with, but a newly published study shows that at least the poor guys get to choose the lovely lady who will cannibalize them.

Thai authorities found 40 dead tiger cubs in a freezer during a raid on a Buddhist temple Wednesday.

Authorities say they don't know why the cubs were kept but plan to investigate. The temple, for its part, says the cubs died of natural causes and were preserved by a veterinarian, possibly to prove that the bodies had not been sold on the black market.

The "Tiger Temple" in Kanchanaburi province charged admission and let visitors pose with tigers, The Associated Press reports.

Flowers generate weak electric fields, and a new study shows that bumblebees can actually sense those electric fields using the tiny hairs on their fuzzy little bodies.

"The bumblebees can feel that hair bend and use that feeling to tell the difference between flowers," says Gregory Sutton, a Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

After a 3-year-old boy slipped into the gorilla enclosure on a crowded Saturday at the Cincinnati Zoo, a security team killed the gorilla to save the child.

As if alligators and pythons weren’t spooky enough, researchers say they’ve discovered something new lurking in the swamps of the Florida Everglades.

DNA testing shows that three crocodiles found since 2009 are confirmed to be man-eating Nile crocodiles. They were brought to Florida from Africa as pets, but escaped.

University of Florida professor Frank Mazzotti tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that Floridians don’t need to panic – yet.

At the end of 2013, snowy owls started showing up far south of their usual winter range. The big white birds were reported in South Carolina, Georgia, even Florida.

Dave Brinker, an ecologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, had never seen anything like it.

South Africa will allow domestic trade of rhino horns again, after a seven-year ban. International trade of the horns is still barred.

The Supreme Court of Appeal rejected the government's bid to keep the domestic moratorium in place, National Geographic reports.

South Africa is "home to the world's largest rhino population, and nearly all of the world's 20,000 white rhinos," National Geographic adds.

The Oregon Coast is getting a new tourist attraction. The University of Oregon is holding a ribbon cutting and grand opening Saturday in Charleston at the mouth of Coos Bay for its new Marine Life Center.

Snakes and lizards and crocodiles, oh my!

All of these creatures, which include Burmese pythons and carnivorous lizards, have turned up in Florida in recent years, sparking concerns about possible damage from invasive species and questions about how the nonnative animals came to be in the state.

A handful of scientists around the United States are trying to do something that some people find disturbing: make embryos that are part human, part animal.

The researchers hope these embryos, known as chimeras, could eventually help save the lives of people with a wide range of diseases.

One way would be to use chimera embryos to create better animal models to study how human diseases happen and how they progress.

Perhaps the boldest hope is to create farm animals that have human organs that could be transplanted into terminally ill patients.

Protesters Call For Feds To Stop Killing Cormorants

May 17, 2016

Dozens of protesters rallied outside the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office in Portland Tuesday, calling for federal officials to stop killing cormorants on the Columbia River.

They carried signs with pictures of the black seabirds with yellow beaks and banners calling for officials to "fix the dams" and "end the slaughter."

Federal agents have killed more than 4,500 cormorants in the past two years to keep them from eating threatened and endangered juvenile salmon.

Consider the following recent headlines:

"Don't touch baby wild animals, no matter how cute they might be" (Alaska Dispatch News)

"Animals are smarter than humans give them credit for" (New York Magazine)

Not long after publishing his first book, London designer Thomas Thwaites found himself with no real job and in relationship trouble. His book, The Toaster Project — about his attempt to build a toaster from scratch — was a huge success, but he found the whole business of being a celebrity thinker a hard act to follow.

To be human is to worry about getting by, doing better, finding love and accepting the march of mortality. Thwaites decided to try to escape the burden of being human — and he would do it by becoming a goat.

If you think your job is painful, try spending a workday with Justin Schmidt.

Schmidt is an entomologist who focuses on a group of insects called Hymenoptera — we know them as stinging ants, wasps and bees.

Schmidt has traveled all over the world looking for bugs ... and getting stung by them. The result of his work is an alarmingly comprehensive pain index, ranking 83 insect stings on a spectrum of 1 to 4.

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