A near-death experience turned into a free ride for an owl that was struck by an SUV on the Florida Turnpike and became lodged behind the vehicle’s grill.
Sonji Coney Williams was headed south on the turnpike when she struck what she thought was a bird.
“I felt so bad but it was very dark and we didn’t pull over,” she said. Instead she drove another 100 miles, to Plantation, Fla.
Not until the next day, when she was parking her car, did she discover what she struck was a great horned owl, and that it was alive, well and winking from behind the grill of her car.
“There was a family that pulled in front of my parking space and flagged me down and said don’t move, don’t move, you have something in the grill of your truck. I said, ‘Yes, what is it?’ And they said, ‘It’s an owl.’ And I said, ‘An owl?’” said Williams.
She called Florida Fish and Wildlife and an officer opened the hood and freed the bird from the vehicle.
The owl’s journey was nearly as long as the maybe-record-setting, 110-mile one taken last year by a dog in California, later named Chevy, in the engine compartment of a pick up truck.
Officers say the owl appeared not to have suffered any injuries. It was moved to the South Florida Wildlife Center in Ft. Lauderdale, which said the owl — after some good meals and more testing — would eventually be returned to its natural habitat in Central Florida.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 13th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100 miles, car, fish and wildlife, florida, freed, great horned owl, grill, highway, hit, owl, removed, ride, south florida wildlife center, suv, wildlife
That wolf-like creature that state wildlife officials are trying to capture in Philadelphia’s Pennypack Park may be somebody’s pet.
Kasey Lyons, 21, says it looks a lot like Levi, the timber wolf-Alaskan malamute mix he bought in Florida on Valentine’s Day for his then-fiancee. (That’s him above in his street clothes.)
A month later, while visiting Lyons’ mother, the couple lost the dog in Pennypack Park. Lyons placed ads and put up posters, but to no avail, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Tuesday night, Lyons saw a photo of the animal (left) and a story about the mystery creature on Philly.com.
He says it looked just like Levi, whose name is the same as Lyons’ middle one.
On Wednesday evening, Lyons searched a section of Pennypack Park where the animal had been spotted repeatedly over several months, bringing along Levi’s old leash, and his other dog, Tiny, a Lab-bulldog mix.
Lyons was living in Florida when he got the hybrid pup. He and then-fiancee Brittany Hopkin were training Levi when, according to Lyons, she let him loose and the hybrid ran off.
The couple have since broken up. Lyons lives in Philadelphia now, and Hopkin has relocated to Georgia.
Still, he wants to find the dog and return him to her. In Pennsylvania, though, one needs a special permit to own a hybrid wolf-dog. While Lyons says he bought the dog legally, for $400, in Florida and has papers and receipts, he doesn’t hold a permit.
Jerry Czech, a wildlife conservation officer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said the wolf-dog, once found, would have to be forfeited.
(Photos: Philadelphia Inquirer)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, capture, dog, dogs, fiancee, gift, hybrid, kasey lyons, levi, lost, malamute, mix, officials, park, pennypack, pets, philadelphia, trap, valentines day, wandering, wildlife, wolf
The animal, most likely a wolf hybrid that escaped or was abandoned, started showing up at the park about three months ago.
Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser said that, though the animal hasn’t attacked anyone, they are taking the situation seriously.
“Any animal that has wild instincts does have the potential to be aggressive,” he said.
Whether it’s a wolf-dog hybrid won’t be known for certain until DNA can be tested, he told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Feaser cautioned residents to stay away, and not to feed the creature.
Staff from the Wolf Sanctuary in Lititz, Pa., were also attempting to capture the creature, which “got a little wobbly” after eating a hot dog they provided, laced with tranquilizers. Whenever anyone got close though, the animal retreated into the woods.
Sharon Newman Ehrlich, a high school biology teacher who lives near the park and has seen the creature several times, said it seemed “very docile, not dangerous at all.”
When it approached her lhasa apso-poodle mix, all it did was take a sniff.
(Photo: Alejandro A. Alvarez / Philadelphia Inquirer)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, darts, dog, dogs, game commission, hybrid, pennsylvania, pennypack park, pets, philadelphia, tranquilizer, traps, wildlife, wolf, wolf dog, wolf dog hybrid, wolf sanctuary
Kieri was on a bird-watching walk with her owner when she stuck her head into a trailside trap intended to instantly kill otters and beavers.
The 8-year-old, 38-pound Wheaten terrier, underwent surgery and seemed to be recovering, according to her owner, Jack Williamson. But in April, her pain returned. She underwent surgery this month, but continued to suffer and was put down Tuesday.
Kieri is among a half dozen dogs reported to have been caught in traps last winter in Central Oregon, three times more than usual,according to an Associated Press account based on a subscriber-only Bend Bulletin story.
State wildlife officials think the increase may be a result of trappers coping with high gasoline prices by setting their traps closer to town.
Williamson wants the state to ban the use of large body-gripping traps on land.
Members of the Oregon Trappers Association have met with Williamson and wildlife officials to discuss rules changes that would keep pets safer. The Fish and Wildlife Commission is expected to review its rules when it meets next month.
According to a petition Williamson started on the website Care 2, current regulations in Oregon allow traps to be set on public land, concealed from view, without penalty of any kind for placement of traps that result in serious injury to people, or pets that are under control of their owner.
You can find more information about Kieri and the petition at Kieri.org
(Photo: From Kieri.org)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beaver trap, care2, commission, dangers, death, died, dog, dogs, euthanized, fur, hikers, hiking, hunting, injuries, jack williamson, kieri, land, oregon, oregon trappers association, otter trap, petition, pets, public land, regulations, rules, safety, spinal, spine, state, symbol, trails, trap, trappers, trapping, traps, warnings, wheaten terrier, wildlife
A German shepherd chased a mountain lion up a tree Tuesday morning in Los Altos.
Cody, an 85-pound shepherd, was smaller, but apparently more fearless than the 110-pound cat, which sought refuge 30 feet up an oak tree at an upscale home in Los Altos.
That’s where was the California Department of Fish and Game found him, and decided to leave him alone, according to NBC. The mountain lion eventually came down the tree and left the area.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, california, cat, chase, dog, dogs, german shepherd, los altos, mountain lion, pets, tree, videos, wildlife
When a great horned owl sunk its talons into his daughter’s shih-tzu-poodle mix, one of Patrick Evans dogs, a boxer, went to the smaller dog’s aid.
Evans stepped outside after hearing a commotion in his back yard last month. When he called the dogs, his daughter’s 7-pound shi-poo, Ramadi, came running towards the door dragging something on her back.
“Suddenly I realized an owl had its talons sunk into Ramadi and Sadie (his boxer) was trying to get it off of her,” Evans said. “When they got to the door we were able to separate Sadie from the owl and my wife pinned the owl to the ground with her foot as I ran to get some gloves.”
“The craziest thing was that the owl turned its head all the way around, you know the way they can do, and looked right at us,” Evans told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It really freaked us out.”
Evans’ daughter, Amy, just home from Iraq, was visiting for the holidays, with her husband, children and two dogs, one of whom, Ramadi, was in the back yard with her parents’ Rottweiler, Eli, and their 70-pound boxer, Sadie.
Evans freed Ramadi from the bird’s two-inch long talons and called the Pingree Grove Police Department.
Sgt. Rich Blair, one of two officers who responded, said that as they talked to the family, “the owl stood outside the sliding glass door looking at the smaller dog as if he wasn’t leaving without it.”
Blair was able to open the door and drop a fishing net over the bird, which had a swollen left eye. The owl was by a local animal control company to Willowbrook Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Glen Ellyn.
Pingree Grove police said the owl attack was the third in three days, presumably the same one.
On Dec. 21, an owl attacked a small dog, leading its owner to drive her car onto the front lawn in an attempt to scare the bird away. In the early morning hours of Dec. 22, Kyle Sweet had to wrestle an owl off his 22-pound Havanese, Bailey.
Officials at Willowbrook Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center, where the owl had to be euthanized, said it appeared to have been struck by an automobile, causing head injuries that impaired its sight and might have led it to seek easy prey.
(Photos: Top photo, of Amy and Ramadi, by Patrick Evans; Sadie and Eli photo and owl photo by Michael Smart / Sun-Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attack, boxer, dogs, eli, mix, owl, owl attacks dog, patrick evans, pets, pingree grove, poodle, ramadi, rottweiler, sadie, shih-poo, shih-tzu, talons, wildlife
Merritt, 38, who lives in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, ran out the back door of her home to find her 90-pound dog being attacked by a black bear.
“My legs kept going, but my head didn’t realize there was a very large black bear in my backyard with a cub,” she told the Allentown Morning Call. “I went to grab my dog, and the bear knocked me down. The bear sliced my head.
“I just got back up and screamed, and the bear backed off and climbed over the fence, so I was able to get the dog back in the house.”
About then, she said, her husband came downstairs with a shotgun, but the bears were gone.
Merritt was treated with stitches and staples at Pocono Medical Center for cuts in her scalp, neck and wrist and for a partially severed little finger.
Otto had surgery Friday to repair skin ripped from his right leg.
“Both of us are going to need two weeks to heal,” Merritt said.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 14th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attack, bear, bears, black bear, cub, cuts, dog, dogs, fight, german shepherd, injured, injuries, lacerations, otto, owner, pennsylvania, pets, poconos, saves, screams, suzan merrit, wildlife
Tony, the Siberian tiger who has spent the last 11 years as a tourist attraction at a truck stop outside Baton Rouge — either suffering or living the cushy life, depending on your point of view – will likely be leaving Louisiana.
Judge Michael Caldwell has ruled in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund in its lawsuit to free Tony from the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete.
Judge Caldwell agreed with ALDF’s argument that the permit that allows the truck stop to keep Tony was unlawfully issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. (Perhaps that fiasco in Ohio was in the back of his head, too.)
The judge ordered the department to revoke the current permit and prohibited it from issuing any new permits to the truck stop.
“We are thrilled that the court made the right decision,” said ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “We will continue to do everything we can to make sure Tony’s next home is a reputable, accredited sanctuary that can give Tony the life he deserves.”
Of course, not everybody sees it that way, including Michael Sandlin, owner of the Tiger Truck Stop, whose point of view is seen in the video above, and probably a lot more Louisianians, who take their tigers — the species being the LSU mascot — pretty seriously.
The ALDF — you can find its article on Tony here — says the tiger was subjected to highway noise and diesel fumes 24-hours a day, frequently harassed and taunted by visitors at the truck stop, and spends his days pacing, a sign of stress.
The court originally granted ALDF’s original request for a permanent injunction in May 2011, but in August, the Louisiana Court of Appeals ruled that Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Stop must be named as defendants in the lawsuit and ordered a new trial, vacating the trial court’s earlier decision.
Since ALDF filed its original lawsuit in April 2011, it has argued that the wildlife department violated state law in granting the permit to Michael Sandlin. In yesterday’s hearing, the ALDF argued that Sandlin’s permit to own and display Tony should be invalidated, and that Tony should be released into the custody of ALDF or an accredited animal sanctuary where he can receive care and treatment and live out his life in a more natural environment.
Tony has been on exhibit at the Tiger Truck Stop since 2000. Other tigers were there when he arrived, but since 2003, he has been the only one.
ALDF’s lawsuit to free Tony has drawn the support of celebrity advocates like Leonardo DiCaprio and True Blood’s Kristin Bauer, seen in the ALDF video below.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 4th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aldf, animal legal defense fund, animals, baton rouge, freed, grosse tete, harassed, injunction, judge, lawsuit, lousiana, lsu, michael sandlin, news, pets, sanctuary, siberian, tiger, tiger truck stop, tony, truck stop, video, wildlife
“Absolutely not, no I did not,” Nico Dauphine said after taking the stand in her own defense Wednesday in Superior Court, WJLA reported.
Dauphine is a postdoctoral fellow with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at the National Zoo.
Prosecutors have presented evidence of her disdain for free-roaming cats, as well as a surveillance tape that they said showed her walking up to a planter where food was kept, reaching into her purse, then reaching into the cat food and leaving.
Dauphine argued in court that she was trying to get rid of the food because it attracted rats: “I went over to the planter, took out the food, put it in a plastic bag and threw it out,” she said.
Prosecutors have entered as evidence a number of quotes and articles in which Dauphine describes cats as an invasive species that should be euthanized. One online lecture by Dauphine is entitled “Apocalypse Meow – Free Ranging Cats and the Destruction of American Wildlife.”
Both sides presented closing arguments in the animal cruelty trial Wednesday and Judge Truman Morrison is scheduled to give his verdict Monday afternoon.
Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization, says attempts to poison free-roaming cats — not uncommon across the country — often pose a threat to pets and wildlife..
“There are no ‘safe poisons’ and there is no ‘safe way’ to poison,” said Dr. Frank McMillan, director of well-being studies at Best Friends Animal Society.
Says Laura Nirenberg, Best Friends’ legislative analyst for cat initiatives.”The sad truth is that not only is poisoning an indiscriminate and inhumane method of controlling animal populations, it is unnecessary, especially when growing evidence from communities across the country shows that trap-neuter-return, commonly known as TNR, is the most efficient and cost-effective method.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, antifreeze, best friends, birds, cats, dc, feeding, feral, feral cats, free roaming, health, migratory bird center, national zoo, neuter, nico dauphine, poison, poisoning, prey, rat poison, return, safety, smithsonian, tnr, trap, trial, washington, wildlife
Dozens of wild animals who escaped from a wildlife preserve in Ohio have been gunned down by police and sheriff’s deputies, and only two — a wolf and a monkey — are still believed at large.
The animals were freed by Terry Thompson, the preserve’s owner, who killed himself after opening all the cages, officials said.
On Tuesday night, a grizzly bear and a mountain lion were killed, but Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz told reporters he can’t be 100 percent sure how many of the 51 animals might still be roaming around Zanesville, Ohio.
Lutz and wildlife expert Jack Hanna, who will take the living animals at the preserve to the Columbus Zoo, urged the public to remain cautious, according to an ABC News report.
Lutz said his officers found grizzly bears, lions, Bengal tigers, black bears and leopards roaming the area around the preserve, many of which had to be killed.
When a veterinarian shot a tiger with a tranquilizer from 15 yards away, Lutz said, it “just went crazy,” and started to run, so officers were forced to shoot it.
Another animal — described only as a big cat — was hit by a car on a highway, and an escaped monkey was eaten by one of the lions.
Thompson, the 61-year-old owner of the preserve, was recently released from prison after serving one year on federal weapons charges. According to investigators he has been cited in the past for animal abuse and neglect.
Sheriff Lutz warned residents to stay inside until the animals are rounded up. Several schools cancelled classes for today.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bears, cages, captured, freed, jack hanna, killed, leopards, lions, matt lutz, monkeys, ohio, police, preserve, sheriff, shot, suicide, terry thompson, tigers, wild animals, wildlife, wolves, zanesville