Earlier this month, an African elephant at the San Diego Zoo died of injuries her keepers suspect came from an aggressive attack by another elephant. Such a startling tragedy raises the question, “Could this happen here?” The Oklahoma City Zoo is home to two adult Asian elephants and one offspring, shown here at right. I asked the OKC Zoo spokeswoman, Tara Henson, if it was possible. She checked with Assistant Zoo Director Alan Varsik. Here’s what she said:
In domestic or wild animals…this could happen. It’s a day to day, ongoing process to maximize our chances for success in any social situation. In any accredited zoo, we are concerned about the physical and social well-being of all of the animals in our care. Interpreting their behaviors and looking for any indications of a behavioral issue is a constant. Any species in a social situation presents this challenge. This is on a case by case basis according to the species as well as the individual animals. Individual and species specific behaviors must be taken into consideration. There is a level of unpredictability in anything we do and we try to minimize that.
Just what you always wanted to read – a first person account of a possum caper. Possums terrify me. So when one walked up on my front porch to peer in the front door where I was standing and made eye contact, it scared the wee willie out of me and raised Meg’s, my Bichon, barking up past the hysterical level.
So I called Animal Welfare, which I might add are very professional, and they brought a no kill cage out, opened a can of cat food and set the door. First I caught a cat – I think -a Houdini cat. The cage door was shut and the cat food messed with a little and a tiny bit of cat hair caught on the outside. of the cage, but no cat.. So, my neighbor suggested peanut butter and that did the trick, a possum can’t resist peanut butter, probably would have liked jelly too but that semed a little much. There he was in the cage, unhurt, waiting to be picked up and taken to Noble to be released. (watch out for possums crossing when you drive through Noble- there could be a large extended family there) I just hope he isn’t like one of those lost animals who spend three months on the road and finally find their way back home. LIKE I SAID, WE DID NOT BOND.
My soft hearted neighbors gave the possum a puppy treat while he was waiting to be picked up . They felt bad we had left the jelly off. ‘These are the same softhearted neighbors that made a sign and put it in my front yard. When you view these pictures of the sign and possum, you can mail me the $5 or if you look at the possum twice, it will be $7.50.
While many of us will eat way too much on Thanksgiving Day, there are some family members who should watch their diet: pets. I’m going to be honest. I’m horrible about giving my dogs table scraps. (It’s their adorable faces! I am such a wimp!) But there are several things you won’t find even me sneaking under the table for my dogs. Here’s a list from the ASPCA of the most toxic Thanksgiving foods for animals:
- Candy with xylitol.
- Bread dough.
- Batter with raw eggs.
- Onions and garlic.
- Macadamia nuts.
- Raisins and grapes.
- Rich or spicy foods.
There is good news, though, for pushovers like me. You can share turkey. Make sure it’s cooked and bone-free. That’s one way to safely give in to those puppy-dog eyes.
Norman voters approved a $3 million bond last night to expand the city animal shelter. Here’s a little bit from the story that ran in the paper today:
The five-year bond issue for the expansion will increase property taxes by about $11 on a home worth $100,000. The proposition passed with almost 76 percent approval.
Currently the shelter holds 55 dogs and 25 cats. The shelter is projected to need space for 77 dogs and 57 cats in the year 2030.
Police Maj. J.D. Younger, who oversees the Animal Welfare Division in Norman, said that currently some adoptable animals are killed because there isn’t space at the shelter. The expansion will help them meet the need for more adoptions.
If you want to read more, check out this more in-depth story that ran last week.
I can’t believe I’m actually writing about this, but with the number of earthquakes we’ve had in the past few days, some disaster preparedness info is in order. Here is some excerpts from a couple of ASPCA Q&As about earthquakes.
Hi! I’ve read a lot about pets and flooding, but not so much on earthquakes. I have two cocker spaniels and a cat who hides when she’s scared. I’m worried that if there’s an earthquake, I won’t have time to find them in order to protect them. And when I do find them, what’s the best way to protect them? Thanks!
You are right, there is less notice for an earthquake than other types of disasters. But again, it all comes down to proper planning. Work to develop a plan—if you know where the animals hide, is that a safe area of the house? Or could you set up a nice hiding space where you want them to be? Can you do training with the dogs (and maybe even the cat) so they come when called, regardless? Those things may help to save their lives.
How can I make sure my cat is safe during an earthquake? Thanks!
Typically, a cat’s natural inclination is to hide under things when she’s scared. In the event of an earthquake (and also flooding), this can prove to be fatal. It’s a good idea to avoid storing lots of stuff under beds and dressers—when items shift during an earthquake or flood, your hiding cat could become trapped. If you must store things this way, please arrange them in a way that creates multiple exit points. This will increase your cat’s ability to escape from that hiding spot should one route become blocked.
When you’re driving along Interstate 35 near Pauls Valley, take a peek at the horse heard on the western side of the highway. Those are all animals pulled off the Western plains and offered for adoption. The wild horse adoption center in Pauls Valley is hosting an adoption event tomorrow. Here’s a quick video or you can read the full story here.
So apparently this Georgia couple used LSD and ran through their neighborhood naked. The sad part: their dog got out of the house and was hit by a car. The couple told police they gave the dog, Oscar, some LSD, too, but later said that wasn’t true. I just love their line of thinking:
Taking LSD? Sure.
Running naked through the neighborhood? Of course.
Giving LSD to your dog? Now that would just be wrong.
One of the new tiger cubs at the Oklahoma City Zoo had the chance to bob for apples (and oranges) on Halloween this week. Adorable. The other little ones got to join in later. Click here to watch: OKC Zoo tiger cub.