End of Spring, Beginning of Everything

Happy 1st day of Summer!The goslings, are almost grown up. They were running, wanting nothing to do with me. They probably thought I wanted to steal their babies.Just a couple of weeks ago. Two families sharing the space....more

Little Black Bear Break-In, Plus Bear Facts

They have five toes, each with a well-developed claw.  The adults weigh between 100-350 pounds, and they are, well, as cute as teddy bears. Hello California black bears! Some say they are dangerous but aren’t all wild animals? In some areas, especially near, or in, the national parks and forests, they have been known to break into restaurants and houses, causing many upsets. I know it is inconvenient, to say the least, but, I must ask, isn’t this their forest and park?  Do humans not leave food and trash out to tempt them?...more
Thank you Jane!  I am happy to hear of your involvement in Defenders of Wildlife, the animals ...more

Ethical Third Grader Boycotts Zoo Field Trip

I admit to not having that deep, inherent fascination with human children that most people seem to have, with the exception of my niece (who is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT AND GORGEOUS AND OH MY GOD YOU SHOULD MEET THIS GIRL!), and my 7-year-old friend, Ruby (a lifelong vegan, whom we interviewed on our podcast)....more
So awesome! I can identify - as a 9 year old, I wrote letters to local restaurants, asking them ...more

Bear-y nice to see you...

...except, Please Leave My Backyard. You're big and scary.Here's the bear coming down the mountain behind my house in Vallecito, Colorado....more

Hibernating Bears and Living with Predators, Redux

 It appears that I – and my handy-dandy mammalogy textbook – were wrong on thebears-not-hibernating front....more
 @victorias_view Oh my goodness! A bear lying in your driveway is definitely too comfortable ...more

Of Otters and Men

While I am no longer a zookeeper, I still volunteer at my old zoo as time allows. But here’s what I know from experience: During my years there, we would get several phone calls and emails each week asking us if we could take in a pet or care for an animal that someone “rescued.” Most often, we turned people away, not because of lack of want, but because we lacked space, time, money, and other resources required to provide these animals the care they would need. ...more

Shark Cage Diving: Helping or Hurting?

Just thinking about it gave me an adrenaline rush. Take a boat ride out into “Shark Alley.” Get in a cage and stay there until a great white shark – yeah, like the one in “Jaws” -- comes by. Then… what? Hang out? See if the shark tries to take a bite out of my leg? Cool!...more
Tourists don't become outspoken advocates for wildlife from spending $200 + swimming with ...more

The Deadly Fallout of Animal Ignorance

“Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.” This quote by Albert Schweitzer came to mind as I heard the story about the dead blackbirds in Beebe, Arkansas by fireworks. It astounds me that for a second year in a row, an area that has been blessed with these beautiful birds, couldn't find a way to protect their habitat. ...more

Wolves in California for the 1st Time in 85 Years

This is both thrilling and depressing all at the same time. The San Francisco Chronicle reported several days ago (on December 30th, actually) that a wolf crossed over into California for the first time in 85 years - since they were extirpated from the state (although I wonder about individuals who might have migrated undetected). Apparently the individual crossed over from Oregon where they have 4 packs living with over two dozen individuals total....more

Fighting the Ivory Trade

Elephants are among the most interesting, visually-appealing, task-oriented animals in the kingdom, called upon for everything from hauling human beings to shooting water on command. And, all too frequently, they are killed and maimed for their ivory tusks, skins, and meat, or abused in situations where they are called upon to perform stunts for human audiences. I don't think it's true that they never forget. How could they? I couldn't. Could you? ...more
When I was young, my father traveled to India on business. Whenever he traveled, he always ...more