Goats Break Free, Terrorize Suburbia – FIREPAW, Inc.
Published by firepawinc View all posts by firepawinc
Horrifying. And really, really baaaaa-aaad. Imagine neighbors in West Boise waking up to dozens and dozens of goats breakfasting on lawns, rose bushes, shrubs, trees.
“They’re just going yard to yard eating everyone’s front lawn.”
It turns out the goats belong to a company called We Rent Goats, which specializes “in renting herds of goats to remove noxious weeds from fields, acreage, pastures, open spaces, ditches, ravines, embankments … you name it and the goats can clear it.”
The goats were on the clock, eating weeds in a drainage ditch when they broke free and, naturally, went on to sample the suburban flora. Their feast/free lawn care services lasted about an hour and a half until the bosses of We Rent Goats arrived in the neighborhood to round up their rogue employees.
Source: The entire frickin’ Internet. (and these guys)
Anti-whaling advocates are celebrating an early end to Iceland’s commercial hunt for minke whales for the year.
Despite an international moratorium on commercial whaling, Iceland, Norway and Japan have continued to senselessly slaughter
Out of this year’s self-imposed quota of 262 minke whales, only six were killed making it the lowest number to have lost their lives since the country resumed commercial whaling in 2003. It’s six too many, but the decline, along with the reasons the hunt ended early, are promising signs this industry is on its last legs.
Local media reports cited high costs, low profits and a declining interest in whale meat as reasons for such a poor hunting season. According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Gunnar Jonsson, spokesperson for IP Fisheries, Iceland’s main minke whaling company, also added the enlargement of a whale sanctuary in Faxafloi Bay near the capital of Reykjavik last year.
The area has historically been an ideal hunting ground, but the expansion of the sanctuary has added to difficulties by making whalers travel much further to hunt whales outside the area, which has already made it much less economically viable.
“This is very good news for minke whales and Iceland,” said Sigursteinn Masson, Iceland Representative for IFAW. “Ending minke whaling will have a very positive impact on the far more economically viable commercial whale watching industry.”
While minke whale meat is sold in Iceland, a poll commissioned by IFAW found that only one percent of Icelanders eat it regularly, while another 82 percent said they never eat it. Tourists, on the other hand, continue to be a driving force behind the demand but interest has also declined since IFAW launched its Meet Us Don’t Eat Us campaign in 2011 to help educate people about the industry. More restaurants have also committed to taking whale meat off of their menus.
Hopefully more awareness about the issue will help drive this industry into the past where it belongs, and whale watching will take its place as a far more lucrative and sustainable business.
“IFAW will continue to campaign against whaling which is cruel, wasteful and unnecessary. IFAW’s successful campaign against minke whaling in Iceland was done with understanding and respect for Iceland and its people, and in building alliances within the country that focus on what is best for Iceland and for whales,” added Masson.
Even that minke whales are safe for the year, endangered fin whales are still being targeted, and 57 of them have already been killed, including a rare blue/fin whale hybrid, which recently sparked outrage.
For more on how to help end whaling in Iceland, check out organizations including IFAW, Sea Shepherd and Whale and Dolphin Conservation.
You can also help keep the pressure on right now by signing and sharing the petition New Petition: Icelandic Whalers Have Killed an Iconic and Endangered Blue Whale. Lets Keep Going Whaling Must End! urging Iceland’s Prime Minister to end whaling once and for all.
Photo credit: Thinkstock
By Jillian Mock
Update, July 17: Brent Cizek, the photographer of the above image, says he has since spotted the mother with another two dozen ducklings, bringing her total up to 76.
Choppy waves bounced Brent Cizek’s small plastic boat as he headed for the shore of Lake Bemidji in Minnesota, hoping to beat a fast approaching summer storm. An amateur wildlife photographer, Cizek had decided to brave the late-afternoon winds to scope out the lakeshore for future shoots. He’d only brought one lens, thinking he might get a shot of a mallard he’d seen the day before, but wasn’t expecting to photograph anything special.
Then, as he motored toward the boat slip, Cizek saw something remarkable: a female Common Merganser surrounded by more than 50 little ducklings. While Cizek watched, the little mergansers formed a long, orderly line behind their mom and began swimming away. The scene was too good to pass up.
“I probably shot 50 pictures, and I was just praying that one was going to turn out sharp because the waves were so strong it was nearly impossible to even keep them in the frame,” Cizek says. To further complicate things, he had to alternate between maneuvering his little trolling motor and quickly snapping pictures. “Luckily enough, just one picture turned out.”
Cizek says he has been photographing wildlife in his spare time for about two years and only recently became interested in birds. Last year, he saw a Common Goldeneye with 20 ducklings in tow and thought that was extraordinary. He had no idea ducks could care for so many ducklings—much less 50.
While 50 is definitely on the high end, such big brood counts are actually pretty common, says Kenn Kaufman, field editor for Audubon. This is at least partly because ducks often lay their eggs in the nests of other ducks. In fact, Kaufman says a female duck will have a nest of her own and also make her way over to another nest or two to drop off a few eggs.
While 50 is definitely on the high end, such big brood counts are actually pretty common.
Most of the time ducks will lay their eggs in the nests of other ducks of the same species, but occasionally they are known to lay their eggs in the nests of other duck species. Redheads will even lay their eggs in bittern nests, says Kaufman.
Scientists aren’t sure exactly why ducks do this, but it could effectively serve as a reproductive insurance policy. If a raccoon invades a merganser nest and destroys all the eggs, the female still has more offspring being safely incubated in other nests. “One possibility would be, in a sense, not putting all their eggs in one basket,” Kaufman says.
This behavior doesn’t completely explain Cizek’s photograph, though, because there is a limit to how many eggs one duck can successfully incubate. Female ducks lay about a dozen eggs and can incubate as many as 20, says Kaufman. More than that, and the birds can’t keep all the eggs warm.
The merganser in this picture probably picked up several dozen ducklings that got separated from their mothers. Adult ducks can’t tell which birds are theirs, and lost young birds that have already imprinted on their own mothers will instinctively start following another Common Merganser because she looks like mom.
Since posting his picture online, Cizek says he’s been able to keep tracking the birds virtually, as other people in Bemidji, Minnesota, report seeing the giant brood make its way around town. This mother duck will tend to her ducklings for a couple more weeks, until the little birds are big enough to defend themselves. At that point, they will leave the group, and if they are females, one day potentially end up adopting a few dozens ducklings of their own.
Dogs are beautiful. Clever, funny, always there to cheer us up when we’ve had a bad day. It doesn’t matter how horrible a mood we are in, seeing a dog will always give us a lift.
This is even true when they get into mischief, as Cara Wohr from Dallas can attest! Wohr received one of the best possible gifts on her 60th birthday, a beautiful Border Collie who she named Baloo. Border Collies are energetic dogs who need a lot to keep them occupied. Five-month-old Baloo is no different, and Wohr thought she’d lucked out when Baloo became fascinated with their garden sprinkler.
Baloo spends hours each day playing with the sprinkler, snapping at the water and jumping in between the sprinkler’s jets, generally having a great time. But in this recent heatwave we have all been suffering in, Baloo had a dilemma. Keep playing with his favorite toy, or take shelter from the sun inside.
Baloo is an innovative little pup! And unbeknownst to Wohr, he managed to drag the (still-spraying) garden sprinkler into the living room of the house!
Temperatures in Texas have reached around 107 degrees, so we understand the need to cool down. Wohr found Baloo happily still jumping through his favorite jets of water as her TV, ceiling, chairs, and lamp were treated to an impromptu wash!
Image may contain: outdoor
Luckily for Wohr and Baloo, there was only minimal damage to the living room, and because of the heat, it took only a few hours for their home to be dried out again. But we think Wohr has learned a valuable lesson about this cheeky pup. Strange clanking noises outside the home are not to be ignored — at least when Baloo and his garden sprinkler are around!
Hot weather is unbearable for us at times when there is no relief, so imagine what it must be like for animals with thick fur coats! We already know how important it is to keep our dogs out of cars in hot weather, but it’s also important to keep them hydrated and give them access to shelter where they can cool down in our homes as well. Maybe all dogs don’t enjoy sprinkler systems half as much as Baloo, but a little hose down in the garden from time to time surely couldn’t hurt! Keep an eye out for your pets in this hot weather. In the case of dogs like Baloo, you aren’t just looking out for your pet, but possibly saving your furniture as well!
Image Source: Cara Wohr/Facebook
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