Spooky season festivities continue at the Oakland Zoo with hundreds of leftover pumpkins donated to the Zoo to serve as treats and enrichment for the animals
Carving of the gourds has been a tradition in North America for decades. But what happens to them after the season ends? Instead of ending up as waste in compost or the trash bin, the Oakland Zoo works with local pumpkin patches to donate leftovers to the Zoo for the animals to enjoy. This annual tradition has become quite a treat for many animals at Oakland Zoo, due to the generous donations from donors such as Moore's Pumpkins and Fuji Melon Pumpkin Patch.
"Making smart and sustainable choices is important to us. Most Halloween pumpkins - 1.3 billion pounds, in fact - end up in the landfill where they generate greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. Pumpkins can be made into yummy seeds, soup or bread and eaten, composted at home, or donated to Oakland Zoo for a fun and healthy food source for our animal family!", said Amy Gotliffe, Director of Conservation at Oakland Zoo.
The pumpkin craze that sweeps the nation does not only affect the human variety.
"The pumpkins are a wonderful and healthy resource for all of our animals here at the zoo. It's kind of like an early Thanksgiving feast and because we can gather so many, we end up feeding them out until January," said Gina Kinzley, Lead Elephant Keeper at Oakland Zoo.
Plenty of superstitions surround black cats, and the appearance of a feline of that color certainly did not hurt the Dallas Cowboys as they beat the New York Giants in an NFL game on Monday.
The cat entered the field during the second quarter, holding the game up for two minutes before it disappeared under a section of spectator seating and the action resumed.
Dallas were down 9-3 at the time, but thereafter out-scored the Giants by 25 points in a 37-18 victory at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
The cat was a major talking point after the game.
"Things did kind of change when that black cat came out," joked Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Dallas receiver Amari Cooper welcomed the cat's appearance, though not for superstitious reasons.
"I was kind of happy about that because it came around the time that my knee was hurting so I was thinking I had a little bit more time to get this thing right," he said.
Others were less pleased with the feline's presence.
Quarterback Dak Prescott said: "I'm not superstitious, but I wasn't getting near it."
Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott was of a similar mindset.
"I'm allergic to cats," he said.
The result means Dallas improved to five wins for three losses, top of the NFC East standings, while division rivals Giants slipped to 2-7.
Because Animals Inc., a bioscience startup making pet food without animal meat, has closed on its seed round of funding.
It received investment from KEEN Growth Capital, Draper Associates and SOSV, according to a press release. The amount of the seed funding was not disclosed.
The company’s goal is to deliver cultured meat pet food to the marketplace by 2021.
Because Animals launched its first product, a cultured probiotic supplement, in 2018. The supplement contains over 250 million probiotics per gram, the release notes.
“The health benefits of this bacterial strain have been reported by over two dozen peer-reviewed research papers, with findings that the probiotic can help support improved digestion and immunity,” according to the release.
Because Animals recently announced the pre-sale launch of its certified organic, human-grade dog cookie, Noochies.
Earlier this year, Because Animals announced that it had created the world’s first cultured meat pet food made from cultured mouse tissue, the ancestral diet of the cat. Because Animals’s cultured meat will be grown “without the use of antibiotics, growth hormones, and without contributing to the animal cruelty associated with traditional animal agriculture,” according to the company.
About 54 percent of American households have a pet, according to a new report from market research firm Packaged Facts.
Households with pets total 67 million in 2019, according to the company’s new study Pet Population and Ownership Trends in the U.S: Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets, 3rd Edition.
The two most popular pets, dogs and cats, live in 39 percent and 24 percent of U.S. households, respectively. One in eight households has other pets, including fish, birds, reptiles or small animals such as rabbits, hamsters or gerbils.
A key trend shaping today’s pet owner population is its increasing diversity. Compared to a decade ago, pet owners are now more likely to be a member of a multicultural population segment (28 percent in 2018 vs. 22 percent in 2008).
“Between 2008 and 2018 the increase in the number of Hispanic, African American, Asian and other multicultural pet owners was five times higher than the increase in the number of non-Hispanic white pet owners,” says Packaged Facts Research Director David Sprinkle.
Packaged Facts reports that:
- Hispanics have become an especially significant part of the population of pet owners. The number of Latinos owning pets increased 44 percent from 15 million in 2008 to 22 million in 2018, a growth rate vastly greater than that experienced among non-Hispanic white pet owners.
- Although a much smaller population, the number of Asian pet owners grew at the same rate (45 percent), between 2008 and 2018.
- During the same period, the number of African American pet owners also increased at a healthy rate (24 percent).
- The impact of Latinos on dog or cat ownership has been especially pronounced. Over the past decade the number of Hispanic dog owners increased 59 percent. The number of Latino cat owners likewise increased 50 percent.
Dog Threads, a company that makes matching clothing for dogs and their owners, will appear on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
You can see Scott and Gina Davis, founders of the Wayzata, MN-based firm, make their pitch to investors on Nov. 10, Bring Me the News reports.
The company sells items such as sweaters, T-shirts and plaid shirts.
The idea for Dog Threads came in 2014, when the couple were “looking for a festive party shirt for our fur baby, Thomas, to wear to our annual 4th of July barbecue,” according to the company’s website.
“We looked everywhere but could not find an outfit that matched his human-like personality or that was made with the quality he deserved.”
Officials at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) confirmed Florida’s ninth case of West Nile virus (WNV) for 2019, in Broward County. The case is Broward County’s first this year.
The 2-year-old Standardbred mare, whose vaccination status is unknown, is reported as recovering.
WNV transmission occurs when infected mosquitoes feed on animals, as well as humans, after having fed on infected birds.
Clinical signs of WNV in horses include:
- Mild anorexia and depression
- Fine and coarse muscle and skin fasciculation;
- Hyperesthesia (hypersensitivity to touch and sound);
- Changes in mentation (mentality), when horses look like they’re daydreaming or “just not with it”;
- Occasional drowsiness;
- Propulsive walking (driving or pushing forward, often without control); and
- Spinal signs, including asymmetrical weakness; and
- Asymmetrical or symmetrical ataxia.
When it comes to survival, the freshwater mussel's approach to reproduction could give even Stephen King a case of the shivers. When it's time for their microscopic larvae to continue developing, female mussels must parasitically infect a specific host species of fish with their offspring. Some mussels eject their larvae into the water hoping they'll passively infect nearby fishes, but others take a more novel — some might say "cunning" — approach.
There are mussel species whose larvae are in packets disguised as small fish or insects, which larger fish attempt to eat, infecting themselves in the process. Other mussels have fleshy mantles that resemble prey desirable to their host fish species. When a hungry fish hones in on this "easy" meal, the mussel expels its larvae at the peckish diner or clamps its shell around it, restraining it and directly infecting its skin, fins and gills.
Terrifying as these Alien-like sneak attacks sound, infected fish aren't harmed by their hitchhiking guests, who eventually are covered over by tissue and have little impact on the fish's health or nutrition. After a few weeks, the juvenile mussels are ready to drop off, sometimes having been carried upstream to new locations they otherwise couldn't have reached. Recently, the Tennessee Aquarium joined forces with Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency-managed Cumberland River Aquatic Center in Gallatin, Tennessee to lend a helping fin to the host-less offspring of four endangered species of native bivalves.
The sleek, tiger-striped, green and gold Common Logperch can reach about seven inches in length and — as its name suggests — is widespread from Ontario to Alabama. Although it isn't considered imperiled, the Logperch's offspring will be vital to efforts to raise endangered Dromedary Pearlymussels, Cracking Pearlymussels, Fanshells and Snuffbox Mussels, all of which can be found in the Tennessee and Cumberland River watersheds. Once infected by mussel larvae, fish develop resistance to future infections. As a result, individuals generally only play host to a single generation of mollusks. "You can't just go out and catch fish and bring them in because if they've already been infected, it won't work as well," says, Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute Science Programs Manager Dr. Bernie Kuhajda. "And we don't have any way to test the fish to see if they've already built up an immunity to being infected."
Early next year, the offspring of the collected Logperch should be large enough to be shipped to the Cumberland River Aquatic Center. By only sending fish that were hatched and raised at the Aquarium's freshwater science center, each one will be accustomed to the environment of a hatchery and guaranteed to have a clean infection record. That should make them the best possible hosts for the mussels, says, Kuhajda. "This way, the Aquatic Center can infect them with larval mussels, and they won't get overly stressed or potentially reject them," he says. "They'll be relatively happy Logperch, even though they have little mussels attached to them."
Tennessee waterways are host to more than 120 species of mussels. More than 90 percent of the continent's mussels can be found in waterways within 500-miles of Chattanooga. Many mussels can live for decades, during which time they are constantly siphoning food from the water flowing over and past them. "As they do that, they filter out contaminants," Kuhajda says. "If we want water that's safe to drink, to swim in and to fish in, mussels are an integral part of that system that gives us clean water." -------------------------------------------------------------------
Peggy Hogan has lived in Ahwatukee, AZ for about one year, and since moving into her home, she says she'd had nothing but trouble in getting dog owners to pick up after their pets.
"It needs to stop. We are tired of it, we get cigarette butts thrown in our yard and the dogs...can I say crap?" says the woman who, along with her husband, has recently placed a mousetrap in their front yard.
"I guess they are too damn lazy to pick up after their dog," adds Hogan.
Hogan tells ABC15 she and her husband at first put up signs asking residents to pick up after their dogs, but the droppings kept coming.
"I can tell by the size of the pile the size of the dog because we've had everything from purse pooches to our daughter's size dog," she adds.
A neighbor down the street noticed the trap and at first, thought Peggy might have had a mouse problem, so he asked about it.
"I was walking, and in the corner of my eye, something was different with the dirt, so then I actually stopped my dog because they do wonder on the yard, and I saw it was a trap," says Kevin Naegele.
Hogan says the dogs are technically trespassing into her property and taking care of business in her yard.
"And if a dog steps on that and breaks their foot, try and sue me. I've got two brothers that are lawyers," says Hogan.
While the measure may be a bit drastic, Naegele agrees with Hogan that pet owners need to be responsible and respectful.
A 44-year-old Scottish man went snorkeling off an island notorious for its shark attacks. His wife identified his body through his wedding ring.
Days after a tourist vanished while snorkeling off the cost of Réunion, an island east of Madagascar, his severed hand was found inside the stomach of a shark.
The 44-year-old Scottish man went missing on Saturday, radio station Réunion La 1ère reported. His disappearance prompted search crews to begin capturing and slicing open several tiger sharks. On Wednesday, they made the grim discovery. The man’s wife was able to identify her husband from his wedding ring.
Whether he died by an attack or died at sea and was later bitten remains unclear.
The island, an overseas department of France, has been the site of 24 attacks ― 11 of them fatal ― since 2011. The last death occurred in May, when a 28-year-old man was killed while surfing in a restricted area.
Before that, attacks were relatively rare.
In 2013, swimming and surfing was banned on the island, and is currently only allowed in its shallow lagoons.
Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron said he is hoping water sports can return by 2022, but he wants to be sure the area will be safe enough.