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Talkin' Pets News

February 10, 2024

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Dr. Linda Register - East West Animal Hospital, Lutz, Florida

Producer - Kayla Cavanaugh

Network Producer - Paul Campos

Special Guests:  Dr. Robert Gaines, HEAL, Veterinary Hospital, Dallas, TX and Kelly LaPorte, pet parent of Labrador named Cabela, both discuss the Stance Analyzer and PRP Therapy for dogs

Newspaper heiress Patricia “Patty” Hearst was kidnapped at gunpoint 50 years ago Sunday by the Symbionese Liberation Army, later joining her captors in a 1974 San Francisco bank robbery that earned her a prison sentence.

The abduction and subsequent trial of Hearst, then a 19-year-old college student and the granddaughter of wealthy newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, was one of the most sensational and captivating cases of the 1970s.

Hearst will turn 70 on Feb. 20. She is now known as Patricia Hearst Shaw after she married a police officer who guarded her when she was out on bail, the late Bernard Shaw. She has been in the news in recent years for her dogs, mostly French bulldogs, that have won prizes in the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

Hearst's allegiance to the Symbionese Liberation Army raised questions about Stockholm syndrome, a common term deployed to describe the bond that victims of kidnappings or hostage situations sometimes develop with their captors.

Stockholm syndrome got its name from an August 1973 failed bank robbery in Sweden’s capital. Rather than a diagnosis of a disorder, experts describe it as a psychological coping mechanism used by some hostages to endure being held captive and abused.

Hearst, who went by the name “Tania” in the group, denounced her family and posed for a photograph carrying a weapon in front of their flag. The self-styled radicals viewed aspects of U.S. society as racist and oppressive, and they were accused of killing a California school superintendent.

As a member of a wealthy and powerful family, Hearst was kidnapped to bring attention to the Symbionese Liberation Army, according to the FBI. The group demanded food and money donations for the poor in exchange for Hearst's release, though she remained a captive even after her family met the ransom through a $2 million food distribution program.

Hearst took part in the group's robbery of a San Francisco bank on April 15, 1974. Surveillance cameras captured her wielding an assault rifle during the crime. She wasn't arrested until the FBI caught up with her on Sept. 18, 1975, in San Francisco, 19 months after her abduction.

Her trial was one of the most sensational of that decade. The prosecutor played a jail cell recording of Hearst talking with a friend in which she was confident, cursing and fully aware of her role with the Symbionese Liberation Army.

While Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison, President Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence in 1979 after she served 22 months behind bars. She later was pardoned by President Bill Clinton.


A pair of marine scientists at Hokkaido University, in Japan, has found evidence of the deepest free-living flatworms ever observed. In their study, published in the journal Biology Letters, Keiichi Kakui and Aoi Tsuyuki, identified flatworm eggs found on the seafloor at a depth of more than 6,000 meters.

Marine flatworms exist in all the world's oceans, though they are most common in the tropics or near undersea volcanos. They typically live beneath rocks on the seabed and move using hair-like bristles—many species have been found to create waves as they swim, pushing predators away. Little else is known about abyssal free-living platyhelminth. In this new effort, Kakui and Tsuyuki found a species that exists at far greater depths than most others of their kind.

The dark black clutch of eggs was discovered by another researcher, Yasunori Kano of the University of Tokyo, as he was piloting a remote undersea vehicle in the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench, in a northwestern part of the Pacific. After discovering the eggs, he collected samples and brought them to the research pair for investigation. He stated that they had been found at a depth of 6,200 meters.

After initial testing, the researchers discovered that the eggs represented something rare—they sent a trawling ship to capture more specimens, which they subjected to more thorough testing.

The researchers found that the eggs were actually flatworm egg capsules, each approximately 3 mm in diameter, that contained three to seven flatworms. Genetic analysis showed that they belong in suborder Maricola in Tricladida, similar to their shallow-water cousins, a finding that established them as the deepest free-living flatworms ever observed.

Their similarity to other species, the researchers note, suggests that they developed adaptations that allowed them to survive in deeper water. Study of such adaptations could offer insights into how creatures in general adapt to such extreme environments.

The researchers plan to continue the study of the capsules and the flatworms inside them, hoping to learn more about their life cycle and perhaps marine flatworm evolution.


More than a year after someone ripped his enclosure open, New York City's most popular owl Flaco is still flying free.

On Feb. 2, 2023, Flaco, an Eurasian eagle owl, escaped from the Central Park Zoo after someone vandalized his exhibit and cut the stainless-steel mesh.

In the days following his escape, Flaco was spotted across Manhattan but attempts to recapture him were unsuccessful.

Officials were concerned that Flaco, who had been living in the zoo since he was fledgling 13 years ago, can't hunt and will starve, zoo spokesperson Max Pulsinelli said in a news release the day after his escape.

But more than a week later, the Wildlife Conservation Society – the non-profit organization that operates the zoo – eased up its intense efforts to re-capture the bird. Flaco's survival instincts appeared to kick in.

"Several days ago, we observed him successfully hunting, catching and consuming prey," the zoo wrote in a statement obtained by USA TODAY. "We have seen a rapid improvement in his flight skills and ability to confidently maneuver around the park. A major concern for everyone at the beginning was whether Flaco would be able to hunt and eat; that is no longer a concern."

Birders have been following his movements across Manhattan ever since, CBS News reported.

"Success against great odds. Flaco epitomizes that," bird enthusiast David Barrett told the outlet.

In the past year, Flaco has spent his days lounging in parks and on fire escapes and hooting on top of water towers at night, NPR reported. His meals have consisted of the city's abundant rats.

"He was the underdog from the start. People did not expect him to survive," Jacqueline Emery, one of several birders who document Flaco's movements told NPR. "New Yorkers especially connect to him because of his resilience."

While Flaco has survived this long, experts are still concerned he could face threats. Andrew Maas, with New York City Audubon, told CBS News, there's worry the owl could ingest poison while munching on the city's rats.

Central Park Zoo told CBS News they're "prepared to resume recovery efforts if he shows any sign of difficulty or distress."


Two Kodiak bear cubs, a unique subspecies of the brown bear, were found in a rural area of the Florida Panhandle thousands of miles away from their native home, authorities said.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office shared a video on social media Wednesday of their encounter with the friendly cubs, who appeared to try and play with a responding deputy. Around 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 5, 2023, the sheriff's office received a call from a man who had spotted the pair of cubs and said: "they didn’t appear to be our common Northwest Florida black bears."

The cubs had been roaming around on a road in a rural area in north Okaloosa County, about 50 miles northeast of Pensacola and over 160 miles west of Tallahassee, Florida. The responding deputy's body-camera footage showed the cubs playfully following the man who reported them and the deputy along with trying to climb into her patrol vehicle.

"They’re climbing on my car," the deputy says in the video. "...It’s like they’re not afraid of people cause they’ll walk right up to you and they’ll let you pet them. They’re very curious.”

The sheriff's office said it held off on sharing the video until after the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wrapped up its investigation into the bears' origins.

The FWC later determined the bears were Kodiak bears, a subspecies of the brown bear native to Alaska. Sometimes referred to as the Alaskan brown bear, they can grow up to 1,500 pounds, three times the size of Florida's native black bears.

The cubs were transferred to a "secure location for safekeeping," while the FWC conducted its investigation, the sheriff's office said. It was determined that the bears had escaped from an enclosure at a residence in the area where a "self-proclaimed bear trainer" lives.

The resident faces various state wildlife violations, according to the sheriff's department.

The Miami Herald reported that the resident operates a "game farm," according to a FWC affidavit. He told authorities that the bears belonged to someone else but he acquired them last February, according to the newspaper.

Kodiak bears are considered the largest bears in the world, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). A large male can stand over 10 feet tall on its hind legs and 5 feet tall when standing on all fours.

The subspecies are native exclusively to the islands in the Kodiak Archipelago and have been isolated from other bears for about 12,000 years, the ADF&G said. There are about 3,500 Kodiak bears.


The Clydesdales will take center stage again with a new Super Bowl commercial – just as the Budweiser horse crew added to its numbers.

Budweiser's Clydesdales have galloped into some of the most iconic Super Bowl commercials of all including the "Puppy Love" commercial from 2014.

During last year's Super Bowl, the iconic horses only got a few seconds of air time during the Six Degrees of Budweiser ad. The year before that, "A Clydesdale's Journey," chronicled the rehab of an injured horse.

A teaser of this year's commercial kicks off with a group of Clydesdales making their way up a snowy crest as the opening strains of The Band's classic song "The Weight" are heard.

Anheuser-Busch will also have commercials for Bud Light and Michelob Ultra. The brewer is looking to move past 2023's U.S. sales declines after a consumer boycott arose in response to Bud Light partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

In other Clydesdale news, a new colt (male) was born recently at Warm Springs Ranch, Budweiser Clydesdales' breeding and training facility in Boonville, Missouri. He joins more than 70 Clydesdales that reside on the the 300-plus-acre property in central Missouri.

Newborn Clydesdale foals stand about 3 feet tall, weigh about 150 pounds and can walk within hours after birth, according to Budweiser. Eventually, adult Clydesdales grow to about 6 feet tall and weigh about 2,000 pounds. They undergo years of training before they can join one of Budweiser's three travelling teams, or hitches. 

“You never know what lies ahead for these gentle giants,” said Amy Trout, herd supervisor at Warm Springs Ranch, said in a statement. “The foals are so much fun to see up close, and you never know – he might just end up on a Budweiser commercial in the future.”  

Visitors will get to meet the new Clydesdale at the ranch's Football & Foals watch party on Feb. 11.


Memphis Zoo has a venomous but adorable new addition: a ping pong ball-sized pygmy slow loris.

The tiny primate, who has not yet been named, was born on Dec. 13 to Samper and Artemis at the Memphis Zoo. The young offspring is being "hand-raised behind the scenes," the zoo announced Monday.

"Zoo veterinarians determined he needed extra assistance to give him the best chance of survival, so he is being hand-reared by dedicated staff who feed him every two hours around the clock," the zoo said.

Videos shared by the zoo show staff members feeding formula to the newborn pygmy slow loris through a small feeder. The zoo reported that the young primate has now graduated to a "slurry of banana, leaf eater biscuit, water, and formula," which he now eats out of a bowl.

A zoo spokesperson told USA TODAY that the little primate will be named once keepers get to know his personality.

Pygmy slow lorises are classified as an endangered species, according to Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute.

The nocturnal, tree-dwelling animal is indigenous to forested areas in Southeast Asia. Its wide eyes and opposable thumbs help the pygmy slow loris move around the forest in the night, searching for tasty insects.

Pygmy slow lorises are also the only known venomous primate with modified sweat glands near their elbows, which allow them to secrete a toxin. When alarmed, these animals lick these glands, transferring the toxins to their teeth, which are then used to attack predators. The venom is so strong that it can "incapacitate predators as large as humans," according to the Smithsonian Institute.

The pygmy slow loris is generally thought to be a solitary animal, though they may occasionally interact with each other during mating season, using vocalizations like clicks and whistles to communicate.

The newborn pygmy slow loris at the Memphis Zoo might join other nocturnal pals in the "Animals of the Night" exhibit once it is weaned, said the zoo.


One week ago, 73 rescued animals woke up for the first time in our emergency shelter location in clean bedding, for breakfast and veterinary checks.

The 22 dogs, 48 cats, 2 rats and 1 guinea pig were rescued from a residence in Topeka, KS on Jan. 30 by the Humane Society of the United States and the Topeka Police Department as part of an alleged cruelty case.

In the week since their rescue, the animals have been receiving much-needed care in a safe, undisclosed location. They have been diagnosed with and started on treatment plans for a variety of conditions. One dog who was in critical condition when found on-scene remains hospitalized as she receives treatment for pneumonia. Veterinarians report that she is showing signs of improvement. Another dog who was found to have untreated pyometra, a life-threatening infection of the uterus, is recovering in our care following surgery. Responders share that she is starting to perk up and enthusiastically enjoy her meals.

 As the animals continue to receive care and enrichment, their personalities are beginning to emerge. While some are still coming out of their shells, many are eager for attention and greet responders with wagging tails or purrs.  

“There’s this striking sense of peace when animals who have been denied their basic needs for so long finally have a clean place to rest their heads, regular meals that they don’t have to compete with other animals for and plenty of water to quench their thirst,” said Jessica Johnson, senior director of the Humane Society of the United States’ animal rescue team. “It’s incredibly rewarding to not only give them that, but also provide enrichment to help set them up to truly thrive in this next chapter of their lives—we are seeing them start to play with toys, anticipate special treats and enjoy affection with our team.”

Plans are in the works for placement with shelter and rescue partners for eventual adoption into loving homes. Information about placement partners will be available at as arrangements are confirmed in the coming days.


The’ Gympie- Gympie plant’ is usually found in Australia’s and Indonesian rainforests, and is known to be so potent its sting is likened to ‘being electrocuted and being on fire at the same time’.

If that doesn't sound bad enough, it apparently induces so much pain it can even cause ‘suicidal thoughts.’

The terror plant is usually kept in botanical gardens, and is now kept under lock and key in Alnwick Garden's Poison Garden, in Northumbria, UK, where it has been kept safely away from members of the public.

The first instance of the plant causing havoc happened back in 1866, when a road surveyor’s horse was stung by the agonising plant, which sent the horse into complete madness before dying ‘just two hours later.’

This plant has also reportedly induced at least one suicide, after a man shot himself after brushing against the shrubbery.

According to the lead tour guide at the Poison Garden, the plant has ‘tiny needles’ on its edges which ‘sends burning sensations throughout the victim’.

The plant causes paralysing pain for the next 20-30 minutes, with pain continuing for months following the sting.

The expert compared it to ‘being electrocuted and set on fire at the same time’, and has said that even a slight brush against it can cause agony.

The one-of-a-kind greenery can cause red rashes and even ‘limbs to swell up’, as well as leaving people unable to sleep due to the unbearable pain. Despite these nightmare side effects, the experts felt confident enough to put the plant on display at Alnwick, which holds around ‘100 toxic plants.’

Part of the larger Alnwick Garden is the creation of Jane Percy, the Duchess of Northumberland, who became a member of nobility when her husband’s brother suddenly died.

With the unexpected title came the magnificent Alnwick Castle – which many of you might recognise from the Harry Potter films – and its grounds, with Percy’s husband tasking her with bringing new life into the gardens.

Percy added: “What’s extraordinary about the plants is that it’s the most common ones that people don’t know are killers.”


A 10-year-old Maryland boy was bitten by a shark at a resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, authorities said. The attack happened while the child was “participating in an expedition in a Shark Tank at a local resort,” a news release from the Royal Bahamas Police Force states.

The shark attack occurred at the Atlantis Paradise Island resort, Stuart Cove, the owner of the in-water experience company that organized the shark tank expedition, confirmed to CNN. Paradise Island is home to several resorts, including the sprawling Atlantis resort." data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-article-gutter="true" data-analytics-observe="off">The boy was bitten on the right leg and taken to a hospital where his condition was listed as stable, police said." data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-article-gutter="true" data-analytics-observe="off">The victim underwent a successful surgery at Doctors Hospital in Nassau, the Doctors Hospital Health System said in a statement on Thursday." data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-article-gutter="true" data-analytics-observe="off">“He was airlifted yesterday evening to the United States in stable condition to continue his care,” the statement read." data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-article-gutter="true" data-analytics-observe="off">The victim was not identified, and police gave no details about the type of shark involved in the attack. The US State Department is “aware of reports of an injured US citizen minor in Nassau, Bahamas,” an agency spokesperson said in a statement.

“We are greatly concerned when any US citizen (is) harmed overseas, and we stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance,” the spokesperson said." data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-article-gutter="true" data-analytics-observe="off">Cove, who owns Blue Adventures, said the company is “deeply saddened that a child suffered a shark bite during an in-water experience” in a statement." data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-article-gutter="true" data-analytics-observe="on">“A dive instructor and dive guide were in the water with the guest when the incident occurred and immediately responded to provide medical attention,” he said in the statement to CNN." data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-article-gutter="true" data-analytics-observe="on">The company has begun an internal investigation and paused the in-water experience at the Atlantis resort during the investigation, according to Cove." data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-article-gutter="true" data-analytics-observe="on">He said Monday’s shark attack was the company’s first guest-related incident since the experience began operating in 2006." data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-article-gutter="true" data-analytics-observe="on">“Incidents like this involving interactions with marine life, even with the species of sharks included in this experience, are rare and never acceptable,” Cove said. “Our thoughts and support are with the child, parents and others impacted by the incident.”" data-editable="text" data-component-name="paragraph" data-article-gutter="true" data-analytics-observe="on">Last month, a 44-year-old Boston woman was killed in a shark attack while paddleboarding near a Bahamas beach resort, CNN previously reported.


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