Creationists in awe of Yellowstone animals' complex relationships

Yellowstone Bison

Canyon Ministries, which pushes a creationist view of the Grand Canyon, is turning to Yellowstone, where they see animals’ cooperative relationships as proof they didn’t just evolve.

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USDA Kills Another 4 million animals, including 477 dogs and 1,991 feral cats


You know how Americans are appalled every time there’s a story out of China or Iraq about the government thugs primitively rounding up dogs and shooting them? Well, we do that, too. On purpose. Federal agents are out there killing dogs, more than one a day. They shot 157 dogs to death. And it’s not just in the yahoo states out west, either. (Although Texas and Arizona are the top states of dog-killing.) The USDA somehow insinuated itself into dog situations in 32 states. They went out and shot two dogs in Ohio and 30 in California. And it wasn’t because they feared they were rabid, either. They only tested 14 dogs for rabies.

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Yellowstone Without a Guide, but with Bear Spray

yellowstone bear

Step Away from the Bear

Yellowstone has so many animals you don’t even really need to hire a guide to find them, says one expert. But you will have to put some time and work into it.

“You don’t need a guide,” says Al Nash, parks spokesman. “But you probably need to spend more than one day.” Nash says the biggest mistake wildlife watchers make in Yellowstone is not giving themselves enough time. The park is bigger than you think and the animals aren’t going to always cooperate with a tight schedule.

The animals themselves have an elaborate schedule and sometimes seasonal territories. Lamar Valley is traditionally where wolf watchers go, but their pack size and territories are in constant motion. Earlier this year National Geographic had a package on the area’s Wolf Wars and featured a map of the local packs. Based on 2008 data, the biggest was Gibbons peak in the southeast. Just last week the last of the park’s famous Druid pack that hung around Lamar was shot dead on a ranch in Montana.

“A lot of people say they saw wolves,” but really only saw coyotes, he says. The coyotes here are size XL. “The wolf is a much larger animal. Think of a German Shepherd on steroids.”

Nash says, just check with a visitor center about what’s been seen where in the last few days. Badgers, big cats and moose are all pretty hard to spot, no matter how hard you try or

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UK Repeating Survey that Last Year Found Widespread Charming Mammals

Hedgehog Ears!

Hedgehog Ears by by codepo8

Later this week up to 100,000 Brits will be going to their yards and counting badgers, hedgehogs, foxes, toads and moles. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds got 62,000 people to count last year when they started out.

The survey “is by far the biggest survey on garden mammals ever!” the site boasts. I’ve certainly never seen anything like it in the U.S. It’s a fantastic resource for wildlife watchers because you can see which counties have the most of which animals. Sure, it’s not totally scientific. People self-select to do it. And if I had a yard full of hedgehogs, I’d be filling out surveys and telling everyone I know about it.

The 2009 results showed a delightful amount of wildlife. In Wales, 9% of people who took the survey see badgers at least once a month and a quarter of the English live with have little hedgehogs on their property. What kind of magical place is this? Did anyone report any talking bunnies?

The survey just takes an hour, so they don’t demand that–unlike similar bird surveys–the animal doesn’t have to show up just at that moment. They let people report sign of an animal ask generally how often they’re seen. Otherwise you might get a whole lot of nothing from the survey.

As you might guess from its name the RSPB is more interested in birds than mammals. They also ask about cats, which they estimated recently that

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Real Life “Fox and Hound” Story at UK Wildlife and Farm Sanctuary

A rescued fox cub and a dog bred to kill foxes are becoming friends at a hotel/wildlife sanctuary in Cornwall. The Gwel an Mor had already turned wildlife rescue into an eco-attraction at its lodge. Then animal wrangler Gary Zammit heard a fox cub crying in the field. He worried his own dog would attack the cub, but instead they’ve become wrestling buddies (and UK media celebrities).   The fox, now called Copper, and dog  Jack now play constantly, when they’re not being featured on the BBC or the Telegraph or other outlets. Actually, it’s their pictures of rassling that have become so popular. “They just play fight there’s never any malice in it,” says Zammit. Jack is a lurcher–a kind of greyhoundish mixed breed popular in the British Isles, but obscure in the U.S.–a dog traditionally used to hunt rabbit and fox.

The story is like a real life Fox and the Hound, in which a fox cub is raised by a hunter and befriends his hound. I forget the rest of the story, but I remember crying over the book as a kid. Copper isn’t going to end up hunted; he’ll get to live at Gwel an mor, where guests are lead on wildlife walks to try to spot wild foxes and badgers.

Zammit makes a point of telling the press that the fox cub was crying there for two days. That means he didn’t just rush in and scoop it up while its mother was off

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