Wild Mexican wolf count up to 50; GA to cut hunting lands

50 Mexican wolves survive in NM and AZ, up from 42 last year, despite an effort by ranchers to sue and shoot them off public lands.

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Bill the SoHo Groundhog Released into the Bronx

Bill the SoHo groundhog is now Van Cortlandt Bill. The grumpy little woodchuck was found mysteriously wandering around West Broadway in lower Manhattan a few days ago. The workers at the SoHo Grand did a great job of catching him (no easy thing to do)  and finding a wildlife rehabilitator (me).

Normally wildlife rehabbers take in animals that are injured, orphaned or sick. Bill was just in the wrong place, somehow transplanted to a neighborhood of concrete by humans. He was fine–aside from being ticked off at being in a cage. He enjoyed the apples, chestnuts and acorns I gave him, but let me know he had big teeth and knew how to use them. I just needed to find the right place to release him. In New York wildlife rehabbers are supposed to release the animal the region where you found it–in this case New York City.

With the help of the city’s most prolific rehabber Bobby Horvath, I found  David Kunstler, the wildlife manager for Van Cortlandt and Pelham Bay Parks in the Bronx. Groundhogs are found in both parks (and also Fort Tryon and Staten Island). Kunstler recommended Vault Hill, where the parks department is restoring a meadow. Bill got very excited as soon as he realized he was near the wild. He tried to chew through the carrier bars. When I opened the door, he sat there stunned for a minute, but then happily took off.

Where to See Animals in New York City


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New York’s Coywolf, Groundhog and Black Squirrel Doing Fine

The coywolf, groundhog and black squirrel we’ve been following have all done pretty well in the last week.

CoywolfThe coyote captured in SoHo last week (and probably the same one that’s been lurking around Central Park this winter) got released in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, where a pack already lives, the city’s pre-eminent wildlife rehabber Bobby Horvath says. This young female may have been part of that pack, but was pushed out in mating season. Three coyotes were spotted up at Columbia University this winter.  One was hit by a car on 130th Street and another may still be out there.

Groundhog The groundhog that turned up on the street near the Soho Grand is doing fine, awaiting release into Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. No one is sure how the woodchuck turned up there, but the staff caught him and gave him a dog crate. Bill–as I call him, though he may well be female–turns out to be quite healthy. He enjoys apples, chestnuts and acorns, but shuns the greens he is supposed to like. Bill lunges at the cage bars when I hang around too much–proving that he’s quite healthy and most likely not a misbegotten pet.

Bobby researched where groundhogs live in the city–where I’m required to release him. He only found evidence in Pelham Bay Park, Van Cortlandt and Fort Tryon. I called a parks biologist to find the best place to release him. At first he was unsure whether I’d be

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Groundhog Takes Manhattan

The entertaining part of being a wildlife rehabilitator–aside from aside from all that helping animals whose lives have been thrown off course by humans–is the crazy phone calls. Right in Manhattan I’ve gotten calls about “a bird someone told me is an eagle,” a baby skunk, a few possums, a handful of raccoons and pretty much every baby bird one neighbor ever sees. Today I got call from the SoHo Grand–a hotel more known for celebrities than wildlife–about a groundhog they found out on West Broadway. In what little experience I have, I have learned that New Yorkers do not know their animals. Every call I get for a baby squirrel, I fear I am going to pick up a rat. But, much to my amazement, tonight I have a Manhattan groundhog sitting in a dog crate in my living room, awaiting release. The people at the SoHo Grand couldn’t have been nicer–to me or the marmot. They captured her (or him) off the street, despite the animal’s screaming, because they figured leaving her there would be cruel. (They used to call them whistle pigs.) They gave her a nice crate, water, carrots and apples. Their theory was that she climbed into somebody’s trunk, then unwittingly stowed away into Manhattan. There was some speculation that she had somehow escaped a Chinatown kitchen. Groundhogs can move faster than you think, but I doubt one could make its way into Manhattan like the coyote.

I talked to Bobby Horvath, the kindest

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Visit the Groundhogs at the Punxsutawney Library

Punxsutawney, Pa. Groundhog ZooGroundhog Day is Punxsutawney’s day in the spotlight. But you can visit the groundhogs in their long off season at the Groundhog Zoo on Punxsy’s Barclay Square.In the winter Punsxsutaney Phil and Phyllis usually just sleep. But you can spy them in their groundfloor, windowed ‘zoo’ thats attached to the library on the pretty town square. (Occassionaly the groundhogs have escaped into the library)Groundhog statues are easy to come by. Here’s a story I wrote about visiting the place in the Washiington Post yesterday.Where to See Neat Animals in the Northeast

To see more animals go to animaltourism.com