Oh, the Silly Things We’ll Do To Rescue a Cute Kitten

Skip about 40 seconds into this video from Wildlife Education and Resource Center and you’ll get to see some grown women dressing up as a giant (though somewhat disheveled) bobcat and playing with a bobcat kitten. The women rub themselves in bark and sticks to get a nice earthy, non-human scent. Then the lucky ladies step into this homemade costume, which has been pre-scented with bobcat urine.

The WERC center in Morgan Hill, CA (near San Jose), pioneered the technique in 1994. It’s all in an effort to prevent the kittens from getting used to the idea of hanging around humans. These lynx turn out fine–as long as they don’t stumble upon a mascot convention.


To see more animals go to animaltourism.com


$600 Playdate with a Bear Leads to Big Hollywood Role

Here’s a goofy video of comedian T.J. Miller acting and interacting with a bear in hopes of getting a part in Yogi Bear, a combo live-action/animated movie by Warner Brothers. It worked. He got the part of Ranger Jones, thanks to his enterprising tape.

He thanks Hollywood Animal Ranch at the end of the video. By that I think he means Hollywood Animals, which says it trains bears from cubs and treats them well. (Where and how the bear cubs, elephants and big cats are acquired, I don’t know.)

No word on whether the bear Bam Bam worked for free for this occassion, or if TJ Miller paid the customary  fee of $595 for two hours. “Just you and the animals of your choice like a tiger, white lion, leopard, bear, panther or cub for an unique animal experience,” they pitch. That means for $600, you can get a date with a bear and play Ranger Jones, too.Here’s where you can see bears in the wild (or at rehabilitation facilities).


To see more animals go to animaltourism.com

PEER to Sue for More Manatee Sanctuaries after Disturbing Videos of Manatee Harassment

About two years ago some local Florida manatee lovers took some disturbing video of tourists and tour guides pestering manatees. Tracy Colson and Steve Kingry posted shots on YouTube of tour guides holding manatees so that tourists could touch them. Some tourists also kicked them and tried to sit on the sea cows. Finally, about two years later, something might actually be done to protect this endangered species whose population has dwindled to about 3,000 from Florida hooligans.

Spurred on by the videos, this summer the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) officially asked the Fish and Wildlife Service to ban “Swim with Manatee” programs. Tourists aren’t supposed to get within 50 yards of dolphins or 100 yards of whales in NOAA’s (voluntary) guidelines for those tour operators. But at least there is some enforcement for whale boats. NOAA also won’t let tour operators show ads that have people interacting with, chasing, petting or riding whale or dolphins in the Dolphin Sense and Whale Smart programs. So how can tours advertise swimming with the far more endangered manatee?

Before I had heard about any of this going on in Florida, I saw ads online for sleazy outfits around Cancun that advertised Swim With Manatees programs. Yuck, I thought. Don’t people know that manatees (or any animals) don’t want to be forced to swim with them. But I had no idea there were plenty of places in Florida getting away with it, too. Then I read an incredible story travel

Keep reading PEER to Sue for More Manatee Sanctuaries after Disturbing Videos of Manatee Harassment

Which Animal is Having More Fun? The Horny Parrot or Spiteful Dolphin?

Is it the horny, endangered parrot, pointed out by Zoologix? (This flightless Kakapo name Sirocco was hand-raised and imprinted on people. So it’s only natural he wants to hook-up with people. Watch out, he’s looking for more friends on facebook)[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5Faae5MZzU&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]Or the spiteful dolphins, who flick jellyfish out of the sea at every opportunity?[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOo4Sb_5AjE&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

To see more animals go to animaltourism.com