Friday, August 24, 2007

Young Antelope Found Playing With a Dog

Young Antelope Found Playing With a Dog
The Associated Press - Friday, August 24, 2007

A friendly young antelope found cavorting with a dog along a walking path was probably picked up illegally in Wyoming and may be too tame to return to the wild, wildlife authorities say. A family believed to have brought the animal to Colorado could face charges that carry fines and jail time, said Larry Rogstad, a district officer for the state Division of Wildlife.
The 3-month-old, 15-pound buck was spotted Wednesday morning, running and playing with a neighborhood dog named Skeeter along on the Poudre River trail, a path that runs through Greeley and the nearby town of Windsor.
"It's just the craziest thing I've ever seen," said Ronda Underwood. "We were just riding along the trail and saw this antelope playing with a dog."
She said the antelope came up to her, nuzzled its head and neck along her leg and seemed almost to beg to be petted.
Rogstad was summoned for fear that the antelope would be attacked by the numerous coyotes in the area. The animal, dubbed "Poudre" by passers-by, was taken to a wildlife refuge where handlers will try to get it ready to return to its natural habitat.
Rogstad said that may not work.
"It is totally imprinted now," he said. "The animal actually thinks he's a human."
Rogstad said members of the family believed to have brought the animal from Wyoming could face charges including illegal possession of live wildlife. He declined to name the family.
Wyoming officials could also bring charges, he said.
It wasn't immediately clear why Rogstad believed the animal was brought from Wyoming, about 40 miles north of Greeley. Antelope are found in both states, but the nearest indigenous antelope are about 20 miles from the city.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mouse Queen of Oz

Most know of the Wizard of Oz, mostly through the 1939 film. Some know the books by L. Frank Baum. And then there are those of us who, despite knowing the film, never read the books, and are delighted to find out that there is a lot more to them than the film. No surprise there - it's the way it usually is!

I was delighted to find out there is a Mouse Queen in the book, and she and her subjects are most helpful to the main characters...

Featured on LOLRATS

Our little angels no longer with us were featured on LOL Rats today. If you haven't visited, you really should. It's guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Return of the neurotic pigeon

The neurotic pigeon, who hides in the carport to avoid the hawks, returned for a visit.

Friday, August 03, 2007

20 “nude” mice...

A theft of valuable mice from a science lab will set back important cancer research at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
Campus officials are investigating the theft of 20 “nude” mice that students raised for six months in preparation for research.
The nude, or hairless, mice do not have immune systems and are commonly used to study human tumors. Because of their lack of immunity, researchers fear the mice may already be dead.
MSUM students were going to spend the next year using the mice to study a drug that may slow the growth of aggressive lung cancer tumors, said chemistry professor Joseph Provost.
“The work the students are doing is fantastic,” Provost said. “We really think we see something that’s going to have a real high impact.”
But now it will be at least another six months of acquiring new mice and breeding them in a sterile environment before the research can move forward, he said.
A student researcher discovered the mice, as well as the multiple cages they were in, missing on July 19.
They were taken from a secure lab few people have access to, Provost said.
Other mice, as well as expensive equipment, were not taken from the lab, he said.
The mice would not be able to survive outside of a sterile environment, Provost said.
Though the mice are expensive, there would be no market to sell them, Provost said.
Michael Parks, MSUM’s campus security director, said he’s investigating the crime as a burglary or felony-level theft because the mice are worth $2,500.
It’s unclear how someone gained access to the lab, Parks said.Officials will review security procedures to ensure that research on campus is protected, he said.
“It’s more than just the theft of the mice,” Parks said. “It has far-reaching implications for the university.”
Facts on nude mice
- The nude mouse, discovered in 1962, gets its name because it is hairless.
- It is a genetic mutant that does not have an immune system.
- Nude mice are used for cancer research because they allow human tumors to be studied in animals.
- The nude mice missing from MSUM cost $125 each, plus about $1,000 to ship them overnight.
Source: University of California Center for Animal Alternatives

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Wee wild birdie beasties in downtown

Some hawks who nest in a nearby park and on a bank tower have taken to hunting downtown birds.

The neurotic pigeon hiding in the carport.

The not as lucky crow/blackbird who has been beaten down by other birds and disease. He was not afraid of me and in fact checked me over while I took pictures of him.