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Monday, April 4, 2016

Bay Bridge Chihuahua Brings Out Worst In People — Except If You’re Erik Estrada

Posted By on Mon, Apr 4, 2016 at 3:42 PM

The dog in question. - CHP
  • CHP
  • The dog in question.
These days, it's increasingly difficult for people to just get out of their own way. A good story is never just a good story; there must be something evil at work. Is everything a conspiracy theory now, or are we all just jackasses?

With social media, it’s entirely possible to be a jerk 24/7. Case in point: the latest animal video to go viral.

By now we’ve all seen footage of the runaway chihuahua that caused a traffic backup on the Bay Bridge on Sunday morning. The California Highway Patrol “rescued” the pup after a brief chase, and it’s now in the custody of Animal Care and Control in San Francisco until its owner comes forward or, if that doesn’t happen, someone else adopts the little guy.
In case you did miss it, it’s a cute story and the video is pretty great— that is, unless you are one of the many Twitter users who couldn’t hold it in and peed on the kitchen floor in the form of asinine comments. Hashtag #chihuahua was a top trender on Twitter in San Francisco on Sunday, and the story still has, um, legs today. Not surprisingly, comments on the tweet from Fox News were the most egregious, but not the only lowlights.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

San Francisco Art Dealer Sentenced for Trying to Sell Black Rhino Horns

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2015 at 11:30 AM

  • gmacfadyen/Flickr
Last year, in a Las Vegas hotel room, a San Francisco art dealer named Lumsden Quan met with a wildlife collector from Colorado. The meeting was supposed to be brief and lucrative: Quan was looking to offload a pair of Black Rhinoceros horns for $55,000. The Colorado collector was interested. 

As luck would have it, the wildlife collector was actually an undercover agent from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the meeting was part of a coordinated sting dubbed Operation Crash. (A crash is a herd of rhinos.)

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Friday, December 11, 2015

California’s Sea Lions are Starving. This is What We’re Doing About It.

Posted By on Fri, Dec 11, 2015 at 1:52 PM

  • David Cook/Flickr

It’s shaping up to be another terrible year for California sea lions. The Chronicle reports that NOAA scientists recently finished weighing the pups in our coastal waters and discovered that once again they’re quite unhealthy.

(Yes, if you have a degree in marine biology you get to go around putting young sea lions onto a little scale, which has to be pretty adorable no matter how grave the research you’re doing.)

Our regional pinnipeds are having trouble keeping themselves fed, possibly thanks to climate change, which drives fish populations farther north as temperatures rise. Young sea lions expend more energy chasing fewer fish and end up malnourished and sick.

When they’re too unhealthy to swim anymore they flop onto shore, a phenomena called “stranding.” Despite the name, stranded pups are not kids who have been abandoned by their parents. Rather, they’re usually at the age when they have to start fending for themselves but find they can’t keep up with the rest of the colony.

The number of distressed sea lions (that’s the technical term: “distressed marine mammal”; the institutions that care for distressed marine mammals are known as the “stranding network”) on our beaches has exploded in recent years.

In the spring of 2005, NOAA Fisheries recorded 280 stranded sea lions. This year, they had 3,340, almost three times the previous worst year (1,262 in 2013). Next spring isn‘t looking great either.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Bald Eagle Finally Earns Its Keep as Symbol of United States

Posted By on Wed, Dec 9, 2015 at 11:03 AM


Birds are the worst animals, and bald eagles are no exception. It's one thing to have the national bird of the U.S. be a bald eagle, since all birds are garbage, but it's bullshit that the bald eagle is also our national animal. This country has grizzly bears, mountain lions, gila monsters, and a host of other noble beasts that are much more worthy of the honor of being used as a prop in political photo shoots. 

And yet, today, the bald eagle earned its keep. Well played, eagle. Now please evolve back into a decent kind of animal, like a dinosaur. 

You can watch the full video at Time
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dying for Abalone: Why a California Delicacy Has Become Lethal

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 10:10 AM

  • LHG Creative Photography/Flickr

A 56-year-old San Francisco man (still unidentified until the family is contacted) drowned while diving for abalone near Mendocino on Sunday, according to Santa Rosa’s Press Democrat. It’s the eighth abalone death of the Northern California season, which is on the high end of average — most years there are five or six.

To the uninitiated, it seems a bizarre phenomenon. Although hobbies like surfing and traditional ocean fishing certainly come with risks, abalone diving is laden with extra hazards these days because California’s historic obsession with the coastal gastropod conflicts with our storied eco-friendliness.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Latest Pinniped Victims of Climate Change Are These Unbearably Cute Northern Fur Seals

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 1:49 PM

  • Courtesy Marine Mammal Center
The Marine Mammal Center in Sausolito has had quite a year. After spending the first 10 months of the year rescuing record-breaking numbers of seals and sea lions — more than ever before in its 40-year history — the center is now facing an influx of malnourished northern fur seal pups. 

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Here's the First Photo of San Francisco's New Lion King

Posted By on Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 2:38 PM

  • SF Zoo
The San Francisco Zoo's 13-year-old African lioness Sukari gave birth to a baby lion cub on Sunday. 

The lion's father is twelve-year-old Jahari. Zoo staff are allowing Sukari and the cub to bond in private for the next three weeks, so the only photo available is a still from the zoo's "lion cam." Zoo staff will not know the cub's sex for several weeks.

The zoo's press release notes, "Zoo officials observed accelerated breeding behavior between Jahari and Sukari throughout the first part of 2015, culminating in Sukari's pregnancy in May." In case you were wondering how lion babies get made. 

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Bay Bridge Chicken is in Custody, "Well Fleshed"

Posted By on Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 1:33 PM

  • Courtesy of Jeff Chu/@jeffchu
The chicken that tied up traffic on the Bay Bridge yesterday morning has been caught and delivered to Oakland Animal Services, Bay City News reports

The chicken was apparently apprehended by the California Highway Patrol around 10:00 a.m. yesterday. It was first taken to the Berkeley Animal Services shelter before being transferred to Oakland. 

Tiana Scott, the manager of the Oakland shelter, told the Bay City News, "We do have the chicken in our custody and a potential owner has called us. It looks very healthy. It’s walking around and talking a lot. It’s a vibrant chicken, well fleshed."

If no one comes forward to claim ownership of the chicken, it may be available for adoption. 

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Has Anyone Seen My Chicken?

Posted By on Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 9:54 AM

  • Courtesy of Jeff Chu/@jeffchu
A loose chicken reportedly fouled traffic on the Bay Bridge this morning, as it attempted to cross the road. There is no word so far as to whether it made it to the other side. 

KCBS reports that the chicken was first spotted around 5:50 a.m. near the Fast Trak lanes by the toll plaza. As of 9:12 a.m., KPIX reports that Caltrans was allowing the chicken to continue running amok "since it’s safer than putting a crew member in traffic to catch it." 

Reached for comment, the chicken told SF Weekly, "The sky is falling." 

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Man Raising Money to Help Dog Fighting for its Life After Coyote Attack in Stern Grove

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 9:42 AM

  • Courtesy of GoFundMe
It’s been a busy week for aggressive wildlife. Last Monday night, a pack of raccoons attacked a couple and their dog in the Richmond District. And this week, a coyote attacked a 3-year-old Bichon Frise named Eddie in Stern Grove.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"