Category Archives: Animals

Fresno Toddler Fatally Mauled by 2 Dogs Outside Grandparents’ House

FRESNO (CBS/AP) — A one-year-old boy who wandered out of his grandparents’ house in Fresno was fatally mauled in their front yard by two roaming dogs.

Lt. Mark Hudson said other children in the house alerted the boy’s grandmother to the attack on Friday. He said she ran outside and tried to get the Rottweilers off the child and was also attacked.

Hudson said the boy’s grandfather used a hose to fend them off.

Officers who responded to the attack performed CPR on the boy. He was then taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Two Rotweilers were captured after they fatally mauled a 1-year-old boy in Fresno. (CBS)

Hudson said animal control officers found the dogs several blocks away. He had no immediate information on the extent of the grandmother’s injuries.

The owner of the two Rottweilers handed over rights to the dogs and they will be euthanized, according to the Central California SPCA.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report

Blind Sea Lion at San Francisco Zoo Dies

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A well-loved resident of the San Francisco Zoo, a blind sea lion named Silent Knight, died overnight while sleeping, zoo officials said Friday.

Silent Knight had been receiving cancer treatments but an exact cause of death is unknown.

The popular pinniped came to the zoo in 2011 from The Marine Mammal Center, after time spent rehabilitating from a severe gunshot wound to the head that left the animal blinded.

“Silent Knight had such a calm and pleasant demeanor and was so beloved by staff and guests alike,” the zoo’s CEO and Executive Director Tanya Peterson said in a news release.

The adult male sea lion was found on a beach near Sausalito in 2010 with the gunshot wound that had completely destroyed its right eye and left metal fragments in its brain, eyes and mouth and also resulted in a jaw infection, according to zoo officials.

Silent Knight was unable to return to the wild due to the severity of the injuries and was brought to live in the zoo with a younger companion, Henry, another blind sea lion.

Although Silent Knight’s true age is unknown, biologists believe the sea lion was likely born sometime between 2000 and 2006, said zoo spokeswoman Nancy Chan.

“During his time here, he touched millions of lives, inspiring us all,” Peterson said.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

Alameda Creek Steelhead Get A Lift Upstream With State-Of-The-Art Fish Ladder

SUNOL REGIONAL WILDERNESS (KPIX 5) — The San Francisco Public Utilities District has just completed a state-of-the-art, $30 million project to help get fish up and over one of its dams.

In the 1930’s the agency created a small dam as a place to siphon water off of Alameda Creek to send to Calaveras Reservoir for SF’s water supply. But when built, it instantly became the end of the road for steelhead trying to swim upstream to spawn.

Steelhead are simply rainbow trout that manage to complete an ancestral journey back to the sea. But for 90 years, generations of trout in the Alameda Creek watershed have been stuck below the small diversion dam. In 1997 the fish became a “threatened” species, requiring the district to protect their numbers and just this week they opened the flow on a brand new fish ladder to finally get the steelhead over the dam and back to their spawning grounds.

“It’s always amazing when you get to the end of something, to see it working,” said Tim Ramirez, the Natural Lands Division Manager for SFPUC. “This is my first day here … first time water’s been in the ladder.”

The water flowing under the steel grates that switchback down from the top of the dam is intended to mimic a naturally flowing river, with narrow slots of rapids, but also swirling pools that allow the fish to rest.

“And then when they’re ready go through the next slot a little further upstream they’ll burst through and then rest again,” said Supervising Biologist Brian Sak.

The ladder is only part of an entire steelhead monitoring program. Biologists have installed rotating fish traps downstream where they can capture trout and microchip them. Then, when they swim past sensors in the ladder, they are recorded just like Fastrak does with cars. That will help scientists to better understand how the fish are moving up and down the creek.

“Once we see steelhead getting up here on their own, we see that first fish arrive,” said Sak, “it’s really going to improve the likelihood that they’re going to be here in the long term for our kids to see.”

“It makes me feel like we turned that corner,” said Ramirez. “Now we want to see the biology part happen. Physically, it’s working…water’s here. We want to see the fish come into the system and we want to tag the fish and be able to track them also in the system.”

And now, by getting above the dam, the Steelhead will have 12 miles of new habitat in which to spread out, get strong…and the hope is…re-populate the species.

The fish still can’t come all the way from the Bay because of three obstructions in the Fremont area. But when the Fremont fish ladders are competed in about 2 years it will re-establish the entire route from the spawning areas upstream all the way down to the sea.

Man Suspected Of Riding Horse While Intoxicated In Santa Cruz County

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY (CBS SF) – California Highway Patrol officers made an “equine stop” Sunday and pulled over a 49-year-old man suspected of riding a horse while intoxicated near Watsonville.

The drunk rider was reported at 6:08 p.m. near state Highway 152 and College Road, and was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication after a DUI evaluation.

“Yes, we did say rider!” the California Highway Patrol said in an Instagram post, adding that it’s illegal to operate any vehicle while intoxicated, including a horse.

A Santa Cruz County CHP officer performs a sobriety test on a man who was riding a horse and was subsequently arrested for public intoxication. (CHP Santa Cruz/Instagram)

In this case, the responding officer did not decide to arrest the man for an alleged DUI offense, but CHP Officer Julieta Trenado said riding a horse while intoxicated is a crime and the man may be charged with DUI after a complete investigation.

Nicholas Lucchesi, a spokesman for the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office, said the office has likely never charged someone with DUI on a horse.

The horse is named Soraya and was safely taken home by a family member. The rider, a Watsonville man, was taken to a sobering center in downtown Santa Cruz.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Firefighters Free Stuck, Mewling Kitten From Drain Pipe in Atherton

ATHERTON (CBS SF) — Firefighters can still be counted on to rescue a cat in distress, at least in one San Mateo County town.

It wasn’t a cat stuck in a tree but a black kitten trapped in a water drainage pipe that summoned Menlo Park Fire Protection District firefighters to Selby Lane in Atherton around 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Stuck Kitten Rescue Operation

Firefighters work to free a kitten from a drainage pipe in Atherton

A resident called the fire station to report that she had heard a kitten crying all morning and discovered that it had slipped down the drainage pipe, according to a fire district news release.

Firefighters used cellphone photos and video to locate the kitten trapped at least 14 feet below a concrete walking deck in a pipe that was only 4 inches in diameter.

At 5:16 p.m., San Mateo County Animal Control was called to the home to take over the rescue operation, but when its efforts failed, the firefighters were summoned back.

They tried reaching the kitten with a half-inch rescue rope line specific to human rescue operations, but that too failed.

Finally, fire engineer Joey Quadt and probationary firefighter Ryle Fitzgerald employed a noose system using twine in another effort to retrieve the kitten. After about an hour of effort, they finally succeeded in freeing the kitten from the pipe.

Kitten Rescued in Atherton

Menlo Park FPD firefighter Ryle Fitzgerald with a rescued kitten. (MPFPD Photo)

The kitten was named “Ryle” after its rescuer, who was dubbed the “cat whisperer” by his crewmates and Animal Control officers. Fitzgerald is considering adopting the kitten, according to the fire district.

“It’s always nice when we can share a positive conclusion to any type of interesting and complex rescue we perform with the general public,” fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said. “It’s amazing all of the strange predicaments both humans and animals can get themselves into. Just when I think we’ve seen it all, something new comes along.”

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

Bear Cubs Abandoned Near Yreka May Have Been Poached

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS/AP) — Wildlife officials say they believe someone illegally separated two bear cubs from their mother and left the young animals along a highway in far northern California.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says its investigators are processing evidence discovered with the cubs March 9 along State Route 96 near Yreka.

Game wardens say they couldn’t find the mother so they took the cubs to be evaluated by wildlife veterinarians at the department’s investigations lab in Rancho Cordova who determined they animals were healthy.

The cubs were then transferred to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care in South Lake Tahoe.

The two cubs named “Blaze” and “Yreka” both weigh in at around four pounds. They are among the smallest and youngest cubs ever received in their first year by the rehabilitation facility.

Investigators from the department are seeking tips from the public. They said there are only a few hundred wildlife officers spread throughout California and they need help from residents to combat poaching.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report

Ten of the Worlds Most Amazing and Unusual Lizards

While most people are not fussed on most sorts of reptiles I hope this post will change your mind, because these ten are not your average lizards. In fact, they are ten of the worlds most amazing and unusual lizards and some of them are so amazing it is hard to imagine they are even […]

The post Ten of the Worlds Most Amazing and Unusual Lizards appeared first on Top 10 of Anything and Everything.

Livestock Disease Linked to California Desert Bighorn Sheep Die-Off

RIVERSIDE (AP) — A new survey has found a sharp decline in desert bighorn sheep in Southern California and biologists suspect the cause is a disease contracted from domestic animals.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says a survey earlier this month counted 60 bighorns in the Mount San Gorgonio region east of Los Angeles. That’s down two-thirds from a survey conducted in 2016.

Desert Bighorn Sheep

A desert bighorn ewe and her lamb walk along a ridge in the Trilobite Wilderness region of Mojave Trails National Monument near Essex, California. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Biologist Jeff Villepique says in the past, such die-offs have been triggered by an outbreak of a respiratory disease spread by contact with domestic sheep or goats.

The disease killed at least 21 bighorns whose carcasses were found in the area in December.

Southern California has about 4,800 desert bighorn sheep in 64 herds. Authorities say so far, sheep in nearby herds haven’t been affected.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

Endangered Burrowing Owls Return To Berkeley’s Cesar Chavez Park

BERKELEY (KPIX 5) — No one has seen any endangered burrowing owls at  Berkeley’s Cesar Chavez Park since 2017, when one was found dead, and many feared the birds were gone for good. Now that they’ve returned, people are talking about what to do to keep them there.

People come to the park from all over the East Bay to let their dogs run free on the vast, 17-acre “no leash” field. But right next to that a protected area is the nesting spot of the burrowing owls, who take up residence in former ground squirrel burrows.

The birds are tiny—8 to 10 inches tall—and even people who go there everyday may not have noticed them.

“I didn’t know they were little teeny tiny owls,” said professional dog walker Frances Gandy. “I thought they were big owls that lived underground!”

But Marty Nicolaus knows the owls well. He photographs and records them almost daily for his website He was worried when none of them arrived last winter.

But this October, eight to ten of them showed up and two stayed. Now that they’re here, he’s concerned that a small minority of dog owners could ruin it for everyone.

“They don’t really think of the park as a place where there’s nature and wildlife has any rights,” Marty said. “They just see it as a dog run.”

He captured video of an owl perched on a rock and a few seconds later, an unleashed dog wanders into the protected zone and flushes the bird out making it fly away. Marty said more needs to be done so the dogs will not drive the owls away for good.

“A good dog culture requires an ample space, doesn’t have to be 17 acres, and a fence around it, so that there’s some boundary as to where the dog can go,” he said.

But the large unfenced romping place is exactly why dog walkers—many of whom do it for a living—love it and consider it a unique resource in the Bay Area. They say the vast majority of dog owners respect the leash rules, but they also realize what could happen because of the few who don’t.

“If we start seeing more individuals going into the environmentally-safe areas, then we will lose the ability to access this park,” said Oakland resident and dog owner Ben Mow. “And that would be…that would be terrible.”

An Audubon Society survey from last year showed 75 percent of owners had their dogs leashed near the owl refuge area. That’s up from 68 percent the year before, but it still means that 1 in 4 dogs in the area were unrestrained.