Animals

The olinguito is the first new species of carnivore discovered in the western hemisphere in 35 years.
NC Museum of Natural Sciences

A North Carolina scientist is part of a team that's made a big find: the first carnivore to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.  

The new animal is called the olinguito (pronounced oh-lin-GHEE-toe). But for the longest time, olinguitos were thought to be olingos, small raccoon-like carnivores that live in the Andes Mountains.

Baby gorillas “Bomassa” and “Apollo” with moms “Jamani” (second from left) and “Olympia” will both get a first-birthday party at the N.C. Zoo on August 3.
N.C. Zoo photo by Diane Villa

Baby gorillas Bomassa and Apollo, who were born at the North Carolina Zoo, have reached a milestone: their first birthdays. 

This male baby gorilla was delivered by C-Section at N.C. Zoo Sunday Acacia. A name has not yet been chosen.
Aaron Jesue

UPDATE: The North Carolina Zoo announced on Wednesday that the baby gorilla born to mother Acacia has died. They say that the cause is uncertain, although it is possible that the mother may have accidentally rolled over onto the the infant in her sleep.

The Secret World of Red Wolves by Delene Beeland.
www.delene.us

When most people think about wolves, they picture the large grey kind made famous in numerous movies. But its smaller cousin, the red wolf, faced extinction at one point. Preservation efforts managed to replenish the animal’s stock, and it now thrives in the wilds of North Carolina. Science writer DeLene Beeland tells their story in her book, “The Secret World of Red Wolves: The Fight to Save North America's Other Wolf” (University of North Carolina Press/2013). Host Frank Stasio talks with Beeland in the studio

Little brown bat; close-up of nose with fungus, New York, Oct. 2008.
Photo courtesy Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation

An emerging disease known as White Nose Syndrome has wiped out bats across the Northeast, and now it's spreading in the North Carolina mountains.

Mass bat die-offs could have huge implications for the state's ecology and economy.

David Alsobrooks

When Nike used the Beatle’s song “Revolution” in an ad campaign, the Beatles sued. Their lawyer released a statement: “The Beatles’ position is that they don’t sing jingles to peddle sneakers, beer, pantyhose or anything else.” 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Wildlife researchers have noticed a slight drop in the number of pups being born to the state's native red wolf population.  According to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, 34 wolf pups in seven litters were found in eastern North Carolina habitats.  That's down by an average of seven pups over the last three years. 

Mercy for Animals

A bill in the state Senate could put an end to secret videos seeking to expose shoddy business practices.  The N.C Commerce Protection Act would stop advocacy groups from getting hidden-camera evidence of crimes unbeknownst to employers. 

Mercy For Animals made one such video at a Butterball plant in Hoke County in 2011 that led to charges.  The group's lead investigator Matt Rice says the bill would go beyond just animal cruelty.

A rhodesian ridgeback puppy and mother dog.
m_h via flickr, Creative Commons

The State House has passed a bill that would require basic standards of care for commercial dog-breeding operations.

The "puppy mill bill," as it's known, would apply to facilities with more than ten breeding females. Breeders would have to provide food and water, exercise, appropriate housing, vet care, and humane euthanasia if needed.

A Coquerel's Sifaka lemur at the Duke Lemur Center.
Laura Candler

A Walking with Lemurs tour at the Duke Lemur Center might just seem like an ordinary walk through the woods at first. But at the rustle of a food bucket, tiny, energetic animals begin to descend from the treetops, and you know you’re not walking in any normal forest. Lemurs zip past you at will, some of them with tiny infants clinging to their backs, and there are no barriers between you and the furry primates.

Bat with white-nose fungus.
Photo courtesy Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation

A deadly fungus known as white-nose syndrome has been decimating bat populations in the Eastern United States and is spreading quickly through western portions of North Carolina. It was discovered in upstate New York in 2006. The infection is marked by a white frosting of fungus around the bat's nose, ears, and wings.

Medics in training at Fort Bragg
Sgt. April de Armas/82nd CAB, Fort Bragg

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) alleges that at least 300 goats are killed and maimed at Fort Bragg each month for medical training.  Now activists are applauding signs the army may be starting to the change the way soldiers are trained for trauma response. According to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress has required the military to lay out a timeline to phase out the use of animals for training purposes.

A chimpanzee eats treats from inside a papier-mâché egg at the North Carolina Zoo.
Zoo photo by Tom Gillespie

Who says animals can’t participate in an Easter egg hunt? This weekend, while thousands of children across the state hunt for candy-filled Easter eggs, the North Carolina Zoo will give its animals their own egg hunt.

The “Egg-Stravaganza” begins Saturday morning, and it involves zookeepers putting papier-mâché eggs filled with animal treats inside the animals' living spaces. Some of the lucky creatures that will be getting eggs include gorillas, elephants, ocelots, Red River hogs, seals, bears, and a cougar.

Another undercover investigation by an animal rights group has revealed patterns of abuse directed toward turkeys at Butterball poultry plants in four counties. This comes less than a year after the group Mercy for Animals documented abuse at a Hoke County Butterball facility. Vandhana Bhalla with Mercy for Animals says an undercover investigator was wired with a camera, which captured the abuse.

Today, parakeets are creatures of the tropics, but one breed in particular was native to the forests of the Eastern United States, including North Carolina.  The Carolina Parakeet went extinct in the early 20th century, but continues to fascinate the public.

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