Animals

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Body Found on Safety Corridor Last Week Identified

Posted By on Tue, Jun 16, 2020 at 1:07 PM

The body that was found at the center of the Hwy 101 corridor has been identified as 66-year-old, Eureka resident, Robert Alan Wolf.

According to an email from the California Highway Patrol, the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office has determined he was not involved in any type of traffic collision and his cause of death is unknown.

Wolf had been reported missing by the Eureka Police Department and had been last seen walking near the 2100 block of Pine Street in Eureka, on May 10, 2020.

The California Highway Patrol is requesting anyone with additional information regarding Wolf’s passing to please contact the office at (707) 822-5981.

Editor's Note: A previous version of the post misspelled Wolf's last name. It has been updated to the correct spelling. The Journal regrets the error.


 
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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Orcas Spotted Off Eureka (Video)

Posted By on Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 12:11 PM

Arcata writer Ishan Vernallis and his friend Robin Brown were cruising on Vernallis’ fishing boat Tuesday at around 4 p.m., hoping to get into a few halibut. They had traveled about 4 miles northwest of the harbor entrance when their eyes caught something much bigger — a killer whale. 


It appeared to be a juvenile, and the orca was feeding on a sea lion or seal, Vernallis observed. He kept his boat at a distance to avoid creating a disturbance and moments later a pod of three more orcas surfaced on the starboard side of the boat. Vernallis called experience “exhilarating.” 

Orcas chillin' off Eureka. - ISHAN VERNALLIS
  • Ishan Vernallis
  • Orcas chillin' off Eureka.

“I’ve been fishing rather regularly for 12 years and this was the first time I’ve seen an orca,” he said.

Others saw killer whales, too. Full Throttle Sport Fishing owner and captain Gary Blasi encountered a pod earlier that day, at around 2:30 p.m. and captured the stunning video below. After Blasi’s video and Vernallis’ photo appeared on Facebook, marine biologists began to chime in about the significance of the sightings, though they couldn't later confirm whether the men had seen the same pod or different ones.

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Betty Chinn's Homeless Foundation Receives Grant to Care for Pets

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 1:02 PM

Betty Chinn - FILE
  • File
  • Betty Chinn
The Betty Kwan Chinn Homeless Foundation announced today that it has received a $200,000 grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development, Pet Assistance and Support Program to help house, feed and provide basic veterinary service to the pets of its clients.

Chinn, who spent much of her childhood living alone in a garbage dump during Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution after her mother was jailed and her siblings sent off to labor camps due to her parents' wealth and Christian beliefs, has operated one of the few West Coast shelters to allow animals.

“Betty has long recognized the importance that some homeless individuals attach to their companion animals,” the release states. “Dogs provide emotional support, companionship, warmth and security to people living in the street. However, they also present a significant barrier to services because many shelters do not allow dogs, and this prevents some of the chronically homeless from accessing case management services geared toward regaining their self-sufficiency.”

Read the full release from the foundation below:

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Saturday, May 23, 2020

Happy News: It's a Baby Zebra (or Hebra)

Posted By on Sat, May 23, 2020 at 1:44 PM

A new foal has joined the Petrolia zebras. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CINDY LYMAN
  • Photo courtesy of Cindy Lyman
  • A new foal has joined the Petrolia zebras.
The hills of Humboldt are hiding a tiny, striped foal – the newest member of the zebra herd located on a ranch off the Mattole Road near Petrolia.

The little one with the long, delicate legs and the dizzying assortment of black and white dashes is the fifth zebra (or hebra – the result of a horse/female zebra mating) in the group.
The new foal with its mother. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CINDY LYMAN
  • Photo courtesy of Cindy Lyman
  • The new foal with its mother.
Travelers on the road are often stunned to see this peculiar addition to the beauties of the remote area. According to Cindy Lyman, who took these photos, there are cows as well as a red stallion, “Bo, named after John Wayne’s horse he rode in the movie, True Grit” and “a couple of mules with them … .”
The foal nursing. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CINDY LYMAN
  • Photo courtesy of Cindy Lyman
  • The foal nursing.
It’s unknown whether the newest zebra is the product of a horse/zebra mating or if the zebras are interbreeding. The photos here were taken May 14, probably within a day or two of the foal being born.

Almost exactly two years earlier, on May 13, 2017, Randy, an adult male zebra, was found dead of a gunshot wound. The case has never been solved.
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Saturday, May 16, 2020

North Coast Otter Public Arts Initiative Giving Virtual Sneak Peek

Posted By on Sat, May 16, 2020 at 3:48 PM

The otter sculptures are ready to be placed in shops, restaurants and other venues when it's safe to do so. - KELLIE BROWN
  • Kellie Brown
  • The otter sculptures are ready to be placed in shops, restaurants and other venues when it's safe to do so.
On World Otter Day, May 27, the North Coast Otters Public Arts Initiative will preview the more than 100 otter sculptures that were set to make an appearance this summer in a massive scavenger hunt throughout Humboldt County and beyond.

The public art initiative is inviting people to a "virtual sneak peek" of the otters on its website https://otterart.humboldt.edu/ or through its social media accounts (@northcoastottersart) on May 27.

"This is not what we had originally imagined for our otters' big unveiling but, like the wild otters, we are resilient," reads a press release from the art initiative. "We remain committed to the placement of the otter art sculptures at shops, restaurants and other public spaces where our community will fall in love with the otters. However, we do not yet know when this will happen. Thank you for your patience and continued support."

The North Coast Otters Public Arts Initiative is set to bring awareness to Humboldt State University's River Otter Citizen Science Project and raise funds for monitoring and restoration efforts.

HSU wildlife professor Jeff Black who created the otter Art initiative and oversees the River Otter Citizen Science project with graduate students told the Journal that they will be announcing the website through a Facebook Live event on May 27.

Read past coverage from the Journal about the North Coast Otters Art Initiative here and enjoy a preview slide show of some of the completed otters below. Photos by Kellie Brown. 
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Friday, May 8, 2020

Debilitating Hoof Disease Found In Del Norte Elk

Posted By on Fri, May 8, 2020 at 12:01 PM

A hoof disease has been detected in Roosevelt elk in Del Norte County. - CDFW
  • CDFW
  • A hoof disease has been detected in Roosevelt elk in Del Norte County.
What is believed to be the state’s first cases of a debilitating hoof disease has been detected in two Roosevelt elk in Del Norte County, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“Treponeme-associated hoof disease (TAHD) – commonly referred to as “elk hoof disease” – can cause deformed, overgrown and otherwise damaged hooves. The lesions and resulting deformities are painful and lead to limping, lameness and even death as observed in other states,” the news release states. “When the disease is severe, elk may become too weak to graze, fight off other infections or escape predators.”

The disease is not known to affect people but hunters are encouraged to “exercise caution and practice safe hygiene when processing, cooking and consuming the meat” if they take an elk with deformed or damaged hoofs and to send a hoof sample to the fish and wildlife.

Believed to be highly contagious among elk, TAHD was first identified in elk from Washington state in the 1990s. There is no known cure or vaccination.

CDFW is working with other agencies and researchers to increase monitoring of the disease in the state, which is home to three subspecies of elk — Rocky Mountain elk, Roosevelt elk and tule elk, the first two of which have been known to contract TAHD.

Fish and wildlife is asking the public to report any elk that appear to be limping, lame or have abnormal hooves by visiting the CDFW’s Wildlife Investigations Lab disease and mortality reporting website, which can be found by clicking here.

Read the full CDFW release below:

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Monday, May 4, 2020

Lawsuit Filed Over Humboldt Marten Endangered Species Listing

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2020 at 3:02 PM

A young Humboldt marten. - COURTESY OF EPIC
  • Courtesy of EPIC
  • A young Humboldt marten.
The continued survival of a small, elusive woodland creature once thought to be extinct is the subject of a lawsuit filed today against the Trump administration, which a pair of conservation groups argue has failed to finalize Endangered Species Act protections for the Humboldt marten.

According to a press release from the Center for Biological Diversity and the Environmental Protection Information Center, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not meet an October 2019 deadline to list the Humboldt marten as endangered, which would trigger a series of conservation measures.

Once thought to be extinct, the cat-like animals with pointy ears and bushy tails were rediscovered in 1996 after years of pelt hunting, timber logging and illicit marijuana cultivation decimated the old growth forest denizens' numbers.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service is failing at its charge to protect America’s native wildlife,” said Tom Wheeler, executive director of EPIC. “Delay after delay, the Humboldt marten has been put at peril to placate the timber industry.”


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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Forever Homes Wanted: Shelters, Rescues Continue Adoptions During COVID-19 (With Video of Puppies!)

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2020 at 11:24 AM

Duke is 2 years old and loves tennis balls and being pet. He's one of many animals looking for a forever home. - HUMBOLDT COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER
  • Humboldt County Animal Shelter
  • Duke is 2 years old and loves tennis balls and being pet. He's one of many animals looking for a forever home.
While much of daily life has been turned upside down amid the COVID-19 outbreak, at least one thing remains the same: Animals at local shelters and rescues are looking for forever families.

The process has changed a bit due to social distancing protocols but the Humboldt County Animal Shelter, the Sequoia Humane Society and Companion Animal Foundation are continuing adoptions by appointment, as well as placing cats and dogs in foster care.

To catch a sneak peek at some of the pets ready to play fetch or snuggle on a lap, visit each of their Facebook pages, here, here and here. (Online applications and more information can also be found at each of their respective websites.)

All three are also asking for community support to help continue their missions of keeping their charges as happy and comfortable as possible until someone comes to take them home.

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Redwood Acres Fair Canceled

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2020 at 3:13 PM

Like so many annual events, the Redwood Acres Fair and Junior Livestock Auction is not to be this year due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. The fair's board and organizers are working out whether an online livestock sale is possible for the 4-H and FFA students who've worked hard to raise their animals. In a press release, CEO Ben Brown says they're disappointed, "but together we will pull through and as our collective health heals, we can start working on the 2021 Fair and Junior Livestock Auction."
Proud 4-H kid Jocie Hague with her prize cow at the Humboldt County Fair. The Redwood Acres Fair, which also features 4-H and FFA animals, is canceled for 2020. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Proud 4-H kid Jocie Hague with her prize cow at the Humboldt County Fair. The Redwood Acres Fair, which also features 4-H and FFA animals, is canceled for 2020.

Read the full press release below:



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Friday, March 13, 2020

North Coast Night Lights: Raptors at Chapman’s Gem and Mineral

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2020 at 11:52 AM

A marauding pack of velociraptors outside of Chapman’s Gem and Mineral Shop south of Fortuna, Humboldt County, California. Photo from March 6, 2020. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • A marauding pack of velociraptors outside of Chapman’s Gem and Mineral Shop south of Fortuna, Humboldt County, California. Photo from March 6, 2020.
Since childhood, dinosaurs have held a fascination for me. If dinosaurs roamed the earth today, my photo stories would probably be about them or, perhaps more likely, about dinosaurs at night.

Alas, they are an exceedingly rare breed and the opportunities to photograph them, or even to see them at all, are few and far between. As a matter of fact, until recently I had never had any luck catching a dinosaur on film or digital, though I have tried; I’ve had more luck photographing meteors.

It turned out I needed to rethink my approach. I am no wildlife stalker and, for all my efforts to track down a dinosaur, I had come up empty every time. I hadn’t failed, I’d simply discovered a number of ways how not to do it, and it was time to regroup. I would try a passive approach next and toward that end I purchased a couple of high quality trail cams. If I could determine where dinosaurs roamed, I reasoned, I might be able to catch some candid photographs up close of the creatures in their native habitats.

For months I set my dinosaur trail cams out in those most likely of habitats for these prehistoric beasts: primordial old growth redwood groves. But I got nothing.

Of course, I captured the usual bears, mountain lions, bobcats and the like, but nothing out of the ordinary. The real quarry eluded me. I tried setting my cameras up by streams, near rivers, in prairies, meadows, beaches and sloughs. Nothing. No dinosaurs. Not even in Fern Canyon. I began wondering whether anyone ever sees these creatures.

But I finally caught a break, and naturally at a time when I was least expecting it and not at all trying for it. On my way home one afternoon from collecting my trail cams from an unsuccessful trail watch down near the Avenue of the Giants, I stopped in at Chapman’s Gem and Mineral Shop.

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