Animals

Monday, June 18, 2018

Arcata Rancher Charged on 35 Counts Related to Animal Cruelty Investigation

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 4:07 PM

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Raymond Christie, the Arcata rancher arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty on Mar. 19, has been formally charged by the Humboldt County District Attorney's office on 35 counts, mostly related to animal cruelty and neglect.

Included in the charges are seven counts of felony cruelty by "failing to provide sustenance, drink, shelter or subject any animal to needless suffering" to cattle, a goat and a pig across different Christie-owned properties in Orick, McKinleyville, Trinidad, Arcata and Eureka.

The remaining 28 charges are misdemeanors under California Fish and Game Code 5652(a) related to disposal of litter or carcasses "within 150 feet of a state waterway." Christie is charged with disposing multiple cattle carcasses near waterways on most of his properties. The complaint specifies that more than 200 cattle carcasses were dumped near waterways on his Jackson Ranch Road property in Arcata.

In March, the sheriff's office confirmed to the Journal that Christie had returned to the Humboldt County Auction and picked up more cattle after leaving jail. HCSO spokesperson Samantha Karges explained to the Journal that Christie had bid on the cattle prior to being arrested and — once he posted bail — he was able to pay for the animals.

If Christie is found guilty in the present case, the court will have the opportunity to mandate whether he can purchase or keep animals in the future, according to Karges.
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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Is Bigfoot a Bear?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 2:26 PM

Clap if you believe in Bigfoot. - FROM THE PATTERSON-GIMLIN FILM.
  • From the Patterson-Gimlin film.
  • Clap if you believe in Bigfoot.
In a tough break for cryptozoologists, a team of scientists says their DNA analysis of hair samples, scat and a tooth purported to be from Bigfoot’s Tibetan cousin the Yeti are, in fact, from bears.

The findings — based on the analysis of mitochondrial DNA from 24 samples, including some collected in the 1930s on a Tibetan plateau — were published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

“This study represents the most rigorous analysis to date of samples suspected to derive from anomalous or mythical ‘hominid’-like creatures, strongly suggesting that the biological basis of the yeti legend is local brown and black bears,” the conclusion states.

Results from a similar study published in the same science journal back in 2014 also linked hair samples sent in from around the world — some as old as 50 years — back to known species.

But the lead scientist noted that true believers were not deterred by his research.

“I’ve had very good cooperation with the Bigfoot community, who are generally pleased that there is now a method of identifying their quarry in a way that would be universally accepted,” Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes told Science magazine at the time. “They are returning to the forests with renewed enthusiasm in search of the ‘golden hair’ which proves their beliefs.”
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

You Otter be a Citizen Scientist

Posted By on Thu, Sep 21, 2017 at 1:44 PM

Otters mooching scraps at Trinidad Pier on Sunday. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Otters mooching scraps at Trinidad Pier on Sunday.

One doesn't have to go far to see local river otters in the wild. Just take a walk out on the Trinidad pier and you're likely to see one swimming in the harbor. But the best time is when local sport fishermen return to the floating dock below the pier to clean their catches. On Sunday, I spotted a group of five river otters swimming under the dock and climbing over the float looking for handouts.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Making Time: More Moments from the Hoopa Rodeo

Posted By on Sat, Aug 19, 2017 at 10:01 AM

Jerry Parrish with Barker and Kitty. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • Jerry Parrish with Barker and Kitty.
We hope you enjoyed this week's cover story "Holding On: A Day at the Hoopa Rodeo." Below you'll find a chunk of missing time from our hour-by-hour account of Saturday, Aug. 5, an interview that was cut for length from the cover, and a slideshow of photos taken during the day.


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Monday, July 10, 2017

Silly Bear Locked in Car Freed by Deputies

Posted By on Mon, Jul 10, 2017 at 3:50 PM

The bear can be seen just to the right of the car. To watch the video, scroll down. - HUMBOLDT COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE FACEBOOK PAGE
  • Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Facebook page
  • The bear can be seen just to the right of the car. To watch the video, scroll down.
A wayward — and apparently grumpy — bear that found itself locked inside a Kneeland neighborhood car was freed unharmed today after responding deputies were able to open the door from a safe distance by tying a rope around the handle.

In a video of the rescue posted to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, a voice can be heard urging, “come on bear,” before the animal jumps out of the four-door sedan and makes a run for it into an adjacent wooded area without a backward glance.

Still unknown is how the “gray faced adult black bear” got into the car in the first place.



Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:
On 07-10-17 Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a residence on Greenwood Heights for a call of a bear locked in a vehicle. Once on scene Corporal Borges, Deputy Crotty and Lieutenant Fridley found a gray faced adult black bear locked in a vehicle. The bear was very aggressive and snapped at the window anytime someone would get close to the vehicle. With the help of vehicle owner the vehicle was unlocked. Deputies tied a length of rope to the door handle, wrapped it around a tree and fed it back to a patrol vehicle. From a safe distance the rope was pulled which opened the door and allowed the bear to exit the vehicle. It is unknown how the bear was able to get into the vehicle. The bear was unharmed and last seen running into the brush.

To view a video of the bear rescue go to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office face book page located at www.facebook.com/humboldtcountysheriff .
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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hello, My Name is: Humboldt's Flying Squirrel

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2017 at 11:20 AM

Humboldt's flying squirrel gnawing a delicious pen cap (not its natural diet). - PHOTO BY NATHAN ALEXANDER
  • Photo by Nathan Alexander
  • Humboldt's flying squirrel gnawing a delicious pen cap (not its natural diet).
Say hello to Humboldt's flying squirrel, formerly known as the northern flying squirrel. Look into his black, marble-like eyes. Look at them. Smaller and darker than the northern variety, with which they share some territory, these little gliders have just been classified as a new species and named for our county's namesake, naturalist Alexander von Humboldt.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

One of Petrolia's Zebras Fatally Shot

Posted By on Mon, May 15, 2017 at 5:05 PM

CARRIE PEYTON DAHLBERG
  • Carrie Peyton Dahlberg
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting of one of the three famed zebras that lives on Mattole Road near Petrolia.

Sheriff William Honsal said his office received a report of the shooting Saturday morning, saying it appears someone used a small caliber rifle to fatally shoot the zebra sometime during the preceding night. He said the animal's owner went out to the pasture Saturday morning to find the animal lying down and, upon closer inspection, found a single bullet hole.

"It is currently being investigated," Honsal said, urging anyone with information to call the sheriff's office at 445-7251 or the crime tip line at 268-2539.

The zebra — known as "Randy" — is one of three that have long delighted passersby on  the Lost Coast. According to our coverage in 2013, the animals were then owned by fashion designers based in Los Angeles but were being cared for by a father and son team, Luis Juarez Sr. and Jr., who made the drive from Ferndale several days a week to feed the animals and put them in at night. The animals reported came to the Lost Coast by way of a zebra ranch in Oroville.

Honsal said his office will issue a full press release in the morning. We'll update this post with more information as we receive it.
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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Five Owlets Have Landed in Ferndale

Posted By on Thu, May 4, 2017 at 1:03 PM

Mother owl "Truman" shows her brood. - SCREEN SHOT
  • Screen shot
  • Mother owl "Truman" shows her brood.
Things are getting crowded in the barn owl nest in The Ferndale Music Company and the Old Steeple building.

The mother owl “Truman” appears to have now hatched five of her six eggs — with the f
Mother owl "Truman"  sits on the nest. - SCREEN SHOT
  • Screen shot
  • Mother owl "Truman" sits on the nest.
irst two debuting last week in the bell tower of the turn-of the-century former Ferndale church.

The Ferndale Music Company guitar salesman Anthony Taibi said his boss Paul Beatie — who set up the owl cam that gives an up-close view of Truman and her brood — believes the fifth owlet hatched Tuesday. “You can hear them making noise up there,” Taibi said.


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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ruling Puts Martens Up For Endangered Species Reconsideration

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 2:06 PM

A young coastal marten. - COURTESY OF EPIC
  • Courtesy of EPIC
  • A young coastal marten.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will likely need to revisit providing endangered species protections to the coastal marten after a federal court judge today overturned the agency’s decision not to list the small woodland creature.

The Environmental Protection Information Center and the Center for Biological Diversity had sued the service after the latter unsuccessfully petitioned for the protections back in 2010.

Once thought to be extinct, the cat-like animals — also known as the Humboldt or Pacific marten — were rediscovered in 1996 after years of pelt hunting and timber logging decimated the old growth forest denizens' numbers.

“The magic of the Endangered Species Act is that it puts scientific facts over political games,” said Earthjustice attorney Greg Loarie, who represented the groups. “No amount of spin will change the fact that coastal martens are already gone from over 80 percent of their historic range and at serious risk of extinction unless the Fish and Wildlife Service steps up."

Read the full press release from EPIC:
In response to a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and Environmental Protection Information Center, a federal judge today overturned an April 2014 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denying endangered species protection to coastal martens.

Coastal martens were believed extinct until 1996 because of historic fur trapping and loss of their old-growth forest habitats, but are now known to occur in three small, isolated populations in California and Oregon. The groups were represented by the public-interest law firm Earthjustice.

“We’re thrilled the elusive coastal marten is back on track to getting the endangered species protection it so badly needs,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The science is clear that these fascinating and beautiful animals have been reduced to small, isolated populations and face a host of threats that place them at risk of extinction.”

Small carnivores related to minks and otters, coastal martens are found only in old-growth forest and dense coastal shrub in Northern California and southern and central coastal Oregon. Once extensively trapped for their fur, the cat-like animals were once common; now fewer than 100 of them survive in California, while an unknown but very small number are still found in Oregon.

“The magic of the Endangered Species Act is that it puts scientific facts over political games,” said Earthjustice attorney Greg Loarie, who represented the groups. “No amount of spin will change the fact that coastal martens are already gone from over 80 percent of their historic range and at serious risk of extinction unless the Fish and Wildlife Service steps up."

The martens’ historic range extends from Sonoma County in coastal California north through the coastal mountains of Oregon. Humboldt martens were rediscovered on the Six Rivers National Forest in 1996. Since then researchers have continued to detect martens using track plates and hair snares. In 2009 a marten was detected in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park by remote-sensing camera, the first to be photographed in recent times. Martens are typically 2 feet long and have large triangular ears and a long tail; they eat small mammals, berries and birds and are eaten by larger mammals and raptors.

“This decision is a win for science and common sense,” said Rob DiPerna, California forest and wildlife advocate at the Environmental Protection Information Center. “We thought we'd lost the marten due to bad human decision-making once before, and we could not stand by and watch that happen again.”


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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Puppy Plucked From Humboldt Bay to be Adopted by Rescuer

Posted By on Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 1:17 PM

This puppy was plucked out of Humboldt Bay after being dropped from the Samoa Bridge by an unknown suspect. She is set to be adopted by one of the fishing crew members who helped rescue her. - COURTESY OF THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Courtesy of the Sheriff's Office
  • This puppy was plucked out of Humboldt Bay after being dropped from the Samoa Bridge by an unknown suspect. She is set to be adopted by one of the fishing crew members who helped rescue her.

One of the fishermen who rescued a puppy thrown off of the Samoa Bridge is set to adopt her.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office is currently looking for the man who dropped the young dog off the bridge's middle span around 9:30 a.m. on Monday. The suspect is described as a white male, late teens to early 20s, wearing a red-brimmed baseball hat with yellow writing. He fled the area on a black and white bike.

The puppy was rescued by a fishing crew that witnessed the incident and boated over to help the dog.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office.

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office:
On Monday, March 13, 2017, at approximately 0930 hours, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report that someone had dropped a puppy off the middle span of the Samoa Bridge. A fishing crew on a boat witnessed the incident and was able to rescue the puppy from the water. An Animal Control Officer responded to investigate, and took custody of the puppy.

The female puppy was transported by the Officer to a local veterinarian and is in good condition. The puppy is currently at the Humboldt County Animal Shelter and will soon be adopted out to one of the persons who rescued her.

The suspect is described as a white male adult, late teens early 20’s, wearing a black baseball hat with a red brim with yellow writing and a white flannel jacket The suspect left the area in an unknown direction riding a black and red bicycle.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

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