Animals & Pets

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top stories and blog posts of 2014: What you really were interested in reading

Posted By on Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 3:45 PM

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We know, we know — you want hard-hitting investigative stories, breaking news, City Hall probes, political scandals and all that.

And you got some of that this year, including Jeanie Riess' look at Uber in New Orleans, an omnibus issue about pot ("Louweedziana"), Clancy DuBos' reasons "Why Bobby Jindal Will Never, Ever Be President," our second installment of The New New Orleans (actually, you clicked on that a lot), Jules Bentley's polarizing first-person essay "Sober in New Orleans," Henrick Karoliszyn's look at the danger of black-market silicone implants, Kari Dequine Harden's followup on Honduran refugee children in New Orleans and Matt Brennan's two-part series on Louisiana film tax credits.

But what were the most clicked-on stories on Blog of New Orleans and Best of New Orleans?

Here's what you really were searching for and reading ...

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Endangered crocs hatched at Audubon Zoo

Posted By on Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 3:43 PM

COURTESY AUDUBON ZOO
  • Courtesy Audubon Zoo

Two brown false gharials, endangered freshwater reptiles that look similar to crocodiles, have been born at the Audubon Zoo Reptile Encounter — marking the first time the species has been bred in captivity in America in five years. It’s the first false gharial births at Audubon Zoo, although the species has lived at the zoo since the 1980s.

The zoo’s staff says the gharials, part of the crocodilian group that also includes alligators, crocodiles and caimans, hatched several weeks ago and are only a few inches long. The zoo announced the births Wednesday. 

Gharials are native to southeast Asia and typically inhabit freshwater swamps with lots of vegetation, as well as lakes and rivers. They have a narrower snout than a crocodile and consume a varied diet, including fish, small animals, insects and crustaceans. Unlike crocodiles and alligators, gharials slide on their bellies on land instead of raising up their bodies to walk.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has placed false gharials on its Red List of Threatened Species (version 3.1) and attributes much of the population decline to habitat destruction. It estimates there are fewer than 2,500 mature adult gharials in the world, with most living along tributaries of the Ganges River.

Adult gharials average 350 to 400 pounds, with males growing from 13 to 19.7 feet long and weighing as much as 1,500 pounds, according to the San Diego Zoo website. Females tend to be shorter, averaging 11 to 13 feet long.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

New Orleans' latest film turn: Zombie animals and The Other Dead

Posted By on Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 4:25 PM

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Hey, New Orleans: If NCIS: New Orleans and American Horror Story: Coven weren't to your taste — how about The Other Dead, set in Louisiana during "the next Hurricane Katrina"? EW has details:

Animal Planet is developing a scripted live-action zombie animal saga based on the graphic novel The Other Dead, EW has learned exclusively.

From IDW publishing, the graphic novel is set in Louisiana during the “next Hurricane Katrina,” and tells the story of an eclectic cast of characters thrown together into a nightmarish world of undead animals and unrelenting storms. The graphic novel hails from Joshua Ortega and Digger Mesch, who will both be involved in some capacity. 

That's right — Animal Planet, home of shows like America's Cutest Pet and Puppy Bowl, will now branch into zombie animals.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Acro-Cats coming to New Orleans in December

Posted By on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 4:05 PM


If you're not already a fan of the Acro-Cats  or the Rock Cats, check out the video above. (Or read reviews of past shows in Gambit herehere (with dog in tutu and groundhog Santa Claus) or here  Trainer/ringmaster Samantha Martin has built up quite a local following for the performing cats, who ride skateboards, balance on rolling barrels, play musical instruments and more. She brings the feline frenzy back to the AllWays Lounge & Theatre Dec. 4-21.

Fame has not been easy for the Acro-Cats. The group had its tour vehicle vandalized in Los Angeles in February. No-one was apprehended in the case, and Gambit can't offer any solid leads in the case. But we can offer a photo of a suspicious-looking character known to hang around Acro-Cats vehicles:
Local dog known to hang around Acro-Cats vehicles.
  • Local dog known to hang around Acro-Cats vehicles.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Y@ Speak: chicken boxing or boxed chicken

Posted By on Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:41 PM


Which do you prefer? Mild or spicy? Boxed or boxing? This week New Orleans asks the tough questions: Common Core or not? Where do all the vape stores come from? Would you like a weed lollipop? What is soccer?

Your questions answered, kind of, in this week's Y@ Speak.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Jindal signs bill to keep Tony the tiger at truck stop; opponents plan to file lawsuit

Posted By on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed state Sen. Rick Ward's Senate Bill 250, which exempts the owner of a tiger kept at a truck stop in Gross Tete from existing state law banning private possession of big cats. Tony, a 14-year-old Siberian Bengal tiger, is owned by Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin, who keeps the tiger at the truck stop as a roadside attraction.

The bill's filing followed ongoing legal battles over Sandlin's ability to keep Tony. In 2011, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) sued the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for unlawfully issuing a permit to Sandlin to keep Tony, and in April 2013, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal upheld that Sandlin can't keep Tony or a permit. In October 2013, the Louisiana Supreme Court rejected Sandlin's petition to review that ruling. In a statement sent out today, ALDF said the new law "overturns those legal victories by undermining the settled rulings of Louisiana courts," calling Jindal's signature unconstitutional.

The bill met little resistance (and discussion) in its passage through the Senate's Natural Resources Committee in April, and the bill failed its first pass in the full Senate. Ward reintroduced the bill in May, however, and it passed. (Several legislators flipped their votes.) After a few hours of testimony and debate, it passed the House before heading to Jindal's desk.

In the ALDF statement, state Rep. Warren Triche (who passed the 2006 legislation banning exotic pet ownership) said, “This law circumvents the three-tiered court system, including the Louisiana Court of Appeal, for the benefit of one individual. ... It is my understanding the Louisiana Constitution does not allow an individual to seek special favors to undo what the courts have already decided.”

ALDF media relations manager Megan Backus told Gambit that the group plans to file a lawsuit naming the state, Sandlin and Tiger Truck Stop to overturn the law early next week, "based on the fact this new law violates the Louisiana constitution."

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Daily Show talks "chicken boxing"

Posted By on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 10:33 AM

The Daily Show's Al Madrigal talked to state Sen. Elbert Guillory about his efforts to legitimize "chicken boxing" in Louisiana.

"I'm not a fan of cockfighting," Guillory said, "but I love to go and watch some chicken boxing."

Madrigal also talked to state Sen. J.P. Morrell, who sponsored a bill (which Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law) to strengthen the state's cockfighting ban. Guillory attempted to add an amendment that would exempt chicken boxing — and add licensing and regulation to the "sport" — from the bill. That amendment failed.

"These are premier athletes," Guillory said. Essentially Madrigal's only reply throughout is, "We're talking about 'chicken boxing,' right?"

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Y@ Speak: that's a wrap

Posted By on Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 12:55 PM


This week's Y@ Speak reflects on the last breath of the 2014 legislative session in Baton Rouge, from climate change deniers to Gov. Bobby Jindal's signing of Senate Bill 469, and begins another year of Y@ Speak — catch up on last week's winners from our second-ever awards.

Also: Kurt Braunohler jet skis from Chicago to New Orleans and a cat gets stuck in a news crew truck.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Take a lunch (or dinner) break to Pause 4 Paws

Posted By on Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 5:40 PM

An LA-SPCA worker with a client. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • An LA-SPCA worker with a client.

On Thursday, June 12, a few dozen New Orleans restaurants will donate 20 percent of their dining proceeds to the Louisiana SPCA. The event is the nonprofit's fifth annual Pause 4 Paws, and the participating restaurants make it possible to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner out on the town, supporting local, furry friends.

It's really easy to participate. You just go out to eat.

Fifty restaurants are participating, including, appropriately, The Bulldog (both Uptown and Mid-City locations), Cure, Nirvana Indian Cuisine, Noodle and Pie, Mariza and more (there's a full list below the jump).

If you can't make it out to eat, you can also donate to the cause online here.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Committee says Tony the truck stop tiger can stay

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2014 at 5:50 PM

In its 2014 session, the Louisiana Legislature spent hours debating the fate of Tony, a Bengal tiger and roadside attraction at Tiger Truck Stop in Gross Tete. Senate Bill 250 from state Sen. Rick Ward, R-Port Allen, attempts to make an exemption for Tony and his owner, Michael Sandlin, from state law prohibiting exotic big cat ownership. The bill passed the House Natural Resources committee May 28 with a 10-6 vote. After failure in the state Senate in April, Ward resurrected the bill and passed it in May. Following today’s passage in committee, it heads to the House for final approval before heading to Gov. Bobby Jindal for a signature.

In 2010, the Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for unlawfully issuing Sandlin a permit to keep Tony, and in April 2013, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal held that Sandlin is ineligible to hold a permit to keep Tony. In October 2013, the Louisiana Supreme Court rejected Sandlin’s petition to review the ruling.

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