Animals & Pets

Monday, February 24, 2014

Y@ Speak: Carnival Time Lord

Posted By on Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 1:45 PM

As Mardi Gras 2014 nears, let's look back at the first week of parades — and towed cars, electioneering, sci-fi nerd alerts and a French Quarter's eau de wet dog. Also: Kevin Hart eats chicken and Margaret Orr takes a selfie. Bonus: Dumpsters, Neutral Milk Hotel and gutterpunk advice.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Y@ Speak: feel the noize

Posted By on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 1:00 PM

This week's edition is dedicated to noise — from election debates, "mean" tweets and music festivals and James Carville brand spices to noise ordinance protests. Also, Wendell Pierce's caps-lock warnings about bald eagles.

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Review: The Amazing Acro-Cats in A Very Meow-y Christmas

Posted By on Sat, Dec 7, 2013 at 2:05 PM

The Amazing Acro-Cats tour bus.
  • The Amazing Acro-Cats tour bus.

A circus of performing housecats is, of course, catnip to children, and quite a few little ones showed up at the normally louche AllWays Theatre this week for The Amazing Acro-Cats, an hour-long revue that demonstrates that cats can be trained — but demonstrates even more conclusively that they can't be taught much. 

Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow were quick-marched through the bar and into the theater at the AllWays, where The Amazing Acro-Cats were making a return holiday appearance in New Orleans. Last year, trainer Samantha Martin and her cat pack performed at the much smaller Shadowbox Theatre, but this year she brought her cat bus to town for an extended run (three weeks) in the larger environs of the AllWays. (Friday's night's show was standing room only.)

The show was identical to last year's spectacle. Martin warmed up the audience with a few feline introductions — this is Pudge, this is Oz, this is Sookie, etc. Each cat drew an extended awwwww from the crowd. Children were greatly outnumbered by (how to put this delicately?) people who are really, really into cats. There was also a bit of tightrope walking by several rats, a groundhog that didn't really do anything and a chicken named Cluck Norris.

Samantha Martin and her assistants prepare for a performance by the Rock Cats.
  • Samantha Martin and her assistants prepare for a performance by the Rock Cats.

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Y@ Speak: ate too much

Posted By on Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Burgers and #vendingmachinecat previewed our gluttony. From there, a downward spiral of cream of mushroom soup, Duck Dynasty sugar cookies and yelling, then Anthony Davis broke his hand — weakened from the continuous up and down motion of lifting a turkey leg.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

La. Supreme Court denies Tony the Tiger owner's petition to appeal

Posted By on Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 5:35 PM

In the latest update in the case of Tony the Tiger — the Big Cat attraction living at Grosse Tete's Tiger Truck Stop — the Louisiana Supreme Court denied a petition Oct. 4 from owner Michael Sandlin to review the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal's ruling that Tony, a 550-pound Siberian-Bengal tiger, can't live at the truck stop.

In 2011, the Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for unlawfully issuing a permit to Sandlin to keep Tony. In April, the 1st Circuit Court of Court of Appeal held that Sandlin can't keep Tony, nor can he keep the a big cat permit issued by LDWF. Sandlin then filed his petition with the state Supreme Court to review the decision — which it denied.

“We are relieved to see this case reach its end,” said Matthew Liebman, senior attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, in an Oct. 7 statement. “Nearly three years after we asked the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries not to issue a permit to the Tiger Truck Stop, the highest court in the state has declined to prolong this case further. We call upon the Department to do the right thing and send Tony to a reputable sanctuary, before we face another tiger tragedy.”

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Real Wild Animals of New Orleans web series launches tonight at 6 p.m.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 1:56 PM

The Real Wild Animals of New Orleans, a Digital Bayou HD web series about Audubon Nature Institute animals and their humans, launches tonight at 6 p.m. Journalist, businesswoman and animal lover Chriss Knight goes behind the scenes with some of the city's most loved Audubon animals and their staff, sharing the fun and dedication involved in making the zoo, aquarium, insectarium and butterfly garden tick.

Tonight's featured creatures are sea otters Buck and Emma. In later episodes of the Thursday series, viewers will meet Casey the silverback gorilla, penguin chicks, the Insectarium's newest residents and more.

The Real Wild Animals of New Orleans host Chriss Knight cozies up to a penguin.
  • The Real Wild Animals of New Orleans host Chriss Knight cozies up to a penguin.

To connect with The Real Wild Animals of New Orleans, check out the links below.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Y@ Speak: making friends

Posted By on Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Hey there. Won't you come in? I'm sure you'll find someone interesting here. Our friends in this week's Y@ Speak made all kinds of new pals, whether entire basketball teams, Wendy's late-night drive-thru employees, four-legged furballs or bat-wielding roller derby women. Others met new grocery stores and air conditioning units — as well as the grim realities of their time left on this earth. Like that body odor you didn't know you have until a police officer filled you in.

Let's shake some hands, buddy.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

7th Ward hucklebuck ladies: Do they still exist?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Hucklebuck: A frozen treat made of flavored syrup and water. Also known as a huckabuck, frozen cup, iceberg, cool cup or cold cup.

“Are there hucklebuck ladies around here anymore?” I ask a woman sitting on her Hope Street porch in the 7th Ward, my childhood stomping grounds. “I’m sure all the ones I knew growing up are dead.”

“No, not anymore,” she responds, a hint of longing in her voice. As I hang my head a little, feeling embarrassed for even asking the question, she shouts, “Well, there might be a lady by the park, but I don’t know.”

I thank her and skip toward my car, hearing a dog bark and thinking about how I called Hope Street "Dog Street" when I was a girl, since there were so many vicious-looking dogs there.

I quickly realize a tan pit bull is chasing me. The nice things I’ve read about pit bulls from their advocates leave my mind and are replaced with 6-year-old Megan’s memory of Uncle Bobby Sardie’s German Shepard leaping up and biting his hand, getting blood everywhere on Easter morning.

“Get it away from me!” I shout repeatedly, wishing I would have just walked to my car instead of skipping there. Thankfully, the dog’s owner calls it back to herself and away from me.

Safely in my car, I begin to wonder if my search will be fruitless. I see a man around my age and ask him the status of hucklebuck ladies in the 7th Ward. He confirms their absence. I turn down New Orleans Street, thinking of the hucklebuck ladies around Hardin Park I knew growing up, like Miss Thibodeaux who always had double- and triple-color ones. Perhaps hucklebuck ladies are casualties of Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods or maybe of 9/11.

Lester and Carolyn Vallet have been selling hucklebucks on North Broad near St. Bernard for years.
  • Lester and Carolyn Vallet have been selling hucklebucks on North Broad near St. Bernard for years.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Y@ Speak: A very gay Easter

Posted By on Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 11:42 AM

The week that began with the Supreme Court hearing challenges to Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 closed out with the annual Gay Easter Parade in the French Quarter. Also this week: Angela Hill retires, an escaped monkey at the zoo, notable Easter parade Vines and lots of bunnies.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tony the Tiger's case returns in state appeals court

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Attorneys representing Michael Sandlin, who owns Tony, a 550-pound Bengal tiger residing at Sandlin's Tiger Truck Stop, argued before a three-judge 1st Circuit Court of Appeal panel yesterday to keep Tony where he is, despite arguments from the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).

Sandlin's attorney Jennifer Treadway Morris argued that state District Judge Mike Caldwell was not allowed to deny the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) from issuing Sandlin a new permit to keep Tony in 2011. When the department didn't enforce Caldwell's ruling, the ALDF filed another suit to prompt the department to take action and remove the tiger from Caldwell's custody. (The department has since said it would not take action until litigation ended.) At yesterday's hearing, however, the department argued that the ALDF had no legal standing to sue the department.

ALDF attorney Brandy Sheely argued that Tony's health and safety (and the public's) interfered with the ruling, and referred to LWDF rules stating that big cat permits must be issued to an individual (not Tiger Truck Stop, a business) and that the owner must live there. (Sandlin also has filed a suit against the state to overturn its ban on big cat ownership — current law, which went into effect August 2006, allows exotic cats as pets if owned before then.) For now, the groups expect a decision in the appeal case in the coming months, while Tony remains at the truck stop.

"As this is going on Tony is still living at the truck stop, day in and day out," said ALDF communications director Lisa Franzetta. "At this point we’re confident the law is on our side. ... The law says Sandlin can’t have Tony at the truck stop. It's just legal delay tactics that keep the process going."

Pending a conclusion to the years-long legal tug of war, and if the state rules that Tony has been kept illegally at the truck stop, Tony will not live with another private owner in Louisiana, as the state outlaws big cat ownership. It's likely he will leave Louisiana, as there are no fitting sanctuaries in the state. "ALDF’s hope is for the best possible outcome for Tony — that he goes to an accredited big cat sanctuary where he can live out his life in a habitat appropriate for a tiger, with his own welfare and quality of life as the first priority," Franzetta said.

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