Animals & Pets

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bill aims for open season on Louisiana wild hogs

Posted By on Fri, Apr 4, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Desoto Parish State Rep. Richard "Richie" Burford, R-Stonewall (motto: "A great place to live"), introduced House Bill 353, which declares open season on wild hogs — the pigs, not the Tim Allen dad-buddy masterpiece. Under the bill, hunters can go after wild hogs, day or night, on private property. Under present law, hunting wild hogs is restricted to daylight hours from February through August. The bill passed the House 85-10 on Wednesday and was introduced in the Senate Thursday.

A House amendment also includes authorization to hunt coyotes at night on private property, also at any time of the year. (Present law already includes permission to hunt nutria and beaver.)

The bill follows the state's exploding wild animal populations — which in recent years have crept into more urban and suburban areas of New Orleans beyond surrounding bayous and parks. Recent sightings include a coyote (which has a Twitter account) stalking Uptown, and several adorable hog families hanging out on the neutral ground on Almonaster Road in New Orleans East.

According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, feral hogs (Sus scrofa) came to North America via Spanish explorers who planned to use them as livestock, but through escape and release, the pigs adapted to the wild. They can reach 400 pounds — they're protective, and kind of mean, and you don't want one charging at you. While the piglets are cute, the animals cause millions of dollars in damage to farms, forests and other property. Hog rooting can impact crops, golf courses, hayfields and backyards. The LSU AgCenter estimates there are more than 500,000 wild hogs in the state.

("But how does it taste, Alex?") Great. It's lean and not too game-y.

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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.
  • REALWILDANIMALS.COM
  • 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.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheRealWildAnimalsOfNewOrleans
Twitter: www.twitter.com/RealWildAnimals
Blog: www.realwildanimals.com/blog

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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.
  • MEGAN BRADEN-PERRY
  • 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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