animals

Peregrine eggs evident in courthouse clocktower

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS More falcons are getting ready to call Bowling Green home, as new peregrine falcon eggs have made their appearance on the Falcon Cam, www.bgsu.edu/falconcam. Four eggs are visible on the camera, which is provided by a partnership between the Wood County Commissioners and Bowling Green State University. Last year, four eggs were laid in the Wood County Courthouse tower. “Spring is on the way and our falcon family hanging around the Courthouse nesting box is a sure sign,” said Andrew Kalmar, Wood County administrator. “This is the ninth year we will be able to watch the falcons grow their family. The Courthouse falcons have attracted the interest of many people over the years, and we are glad they are back.” The peregrine falcon is BGSU’s official mascot. A pair of the raptors first took refuge in the clock tower — just two blocks west of campus — nine years ago. “We love that the peregrine falcons have made a tradition of calling Bowling Green home,” said Dave Kielmeyer, BGSU chief marketing and communications officer. “The bond the falcons have formed with the town and University is fitting, given our University mascot.” Peregrine falcon eggs typically have a 33-day gestation period, so the eggs are expected to hatch in mid April. For more information about the peregrine falcons in the courthouse clock tower, go to www.bgsu.edu/falconcam.

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Pampered and primped cats strut their stuff at cat show in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News The Persian cat named Pink Parasol was primped and pampered – waiting for her time to shine on the cat show stage at the Bowling Green Community Center on Saturday. She was stretched out on cushions, with a coffee filter as a collar around her neck to keep the rest of her coat clean. Next to Pink Parasol was her stage kit – with a spray can of static guard, cosmetic powder, makeup brushes and pads to cover up last minute dirt, and Tic Tac mints. “That’s for me,” owner Zayda Stephens, of Lansing, Michigan, said of the Tic Tacs. Pink Parasol was one of about 120 pets at the Cat Fanciers Show held in Bowling Green. The felines and their owners came to compete from several states – New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. About 120 cats were shown at Cat Fanciers Show in the community center. The shows are a way of life for many of the cat fanciers and their felines. Stephens takes her cats to about three shows a month. And since her cats are Persians, the primping is very time consuming. The cats are bathed twice a week, then blown dry with a professional hair dryer. Pink Parasol, with her 7-inch long hair that makes her look about twice as big as she is, can take up to two hours to dry properly, Stephens said. Most of the breeders at the show pick one type of cat and work to perfect the breed. For Stephens, that’s Persians. “They have a very sweet personality,” which includes a laid back lifestyle, she said. Persians are known for their daily brief energy spurt of about 15 minutes, then they are ready to rest again. “They don’t climb the curtains.” Stephens has been breeding Persians for about 15 years. She confessed it is very difficult to part with kittens – but added that it’s better for them to not have to share an owner with too many others. “It’s best if they can have their own lap,” she said. Judge Gary Powell looks over an American Wirehaired cat. The cat show was put on by the Cat Fanciers Association, which has been the “premier” cat organization since 1906, according to the show organizer, Debbie Allgire of Bowling Green. Six judging stations were set up for the competition. In addition to the long-haired Persians, there were several other breeds like the “oriental short hairs,” the Japaneses Bobtail, the completely tailless Manx, the rough-coated American Wire-haired, and the less common Aussies. Allgire watched as her Tonkinese cat, named D.B. Cooper, competed in the oriental short-hair category. The judge Rachel Anger, checked each feline from every angle, judging them on the Cat Fancier standards of having long tubular bodies, fur that looks like it’s painted on, triangular heads, no dips in the noses, and green eyes. Some cats were more cooperative than others. Anger used a variety of cat toys to get their attention and check their reactions. At the same time, the judge was aware that some of the cats were performing for the crowd. “Work the room girl, that’s how you do it,” she said to a cat named Summer Breeze. The cats seemed to take the spotlight in stride. That is because most of them were raised with cat shows in mind, said Charissa Ebersole, of Toledo, whose cat named Fairy Fires Cloud Nine, was competing. From the time her cats are just a few weeks old, Ebersole plays loud heavy metal music to get them accustomed to noise. The…


Winners selected in Artists 4 Animals exhibit

From BOWLING GREEN ARTS COUNCIL The Bowling Green Arts Council has announced the prize winning art in the Artists 4 Animals 5 now on exhibit at the Four Corners Center, 130 S. Main Street, Thirty-six artists of all ages, kindergarten through adult contributed the exhibit. Winners are: Kindergarten through  fourth Grade: Kiera Novinsky, first, Spider Web; Alyssa Lenix, second, Bird in the Clouds; Eva Olivarez, third, Blue Dog with Color; and Griffin Fulford and Madelaine McAfee, honorable mention. Fifth through eighth grade: Quentin Trevino, first, Begging; Ty Strickland, second, Alone in the Woods; Ian Jones, third, Rabbit in Daisy Field; and Penelope Giammarco, Tyler Smith; Serenity Shimatzki, Logan Campbell, and Jansen DeMond, honorable mention. High school: Sydney Henninger, first, Buddy Boy;  2nd Olivia Sexton, second, Wisdom in the Darkness, and Marisa Gilbert, Dog News. Adults: Candace J. Hardy, first, Horse’s Eye; Derek Frey, second, Nelson; Jean Gidich-Holbrook, third, Pretty Girl, and Sarah Gorges, honorable mention, Winter. The show continues through Wednesday, Nov. 28.


Cats with attitudes taught to be more adoptable

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Cats are known for having attitude. While most dogs do their best to please humans, most cats feel no need to perform for their people. But sometimes, that “cattitude” is caused by fear. And at the Wood County Humane Society, that standoffishness can make some cats seem downright unadoptable. Take the cat named “Toothless.” The gray cat was so shy and nervous around people that the humane society staff wondered if he would end up as a barn mouser rather than a house cat. But after going through the Cat Pawsitive training, Toothless was a cat with a new attitude – who now has a new adoptive family. “He was a cat who went from hiding under his bed,” to reaching out with his paw at people passing by, said Megann Smith, administrative assistant at the humane society. “Shelters are pretty scary places, no matter how nice we try to make them,” Smith said. And scaredy cats are very unlikely to make a good impression on people looking to adopt a pet. So when Wood County Humane Society was selected earlier this year by the Jackson Galaxy Project to participate in the Cat Pawsitive Program, the animal-lovers jumped at the chance to make their cats more adoptable. The training program for shelter cats works to increase feline adoption rates as well as educate the shelter staff and volunteers on how to implement it. Jackson Galaxy – star of the television show “My Cat from Hell” on the Animal Planet network – developed Cat Pawsitive Pro with a team of feline behavior experts. Highlights of the program include:   Improving cat “adoptability” and feline social skills, particularly for shy or fearful cats and long-term shelter residents. Enriching day-to-day life for cats in shelters with physical and mental activity.   Promoting the human-cat bond.   Teaching and empowering animal shelter staff and volunteers. The program can help a shy cat learn to feel comfortable coming up to the front of the cage to meet an adopter, a feisty cat learn to play nice, and an outgoing kitty learn to give an endearing “high five” to his visitors to seal an adoption deal. For years, the humane society has focused on socializing dogs to make them more adoptable. It was believed that cats were basically untrainable. But the Pawsitive program is proving the opposite. The first felines to get the training at Wood County Humane Society were two orange tabbies named Stapleton and Upchurch. They were selected because they had been at the humane society the longest and were having a tough time trusting people. By using only the positive stimulus of edible treats and the noise of clickers, the cats were trained to gradually became less fearful, and stop cowering in their kennels. Before long, they were approaching people, and giving “high-fives” with their front paws in exchange for treats. Though the older cats still aren’t like bouncy kittens, they did become more “adorable” and adoptable, Smith said. Being trained now are Chunkie and Asia. Chunkie, who used to spend the bulk of his day glaring at those passing his kennel, has learned to relax around people, to give high-fives and even head-bumps. Asia, who doesn’t like to be picked up, is still working on just approaching people. “She’s been a tricky one,” Smith said. The Pawsitive program also benefits the cats by reducing boredom at the shelter, said Andrea Szymkowiak, Wood County Humane Society public relations chairperson. “It helps enrich their mental activity. It calms them down a bit,” she said. The cats are given…


Plants for pollinators take root in solar sanctuary

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News A “solar sanctuary” for butterflies, bees and birds was created Tuesday just north of Bowling Green. More than 300 shrubs were planted on the north side of the city’s 165-acre solar field near the corner of Newton and Carter roads. The plants will serve four purposes – attract pollinators, provide food for birds, offer habitat for rabbits and deer, and work on water quality. The team met Tuesday morning to put the plants in place. Helping with the project was the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Ohio Division of Wildlife, BGSU students, the City of Bowling Green, and volunteers. The deep-rooted native plants included serviceberry bushes, hazelnut, dogwood, hawthorn, winterberry, plum, buttonbush and elderberry bushes. “These are all native plants – host plants with nectar,” to attract native pollinators like Monarch butterflies and bees, said Donnie Knight, of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The north side of the solar field was completed Tuesday, and more plantings are planned for the south side, Knight said. That will be a total of about 14 acres of “solar sanctuary” for bees, butterflies, birds and bunnies. Though many solar fields also have wildflowers planted alongside the solar panels, Knight said that isn’t happening at this field, yet. “We weren’t able to strike an agreement with the power company,” Knight said of Next Era Energy. “We have a lot of examples of that in Ohio. But we couldn’t make it happen here yet.” Each plant will have a protective wrap around its base to keep rabbits and deer from nibbling away too much. “The deer will be able to browse the tops,” but not destroy the shrubs, Knight said. As part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the project is also designed to help improve water quality, as the planting area filters water heading to the ditch, destined for Lake Erie. Helping with the planting from the city of Bowling Green were Arborist Grant Jones, Natural Resources Specialist Cinda Stutzman and Sustainability Coordinator Amanda Gamby. When workers arrived Tuesday morning, the 300-plus holes had already been dug along the northern edge of the solar field. “It’s just a matter of plant, cover and go,” Stutzman said. Stutzman said the plants should provide habitat for pollinators. “We know a lot of the pollinators have been in decline,” she said. “Especially the native ones are hurting.” Last year, Marci Lininger, of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, explained the value of the program to city officials. “You are producing good clean energy, and you’re helping wildlife at the same time,” Lininger said. “Pollinators are in decline right now,” she said. Adult Monarch butterflies have seen a 50 percent drop in the last 10 years due to disappearing milkweed plants  – which are the only plants used by Monarchs for laying eggs. Some wildflower habitats target specific species. The one at Bowling Green’s solar site will be aimed at attracting several species of bees, birds and butterflies. The plan calls for three seasons of blooming plants. Ohio is a priority location for Monarchs on their annual trek to Mexico. “We have a huge responsibility here in Ohio,” Lininger said. This region also has many crops that are suffering from inadequate pollination, she said. Crops relying on pollination include tomatoes, blueberries, melons, soybeans, peppers, peaches, cucumbers, squash and apples. Honey bees account for more than $15 billion in agricultural production of fruits, vegetables and nuts, Lininger said. Water and soil quality are also helped by the wildflower habitats because the native plants have deeper root systems and add nitrogen to…


Artists from kindergarten through seniors invited to submit work for Animals 4 Animals exhibit

From BOWLING GREEN ARTS COUNCIL The Bowling Green Arts Council and Four Corners Center will be hosting Artists 4 Animals 5 at the Four Corners Center, 130 S. Main Street, with an opening reception from 4:30-6:30 pm .on Friday, November 9. Interested artists can find information about the show and how to sign up on the Bowling Green Arts Council website, www.bgartscouncil.com. Artists of all ages, kindergarten through adult, will be exhibiting their animal- themed work in the show, which is free and open to the public, during regular Four Corners hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Exhibit of all artists can be viewed through November 28. The show features selected top winners in each age category as well as best domestic and wild animal. The winning images will be reproduced on note cards that available for purchase at the Four Corners Center and other Bowling Green venues. Sales of the cards will benefit the Wood County Humane Society and the Bowling Green Arts Council.


Hold the tuna — ocean explorer Sylvia Earle offers recipe for saving the sea

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Sylvia Earle wants to take tuna off the menu. The same with swordfish and orange roughy. The appetite for fish is depleting the fish population, and that disrupts the ecosystem of the ocean, and that’s a threat to the human population. Large scale commercial fishing is one of many attack on the oceans. “We’ve become so skilled at extracting wild life from oceans, streams and lakes that we’re seeing an unprecedented decline in population,” the marine biologist and explorer said. Earle was at Bowling Green State University Tuesday to give a talk based on her book “The World Is Blue.”  When she was a child, she said, people couldn’t see Earth from outer space. Now children grow up knowing the photo of the blue planet. Yet humans are just coming round to understanding the importance of protecting those vast blue stretches. “No ocean,” Earle said,” no us. No blue, no green. We need water.” Those oceans, whether saltwater or the vast freshwater bodies such as Lake Superior, rely on intricate systems. Just like a computer, removing one small part means it doesn’t work so well. “The attitude has been the ocean is too big to fail,” Earle said. But “never before has the change happened so rapidly or as comprehensively.” Except, she added, 65 million years ago when a comet hit Earth. Those changes have brought increased prosperity for humans, but not so much for wildlife, except cockroaches and rats. That period has also been a great age for exploration. Only in the last several decades could people venture beyond where light penetrates, into the dark depths of the ocean. Earle was on the forefront as the first woman aquanaut. She had to convince officials that a woman could handle the job. Now she’s one of the most prominent explorers. In 1986 when she went on her first mission she was the only woman among 79 men. Recent photos she projected as part of her talk included a larger number of women. The vastness of the ocean leaves much to explore. The average depth is two and a half miles, the deepest parts are seven miles deep.  An enthusiast for marine exploration she urged her listeners “to take the plunge” if they have the opportunity. The over fishing of large species is not the only problem. The decline of algae plays a part in the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reefs. Prochlrococcus, a bacteria so small it was only identified in 1986, generates 20 percent of the world’s oxygen and also takes up carbon. Nations around the world are setting aside Marine Protected Areas. (Some have exceptions for local, subsistence fishing.) These give the ecosystems a chance to rebound. But only 3 percent of the oceans have been set aside. Treating the waterways as a sewer and place to dispose of trash, much of it plastic, puts those systems at risk. Somehow, she said, humans survived for centuries without plastic. Now it is seen as an essential.  She advocated for collecting and repurposing what could be. Reducing how much is used — lips do a fine job of getting liquid from a cup in most cases — and reusing plastic implements that we do have. Throwing things away is not an option. “There is no away.” Young people are taking the lead in these efforts. In answering a question from a 9-year-old in the audience, Earle told the story of a girl who took it upon herself to clean up trash from a beach in Texas. She didn’t ask for help but when others saw…