Animal Friends

Cheers for badger den near Julian

Years spent tracking “species of special concern”

As I glance in the passenger-side rearview mirror, a dusty plume billows behind us, brightly lit by the low morning sun. Next to me in the driver’s seat, Shannon Quigley-Raymond guides her car along winding ...

California least terns cared for the most

Audubon Society nest site research and maintenance at Fiesta Island

The California least tern, a light-brown shorebird that nests along the state's coastline, is one of the smallest tern species in the world, growing to just nine inches in length at adulthood. It's also one ...

Tijuana animal-rights lawyers win one for zonkeys

Did they? — donkeys painted like zebras no longer part of cultural heritage

Only real estate — not living beings — can be considered part of Tijuana’s cultural heritage, a federal judge has ruled, revoking an earlier decision by the Cultural Heritage Council of Baja California declaring zonkeys ...

Bonkers for bonobos

The superfans devoted to the zoo's once forgotten apes

In late April of 1960, the San Diego Zoo’s curator of mammals, George Pournelle, traveled to one of the most inaccessible parts of the African rainforest on a collecting expedition. His goal was to acquire ...

City Heights feral cat rescuer and birth control agent

50 people showed interest in Anne Joseph's May 17 session of cat-trapping.

“Being that it’s springtime in San Diego, it didn’t take long to figure out that it’s [cat] mating season,” said Anne Joseph, “thus the howling and the roaming behaviors.” Joseph, a yoga personal trainer, recently ...

A crow sanctuary in North Park

After her neighbor killed five of them, she befriended Gomez

“So her macho boyfriend took it upon himself to run out, get a gun of some kind,” said Kay Marsik, “and then he bragged to me that he had killed five of them [crows].” Since ...

Mexico: Just another place to get a dog

Raise your hipster cred by getting a pup from south of the border

Dear Hipster: Why does it seem all the hipsters go to Mexico to get their dogs? Not to sound too Trump-y, but what’s wrong with our local dogs? — Ed Till recently, a run-of-the-puppy-mill mongrel ...

Seahorse dreams: San Diego Bay's most elusive creature

Wake-up call to the Navy’s nighttime dredging operation.

She rose from afternoon slumbers with something pinching her tail. Three feet below the surface of San Diego Bay her equine head, crowned with a five-point coronet, poked through a blanket of eel grass. Alarm ...

Small and wild animal friends

Tarantulas, pelicans on Coronado Islands, least terns, lizards, weasels, squirrels, worms, rats, and the Quino butterfly in Marron Valley

A 180-million-year-old Friend It was sheer proximity that charmed me. His claws were as thin as embroidery floss unraveled, and he had a wisp of grass on his head, which gave him an agreeably foolish ...

Large mammals in captivity

Early look at Wild Animal Park, troubled elephants come to the zoo, China’s panda hunter and pandas end up in San Diego, the morality of SeaWorld’s dolphins

The Tale of an Elephant The worst of Jouett’s problems were yet to come. Media representatives wanted to be present when Cindy arrived in mid-December. The elephant trainer and keepers wanted no one there. They ...

Did Ocean Beach coyote do it?

The mystery of the headless raccoon

Raccoons are everywhere in Ocean Beach, so much so, that on any given night, you can find at least several scavenging in the neighborhood, turning over garbage cans and hanging from the trees. I’ve even ...

Large animals in the wild

Beaked and gray whales, dilemma of local mountain lions, wild horses in Coyote Creek, coyotes thrive in San Diego canyons

Mystery of the Beaked Whales By the time they arrived the tide had gone out and the animal lay dead on the sand. “There was a guy from the Navy already there. He was asking ...

Birds on the brain, in the sky, and, thirdly, up close

Where to see your fine-feathered friends

My ten-year-old has birds on the brain ever since she got a pet parakeet, and she’s eager to see some that don’t live in cages. Natalie at Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Del Mar ...

Unusual pet fanciers

Pig, horses and women, dachshunds, pet cemeteries, pigeons

If I Had a Sledgehammer for a Nose, What Havoc Would I Wreak? I bought a pig because I wasn't ready for children. I wanted something small and helpless but something that wouldn't require college ...

The food chain

Fish farms, San Diego perfect for termites, feeding grease to cows, ostriches north of Escondido, duck hunt near Chocolate Mountains

And on This Farm They Had Some Fish It can get wet out there in the desert, especially when you're raising tons of fish. Like most people involved in aquaculture, Engler’s interest in the biological ...

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