The use of prosthetics has a long history of human application but now caretakers of pets and wildlife are turning to prosthesis as an option for animals who suffer debilitating injuries or a severe lack of mobility. The new PBS/Nature documentary My Bionic Pet chronicles this growing trend. We speak with the film’s award-winning director, Kevin Bechar.
Feline’s Fable – We hear the story of a lost cat and its surprising and heartwarming effect on public radio journalists – WAMU’s Ally Schweitzer and NPR’s Guy Raz.
“Is There a ‘Chill Pill’ For My Cat?” 93 year woman in Arlington, VA adopted a rescue cat a year ago and shortly afterward the pet began to periodically bite her feet and has broken the skin a couple of times. The woman’s concerned son wants advice on how to address this sudden behavioral shift.
A woman with mobility issues in San Diego, CA wants to calm down her aggressive 14 month old cat.
Music: “Purus River” by Uakti. Special Thanks to Natalie Yuravlivker
Endangered species are big business. The illegal global trade in protected animal products is likely well into the tens of billions of dollars. But fighting illegal poaching is a difficult job and resources dedicated to the effort are slim. In fact there is only one laboratory dedicated to wildlife crime forensics in the world. Murray Carpenter of PRI’s The World visited the facility.
Dinosaur Detectives The recent discovery of bones from what is being called the biggest dinosaur on the planet has drawn new attention to the ancient creatures. And although the study of bones via paleontology can prove the existence of ancient animals, only ichnology – the study of tracks and trace fossils – can reveal details about how they lived. Leading ichnologist Anthony J. Martin joins us to discuss his work and a new book Dinosaurs Without Bones
Finding The Proper Footing For A Feline: A 6-year-old rescue Siamese cat named Pi has trouble standing on its front paws. Her caretaker asks Dr. Katy for a possible explanation.
A Cat Habit That’s Hard To Break: In Maryland, a 13-year-old male tabby named Bear is repeatedly rejecting the litterbox, preferring instead to use the same spot on the floor in another room of the house.
Music: “Purus River” by Uakti; “Beetles” by Warpaint. Production Assistance: Natalie Yuravlivker, Meghan Modafferi, Alex Drewenskus
Bird Tales is a revolutionary effort that uses interactions with birds to provide therapy for people suffering from various forms of dementia. The program is rapidly migrating from its Connecticut roots to cities across the country. We speak with its administrator, Ken Elkins of Audubon Connecticut.
Lawn Mooing: The town council in Havering, England, recently decided to turn to cows instead of lawnmowers to keep parks and other green spaces neat and trim. The council estimates it can milk $500,000 of savings out of the budget over the next decade. Marco Werman of PRI’s The World speaks with town council member Roger Beecroft.
The Loh Down on Science with Sandra Tsing Loh: Do Cows Suffer From Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome?
Music: “Mountain” by Uakti. Production Assistance: Natalie Yuravlivker, Meghan Modafferi, Alex Drewenskus
The Red Swamp Crayfish is a common ingredient for gumbo and jambalaya that was moved from its natural habitat in the Southeastern U.S. to the waters of the Pacific Northwest a decade ago, most likely to be used as fish bait. But the species has thrived there and scientists are concerned that its increasing presence is seriously upsetting the region’s ecological balance. Ashley Ahearn of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Earthfix project has details.
Dr. K’s Exotic Animal E.R.: Dr. Susan Kelleher’s work as owner and chief veterinarian of a South Florida animal care facility has earned her international praise, unusual patients and a new reality show on the Nat Geo Wild television network. We go behind the scenes to find out why Dr. K is known as the exotic animal’s best friend.
A Dog That Likes To Rock And Roll: In Springfield, Virginia, a 5-year-old black Lab named Indi has developed a bizarre habit of looking in the woods and pushing rocks. He would find the biggest rock, sometimes five times the size of his head, and push it as far as he can, at least 20 to 25 feet.
Cat Tale: An 8-year-old feline in Charlottesville, Virginia, had her tail bitten off as a kitten. Her caretaker wants advice on getting it bobbed.
There are two types of honeybees: those you see playing among the flowers in your yard and those that have to work for a living, found in commercial beehives. For them, it is a life full of many hazards. Cassandra Profita of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s EarthFix project tells a story about the perilous life of a professional honeybee.
New Bird Book Leaves The Nest: It’s a book that bird lovers across the country have waited for with great anticipation: National Geographic’s 743-page guide to the birds of North America. The volume was released recently with over 4,000 illustrations, 180 color photos covering over 1,000 species. Its author, National Geographic bird expert Jonathan Alderfer, joins us with a few highlights.