The use of prosthetics has a long history of human application but now caretakers of pets and wildlife are turning to replacing limbs with surgery 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 Bachar.
The Evolving Science of Horseshoe Crabs: Important contributions to modern medicine by animal species are legion. For example, there is a good chance that you’ll find inside a typical medicine cabinet any number of medications that contain animal-derived ingredients. And before any drug is certified by the Federal Drug Administration, it must be tested using an extract derived from the blood of Horseshoe Crabs, a species that first appeared in shallow ocean waters about 400 million years ago. Today its in the midst of a significant decline and we speak with a scientist, Dr. Christopher Chabot of Plymouth State University, who is working to find out why.
Appetite For Destruction: Dr. Gary hears the story of an 8-month-old kitten in Maryland, who has a habit of chewing on household items and making a big mess while its family is away from home.
Doggie Detective Work An 8-year-old Greyhound has chewed off seven of his eight toenails over last three months and its caretaker can’t figure out why. Dr. Gary gets a foothold on this unusual situation.
Latitude Adjustment? A Siamese cat seems to have a problem with the position of its litter box.
Music: “Purus River” by Uakti; "Wild Horses" by Tim Ries and Norah Jones
Once considered undesirable, this unmistakably naked canine now rivals Peruvian royalty. Want one? It will cost you $1,000 inside the country and much more elsewhere. We hear the reasons behind the breed's popularity from Annie Murphy, who reports from Lima for PRI’s The World and its partner Radio Ambulante.
Mysterious UK Crime Wave Targets Pet Ferrets: For the past two years southern England has been a dangerous place for the slinky mammal following a rash of mysterious thefts. Wall Street Journal reporter Justin Scheck is following the story and he speaks to us from London.
Happy Together? A Virginia woman is having trouble integrating two new dogs into a household that already has two. She asks Dr. Gary Weitzman of the San Diego Humane Society for advice.
Hawk Intervention:What is the best thing to do when a Hawk attacks birds while they’re eating from bird feeders? Gwen Brewer, Science Program Manager for Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers a few suggestions.
Music: “Purus River” by Uakti. Special Thanks to Natalie Yuravlivker
Last week the organization People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released details of an undercover investigation that suggests a pattern of widespread animal abuse in the horse racing industry, including specific allegations against celebrated trainer Steve Asmussen. PETA’s Senior Vice President of Laboratory Investigations Kathy Guillermo describes the nature of the accusations and what happens next.
What Happens to Animals When They Hear Music? New research adds more noise to the discussion of whether animals have a complex appreciation of notes and tones. Tufts University professor Ani Patel, author of the study, joins us with details.
Music: “Madeira River” and “The Turning Point” by Uakti
The plight of wild horses in the American West has generated such an outpouring of public response that there are some who suggest the reaction rivals what happened during the Vietnam War. Filmmaker Sylvia Johnson set out to document the complex mix of conservation and controversy and the end result is her new documentary Roaming Wild. We spoke to Sylvia about the process of making the film and why she chose the subject.
Road Weary: Dr. Gary Weitzman of The San Diego Humane Society offers advice to the caretaker of a cocker spaniel that used to love car rides but after several accidents is now very fearful of highway travel.
Cockatiel Loneliness? A Washington, D.C. family wants to know how to tell if its bird needs companionship.
Every year as winter turns to spring, a small patch of land in central Nebraska becomes the most important migration rest stop for millions of birds, including 500,000 Sandhill Cranes. For decades, scientists around the world have focused on the movement and the activities of this distinctive species. Ariana Brocious of Nebraska’s N-E-T News reports on a new project to capture crane behavior.
Bird Collisions: Hundreds of millions of birds die in American cities every year and many of the deaths occur in a way that might surprise you. Producer Natalie Yuravlivker has a story that explains.
Music: “Madeira River” and “Bachianas Brasileiras” by Uakti