Treats on the Internets

A giant river otter, not seen in Argentina since the 1980s, was caught on video by a conservationist last week in a national park.

President Obama and Michelle Obama both posted loving memorials for their 12 year old dog Bo after he died of cancer this month.

Contrary to numerous recent press stories, the New York Times reports dogs adopted during the pandemic are (mostly) not being returned to shelters. They also say both dog and cat adoptions actually decreased in 2020.

A woman who had her heart set on a Maine coon kitten found a breeder through a website called Excellent Maine Coons (which I haven’t visited, just wanted to include the name of the site). The breeder wanted her to pay up front via Western Union or gift cards so, definitely legit. She refused and instead drove 400 miles to Georgia to pay in person and pick up the kitten but surprise, the person at the fake breeder’s address was not a cat breeder and had no idea what was going on. She ended up adopting a cat from her local shelter instead.

Harbor seal populations in the UK have declined while grey seals have remained steady or increased. Researchers are investigating whether grey seals are predating enough harbor seals to account for the difference.

Pet food nerds will enjoy this BBC article on what makes processed pet foods so delicious. Please pass the putrescine and cadaverine shakers.

Salmonella outbreaks linked to backyard chickens have become a regular occurrence so the CDC wants everyone to stop kissing chickens. This means you.

Image of the week, via Twitter:

Hedgehog with bowl, made nearly 5000 years ago.

The owner of an 8 month old Labrador retriever wrassled his pet away from an 8 foot gator earlier this month in Florida. That was going to be all I had to say about the linked article, which contains accounts of other gators also getting wrassled after snatching dogs, but then I came across this astounding bit about a human fatality on Kiawah Island, South Carolina last year:

A report by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office revealed that, “When [Cynthia] Covert was doing her nails on the porch she saw the alligator in the pond and was fascinated by the alligator. … [A]fter Covert was finished with her nails she went outside of the porch and was taking pictures of the alligator.”

“The friend was cleaning her porch when she saw Covert by the water, the report said. She started yelling for Covert to get back, but her cries were ignored. She yelled out that the alligator grabbed a deer from that spot ‘the other day.’ Covert replied, ‘I don’t look like a deer.’ Then she moved to touch the alligator, the report said,” according to the Courier.

As friends tried to rescue her with a rope, Ms. Covert reportedly said calmly, “I guess I won’t do this again.” She was right about that.

Anyway, regardless of how much or how little you resemble a deer, bear in mind that alligators very strongly resemble apex predators who have been around for 37 million years (and their ancestors, 200 million years before that) and have had enough of your nonsense.

Bonus Kiawah Island/gator content from the PGA championship last week.

Captive American alligator, not for petting, via Wikimedia Commons

And finally, some cryptid love: A Twitter thread examining the 1942 Yeti encounter reported by Slavomir Rawicz.

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