A Eurasian Eagle Owl, one of the largest owls in the world,
will be on display from Avian Ambassadors at LodeStar.
Boy transforms into animals
The LodeStar Astronomy Center will present "Wilderness Adventure Weekend" on Saturday and Sunday, January 8 and 9, from 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. Wilderness Adventure Weekend includes viewing of the new "Wilderness Adventure" film in the Virtual Voyages motion simulation theater. LodeStar is located in the Museum of Natural History at 1801 Mountain Road NW, Old Town Albuquerque.
"Wilderness Adventure" is a magical story of a boy's journey through the living world and his transformation into a variety of animals. With a wise owl as his guide, he experiences the world through the eyes of a cougar, a dolphin, a frog, a honeybee, and an owl. In the process, he learns an important lesson about the interconnectedness of all living creatures. The film teaches important concepts such as the "ecological footprint," within the framework of thrilling family entertainment.
The motion simulator is a high-energy theater experience where seat movement is synchronized with the on-screen action. Children under four years of age are not permitted on the motion simulator. The last seating for the film is at 4:30 p.m.
Wilderness Adventure Weekend also includes a special wildlife exhibit area with a variety of live animals such as owls, hawks, turtles, and small mammals, as well as informational displays by local wildlife organizations. In addition, related educational activities will be presented in LodeStar's first-floor exhibit area.
Admission to Wilderness Adventure Weekend is $4 per person per day. For information, call 841-5955 or visit www.lodestar.unm.edu.
Fur and Feathers trains “wildlife EMTs”
Ill and injured wildlife will soon have a chance at recovery in Sandoval County, according to volunteers organizing a rescue service.
“Philosophically, we feel all of the wildlife are not treated well,” Susan Weiss of Corrales told the Signpost. “There's so much development going on, with no thought given to these animals, and we're wiping out their habitat.
“Cruelty has occurred to them also.”
Weiss comes to animal rescue through the ongoing debate in Corrales over how to deal with the village's resident population of coyotes. Through the local group Coexist with Coyotes, formed to educate residents and oppose killing the animals, she learned of a nonprofit rescue organization in Los Alamos called Fur and Feathers Rescue and Rehabilitation.
As early as April, Weiss and nine other volunteers from Corrales and Placitas will be trained by Fur and Feathers and licensed as transporters qualified to handle sick, injured, and small nuisance wildlife. The animals then would be taken to the Fur and Feathers facility in Los Alamos.
“We train volunteers to safely and humanely handle wild animals in the field, for example if they've been hit by a car,” Fur and Feathers founder Bob Anderson said. We train them how to pick up and stabilize the animal and get it to our rehabilitation hospital, so they're basically animal EMTs.
“I'm going to teach them some coyote-trapping techniques, but that's not normally part of the course.”
The training includes determining if an animal is sick or injured, calming skills, and how to pick up a skunk without getting sprayed, he added.
Fur and Feathers already is active in the Los Alamos, Santa Fe, and Taos areas and recently trained ten volunteers in Roswell, Anderson added. Animals are released onto private land through cooperative landowners after recovery or are used in educational programs if they are deemed unable to survive in the wild.
The Los Alamos facility currently houses two raccoons, six skunks, a porcupine, a ringtail cat, and a “whole bunch” of rabbits, although the population during baby season may exceed two hundred animals, Anderson said.
The Sandoval County effort got a boost in December when Weiss won $6,000 from the county commission to equip the ten volunteers. Commission chairman Daymon Ely, a Corrales resident, recommended the appropriation from money budgeted for projects in his district.
Weiss told commissioners the volunteers would reduce the workload of animal control officers, who may have no option but to kill an injured animal. “Quite a few people have told me they won't call animal control for that reason,” she said.
Commissioners approved the funding without dissent after county attorney David Mathews said the county would not be incurring liability by simply providing equipment. Anderson said the equipment includes catch poles and nets, Kevlar bite gloves, snake hooks and tongs, leg protectors, and classroom materials.
Roadblock nabs poachers
Three Louisiana men paid a total of $1,995 in Eddy County Magistrate Court last November for failure to provide proof of sex and other game law violations, following a routine roadblock investigation near Hope, New Mexico. The men, sixty-six, forty-four, and twenty-one, pleaded no contest to the charges.
Officers from New Mexico Game and Fish and local police departments found nine plastic trash bags containing more than two hundred pounds of game meat in a trailer being towed by the men. The three men said they all had killed deer but had no heads with antlers because they had boned the meat and thrown out the heads to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease.
An Artesia district officer cited all three men for failure to produce proof of sex and took them to the Eddy County Detention Center. Investigating officers seized the meat and three cameras found in a search of the suspect’s vehicle.
Film removed from the cameras and processed showed one man apparently cutting meat from the leg of an elk. He was charged with unlawful possession of elk and assessed fines of $1,000 for unlawful possession of elk, $100 for failure to produce proof of sex, and $114 in court costs. Other photos showed another man holding a skinned-out spike buck, which is illegal to shoot in New Mexico. This man was charged with unlawful possession of deer and ordered to pay $400 for unlawful possession of deer, $100 for failure to produce proof of sex, and $114 in court costs. All three men face the loss of their New Mexico hunting and fishing privileges for up to three years.