wildlife

Hartford Has a Rat Problem. Blame Chickens.

img_0396copyMany years ago I was rushing from a friend’s Hartford apartment to the car on a cold winter night. I tripped a little, and assumed I’d hit a bump in the sidewalk with the toe of my shoe. But my friend, who was walking behind me, yelled, “Oh my God. A rat!” Yes, dear readers, a rat had run between my feet as I was jogging to the car, and I’d unwittingly kicked the little guy. At this point I screeched, broke out into a full out run, and started scratching at the car door! I had to get out of there, and go home and shower for hours.

Then I spent years in New York City where rats are like furtive little squirrels. You see them hanging out on the train tracks, and they scare the bejesus out of you when you’re sitting in the park and you see one scurry into a tree grate out of the corner of your eye. This is all to say, I thought I was used to rats.

This summer proved me wrong. I was digging around in a friend’s West End basement looking for painting supplies. Just as she finished saying the words, “My neighbor says there’s been a rat down here…” we heard the tell tale squeak of a frightened rat. I turned on a dime and sprang up the basement stairs, and then up another flight of stairs to her apartment. Somewhere in there I hit my hand on something and scratched it all to hell. It’s a miracle I’m not dead. (more…)

Deer Ruins Many Manicures

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Flickr/Kalidas Pavithran

A deer crashed through the window of a nail salon on Whitney Street in Hartford, ruining any number of manicures.(Watch the video on WFSB 3 Connecticut.) Your first reaction might be to wonder what a deer was doing in the busy West End of Hartford, but for me the real question is what did that poor deer see that made it want to jump through a sheet of plate glass? Here are the choices as I see them:

  1. A man with a luxurious mustache carrying his banjo to a front porch jamboree
  2. The Yard Goats Stadium
  3. A drug-related shooting
  4. The cost of a latte at Tisane
  5. A 23-year-old wearing a coat from G. Fox

Beware the Bear: Advice for Not Getting Bitten by a Bear

I’ve been warning my fellow Connecticutioners that nature is coming for us all, but apparently one hiker missed the message. Last week a woman walking on a trail in Burlington encountered a bear. She didn’t run. She didn’t scream. She didn’t poke it in the eye. And she didn’t go all Timothy Treadwell and try to hug it. She did, however, take a video.

The bear is dead. You don’t get to nip a human calf and go on living. DEEP will toss him on that bear compost pile that had people fake outraged a few weeks back, and that will be the end. (more…)

Connecticut, the Animals Are Coming For You

For a while now, I’ve been taking mental note of the many sightings of predatory animals that are, frankly, taking over the state. I am mostly talking about bobcats and bear–though mountain lions are, no doubt, plotting our demise as well.

This past winter, hardly a week passed without someone posting a video of bobcats–including one taken in the Olive Garden parking lot in Manchester.

I mean, if you aren’t safe from predatory cats at the mall, where can you be safe? Not in Granby, that’s for sure… (more…)

Forget Mountain Lions, Wolf-Dogs Are Our New Problem

Last summer I was at a party chatting with a stranger who liked to hear himself talk. He insisted that there were wolves in Connecticut. I like to choose my battles so I let that particular assertion pass. I figured he just didn’t know about the Coywolf. Then I heard that Wolf-Dog hybrids are attacking people and animals in Southeastern, CT and I thought maybe this guy wasn’t so full of it after all.

Apparently, people at boat launches and horse barns have been menaced by three, large white canines. One of the rather beautiful animals was shot, and The Day got its paws on a picture.

Sad.

(more…)

Lady kicks bear. Bear dies. We Blame Dog.

I am just going to start off by saying how annoyed I am by people who let their dogs run around willy-nilly and then get upset when a bear chases the damn things… And that goes for all you invisible fence people too. I mean, unless you’re going to spring for an extra collar for the bears and other wildlife that might walk into your yard, don’t be surprised when they chase Fido home.

I digress. (more…)

Only You Can Prove There are Cougars in Connecticut

Are you as obsessed with the idea of Mountain Lions in Connecticut as the Anti-Couric is? Do you want to put your hard-earned money toward catching photos of them on trail cameras, rather than, say, making a charitable donation to Heifer?

Enter: The Northeast Mountain Lion Project!

There’s a video and everything! Yes, you can head over to indiegogo and help finance a project to get trail cameras up and running across Connecticut to get elusive pictorial evidence of Connecticut’s growing cougar population. (We’re already planning on finding the cameras, dressing out middle-aged aunts up as “cougars” and parading them around in front of the cameras.) So far they’ve made $745 of the $9,000 goal. So if you want to know, once and for all, whether or not you’re in danger of being eaten alive every time you take the dog for a hike, then you better get to donating!

 

Coyote Conundrum in Southington

LisaWon, Flickr Creative Commons

Apparently some people in Southington are annoyed with their neighbor because he feeds the birds, which they say is attracting coyotes. My guess is that the real problem is a nearby den, and early spring, but apparently stale bread in the trees is what the coyotes are into these days.

What I’m more concerned about is the ridiculously bad quality of the video taken of what the neighbors claim is a coyote. The video is so horrendous that the blob moving through the frame could just as easily be a Sasquatch.