Baby Orangutan Born at Saint Louis Zoo

Categories: Animals

Stephanie Braccini, Saint Louis Zoo
Merah and her new baby.
A baby female Sumatran orangutan was born this week at the Saint Louis Zoo, though you'll have to wait at least a month before seeing her.

Merah (MEER-ah), a 45-year-old orangutan, gave birth at around 8:30 p.m. Sunday at the Jungle of the Apes at the Saint Louis Zoo, where the baby's father, Cinta (Chin-TA), ten years old, also lives.

Bonding with the mother during first 30 days of a baby orangutan's life are vital, according to the zoo, so it will be a month or longer before zoo visitors can catch a glimpse of Merah and her baby in either their indoor habitat in Jungle of the Apes or in their outdoor habitat at Fragile Forest.

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Columbia Asked to Pay $250,000 For Damaged Alligator

Ken Henderson, the "Gator Educator," doesn't mind showing affection to his reptile friends.
A Florida wildlife organization tied to a traveling "gator educator" is demanding the city of Columbia to pay up for injuring their alligator, a twenty-year-old, 100-pound, six-and-a-half-foot-long female gator named Babe.

Babe was one of seven alligators (along with a Burmese python, various turtles and a few dogs and cats) seized from Ken Henderson's van in June 2011 while he was parked in the Boone County Fairgrounds. He was charged at the time with nineteen misdemeanors, of which all but seven were dropped this past April, according to the Columbia Tribune.

But tragedy struck while the animals were being held for two months in 2011: Angel, a seven-year-old alligator, was allegedly placed in the same pen as Babe and the other five gators, which Henderson had explicitly warned animal control officers not to do. The other gators attacked and killed Angel. Babe also damaged her mouth and teeth.

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5 Tips for Pet Owners In Case of More Unrest in St. Louis, Ferguson

Categories: Animals, Ferguson

nguyenhoangnam via flickr
The Humane Society of Missouri offers tips on handling civil unrest for pet owners.
St. Louis is getting ready.

Churches are setting up as safe spaces. Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency. Mayor Francis Slay is asking for hundreds of National Guard troops to help with security. Before the city finds out whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will face charges for fatally shooting unarmed teen Michael Brown, St. Louis is gearing up for the protests and unrest that are sure to follow.

Saint Louis County Animal Care and Control is starting its own preparations in case the unrest affects families with pets. Partnering with the Humane Society of Missouri, animal control is preparing assistance for displaced or injured animals, as well as emergency pet supplies.

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PHOTOS: Jefferson County Police Dogs Get Bulletproof Vests

Categories: Animals

Photos courtesy of Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
Vico, a K9 unit with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
The K9 units in Jefferson County Sheriff's Office are now bulletproof, thanks to a donation of seven ballistic vests.

The stab- and bullet-proof vests come from Vested Interest in K9s Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Massachusetts. Each vest costs $950 and comes with a five-year warranty.

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Stray Rescue Braces for Ferguson Protests, Sees More Dogs with Gunshot Wounds

Categories: Animals, Ferguson

Danny Wicentowski
Stray Rescue founder Randy Grim, center, shares updates on St. Louis' problems with cruelty to animals next to Mayor Francis Slay.
Stray Rescue's animal shelter is already full. With winter approaching and more protests expected in St. Louis later this year, that's a big problem, says founder Randy Grim.

Ever since civil unrest took place in Ferguson after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, Stray Rescue has been taking in more runaway and abandoned animals. Grim says he's seen significantly more dogs on the streets suffering from gunshot wounds.

Now, Grim says, he's preparing for the worst and praying for peace.

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German Shepherd Sodomized, Shot and Left for Dead Gets Rescued, Adopted

Categories: Animals

Stray Rescue
Shep gets help after being shot and sodomized.
Randy Grim still remembers when the veterinary neurologist gave him "the look," the one that meant Shep, a German Shepherd, wouldn't survive.

Shep had been sodomized with a tree branch, shot near his spine and left for dead in north St. Louis city. Grim, founder of the animal rescue group Stray Rescue, calls Shep's case "one of the cruelest acts of animal abuse" he's ever seen.

"What makes it so horrible for me is the sodomy," Grimm tells Daily RFT. "All of this is so sick and twisted. It definitely should be a wake-up call to St. Louisans to act, to speak up."

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Thieves Steal Food from Jefferson County Pet Food Pantry

Categories: Animals

brecro via flickr
"What do you mean, someone stole my food?"
It takes a low-down scoundrel to steal food from hungry pets.

The Jefferson County Pet Food Pantry, which provides dog and cat food to low-income people, had a large donation stolen from the Arnold Petco store Sunday, leaving it in a lurch.

"I honestly felt like somebody had punched me in the stomach, especially since we so desperately needed the food," says Debby Mikles, the founder and president of the volunteer-run pantry, to Daily RFT. "It's just a hit we weren't expecting, and with donations being down, our bank account is very low."

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5 Best Moments of Oshie the Baby Penguin's Life at the Saint Louis Zoo -- So Far

Categories: Animals

All images via YouTube
Meet Oshie, a baby Gentoo penguin at the Saint Louis Zoo.
The Saint Louis Zoo knows you miss the penguins.

Penguin and Puffin Coast is under construction, and unless you want to watch the zoo's penguin webcam or shell out $50 a head for a backstage tour (like the one Newt Gingrich went on, with hilarious results), St. Louis' penguin and puffin lovers are out of luck until next spring.

But just because they're not on display doesn't mean the penguins of the Saint Louis Zoo aren't doing wonderful, adorable things. Take Oshie, the Gentoo penguin born last December and named after St. Louis Blues favorite T.J. Oshie.

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Jennings Man Says St. Louis County Police Shot, Killed His Dog During Ferguson Protests

Screengrab from YouTube user Umar Lee
Talal Ahmed says St. Louis County police shot his dog.
Talal Ahmed says he was just trying to get home one night last month during the height of the Ferguson protests.

He was riding his bike through the Family Dollar parking lot across the street from his house in Jennings, located just blocks away from the apartments where Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer, when he was stopped by four cops.

"'Get the fuck off the bike,'" he remembers an officer yelling.

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Fewer Collisions Between Missouri Drivers, Deer This Year: Study

Categories: Animals

Riccardo Palazzani via Flickr
"Please don't hit me with your car!"
Good news, Missouri drivers. You are 8 percent less likely to collide your car into a deer than you were last year, according to a new report from auto insurer State Farm.

State Farm used its claims data and Federal Highway Administration state licensed driver counts to calculate the odds of a Missouri motorist striking a deer this coming year.

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