Weird Animal News 2012: Coyotes Invade, Dog Who Does Headstands, Cat Killed with Dart and Steve King Loves Dogs
Also, head lice in Waukee schools, bedbugs in Ankeny, socially deviant chipmunks and cat scratch fever in Urbandale.
Animals made news in Iowa in 2012 -- from coyotes wandering into cities to a dog who does a headstand to head lice and bedbug infestations.
Here's a sampling of news from the animal kingdom we probably won't soon forget.
A neighbor of the Ames man whose cat was killed with a blowgun has offered a reward for information about the shooting. Valerie Stallbaumer discovered the cat struggling to walk in her neighbor's driveway and later started a reward fund for information leading to the arrest of the person or people involved in the shooting. She has contributed $100.
Stallbaumer found her neighbor Ron Carson's cat, picked it up and saw the orange tag of the dart sticking out of the cat's chest. She and a neighbor rushed it to the Iowa State University veterinary clinic, but its heart had stopped.
In a rebuttal video, King says that he only meant that human rights should come before animal rights and that he has broken up fights between dogs.
Police were called to the Super 8 motel in Ankeny for a dispute between the hotel clerk and a guest. The guest called the police department and reported his room was allegedly “full of bed bugs,” according to a police call log.
The customer agreed to leave and hotel management agreed to not charge the guest for his room.
Two garden store cats have found new homes after being kicked out of Earl May Nursery and Garden Center after a memo came down from the store's corporate headquarters.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported on the fates of Steve and Ginny, the two felines. The Courier reported a memo was sent to all the chain's stores, forbidding pets on store property, due to another store that started a cat adoption service that was costing the company money, as well as liability concerns.
In her latest post to her podcast on her Youtube channel, Cedar Falls High School student Christina Brammer teaches her dog, Splash, to climb the walls ... sort of.
Johnston residents received a crash course in understanding coyotes and how to discourage them from coming into neighborhoods.
The best option for keeping coyotes away from homes is hazing.
"Hazing is very simple," one expert said, of a technique to discourage coyotes. "All coyotes want to do is sleep, eat and make little ones. If you see coyotes, throwing something is an option, yell, whistle, make noise."
Marion resident Scooter Clark has a duck problem. He's got several mallards at his house that are attached to his family, and, well, they are attached to them.
"They follow us everywhere," he told Marion's City Council.
He keeps mallard ducks at his residence on 11th Street and he asked the council to consider an exception to their zoning ordinance that outlaws what it defines as "exotic animals."
Urbandale Police have asked for the public's help in locating a black cat -- and its owner -- because authorities believe the feline has bitten two people.
A police department news release says a black cat wearing a pink collar has bitten two people this week in the downtown Urbandale area. Because the animal has not been found, the bite victims have begun undergoing rabies shots, police said.
At the ripe old age of 20, Wesley the cat has lived well behind his allotted nine lives.
This hefty orange tabby, well-known among Waukee residents, has taken up shop in the window of Waukee Hardware for the better part of 15 years.
It's a debate that's had Waukee parents scratching their heads since the start of the 2012-13 school year - why aren't parents notified when head lice is present in their child's classroom?
The question's been thrown around since a handful of incidents of head lice were reported at Eason Elementary in August, just two weeks into the new school year with no mandatory reporting policy in place district-wide. After weeks of discussion, the district decided it will post notices on a building's website when there is an outbreak.
At the time I didn’t fully appreciate it, but one of the best things anyone ever said about me was that I am “orangutan-like.” To be orangutan-like is to be chilled, accessible, as easy and gentle as a morning rain. I’ll take that. Who wouldn’t?
So I’m being as orangutan-like as possible as I say goodbye to a couple of good friends, Popi and Allie, the last of the orangutans to leave the Great Ape Trust campus in southeast Des Moines.
They will live out their lives at the Center for Great Apes in Florida, where an intricate network of overhead tunnels will allow them to travel high above the campus — as they would in the wild.
I caved. I bought the chipmunks a tomato plant the other day.
I swore off playing at urban farmer after my last few tomato crops were devoured by an exploding chipmunk population. They’re heartless creatures. They wait until the fruit is at its ripe, succulent best, then get up early in the morning and take a big bite. Big Boys, Better Boys, Beefsteaks or Romas – they’re not choosy.