Torrential rains and saturated earth have been causing a lot of problems in Minnesota during the past week, but not every story has been calamitous. While out on assignment Thursday, WCCO photojournalist Tom Aviles happened upon a dramatic rescue that had a happy ending.
The first thing you may notice about Mike Binkley, besides the journalist gravitas that constantly radiates from him, is his striking blue eyes. The same can be said for Coach, his 5 ½-year-old dog. “Because of his blue eyes, people often react to him as if he’s an exotic breed,” Binkley said, “but he’s a good old American mutt.”
Many local summer camps have already started or are just now getting started. This week, we’re giving you a look at some with spots still available.
Minnesotans know the sand and salt used to clear the roads in the winter is helpful to drivers. For University of Minnesota biologist Emilie Snell-Rood, who didn’t grow up here, the MnDOT trucks made her curious.
This month, high school students in southern Minnesota will have a kangaroo, a fox and an armadillo in their classroom. In June, a nursing home will get a visit from a tortoise, a parrot and a dingo. It sounds strange, but it’s possible because of one guy who’s believed to be one of the youngest zookeepers in the country.
Most people can’t take their pets to work with them. There are exceptions, of course, like K-9 handlers, pet groomers, dog sitters, vapid socialites. But for the rest of us, those six to 10 hours away from home can be stressful, especially for the pets. WCCO recently did a story on a Burnsville-based company that created a wall-mounted camera/video/motion-sensor device called PetChatz, which can even remotely dispense treats.
Police in Bloomington are warning residents about an increase in coyotes sighted in parts of the Twin Cities suburb. The police department has sent letters warning people about the increase over the last few weeks.
The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is helping pranksters again this April Fools’ Day. The zoo has set up four fake hotlines to help fool your co-workers, family and friends. Each hotline has a special pre-recorded message. You can trick people into calling Mr. Lion at 651-487-8266, Ms. Ella Fint at 651-487-8267, Ms. Wolf at 651-487-8268 or Ms. Anna Conda at 651-487-8289.
It is an unmistakable sound in nature. A chorus of voices we don’t often get to hear up close, let alone see in person. But at the Wildlife Science Center in Columbus, visitors can witness this unique melody while learning at the same time. “Our mission is science education for kids that makes it fun,” said Peggy Callahan, the center’s executive director.
Formal charges have been filed against two Pine County women who are accused of the neglect and abuse of more than 100 animals on a farm near Pine City. According to the Pine County Sheriff’s office, Kathleen Mary Doenz, 65, and her mother, 86-year-old Gloria Irene Carlson, were each charged Friday with five felony counts, five gross misdemeanor counts and four misdemeanor counts related to the abuse and neglect of horses, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks and other animals on their property.
It’s hard to believe any birds can tough out our Minnesota winters. Swans in Monticello choose to stay through the ice and snow, some even living on ice with only a patch of water nearby. But lately, the Department of Natural Resources has received a lot of calls about birds on ice. Nongame Wildlife Information Officer Lori Naumann says people think they’re stranded, but that’s usually not the case.
Man’s best friend was the man of the hour Saturday afternoon at a fundraiser in south Minneapolis. Underdog Rescue and Sweet Retreat Bakery on 50th Street and France Avenue hosted the event for a dog named Turtle, a puppy-mill survivor. Turtle has been going through treatments for pneumonia, and his vet bills have reached more than $10,000. Shannon McKenzie, director of Underdog Rescue, says every $1 cupcake sold at the fundraiser will help offset some of those expenses.
Three people have confirmed E. coli infections from a Minnesota pumpkin patch petting zoo, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The three cases are all children – from 15 months old to 7 years old – and one child is hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of an E. coli infection characterized by kidney failure.
The Twin Cities may be an urban environment, but wildlife still surrounds the area. Living in close quarters can sometimes cause injuries to animals, and that’s where the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center steps in – a non-profit that’s having one of its busiest years ever. For more than 30 years, it’s been the healing sanctuary for sick and injured animals from all over Minnesota. Veterinarian Renee Schott says the center takes in a variety of animals.
About 200 animals that were rescued from a breeding facility in northern Minnesota will go up for adoption in the Twin Cities on Saturday. “We’re gonna have a mad rush at our shelters tomorrow,” said Kathie Johnson with the Animal Humane Society.