(fom) Tue 21 Sep 10 03:23
Even though it's illegal to keep ferrets in California, the sizable ferret-keeper market here is evidenced by the extensive departments for ferret accoutrements and accessories in the big-box pet supplies stores -- dozens of products like Ferret Glow shampoo ("specially formulated to eliminate body odors that are caused by ferret's glandular excretions").
Betsy Schwartz (betsys) Tue 21 Sep 10 04:11
They legalized ferrets in MA sometime in the 90's, but only if neutered or spayed. Ferrets are cute but they *are* a bit stinky.
With catlike tread (sumac) Tue 21 Sep 10 09:48
Yes they even have ferret magazines at my local PetCo. I have met pet ferrets in San Francisco. And I have met confiscated ferrets at the San Francisco Zoo.
Mary Mackey (mm) Tue 21 Sep 10 12:11
As many of you already know, a mountain lion was shot in north Berkeley not long ago (quite close to the world famous restaurant Chez Panisse). Susan, how do you think we should try to solve the problem of mountain lions wandering into heavily populated areas? Do you think that lifting the ban on hunting them would solve the problem? If not, what might you propose if you had the power to change the situation?
With catlike tread (sumac) Tue 21 Sep 10 14:02
I don't think lifting the ban on sport hunting is the solution. (Sport hunting of mountain lions isn't very sporting either, dependent as it is on treeing them with dogs. Although there is room for disagreement.) It's already the case that pumas (shorter word to type, same animal), are hunted if they look like trouble. The puma that killed my sister's goat & sheep was promptly shot. Other pumas in that area, which stick to deer and don't go after livestock, are left alone. It's also allowed to hunt & kill pumas that are going after endangered animals (Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep). Pumas, like other predators, have a tendency to specialize. So the problem is that surplus pumas -- most of them young ones, maybe without specialties yet -- who need territories go looking where we live. We don't want them to specialize in poodles and we really really don't want them to specialize in toddlers or joggers or even to experiment with them. How do we keep them out? A BIG WALL!!!! No wait, never mind. WIPE THEM ALL OUT FOR THE CHILDREN'S SAKE!!! No wait. MAKE THEM WEAR ANKLE BRACELETS!!!! Maybe someday, but not yet. PATROL THE BORDERS!!!! I don't think we can afford to surveil the vast leafy suburbs of California with lion-sniffing dogs. Live with them? That's what we're doing now, but we're likely to change our minds if a human or two gets killed....
With catlike tread (sumac) Tue 21 Sep 10 14:05
Oh, what I should ahve said about sport hunting, aside from the fact that it's not very popular with the wider public, is that sport hunting typically doesn't cull a population in the way managers want it culled. The animals that get taken are not necessarily the problem animals.
Mary Mackey (mm) Tue 21 Sep 10 14:57
I would imagine that the weak animals get killed and that it's not the weak animals that cause the most trouble. So another question: is it hard to find things to write about?
Scott Underwood (esau) Tue 21 Sep 10 16:33
> PATROL THE BORDERS!!!! We could guard them using ferocious lions.
With catlike tread (sumac) Tue 21 Sep 10 17:03
Hunters don't go after weak animals. In most cases they prefer to hunt large males. With pumas, they go after whatever the dogs find, which will not be related to what the pumas are killing. It turns out that there are far too many things to write about - I have a long list. Quite a few of them require research, research being my vice. I don't want to use up subjects I could write about for money, but there are tragically few of those. Although I had one all set to go (I had waited months to get my hands on the obscure journal article) on the blog, when I got a chance to sell a story on that subject to a dog magazine. Which publishes at erratic intervals. And which I haven't heard from lately. So maybe it will end up on the blog after all.
(martyb) Tue 21 Sep 10 17:33
ooooh, dog post with obscure reference! I hope to read it one place or another!
With catlike tread (sumac) Tue 21 Sep 10 17:40
I have at least 3 other dog things to post about. Though one will take a killer amount of research, I fear (single-coatedness).
Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 21 Sep 10 17:44
Well, whatever you choose to write about, I will be waiting patiently to read.
Jef Poskanzer (jef) Tue 21 Sep 10 20:32
My solution for urban cougars is not to hunt the cougars but to hunt the deer. Crossbow-only deer hunting week within city limits!
With catlike tread (sumac) Tue 21 Sep 10 21:15
I fear this will not find favor. I wonder how far management of urban wildlife will go. We already have teams who sneak up and addle the eggs of Canada Geese, and there are places where urban deer are given contraception (not their choice).
Betsy Schwartz (betsys) Wed 22 Sep 10 03:49
We have the egg-addling here. My (dim) understanding is that it is supposed to reduce the overall number of geese around by keeping the ecological niche occupied with a non-breeding pair. If we took the eggs, they'd lay more; if we shot the geese, others would move in. Net effect still seems to be a lot of geese, though; I keep wondering why we can't just feed them to people.
With catlike tread (sumac) Wed 22 Sep 10 09:39
Canada geese are the new pigeons.
Ed Ward (captward) Wed 22 Sep 10 09:49
As for why you can't feed them to people think for a minute what they eat. Making that flesh healthy isn't the same as purging crawfish for a couple of days before a boil.
With catlike tread (sumac) Wed 22 Sep 10 10:16
Not sure I know what you mean -- what do they eat that's unhealthy?
Ed Ward (captward) Wed 22 Sep 10 10:19
It's not so much what as where they get it.
With catlike tread (sumac) Wed 22 Sep 10 10:23
Where do they get their food that's ickier than where crawfish get their food?
Ed Ward (captward) Wed 22 Sep 10 10:31
Well, the difference is that a crawfish is small. Geese have fat, which store toxins (so do crawfish, or they call it fat, but I'm not sure it's exactly the same thing). I would say that a goose from Lake Merritt, for instance, might not be something I'd want to eat.
With catlike tread (sumac) Wed 22 Sep 10 11:16
Okay, I get it now. Thanks for explaining. I wonder if geese are actually higher on the food chain (and hence more likely to have bioconcentrated toxins), though. They're not fish-eaters. Okay, I would steer clear of their livers. And they'd be tough. But BOILING WOULD FIX THAT.
Ed Ward (captward) Wed 22 Sep 10 11:39
Mmmm. Boiled goose! St. Martin's day is coming up on 11/11, you know. Head to Germany and find out why I never care if I eat goose again. I'd also avoid urban game of any sort. I used to gaze fondly at rock pigeons alighting on the trees of my back yard, almost snapping the branches as they plunked down, but resisted the temptation.
Gail (gail) Wed 22 Sep 10 11:58
Pay tell what is an "addled" egg?
Gail (gail) Wed 22 Sep 10 12:00
(That wanted to be "pray tell." I have a slightly resistant R key here.)
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