Animals

Big Cats Cuddle Up At Tulsa Zoo

May 12, 2021
Tulsa Zoo

An unusual friendship has taken shape at the Tulsa Zoo. 

Jaguars are usually solitary animals, but two adult females - Ixchel and Caipora - are now being housed together. 

Jenna Schmidt, Large Carnivore Zookeeper, said staff at the zoo noticed about a year ago that the two cats were taking an interest in each other through the mesh of their separate enclosures.

City councilors approved several changes to Tulsa’s animal ordinances Wednesday evening.

The process of updating them started in 2018. Among the changes, people will be able to keep five dogs or cats older than four months at home. There are also exemptions to the limit for certain situations, like temporarily caring for a family member’s pet. Previously, people could have no more than three dogs.

A provision letting people have dogs off leash has been removed from the animal code, as has a list of reptiles that are not prohibited to keep at home.

(Note: This interview first aired last fall.) Our guest is Harold McGee, who writes about the science of food and cooking. He joins us to discuss his new book, "Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World's Smells." As was noted of this work by Booklist: "In his detailed survey of scents, food writer and cooking scientist McGee elegantly explains olfaction.... His exploration of our smelly world includes the odors of flora and fauna, soil and smoke, food and fragrances, but also the unexpected: primordial earth, rain, and the whiff of old books.

Our guest on ST is Harold McGee, who writes about the science of food and cooking. His earlier books include "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen" and "Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes." He joins us to discuss his new book, "Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World's Smells." As was noted of this work by Booklist: "In his detailed survey of scents, food writer and cooking scientist McGee elegantly explains olfaction....

Town of Porter

PORTER, Okla. (AP) — A northeastern Oklahoma man has been charged with 42 counts of animal cruelty after authorities found 36 malnourished dogs inside maggot infested cages and farm animals that had been restrained.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in June.) Our guest is Sonia Shah, a science journalist who's long covered the intersection of science, politics, culture, and human rights for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other outlets. Her latest book, which she tells us about, takes on many of our centuries-long assumptions about migration. That book is "The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move." Per The New York Times Book Review, it focuses "with compassion and insight a deeply complex and challenging subject....

Flickr User Noel Reynolds, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The discovery of a second rabid bat in two months in Chandler has spurred the Oklahoma State Department of Health to issue a release reminding Oklahomans of the dangers of rabies and the importance of vaccinations.

“Oklahoma is seeing more cases of rabies in the state this year than previous years,” said State Public Health Veterinarian LeMac’ Morris, in a statement. “With more sightings of skunks and bats, this is the perfect time to remind pet owners about the importance of vaccinating family pets, and even livestock.”

Our guest is Sonia Shah, a science journalist who's long covered the intersection of science, politics, culture, and human rights for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Scientific American, and other outlets. Her new book, which she tells us about, takes on many of our centuries-long assumptions about migration. The book is called "The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move." This work, per The New York Times Book Review, focuses "with compassion and insight a deeply complex and challenging subject....

Could dogs be used -- at some point in the future -- to effectively "sniff out" COVID-19 among human beings infected with the virus? We don't know. But research is now being done in various labs to explore this question. On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we get an update from journalist Maria Goodavage, whose previous books include "Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America's Canine Heroes" and "Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca." She actually spoke with us about six months ago, when her latest book was published.

(Note: This interview first aired back in October.) Our guests are the Harvard evolutionary biologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and the award-winning science writer Kathryn Bowers, who tell us about their jointly written book, "Wildhood." It makes several fascinating connections between the lives and behaviors of teenage animals and those of teenage human beings. Per the Los Angeles Times: "The vivid storytelling and fascinating scientific digressions in [this book] make it a pleasurable read.

Our guests are the Harvard evolutionary biologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and the award-winning science writer Kathryn Bowers, who tell us about their jointly written new book, "Wildhood." It makes several fascinating connections between the lives and behaviors of teenage animals and those of teenage human beings. Per the Los Angeles Times: "The vivid storytelling and fascinating scientific digressions in [this book] make it a pleasurable read.

(Note: This interview originally aired earlier this year.) Our guest is Frans de Waal, a professor in Emory University's Psychology Department as well as the director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He joins us to discuss his book, "Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves." Per The New York Times Book Review, the book is "game-changing.... For too long, emotion has been cognitive researchers' third rail.... But nothing could be more essential to understanding how people and animals behave.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in November.) News flash: Cats do not meow at random. Nor do they hiss because they have nothing better to do. Cat sounds do have a purpose -- and they can carry important messages. But what ARE those messages? Our guest has some interesting answers: Susanne Schötz, a professor at Lund University in Sweden, is part of a long-standing research program exploring how and why cats use vocal communication...with each other and with their human caretakers.

Our guest is Frans de Waal, a professor in Emory University's Psychology Department as well as the director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He joins us to discuss his new book, the bestselling "Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves." Per The New York Times Book Review, the book is "game-changing.... For too long, emotion has been cognitive researchers' third rail.... But nothing could be more essential to understanding how people and animals behave.

Our guest is Teresa Miller, the local author and Director Emerita of the Center for Poets and Writers at OSU. Miller is also the co-editor of a new anthology, which she tells us about: "Love Can Be: A Literary Collection about Our Animals." It's a gathering of about thirty acclaimed authors, all of them celebrating pets, animals, creatures, and other forms of life: cats, birds, frogs, butterflies, bears, dogs, raccoons, horses, etc.

News flash: Cats do not meow at random. Nor do they hiss because they have nothing better to do. Cat sounds do have a purpose -- and they can carry important messages. But what ARE those messages? Our guest on ST has some very interesting answers: Susanne Schötz, a professor at Lund University in Sweden, is part of a long-standing research program exploring how and why cats use vocal communication...with each other and with their human caretakers. Schötz has a new book out called "The Secret Language of Cats: How to Understand Your Cat for a Better, Happier Relationship."

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we chat with Kay Stout, the executive director of the Peaceful Animal Adoption Shelter (or "PAAS") in Vinita, Oklahoma. This important and award-winning nonprofit, which opened in 2015, is, as noted at its website, "dedicated to the rescue, temporary care, and adoption of homeless and unwanted cats and dogs."

(Note: This show originally aired back in March.) Our guest is Kim Brophey, a nationally certified and award-winning canine behavior consultant based in Asheville, North Carolina. She joins us to discuss her book, "Meet Your Dog: The Game-Changing Guide to Understanding Your Dog's Behavior." In this work, Brophey explains her so-called "L.E.G.S." approach -- as in, "Learning, Environment, Genetics, and Self."

Our guest is Roger Thompson, a Tulsa native and nonfiction writer who also directs the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Formerly, Thompson was a wilderness canoe guide in Minnesota; later on, he founded an environmental program in Banff, Alberta, Canada. His newest book, which he told us about recently while visiting Tulsa, grew directly out his longtime appreciation of outdoor exploration.

The Tulsa Zoo's popular Conservation On Tap event will happen soon. It's a sold-out gathering, a fundraiser from which all profits will go toward saving chinchillas in the wild. We learn about these important, furry, and quite threatened creatures -- their habitat, habits, history, etc. -- on today's StudioTulsa.

Our guest is Kim Brophey, a nationally certified and award-winning canine behavior consultant based in Asheville, North Carolina. She joins us to discuss her new book, "Meet Your Dog: The Game-Changing Guide to Understanding Your Dog's Behavior." In this work, Brophey explains her so-called "L.E.G.S." approach -- as in, "Learning, Environment, Genetics, and Self." As was noted of this book by Alexandre Rossi (the author of "A Dog at the Keyboard"): "It's refreshing to finally find a book that takes into consideration the many predispositions to behavior problems in dogs.

If you grew up here in the Sooner State -- and if you are, as they say, of a certain age -- then you might well wonder where all the Texas horned lizards, or horned toads, or horny toads, have gone.... Whatever you call them, they used to be readily apparent all over these parts, or so it seemed -- but no longer. What happened? Our guest is Chad Love, a freelance writer and editor based in Woodward, Oklahoma.

On this installment of ST, we are discussing State Question 777, the so-called "Right to Farm" proposal, which voters statewide will decide on come November. As was noted recently in a Tulsa World editorial: "Both sides in the debate over State Question 777...have been guilty of excesses in their arguments. The proponents have suggested that only a state constitutional measure could shield cherished rural values of decent working farmers from the meddling hands of bureaucrats and lunatic eco-extremists.

On this edition of ST, we listen back to a fascinating conversation that we had in April of 2013 with the noted primatologist Dr. Robert Sapolsky. At that time, we spoke with Dr. Sapolsky (who's a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University) about his popular book, "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers," which is now in its third edition.

(Note: This program originally aired back in April.) Late one night in 2011, a large animal collided with an SUV on a Connecticut parkway. This animal was not a deer -- as is, sadly, so often the case. It was a 140-pound mountain lion...and it had been born in the Black Hills of South Dakota...in 2009!

Late one night in 2011, a large animal collided with an SUV on a Connecticut parkway. This animal was not a deer -- as is, sadly, so often the case. It was a 140-pound mountain lion...and it had been born in the Black Hills of South Dakota...in 2009!

(Note: This interview originally aired earlier this year.) On this edition of ST, a provocative discussion with Fred Pearce, an award-winning author and journalist based in London who's reported on environmental, science, and development issues all over the planet for the past twenty years.

On this installment of our show, an interesting and provocative discussion with Fred Pearce, an award-winning author and journalist based in London who's reported on environmental, science, and development issues all over the planet for the past twenty years. Pearce tells us about his new book, a critique of "the new ecology" entitled "The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature's Salvation." As he notes in this book's Introduction: "Rogue rats, predatory jellyfish, suffocating super-weeds, wild boar, snakehead fish wriggling across the land -- alien species are taking over.

(Note: This show first aired back in March.) On this edition of ST, we speak with Cat Warren, a university professor and former journalist who for several years had an admittedly strange hobby -- that is, she and her German shepherd, Solo, would often go searching for the dead. Solo, now retired, was a cadaver dog -- and what began as an effort to make the best of Solo's unruly energy and boundless enthusiasm eventually became, for our guest today, a quest to learn all she could about so-called "working" dogs, their handlers, and their trainers.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in January.) On this installment of ST, we speak by phone with Anthony Barnosky, a Professor of Integrated Biology at UC-Berkeley and a leading scientist specializing on how global change affects biodiversity and ecosystem function.

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