Animals/Wildlife

Animal Defenders International

An abused circus bear will be coming to Colorado, but not until June 2015. Over 40 native animals have to be moved to their own sanctuaries in Peru before the Andean bear Cholita and 33 lions rescued from circuses and roadside attractions can come to Colorado.

A badly abused Peruvian bear named Cholita is coming to a sanctuary in Colorado. Animal Defenders International announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expedited the request and she will be on her way next month.

In Peru, a beleaguered bear is looking for a new home.

And the former circus animal is getting high-profile help from Michael Bond, the British author of the well-loved children's books about Paddington bear.

The tale of Cholita, an Andean spectacled bear like the fictional Paddington, is less the stuff of children's books and more of horror films.

Ann Froschauer / USFWS

White-Nose Syndrome, a disease famous for killing millions of bats in the Eastern United States, has not yet made its way to Colorado – something wildlife managers are happy about. It's still an issue of concern, though, and at the U.S. Geological Survey's Fort Collins Science Center, a researcher has helped make a breakthrough in scientists' understanding of the deadly fungus.

The bat disease known as white-nose syndrome has been spreading fast, killing millions of animals. But for the first time, scientists are seeing hopeful signs that some bat colonies are recovering and new breakthroughs could help researchers develop better strategies for helping bats survive.

Shannon Johnson, a researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, found that when she talked to youngsters about sea snails, she communicated a little more effectively if she skipped the technical description and called them "punk-rock snails."

"Their entire shells are covered in spikes," Johnson explains. "And then the spikes are actually all covered in fuzzy white bacteria."

James Beissel / used with permission

Colorado has 130 different species of mammals, and one man is trying to photograph them all.

Actually, James Beissel, a Boulder-based photographer, is starting with about 70 mammals – the ones that are chipmunk-sized and larger.

"Those other species that didn't make the list, those are the small rodents and the bats. Those are a very different approach to photographing them, so maybe that will be my phase two," Beissel said.

New Larimer County Animal Shelter Passes

Nov 5, 2014
Jackie Fortier / KUNC

Fort Collins voters passed a measure to build a new Larimer Humane Society shelter.

Ballot Issue 200 asked voters to approve an increased sales tax of 0.1 percent for a maximum of six years or until the funds have been raised. Gas and grocery purchases are excluded from the tax.

A careful examination of frozen caribou poop has turned up two never-before-seen viruses.

The viruses are hundreds of years old: One of them probably infected plants the caribous ate. The other may have infected insects that buzzed around the animals.

The findings prove viruses can survive for surprisingly long periods of time in a cold environment, according to Eric Delwart, a researcher at Blood Systems Research Institute in San Francisco.

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