The Animals That Rely On Our Trees

The trees in our yard are the lynchpin that holds the delicate balance of wildlife presence together. So many animals rely on our healthy trees to provide them with shelter, food, and even transportation routes, and without trees, none of those animals would be nearby to enrich our environment and our lives. Learn more about some of the wild animals that take up residence in our trees.

Mammals

The first animal many people think of when it comes to woodland wildlife are frisky little squirrels. These amusing little mammals use our trees for shelter, to help them create nests to raise their young, and to provide them with food like acorns. But squirrels aren’t the only mammals that benefit greatly from trees. Flying squirrels, opossums, raccoons, bats, and others take up residency in our trees. Even mammals as large as deer feed off of acorns, and deer also use tree trunks to help remove the velvety coverings on their antlers and announce their presence to other deer.

Birds

Just about every wild bird in our backyards benefits from our trees. They build nests and raise their young in them, they forage for food in them, and they seek shelter from the elements in their branches. Without trees nearby, most birds are unlikely to take up residence in an area, and those that do can be destructive to human habitats because they are making our homes into tree alternatives. Birds help to control insect populations, disperse seeds, and generally make our worlds a better place with their cheerful songs. Our healthy trees encourage them to find our yards a comfortable place.

Insects

Whether you care for insects or not, they are some of the animals that benefit from our trees-and our trees can benefit from them too! Flowering trees attract honeybees, butterflies, moths, and other flying insects that consume nectar. These insects help to pollinate the trees and are responsible for the vast majority of fruits that grow on trees, including apples, pears, cherries, and citrus fruits. In the wild, honeybees even build their hives in trees so that they can produce their honey and raise their young. A host of other insects also use trees as sources of shelter, transportation avenues, and sources of food. These insects help to keep the ecosystem around us alive and running smoothly, and our trees help them to do that job.

Protect Your Trees

One of the best things you can do for the wildlife in your area is to help maintain your trees and their health. Have a professional tree service come out annually and after major storms to ensure that your trees are at their best to provide for their small dependents. They can also help to keep trees manageable by providing pruning services, which can help to make treetops easier to use for nesting birds. If a tree becomes dangerous and needs removal, have your professional tree removal team come in and safely remove it. If you have the space, ask if they will leave larger logs of the tree for animals to shelter in. Most local tree services are more than happy to oblige such requests.

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Sadie’s Thoughts About Rabies

It is a very hot and humid Florida afternoon and Gram and I are sitting in the shade of our large oak tree having and interesting conversation while Gram is drinking cold lemonade and I am sitting here watching her.

What Gram and I like to do is find a topic for discussion and then pick it to death. Mostly we talk about “dog things,” but once in awhile we will wander off on other interesting subjects. Today we started talking about the bats that are flying around our house in the evenings and that led us to a conversation about rabies and this is a result of our conversation.

For humans to prevent exposure to rabies the first step is to avoid trying to befriend stray dogs and/or wild animals.

The most common rabid bites have been known to come from dogs, with bats, foxes, raccoons and skunks coming in a close second. Since the development of the rabies vaccine, there have been no reports of rabies caused by dog bites in a number of years within the United States, due to the fact most states require both cats and dogs to be vaccinated for rabies, at an early age. Currently however, bats seem to be the top problem maker in most developed countries.

Very rarely has rabies been contacted without an actual bite. It is believed the saliva of an infected animal transmits the disease through a bite that breaks the skin. It is possible, but extremely rare that infected saliva or nervous tissue could be transmitted to an open wound or into a mucous membrane (eyes, nose, mouth.)

If a wild animal or a dog has bitten or scratched you and it is not possible for you to safely trap the animal, call local animal control authorities at once. It is important, if at all possible to have the animal available for observation and testing, if rabies is suspected.

A test called immunofluorescence is used to examine the brain tissue of the dead animal. The same test is used to test a human for rabies, using some skin from the neck or they may check for the virus in your saliva or spinal fluid.

A bite should be washed extremely well with soap and water and then attended to by a physician or a trip to the emergency room, generally stitches are not used for animal bites. If rabies is suspected, treatment consists of a dose of rabies immune globulin and then five doses of rabies vaccine given on the first day and then on the following 3rd, 7th, 14th, and 28th days after exposure

Rabies is a viral disease affecting the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and a few of the symptoms are:

– a low grade fever (102 degrees or lower)

– stress and anxiety

– loss of feeling in one part of the body

– numbness

– muscle spasms

– swallowing difficulty (which is often called hydrophobia)

Symptoms may take from two to eight weeks to appear and sometimes longer. If treatment is not given for a suspected bite it is possible for death to occur.

If you are traveling to an undeveloped country such as India, it is suggested you get vaccinated for rabies. It is an injection of killed rabies virus given in three doses, the first two within a week of each other and the third dose three weeks later.

To protect yourself and your family avoid contact with wild animals and stray dogs, especially those behaving abnormally,

Well, these are a few things that I learned about rabies from Gram. I hope it has enlightened you as it did me and I am very glad that we dogs have been removed from the “most wanted list” of rabies biters.

Until next time, I remain, your Sadie.

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The South China Tiger Was Declared to Be an Enemy of the People by Mao

South China Tiger

The South China Tiger, Panthera tigris amoyensis, is one of the smallest subspecies of Tiger. Other names for this creature are the Amor Tiger and the Xiamen Tiger.

Size

A fully grown Male South China Tiger will weigh about 150 Kg (330 lb). this is a bit over half the size of the Siberian Tiger which is the biggest Tiger subspecies. Females are smaller.

An Enemy of The People

In 1959, as part of the Great Leap Forward, Chairman Mao Zedong declared this animal to be an enemy of the people. Before this there were over 4000 of these Tigers in the wild. Most were killed.

In 1982, the Chinese Government reversed its Tiger killing policy, and they are now protected.

Critically Endangered

The wild population of the South China Tiger is estimated to be about 20, but the accuracy of this estimate is very doubtful. The captive status of this rare subspecies is more hopeful. There are probably enough Tigers in zoos and similar places to save the subspecies.

Rewilding

There is a joint project involving both China and South Africa. Captive South China Tigers are being bred in South Africa, and their cubs trained to hunt and survive in the wild. Fortunately, Tigers are reasonably easy to breed in captivity, and the semi wild animals in the project are breeding. They will be used to repopulate some of its former range in China.

Problems

Although it appears possible to save this subspecies, there are a lot of problems.

Habitat Destruction

Much of its habitat has been destroyed, and its prey animals greatly reduced in numbers.

Poaching

Tiger parts are used in traditional Chinese medicine. The Chinese Government is attempting to stop the trade in Tiger parts, but it is difficult. The possible returns to Tiger poachers are very high, and even the harsh punishments given to those caught committing crimes in China have not made its Tigers safe.

Lack of Genetic Diversity

The current population of this subspecies is very small, and they are descended from a very small number of animals. This means that the gene pool is frighteningly small.

Man Eating

When there were more of these animals in the wild, they had the reputation of being more likely to become man eaters than any other type of tiger. This behaviour, if it is resumed, will not tend to endear this creature to the local Human population.

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A Perfect Healing and Fulfilling Winter Meal: Wild Elk Stew With Bone Broth

Bone Broth Benefits – Bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline. The collagen in bone broth heals your gut lining and reduces intestinal inflammation that can help improve your overall well-being and appearance. Below is a great way to incorporate Bone Broth in one of my favorite meals!

Ingredients:

Wild Elk Stew

3/4 lb Ground Wild Elk

5 oz. Pastured Bacon

1 lb. Organic Broccoli

I Organic Shallot

1 3″ piece Organic Ginger

4 Organic Habanero peppers (Be careful. Remove seeds and wash your hands after dicing)

Organic Cayenne Pepper

Pink Himalayan Salt

1.5 full containers of Pacific Organic Turkey Bone Broth

6 tbs. Grass-fed Butter

1/2 lb Organic Blue Kale

2 Organic Sweet Potatoes

3 Organic Beets

2 tbs. Organic Coconut milk

Half can Organic Pumpkin

1 Organic Sweet Italian Sausage

1 Organic Spicy Chicken Sausage

Brown the meat in the butter and bacon. Thinly dice up the vegetables and sauté on the side in a separate pan. When ‘al dente’ add to the meat and combine the bone broth. Let it come to a boil and then turn down to lowest heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Let cool and Enjoy!

A few of the many benefits of eating wild game:

1. Wild game is leaner than farmed meats.

This is because wild animals walk, run and roam all day. One misconception about “organic” meat is we assume the animals are allowed to roam free. Sadly, this is not always the case.

2. No antibiotics or other pharmaceuticals to worry about.

3. No hormones

we all know the detrimental effects of hormone-laden meats- especially to young children. Yet they are still commonly used by the conventional meat and dairy industries. For hormone-free insurance, opt for wild game, hormone-free grass-fed meats, and organic pasture-raised dairy.

Elk Meat benefits:

Elk meat is a one of those rare foods that is very healthy for you and still tastes great!

– Elk is naturally low in fat, low in cholesterol and high in protein.

-Elk is a dark red, dense meat. It is very tender and does not need marinating.

-The taste of elk is similar to beef. Elk has a little more flavor, just enough to know you’re eating something special. With elk,especially farm-raised elk, you never have to worry that the meat will taste “gamey.”

– Elk meat can be substituted for beef in most recipes with a few changes. Since elk is so low in fat it is important to remember not to overcook. Elk will cook quicker and if overdone will dry out and be tough.

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy!

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Animals and Criminal Psychology

Thanks to the nature of humanity, our children are brought up around very strict ways of thought regarding wildlife, and if they are not taught properly we may be shaping their outlook on nature for the rest of their lives. With zoos and circuses still operating, we’re showing a future where humanity has dominance over the creatures of the wild, and this may be a harmful thought for those growing up.

In studies, it has been shown that there is a direct correlation between animal abuse and a criminal record, showing that those who harm animals as a child are much more likely to become criminals as they grow older. There have been a number of offenders in the past that have admitted to animal cruelty as children, a sure confirmation that this is something that should be investigated and prevented.

Interactions with animals as a child can help the terminally shy to make new friends and learn how to socialise, it helps children understand ownership, boundaries, relations and responsibility, as well as helping those with disabilities, such as autism or lost limbs. Working and guide dogs are a recognised and respected part of our society, and are given more leeway than other pets. But what kind of influence can children get from elsewhere?

Studies show that children who visit zoos often may not understand the nature of the animals held there, and might not understand the nature of wildlife loss. A monkey loses the human links and cognitive abilities like forethought, planning or emotion and becomes ‘just’ another monkey, sitting in a zoo to be looked and laughed at. Wild animals stop being concerned about, because you can always ‘just visit the zoo’ to see them. It causes a detached view on the animal world that may explain the correlation between cruelty to animals and violence towards humans.

Children need to be socialised correctly towards animals and taught the boundaries; that it is not okay to pull on the cat’s tail, or to sit on the dog’s head. They should be read stories that do not paint animals in a negative light, or use certain animal stereotypes as the ‘bad’ guys; fear is bred through the unknown and the experience, and by making an animal seem ‘evil’ or ‘malicious’ in stories we are reinforcing those stereotypes for reality.

Children that visit zoos should be informed of the plight of wild animals and use the trip to be taught what they can do to help animals around the world, and maybe even be given the opportunity to volunteer. You don’t have to turn your children into eco-warriors, just help them understand that not everything is perfect in the animal kingdom, and that humans have the capability to help where they can. This can be used to help them understand recycling as well, and even show them the effect of humans on the animal world.

We aren’t saying that every child will be a bad person if they don’t understand or socialise with animals, but we do believe that making the most of the animal kingdom can help your child grow maturely and with a greater understanding of the wilder world. Children may hurt animals for a number of different reasons, and should be thoroughly investigated with a professional if your child begins exhibiting these behaviours.

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San Diego – Wild Animal Park

If you are touring San Diego, do consider to visit the Wild Animal Park. This park is situated some 34 miles north of San Diego, outside of Escondido. The 1,800-acre park houses some 3,500 animals representing 429 different species. This is truly a remarkable park that you will not want to miss when you are in San Diego.

The uniqueness of San Diego Wild Animal Park is that, the animals are allowed to room freely in this vast enclosure. They live just like they would be in their natural habitat. In the park, you will find giraffes, antelopes, rhinos, endangered California condor among others, wondering at the mature landscape amidst the exotic vegetation from many parts of the world.

The central attraction of San Diego Wild Animal Park is the 5-mile Wgasa Bush Line Railway. This is a 60 minute monorail ride (price included in admission). The monorail will bring you through areas designated as East Africa, South Africa, Asian Plains, and the Eurasian Waterhole. As you wheeled through these landscapes, you will see animals such as the white rhino and the rhinoceros which will enchant you.

After the monorail, you might want to take a walking tour. You can take a 2-mile Kilimanjaro Safari Walk which you can experience the re-created African and Asian landscapes. In the park, you will also experience various simulated natural environment, such as the Australian Rainforest and the Hidden Jungle. You can also visit the new Lion Camp and the Cheetah Run Safari. At the Cheetah Run Safari, you will be able to see the world’s faster land mammal in action, sprinting after a mechanical lure.

If you want to have a close-up view of the animals, you can take the Photo Caravans which uses an open-topped truck to shuttle small groups around the park. You will go to the animal’s turf meeting the rhinos, ostriches, zebra, deer and giraffes. Perhaps, you can even feed the giraffes alone the journey.

You will end your day tour at the Nairobi Village. This is the park’s commercial center where most of the facilities can be found. It has many shops selling Africa-related books and souvenirs. There is a nursery area where irresistible young ‘uns can be seen frolicking, bottle-feeding and sleeping.

Finally, if you do not want to go back to San Diego city for your sleep, you can sleep with the animals! Not exactly. There is a Roar & Snore Program which runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from April to October. This program allows you to camp out next to the animal compound. From where you camp, you will be able to observe the nocturnal movements of the rhinos, lions and other animals. If you are excited about this program, check out with the park. Otherwise, head back to San Diego city and have a good night rest.

During summer, there are lots of visitors to the park. Therefore, it is better to visit early. On the other hand, there are usually less visitors during winter. The temperature here is usually 5 to 10 degrees warmer than in San Diego city. Bring along your sunscreen and plenty of water as summer in California can be a bit of a scorcher. So, be prepared for the hot weather and the sun.

The San Diego Wild Animal Park is one of the three major animal parks and the “Big Four” in San Diego. Visiting the park should be one of your outdoor activities in your itinerary. Plan your San Diego Travel today.

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Wildlife in Trondheim, Norway

There are many species of wild animals in Norway such as: Elks, lynx, squirrels, Adders,wolves, foxes, roa deer, snakes, deer, birds, insects, wild cats, badger and bears.

Most of these animals are not dangerous as long as they don’t feel threatened, especially during the mating and giving birth seasons.

You can go up to the mountains, woods,forests, fjords without being worried about getting hurt by wild animals.

Elks are the largest animals in Norwegian woods. The male adult elk can be up to 240 cm tall and weigh 850 kg.

Many Norwegians who have hunting permissions and licenses go for hunting during the hunting season in fall and winter.

Elk hunting with dog( hound) is an old tradition. Norwegians consider it as a fine training. Some of the elk hounds are born to be great hunters!

Do you know why elks have fur? The reason is that fur keep them warm and some times they even have fur on their horns! Such elks are sick and need medical attention. Elks can be very mean if they feel threatened! Some people say elks are the forest rebel!

Reindeer or caribou hunters are good at finding the caribou.They sense their smell in the air or follow their traces. In Norway there are various types of elk hunting such as:

posteringsjakt(in Norwegian) : hunters chase the animal by following their traces

smygjakt (in Norwegian): A hunter senses animal’s presence.

drivjakt (in English: Noise making): Make some noises in order to send the animal to a place where hunters are patiently waiting( this method is mostly used in south of Norway). Based upon my observations, when deers that hear your rattling, they respond differently! One, the leader (I guess) will come to investigate where the noise come from, two will run dead away and seven will ignore it. Hunter’s patience and persistence are very important factors for success.

Trondheim Animals are under protection of the Norwegian environment authorities.

Squirrels: They are everywhere in Norway, especially on top of the pine trees in the forest. The red squirrels ( ekorn in Norwegian) live mostly in upper North and Finnmark. They are very cute, but not as tamed as squirrels in the United States.

Lynx: Lynx in Trondelag can be found in forest and mountains. Sometimes they attack sheep which is unpleasant for the farmers in animal production. They are wild animals but so beautiful. They live in central and north Norway. They usually eat cat and the other small animals.

Hares: They live in prairies and forest and their fur changes color with the seasons, brown in summer and white in winter. Hares live around Trondheim and the other cities in central Norway.

Adders: They were observed in Trøndelag. I have seen one in North of Trøndelag on the mountain. If an adder bites someone, gives a slight fever to the victim. Their poison does not kill at all. They eat mice and the other small animals and bite if they feel threatened. In summer 2008 many adders were discovered in Jonsvatnet area in Trondheim. That is why people especially joggers and hikers were warned about adders in those areas.

Wolves are not too many in Norway. They are protected by the Norwegian natural environment. They live in the forest and eat small animals. They also can be found in the upper north and very few in south of Trondelag.

Foxes and Brown bears live in the forest. Brown bears( Bjørn) are few in Trøndelag.They live either underground or inside the holes.

Whale (Hval)

Whales live in North of Norway. They are faithful and beautiful creatures.

If you ever get a chance to travel to the North of Norway i suggest you to try whale safari (hvalsafari). You get amazingly close to them as close as 300 Meters.

The Scandinavian countries are the only countries that authorizes whaling.Norway started commercial whaling in the early 90’s. There are some arguments about hunting whales in order to keep the ecological cycle in balance since they eat huge stocks of fish. Whales are not endangered by its annual hunt in Norway

Birds (fugl): There are various birds in Trondheim.Some of them are very curious and beautiful birds.The Commontern in Norwegian Makrellterne (Latin: Sterna hirundo) is a seabird and lives in Europe, Asia and central North America. They are also called sea swallow. They eat fish and the other small sea creatures. They live in colonies on coasts, islands and fresh water lakes. They are very romantic and caring birds. The male bird takes care of the female by offering fish which is a part of courtship display. They reach an age of 23 years or more.

Oyster catcher in Norwegian Kjeld can be seen in different colors in the world. They are either black or black and white.

They eat earthworms,insect larvae and the coastal oyster catchers feed upon gastropods and polychaet worms. Oyster catchers are monogamous and very territorial birds especially during breeding season!

The male oyster catcher is very fiddle and faithful to the female! They make their nests in the ground which may be placed in a spot with good visibility.

The eggs of oyster catchers are delicious! Kidding! I don’t know how their eggs taste. Ok..back to the eggs. They lay one to four eggs and females take care of eggs while the males engage in more territory defense.

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Keeping Family Pets Safe From Wildlife

Raccoons, opossums, mice, bats, and birds can all be adorable and fun to watch, but some people just don’t understand the potential dangers that these forms of wildlife can pose to their family and pets. An encounter with even a small and seemingly harmless wild animal that finds their way onto your property can result in serious consequences for you, your children and your luxury dogs and cats.

Wild mammals and birds can damage your property, upset trash receptacles and set up nests in your yard, in your shed or even in accessible areas of your home. Certain forms of wildlife carry fleas, lice and ticks and can bring the threat of potentially deadly diseases like rabies.

Simple Steps to Protect Your Family and Pets

Even if you live in an area where wildlife sightings are very common, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there needs to be an imminent danger to your kids, dogs, and cats. In fact, there are some very simple steps that you can take to minimize the potential risk of an unwanted wildlife encounter:

Keep Trash Bins Securely Covered

Squirrels, rats, raccoons, opossums and wild cats all love to rummage through the garbage that contains scraps of food. By keeping trash in tightly tied bags and in cans with secure lids, you eliminate a major source of attraction for wildlife.

Make sure your Fence is in Good Condition

Fixing holes or replacing missing planks in the fence around your property keeps rabbits, raccoons, and many other mammals off of your property. A secure boundary really minimizes the chances for a potentially dangerous encounter between a wild animal and your pets or children.

Don’t leave Pets Outside Unattended

Even with a solid fence, some animals will still find their way into your yard. If your dogs are out roaming for extended periods they have a greater chance of coming across a wild animal that has made its way onto your property. If the animal has a nest or a food source nearby they may become aggressive and look to protect instead of escape. This can result in serious injury to both your pet and the wild animal.

Keep Cats Indoors

Cats are natural hunters and are not necessarily deterred by your fence. If there is a bird or rabbit in a neighbor’s yard, they will likely give chase. A cat who exits the confines of your property is at a much greater risk of injury due to a wild animal attack, but to other dangers (like traffic, poison or traps left out by others for wild animals, etc.)

Ultrasonic Pest Protection

Ultrasonic pest repellents use high-frequency sound waves to drive away a variety of pests, rodents, and insects. For homeowners who are looking for a hands off and mess free method of keeping unwanted pests out of their home, this can be a safe and effective solution.

Ultrasonic repellents are safe for humans and family pets (you can’t hear the sounds, neither can your pets, there are no poisons and no danger of pets or kids suffering the injuries that can occur from snap traps). After the fast and easy initial setup, there is nothing to do but allow the device to work driving away unwanted pests.

In addition to the steps above, simply avoiding contact with wildlife is also a major factor in keeping pets and family members safe. Don’t leave food out for wild animals, don’t intentionally engage with them and never encourage your pets to interact with wildlife.

Even those with the best of intentions and those who have taken the proactive measures mentioned above can still find themselves in a position where a wild animal has entered their home or garage and is posing a potential threat. In these instances, it is important that the situation is handled properly to minimize the risk.

It’s never a good idea to attempt to poison a wild animal on your property. Poison baits have elements that attract wildlife (they look and smell like food), which may also attract your family pets.

Cornering a wild animal is also not advisable. Raccoons, opossums, and birds can all become very territorial, especially if they have a nest nearby. Cornering them can insight an attack, which can result in serious injury for any people or pets in the area.

If a wild animal has set up residence in your home, garage or yard or is posing a threat to your family it makes sense to enlist the help of a professional. A wildlife control expert can quickly analyze the wildlife threat on your property and take the best steps toward removal in a manner that ensures the safety of your family and your pets and with minimal risk to the wild animal.

A trained wildlife control expert can also suggest the best methods for cleaning and sanitize the area after removal and help set up protective measures to minimize the chances of future unwanted encounters.

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Things To Consider When Selecting An Animal Hospital For Your Pet

It is not wrong to say that after home, an animal hospital is the next important thing for your lovely pet. It is essential to select the one for your pet so that in case of an emergency you can take your pet without any delay. You need to see that the hospital you are selecting has a specialized team of doctors and the trained staff. It is important to note that the animal hospitals aren’t just offering treatment of domestic animals and pets rather wild animals that are ill or injured in any accident.

Selecting a veterinary hospital may seem like a simple task, however there are a number of factors associated with selecting the best hospital for your needs. It is not only the location of the hospital that matters a lot, the hospital must have the hours of operation that match your work schedule.

A special bond is developed between the pets and their owners. It is for this reason; they become your very close friend or family member is a very short duration of time. When you adopt a pet, there come my responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is arranging a suitable animal hospital where general checkups as well as complicated operations in time of need are possible.

In addition to the location, it is also important to consider the services that are available with the hospital. For instance, many animal hospitals offer special appointments or programs to the new clients. They offer expert advice and treatment for elderly animals or those with serious ailments. In the very first meeting, it is important to discuss with your veterinarian what exactly are your expectations and how you want to proceed further.

In addition to above, there are a few other aspects you need to consider while selecting a suitable animal hospital for your pet. For instance you should inquire about the license of the veterinarian and find out if the hospital has a registered veterinary staff or not. There are a number of tests a registered veterinary personnel have to pass. These include the regulated state tests for treating all vets. It is important to go to a registered technician because he will have the skills and experience that are considered must for the examinations and proper treatment of the vets.

You should not allow a non-registered technician to administer pills and shots or to treat your pet as this can prove to be very dangerous. It is also important to first tour any animal hospital to interview the veterinarian. While doing so, you should observe if proper hygiene is maintained in the hospital or not; especially in the surgical rooms and examination rooms.

So, the above mentioned are a few important aspects you need to consider while selecting an animal hospital for your lovely pet.

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National Parks and Wildlife Safety Tips

National parks and wildlife within these parks may sometimes be an exhilarating experience but, from a timid deer to an aggressive bear, wildlife should be dealt with caution and care.

These animals are called “wild” life for a reason. While spotting a wild animal within the parks may not happen every time you visit, the sightings do happen, and it’s a good idea to know the safety tips should you happen upon any wildlife.

In any Canadian national park or national parks and wildlife reserves, a creature as benign as a deer may cross your path. This passiveness can sometimes be mistaken for friendliness.

All it takes is one sudden movement and you will be defending yourself from a frightened animal protecting itself on instinct. An angry or frightened deer can be just as dangerous as a charging bear. A human can’t out run an animal and has fewer defenses when it comes to dealing with claws, teeth and antlers.

These few tips about national parks and wildlife may help you have a safer trip.

Do not feed the animals. You may see signs with these words in any national parks and forests. This is not because the park rangers want the animals to die of famine. This tip is as much as protection for the animals as it is for people.

Wild animals have found food on their own before humanity created a sanctuary for them, they will find food long after. If you approach a deer or elk with some food, if you manage to get close enough for it to eat out of your hand, this may seem like a pristine photo opportunity.

However, this innocent situation could turn ugly. One flash from the camera could cause the animal to lash out with its hooves or horns. Also, as these animals become more and more habituated to human interaction, they may start begging for handouts and may even get aggressive if they don’t receive any.

Leave these animals to fend for themselves. Take a picture from afar. It may save you a few broken bones and bruises when you leave these Canadian national parks.

Keep children and pets close by. National parks and wildlife can sometimes seem like play things to kids. There are many places for young ones and pets to disappear in dense cover.

Also, even if you have an eye on them, keep them within grabbing distance. To some wildlife, small children and pets are the size of their prey. Even something as harmless as a chipmunk may suddenly become violent and bite.

Canadian national parks and forests are wild habitats and should never be considered substitute playgrounds for children.

Treat all wildlife with respect. Whether this means giving them their space or putting away all garbage so you leave no damage to their habitats, wild animals deserve this courtesy.

You wouldn’t like a stranger to come into your place, flop on your couch, and take pictures while throwing empty wrappers on the floor, would you? Neither do the animals in our national parks and forests.

Interfering with their instinctual needs can threaten their natural development. Canadian national parks are these animals’ homes. We are simply their guests.

For more safety tips, you can visit any national parks and wildlife websites or contact your local national parks. Before you head out into the wilderness, inform yourself on the type of animals you may have sightings of and learn about their typical defensive behavior.

Learn the animals’ habits, what they eat, when they sleep or where they hunt. The more you know, the better your chances are of having a harmless encounter. Better safe than sorry!

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