Tag Archives: Wildlife

Why North Carolina is seeing an increase in wildlife sightings, explained

— If you’re looking to see some wildlife in the Triangle, you might only need to step out into your backyard. Sightings of bears, coyotes, deer, foxes, rabbits, raccoons are becoming more common, officials said.

It’s not odd to see baby bears in North Carolina cities in summer months, according to wildlife officials. The state’s black bear population has been increasing over the past several years in central North Carolina.

From May to July, bear cubs separate from their mothers and search for new homes.

“While the bears appear to be wandering aimlessly into places people think bears do not belong, they are not necessarily lost,” according to officials with the North Carolina Wildlife Commission.

A bear was found napping a tree above UNC Rex hospital on Tuesday, and residents reporting sighting a bear in the suburbs of North Hills in Raleigh in May.

There’s an explanation for why animals are showing up in suburban areas — food. Wildlife researchers say that people are feeding the creatures, leading to an increase in sightings.

These animals are finding gardens to munch on and taking shelter in backyards.

North Carolina State University Researchers said that animals and humans usually co-exist quite well in Triangle suburbs. Researchers found that wildlife was more prominent in suburban areas, versus rural ones.

Another animal commonly spotted in North Carolina is the white-tailed deer.

Our state’s deer population has been growing since the 1990s after conservation efforts. In cities, where hunting is less common, the deer population is growing. In May, a deer was found running through the streets of downtown Raleigh, even making its way into a gift shop.

Crashes with deer and other wildlife has been on the rise over the past several years as a result.

Officials say if you see any wildlife and i’ts not bothering you, leave it alone.

A look back at NC’s runaway animals

Animal control has been busy in North Carolina over the past several years. We’ve had our fair share of animals running away from their owners. Most recently, a pack of Wolf-German Shepherd hybrids escaped from their home in Orange County, and have yet to be found.

A venomous zebra cobra was set loose from a home in Raleigh, making national news. The cobra’s owner is now facing 40 charges related to housing snakes.

Famously in 2019, an emu was spotted in July running around in Orange County. Officials were not sure where it came from, though it is legal to own emus in the county.

A year before that, a runaway horse escaped from its owner in Wake Forest. In 2017, a small pig was spotted on Interstate 40 near Brier Creek was safely captured by officials.

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This post originally posted here usnews

Mini Review: Alba: A Wildlife Adventure – A Relaxing, Off-Rails Pokémon Snap-Alike

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure started its life as an Apple Arcade exclusive back in 2020 and launched to much critical acclaim. UsTwo’s game tells the story of Alba, a curious young girl with a love for animals and nature. Vacationing with her grandparents on an idyllic island full of diverse wildlife, Alba and her best friend suddenly find themselves on a mission to save the nature reserve after the mayor announces development of a huge resort hotel.

Equipped with her trusty camera phone and journal, Alba explores the island in an effort to document nature and gain 50 signatures for a petition to halt development of the hotel. It’s a simple, humble story that puts heavy focus on the environment, but still showcases a strong range of unique characters, including Alba herself, a local veterinarian, the mayor, and more.

After a brief introductory section, you’re free to explore the entire island to your heart’s content; it has a very similar feel to the Pokémon Snap series, but rather than being tethered to a fixed route, you’re completely let off the leash. This, ultimately, is what makes Alba: A Wildlife Adventure so appealing; as you wander down a path towards the beach, or climb to the top of a hill, you might spot a new creature in your peripheral vision, stopping you in your tracks as you break out the camera to take the perfect shot.

The freedom you’re given right from the start makes exploration and discovery feel all the more natural and rewarding. To help you along the way, however, the game does feature a notepad that includes specific tasks you need to complete in order to gain signatures for the petition. These could be as simple as photographing a certain number of species, picking up some litter, or discovering the source of a poisoning epidemic affecting the local wildlife.

There’s little more to say on the actual content without spoiling the entire experience, but if you’re worried about how a game migrating over from Apple Arcade might play, then worry not; while the game doesn’t strive to go beyond 30FPS, the frame rate is stable throughout, and graphical hiccups are practically non-existent. Musical tracks are a rarity, as the game prefers to keep the focus on diegetic sound like bird calls and the sea breeze, but the few tracks that do feature really fit quite well with the overall tone.

With so many games featuring death and destruction, Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is a breath of fresh air. Much like Pokémon Snap, its focus on observation is a welcome change of pace, and it never feels like the underlying message is being shoved down our throats. At 2-3 hours in length, our only wish is that it lasted a bit longer, but with its relaxing tone and simple gameplay, this is one we suspect you’ll go back to again and again.

This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Reviews

Baby foxes, racoons and owls in Austin couple's back yard give snapshot of Central Texas wildlife

Author: Harley Tamplin
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A baby fox, just 11 days old, clumsily crawls onto its mother’s back and collapses into sleep – in a moment captured perfectly on a camera hidden inside their den.

“They could be gone tonight,” explains Dan Ballard. “We’ve been really lucky that for 10 days they’ve stayed, because honestly that’s almost a record.”

It’s a special moment, but it’s just another day for Ballard and Jane Hunter at their backyard in southwest Austin.

Several years ago, the couple realized their five-acre wooded lot was a paradise for Central Texas wildlife, including raccoons, owls and deer.

Since then, they have set up about 50 cameras and use them to document precious moments on their website, “Texas Backyard Wildlife.”

Their most popular video, which shows a reckless titmouse pecking a sleepy fox, hit 1 million views on YouTube and their work has even captured the attention of the BBC, who will be coming to their property to film for a documentary later this year.

Why they do it

The inspiration for “Texas Backyard Wildlife” came in the form of a wild fox roaming in their backyard, Ballard said. Starting with a sole trail camera, the couple quickly realized the magnitude of wildlife living just outside their back door.

“It was an evening when the sun was really soft and coming down on this orange-chested fox, and it was like, ‘Wow, that is really cool!’” Ballard said.

“From there, we bought a trail camera, and we were seeing a lot of stuff that we had no idea was here. One camera led to an addiction.”

“What started as curiosity became fascination,” Hunter added. “And became, our friends would say, obsession.”

After years of fine-tuning their hobby, about 50 cameras are set up and Ballard has laid miles of cable. In the house, they have multiple monitors and can easily flick between the different feeds.

“We just always felt that wildlife is threatened everywhere in the world, humans encroach on the critters’ territory everywhere in the world, and we wanted to put down a marker, make a record of all the local animals that are living with us because we just think it’s important,” Hunter said.

“Truly we think that by showing the unique and interesting stuff that maybe people haven’t seen before, it generates interest in wildlife,” Ballard added. “Therefore, we take an interest in protecting it.”

Finding an audience

What started as fox den and great horn owl livestreams with the occasional view or two grew into more than 8,500 YouTube subscribers.

In late March, the channel picked up significant traction, with videos regularly getting tens of thousands of views – with the sleepy fox video crossing the one million view threshold.

Texas Backyard Wildlife Livestream
Southwest Austin residents Dan Ballard and Jane Hunter’s “Texas Backyard Wildlife” YouTube channel features livestreams of foxes, Great Horned Owls, screech owls, hawks, coyotes, and more. (Picture: KXAN)

While highlighting Texas wildlife, the channel expanded its reach across international waters, with comment sessions sprinkled with words of encouragement in Russian and Arabic.

Hunter regularly makes a habit of responding to subscribers’ comments, with the occasional help from an online translator.

“People are so positive and appreciative,” she said. “It feels very important to respond to them.”

The BBC takes notice

The amazing footage generated from the couple’s southwest Austin home has not gone unnoticed.

Later this year, they will open up their home to camera crews from the BBC, who will use their land to shoot video for an upcoming documentary about foxes.

  • Southwest Austin Fox Den
  • Southwest Austin Baby Foxes Livestream

Hunter described her reaction to the BBC’s interest as “disbelief and wild excitement.”

“It was such an endorsement,” she added.

“It was a real vote of confidence that we have something special here,” Ballard said. “We are thrilled that they are interested.”

Ray Mears: Wildlife presenter admits he 'gets bored' watching nature programs on TV

“Well, I like creating them,” he chuckled.

“And I appreciate the work that goes into them, and the unique view of things that the average person will never see in the flesh.”

But he points out we miss the breeze on our faces, smelling the fresh air and physically feeling things with your own hands – “the ambience and excitement of actually being there.”

Some may disagree though, with walking being the only enjoyment we have had throughout the UK’s three tedious coronavirus lockdowns.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed