As cities get cleaner and greener—some of them, anyway—wildlife is pouring into urban areas. There are bald eagles nesting over Washington D.C., red-tail hawks swooping over Central Park, coyotes in Chicago (and everywhere else), and now a wild river otter living in San Francisco, where such creatures haven't been seen in half a century. The mysterious otter took up residence in one of the freshwater spring-fed pools in the ruins of San Francisco's Sutro Baths, now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It munches on the carp-sized former-pet goldfish that have themselves grown huge in the freshwater pools, and everyone loves the otter because otters are [...]
It's just your typical "otter gets its head stuck in potato chip bag, man rescues otter and stuffs him in a sack and puts him in a van to bring him back to the river, otter chews through sack and attacks man and escapes through broken window in van, man recaptures otter with traffic cone, man returns otter to river, otter is so exhausted that man needs to rescue otter from drowning in river, otter finally recovers" story, but there are some nice photos, and expert advice from an animal ecologist (essentially, "avoid otters"), so you might find it entertaining. Or not. These things don't appeal to everyone.
Add the story of an elderly gentleman who was mauled by a rabid otter to your file concerning acts of war by the animal kingdom. The natural world REALLY has it in for us. And can you blame it? (In related news, a bear bit the fingers off of a Wisconsin grandmother, but because she was dumb enough to try to feed it through the bars of its cage, I think this one is far more understandable than the otter incident, which was apparently unprovoked.)
As you know, our otter friends in New Zealand, together for 15 years in the delicious waters of New Zealand, died within an hour of each other. What you may not realize is that Daz and Chip were essentially recreating "Untitled (Perfect Lovers)," a minimalist lump-in-your-throat-when-you-realize-what-it's-about work of art by Cuban-American conceptualist Felix Gonzalez-Torres.
"Have you ever seen all the House Republicans in one place? It's like a herd of rabid otters." So says Gail Collins in today's op-ed about the challenges president Obama faces following last night's state of the union address. Gail Collins writes so nicely. But she doesn't seem to know a lot about animals. There's no such thing as a "herd" of otters!