Animals

Akimasa Harada / Flickr Creative Commons

An Idaho woman says an increasing number of abandoned pets been turning up near Lake Lowell between Nampa and Caldwell.

This episode originally was broadcast in March, 2017.

Humans think, feel and plan for the future. We say hello, and goodbye. We design and use tools to our advantage. But what if animals can do these things, too? What if we’ve just never really understood how to discern animal intelligence? Biologist and primatologist Frans de Waal challenges us to think more like an animal in his new book, “Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?”

Kelly Stribling / Boise State Public Radio

Many Idahoans will be looking up to the sky next Monday for the total solar eclipse. But what about animals? How will the natural world react?


What’s it like to be an octopus? Is it anything like being a human? Is it even possible to know?

Jim Jacobson

Scientists are paying close attention to the ways in which climate change may be impacting wildlife. In Idaho, one of the mammals dealing with the effects of changing conditions are American pikas. 

Pikas are related to rabbits and live in Rocky Mountains states. The curious animals, which have a distinctive call, can be spotted in places like the Sawtooths. They also hang out in the recesses of the Craters of the Moon National Monument.

Well, for now at least.

Diane Ayres / SNIP

Every day unwanted kittens and puppies are born in the Treasure Valley and one nonprofit is trying to help. Spay Neuter Idaho Pets or SNIP wants to reduce the overpopulation of dogs and cats in Idaho. Right now, they’re concentrated on the Treasure Valley.

“Spay and neuter your pets. It saves lives,” says Diane Ayres, SNIP’s founder and Executive Director. She says there are simply too many animals being born.

Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise welcomed a giant anteater baby in July and that furry pup can now be spotted by visitors at the zoo.  The pup and its mother, Gloria, spent the last few weeks inside their barn and have just now begun to explore their outdoor exhibit.

Anteaters are solitary animals and the father is currently in an exhibit next door to Gloria and her pup.

Zoo Boise

Two red panda cubs were born at Zoo Boise this summer. The male and female cubs were born June 18 and are just now being seen in the red panda exhibit.

The cubs were born to parents Dolly and Winston. It’s their third litter of cubs and the fifth litter born at the zoo. Their first litter was born in June 2013.

For as long as humans have walked the Earth, we’ve been making changes to it – oftentimes with little or no comprehension about the far-reaching consequences of our actions. But in her book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Elizabeth Kolbert opens our eyes to the powerful and possibly catastrophic mass extinction unfolding right in front of us. 

This Reader's Corner interview was originally broadcast in April, 2014.

Without question, dogs play a major role in the daily lives of many of us. In the United States alone, there are 83.3 million pet dogs, and 47 percent of all American households include at least one dog.

Brian Hare finds the popularity of dogs far from surprising. In his book, “The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think,” Dr. Hare and his co-author and wife Vanessa Woods describe how dogs evolved from wolves to become “man’s best friend.”

Oregon canines will be howling an unchained melody starting in January. That's when a new law takes effect that makes it illegal to tie up your dog too long.

Zoo Boise

You can now catch glimpses of two baby snow leopards born at Zoo Boise.  The cubs, one male and one female, were born May 23 to parents Kabita and Tashi.  These are the first snow leopards to be born at the zoo.

Kabita and Tashi were paired as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP). The conservation program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums helps breed endangered or threatened species. 

Monte Stiles / Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise has a new addition, a baby black-crested mangabey monkey.  The male monkey was born earlier this month to his parents Murphy and Betty.  This is the first mangabey monkey to be born at Zoo Boise.

Mom Betty carries the baby upside down, which is normal for mangabey mothers.  She turns the baby right side up when he nurses.  The baby clings to mom’s belly until he gets older, then he’ll ride on mom’s back.