It looks like we can add hyenas to the list of animals that can count. In fact, hyenas can count nearly as well as primates, a sure sign that these carnivorous predators are unusually intelligent. This is caused by their sophisticated, hierarchical societies in the wild.
Hyenas are among the few animal species to have unusually-complex social groupings, to the point where scientists consider them "societies" instead of packs.
Let's face it, hyena fans: hyenas usually get a bum rap, being called stupid, or "laughing idiots" from their laugh-like barks and calls (some of the blame on this may lie with Ed from The Lion King).
However, researchers have repeatedly demonstrated the cognitive abilities of hyenas rival those of monkeys. New research from Michigan State University suggests hyena intelligence evolved as a means for the spotted & striped predators to keep track of their social groups.
Unfortunate news from Metro Detroit this week: On Thursday, a pair of rabid skunks were destroyed in the suburb of Royal Oak, causing the police to issue a warning to local residents. [WXYZ-TV - Channel 7 Detroit and WDIV-TV - ClickonDetroit.com]
The Royal Oak Police say the skunks were found on the 1700 Block of Maxwell Avenue and the 200 block of Dewey Street, near Oakview Cemetery. Numerous calls were received from concerned homeowners in the highly-built-up residential area. The police said those coming into contact with an animal who they suspect may have rabies should leave the area and call them.
A Michigan man has been sentenced by the St. Ignace District Court to serve a year in jail – with a mandatory 90 days in prison – and pay US$5090 in restitution and fines, after having been found guilty of shooting three wolves. 58-year-old William Hayward of Bay City, MI plead guilty to shooting three wolves in Mackinac County, and destroying tracking collars that two of the wolves wore. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment is investigating separate wolf poachings in Chippewa and Luce counties, also in the eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula. Courtesy: WDIV-TV Local 4 (ClickOnDetroit.com) and the Associated Press
Update: Michigan DNRE is continuing its investigation. [WDIV-TV Local 4 (ClickOnDetroit.com)]
For $40 per person (or $70 for a couple), you can experience Zoorotica, a four-hour tour of the zoo with staff providing commentary on "love lives of the feathered, furry, and fanged". The tour concludes with hors d’oeuvres and a DVD presentation on animal mating behaviors.
Interested parties must be 21 or older to attend. After Zoorotica, on February 19, the zoo is holding an art workshop for artists wishing to develop their animal drawing skills.
A family of foxes has been discovered living in a front lawn along Caryn Street in the Detroit suburb of Farmington Hills, Michigan. Neighbours have stated that while the foxes are interesting and cute to watch, they are worried for both their safety, and the safety of the residents on the street.
The family is composed of two adults, and seven kits, living within a foxhole on the front lawn of a home on the street.