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Michigan furs roam social networks after Midwest Furries closes its doors

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Midwest Furries logo Michigan furs have lost a central online community with the closure of the Midwest Furries forum (previously known as Michigan Furs).

Webmaster Gir Tygrin decided to close the forum after evaluating competition from more general social websites and consulting with members. A server failure halving site capacity triggered the decision:

Thanks to a failure of the server's motherboard I've determined it to be a total loss. At the current time (thanks to having to buy a new car in October) I cannot afford to replace the system. […] In the past I would have fought tooth and nail to keep the site going but with the prevalence of other websites that support the furry community I feel that this forum may be getting to the end if it's usefulness anyway. […] I'm frankly stunned that the servers lasted this long. We've been running the same hardware since the Forum's 2nd year. When I bought them I invested just over $3,000 on the hardware. I'd say it was a pretty good return. […] Based on the feedback that I've received so far it seems like people are pretty content to use Facebook, FA, and other resources.

Activity has coalesced around Michigan Furs, Michigan Furries, Michican Fur meets and Furry Michigan on Facebook, and West Michigan, Lansing and Yoopers groups on Fur Affinity.

Furry Connection North closes after six year run

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Michigan furry convention Furry Connection North, has announced its closure due to the retirement of key senior staff members.

In a statement, chairman Gir Tygrin detailed the group's struggle to deal with the growth of the organization, and their ultimate decision that the amount of work needed to allow FCN to continue to exist and "not change its core mission":

[…] would be unrealistic and would potentially compromise the integrity of the event.

The organization's supplies and funds are to be donated to other events and charities; the latter have already received $21,299.67 from this year's charity fundraising efforts.

FCN was first held in 2008 with 372 attendees, and attracted 1,259 this year. It had banned minors from registering in 2013 over the "serious burden" of ensuring parental consent.

Full statement follows . . . See also: Photos from FCN 2008, 2010 and 2013 (fursuit group shot)

Hyenas show proof of higher intelligence through counting

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Hyenas on the HuntIt 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.

Rabid skunk alert in Royal Oak, Michigan; 2 destroyed

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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.

Read more: Information on rabies from the Oakland County Health Department and Wikipedia.

Michigan man jailed for wolf hunting

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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)]

Michigan zoo hosts Zoorotica 2011

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The Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan, is hosting an unusual special event on the weekend before next month's St Valentine's Day.

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.

Family of foxes camping on Michigan front lawn

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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.

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