Podcast Explores Wildlife You Wouldn’t Expect to Find in Philly and Beyond

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer

It may be hard to believe, but urban wildlife extends far beyond subway rats and cockroaches. Local nature nuts, Billy (aka Bernard) Brown and Tony Croasdale, launched the Urban Wildlife Podcast on July 1st. The podcast focuses on obscure critters that share our home and even wonder city streets when we’re not looking.

Brown and Croasdale talk with some of the region’s renowned wildlife brainiacs and prove that you don’t have to off-road the Serengeti to interact with fascinating creatures. “There is great stuff to treasure close to home, even as close as our backyard,” says Brown. The podcast covers a wide range of topics that aims to surprise and educate. Listen as Brown and Croasdale delve into the secluded life of urban coyotes, and discuss the overlooked yet still captivating history of sidewalk plants.

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Holy Sea Cow! Manatee Spotted in Delaware River

The manatee spotted in the Delaware. Photo | New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

The manatee spotted in the Delaware. Photo | New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

The waters of the Delaware River received an unexpected guest this past week.

A manatee, the large marine mammal known to thrive in warmer waters, found its way into the northern Delaware River next to Bordentown City, New Jersey, the Burlington County Times reported yesterday.

The creature, often referred to as a “sea cow” because of its docile manner, was spotted at the mouth of the Crosswicks Creek on Tuesday, but has not been seen since, the paper reports. Read more »

5 Coolest Things About the Cape May County Zoo

toco toucan

A toco toucan at the Cape May County Park & Zoo (Photo: Dan McQuade)

Trip Advisor recently released its annual list of the best zoos in the world, based on average user ratings. The San Diego Zoo ranked first overall, unsurprisingly. Number two was Loro Parque, on the Canary Islands. Zoos from places like the United Kingdom, Singapore, Vienna and Prague were in the top 10. And 13th? The Cape May County Park & Zoo, in Cape May Court House, New Jersey.

Yes, really! The little zoo in Cape May is rated the 13th best by Trip Advisor readers. In the United States, it’s the fifth best. The Philadelphia Zoo did not rank in the top 25 in the U.S. rankings.

“On behalf of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, we are very proud of all of you,” Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders director Gerald Thornton actually said in a release “Really WELL DONE! You make our small County SHINE!”

With support like that, I had to check this place out. Here are the five coolest things about the Cape May County Zoo. Read more »

Treat Your Pooch to the Dog Days of Summer Festival in Chestnut Hill


Courtesy of Chestnut Hill Philadelphia

Our canine companions have shed their winter coats and are so eager to get out; they may just paw down the front door. Take them to the Dog Days of Summer festival! Chestnut Hill celebrates mans’ best friend with a day-long event that offers an abundance of activities catered to dogs and dog lovers, alike.

Look forward to caricaturists, music, and a photo booth. If the pooch just can’t seem to get that whole, “sit, stay, and roll over,” bit, professional instructors will be on-hand to help him figure it out. Once Sparky tires of obedience training, take him over to the pet psychic booth to get his paw read. Then head to one of the Chestnut Hill restaurants for “Yappy Hour” specials from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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Michael Vick’s Camp Still Sensitive About the Whole Dog Torture Thing

Michael Vick

Photo | Jeff Fusco

It has been six years since Michael Vick walked out of federal prison, where he was locked up for his involvement in a dogfighting conspiracy, and I — like most law-abiding people who don’t beat animals — haven’t forgotten about those charges. So when I received an email on Tuesday inviting me to a James Bond-themed “Michael Vick Weekend,” complete with a black-tie gala and golf outing, I took a moment to respond.

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PHOTOS: Gorilla Treeway Opening This Weekend at Philadelphia Zoo

The latest addition to Philadelphia Zoo‘s Zoo360 program, an initiative that seeks to get visitors up close and personal with the animals like they’ve never seen them before, is set to open this weekend. That addition is Gorilla Treeway, a 300-foot, mesh overhead system of tunnels that lets the gorillas stroll around the Zoo grounds more freely—and at times right over our heads. The Treeway extends 12 feet above the visitor path and gives the animals a 5-foot by 6-foot expanse to stretch their arms and get peeks at parts of the Zoo—and their animal neighbors—that they may not have seen before.

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There’s a 900-Pound Gorilla Sculpture Made Out of Car Hoods at Philadelphia Zoo

"Blue Gorilla" by Don Kennell

“Blue Gorilla” by Don Kennell

The Philadelphia Zoo is home to a whole new crew of creatures, thanks to a new exhibit comprising animal sculptures made with recycled, renewed, reused and repurposed materials.

“Second Nature: Junk Rethunk” is on display now at the Zoo. Twelve artists from across the globe got together to make the 70 eco-friendly artworks that are made out of everything from burned-out spark plugs and recycled plastic bottles to wads of chewing gum.

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The Strange Connection Between Harrison Ford and Snowy Owls

If you’re going to crash an airplane, you damned sure want to crash it on a golf course, as Harrison Ford did on Thursday. Why? Because there’s sure to be any number of doctors out on that golf course, doing that thing doctors do on golf courses and have done, there, down through history. In Ford’s case, he was lucky enough to have an attending spinal surgeon, Sanjay Khurana, on the links, and Khurana led a team of doctors in stabilizing Ford’s spine and neck. Good thinking, Indy! Who else would manage to crash a plane straight into a thicket of medical professionals?

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