by Countable | 12.6.17
Need a break from the tax-break stories?
No? Alright, fine, here’s a link to our latest on the GOP tax bill.
But if you could use a bit of animal therapy, here’s Countable’s first episode in our series about American critters:
An employee at Cash’s Liquor Store found the marsupial next to a broken and empty bottle of bourbon. Too expensive to send the opossum to the Betty Ford Clinic, the employee brought the inebriated creature to the nearby Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge for treatment.
"She definitely wasn’t fully acting normal," Michelle Pettis, a technician at the refuge, told the Northwest Florida Daily News. The juvenile female opossum appeared disoriented, pale, and was salivating excessively.
Pettis and the staff pumped the possum full of liquids and cared for her as she sobered up.
"She was good a couple of days later," Pettis said. “And was released Thursday night.”
Pettis told the Daily News the opossum did not appear to have a hangover.
Heather Bolint was 1,124 miles into her hike of the Appalachian Trail, about a half-mile north of the Mason-Dixon Line, when a very "fancy rooster" appeared out of nowhere.
"I was completely incredulous when I found him," Bolint told TODAY.
She waited with the rooster to see if it headed home, and checked the surrounding area for possible hen (and rooster) houses. Her feathered friend didn’t depart, and no home could be located.
"I was afraid that someone just dropped him off here because it was a quiet country road, and because he was a rooster, which people don't always desire," she said.
An animal advocate, Bolint made the decision to carry "Eddie" for 42 miles, from Pennsylvania to West Virginia, stopping every hour so the bird could forage for insects and plants, and drink some water. Eddie slept in Bolint’s tent.
Reaching Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, Bolint reached out to the Poplar Spring animal sanctuary.
"I only hesitated for a minute, because we are very full for roosters. But his rescue was so miraculous that I knew we had to help," Poplar Spring co-founder Terry Cummings told Today.
Cummings renamed the rooster Mason, in tribute to where he was found, and said "as soon as he is found to be healthy, he will be introduced to the other chickens, and he will have a wonderful, happy life."
In what sounds like the setup for a Disney version of West Side Story with rodents, a graduate student has discovered that New York City has genetically distinct "uptown" and “downtown” rats. (“When you’re a rat, you’re a rat all the way/From your first taste of puke to your poisoning day.”)
For the past two years, Matthew Combs and his colleagues have been trapping and sequencing the DNA of brown rats in Manhattan and found that different neighborhoods had their own distinct rats.
"If you gave us a rat, we could tell whether it came from the West Village or the East Village," Combs told The Atlantic. “They’re actually unique little rat neighborhoods.”
Fascinating: https://t.co/M2WC8agnUq— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) November 30, 2017
Manhattan has genetically distinct populations of rats. Uptown rats differ from Downtown rats, and the Midtown lack of garbage to feed on imposes a sufficient barrier to gene flow.
Written by Countable