Monday, July 23, 2007

Fort Worth Nature Center

It seems that I've developed a new routine going places every Monday. Well, today, I went to the Fort Worth Nature Center. It was the first time I've seen wild prairie dogs in their natural habitat. The pictures didn't come out as great as I hoped, because they were too far away. There are also fox squirrels at this nature center; as I've briefly seen one and heard another making an alarm call. Prairie dogs also have several alarm calls for different purposes, and though a close cousin, have a more complex system of communication than squirrels.

Monday, July 16, 2007

New Chipmunk

After the hike on White Rock Creek trail, I decided to go to a pet store to see what I can get for my current critters. While I was there, I saw this lone Siberian chipmunk (Tamias sibiricus), so I couldn't resist but buy him. His name is Simon; named after one of the 3 Chipmunks (you know, Alvin, Simon, Theodore). My ex-girlfriend would be pleased that I named him that; as her last name is Simons. Here's his best pic so far:

White Rock Creek Squirrels

I went hiking at a popular park in Dallas, known as White Rock Lake. I hiked on the creek trail, but not the lake trail. There were lots of pecan, oak, and other wildlife-friendly trees, a true haven for squirrels. It was seven miles long, and I saw a total of seven squirrels. There would be much more if it wasn't summer. I really can't wait for October (that's Squirrel Awareness month!) Anyway, here are pics of a doe and a buck I encountered today. Believe it or not, they do smile for the pictures, and here's the proof (at least the buck did):

Monday, July 9, 2007

SMU Squirrels

When going to the scene of the bizarre dead squirrel display, I didn't really find much. I wasn't really expecting anything; but I went anyway because it was worth a shot. I asked residents who lived near the alley if they knew anything about it, and showed them the article, but they didn't know anything like this ever even happened. I did notice a strange odor (like rotten meat) near one of the alleys, but it could have been anything.

Across the main road, Hillcrest, was Southern Methodist University (SMU). I decided to take a look at the squirrels over there. Sadly, I saw a dead doe on the sidewalk there, perhaps a victim of an internal parasite. There was no sign of blood or predation. Other than that, SMU has a pretty good population of fox squirrels; I saw at least 20. I managed to get some pictures of these squirrels. Below is the only picture that came out okay.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Will Investigate

I believe the possible suspects in the December 2005 nailed squirrel case go by the nicknames "Snake" and "Wolf" and are, or were, Dallas residents. These two were fanatical cyberbullies who verbally and emotionally harrassed members of a Yahoo group, SquirrelLovers, and created a blog called Varmit Poontang. This blog contained graphic pictures of dead squirrels used to intimidate and anger people who love squirrels. The three nailed squirrels were probably part of a photographic demonstration. I am certain it was much more than 3 squirrels that were killed. Yahoo and Flickr, hosts of these images, deleted them, and the Varmit Poontang blog was taken down. That is bittersweet, because nobody wants to see those images, but they could have been used as evidence. The only evidence left are the harrassing comments in the archives of the SquirrelLovers Yahoo group.

I am going to be visiting the scene of the squirrel massacre. I will be at the 3400 block of University Blvd in Dallas on Monday, July 9, to see if I find anything unusual or suspicious. Even though this happened almost 20 months ago, it is still worth a look. It is sad that the police aren't sure if a crime was even committed... well, of course a crime was committed! And I'm going over there to solve it.

The following are, or should be, considered criminal activity in this case:

  • Hunting within city limits
  • Discharging a firearm in a residential neighborhood
  • Verbal and emotional harrassment via Internet media
  • Intimidating and angering people by using dead animals as props
  • Animal cruelty (if squirrels were still alive during the nailing)
  • Drug use (anyone involved in the above is obviously on drugs)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Squirrel Cruelty Case in Dallas (Dec. 2005)

I'm not sure why I haven't heard about this when it happened, but back in December of 2005, a disturbing case of squirrel cruelty happened in Dallas. Here is link to that case:

3 squirrels nailed to fence,
Dallas, TX (US)

I believe the possible suspects are "Snake" and "Wolf", the anti-squirrel fanatics who verbally and emotionally harrassed members of the Yahoo group SquirrelLovers, and created the ill-fated Varmit Poontang blog. Their real names are uncertain, but they sometimes went by Brad and Jarrod, respectively, on the Yahoo group. The harrassing comments they made happened between October 2005 and January 2006. Their "Varmit Poontang" blog was active between November 2005 and June 2006. After that time, fortunately, these two seemed to disappear. Hopefully it is because they have been arrested (perhaps for other crimes) and are rotting in prison already. My suspicion that "Snake" and "Wolf" are the suspects in this crime stem from the fact that the incident took place during the peak of their harrassing and blogging, which also took place in Dallas. Could be a coincidence, but any additional information on this case or on these two individuals would be much appreciated.