Michael Watkins faces felony burglary and grand theft charges as well as a misdemeanor charge after he allegedly broke into Zoo Boise and released and killed a Patas monkey in November. Watkins' lawyer has said he was drunk and trying to return the monkey to its enclosure when it attacked him, but a witness says Watkins was trying to steal the monkey. Watkins requested two more weeks to consider what plea he will enter.
Tiny Tim, the 35.2-pound stray cat who captivated Houston animal lovers, has been diagnosed with cancer of unknown cell origin, according to veterinarian Alice Frei, whose clinic has been caring for Tiny Tim. The cat has lost almost seven pounds on the clinic's regimented diet and exercise plan, but a recent exam revealed a swelling on his elbow that proved to be cancer. Tiny Tim is awaiting more testing at the Texas A&M veterinary teaching hospital.
The Topeka Zoo's 30-year-old orangutan named Lena underwent an emergency hysterectomy because her fetus died in utero and veterinarians were concerned about a ruptured uterus. It was the third trimester of her pregnancy. Topeka Zoo veterinarian Shirley Llizo, along with veterinarian Leon Conner and perinatologist John Evans, performed Lena's surgery. Managing pain and preventing infection are now the primary goals for Lena's recovery, said Dr. Llizo.
Politics apparently spills into pet preferences, with Republican-leaning states favoring dogs and many Democratic-leaning states being more feline-inclined. The AVMA's recently released U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook ranks dog, cat and overall pet ownership by state, and nine of the top 10 dog-owning states went for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, while nine of the 10 states with the fewest dogs opted for President Barack Obama and four of the top five states for cat ownership also voted blue.
A new tick-borne disease, still unnamed, has been discovered in 18 human cases in New York and New England, according to researchers from institutions including Yale University and New York Medical College. The pathogen, Borrelia miyamotoi, was first identified in ticks in Japan in 1995. Symptoms include headaches, muscle aches, fatigue and recurring bouts of fever, the latter a feature distinct from Lyme disease. Doxycycline and amoxicillin given after the first episode of fever apparently are effective.