December 17, 2012 |
An eerie new disease is cropping up among raccoons in Northern California and Oregon: brain tumors that may be linked to a previously unidentified virus discovered by a team led by UC Davis veterinarians and researchers. Necropsies conducted since 2010 have found brain tumors in 11 raccoons from Northern California and one from Oregon, the researchers said. All of the animals with tumors also had the virus scientists know as raccoon polyomavirus. "Previous to this, there had been two reports of a raccoon with a brain tumor over the past two decades," Patricia Pesavento, a pathologist at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and principal author of a study on the malady published earlier this month in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, said in an interview.
November 1, 2012 |
"The Details," an offbeat, original, pitch dark comedy for adults, offers a chancy return role for ex-"Spider-Man" star Tobey Maguire, who's been largely (and sadly) absent from the big screen of late. As Jeff Lang, an OB-GYN whose routine life snowballs into a suburban hell after a sod-swallowing raccoon starts tearing up his backyard, Maguire tilts his nice-guy persona on its ear while effectively maintaining a kind of "who me?" - and "why me?" - innocence. It's a nutty and surprising ride steered by writer-director Jacob Aaron Estes in his first turn behind the camera since 2004's fine "Mean Creek.
September 26, 2012 |
NIESTE, Germany - The masked intruders who come regularly after dark don't fill Marga Trautmann-Winter with dread so much as irritation - lots of it. She finds evidence of their larceny at daybreak in her backyard, where plums have been pilfered, cherries picked and apples appropriated from her small orchard. But if she's lucky, she manages to turn the tables and ensnare one of the thieves, as has happened about 20 times in the last two years, including one recent morning. The bandit lay curled up in a metal cage, its drowsy expression turning to wariness, then narrow-eyed aggression as Trautmann-Winter approached.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 2010 |
Rachel Campos de Ivanov was walking her dog last Sunday night when she saw two eyes glowing in the darkness. Her border terrier barked furiously. The eyes came closer, and she discerned a masked furry critter. She turned away and her pursuer, a raccoon, charged. Then four other raccoons dropped from the trees and joined the chase. "I was running as fast as I could and screaming at the top of my lungs, 'Help! Help! Help!' " said the East Bay resident. "I ran about a third of a block, then tripped and fell on the ground.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2010 |
Yes, I am a skeptic. But Dana Miller, an animal communicator, asked me to keep an open mind, and I'm trying. There was a St. Francis of Assisi, so why can't there be a St. Dana of Sunland-Tujunga? I went to see Miller, you may recall, in an act of desperation. Raccoons and skunks have torn up my yard too many times to count, and none of the remedies have worked, including coyote urine and mothballs. I asked Miller, who says she can "connect" with lost animals and help guide them back home, if she could connect with my raccoons and skunks and tell them to go bother somebody else.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2010 |
Maybe Brian the dog is just a better conversationalist than Steve Lopez's marauding raccoons. Lopez enlisted an animal psychic to persuade the raccoons destroying his yard to lay off. Psychic Dana Miller is trying to reason with them -- as Lopez relayed in his Wednesday column -- but conversing with raccoons isn't as easy as chatting with dogs, it seems. Miller had no trouble connecting with Brian, a tiny white Maltese who disappeared three years ago from his Tujunga front yard.