Jan 202014
 
Snowy Owl rescued by Lake Erie Science Center Wildlife Rehab

Snowy Owl rescued by Lake Erie Science Center Wildlife Rehab (Facebook Image Post by Lake Erie Nature & Science Center)

I am not exactly a wildlife artist. My typical artistic genre is more in the realm of domestic pets. I have, however, on occasion, created artworks of wildlife.

Wild animals fascinate me, and although they are not typically the subject of my artwork, I love all animals, and I am amazed at the wondrous beauty found in animals in the wild. When a wild animal finds itself harmed and trapped by man’s world, it saddens me deeply. I am very thankful for those who take on the challenge of rehabilitating such creatures.

I once volunteered with a wildlife rescue, which resulted in me adding my cat Slick to my family. Slick went to the Rainbow Bridge in September of last year. You can read how she came to my family here.

The owl that you see in the photo to the right is a Snowy Owl that found itself trapped in the basement of the Palace Theater in Lorain, OH. The poor animal was dehydrated and emaciated when he was found and rescued by the Kenneth A. Scott Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Program at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center in Bay Village, OH.

I was intrigued by the local media stories about the owl, and I posted about it on my Facebook page. It caught the attention of many of my Facebook fans, one of whom was so intrigued, she has commissioned me to paint a portrait of it! Paula Andrews Rogers is a big fan of the Harry Potter stories, and she saw a great story in this owl’s likeness to the Snowy Owl Hedwig in the series. She would like for me to paint it’s portrait and send it to Author J.K. Rowling in Scotland!

Once the portrait is complete, I will sell prints of it to raise funds for the Kenneth A. Scott Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Program at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.  Stay tuned! Please consider donating to their organization for the great work that they do.

Here is a video from the Cleveland Plain Dealer that shares some about the owl’s rescue and rehabilitation.  The owl is improving since he was rescued. Best wishes for a safe recovery, dear sweet owl!

So Canton has a mountain lion…

 social awareness  Comments Off on So Canton has a mountain lion…
Jul 132011
 
canton-mountain-lion-art-bztat

"Canton Mountain Lion" digital Art by BZTAT

In recent weeks, there have been several sightings of a mountain lion, or some large cat-like creature, in the Canton, OH/Stark County area. Although the animal has not been close enough to any human beings for anyone to get a clear photo of it, the mere possibility of such a creature in the area has provoked fear and anguish.

Sadly, the response from wildlife officials has been lackluster and seemingly heartless. They suggest that the animal would be killed, not tranquilized and relocated, should it reappear in their sights.

Experts have speculated that the animal that has been seen in Stark County was likely a captive animal that someone was keeping. Experts suspect that it either escaped or was released.

I am an advocate for the humane treatment of animals. I generally only get involved in causes related to domestic animals, however, this animal’s plight, and several others like it, has struck a nerve with me. Why is it that humans feel the need to keep wild, aggressive animals as pets?

Why do we feel the need to bend the things that fascinate us to our own whims and keep them as our own?

I love having pets – domesticated pets. Aggressive wild animals have needs beyond our comprehension, and simply should not be living outside of natural habitats. At least zoos and sanctuaries go to great lengths to recreate habitats, using experts and research.

A home or cage is no home for a wild animal.

They get loose, struggle with their new unfamiliar habitat, and then they become a potential public safety threat.

Being a Twitter buff, I decided to take to the social media platform to raise some awareness and have a little fun. I created the @CantonMtnLion Twitter account, somewhat in the style of the viral @BronxZooCobra to see what would happen. It has not gone viral, but it has raised the attention of local media. I was interviewed today for a story by Action News 19 from Cleveland, and two local radio hosts have enjoyed tweeting with the mountain lion.

I am not sure where the Twitter account will go from here, but I hope to use it to raise awareness to animal welfare issues, as well as have a little bit of fun. There have been no actual sightings of a real cougar in the area for days, so I suspect that it has moved on. But there is no reason why we cannot use its misadventure as a way to raise awareness.

The state of Ohio and other states have initiatives to reduce the wild animal trade and the inappropriate care of exotic animals as pets. The Humane Society of the United States has initives going on all over the country. How can you get involved? Check out these websites and follow the mountain lion on Twitter to find other resources.

I urge you to think about how we treat animals in our world and think about how we can be more humane. We share this world with them, not control it for them. How can we be better neighbors?

UPDATE: View the Action News 19 story: