Higher Calling Wildlife® has consistently supported wildlife conservation efforts in Israel.
We have partnered with the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo’s Persian fallow deer restoration program since 2014 and are proud to call them friends.
We make donations to this conservation program in honor of kids coming through Wild Wishes®. This program grants wildlife encounters to children with a critical illness, traumatic loss , living in foster care and other serious issues.
The kids light up when we tell them because they came to us, wildlife in Israel got a blessing.
A few years back we created the Higher Calling Wildlife® Wildlife Of Israel magazine that raises awareness of wildlife conservation in the Holy Land.
It’s the first of its kind magazine focusing solely on Israel’s wildlife and we chose to bring it back to public awareness as Israel as engaged in war and they suffered a horrific attack Oct. 7.
A monster black bear has been captured and relocated in Tennessee.
A 500-pound black bear living near Tusculum college in Greeneville had become habituated to human and unnatural foods and was relocated to a remote area of the Cherokee National Forest according to officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).
Wildlife Sgt. David Carpenter said the bear had regular access to garbage, birdseed, and pet food had and been in the area for a few years but ramped up its activity and property damage last year on the agency’s Facebook page.
Wildlife Officers decided to trap it then due to the increasing potential for negative interaction, but were unsuccessful after the bear changed its travel routine. Recent activity indicated it was back to its old ways and Officers Ryan Rosier, Austin Wilson, and Sgt. Carpenter located the bear in a small vacant wood lot and were able to free-range tranquilize it. They worked the bear up and requested the assistance of the Greeneville Fire Department to help move it to the transport cage due to its size. They were glad to help and were able to use some of their specialized equipment to expedite the process.
Kudos to TWRA officials for the successful relocation of a monster bear and reminding us how big black bears can get.
The Most Dangerous Thing In The Woods
A couple of years ago someone asked me what was the most dangerous thing to encounter in the woods.
Since I’ve written and broadcasted extensively on cougars, snakes, feral hogs and bears they were expecting one of those as the answer.
“People, ” I said.
“There is nothing more dangerous than people, especially in remote forests and mountainous regions.”
Deep woods can sometimes mean big dangers. (Public Domain Photo) The answer came from collecting stories as a journalist over the years and my own personal experiences which I will discuss in upcoming posts and broadcasts.
The stories are omnipresent.
Take for example the caller to my radio program “Moore Outdoors” on Newtalk AM 560 KLVI who found a body burning while teal hunting with his son south of Houston.
Another caller revealed that in the 70s he and his father were out night fishing near High Islalnd, TX and see someone against the shoreline burying something and decided to leave.
Turns out it was monstrous serial killer Dean Corll who brutalized dozens of teenage boys.
Remote areas are often the most peaceful but due to the isolation can be extremely dangerous.
My goal is to educate people on what can happen in these areas and how to be prepared so that all deep woods hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing trips are safe.
That will require bringing to light some uncomfortable facts. And it will also involve creating a system of proactive safety.
I see these human-related threats falling into four categories.
*Idiot Hunters: These are those rare , unethical, clueless hunters who should not be in the woods (and give the rest of us a bad name). Every years stories of people shooting someone because they heard something coming through the bushes. This is probably statistically the most dangerous human threat because of the widespread nature of hunters in America.
*Poachers: Encountering a poacher in the woods can be dangerous if they assume you will turn them in or if you make the mistake of confronting them instead of law enforcement handling the duties. It’s not as dangerous as it is in Africa where organized crime and even terror cells are involved in high stakes rhino and elephant poaching but it is a potential threat.
*Drug Trade: Finding meth labs and pot farms is not good. People do not want their operations found out and will go to any length to stop someone from squealing.
*Predators: This is the highest level. This is coming across someone hunting humans whether to rape, kill or terrorize.
I will be doing a podcast series on this topic. Have you had a crazy human encounter in the woods or on the water?
Sharing your encounter might help save someone’s life.
Drugs In Bonefish
A three-year study by Florida International University (FIU) and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) has discovered pharmaceutical contaminants in the blood and other tissues of bonefish in Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys.
“Coastal fisheries face increasing threats associated with human-based contaminants,” said Jim McDuffie, BTT President and CEO.
“Pharmaceuticals are an often overlooked dimension of water quality and their presence in South Florida bonefish is cause for concern. These contaminants pose a significant threat to the flats fishery, an important part of Florida’s recreational saltwater fishery, which has an annual economic impact of $9.2 billion and directly supports 88,500 jobs.”
Since the study began in 2018, FIU scientists and BTT research associates, in partnership with Sweden’s Umeå University and the University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), have sampled 93 fish in South Florida, finding an average of seven pharmaceuticals per bonefish, and a whopping 17 pharmaceuticals in a single fish. The list includes blood pressure medications, antidepressants, prostate treatment medications, antibiotics, and pain relievers. Researchers also found pharmaceuticals in bonefish prey—crabs, shrimp and fish—suggesting that many of Florida’s valuable fisheries are exposed, and not only the bonefish fishery.
At a BTT panel event in Tallahassee, FL, lead researcher Dr. Jennifer Rehage presented the study’s findings.
“These findings are truly alarming,” said Dr. Rehage. “Pharmaceuticals are an invisible threat, unlike algal blooms or turbid waters. Yet these results tell us that they are a formidable threat to our fisheries, and highlight the pressing need to address our longstanding wastewater infrastructure issues.”
Approximately 5 billion prescriptions are filled each year in the US, yet there are no environmental regulations for the disposal of pharmaceuticals worldwide.
Pharmaceutical contaminants originate most often from human wastewater and are not sufficiently removed by conventional water treatment. They remain active at low doses, can be released constantly, and exposure can affect all aspects of fish behavior, with negative consequences for their reproduction and survival. Pharmaceutical contaminants have been shown to affect all aspects of the life of fish, including their feeding, activity, sociability, and migratory behavior.
Greetings from the Higher Calling Wildlife® headquarters!
This week we have lots to discuss from around the world beginning with a series of moose attacks.
My “The Great American Wildlife Conflict” article was published in the Houston Safari Club Foundation’s convention journal that was handed out to all guests at their 2022 convention.
In the piece I named five animals I thought would have increasing conflicts with people and one of them was moose.
People typically think of carnivores as threats but large ungulates can almost become dangerous, especially when they routinely weigh more than 1,000 pounds.
In the last 48 hours, these three headlines came across my Google alerts.
Moose Attacks Two Vehicles Never Eveleth
Maine Teen Kills Moose After It Attacks Dog Sled
Alaska Moose Attack: Drive Prayed Not To Be Killed
Human populations are growing, moose numbers are increasing in some areas and wildlife habitat is shrinking.
The bull moose charged Bridgett Watkins’ dogs and trampled on them for more than an hour before it was shot dead on the Salcha River trail system near Fairbanks on Thursday.
Ms Watkins, who was training for a race, said she “emptied her gun into” the animal, but it continued to attack before a friend arrived and killed it with one round from their rifle.
That quote from the Alaska story is quite frightening and shows the potential danger of moose. Many predators leave after they think a threat is eliminated or if they “miss” in a pass at someone. Moose apparently like to hang around and keep on pounding.
I will be covering more on moose attacks and their behavior in coming editions.
My wife and I saw moose for the first time in the wild three years ago and we both fell in love with them. They have become her favorite animal so if fuel prices come down we may take a road trip this fall to photograph them.
Oh, don’t worry. We’ll keep a safe distance.
Black Non- Coyote-Canid?
For a few years I was on an email list with a bunch of biologists and wolf researchers and frequently heard the tear “non-coyote canid” used to describe animals that were definitely part coyote but might also have some wolf DNA.
Is this the case with this beautiful animal Rusty Adams captured on this game camera in East Texas? It looks like a coyote but it has a lot of bulk. Melanism (hyper amounts of black pigment) was common in what came to be the red wolf in the Southeastern United States. Is this a melanistic coyote or is there some lingering red wolf DNA?
I guess that would make it a non-coyote canid.
No matter what, it’s awesome and we appreciate Rusty sending in these photos. If you have game camera photos of unusual canids or any interesting wildlife, please send to email@example.com. We would love to share them here.
Conserving Southern Africa’s Wildlife
In the latest episode of Higher Calling Wildlife® we talk with Adrian Donian of Buffalo Kloof Conservancy in South Africa about their amazing conservation work involving everything from white and black rhinos to cheetahs.
Joining us is Jake Hill, a Stephen F. Austin student who did an amazing internship there last year and had experiences that might make me just a tad jealous.
Jake connected me with Buffalo Kloof after we met on a turkey capture in Nacogdoches County, TX.
Higher Calling Wildlife, the podcast, is brought to you by Texas Fish & Game magazine.
Bringing Back the Caspian Tiger
The Caspian tiger was the subspecies found in the Middle East and into parts of southern Russia.
They were known for having a large “beard” so to speak and were deemed officially extinct in 2003.
I recently came across a fascinating blog about Caspian tiger restoration efforts that involve everything from releasing Amur (Siberian) tigers into their range to bringing them back in the lab through cloning.
I heard intriguing reports in 2019 of Caspian tigers possibly surviving in Turkey. Wildlife of the Middle East has always intrigued me and I would love to one day go an an expedition into Turkey and Iran looking for some of its rare wildlife, including any possible leads on surviving tigers.
Eating Wild Game Is Sustainable And Healthy
We like to eat wild game at the Moore household as much as possible. I catch a lot of fish and usually kill at least a deer and a hog or two every year.
Wild game is healthy and by harvesting it and creating a demand through legal, biologically-monitored hunting, it creates a demand to keep wild species like whitetails and elk around.
An article in The Jerusalem Post quoted Fire Chief Insp.-Gen. Dedi Simchithe saying the blaze was human-caused, although it was still unclear if it was an accident, due to negligence or intentionally sparked.
Other sources point directly to arson, which makes this even more tragic.
“The thick smoke from the fire was seen from Jerusalem as the skies darkened over the city,” said Rachael Risby Raz with the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.
Zoo officials saw the smoke overhead and ashes fell at the zoo, which is around 15 kilometers away from where the center of the blaze was.
“Our thoughts went immediately to our Persian fallow deer, who are part of the Zoo’s successful re-introduction project in the Jerusalem Hills. The acclimatization enclosure for the project and the main area where the deer live is in the area of Nahal Sorek,” Raz said.
The Zoo conservation team were in touch with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, who are their partners in this important endeavor, throughout the day and night.
“Luckily the fire did not go down from the direction of Har HaTayassim to the Nahal Sorek gorge. This is good news for our deer, they had a place to go. The vast majority of the area in which they are concentrated has not been damaged,” Raz said.
We will keep you updated as we believe this is one of the planet’s most important conservation projects.
This year zoo officials reported the breeding herd there had 13 fawns and there have been several generations of deer born in the wild.
Restoring this deer of the Garden of Eden to the Holy Land is a worthy project and one we recommend you support if possible.
Our prayers are with Jerusalem, Israel, the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo and their conservation projects.
Yesterday we announced that we created our own conservation outreach Higher Calling Wildlife. Everyone who joins for FREE gets this very special edition Higher Calling Wildlife “Wildlife Of Israel” e-mag.
It’s the first of its kind magazine focusing solely on Israel’s wildlife and we chose to debut it today as the Jewish festival of Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) begins this evening.
This is the New Year on the calendar God gave to the Hebrews and since supporting Israel’s wildlife is one of our pillars, we thought this would be a good way to celebrate and also a new beginning for us.