Eels Were Recently Seen in a Bangor Maine Parking Lot

Eels in parking lot in Bangor, Maine
Several eels were recently seen swimming in a parking lot, in Bangor, Maine. (Photo : Photo by Chris Pushor)

Recently during a heavy rain in Bangor, Maine, citizens outside of a Shaw’s grocery store saw several eels swimming in the parking lot.

The store is across from the Penobscot River.

One man, Chris Pushor, took a photo and shared it on Facebook with the caption, “I understand it’s raining hard but eels swimming in Shaw’s parking lot interesting,” according to an article in the Bangor Daily News (BDN).

In an interview with BDN, Pushor said, “There were about ten in the parking area, some were still alive and others had been hit by cars. The big one was about two feet long, it was just a surprise to see them.”

The newspaper reported that the Shaw’s Supermarket on Main Street said that the eels were in the parking lot and that store employees returned the eels to the river.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources reports here on the comings and goings of eels in that state. The secret of the American eel’s migration from rivers along the Atlantic Coast to the North Atlantic was recently reported by a study. 

In some areas, scientists truck eels to locations above hydroelectric dams to aid them in their migration patterns, as the Chesapeake Bay’s Bay Journal newspaper reported here.

American Eels were also recently kept off the federal Endangered Species List again. Many coastal and slightly inland locations have eel monitoring programs. For instance, New York state reported its Hudson River Eel Report here, from 2008-2015. 

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales

Cracked Elephant Tusks: Engineers Develop New, Durable Repair Method [VIDEO]

Cracked Elephant Tusk
When an elephant’s tusk cracks, it may become infected and pose serious health problems if left untreated. Ultimately, the tusk may have to be removed. (Photo : University of Alabama at Birmingham)

An elephant’s tusks are very strong, but when they experience a great deal of pressure they may crack under the stress. Now, however, it seems a team of engineers has developed a better way to repair a cracked tusk and ensure it doesn’t grow any worse. 

Elephants often put extra pressure on their tusks when interacting with their natural environments or other elephants. When Birmingham Zoo veterinarians were in need of help to stop a crack from growing in their oldest elephant’s tusk they reached out to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Engineering, according to a news release. 

Previously, cracked tusks have been repaired by adhering a metal ring to the tusk in order to stablize the crack and prevent it from advancing farther up the tusk. And that’s exactly what Birmingham zoo veterinarians expected UAB engineers to do for their 35-year-old male African elephant named Bulwagi. (Scroll to read more…)


“When the team at the Zoo asked me to create this metal ring, I thought, ‘we can do better,'” Brian Pillay, director of UAB’s Materials Processing and Applications Development Center, said in the release. “We can use what we know about materials development to make something that will work better for the elephant.”

Such repair techniques remain prevalent in the field because a cracked tusk can quickly become infected if not taken care of properly. Ultimately, an infection can then lead to other health problems or may eventually have to even be removed — similar to what would happen if a human’s tooth were to crack. The new innovative method for treating an elephant’s cracked tusk uses engineering strategies involving composite fiberglass, a carbon-fiber band and resin that would normally be used in structures like bridges. 

“We worked with Dr. Pillay’s lab to practice applying this product on a PVC pipe to start off with as a model,” Richard Sim, an associate veterinarian at the Zoo, explained in the release, adding that it took a couple tries to get the application process right. “We put a number of layers of carbon fiber and fiberglass around the tusk, and then used a vacuum pump to suck the resin, kind of like an epoxy, up into that product, and it set and became a really hard structure that is going to resist the forces that resulted in the crack. No one has done this before, so it’s our hope that this will be a process that will stand the test of time.”

In the end, their method not only proved to be successful, but is also a great deal lighter, stronger and tougher than steel. 

“The standard ring that would have been traditionally used is four to five times heavier than what Bulwagi has now. This is a significantly better solution,” Pillay added. 

While the crack in Bulwagi’s tusk has already spread to such a degree that he may loose the tusk anyways, researchers hope their new method will help other elephants in the future. Therefore, the next step is monitor the growth of his crack in order to determine how, and if, their creation will work in the long run. 

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Samantha on Twitter @Sam_Ashley13

Cuckoos Shed Light On the Decision-Making Skills Of Disoriented Migrating Birds

African Striped Cuckoo
Cuckoos use a surprisingly complex decision-making process to find their way when migrating from unknown locations without the help of biological siblings or parents to show them the ropes. (Photo : Flickr: Derek Keats)

Cuckoos are migratory birds that are surprisingly successful at making their way to their summer homes, according to a recent study by the University of Copenhagen. The birds’ highly complex individual decision-making process suggests that navigation in migratory birds is more complex than previously thought. 

Cuckoos use their decision-making skills to find their way from unknown locations, researchers from the university’s Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate explained in a recent study, adding that such behaviors have never been documented in migratory birds. 

For their study, researchers fitted 11 adult cuckoos with miniature satellite tracking devices and relocated the birds from Denmark to Spain — about 1,000 km off course — just before their winter migration to Africa was about to begin. This experiment was aimed at testing how the birds would respond when pointed toward different stopover areas used along their normal route, according to a news release. 

“The release site was completely unknown to the cuckoos, yet they had no trouble finding their way back to their normal migratory route. Interestingly though, they aimed for different targets on the route, which we do not consider random,” Mikkel Willemoes, one of the study researchers and a postdoc from the University of Copenhagen, explained in the release. “This individual and flexible choice in navigation indicates an ability to assess advantages and disadvantages of different routes, probably based on their health, age, experience or even personality traits. They evaluate their own condition and adjust their reaction to it, displaying a complicated behavior which we were able to document for the first time in migratory birds.”

Of the 11 displaced cuckoos, researchers found one flew to Poland, one to the Balkans, one to Chad and three to the Democratic Republic of Congo. From there, the birds followed their familiar migration route, though the last five birds lost their transmitting signal. 

“In order to select an individual strategy, the birds should be capable of balancing perceived gains and risks of several different scenarios. Such a task would require knowledge of the current location in relation to all of the possible goals as well as distances to each of the goals. This tells us that bird migration in general is far more complex than previously assumed,” Willemoes added. 

Next, researchers plan to develop even smaller transmitters so that they can follow young cuckoos as they make their first relocation decisions without prior migration experience. Cuckoos are particularly useful for navigation research because adult birds lay their eggs inside the nests of others, so when young nestlings grow up without siblings or biological parents to lead the way on new, long migrations, their inherent abilities reveal interesting and complex decision-making strategies. 

Cuckoos belong to a diverse family of birds known as Cuculidae, all of which have a diverse range and are insect-eaters.

Their study was recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Related Articles 

Songbirds Rely On Earth’s Geomagnetism During Spring Migration, Researchers Say

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Samantha on Twitter @Sam_Ashley13

Marine Species Use Secret Form Of Light Communication, New Study Reveals

Mantis Shrimp
Mantis shrimp, one of which is pictured here, are particularly secretive marine creatures that use reflected circular polarized light to communicate. The mantis shrimp pictured is curled up in a defensive position and the red color indicates areas of reflected light. (Photo : Credit Yakir Gagnon/Queensland Brain Institute )

Researchers may finally have an explanation for the mantis shrimps’ ability to reflect and detect circular polarizing light – an ability extremely rare in nature. It turns out that it is actually a secret form of communication, according to researchers from the Queensland Brain Institute at The University of Queensland.

“In birds, color is what we’re familiar with; in the ocean, reef fish display with colour. This is a form of communication we understand. What we’re now discovering is there’s a completely new language of communication,” Professor Justin Marshall, one of the study researchers, explained in a new release.

Circular polarized light travels in a spiral direction, compared to linear polarized like that is seen on only one plane. After carefully observing mantis shrimp (Gonodactylaceus falcatus), researchers discovered the marine crustaceans display circular polarized patterns on the body, specifically on the legs, head and heavily armored tail, since those areas are most visible when the creatures curl up during conflict.  

Mantis shrimp are secretive creatures that hide away in holes in the reef. Knowing this, researchers tested the shrimp’s reaction to polarized light by dropping individuals into a tank with two burrows to hide in: one reflecting unpolarized light and the other reflecting circular polarized light. In doing so, researchers found they chose to hide in the unpolarized burrow 68 percent of the time. Therefore, researchers concluded the shrimp perceive circular polarized light as an indication that particular burrow is occupied.  

“If you essentially label holes with circular polarizing light, by shining circular polarizing light out of them, shrimps won’t go near it. They know — or they think they know — there’s another shrimp there,” Marshall added.

The recent findings have implications in satellite remote sensing, biomedical imaging, cancer detection, and computer data storage, researchers noted.

“Cancerous cells do not reflect polarized light, in particular circular polarizing light, in the same way as healthy cells,” Marshall explained.

Essentially this means cameras equipped with circular polarizing sensors may be able to improve early detection of cancerous cells.

Their study was recently published in the journal Current Biology

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Samantha on Twitter @Sam_Ashley13

National Walk Your Dog Week: 5 Free iPhone Apps to Try

National Walk Your Dog Week: 5 Free iPhone Apps to Try

In honor of National Walk Your Dog Week we have put together a list of 5 free apps to help keep you and your pup on a walking schedule.


Brought to you by Subaru. Dog tested. Dog approved.™


  • Calorie tracking can also help with your personal fitness goals.
  • Tracks and measures time, distance, pace, speed and elevation
  • Synchronizes with
  • GPS tracking that allows you to view your location and where you have traveled
  • Tweet your walk data to your followers
  • Ability to select and control your music while the app is running
  • Photo Geo-tagging automatically uploads photos taken during your walk to


Dog Walk – Track Your Dog’s Walks!
By Tractive

Dog Walk

  • Shows you the exact duration and distance of your walk and you current position on the map
  • Track where your dog is doing its business
  • Take pictures along your walk while the app keeps tracking
  • Apple Watch compatible

By WoofTrax, Inc.


  • Don’t just take your dog for a walk … Take your Walk for a Dog
  • This app donates to the animal shelter or rescue of your choice every time you take your dog for a walk
  • The amount donated varies depending on how many people are walking for the same organization


By Kentshire Software, LLC


  • Use your phones GPS to track the route, duration and date/time of your walks
  • Record the location of when and where your dog is taking care of business
  • Record feeding and set up feeding notifications
  • Share your favorite route with your fallowers on Facebook and twitter
  • This app can notify your pooch’s other caretakers when records are made so everyone can stay up to date

Family Dog
By Cooply Apps


  • GPS track your walk route, time and distance
  • Connect and compete with friends and family
  • Integrates with social media for easy sharing

Walking your dog regularly is great for your dog and you! Regular walks can help you get in shape or stay fit check out this blog post, Walking the Dog – How Exercising with Your Pets Can Motivate You to Stay Fit, for some tips on getting started.


8 ways to exercise your dog indoors

8 ways to exercise your dog indoors

Just like us our pets can pack on a few extra pounds over the cold months. Here are some tips to help keep your dogs active as the temperatures drop.


  1. Hide some of your dogs favorite treats around the house and put his natural instincts to work sniffing them out.
  2. Visit your local pet store for some socialization and a long walk through the aisles.
  3. Most human treadmills can be utilized for K-9 family members too. Make sure to take time to train you dog safely to use a treadmill, and never leash your pet to the treadmill.
  4. Play fetch with an indoor safe toy like the Chuck-It indoor roller. Add a little extra to the work out by throwing the ball up the steps!
  5. Make meal time more fun and stimulating with some interactive puzzle toys!
  6. Create an indoor agility course for your pup out of things around your house.
  7. Have a play date with one of your dogs 4legged buddies.
  8. Rotate your dogs toys so he stays interested and doesn’t get bored.

Preparing Our Pets for an Emergency or Disaster

Preparing Our Pets for an Emergency or Disaster

We rarely see natural disasters in the state of Pennsylvania, so when they hit it often sends people into a state of panic. Like troops, we assemble at the grocery store at the sheer mention of snow. During flooding we evacuate after moving our most valued positions to the second floor. The outcome is never certain, but one thing that is certain; in a state of panic our pets can be forgotten. How do we keep our pets safe and prepared during these stressful times? It is best to be prepared for these various situations, and it is a lot easier than most people may think.


Storm image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Gewitter

What to do First
Start by getting your pet microchipped. Microchipping is one of the easiest ways to identify your pet in case it should be separated from you. Collars with ID tags are great, but pets can get out of a collar. Microchipping can be done at veterinary offices, pet supply stores (when a clinic is held), and some local shelters. In the event that you have your pet microchipped, make sure that the information is current! If you move, change your name, change your phone number, or change ownership update the microchip. Some people may do this service at no charge or a small fee, but you can easily do it online at no cost to you. Most microchips do not cost very much ($15-$20), so it is a small price to pay in order to protect your pet.  Learn more about the importance of microchipping here.
Be sure to keep vaccines current too. Pets may roam for a while before they are discovered by a passerby, or show up in a public location. During this time, your pet is at the mercy of the wilderness. Your pet could be exposed to wildlife, various food and water sources, and a wide range of viruses. Stress also creates a weakened immune system. While having your pets up to date on vaccinations is not a guarantee of their safety, it is extremely beneficial to their survival.

teddy-242851_640Build a Pet Emergency Kit
Emergencies can happen at any given time, so it’s best to be also prepared for these given situations. Come up with an evacuation plan, and have drills with your family and pets. In case of injury, or loss of shelter, purchase a ready-made first aid kit or make one on your own. Be sure to place the kit in an accessible area. If you would like to make your own kit, here is a list of materials that you will need.





Emergency Contacts List
• Pet’s regular vet contact info and address
• Emergency vet contact information, in case your vet is not available or close by
• Poison Control Phone Number

• Clean towels (both cloth and paper)
• Cotton balls and swabs
• Disposable Gloves
• Heat pack or hot water bottle
• Lubricant jelly (mineral oil, KY)
• Nail Clippers
• Kwik-Stop powder or gel
• Hemostats
• Small penlight or flashlight
• Rectal Thermometer
• Scissors
• Syringes of different sizes
• Tweezers
• Wire Cutters
• Bandage Wrap
• Gauze of different sizes
• Band-Aids
• First Aid Tape
• Non-stick pads
• Unflavored Pedialyte
• Saline Solution
• Triple antibiotic ointment for skin
• Probiotic gel (BeneBac, LactoBac, Probios, or Fastrack)
• Wound Disinfectant (Betadine, Povidone)
• A plastic bag of their food
• Blanket
• Favorite toy
• Crate/carrier
• Spare leash and collar
• Any current medications

Some of these items may expire over time, so be sure to check your first aid kit often so that items can be replaced or replenished. While this kit serves as an emergency kit, it can also be used while traveling. Be sure to get your pet proper medical attention as soon as you are able to. Remember that our pets will feed off of our energy. If we are calm, our pet will be calm. In the event that your pet appears to be anxious, be sure to give them their space. Scolding your pet at this time will not benefit either party.

No one wants to be involved in a disaster of any kind, but they do happen.  It is best to be prepared, remain calm, and ensure the safety of yourself and all of your loved ones.


20 Ways to Celebrate National Dog Day

20 Ways to Celebrate National Dog Day

August 26th is National Dog Day—a day to remember and recognize all that these wonderful creatures do for us without question. Dogs save lives, keep us healthy, guide our blind and disabled, protect our neighborhoods, and bring joy to our families. Dogs do so much good for the world, yet so many of them end up neglected, abandoned, and abused.dreamstime_14698925

Here are 20 great ways to celebrate with your dogs:

  • Adopt a dog from a shelter or local rescue organization.
  • Buy your dog a fun new toy.
  • Teach your dog a new trick.
  • Take your dog on a hike.
  • Have a National Dog Day party and invite all your 4 legged friends.
  • Snap a few pictures of your dog and share them with friends online or enter them in a contest.
  • Have a caricature or portrait drawn of your dog.
  • Give your dog a bath or have him groomed.
  • Visit your local dog park.
  • Take a trip to the closest dog friendly beach.
  • Buy a fashionable new leash and collar.
  • Try a new DIY treat recipe.
  • Plan a play date with your dog’s favorite doggy friend.
  • Learn dog first aid and CPR.
  • If your workplace allows it, take your dog along for the day.
  • Give your dog some extra belly rubs.

Don’t have a dog? You can still celebrate:

  • Donate supplies, money or your time to a local shelter.
  • Walk a neighbor’s dog.
  • Watch a movie starring a dog.
  • Look into becoming a foster home for dogs in need.

Whatever you do, remember to celebrate all the wonderful things that dogs do for us each and every day!


Volunteering for Animal Shelters and Rescues in Lancaster PA and Your Community

Volunteering for Animal Shelters and Rescues in Lancaster PA and Your Community

A lot of us are always looking for that little extra that we can do to make the world a better place. For animal lovers, the choice to volunteer at a local rescue may be easy. Some may need a little extra encouragement. Most animal rescues and organizations are non-profits. Since they are non-profits, these organizations relay strictly on those willing to volunteer their time.

Volunteer Duties

Those who are pet owners know that day to day care of our animals is of the upmost importance. Here are just a few of the duties that you may have as a volunteer:
• Feeding – Feeding animals per their feeding schedule, adhering to any special needs diets.
• Grooming – Bathing and brushing animals as needed.
• Walking – Walking animals daily per the rescues schedule.
• Cleaning – General upkeep of the facility, kennel areas, litter pans, procedure rooms, etc.
• One on one/playtime – Socializing with the animals, handling animals, exposing animals to various social situations.
• Administering medications – Redressing wounds, administering medications as prescribed.
• Office work/Social Media – Run social media pages and websites, data entry, filing, etc
• Fostering – Temporarily house an animal available for adoption in your own home.
• Fundraising/Event Coordinating – Plan events and fundraisers, community reach out


Donations and other Support

With the internet, it is not hard to find out about an event being held by a local animal rescue. They happen more than you think! Here is a list of ways you can donate and support a local rescue even if you do not have the time to volunteer:
• Event posting Sites – Rescues will utilize other free event posting sites, especially larger scale events.
• Facebook pages – Information regarding a rescues needs and ways to donate can be typically found under the “about” tab.

Amazon Smile – Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon Smile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.  You can search for an organization of your choice, and as long as they participate in the program, your purchases will continue to help their organization.
• Donation Bins – Collection bins that are placed at related retail locations.
• Wish list/Gift Exchange – General list of day to day materials needed at the facility. Ask for donatable gifts for birthdays, weddings, anniversary’s and give them to your local rescue.


Adoption Events at That Fish Place – That Pet Place

We at That Fish Place – That Pet Place work hard to do our part for homeless animals by regularly hosting meet and greets in conjunction with local animal welfare organizations. You can stay informed about our upcoming events by going to our Facebook page, our website, Google +, Eventful, and Susquehanna Life!

Local Animal Rescues & Shelters

There are a lot of local rescues that are in need of volunteers, donations, and fosters.  They cannot succeed without your help.  Here are just a handful of some of the local rescues that you can support.

Angels Among Us

-Petfinder page

Best Friends Furever, Inc

-Donation page

Blue Ridge Bull Terrier Club, Inc


Cocker Spaniel Adoption, Inc

-Donation page

Doberman Pinscher Rescue of Pa, Inc

-Donation page

Duswalt Foundation Exoctic Bird Rescue

-Facebook page

Feathered Sanctuary Exotic Bird Rescue

-Facebook public page

Lost Paws of Lancaster


Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary

-Donation page

Happy Hounds Homeward Bound

-Donation page

Pibbles and More

-Donation page

Keystone Greyhounds

-How can I help?

Kpets Pet Therapy

-Donation page

Lancaster Herpetological Society


Mostly Muttz Rescue

-Donation page

Oxford Ferret Rescue

-Ways to help

Pa Boxers


Triple J Reptiles



Pet Microchipping – 5 Reasons You Should Have Done it Already

Pet Microchipping – 5 Reasons You Should Have Done it Already

355973_2711There’s nothing worse than losing a loved one. Let alone a loved one who doesn’t have a cell phone or really any clue on how to find their way back to the family they love. Unfortunately, that’s the reality you’re facing ever time your 4-legged friend hits the ground running outside. If you were to step back and ask the question – what can I do to offer the best chance that my pet finds his way back home in an emergency – and sure, not spend a ton of money in the process – your answer would be microchipping. So – without further delay – let’s look at 5 Reasons why you should have already microchipped your four-legged friend.

1. It’s a Lifetime Safety Net For Your Pet’s Security

You can’t really say that about anything else! Microchips are permanently embedded in your pet’s skin and made to last 25 years. That’s longer than any collar or tag, and it’s not about to fall off when your little escape artist crawls under that chain-link fence. The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen every year – make sure you and your loved ones are prepared.

2. It Doesn’t Hurt Much

Your pet is used to vaccinations – and microchipping feels similar. Your veterinarian will simply use a needle to insert a small, grain-sized chip between your pet’s shoulder blades. A shot for a lifetime of security is a fair tradeoff.

3. Microchipping Works – We Have the Stats to Prove It

The American Veterinary Medical Association conducted a survey that said stray dogs at shelters WITHOUT a microchip were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time. That number increased to 52.2% when the dog was microchipped. To put that another way – it went from a 1 in 5 chance to greater than a 1 in 2. Similarly, cat without microchips were only returned 1.8% of the time, while cats WITH microchips were returned an amazing 38.5% of the time. Again, a 1 out of 50 chance changed to a 1 in 3. Microchipping has been so successful, that both England and Scotland have recently made it mandatory.
Dogs Returned Home With Microchip

4. It’s Inexpensive

Compared to the other costs associated with owning a dog a microchip is barely an expense at all. In fact, many animal rescues, clinics, pet stores and veterinarians offer low cost microchipping services all of the time. Not to put a cost on a lifetime of security and peace of mind, but you’re really only looking at $10 to $40 dollars per animal. Our store – That Fish Place – That Pet Place, regularly plans microchip clinics with the Furever Home Adoption Center and they only charge $15. In addition, though you should check the chip from time-to-time, they do not require batteries and have a lifespan of 25 years. This means there’s little to know upkeep cost. Awesome!

5. There’s No Better Feeling Than The Love Of An Animal!

As if you needed any more encouragement – here are a few amazing videos of pets being returned to their owners because of microchipping. Warning – you may want to have tissues handy!

Sources & Resources

Need to find a veterinarian near you to get your pet microchipped? – check out –


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