animals

The Michigan Legislature is considering a bill that would allow both zoos and other facilities to breed large carnivores, such as lions, tigers, and bears.

Such breeding was outlawed in 2000. But House Bill 5778 would lift that ban.

Caroline MacGregor

A well-known horse whisperer has passed away in northern Michigan. Alex MacLellan was the owner of H&H Stables in Leelanau County.


The Next Idea

I feel exceedingly fortunate to have grown up with horses as a big part of my childhood. I was brought up in suburban Westchester County, New York, about 20 minutes from prime horse country. I started regular riding lessons and showing when I was about 10. At age 14, I began competing in the Olympic sport of Three Day Eventing -- a horse triathlon that combines dressage, cross country, and stadium jumping. My thoroughbred, Rush, and I worked as a team -- training daily, building a partnership, testing our skills, persevering through disappointments and injuries. Horse people can describe at length the many valuable life lessons we learn from these amazing animals. Those skills and experiences hold the most weight for me as I look back on my international competitions and time spent working for top professionals.

National Park Service

Black bears are coming out of hibernation in northern Michigan. Wildlife experts advise residents to remove anything from their homes that might attract bears – like bird feeders or garbage.

DNR Wildlife Biologist Kevin Sweeney says spring is a stressful time for bears.

“Bears are moving right now, obviously," says Sweeney. "They’ve emerged from their dens in most areas. We’ve got new cubs at that time. The sows and boars are very hungry so they travel quite a bit in the spring.”

Ambergris is an animal by-product that's been used for centuries in, as flavoring for food, and as an aphrodisiac. It's one of the world's most expensive substances.

Pretty glamorous, especially when you consider that ambergris is: whale poop.

Christopher Kemp is a molecular biologist at Michigan State University. He's written a book about ambergris called Floating Gold: A Natural (& Unnatural) History of Ambergris.

Kemp says ambergris is used in perfumes because of its musky scent that can hold together the other lighter tones. Besides, its fatty, cholesterol-rich texture can stabilize the fragrance and make it last longer on the wearer's skin.