Here's some fun "slice of life" citizen journalism out of Jamaica Plain: A neighborhood resident spotted a squirrel indulging in a slice of pepperoni pizza Wednesday, and her social media post quickly went viral. Liz Polcha, a Ph.D. candidate at Northeastern University, shared the following photo and message on Twitter late Wednesday afternoon. According to Universal Hub, Polcha was peering out her window on Boylston Street in JP when she glimpsed the carb-hoarding rodent. Boston Magazine, meanwhile, took the opportunity to round up some other famous pizza-consuming critters. Maybe the JP Music Festival, which has long used imagery of JP's elusive albino squirrel on its promotional materials and merch, might consider a new mascot for this year's festivities?
Here's some gggrreat news for dog lovers! The Department of Conservation and Recreation will be presenting a proposal for an off-leash dog park near Anson Street in Jamaica Plain at a public meeting on April 5th. After a presentation, DCR officials would like to fetch receive feedback on the proposal. A DCR memo said the park is "part of an ongoing initiative by DCR to designate additional off-leash dog areas within state parks." DCR officials were scheduled to talk about a proposed off-leash dog park in Hyde Park on March 21st.
A nesting female screech owl has attracted many onlookers at the Arnold Arboretum during the past week or so. The female is nesting in a black locust tree on the Jamaica Plain side of the arboretum, along the main pathway near the three little ponds. On several occasions, the female has been joined by a male screech owl after the two exchanged mating calls around dusk. Many arboretum visitors have stopped to see why so many people -- among them amateur photographers and ornithologists armed with binoculars -- are staring up at the tree and have been happily surprised to learn about the nesting female. Many arboretum regulars have also remarked they have seen nesting screech owls in that particular black locust tree through the years. These pictures are courtesy of local photographer David Forsyth.
A dog named Maggie needed to be rescued by a Boston Firefighter from Jamaica Pond after falling through the ice on Feb. 23rd. Here is a video of the daring rescue by Boston Firefighter Mike Ronayne, which shows how he crawled out on the ice while wearing a suit designed to combat frigid water temperatures. At one point the firefighter also fell through the ice. But without much delay he was able to rescue the dog, pulling it out from the water, and Maggie the dog happily walked away and joined her owner on land.
The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is one of six plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture for allegedly violating the federal Freedom of Information Act this month when it removed animal welfare inspection reports and more from the USDA's federal website -- and they want the info back on the website. Along with the MSPCA, the other plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA); Delcianna Winders, who is the Academic Fellow of the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program; the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C.; Born Free USA based in Washington, D.C.; and the Beagle Freedom Project from California. On Feb. 3, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) removed thousands of reports that document and provide significant information vital to animal welfare organizations. Information in the documents include the number of animals kept by research labs, companies, zoos, circuses and animal transporters.