Photo: Raccoon Bumbling Along in Sumner Hill

A fluffy raccoon was calmly hanging around a Newbern Street yard during the day on Thursday. And just because it was out during the middle of the day doesn't mean it's not well. Raccoons out during the day may be foraging longer hours to support their young, or visiting a garden while dogs or people aren't around, or just moving to a new location, says the Humane Society of the United States. This raccoon was acting normal, responded to noises, wasn't a big fan of having their picture taken, and then waddled off to find a more low-key spot.


Video: Blue Jays Not Happy with Screech Owl

Jamaica Plain resident Kristin MacDougall was excited to see an owl in the wild for the first time ever on Monday. But the blue jays in her backyard were not as happy. "It was in the backyard at about 5:30 pm. I heard it after dark for the past few nights, but couldn't find it," said MacDougall. And then she saw it -- and got a great video of it -- with a few blue jays really not being happy about the screech owl who-whoing in an evergreen tree.


Free Electric Shuttle to Franklin Park Zoo from Forest Hills Debuts

A new electric shuttle bus running back and forth from the Forest Hills MBTA station and Franklin Park Zoo is now free to anyone on weekends. Zoo officials hope the electric, zero-emissions complimentary shuttle will attract a wider audience to the Franklin Park Zoo. “We couldn’t be happier to debut the shuttle and offer an alternative transportation option for our guests, that will not only make it easier for them to visit Franklin Park Zoo, but also directly supports our conservation mission,” said John Linehan, President and CEO of Zoo New England. “Fewer trips in single-occupancy vehicles alleviate traffic congestion, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.”
The shuttle was converted by ZEVX (Zero Electric Vehicles) with a grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), according to a press release. The shuttle route from Forest Hills to the Zoo is just under 1.5 miles, and is very easy to see because it's wrapped in bright colors with animals that live in the Franklin Park Zoo or Stone Zoo.


Proposed Dog Run at Church Being Voted on June 4

A proposed pilot program to turn an unused space at the First Church in Jamaica Plain into an unleashed, membership-based dog run will be voted on at the church board's annual meeting on June 4. The proposal is to take approximately 13% of the burial ground, about 30 feet by 90 feet nearest to Eliot Street, and make it into a fenced in space for a limited number of dogs to run off leash. The space is about 10 feet away from any monuments or markers, and 10 feet away from the crypts on the north side. Membership will be restricted, and there will be limits on the number of dogs allowed at any one time, and there will be limited hours of operation. A dog-owners group will decide membership by accepting applications, providing an orientation for guidelines of use, and also monitor the space.


There’s A Lot More Fish in Jamaica Pond After Last Week

One of the great benefits of being governor of Massachusetts means you have the option of participating in the annual stocking of Jamaica Pond -- and Governor Maura Healey didn't miss her first opportunity to do so. Healey was joined Boston Parks and Recreation Commissioner Ryan Woods, Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper, students from John F. Kennedy Elementary and Curley K-8 schools, and MassWildlife staff on April 27. According to Boston Parks and Recreation, more than 1,000 trout were released into Jamaica Pond -- approximately 800 rainbow trout averaging 14 inches long, 25 brook trout and 65 brown trout averaging 18 inches long, and 170 tiger trout, a cross between a female brown trout and a male brook trout, averaging 14 inches long. The fish for the stocking event were raised at state hatcheries.


Olmsted Park Spring Bird Walk This Sunday

Do you see pretty birds and want to know their name? Or maybe you've already got a pair of binoculars and a keen eye for springtime warblers. This weekend's spring bird walk is for both beginner and more seasoned ornithological enthusiasts. The 90-minute free walk will be led by local birding expert Bob Mayor, and focus on migrating warblers and other spring species at Leverett, Willoe and Ward's ponds, as well as the woods of the Emerald Necklace Olmsted Park. Meet at the Olmsted Park Daisy Field parking lot on Willow Pond Road between Pond Avenue and the Jamaicaway.


Boston’s Most Popular Dog Names & License Your Dog by March 31

For the second year in a row Charlie and Luna were the most popular dog names in Boston. While releasing the most popular dog names for 2022, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s Animal Care and Control Division wants to reminds dog owners that the annual deadline for licensing their pets is March 31. All dogs in Boston require a new license each year. “We take this time each year to remind pet owners not only that licensing your pet is the law, but a license is your pet’s ID and provides their best chance to be returned home if they become lost,” noted Animal Care and Control Director Alexis Trzcinski. “If your dog ever gets out, the chances of being reunited are greatly increased with a license.”
There were 81 dogs registered in Boston named.


$3,000 Reward: Help Find Nala the Bengal Cat

Kailee Kennedy is devastated that her bengal cat Nala is still missing from her Jamaica Plain home and is offering a $3,000 reward for returning her to Kennedy. Nala has been missing since Jan. 22 when Kennedy was taking a walk with her on Dalrymple, and Nala got frightened by a dog, and the feline took off with her purple harness and leash on her. "I have hired a pet detective, someone to fly a drone with a thermal camera multiple times, hired an animal communicator, printed and posted 500+ flyers on street poles and in mailboxes, set up food stations and cameras, posted across social media, talked with my neighbors, and organized a community search party on February 5 -- all with no luck," Kennedy told Jamaica Plain News. Nala is spayed, micro-chipped, and a legal domesticated pet in Massachusetts.


Trio of Coyotes Enjoy Golf Course in Franklin Park

Rachel Vanderkruik shared this video with Jamaica Plain News of three coyotes strolling through Franklin Park in late January. "I saw them by the William J. Devine Golf Course -- seems they had just crossed over Circuit Drive from the Franklin Park Picnic area. I was out running with my dog and at first just saw one and thought it was a dog off of the leash, but then the other two came along," said Vanderkruik. This continues Jamaica Plain News' recent coverage of coyotes in the neighborhood -- hear them howl and check out a duo near the tennis courts/picnic area.