Without a doubt, Tuesday night’s Cardinals game was squirrely.
It was the bottom of the sixth inning in the (so far) scoreless NLDS Game 3 between the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies. Cardinals second baseman Ryan Theriot was at the plate when a squirrel streaked across the field, delaying the game.
Theriot hit a single during his at-bat, but the Cards did not score during the inning and ended up losing the game, 3-2. The squirrel, however, lives on (where else?) as @BuschSquirrel on Twitter. “We need to win, im not ready to hibernate yet,” he tweeted during the game.
The Cardinals have had previous run-ins with squirrels at Busch Stadium. On Sept. 4, 2007, a squirrel rushed the field from the Cardinals bullpen. Stadium officials captured it near the Pirates’ dugout, but the squirrel was persistent and jumped into the stands. Eventually, he was caught and released outside the stadium. He became known as the Rally Squirrel — the Cards won that game, 6-2.
The Cardinals will try to best the Phillies again tonight in Game 4. No word yet from the squirrel on his plans. (Photos by J.B. Forbes and Chris Lee)
JUST A BEAK A pet bird pecks at a photographer’s camera flash during a media interview with its owner Kunming, Yunnan province, China. (Photo: Wong Campion / Reuters via the Telegraph)
Circle of life • The St. Louis Zoo announced today the birth of an African lion, Imani. Imani, which is Swahili for “faith,” was born July 17 to mom Cabara, 5, and dad Ingozi, 3. A second cub was stillborn. Imani is not yet available for public viewing.
Stay cool, St. Louis • On Friday, 14 teams swept through the city, going door-knocking in sticky mid-90s heat to contact about 1,000 households that couldn’t be reached by a phone bank earlier in the week. The city health department provided its list of “at-risk” residents with health conditions or other special needs. The United Way of Greater St. Louis gathered 100 volunteers to make house calls; more than 30 city workers joined in. The excessive heat warning has been extended through 7 p.m. Thursday.
Pet project • Loeb-A-Rosa Kennels is not the reason most Missouri voters last November approved Prop B, a ballot measure enacting stiff new rules for dog breeders. Nor is Loeb-A-Rosa the reason animal activists and others cried foul as state lawmakers gutted Prop B, replacing it three months ago with weakened regulations. Gov. Jay Nixon called it a compromise; a Humane Society of the United States official, echoing many activists, called it a travesty. Loeb-A-Rosa is considered by state regulators to be one of the best, “a model for others,” its last inspection report stated. But owner Louise Loeb says the aim of Prop B was more than cleaning up the industry: “It was focused at me. They wanted to get me out of business, and they came that close.”
Animal magnetism • Our third annual Cutest Pet Contest has started! There are prizes for the winning pets in each of three categories: Cats, dogs and other. The contest also raises money for the Post-Dispatch’s Newspapers in Education program, which helps fight illiteracy, and the Humane Society of Missouri and Stray Rescue of St. Louis. Submit your cute pet photos now.
A lion’s care • Veterinarian Livia Pereira kisses paralyzed lion Ariel on July 13, 2011. Pereira is caring for the lion in her home in Sao Paulo, Brazil. An Internet and Facebook campaign has been launched in Brazil to obtain funds needed to treat Ariel, a lion that has been paralyzed for the past year. The campaign was launched by Raquel Borges, the owner of Ariel, a 3-year-old, 310 pound lion that has been unable to use his four legs due to a degenerative disease affecting his medulla. Borges runs a a shelter that cares for sick or abandoned animals. Borges and veterinarian Livia Pereira say that the money needed to pay for Ariel’s treatment come from donations from people who belong to the Facebook page created for the lion. Associated Press photo by Andre Penner
Where the bears are • The Missouri Department of Conservation is engaged in a two-year effort to estimate the number of black bears living in the state. Sightings and anecdotal tales make it clear that the population is growing, said Jeff Beringer, Missouri’s chief bear biologist, but no one knows how many are out there. “It’s like walking up to a two-acre pond and saying, ‘How many bass are in there?’” Beringer said. “That’s about where we are at estimating bears.”
Six Mexican Gray Wolf puppies were born on May 1. The Mexican Gray Wolf is the world’s most endangered mammal — only about 50 remain in the wild.