Suzanne Lang talks with two of the world's most celebrated animal writers, Sy Montgomery and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. They have collaborated on a book of essays. Sy and Liz are also good friends and practically next door neighbors. Join us as we talk about the minds, lives, and mysteries of animals …in the wild and in our homes. 

It’s A Novel Idea. Sunday at 4 on KRCB-FM Radio 91.

Stories of dogs and cats and other animals that live in our homes. Exactly how much are they caught up in everyday family dynamics? We answer this question and others.

You can hear This American Life with host Ira Glass every Friday night at 7:00 pm, and repeating Saturday mornings at 9:00 am on KRCB-FM Radio 91!

Sonoma County Animal Services Update


Sonoma County Animal Services (SCAS) has been working around the clock since early Monday, October 9th, to rescue and shelter animals affected by the fires. Sonoma County Animal Services is a program of the Department of Health Services.  

SCAS will host a pet supply fair this Saturday, October 21st, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at our warehouse at 133 Aviation Blvd. in Santa Rosa to provide free animal care supplies to our community.  

HALTER Honored for Emergency Prep Efforts

Sep 12, 2016
Holly Hansen

  HALTER, the Horse And Livestock Team Emergency Response project, got started about three years ago, to provide training to fire and rescue workers on how to deal with big animals in difficulty. Already, the Glen Ellen–based organization is making an impact—and getting some major recognition for their efforts.

Tracing Evolution's Limits

Jan 26, 2016

Evolution has been shaping life forms on planet earth for millions of years. Yet there are some entirely plausible—even probable—creatures that have never existing. Today we hear from a man who studies the question, “why not?” 

Gary Vermeij will be the featured speaker at the “Science Buzz Café” gathering in Sebastopol tonight. Find details about the event here.

Karin Jaffe/SSU

On today’s North Bay Report we hear of a partnership between primate researchers at Sonoma State and keepers at the Oakland Zoo. It's all about making the lives of their lemurs a bit more interesting.

Keep up with the project by reading the "Lab Notes" on the collaboration's page.   

Inside View Now Available at Wildlife Hospital

Aug 4, 2015
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  If you’ve ever wondered what goes on inside a wildlife hospital, it’s now possible to observe first-hand from the new viewing deck at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue. 

Tours at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue are usually held on Saturdays. Find further details here on their website.

Learning Empathy in the Barnyard

Jul 19, 2015
Forget Me Not Farm

  Learning how to treat horses, chickens and sheep helps kids from troubled backgrounds develop compassion for more than animals.

  Rathman is fully convinced that the Forget-Me-Not experience is both instructive and healing. And even though it’s hard to quantify their results with hard data, the first-hand stories and other anecdotal evidence is overwhelmingly affirmative.

Forget-Me-Not Farm was also profiled on KRCB-TV's Community Health Connections. You can view the segment below.

"Teach Your Dog To Read"

Jul 6, 2014

  We know that dogs are intelligent, but the extent of their cognitive capabilities is still being explored. One of the people doing that is Dr. Bonnie Bergin. In 2007, she published a book documenting some of her experiences in training and teaching dogs, and talked about it in this archival North Bay Report, first broadcast on April 11 of that year.

Rhinocerous Romance Afoot at Safari West

Jun 8, 2014
Safari West

  The wildlife at the Safari West African wildlife preserve, northeast of Santa Rosa, has gotten a little bit wilder lately, as they try to encourage a little rhinoceros romance. If you’re wondering just how that works… just listen.

Raising Orphaned Beavers

Mar 31, 2014
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  A pair of rescued beavers at a local wildlife shelter will be returned to the wild, just as soon as they can demonstrate the ability to survive there.

Because the two young beavers have bonded to each other, their chances of a successful release are enhanced, says Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue director Doris Duncan, and their time at the shelter can be shorter and more productive.

Drought Threatens Wildlife, Too

Feb 24, 2014

Drought affects far more than human endeavors—it also poses some severe consequences for wildlife in our region, which in turn can have impacts on us.

  WildCare maintains a clinic for wildlife, and they are getting ready for an extra busy season between April and August. This is the time each year, notes the Marin County non-profit’s Allison Hermance, when animal young are born and maturing—and when getting enough water is critical to their survival.

Sting Rays on the North Coast

Jan 21, 2014
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Sting rays can be found in the shallow waters of sandy beaches almost anywhere, including the northern California coast. But they only pose a threat to humans when we accidentally step on them—and there are ways to avoid that.

  Although there are hundreds of kinds of rays populating the world’s oceans, biologist Bob Rubin explains that they all share a common ancestor—a 200 million year old shark.

Getting stung by a ray is excruciating, but rarely fatal. Even in the most publicized recent cases, says Rubin, the deaths attributed to rays were largely accidental.

Hungry Bears Aren't Hibernating

Jan 17, 2014
Nevada Department of Wildlife

 It's bad enough for the Lake Tahoe area economy that there's no snow on the ground. Now residents there are having to cope with another drought-related problem. Lori Abbott explains.

Vallejo Dolphins Surprise Researchers

Jan 15, 2014
Nancy Chan.

Bella, a 9-year-old dolphin at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, gave birth last week to her first calf. The pair are surprising researchers and trainers as they communicate with each other. 

In her third trimester of pregnancy, Bella began emitting her "baby whistle" -- a unique call dolphins use to introduce themselves to each other. This behavior has never been observed before. Within minutes of being born, Bella's daughter also began to vocalize -- the earliest response recorded to date. 

Creating an Animal Abuse Registry

Dec 7, 2013
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

 The best way to avoid selling or giving pets to animal abusers is knowing in advance who they are. A North Bay animal advocacy group is building a national registry to do that.

Learning Empathy in the Barnyard

Sep 23, 2013
Forget-Me-Not Farm

Learning how to treat horses, chickens and sheep helps kids from troubled backgrounds develop compassion for more than animals.

Even though the program and philosophy at Forget-Me-Not Farm are unusual by almost any standard, executive Director and founder Carol Rathman says that, for the kids, visiting the farm is an infrequent dose of normalcy in their disrupted lives.


Living With Mountain Lions

Sep 10, 2013

Mountain lions still roam the hills of the North Bay, but not as many as there once were. And we humans are not making their lives any easier.

  It was McDonald’s own face to face meeting with a full-sized adult male in the Marin Headlands that fueled her passion for working with the big cats of the world. She was out running above Sausalito near dusk, she recalls, when she had that life-changing encounter.


Studying Roadkill

Aug 4, 2013

The vehicles on California’s ever-expanding network of roadways are getting faster and more numerous, which is bad news for the birds and animals nearby. So the number and location of roadkill deaths are now being recorded and analyzed.

  The online roadkill reporting site was launched with no assurance that there would be enough citizen participation to make it work, admits Fraser Shiller, co-director of the Road Ecology Center at UC Davis. But the gamble has paid off.


"My Animal, My Self"

Jun 26, 2013

Your pet may not be able to read your thoughts, exactly. But it can discern how you’re feeling, and may adjust its own behavior accordingly. A new book offers insights for humans to recognize and respond to those behaviors. Bruce Robinson talks with the author.

A change in a pet’s behavior can signal their awareness of unpleasant changes in the human part of the household, says professional animal communicator Marta Williams. Her new book, My Animal, My Self, offers more than three dozen examples, such as this one.


Protecting Endangered Snow Leopards

Mar 27, 2013
Snow Leopard Conservancy

Snow Leopards are found only in the high, wild mountains of central Asia, where harsh climate just one of the dangers they face. But the rare cats also have an ally, in Sonoma zoologist Dr. Rodney Jackson. Bruce Robinson talks with him.

Dr. Rodney Jackson will talk about snow leopards in a presentation at the Sonoma Veterans Hall tonight at 7 pm. The program is hosted by Sonoma Birding.

Brain Tumors Found in Sick Raccoons

Jan 17, 2013
UC Davis/Photo used with permission

Sick raccoons are nothing new in northern California, where distemper is fairly common among them. But some don’t fit that pattern for raccoon deaths, and new laboratory studies have found out why.


Sometimes, researchers have an idea of what they will find when they begin their investigations. This was not such a case, says Dr. Patricia Pesavento, a pathologist at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. In fact, their findings surprised everyone involved.