All sorts of animals at the fair


Naturalist Leslie Grow holding a five-year-old bald eagle.

The bald eagle always seems to draw a crowd and today was no different. Leslie Grow, interpretive naturalist, brought along the Raptors from the rehabilitation hospital at Hardy Lake.  All of the birds at the rehab hospital are there because they have disabilities preventing them flying. Unlucky for them, but lucky for the state fair patrons who the chance to see these wild and exotic birds up close.

Raptors by the way are not dinosaurs that escaped from Jurassic Park. They are actually birds that eat mice and snakes and other living creatures. They have excellent hearing and eyesight. When they spot a mouse they swoop down silently and use their incredibly strong talons to pick up their dinner.

Birds weren’t the only animal at the DNR building, Abby the police dog was also on hand. Abby is the partner of Conservation Officer John Fennig. There are eight canine conservation officers throughout the state, four in the north and four in the southern part of the state.

Abby engaged in public relations with a few kids. Notice the badge hanging around her neck.

The dogs have great sniffers and are used to find not only bad guys but also they are used in the field to find evidence left behind by the bad guys.

Abby and her partner John live together. John’s wife though isn’t crazy about all the sheding Abby does, so Abby gets to live in the backyard. Being only four years-old Abby still has a long career ahead of herself, but when the time comes for her to hang up the badge and start collecting her doggy social security, John and his family will still look after Abby. In fact some retired dogs have been adopted by dog-friendly families .
– Don


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