Edmonton's top animal stories of 2015
CBC Edmonton takes paws to remember the critter tales that caught our attention
It was a big year for animals in Edmonton, from controversy over culling coyotes to heart-warming stories of limb-heavy cats and leading geese to water.
Here are some of the most popular animal stories CBC Edmonton covered in 2015.
Quarrel over coyotes
The year in animals started out with controversy as the organizer behind a coyote-killing tournament reported receiving death threats over his involvement in the event.
"People are saying that I should be shot, that anybody who supports this should be dead," he told CBC News.
In the end, 11 teams signed up for the hunt, taking down 34 animals. Critics, meanwhile, called the competition and its like "reckless" and ineffective as a cull.
- Coyote hunt with cash prizes draws controversy, threats in Alberta
- Cash-prize coyote hunt no danger to animal population, biologist says
- Cash-prize coyote hunt draws more hunters following outcry
- Bounties on wolves and coyotes slammed as 'inhumane' by Alberta biologists
Coyotes then made the headlines once more in September after three dead cats were found in St. Albert. RCMP later ruled the deaths to be the result of coyotes training their pups to hunt.
"I was just having a smoke this morning in front of my garage and I heard him coming, heavy breathing like something you'd hear at the zoo. Next thing you know I just looked like this and he's like five feet away."
That's what Robert Stebbings told CBC News after he had a close early-morning encounter with a cougar in his west Edmonton yard.
An Edmonton police member later shot and killed the animal after it charged at officers attempting to sedate it.
Just weeks earlier, two Australians shared their own hair-raising tale after fighting off a cougar in Jasper National Park.
It was also a big year for famous felines in the CBC Edmonton newsroom.
In May, Edmonton AM was visited by a celebrity cat with more than 500,000 followers on Instagram. From humble beginnings, Pudge the Cat came to town to headline Edmonton's International Cat Festival in May.
'The Warrior Kitten'
His name is Henry. He lost a leg, but won hundreds of hearts last summer after the story of his rescue and subsequent rehabilitation went public.
- Edmonton Humane Society raising money for kitten hit by vehicle
- Henry the kitten has three legs up on a happy future
Nine lives and any number of legs
Just a week after Henry went down a leg, Edmonton AM learned of another cat with the opposite problem.
Pauly the street cat was born with six legs — four normal ones and two underdeveloped limbs that jutted out from his sternum. Every step was painful for the cat, who somehow managed on his own on the streets of southwest Edmonton until he was rescued by the Little Cats Lost Society.
After a successful surgery, Pauly himself — minus two limbs — came in to the studio to say hello.
"He should live a happy, healthy life," his rescuer said.
- 6-legged street cat awaits surgery, then adoption
- Pauly the 6-legged cat prepares for vital surgery
- Pauly the 6-legged cat is down two limbs — but it's good news!
A 'squishable' star
It was quite literally the dog days of summer when we were introduced to Tonkey, a four-month-old bear coat sharpei who went viral after his owner posted a video of him with the hiccups.
As cute as Tonkey is, her owner told CBC News bear coat sharpeis are not welcome in the dog show world, but for her and her husband, it was love at first sight.
Man's best friend in a time of need
In May, CBC News learned about Morris, a sheepdog with an almost preternatural ability to detect people in need of a little extra comfort — a skill which makes him an invaluable addition to the Baker Funeral Chapel where he works and lives.
Then there were the geese
It wouldn't be springtime in Edmonton without at least a couple of territorial mother geese complicating matters for homeowners and construction workers alike.
In Eaux Claires, a goose chose to feather her nest on the balcony of a fourth-floor condo unit under construction. When she made it clear she had no plans to move any time soon, several of the workers took to supplying her with fresh food and water.
- Nesting goose complicating construction on Eaux Claires condo
In Oliver, Ben Lavin set up a webcam to act as a baby monitor after a goose laid her eggs in a tomato planter on his 10th-floor balcony.
A few weeks later, the goslings left the nest, bound for the Edmonton river valley.
- Ben Lavin's webcam trained on mother goose and 5 eggs
- Oliver balcony goslings hatch, jump off 10th-floor balcony the next day
Fly away home
In August, an Alberta man captured his own private Fly Away Home experience when he used his truck to lead a lost Canada goose to water.
And don't forget ...
Here are a couple of our other favourite furry stories covered this year: