Wednesday, July 31, 2019

"In Australia, one cat seems to have destroyed an entire bird sanctuary"

Sarah Zhang for the Atlantic:

That’s when they decided on the stakeout. On the night of December 1, Greenwell and the five residents took shifts. The white cat came at 7 p.m.; they shooed it away. The cat returned at midnight; they shooed it away again. The cat came back a third time that night, and Greenwall saw it slinking toward the birds. They chased the cat for half a mile before it disappeared in the coastal scrub. The group returned to stake out the area the next night, and then the City of Mandurah hired an overnight security guard for a few days. When the cat was not seen again, they thought the danger had passed.

But it had not.

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“There was absolute outrage in the community”
And speaking of wildlife sanctuaries:
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is the sort of book that you’ve either never heard of or have already read for your book club. The bestselling hardcover title of 2019, Crawdads has sold more than 1 million copies—jaw-dropping for any first novel, much less one by an author who just turned 70, living on a remote homestead in northern Idaho. Publishers Weekly has called its success the “feel-good publishing story of the year.” (Spoilers for the novel follow throughout this piece.) If you’re one of the people who’ve read the book, you probably know a little of Owens’ romantic backstory, like the huge boost her debut got when Reese Witherspoon, the Oprah of our time, selected it for her book club. Or the fact that while Crawdads is Owens’ first novel, it’s not her first book. And then there’s the 22 years she spent in Africa with her husband, Mark, living close to the land and working in wildlife conservation. Delia and Mark wrote about those experiences in three memoirs. But what most of Crawdads’ fans don’t know is that Delia and Mark Owens have been advised never to return to one of the African nations where they once lived and worked, Zambia, because they are wanted for questioning in a murder that took place there decades ago.

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To be clear, Delia Owens herself is not suspected of involvement in the murder of a poacher filmed by an ABC camera crew in 1995, while the news program Turning Point was producing a segment on the Owenses’ conservation work in Zambia. But her stepson, Christopher, and her husband have been implicated by some witnesses.