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Video: Cold-weather critters visit Studio 1A

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    >>> back now at 8:50 with "today's call of the wild ." the national wildlife federation celebrated its 75th anniversary in the year 2011 and here with some of the animals that the group fights very hard to save is david mizijewsky, a natural with the nwf. what was the mission statement when this organization was founded?

    >> pretty much the same it is today to protect wildlife for our children's future. 75 years we've been doing that, hope to do it for 75 more years and with the help of americans we can do that to protect animals. these are animals from all over the world. is a prehensile tailed porcupine. he comes from brazil. these guys live up in the trees. they use the tail which is almost like a fifth limb, they can hold onto things with this.

    >> do other porcupines do not have a prehensile tail ?

    >> they do not. the north american porcupine in the states do not have that.

    >> he looks like he's a vegetarian.

    >> he's an herbivore and chomping on sweet potato .

    >> the quills, are they dangerous?

    >> they're gorgeous.

    >> unless they stick in you.

    >> you notice i'm not touching him, the quills will stick in my hands. it's a form of protection. they cannot shoot them, a lot of people think porcupines can fling their quills out but if a predator went after this animal and touched it, they are very loosely attached and they will stick in and it's not a good thing.

    >> what's next?

    >> our next animal is --

    >> and they get along?

    >> yeah, we're going to take the porcupine away. you guys have probably all seen the harry potter films .

    >> yes.

    >> this is the same species at harry potter 's owl, gorgeous white feathers . where do you think they live?

    >> in the arctic.

    >> exactly. so this bird is well camouflaged on the tundra. unlike most other birds or owls, these don't nest in trees because there are no trees. these guys are ground nesters, they're predators, they eat lem lemmings and this bird has come a lot further south than it normally would. people in upper new england, upper midwest are actually seeing snowy owls because the lemmings population has crashed up in the arctic so they've come further south to find more food. stunning, beautiful creature .

    >> i see one in the distance, also pretty.

    >> another arctic animal , our next guy, this is an arctic fox . as you can see, again, white fur here. this animal grows this white fur in the fall, to be camouflaged in the winter. in the spring it molts the white fur and grows a gray coat which is camouflaged in the summer because the snow melts up there.

    >> how are they doing in terms of numbers?

    >> these are not threatened species however their habitat is. climate change is something the national wildlife foundation works on. they skaf cavenge polar bears and follow polar bears and eat the leftover carcasses.

    >> padded feet?

    >> they have padded feet and thick fur. you can gently touch it, you feel how thick that fur is. this keeps this animal completely well insulated. the fact it's warm in here for him, he was panting back stage because he wants to be out in sub freezing temperatures.

    >> he was excited about the segment and a little nervous.

    >> we've got couple more animals here. this last one is called a cuscus, not a couscous. this is a marsupial, related to kangaroos, to qkoalas.

    >> so there's a pouch.

    >> there is a pouch, she's a feel miami. in america we have things like virginia opossums. everyone calls them possus. in australia, new guinea, southeast asia , we have animals called possum with no "o."

    >> that is also a prehensile tail ?

    >> correct. 'got amazingly strong basically hands. you can see the configuration of the digits there. actually helps this animal climb around in the trees, that prehensile tail does that. it's amazing. most people have never seen this animal before. that's why i'm excited to have him on.

    >> we highlight the work the national wildlife federation has done, over 75 years, getting us to care about what goes on in the wild.

    >>> what you can do to avoid picking up nasty germs on the next flight. first your local news and weather.


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