From Xplor for Kids
April 2010 Issue

Wild Jobs: Wildlife Damage Biologist Jim Braithwait

Publish Date

Apr 01, 2010

Is a beaver gnawing your boat dock? Jim Braithwait has the solution.

Jim Braithwait is a problem-solver. Is a raccoon raiding your trash? Has a skunk slunk under your deck? Is your pond otter-full and fishless? As a wildlife damage biologist, Jim studies animals to help people solve problems.

If a coyote is killing calves, Jim searches for clues, such as tracks, scat and fur. Once he knows the killer coyote’s habits, he sets a trap to catch it.

Jim once had to trap a 150-pound black bear after it broke into a house looking for food. This time, people were to blame. They had been feeding the bear. “I wish people would learn to coexist with animals,” Jim says. He recommends feeding pets inside and locking up trash cans so wild animals eat wild food instead of people food. To learn more about animals, Jim traveled to Florida and Wyoming to track mountain lions with dogs and to Arkansas to weigh hibernating bear cubs.

“The best way to learn about animals is to watch them in their own habitat,” says Jim. “Hiking, camping, fishing and hunting are great ways to see animals in the wild.”

Also in this issue

Photos With Nop and Dave: Raindrop Magic

Rain came down. The St. Francis River rose, and so did the water in photographer Dave Stonner’s boots. His rain jacket was soaked through.

You Discover

With fish to catch, turkeys to hunt and mushrooms to find, sometimes it’s hard to decide what to do in April and May. To help, here’s a list of Missouri’s best outdoor activities for you to discover.

My Outdoor Adventure

Good shot, Caleb!” Scott Williams held up his son’s target.

Born to be Wild

Wild parents know what’s best for their babies.

Backyard Buffet

Animals that catch and eat other animals are called predators. Not all predators are big. Some, like robins, are small. To see small predators, you don’t have to travel far. Keep your eyes peeled during the day, and you might find these pintsized predators using your backyard for a buffet.

Which Bird, Which Egg?

Just like birds, eggs come in many sizes, shapes and colors.

This Issue's Staff:

David Besenger
Bonnie Chasteen
Chris Cloyd
Peg Craft
Les Fortenberry
Chris Haefke
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Kevin Lanahan
Joan McKee
Kevin Muenks
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Alicia Weaver
Cliff White
Kipp Woods

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