Dr. Lori Marino, founder of the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy

Dr. Lori Marino—founder and executive director of the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy, as well as a neuroscientist and expert in animal behavior and intelligence—explains exactly what a neuroscientist is, and how that academic orientation informs her thinking about animal behavior as opposed to, say, an animal behaviorist without that scientific training. logoMarino describes what prompted her to launch the Kimmela Center and the organization’s guiding principles, signaled by its motto “Informed by Science, Driven by Passion.” In part because it served as a prelude to the core of the conversation, Marino outlines, marino-ihmc-talk-032315at my request, the history and conclusions of her doctoral thesis: “Brain-Behavior Relationships In Cetaceans And Primates: Implications For The Evolution Of Complex Intelligence.” She discusses the workshop that she and Dr. Naomi Rose (a guest on “Talking Animals” in 2011) presented just before the Holidays, entitled B-pSaFeWsAA1BFr“Sea-Pen Sanctuaries: Progressing Toward Better Welfare for Captive Cetaceans.” This daylong symposium involved eight other panelists offering an array of expertise and input that sought to provide serious answers to questions arising, post-“Blackfish,” about relocating orcas and other whales and dolphins if they were removed from SeaWorld and similar operations. She explains the impact of captivity on animals with such large, complex brains and sophisticated social proclivities, noting in a nod to Ringling Bros.’ Tampa engagement opening that night, that this same impact is also seen in zoo and circus elephants. (www.kimmela.org)

ALSO: I spoke briefly with Rick Medina, the founder of Animal Based Charities (ABC), which helps underwrite the cost of animal adoption events across the Tampa Bay Area—in its five years of existence, Medina figures ABC has been indirectly responsible for the adoption of some 5000 animals. To help fund ABC’s undertakings, they present a variety of events, including the then-impending 6th Annual Barkarilla, offering a slew of activities and contests, featuring dogs and their humans dressed in pirate regalia. (http://animalbasedcharities.org, www.facebook.com/Animal-Based-Charities-227004270689387/)

COMEDY CORNER: Ron White’s “Killer Whale” (portion)  (https://tatersalad.com/home)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

 NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Chuck Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business”


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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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