Callers As Guests

by | Apr 21, 2021

Periodically, I table the chief component of the “Talking Animals” format—a long form interview with a single guest—to offer a debate or some other multi-guest panel discussion. As part of that occasional effort to temporarily reconfigure the program, and a parallel desire to give voice to a broader array of animal organizations and leaders, as well as provide airtime to listeners who also may have important animal-oriented information to announce or comments to offer on the news, etc.—I invite people to call into “Talking Animals” and, briefly, become the show’s guest. The eve of Earth Day seemed like an ideal time to reprise this segment, which yielded a handful of wonderful calls, and an only slightly smaller number of messages that arrived by email or text. These included Lee from the Ancient Islands section of the Sierra Club, inviting listeners to join their monthly Zoom meeting, in which they discuss alligators and other animals, the growing extinction of certain species. (For details of the Zoom meeting and more:…Peter with Friends of the Anclote River, who shared various pieces of information, and urged listeners to sign this petition (, which aims to reverse a decision by the Tarpon Spring Board of Commissioners approving the development of 404-unit apartment complex on land bordering the Anclote…Suzanne, who’s part of a group that regularly feeds community cats in Tampa, and is seeking one more person to help with the feeding. [email protected]…Rick recounted being on a hike with his wife and seeing a bear—twice…John touted the virtues of alligators, and the need to leave old tortoises alone and give them space…One emailer asked me about any notable animal encounter I might’ve had, and I described my visits to the San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja California, where grey whales migrate to have their babies. And then—this is the odd, counterintuitive, magical part of this—the mother whales bring their babies up to skiffs to essentially introduce them to the humans on the board. The moms allow—even encourage—the humans to pet the baby whales, and the moms themselves, too.

COMEDY CORNER:  Mike Birbiglia “I’m A Bear” (portion) (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” Kathleen Edwards’ “Who Rescued Who,” Eels’ “Dog Faced Boy (Alternate Version), Stephanie Seymour’s “Ruby-Crowned Kinglet,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Joni Mitchell’s  “Black Crow”


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