Birds and bees, please: City’s obsession with wildlife

Governors Island is currently hosting a competition to name this cat, which washed ashore.

New York has gone the way of Noah’s ark. Peacocks, zebras, snakes, seals and hawks, oh my! These days, local fauna makes big headlines in this city — but why?

“Animal stories always have exerted a universal appeal, not just on New Yorkers,” said Anthony Mancini, director of Brooklyn College’s journalism program. “They relieve the reader’s mind from tales of bipedal animals like Charlie Sheen and Glenn Beck.”

At any given time, there are nearly 4,000 people watching The New York Times’ “Hawk Cam,” which watches over the nest of Bobby and Violet, a pair of red-tail hawks outside the office of New York University’s president.

“We live in such an urban environment that we appreciate the bits of nature that we can get,” said teacher Dana Levy, 27, of Brooklyn.

The tale of the escaped Bronx Zoo cobra, Mia, caught readers’ attention for over a week; the faux Twitter account created to lampoon the incident now claims 241,834 followers.

Meanwhile, the castaway kitten on Governors Island is still making news.  

“New Yorkers aren’t as sophisticated as they think,” said psychoanalyst Jonathan Alpert. “In a city that’s filled with noise, chaos and stress, these wonders of nature bring a feeling of calm and allow New Yorkers to escape, even if it’s just for a minute.”

Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro.


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