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.


How to donate during the blood drive at…

The Metro-North Railroad and New York Blood Center are hosting a blood drive at Grand Central Terminal Thursday.


Bloomberg launches $50 million anti-gun violence effort

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $50 million on a grassroots anti-gun violence network to challenge the National Rifle Association.


East Village woman fights off rape attempt from…

An East Village woman fought off an attempted rapist that she woke to find standing on her bed over the weekend, police said.


Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.


Interview: Johnny Depp says he looks like himself,…

Johnny Depp talks about his new sci-fi thriller "Transcendence," not wearing gaudy makeup and wigs for a change and how he's a bit of a Luddite.


Review: 'Heaven is for Real' tries to be…

The mega-bestseller "Heaven is for Real" becomes a movie that tries to portray wrestling with faith — or at least it tries to try.


Slideshow: Check out Johnny Depp looking weird through…

Johnny Depp says he looks like himself in "Transcendence." He usually doesn't. Here's a slideshow of his weirder faces.


Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.


Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.


Islanders back to rebuilding mode after disappointing season

One season after qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2006-07, the Islanders finished 2013-14 with a 34-37-11 record.


Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…


Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.


How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.


The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.


3 easy DIY updates for your home

While you're deep into spring cleaning, why not make a few tweaks to give your home a fresh decorative twist? Don't worry, we're not talking…


Martha Stewart's tips for a perfect Easter

Even if your dinner isn't as perfect as hers, you can use her advice.