wildlife | Nashville Public Radio


Shirley elephant sanctuary
The Elephant Sanctuary

The oldest elephant in Tennessee turns 70 this week — a life that has far surpassed expectations and that is being celebrated by The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald.

Cumberland Island National Seashore / National Park Service

Tim White works for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

That puts him on the front line of any change in the state's fauna, including the arrival of armadillos.


A Sumner County hunter is still waiting to see whether the 46-point buck he killed last month is big enough to set a world record.

Nashville rabies vaccination
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

For years, Nashville pet owners have likely been over-vaccinating against rabies. Now a move to clarify the city’s rules could save time and money for roughly 100,000 pet owners in Davidson County.

Brian Garrett / via Flickr

State lawmakers have turned back a bill that would've let Tennesseans own skunks as pets.

The decision came Monday night, after veterinarians argued there's no vaccine available to protect skunks from rabies.

The proposal, House Bill 2034, would have made Tennessee the 18th state to allow domesticated skunks. The measure had already passed the state Senate, and it fell just six votes short of the 50 needed for passage.

Alan Levine / via Flickr

It could soon be legal to own a skunk as a pet in Tennessee.

The state Senate voted 27-3 Wednesday morning to allow the possession of a domesticated skunk. The state House of Representatives has not yet weighed in, though the idea has been endorsed .

Supporters of the idea say skunks make loveable pets.

Dogs, Dog Park, Leash Laws
Madeline Goetz/WPLN

For many Nashville dogs, the past few months of roaming off-leash in city parks was a newfound freedom. Quietly, Metro Parks was studying a trial run of leash-free-hours at three parks.

But the dogs could not be trusted.

Music City Center bees
Chas Sisk / WPLN

They excelled at making honey. They gave a sense of wonderment to the high-rise neighbors who overlooked the Music City Center in downtown Nashville. That’s how one closely watched colony of bees might be forever remembered.

urban chickens Nashville
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville’s urban chicken fad may have run its course. Four years after backyard hens were first allowed, the number of permits is on the decline. Some say that it’s mostly dedicated chicken owners now left to tend their flocks.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Nashville’s water department is trying a new kind of outsourcing. Maintenance of a three-mile levee around MetroCenter has been handed over to a herd of goats.