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January 30, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Cold hearted cold case

Woman. Norma Talmadge. 1921. USPD: pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Each minute that passes causes more concern for the US Fish and Wildlife agency. Is she on the streets?(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

The good news is that they haven’t found the bodies. Yet.

Diabolical considering they were such as risk to start with, being blind.

Little hope they can return home on their own, with sunlight not being their friend. But with the ever-increasing reward ($15,000. as of Jan 29th), maybe something will crawl out.

They were snug, safe, and warm at home in Sam Marcos the day before Thanksgiving, but when their caretakers returned on Friday, they were gone.

Seriously. Who leaves such tiny ones unattended on a family oriented holiday?

Where’s the nanny cam?

Wanting a day off, perhaps their employees dumped out a pile of food in the bathtub like cat owners going on vacation and said “There. Buffet”. That would tempt almost any creature to stage a walkout in protest.

Did Texans lead the way out the door? (Not the football team. We know they rarely lead)

Texas blind salamanders are pale amphibians with frilly gills that can regenerate lost limbs. Rare cave-dwelling troglobites.

“On November 25, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement in San Antonio was made aware that 253 Texas Blind Salamanders (Eurycea nana) and 110 San Marcos Salamanders (Eurycea rathbuni) were missing from the San Marcos National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center located at 500 North McCarthy, San Marcos, TX…” (From NFWL SW )

Good grief, The blind leading the vulnerable.

The San Marcos Salamanders are probably wondering what in the world made them listen to those boastful Texas cave dwellers. (Others are bound to feel the same way sometimes…)

Fairies on boats. Fairies. Fairy Islands tale from Evles and Fairies. 1916 Ida R. Outhwaite. USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org.)

No one thinks they got out this way. The salamanders more likely would have seen snacks rather than rescuers.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org.)

What moved them?

  • Maybe the little guys were weary of being so closely monitored, and wanted more privileges. Got together with, “Well they can’t put us all detention, so let’s march.”
  • Maybe there’s no place like home and they headed back to San Marcos Edwards Aquifer. “Safety in numbers! Especially for runaways.”
  • Maybe they want to strut their stuff at Super Bowl. (Hope they’ve been warned about lounge lizards there. Totally different than the Forest and Wildlife agency playing matchmakers.)
  • Maybe they got hacked, learned computers, and decided their only escape was to sell themselves on Craig’s List.
  • It could have been an inside job. There were no signs of break-ins, but they haven’t changed to locks in 15 years or so and employees come and go…
  • Or, as an official quietly said Saturday off the record, maybe another resident ate them.

In any case, if you step across one, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s San Antonio Office of Law Enforcement at (210) 681-8419 or Operation Game Thief at 1-800-792-GAME (4263). Callers may remain anonymous.

Dragon and Dragon slayer. Siegfried slays Fafner. 1911 (USPD.artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

They look weird, but are harmless. Tell them their foster parents are very concerned.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

A cold case. (And not one of beer.)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Read more?

  • Their Missing Persons images are pretty pale, so here’s descriptions:

“The Texas Blind Salamander is approximately 5 inches long and has blood-red external gills for absorbing oxygen from the water. Its diet varies by what flows into its cave and includes blind shrimp, snails, and amphipods.

The San Marcos salamander is a small species of aquatic, lungless salamander native to the United States, endemic to Spring Lake and a small region of the headwaters of the San Marcos River near Aquarena Springs, in Hays County, Texas. It is one to two inches long, with a slender body and external gills, and is reddish-brown in color.” (From USFW SW)

Both are protected endangered species.

Rare salamanders. USFWL facility. (image by KSAT news). See link above in post)

Who wouldn’t want one of these little dragons. (They got left behind when Magic vanished.)

 

26 Comments

  1. When Stories Attack / Jan 30 2017 12:44 pm

    I think we all know what happened. The Butler did it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 30 2017 12:55 pm

      So all that time you spent on the train wasn’t lost: a detective job gained or at least an interview’s trial run.
      It is suspicious that it was omniscience’s a holiday known for over eating and sometimes cooks want something elaborate….
      Thanks for pulling into the comment station with a possibility!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate Crimmins / Jan 30 2017 12:45 pm

    Poor things! Hope there is a happy ending (and not a sushi one).

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 30 2017 12:58 pm

      With the sudden increase in reward, do you think someone found something listed on the internet’s exotic pet section…hopefully it wasn’t in the extreme cuisine listings (reality shows have raised such interest in odd foods..) Thanks for stopping by to fish among the comment

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy / Jan 30 2017 2:15 pm

    Who was it that said truth is stranger than fiction?

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 30 2017 2:47 pm

      A cast of real character with lots of plot twists and a bit or suspense – sounds like a novel, indeed. Thanks for checking into the mystery

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ally Bean / Jan 30 2017 3:08 pm

    This is weird. I cannot imagine who’d want to steal them, but I cannot imagine many things anymore. I hope the poor little guys are returned soon. Too weird…

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 30 2017 5:02 pm

      The creatures are weird – their story even more weird. Over 300 gone without a trace? (Seriously, how did the agency not keep up with the keys and change locks as needed. Even in divorce cases the people know to do that.) Come home little guys and gals!
      Thanks for taking a cold hard look at this muddle

      Like

  5. RKLikesReeses / Jan 30 2017 5:06 pm

    Wow, that’s a lot of escapees. Hard to imagine they hot-footed it out all at once, a spontaneous walkout. Someone would’ve notice, right? Maybe they had help from an accomplice on the outside. Hmmm. Where was Bob when they “disappeared?”

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 30 2017 6:13 pm

      See, now that’s the thing. It’s not like a couple of them wandered out to have a beer and slipped through the cracks.
      If Bob has any ideas, I’ll split the reward with him! Thanks for netting a comment to leave

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Littlesundog / Jan 30 2017 6:14 pm

    You know this makes me both sad and angry. If they were stolen by some thugs wanting to unload them on the black market, chances are the whole lot of them perished, since they probably didn’t take the time to educate themselves about special needs of this species. I hope the authorities figure this one out.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 1 2017 6:56 pm

      The black market is the biggest worry. There just aren’t that many of them left. Somehow they remind me unicorns and dodo birds. Seems like maybe some whiff of information as the reward is increasing daily ($20,000.00). The major new media needs to help out a little here by publicizing it. (And what the heck is the deal with the agency not keeping up with who has the keys – and changing locks as precaution. Security cameras? Your tax dollars at work….)
      Thanks for scouting around and sliding in with a comment

      Like

  7. easyweimaraner / Jan 30 2017 11:06 pm

    wow… slamanders on the run… or maybe someone snitched them? Wish we still had Mr. Holmes who can solve this case in 45 minutes … like he did in all episodes I saw by now :o)

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 1 2017 6:48 pm

      Salamanders on the Run – sounds like a rock and roll group. We need that Mr Holmes! (Bob is sleeping on the job) Hopefully the reward, now $20,000.00 will encourage some fool to spill some news. Thanks for sniffing the wind for info!

      Like

  8. Jane Dougherty / Jan 31 2017 1:13 am

    People will steal anything. They’re not part of some traditional Chinese recipe for enhanced performance, are they?

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 1 2017 6:45 pm

      You know, with all the recent reality shows and the exotic location foods, I have to admit, worry is growing. Hopefully there’s some news dripping out of the backdoor exotic pet sources and the poor creatures will be returned. There just aren’t that many of them. They look really like space aliens, don’t they? Thanks for adding a thought to the comment bucket

      Like

      • Jane Dougherty / Feb 2 2017 1:40 am

        If we can exterminate huge things like rhinos and mountain cats, we’re not going to let a runty blind salamander stand in our way, are we?

        Like

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 2 2017 6:59 am

          Either underfoot or under bull dozer. Paving paradise for a mall parking lot. Enlightenment (“without thumbs…”as RC cat says)

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Rilla Z / Jan 31 2017 7:01 am

    Well, it’s a slick trick, stealing salamanders! Especially the pale cave kind. Like a good detective, I’m gathering clues from your pictures. As for the greenish one, I assume the time of day ’twas brillig. 🙃

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 1 2017 6:42 pm

      Those slithy toves! We’re all mimsy over it. The reward keeps going up so quickly – maybe Scooby Doo has nosed something out. Thanks for wading in with a comment

      Like

  10. sportsattitudes / Jan 31 2017 9:52 am

    I just read something where I think it takes like 12 years for a species to be formally declared endangered…which is of course just enough time for some of them to be so far gone they’re essentially extinct by the time they are listed as endangered. Government in action. NOT. I’ll keep an eye out for the little ones…

    Like

  11. 1bl0gr3ad3r / Jan 31 2017 12:15 pm

    No surveillance system and no key accountability until… after. And only a two month delay in seeking help from the public. The blind cave dweller species have always fascinated me. They continue to adapt and survive in their fragile environments – until humans arrive, polluting, destroying, stealing, etc., with dollar signs the goal. Very irresponsible of the agency, but sad for the loss of the endangered and innocent lives. Hope Bob snaps up some tasty intel- but stays safe from Bob-hunters!

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 1 2017 6:24 pm

      I think they’ve been working quietly trying to find the underground (ironically named) exotic animal trade paths. Shoreacres noticed the reward is up to $20,000.00 now. Something is bound to Crowl out soon – especially if there’s enough chatter about them. Need the big media channels to stop with the politics and help spread the word a bit. (As a taxpayer, I’m pretty upset the agency hasn’t kept up with who has the keys and changed the locks recently as a precaution – sloppy and careless..)
      Bob’s decided he will wade in on this one. Thanks for searching along for the little guys.

      Like

  12. shoreacres / Feb 1 2017 5:17 pm

    This really is weird, given how hyper various agencies are about endangered species. These are so special that even I knew about them. I believe there’s an endangered grass in the river up there, too.

    You don’t suppose some developer whose project was being held up by salamanders…. Naw. Couldn’t happen. Could it?

    I just checked, and the reward being offered has been upped to $20,000. That could open some lips — and I don’t mean the salamanders’.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 1 2017 6:18 pm

      That whole eco system is so rare. Remember the biter fight when that developer was going to build right in that habitat. That’s how these little guys managed to be reclassified as endangered…it is odd isn’t it.
      National news needs to pick this top
      They are really jumping the reward all of a sudden – got wind of something.
      Salamanders come home! Yell loud like The Who’s.
      Thanks for the update!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. patriciaruthsusan / Feb 8 2017 3:54 am

    Poor little guys. I hope they’re safe, found, and returned. —- Suzanne

    Like

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