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Lara Brenner talks about her research on how stressed cougars are and how the public views them. Then Jessi from Animal Wonders joins the show with Seraphina the red fox!

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 (00:00) to (02:00)


H: Hello and welcome to SciShow Talk Show.  It's that day on SciShow where we talk to interesting people about interesting stuff.  I just like, I love that we get to talk to scientists about the science that they're actually doing.  This is Lara Brenner.

L: Hi.

H: Who works in wildlife biology at the University of Montana.  A master's student there trying to find out about what?

L: Well, I'm studying human-cougar conflict from a social perspective.

H: Human-cougar--so, okay, but before you said from a social perspective, I was like, human cougar conflict, like, in the fight pit, like at a gladiator kind of --yeah.

L: Who would win?  I think we know who would win.  

H: Well, I don't know.  Like, that's a good question.  Who would--has a person ever won?

L: Oh, yeah, well, yeah.  Actually, I mean, most of the time, people win, you know, it's pretty rare--

H: But like, when there's an actual human on cougar atta--like, they're actually fighting hand-to-hand?

L: Hand-to-hand, well, I mean, we have a lot of advantages, you know--

H: Can you--yeah, I guess.

L: We can use, you know, sticks, weapons.

H: What should I do?  I gu--I know that this isn't what you study, but I do, I am curious, do you know what I should do?

L: Well, what I've heard is that cougars are kind of like big house cats, so anything that you could do that would rile up your cat at home, don't do that.

H: Don't do that.

L: So don't run, because that will stimulate their chase instinct.  

H: Throw a toy.

L: Throw a toy away, yeah, to distract it, throw a rock.  Act like a big human.  Humans don't really look like a cougar's prey image.

H: Right, right, kinda like, yeah, like what I do with my cat is I sort of like, kick toward it.  

L: Yeah, spray him with water.

H: I don't kick the--I don't kick the cat, but yeah, just sort of like, yeah, just--

L: Yeah, yell.  Anything that would throw it off.

H: Okay.

L: Yeah, that's what you should do.  Make yourself look big, yeah.

H: And then once I'm being devoured, it's just sort of an end.  Just not a lot, just punch and kick.

L: Punch and kick, yeah.

H: Well, thank you.  It is--we do live in Montana, so you never know.

L: Yeah.  

H: So you study human-cougar conflict more in a social way than--

 (02:00) to (04:00)

L: Yeah, the social con--like, yeah, most human-cougar conflict is not actually human-cougar conflict in the one on one sense but more human-human conflict about how we should manage cougars and occasionally cougar-livestock conflict, cougar-pet conflict is more common.

H: So you're studying how people feel and why they feel the way they feel about these large animals that we manage in various ways.  We have to figure out how to manage them and also how to keep them as part of the ecosystem.

L: Right.

H: And some people don't really--there's definitely a certain group that it seems like maybe believe that large predators just shouldn't exist.  

L: Yeah.

H: Like, why would we have those?  Like, we can use nature for us and having these basically competitor animals that are eating the same things we eat, including the things that we own, our pets and livestock, and why would they need to exist?

L: Yeah, and you actually hit right at this kind of the core of the human dimensions of wildlife, which is the field that I'm in, is that different people have different values toward wildlife, so historically, we've always kind of had utilitarian views toward wildlife, so believing that if they can be used for human benefit, then we should do that and if not, then it's better for them to not exist, so that's why we don't actually have cougars in much of the United States, we--they were extricated in the 18th, 19th century--

H: So cougars traditionally would be in all of the, like, had the range throughout the whole US?

L: Mhmm, yeah, all 50 states, Canada, actually all the way down to Patagonia.  They had the largest--

H: What's Patagonia?

L: Uh, Southern Argentina.

H: Besides for the place where I find my coats.

L: Yeah, they don't live in the Patagonia store.

H: Okay, so the--so it's Southern Argentina, that's like, the end of Americas, so like, from--the whole Americas.

L: Yeah, the whole thing.  

H: Wow.

L: Yeah, but so not anymore.  So now we basically just find them in the West, kind of West of the Rocky Mountains, and--

H: We have--there's cougars other places.

L: Yeah, so, yeah, so people, you know, as people's values have started to shift back towards--er, shift towards more of a protectionist view towards wildlife, we've updated our laws so cougars are no longer hunted by bounty like they used to be.  

 (04:00) to (06:00)

H: Oh, so we paid people to kill them.

L: Yeah, yeah, it was actually like, a direct goal.  Now, they're managed to maintain some population.  Each state does that a little differently, but since the 60s, we've actually done such a good job managing them here that they're starting to move East back into their old range, so we're kind of at a critical juncture in cougar conservation right now.

H: Okay.  Wow.  

L: For the first time in a century, we might be seeing cougars in Iowa and in Connecticut.  

H: Well, where I grew up, so this is a thing, like, the word cougar and the word mountain lion, it's a lot of different--

L: Yeah.

H: Like, a lot of--so I grew up with panthers.  I didn't grow up with panthers.  But I still have never seen a big cat in the wild, but I, like, in Florida, we have mountain lions, kind of.  They're a different sub-species.

L: Yes, they're an endangered sub-species that just live in Florida, the tip of Florida.

H: There's not very many of them.

L: Yeah, they're in big trouble.  They're very--the population is so small that they have a lot of--experience a lot of inbreeding depression, so the genetic pool is like, really really small and they actually have--so a lot of them have (?~5:08) tails and that's how you can tell they're experiencing some kind of issue.  Yeah, so people call them all kinds of different things.  Mountains lions and cougars and pumas, all the same animal.  Florida Panther, some people say panther to refer to like, black jaguars and leopards.  There's other weird--like, some people call them mountain screamers and like, deer tigers.  I've heard all kinds of stuff.

H: Deer tigers?

L: Yeah, it's all the same--

H: They do kind of look like deer tigers.

L: Yeah, it's a tiger for deer.

H: Or if a tiger and a deer got together and made a baby, 'cause they're kind of deer colored but tigers.

L: Yeah, it could be a cougar.  Yeah, so they're all the same animal.  Bobcat and Lynx are different, they're smaller species, but yeah.  It can be confusing.

H: So yeah.  So you are, you're kind of doing wildlife research but also human research, studying people.

L: Mhmm, yes.

H: What do you find is the thing that influences sort of a person's outlook toward a cougar most?

 (06:00) to (08:00)

L: Um, well, actually people have found that your social group identity is one of the strongest predictors of how you feel about wildlife in general, especially large carnivores like cougars, so and that kind of is based on the values that you are inculcated with, the people you grew up with, the people you surround yourself with, so people who tend to worry the  most about large carnivores would be livestock owners and ranchers, for obvious reasons.  People who hunt deer and maybe are worried about cougars having an impact on deer populations, and basically it comes down to, if you feel that large carnivores are kind of a threat to your identity, who you are, then you tend to have more negative attitudes towards them and have more strict ideas about how they should be controlled.

H: Additionally, like, when--is there an event, so like, a (?~6:53)

L: Right.

H: Does that sort of effect the community, like if there's an attack or like, that doesn't happen that often but it does happen.

L: Yeah, you hear about it sometimes, and it does tend to get--that kind of thing gets picked up by the media.  It's pretty sensational.

H: Yeah, I mean, it's like, how many fatal cougar attacks are there, you know?

L: So there have been 20 in the last 150 years.

H: Okay.

L: And some people are saying that there might be a trend for that increasing over the last 20 years.

H: Well, 'cause we have--like, now there are more of them that exist.

L: Yeah, we--yeah.  There are more of them.  People are moving kind of into their habitat more.  There's more human-wildlife conflict, but still such a small number that it's even hard to say if that's a trend or if that's just kind of random variation.

H: There are deadlier things out there.

L: A lot, a lot, yeah.  Bees.

H: Your own dog.

L: Yes, for sure, yeah.  Far, far deadlier.  I mean, you're more likely to be struck by lightning than ever having kind of a negative moment with a cougar.

H: Yeah, but it is a--it's just a scary thought.

L: It is, yeah.

H: Like, it's a very--it sounds like an unpleasant way to go.

L: Yeah, and yeah, fear is a big part of it.  It kinda changes the tenor of, you know, going on a hike if you know that there's something out there that might kill you, even if you know logically that's not gonna happen, but you know, there are a lot of people who have really positive attitudes towards cougars too and who recognize they have some benefits to the ecosystem and who, you know, really push for their protection, so if everyone believed the same thing, we wouldn't have any conflict at all, but the issue comes when people disagree about how they should maange.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

H: Right.  So are you more looking at the effects of the disagreement on sort of people in our like, communities, or are you thinking about it in terms of like, conservation?

L: Um, well, both.  So I'm asking people about how they believe cougars should be managed, their attitudes towards cougars, what behaviors they think are acceptable and what are not acceptable.   So is it okay for a cougar to show up sometimes in the neighborhood, or is that not acceptable?  People have different ideas.  I'm also looking at, I'm starting to research how policy might impact cougar conservation, so--and people's attitudes towards cougars, so in the West, every state has its own policy that can be really different, so like, California, mountain lion hunting is banned completely, whereas most Western states allow some sport hunting, so kind of looking at how that effects attitudes as well and what implications that has for conservation.  

H: So you're also telling me that--so you're studying kind of how cougars might stress people out but also how people might stress cougars out?

L: Yeah, so that's the second part of my research.  I am looking at stress in cougar populations and cougars are, like all vertebrates, they have a stress response that helps them, it's actually adaptive for them to be stressed a little bit.

H: True.

L: It helps them escape threats, immediate threats to their person.

H: Yeah, I mean, there's--same with me.

L: Yeah.

H: Like, I need stress.

L: Yeah.

H: For motiv--makes me do stuff.

L: Yeah, actually, a moderate amount of stress helps your memory function, but you know, there's an issue obviously, just like with people, if you experience too much stress then that might have downstream impacts on your immune system.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

It might lead to like, chronic illness and just changing your behavior, too, in ways that might be beneficial or not beneficial, so I'm looking at stress hormones which are called glucocordicoids(?), I'm looking at their deposits in cougar hair.

H: It's easier to find cougar hair than a cougar.

L: Exactly.

H: And once you've found a cougar, it might not be easy to get a blood test going.

L: Mhmm, yeah, so historically, we've looked at blood samples to get like, an instant idea of the hormone levels.

H: To me, like, the, like, poop seems like kind of the way to like, would be my immediate thought.

L: Yeah.

H: Because, well, the other thing is, if you're like, measuring stress hormones in a cougar with their blood, you have to catch it first, and so it's gonna be freaked out.

L: Yeah, right, yeah, so that's an issue.

H: So that's gonna be useless.

L: Well, so, so with blood, you do get that instantaneous measure of stress so you would expect it to be very elevated, but you can kind of see how, if you catch, I mean, with cougars it's hard to catch them before that stress response starts off, but you can see how high it goes and that can be a measure of difference between individuals, but yeah, it does depend on your question.  Are you looking at their--how high their stress can get?  Are you looking at their stress over the last, like, 24, 48 hours?  That would be a good--feces would be a good measure for that, and hair, the stress hormones, the theory goes that it would be deposited in their hair over the course of the time that the hair grows in, so maybe a few weeks or months.

H: Right.  It's almost like the drug test, where you're like, I get like a two-year long period of time to test if my kid has done drugs.  This is great, I can see like, in August of 2015, like, can you get that kind of specificity or do you just blend--I don't know, like, how is this going in general, like, it's a thing that's been done with other animals?

L: Yes.  Yeah.  Yeah.  It's--yeah, so people have looked at stress deposits, cortisol deposits in grizzly bears, in wolves, never in cougars as far as I know.  I know some people are working on it, kind of in tandem with me, but yeah, so you could, in theory, if you knew that they'd experienced a stressful event and you knew the exact rate that the hair grew in, be like, okay, let's look at this millimeter.  

 (12:00) to (14:00)

H: Yeah.

L: This is when, you know--

H: Yeah.

L: --this event, breeding season was happening or something, so they were fighting with each other.  Obviously, I don't really have that level of specificity, so I'm just kind of grinding the whole thing up and hoping for the best, but, yeah, in theory you could do that.

H: Right, first, you're getting it started.  First steps first.

L: Yeah.

H: And anything from that research yet?

L: Well, we're just getting started.  I'm trying--I'm still at the point where I'm trying to isolate which stress hormones--there's a whole different cohort of glucocorticoids that might be in there, so there's cortisol, that's what's dominant in humans.  Some other mammals have corticosterone, and then there's a bunch of other metabolites as those hormone's molecules get broken down that might also been in higher or lower concentrations, so that's kinda the phase I'm at right now, is seeing what would be the best one of those molecules to measure.

H: How do you get cougar hair?

L: I'm getting them from a lot of different places.  So I am actually getting some from studies where they're collaring cougars for GPS, for population monitoring.

H: Okay.

L: I'm getting some from, in California, any cougar--I think their number one cause of mortality is road accidents and any cougar that's hit by a car comes through the wildlife investigations lab so I'm getting some samples from there, and also in states where they hunt cougars, hunters are required to provide some biological samples from the animal, so I'm getting some hair as well from that, so a lot of different sources.  I'm trying to diversify a little bit.

H: So you're not just--I was picturing it like, literally going out and like, finding cougar hair on a twig.

L: Yeah.  You could do that.

H: Like a Bigfoot hunter.

L: Yeah, some people do that.  You can put out hair snares--

H: Yeah?

L: On, you know, places where you think it's likely that cougars will be like, rubbing against trees.

H: So almost like a cougar brush.

L: Yeah.

H: Kind of like, ooh, that's nice.

L: Yeah, yeah, you could put like, yeah, something there that would make 'em want to scratch on it.

 (14:00) to (16:00)

It's usually just a little piece of barbed wire, actually.  It's--hair snare sounds fancier than it is, but.

H: Okay.  I mean, no reason to go manufacture something when you've found something that works.  

L: Yeah, it's just as good.  

H: Well, that sounds really interesting.  How are people feeling about cougars these days?  Do you have trends over time or is it just sort of like a snapshot right now?

L: Yeah, people have been looking at this sort of systematically at least for about 20 or 30 years, but we do have a sense that as people in general trend towards urbanization, higher education, financial security, their values towards wildlife become more positive and as wildlife become more rare, too, people tend to pin different values on them or attributes.

H: Right.

L: So people feel positively, at least in terms of like, the last century, attitudes have improved but there is a concern that as cougar populations rebound, they might begin to sort of strain the public sympathy for them by--

H: So it's almost like we like cougars as long as we don't see them.

L: Yeah, basically.  I mean, that is one threshold that people might have is like, I like that they're out there in the wild, but I definitely don't want any near my house.

H: Right.  Not where my kids were playing.

L: Yeah.  

H: 'Cause they're not not dangerous.

L: No, they're not, and that's something, you know, part of what spurred my interest in this research was the fact that cougars are moving east into some of the territory that they were extricated from in the early 20th century so looking at--and that landscape is completely different from what we have out here--it's, you know, in the midwest, it's highly agricultural, it's bisected by roads.  They hate crossing highways and they're really bad at it, too, so kind of looking at--they're gonna definitely have to adapt their behavior, which they're pretty good at, but in that adaptation, are they gonna be--start doing things that reduce human tolerance for them, and we might end up back in the situation where we decide we don't want cougars in Idaho or in Iowa, we do have them Idaho, we don't want them in Iowa after all.

 (16:00) to (18:00)

H: Yeah.  Well, that sounds very useful and helpful and I'm glad that you were able to come share that on this thing here that we're doing.  Do you want to meet an animal?

L: I would love to meet an animal.

H: Ok, let's do that.

J: Hey guys.

H: Whoa. 

J: (?~16:23) do you wanna sit on this table here?  Oh, that sounds weird, doesn't it?

H: By 'sit' do you mean walk around--

J: There you go.  Good girl!  This is Seraphina, she's a red fox.

H: Oh, look at her beautiful coat.  

J: She has her full winter coat in right now and she's eating little snacks.  This is sweet potato, yam, and little meat dog treats and apple all together.  

H: Does Seraphina have any tricks?

J: She does, do you wanna see 'em?

H: I mean, yes.

J: Right now, right now her back's to the camera, so I think I'm gonna crouch over here.

H: Okay.

J: Good girl.  She knows how to sit.  She can turn in a circle.  Oh, that was a scared circle, she's like, um, I don't wanna go all the way around.  
H: I don't wanna--

J: Turn around one more time.  Good girl!  Thank you.  She can wave.  You wanna say hello to everyone?  Yeah.  Good girl.  Nice job.  

L: She's better trained than most dogs.

H: Yeah.  

J: Way high.  Good girl.  And this is the coolest one.  This is a pounce and this is something that they do naturally in the wild.  They use this--that was the lamest pounce ever.  Get it, get it, yeah.  Good girl!  How about you dig it up, dig it up, yeah!  Alright, so all of these, what you call tricks, I call them behaviors and I've worked with her--she's six years old and I've been working with her pretty much her entire life and over time, we've worked on these behaviors and I ask her to do something and if she wants to, she does it, and she gets a treat, a reward in return if she wants to do it, and I use them in our public presentations to talk about like, I use the circle for look at her fluffy tail and then I talk about how her fluffy tail helps her survive when it gets really cold.  

 (18:00) to (20:00)

I talk about how she can reach up and grab berries on tall branch--tall bushes and stuff like that.  She will dig up mice or she will hear a little mouse under the snow and pounce on it and usually she has a little bit more of a pounce.

H: Yeah, the littlest pounce.

J: Yeah, you want me to--oh, okay, I'll do it, I'll do it.  You'll give me a treat anyway, I know you.

H: Yeah.

J: So she has me trained, too, and training like this is a form of communication and so she's telling me things and I'm telling her things and we have this back and forth.  One of my favorite things to do with animals is, because it's kind of like Dr. Doolittle--

H: Yeah, yeah.  Kind of speaking to them.

J: You know, you're kind of like, communicating with animals, yeah.  Yeah.  You are doing so good.

H: I mean, you are kind of keeping my attention with all of these treats.

J: I mean, the food, I mean, that's what we do.  She like, gets to do her own thing, most of the time, and then she comes out and she does public presentations and it's really fun because she gets to eat the whole time.  If I were to just kind of let her--if you notice when you moved like that, did you see her posture?  Her ears went back, she crouched, that was a fear response.  She was--

H: What's that foot doing?

J: Yep, any movement.  If someone were to walk by right now, she would get very focused on that, and if I were to just let her do her own thing right now, she would be a blend of like, curiosity and fear.

H: Yeah, that's the fox emotion.  

J: That's them to a tee, exactly.  So, right now I'm really just trying to keep her focused on me and this is what we're doing right now so she doesn't get into like this 'ooh, that's interesting, oh, no, no, it's terrifying' and then like run away and I don't want her to get scared at all.

 (20:00) to (22:00)

I want this to be a fun thing.  

H: What a cutie.

J: Yeah, yeah.  Red foxes are really interesting.  The studies are ongoing because we're trying to figure out how--this species is so adaptable that they are adapting right before our eyes, you know, we're seeing--

H: Well, it's, yeah, they are certain animals, I think like dog type animals are just, there's something about them that makes them able to change faster.

J: Quickly.

H: Yeah.

J: Exactly, faster than other species, yeah.

H: Like, you see like domesticated cats, like, there's some differences, but mostly they're like cat shaped cats.  

J: They look like a cat.  We don't have like a pug cat.

H: Whereas dogs--

J: Oh, well, I guess we do have a pug cat.  

H: Well, that was an accident, I think.  I think that's sort of a one-time thing.  

J: No, no, no, like a, what are the smooshy faced cats?

L: Persian cats.

H: Persians.

J: Yeah, yeah.  

H: Okay.  I thought you were talking about Grumpy Cat.  

J: No, that's a--that's just a genetic (?~20:58).   You ate all your food.

H: Uh-oh.  It all went away already.

J: Yeah.  Now we'll see what she does.  

H: Now what do we do?  (?~21:04)

J: Up to her own devices.  She's pretty content right now, actually, she's like--

H: I mean, this is a--I haven't seen her in her winter coat.  It's so pretty.

J: Isn't she so pretty?  She's gonna go to the bathroom.  Get a good shot of that.  Yeah.

H: Oh, good poops.  

J: Yeah, girl, nice.

H: Oh, you stepped in it.  You stepped in your own poop.

J: That smells gross, huh?

H: And then you kicked it.

J: And then you're gonna pee.  

H: Oh man, you're getting all your business done.  

L: This table's probably seen a lot.

H: Yeah.  

J: The first for fox poop and pee.  

H: Hard not to reach out (?~21:31)

J: I know, and we're not--and I'm going to pick her up so she does not step in her poop, 'cause that's not gonna be the funnest for me to have all over my shirt.  So, foxes use their urine and their feces to help communicate, help themselves and also communicate with other foxes.  
L: Yeah, it's communicating with me right now.

J: They will--oh, you can smell it.  It's intense, it's super intense.  Her urine actually smells like skunk spray, and they will use it to mark their caches.  

 (22:00) to (24:00)

So they'll store extra food for the wintertime and they'll pee on it and so they can find it when a big layer of snow covers it up, and then they'll go and smell that and dig it up and then they'll pee on it again.

H: Sure.

J: And when they pee on it, they're basically saying, oh, this is an empty hole, don't waste your time digging it up.  You wanna get a little more comfortable?  Oh, was that a burp?

H: You just burped?  

J: Um, do you guys have any questions?  She's really content right now.

H: Yeah.

J: I don't know if she'll want to sit down but let's see.  (?~22:32)

H: Not sure.  I'm looking at the ground.  That's what my cat does when my cat is like, put me down.  

J: I want to--I want to--yeah, she's not like, super thrilled that I'm holding her right now.

H: Yeah. 

J: She's doing alright, she's tolerating this very well.

L: Where is the line between where red foxes and grey foxes start in the US?

J: Um, they overlap, so grey foxes are down south and then red foxes are up northern United States a little bit more and so, they do overlap kinda right in the--right around the middle.  It's gonna be different, I can't--it's like, not on state lines.

L: Yeah, right.

J: So it's hard to say the exact line and their territories are gonna change and shift over time, so.

L: Yeah.  

J: Per season.  You hear that?

H: I feel like it's a little bit like the kind of the same ability as a raccoon?

J: Look at those ears.  

H: Which we now have here.

J: We've always had raccoons. 

H: I feel like--oh, we've always had raccoons?

J: Yeah.  

H: I just notice them in the city a lot more.  

J: Okay, our raccoon population and our skunk population has boomed in the last five years and so people are seeing them, you know, around their houses, (?~23:45) a lot more.

H: I think I may just have like a family who's moved in.

J: Oh, yeah, sure, sure.  But red foxes are moving into the city as well.  Isn't she--she looks very--

H: She's being so good.

J: They don't--she looks like she's being very cuddly and stuff and um, you know, I don't want to promote red foxes as pets.  

 (24:00) to (26:00)

H: Yeah.  

J: This--she's a little bit nervous with all these people looking at her right now and so she is disassociating right now, so this isn't like a loving behavior.  When you're working with animals, especially exotic animals that are not domesticated or wild animals, reading their behavior's really important and not anthropomorphizing what they're doing is really important, so I hope you guys think she's really cute, but also at the same time, you're not thinking that this would make the best snuggly pet, because she's really not snuggly.  This is not at all--

H: She just digs things, pees really stinky pee--

J: Yep, runs, bites you, wants your food, like, yep.  Yep.

L: Screams.

J: Screams.  When you take her on walks it's not like she comes and like, plays with you, it's like, I am running and I'm going to investigate my thing so, these guys are not pleasers, human pleasers, they are fox pleasers.  They wanna do what they wanna do.  What do you think?  Do you see someone?  

H: Somebody new came in.

J: Oh, (?~25:03), curiosity-fear mode.  She's looking at you, staring you down.  

H: Colin just came in, going to a meeting in the meeting room and Sera's like, she's like--

J: She's like, um, um.  

H: Well, thank you, Sera for joining us.  You are the gorgeous right now, I love your winter coat.

J: Isn't that pretty?  That big fur coat?  Alright, I'm gonna go ahead and put her back.

H: Okay. 


Good girl, Seraphina, good girl.  

H: Oh my God.

J: I have a little bit of red fox--do you want some hair sampling to see--

L: Thank you so much, I'll have that back for you in a month, yeah.

H: Well, thank you so much.

J: Oh man, that was--she did really good.  I'm really proud of her.

H: Is that a relaxed response, the pooping?

J: that's just a full-belly response.  That's just like--

L: A lot of cheese.

J: Like, if she was stressed out, it would have been like, looser than that and--

H: Right.  That's just a normal--I had to poop at that moment.

 (26:00) to (27:06)

J: That's just a normal one, yep.  

H: Well thank you for joining us.  If you want find out more about what Jessi's doing, you can go to her YouTube channel at and--

J: There's lots of videos of Seraphina on there.

H: And you got a Patreon page, too.

J: We do, yeah.  

H: Help support--


H: Yeah.

J: Yep.

H: That's correct.  

J: Yep.  Yeah, it helps--it goes to making videos and educating people about how to better take care of animals and also fascinating facts about animals and also it means we buy the animals good food.

H: Yeah, you take care of them.

J: And toys and stuff like that.

H: Well, thank you for coming.  Thank you, Lara, for sharing all the cool stuff.

L: Thank you for having me.

H: Yeah.

L: If you wanna learn more, you can check out the Human Dimensions Lab at the University of Montana's webpage.

H: Cool, and thank you for watching today at the SciShow Talk Show.  Had a good time.  I hope that you liked it.