animals

A kangaroo of unknown origin is on the loose in Austria, raising eyebrows in the area around Hellmonsodt and causing confusion on the Internet.

Kangaroos are, of course, indigenous to Australia.

Austria is, of course, not Australia.

But there's a marsupial hopping about in Upper Austria, and no one knows why.

The suspected kangaroo — we add a caveat because it could well be a wallaby instead — has been seen "numerous times" over the past week or so, according to Agence France-Presse.

A Florida family is terrified of a huge Monitor lizard that has taken up residence in their back yard.

As the editor of a blog called Goats and Soda (see this story for the explanation behind the name), I'm always interested in the latest goat research.

So I was definitely hooked by a press release that declared, "Goats prefer happy people."

Flaviane Venditti

The Arecibo Observatory is repairing damage to the giant radio telescope after hurricane Maria, but operators now need help with another issue — cats.

After Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico last year, operators say a family of cats began calling the observatory their home.

Using lessons learned from harbor seals and artificial intelligence, engineers in California may be on to a new way to track enemy submarines.

The idea started with research published in 2001 on the seals.

Scientists at the University of Bonn in Germany showed that blindfolded seals could still track a robotic fish. The researchers concluded that the seals did this by detecting the strength and direction of the whirling vortex the robot created as it swam through the water.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

State wildlife officers are investigating the shooting of an osprey Tuesday morning at a waterfront park in Key West.

Osreys - also known as fish hawks - are protected by the migratory bird act and are listed by the state as a species of special concern in Monroe County.

Executive Director of the Key West Wildlife Center Thomas Sweets said he got the call around 11:20 a.m. that there was an osprey with a broken wing that couldn't fly at Truman Waterfront.

After carrying her deceased baby for at least 17 days and 1,000 miles, an orca mother has shown signs of returning to normal.

She was seen Saturday with fellow members of her pod, chasing a school of salmon. She is no longer carrying her baby, and she looks healthy. "Her tour of grief is now over and her behavior is remarkably frisky," according to a statement on the Center for Whale Research's website.

There's a cycle that starts when the snow melts and the earth thaws high in Colorado's Rocky Mountains. It's a seasonal cycle based on timing and temperature, two variables that climate change is pushing increasingly out of sync.

To the outsider, it can be hard to see: Plants still grow, flowers bud, bears awake, and marmots breed. Broad-tailed hummingbirds still trill around a landscape that evokes the opening scene of The Sound of Music, with flowery meadows and granite peaks.

Just over two weeks after she was crowned the World's Ugliest Dog, Zsa Zsa, an English bulldog with a penchant for pink and a perpetually lolling tongue, has died. She was 9.

"I'm sad to share that Zsa Zsa passed away in her sleep last night," reads a message from her owner, Megan Brainard, a pet groomer in Minnesota.

Many spiders fly long distances by riding "balloons" of silk, and a new study suggests that they're propelled by more than just the wind.

Electric fields at strengths found in nature can also trigger the spiders' ballooning behavior. And electrostatic forces can lift up the spiders even when the air is still, according to a newly published report in the journal Current Biology.

Miami Herald Archive

A second raccoon in South Miami-Dade has tested positive for rabies — and that means part of the Southwest Miami-Dade suburbia will be on a rabies alert until Sept. 2, another 60 days.

The alert area is bounded by Southwest 152nd Street on the north, 187th Street on the south, 117th Avenue on the east and 137th Avenue to the west. That doesn't include the main campus of Florida International University, though one person tweeted that he walked past a classroom and saw a raccoon "inside just chillin' ... acting like he paid tuition."

Mark Hedden / markhedden.com

Iguana removal experts say this year be might record-setting in the number of invasive reptiles that are creeping around South Florida.

There's no way to get a firm estimate of the exact number of invasive iguanas in the state. They haven't been counted because state resources have been put in other areas, like the fight to eradicate burmese python out of the Everglades, said Joe Wasilewski, a conservation biologist and president of environmental consulting firm Natural Selections of South Florida. 

Ali the elephant, previously owned by singer Michael Jackson, escaped his enclosure at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on Sunday.

James Barker / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Following a rabid raccoon attack, the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County is advising residents to be careful around wild animals.

The raccoon in question scratched and bit a worker in the community of Breakers West last week. The attack was reported to the county. A local trapper caught the animal, which then tested positive for rabies.

The victim of the raccoon attack started a five-shot course of rabies vaccines.

This is the fourth confirmed rabid animal case in Palm Beach County this year.

Linda Robertson

There are rescue dogs, saved from abusive owners and placed in loving homes. Then there is Payo. He is a rescue rooster. He was doomed to die in a Santería ceremony.

Just as his neck was to be slit, Payo’s adoptive family swooped in. They persuaded the priest to sacrifice another animal. They brought Payo home and set him free in the back yard.

And this is where the sweet story of the pet rooster ends. Because sleep-deprived neighbors don’t call the big white bird with the blood red eyes by his nickname. They call him El terrorista. The terrorist.

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