animals

Ocean-dwelling sharks often like to hang out in areas that also get frequented by industrial fishing ships, which puts them at grave risk of being caught either for food or as bycatch.

That's according to a new study in the journal Nature that mapped the activity of 23 shark species and fishing vessels around the globe.

Felines that are declawed are usually declawed in an attempt to protect furniture. New York cat owners, however, will have to tolerate ruined property.

New York is the first state in the country to outlaw the practice of declawing cats, a surgery that animal-rights advocates deem inhumane and unnecessary. Declawing a cat, also known as onychectomy, has been banned in most European countries, along with some Canadian provinces and U.S. cities including Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Frank Ridgley / Zoo Miami

Invasive snake populations in the Everglades continue to have devastating impacts on the ecosystem. 

Burmese Pythons, North African Pythons and Boa Constrictors have reduced the population of fur bearing animals by 99 percent, according to scientists. Since 2007, Zoo Miami has been working with the National Park Service, the United States Geological Services and the University of Florida to manage and eradicate invasive species from the Everglades.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The first report came in on Monday. An Antillean Palm-Swift was spotted soaring above Grassy Key.

In the world of serious birders, that's big news.

By Jessica Meszaros

A new study describes the future mass redistribution of plants and animals on Earth due to climate change. 

 
The research conducted by the University of Florida and the University of Tasmania appears in the journal Nature Climate Change.
 
An author of the study says Florida is already experiencing this migration due to global warming.
 
Brett Scheffers, a professor of wildlife ecology at UF, spoke with WUSF's Jessica Meszaros.

It's the Cubs, Bulls and Bears that usually get Chicagoans talking, but this week the animal that has residents snapping to attention is a real live alligator cruising through a lagoon in the city.

The alligator, estimated to be between 4 and 5 feet long, was spotted Tuesday in the unlikely locale of Humboldt Park on the city's West Side.

Surprised parkgoers called 911, and responding officers brought in animal control.

RON MAGILL / ZOO MIAMI

If you like cute animals, Zoo Miami will not disappoint.

In the span of a week, Zoo Miami has added six newborns — all female — to its mix, including two zebras and an addax, also known as a white antelope.

“This amount of significant births in a seven-day period is extraordinary,” said Zoo Miami spokesman Ron Magill.

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.

Courtesy

Homestead police began the Fourth of July responding to an unwelcome backyard guest: a young black bear strolling from home to home in a popular subdivision on the east side of town.

A resident called police around 1:30 a.m.. Thursday in the Oasis housing development, reporting a bear sighting. Squad cars arrived and officers spotted what they described as a four-foot-tall black bear “walking in between backyards,” said Homestead Police Col. Scott Kennedy.

It all started on a Tuesday night, when I came home from work to an unmistakable absence. My brown-and-white pit bull mix, Maizey, wasn't at the top of the stairs to greet me. Instead she was in her bed, shaky and confused.

When I tried to get her up, she stumbled, nearly falling over while standing still. Walking to the vet, she leaped like a puppy chasing imaginary balls.

Later, at the 24-hour veterinary clinic in San Francisco's Mission District, the staff ran some tests and determined Maizey was in no immediate danger.

Madeline Fox / WLRN

Bovenizer was ready to make a beeline for the ocean before his flippers even touched sand.

The adult male loggerhead turtle was lifted out of a trailer and set on the shore at Juno Beach during his Wednesday morning release from treatment at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

Canada's Parliament has passed legislation banning whales, dolphins and porpoises from being bred or held in captivity — a move that was hailed by animal rights activists.

Violations are punishable by fines of up to 200,000 Canadian dollars (about $150,000).

YouTube

During heavy rains last year in a small town outside Havana, people saw something remarkable. Large freshwater catfish called claria were swimming in the flooded streets. In a video posted on YouTube, excited locals splash out to grab them.

But that happy scene was also an environmental alert. Claria are an invasive species in Cuba. They’re supposed to be confined to aquaculture fisheries, where they’re bred for food. Outside those farms – as these claria obviously were – they’re notorious for devouring anything in their paths.

At the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., there's a room filled with burbling aquariums. A lot of them have lids weighed down with big rocks.

"Octopuses are notorious for being able to, kind of, escape out of their enclosures," says Bret Grasse, whose official title at MBL is "manager of cephalopod operations" — cephalopods being squid, cuttlefish and octopuses.

North Florida is seeing a sudden surge in the number of homeless cats and kittens. Deidre Carey is with the Leon County Humane Society.

In the tiny town of Erwin, Tenn., history is the elephant in the room.

At the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce, Cathy Huskins remembers one particularly angry tourist "came barreling through the door, and came up to the counter here and slung her hands down. ... And she says, 'I cannot believe that you killed an elephant!' "

Librarian Angie Georgeff is used to the strange phone calls and unannounced visits from world travelers:

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