animals

The Senate has approved a bill to make severe animal cruelty and torture a federal crime. With the House having passed an identical version of the bill last month, the measure now goes to President Trump, who is expected to sign it into law.

Courtesy Doug Mader, DVM

Maureen Tan/Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden

Sometimes the best science comes from an idle, casual observation. Take Isaac Newton. Or Josh Diamond.

Sun Sentinel

Do you smell a rat?

If you live it the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area it wouldn’t be terribly uncommon. That’s according to Orkin, the pest-control company that includes us in its annual “Top 50 Rattiest Cities.”

Miami-Fort Lauderdale takes the cheese at No. 20. We’re actually down three spots from last year’s list but still rank the highest of all Florida cities. (To be fair, we also have the highest population of humans in the state.)

MIKE STOCKER / South Florida Sun Sentinel

That spiffy county pet shelter that opened three years ago isn’t so spiffy these days.

That’s according to an out-of-state expert sent in to do a surprise inspection of the $16.5 million shelter by Mark Bogen, mayor of Broward County.

“The conclusion … was that our shelter was filthy, dirty, poor ventilation in some of the rooms and certain protocols and standards need to be implemented,” Bogen said in an email to one animal activist.

At the Bishop Animal Shelter in Bradenton, new arrivals like Petey and Joan of Arc wag their tails and enthusiastically greet visitors and potential new family members.

The dogs are among the dozens of animals from a shelter in Martin County that have been transported across the state to one in Manatee County.

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.

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.

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