Wildlife

Drought In US West Brings “Plague” Of Grasshoppers

The Associated Press reports: A punishing drought in the U.S. West is drying up waterways, sparking wildfires and leaving farmers scrambling for water. Next up: a plague of voracious grasshoppers. Federal agriculture officials are launching what could become their largest grasshopper-killing campaign since the 1980s amid an outbreak of the drought-loving insects that cattle ranchers fear will strip bare public …

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Biden’s Press Plane Grounded By Swarm Of Cicadas

NPR reports: A plane carrying dozens of journalists preparing to take off from Washington, D.C. to cover President Biden’s first trip abroad was delayed for several hours Tuesday evening. A swarm of cicadas was evidently looking to hitch a ride to Europe with the press corps. A horde of Brood X cicadas had filled the plane’s engines, causing mechanical issues …

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Los Angeles County May Criminalize Feeding Peacocks

The Washington Post reports: These birds have pitted neighbor against neighbor, leading to shouting matches, talk of poisonings (of the birds), road rage (aimed at the birds) and sleepless nights (caused by the birds). Now the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is preparing to act. It could vote as soon as Tuesday on an ordinance to prohibit intentional feeding …

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Florida Man Loses Bid To Invoke “Stand Your Ground” Law In Animal Cruelty Charge Over Killing Of Iguana

CNN reports: A Florida man accused of killing an iguana last year wanted a charge of animal cruelty dismissed on the basis of the state’s “stand your ground” law. A judge has denied his motion. PJ Nilaja Patterson was arrested after allegedly beating, dragging and kicking a 3-foot iguana in Lake Worth, Florida, on September 2, 2020, according to a …

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Rangers Seek Woman Who Approached Grizzly [VIDEO]

USA Today reports: After video surfaced showing a woman walking toward a grizzly bear at Yellowstone National Park who then charged her, the National Park Service launched an investigation. The woman appeared to disregard the park rule to stay at least 100 feet from bears at all times. In footage captured by tourist Darcie Addington, who filmed the scene from …

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Feds Seize 68 Big Cats From Infamous “Tiger King Park”

Via press release from the Justice Department: The United States has seized 68 protected lions, tigers, lion-tiger hybrids, and a jaguar from Jeffrey and Lauren Lowe’s Tiger King Park in Thackerville, Oklahoma, pursuant to a judicially-authorized search and seizure warrant, for ongoing Endangered Species Act (ESA) violations. The Justice Department will seek civil forfeiture of these animals and any offspring …

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GOP Newsom Challenger Who Campaigns With Live Bear Complains Media Coverage Is All About The Bear

Sacramento’s ABC News affiliate reports: John Cox’s running mate, so to speak, in the likely recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom sure is getting him a lot of attention. Bringing a 1,000-pound bear on a political tour of California is also unsurprisingly getting him a lot of criticism. Darren Minier, assistant director of animal care at the Oakland Zoo, called …

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Poacher Trampled To Death By Herd Of Elephants

USA Today reports: A herd of breeding elephants trampled a suspected poacher to death while he tried to flee from South African park rangers. The encounter happened April 17 after three people ran from the rangers in Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game preserves, according to park officials. Rangers, using dogs and aircraft, captured one of the suspects, …

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GOP Montana Governor Illegally Kills “Collared Wolf”

Boise Public Radio reports: Montana’s newly elected Republican governor violated state hunting regulations when he trapped and shot a collared wolf near Yellowstone National Park in February, according to documents obtained by the Mountain West News Bureau. Gov. Greg Gianforte killed the adult black wolf known as “1155” roughly ten miles north of the park’s boundary in Park County. Montana …

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Biden Admin Reinstates Protections For Migratory Birds

The Associated Press reports: The Biden administration on Monday reversed a policy imposed under former President Donald Trump that drastically weakened the government’s power to enforce a century-old law that protects most U.S. bird species. Trump ended criminal prosecutions against companies responsible for bird deaths that could have been prevented. The move halted enforcement practices under the Migratory Bird Treaty …

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Scientists Clone First US Endangered Species [VIDEO]

NBC News reports: Scientists have cloned the first U.S. endangered species, a black-footed ferret duplicated from the genes of an animal that died over 30 years ago. The slinky predator named Elizabeth Ann, born Dec. 10 and announced Thursday, is cute as a button. Cloning eventually could bring back extinct species such as the passenger pigeon. For now, the technique …

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Manatee Found With “Trump” Carved Into Its Back

The Citrus County Chronicle reports: The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is searching for information on the person or persons responsible for the harassment of a manatee discovered Sunday in the headwaters of the Homosassa River. The animal had the word “Trump” scraped into its back. Craig Cavanna, senior federal wildlife officer and current investigating officer, said of the …

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Trump Admin Further Guts Endangered Species Act

Burning it all down on the way out: The Trump administration on Tuesday narrowed habitat protections for endangered species, finalizing its second major rollback to the Endangered Species Act. The latest rule narrows the definition of habitat to areas that can currently support a species, a move environmentalists say ignores the changing climate or efforts that could be made to …

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US House Votes To Ban Private Ownership Of Big Cats

USA Today reports: The bill, the Big Cat Public Safety Act, passed by a 272-114 vote. It would ban the private ownership of big cats like lions and tigers, a measure “Tiger King’s” Carole Baskin and Big Cat Rescue, the organization she runs with her husband Howard, have spent thousands of dollars and years lobbying for. It would allow existing …

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Trump Admin To Roll Back Rules On Killing Birds

The Washington Post reports: The Trump administration published an analysis Friday concluding that its rule easing companies’ liability for killing birds would not cause significant environmental harm, clearing the way for it to finalize a major rollback before the president’s term ends on Jan. 20. The administration, which is racing to lock in a series of regulatory changes before President-elect …

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Federal Duck Stamp Contest Requires Hunting Images

The Audubon Society reports: The paintings submitted for this year’s federal duck stamp contest feature familiar images of wildlife art: A Cinnamon Teal bobs on a mountain lake. Two Brant tuck in to land in coastal chop. A placid pair of Red-breasted Mergansers float side by side, their jaunty crests aglow in early morning light. But a closer look at …

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France To Ban Wild Animals In Circuses, Marine Parks

The Associated Press reports: France’s environment minister has announced a gradual ban on using wild animals in traveling circuses, on keeping dolphins and killer whales in captivity in marine parks and on raising mink on fur farms. Barbara Pompili, France’s minister of ecological transition, said in a news conference Tuesday that bears, tigers, lions, elephants and other wild animals won’t …

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CA Man Charged For Shooting Protected Elephant Seal

Courthouse News reports: Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges Tuesday against a California man who fatally shot a northern elephant seal on a beach on the Central Coast. In September 2019, authorities discovered the corpse of a northern elephant seal on a beach near San Simeon. The animal had been shot in the head. The beach — located off California Highway …

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Bubonic Plague Found In US Squirrel Because 2020

ABC News reports: Public health officials have announced that a squirrel in Colorado has tested positive for the bubonic plague. The town of Morrison, Colorado, in Jefferson County, which is just west of Denver, made the startling announcement saying that the squirrel is the first case of plague in the county. “Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria …

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Monkeys Escape Lab Carrying COVID Test Kits [VIDEO]

Sky News reports: A gang of monkeys attacked a laboratory assistant and escaped with a batch of coronavirus blood test samples, it has been reported. The bizarre incident saw the troop of primates launch their assault near Meerut Medical College in Delhi, India. According to local media, the animals then snatched COVID-19 blood test samples that had been taken from …

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