Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Nanny saves child from coyote’s jaws, and other strange stories of human, animal conflicts

June 23, 2008

Seattle isn’t the only city with aggressive animals. Strange stories from across the country have accumulated over the past few years to paint a vivid picture of the growing conflict between humans and urban wildlife.

  • In April, a hawk in Boston’s Fenway Park swooped on a teenage girl and scratched her scalp with his talons, causing her to bleed.
  • A Florida woman was walking her dog in March when a bobcat approached, grabbed the pet in his mouth and retreated to the nearby woods. The woman has not seen her dog, a Maltese named Bogie, since.
  • In November in Clintonville, Ohio, a deer stabbed a dog with his antlers in at least five places on the dog’s side, chest and face. The dog, a Doberman, suffered a ruptured diaphragm and stomach, but survived.
  • Click here for the full article.

    Giant Pythons Could Spread Quickly Across South

    May 19, 2008

    As if killer bees and kudzu weren’t enough, the southern United States may soon have another invasive species to contend with — giant Burmese pythons capable of swallowing deer and alligators whole.

    Approximately 30,000 of the big snakes, which can reach 30 feet and 200 pounds, already live wild in Florida’s Everglades, thanks to thick-headed pet owners who’ve released them into the swamps when they’ve grown too large to keep at home.

    But now the U.S. Geological Survey says Florida is not the only place the Burmese python can thrive.

    n fact, the big beasts, which are not poisonous and rarely attack humans, could live happily in the entire southern third of the country, from Southern California to Texas and the Lower Mississippi Valley and up the Eastern Seaboard to Chesapeake Bay.

    All it would take would be enough pet releases in various locations to create a breeding population.

    Click here for the full article.

    Tiny fish cleans abandoned pools at foreclosed houses

    May 12, 2008

    While lawmakers in Washington struggle to solve the nation’s foreclosure crisis, officials here are using a small fish to clean up some of the mess.

    The Gambusia affinis is commonly known as the “mosquito fish” because of its healthy appetite for the larvae of the irritating and disease-spreading insects. Lately, the fish is being pressed into service in California, Arizona, Florida and other areas struggling with a soaring number of foreclosures.

    The problem: swimming pools of abandoned homes have turned into mosquito breeding grounds.

    “They are real heroes,” says Josefa Cabada, a technician at the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District, a government agency. “I’ve never seen a mosquito in a pool with mosquito fish.”

    Click here for the full article.

    The world’s first bionic sea creature: Winter the dolphin gets a prosthetic tail

    May 8, 2008

    Two years ago Winter was the dolphin that could not swim.

    Instead of powering through the water with a flick of her tail, the bottlenose could barely waggle from side to side.

    She had lost her tail in a crab trap at just two months old and was found floating in distress off the coast of Florida.

    Rescuers got her to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida where staff fought to save her life.

    Winter survived but there was a problem … where her tail should have been there was only a stump.

    Click here for the full article.

    Don’t Dare Call Them Pets; These ‘Monkids’ Are Raised As Children

    May 5, 2008

    Lori Johnson was lonely and depressed after her youngest son left home in 1992. She yearned for another child to love. So Johnson bought a baby monkey.

    “She was a little, bitty, teeny thing staring up at me,” says Johnson, 58, who lives in Deltona, Fla., with her husband and Jessica Marie, a 5-pound capuchin she calls her daughter. “She was enough to steal anyone’s heart, she was.”

    Like Johnson, there is a growing group of monkey lovers who pay big bucks to diaper and dote on their primates. Some even raise them as surrogate children.

    Many self-described “monkey people” don’t dare call them pets. They are playfully referred to as “monkids” and reared in a world of pierced ears, monogrammed clothes, a seat at the dinner table and their own bedrooms.

    Click here for the full article.

    15 monkeys stage daring escape from monkey island in Florida

    April 25, 2008

    Wildlife officials say 15 monkeys are on the loose after escaping a facility in Lakeland, Fla.

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Gary Morse says the monkeys apparently escaped their island home by swimming across a pond — something they’re not supposed to be able to do.

    Morse says several teams are out looking for the social but docile Patas monkeys, and that they are no threat to humans.

    The 11 adults and four juveniles are the personal pets of Lex Salisbury, the chief executive officer of Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.

    Click here for the full article.

    Operator, there’s an alligator in my kitchen

    April 22, 2008

    A woman who was confronted by a huge alligator that had wandered into her kitchen had trouble convincing emergency services it wasn’t an iguana.

    US woman Sandra Frosti called 911 after finding the 2.4m alligator in the kitchen of her Florida home after investigating the source of some strange noises, Bay News 9 reported.

    “I heard a noise from the kitchen and it was much too loud to be my cat, so I went to check it out,” Ms Frosti said.

    “Much to my surprise a very large alligator was in my kitchen.”

    A recording of Ms Frosti’s phone call to US emergency services number 911 has since become an internet hit.

    Click here for the full article.

    Woman killed as stingray leaps into boat

    March 20, 2008

    A woman sunbathing on a boat has died after a stingray leaped from the water, hitting her in the face and knocking her to the deck.

    The incident, which happened in the Florida Keys, involved a 75lb spotted eagle ray and was described by wildlife experts as a freak accident.

    Judy Zagorski, 57, of Pigeon, Michigan, was relaxing in the bow of a small fishing pleasure boat going 25 nautical mph when the ray leaped out of the water.

    The impact is likely to have killed the woman but it was not immediately clear whether she was also stung by the venomous barb on the ray’s tail, said officials.

    The boat was being driven by the victim’s father on the Atlantic Ocean side of Vaca Key when the creature, which had a wingspan of five to six feet, came out of the sea..

    “He had absolutely no warning. It just happened instantaneously,” said Jorge Pino of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    The woman was taken to the Mariner Hospital in Tavernier, where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy will determine an official cause of death.

    Click here for the full article.

    Miami MetroZoo Takes In Unwanted Exotic Animals

    February 24, 2008

    The canopied plastic tables became exhibits of their own as passers-by hoisted up children and snapped pictures of the snakes, scorpions and turtles being handed over in laundry baskets, food storage containers, and in one case, pillow cases.The “Exotic Pet Amnesty Day” event was designed to give owners a safer alternative to turning the critters loose. Of the more than 150 pets handed over, all but six found new homes.

    Among the more bizarre submissions of the day were a rhino iguana; a spotted African serval cat; and a coatimundi, a raccoon-looking mammal found in South America.“This is garden-variety stuff,” said exotic pet veterinarian Thomas Goldsmith, who examined the submissions. “This is Miami. People have sloths and leopards and God knows what else.”

    Click here for the full article.

    Panther kills farm animal, threatens ten year old boy

    December 31, 2007


    A Florida Panther is causing trouble for one Golden Gate neighborhood. A Collier County man claims that a panther jumped over his fence, killed a farm animal, and almost attacked a ten year old boy…

    …When all of a sudden, Edgar said that a panther jumped over a fence and stood just 50 yards away while crouching down as if it were ready to attack one of the boys that was with the group.

    “What I would like to put forth is the fact that it stalked a kid, ” Edgar said.

    “I thought he was ready to jump so we both shoot, ‘pow-pow,’ not at the panther, just in the air.”

    After firing several rounds, the panther then ran away, and so did the little boy and his family.

    Click here to read the full article.

    Also click on the photo of the Florida panther and her cub to read “Florida Panthers Threatened as Development Overtakes Habitat.”