animals

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.

No, not the English new-wave band A Flock of Seagulls.

It's the ubiquitous seaside birds that deserve at least part of the blame for getting Nova Scotian Nick Burchill blacklisted at the Fairmont Empress hotel in Victoria, Canada, one fateful day in 2001.

Burchill had planned to send a suitcase full of pepperoni to his buddies in the Canadian navy. Writing on Facebook, he recounts that he decided to leave it near an open window so the chilly air would keep the meats fresh.

S. Mack / WLRN News

Federal health experts say the worst of the country’s nastiest flu season in nearly 10 years is pretty much over.

But while many of us were following doctors orders on how to avoid influenza, many pet owners might not have realized that their canine friends have their own version of the flu, which is almost as bad.

And veterinarians across Florida have been seeing an increasing number of cases in recent months.

A dog named Abby is back from the dead.

Abby, a black Lab mix, wandered away from her home in Apollo, Pa., outside Pittsburgh, 10 years ago. Abby's owner, Debra Suierveld, and her children looked for their dog but couldn't find her, accepted her loss and had her declared deceased.

And then, 10 years later, they got a call from an animal shelter.

We all need a little emotional support or comforting every now and then. And for many of us, our animals can provide it. Some of us with severe anxiety, phobias, PTSD or other disabilities cannot travel without them.

But one woman took the notion of needing a comfort animal a little too far when trying to bring her rather large peacock, Dexter, onboard a United Airlines flight at Newark's Liberty Airport Sunday. United said no.

Weirdest Florida Stories Of 2017: Wildlife Edition

Dec 28, 2017
Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge

We thought the Animal Kingdom had gone a bit crazy last year, but all that was just a precursor to the crazy Florida stories we’ve seen in 2017. This year, the Sunshine State has seen the development of professional snake hunters, a state-funded position for an iguana wrangler and piss-drunk possums.

New Tiger Cubs and Walrus Calves At Florida Theme Parks

Dec 27, 2017
Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

Holiday theme park-goers have some new baby animals to check out.

Disney visitors can try to get a glimpse of the first Sumatran tiger cubs ever born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Jeda and Anala have been getting used to their home—Maharajah Jungle Trek. Disney said they will be out for public viewing periodically as they acclimate to that space.

Disney’s blog posted a video of the cubs.

A new study describes, in detail, the stiffness of beetle penises, which might serve as inspiration for people who design medical catheters.

The industry has long struggled with an engineering problem: How do you keep a very thin tube flexible enough to snake into hard-to-reach places but rigid enough to withstand insertion? Plus, there is the problem of buckling — when a thin tube crimps so fluids can't flow through it anymore.

An international team of scientists have announced the discovery of a previously unknown species of prehistoric penguin.

The bird waddled around off the east coast of New Zealand between 55 and 60 million years ago. And it was a giant as far as penguins go. The researchers estimate that it probably weighed about 220 pounds and was around 5 feet 10 inches tall.

Narwhals — the unicorns of the sea — show a weird fear response after being entangled in nets. Scientists say this unusual reaction to human-induced stress might restrict blood flow to the brain and leave the whales addled.

The Empire State building, pizza and Broadway are just a few things synonymous with New York City — and then there's the rats.

Like many other major metropolitan areas, New York City has a rat problem. But that doesn't mean that all the rats are the same.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

In another sign of some parts of life in the Keys getting back to normal after Hurricane Irma, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm opened to the public Sunday afternoon.

Farmer Jeanne Selander runs the farm. It is home to rescued animals including a sloth, kinkajous, potbellied pigs and miniature horses. She - and the animals - spent the hurricane in the elevated county jail. They moved in after the inmates were evacuated at 4 a.m. on Friday before the storm.

Peter Haden / WLRN

You may remember the iconic photo of a flock of flamingos stuffed into a bathroom at the Miami Metrozoo during Hurricane Andrew 25 years ago. And we were wondering: How do zoos and parks keep animals safe during a hurricane?

A state legislator wants to reaffirm Florida’s commitment—to a horse and a turtle.

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