animals

Just over two weeks after she was crowned the World's Ugliest Dog, Zsa Zsa, an English bulldog with a penchant for pink and a perpetually lolling tongue, has died. She was 9.

"I'm sad to share that Zsa Zsa passed away in her sleep last night," reads a message from her owner, Megan Brainard, a pet groomer in Minnesota.

Many spiders fly long distances by riding "balloons" of silk, and a new study suggests that they're propelled by more than just the wind.

Electric fields at strengths found in nature can also trigger the spiders' ballooning behavior. And electrostatic forces can lift up the spiders even when the air is still, according to a newly published report in the journal Current Biology.

Miami Herald Archive

A second raccoon in South Miami-Dade has tested positive for rabies — and that means part of the Southwest Miami-Dade suburbia will be on a rabies alert until Sept. 2, another 60 days.

The alert area is bounded by Southwest 152nd Street on the north, 187th Street on the south, 117th Avenue on the east and 137th Avenue to the west. That doesn't include the main campus of Florida International University, though one person tweeted that he walked past a classroom and saw a raccoon "inside just chillin' ... acting like he paid tuition."

Mark Hedden / markhedden.com

Iguana removal experts say this year be might record-setting in the number of invasive reptiles that are creeping around South Florida.

There's no way to get a firm estimate of the exact number of invasive iguanas in the state. They haven't been counted because state resources have been put in other areas, like the fight to eradicate burmese python out of the Everglades, said Joe Wasilewski, a conservation biologist and president of environmental consulting firm Natural Selections of South Florida. 

Ali the elephant, previously owned by singer Michael Jackson, escaped his enclosure at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on Sunday.

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.

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