The Miami Seaquarium is facing a $7,000 fine from a federal agency for not having enough protection between trainers and a killer whale.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Miami Seaquarium this month for not having a physical barrier between trainers and the park's captive killer whale Lolita.

It’s considered a “serious” violation by the federal agency.

They’ve required these protections since the 2010 death of a SeaWorld trainer in Orlando.

04/24/14 - On Thursday's Topical Currentswe’ll learn about the founding of Save the Chimps Sanctuary from its director, Jen Feuerstein.  She is also one of the preeminent authorities on chimpanzee welfare.  We’ll discuss the controversy over lab use of chimps for biomedical research, and new chimp legislation. And more, Linda Gassenheimer visits with the new food editor of the Miami Herald, Evan Benn.  We’ll hear about his plans for the food section.  Fred Tasker offers his wine suggestions. That’s Topical Currents . . . Thursday at 1pm. 

  • SAVE THE CHIMPS Sanctuary Director Jen Feuerstein discusses OPENING DOORS ~ Carole Noon and Her Dream to Save the Chimps Saturday, April 26th at 3 pm at Vero Beach Book Center.


Creative Commons / Flickr user Brian Popik

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is trying to eradicate an invasive species: the lionfish, which swims the South Florida seas.

It's is a funky-looking, red-and-white striped fish. Its fins fan out like a mane, hence the name. But the real image its name should conjure up is of a big bully.

The lionfish population has exploded over the past couple of decades. Its presence has increasingly hurt local native fish and other sea critters.

Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair opened its doors last Thursday, bringing back roller coasters, elephant ears and magic shows. But some of the attractions are not what we typically see in Miami.

Show-Me Safari Petting Zoo brings its animals to South Florida once a year for the Youth Fair -- all the way from East Prairie, Missouri.

Nathan Tidwell is the animals' caregiver. He's traveled with them to Miami for many years.

"Kids can come in and pet ‘em and feed ‘em," says Tidwell. "Animals that they wouldn't get to see on a everyday basis."

02/26/14 - Wednesday's Topical Currents is an “At Your Service” edition, with veterinarian Dr. Ian Kupke, of Kendall’s Sabal Chase Animal Clinic.  Also with us is canine behavior and training expert Edel Miedes of K9 Advisors.  We’ll take your pet question calls, of course . . . and also focus on how to best introduce a new dog, puppy or cat into a household.  There are numerous “do’s and don’ts.”  Listen in . . . call-in . . . for Topical Currents, Wednesday at 1pm.

Pietro Cremone / Courtesy UM's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

It's not easy to get an amazing shot of marine animals or an arresting fish photo when you're in over your head and trolling camera equipment. But each spring, hopeful amateur snappers from around the globe enter the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science's annual underwater-photography contest.

And each year, the winning photos are breathtaking. This year's fan favorite is of a pair of amorous dragonets. Even their name titillates.

10/09/13 - Wednesday's Topical Currents examines how our lives are increasingly entwined with creatures which are displaced by suburbia, highways and urban sprawl. South Florida is a prime example of urban menagerie creation, through habitat loss.  We see foxes, raccoons, wading birds, reptiles and even vultures on our streets and properties.  We’ll speak with nature writer and researcher Lyanda Lynn Haupt about her book, THE URBAN BESTIARY:  Encountering the Everyday Wild.  That’s Topical Currents . . . Wednesday at 1pm.

08/13/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents is an “At Your Service” Edition, with veterinarian Dr. Ian Kupkee, of Kendall’s Sabal Chase Animal Clinic. He’ll take calls about pet care and animal welfare, and cover the issue of aggression in our animal companions.

Florida's Most Famous Manatee Celebrates 65th Birthday

Jul 19, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

The oldest manatee ever to be held in captivity celebrated his 65th birthday on Sunday.

In what was one of the first recorded births in captivity, Snooty was born at the Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company on July 21, 1948. In 1949, he was transferred to the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, where he has been living comfortably ever since.

To celebrate the occasion, the museum held a free birthday party.

Over the years, Snooty has proven to be invaluable in teaching scientists about conservation and education of the state's marine life.

05/16/13 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with author Michael Largo, whose specialty is unusual topics. He’ll discuss THE BIG, BAD BOOK OF BEASTS:  The Most Curious Creatures in the World. A Rhino can stand six-feet tall and weigh ten-thousand pounds.  A sawfish has a six-foot saw blade snout.  A sponge doesn’t mate, but clones.  And a cobra can spit venom into the eye of a predator from six feet. And more.