NRDC Releases Petition to Curtail Navy Testing Off Florida Coast

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Photo by Bastique via Wikipedia Commons
Environmental tests have proven that sonar exercises performed by the U.S. Navy confuses marine life, specifically whales and dolphins, so severely that the animals end up either stranding themselves, going deaf, or suffering organ hemorrhaging. Sonar confuses them, often making them swim in different directions and disrupting their foraging and forcing them to abandon their habitats. In some cases, whales breaching the surface too quickly have suffered a form of the bends.

Last year, a federal appeals court sided with the Navy after environmental groups, led by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), challenged its plan to hold undersea warfare training 50 nautical miles off the coast of northeast Florida.

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State Limits Harvest of Sea Cucumbers, Booger-Like Food and Alleged Aphrodisiac

Categories: Animal Planet

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via Wikimedia Commons
Eric Lee runs Florida's sole sea cucumber harvesting plant in Ramrod Key. But now his business is pretty much set to fail. Back in February, we wrote about the state's clamoring to place limits on the amount of sea cucumbers that could be collected at one time. The reason? People in Asia have a folk belief that these sea penises can boost their sexual performance.

It's true. Sea cucumbers have become insanely popular in the East, particularly in China. In 11 countries, their populations have collapsed due to the fad, and overall, there are about 20 percent fewer of these creatures than before it caught on. Wildlife officials in Florida knew they needed to act. Even places like the Great Barrier Reef have been decimated by people's crazed desire for sea cucumber, which we guess is like a more holistic version of those terrifying pills you see at your local gas stations that's also not made out of crushed glass, drain cleaner, and Vitamin B-5.

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Seven Bears Killed After Lake Mary Woman Mauled by One

Categories: Animal Planet

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, via Wikimedia Commons
Jesus told Terri Frana it would be all right. That's what the 44-year-old Lake Mary woman told reporters about Saturday night, when she was attacked by a black bear inside her garage.

"[The bear] started pulling me toward the woods," she told WESH-Channel 2. "I just thought, 'God, please, this can't be the end. It can't end like this.' I literally heard Jesus say to me, 'It's OK, you will be at peace with us.'"

But since the mauling, there's been no sign of peace. Instead, seven bears have been either shot or put down inside the subdivision of Carisbrook in Seminole County. This marks yet another human-bear standoff in Lake Mary's sylvan suburbia, where gated communities of McMansions abut serious patches of woods.

The Florida Wildlife Commission is not sure which -- if any -- of the bears attacked Frana. Officials say they were forced to take down the creatures because all of them were highly habituated.

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Four Florida Panther Deaths in Less Than Two Weeks Raises Number to 12 Overall in 2014

Categories: Animal Planet

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons
Sadly, it seems the only way you can catch a glimpse of an endangered and beautiful Florida panther is by spotting a dead one on the road. Unfortunately, two panthers were found dead in the span of a couple of days.

On Friday, a hiker walking through the Picayune Strand State Forest spotted the carcass of a panther. While the cause of death is still unknown, it marked the 11th dead panther found in Florida this year, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Then, on Monday, another dead panther was reported just north of Lake Placid in Highlands County. This one was reportedly run over by a vehicle, which is the most common cause of death for Florida panthers.

That brings us to four dead panthers in a little over two weeks and 12 overall for the year.

See also: Hunter Says He Was Attacked in First-Ever Florida Panther Attack

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Seminole County Woman Mauled by "Highly Habituated" Bear

Categories: Animal Planet

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, via Wikimedia Commons
Seminole County is the bear-attack capital of Florida. Residents of the sylvan subdivisions lining Markham Woods Road frequently see the creatures in their backyards and know to watch out for deer on the drive home. Wildlife is just part of the neighborhood. But now, wildlife officials say, the bears there are starting to attack. After cohabitating with humans for so long, they've have become fearless.

We at the Pulp welcome our new ursine overlords.

Terri Franna, a 44-year-old Lake Mary resident, was mauled by a bear over the weekend and is now recovering. Although initial reports suggested she might have been attacked by as many as five of the animals, the Sun Sentinel reports today that it was only one.

See also: Hunter Says He Was Attacked in First-Ever Florida Panther Attack

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Florida Man Bitten by Water Moccasin While Trying to Get a Better Look at an Alligator

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Photo by Ltshears via Wikipedia Commons
A water moccasin's bite causes a conflagration of searing pain and profuse bleeding to its victim. The hemotoxic venom causes nausea and immediate swelling in the bitten area, and it works quickly through the bloodstream, breaking down tissues and blood cells, and interfering with the blood's ability to clot.

A Boynton Beach man learned that the hard way over the weekend after being bitten by a water moccasin as he and his girlfriend pulled over on Alligator Alley to try to get a better look at an alligator.

According to the Broward Sheriff's Fire Rescue, the 29-year-old man was bitten by the snake in the foot as he stepped into the brush off the I-75 Saturday evening.

See also: Don't Get Bitten: We're Running Out of Antivenom for Coral Snakes!

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SeaWorld's Appeal Denied by Court: Orca Trainers Must Stay Out of the Water

Categories: Animal Planet

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Wikimedia Commons
The U.S. Court of Appeals voted down an appeal by SeaWorld over a ruling by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration following the death of orca trainer Dawn Brancheau, the SeaWorld animal trainer who was killed by an orca bull named Tilikum following a show at the park in 2010.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration cited SeaWorld for endangering the safety of its killer whale trainers months following Brancheau's death. In June of 2012, a judge ordered the water park to pay a $7,000 fine, and ordered SeaWorld to keep its trainers behind a barrier away from the orcas, as recommended by OSHA.

Friday's ruling means trainers cannot interact with orcas during shows.

See also: Could SeaWorld Orlando Be Affected by California's Orca Ban Bill?

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Greyhound Decoupling Bill Hits Snag but Is Not Dead Yet

Categories: Animal Planet

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Wikimedia Commons
The measure that could lead the way to virtually ending greyhound racing in Florida hit an abrupt snag earlier this week, putting a damper on some serious momentum gained by proponents in the past several months.

While state senators approved a bill on Tuesday that would require racetracks to report greyhound injuries, Sen. Maria Sachs (D-Delray Beach) was hoping to add a decoupling measure to help put a stop to the often cruel sport of greyhound racing.

But everything seemed to unravel on Tuesday when infighting between members of the Senate Gaming Committee derailed Sach's efforts. One senator at the meeting described it as a "meltdown."

Sachs was forced to withdraw the measure at the last minute, halting a process that seemed to be shifting toward animal-rights advocates who were hoping for a decoupling law.

Still, proponents remain optimistic, even in the face of this latest setback.

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Hunter Says He Was Attacked in First-Ever Florida Panther Attack

Categories: Animal Planet

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Photo by Connie Bransilver via Flickr Commons
Byron Maharrey knows what a Florida panther looks like. The former chairman of the board for the Florida Sportsmen's Conservation Association had seen the elusive cats near Palatka and around his home by Lake Kissimmee before. And he swears he saw one of these rare cougar subspecies while hunting there last month. Maharrey was sitting in a chair surrounded by decoy turkeys when an unseen force knocked the outdoorsman onto his gun and ran away. The tawny color and the long tail were dead giveaways that this was no mere bobcat.

"Florida Wildlife Commission has always said there's no documented case of panther attacks on humans," he tells the Pulp. "I don't think they can say that anymore."

See also: Oil Companies Are Planning to Drill in Florida Panther Habitat

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SeaWorld Attendance Falls; Major Investor Dumps Shares

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Yathin S Krishnappa/Wikipedia Commons

In the first three months of 2013, SeaWorld reported a total attendance of 3.5 million people. Fast-forward to the first three months of this year and the numbers are a bit different. Yesterday the company reported 3.05 million people came through in the first three months of 2014, a 13 percent drop in attendance compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the company's biggest shareholder has sold millions of shares.

See also: Could Miami Seaquarium Orca Lolita Be Days Away From Freedom?

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