Alligators in the Everglades Are Losing Massive Amounts of Weight

Categories: Animal Planet

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Amanda44 via Wikimedia Commons
A research crew from the University of Florida, led by a wildlife ecologist who has studied alligators for decades, has discovered that the alligators living in the Everglades are getting more and more emaciated.

"They're skinnier, they're fewer, they grow slower," U of F ecologist Frank Mazzotti told CBS News. "Most other places, if an alligator is 10 years old, it's easily six feet long -- not so in the Everglades. At 10 years [old], it's only four or five feet."

When observing the gators, Mazzotti notes, "Essentially it looks like a skeleton with skin hanging on it."

So what the hell is happening to the alligators?

See also: A Gay -- or "Two-Spirit" -- Miccosukee Man Fights for the Everglades

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Florida Panthers Killed by Vehicles Ties Record, but Officials Say That May Be Good News

Categories: Animal Planet

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons
If things remain on pace, 2014 will be the year the most Florida Panthers were killed by a vehicle. In 2012, 19 panthers were found dead from being struck by a car, the most since the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission began keeping track of the numbers. But just last week, a 4-year-old female was killed by a vehicle, tying the 2012 record and setting up this year to be the record-breaker.

Most of the panthers were killed by vehicles in Collier County, according to the FWC. Half of those were females, and two were 4-month-old kittens.

Of the 25 panther deaths recorded this year, the majority have come from being struck by vehicles. And FWC records one to two panther deaths per month on average, which means 2014 will break the all-time record.

See also: Florida Panther Deaths in 2012 Break Record

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Hal Kreitman, the Haligator, Asks For Donations to Fight Legal Fees Against the FWC

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courtesy Hal Kreitman
Hal Kreitman, the "Gator Whisperer," who was the subject of a New Times story last month, was recently arrested by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on "harassment of a protected species" charges.

Kreitman could be facing a felony conservation charged.

Kreitman received a bit of attention after our piece ran, including television stints. Now he's using the internet again to try and have people donate to help him with his legal fees.

See also: Hal Kreitman, a Bodybuilding, Fetish-Partying, Ex-Chiropractor, Finds New Life Swimming With Wild Alligators

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Hammerhead Shark Stalks Pair of Kayakers Off Palm Beach

Categories: Animal Planet

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Su neko via Wikipedia Commons

Kayaking can be a fun, relaxing time to spend an afternoon. Except, of course, when there's a 13-foot hammerhead shark stalking you the entire way. Not as fun or relaxing. But that's what happened to a pair of kayakers off the shores of Palm Beach earlier this week.

The shark circled the men several times as they paddled through the waters and even purposely bumped into one of them during one of its runs.

According to the men, who shot a bit of video of the hammerhead, the shark circled them at least 30 times before finally taking off.

See also: Hammerhead Shark Takes Boynton Beach Man for a Two-Hour Ride


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Injured Osprey Flown to Fort Lauderdale Via Private Plane to Recuperate

Categories: Animal Planet

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Like plenty of their fellow northerners, ospreys -- which are fish-eating birds that resemble eagles -- tend to skip the frosty season and fly south.

Typically they use their wings.

One of these birds, however, soared to Fort Lauderdale aboard a private airplane. "He was a perfect passenger. He didn't make any noise. He didn't smell. He didn't do any back-seat flying," according to the good-natured pilot who volunteered to include the bird on an excursion with his wife from New Hampshire to Florida.

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Donate Your Jack-o'-Lantern or Pumpkin for Raccoons at Wildlife Center

Categories: Animal Planet

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South Florida Wildlife Center

If you'd like to recycle your plump and fresh Halloween pumpkins, some playful possums, squirrels, and raccoons would be pleased to put them to good use.

For pouncing. For gnawing. And best of all, for poking around intriguing eye and mouth holes.


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Meet Caper, South Florida's Fastest Wiener Dog

Categories: Animal Planet

Meet Caper, South Florida's Fastest Wiener Dog from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

In case you haven't noticed, it's October. And -- in Florida -- that means sexy Halloween costumes, pumpkin-flavored everything, and the Sunshine State's take on that alcohol-fueled German festival known as Oktoberfest.

Last weekend, it was Oakland Park's turn. The two-day homage to the Germans' love of beer and phallic foods took place at Jaco Pastorius Park in Oakland Park (a city that loves beer almost as much as it loves throwing the word "park" at the end of things).

The two-day event boasted food, beer, live music, lederhosen, carnival rides, but -- most important -- dozens and dozens of adorably cylindrical dachshunds. You might know them as wiener dogs, or -- for the vegetarians -- carrot pups.

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Horde of Venomous Snakes Found in West Palm Beach Home

Categories: Animal Planet

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Photo by Kamalnv via Wikipedia Commons
A West Palm Beach man was visited by a wildlife officer on a tip that he was hoarding venomous snakes in his parents' house.

The man admitted he had snakes as pets, but denied any of them were venomous, even as the investigating officer continued to find venomous snake after venomous snake hidden away in different parts of the house.

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Horrific Monkey Abuse Uncovered at Max Planck Society's German Lab (UPDATED)

Categories: Animal Planet

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Highly graphic video of primate experiments at a German laboratory operating under the umbrella of the Max Planck Society, whose offspring include Palm Beach County's Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, has scandalized Europe.

See also: Planck Institute Clams Up on Animal Welfare: "Reputation Speaks for Itself"

Recorded by undercover operatives from the U.K. and German animal rights groups and first broadcast on German television September 10, the images of bloodied, frightened monkeys under extreme, high-tech restraint and with medical probes inserted in their living skulls are strong viewing.


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Troubled Greyhound Trainer Gets Relicensed While Complaints Take Years to Resolve

Categories: Animal Planet

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James "Barney" O'Donnell, 84, is a well-known greyhound trainer from Miami Lakes who has raced dogs around the country.

In 2011, O'Donnell was accused of forging a dead veterinarian's signature on paperwork for 94 dogs. In 2013, a raid of O'Donnell's cages at Florida Kennels in Hialeah turned up hypodermic syringes containing anabolic steroids as well as mysterious IV bags. Since 1995, O'Donnell has been charged with nine public (noncriminal) complaints, including animal abuse. He's been either reprimanded or fined three times, according to state records.

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