Seven Reasons SeaWorld's Bigger Orca Tanks Project Is a Joke

Categories: Animal Planet

Yathin S Krishnappa/Wikipedia Commons
SeaWorld has been in a bit of a pickle since the documentary Blackfish (and its ensuing soaring viewership on CNN and Netflix) came out in 2013. The documentary, which features several former SeaWorld trainers, exposes the park's inhumane practices with orcas, including how the whales are kept in small, cramped tanks.

But last week, SeaWorld announced a new project that will supposedly expand its orcas' tanks, doubling the space they currently live in with deeper water. They also announced the formation of an advisory group that includes a professor from UC Davis veterinary school, a researcher at UC Santa Cruz, and a physiologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla.

The project, dubbed Blue World, is the company's multimillion-dollar attempt at expanding its captive orcas' environment while showing a very concerned public that it cares about their whales.

Here are seven reasons why this project is a complete and utter joke:

See also: SeaWorld Denies Shareholders Vote on Whale Sanctuary

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Plantation Man Hacks Neighbor's Pit Bull to Death With a Machete

Categories: Animal Planet
via WSVN
A Plantation man hacked his mobile home neighbor's pit bull to death with a machete from Walmart and claimed self-defense.

According to Plantation Police, the man, Hilton Henry, 77, says the dog was attacking his cats before turning on him.

The dog's owner says the dog didn't deserve to be killed this way.

See also: New Times Article Helps Free 46 Trapped Pit Bulls More »

Shark Attacks Man Off Hallandale Beach in Waist-Deep Water

Categories: Animal Planet

Thumbnail image for shark-pb1.jpg
A 26-year-old man was swimming in the waters of Hallandale Beach in the 1900 block of Ocean Drive on Sunday afternoon when a shark decided he'd like to have a taste of the man's foot.

The man, whose name is not being released, was wading around in waist-deep water, according to Hallandale Beach city management spokesman Peter Dobens.

While it's unknown what kind of shark it was, according to the wound and the victim himself, it was most definitely a shark.

"The lifeguards couldn't determine what kind of shark it was," Dobens tells New Times. "But they definitely saw a shadow in the water."

See also: Shark Attacks Woman in Fort Lauderdale in the Intracoastal (NSFW Photos)

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9-Foot Alligator Appears at Front Door of Coral Springs Couple's Home

Categories: Animal Planet

via Wikimedia Commons
A Coral Springs couple were awakened by loud thumping outside their home in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

Turns out, it wasn't a door-to-door salesperson, or the member of a religious organization handing out pamphlets.

It was a 9- foot alligator.


See also: Florida Man Shoots Home Intruder That Also Happened to Be an Alligator

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Florida Greyhound Deaths: 131 Dogs Killed Last Year at State Tracks

Categories: Animal Planet

The dog was electrocuted before it even had a name. In October of last year, the anonymous animal "fell into a rail" and died at a Flagler compound training track, newly released records from the Department of Parimutuel Wagering show.

"Some of the cases are just heartbreaking," says Carey Theil, president of the nonprofit Grey2K and an activist who wants to see greyhound racing banned. "The case of the nameless dog is the one that always gets me."

Thiel just wants to see things the way they used to be. In the 1920s, the sport was forbidden in Florida. But the ban on gambling worked about as well as Prohibition. The state's first three tracks - Miami, Tampa, and St. Pete - all flourished under the radar for about a decade.

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Tennessee Man Vacationing in Florida Says Shark Bit and Broke His Leg Before It Swam Off

Hermanus Backpackers via Flickr
A 39-year-old Tennessee man named Terrell Moore was swimming off Okaloose Island -- located in Florida's Panhandle -- with his wife and 11-year-old son yesterday. They were about 75 yards from shore when Moore suddenly bolted below the surface, according to the Northwest Florida Daily News.

"He got on the second sandbar and was kind of standing up," Moore's wife, Melissa, told the paper. "All of the sudden, he went under a little bit and popped back up... He started swimming really fast."

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More Burmese Pythons Are Being Born Throughout Florida

Categories: Animal Planet

Florida Fish and Wildlife (via Wikimedia Commons)
It looks like our long statewide nightmare of having giant snakes roaming the wilderness and eating everything is far from over.

According to the folks over at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, more and more Burmese python eggs are hatching in Southwest Florida.

And while the conservancy is now trying to track the baby snakes to learn their behavior and study their patterns, one truth remains: These suckers aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

See also: 2013 Python Challenge: Few Reptiles, Many TV Crews

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Florida Man Has Been Feeding Neighborhood Bears For a Year, According to Officials

Categories: Animal Planet

Courtesy of FWC
Back in April, residents of Lake Mary (a small Florida town outside Orlando) said they'd seen a neighbor feeding a black bear. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) workers went to see what was up, only to find several bears responding to officers, looking and expecting food.

A number of neighbors confirmed enough damning details that the FWC knew who the culprit was: one Eugene "Douglas" Cifers.

They said he hand feeds the bears and they come right up to the patio. They also said Cifers takes pictures of he and his wife feeding the bears and shows them to neighbors. On trash days, Cifers tells neighbors he'll leave food out so the bears "won't get into everybody's trash" but they inevitably do.

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Invasive Lizards Immune to Cold Threatening Florida Alligator and Turtle Populations

Categories: Animal Planet

Wikipedia Commons
An Argentine Black and White Tegu Lizard

Meet the newest threat to Florida's face. The Argentine Black and White Tegu Lizard -- native to Argentina and parts of South America -- was found in Florida first back in the early 2000s.

Thanks to an ability to withstand cold and reproduce rapidly, the lizards aren't going away -- the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says there's been almost 700 reported cases of the animal in Miami alone since its first sighting. Still, the most haunting detail going forward comes via a recent study conducted by the University of Florida alongside the U.S. Geological Survey and the FWC.

The lizards are a threat to alligators, turtles and and a number of other small mammals, according to Scientific American.

See also: Florida is Being Invaded By Exotic Tegu Lizards

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Eight Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe on July Fourth

Categories: Animal Planet

Photo by yasmapaz via Flickr cc
Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. And that means hot dogs, beer, American flags, and fireworks.

It's a glorious time.

Unfortunately, for your pets, it's just another day. Except on this day, things are exploding over and over outside for inexplicable reasons.

While it's all fun and games for us humans, it's a time of stress, anxiety, fear, and confusion for our furry pals.

So please remember that as you're lighting that bottle rocket and looking at the pretty lights.

With this in mind, here are some tips you need to follow to make sure your beloved pet does't have a total freakout throughout the evening:

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