Jeff and Jodi Keelan of Paw Paw, Mich. rushed their 4-month-old French mastiff to the veterinarian after it began coughing up pennies last month. When the surgery was complete, Dr. Duane Baker had removed 113 one-cent pieces from the canine piggy bank. “In my 43 years of veterinary practice, this is by far the largest number of coins I have surgically removed from a puppy,” said the vet. CBS News.
Just hours before the cruise ship Oasis of the Seas was due to set sail from Port Everglades on Saturday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission was called to remove a stowaway—a protected burrowing owl living on the craft’s artificial turf golf course. It was caught and later released at an on-shore park. Palm Beach Post.
Kim Wunderlich, 49, was knocked to the ground and bitten by a female grizzly with two cubs while bowhunting elk with a partner in the Cascade Mountain area of the upper West Fork of the Madison Friday. “The guy did not see the female until she was right on him,” said Kevin Frey, FWP bear management specialist. “He saw the cubs, and then there was this blur.” Wunderlich was bitten on the inner thigh and treated at a hospital in Dillon. The Montana Standard.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Justice Department is targeting more than 60 hunters across the nation for allegedly poaching deer during guided hunts at Camp Lone Star in Kansas, a court document shows. The scope of the grand jury investigation, believed to be one of the largest criminal prosecutions involving the illegal taking of deer, was made public in a court filing Monday in the federal government’s case against the camp’s owner and his brother, both of Martinsville, Texas. Read more
A small fire is rolling through Yellowstone, and it’s burned about 840 acres as of yesterday morning. Only a few back country sites and a stretch of trail have been closed so far. In spite of the fire, Yellowstone is still on track to break all its attendance records again. More than 2.5 million people will rolled through its gates this summer, and the numbers are also on the rise for the fall. Via Back Country
(Sept. 17) — You say you don’t believe in unicorns? Well, one of the mythical animal’s real-life relatives, known as the saola, has died after its short stay in a village in Laos. The mammal — often referred to as the “Asian unicorn” even though the antelope-like creature has two horns — is so rare that only 250 are believed to exist worldwide, and none are in captivity. The BBC reports that the saola — discovered in Southeast Asia in the early 1990s — has never been seen in the wild by biologists. Its existence, to date, has been confirmed only in photos by local villagers. Read more
Todd Carmichael walked 692 miles in ski boots on his way to the South Pole. His skis broke 8 miles in, so he finished out the 700-mile journey on foot. It must have felt pretty good to take those boots off at the end of the day.
So when Todd vows that he will cross Death Valley on his ‘hands and knees’ if need be on his second attempt, we can believe him. His first attempt ended in failure when the 450lb water-carrying sled proved too burly to navigate the terrain. He’s since scaled back to a single cross of the desert instead of a double-traverse, and he’s redesigned his gear. The hike kicks off today. Good luck, Todd. You can follow his progress on his Death Valley site. Via Backcountry
Maryellen Mara-Christian of Massachusetts says she and her husband go to South Carolina each year “to hunt gator and fish for the big catfish.” This year, she hit the jackpot, taking an alligator weighing 1,025 pounds and exceeding 13 feet. “We hooked him on three rods and reels first, then two snatch-harpoons and one muzzle snare,” said Black Creek Camp guide Kevin Davis. “It took over two hours to bring him in.” The Berkeley Independent.
John Chelminiak, 58, a Bellevue, Wash. city councilman, received puncture wounds to his face and head after he was attacked by a black bear while walking his dogs near his Lake Wenatchee vacation home Friday night. Washington Fish and Wildlife agent Doug Ward said Chelminiak’s injuries were not life-threatening. “We don’t know if one of the dogs got loose and went after the bear, or if the bear went after the dogs,” Ward said. Wenatchee World.
I can remember very few men who actually hunted with handguns, except when it was necessary to hunt for food or to kill a predator and a handgun was the only gun available. Albeit, my compadres have taken a trainload of game with the six-shooter, and I’ve brought home a generous share myself. Read more
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has ruled a mechanic acted in self-defense when he shot and killed a 100-pound black bear after it pinned him to the ground near Corbin this week. The mechanic received superficial scratches on his chest. The Missoulian.
A California donkey named Poppy is being hailed a hero after saving Buttermilk the goat from an attacking mountain lion. “She got within inches of his face, and blasted him with a honking cacophony of extreme donkey noises,” said Art Colyer of Colyer Vet Service in Paradise. “She started just running around and whooping it up and hitting him with everything she had. It was amazing how she just laid into him.” Paradise Post.
(Sept. 17) — Many people dream about spending their golden years cruising to glamorous tourist destinations such as the Caribbean, Europe or Asia. So did Tom West, a former schoolteacher in Poland, Ind. But he didn’t want to sail on ocean liners owned by others. Not when he could make his own. And that’s what the 71-year-old self-proclaimed farm boy has doing for the past two years. It may sound crazy, but the boat is no dinghy — it’s a 57-foot, 33-ton sailboat that’s being built on a converted tennis court in his front yard. Read more
(AFP) – SYDNEY — An Australian ultra-marathon athlete who holds records for the fastest run around his own country and across its vast desert centre Tuesday launched a bid to run from the North to South poles. Pat Farmer, once dubbed Australia’s “Forrest Gump”, aims to raise 100 million US dollars for Red Cross water and sanitation programmes during his 21,000-kilometre (13,000-mile) journey through 14 countries in the Americas. “I believe I’m born with a gift,” Farmer, 48, told AFP. Read more
Tips from hunters have helped lead Arizona authorities to two public land grow sites near Payson with more than 3,100 marijuana plants valued at $5 million in recent weeks. The Gila County Sheriff’s drug task force arrested one illegal alien and believes a Mexico-based drug cartel is responsible for both operations. Payson Roundup.
An Arizona medical helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing Tuesday after a black vulture crashed through its windshield and struck the pilot in the chest. Neither pilot nor EMT crew members were injured, though the same cannot be said for the buzzard. “It was ugly,” observed Nogales International Airport maganger Larry Tiffin. ABC 15.
Following his final wishes, when Daniel Lasky, 48, of Hickory, NC died earlier this month of Lou Gehrig’s disease, his family put his body on dry ice, drove it to South Florida, chartered a boat, said their goodbyes and released him to the sea. A day later, a fisherman spotted his body off Port Everglades and contacted authorities. According to the EPA, human beings must be buried at least three nautical miles from land, in water at least 600 feet deep and must be made to sink “rapidly and permanently.” Miami Herald.
A bowhunter in Montana’s Gravelly Mountains received a broken right forearm and large cuts to the head after he was attacked by a grizzly bear this past weekend. Sam Sheppard, a game warden with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said Matt Menge of Bozeman was hunting near the west fork of the Madison River south of Ennis when the attack occurred. “It’s bears doing what bears do when they are surprised and archery hunters doing what archery hunters do,” Sheppard said. Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
In recent weeks, wild hogs have wreaked havoc at the Sebastian (Florida) Municipal Golf Course, ripping up large chunks of grass to get to earthworms underneath the root system. “They’ve hit us hard on the greens,” said course superintendent Sean Gillen. “They rooted up about 300 square feet of turf, causing complete devastation.” Palm Beach Post. Click on photo for larger view.