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Going green

  1. Once trapped and wounded, manatee and calf return to the wild

    Wildlife

    NEW PORT RICHEY — The small crowd readied cameras and craned their necks, peering over heads and through bodies to try and catch a glimpse. Brittany Pharel, 10, wanted to see the hulking manatees, a mother and her calf, laid out on blue tarps Thursday along the edge of the Pithlachascotee River.

    Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo's associate veterinarian Lauren Smith, 33, examines the heart rate of a manatee calf named Cottee just before it was released into the waters of the Pithlachascotee River on Thursday. 
Cottee's mother Pascow was released at the same time in New Port Richey. 
The pair became stranded in May and the mother was found wounded. They needed to be rehabilitated before they could be released into open waters. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times]
  2. Video: Injured gator slows traffic crossing Lakeland Road

    Wildlife

    LAKELAND — A woman on Tuesday evening shared a video on Facebook that showed a large gator slowing traffic as it slithered across a busy road.

    A woman captured a video Tuesday evening showing a large gator with an injured tail stopping traffic as it crossed a road in Lakeland. [Screengrab from video]
  3. Dade City's Wild Things moves tigers to Oklahoma during court battle with PETA

    Wildlife

    DADE CITY — On Friday, a federal judge ordered Dade City's Wild Things not to remove or relocate any of its 22 tigers pending an ongoing legal battle with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

    Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park owner Joe Maldonado confirmed 19 Wild Things tigers arrived at his facility Sunday.
  4. 2 groups sue feds for extending anglers' red snapper season

    Environment

    NEW ORLEANS — Two environmental groups are suing the Trump administration for stretching the red snapper season in the Gulf of Mexico.

    The Ocean Conservancy and Environmental Defense Fund sued Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Monday for stretching the red snapper season in the Gulf of Mexico. [Times (2007)]
  5. Everglades restoration project leader tells top scientists: Stay in your lane

    Wetlands

    The head of the state agency overseeing the multi-billion-dollar Everglades restoration project said this week he will no longer let his employees cooperate with the top scientists who are supposed to be advising the project.

    South Florida Water Management District executive director Pete Antonacci. [Courtesy of Miami Herald]
  6. Pinellas program for endangered sea turtles in disarray

    Wildlife

    CLEARWATER — Pinellas County's program to protect sea turtle nests has fallen into disarray, creating what state wildlife officials call an unprecedented situation.

    Freed from it's nest a tiny three day old loggerhead sea turtle hatchling makes for the open gulf in 2014. The Pinellas County program to mark turtle nests, protecting them for humans, is in disarray after the biologist who oversaw the program was fired by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]

  7. Minor St. Petersburg sewage spill causes major headaches

    Environment

    ST. PETERSBURG — A little more than a day after Mayor Rick Kriseman stood in front of a line of television cameras to tout the improvements at the Southwest sewage plant near …

    Two days after Mayor Rick Kriseman stood in front of a line of television cameras to tout the improvements at the Southwest sewage plant near Eckerd College, the plant experienced a sewage overflow. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  8. Video: Paddleboarders in Weeki Wachee River capture rare dolphin sighting in shallow waters

    Wildlife

    WEEKI WACHEE — Paddleboarders along the Weeki Wachee River had a couple of surprise visitors over the weekend.

    A pair of dolphins were spotted over the weekend in an unusual area of the Weeki Wachee River.
  9. Troupe of monkeys vex Florida park, go viral on social media

    Wildlife

    There's an upswing in monkey business in and around a state park in Florida, where bands of non-native rhesus macaques live along a river that's popular with kayakers and tourists.

    Officials have closed two walking areas at Silver Springs State Park because of unwanted monkey interactions with park guests. An observation deck and a boardwalk are off-limits because the primates have essentially taken over. This photo of monkeys in the park were taken last year. Alan Youngblood / Ocala Star-Banner
  10. Shark bites both legs of swimmer off south Florida beach (w/video)

    Wildlife

    HAULOVER BEACH — A man swimming at a south Florida beach was bitten on both legs by a shark.

    A man swimming at a south Florida beach was bitten on both legs by a shark. WPLG-TV reports that Lt. Felipe Lay of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue says the unidentified man was swimming Sunday afternoon off Haulover Beach when he was attacked. [Photo from video]