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Aug-Oct 1998

USA TODAY - Thursday, Sept 24 Florida. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has ordered a family of red foxes be trapped and destroyed for raiding three sea turtle nests. The two adults and three pups will either be shot or lethally injected.

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USA TODAY - Aug 7, 1998 Montana Missoula - Three of six remaining adult wolves in the Nine-mile Valley pack will be killed because they are preying on cattle, officials say. The wolves have killed five calves since April, says Joe Fontaine of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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USA TODAY - Friday, Sept 25 Alaska Ketchikan — An estimated 45,000 fish are believed to have died in the Klawock River on Prince of Wales Island, biologists say. The die-off was caused by drops in oxygen levels as river levels ebbed. Most of the dead fish were pink salmon. Environmental officials puzzled by bird deaths in central Mexico 5. 02 p. m. (2103 ) Oct 8, 1998

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Aug 14, 1998 - USA TODAY Research - Researchers reported on Thursday the first scientific evidence of a human health threat from a toxic microbe that has killed millions of fish along the East Coast, saying the organism was responsible for a new neurological syndrome, Writing in the Lancet medical journal, Maryland researchers blamed the single-cell micro-organism Pfiesteria piscicida for problems discovered among 24 commercial fishermen, sportsmen and environmental workers exposed to contaminated water on Chesapeake Bay's eastern shore last year. The syndrome, though temporary, was marked by several disturbing symptoms, including impaired memory, disorientation and learning difficulties.

The symptoms were most severe among those with the highest exposure to Pfiesteria-contaminated water. But in each case, health problems began to fade after three months and were gone after six. In separate but unpublished studies, the team of scientists from the University of Mary-land and Johns Hopkins University also found evidence linking Pfiesteria to changes in brain metabolism. They said contact led to skin lesions among those with the most pronounced neurological difficulties. The health problems appeared to be caused by unidentified toxic chemicals secreted by the micro-organism.

‘These are extremely potent toxins:' said Glenn Morris, the University of Maryland epide-miolologist heading the team. ‘What this does is to open up a completely new field of research. We don't know what the toxins are or how they act, And We don’t know how they are transmitted to the brain. ‘ Pfiesteria has been linked to massive fish kills and blamed for causing lesions on millions of fish in contaminated waters. But until the Lancet article, the organism, had been identified only anecdotally with health problems in humans. New outbreaks among fish already have been reported this year in North Carolina and Maryland. Officials in six states are monitoring for outbreaks, which are being studied by both the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Environmental officials are trying to determine why hundreds of migratory birds have turned up dead near a central Mexican lake, a newspaper report said Thursday.

Environmental Ministry workers have collected about 300 dead birds at Lake Yurria in Queretero state, the daily La Jornada said. Boating and fishing has been banned on the lake, about 125 miles northwest of Mexico City, until the reason for the large number of deaths is determined.

Antonio Munoz Mosqueda, a state environmental official, said the deaths may have been caused by reduced oxygen in the lake's water. A drought earlier this year allowed weeds to spread across the lake bed, depleting the lake's oxygen when they began to decompose.

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BARTLETT, N. H. (AP) - A Canadian family rushing to the hospital with a lung on the front seat of their car wasn't part of an organ transplant team. They had just had a very close encounter with a moose.

The family of four was travelling through Pinkham Notch when their car struck the unlucky animal Wednesday.

The moose landed on the hood and crashed through the windshield, fire Chief Roger Labbe said. The impact split the moose open, sending moose innards throughout the car. The moose died instantly. The family was unharmed. ‘It was the messiest thing I've ever seen, ’ Labbe said. ‘There were intestines, blood and parts all over the place. ‘

The family drove several miles to Glen before stopping for help.

Mid-May through late Oct is prime time for moose-vehicle accidents in northern New England because the animals are moving around more. New Hampshire Fish and Game wildlife officials advise motorists to drive under 55 mph and to make sure they can stop their cars within the distance illuminated by headlights after dark.

In New Hampshire, 246 moose were killed in accidents with vehicles last year. The number of accidents has stayed roughly level over the past few years, as has the state's moose population of about 4, 500.

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About 500,000 fish have been killed along North Carolina’s lower Neuse River during the past five days in this summers first major outbreak of the toxic Pfiesteria microbe, scientists said. The fish kill is an ominous sign for fishermen and boaters along the East Coast where heavy spring rains and a dry summer have made conditions ripe for the toxin to emerge, said North Carolina State University botanist Howard Glasgow. Pfiesteria in recent years has been linked to several major fish kills on East Coast waterways, where scientists say the micro-organism thrives in nutrients generated by sewage, animal waste and fertilisers flushed into rivers and streams. The microbe causes lesions and stupefies fish and may have similar effects on people exposed to the toxin.

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Minnesota Duck Hunter Shot

LAKE LILLIAN, Minn. , Posted 6 :00 p. m. Oct 5, 1998 - Minnesota's duck hunting opener was marred for a group of Twin Cities men when one man accidentally shot another member of his hunting party in the face.

According to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Chuck Nelson, the shooting occurred in a wildlife production area northwest of Lake Lillian- five minutes before the start of the season .

Nelson says the man was clearing cattails with the barrel of his shotgun when it fired, hitting a companion 30 yards away. The victim reportedly lost some teeth and may lose an eye. He was taken to a Twin Cities hospital to try and save his eye. His injuries are not life-threatening.

Names of those involved have not been released. The shooting remains under investigation.

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USA TODAY - Friday, Sept 18 Nebraska Ogallala — The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is warning hunters of potential waterfowl problems at Lake McConaughy north of Ogallala. Up to 2,000 ducks have died in an area known as Mud Flat. A preliminary report indicates the ducks died of botulism, a biologist said.

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USA TODAY - Friday, Sept 18 North Carolina Wilmington — Two-thirds of the eel in the Cape Fear River are infested with a dime-size parasite that decimated eel populations in Japan and Europe, researchers found. The parasite could help explain why eels have become scarce, said biologist Mary Moser.

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JULY 9, 1998 - USA TODAY

Iowa: Council Bluffs - The Health Department is using a flock of chickens to monitor viral encephalitis along the Missouri River. The disease, borne by mosquitoes, shows up first in birds, officials say. Council Bluffs is one of seven such sites in Iowa.

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Hungry elephants kill 10

MARAUDING elephants have killed 10 people in the past 16 months, the chief of a south-east Nigerian community said yesterday. ‘The elephants are on us every day during the rainy season when the forest is flooded, ’ Chief Metong Urombo of the Urombo community told reporters. He said the elephants left the forest to look for food in farmers' fields, destroying crops and property as they went. Villagers were killed while working in the fields or trying to scare off the elephants from their crops. A local agriculture commissioner said the government had turned down requests from villagers to cull the elephants because they are an endangered species.

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Hungry elephants go on rampage in Indonesia

A. P. JAKARTA, Indonesia (July 18, 1998 - Herds of hungry elephants went on a rampage on the island of Sumatra, destroying houses and crops and sending villages fleeing, Indonesian media reported . About 20 elephants attacked several villages in Lampung province, about 155 miles northwest of Jakarta, on Wednesday night. Wildlife officers said one female elephant was later found dead, apparently from hunger. Earlier, a different herd of about 25 elephants destroyed rice and banana crops and damaged 88 houses and huts in six villages. Environmentalists say farming and urbanisation are destroying the habitats of elephants and other wildlife in Indonesia.

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) _ This is one dog who earned his cheeseburger treat.

Bullet, a 3-year-old half-Chihuahua, is credited with saving his owners from a copperhead snake that slithered across their paths on an evening walk. The dog was bitten and nearly died in fighting the poisonous reptile. ‘If it hadn't been for Bullet, that thing would have bitten us, ’ said 35-year-old Roger Sandlin of the Wednesday night incident.

He and his fiancee, Connie Nique, 28, were trailing behind the dog as they strolled near their mobile home in the Mount Olive community, north of Birmingham in Jefferson County. Suddenly Bullet started to bark and leap into the air. ‘That's when I saw the snake, ’ Sandlin said.

The 3-foot-long copperhead sank its fangs into Bullet’s nose, but the dog kept fighting until Sandlin could kill it. But soon he began to get weak from the venom, and the couple rushed him to the emergency veterinary clinic in Birmingham, taking the dead snake along to identify the poison.

Dr. Keith Lee treated Bullet with antibiotics and anti-shock fluids. Without treatment, the dog probably would have died, Lee said. The couple didn't have a lot of money, but they said saving their dog was worth dipping into their rent and utility funds. The treatment cost $175. Bullet was able to return home Friday, the only signs of his ordeal a puffy nose and a pink bandage covering the leg puncture made by the intravenous needle. He received a special treat from Sandlin and Ms. Nique: a cheeseburger, potato chips and dill pickles.

Lee said the dog's behaviour was typical of the Chihuahua breed. ‘They're very aggressive little dogs and very protective, ’ he said.

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USA TODAY - JULY 9, 1998

PFIESTERIA STUDIES: After a year of research and millions of dollars in funding to study the fish-killing microbe Pfiesteria piscicida, scientists say they know more about the organism but wouldn't be able to stop another outbreak. scientists blame Pfiesteria for killing more than a billion fish in North Carolina this decade. when it began showing up in Virginia and Maryland waters last Year, several dozen people who worked in Pfiesteria-infested water reported suffering flu-like symptoms and temporary memory loss. Scientists say that if there is an outbreak his year, at least they can detect it earlier and possibly prevent people from exposing themselves to contaminated water.


ISSAQUAH, Wash. (AP) - 8 August 1998 - When concerns about marauding cougars rise, wildlife experts offer reassurances: The typical cougar is a shy creature that avoids people and prefers to eat deer rather than pets or children.

So much for typical. Now consider the cougar that ate Wes Collins' dog:

It emerged from the forest behind the Collins house one evening in May and zeroed in on Sandy, the family's 50-pound Labrador mix. As two of Collins' children watched from the doorway, the cougar chased Sandy around the house and cornered her by the back deck.

Clamping its jaws around the dog's neck, the cougar dragged Sandy 50 yards into the woods. There it gnawed on her head and shoulder, buried the rest for later, and stretched out for a long nap.

that was enough to shake up the Collinses, but what happened the next day was what troubled state game warden Rocky Spencer. He and a hunter arrived with two hounds, pessimistic about their chances of tracking the cat. Collins' house sits on 5 acres outside Issaquah, where Seattle's suburban sprawl gives way to the forested Cascade foothills, so the cougar had plenty of escape routes to wilder country.

But this cat had no intention of fleeing. The hounds came across it just 100 yards into the woods, and the snarling cougar turned on the dogs with a fury that sent both back to the truck to lick their wounds.

Forty minutes later, hunter Ed Mahany returned with a friend and two fresh hounds. They figured that this time, surely, the cougar would have headed for the hills. Instead, the hounds found it just a few hundred feet away. Mahany's partner shot it, and the cougar, a 145-pound male, crawled off to die in a hollow stump that the neighbour’s kids play in.

‘I've had dealings with upwards of 100 mountain lions, and that was the most aggressive I've seen, ’ Spencer said.

‘This cougar wasn't sick or injured, ’ Mahany added. ‘It obviously didn't concern him to be around people, and dogs were just lunch. ‘

Once hunted nearly to extinction, cougars are on the rebound around the West. It's an ecological success story that 's causing both celebration and nervous glances over the shoulder. Worries are growing that the secretive cougar, a. k. a. mountain lion, puma and panther, is getting too comfortable around the booming human population that now shares its habitat.

‘We have a lot more people, a lot more mountain lions - and a lot more encounters, ’ said cougar researcher Paul Beier, an associate professor at Northern Arizona University.

Of the 10 fatal cougar attacks on people recorded since 1890 in the United States, half were in the past 10 years. Nonfatal attacks also are on the rise, as are reports of cougars preying on pets and livestock.

Being chewed by a cougar, or even seeing one in the wild, is still rare. But a recent string of attacks and close calls has forced Westerners to reconsider what is ‘typical’ cougar behaviour:

-A 6 -year-old boy was jumped by a cougar on July 31 while hiking with about three dozen other campers on Marshall Mountain near Missoula, Mont. The cat pinned Dante Swallow with its paws and bit into his neck, but was pulled away by a camp counsellor. The boy survived with scratches and puncture wounds. The cat slunk away and was later tracked down and killed.

-In Colorado, cougars have attacked three hikers in the past year, including 10-year-old Mark Miedema, killed last July in Rocky Mountain National Park. He had hiked a few minutes ahead of his family on a well-travelled trail; they arrived to see the cougar dragging him away.

-In Olympia, Wash. , a cougar prowled a residential neighborhood for a week in April, hiding under blackberry bushes and preying on pets until wildlife agents tracked it down and shot it a few blocks from City Hall.

The list goes on: Since February, cougars have been spotted lounging on a porch in Villa Park, Calif. , munching house cats near Kalispell, Mont. , and wandering near an elementary school near Reno, Nev. In each case, the cougar was shot by officials fearing further problems.

With every encounter that hits the evening news, the jitter factor rises among the general populace, until sometimes it seems as if there’s a predator behind every tree. Wildlife officials say they've received complaints of ‘cougars’ that turned out to be deer, yellow Labrador retrievers or even house cats playing in the grass.

‘There’s a little public hysteria about this, ’ Spencer said. ‘that 's not necessarily a bad thing. It gives us an increased chance to educate people about lions, so they can learn to live with them. ‘

But how, exactly, do you live with one of North America's most adaptable predators? A cougar can sprint 40 mph and leap 20 feet into a tree. With its great yellow eyes and keen nose, it can see and smell people coming long before they know the cougar is there.

Westerners have argued for years, with no consensus yet, over how to coexist with an animal that occasionally displaces humans at the top of the food chain.

In Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and New Mexico, recent complaints from ranchers and deer hunters about too many cougars prompted game officials to relax cougar-hunting rules.

The West's more urban coastal states, meanwhile, have grown more protective of the big cats. Washington voters banned the use of hounds for recreational cougar-hunting in 1996 , the same year that Oregon voters rejected a challenge to their state's ban on hounds.

In California, a ban on all sport hunting of cougars has helped to double their numbers since 1972 to the present estimate of just over 5,000 animals. Even after cougars killed two California hikers, voters rejected a 1996 proposal to reinstate hunting.

‘People have a more holistic approach to sharing the land, not just with cougars but with bears and other animals once considered varmints, ’ said Brooks Fahy, executive director of the Predator Defense Institute in Eugene, Ore. ‘I think people like knowing these animals are out there. ‘

Even in cougar-friendly California, however, there are limits to interspecies goodwill. Hunters note that an average of 100 ‘problem’ cougars are killed each year in California - about twice the number killed annually by hunters before the 1972 ban.

Are cougars becoming bolder in the absence of hunting? Many hunters, and some game officials, believe that 's the case. But Fahy disputes that theory, saying the dramatic rise in both cougar and human populations explains the increase in encounters.

There’s also no evidence that hunting puts the fear of people in mountain lions, Fahy says. He points to British Columbia, which has the continent's highest rate of cougar attacks despite heavy hunting.

Beier, the Arizona researcher, said he wouldn't expect hunting to noticeably reduce the number of cougar attacks unless the killing reached a level not allowed since the early 196 0s, when bounties were paid for dead cougars.

Even that drastic step, unlikely given today's sympathy for predators, would not stop the march of homes into the West's wild hills nor divert the flood of visitors into the region's parks.

Three years have passed since Wes Collins moved his family into their house in the woods. Until the cougar attack in May, they enjoyed the parade of wildlife from their back door. Now the four children, ages 8 to 14, are not allowed to play alone outside. Collins bought a can of pepper spray, and he cleared trails out back ‘to make our presence known, ’ he said.

Collins said he likes wildlife, but he values the safety of his children more. He'd like to see Washington rescind its new ban on hunting cougars with hounds. ‘You either control the population of cougars or start killing humans, ’ Collins said. ‘There’s not enough room for both of us to survive. ‘

USA TODAY - Aug 24, 1998 Washington Olympia - State fish and wildlife officials are at odds with Thurston County Sheriff Gary Edwards' advice that residents should shoot cougars, even if the cats don't appear threatening. State law allows people to shoot cougars on their Property if the animals threaten their livestock or humans.

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USA TODAY - Oct 8, 1998 MANATEE DEATHS: The 201 Florida manatees found dead in the first nine months of the year puts 1998 on track as one of the deadliest years ever for the endangered sea cow, biologists said. The vegetarian marine mammal, which dates back at least 45 million years is about 10 feet long and weighs 1,000 pounds. The manatee has been near extinction for years. Many are crushed by canal floodgates or killed by boats; others die of disease or cold weather.

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USA TODAY - Oct 9, 1998 TIGER ATTACK: A 350-Pound white Bengal tiger attacked and killed trainer Charles Lizza III at Ron and Joy Holiday's Cat Dancers in Alachua County, Fla. , a sheriff's spokesman said. officials said the fate of the tiger, a 31/2 Year-old named Jupiter, is up to the owners.

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USA TODAY - Tuesday, Sept 15 Arizona Mesa — Arizona cockfighters are challenging in court Proposition 201, which would outlaw their sport. The group say supporters didn't get enough valid signatures to put the issue on the Nov. 3 ballot. The measure makes it a misdemeanour to attend a cockfight and a felony to engage a rooster in battle.

Source: Arizona Daily Star (AZ, USA)

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July 16 1998: Gulf marine life dying in puzzling cool water

MIAMI - A dramatic and mysterious cooling of waters in the northeast Gulf of Mexico is killing fish and chilling bathers along the beachesof the Florida Panhandle.

Coastal water temperatures from near the Alabama line to as far east as Panama City, Fla. , plunged suddenly from the upper 80s last week to the low 70s - the kind of surf temperatures you might expect off Cape Cod this time of year.

What is most puzzling to scientists is that the clear, cold water is devoid of life. Fish are smothering in its extraordinarily low levels of dissolved oxygen.

‘Nobody has ever seen anything like this before, ’ said Gary Fitzhugh of the National Marine Fisheries Service in Pensacola. ‘And nobody has come up with an explanation about what's causing this phenomenon. ‘

The chilly water - with temperatures in the lower 6 0s a few miles off the Panhandle's beaches - was first noticed by fishermen and divers in mid-May, Fitzhugh said.

The U. S. Geological Survey saw it then, too, in satellite imagery. The cold water was stretched in a 15- to 20-mile-wide band just a few miles off the beaches, he said.

What was startling about that band was its utter lifelessness. ‘In 80 to 100 feet of water you would see only dead or lethargic fish and shrimp, ’ Fitzhugh said. ‘We were being told all kinds of crazy things. There were reports of big fish, like big electric rays, in very shallow water where you would never see them. ‘It was like everything was being squeezed out ahead of this cold water. ‘

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Geese alert in Ohio

NAPOLEON, Ohio - Several cities have tried unsuccessfully to get rid of pesky Canada geese, who leave their mark on everything from park benches to parked cars. People in at least one town may start reaching for their guns. Soon, the Napoleon town council plans to vote on an ordinance that would allow limited hunting within the city when the goose season starts Oct. 17. The birds are protected by federal and state governments. Government officials recommend that people first try to scare them away with specially made gadgets such as propane cannons and ‘shell crackers’ that shoot off firecrackers. Sheep dogs and large balloons also work for a while. ‘All of these scare devices work for a short time until the geese find out it won’t hurt them, ’ said Steve Barry of the Crane Creek Wildlife Research Station near Toledo. ‘You have to be more persistent than they are. ‘

An unlucky collision with a moose landed a Norwegian driver in a hospital and then in jail when police found 6 2 pounds of hashish stashed in his wrecked car. Swedish newspaper Metro said the crash happened at Svinesund in Sweden close to the Norwegian border when a moose ran out of the forest and in front of the car. The 35-year-old driver was taken to a hospital in Fredrikstad, Norway, with minor injuries. When his car was towed to a near by garage for repairs, mechanics discovered the stash of hash and reported it to the police. Norwegian police arrested the driver and five other people. (Reuters)

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Body of elderly woman eaten by dogs

MADISONVILLE, Texas (Reuters) - The body of an elderly woman was apparently eaten by her five dogs after she died in the backyard of her home earlier this month, police said Thursday.

Investigators found only skeletal remains and the woman's clothes and shoes outside her home in Madisonville, about 90 miles north of Houston, Madison County Sheriff Dan Douget told Reuters.

‘The dogs were very, very thin. They were in a starving condition, too, so to them meat's meat, ’ he said.

The victim, 89-year-old Lettie Tubbs, lived alone and needed a cane to walk. When and how she died is a mystery. She was last seen alive on Aug. 2, but her remains were found on Aug. 7.

Douget said the evidence indicated she may have died of a heart attack or tripped on her back stairs and been unable to get up. But there were not enough remains to conduct an autopsy, he said. He described the dogs as ‘cur dogs’ and said Tubbs' relatives were trying to decide what to do with them. ‘There was some thought they were going to possibly euthanize them, ’ Douget said.

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Bitten (sic) more than 200 times, toddler dies after yellow jacket attack

Sept 29, 1998 TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - A toddler died Tuesday after a swarm of yellow jackets stung him more than 200 times. Paramedics weren't summoned for seven hours and the boy was unconscious when help arrived, investigators said.

Why it took so long to get medical attention for 2-year-old Harrison Johnson isn't clear yet, said Sheriff's Detective Lisa Haber. ‘The parents aren't answering any questions, which is making the investigation more difficult, ’ said Haber.

Harrison and his parents, Kelly and Wylie Johnson, were visiting friends at a densely wooded mobile home park near Tampa Monday when the attack occurred.

The toddler was stung probably 75 times around the head and face and as many as 150 times on the body, Haber said.

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USA TODAY - Aug 25, 1998 West Virginia Tuesday, August 25 Princeton — A couple whose infant son's face was chewed by a rat last April pleaded guilty to child neglect. Prosecutor Charles Smith recommended probation for Frank and Liz Taylor.

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USA TODAY - Monday, Oct 5, 1998 Wyoming Cody — A hunting guide remains hospitalised after he and a companion were attacked by a bear on the Shoshone River.

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A. P. - ANCHORAGE, Alaska (February 12, 1998 )

It's not what backpackers and hikers want to hear - the pepper spray they count on to scare off bears may actually attract the big beasts, like catnip does cats. The evidence, so far, is just anecdotal. But the stories are worrisome - bears chewing up plane pontoons doused with the spray and crowding into recently sprayed camp sites, U. S. Geological Survey researcher Tom Smith said. Smith discovered the attraction in November when he saw a bear rolling on a rope sprayed just a week earlier with powerful red pepper extract. He was recording brown bear activity near salmon streams in the Katmai National Park and Preserve, 240 miles southwest of Anchorage. Intrigued, Smith jumped from his observation post and sprayed the beach with repellent. Several bears approached the beach 40 times to paw and roll in the spray. ‘It's a 500-pound cat with a ball of catnip, ’ Smith said.

For those who spend a lot of time in bear country - and that 'anyone hiking in Alaska's backcountry - this isn't good news. Pepper spray is considered by many to be a good alternative to carrying a powerful shotgun. Tests have shown that it will stop a charging bear if sprayed in the bear's eyes, nose and mouth. Nothing Smith found disputes those tests. But preventive uses of the spray - even spray residue on the can itself - can lure the huge, deceptively quick and potentially dangerous bears. On Sunday, an oil worker was killed by a brown bear that emerged from its winter den near the Kenai Peninsula.

‘Counterassault’ of Bigfork, Mont., which first marketed the spray, isn't worried by Smith's findings, said general manager Pride Johnson, though some people mistakenly treat it like mosquito spray. ‘We've had some parents spray it on their children because it says bear repellent, ’ Johnson said Wednesday. The company has begun changing the wording on its packaging to bear deterrent instead of repellent.

Smith's preliminary results should be noted by hikers and others, said Stephen Herrero, a bear expert at the University of Calgary and author of a book on bear attacks. ‘They are going to have to think twice about how they store it, especially at night, ’ Herrero said. ‘The big question of course is, ’Do you sleep with it under your pillow?' ‘Smith suggested treating a used can like food, putting it in a bear-proof container, and keeping an unused can in the tent while camping. Smith said he plans more testing next summer- and he'll continue carrying the spray meanwhile. But the evidence so far has him confident he's on the right track. He has submitted what he found for publication in the Wildlife Society Bulletin.

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August 28 Bozeman — A 5-year-old male grizzly bear with a taste for sheep has been killed at the Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Parks' laboratory.

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Aug 13, 1998 . USA TODAY Colorado Snowmass Village - State wildlife officers have killed a black bear and her three cubs to stop them from breaking into houses in search of food for winter hibernation. The bears had entered 15 homes in the past three weeks.

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ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH - , Sept 5, 1998 Two bears attack, kill veteran handler in France at feeding time

A. P. LYON, France A veteran bear-handler was mauled to death while feeding two bears he had considered having put to death because of their increasingly aggressive behaviour. Daniel Deforges, 55, was attacked Thursday after he fell down while feeding Kaline and Olga, 660- and 550-pound bears who'd been playing with a pair of shoes. Police said Kaline pounced first, then as Deforges called for help, Olga attacked. Police then shot the bears. Deforges had handled bears since the age of 17.

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USA TODAY - Friday, Oct 16 Connecticut Mystic — A beluga whale that died at the Mystic Aquarium succumbed to a bacterial infection probably transmitted by fish that he ate, officials said. Winston, a 17-year-old whale on loan from New York Aquarium, died Sunday of erysipelas.

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USA TODAY - Friday, Oct 16 Florida Tallahassee — The state's endangered black bears are being killed by cars n alarming numbers, wildlife officials say. So far this year, drivers have hit and killed 6 8% more bears than in '97. Forty-seven bears have been killed on roads in 16 counties; last year this time, 28 were killed.

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U. S. Forestry Service Travel Warning The last two years have seen unprecedented growth in Bear populations in Alaska and the Rocky Mountain area. As spring approaches, tourists are warned to wear small bells on their clothing when hiking in Bear Country. The bells warn away most bears. Tourists are also cautioned to watch the ground on the trail, paying particular attention to bear droppings to be alert for the presence of Grizzly Bears. One can tell Grizzly droppings because they have small bells in them.

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USA TODAY - Aug 25, 1998 Alaska Tuesday, August 25 Anchorage — A popular trail in Chugach State Park remained closed after a brown bear slashed the face of a hiker. Park officials said most of the trail would remain closed for a week.

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Coyote Attacks Boy on Cape Cod

SANDWICH, Mass. (AP) Thursday 30 July 1998 - Police shot and killed a coyote that attacked a 4-year-old boy playing in his back yard on Cape Cod. The boy's mother told police she had to pry the coyote off her son Wednesday night.

Daniel Neal suffered scratches and bites, but did not appear seriously injured, said Sandwich police Sgt. Daniel O'Connell. The boy was listed in good condition early today at Children's Hospital in Boston.

‘I believe definitely the mother saved the child's life. She had to beat it about the head in order to get the (coyote) to release, ’ said Officer Michael Hoadley, who shot and killed the animal behind the family's house.

Peter Trull, a coyote researcher, said it's the first documented coyote attack on a human in Massachusetts.

The female coyote was shot by a police officer who rushed to the home after a frantic call from the mother. The animal will be tested for rabies. Police had increased patrols of the neighborhood after receiving about a dozen calls in recent days about an overly aggressive coyote.

Wildlife officials say the state's coyote population appears to be growing steadily. Some wildlife biologists said they have lost their ability to effectively manage the coyote population because a new law bars the use of leg traps. The ban's proponents said the traps were cruel.

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Friday 31 July 1998 Boy Attacked By Coyote - (SANDWICH) - A four-year-old boy is recovering today from a coyote attack on Cape Cod. Sandwich police Sergeant Daniel O'Connell says the boy was attacked by the animal while he was sitting on his swing set in the back yard. He suffered bites and scratch marks, but was NOT seriously injured. Authorities killed the animal minutes later. Animal control officers are conducting tests on the coyote to determine if it was rabid. It is apparently the first documented case of a coyote attack on a human in Massachusetts. (Yahoo! News)

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Boy Clawed by Tiger at N. D. Fair

MINOT, N. D. (AP) - A 5-year-old boy visiting a State Fair exhibit where children could get their pictures taken with a tiger was clawed by one of the cats when it apparently became unnerved by the crowd.

Antony Gottus, son of an airman at near by Minot Air Force Base, suffered several facial cuts, including one under his eye, and had to undergo plastic surgery after the Thursday afternoon attack. He was listed in good condition this morning at a hospital.

Antony, his mother, twin brother and three sisters had just gotten their picture taken with the tiger when the accident happened.

The fair's photo sessions and cat shows are presented by the Bridgeport (Texas) Nature Center. Trainer Brian Turner said the 4-month-old Bengal apparently was spooked by the number of people in the photo area or by a sudden movement.

‘It was too crowded in the photo area, ’ Turner said. ‘I was trying to get people to move away. ‘ It was the first time an animal has attacked anyone in the audience at one of the shows, Turner said.

Fair Manager Jerry Iverson said the cat apparently put its paws on either side of the boy's face and then quickly let go when it realized Antony wasn't a threat. If there are any more photo sessions, a smaller cat will be used, Iverson said. - -

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