Record-breaking python killed in Florida Everglades hunt
ORLANDO, Fla. — One of the latest pythons to be caught in the Everglades is a record-breaker.A pair of trappers caught the 18-foot, 9-inch invasive Burmese python on a hunt working for the South Florida Water Management District.Ryan Ausburn and Kevin Pavlidis caught the 104-pound female on Oct. 2 as part of the district’s Python Elimination Program, which has seen the capture of nearly 4,000 of the snakes since 2017. The snake was found about 35 miles west of Miami, and its length surpasses the previous record of 18 feet, 8 inches, from 2013.Officials have said capturing females is paramount ...
Separated by the pandemic, this cross-border couple got married at park
SEATTLE — The words on a handmade sign spoke eloquently: “Love is not tourism.”Last Sunday, a wedding — one of many — took place at busy Peace Arch Historical State Park in Blaine, Wash., uniting a couple who had been separated by a closed border for more than six months. Allyssa Howard drove north from the Everett area, where she has lived for the past four years; Sara Morosan came from her home in Chilliwack, British Columbia, an 80-minute drive east of Vancouver. Both wore lace dresses — one black, one white — with black lace-up boots; both of their faces glowed.Howard and Morosan are just ...
The Seattle Times
One of the world's slowest animals survived 2 massive wildfires. What was its secret?
Animals survive wildfires by running, so it would be safe to assume turtles don’t stand much of a chance.Yet wildlife experts in Utah say they just discovered one particular Mojave desert tortoise that shows evidence of having survived not one, but two large wildfires.That seems almost impossible, given the endangered species moves at about 0.2 mph, according to the National Park Service.The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says staff found the tortoise while surveying wildfire damage in southern Utah.“Not only did he survive the Turkey Farm Road fire in July (nearly 12,000 acres), but he a...
The Charlotte Observer
The weekly geography quiz
GEOQUIZ: To which state would you travel to visit White Sands National Park?Answer: New Mexico. Located in the south central part of the state, the park’s 275 square miles contain the world’s largest gypsum dunefield. Formerly a national monument, it became a national park in December 2019.———©2020 Chicago Tribune
Commentary: My brother Austin asked me to go to Syria with him. Four months later, he was taken
I was at the beach with my family when my brother Austin called. His schedule at Georgetown Law School had prevented him from joining us. I slipped into an empty room at the little house we were renting and listened, astonished, as he told me he was planning a trip to Syria that summer of 2012, and he was asking me to come with him.To this day I’m not sure why he asked me. We had been on some adventures together, to Glacier National Park, and in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where I have made my home, but nothing approaching these stakes. Maybe he believed I was up for it, that I had the sam...
Oscar Mayer's Wienermobile is here for you when you pop the question
You don’t have to be an Oscar Mayer wiener to have everyone be in love with you (contrary to the popular 1960s jingle). But with proposal season almost upon us, you can request an appearance by the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile to make your engagement more memorable.As of Thursday, the Wienermobile is available for those wanting to pop the question. Just request the Wienermobile at least three weeks in advance of your special day. Those who are selected (based on availability) will be notified a week before their requested date.If you’re selected, two Hotdoggers will bring the Wienermobile to your ...
'Ground zero' for dead trees. How California mega-drought turned Creek Fire into inferno
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s mega-drought officially ended three years ago but may have turned the Creek Fire into a monster.By killing millions of trees in the Sierra National Forest, the historic drought that ended in 2017 left an incendiary supply of dry fuel that appears to have intensified the fire that’s ravaged more than 140,000 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada, wildfire scientists and forestry experts said Tuesday.“The energy produced off that is extraordinary,” said Scott Stephens, a wildfire scientist at UC Berkeley. “Large amounts of woody material burning simultaneously.”Wh...
The Sacramento Bee
Chris Niskanen, newspaper columnist turned DNR official, is off to the next challenge
Chris Niskanen, 56, has been Department of Natural Resources communications director since February 2011, a position he is leaving Sept. 8. Previously, for 17 years he was the St. Paul Pioneer Press outdoors columnist. In the interview below, he offers a unique perspective as someone who has reported on the DNR and also worked at the agency alongside its leaders.———Q Was your career goal to be an outdoors writer?A Yes. While in college, I worked for Fins and Feathers magazine for about 6 months. That’s how I got my first newspaper job at the Quad City (Iowa) Times. They needed an outdoor write...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Wolverines return to Mount Rainier National Park after 100 years
SEATTLE — Mount Rainier National Park is now home to wolverines again after a more than 100-year hiatus.A reproducing female, named Joni, and her two babies, called kits, were discovered by scientists of the Cascades Carnivore Project in collaboration with the National Park Service, according to a recent announcement. To make the rare and historic discovery last week, scientists used camera stations designed to photograph the animals and identify them using their uniquely patterned chest markings.“It’s really, really exciting,” Chip Jenkins, superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park, said ...
The Seattle Times
Poacher accused of killing up to 500 elephants gets 30 years behind bars
A poacher accused of killing up to 500 elephants since 2008 has been sentenced to 30 years behind bars, making him the first wildlife trafficker to be convicted in criminal court in the Republic of Congo.Mobanza Mobembo Gerard, also known as Guyvanho, was found guilty in the landmark case on charges including ivory trafficking and the attempted murder of park rangers, The Wildlife Conservation Center revealed on Monday. His sentencing on August 19 came after a three-year investigation and repeated escapes from law enforcement officers as well as prison.“This unprecedented conviction in the cri...
New York Daily News