It’s been a terrible week for King Juan Carlos of Spain and, more importantly, for elephants. The 74-year-old potentate broke his hip trying to slaughter elephants on a hunt in Botswana. News of his accident didn’t play well back home, where high unemployment and bad loans darken Spain’s economic future.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said last week she is asking federal officials not to allow a southeastern New Mexico company to open the nation's first slaughterhouse for horses since 2007. Martinez plans to send a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking it deny a Roswell meat company's request for inspections that would allow it to operate.
Link: Huffington Post
Josh Bransford, Idaho’s best-known wolf trapper, has violated no state laws, according to the Department of Fish and Game. But if that’s all Fish and Game will say for the record, it’s time someone filled in the blanks. Bransford is the kind of trapper who gives his activity — and his state — a black eye.
Link: Idaho Statesman
With sick and dead dolphins turning up along Louisiana's coast, federal regulators are curbing an oil and natural gas exploration company from using seismic equipment that sends out underwater pulses known to disturb marine mammals. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has told Global Geophysical Services Inc. to not conduct deep-penetration seismic surveys until May, when the bottlenose dolphin calving season ends. The agency says the surveys are done with air-guns that the emit sounds that could disrupt mother and calf bonding and mask "important acoustic cues."
Link: Yahoo! News
Charla Nash has two glass eyes. They replaced her real eyes, which were ripped out by a chimpanzee named Travis in a brutal attack Feb. 16, 2009, in Stamford, Conn. Why does this matter to Missourians? Travis was born in Festus, on a chimp sanctuary that still exists. He was purchased for $50,000 by a Stamford couple, Sandra and Jerome Herold, when he was three days old. He had worked in commercials for Coca-Cola and Old Navy before he attacked Ms. Nash, a friend of the Herolds, tearing off most of her face and hands. Missouri didn't require his owners to obtain a permit. Missouri still has no laws against owning chimps or other dangerous primates.
Link: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A Northern California hiker says he is lucky to be alive after he was attacked by a mountain lion — and saved by a bear, the Paradise Post reports. Robert Biggs, 69, of Paradise, tells his hometown paper that he had stumbled upon a mother bear, a yearling and a newborn cub while hiking Monday above Whiskey Flats.
Link: USA Today
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and U.S. Department of Agriculture officials are battling an invasive species in the Keys they thought they got rid of years ago: Gambian rats — giant rodents the size of cats. The outbreak started around 2000, when a Keys resident who breed the 9-pound rats released 6 or 7, according to FWC. Ten years ago, they were often imported from their native Africa as pets until they were banned after a Monkey Pox outbreak in 2003.
Link: Huffington Post
Corvallis parks officials have decided that solving flooding caused by beavers at a local park will take a little engineering of their own. The Gazette-Times reports that for years beavers have caused flooding at the softball fields at Sunset Park from damming the Dunawi Creek. But now parks officials are planning to install pipes to keep the water in ponds at a manageable level.