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Snake-Handling Preacher Dies from Rattlesnake Bite in West Virginia

Published 05/31/12
By Gil Aegerter, msnbc.com

West Virginia preacher Mark Randall "Mack" Wolford, who believed Christians should handle snakes to test their faith, died after a rattlesnake bit him over the weekend. Wolford was bitten on the thigh about 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon, but he didn't come to the hospital until 10:30 p.m., a nursing supervisor at Bluefield Regional Medical Center told the Charleston Daily Mail. The incident occurred during an outdoor service at Panther State Forest, about 80 miles west of Bluefield in southern West Virginia, the paper said. Wolford had turned 44 on Saturday. He had seen his father die of a snakebite when he was teenager, the Daily Mail reported.

Link: msnbc.com

Devastating Disease Found in Tennessee Bats

Published 05/30/12
By Laura Zuckerman, Reuters

A disease that has killed millions of hibernating bats in the United States has been detected for the first time in endangered gray bats in Tennessee, a finding that government scientists on Tuesday described as "devastating."

Link: Yahoo! News

India Declares Open Season on Tiger Poachers

Published 05/29/12
By LiveScience.com

The world's "most dangerous game" is on. A state in western India has given its forest rangers permission to shoot poachers on sight in an effort to curb poaching of tigers and other endangered wildlife.

Link: Yahoo! News

U.S. Lawmakers Hear Pleas to Save African Elephants, Rhinos

Published 05/25/12
By Michael Bowman, Voice of America

The survival of elephants and rhinoceroses in Africa is being threatened by poaching — a multi-billion dollar illegal industry that helps bankroll militias in conflict zones and places local civilian populations at great risk. That was the message experts delivered to U.S. lawmakers, along with a plea for urgent action.

Link: Voice of America News

Maine Governor Signs Legislation To Rebuild State's Deer Herd

Published 05/24/12
By Associated Press

With hopes of rebuilding a deer herd that has shrunk sharply in parts of Maine, Gov. Paul LePage has signed legislation to implement strategies that include restoring habitats that shelter the animals in the winter and thinning out the population of their main predator, the coyote. One concern that has prompted the new laws signed May 21 is that areas known as "deer yards" have been lost due to logging and to spruce budworms, pests that have killed large tracts of forest.

Link: Huffington Post

Whales Adjust Their Hearing Sensitivity

Published 05/17/12
By Scientific American

Have you ever wanted to turn down the volume at a deafening concert or noisy bar? Envy the whale: A new study finds that toothed whales can reduce their own auditory sensitivity when they expect a loud sound. The work is presented at this week’s Acoustics 2012 meeting.

Link: Yahoo! News

Big Cat Rescue Backs Law that Could One Day Put It Out of Business

Published 05/16/12
By Eddie Daniels. Tampa (FL) Tribune

Carole Baskin spends much of her life with big felines — tigers, lions, leopards and such. As founder of Big Cat Rescue, a nonprofit educational sanctuary in Citrus Park, she takes pride in the way the sanctuary is operated — with attention to the animals' well-being and the public's safety. Not everyone is so scrupulous. Baskin said she wasn't shocked in October when a man in Zanesville, Ohio, intentionally released 56 big cats from a private piece of property. Of the 56 animals turned loose in the southwestern Ohio community, 49 were killed to protect the public — including 18 Bengal tigers and 17 lions.

Link: Tampa Bay Online

Two Giraffes Die as Vandals Terrorize Polish Zoo

Published 05/15/12
By Agence France-Presse

Two giraffes at a zoo in central Poland's Lodz died of stress after unidentified vandals went on a night-time rampage, the zoo's management said Monday, May 14. The vandals broke in overnight Saturday to Sunday, destroying benches, signs and sculptures and hurling pieces of the debris at the animals.

Link: Yahoo! News

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