October 3, 2012

    Photo: USFWS Endangered Species/Flickr

Manatee Rider Found and Charged

Joyride was a second-degree misdemeanor

In Florida, it is illegal to ride a manatee. Which is why 52-year-old Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez turned herself in to the authorities after she was photographed floating through the water on the back of one of the aquatic herbivores. After reports of a manatee-riding woman on Sunday at Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County, police released photos they’d obtained of the incident in hopes of identifying the joyrider. Gutierrez saw the photos and turned herself in, maintaining she was new to the area and unaware of the manatee-riding restrictions. (The Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act states that it is a second-degree misdemeanor to “intentionally or negligently annoy, molest, harass, or disturb” the endangered species.) She was charged but not arrested, and the case will be forwarded on to the State Attorney’s Office for prosecution. The ridden manatee was not injured.

Via Orlando Sentinel


Floyd Landis

Landis celebrates in 2006     Photo: TatClarkson/Flickr

Landis Fined $21,000 for Defamation

Can't compare UCI presidents to Gaddafi

A Swiss judge ordered former cyclist Floyd Landis to pay $10,666 each to two International Cycling Union presidents after Landis refused to defend himself in a defamation suit filed by the pair. Current president Pat McQuaid and former boss Hein Verbruggen sued Landis in April of 2011 in response to the ex-Postal Service rider's claims that the UCI helped cover up doping by big-name cyclists. Besides fining him, the judgment of default issued by the Eastern Vaud District Court requires Landis to take out advertisements in major publications announcing the decision and to refrain from stating, among other things, that Verbruggen and McQuaid "are fools," "are full of shit," "are clowns," or "are no different than Colonel Muammar Gaddafi." The UCI is currently pursuing a similar case against cycling journalist Paul Kimmage, who is scheduled to appear in court this December.

Via Velonation


Nakai injury     Photo: Visser/Orca Research Trust

SeaWorld Orca Injury Sparks Outcry

Reportedly in altercation with another whale

Photos of a badly injured orca whale at SeaWorld San Diego has sparked an outcry from animal rights activists, who claim that the injury is further evidence that the whales are being held in unsafe conditions. Nakai, an 11-year-old male was injured around September 20 during a private show, tearing off a "dinner plate-sized chunk of his lower mandible," exposing muscle and bone. SeaWorld has maintained that the injury was the result of a collision with the side of a pool, but Dr. Ingrid N. Visser, founder of the Orca Research Trust, says that the photographs indicate an altercation with another orca. “Of note is that in [this photo], at the bottom right of the wound, near the trainers shoe in the photo, there are four puncture marks—and the spacing matches that for orca teeth—as you can see from Nakai’s teeth in this same photo.” The animal rights group PETA has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture saying that SeaWorld has failed to keep the whales separated as required under the Animal Welfare Act.

Photos and the full story can be found at TimZimmerman.com


    Photo: Diane Urbani de la Paz/AP

Forest Service Fights Goats With Paintballs

Trying to deter increasingly aggressive mountain goats

Visitors to Washington's Olympic National Forest no longer need fear the wrath of the mountain goat. A trail on Mount Ellinor had to be closed last July after several groups of hikers reported encounters with exceptionally aggressive mountain goats. In an effort to teach them to fear humans once again, Forest Service employee Kurt Aluzas used a combination of repellant spray, shouting, and paintballs to force the goats back from the trail. Authorities blame the goats' aggressive behavior on increased human contact and are warning visitors not to feed the animals. (One hiker was even gored to death in 2010.) Anyone encountering a goat is advised to stand their ground and shout aggressively in the animal’s direction.

Via Associated Press