Wildlife

Federal wildlife managers in the Florida Keys have a message for residents: Please stop feeding the endangered deer.

Since Irma washed over Cudjoe Key Sept. 10, pushing a storm surge that submerged much of the Lower Keys including the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine, residents who have long tended to the deer like beloved pets began putting out water and food, fearful that saltwater contaminated foraging grounds.

Florida officials are reminding rural residents that bears are becoming more active as they try to add calories in preparation for winter.


Photo: Donovan Smith

It’s been four months since wildfires raged across Collier County, burning thousands of acres, destroying homes, and coming life-threateningly close to the NGALA Wildlife Preserve in Naples. Locals watched as the flames inched closer to the animals that were difficult to evacuate. Animals like Walter the rhino.

Photo: South Florida Museum

The South Florida Museum announced the death of 69-year-old manatee Snooty, dubbed "the world’s oldest-known manatee," was the result of an accident that caused the aged marine mammal to drown. The manatee had entertained visitors in Bradenton since 1949.

Snooty, the longest living manatee in captivity, died Sunday in Bradenton, a day after a huge party to celebrate his 69th birthday, according to the South Florida Museum.

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