Big Cat Loves Marin
SAN ANSELMO, California- Police responded to a mountain lion sighting in the Raymond Avenue neighborhood about 10 p.m., Saturday. A man reported he saw the big cat on his street and watched as it disappeared up a fire trail. Police arrived but didn't see the animal, then walked door to door notifying residents on how to prevent deadly encounters with mountain lions--do not feed deer, because they attract lions; keep pets inside at night when cougars are most active; and bring pet food inside to avoid attracting lion prey. Police Sgt. Charles Billelo said "Anyone who encounters a mountain lion should not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms or other objects. If attacked, fight back. Don't try to negotiate or make friends. This animal is not a vegan and won't be impressed with your Whole Earth catalog philosophy. It just wants to eat you and go home."
Sharks Attack Seat of Government
SCOTLAND, Maryland- Willy Dean was on the Potomac River in a 22-foot skiff Tuesday morning when he realized there was something both abnormal and enormous in his net. It was a deadly 8-foot bull shark, a 300-pound killer swimming off the shores of Point Lookout State Park. "When I first seen it, it was like 'Jaws'. I said we need a bigger boat!" Dean said Thursday. "It looked huge. I didn't know how we were gonna get it out. I've been fishing here over 30 years, and it's the first time I've even seen one." But it wasn't the only one caught on the river during what has become Shark Week on the Potomac. Thomas Crowder, a commercial fisherman said he and his crew were cutting a net when an even bigger bull shark was trapped. "Willy gets one, and then all of the sudden we get one. It's just bizarre. Maybe they're terrorists on the way to attack Washington." Bull sharks, among the world's most dangerous fish for humans, ranking right up there with great whites and tiger sharks, are unique in that they can tolerate fresh river water.
Raccons Can Even Terrify New Yorkers
NEW YORK, New York- Carol Aiello used to spot the intruders only at night, prowling her backyard or scurrying along her street in Queens. But last week she caught one of them staring at her from a neighbor’s gutter and she panicked. "It was nothing like what you see on TV or in children’s books," said Ms. Aiello. "That thing was big, it was ugly and it was scary." Raccoons are no longer a rarity in the city. They seem to be appearing in greater numbers and, like true New Yorkers, behaving much more boldly. New Yorkers are coming across them on stoops and rooftops, by bird feeders and garbage cans, on the edge of above-ground pools, even inside kitchen drawers. Councilman James Vacca said "Years ago, people thought this was cute. Well, it's not cute when a raccoon is scratching at your door at 2 in the morning." Last month, in Brooklyn, a raccoon suffocated to death after somehow finding its way inside a kitchen drawer. Two other raccoons tried to break into the same house, but couldn’t figure out how to get through a glass window. Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan of Queens said that seven raccoons sauntered among the guests at a Fourth of July street party in Ridgewood, mystifying children, terrifying parents and nearly ruining the celebration. Sherry Ortega, is too scared to let her sons swim at night. "To the raccoons our pool is the local watering hole. I call, ‘Hey!’ but they look at you like, ‘Are you talkin' to me?’ You yell, you spray them with water, you turn the lights on, but they’re not afraid." Some are not afraid, though. Brooklyn resident and NRA regional chairman Sid Micious added, "I can assure you there are enough legal gun owners in the area to take care of this problem. But the city has to make it legal for us to bear arms against this threat."
Gators Invade Chicago
CHICAGO, Illinois- A 4 foot American Alligator in the Chicago River is the second to be sighted in the area this month. Police wouldn't confirm whether the alligator had been living beneath the city's streets, but witnesses said the gator climbed out of the sewer, giving legs to a long standing urban legend. Meanwhile, residents of Chicago, a city known more for its icy winds than its wetlands, have spotted at least two different alligators on the Chicago River this summer. Police captured an alligator on the city's North Side and days later boaters spotted another gator basking in the sun on the riverside. Although alligators aren't accustomed to living in northern metropolises, that doesn't mean a gator couldn't survive if it found the right conditions. "If they can find entry to a basement or camp our near an exhaust vent for a laundromat they can get through the winter. And they will be hungry. Guard your dogs and cats," said zoologist Billy Ellis.
Man Trains Crocodile
BOGOTA, Columbia- Gespacho Tommasso has trained a crocodile named Giganto to interact with humans in a friendly way. "Giganto loves people. He can be fed by hand... tourists love doing that. Makes for great pictures. And if you are a good swimmer, you can go in and wrestle Giganto. Bring the video camera. This is a vacation you are going to want to remember and show your friends."