Off the wire

Bid to stop deer cull denied
PONTIAC, Mich.  The controlled killing of deer by Oakland County Sheriff's sharpshooters will continue in Rochester Hills after a judge denied a request Wednesday to stop the effort intended to reduce the herd.
Read complete story from the Detroit News

Airports use cannons, dogs, guns to scare birds
BOSTON  Birds like those believed to have crippled a US Airways jetliner in New York have been a danger to aviation since the days of Orville and Wilbur Wright, so airports use everything from hawks and snarling dogs to screaming fireworks and shotguns to kill or scare off the intruders.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Study: Western forests dying at increasing rate
GRANTS PASS, Ore.  Trees in old growth forests across the West are dying at a small, but increasing rate that scientists conclude is probably caused by longer and hotter summers from a changing climate.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

South Africans bust rhinoceros poaching ring
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa  South African police and game park rangers say they have arrested 11 suspects in an international rhinoceros poaching ring.
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Judge revokes man's hunting rights for life
HAMILTON, Mont.  A Hamilton man lost his hunting privileges for life and will be required to pay $24,200 in restitution for illegally killing a total of eight elk, deer and antelope.

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WWF official nominated for Deputy Interior Secretary

WASHINGTON  Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar yesterday announced that David Hayes, a senior fellow at World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is being nominated for Deputy Secretary of the Interior, a post Hayes held during the Clinton Administration under then-Interior Secretary and current WWF Chairman Bruce Babbitt.
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At Quantico, injured vets can return to the hunt
With its creeks, ponds and long Potomac River shoreline, Marine Corps Base Quantico has some of the best duck-hunting sites in Prince William County. A new partnership with the group Ducks Unlimited aims to make those sites accessible to all Marines.
Read complete story from the Washington Post

Pa. pet groomer charged with piercing kittens
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP)  A woman who marketed "gothic kittens" with ear, neck and tail piercings over the Internet has been charged with animal cruelty and conspiracy.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Officials quiz two men on 25 days at sea in cooler
CANBERRA, Australia (AP)  Two Myanmar fishermen who claimed to have survived on rainwater and fish regurgitated by birds while lost at sea for 25 days remained in Australian detention Wednesday as officials tried to verify their story.
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$93 million spent on endangered tortoise
SALT LAKE CITY  Leathery, shy and a bit world-weary, the Mojave desert tortoise doesn't come across as a high-roller. But among land-going critters on the endangered species list, it's among the top recipients of money spent by state and federal agencies trying to keep it from the brink of extinction, according to an Associated Press analysis of the last 11 years of available data.
Read complete story from AZcentral.com

Angler hooks trouble when he reels in rare coho salmon
A rare coho salmon, an endangered species whose annual return to the Russian River can be counted on one hand, was caught during a sport shop's fishing contest, much to the consternation of those trying to save the fish from extinction.
Read complete story from PressDemocrat.com

Minnesota counties continue to offer bounties for gophers
MANKATO, Minn.  Elaine Poulson is now accustomed to counting gopher tails. They're delivered in plastic bags or cheap bins, and Poulson counts each one.
Read complete story from StarTribune.com

Schwarzenegger plan to tap wildlife fund riles sportsmen
Fishermen and hunters are outraged about a plan tucked in the governor's proposed California budget to shift $30 million out of wildlife programs.
Read complete story from the Sacramento Bee

Montana group seeks native status for walleye
Walleye enthusiasts want the Montana Legislature to fully embrace the fish, but some find their proposal hard to swallow. A bill up for a state Senate hearing this week calls on legislators to declare walleye a native of Montana even though scientists widely say the fish was transplanted to the state.
Read complete story from the Associated Press

Goose-icle! Frozen fowl rescued by police divers
This wasn't cooked. Quite the opposite. Sheriff's divers in Mount Clemens, Mich., came to the rescue of a trapped goose that sat too long in frigid waters of a Detroit suburb.

Read complete story from AZFamily.com

Komodo dragon in Va. bites the hand that feeds it

A Komodo dragon at the Virginia Aquarium bit the hand that fed it, literally, but aquarium officials said the incident Friday was likely more due to excitement than betrayal as the popular expression implies.

Read complete story from AZFamily.com

Famed French taxidermy store rises from ashes

Paris' most famous taxidermy shop, Deyrolle, is rising anew, a year after being gutted by fire. Ninety percent of the stuffed animals stocked in the 178-year-old store went up in smoke from lions to small rodents, butterflies and brilliantly plumed birds. The fire was thought to have been caused by faulty electrical wiring in a neighboring boutique.

Read complete story from the Associated Press