Bear released in wild returns to ski resort
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A bear that apparently became too accustomed to the good life at a ski resort at Lake Tahoe is headed for an animal sanctuary or zoo after wildlife officials decided he's unfortunately become too domesticated to be returned to the wild.
The year-old black bear, dubbed "Heavenly," was captured in March after skirting past a busy ski lift at the Heavenly Mountain Resort at Stateline on the California-Nevada line.
Veterinarians at the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Center nursed him back to health. California wildlife officials released him last week in the Sierra near Monitor Pass, about 25 miles south of the lake. But they say he made it back to Tahoe within a matter of days and started approaching people again.
"It's the exact same bear," Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy said Tuesday.
Illinois village installs turtle crossing signs
VERNON HILLS, Ill. (AP) - A suburban Chicago community wants fast drivers to hit the brakes to make way for turtles.
The village of Vernon Hills, about 30 miles north of Chicago, is on a reptile-saving mission with its new turtle crossing signs after dozens of the animals died while inching across roads last year.
"We did have a significant amount of carnage last year," said David Brown, public works director and village engineer.
The temporary signs are being installed in subdivisions near a channel that's popular with the slow-moving creatures, particularly painted turtles and snapping turtles, The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reported.
Gary Glowacki, a wildlife biologist with the Lake County Forest Preserve District, said reptile awareness is increasing among residents who are asking for more signs near their homes after the first were put up several years ago.
Glowacki said he is fielding additional requests from residents who are trying to keep the crawling critters safe, especially during nesting season.
"Pretty much the month of June is the most dangerous time to be a turtle," he said.
Spam to be used to lure invasive big-headed ants
COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) - California agriculture officials are on the hunt for an invasive species of ant that's been spotted in an Orange County yard - and they'll use Spam as bait.
The Orange County Register reports that 1,570 bait stations were set up May 5 in seven Orange County cities.
The ants love the fatty, oily food.
An amateur bug-lover spotted a colony last month in a Costa Mesa yard and agriculture officials have been trying to determine if there are other colonies.
The species is native to Africa and has a huge head.
If it spreads in California, it could threaten the state's agriculture.
The ants aren't dangerous to humans.
Officials will try to get the OK from property owners before placing the bait stations in front yards.
Owl parts discovery leads to arrest warrants
MARCELLUS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - State wildlife officials have issued arrest warrants against two southwestern Michigan residents for illegally possessing the foot and talons of a great horned owl.
The Grand Rapids Press reported Tuesday the owl parts were discovered at a home as police were investigating a check fraud case. Department of Natural Resources spokesman Ed Golder says the residence is in Cass County's Marcellus Township.
No arrests have been made. Authorities believe the pair fled to Florida.
Nebraska land protected for endangered beetle
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated 1,110 acres of land near Lincoln as critical habitat for the endangered Salt Creek tiger beetle.
The news came Monday, as biologists and volunteers released 150 of the tiger beetle larvae on a rehabilitated wetland near the Arbor Lake Wildlife Management Area in Lincoln.
The service published its final decision in the Federal Register, the Lincoln Journal Star said. The designation takes effect June 5.
The number of acres set aside as critical habitat is smaller than the 1,933 acres proposed in 2010, but the service said the land contains enough habitat to support recovery of the species. The number was part of the settlement between the Wildlife Service and the Center for Native Ecosystems, Center for Biological Diversity and Xerces Society. The three conservation groups sued the Wildlife Service in 2010, saying that not enough land was being set aside to help save the tiger beetle.
The beetle is considered one of the rarest insects in the United States.
and was listed as endangered in October 2005.
Before the listing, more than 90 percent of the insect's saline wetland habitat had been destroyed or severely degraded by encroaching development and farming.