Mating alligators end standoff
STUART, Fla. — Sheriff’s deputies didn’t mince words during an early morning standoff with five wanted teen-agers hiding in a pond.
“You ought to be more afraid of the alligators,” deputies yelled early Monday, shining a flashlight into the eyes of two alligators nearby in the water. “It’s alligator mating season.”
The standoff quickly ended.
Martin County sheriff’s deputies, who had surrounded the teen-agers, arrested them on charges ranging from grand theft auto to resisting arrest without violence.
squirrels can’t get a date
KLICKITAT WILDLIFE AREA, Wash. — Around here, some guys are running themselves ragged looking for a date.
It seems male squirrels are eager to mate two-thirds of the year, while females get passionate for less than a day.
“It comes down to six hours ... probably,” said John Koprowski, a University of Arizona biologist who has studied the western gray squirrel in Oregon.
Researchers have been studying gray squirrels in the Klickitat Wildlife Area to find out why their population is dwindling.
Biologist Mary Linders says males must cover a lot of ground in search of mates receptive to their advances.
“It gets pretty crazy out there,” she said.
Now, the researchers are developing proposals to help the native squirrel population recover. Proposals include protecting large stands of oak and pine trees and reintroducing the squirrels to certain areas.
How smelly is it?
PHILADELPHIA — The nose knows when something stinks — but researchers are trying to find something more precise.
Researchers at Penn State University are developing “an odor index” to gauge the olfactorily offensive.
The scientists have devised an instrument-based system that sniffs out the gases a substance is giving off and determines how smelly it is on a scale from 0 to 1 million — with 1,000 barely detectable and 100,000 potent enough to cause nausea.
Researcher Bradley A. Striebig says the index could help wastewater treatment plants, pig farms, landfills and other potentially smelly sites “mitigate (odor) before it becomes a public problem.”
House rabbits must stay home
LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Not everyone felt warm and fuzzy about the bunny featured in a Subaru commercial.
After numerous complaints, the car company pulled a commercial for the Subaru Forester that featured a mother and daughter removing a rabbit from a classroom and releasing it into the woods.
The House Rabbit Society, a nonprofit national rabbit rescue organization, said it is dangerous and illegal to release a domesticated rabbit into the wild.
“This commercial is extremely disturbing to us. We have been deluged with calls and e-mails from all over the country,” said Margo DeMello, president and executive director of the group.
Subaru claimed the animal shown in the ad was a wild breed of rabbit. Still, the company decided to yank the ad after the complaints.
The House Rabbit Society is now urging members to contact Subaru and thank the automaker for its quick response.