Reptile pests give hunters The slip
A six-week special capture and removal season for reptiles of concern from state-managed lands around the Everglades has ended without any of the animals being caught. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said on Monday that beginning in late August, people with a hunting license and a $26 wildlife management area permit will be able to capture and remove nonnative reptiles from public land. Reptiles of concern include the Burmese python, reticulated python, northern and southern African rock python, amethystine or scrub python, green anaconda and Nile monitor lizard.
New mom charged in infant's killing
The mother of a newborn baby told investigators she suffocated the child and took it to a wooded area near her mother's Panhandle home because she didn't want to burden her family. In a report released by investigators Monday, 34-year-old Michelle Marie Vasquez told Santa Rosa County deputies that she left the house with the 8-day-old baby girl on Friday because she felt she and the infant were causing problems for the family. She told deputies that she killed the baby. Vasquez is charged with murder.
Golf ball knocks down bald eagle
A juvenile bald eagle is recovering after being knocked out of the air by a golf ball. Officials say the 7-pound bird was soaring across the fairway of a Vero Beach golf course on March 30 when it had a collision with the ball. The eagle then flew into a tree and was retrieved by Indian River County animal control officers. Officials at the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center in Palm City say the bird is recovering from a broken wing.
WEST PALM BEACH
Animal drug mixer hit with injunction
The Food and Drug Administration has asked a federal judge to issue an injunction against a Florida pharmacy to stop making animal drugs after it mixed a brew of supplements that killed 21 elite polo horses as they prepared for a championship match last year. Compounding is a process in which pharmacists mix drugs using bulk ingredients. The FDA has accused Franck's Compounding Lab in Ocala of illegally creating copies of similar drugs. The agency also says the pharmacy is mixing brews outside of federal guidelines and is compounding animal products from drugs that have not been approved for use in the United States.
Pesky wild horses mostly rounded up
Officials have rounded up most of the wild horses that had been roaming north of Lake Okeechobee. About 20 horses had evaded authorities since September. The South Florida Water Management District considers the horses an "exotic species" that pose a threat to native habitat being restored north of the lake. Okeechobee County deputies have been leaving feed for the horses for months. The animals finally became tame enough for a rancher to coax them into a penned field. If they are healthy, the county will offer them for auction. Three mares and a colt remain on the loose. Authorities believe the horses' owners let them loose when feeding and housing them became too costly.