Vanished seals moved north

Hundreds of sea lions that abruptly left San Francisco Bay's Pier 39 last Thanksgiving have apparently found a new home at another tourist attraction — 500 miles north on the Oregon coast.

Thousands of California sea lions started showing up in December at Sea Lion Caves, a popular tourist draw because of the Stellar sea lions living in the caves. The California sea lions appear to have made the trip because of an abundance of anchovies at the Oregon site, 11 miles north of the town of Florence.

Scientists say there is no way to say how many of the newcomers came from Pier 39, where the numbers fell from a peak of 1,701 in October to just 20 by the end of November. But it is likely some did, since they easily swim 100 miles a day searching for food between Mexico and Alaska.

There are fewer herrings in San Francisco Bay, and a general decline in sea lion food off California last summer triggered a die-off of young sea lions making the transition from mother's milk to fish. Meanwhile, anchovies have been plentiful in Oregon waters — so plentiful that brown pelicans that normally winter in California are also hanging around, said Bob Emmett, a fisheries biologist for NOAA Fisheries Service in Newport.



Girl as young as 12 sought in robbery

Police in suburban Cincinnati were searching Friday for two teenage girls they believe robbed a bank. The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office says a robbery was reported Tuesday afternoon at the First National Bank in Symmes Township. Authorities say the suspects were described as two girls. One was 14 to 16 years old and the other could have been as young as 12. Officials say the girls didn't appear to have weapons and walked out with an unknown amount of what's called "bait money." The money can be easily identified as coming from the bank.

Those Facebook statuses can be quite revealing

If you thought there was enough personal information floating around on Facebook, brace yourself. This week a campaign apparently designed to raise awareness about breast cancer is sweeping the social networking site with a message asking women to update their status with one simple word: the color of their bra. Facebook Inc. says it hasn't been able to find out who came up with the idea. Andrea Rader, a spokeswoman for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, said the group was not behind the campaign but "We just hope people act on it — get educated, get a mammogram."

800 monkeys killed to protect crops

Puerto Rican officials have killed 800 monkeys blamed for scavenging crops and damaging natural resources in the island's southwest region. Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Ana Maria Ramos said Friday that 200 other monkeys have been moved to the Caribbean Primate Research Center at the University of Puerto Rico and elsewhere. Ramos said Friday that most of those killed were patas monkeys, while those sent to the primate center were rhesus monkeys, which are used for research. Garcia said the monkeys were killed in a humane way, but did not elaborate. The monkeys escaped from research labs in the 1960s and '70s.

Times wires

Vanished seals moved north 01/08/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 8, 2010 10:46pm]

    

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