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Calif. sea lion pups are starving, dying

Published Mar. 30, 2013

Sea lion pups are starving, dying

Hundreds of starving sea lion pups are washing up on beaches from San Diego to Santa Barbara, Calif., overwhelming rescue centers and leaving scientists scrambling to figure out why. About 45 percent of the pups born in June have died, said Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service based in Seattle. Normally, less than a third dies. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has declared an "unusual mortality event." That will allow more scientists to join the search for the cause, Melin said. More than 1,100 pups have been rescued this year.

Va. outcry over $1M bus stop

Arlington County, Va., has stopped the planned construction of so-called super bus stops following a public outcry after the first of 23 stops went up at a cost of $1 million. The stops were supposed to serve buses that carry 16,000 riders per day. The prototype stop features a swooping roof, which some said would not keep passengers dry, heated pavement to reduce snow and ice, and an electronic display of real-time bus schedules. The much-delayed construction of the stop was managed by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and built primarily with federal and state funds.

Okla. lifts ban on horse slaughter

Oklahoma's 50-year-old ban on horse slaughtering was lifted Friday when Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill that will allow facilities to process and export horse meat, despite bitter opposition by animal rights activists. Supporters argue that a slaughtering facility will provide a humane alternative for aging or starving horses.

Times wires

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