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A police officer who was bitten in the genitals by a police dog is not entitled to sue for damages without first proving negligence. That was the decision Thursday from a narrowly divided Washington Supreme Court.

After nearly 50 years on the endangered species list, Columbian White-Tailed deer are moving up in the world.

Their numbers along the Columbia River have more than doubled since the species was listed in 1967. On Thursday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is upgrading their status from "endangered" to "threatened."

Officials are celebrating the occasion in Ridgefield, Washington, where the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge has played a key role in the deer's recovery.

There's a heated debate in the Arctic Circle. It's about reindeer. Lots of them.

Russian health officials want to cull a quarter million animals by Christmas, The Siberian Times reports. That's enough reindeer to fill about 400 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

In the last six years, about 10 confirmed cases of valley fever have popped up in Eastern Washington. And the state of Washington estimates there are even more exposures that haven’t been diagnosed.

For the last two months, wildlife managers in Washington state have been shooting wolves in the Profanity Peak pack from a helicopter. The director of Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife authorized the killings back in August.

File photo of a panda.
Flickr Photo/Will Sowards (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/5kiSHg

Large zoos in Washington are standing by while a private foundation tries to bring panda bears to the state.

Officials at the Washington Panda Foundation say they'll be attending a Chinese Panda Summit this month. The only other invitees? Zoos who host pandas.

The Chinese government charges $1 million a year for U.S. zoos to host panda bears and requires a minimum 10-year commitment to hosting.


Specially trained dogs have been known to sniff out explosives, drugs, missing persons and certain cancer cells, but author Alexandra Horowitz tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that extraordinary olfactory abilities aren't just the domain of working dogs.

Finally — some good news for the bees of Hawaii.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given endangered status to seven species of yellow-faced bees native to the islands. These are "the first bees in the country to be protected under the Endangered Species Act," according to the Xerces Society, which advocated for the new designation.

There are less than 500 North Atlantic right whales left in the world. And now, one less: This weekend, one of the 45-ton creatures was found dead off the coast of Maine, completely entangled in fishing line — head, flippers and all.

This was not an isolated incident.

Emily Grason and Sean McDonald trudge through the mud of San Juan Island’s Westcott Bay on the hunt for something they hope not to find: A 3-inch menace: the European green crab.

In late August, a single adult male was found for the first time in Washington’s inland sea. University of Washington researchers responded, arriving at the location of that first sighting with hundreds of traps in tow.

Dead Whale Returns To Oregon Coast

Sep 20, 2016

The humpback whale whose carcass washed ashore near Arch Cape over the weekend, and then left with the high tide, is back again.

This time, the remains washed up at Oswald West State Park just south of Arch Cape.

State park staff plan interpretive talks at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday about the whale at the park, whether the remains are still there, or not.

"The twice-daily high tides predicted over the next few weeks are not expected to be high enough to take it back out to sea, though it is still possible for it to wash out," staff said in a press release Tuesday.

Stakeholders on all sides continue to grapple with a controversial management decision that would allow Washington state wildlife officials to exterminate an entire wolf pack in the Northeast corner of the state.

Cat-scratch disease, as the name suggests, is spread by cats. It has long been considered a mild illness, but a study finds that people are getting more serious complications, which can be fatal.

And kissing kittens increases the risk of being infected.

Five people. Ten bears. One desperate call for help.

On a remote Arctic island, five researchers at a weather station found themselves "besieged" by polar bears over the weekend, Russia's TASS news agency reports.

Vadim Plotnikov, the head of the weather station on Troynoy Island, told the news agency on Monday that the staff there had seen 10 adult bears around the station, as well as several cubs.

Two weeks ago, a polar bear ate one of the weather station's two dogs — and hadn't left the station since.

In the past month, wildlife officials have shot six wolves from a helicopter in the Colville National Forest in northeast Washington state. That’s likely to come up during a two-day work session for members of the state’s Wolf Advisory Group that begins Wednesday.

Even the cutest indoor cats can be dangerous predators. Research suggests house cats and strays together kill billions of birds every year.

Four years ago, Portland's cat and bird advocates teamed up to promote a solution to this problem: Catios are enclosed outdoor patios that aim to protect both cats and backyard wildlife.

Growing up on a farm in the rural hills of Uganda, Carol Bogezi knew that fending off predators was critical to her family’s survival.

They used bows and arrows to keep monkeys from eating their vegetables and wild cats from harassing their goats. But beyond the predator-prey dynamics, there were complicated human dynamics to deal with, as well. Her father had three wives and 17 children so Carol often sought peace and quiet out in the fields where she’d watch antelope frolic and study the different types of plants and grasses.

KUOW environment report Ashley Ahearn speaks with Carol Bogezi about how growing up on a farm in Uganda lead her to studying human-carnivore relationships at University of Washington and working with ranchers and wolves in Eastern Washington. Bogezi is the recipient of a $100,000 award for environmental leadership from Seattle’s Bullitt Foundation.

The Bureau of Land Management has reversed its decision to surgically sterilize more than 200 wild horses in southeast Oregon.

The federal agency dropped its plan after a group called Front Range Equine Rescue filed a lawsuit against the program in July. The group argued the proposed surgical procedures were illegal, untested and dangerous.

When Washington state wildlife officials announced they would eliminate the Profanity Peak wolf pack, they were operating under a new management plan that came about after months of deliberation with various stakeholders ranging from livestock producers to conservation groups.

But some parties felt left out of the discussion.

Dogs can be trained to do a multitude of tasks. Most can learn to sit, lie and stay; others can guide the blind, rescue the injured and maybe even detect cancer. But the hardest thing of all might be to train them to do nothing. Stop scratching. Don't wag your tail. Don't drool. Don't even lick your chops.

Most populations of humpback whales no longer need endangered species protections, according to a decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The U.S. government listed all humpback whales as endangered back in 1970, after commercial whaling had drastically reduced their numbers.

The humpback whale has made a significant recovery since being listed as endangered nearly 50 years ago. But a federal review issued Tuesday indicates Northwest humpbacks are still showing signs of trouble.

The review evaluated the Endangered Species Status of the whale worldwide. This time around, U.S. fisheries managers did something very different.

The remaining members of a wolf pack in northeastern Washington targeted for extermination by the state are playing hard to get. Late Friday, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife pinned another dead calf on the Profanity Peak pack, but disclosed it was unsuccessful in hunting down any of the pack's five surviving members this past week.

Can we interest you in some elk tartare? Or how about venison crash-ciatore? Oregon still firmly forbids people from collecting roadkill, but Washington state has now joined Idaho and Montana in allowing individuals to salvage dead deer and elk from the roadside.

Gil Aegerter

Emily Fox talks with Seattle Times reporter Sandi Doughton about a new study that finds a drastic decline in African elephants. The Great Elephant Census was funded by Paul Allen's company Vulcan.

Grizzly sow and cubs near Fishing Bridge, Yellowstone National Park.
Flickr Photo/Yellowstone National Park (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/sTZsC2

In 1972 a young man named Harry Walker was killed by a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park. The subsequent wrongful death trial focused on whether the National Park Service had done enough to prevent human interaction with bears.

The story puzzled and fascinated former park ranger Jordan Fisher Smith. In it he found myriad questions of what it means to manage nature.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said it has killed six wolves in the Profanity Peak Pack. Members of that pack are blamed for at least 12 cattle kills in the northeastern part of the state.

They've known each other for only a few months, but this love story between an Australian ultramarathoner and a Chinese stray dog has seen extraordinary highs and lows.

Wildlife managers in northeast Washington are removing a wolf pack known as the the Profanity Peak Pack following a number of cattle kills. The state faces opposition from tribes and pressure from locals as they proceed.

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