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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.

Here at Goats and Soda, we are always on the prowl for breaking goat news. And this week was a good week for goats.

Goats to the rescue

Since August 19, Washington state officials have been actively removing a wolf pack that roams the northeastern corner of the state. But it wasn’t clear the state had already started killing the animals.

Bill Radke sits down with Orca Network co-founder and activist Howard Garrett to talk about the newest developments in the controversy over Lolita the Orca. The whale has been in captivity for over 40 years, and recently unsealed documents reveal many alarming details about her conditions. 

Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to kill an entire wolf pack in the northeast corner of the state. The decision comes after at least 12 cattle were killed in the area.

A wildlife rehabilitation facility in Central Oregon is under investigation by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The High Desert Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center voluntarily gave up its permit to care for wildlife after a visit from ODFW officials earlier this month.

"When that occurred, we went into the facility and dealt with those animals," said Michelle Dennehy, spokeswoman for ODFW. She said the center was caring for mostly birds or small mammals that were then transferred to other care centers, released or euthanized.

A large group of mountain goats moves along slope near Mount Baker. The photo was taken from the air in late July by state wildlife researchers.
Courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

That’s a lot of mountain goats – 90 to be exact. The aerial photo was taken in late July near Mount Baker by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

There's been a recent rebound for a species that was decimated decades ago by hunting, the department’s Rich Harris told KUOW’s Emily Fox.


The only dog park with a beach in Seattle is at Magnuson Park in northeast Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Wonderlane (CC BY 2.0) http://bit.ly/2bT4lEW

In these hot August days, you're likely to see a lot more dogs taking a swim in Seattle. But there's only one beach dogs are allowed in Seattle, and that's in Magnuson Park.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex skull arrives at the Burke Museum in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Paige Browning

There's a Tyrannosaurus rex in Seattle.

A team from the Burke Museum and University of Washington dug up the skull and other bones in Montana last month. It arrived at the museum Thursday.


Courtesy of David Moskowitz

Bill Radke speaks with biologist and conservationist David Moskowitz about the dwindling herd of mountain caribou in Washington state and what that tells us about the state of conservation efforts today. 

Just 12 years ago, researchers feared that the California Island fox, a species about the size of a cat inhabiting a group of islands off the Southern California coast, was toast. Non-native predators and pesticides had dramatically reduced their ranks. The few that remained were placed on the endangered species list.

Sharks can live to be at least 272 years old in the Arctic seas, and scientists say one recently caught shark may have lived as long as 512 years.

This humpback whale breached off Strawberry Island.
Dan Acosta

Research biologist John Calambokidis talks to KUOW's Kim Malcolm about the death of a juvenile humpback whale on a West Seattle beach, and what the incident tells us about the health of Puget Sound.

Charlie is an ideal colleague. He's energetic, knows how to handle bullies and has serious people skills. His work mostly entails riding on a cart pushed by Kim Headen, who fills orders in the warehouse at Replacements Ltd.

"He loves coming to work," Headen says. "He beats me to the door when we pull up in the parking lot. He knows his way in and to go exactly where I sit."

Charlie is a Yorkshire terrier. He's among the 400 people and about 30 animals who come to work at Greensboro, N.C.-based Replacements, where other varieties of fauna regularly come to visit.

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