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Education
8:49 am
Thu August 21, 2014

University Of Washington's Plans For Expansion Include Animal Lab, Medical Program In Spokane

Students walk through the UW's Quad on the Seattle campus.
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with University of Washington President Michael Young for an annual check-in. In this installment, he discusses a planned $124 million underground animal research laboratory on the Seattle campus and the expansion of the university's five-state medical program in Spokane. 

Last week, he discussed sexual assault policies and the state of athletic compensation at the university.

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Animal Rights
11:19 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Facing Backlash, SeaWorld Expands Killer Whale Habitats

In this April 10, 2014 photo, Sea World trainer Michelle Shoemaker hugs killer whale Kayla as she works on a routine before a show, in Orlando, Fla. SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. has faced criticism over its treatment of its captive killer whales since the release of the highly-critical documentary, "Blackfish," last year. (John Raoux/AP)

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 8:56 am

The struggling theme park chain SeaWorld announced plans today to enlarge and improve the killer whale tanks at three of its parks.

The renovations will begin at the San Diego SeaWorld in 2015, where the total water volume in the killer whale environment will double to 10 million gallons and include a “fast water current” for the whales to swim against.

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Habitat Loss
8:39 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Washington Wildfires Displace Deer

Wildfires have ravaged more than a million acres across the Northwest. In central Washington, the burned landscape will leave one of the state’s largest deer herds without a place to go this winter.
Flickr Creative Commons: Alan Vernon

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 3:29 pm

Wildfires have ravaged more than a million acres across the Northwest. In central Washington, the burned landscape will leave one of the state’s largest deer herds without a place to go this winter, when deer like to eat bitterbrush and chokecherry.

Those shrubs will be hard for deer to find this year – with 25,000 acres of habitat scorched by fire, including parts of five wildlife areas.

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Distressed Birds
8:17 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Triple Rescue And Rehab Ends Well For Lucky Ospreys

Rehabbed osprey flies away after its release Wednesday in Finley, Washington.
Andrea Berglin

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 5:23 pm

Three young ospreys and a parent are flying free along the Columbia River today after surviving close calls with litter.

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Wildlife
7:28 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Feds Decide Wolverine Does Not Merit Threatened Species Status

File photo

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 3:36 pm

The wolverine is not going on the threatened species list after all. Tuesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced federal protected status for the fierce and rare carnivore is unwarranted at this time.

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Europe
4:19 am
Wed August 13, 2014

British Airways Hopes In-Flight Animals Will Cut Stress

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 4:38 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Big Game
2:40 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Dangerous Olympic Goats May Face Eviction

A mountain goat in the Robin Lakes Wilderness in the Cascade Mountains.
KUOW Photo/Derek Wang

They may be beautiful to look at in the wild, but with their sharp horns, mountain goats have been a cause of concern in the Olympic National Park, especially since a goat fatally gored a 63-year-old hiker in 2010.

As part of their mountain goat action plan, the National Parks Service is considering a change of scenery for the animals. The goats may be moved to another mountain range in Washington that has seen a decline in the goat population, according to Parks spokeswoman Barb Maynes.

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'Planet Of The Apes'
2:18 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

How A Seattle Orangutan Inspired Hollywood

Towan the orangutang watches actress Karin Konoval work at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.
Courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo, Karin Konoval

Ross Reynolds talks with actress Karin Konoval about her portrayal of "Maurice," the orangutan in the last two installments of the "Planet of the Apes" franchise. She was inspired by her work with Towan, an orangutan at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. His keeper, Laura McComesky, also speaks about how the zoo is helping conservation efforts to protect endangered orangutans.

Animals
4:23 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Sweden's Really Old Eel Dies

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 5:04 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Safety Products
8:57 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

These Waves Keep Sharks Away From Swimmers

The antenna trailing off the diver's foot is there to ward off sharks by creating an electromagnetic field that sharks are sensitive to. Unlike fish snagged with the diver's spear gun, sharks warded off by the Shark Shield remain unharmed.
Courtesy of Shark Shield

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 8:54 am

Interest in sharks peaks every summer, when more people hit the beach and start looking for that tell-tale fin. This year, between Sharknado 2: The Second One and Discovery Channel's "Shark Week" — which kicks off Sunday — sharks have been making a particularly large splash on TV screens across the country.

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Bombus occidentalis
8:55 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

Buzzworthy Breeding To Bring Back Bumble Bees

Preparing to inseminate a queen bee.
Megan Asche

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 10:20 am

Some scientists are going to great lengths to help the agreeable Western bumble bee make a comeback.

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'Skin Over Bone'
7:51 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Oregon Court Backs Warrantless Rescue Of Sick Horse

This photo of 'Grace' was taken shortly after she was rescued.
Strawberry Mountain Mustangs

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 4:28 pm

An Oregon police officer was justified in seizing someone's horse without getting a warrant first. The Oregon Supreme Court ruled Thursday that warrantless searches are allowed when the life of an animal is on the line.

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Taste
12:25 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Will Americans Buy Bug Snacks? Maybe ... If They're Funny And Cute

Packages of edible insects lie on a display table at the Denver County Fair.
Luke Runyon/KUNC

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 12:50 pm

Insects can be a great source of protein, and in many parts of the world, people gobble them up.

But here in the U.S., a certain "ick factor" has kept consumers from eating crickets, locusts and mealworms. To combat the ickiness and convert skeptical consumers, bug-food advocates are trying a specific marketing tactic: be clever and cute.

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Slideshow
10:31 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Fatal Attraction: Ospreys In A Bind With Baling Twine, Fishing Line

This is how ospreys' unhealthy affinity for baling twine can kill. Idaho Fish and Game biologist Beth Waterbury rescued this osprey in the nick of time.
Beth Waterbury Idaho Fish and Game

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 3:21 pm

Osprey nests are a common sight near rivers, lakes and bays in the Northwest. If you look closely with binoculars, you might notice some of these large raptors like to line their nests with discarded baling twine or fishing line. The problem is it can kill them.

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Health
7:47 am
Wed August 6, 2014

How A Fat Grizzly Bear Could Help You Avoid Diabetes

Washington State University is home to the nation's only captive grizzly bear research center.

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 5:41 pm

Washington State University’s mascot is the cougar, but the university is also home to the nation’s only captive grizzly bear research center. A new study involving those bears yields insights into possible therapies for human obesity and diabetes.

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