BERLIN (AP) — Scientists have observed wild chimpanzees tucking into an unusual snack: tortoises, whose hard shells they crack against tree trunks before scooping out the meat.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Staff at a U.S. Air Force base in Florida had to bring in a front-end loader to remove an alligator that was lounging on a runway.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Spring is here and snakes are on the move. Some people enjoy encounters with snakes while others would rather never see one at all, particularly near their home. A search on...
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — An escaped pet snake that apparently slithered into a suburban Chicago family's washing machine ended up smelling like fabric softener after going through the...
CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina driver got a case of shell shock after a turtle flying through the air on a busy highway shattered his windshield.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A Florida man has been sentenced to a year in prison for his part in a reptile smuggling ring that stretched from South Carolina to Hong Kong.
Dozens of turtles rescued from Arkansas sewage plant
WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (AP) — An east Arkansas animal shelter has rescued dozens of turtles from a wastewater treatment facility after they became trapped in sewage pond filters.
MIAMI (AP) — Officials say they were forced to euthanize an 11-foot (3.3 meters) alligator that broke through a chain-link fence into the backyard of a Miami home.
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) — State wildlife officers say a headless, tailless alligator has appeared in a South Carolina creek in an apparent poaching case.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah has named a venomous lizard with black and yellow bead-like scales as its state reptile.
Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill into law last week that adds...
12-foot, 750-pound gator trapped in Florida
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — A massive gator weighing over 700 pounds (318 kilograms) and measuring nearly 12 feet (4 meters) long has been caught in South Florida.
Large lizard from South America has Georgia on its mind
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A South American lizard could be establishing a breeding population in south Georgia, state wildlife officials say.
The lizards — known as tegus — can grow up to 4 feet...
HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) — A stretch of road in southern Illinois is closed to allow snakes and amphibians the chance to migrate to their summer homes.
Animals killed in fire at California reptile museum
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say small animals including turtles, snakes and parakeets are feared dead in a fire at a Southern California reptile museum.
Utah considers naming Gila monster as state reptile
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers are considering a bill to designate the Gila monster as the state reptile.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Republican state Rep. Bill Lowry sponsored...
Reptile replicas: 19 turtle statues completed in Galveston
GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Organizers say the first 19 Kemp's ridley sea turtle statues in Galveston's Turtles About Town project are completed and being set up.
Florida police hold rattlesnake in the back of a patrol car
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A rattlesnake in Florida ended up in the back of a police car.
The snake was being carried by a homeless man walking around Jacksonville Beach on Monday morning.
Sgt. Larry Smith told local news stations the snake was 6 to 8 feet (2 to 2.5 meters) long.
When police stopped the man, they told him to throw the reptile into the back of their vehicle for safety.
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Rattlesnakes slither at Texas Capitol to promote roundup
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Some rattlesnakes have slithered through parts of the Texas Capitol to help promote an upcoming reptile roundup.
Members of the Sweetwater Jaycees were in Austin on Tuesday to support what's billed as the World's Largest Rattlesnake Roundup.
This year's event includes a parade and a Miss Snake Charmer pageant on March 7. Other rattlesnake-related activities run through March 10.
Couple pleads guilty to animal cruelty, fined over $18K
NEW HAMPTON, N.H. (AP) — A man and a woman who said they ran an animal rescue operation have each pleaded guilty to 15 complaints of animal cruelty after police said they found malnourished dogs, cats, reptiles, rabbits and birds a their New Hampshire home.
Pennsylvanian pleads guilty to trafficking protected turtles
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to trafficking protected turtles.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania says David Sommers on Monday admitted to sending a package to Canada in 2014 containing 11 diamondback terrapin hatchlings.
Emotional support alligator offers comfort, sharp teeth
YORK, Pa. (AP) — On a recent Monday afternoon, Joie Henney walked into the Glatfelter Community Center at the Village at Sprenkle Drive, an assisted-living development north of York, with his emotional support animal on a leash.
He walked by an elderly woman sitting on a bench by a window, reading a book. The woman glanced up from her book, took a look at Joie's emotional support animal, shrugged and went back to her book.
Sea turtle released into Florida waters after eel removal
ISLAMORADA, Fla. (AP) — A loggerhead sea turtle that required surgery to remove a 2-foot-long (0.61-meter-long) eel from its body cavity has been released back into the waters off the Florida Keys.
The turtle named "Shelmore" was returned to the ocean Saturday off Islamorada not far from the spot where it was discovered in September, floating and unable to dive.
Veterinarians said the eel had eaten through the turtle's intestinal tract to get to the body cavity before dying.
Seattle zoo takes in 250 tarantulas, Gila monsters
SEATTLE (AP) — Officials at the zoo in Seattle have taken in 250 tarantula spiderlings that were confiscated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from an importer.
Woodland Park Zoo officials on Friday invited media to photograph the spiders as well as exotic reptiles including Gila monsters that were taken in recently after a woman in southern Washington died.
Cold-stunned turtles flown from New England to Florida Keys
MARATHON, Fla. (AP) — Officials say 32 cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles rescued off New England's coast have arrived in the Florida Keys to warm up at the Turtle Hospital.
A volunteer group of general aviation pilots, under the banner of "Turtles Fly Too," transported the reptiles on Tuesday.
Alligator still had sneaker in mouth after attacking man
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — A nearly 10-foot (3-meter) alligator that attacked a man in Florida still had his sneaker in its mouth when it was roped ashore.
Polk County Sheriff's Office spokesman Brian Bruchey says the alligator attacked the man's foot near a lake in Lakeland, Florida, on Monday. Bruchey says the man was taken to a hospital as a precautionary measure. He was not seriously injured.
Geologist: Prehistoric reptile left tracks at Grand Canyon
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A geology professor from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said he recently identified fossilized tracks from a reptile along a popular trail in Grand Canyon National Park, a newspaper reported.
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Fossil of plant-eating reptile found in southern New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The earliest known example of a plant-eating reptile has been found in the fossil record in southern New Mexico, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History said.
The museum made the announcement this week , saying the unique structure of the skull, jaws and teeth of the sail-backed reptile indicate it was an herbivore, and that such specialized plant-eating wasn't previously known in reptiles older than about 200 million years.
Expert: Rare snake with 2 heads found in Virginia has died
WAYNESBORO, Va. (AP) — A wildlife expert says a rare, two-headed snake found several months ago in Virginia near the nation's capital has died.
Stranger things: Exotic animals only loosely protected
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The sight of humane officers carrying dozens of tropical birds, a 14-foot boa constrictor, rabbits and rats from a Macungie home recently seemed shocking, if not bizarre. And when officers removed more snakes, as well as skunks, ferrets, alligators and giant tortoises from a Montgomery County home a few days later, the scene bordered on the surreal.
Surprise: Large alligator found in Kansas City hot tub
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri landlord stumbled upon an unwanted house guest while evicting a tenant: a large alligator in a hot tub.
The tenant described the 150-pound reptile as "gentle as a puppy" after animal control workers were called to the Kansas City home on Wednesday. The workers also found two boa constrictors and a rabbit.
2-headed snake going on display at wildlife center
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky wildlife center says it plans to display a rare find: a two-headed copperhead.
A statement from the Department of Fish and Wildlife says the Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort will exhibit the snake for the public, barring any complications in the reptile's health, after Thursday.
Officials say a Leslie County couple donated the snake to the facility for educational purposes after finding it in their yard this month.
Small alligator found under vehicle in Kansas City suburb
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a small alligator has been found under a vehicle in suburban Kansas City.
Investigators want to know who left gator in Lake Michigan
WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — Authorities don't know who dumped a 4-foot-long reptile into Lake Michigan, but they now know what kind it is.
After initially believing the animal spotted Monday swimming near Waukegan, Illinois, by a startled kayaker was a caiman, officials now say it is actually an alligator.
Mexico investigates crocodile’s death in resort city
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican environmental authorities have launched a criminal investigation into the death of a crocodile.
The young croc was hung from a tree with a note that read: "We are going to continue killing these disgusting animals unless they are brought under control."
The office for environmental protection said Thursday that the reptile's carcass was found in the Pacific coast resort city of Puerto Vallarta on Tuesday.
Boa constrictor captured after escaping Sioux Falls store
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — No one was injured when a boa constrictor somehow escaped from a Sioux Falls store and slithered into a nearby laundry business.
Officers responded to the laundry Tuesday night. Police spokesman Sam Clemens says the snake was captured and taken to the Sioux Falls Humane Society.
It wasn't clear how big the snake was, but police records indicate an officer tussled with it.
Michigan zoo’s giant tortoise recovers from bone infection
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — Zookeeper Kelsey Miller crouched down and gave her pal Al a scratch on the neck.
The Aldabra giant tortoise stretched out like a brachiosaurus reaching for food in the treetops and then let out a low-pitched groan of satisfaction.
Estimated to be 80-years-old, Al came to Binder Park Zoo in 1984, making him both the oldest and longest-tenured animal at the park.
Texas animal control seizes hundreds of snakes, rodents
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Animal control officials have removed more than 100 snakes and more than 400 rodents from a San Antonio home following concerns about the animals' living conditions.
Alligator attacks are on the rise in Florida
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — As Felicitie Gillette entered the waters of Lake Hernando, there was no way for her to know she'd soon become the latest statistic in an alarming and exceptionally Floridian trend — alligator attacks.
The American alligator, one of the Sunshine State's most ubiquitous reptiles, wasn't always so. At one point, they were hunted to near extinction and placed on the endangered species list until it was taken off in 1987.
Chicken of the trees: Eating South Florida’s iguanas
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — While many people view South Florida's invasive iguana population as an annoyance at best and a pandemic at worst, Ishmeal Asson sees something else: lunch.
Illinois road closing for migrating snakes
HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) — Snakes and amphibians will have the right away for a while on Shawnee National Forest's Snake Road.
Police: Thieves stole over $40,000 in rare insects, reptiles
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia police say current or former employees at an insectarium stole over $40,000 worth of rare insects and reptiles.
Authorities say the suspects stole about 90 percent of the animals at the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion on Aug. 22 and possibly other days. Police say staff uniforms were found stabbed into a wall with knives.
College student finds 5-foot snake in dorm room
CLINTON, N.Y. (AP) — A college student in central New York has to collect a 5-foot (1.5-meter)-long boa constrictor from a local wildlife center after a fellow student found the pet reptile hiding behind her dorm room refrigerator.
Syracuse.com reports that a student at Hamilton College found the snake Tuesday and called campus safety for help.
Giant Monitor lizard is terrorizing Florida family
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida family is terrified of a huge Monitor lizard that has taken up residence in their back yard.
The lizard is about 7 feet long (2 meters) and weighs about 150 pounds. Homeowner Zachary Lieberman tells the Sun Sentinel that the lizard was at his back patio door "scratching to get inside the house" on Sunday night.
Supermarket shopper shocked by surprise snake on cart
PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) — A woman shopping for groceries says she was surprised to find a snake on her shopping cart while picking out produce at a New York supermarket.
Officials hope to reunite wandering tortoise with owners
COVENTRY, Conn. (AP) — Slow and steady wins the race — as long as you don't get lost along the way.
The Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police say they're hoping to return a wandering tortoise to its rightful owners after the reptile was discovered at a home in Coventry on Saturday.
Postal worker gets big surprise: Snake on the mailbox
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Rain, snow, sleet, even barking dogs are fine, but a Kansas postal worker had to draw the line when he found a red tail boa constrictor draped over a mailbox.
The Kansas City Star reports that the letter carrier was delivering mail Friday in Overland Park, a Kansas City suburb. The huge snake was on the mailbox on the front porch.
Endangered Green, Loggerhead turtles make comeback in Cyprus
LARA BEACH, Cyprus (AP) — For these ancient reptiles, a stretch of beach on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus has been their home for thousands of years.
Against the setting sun, the tiny turtles that have just hatched on Lara Beach strain against the surf to reach the Mediterranean Sea and embark on their life's journey.
And in 20 to 30 years, they'll be back at this exact location to lay their own eggs.
Shell of a rescue: Firefighters free tortoise caught in hole
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — A large tortoise trapped inside a hole for several days in Southern California has been rescued by firefighters.
Officials say a woman called for help to free her 25-year-old sulcata tortoise named Bentley. The reptile had been stuck underground without food and water in the Mojave area.