Off the wire

At the zoo, no escape for a deer in the lions' den
A deer that jumped a wall at the National Zoo was fatally injured by two lions Sunday as dozens of startled spectators looked on.
Read complete story from Washington Post.

Canadian teen rescued on Arctic ice
CORAL HARBOUR, Nunavut — Battling hypothermia, a 17-year-old hunter stranded on a floating chunk of ice shot and killed a polar bear while trapped for more than a day before being rescued Monday in the Canadian Arctic.

Read complete story from Associated Press.

Wyoming hunter bags deer, then hungry lion
SHERIDAN, Wyo. — Retired orthopedic surgeon Chris Smith thought his hunt was over when he bagged a whitetail deer with a bow and arrow near Sheridan. But he ended up getting a license and killing a mountain lion that had staked its claim to his deer.

Read complete story from Associated Press.

W. Africa's last giraffes make surprising comeback
KOURE, Niger — A crisp African dawn is breaking overhead, and Zibo Mounkaila is on the back of a pickup truck bounding across a sparse landscape of rocky orange soil. The tallest animals on earth are here, the guide says, somewhere amid the scant green bush on one side, and the thatched dome villages on the other.

Read complete story from Associated Press.

Man grabbing for dog gets bit in hands by gator
Joseph Canasta of Land O' Lakes got a shock and painful surprise when he reached under his car thinking his dog was resting there. What Canasta grabbed, though, turned out to be a 5-foot alligator that didn't exactly welcome the contact, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

Read complete story from Tampa Bay Online.

A season of promise for Pa. black bear hunters
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Last year's black bear harvest was the second highest on record, and weather permitting, the Pennsylvania Game Commission expects hunters to have similar opportunities afield in the upcoming bear seasons.

Read complete story from Reuters.

Sea lions killed, but Columbia salmon toll rises
Killing or removing 25 California sea lions over the past two years has not reduced the toll on salmon at the base of Bonneville Dam in the Columbia River. A new report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates sea lions ate 4,960 salmon and steelhead during the spring of 2009 - 2.4 percent of the fish passing the dam located near Cascade Locks, Ore. That compares to an adjusted estimate of 4,927, or 2.9 percent of the run, in 2008.

Read complete story from Associated Press.

Quails Unlimited faces bleak financial outlook
Quail Unlimited, the nation's largest conservation group devoted to bobwhite quail, has shut its doors, furloughed its 24 remaining employees and put its national headquarters in Edgefield, S.C., up for sale to resolve what board members say are catastrophic financial problems.
Read complete story from Augusta Chronicle.

A fierce storm, moments to react
Rollie Chapple figures that his dad's bad back and an untrustworthy outboard motor saved his life that day. At just 17 years old, Rollie was already an 11-year veteran of the Mississippi River bottoms and the whims of weather. But he and his dad, Lawrence, a true river rat tutor, had never seen anything like this before.
Read complete story from StarTribune.com.