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Urban Wildlife

Manatees enthrall students from Guadeloupe

Manatees enthrall students from Guadeloupe

Sarasota, FL -- Students from Guadeloupe got to see something in Sarasota that their ancestors used to see in their homeland: manatees.

Manatees used to inhabit the waters of the French-governed archipelago, but decades ago, hunters wiped them out.

Now, wildlife officials are considering re-introducing manatees to a national park there and scientists from Mote Marine Laboratory are acting as advisors.

Myrtle the turtle returns to Gulf

Myrtle the turtle returns to Gulf

Sarasota, Florida - Myrtle the turtle is now "off the hook" and back in the Gulf.  Staff from Mote Marine Laboratory released the turtle Friday morning at Lido Beach.


The 10-year-old turtle was rescued by Mote staff on October 7, 2010 near the Venice Fishing Pier. The loggerhead had been feeding on fishing bait and had been hooked repeatedly by anglers.

Prepare now for turtle season

Prepare now for turtle season

Sarasota, Florida - Beginning in May female sea turtles will begin their laborious journey through the sand on area beaches to nest and county officials are urging residents and visitors to be turtle friendly.

Here are a couple of tips: stay away from marked nesting areas, bring beach furniture in after dark and turn off lighting near the coast.

Lights can discourage female turtles from nesting and also confuse hatchlings trying to find their way to the water. Sarasota county and many local municipalities have rules requiring homes and businesses along the beach to shield their lights. Using bulbs with an amber or orange shade can also be helpful.

Sarasota beaches are a favorite for the threatened loggerhead sea turtle.

Nokomis students to open bird observatory

Nokomis students to open bird observatory

NOKOMIS - Laurel Nokomis School will celebrate the grand opening of its bird observatory and garden at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 6.

The one-hour event will honor the project's community partners who have helped the school's administrators, teachers and students create a unique outdoor leaning environment for the K-8 school.

"This is an exciting addition to our campus, and a great opportunity to salute the benefactors who have made the bird observatory possible," said Principal Nancy Dubin.

Dolphin calf arrives at new home

Dolphin calf arrives at new home

Sarasota, Florida - Taz is a long way from where he started, but dolphin experts say the calf is adjusting well to his new home at the Indianapolis Zoo. "He's been eating and playing and getting a lot of attention from his new trainers," says Lynne Byrd of  Mote Marine Laboratory.

The orphan calf was found stranded in Sanibel Island in January and nursed back to health at Mote Marine Laboratory. 

Workshops planned to protect turtles

Workshops planned to protect turtles

Sarasota, Florida - Starting in May, female sea turtles start their long, laborious journeys up our local beaches to deposit their eggs and about two months later, hatchlings make their way back to the Gulf.

Artificial light can hamper that wondrous process, so Sarasota County officials are holding some lighting workshops for coastal residents. People will learn how to properly illuminate a structure at night while preserving the night sky, and how to make lights comply with local protection codes. Area vendors will also display wildlife-friendly fixtures and lighting options.

The free workshops will take place:

-1:30 - 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 15 in the Hendry Conference Room at Mote Marine Laboratory/1703 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota

Stranded dolphin Taz to get new home

Stranded dolphin Taz to get new home

Sarasota, Florida - Taz is getting a new home. The young bottlenose dolphin stranded on a sandbar off Sanibel Island in January. It was taken to Mote Marine Laboratory and since then has been cared for by the experts there.

Taz is about six months old and without a parent to guide him, federal authorities have determined he can't survive in the wild. Instead, Taz will be moving to the Indianapolis Zoo. That zoo was chosen, because they have an experienced veterinary team and other dolphins that Taz can socialize with.