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Wandering Critter Roundup

October 17, 2008

Young urban bears live dangerously.


Delinquent bears. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Black bears living in urban areas tend to overeat, get pregnant at a younger age,
and die violent deaths much more often than their country cousins do. This according to a new report from the Wildlife Conservation Society. The researchers say that the bears’ diet of garbage is partly to blame, causing them to gain weight at an earlier age—leading to earlier sexual maturity and pregnancy. And they often meet an untimely death from car collisions. The researchers say more people need to use bear-proof garbage containers to better protect bear populations and people.

In other roaming critter news, giant South American jellyfish measuring a yard across are turning up in waters off Florida. Fortunately, while the creatures look like they could kill an ox, their tentacles are painful but rarely dangerous. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.