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WebClawer: They're mad about rabbits (literally) at Leisure World, researchers tag jellyfish, arrests in Florida over stolen skunk

July 10, 2009 |  9:41 pm

Bunnies at Leisure World

From skunks to birds to jellyfish, the Web is full of animal news today.  A few of the stories that got our attention:

-- The most pressing issue at Seal Beach's Leisure World retirement community -- at least to hear some residents tell it -- is the scourge of adorable rabbits they say are taking over. Pro- and anti-rabbit factions from the upscale gated community met at a recent City Council meeting, arguing over how, and whether, to control the little rodents' population.  Some advocate hiring an outside company to "thin out" the population using pellet guns.  The suggestion horrifies others. "I can't think of a more tranquil sight than a sweet rabbit on the front lawn," said Marsha Gerber, whose mother lives at Leisure World.  (L.A. Times)

-- Little is known about the movements of the barrel jellyfish that live off the coast of South Wales.  To learn more, researchers have instituted a project called EcoJel to track them as they swim.  They attached electronic tags to the jellyfish using cable ties; the tags are designed to fall off and float when the creature dies. "I cannot think of any other species which is so universally recognizable yet we know so little about," said Dr. Victoria Hobson of Swansea University, a member of the study.  "We don't even know how long they live for but we hope this study will provide some answers."  (Telegraph)

-- The blue-and-white parakeet rescued by a scuba diver half a mile out to sea in the waters off Devon, England, has been reunited with his owner. The bird, called Captain, apparently escaped his enclosure with several other birds when his owner, parakeet enthusiast Mike Peel, forgot to lock it. He'd resigned himself to never seeing the birds again when he saw Captain's picture in the newspaper. Peel breeds and shows parakeets and is the chairman of a group called the Torbay Budgerigar and Foreign Birds Society.  He keeps about 140 birds and says Captain isn't a show-quality parakeet, but he plans to use him for breeding. And adventuring, Peel says, seems to have agreed with Captain. "I've never seen a bird look so healthy, it's done him the world of good."  We don't know which is bigger news to us: The fact that the parakeet was found alive so far out to sea, or the fact that there are parakeet shows.  (Plymouth Herald)

-- A man and woman were arrested in Florida for stealing a baby skunk from a Sarasota pet store.  The man, who has been charged with grand theft in the incident, was arrested when he tried to return the skunk to the store, sheriff's deputies said. The woman, who was arrested at another  location, has been charged with accessory to grand theft.  (Associated Press)

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: - Wild cottontail rabbits at Seal Beach Leisure World. Credit: Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times

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