Carlton Ward Jr.

Growth is no stranger to Florida. The state is a magnet for snowbirds, immigrants and sun-seekers. But will too much growth crowd out what people come here for to begin with?

When wildlife experts need help balancing an ecosystem, they sometimes call on snakes. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently released 20 eastern indigo snakes into the wild.

Mary Wells Frates (Facebook)

Video of a massive alligator caught walking through a Florida nature reserve in front of stunned onlookers has prompted crowds of people hoping to catch their own glimpse.

The hunt for coyotes starts in Dan Eaton's truck.

Eaton is a professional trapper. He's been doing it for a long time — since he was 10 years old — so he's nonchalant about the dead beaver in the truck bed that he sometimes uses to attract coyotes.

On a recent day, Eaton heads to a trap line set on private hunting land outside Augusta, Ga.

"Everybody wants you to trap coyotes for free until you tell them you're collaring them and letting them go," Eaton says.

Andrew West / The News-Press

Researchers are examining a half century-old bald cypress tree in Florida's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary to determine how much wildlife the massive tree supports.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

While a nice soak in a hot tub may sound pleasant to human beings, it's not exactly the same experience for wildlife, particularly a doe that needed to be pulled from a Palm Harbor spa by a trapper and Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies.

According to the Sheriff's Office, a small doe ran through the pool screen of a home on Radcliffe Drive in the Lansbrook subdivision this morning and fell into the spa, apparently knocking itself unconscious.

It's an all too-common sight on Tampa Bay and the surrounding area – pelicans with fishing hooks and line caught in their throats or tangled around wings, legs, or bodies.

Hooked birds are at severe risk of entanglement as they roost, causing slow, painful deaths. When adult birds die they leave chicks orphaned in nests, to succumb to predation and starvation. But there are steps that fisherman and others can take to save hooked birds instead of just “cutting the line.”

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

He's such a baby that his kitty eyes are still blue. And there's no word on what his name is, but the folks at Lowry Park Zoo are panther specialists, so they will care for this little guy around the clock until he can eat solids like the meat such big cats are used to. 

This panther kitten is just 4-weeks-old and now tips the scales at 4.1 pounds. When he's big and strong enough, he will be released into Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park where he will live, according to the zoo.  

Want to get away? Thinking about a place with warm water and soft sand? Sounds nice. But think twice before you wade into that inviting surf. Chances are there are stingrays in the area.

Every year, these timid, shellfish-eating cousins of the shark inflict excruciating injuries on thousands of swimmers and surfers from the Bahamas to Bahrain to both coasts of the United States.

With its pleasant climate, Florida has become home to more exotic and invasive species of plants and animals than any other state in the continental U.S. Some invasive species have been brought in deliberately, such as the Burmese python or the Cuban brown snail. But the majority of species are imported inadvertently as cargo.

Amanda Hodges, who heads the biosecurity research lab at the University of Florida, says that until recently, scientists saw about a dozen new bugs arrive in Florida each year.

Pasco County Sheriff's Office

The kangaroo who was captured in Pasco County last weekend died shortly afterwards, and officials say the animal's owner has been charged with a misdemeanor - not related to the death, but its escape.

On Friday, Pasco County Sheriff's officials said that a necropsy would be conducted on the kangaroo, but the Tampa Bay Times reports that didn't end up happening.

DFC Kevin Bordner

They say stories like these come in threes: first, on Saturday, law enforcement in Tallahassee had to use a taser gun to recapture a llama that had escaped his pen, then a kangaroo was captured in Pasco County Sunday, now comes word that four llamas are being evaluated by veterinarians in southwest Florida after being passengers in a vehicle accident on I-75 Monday afte

AP Photo/Leon County Sheriff's Office

We told you earlier about the weekend capture of a llama on the lam. Now the furry fugitive may become a YouTube sensation.

The folks at TomoNews US, which creates reenactments of news stories in the style of Taiwanese animation, have given "Scooter" the llama the digital treatment.

Pasco County Sheriff's Office

Floridians know there's no shortage of wildlife in the Sunshine State, but kangaroos and llamas?

While Pasco Sheriff's deputies were capturing a kangaroo that was on the loose in Lacoochee, deputies in Tallahassee had to use a taser gun to re-capture a llama that had escaped his pen.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

It's not every day that you see a bear in a tree in West Tampa.

But today was one of those days for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. 

At about 8:30 the HCSO was asking local TV stations to pull their helicopters back from the site in the Egypt Lake area, because they were "scaring the bear."