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Petition: Replace Confederate monument with statue of Snooty the manatee

In the wake of the tragic loss of the world's oldest manatee in captivity, residents in Manatee County, Florida, have taken to the internet to remember the beloved Snooty with a statue that would replace a Confederate monument, the Bradenton Herald reports.

>> Watch a video about Snooty here

The Change.org petition had more than 3,200 signatures early Tuesday. “For a manatee as loved as he was in the community, it’s amazing to see the support,” said Anthony Pusateri, who started the petition. He said it will be submitted to the county and city of Bradenton for consideration.

Pusateri said he's not asking for the complete removal of the Confederate monument that now stands in front of the county courthouse. It could be moved to another location, he said, paving the way for Snooty to take the prime spot in the center of downtown Bradenton.

>> Famous Florida manatee, Snooty, oldest on record, killed in freak aquarium ‘accident’

The statue petition was not the only one filed in tribute to Snooty. Others call for renaming Lakewood Ranch and naming a new high school for the county's unofficial mascot. 

There was an outpouring of emotion Monday across Bradenton, where residents stopped to honor Snooty at the museum. They left flowers, cards, drawings from children, lettuce, carrots and a candle near the front door, according to the Herald.

Snooty drowned Sunday after becoming stuck in the life-support maintenance area at his home at the South Florida Museum, just two days after his 69th birthday. It's not yet known how he got stuck in the small tube, according to another Bradenton Herald story. 

>> Read more trending news

Divers inspected the tank Monday to ensure the safety of the museum's three manatees undergoing rehabilitation.

Jeff Rodgers, the museum's chief operating officer, told the Herald that a memorial service for Snooty is being planned, along with a special memorial on the museum's grounds.

The first recorded manatee born in captivity in 1948, Snooty had lived at the museum since 1949.

Read more from the Bradenton Herald.

WATCH: Sri Lankan navy rescues elephants swept out to sea

Two elephants that were swept out to sea were rescued by Sri Lanka's navy on Sunday, according to a CBS report. 

>> Watch video of the rescue here

The navy patrol located the elephants more than a half a mile from the shore, the navy said in a news release.

>> Elephant swept out to sea rescued 10 miles off coast by Sri Lankan navy

CBS reported that the animals, who likely were swept out while crossing a lagoon, were in distress.

>> See photos of the rescue here

The navy and wildlife officials sent in vessels and divers as part of its "mammoth effort,” the news release said.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

The elephants were “carefully directed to the shore without causing any harm to the animals” and released into the Foul Point jungle, the navy said.

>> Read more trending news

Read more here.

Invasive toads in South Florida could kill pets

An invasive toad species are in high population in South Florida now that the rainy season is here, which means pets could come into contact with them. 

>> Read more trending news 

The Cane toad, also called giant or Bufo toads, secrete a milky-white toxin on their skin that can get dogs and cats sick if they bite or eat them.

» Tips to keep your dog cool in the summer

These toads are mostly found in yards near canals and ponds and have a reddish-brown to grayish-brown color with a yellow belly, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

The toads can grow from 6 to 9 inches long and breed year-long in standing water, streams, canals and ditches.

» Woman abandons 3-month-old puppy at airport, leaves tragic note

The Cane toad first made its mark in South Florida in the 1930s to help get rid of agricultural pests, but their population became fully established when pet traders let them loose in the 1950s, according to the FWC. Its native range is the Amazon basin in South America, north to the lower Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas.  

» Potentially deadly parasite found in 5 Florida counties

Veterinarians said if a dog licks a Cane toad, it can get seizures, have heart problems or even die, WTVJ reported. If a pet owner believes their dog or cat has come into contact with a toad, they should wash their pet’s mouth out immediately and call a veterinarian. 

Read more at NBCMiami.com.

Seniors: Get your $10 lifetime pass for National Parks now before price hike

If you’re over 62 years old and love the great outdoors, the time is now to get the deal of a lifetime.

>> Read more trending news

Right now, senior citizens can get a lifetime pass to visit national parks for $10. But that’s going to change on Aug. 28 – with the price rising to $80.

An annual pass will cost them $20, which they can apply to the cost of a lifetime pass at a later point if they decide they want one. Follow this link for the application.

Money raised from the price increase will go to the enhancement of the national parks. There are more than 400 national parks across the country

Here's a Q&A from the National Parks Service on the price increase:

Why is the price of the Senior Pass increasing?The price of the America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass is increasing as result of the Centennial Legislation P.L. 114-289 passed by the US Congress on Dec. 16, 2016.When was the last time the price increased for the Senior Pass? The Senior Pass has been $10 since 1994.How much is it increasing?The lifetime Senior Pass will increase from $10 to $80.Why $80?The legislation states that the cost of the lifetime Senior Pass be equal to the cost of the annual America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, which is currently $80.

What if a senior citizen is on a fixed budget?

The legislation also establishes an annual Senior Pass for $20. That pass is valid for one year from the date of issuance. Four annual Senior Passes purchased in prior years can be traded in for a lifetime pass. Additionally, access to the majority of National Park Service sites remains free—only 118 of 417 National Park Service sites have an entrance fee.What if I have a current Senior Pass?The current passes are lifetime passes and will remain valid.Will the benefits of my Senior Pass change?No. All benefits of the current Senior Pass stay the same.What if my current Senior Pass is lost or stolen?Passes are non-refundable and non-transferable and cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.If lost or stolen, a new pass will need to be purchased.Who is eligible for a Senior Pass?US citizens or permanent residents 62 years or older are eligible for the Senior Pass.  

Click here to read more.

Iceberg the size of Delaware breaks from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf -- 5 things to know

A massive iceberg the size of Delaware or Lake Ontario broke from Antarctica’s massive Larsen C ice shelf between Monday and Wednesday, scientists announced Wednesday

The iceberg is one of the world’s largest icebergs in the Southern Ocean.

>> Read more trending news

The European Space Agency (ESA) issued a press release Wednesday, announcing the “behemoth” iceberg, expected to be named A68, finally broke off, “changing the outline of the Antarctic Peninsula forever.” The event, witnessed by ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission satellite, is part of a natural cycle of iceberg calving.

Here are 7 things to know about the cracking Larsen C ice shelf:

1. What is it?

Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf is one of the largest ice shelves in the region, spanning approximately 21,000 square miles.

But in recent years, the ice shelf has experienced a rapid rift growth widening to more than 1,000 feet.

In June, satellite images from the Impact of Melt on Ice Shelf Dynamics and Stability Project (or Project MIDAS) showed the shelf’s rift split turned north and had begun making its way toward the Southern Ocean.

» RELATED: Huge iceberg in Newfoundland drawing large crowds 

2. How big was the crack in the Larsen C ice shelf?

The deep crack extended over the course of 120 miles and, according to the ESA, only three miles separated the Larsen C crack from open water one week ago.

3. When did the ice shelf calve and give way to the colossal iceberg?

In June, Project MIDAS experts said the iceberg’s outer end was moving at its highest speed ever.

The massive iceberg officially broke off between Monday and Wednesday, witnessed by the ESA’s Sentinel-1 satellite, which provided a high-resolution look at its breaking from the Larsen C ice shelf.

» RELATED: Climate disaster map shows Georgia as second most apocalyptic state 

4. How big is the Larsen C iceberg?

The 2,200-square mile iceberg weighs 1 trillion tons (twice the volume of Lake Erie) and is nearly the size of Delaware.

From ClimateCentral.org last week:

The iceberg is expected to have enough ice to fill more than 463 million Olympic swimming pools. Or put another way, it’s enough to cover all 50 states in 4.6 inches of ice, allowing you to skate coast-to-coast and take victory laps around Hawaii and Alaska.

5. Where is the iceberg going after breaking off?

The iceberg will begin in the Southern Ocean’s Weddell Sea and escape its shallow waters as it heads into the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (or into the South Atlantic).

But whole or in pieces, the iceberg could reach as far as the Falkland Islands, more than 1,000 miles away from the Larsen C ice shelf, according to the ESA.

Read more at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Itchy? Here are 10 ways to soothe poison oak, sumac, ivy

While it’s the right time of year to be playing and working outside, it’s also the time of year when you might run into some nasty plants, such as poison ivy, oak and sumac.

>> Read more trending news

Here are 10 tips on dealing with the itchy results:

1. Immediately wash

All three plants have a chemical in their sap called urushiol. That’s what causes the rash on your skin.

If you think you may have run into any of these plants, quickly wash off the affected area with water and soap before it seeps into your skin.

2. Coffee

If it’s too late and the itchy, rashy places have already started popping up on your skin, there are numerous treatments you can try to help relieve that itch.

One is cold coffee – pour that over the rash to help sooth your skin.

RELATED: Don’t throw away your coffee grounds — you can use them in so many ways

3. Baking soda

Making a paste out of baking soda and water and applying it to the affected area can help. Or, you can take a lukewarm bath and add a cup of baking soda to the bath water.

4. Turmeric

Another paste application involves the spice turmeric. Make a paste out of it and lemon juice or rubbing alcohol. Apply to the affected area for 15 minutes and wipe off. Beware: It will turn your skin yellow.

RELATED: This homemade turmeric face mask can reduce acne scars and zap facial hair

5. Cucumber

While cucumber slices are usually associated with salons, they can also help relieve these itches.

You can apply the slices on directly, or mash them into a paste and apply the cooling effect that way.

6. Oatmeal

It’s not just for breakfast -- oatmeal can also help relieve these itches. Blend two cups uncooked oatmeal into a powder. Then add to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes.

7. Epsom salts

Another bath-administered relief are Epsom salts. Adding two cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath and then soaking for 20 minutes is both relaxing and itch-relieving.

8. Aloe vera

Aloe vera has many benefits, including improving the condition of your hair, reducing dandruff, and repairing skin cells.

To reduce itchiness, rub the flesh of the plant directly onto the affected area.

9. Watermelon

Watermelons are great sources of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. The rind, which is often thrown away, is also edible and has healthy properties.

If you don’t eat it, putting the rind on your itchy spots can help cool them down.

RELATED: Add this ingredient to your summer watermelon to make it even more irresistible

10. Vodka

If you come in contact with poison ivy, oak or sumac, pouring vodka over the area can help wash away the urushiol oil that causes the itch. It’s been said that the higher the proof of the alcohol, the better.

3 deer found tied up in car

Two men were arrested in Monroe County, Florida, after Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers found three Key deer tied up inside a vehicle.

>> Read more trending news 

Officers said they pulled over the vehicle Sunday morning because of a broken taillight, but found two Key deer bound with heavy twine in the back seat and a third in the trunk.

Related: Man riding horse from South Carolina to Florida Keys charged with animal cruelty

The animals are an endangered species.

Officers said the Key deer were bound at the hooves and appeared to be struggling.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers came for backup and safely untied the animals.

Related: Sebastian K-9 handler faces animal cruelty charge in dog's hot-car death

The three deer were released into the wild. Two of them ran off and wellness checks are being conducted on the third.

The men in the vehicle, who were not identified, were arrested on multiple charges, including injuring an endangered species, taking of deer out of season and animal cruelty. 

SEE: Most accurate map of the Great American Eclipse’s path of totality to date

The Great American Eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21 is the first total solar eclipse to cross the continental United States from coast to coast in nearly 100 years.

>> Read more trending news 

NASA data visualizer Ernie Wright recently published the most accurate map to date of the eclipse’s path of totality using data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, elevation data on Earth and information on the sun’s angles.

Whether or not you’re inside the path of totality will determine what you see in the sky. If you’re outside the path, you’ll likely see a partial (not total) eclipse.

To determine the most accurate eclipse path, according to Wright, you have to figure out where the moon’s shadow will fall on the Earth’s surface, which requires taking into account the elevation differences on both the moon and Earth’s surfaces, he told Space.com.

Using elevation data from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, the locations of the Earth, moon and sun at each line of latitude or longitude and how long it takes sunlight to travel to the moon and down to Earth, Wright was able to compute where exactly the eclipse will cross and for how long.

More Great American Eclipse 2017 news:

Must-see: 'Faceless fish' found for first time in more than a century

The so-called “faceless fish” was last seen less than a decade after the end of the Civil War, in 1873. The animal was finally brought to the surface again earlier this month when an Australian research vessel discovered one lurking nearly three miles deep.

>> See the fish here

Dr. Tim O’Hara, the chief scientist on the Australian ship, told The Guardian on Wednesday that “the little fish looks amazing because the mouth is actually situated at the bottom of the animal so, when you look side-on, you can’t see any eyes, you can’t see any nose or gills or mouth. ... It looks like two rear-ends on a fish.”

>> Watch a video about the 'faceless fish'

>> Read more trending news

Their expedition has proven to break miles of scientific ground. The 27 scientists aboard estimate that “about a third” of the specimens that they bring aboard are “completely new to science.” But it wasn’t all good news, the crew claims that they’ve found “hundreds of years of debris” on the ocean floor, only months after a scientific voyage reported surprising levels of pollution in the Mariana Trench.

Tobacco use kills 7 million a year, poisons environment, WHO says

The World Health Organization is highlighting the dangers of tobacco use as one of the biggest public health threats in the world.

More than 7 million people die every year due to tobacco use, costing households and governments more than $1.4 trillion in health care costs and productivity loss, experts wrote in a news release Tuesday, the day before World No Tobacco Day.

In addition, tobacco waste contains more than 7,000 toxic chemicals that poison the environment and contributes to 16 percent of all noncommunicable disease deaths, the WHO said.

>> Read more trending news

The drug is a threat to livelihoods, too, according to the WHO. Around 860 million adult smokers live in either low- or middle-income countries, often spending more than 10 percent of their income on tobacco products and leaving less for things such as food, health care and education.

According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. with more than 480,000 reported deaths (nearly one in five deaths) each year and 16 million Americans suffering with at least one disease caused by smoking.

This costs the country nearly $170 billion in direct medical costs.

Nationwide, according to 2015 data, 31.4 percent of U.S. high school youth reported using a tobacco product, and 10.8 percent reported smoking cigarettes.

The CDC offers tips for smokers who want to quit, including a hotline for referrals to local resources (1-800-784-8669), best practices guidelines and more at CDC.gov.

More about the threat of tobacco use at WHO.int.

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