8 animal stories that clawed for attention in 2014
2014 was a big year for animal stories in Newfoundland and Labrador.
From hoards of ducks invading a Burin town, blue whales washing up on the province's shores and a bear cub that got turned into a web comic, animals were front and centre in the news this year.
CBC Newfoundland and Labrador has put together a list of some of our favourite critter-related stories below.
You can click the headlines to get the full page for each feature.
A Newfoundland woman, Ellen MacPherson, with a phobia of rodents nursed a wild mouse back to health in her home in January, and said said she'd do it all over again.
"I was going to keep her and my husband said, 'Ellen, you have to let it go. It's a wild creature.' And I thought, 'Yeah, it's not like a tame mouse."
A Newfoundland RCMP officer says she's astonished to see that a chance, yet utterly cute, encounter with a bear cub almost three years ago has inspired a web-based comic that has found an international audience.
"As I'm [speaking with them], I feel him brush against my leg. I thought, 'My god, he's a comfortable little guy,'" Suzanne Bourque said.
Compassion trumped a hunting instinct after a bull moose was rescued in January, after it was discovered in distress on the Port au Port Peninsula.
"We put a bit of snow into the moose's mouth, we figured he was a bit thirsty, and left the plate of vegetables. The next morning the only food left was the carrots," said Ray Barter.
Newfoundland's healthy honey bees are an increasing draw for researchers in the race to understand why colonies across much of the globe are struggling or dying off.
"There are fewer and fewer places as we look around the world now that can claim to be free from the major bee pests. And we're one of the few," said Dave Jennings, a director with the provincial Natural Resources department.
You could expect to get a bear claw at the Tim Hortons in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, but Lisa Connors didn't expect to see a bear in a live trap at the back of a truck.
"And the cage starts moving, and then when I looked closer, we realized there was a bear in the back just rolling around and rolling around. And buddy got out to get his coffee and everything."
Residents of Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula were fearing their towns had been invaded — but not by aliens or anything manageable, oh no. Ducks had taken over, and people didn't know what to do about the foul fowl.
"They chased me and everything, looking for food. If I'm coming home with my groceries, they're looking in the bags. They're chasing me, looking in the bags, like, 'What do you got for me today?'" asked Kimberley Cross.
A great white shark named Lydia that was tracked last year swimming in Newfoundland's Placentia Bay made its way back to waters off the island's coast earlier this month.
Researchers believe the large seal population may be what attracts the sharks to the area, but they say there's still too much unknown about the great white population to know for sure.
As many as nine rare blue whales perished in the heavy ice off this province's west coast last spring, with two eventually drifting to shore.
- Rotting blue whale not the attraction Trout River wants
- Blue whale bones buried in manure for cleaning
The situation drew national headlines after a team from the Royal Ontario Museum undertook a mission to collect the bones. A second team from Memorial University took care of the second whale.