Nfld. & Labrador

8 animal stories that clawed for attention in 2014

Animals were big in the news in Newfoundland and Labrador this year, and we've compiled a list of some of the best ones.

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.

Even Mouse gets saved during brutal NL cold

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."

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      Mountie’s encounter with bear cub inspires web comic

      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.

      Cst. Suzanne Bourque, stationed in Glovertown, was patrolling the Terra Nova National Park in 2011. She was advised there was a bear cub at one of the local rest stops. Bourque went to investigate and sure enough, a little bear cub was hanging around the rest stop. (RCMP photo)

      Snow-trapped moose rescued in Piccadilly

      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.

      Ray Barter and a group of men helped to rescue the bull moose, who had become wedged in a drainage ditch that was covered with snow. (Submitted by Raymond Barter)

      Newfoundland bees draws international scientific attention

      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.

      Paradise beekeeper Aubrey Goulding, operator of Paradise Farms Inc., works with one of his hives (The Canadian Press)

      Lisa Connors 'shocked' by bear in live trap at Tim Hortons

      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."

      Submitted by Lisa Connors. Connors was shocked to see a bear in a livetrap at the Tim Hortons in Happy Valley-Goose Bay 0:29

      Dawn of the ducks: Quacking invaders a menace to Burin residents

      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.

      Residents say they're getting followed by gangs of ducks, reports Martine Blue 2:04

      Lydia the great white shark tracks back to Newfoundland waters

      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.

      Research group Ocearch first tagged and named the great white shark Lydia near Jacksonville, Fla. early in 2013. (Submitted by Ocearch)

      Blue whale carcasses spotted on Newfoundland's southwest coast

      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.

      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.

      The carcass of a blue whale is seen caught in the ice near the shore in Bonne Bay, near Rocky Harbour. (CBC)

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