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After Record Rains, a Flood Of Alligators In Florida

A NEW round of torrential rains has given the so-called Sunshine State another problem to wrestle with - alligators.

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Gators became a nuisance after as much as 20 inches of rain fell in parts of southern Florida in 24 hours last weekend, turning some neighborhoods into islands and sending alligators from flooded canals onto doorsteps.

State game officials say they have received at least 20 reports of alligators in residential areas and were sending trappers to kill them. But they noted most gators fear humans and those less than six feet long are usually harmless.

End elephant culls, wildlife group says

A BRITISH-BASED wildlife group urged African governments to stop culling elephants, saying the continent could both support and profit from a larger elephant population.

Culling, or managed killing, aims to protect habitats from destruction by elephants and to promote wildlife diversity.

''Culling is an unscientific practice and it ought to be abolished as a management tool,'' says Chris Styles, an ecologist at the University of Pretoria in South Africa and one of a panel of experts brought together by the Care for the Wild protection group. Allowing the elephant population to grow naturally would help Africa's lucrative eco-tourism industry and permit natural environmental cycles to regulate habitats, the group says.

Canada joins Mexico to protect butterflies

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CANADA has followed Mexico in designating reserves for migratory Monarch butterflies, conservation officials said Oct. 18. Gerry Lee, chief of Habitat Conservation for government agency Environment Canada, said his country had designated three reserves along Ontario's Great Lakes.

An estimated 90 million Monarchs spend the winter in Mexico, according to a 1992-93 survey. The Monarch is the only insect to migrate in both directions: It leaves Canada in late summer, spends the winter in Mexico, and then heads back to Canada at the end of March.

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