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Exotic animals discovered during drug bust

Exotic animals discovered during drug bust


WOODSTOCK, Ga -- It wasn't your typical drug bust when narcotics officers went to a home in Woodstock last Friday. They found something more exotic than the drugs.

Living in a home on Creekbend Drive were dogs, cats, a squirrel, several snakes and two lizards. One of those lizards is illegal to own, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

A tip from a citizen led the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad (CMANS) to the home because of drug activity, according to Commander Phil Price. "There was a lot of animal feces," he said. "It was not what I would think of as a healthy environment."

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has brought back its Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest for 2014.

This year's theme is Plug into Nature, emphasizing the importance of experiencing wildlife and plants firsthand.

All Georgia students in grades kindergarten through 5 are invited to enter the contest. The top 12 winners' posters will be displayed on the DNR's Flickr site and at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the first two weeks in May.

Contest entries are due Apr. 16. Three winners will be picked in four categories (kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5).

Visit georgiawildlife.com for more information about the contest.

Learn how to attract birds to your backyard

Learn how to attract birds to your backyard

ATLANTA -- Pike Nurseries is holding a free class to help homeowners learn ways to draw birds to their backyards.

According to Pike Nurseries, roughly 350 species of birds live in Georgia. The birding class will teach participants the types of seed that are best for attracting birds, the three essentials needed to draw birds and how to provide for birds during the cold winter months.

The Attracting Birds to Your Backyard class will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at all metro Atlanta Pike Nurseries locations. Visit pikenursery.com to find your closest location.

Pike Nurseries will also offer 20 percent off all birding accessories from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

State officials advise motorists to watch for deer on roadways

State officials advise motorists to watch for deer on roadways

(WXIA) - Motorists are advised to exercise caution on the state's roadways during the fall season, with an increased number of deer sightings across the state.

"Deer are on the move during this time of year," said Commissioner Mark Williams, Department of Natural Resources. "While motorists in rural areas may expect to see deer, Georgia's suburban and urban areas can be prime spots as well."

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety says more than 300 people were hurt in vehicle collisions with deer during 2011. Nationally, federal officials said 1,000 people died in similar accidents between 2006 and 2010.

"Automobile claims caused by contact with a deer generally rise dramatically in the fall," said Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens. "I encourage all Georgia drivers to check their automobile policy to determine if they have adequate coverage. This optional protection is commonly found in the comprehensive coverage of an automobile policy."

Zoo Atlanta Adding Giraffe Feeding Experience

Zoo Atlanta Adding Giraffe Feeding Experience

Zoo Atlanta is adding a new experience that will soon delight visitors.  In a holiday email sent to its members, Zoo Atlanta, announced a new experience being planned for late Spring 2012, which is sure to brighten the days of thousands of zoo visitors in the coming years.  Zoo Atlanta is planning a new deck overlooking the savanna exhibit. This overlook will provide the opportunity to create a special giraffe feeding experience for Zoo visitors, who will be able to purchase lettuce to be fed to the giraffes.  An exhibit  opening date and more details will follow in the coming months.

WOODSTOCK: Wild turkey runs a-fowl

WOODSTOCK: Wild turkey runs a-fowl

WOODSTOCK, Ga. -- There's much to be proud of in the city of Woodstock, one of the fastest-growing suburbs in the country. 

And that doesn't even count Bob -- Bob the Turkey.

"It's been entertaining, I'll tell you that much," said resident Jasper James. "He's been here a while."

Bob has been hanging around a green space right along Main Street in Woodstock. He has been there for nearly a year, according to some residents who see him every day, as he stands on the sidewalk.

"He's out here in the middle of the street, wreaking havoc on Woodstock traffic," said resident Mitch Evans.

"He stands on the fence over there, like he's a person," said resident Pamela Lee.

Bob, by the way, has a Facebook page like he's a person. For the people in the Serenade development across the street, Bob has his own title: unofficial mascot.

Bears might soon raise families in Atlanta suburbs

Bears might soon raise families in Atlanta suburbs

ATLANTA -- Wildlife biologists say black bears like the one that rambled through backyards in Atlanta's northern suburbs in August could soon be permanent residents in north Fulton, Gwinnett and Cherokee counties, having cubs and raising families.

State officials say bears could be reproducing well inside the Atlanta metro area within the next decade, which would mean a new way of life for suburban residents not accustomed to living in bear country.