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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.

10 tips for staying safe while having fun this summer

Summer is coming! 

Although the first official day of spring didn’t hit until March 20, by the first day of April this year, some parts of the U.S. had already hit temperatures in the 80s and 90s.

>> Read more trending news 

Here are 10 tips on safety during warm temperatures:

1. Go outside in moderation

Most things are best in moderation. While it’s tempting to be outside as much as you can while the sun is out, especially after a long winter, it’s well researched that extended sun exposure is not good for you.

Reduce exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest.

Related: 10 fun ways to spend a rainy day

2. Wear a hat 

If you are outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover your face and neck. Look for hats that include UV ratings on the labels.

Wear loose-fitting clothing to keep cool and to protect your skin from the sun and mosquitoes.

3. Wear sunglasses

It’s not just because you’re cool -- sunglasses help protect your eyes. Wear sunglasses that provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection.

Chronic exposure to the sun can cause cataracts, which left untreated, can lead to blindness.

4. Wear sunscreen

When you’re out on the beach, liberally apply sunscreen (at least SPF 15) 15 minutes before stepping on the sand and re-apply at least every two hours -- sunscreen prevents skin cancer and prevents premature aging.

Related: Remember the ABCs of sun protection before you head outside this summer

5. Take heat breaks

Hiking, biking, yard sports -- they’re all fun summer things to do. But if the temperatures are climbing into the 90s or 100s, that can quickly lead to dehydration.

Keep physical activities to a minimum during excessively high temperatures. Whether working or playing outside, drink plenty of water even if you are not thirsty, and take rest breaks in the shade.

6. Take little ones out of the car

If the temperatures are climbing, no one you care about should be left in a parked car, especially infants, children or frail elderly people. And don’t leave them unattended. It can take as little as 10 minutes for the temperature inside a car to rise to levels that can kill.

7. Ward off overheating

To prevent overheating and/or sunstroke, use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths. If you or someone nearby experiences a rapid, strong pulse, feels delirious, becomes unconscious or has a body temperature above 102, call 911 immediately.

8. Keep an eye on young swimmers

Young children love to cool off in the water, but they can get over their heads quickly. Prevent children from drowning by combining adult supervision at all times and have a safety barrier that surrounds a pool or spa.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury deaths for children under 5.

9. Defend your home from insects

Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Some mosquitoes carry West Nile virus which often mimics influenza, with fevers, body aches and eye pain. West Nile virus can cause serious health complications, and in rare cases, death.

Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flower pots, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls. Mosquitoes breed and lay eggs in standing water.

Related: A dash of peppermint oil can keep your home pest-free, naturally

10. Defend yourself from insects

Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to label instructions. You can also make your own with essential oils, natural witch hazel, distilled water and vegetable glycerin.

Mosquitoes usually bite in the early morning and evening, so it is important to wear repellent at those times.

67-year-old woman fights company on tree removal despite previous restraining order

A Dallas woman prefers the high life – up in a tree.

>> Read more trending news

Jeri Huber, 67, climbed a tree outside of her home to stop Oncor, an electrical company, from removing it, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Huber was briefly successful in stopping removal of the tree after she refused to descend, but the electrical crew said they would return with a restraining order.

This isn’t the first time Huber has met adversity while attempting to save trees. Six years ago, she climbed another tree with a BB gun to stop Oncor, an effort which was ultimately unsuccessful and earned Huber a temporary restraining order.

In a statement from Oncor, officials explained the necessity of tree trimming “to keep local residents safe” and to “ensure reliable service to … the city.”

The Texas electrical company was true to their word this time around, and Huber was served with a second temporary restraining order. 

In an interview with CBS after she was forced out of the tree, Huber expressed her concerns.

“When did we lose our rights as property owners?” she asked.

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