While I Was Away...

There hasn't been an update to the Wilder World Outdoors blog in nearly three weeks, and with good reason—I was away on vacation. Sorry about that. As you may have noticed, though, the earth is still spinning and strange outdoors-related stories didn't go on vacation with me. Below are four "wild" stories that broke while I was away from my post.

Monkey Attacks Police Officer
According to a report from ABC News, a young police officer in Texas had pulled a driver over for a routine speeding violation when he was introduced to a rather surprising passenger.

Officer Keith Moore reached into the truck to hand the ticket to the car's operator, when a monkey sprang from the backseat and bit him on the hand. Yes, a monkey. The unexpected attack had the officer reeling, and it was captured on a video camera attached to his uniform.

Turns out the driver-in-question was an entertainer, and the monkey's part of his act. In a fortunate turn of events, the "attacker" is also toothless—so Moore didn't sustain any injuries, and was largely just stunned that a monkey, of all things, had attacked him during the traffic stop.

Snippy little primate, for sure. But, hey, at least it didn't have wings.

Combination Deck and Den
A family in Reno, Nev., got quite a scare when it found a young mountain lion setting up camp under the deck of their home, according to a report from the Reno-Gazette Journal.

The young male cat was discovered setting up camp under the home's deck this past weekend, prompting the Nevada Department of Wildlife to intervene. The mountain lion tried to evade authorities, but was eventually captured two blocks down the road and later released into the wild. Having a cat decide to make its home in, well, your home, is a scary thought, especially if you've got pets or small children.

The report notes that it's not the first time a mountain lion has tried to get close to Reno's human population—last year a 100-pound cat nearly walked through the doors of Harrah's Casino before being captured. I'm going to assume it just was looking for more than just a little Blackjack.

Ain't No Median High Enough
Why did the black bear cross the road? Food, most likely. We can say without hesitation, however, that no median was going to stop a black bear in Utah from reaching its destination, according to a report from KSL.

A young black bear was spotted scaling first a chain-link fence and then a center median in its quest to cross a freeway earlier this week, determined to reach the corpse of a deer that sat on the other side. After clearing the fence, the barrier and a standard guardrail, the bear swam across a nearby river, climbed a hill and finally reached its prize.

I hope it knows that gorging right after a workout is no way to lose weight.

Coyote Officially Spotted in Long Island
For the first time, the New York State Department has officially confirmed that a coyote has been spotted on Long Island, according to a report from the South Hampton Patch.

Photographed by a local farmer, the coyote is the first of its species to "officially" be recognized by the state as a resident of Long Island. Previously the predators hadn't been sighted that far east of New York City, where populations have been located in the past.

It's unclear how the coyote found its way to Long Island, or of its alone. Hopefully its howl doesn't pick up the local accent.

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