Whether it's an octopus beating or a dispute over crows flocking to a home in Portage Bay, animals have made dozens of headlines over the past decade. Here are the most interesting stories The Seattle Times has covered.

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June 2016 – Trophy hunter charged with illegal kill of Bullwinkle, popular Ellensburg elk

It’s like Seattle’s own Cecil the Lion. A trophy hunter was charged after he killed Bullwinkle the elk, a former celebrity in Ellensburg.

 

September 2015 – Rare fish landed off Westport could be new state record

Even at its warmest, Seattle’s nowhere close to tropical. Though, it didn’t matter for this exotic fish that found its way to the Puget Sound area.

 

September 2015 – Stolen, dyed terrier reunited with owner

Some women pay $70 for partial foil highlights, but this dog got a full process color free of charge after he went missing in Lower Queen Anne. Thanks to some good detective work, the owners got their dog back and to the bottom of the mystery in no time.

 

July 2015 – Beatrix the beaver trapped — and waiting for love in new home

She’s 3 years old, 36 pounds and single. Activists look for a lover for Beatrix, a beaver trapped and relocated after a nearby school protested for her life. She does use tinder, just not like the rest of us.

 

March 2015 – This pig is ‘top dog’ in class

Amy, 6 months old, is a stand-out student in her dog obedience class for more reasons than one. Starting with the fact that, well, she isn’t even a dog.

Lori Stock navigates the uncharted, and sometimes stressful, world of pig obedience training, as her six-month-old mini pig Amy makes her debut at the Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show. (Lauren Frohne / The Seattle Times)

January 2015 – Arlington petting zoo owners looking for missing wallaby

It’s common to see posters for missing, lovable and fluffy creatures that respond to names like, “Buddy” and “Charlie,” but what about for a 6-year-old wallaby named Bella? Arlington petting zoo owners asked for the public’s help after its marsupial made a run for it.

 

January 2015 – Rockfish get glass eyes, with assist from Seattle Aquarium

Two fish were the lucky recipients of new, glass eyes after veterinarians from the Vancouver and Seattle aquariums noticed they could use a bit of help. Now they don’t even need an app to get the whole fish-eye lens effect.

Seattle Aquarium veterinarian Lesanna Lahner implants a prosthetic eye into a canary rockfish. (Courtesy of Seattle Aquarium)
Seattle Aquarium veterinarian Lesanna Lahner implants a prosthetic eye into a canary rockfish. (Courtesy of Seattle Aquarium)

January 2015 – Dog sometimes hops on bus alone, gets off at Seattle dog park

Plot of a Disney movie, or real life? This black Lab wastes no time by taking the bus to the dog park completely by herself.

 

September 2014 – Seahawks’ crabbiest fan, Marshawn Pinch, retiring

Marshawn Pinch, a hermit crab at the Seattle Aquarium sporting a bright blue, Seattle Seahawks mini helmet for a shell, announces his retirement.

 

July 2014 – Seattle couple hosts attic full of bats

More than 200 bats come flying in and out of this Columbia City attic. Cue eerie organ music.

One of about 276 bats emerges from Brenda Matter’s and Bruce Crowley’s attic at dusk through a small crack between their roof and siding to feed in Columbia City in July 2014. (Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times)
One of about 276 bats emerges from Brenda Matter’s and Bruce Crowley’s attic at dusk through a small crack between their roof and siding to feed in Columbia City in July 2014. (Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times)

August 2013 – Eight-foot sturgeon found belly up in Lake Washington

An eight-foot, prehistoric fish was found floating belly up in a place he (she) wasn’t supposed to be. How it got there? No one knows.

 

January 2013 – Seven people sickened by hedgehogs, one person died in Washington state

Chicks, frogs, turtles, snakes and now hedgehogs? These cute little guys sickened seven and even left one person dead after they were infected by a rare form of salmonella bacteria.

 

November 2012 – Octopus capture off Alki prompts call for preserve

It’s legal to hunt octopus, you just have to be careful where you do it. A 19-year-old got into hot water with local activists after he dove into the depths of the Pacific and was spotted punching and dragging a live octopus to shore. After the incident, advocates called for the spot the diver took the giant Pacific octopus from to be protected from guys like him.

This photo of a diver with an octopus he hunted at Cove 2 in Alki sparked outrage and a movement to designate the diving area as a state Marine Protected Area. (Courtesy of Mark Saiget)
This photo of a diver with an octopus he hunted at Cove 2 in Alki sparked outrage and a movement to designate the diving area as a state Marine Protected Area. (Courtesy of Mark Saiget)

August 2012 – Snakes alive! Python loose in Seattle park

Seattle Animal Control searched to find a six- to seven-foot albino Burmese python named “Timid” that escaped its owners home somewhere in Cowen Park. Samuel L. Jackson’s wherabouts in this situation are unknown.

August 2012 – Neighbors at war over feeding of crows in Portage Bay

A heartwarming story that went viral about an 8-year-old girl, a bunch of crows and their gifts to her in Portage Bay missed a pretty big detail — a two-year fight with neighbors who say they feel like they’re living in Alfred Hitchcock’s, “The Birds.”

December 2011 – Dinner gets very local for squirrel-eating Seattleite

This Green Lake woman takes “fresh” and “local” to a whole other level. What’s for dinner? A nice risotto with mushrooms, onions and a squirrel she trapped in her front yard.

Melany Vorass in her kitchen cooking the squirrel in a risotto with broth, onions, white wine and mushrooms. She traps and eats squirrels as part of her sustainable-living philosophy. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)
Melany Vorass in her kitchen cooking the squirrel in a risotto with broth, onions, white wine and mushrooms. She traps and eats squirrels as part of her sustainable-living philosophy. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

June 2011 – Odd visitors in local waters a deep mystery

No one really knows why a long-beaked dolphin, green sea turtle, Northern fur seal and many more strange animals have been lurking in local waters. Even a marine biologist says she smells something fishy.

 

March 2010 – Birds in conflict: Bald eagles attack colonies of herons across Western Washington

When it comes to a battle between the bald eagle and the great blue heron, there can only be one winner. – Birds in conflict: Bald eagles attack colonies of herons across Western Washington.

 

March 2010 – Eight arms not enough: Octopus had help snagging shark

Turns out, an octopus that attacked and killed a dogfish had a little bit of help from the aquarium. Talk about spineless.

 

September 2009 – Cougar on the loose? Park closed

A cougar on the prowl shut down Discovery Park in Magnolia for the third time in its history. It’s likely that he was looking for food or shelter, rather than young boy-toys.

 

July 2009 – State troopers investigated in seagull clubbing

Two state troopers became the targets of an investigation after sending a couple of seagulls to swim with the fishes. They used clubs, but no reports of any cement shoes.

 

May 2009 – “Urban Phantom” finally nabbed?

You’ve heard the one about Goldilocks, Yogi and Boo Boo, but what about the Urban Phantom? The unsuspecting giant was just trying to take a nap in North Everett when he was shot in the butt with a tranquilizer dart. He tried to escape, but you can’t exactly go that far with a numb lower half.

 

February 2009 – Monkey escapes; Woodland Park Zoo evacuated

Zookeepers at the Woodland Park Zoo went bananas after one of its monkeys escaped an exhibit for close to an hour.

 

May 2008 – Local scientists track peregrine falcons’ epic migration

Local researchers install a video camera on top of Washington Mutual Tower to spy on the peregrine falcons that call it home. It’s almost like Keeping Up with the Kardashians except for bird lovers. Almost.

 

September 2007 – UW’s albino ratfish is 1 in 7 million

It’s not likely you’ll ever come across this fish – there’s a greater chance of getting attacked by a shark, or even stuck by lightning.

 

July 2005 – North End parks hopping with too many bunnies

In Woodland and Green Lake parks, there have been damaged trees and ruined wildlife habitats. The culprit? Nope, not vandals, but hundreds of bunnies.

Three-year-old Olivia King watches a rabbit in the “rockery” area of Woodland Park on Monday afternoon with her father Jimmel. “We love the bunnies,” says Olivia, who has been coming to her neighborhood park to see the rabbits since she was a baby. A rabbit relocation program at Woodland and Greenlake parks shut down just a few days after it started, due to lack of funds and other factors. (Scott Cohen / The Seattle Times)
Three-year-old Olivia King watches a rabbit in the “rockery” area of Woodland Park on Monday afternoon with her father Jimmel. “We love the bunnies,” says Olivia, who has been coming to her neighborhood park to see the rabbits since she was a baby. A rabbit relocation program at Woodland and Greenlake parks shut down just a few days after it started, due to lack of funds and other factors. (Scott Cohen / The Seattle Times)

 

February 2005 – Reports of reptile on loose unnerve Medina residents

Medina residents keep their small terriers close by after an unusual reptile sighting.

 

Seattle Times enterprise producer Evan Bush contributed to this story.