Nature

New zoo platform lets visitors, giraffes see eye to eye

Knoxville Zoo giraffe Jumbe on Thursday flicked the black tip of his 18-inch tongue toward a chunk of carrot, then a collard leaf, then another carrot slice. The 17-foot-tall animal delicately took carrots and collards from the hands of humans who looked him in the eye as they vied for his culinary attention.

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Wildlife group seeks new protections for disappearing Tennessee salamander

Lurking in waterways with its long, slimy body and beady eyes, the hell bender is Tennessee’s largest salamander, not to mention a survivor of ancient times.

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Energy vulnerabilities from climate change, severe weather

The Department of Energy today released a report assessing vulnerabilities of the nation’s energy infrastructure as a result of global climate change and increased severe weather events, including greater risk of shutdown of power plants (coal, nuclear, etc.) and possible loss of hydroelectric generation due to droughts.

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Tennessee Walking Horse abuser’s legal saga wraps with guilty plea

Convicted animal abuser Jackie McConnell will be in his 80s before he owns another Tennessee Walking Horse, the result of a plea agreement that ends a year of legal trouble launched by stomach-turning undercover video.

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Geologists studying New Madrid Seismic Zone, which includes Tennessee

The U.S. Geological Survey is conducting low-level flights across sections of Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee this week looking for clues about the New Madrid earthquake fault zone.

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Rushing water makes Bald River Falls more breathtaking than usual

Many people in East Tennessee are a little tired of the rain. But you have to admit, it’s making some beautiful local scenery even more beautiful.

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Popular Smokies trail can be hiked weekends

A Smoky Mountains trail crew has replaced a pedestrian bridge on the Chimney Tops Trail. The popular hike from the Newfound Gap parking area is again available on weekends.

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Sandhill crane hunting proposal in TN sparks support, opposition

Tens of thousands of sandhill cranes descend on southeast Tennessee every winter. With wingspans of up to 6 feet, they are some of the largest migratory birds around.

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Courtroom dogs, stationed quietly in witness box, ease difficult testimony for victims

The young girl was being asked to talk about the severe abuse she suffered.

To get through it, she turned to one of her best friends and biggest supporters, Pavlov, a trained Labrador retriever who works at the Child Advocacy Center in Cheatham County. The dog provides comfort to victims and witnesses during the often-painful court process.

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TVA completes ash excavation

The Tennessee Valley Authority is marking two significant milestones in the Kingston Recovery Project with the completion of ash excavation around the storage cell that failed in December 2008 and the placement of a liner over the failed cell.

“These are major steps toward our goal of restoring the area to a condition that is as good as or better than it was before the spill,” said Bob Deacy, TVA senior vice president of Generation Construction.

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