Miami's Ten Best Hidden Parks

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Photo via Ivan Peña's Flickr | MNT Flickr Pool
It's Earth Day, which at the very least means you should figure out some time to be outside and be one with nature today. Miami, of course, is the only major city sandwiched between two national parks (Everglades to the west, Biscayne to the east), but there's plenty of green space in between -- some of which might get overlooked. Here are our picks for ten of the best hidden parks in Miami-Dade.

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"Glamping" Bill Hopes to Spur Visits to Florida's Aquatic Preserves

Categories: Environmental

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Is there anything more glamorous than Florida's aquatic preserves? Yes, darling, lots of things, but a new proposed bill hopes to bring a bit of a ritzy touch to the areas by allowing and promoting the idea of "glamping" on islands and "uplands" in the preserves.

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Baby Baboon Born at Jungle Island

Categories: Environmental

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Courtesy of Jungle Island
Isis, a four year-old baboon at Jungle Island, is experiencing her first joys of motherhood after giving birth to a newborn baby yesterday. Which means obviously that she already wants to share the baby photos with you.

See also: Tiny Florida Panther Kitten Rescued from Abandonment Is Adorable

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Here's Video of a Camera Getting Eaten by an American Crocodile in Homestead

Categories: Environmental

via YouTube
Feel the pain.
Ever imagined that exact, excruciating moment when an American crocodile closes its iron jaws around your face and clamps out the last dying embers of your life with its array of razor-sharp teeth? No? Well, here's a GoPro video shot in Homestead to help fuel your newest croc nightmares.

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Someone Is Feeding All of Gould's Friendly Raccoons to Pythons

Categories: Environmental

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Jessica Swanson
The raccoons of Cauley Square will nibble on your shoe laces, crawl over your feet and brush up against your legs. They are wild but not rabid. They are cuddly but also conniving. Emboldened by decades of free reign, these intelligent creatures have turned treacherous. And they are legion. That's why the owner of the Goulds attraction has decided to trap the raccoons and release them in the Everglades.

Although people come to the historic railroad village to wander through its foliage and peruse its antique stores, the raccoons were among its biggest draws. Honey Chalmers, one of the Square's tenants, says the animals were there before she opened Today's Collectibles 38 years ago. She started attracting more of them with cat food, and about 40 were permanent fixtures of her business until about a month ago.

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Well, Here's Pictures of an Otter Eating an Alligator in Florida

Categories: Environmental

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So we all know what happens when a python tries to eat an alligator, but what about when one of those adorable little otters tries? Well, the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge has photographically answered that question on Facebook ...and apparently otters ain't nothing to mess with.

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Coconut Grove Developer Fined After Cutting Down 100-Year-Old Trees Around Charles Ave.

Categories: Environmental

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Averette, via Wikimedia Commons
Coconut Grove is known for its trees: Giant oaks, hammocks of hardwoods, and leaves the size of an NBA player's palm. Wild foliage is part of what makes that quaint neighborhood charming. Also notable are the shotgun-style houses that line Charles Avenue, such as the Stirrup House, which is the second-oldest residential structure in Miami's oldest neighborhood.

But local activists complain that the development group behind the "Grove Trilogy" of restaurants on Main Highway, is slowly paving its way into the cutest, greenest parts of the 'hood. Most recently, they were slapped with a city fine for demolishing 100-year-old trees, possibly to make way for a parking lot.

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Tiny Florida Panther Kitten Rescued from Abandonment Is Adorable

Categories: Environmental

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A Florida panther kitten has only been alive for one month but has already had quite an eventful life.

The kitten was found in late January in Collier County while biologists were conduction field research. The one-pound kitten was found curled into a ball and suffering from dehydration and low body temperature. He's now recovering at the Lowery Park Zoo in Florida, and his caretakers expect him to have a long life ahead of him.

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Florida's Sea Cucumbers Are Disappearing Because People Think They're a Natural Viagra

Categories: Environmental

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via Jacinita Richardson and Paul Fenwick, Wikimedia Commons
You would not want to come across one while snorkeling. They are bloated, malignant-looking, wretched things worth a buck apiece. They feel and taste like boogers. This horrifying, gelatinous creature is known as the sea cucumber and -- at first glance -- looks like something in a medical textbook designed to scare you into celibacy.

But in China, the sea cucumber has the opposite effect. In Asian culture, Trachythyone elongata is a majestic creature and an aphrodisiac that boosts sexual performance. This folk belief likely comes from the animal's phallic shape, as well as a defense mechanism in which it squirts water at would-be attackers.

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Federal Agency: Bermuda Triangle Is Officially Not Supernatural

Categories: Environmental

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Miami is bizarre enough of a place already that sometimes we forget it's one of three corners of the Bermuda Triangle, the purportedly supernatural stretch of the Atlantic Ocean where, according to myth, ships go missing under mysterious circumstances.

Well, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency has released a statement officially declaring that the myth is bull hockey.

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