Phyllis set a record by swimming farther west than any other tracked elephant seal.
Phyllis set a record by swimming farther west than any other tracked elephant seal. (Rachel Holser / University of California at Santa Cruz)

Man accused of overcrowding, keeping deer as pet

SPRINGS, N.Y. — A New York man is accused of numerous housing and code violations and illegally keeping a deer as a pet in his Long Island yard.

East Hampton Town police were called Wednesday after receiving a call of possible overcrowding at the Springs home.

Police say Angel Otavalo had illegally converted the basement into seven bedrooms. They charged him with failing to have a certificate of occupancy for various rooms, failing to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and construction without a permit.

They also charged him with unlawful possession of wildlife.

Police say there were eight vehicles parked in the driveway when they arrived.

Newsday says Otavalo, who speaks only Spanish, declined to comment on the charges. He said through an interpreter that he has hired a lawyer.

Elephant seal sets record by swimming farthest west

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Researchers with the University of California at Santa Cruz say an elephant seal has set a record by swimming farther west than any other tracked elephant seal.

UC Santa Cruz officials said Wednesday that by the time Phyllis arrives back in California in January, she will have completed a 7,400-mile foraging adventure. The 853-pound mother of two covered about 3,700 miles of ocean before turning around and heading home.

The average distance northern elephant seals usually swim during their eight-month migration is 2,000 miles.


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Año Nuevo Reserve director Patrick Robinson says UC Santa Cruz researchers have been tracking the marine mammals for 22 years at the reserve in Pescadero, Calif.

He says they have compiled one of the planet's largest marine mammal diving and tracking records.

The adventurous animal was named after Phyllis Sooy, a late newspaper reporter and philanthropist.

Associated Press