PORTLAND (AP) – The number of endangered piping plovers is at an all-time low in Maine and beach-goers are being urged to stay away from the few remaining nest sites on beaches.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says the number of nesting pairs has dropped to 19, down from 66 pairs in a survey in 2002.

The small size of the shorebirds and their sandy brown and white colorings make them difficult to see, so their nests and eggs can be destroyed inadvertently by beach-goers.

Pit bulls maul man, 90, in his N.Y. yard

NEW YORK (AP) – Two pit bulls named Popeye and Brutus attacked a 90-year-old man in his yard on Tuesday, leaving him critically wounded and their owner facing possible criminal charges, police said.

The attack on Henry Piotrowski occurred at about 11 a.m. outside his home on Staten Island. Witnesses said the dogs mauled him before a neighbor, Reginald Bell, grabbed a knife, scared them off and called police. “They ate him,” Bell told reporters later. “They consumed this man.”

Police officers found the dogs at their owner’s nearby home, tranquilized them and carried them away. The dogs later were euthanized and tested for rabies; results were pending.

Piotrowski was hospitalized with severe leg and arm wounds.

The dogs’ 28-year-old owner was in custody Tuesday and was expected to be charged. His name wasn’t immediately released.

Bystanders were shocked by the gruesome scene, saying a chewed-up Piotrowski was on the ground pleading for help before he was taken away.

“It’s terrible,” Stephanie Morton said. “It’s horrific.”

Other witnesses said the dogs had been known as a menace in the neighborhood.

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