Earth Changes


Zebras escape pen to run loose in Brussels, Belgium

© Twitter/@ludovicbytebier
The zebras also passed Neder-over-Heembeek on their way to Brussels..
Brussels residents got the shock of their lives when they looked out of their windows earlier today after three zebras escaped from their pen in Koningslo near Vilvoorde. The zebras caused considerable disruption on the roads, as you can imagine, but fortunately the animals were swiftly recaptured, first one, and then the other two.

The zebras escaped from Koningslo, south-west of Vilvoorde and immediately made for Schaarbeek before arriving at the City of Brussels.

In an impressive effort, police, fire services and animal welfare officers were mobilised to ensure the animals could be caught, but this turned out to be more difficult than initially thought. Police actually had to chase the animals in a police van for several kilometres, as these proved quite fast.

Red Flag

Take this cage and shove it: Wolverine at Newark Airport is an unwilling rider

© Ole Martin Buene/Kristiansand Zoo
Kasper the wolverine: You can keep your steenkin' cage
If there were a manual for transporting wolverines, Rule No. 1 would probably go something like this: Make sure the wolverine cannot get out of the cage.

At Newark Liberty International Airport on Tuesday, it became clear that this precaution had not been taken.

A 40-pound male wolverine named Kasper was being shipped from a zoo in Norway to a conservation park in Alaska. At around 3:30 p.m., he arrived in Newark to change planes and go through United States Customs.

It was there that the animal's handler, Sarah Howard, noticed there was a hole in Kasper's cage.

"His head was sticking out,"
said Ms. Howard, a curator for the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, the wolverine's intended new home. She had flown to Newark to meet him.

The cage was made of metal, said Joseph Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airport. "It's believed he chewed a hole in it."


Rare oarfish: New Zealand sea serpent maybe a harbinger for natural disaster, says scientist


Rare oarfish
Sightings of a rare oarfish in New Zealand may be exciting for scientists hoping to get hold of a new DNA sample to work with, but some researchers believe it is possible that oarfish sightings can be a way of predicting natural disasters like earthquakes.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, in New Zealand a rare oarfish was found and photographed without anyone realizing how amazing their find really was until after the fact. To make matters worse, the oarfish disappeared from the beach and now it is hoped by experts that no one tried eating the 10-foot long sea serpent.

As it so happens, experts are uncertain about the cause of death for the oarfish in New Zealand. The creature seemed to be in perfect shape, with nothing obvious in its physical condition indicating how or why it died.

Comment: See this earlier report concerning the above incident: Rare deep sea oarfish washes up on marsh in Aramoana, New Zealand

Bizarro Earth

Rare quadruple rainbow photographed over Long Island, New York

© (@amanda_curtis via Twitter, CEO
While waiting for her train this morning at the Glen Cove train station in Long Island, NY, Amanda Curtis grabbed her phone and snapped a photo of an incredibly rare atmospheric phenomenon: A quadruple rainbow.

When she posted the photo on Twitter - where it went viral, some folks were incredulous. They said the photo was photoshopped or that Curtis had shot it through glass, causing a reflection.

But, in the interview posted below, Curtis told The Weather Channel the image was authentic and taken in the open air:
At first we thought this quadruple rainbow picture was fake, but then we were blown away. For more amazing weather stories, check out the AMHQ with Sam Champion page on Facebook.

Posted by The Weather Channel on Tuesday, April 21, 2015
The photo was convincing to Paul Neiman, who works as a research meteorologist at NOAA's Earth System Research Observatory.


Whale shark strands on beach in Ecuador

© Tanya Layman
Rescuers try to pull the whale shark into the water
More than 100 volunteers have failed to save the life of a nine-metre whale shark which washed up on a beach in Ecuador.

The female whale shark became stranded on the beach of the small town of Santa Marianita after being caught in the shallow waters as the tide went out.

The shark was spotted by local fishermen on Monday morning and within a few hours dozens of volunteers including police, fishermen and tourists arrived to help pull it back into the sea using ropes.

Tanya Layman, who studied marine biology at Townsville's James Cook University, lives 15 minutes from where the whale shark was beached and found out about it through a friend's Facebook post.


Portents and signs: 5-legged lamb born in Wales

In defiance of all natural odds, a healthy, bouncing, lamb has been born at a farm in Wales - with five legs.

The chipper little lamb, named by the farmer as Jake in reference to the song 'Jake the Peg', can be seen walking happily around his pen in a video uploaded to YouTube after his birth on April 17.

The farmer, Bethan Davies, who runs Rhiwlas Farm in Wales, told the BBC the lamb was thriving and had total control of his extra leg.

"He seems really happy, he's feeding well and bouncing around like a normal lamb. He is doing really well."

"We have never had anything like this before, apparently it's really rare," she added.

Comment: See also: Bizarre 'octogoat' with eight legs born in Croatia

Six-legged calf born in Shandong, China

Bizarre deformed calf with TWO HEADS born in Moroccan mountains

Two-headed calf born in Oregon

Deformed calf 'pretty unusual'


Five-legged lamb born at Whitehouse Farm, Morpeth, UK


Quinto is proving a hit with visitors
A lamb has been born with five legs at a farm in Northumberland.

Named Quinto by staff at Whitehouse Farm Centre in Morpeth, it was among three born on Sunday.

The additional front limb is fully formed and does not appear to be causing the animal any problems, according to manager Heather Hogarty.

Ms Hogarty said a vet was due to assess Quinto in the next day or so and a decision made whether or not to amputate her extra leg.

Quinto has quickly become one of the star attractions at the farm, which also features llamas, wallabies and meerkats.

Ms Hogarty, who has run the farm's visitor centre for 16 years, said: "We've never come across anything like this before and neither has anyone we've spoken to.

"She's doing absolutely fine at the moment and does not appear to have suffered any adverse effects from being born with an extra leg.


Dead grey whale washes up near Ucluelet, Canada

© CHEK News
A grey whale carcass was discovered on April 20 on Wickaninnish beach near Ucluelet, B.C.
A grey whale carcass was discovered on Monday morning on Wickaninnish beach near Ucluelet, B.C.

Some of its injuries indicate it may have collided with a boat.

Grey whales are common this time of the year as they migrate from California to the cooler waters of Alaska.

Parks Canada is studying the carcass, but there are no plans to remove it.


Wildfire burns nearly 2,000 acres in Florida's Miami-Dade County

Wildfire scorches Miami-Dade County
Parts of Miami-Dade County's skyline was hidden from view Monday as smoke from a growing 1,850-acre wildfire loomed over portions of the Florida county.

What started as a nonthreatening and seemingly shrinking grass fire on Sunday, consuming fewer than 100 acres according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Al Cruz, grew to be more than 10 times that within the next 24 hours.

By Monday night, the fire had burned nearly 2,000 acres and was 50% contained, the fire department said.

High temperatures and gusty winds helped the fire spread, State Forester Jim Karels said.

Several fire units and a helicopter with the capacity to drop 400 gallons of water at a time were battling the blaze, Cruz said.


Film footage shows fireball exploding from underneath street in Shirley, UK

Eruption: Flames explode 15ft from the manhole cover on the busy high street
A tradesman walking to his local takeaway was suddenly confronted with a massive fireball which repeatedly erupted 15ft out of the pavement.

Lucky Shiraz Nawaz, 36, was strolling along the pavement when he heard buzzing from the ground just a few feet behind him.

He turned around just in time to see a massive plume of thick black smoke followed by huge orange flames shooting up from an open manhole.

The father-of-two managed to grab his phone just in time to film the astonishing incident on Stratford Road in Shirley, Solihull.

His footage shows plumes of dark smoke billowing up out of the charred ground, followed by repeated blasts of flames, reaching the top of the nearby shop fronts.

Miraculously nobody was hurt in the incident after Shiraz evacuated the nearby takeaway, told them to turn off their gas supply, and called the fire service.