Strange animal behaviour: Hippo cannibalism caught on camera in South Africa

Scientists have captured one of the first cases of cannibalism in hippopotamuses on camera.
In times of famine, some animals go to desperate measures to stay alive, including eating members of their own species.

Now scientists have captured one of the first cases of cannibalism in hippopotamuses on camera.

The grisly photographs show a hippo eating a corpse of another floating in a river in South Africa's Kruger National Park.

Wild boar smashes up restaurant in South Korea

Dozens of diners ran for their lives as a raging wild boar smashed its way into a motorway service station cafe - and the carnage was caught on CCTV

This is the moment terrified diners ran for their lives when a wild pig smashed its way into a service station restaurant in South Korea.

Dozens of customers fled in terror as a rampaging wild boar broke into the Highway Rest Stop cafe, smashing windows and slamming into walls.

The angry animal attacked the glass door of the cafe at full speed before wreaking havoc inside as punters scrambled to avoid a pummelling - with some even standing on tables to get out of the way.

Comment: See also:


Rare Arctic gyrfalcon found in Wells Harbor, Maine

© Bob Duchesne
Gyrfalcon (dark morph)
We interrupt this column for a special announcement: "A gyrfalcon has appeared in Wells Harbor!"

The gyrfalcon is the largest falcon in the world, capable of taking down a Canada goose. It preys principally on ptarmigan, a chicken-like bird of the tundra, but it is so powerful that it is known to dine on other formidable raptors of the north, such as short-eared owls and rough-legged hawks. It breeds in barren arctic regions around the world, but occasionally wanders southward in winter. It seldom stays long in one place.

My small group was on the prowl for snowy owls when we visited southern Maine last weekend. Several unusual birds also were known to be in the area, including a king eider in Ogunquit. The forecast was ideal, so down Interstate 95 we went. As we pulled into the public parking lot next to the harbor in Wells, a large hawk rested on the nearest tree - in fact, the only tree on the lot.

Comment: See also: Rare Arctic gyrfalcon seen in Madbury, New Hampshire


Hundreds of dead seabirds found in north Iceland

© Wikipedia.
Hundreds of dead guillemots were recently found by farmer Gunnar Óli Hákonarsson at Sandur in Aðaldalur, North Iceland. The birds, which were found on a beach east of the mouth of Skjálfandafljót river, are believed to have died from starvation due to bad weather in December. Foxes and ravens have been scavenging on the bird carcasses.

Böðvar Þórisson at the Natural Institute of the West Fjords told this week that a large number of seabirds were found dead in Ísafjörður earlier this month. An increase in seagulls, which are more aggressive in their feeding habits, may be to blame, he said.

According to Róbert Á. Stefánsson at the Natural Institute of West Iceland, even seagulls have been hungry this winter.

Comment: See also: "Massive chick deaths" in Iceland's seabird colonies

Unexplainable seabird deaths puzzle scientists in Iceland


Coyote attacks mother and baby before killing 2 dogs in Ladera Ranch, California

A mother, with her baby, had to fend off an aggressive coyote in attack mode on Monday, in the Southern California community of Ladera Ranch. The coyote finally moved on when it apparently realized it wasn't going to get the baby, but continued on in a bold rampage through the suburban neighborhood to kill two dogs.

The woman and her adorable little 10-month-old daughter were enjoying some outside playtime on the grass late Monday morning, just a short distance from their home, when the threatening coyote decided to join them.

"I was playing with (my daughter) out on the grass, and out of the bushes came a coyote," the mother explained to KTLA 5 News, from the safe confines of her home.

Dead pilot whale washed ashore at Fairy Meadow, Australia

© Colin Douch
A five metre long whale carcass has been found washed ashore between Fairy Meadow and Towradgi beaches this morning.

The female adult pilot whale died at sea from natural causes according to the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA).

''The whale was showing clear signs of illness, it was underweight and excessive lice was found in its mouth,'' said ORRCA spokeswoman Shona Lorigan.

Rare tropical falcon turns up near Charleston, South Carolina

© Keith McCullough
This tropical falcon, a crested caracara, was spotted recently at the Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw.
The bird in the pine tree just didn't look like a red-tailed hawk. It didn't look like any native raptor. But it sure made itself at home.

When the vultures swooped in for feeding recently at the Center for Birds of Prey, the crested caracara dropped down, too.

Staff and visitors were wowed. The once-a-week "vulture restaurant" feeding exhibit can draw any number of raptors - hawks, eagles and the like. But the crested caracara is normally found in places like Mexico. It isn't seen in the United States much north of the Everglades.

Comment: This winter has seen many migrating birds completely losing their way across the Northern Hemisphere, here's a run down of such reports:


Baby loses part of face after attack by family ferrets in Darby, Pennsylvania

© Wikimedia Commons.
A one-month-old Pennsylvania baby is hospitalized after she was attacked by three family pet ferrets and sustained severe facial injuries.

According to WPVI, sources have said that the incident took place on Thursday in the child's Darby Borough home.

The mother of the infant allegedly placed the child in her car seat downstairs and then went to the upstairs of the home. During that time, the three pet ferrets got out of their cage, attacked the baby girl and chewed her face.

The parents' heard the child's cries and found the ferrets attacking her.
The baby was transported to a Children's hospital. She lost 25 percent of her face in the attack.


Dead gray whale discovered at Seattle ferry terminal

© Ted S Warren
A dead whale floats under a dock at the Colman Dock Washington State Ferry Terminal in Seattle, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015
A 30-foot gray whale has turned up dead under the Washington state ferry terminal in downtown Seattle, where its stench is wafting into the noses of thousands of daily commuters.

A Washington State Ferries spokeswoman, Susan Harris-Huether, says the whale was found just before 11 p.m. Wednesday. She says people are reporting that the smell is "not good."

Harris says it's under a dock, but ferry service Thursday wasn't affected.

A spokesman with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday that officials believe the whale may have been there for about a week. Michael Milstein says it's not known yet why the animal died, how it got there or other details.

He says NOAA will work with ferry officials and others to move the animal so a necropsy can be conducted.

Source: Associated Press
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Horse rescued from sinkhole in Arroyo Grande, California

Rescued: This horse was eventually able to get out of a sinkhole on Tuesday
Fire officials worked together to help a horse get out of a sinkhole it fell into near Arroyo Grande, California on Tuesday.

Cal Fire San Luis Obispo's Twitter account posted multiple updates on the horse's rescue Tuesday.

The fire department first tweeted at 11:34am on a report of a 'horse stuck in hole' on Sunray Place.

The department quickly updated at 11:53am, writing 'Horse is trapped in a sink hole. The incident is off of Noyes Rd. USAR [Urban Search and Rescue] team is responding. Veterinarian has been contacted.'