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Thu, 08 Dec 2016
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Bear kills farmer in Uttar Pradesh, India

A farmer was killed in a bear attack in Gajraula area of the district here today.

In-charge of the tiger Reserve Kailash Prakash said there that farmer Meghnath(45) of Nath village was working in his agriculture field when suddenly a bear from the nearby Mala jungle attacked him.

The farmer was criticially injured in the attack even after farmers from the nearby fields rushed to save him.

However, the farmer succumbed to his injured at the district hospital. After the incident, tension prevailed in the area while forest officials are in search of the bear.


Fifth bear attack in 2 months on the Alexander Archipelago, Alaska

A grizzly bear mauling of a deer hunter in Southeast Alaska has brought to five the number of attacks reported in the northwest corner of the Alexander Archipelago since Aug. 7.

All of the attacks appear to have involved surprise encounters with bears at close range. None of the attacks are related. There are no indications the bears are targeting people.

But what can only be called a "bear-attack cluster" has heightened questions surrounding the possibility weak salmon runs in the ABC Islands - Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof - have put the bears on edge.

The area is home to a large population of brown/grizzly bears, but five attacks in a time spawn of under two months is unprecedented.

The latest attack came near the village of Hoonah on Chichagof only about 40 miles north of the first attack. Most of the attacks appear to have involved sow grizzlies - commonly called brown bears in Alaska - protecting cubs.

Comment: See also: Wilderness guide shoots brown bear to save couple from attack in Alaska

Brown bear mauls 2 guides near Sitka, Alaska

Man mauled by brown bear on Admiralty Island, Alaska

Arrow Down

Massive sinkhole, water main break and gas leak leads to evacuations in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; 3 homes condemned

© Lehigh Valley Live
Thousands of people were left in the dark and several blocks were evacuated early Thursday morning after the 911 caller indicated a water main break and smelled gas near the 700 block of New Street. Since then, power has been restored in most places and several people have been allowed back into their homes in the area, except for those who live near or along the 700 block of New Street.

The fire chief said because of the nature of the sinkhole some buildings on the 700 block of New Street are "off-limits" for safety reasons. While three homes were condemned, a city fire official said on Thursday night they're monitoring other homes, too. "Nobody will be going in those homes on either the east or the west side of that street because they're still making sure that the ground underneath is going to be stabilized," said Bethlehem Fire Chief Robert Novatnack.
© Lehigh Valley Live
Clifford Anderson, who rents an apartment in one of the impacted homes, retrieved some belongings after firefighters escorted him inside. "I just got to get a suitcase and get out of here for a few days," said Anderson.

Several crews, including city departments and UGI, were on the scene all day investigating what happened first: the gas leak, water main break, or the sinkhole. At this point, there's no clear answer. Novatnack described the sinkhole almost as if it were a cavern. "Well, it's in the middle of the street and undermined pretty far," said Novatnack. "They'll be jackhammering and taking out part ofthe macadam and concrete until they find the end of it. They're not there yet," said Novatnack on Thursday afternoon.

The big problems created a rude awakening for residents along New Street. "The fireman came pounding on my door about quarter to 8 in the morning saying they were evacuating," said Linda Groff, who quickly left her home with her small dog.


7 dead whales found on the shores of Hualien County, Tawain in under a month

© Michael Fishbach
Dwarf sperm whale
A seventh whale has washed up on the shores of Hualien County in under a month, prompting marine experts to conduct tests on the mammal's remains to see if an infectious disease is spreading in the species.

A dwarf sperm whale was found early on Saturday morning on the shore of Yen Liao beach in Shoufeng Township

A majority of the dead whales have been sperm whales, leading experts to speculate that bacteria found in the latest corpse is indicative of an infectious disease.

Samples taken from the latest whale have been sent to a veterinary lab for tests.

Experts say the multitude of recent typhoons might have caused the animals to lose their direction and get pushed onto shore by massive waves.

However, they said it is rare for so many whales to beach in such a short period of time, and hope tests can help them find the exact cause of the incidents.


Researchers find first evidence of deep-sea animals ingesting microplastics

© Michelle Taylor
Microplastic fibre inside sea pen polyp.
Scientists working in the mid-Atlantic and south-west Indian Ocean have found evidence of microfibers ingested by deep sea animals including hermit crabs, squat lobsters and sea cucumbers, revealing for the first time the environmental fallout of microplastic pollution.

The UK government recently announced that it is to ban plastic microbeads, commonly found in cosmetics and cleaning materials, by the end of 2017. This followed reports by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee about the environmental damage caused microbeads. The Committee found that a single shower can result in 100,000 plastic particles entering the ocean.

Researchers from the universities of Bristol and Oxford, working on the Royal Research Ship (RRS) James Cook at two sites, have now found evidence of microbeads inside creatures at depths of between 300m and 1800m. This is the first time microplastics — which can enter the sea via the washing of clothes made from synthetic fabrics or from fishing line nets — have been shown to have been ingested by animals at such depth.

The results are published in the journal Scientific Reports.


Bear attacks man twice in Madison County, Montana

A 50-year-old Bozeman man escaped a mauling by the same sow bear — possibly a grizzly — twice on Saturday morning on the North Fork of Bear Creek. Still, he was able to drive himself about 17 miles to the Ennis hospital, authorities said.

While scouting possible hunting locations 3 miles down the trail, the unidentified man encountered a sow and her cub — suspected to be grizzlies, said Madison County Sheriff Roger Thompson. The first incident occurred at about 7:15 or 7:30 a.m.

Despite yelling, using bear spray, and rolling into a ball to play dead, the bear chewed on the man and jumped on him.

"He did everything he was supposed to do," said Thompson. "He got a small fracture in his left forearm when the bear jumped on him."

Finally, the bear took off and the man continued his way back to the trailhead.

But the bear wasn't done with him.

Comment: It seems that the bears in Montana are revolting, see also this report from 5 days ago: 2 hunters injured in separate bear attacks in Montana


Shallow 5.7 magnitude earthquake recorded off Ilocos, Philippines

© Dimas Ardian, Getty Images
5.7 magnitude earthquake 4 km from Balingasay, Ilocos, Philippines
about 5 hours ago

UTC time: Sunday, October 02, 2016 13:40 PM

Your time: Sunday, October 2 2016 2:40 PM

Magnitude Type: mb

USGS page: M 5.7 - 11km WNW of Balingasay, Philippines

USGS status: Reviewed by a seismologist

Reports from the public: 19 people

about 5 hours ago 5.7 magnitude, 10 km depth

Balingasay, Ilocos, Philippines


Southern California under heightened earthquake alert

A series of small temblors occurred deep under the Salton Sea

Southern California residents should remain on heightened alert until Tuesday for the increased possibility of a major earthquake, officials said.

The warning by the Governor's Office of Emergency Services follows a series of small temblors deep under the Salton Sea, which is located on the 800-mile-long San Andreas fault, the Orange County Register reported Saturday.

Such warnings are typically issued once or twice a year, said Kelly Huston, the deputy director of criss communications for the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

The latest alert was issued after 142 temblors hit starting Monday near Bombay Beach at the southern end of the fault. Those quakes ranged from a magnitude of 1.4 to 4.3, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 2 in Sylhet, Bangladesh

© 123RF
Two people were killed in a lightning strike in front MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital in the city on Sunday morning.

One deceased was identified as Abdul Mukit.

Witnesses said the thunderbolt stuck them as they were standing in front of the emergency unit of the hospital around 8.30am, leaving Mukit dead on the spot and another unidentified man injured.

The injured was admitted to the hospital where doctor declared him dead, according to a news agency.


Four rare dugongs found dead in a week off the coast of Queensland, Australia

Four dugongs found dead in one week
With dugongs listed 'vulnerable to extinction' in Queensland, four deaths in one week has highlighted the need for the State Government to organise post-mortem examinations, WWF-Australia says.

Wednesday, September 21: a dead dugong was found among mangroves near Armstrong Beach, south of Mackay

Friday, September 23: a researcher took a DNA sample from a dugong drowned in a commercial fishing net at Saunders Beach, north of Townsville.

Sunday, September 25: a recreational fisher photographed a dead dugong near the Booral flats just south of Hervey Bay.

Tuesday, September 27: another dead dugong was found south of TownsvilleThe dugong death off Saunders Beach is the second fatality in that location in the past three months. In June, researchers posted pictures on Twitter of a dead animal with suspected entanglement marks.