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Thu, 28 Jul 2016
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Black Cat

Leopards now attacking people in their houses in India

Leopards now attacking humans in their houses
Man-leopard conflicts in Uttarakhand are increasing as the latest trend shows desperate leopards are now venturing into houses in villages and brazenly attacking villagers. There have been two incidents of leopards entering the inner rooms of houses and attacking people fast asleep. A few days ago, a woman managed to escape from a prowling leopard that had entered her house in the Gangolihat area of Pithoragarh district. Similarly, in another incident, a leopard attacked family members fast asleep in their house in the Jakhnidhaar block of Tehri Garhwal district around midnight last night. However, in both cases the inmates of the houses showed exceptional bravery and managed to save themselves.

The first incident happened in Gangolihat tehsil of Pithoragarh district on July 9 when Prema Devi, a resident of Sunyoda village, fought a leopard that had entered into a room of her house. Despite getting injured, Prema Devi hit the leopard with a stick and forced the animal to flee.

Similarly, Vimla Devi along with her four children was fast asleep when a leopard barged into her house in the Jakhnidhar block of Tehri Garhwal district last night. The leopard attacked Vimla but her 16-year-old son Pankaj showed bravery and attacked the animal with a stick. Taken by surprise, the leopard fled the house. Both these incidents point towards the fact that villagers in hills are now not safe even in their houses.

Comment: See also this selection of reports from India for the last 2 years of what seems to be increasingly bold, atypical behaviour by this big cat: Girl killed by leopard as she slept next to her parents in India

Leopard attacks rise in Nashik region India: 12 people killed in five years

Leopard kills boy after entering house in Junnar, India: 'Very abnormal activity'

Leopard kills three-and-half-yr-old girl in Rampur, India

Leopard attacks boy and father in Dhar, India

50-yr-old woman killed by leopard in Junnar, India

Leopard changing its spots? Big cat attack on human, scooter and 4 by 4 vehicle in India

Hunt on for man-eater leopard after 2 killed in Alirajpur, India

Eight separate leopard attacks on humans across India within 2 months: Leopard attacks 5 people, beaten to death in Assam, India

Man-eating leopard preys on drunk villagers in the Didihat region, Himalayas

Leopard on the loose in Indian city sparks terror as it runs wild in a hospital, cinema and apartment block

Cloud Precipitation

Powerful thunderstorm hits Moscow, flooding streets and bringing hail with gale force winds

A powerful thunderstorm hit Moscow shortly before midnight on Wednesday, with heavy rain instantly flooding streets and making waves on social media.

The heavy rain with hail and gale force wind was registered in the northwestern part of Moscow.

The thunderstorm halted traffic in many areas in the city due to the zero-visibility conditions it brought, RIA-Novosti reported.

Cloud Lightning

Deadly floods in Wisconsin and Minnesota following 10 inches of rain in 24 hours

© ReadyWisconsin/Civil Air Patrol
Flood damage in Saxon Harbor, Wisconsin.
Parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin were hit by severe flooding yesterday after a heavy rain of up to 10 inches (254 mm) fell overnight from 11 to 12 July. Two people are reported to have died in the floods.


In Wisconsin, Governor. Scott Walker has declared a State of Emergency in eight counties after severe flooding. In a statement, the Governor said:
"Beginning on July 11, 2016, widespread and continuing severe thunderstorms producing torrential rain , damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes have forced the evacuation of persons, downed trees and power lines, and caused flash flooding damaging roads and bridges in the counties of Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Sawyer and Washburn amounting to a natural disaster."

Cloud Lightning

Two people killed by lightning bolt in Odisha, India

Two persons were killed when lightning struck them at Haladikundi Chhak in Kamakhyanagar in Dhenkanal district this morning.

Reports said two persons—Chulia Pradhan of Haladikundi village and Nidhi Tisku of Kainya Sahi village of Balikuma panchayat - were out on some work in the morning.

While they were on the way, heavy rain came in suddenly and they took shelter under the roof of a house under construction when lightning struck killing them on the spot.

The incident took place at about 7 AM.

Following information, police rushed to the spot and brought the bodies to the Sub Divisional Hospital hospital for post mortem.

The bodies were later handed over to the family members.

Bizarro Earth

Mutant fish with frightening face, sharp teeth and body of an eel caught in central Russia

Fishermen were left reeling when they caught this bizarre mutant-looking black fish with a frightening face, big sharp teeth and the body of an eel
Fishermen were left reeling when they caught this bizarre mutant-looking black fish with a frightening face, sharp teeth and the body of an eel.

It was caught in the Kama River in central Russia's Udmurt Republic by fishermen using earth worms.

There is still confusion over what the creature is, with the fishermen themselves saying it's a mutated freshwater fish while others claim it's a piranha.

The creature, which held up against the fisherman's arm looks to be at least two feet long, completely stumped its hunters when they pulled it out of the water.

Cloud Lightning

2 pedigree cows killed by lightning bolt in County Wicklow, Ireland

© Victor Jackson
2 pedigree cows were killed by a bolt of lightning as they grazed.
Victor Jackson, from Kiltegan in Co Wicklow, described how both heavily pregnant Holstein Friesian cows were found "stone dead only three feet from each other" after a period of intense thunder and lightning.

He found one of the valuable cows, who was mainly white in colour, "with singe marks on her back where she had been roasted".

"There were about 30 cows in a group at the time and they were standing near an electric fence in the wide open. There was no shelter," said the award-winning dairy farmer.

"There had been a lot of thunder and lightning in the area at the time. At one stage there was an almighty bang of thunder and it nearly shook the house."

But he only suspected something was wrong with his herd when some surviving animals walked into his yard.

Cloud Lightning

2 dogs killed by lightning bolt at animal rescue shelter in Darlington, South Carolina

© Darlington Rescue Facebook page
Two dogs at a local animal rescue were killed this week after lightning struck their kennels.

According to the Darlington Rescue Facebook page, the incident happened Monday night when a severe thunderstorm rolled through the area.

The dogs were electrocuted because their bodies were in contact with the kennels when they were struck. "Cora", a young brown and white hound mix, and "Amelia", a blue bull mix, were killed by the storm.

Holley Farmbrough said they could feel the electrical current running through the metal when they went into the kennels, and immediately turned the power off.

Power was lost - and remains lost in many areas - and our shelter staff and volunteers are scrambling to care for our residents as best they can, while also grieving for two innocent lives lost, the page stated.


Wild elephant kills man trying to take a selfie in Nepal

© Getty
Charging elephant
A man was killed in southern Nepal as he tried to take a selfie with a wild elephant, authorities said Wednesday.

The man had been driving a water tanker when he stopped to take a photograph with the animal. The wild elephant attacked the man and killed him, Parsa Wildlife Reserve officials said.

The wild elephant was part of a herd moving from the western to the eastern part of the reserve, an annual movement during the monsoon.

A herd of 21 jumbos made the movement on Tuesday. The elephants disrupted traffic on the highway that passes through the forest for several hours.

There are 65 elephants in the Parsa Wildlife Reserve and around 170 total wild elephants in the country. About the same number are kept as working elephants at tourist resorts and government-run breeding centres.

Deaths from elephant attacks are not uncommon in southern Nepal's buffer zones near forest areas.

Source: DPA

Comment: See also: Elephant kills woman taking photographs on Java, Indonesia

Bizarro Earth

Volcano on the outskirts of Rome is waking up, researchers say

© Pixabay
A new study is warning that a volcano may be awakening in Italy in the Colli Albani Volcanic District, on the outskirts of Rome. A new Geophysical Research Letters study, authored by Fabrizio Marra and others, reports that over four million people could be at risk if the Colli Albani volcano complex, bordering the Rome metropolitan area, goes into a full-scale eruption.

The Alban Hills, or Colli Albani as it is called locally, was particularly active between 608,000-351,000 years ago, when it produced massive eruptions of ash totaling some 67 cubic miles, Wired reported.

"This change in behavior is good news for Rome, because the Colli Albani appears to be more regular in the spacing of its eruptions than most volcanoes. In their new study, Marra and team identify dormancy and recurrence intervals for the Colli Albani that, since 608,000 years ago, have varied from 29,000±2,000 to 57,000±4,000 years, averaging 41,000±2,000 years between eruptions and 38,000±2,000 years between periods of renewed activity," Wired detailed.

Researchers propose that, as it has been roughly 36,000 years since the most recent eruptions, and that the volcanos have been remarkably consistent in their patterns, they may be due for a period of increased activity. The revelations are troubling, as the area is a mere 16 miles from the center of Rome.

"Rome doesn't have to harbor the same apprehension that Naples must have for the Campi Flegrei and Vesuvius. However, this would be an excellent time to start planning, in case the Colli Albanidoes decide it is time to wake back up," Wired suggested.


Strong 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes Kermadec Islands

© Ted Aljibe
The uninhabited Kermadecs where the quake struck are New Zealand's northernmost islands, lying 1,100 kilometres north of Auckland
A strong 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand's Kermadec Islands in the South Pacific late Wednesday, the US Geological Service that monitors quakes worldwide said.

The quake's epicentre was 201 kilometres (124 miles) north east of Raoul Island -- the largest and northernmost of the main Kermadec Islands, striking 12 kilometres below the surface, the USGS said.

There were no reports of casualties or damage and no tsunami warning was issued.

The uninhabited Kermadecs, New Zealand's northernmost islands, lie 1,100 kilometres north of Auckland.

They are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a hotbed of volcanic and earthquake activity at the intersection of several tectonic plates.

Source: AFP