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Sun, 22 Oct 2017
The World for People who Think



Over 80 seabirds found dead on beaches in Albany, Western Australia

A CCWA volunteer with dead seabirds near Albany.
More than 80 sea birds have washed up dead on Albany beaches, according to the Conservation Council of WA.

The flesh-footed shearwaters were found washed up dead on Goode and Fisheries Beach on the western side of King George Sound, south of Albany.

Conservation Council of WA Nic Dunlop said the kills may be caused by purse-seine fishing.

"The timing of this Shearwater kill is unusually early, but in every other respect fitted the now familiar pattern of these seabirds being drowned in the purse-seine nets used by the Albany-based South Coast Purse-seine Fishery," Dr Dunlop said.

"The Flesh-footed Shearwater is a species that has recently shown a dramatic decline in all three of its populations. The species is known to be particularly susceptible as bycatch in a variety of commercial fisheries, to the ingestion of plastics, and to changes in marine climate.

Eye 2

Deadly vine snake eating green snake alive photographed in South Africa

© Richard Mckibbin
Shocking sight as deadly poisonous vine snake eats green snake alive
The impressively camouflaged vine snake, at times barely visible due to its tree-like markings, gorged on a harmless Eastern natal green snake for a whole half hour.

At first, the green snake coils its thin body around its attacker in a vain attempt to escape.

But as the little serpent succumbs to the vine snake's deadly poison, the predator is shown wrapping its girth around its prey to gobble it down - head first.

The awesome sighting was captured by photographer Richard Mckibbin while he was out with a butterfly walk group on October 15 at the Zimbali Coastal Resort, South Africa.

Mr Mckibbin, 37, from Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa, said: "It was incredibly exciting to see. I see these vine snakes often, but I have never seen anything like this.


Polar bears have invaded a Russian village forcing locals to take shelter indoors

Aggressive polar bears are holding locals from the Russian village of Ryrkaypiy hostage after forcing hundreds of frightened local walruses to jump off 125ft cliffs to their deaths
Aggressive polar bears are holding locals in a Russian village hostage after being drawn to a nearby walrus rookery, leaving residents unable to venture outdoors.

The one tonne predators are thought to have forced hundreds of frightened walruses to jump off 125ft cliffs to their deaths before feasting on the carcasses.

Around 20 of the fearsome bears have surrounded the coastal area of Ryrkaypiy, population of 601, with one cub even trying to enter a house through the window.

The polar bears were attracted by a walrus rookery in a special protection zone in the Russian far eastern region of Chukotka.


Rampaging wild boars attack people in Heide, Germany

Four people have reportedly been left injured in Germany after two wild boars went on the rampage
Four people were injured after squealing boars descended on the small city of Heide in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein on Friday morning.

Two fully-grown, "aggressive" wild boars - a male and a female - stormed into the city center shortly after 9 a.m. according to local police statements.

The male then entered the building of a local bank and began attacking people inside before a local hunter was able to shoot and kill the animal. The second boar managed to escape amid the commotion.

Before the shot was fired, emergency services had used ladders to evacuate people from the building's upper-story windows.

Earlier in the day, the male boar had injured a woman after entering an optician's. Christina Norden, a local journalist, shared on Twitter a video of the boar roaming the shop.


25ft whale washes up on beach in East Yorkshire, UK

The whale was washed up on a beach close to Flamborough on October 20, 2017
Walkers were left shocked after discovering a whale washed up on a beach close to Flamborough.

The carcass of 25-foot animal, possibly a minke whale, was discovered by a member of the public who alerted the Flamborough RNLI who, in turn, notified Bridlington Coastguard.

The marine creature was discovered at Truckway, between South Landing and the lighthouse, shortly after noon on Friday.

While still intact, the animal was already dead prior to washing up on the beach and is already in a state of decomposition.

Cloud Lightning

Elephant killed by lightning bolt in Kruger National Park, South Africa

© Lowvelder
The carcass of the elephant quickly attracted a crowd.
South Africa has been hit by some unusually violent weather of late. Recent storms surged through the country claiming at least 16 lives and leaving in their wake a trail of flooded homes and damaged infrastructure. But while Durban residents battled the deluge, further north, in the Kruger National Park, the stormy weather proved fatal for one of the reserve's tusked inhabitants.

Tourists out on a morning game drive earlier this month were met with the grim sight of a mutilated elephant carcass lumped in the middle of the road near Satara rest camp. While many speculated that the animal had been killed by poachers, evidence suggested otherwise. "It is suspected that the animal was hit by lighting," Reynold Thakuli, general manager for media, public relations and stakeholder relations of South African National Parks (SANParks) told us via email. "On inspection nothing more was picked up suggesting another cause of death. This follows a violent storm the previous night."

Wildlife officials were quick to arrive on the scene and the massive carcass was hoisted onto a truck and hauled away for further investigation. "The tusks were removed, registered and stored according to the SANParks Standard Operating Procedure," explained Thakhuli.


103 whales have died on Brazilian beaches in 2017

Why have so many whales stranded in Brazil in 2017?

Whale Institute Jubarte explains that the increase of the population of the species generates more deaths by natural causes, but the influence of human action is also an ongoing factor.

The Jubarte whale season on the Brazilian coast - between July and October - is coming to an end this year with a sad record: never before have so many animals of this species died stranded on Brazilian beaches this year.

There were 103 strandings across the country - 41 in Bahia alone - and a disturbing question: what is behind this number?


14 dolphins strand in Wellfleet, Massachusetts; 2 die

Rescuers work to save a dozen dolphins stranded in Wellfleet
The International Fund for Animal Welfare responded to a major dolphin stranding Wednesday in Wellfleet, rushing to aid 14 of the mammals in the Herring River Gut area.

A spokesperson for IFAW said two of the dolphins died before they could be rescued. The other 12 were transported to Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown for possible release.

Late Wednesday night, four had been guided back into the water and eight others were undergoing health assessments before release.

This is the biggest cetacean stranding year in the history of IFAW.

As of this week, the Yarmouth Port-based organization has responded to 113 live whale and dolphin strandings.

Cloud Lightning

Six cattle killed by lightning strike in Malanda, Australia

© Michael Brown
Six dairy cattle were struck by lightning at Malanda.
A dairy farmer is counting his losses after six cows were killed by suspected lightning strikes at his Far Northern property.

Malanda cattleman James Johnston was searching for his missing cattle before milking when he stumbled on the carcasses on yesterday morning.

"They just looked like a dead cow, but I didn't cut them open. Dad said the insides would have been cooked," he said.

"We just found them dead in the paddock and we just kept milking. There was quite a lot of lightning around."

The four Illawarra and two Holstein cows were found within about five metres of each other.

Mr Johnston said lightning was the only explanation.


64,000 UK pets feared to have died in dog-on-dog attacks last year

Treatment for pets is not free, so owners could end up forking out huge amounts to save their dogs
A staggering 64,000 dogs are feared to have died over the last year after being attacked by rival pets, a shock survey reveals today.

Another 44,375 dogs are said to have suffered life-changing injuries over the same time frame, leaving owners spending a collective £458 million to treat wounded animals.

Among the appalling catalogue of injuries witnessed by vets treating dog-on-dog attack victims were:

- A dog attacked so viciously its intestines were ripped out

- A dog's tail being ripped off

- A dog left with a cracked ribcage after being thrown by a larger animal

- A dog dying at the scene of an attack