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Thu, 23 May 2019
The World for People who Think


Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 35 goats in Mansehra, Pakistan

A person was killed when roof of his house collapsed due to heavy rains and thunderstorm that hit different parts of Mansehra district on Tuesday. According to police Muhammad Nazeer of Lambi Dheri Mansehra was entrapped under the rubble of his house roof that collapsed due to heavy rains. Locals retrieved his body from the debris after hectic efforts.

Meanwhile corrugated roofs of several houses in Baffa, Shankiari and other localities of the district were blown away due to thunderstorm. Trees, billboards and electricity poles have also been reported fallen in the rain blocking many links roads. The storm also disrupted electricity supply to various localities of Mansehra city where power supply system was damaged due to fallen trees.

The inclement weather also killed 35 goats and injured many others due to lightning that struck a flock at Kund Bangla Manshera. A shepherd also sustained injuries in the incident.

Source: Associated Press of Pakistan

Comment: On the same day lightning strikes killed 3 people and a bull in the Indian state of Karnataka.


Virus has killed 2,290 seals since July 2018 in U.S. Northeast

As harbor seal pupping season picks up along the Maine coast, researchers continue to keep an eye out for signs of an ongoing outbreak of phocine distemper virus that has been killing seals.

So far this year, seal watchers in the Northeast have noticed an elevated number of grey seals stranded on beaches — which, for baby seals that have not been weaned, could be a sign that their mothers are sick — but they have not noticed the virus yet in seal pups.

Since July 2018, 2,290 grey and harbor seals have been reported sick or dead along the East Coast between Maine and Virginia, according to federal statistics that were updated last week. That is at least three times the number of any previous outbreak affecting seals that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has documented since 1991.

Of those strandings, 1,179 — more than half — have been reported in Maine. Massachusetts, the state with the second-highest total, has had 627.


Signs and Portents: One-eyed calf with no nose born in India

The animal has been hailed as a miracle from God
© News Fiesta /SWNS.COM
The animal has been hailed as a miracle from God
The calf's owner says that people from neighbouring villages have been arriving at his place to worship the one-eyed creature. However, vets say that calves born with such an abnormality may only survive for a couple of weeks.

A one-eyed calf with no nose was born earlier this month in the Ranaghat area of West Bengal, India.

The Daily Star quotes a villager who said that everything was fine with the calf except its 'bizarre' head.


Signs and Portents: Two-headed calf stillborn at farm in Western Australia

Former president of the Australian Cattle Veterinarians Association, Dr Enoch Bergman, says the occurrence is at least one-in-one-hundred-thousand
© MJ Blyth
Former president of the Australian Cattle Veterinarians Association, Dr Enoch Bergman, says the occurrence is at least one-in-one-hundred-thousand
At a glance, this calf could be mistaken as a double-headed cow, but it, or they, are rare conjoined twins born on a farm on Western Australia's south coast last week.

The pure-Angus heifer was a stillborn with two heads, hearts, stomachs and spines and one tail.

It is believed to be caused by a condition called dicephalic parapagus, which is a rare form of partial twinning when the embryo does not split properly during pregnancy.

Another theory points to an inherited genetic condition that causes extra limbs and is passed through certain lines of Angus cattle.


Woman, 74, is mauled to death by her Staffordshire bull terrier at a Sydney home

canine attack
© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
A woman has died in hospital after she was attacked by her own dog on Thursday.

Police were called to a home Wilton, south west Sydney to reports of a dog attack at 1.30pm.

Officers found a 74-year-old man and his wife, 72, suffering large cuts and bite marks.

Both were treated at the scene and taken to Liverpool Hospital where woman's condition got worse and she died.


Australian experts say koalas are now 'functionally extinct'

Koalas functionally extinct
© Shutterstock
They are in danger of going the way of the dodo.

Koala bears have been declared "functionally extinct," the Australian Koala Foundation reports. The fluffy marsupial is down to just 80,000 wild species members, meaning there aren't enough breeding adults left to support another generation of the pouched mammals.

The tree-dwelling species has been ravaged by the effects of rising temperatures and heatwaves, which have caused widespread deforestation and fatal dehydration in koalas, according to the AKF. Only 41 of the koala's 128 known habitats in federal environments have any of the animals left.

If a new disease or genetic pathogen of any kind is introduced, surviving koalas will die off rapidly. Activists are begging local pols to step in.

Comment: See also: Koalas face extinction within 30 years


10th dead gray whale in 2 months found floating near San Francisco Bay Area - 48 in 2019 along U.S. west coast

A map of recent whale strandings in the Bay Area.
© The Chronicle
A map of recent whale strandings in the Bay Area.
A dead whale is stranded near a Pacifica beach, officials confirmed Tuesday. The creature's death marks the tenth whale stranding in the Bay Area since March 10.

The Marine Mammal Center began receiving reports about the animal on Tuesday morning, spokesperson Giancarlo Rulli said.

Rulli said the whale is floating in the surfline near Linda Mar Beach. The species, age and cause of death are not yet known as the carcass is inaccessible to researchers. They're waiting for the whale to wash ashore, Rulli said.


Chicago police warn of 'zombie' raccoons with distemper that pose serious danger to pets

zombie racoon, raccons distemper

The warning about "zombie raccoons" may sound like something out of a bad television show, but a suburban Chicago police department says they present serious dangers to family pets.

The critters are called zombies because those carrying the distemper virus often stagger on their hind legs and bare their teeth. Riverside's police department says if they bite dogs they can transmit the serious disease that can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal problems and affect the nervous system.

The department issued its warning after fielding calls about raccoons acting oddly and says anyone who sees such an animal should call police. Chief Tom Weitzel tells the Chicago Tribune that officers will put the animals down and public works crews will dispose of their carcasses.

Ice Cube

Record snowfall kills over a thousand yaks in the Himalayas

yaks cold

To keep each other warm, the yaks were found mostly in clusters of 20-50 when their carcasses were found in the end of April|
Over 1,000 yaks have reportedly died due to the unprecedented snowfall in the cold desert region of North Sikkim over the course of January until the roads cleared in the end of April.

The place in contention includes Munguthang, Tso Lhamu, Kala Patthar, Chopta Valley and other regions which collectively make up the Kanchenjunga National Park and Biosphere Reserve and Singhba Rhododendron Sanctuary. Yaks, which qualify as an endangered species, are catered by herders who are called as Dokpas locally, a traditional practice since ancient times. Numbering about 1,600-2,000 in the region, they are owned by residents of Lachung and Lachen valleys along with those from Gangtok.

The official count released by the North Sikkim district administration puts the death toll to be around 300, but local herders argue that the number could reach as high as 1,000 as many of the higher regions above Munguthang are still inaccessible. The numbers are more towards the Lachen Valley belt rather than the Lachung Valley belt, as Lachung has grazing grounds in the lower belt in comparison to Lachen.

Comment: All over the planet seasons are becoming more erratic and extreme, for some winter drags on into spring, resulting in delayed planting, young crops decimated by late frosts or new born cattle buried under snow and, for others, unseasonably warm springs are creating tinder dry conditions leading to unprecedented wildfires:


Calf rescued from 40 ft. deep sinkhole in Warren County, Kentucky

Emergency responders in Warren County had their hands full Sunday evening after a calf got stuck in a sinkhole.

According to the Warren County Emergency Management Department, rescuers from the Alvaton and Gott Fire Departments were called out to a farm in Alvaton after a calf fell into a 40 ft. deep sinkhole.

After several hours of trying to figure out how to rescue the calf, it was successfully hauled out of the sinkhole and reunited with its mother, making it a Mother's Day to remember.