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Sat, 23 Mar 2019
The World for People who Think



Strange virus may be killing turtles in St. Johns River, Florida

Softshell turtles in Florida may be dying to a virus.
© Tim Shortt / FLORIDA TODAY
Softshell turtles in Florida may be dying to a virus.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says an unknown virus may be to blame for hundreds of turtles dying in the St. Johns River.

According to a spokesperson for the commission, scientists at the University of Florida have identified a novel virus in 18 dead turtles discovered along the river. They say the virus seems to be a common link in the samples.

Since last March, FWC says more about 300 fresh-water softshell and cooter turtles have been reported dead or sick in the massive river. Experts say it doesn't appear the toxic algae is contributing to the deaths, nor do any other types of animals seem to be affected.

The commission says they will continue to take samples and study the virus in order to learn more about what's going on.

Comment: Mysterious freshwater turtle die-off in at least 3 counties of Florida


As many as a million calves lost in Nebraska - Video

"This is the biggest disaster, as far as damage, we've ever experienced in our state," says Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts.

You've got to watch this video!


Dead whale washes up at San Onofre Beach, California

A dead whale washed up at San Onofre
© Missy Sanders
A dead whale washed up at San Onofre State Beach on Wednesday, March 20, 2019.
TJ Cruz was out surfing the waves at San Onofre State Beach on Wednesday morning, March 20, when he noticed a lifeguard boat close to shore.

It was only after he got to shore that he realized why the boat was there — to haul a dead whale carcass off the beach.

"At first, we didn't know what was going on, some of the guys started pointing at it," Cruz said.

The whale, which Cruz estimated was about 30 feet long, tumbled around in the shorebreak of the rocky beach between the surf breaks Old Man's and Dog Patch. The first attempt by State lifeguards to haul it away was unsuccessful, with the line tangling. On the second attempt, they were able to take it far offshore, away from the beach.


75-year-old mauled to death by family's 6 pit bull terriers in Thailand

A family have returned home to find the 75 year old grandmother had been attacked and mauled by the family's six pit bull terriers.

The woman, named Iat, was lying in a pool of blood outside the house in Bang Bua Thong, Nonthaburi, on the west side of the Chao Phraya, Bangkok.

Sanook reports that she had been bitten all over suffering dozens of bites was already deceased.


Giant sunfish washes up on beach in South Australia: 'I thought it was a shipwreck'

Fishermen find rare giant-sized sunfish

Fishermen find rare giant-sized sunfish
A rare giant sunfish has washed ashore at the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia.

Linette Grzelak posted a picture on Facebook of the sunfish, which was spotted by a couple of fishers on the beach at the weekend.

"My partner was out with his work crew and he thought it was a piece of shipwreck at first," she told Guardian Australia.

This ocean sunfish (Mola mola) is a rare find for that location, said Ralph Foster, the fish collection manager at the South Australian Museum.


Dolphins poisoned by algae also showed signs of degenerative brain disease in Florida

© Miami Herald archives
Toxins produced by blue-green algae have been found in dolphins that turned up dead in Florida waters after a 2018 red tide that coincided with a blue green algae bloom.
Toxins produced by blue-green algae that have increasingly polluted Florida waters have been found in dead dolphins that also showed signs of Alzheimer's-like brain disease, according to a new study led by University of Miami researchers.

The study, published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS One, is the first to show detectable levels of the toxin, commonly called BMAA, in dolphin brains that also displayed degenerative damage similar to Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's disease and Parkinson's in humans. While more work needs to be done to determine whether the toxins cause the disease, the study concludes that dolphins and their complex brains could provide a key sentinel for the potential threat from toxic algae blooms to humans.

"Not to be too political, but it goes to show the health of marine animals and water quality," said David Davis, lead author and a University of Miami Miller School of Medicine neuropathologist. "Everything's directly related."

The findings add to a growing body of research that focuses on the health threat from harmful algae blooms, which climate scientists warn could worsen as the planet warms. South Florida is particularly vulnerable, with miles of coast, a lake that is a third of the size of Rhode Island, rivers and estuaries, and an agricultural industry and swelling population that continue to feed blooms with pollution from fertilizer and sewage.

Comment: See also:


Fifth whale in 8 weeks washes up on Outer Banks in North Carolina

dead whale
Yet another humpback whale has been discovered washed up along the Carolinas coast, with a video posted on Facebook showing it tumbling in the surf at Corolla, North Carolina.

It's the fourth humpback whale to wash ashore along the Carolinas in eight weeks, and the fifth dead whale overall. The fifth was a Blainsville Beaked whale that came ashore near Georgetown, South Carolina, in February, reported the Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network.


Girl fights for life at hospital after hyena attack in Kenya


An eleven-year-old girl is fighting for her life at Nakuru Level Five hospital after she was attacked by a hyena while herding livestock at Opiroi village in Samburu County.

Ripali Lenerpita sustained deep bites on her face, cheeks, jaw, neck, head and limbs following the Friday evening attack.

The minor was in pain and could not hear and see clearly when she was brought to the hospital for specialized treatment. Her body was swollen.

The hospital head of clinician services Joseph Keriyo said that though the girl was received while bandaged and dressed up, she was in a critical condition.


101 dead sea turtles found in state of Guerrero, Mexico

dead turtles
Environmental officials continue with research into the deaths of 101 sea turtles along beaches in several municipalities in the state of Guerrero.

Officers with la Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (Profepa) say that in coordination with various other federal agencies, they continue to work to find the cause of the deaths of the 101 sea turtles.

Profepa reports the sea turtles have been found in varying degrees of decomposition in six municipalities of the state of Guerrero, adding that the turtles do not exhibit any signs of marks related to fishing gear.


Leprechauns enjoy final St Patrick's Day having driven all snakes out of Ireland to Westminster

© NewsThump
Leprechauns are enjoying their last St Patrick's Day free from any responsibility, it has emerged.

With the issue of the Irish Border still crippling the Brexit process, it is anticipated that by next St Patrick's Day all leprechauns will have been forced to staff or guard the border twenty-four seven.

Cheeky leprechaun Simon Williams told us, "Yes, gone are the days of us drunkenly cavorting around, eating Lucky Charms breakfast cereal and trying to find pots of gold at the end of rainbows, without a care in the world.