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Tue, 21 Aug 2018
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Animals

Attention

World's largest colony of King penguins in the southern Indian Ocean has plummeted by 90%

Researchers say numbers of the animals at Île aux Cochons, in the southern Indian Ocean, has been decimated.

Researchers say numbers of the animals at Île aux Cochons, in the southern Indian Ocean, has been decimated.
It was once the world's biggest colony of King penguins, with over two million birds and 500,000 breeding pairs.

Now, researchers say numbers of the animals at Île aux Cochons, in the southern Indian Ocean, have been decimated - and they aren't sure why.

A new analysis of photographs taken from a helicopter confirm that the colony's penguin population has plummeted.


Researchers found that the colony has shrunk, yielding its territory to encroaching vegetation.

Known since the 1960s, the colony of king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) on Île aux Cochons, in the southern Indian Ocean, had the distinction of being the world's biggest colony of king penguins and second biggest colony of all penguins.

Biohazard

Worst red tide in more than a decade killing sea life along Florida coast

red tide turtle florida
© Matt @VisualPersist
Kemp's Ridley
Worst red tide since 2006 leaves 'unprecedented' number of dead sea turtles, Florida

Unprecedented numbers of sea turtles have been collected across Florida's Lee and Collier counties over the past week, and hundreds are thought to have died as the worst red tide algae bloom event since 2006 plagues southwest Florida. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is monitoring the current bloom since November 2017.

The FWC has documented 287 sea turtle deaths in Gulf of Mexico waters along the southwest Florida coast since the toxic bloom started late last year.

According to Allen Foley of the FWC's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, that's about double the average number of turtle deaths in those waters every year.

Foley said turtles living in the area become sick and die when their food gets contaminated by the toxins.

Comment: Algae blooms and dead zones have quadrupled since 1950 with Oman and the Baltic sea as some other recent examples. But what's causing them? Surely industrial agriculture will have contributed to their rise, but when we factor in the discovery of thousands of underwater volcanoes, the increasingly unstable methane deposits and the slowdown in the Gulf Stream, which all appear to be linked to a slowdown in the Sun and Earth's rotation, clearly there are other more significant drivers to take into consideration.

See also: Worldwide ocean anoxia driven by global cooling was possible factor in previous mass extinctions


House

A scene from a horror movie: Kangaroo crashes into family home window, collapses in a bloody heap beside toilet

Kangaroo
© Five Freedoms Animal Rescue / Facebook
A family in Melbourne was given the late-night wake-up call of their lives when a panicked kangaroo smashed through the front window of their home and hopped around, bloodied from a series of flesh wounds.

The startled roo broke into the home of Mafi Ahokavo and his family on Saturday night, creating a significant stir by jumping around several rooms of the property.

According to Australia's 9 News, the animal was wounded when it crashed through the glass. After smearing blood on a wall, the roo then attempted to escape via a second window. The residents of the home eventually managed to lock it in a bathroom, where it collapsed beside a toilet from exhaustion.

Animal rescuer Manfred Zabinska was one of the first responders who called out to the property, which he described as looking like a scene from a horror movie. The rescuer has posted images online showing the aftermath of the incredible incident.

Comment: See also: 1,000 kangaroos stampede across 'destroyed' Australian farm


Attention

Second dead sperm whale in a month found off Kaikōura, New Zealand

A dead sperm whale at Marfells beach earlier this month.
© SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF
A dead sperm whale at Marfells beach earlier this month.
Two sperm whales in a month have been found dead off the Kaikōura coast.

The latest sperm whale, found last weekend, was a member of the Kaikōura canyon population, as was a whale found dead on Marfells Beach, in south Marlborough, in early July.

A series of buoys was attached to the animal, but it was not possible to tow it to shore due to sea conditions.

It had not been seen since the weekend, when it was moving north, but Department of Conservation staff and harbourmasters knew to be on the lookout.

DOC South Marlborough operations manager Phil Bradfield said the whales underpinned the Kaikōura economy, and the deaths would be felt by local iwi who had a "profound attachment to whales".

Footprints

1,000 kangaroos stampede across 'destroyed' Australian farm

Kangaroos
An Australian farm owner has posted footage of what happens when you try to take back an animal paddock from a hoard of jumping kangaroos, showing the incredibly nimble critters in a stampede.

Filmed on a farm in Nymagee, New South Wales by Marie Harley last February, she said her family unwittingly provoked the stampede when they drove through the area in a 4x4 vehicle.

Harley and her parents had driven to the paddock where they keep rams to investigate how many kangaroos were now living in the area. Footage of what happened next has now been posted to Facebook racking up views of more than 830,000.

"We knew there was a massive amount of kangaroos in the 100 acre paddock we use for the rams, so Dad and I decided to take mum up in the old land cruiser for a look and took the iPad along with me," Harley told ViralHog.

Attention

Polar bear attacks man on island of Svalbard, Norway

Authorities search the coastline, Saturday, July 28, 2018, after a polar bear attacked and injured a polar bear guard who was leading tourists off a cruise ship on the Svalbard archipelago archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

Authorities search the coastline, Saturday, July 28, 2018, after a polar bear attacked and injured a polar bear guard who was leading tourists off a cruise ship on the Svalbard archipelago archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole.
Norwegian authorities said a polar bear on Saturday attacked and injured a polar bear guard who was leading tourists off a cruise ship on an Arctic archipelago. The polar bear was shot dead by another employee, the cruise company said.

The Joint Rescue Coordination for Northern Norway tweeted that the attack occurred when the tourists from the MS Bremen cruise ship landed on the most northern island of the Svalbard archipelago, a region between mainland Norway and the North Pole that is known for its remote terrain, glaciers, reindeer and polar bears.

The German Hapag Lloyd Cruises company, which operates the MS Bremen, told The Associated Press that two polar bear guards from their ship went on the island and one of them "was attacked by a polar bear and injured on his head."

Fish

11 y.o. girl catches a fish with human-like teeth at Fort Cobb Lake, Oklahoma

Pacu fish in Brazil.
© Global Look Press
Pacu fish in Brazil.
Oklahoma wildlife officials have warned fisher folk to be on the lookout for a relative of South America's meat eating piranha predator, after an 11-year-old girl reeled in the toothie catch from Fort Cobb Lake.

Kennedy Smith, 11, was having fun by the lake with her grandmother Sandra Whaley when a tug on their fishing line signalled a big catch. However, when they pulled in their lake bounty from out from the water something didn't feel quite right - the fish had massive jaws like a creature from a horror movie.

"I was confused because I knew that fish with teeth are not normal. It was weird. They were human-like and that made it even weirder," Smith told the Associated Press.

Doberman

Monkey steals bike in China, dog gives persuit

The dog yapped and barked but could not force the monkey to get off the bike

The dog yapped and barked but could not force the monkey to get off the bike
A bicycling monkey and a dog steal the scene and win fans as they chase each other across a busy car park packed with shoppers and lorries in this incredible video.

Like a live animal movie chase scene, the determined little black dog plays the chaser yapping at the heels of the bicycling getaway monkey in Taigu, Shaanxi.

But the hero monkey cannot quite escape his pursuer no matter what riding tricks he has mastered.


Fish

Thousands of dead fish found along Mystic River in Somerville, Massachusetts

DEAD FISH
The state is investigating a fish kill along the banks of the Mystic River near Assembly Row in Somerville.

The fish are all along the banks floating or washed up on the shore at Draw Seven State Park. It's not a pretty sight. The state is trying to pinpoint what caused this and right now believe the warmer water temps may be a factor.

The Mystic River in Somerville is a popular place for people to enjoy the atmosphere near the water, just killing time.

But the regulars were shocked this week to find dead fish littering the banks.

"This is unusual, I've never seen this before," David Mussina told Boston 25 News.

Dead menhaden have been washing ashore on the banks of the Mystic behind Assembly Row just across the river from the soon-to-be Encore Boston harbor Casino.


Attention

Strange animal behavior: Beaver attack on large dog in Medford, New Jersey is 'craziest thing'

Beaver
A veterinarian who's been practicing medicine in South Jersey for more than 40 years called it "the craziest thing I've ever seen."

A beaver attacked a large dog walking with its owner along the Rancocas Creek in Medford Wednesday, nearly dragging the dog underwater.

Dr. William Pettit at Peticote Veterinary Clinic in Southampton, who treated the 95-pound yellow Labrador, said the owner was walking with the dog in a wooded area off Branch Street when a beaver approached him.

Pettit said the dog got between the beaver and his owner, and that was when the rodent attacked, biting the dog's hind leg and dragging it toward the water.