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Fri, 25 May 2018
The World for People who Think

Animals

Camera

Man mauled to death by bear after trying to take selfie with it in Odisha, India

Mr Bhatara can be seen trying to escape from the bear

Mr Bhatara can be seen trying to escape from the bear, believed to be a sloth bear, but it delivers several powerful blows to his head and neck
A taxi driver has been mauled to death by a bear after he stopped to take a selfie with the animal in India.

Prabhu Bhatara was driving guests home from a wedding in the eastern province of Odisha on Wednesday when he spotted the bear by the roadside.

With his passengers waiting in the back of the car, Bhatara went to try and take a picture with the animal, which was wounded.


Wolf

Two pit bull terriers maul woman to death in Durban, South Africa

PIT BULL ATTACK
A 67-year-old woman was mauled to death by two pit bulls in Greenwood Park on Wednesday.

Crisis Medical spokesperson, Kyle van Reennen said they received a call around midday of an attack in Heather Grove in Greenwood Park.

"Reports from the scene indicate that a sixty seven year old female was attacked by two pit bulls and suffered fatal injuries. Unfortunately there was nothing paramedics could do to assist the lady and she was declared deceased on arrival," he said.

There have been several similar attacks by since last year. In August 2017, a 9-year-old died just days before her 10th birthday. She had been attacked by the family's pit bull at their Hillcrest home. She succumbed to her injuries and the dog had to be put down by the SPCA.

Comment: Two days earlier another pair of pit bulls killed a man in Port Elizabeth in the same country.


Wolf

Two pit bull terriers maul man to death in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

PIT BULL ATTACK
A horrific 40-minute ordeal in the late hours of Monday night left a Port Elizabeth man dead after he was mauled by two pitbulls.

Another man who tried to intervene was also savaged and taken to Livingstone Hospital after residents desperately tried - and failed - to pry the animals off using a stun gun, sticks, boiling water and by ramming the dogs with their vehicles.

Ruan Redgard, 27, whose clothing was ripped off his body, died shortly after being dragged into a nearby garden by residents when the dogs were eventually chased away by an ADT vehicle.

The attack on Redgard was unprovoked as he was walking back to his Magnolia Street, Algoa Park home at about 10pm, according to eyewitnesses.

Comment: See also this recent report from the same country: Two pit bulls terriers maul woman to death in Durban, South Africa


Attention

Thousands of jellyfish-like creatures wash up on Barcelona beaches

Thousands of Velella velella near Barcelona

Thousands of Velella velella near Barcelona
Barcelona's beaches have been carpeted with thousands of mysterious jellyfish-like creatures, turning the city's white sands a rich shade of blue, thelocal.es reported.

Fortunately the animals, identified as Velella velella, are relatively harmless to humans, making this invasion more of a natural marvel than a toxic emergency.

Velella look like jellyfish, but are actually floating colonies of microscopic hydrozoans—tiny predatory creatures that generally live far offshore in open waters. Velella have small, stiff, sail-like structures to harness the power of the wind and allow them to travel across the water in search of plankton and other small prey.

Wolf

One of the first wolves back in Denmark for 200 years is shot dead

The wolf was killed on land belonging to former parliamentary candidate Steffen Troldtoft, Danish media reports

The wolf was killed on land belonging to former parliamentary candidate Steffen Troldtoft, Danish media reports, though it is thought his friend fired the fatal shot
This is the heartbreaking moment one of the first wolves to roam wild in Denmark for 200 years was shot dead.

Footage captured by two naturalists shows the animal, reported to be a female, being hit with a single shot fired from a nearby car before dropping to the ground.

If the animal is verified as female it could spell the end to wolves in Denmark for the second time, since only one female has been confirmed to be living there.



Comment: Denmark gets its first wild wolf pack in over 200 years


Wolf

Raging pack of stray dogs maul 3 children to death on the same day in Uttar Pradesh, India - 14 such deaths in the state since January

canine attack
© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
A raging pack of stray dogs mauled three young children to death on the same day in India - before angry villagers took revenge by killing 13 of the animals.

Villagers in Khairabad in Uttar Pradesh state took the law into their own hands after being gripped by panic over daily attacks that have now left 14 children dead since January.

The three children, all aged under 12, were killed by packs of dogs in separate attacks on Tuesday as they collected mangoes in fields outside the village.

A 2001 animal welfare law outlawed the killing of stray dogs. But the Khairabad villagers shot dead three and beat to death at least 10 others.

'Our investigations revealed the children were alone at the time of attacks,' district police chief Sureshrao A. Kulkarni told AFP, confirming the three latest deaths.

Bizarro Earth

Graphic footage shows lion attacking safari park owner in South Africa

An African lion.
© Stephane De Sakutin / AFP
An African lion.
The founder of a private animal reserve in South Africa is reportedly in serious condition after being mauled by a lion in front of shocked bystanders.

The man, understood to be a British citizen, was attacked inside a lion enclosure at an animal sanctuary in Limpopo, South Africa.

Harrowing footage obtained by News24 shows the moment of the lion attack, which occurred in a rural province bordering Botswana and Zimbabwe.

In the 90-second clip, a man can be seen being dragged away from the gate of a fenced-off enclosure by a male lion. The big cat's victim calls out for help in front of screaming bystanders before a number of gunshots can be heard to ring out.

Comment: While it's not unnatural for a lion to attack a human, what may be strange is that this safari keeper probably had more of a rapport with the lion than if the animal was in the wild, and when we take into account that animal attacks around the world seem to be on the increase, the trend does seem to reflective of changes occurring on our planet:


Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes kill 6 cattle, unseasonal hailstorm destroys mango crop in parts of Telangana, India

Farmer Balaiah with his dead cattle.

Farmer Balaiah with his dead cattle.
Heavy unseasonal rains accompanied by thunder and lightning storms hit parts of Mahabubnagar, Midjil and Balanagar mandals in the district on Monday destroying mango plantations and causing heavy losses to cattle such as cows, buffalos and bulls which perished in the district.

During the past two days, four buffaloes and two bullocks were killed and large-scale mango plantations destroyed. In Midjil Mandal, the thunder storm and lightning struck two bulls killing them on the spot. As a result, the owner P Raju of Tamdakunta Tanda of Midjil mandal in the district suffered losses worth Rs. 1 lakh.

Bizarro Earth

Invasion of the moths: Britain under siege from toxic caterpillars that can cause asthma attacks, vomiting and infections

London invasion processionary moths

London is under siege by an invasion of processionary moths.

A plague of toxic caterpillars which can cause life-threatening asthma attacks, severe vomiting and skin rashes have invaded the UK, environment officials have warned.

The larva of oak processionary moths have been spotted across the south-east of England.

And with more than 600 nests appearing in parks and gardens, the Royal Forestry Society has warned: "It's time to be vigilant."

But how dangerous are the creatures and what is the best way to protect against them?

Binoculars

Green heron from North America turns up in Pembrokeshire, Wales

Green Heron
© Richard Stonier
Green Heron at Llanmill
A rare green heron, native to north and central America, has been spotted in Wales for what is believed to be only the second time.

The bird turned up in the garden of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart, in Llanmill, near Narberth, Pembrokeshire.

Posting an image on Twitter, he wrote: "Completely amazed to welcome a green heron to west Wales."

Naturalist Iolo Williams said the sighting was "exceptionally rare".