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Wed, 08 Dec 2021
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Black Cat

7 fatal tiger attacks in one month in a district of Maharashtra, India

An unprecedented spate of fatal tiger attacks in a forest range of Gadchiroli district has struck terror in 18 villages in the region.

A sub-adult tiger, aged just about two years, is suspected to have killed seven persons, all men, in the Porla range within a month. Such a spate of attacks is unprecedented, say wildlife officials.

Officials, however, have confirmed that only four of the attacks are by the two-year-old tiger. They are still unsure about whether the other three victims, too, had died due to an attack by this tiger.

The earlier known instances of attacks by Pandharkawda tigers Avni, which was shot dead in 2018, and Rajura tiger RT1, were spread over one-and-a-half years.

Gadchiroli Conservator of Forest Ashok Mankar told The Indian Express, "A two-year old tiger, who was separated from its mother a couple of months ago, has killed at least four persons, beginning August 15. We have the camera trap evidence for the same."

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strike kills 8 cows on central Maine farm

A single bolt of lightning killed eight of John Fortin's beef cows on Saturday.
© John Fortin John Fortin was wrapping up a
A single bolt of lightning killed eight of John Fortin's beef cows on Saturday.
John Fortin was wrapping up a day of haying on his family beef farm on Saturday evening and happy he had beat the rainstorm.

Then he got a call from his neighbor telling him lightning had just struck a tree where eight of Fortin's cows had taken shelter from the rain. All eight had been electrocuted and were dead.

Those eight heifers represent 10 percent of the Fortin Farm's Angus 80-animal beef herd. The loss is a huge economic and emotional blow to the farm in Winslow that has been in the Fortin family for four generations.

"That storm rolled in around 5:30 and only lasted maybe an hour, but there was a lot of lightning close by," Fortin said. "My neighbor calls and says, 'Hey, lightning just hit the big pine tree on top of the hill and I have dead cows over here.'"


4 dolphins strand on beach in Brewster, Massachusetts - 2 die

Point of Rocks Beach in Brewster

Point of Rocks Beach in Brewster
Four dolphins stranded Friday at Point of Rocks Landing Beach in Brewster, according to Yarmouth Port-based International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Two of the dolphins were already dead when a team led by IFAW assistant research coordinator Kristy Volker arrived.

The remaining two — a pregnant female and a juvenile male — were transported to Herring Cove in Provincetown around 5 p.m., Volker said. Before they were released, the two dolphins were given a physical check that included an ultrasound and a blood test.


'Like nothing in my lifetime': researchers race to unravel the mystery of Australia's dying frogs

A white-lipped tree frog. Scientists are trying to unravel the cause of thousands of frog deaths in eastern Australia.
© Liam Driver
A white-lipped tree frog. Scientists are trying to unravel the cause of thousands of frog deaths in eastern Australia.
In the middle of Sydney's lockdown, scientist Jodi Rowley has been retrieving frozen dead frogs from her doorstep.

Occasionally one will arrive dried and shrivelled up in the post.

She'll pack them in ice in an esky to be taken to her lab at the Australian Museum, where even more samples - green tree frogs, striped marsh frogs and the invasive cane toad among them - are waiting in a freezer for genetic testing.

Rowley and her team, along with scientists at the Australian Registry of Wildlife Health at Taronga zoo and a forensic unit in the NSW department of planning, industry and environment, are trying to solve the mystery of what is killing Australia's frogs.

Since late July, they've collected 1,200 records of dead or dying frogs, about 70% of them in New South Wales and 22% in Queensland.


10 dogs attack, kill three-year-old in Nigeria, outraged residents shoot them all

dog attack
Ten dogs belonging to the Proprietor of Global Growth Academy, Amokpo, Umuanunwa, Nteje in the Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State have reportedly pounced on and killed a three-year-old child on the school premises.

The incident was said to have happened around 7.10am on Wednesday, September 15, when the victim, identified as Obinna Ude, was taken to the school by his uncle, Chima Ude, for enrollment.

According to a resident of the community, the three-year-old strayed off while his uncle was filling forms and perfecting the enrollment documentation.

The 10 dogs, on sighting the child, broke out of their cage, pounced on the boy and mauled him.


Man dies after attack by dogs in Kashmir, India

dog attack
A 33-year-old man from Sopore, who was grievously injured in a canine attack some 12 days ago, succumbed at home Saturday evening.

Reports said the victim Shabir Ahmad Dar, son of Ali Mohammad Dar, a resident of Sangrampora in Sopore, was attacked by dogs at Main chowk Sopore on September 06, 2021.

He was brought to SMHS Hospital in Srinagar from SDH Sopore. After treatment, he was discharged from the hospital. However, today evening he succumbed to his injuries, locals said.


Symbolism: Dead humpback whale washes up offshore Great Kills Beach, New York - Area sees increase in number of whale deaths

Dead whale set to wash ashore on Staten Island

Dead whale set to wash ashore on Staten Island
A 40-foot-long humpback whale was founding floating in the water off the shores of Staten Island early Friday.

Video of the whale was first posted on Citizen shortly after 9 a.m., showing its body just yards away from the shoreline of Great Kills Beach.

Rob DiGiovanni, the founder and chief scientist at the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, says that their nonprofit is currently working with authorities and the New York City Parks Department to figure out how to get the whale out of the water for examination and proper disposal.

While it is still too soon to know what led to the whale's death, DiGiovanni says that many humpback whales end up washing ashore after being killed in what they call human-induced mortality events, such as vessel strikes or entanglement issues.

Comment: Dead 54-foot fin whale washes up on Barnegat Light Beach, New Jersey

Endangered fin whale beached along Delaware coast dies


Animal rescue: CCTV shows goat and rooster save chicken from hawk attack, deer mauls hawk after it tries to capture a rabbit

goat chicken attack

The two animals amazingly manage to push the goshawk away and force it to fly off, while the chicken manages to flee inside its hutch
This is the moment a goat and a rooster fended off a hawk that was attacking a chicken on a farm in the Netherlands.

Jaap Beets, 59, was inside his farmhouse in Gelderland on September 5 when he heard ear-piercing screeching coming from his livestock outside.

In an attack that lasted just 17 seconds, a hawk swooped down on one of his chickens, but his other animals saved the hen before the Mr Beets arrived on the scene.

Dramatic CCTV footage shows the goshawk dive-bombing a brown hen, sending feathers flying all over the paddock.

Comment: And in other recent footage a deer rescues a rabbit from a hawk attack, surprisingly causing the demise of the hawk by a, usually skittish, deer:
This brave deer went from Bambi to Rambo when it jumped in to save a wild rabbit being attacked by a hungry hawk. Kris Miller was trimming trees around Nordic Mountain country park, Wisconsin, USA, earlier this month when he spotted a red tailed hawk dead on the ground. After checking CCTV from June 11, the 29-year-old operations manager was 'astonished' when he saw the bird of prey swoop down on an unsuspecting rabbit below.

Interestingly, commenters said that the deer simply became confused by the distressed sounds of the rabbit and thought that it was its own offspring under attack, and that's why it tried to save the rabbit. However, that can't explain the actions of the goat in the first footage. It's likely that there's a lot to the life of animals that we've yet to fully appreciate, and examples like these give us a better idea of the complexities and potentials in nature:


Milk enabled massive steppe migration

Wild Horses
© A. Senokosov
Horses in the Eurasian steppes: Already 5000 years ago, they served pastoralists as a source of milk and a means of transportation. In this way, populations managed to migrate to unusually distant areas.
The Yamnaya, one of the the earliest pastoralist populations of the Eurasian steppe, began expanding out of the Pontic-Caspian steppe more than 5000 years ago. These migrations resulted in gene flow across vast areas, ultimately linking pastoralist populations in Scandinavia with groups that expanded into Siberia. Just how and why these pastoralists travelled such extraordinary distances in the Bronze Age has remained a mystery. Now a new study led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History has revealed a critical clue. The Bronze Age migrations seem to coincide with a simple but important dietary shift - the adoption of milk drinking.

The researchers drew on a humble but extraordinary source of information from the archaeological record - they looked at ancient tartar (dental calculus) on the teeth of preserved skeletons. By carefully removing samples of the built-up calculus, and using advanced molecular methods to extract and then analyse the proteins still preserved within this resistant and protective material, the researchers were able to identify which ancient individuals likely drank milk, and which did not.

Their results surprised them. "The pattern was incredibly strong," observes study leader and palaeoproteomics specialist Dr. Shevan Wilkin, "The majority of pre-Bronze Age Eneolithic individuals we tested - over 90% - showed absolutely no evidence of consuming dairy. In contrast, a remarkable 94% of the Early Bronze Age individuals had clearly been milk drinkers."


Potty-training cows - The MooLoo holds great pootential for reducing carbon emissions

A calf enters the latrine.
A calf enters the latrine.
Cows contribute massively to global emissions because of the greenhouse gases they produce. We're not talking hot air here. It's the No. 1s and No. 2s. Which is why potty training can be part of the solution.

On farms, cows graze freely, but that also means they poo and pee freely too. Unfortunately, this waste often contaminates the soil and waterways.

On the other hand, keeping cows in barns causes their urine and faeces to combine. This releases ammonia, which leaches into the soil where microbes convert it to nitrous oxide - the third most impactful greenhouse gas after methane and carbon dioxide.

To get around this, researchers from the Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Germany, and the University of Auckland, came up with a novel solution: a potty-training program for cows.

"It's usually assumed that cattle are not capable of controlling defecation or urination," says co-author Jan Langbein from FBN.

"[But] cattle, like many other animals or farm animals, are quite clever and they can learn a lot. So why shouldn't they be able to learn how to use a toilet?"

"People's reaction is, 'crazy scientists,' but actually, the building blocks are there," says Lindsay Matthews of the University of Auckland.

"Cows have bigger urinations when they wake up in the morning, which demonstrates they have the ability to withhold urination. There's nothing in their neurophysiology that radically differentiates them from animals, such as horses, monkeys and cats, that show latrine behaviour."