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Sat, 04 Dec 2021
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Peeved pachyderms: Report says 3,310 people died due to wild elephant attacks in last 7 years across India - Rise in number of deaths 'alarming'

As many as 3,310 people have died due to attacks by wild elephants in the last seven years. The data was revealed by the ministry of forest, environment and climate change in response to an RTI application.

Kerala-based RTI campaigner K Govindan Nampoothiry, in his RTI query, has sought details about the death toll due to the wild pachyderm attacks in the last seven years.

The reply revealed that Odisha has the maximum number of deaths, followed by West Bengal, Assam, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand.

While Odisha registered the maximum deaths, 589, during 2014-15 to 2020-21 (as per the data up to December 31, 2020). In West Bengal, 562 people have died in wild elephant attacks. It is followed by Assam (479), Chhattisgarh (413) and Jharkhand (480).

"The highest number of deaths was reported in 2019-20; 585 people were killed by wild elephants, reveals the RTI document. While in 2016-17, 516 and in 2017-18, 506 people lost their lives," Nampoothiry told India Today.

Comment: Just to underscore this rising trend in fatal elephant attacks, see this June, 2021 report concerning the situation on the nearby island of Sri Lanka:
55 people killed in 6 months due to human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka

Fifty-five people were killed across Sri Lanka within the past six months over the human-elephant conflict, local media reported on Tuesday.

A total of 158 wild elephants were also killed in the period.

According to a report by Sri Lanka's Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), the 158 elephants were killed from electrocution, explosive baits called "Hakka Patas," and gunshot wounds, among others.

The DWC said earlier this year that the deaths of elephants caused by the human-elephant conflict had declined in 2020 in the country after it recorded the world's highest number of elephant deaths due to human actions in 2019.

Official statistics showed that 318 elephants were killed in 2020 compared with 407 in 2019, which ranked Sri Lanka as the world's number one country for elephant deaths due to conflicts with humans.

A total of 112 persons were killed due to elephant attacks in 2020, recording a drop of 8 percent in human deaths since 2019.

Killing wild elephants in Sri Lanka is a criminal offense but there have been regular reports of angry villagers poisoning or shooting them.

Official records showed the population of wild elephants in Sri Lanka is estimated at 7,500.


Dead humpback whale washes ashore in Point Reyes, California

The whale washed ashore Friday between the southern parking lot and the Point Reyes Lighthouse.

The whale washed ashore Friday between the southern parking lot and the Point Reyes Lighthouse.
The body of a 35-foot long female Humpback whale remains in the surf in a remote section of Ten Mile Beach in Point Reyes.

The whale washed ashore Friday between the southern parking lot and the Point Reyes Lighthouse.

When a whale washes ashore, we humans tend to wonder, or even assume, that somehow, we might be to blame. Was the cause environmental? A ship strike? A loose piece of fisherman's netting?


A five-year-old boy dies from a dog attack in Córdoba, Spain

dog attack
A five-year-old boy died this past dawn in Lucena (Córdoba) after being attacked by a dog, which gave him lethal bites. The event occurred around three in the morning when a Belgian Malinois dog attacked the child, who was sleeping inside a private country house where his family works as a landlady, he advanced the newspaper Lucena Today.

The dog, microchipped and owned by the owner of the farm, injured the child in the neck and chest. The emergency coordination center received the notice from the minor's parents shortly after the attack, which occurred in the country house located on the Rute road, an access to the Cordovan town.


Man suffers serious leg injury in shark attack off Grand Isle, Louisiana

Shark attacks
The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a crew member from a fishing vessel after a shark attack about 35 miles southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana on Friday.

The Coast Guard sector in New Orleans received a call at about 12:51 a.m. from personnel aboard the Moon Glow vessel.

According to personnel, a 64-year-old crew member sustained a severe leg injury from the attack. The man was reportedly untangling fishing nets from the vessel's propeller when he fell overboard and was attacked.

Eye 1

Man dies following shark attack off Australia's eastern coast

Great white shark
A man has died after being attacked by a shark off Australia's eastern coast.

Surfers, bystanders and paramedics tried to give him CPR, but he had a critical arm injury and could not be revived.

The attack occurred off Shelly and Emerald beaches in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales - about 330 miles (530km) north of Sydney.

Beaches in the area were busy at the time of the incident on Sunday, as families celebrated Father's Day in the country.

Aaron Armstrong, who saw what happened, said it was the first shark attack in the community that he and other locals knew of.

He added: "[We were] just out in the surf and we just saw a few people getting out of the water and we were pretty excited to be honest because we were like 'yes, less people in the water'.


Signs and Portents: Buffalo gives birth to a rare two-headed calf in Rajasthan, India

two headed
© Times Now
The animal kingdom is miraculous! A recent sight made us believe in its miracle even more.

A buffalo gave birth to a rare two-headed calf in Rajasthan's Pura Sikrauda village of Dholpur district. The newborn calf has two necks, two mouths, four eyes and four ears.

As soon as the calf was born it became the centre of attraction in the village as locals flocked to take a look at the animal themselves.

Veterinarian Gudde Singh said the buffalo gave birth to the calf without the help of any specialist. He added that the calf is completely healthy and is being taken care of in a normal matter. However, the villagers are still regarding it as a curious specimen.


Dead gray whale washes up on Samoa Beach, California

Photo of the whale provided by reader Sean Barron.

Photo of the whale provided by reader Sean Barron.
A 27-foot gray whale has washed ashore on Samoa Beach near the Samoa Drag Strip.

Stranding Coordinator for the Marine Mammal Stranding Program Allison Lui told the Outpost that the female, subadult whale was reported to be dead when it first washed up on the beach Tuesday evening.

"We were able to conduct an external exam and collect samples yesterday," Lui said. "Sample analysis takes some time so the results are not available just yet, but we will be coordinating with our partners at the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding network to confirm our findings in the near future."


91-year-old woman died following dog attack in Bloomfield Township, Michigan

stock photo
Stock photo
Bloomfield Township police say they are investigating after a 91-year-old woman died following a reported dog attack.

Police say they were called out to a house on Berry Drive around 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Once there, they say they found a 91-year-old woman unresponsive and seriously injured by a Rottweiler living in the house.

The victim was transported to the hospital where she later died from her injuries.

The dog is currently being held at the Bloomfield Township Animal Shelter.


Unprecedented number of porpoises wash ashore on the Wadden Islands, Netherlands - around 100 so far

Around 100 dead harbour porpoises have so far been spotted in the Wadden Islands.

Around 100 dead harbour porpoises have so far been spotted in the Wadden Islands.
Dozens of dead adult porpoises have washed ashore since Thursday on the Wadden Islands, SOS Dolphin reported. An epidemic could be at hand, according to Omroep Fryslan.

Volunteers from the animal rescue have one day to gather all reports and remove the animals from the beach.

The porpoises have been washing ashore on the beaches on the north side of the islands of Vlieland, Ameland, Terschelling and Schmiermonnikoog. Almost all of the porpoises were in a state of decomposition, according to the Dutch governmental organization for forestry.

The recent north wind is responsible for driving the dead animals to the shore more quickly, but the number of stranded porpoises found within a short period of time is unprecedented, SOS Dolphin said.


Gray wolf spotted for 1st time in decades in Kern County, California

A gray wolf in Kern County, California on May 15, 2021
© California Department of Fish and Wildlife
A gray wolf in Kern County, California on May 15, 2021
A gray wolf was spotted in Kern County earlier this year, the farthest south the species has traveled since being reintroduced in California after going extinct, wildlife officials said.

The collared gray wolf was captured on a trail camera drinking from a water trough on private property back on May 15, but officials received the footage last week, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a statement Saturday.

It is possible the wolf could be OR-93, a young male wolf that entered California from Oregon in January. The animal was spotted in San Luis Obispo County on April 5, when his collar stopped transmitting, they said.