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Fri, 21 Jul 2017
The World for People who Think



'Locust plague' invades southern Russian region

© ROLEX TV / YouTube
Spine-tingling footage shows a swarm of locusts traveling across a road in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan, where swaths of land have been infested by the plague.

The amateur video, filmed through the windscreen of a moving car, shows what at first seems to be a sandstorm looming on the horizon. However, as the car approaches, the dense cloud turns out to be a chaotic mass of giant bugs making their way across the road.

The infestation of locusts prompted local authorities to declare a state of emergency in parts of the republic last month, with some 114,000 hectares of agricultural land affected.

Despite measures being taken, such as fumigation from tractors and planes, the locusts have been eating their way through the republic's farmland since early summer, destroying crops and grazing.


Sperm whale found dead in Andhra Pradesh, India

Environmental activists and wildlife lovers are demanding that the skeleton of the sperm whale that was found dead at Gilakaladindi a few days ago be preserved.

The manner in which the carcass of the giant mammal, classified as a protected species, was left to rot on the shore has raised the hackles of environmentalists.

Vijayawada-based environmental activist Duggaraju Srinivasa Rao, who mooted the idea of preserving the whale's skeleton, says the remains of the whale were preserved in the past. In the late 70s, a skeleton was preserved at Chirala in Prakasam district by CFR Sarma College with technical assistance from Zoological Survey of India. Andhra University also did the same about 30 years back, Srinivasa Rao recalled.


Alligator attacks Peace River swimmer in Arcadia, Florida; 4th such incident in 10 days

© AP
An alligator bit a man swimming in the Peace River Sunday afternoon -- this is one of four attacks to have occurred in the past 10 days and the second attack in the area.

Russell Mendelsohn, 34, was bitten on his left foot while wading in the waters at Morgan Park in Arcadia.

One witness we spoke with told us he saw Mendelsohn playing in the water with his two daughters and then he heard him scream.

Justin Cassell watched on as he pulled his two daughters out of the water. When he got to the shore, it was clear Mendelsohn had been attacked by an alligator.

Comment: See also: 71-year-old woman attacked by alligator in San Carlos Park, Florida; third attack in just 3 days for the state

Cloud Lightning

Three donkeys killed by lightning in Clanton, Alabama

A fierce lightning storm passed through Chilton County on July 17 and killed three donkeys owned by Ralph Mims on his property at 247 County Road 77 in Clanton.

The result is an unfortunate reminder of the damage that lightning can cause and the short time that it takes to do so.

"People do not respect lighting enough," Mims said.

The donkeys were each about 8 to 10 years old and were used by Mims to help work on the land.

"They were just good working donkeys," Mims said. "I would have never sold them for nothing."

Bizarro Earth

Vandals on the loose: Gang of goats terrorizes Colorado business

A destructive criminal remains on the loose in Louisville. Police believe he's part of a gang that spent almost 30 minutes terrorizing a local business.

Employees at Kryptane Systems arrived at work to find the front doors had been shattered.

The company's president did what anyone would do. He called police to report a break-in.

"There was shattered glass everywhere. Instantly he thought it was vandals of some sort," said Greg Cappert, an engineer for the company.


Whale carcass towed out to sea by lifeguards from beach in Marshfield, Massachusetts

© Greg Derr
The Marshfield harbormaster's office towed a whale carcass 3 miles out to sea Monday, in hopes that it would not wash back up on Rexhame Beach.

The carcass, about 22 feet long, had been seen at different local beaches starting Friday. The carcass' state of decomposition made it is difficult to tell how old the whale was or what killed it, Marshfield Harbormaster Michael Dimeo said.

"It was hard to even identify it," Dimeo said.

The harbormaster's office decided to tow the carcass far from shore after considering burying it at Plymouth Beach. Towing it and "letting nature take its course" was the best option, Dimeo said.


Dog attacks have increased by 57% in Australia since 2003

© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
Dog attacks in Australia are increasing, with more than 2000 people seriously injured every year.

The sharp rise in dog attacks is leaving children with horrific facial injuries and comes despite crackdowns on dangerous breeds. New research reveals that since 2003 the rate of dog attacks has increased by 57 per cent.

The Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania found dog attacks hospitalised 31,218 people in 12 years with children injured at twice the rate of adults.

"Legislation has been introduced to restrict ownership of dangerous breeds in Australia yet rates of dog bites have increased," Associate Professor Leigh Blizzard said.

Prof Blizzard warned underreporting masked the true extent of the problem.

"People are trying to avoid being investigated because their beloved pooch has bitten the baby," he said. NSW had the lowest rates of dog attacks.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills 50 goats in north China

Lightning strike in north China's Shanxi killed a herd of 50 goats.

Arrow Down

Elderly Indians sent into forest as tiger prey

Families in Uttar Pradesh are sending the elderly members of their houses into forests as tiger prey to claim compensation worth lakhs from the government.
© Reuters
Villages bordering Pilibhit Tiger Reserve are sending elderly as tiger prey.
A bizarre trend is said to be afoot in villages bordering the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR). Authorities suspect local families are sending older members into the forest as tiger prey, and their bodies then relocated to fields, to feign attacks and claim lakhs in compensation from the government.

Villagers aren't entitled to compensation if their kin die in the reserve.

There has been a string of recent fatal tiger attacks on the elderly, with seven deaths reported in the proximity of the Mala forest range alone since February 16.


Two bizarre massive fish wash up dead on Chinese beach

Residents of Liu’ao Township in China found this colossal sunfish washed up
Residents of a Chinese village have been spooked after two colossal and bizarre fish washed up on their shores in the space of just three days.

Residents of Liu'ao Township in Zhangpu County, Fujian, East China, first found a large ocean sunfish (Mola mola) before coming across an oarfish lying on the sand.

Both the strange-looking creatures were dead by the time they washed ashore, and it is unclear what might have caused them to die.

Local authorities were called on both occasions and confirmed the species of the two unexpected visitors, which are now being kept for research purposes.