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Wed, 29 Mar 2017
The World for People who Think



Man mauled by own Staffordshire bull terrier dies in London

The Staffordshire bull terrier, which is not a breed prohibited under the Dangerous Dogs Act, injured the 41-year-old in Wood Green on 20 March.

The man, named locally as Mario Perivoitos, suffered injuries to this throat and was taken to hospital, but was pronounced dead two hours later.

The man was taking part in a BBC documentary at the time of the attack.

'A lot of blood'

Neighbour Geoff Morgan, 52, who was home at the time, said: "I heard shouting - 'Get him off! Get him off me!'

"He was shouting really loudly. He was bleeding from his neck. There was a lot of blood."

Avraam Avramidis, 31, who lived upstairs, said: "For me, Mario was a good guy. He was actually very clever."


Dead humpback washes ashore in Aurora, Philippines

Humpback Whale
A dead humpback whale washed ashore in the town of Dipaculao, Aurora province Tuesday night.

The marine mammal, which measured almost 15 feet long, was covered with wounds and bruises.

Dipaculao Mayor Joana Salamanca said they deployed a pay-loader to haul away the carcass and bury it Wednesday.

Local fishermen have also reported regular sightings of butanding or whale sharks off the coast of Casiguran. Last year, a dead whale shark washed ashore in the town.

© Cris Sansano
Officials measure the humpback whale carcass that washed ashore in Dipaculao, Aurora.


Moron decides to tease enormous alligator dressed as a T-Rex

© Daily Quotes
Watch as an idiot in a T-Rex costume teases an alligator with its dinner. The 35-year-old even admitted he couldn't really see in the costume and joked he'd be having a 'bad day' if the predator came out of the water. Don't ever try this. Don't be this stupid.


World's rarest, most ancient dog has been rediscovered in the wild

New Guinea Highland Wild Dog
After decades of fearing that the New Guinea highland wild dog had gone extinct in its native habitat, researchers have finally confirmed the existence of a healthy, viable population, hidden in one of the most remote and inhospitable regions on Earth.

According to DNA analysis, these are the most ancient and primitive canids in existence, and a recent expedition to New Guinea's remote central mountain spine has resulted in more than 100 photographs of at least 15 wild individuals, including males, females, and pups, thriving in isolation and far from human contact.

"The discovery and confirmation of the highland wild dog for the first time in over half a century is not only exciting, but an incredible opportunity for science," says the group behind the discovery, the New Guinea Highland Wild Dog Foundation (NGHWDF). "The 2016 Expedition was able to locate, observe, gather documentation and biological samples, and confirm through DNA testing that at least some specimens still exist and thrive in the highlands of New Guinea."
Wild dog sightings.


Surfer bitten by shark off New Smyrna Beach, Florida

A 58-year-old surfer was bitten in the foot by a shark Monday morning off of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, according to Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue.

The surfer was bitten just before 10 a.m. when he was 30-40 yards out in the ocean. The injury was considered minor and the surfer was not transported to the hospital.

In 2016, Volusia County (Daytona Beach area) had the largest number (15) of unprovoked shark bites among Florida counties, nearly doubling Volusia's recent five-year average of eight attacks per year.

University of Florida researchers say that the higher number of shark bites off the east coast of Central Florida is attributable to high aquatic recreational use by both Florida residents and tourists, including large numbers of surfers, and to the rich nature of its marine fauna.

Arrow Down

Farmland bird population in Netherlands decreased by 70 percent in 50 years

© Diliff / Wikimedia Commons
The number of farmland birds in the Netherlands decreased by over 2.5 million since 1960, which means about 70 percent of the total population disappeared. Some species are almost impossible to find in the Netherlands any longer, Statistics Netherlands revealed on Monday.

An estimated 750 thousand of the 1.1 million skylark breeding pairs disappeared. The partridge population dropped by 93 percent, the summer dove population by 92 percent, the tree sparrow population by 93 percent and the black tailed godwit by 68 percent.

Statistics Netherlands attributes the decrease partly to agricultural land in the Netherlands being replaced with housing or roads. An increase in fertilization and mowing of the land also reduces the amount and diversity of insects these birds eat. Bird nests are also often damaged or destroyed by intense fertilization or mowing.

Comment: For more about the widespread decline of farmland birds across Europe, see: The Vanishing: Europe's farmland birds down 55% in the last 3 decades


Dead whale removed from beach in Cape Town, South Africa

The whale carcass being dragged onto the beach for removal.
A beached whale carcass has been removed from a beach between Strandfontein and Muizenberg.

On Wednesday afternoon last week the NSRI Strandfontein duty crew and two NSRI Strandfontein rescue swimmers were dispatched to help at Sonwabi beach where officials of the City of Cape Town were dealing with the whale carcass in the breaker surf line.

There were no incidents and the City workers removed the whale from the beach.

Blue Planet

Endangered species survival: First Florida panther kittens found north of Caloosahatchee River in decades

© Florida Fish and Wildlife

Nursing Female Trail Cam catches the nursing female panther on 1-15-17. This was one in a series of photos that verified the presence of a nursing female and at least two panther kittens north of the Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida. These kittens are presumed to be the offspring of the first wild female panther documented north of the river since 1973.

Last year, state wildlife biologists said that they had spotted what they believed to be a female panther north of the Caloosahatchee River for the first time since 1973, a promising sign for the future of an endangered species that's been cooped up in the state's southwestern region for decades.

But they said they couldn't be sure unless the panther had kittens.

Now they're sure.

Wildlife biologists announced Monday that they've verified the presence of at least two kittens in that same area where they saw the female panther.

"This is good news for Florida panther conservation," said Kipp Frohlich of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. "Until now, we only had evidence of panthers breeding south of the Caloosahatchee. These pictures of a female with kittens indicate there are now panthers breeding north of the river."


Town terrorised by pack of cow-killing dogs in France

© Josh Plueger/ Wikimedia
A band of unruly dogs has been attacking a small town in Brittany for over a year, killing dozens of farm animals and pushing the locals to take radical steps.

The town of Bazouges-la-Pérouse, between Rennes and Saint-Malo, and its 2,000 inhabitants have suffered around 20 attacks on chickens, rabbits, goats and even cows.

In just a year, the pack of dogs ate 12 of one farmer's cows, and another lost 14 out of 17 geese.

And the town has had enough.

Better Earth

Galapagos penguin parents found feeding their grown offspring

Galápagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus)
A research team has found that fully grown Galapagos penguins who have fledged or left the nest continue to beg their parents for food, and sometimes, parents oblige and feed their adult offspring. It seems that humans are not alone in continuing to support offspring who have "left the nest."

"Through field seasons over the years when we were observing penguin behavior in the Galapagos Islands, we saw these isolated instances of adults feeding individuals who had obviously fledged and left the nest," said University of Washington biology professor Dee Boersma. "And now we've collected enough field observations to say that post-fledging parental care is a normal -- though probably rare -- part of Galapagos penguin behavior."

In a paper published online in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, the team led by Boersma, who has studied Galapagos penguins for more than four decades, reported observing five instances of post-fledging parental care during detailed field observations of wild Galapagos penguins from February 2006 to July 2015. Newly fledged adults, called fledglings, are about 60 days old and sport a distinct appearance due to their lightly colored feet and cheeks, as well as a relatively new and spotless coat of adult plumage.