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Sat, 25 Nov 2017
The World for People who Think



Wrong place, wrong time: American white pelican turns up on Prince Edward Island, Canada

© Eric McCarthy
An American white pelican in Black Pond, Pleasant View on Thursday. The bird, although rare to P.E.I. was first sighted Wednesday. It appears in no great hurry to join its kin in a more southerly climate.
Training his binoculars on something white he saw in the Black Pond in Pleasant View on Wednesday, David Aylward was surprised when an American white pelican came into view.

He had seen the aquatic birds with the big beaks during vacations in Florida before, but never anywhere near his Pleasant View home.

And while an internet search soon confirmed such sightings were rare for P.E.I., Aylward chuckled that one of those sightings was in the Souris area, in a body of water also called Black Pond.

Aylward believes the bird is healthy, just a few thousand kilometers off course.

"He's moving around; he's flying," he reported.


New data shows wolf population on the rise in Gemany with 60 packs found

Researchers have found 60 packs of wolves living across Germany. That's 13 more than last year. The news is likely to frustrate some farmers who believe the predators are dangerous and attack livestock.

The number of wolves in Germany has grown, according to data released Wednesday by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the Documentation and Counseling Center of the Federation of the Wolf (DBBW).

The researchers, who counted the wolves by analyzing photographs of traps, animal feces, and other traces, found 60 packs are now living across the country, which is 13 more than a year ago.

Overall, there are between 150-160 adult wolves in Germany, Beae Jessel, the president of BfN told reporters in Berlin. A year ago, there were estimated to only be around 140 wolves and 47 packs.


Elephant kills man who tried to take its photo in West Bengal, India

Witnesses looked on as the elephant launched a vicious attack on the man, who died on the spot
In a horrific instance of human-animal conflict, an elephant in north Bengal trampled a man to death when he stepped out of his vehicle on a highway to take a photograph of the tusker.

The incident took place at 5 pm in Lataguri forest area of Jalpaiguri district. The elephant brought traffic to a grinding halt when crossing National Highway 31.

Sadik Rahman, 40, a security guard at a Jalpaiguri bank, was on his way to work at the time and made the unfortunate mistake of getting out of his car to take photographs of the animal.


90-year-old woman killed by stray dog at her home in Andhra Pradesh, India

© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
In a tragic incident a 90-year-old woman died in stray dog attack at Keshavaswamypet in Ongole town of Prakasham district. Penigalla Venkayamma (90) was living in her old tile house though her son lives in the town.

Venkayamma was keen on staying in her home that was built by her husband Appaiah. Though her son Koteswar Rao lives in Kummaripalem in Ongole town, she remained in the house as she was sentimentally attached to it. She even turned down the requests of his son and even came back to the old house when he took her to his house.

Koteswar Rao used to take her lunch every day in the afternoon. On Wednesday when he came along with the lunch box, he found his mother dead with injuries on her face, hands and legs. He alerted the neighbours and inquired if they identified anything suspicious. However, they did not approached police to lodge a complaint.


Bye-bye Great Bear: Body count is mounting for Yellowstone grizzly bears after US government strips endangered species protection

With the recent cold snap, some Yellowstone grizzly bears are slowing down - but it will still be another week or more before they are snug in dens and out of harms' way for the winter. In a disturbing trend, this year the bear body count continues to mount at a time when the population has been, by weight of evidence, declining. This problem will likely worsen with the federal government's decision last spring to strip endangered species protections from Yellowstone's grizzly bears and give management authority to the states ("delist").

Here, as elsewhere in the lower-48 states, government scientists have found that most grizzly bears die from human causes. This year is no exception. Only three of the 51 recorded grizzly bear deaths may be from natural causes.

And the rate of killing is shocking - one bear approximately every two days since hunting season began in October. Never have so many bear deaths been investigated for possible foul play in one year - 26 bears and counting, more than half of all known deaths.


Koala bear attacks man in front yard in Wahroonga, Australia

Mr Barnett with a photo of his attacker
Brutal attacks don't normally come to mind when you think of the cuddly koala — but one has left a Wahroonga man in hospital for a week after it bit him in his front yard.

Michael Barnett, 84, from Yanilla Ave, Wahroonga was attacked by the koala last Monday while he was trying to rescue the animal from a flock of angry cockatoos.

Mr Barnett was unsure where the koala's natural habitat was but his property backs onto the Lane Cove National Park.

"It is an incredible story," Mr Barnett told the Hornsby Advocate. "The first koala I see in the area in over 40 years and it bites me while I am trying to rescue it."

The attack comes after a rogue ferret bit a Baulkham Hills woman while she slept earlier this week.

Comment: See also these other odd incidents: More weird animal behaviour: Koala bear chases woman on quad bike in South Australia

Woman left bloodied after attack by koala in Willaston, Australia


Girl recovering from shark attack off Melbourne Beach, Florida

© Tim Shortt/Florida Today
Kaia Anderson, 14, of Floridana Beach (south of Melbourne Beach) was bitten by a shark this past Saturday while surfing. While being interviewed, their dog Spot wanted to be in the photo.
Crystal-clear water and lingering mix swell revealed some excited ocean activity in Central Florida last weekend — both above and below the surface. On Saturday evening, at about an hour or two before sunset, 14-year-old surfer Kaia Anderson was bitten by what is believed to be a spinner shark off a Floridana Beach access in southern Melbourne Beach.

"Kaia lives right next door to me, she's probably the nicest girl I've ever met in my entire life, and she and her sister go surfing every single day," said local pro Chauncey Robinson, who witnessed the attack. "I'd been up at the access watching the waves for 30 minutes prior and saw a shark go through a wave, but others thought it was a dolphin, since there were a few of those out, too. Then, probably ten minutes before it happened, I saw a spinner shark jump out the back and splash in front of everyone.


Habitat loss results in a 90% population reduction of monarch butterflies in 25 years

Monarch butterflies
Many species of pollinators are in sharp decline in Wisconsin.

Recently, a DNR program was granted more almost $70,000 to aid in helping Monarch butterflies. The grant was to help the insects during their annual trek to Mexico over the winter. The grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to restore and enhance critical monarch butterfly habitat along the Mississippi River.

But the DNR's Owen Boyle says the populations of the once-common Monarchs have fallen by 90 percent in the last 25 years.


Five dolphins strand themselves in Mayo, Ireland; one dies

© Tommy English
Locals and volunteers working hard to get one of the dolphins back safely in the water.
Four stranded dolphins were successfully rescued and returned to the sea off Achill Island today (Tuesday). The mammals, which were described as distressed and exhausted, were found by members of the public this morning.

The four common dolphins were discovered alive but in difficulty around 11am on the sand on Keem beach. A fifth mammal was also discovered, but was unfortunately found lying dead on the rocks.

A number of local volunteers initially went to the beach to try to rescue the surviving dolphins, but the low tide and lack of appropriate clothing made it difficult to successfully return the much-loved mammals to the sea.

Sorsha Kennedy, a local volunteer with Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland was called to help, and with the assistance of David McNamara of the Achill Coast Guard Unit, and they eventually returned all the live dolphins to the water around 1pm.


Rare oarfish discovered on beach in Kingston, South Australia

A rare discovery washed up on Kingston's shore last week.

The remains of an Oarfish was discovered on the Kingston beach by Sharryn Tiller and her dog Hugo on November 11.

Living in the deep sea, the fish is rarely seen and its behaviour not widely studied, and it is believed to have inspired tales of sea serpents.

"I was taking Hugo for a walk along the beach and we came across this great big dead fish," said Sharryn.

"I thought what on earth is it? I stood there thinking maybe it was an eel.

"But eels don't have whiskers, this fish had great long hard whiskers.

"I came home and my husband was chatting to our neighbour, Dan Watson and I mentioned what I had seen on the beach.