World's rarest whale may have washed up on New Zealand beach

Rangers inspect what is believed to be a rare spade-toothed whale on July 5, 2024, after it was found washed ashore on a beach near Otago, New Zealand
Rangers inspect what is believed to be a rare spade-toothed whale on July 5, 2024, after it was found washed ashore on a beach near Otago, New Zealand
Spade-toothed whales are the world's rarest, with no live sightings ever recorded. No one knows how many there are, what they eat, or even where they live in the vast expanse of the southern Pacific Ocean. However, scientists in New Zealand may have finally caught a break.

The country's conservation agency said Monday a creature that washed up on a South Island beach this month is believed to be a spade-toothed whale. The five-meter-long creature, a type of beaked whale, was identified after it washed ashore on an Otago beach from its color patterns and the shape of its skull, beak and teeth.

"We know very little, practically nothing" about the creatures, Hannah Hendriks, marine technical adviser for the Department of Conservation, said. "This is going to lead to some amazing science and world-first information."

If the cetacean is confirmed to be the elusive spade-toothed whale, it would be the first specimen found in a state that would permit scientists to dissect it, allowing them to map the relationship of the whale to the few others of the species found, learn what it eats and perhaps lead to clues about where they live.


Elephants trample Spanish man to death in South Africa

More than a million people visit South Africa's parks each year (stock image)
© GettyMore than a million people visit South Africa's parks each year (stock image)
A Spanish tourist has been trampled to death by elephants after climbing out of his car to take photos of the herd at a game reserve in South Africa.

The unnamed 43-year-old man was visiting Pilanesberg National Park on Sunday morning with his fiancee and two other people when the attack happened, according to police.

The group had been driving around in their own vehicle before spotting three elephants with three calves, officers said.

Once the man got out of the car and walked towards the herd, the matriarch became "agitated" and charged at him, said Pieter Nel, a spokesman for the local tourism board.

Unable to escape, the man was then trampled on by the rest of the herd.

Local media report that the man was taken to hospital but died of his injuries, external.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strike kills 50 sheep in Doda, India

At least 50 sheep were killed while several sustained injuries by a lightning strike in Doda of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

According to Kashmir Media Service, Nitu Singh of Kahal Jagesar, the owner of the livestock, reported that approximately 50 sheep were killed and ten others injured after lightning struck the area.

He has also appealed to the district administration of Doda to send a team from the department concerned to assess the situation and treat the injured animals.


Woman killed in dog attack in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama

A Tuscaloosa County woman was killed in a dog attack Thursday night.

According to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office, deputies received a call of a dog attack around 9:20 p.m. on Highway 69 North close to the Berry community.

The person who called in the attack was a family member of the victim who was checking on her at the request of the victim's husband.

When the caller arrived he found the woman inside the pen and attempted to check on her. However, when he entered the pen the dog also attacked him. The sheriff's office stated the caller was then forced to put the dog down.


77 whales dead after mass stranding in Orkney, Scotland

Seventy-seven whales were stranded on
© British Divers Marine Life RescueSeventy-seven whales were stranded on Sanday, Orkney.
A pod of 77 pilot whales has died after a mass stranding on a beach in Orkney.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) rushed to Tresness beach on the Isle of Sanday just before 11am on Thursday to reports of a mass stranding of whales.

They found 77 whales, including several males up to 22ft (7m) long, as well as calves and juveniles.

Only 12 survived what is believed to be the largest mass stranding in Scotland since 1975.


'World-first' experimental mRNA herpes vaccine to be trialed on Asian elephants

asian elephant
© Mogens Trolle / Shutterstock.comThe vaccine's development and funding got a helping hand from the company trying to de-extinct mammoths.
A deadly disease for baby Asian elephants is the target for an mRNA vaccine that has been administered to an elephant for the first time. Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) is the number one killer for Asian elephant calves living under managed care in North America and Europe, and is a significant threat for free-ranging populations. It has also been connected to a number of African elephant deaths in the United States.

EEHV is so deadly because it can cause hemorrhagic disease characterized by damaged blood vessels, bleeding, and organ failure. To prevent this, the EEHV mRNA vaccine exposes elephants to the viral proteins that enable the virus to enter the host's cells, effectively preparing them so that they can launch an immune attack should the same viral proteins come knocking again. This means their bodies can fight off EEHV before it's had a chance to take hold.

The world-first vaccine was developed by Dr Paul Ling of the Baylor College of Medicine in partnership with Houston Zoo, with a helping hand from a few unexpected places. There's Colossal Biosciences, the de-extinction giants trying to bring back mammoths and save a few endangered species along the way, and the COVID-19 vaccine.

Comment: Let's see how the animal recipients of the (non-mRNA) covid jab are doing:
Famous gorilla "Little Joe" has died suddenly from a heart attack in the Saint Louis Zoo. In September 2021, the Director of Animal Health, Sathya Chinnadurai, bragged about how all the zoo animals had been conditioned into 'voluntarily' accepting the experimental Zoetis COVID-19 shot without resistance, even though no animals contracted COVID-19 during the pandemic. Zoetis got its start as a subsidiary of Pfizer
And the mRNA jabs have been shown to be much worse than the non-mRNA.

It's perhaps not too much of a stretch to be concerned as to how this experiment will turn out. More so when one considers the 'success' that is being had with bird flu: EU orders 40 million bird flu vaccines for 15 countries, Finland to start injecting 'select groups'


71-year-old woman dies after being attacked by dog in Florence, South Carolina

A 71-year-old woman has died after being attacked by a pit bull in the area of 1800 Brigadoone Lane in Florence, according to Captain Stephen Starling with the Florence Police Department.

Officials were dispatched to the area about an injured bicyclist.

Fire department members were on the scene and discovered the 71-year-old female who was riding a bike in the area when a dog got loose and attacked her, knocking her from her bike.

The dog bit the woman, causing traumatic injuries according to officials.

The victim was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead, according to officials.

He said Animal Control intends to get the dog and take it into custody for the time being.

The incident remains under investigation by Florence Police and the Florence County Coroners Office.


Dog mauls five-year-old girl to death in Nigeria

A five-year-old identified as Moriana Maruf died after a dog attacked her in Adagbada, Apete, Ibadan, Oyo State.

The canine, owned by one Mrs Eunice Kolade, mauled the girl around 7:40 am on Sunday. She was initially taken to a local hospital and later referred to University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, where she passed away.

Mr Sunday, a resident, euthanised the dog after the incident.

An anonymous source revealed the gravity of the attack, saying that the deceased was mauled beyond recognition.

"The dog attacked the little girl beyond recognition. She was taken to a private hospital and was later referred to UCH. She did not survive it."

When contacted on Wednesday, Adewale Osifeso, the Public Relations Officer of the state police command, said that the investigation was ongoing.


Signs and Portents: Snakes (or eels) break free from aircraft at Vancouver Airport

Vancouver Airport's creepy snake incident

While details of this incident are fairly limited, we do know that it took place on Monday, July 8, 2024, at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). In a video shared on social media, you can see cargo either being loaded onto or off an aircraft (it's not entirely clear in which direction it's headed).

However, the operation stops, as some of the "live cargo" escapes from a box. Specifically, a huge number of snakes are suddenly seen on the apron, with more escaping from the box. It's unknown how exactly the snakes got loose from the box. For that matter, one wonders if the ground handlers knew what the cargo even was, or if it was a surprise (I would assume the latter, since I can't imagine snakes can be transported in such a box).


Dogs maul boy to death in Pakistan

dog attack
In a tragic incident in Tando Allahyar, a pack of pet dogs attacked and killed a 13-year-old boy named Zahid Ali.

The attack took place at a poultry farm owned by Jado Leghari village, where Zahid and his father were cutting firewood.

Despite efforts, Zahid succumbed to multiple dog bites on the spot.

The news of his death spread through the village, causing an atmosphere of mourning among its residents who are now demanding action against the owner of the pet dogs.