Archive for the ‘Animal Rebellion Update’ Category

Yet another drunk elephant rampage in India

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

Elephants on drunken rampage kill three people

Binge-drinking elephants, drunk on local hooch, have killed three people and destroyed 60 homes in a four-day rampage in east India.

Yesterday they were reported by local officials to be sleeping off hangovers as shocked communities tried to clear the wreckage left by the 70-strong herd in remote villages on the borders of the states of Orissa and West Bengal.

With a local festival approaching, villagers had stockpiled the fermented-rice based drink which is stored in earthenware vessels and, according to Bijay Kumar Panda, a local administrator, the elephants found and drank it.

They then staggered through the surrounding area and began “to fall asleep hither and thither, throwing life completely haywire”.

According to the Pioneer newspaper, the “jumbos” are known “for their love of local country-made brews” which they “gulp down and make merry at the expense of the villagers”.

Squirrels join the War on Christmas

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

Braintree mayor vows to save Christmas from squirrels

Grinch-like squirrels with hearts three sizes too small failed to steal Christmas from Braintree — but the furry little fiends did gum up the town’s tree-lighting festivities.

The yuletide buzz-killers managed to chew through wires on lights strung on four of the eight trees on the town hall mall.

But fear not, Braintree, said a defiant Mayor Joseph Sullivan: “We will have Christmas lights on the town hall mall, despite the squirrels’ desire to thwart Christmas lights in Braintree.”

The ceremony was supposed to take place tomorrow, but when the lights were tested earlier this week, town officials learned the wires had been gnawed and some of the bulbs would not work.

Zimbabwe lions get their man

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Zimbabwean man killed by lions while showering

The man was attacked while using an outside shower at a fishing camp near Mana Pools National Park, Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwean Conservation Task Force told German news agency DPA.

The area, located on the Zambesi River, is popular with hunters, most of whom stay in basic camps that offer little protection against attack by wild animals.

The attack is the latest in a string of lion attacks in the area, Mr Rodrigues said.

Eight villagers were killed in a spate of lion attacks over a period of about two months this year, he said. Those attacks only stopped when a pride of lions was killed.

Croc on a Plane!

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Crocodile caused plane crash: survivor:

A plane crash in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that killed a British pilot and 19 others could have been caused by an escaped crocodile, a magazine has reported.

The aircraft plummeted to the ground when the animal, which had been smuggled into the cabin, sparked panic among passengers, the unnamed sole survivor told African magazine Jeune Afrique.

A British expert, who is investigating the crash for the Department for Transport, said he could not rule out a crocodile as the cause, but added it would be “extremely unlikely”.

According to reports, the accident followed a stampede of terrified passengers fleeing the crocodile after it freed itself from a sports bag in which it had been carried on board.

Bees on the rampage in Texas

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Man suffers shocking injuries after being stung 1200 times by angry swarm of bees

AN AMERICAN stung 1200 times by a swarm of bees as he mowed his lawn has amazed doctors and family with his survival.

Lamar LaCaze, 65, was riding his tractor when he was suddenly set upon by the bees near his home in San Marcos, 270 kilometres, west of Houston, Texas, last month.

 ”The bees … just flashed up in my face,” he told the San Marcos Daily Record. “I couldn’t stand up. They just keep [sic] buzzing me.”

Mr LaCaze got off his tractor and tried to call his wife, but was unable to reach her. He was not rescued until his son, Trey, arrived home and, having found his father slumped over a fence, called emergency services.

“He was not moving. When I went to pull him out he looked up. His head was black, solid bees. It looked like a bee hive on his head,” Trey LaCaze said.

Doctors pulled more than 1200 stingers out of Mr LacCaze’s body, and also pulled whole bees from his ears, nose, mouth and throat

Maggots on a Plane

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Maggot infestation grounds US plane.

Maggots falling from an overhead luggage bin has stopped a US plane from taking off.

Passengers were horrified to see the larvae dropping onto an unsuspecting passenger as others began to panic and cause a commotion, US media report.

US Airways blamed spoiled meat in a suitcase on board the Atlanta-to-New York flight on Monday.

The plane was taxiing down the runway at Atlanta’s international airport when passengers were told they would be returning to the airport gate because of a “minor emergency”.

“The maggots, they started to drip out of the bin in row 15,” passenger Dona Adamo told TV network Fox 5.

Turtle videography in the Caribbean

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Home video filmed by a TURTLE as diver’s lost camera is taken on a 1,100-mile ocean odyssey

The 1,100-mile journey of a diver’s camera lost in the Caribbean has been revealed with the extraordinary help of a sea turtle who switched it on and filmed some of the epic adventure.

Royal Dutch Navy sergeant Dick de Bruin was exploring a wreck off the tropical island of Aruba last year when his bright red camera silently floated away.

Yet following a six-month odyssey the camera has found its way back to Mr Dr Bruin, with some unique ocean footage recorded by the turtle.

The lost camera was reunited with Mr de Bruin thanks to some impressive detective work by a Florida coastguard, who spotted it pounding against the rocks of a Key West marina on May 16.

Paul Shultz waded into the waters for a closer look and fished out the Nikon camera, small enough to fit in the palm of his hand.

Its waterproof plastic case was covered with six months’ worth of crusty sea growth, but the camera itself was in an almost pristine condition.

However, clues to tracking down its owner were few.

There were photos of two men preparing to scuba dive; a family nestled together on a couch; a mysterious relic settled deep into the sea floor – and a puzzling video clip of splashing water that appeared to have been taken as the camera thrashed around under the control of something that wasn’t human.

Elephants up the ante in Bangladesh!

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Flame-throwing elephants clash with humans over resources in Bangladesh | Herald Sun:

AN increasing number of humans are being killed by wild elephants each year in Bangladesh – with many of the fatalities occurring because people settle in the animals’ migration corridors.

Bangladesh is home to only an estimated 227 wild Asian elephants, but up to 100 more migrate through the country each year, mostly through the north and northeast, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

As more people in Bangladesh, one of the world’s most densely populated nations, settle in the elephant corridor areas, they are more likely to be attacked by confused, angry pachyderms.

There are now hundreds of villages along the densely-forested Indian border and residents of the area say they frequently have to drive away herds of wild elephants that come to raid their paddy fields and fruit trees.

During harvesting season, the villagers form night patrols and use kerosene torches, firecrackers and drums to drive the elephants away, but these efforts are becoming increasingly futile.

Tribal leader Luise Neng Minja said the elephants, which shelter in the forest during the day and come down to villages at night, used to flee but now they are no longer so scared.

“I’ve seen an elephant snatch a torch from a man with its trunk while we were driving away a herd, and throw the flame on a house, setting it on fire,” said Luise, 51.

Rabbits or rats, you make the call

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Island which spent £600,000 getting rid of rats over-run with rabbits:

The last rat was seen on the tiny island of Canna four years ago after specialist pest controllers were brought in from more than 11,000 miles away to deal with the problem.

But now islanders are complaining that the rodent’s disappearance has led to thousands of rabbits invading the island because there are no rats to keep their numbers down.

The problem is so bad that locals say historic monuments are being “devastated” by the rabbits and they are devouring the self-sufficient islanders’ gardens away.

Even the island’s only restaurant has responded to the bounty and put on dishes of rabbit and cranberry with pistachio and rabbit pie in a rosemary and thyme cream sauce.

Monkey on the loose for over a year in Florida!

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Elusive Monkey Romps in Tampa Bay Area:

In the hours after a monkey on the lam fell into a woman’s pool and then swiped some fruit from her backyard tree, fans of the wily primate cheered it for avoiding capture.

“Go little monkey, go! No cages for you,” wrote a guy named Jack on the “Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay” Facebook fan page. (There were more than 16,000 fans of the elusive monkey as of Wednesday morning.)

“I sure hope ‘they’ don’t catch you!” wrote a woman named Kathleen.

“Why can’t ‘they’ just leave you alone?”

Why, indeed? The rhesus macaque monkey has avoided capture for nearly a year.

Authorities don’t know where the animal came from, but some believe it could have gotten separated from a troupe of wild monkeys in an Ocala-area state park, some 118 miles north of St. Petersburg.

Another possibility: the animal could have escaped from an unpermitted owner. The creature has captivated people in Tampa Bay and beyond — possibly because of his ability to outwit the humans trying to catch him.

“It’s something that you can kind of cheer for,” said Amy Ellis, a Pasco County employee who has become a fan of the monkey on Facebook. “Every day there’s so much bad news. He’s kind of like a little hero.”

Bees on the rampage in N. Phoenix

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Two women stung about 100 times each by swarm of bees in N. Phoenix

A group of people were seriously injured when they were attacked by a swarm of bees in north Phoenix.

It happened at about 8 p.m. at a Wal-Mart store in the area of 3rd Avenue and Bell Road. The victims were rushed to the hospital after the attacks.

Two people are in critical condition and a third person who jumped in to help was also hospitalized.

3TV has learned two women were walking down the street when they were attacked by the swarm of bees. Witnesses say there were so many bees that at one point they could not see the women’s faces.

Heather Laroc, who saw the bee attack, tells 3TV, “We hear screaming from outside and there’s two ladies laying in the street and they’re covered with bees from head to toe. You could just not see their skin and screaming ‘Help, help, help’.”

That woman called the police and the fire department.

By the time first responders arrived the two older women were still blanketed with bees.

They had been stung almost 100 times each. Two men who jumped in to try to help them were also stung.

The women and one man were rushed to the hospital.

Firefighters searched for the hive and eventually found it and took it down.

Wolves give teacher her final lesson

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Teacher found dead; wolves to blame?

Villagers in a remote Alaska region are blaming the death of a 32-year-old schoolteacher on wolves after her body was found along on isolated road, though an autopsy completed Thursday was inconclusive.

The autopsy concluded that Candice Berner was killed by animals, the Alaska State Troopers said.

The agency’s chief said the autopsy could not determine for sure if wolves were responsible but it ruled out other causes of death.

Col. Audie Holloway said DNA tests might determine whether wolves are responsible.

Berner, who had arrived in Alaska just last August, appeared to have been attacked while jogging and her body pulled off the road, villagers in Chignik Lake told The Anchorage Daily News.

Four people riding snowmachines came across her body about 6:30 p.m. Monday, the newspaper reported.

“There was a blood spot on the road,” Gregory Kalmakoff, 23, told the Daily News by phone Wednesday. “I turned around, looked and there was drag marks going down a little hill.”

Owl seizes chihuahua

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Owl Flies Off with Chihuahua in California:

Most pet owners take steps to protect their animals. In Santa Rosa, California, Odessa Gunn worried a car or coyote might one day claim the lives of her dogs, which is why she and her husband, renowned American cyclist Levi Leipheimer, fenced in their property.

But Fox News reported Wednesday that they’re mourning the loss of their beloved Chihuahua, Trooper, and nursing their other dog, Bandit, back to health. The attacker came from an unlikely place — the sky.

Gunn had just let her dogs out into the backyard and was preparing to join them. She recalls, “in the time it took me to put my boots on, I heard what sounded like a really horrendous cat screeching noise. I thought it was a mountain lion or a bobcat or something.”

In fact, it was a pair of Great Horned Owls, birds that typically eat rats and squirrels. On this recent night, the birds set their sites on larger prey. From out of the darkness, the two owls swooped down and attacked Trooper and Bandit, just feet away from where Gunn stood.

After a violent struggle, Bandit escaped, bloody and limping, but Trooper was carried off and hasn’t been seen since. No fur. No blood. Nothing.

Mountain lion home invasion in Colorado

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Mountain lion killed after mauling dogs in Salida home 

Wildlife officials killed a mountain lion yesterday that invaded a home near Salida, attacking five dogs and trapping a mother and two children.

The mountain lion entered the home nine miles northwest of Salida about 4 p.m. Thursday after it chased a small dog through a pet door. Michelle Bese, 27, and her two children, ages two and five, were inside with four of her five dogs.

Bese said in an interview that her Jack Russell terrier had been outside when it spotted the mountain lion and began barking at it. The mountain lion jumped a 9-foot fence and chased the six-year-old Jack Russell terrier, named Shai, through the pet door.

Bese was sitting at the kitchen table with her five-year-old son Logan, who was coloring.

“At first I thought it was a stray dog, then maybe a coyote because it was not very big,” said Bese. However, she realized it was “a cat” when the dog turned and confronted the mountain lion.

Bese took Logan and ran to the back bedroom where Avery, her two-year-old, was sleeping. She said Logan couldn’t figure why she was dragging him through the house.

“He didn’t see the lion. He thought I was pretty mad at him,” she said. She shut the bedroom door but then realized the phone was in the living room with the cat.

Her husband, Devin, was driving home with their 9-year-old daughter, Mary, and Bese wanted to warn him. She dashed out of the bedroom, got the phone, ran back and called her husband and then 911.

When her husband arrived, he helped her and the two children out a bedroom window. Minutes later, deputies from the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office arrived with Colorado Division of Wildlife officials.

The mountain lion stayed inside, where it had killed one of the dogs, even as a DOW officer pounded on the walls and windows. At that point officers went in and the cat was tranquilized, the DOW said in a news release.

Please don’t feed the bears!

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Woman Bitten by Bear at Wisconsin Zoo, Fingers Severed 

Police say a bear bit off a woman’s fingers at a Wisconsin zoo after she ignored barriers and warning signs to try to feed the animal.

The Lincoln Park Zoo in Manitowoc closed after the incident Friday morning.

Police say the 47-year-old woman lost a thumb and a forefinger, and two other fingers were partially severed.

The woman’s boyfriend was bitten as he tried to pry the bear’s mouth off her hand, but he didn’t lose any fingers.

Her 3-year-old granddaughter wasn’t injured.

A mayor’s office statement says alcohol played a factor.

Shamu gets another kill

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

1 dead at SeaWorld Orlando Shamu attraction

A SeaWorld employee died this afternoon during an incident at SeaWorld’s Shamu Stadium, an Orange County Sheriff’s Office official confirmed.

SeaWorld, rescue personnel and the Sheriff’s Office are not revealing the identity of the victim, although a local TV station is reporting that it was a female employee who was killed after she was grabbed by one of the theme park’s whales at the start of a public show.

Park guest Victoria Biniak told Local 6 that the trainer was a veteran of SeaWorld and had just finished explaining to the audience what they would see during the performance.At that point, Biniak said, the whale came up from the water and grabbed the woman.

Dragons on the attack in Indonesia

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Indonesian ranger freed from jaws of Komodo dragon.

An Indonesian park ranger escaped an attack by a Komodo dragon, the worlds largest lizard species, when his colleagues heard his cries for help and drove the reptile away.

Marcelinus Subanghadir was outside his hut on Komodo Island late Monday when a nearly 7-foot-long more than 2-meter-long dragon grabbed hold of his right foot, Komodo National Park chief Tamen Sitorus said.

The dragon had Subanghadirs foot clamped in its shark-like, serrated teeth until fellow rangers heard his screams and drove it off with wooden clubs, Sitorus said.

ySubanghadir, 34, suffered deep lacerations and was recovering at a hospital on nearby Bali.

Swordfish on the attack in Angola

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Swordfish attack Angolan oil pipeline:

Swordfish punctured part of an oil loading pipe in Angola, causing a three-day delay to tanker shipments of Girassol crude, traders said on Tuesday.

French oil company Total TOTF.PA, which operates the crude stream declared force majeure on shipments, but lifted it on Monday.

In general, force majeure frees an operator from supply obligations due to extraordinary circumstances.

“It was caused because of swordfish. Now the swordfish have passed, so the force majeure has been lifted,” said one trader, who buys the crude on a regular basis.

Slight delays to cargo loadings scheduled in February and March were likely, traders said. Total later said that a swordfish had damaged a flexible loading pipe.

“Total confirms that a force majeure was declared that was lifted on Monday” a company spokeswoman said.

I, for one, will welcome our bee overlords

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Bees Can Be Trained to Recognize Human Faces 

Bees need not recognize human faces when going about their pollination business. Yet scientists have now found that they can train bees to recognize the arrangement of human facial features, by rewarding the classy striped insects with sugar. That could inspire new facial recognition systems, given that bees manage this feat with brains the size of a microdot.

The bee ability to distinguish between human faces was first noticed by Adrian Dyer, a vision scientist from Monash University in Australia. But biologist Martin Giurfa from the Université de Toulouse in France wanted to better understand how bees managed to learn facial features, and so he teamed up with Dyer to carry out a more systematic test.

It turns out that bees don’t consciously recognize individual people, so much as the relative pattern that makes up a face. Researchers tested this by first training the bees to recognize simple faces made of dots and slashes, and then seeing if the bees could distinguish between two different faces. The bees passed the test.

Next, the research team gave the bees a choice between new faces and a random assort of dots and slashes. The bees still ended up homing in on the face-like patterns. Equally as impressive, the bees learned to recognize stick-and-dot faces against face-shaped photographs, and still identified the correct faces without the photo backgrounds.

Teaching monkeys taekwondo not too brite

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Taekwondo monkeys attack trainer:

A troop of performing monkeys instructed in the martial art of taekwondo has taken revenge on their trainer.

Lo Wung, 42, taught the monkeys so they could entertain crowds outside a shopping centre in Nshi, in eastern China’s Hubei province. But the money-spinning primates turned the tables on their trainer when he slipped during a show, with one quick-thinking monkey flooring him with a kick to the head.

Hu Luang, 32, a bystander who photographed the incident, said: “I saw one punch him in the eye – he grabbed another by the ear and it responded by grabbing his nose. They were leaping and jumping all over the place. It was better than a Bruce Lee film.”

At one point the monkey trainer grabbed a staff to hit the monkeys, only to find himself facing a stick-brandishing monkey that cracked him over the head.

Tigers like to play rough

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Tiger Attack: Circus Trainer Mauled During Dinner Show:

An animal trainer who had raised tigers by hand was attacked and seriously injured by his own big cats on Tuesday night. The man stumbled during a performance and lost control of the animals. The show director said the tigers just wanted to ‘play.’

A circus show ended in a near tragedy on Tuesday after a group of tigers mauled their own trainer. The animal tamer was attacked and seriously injured by his own tigers during a “dinner circus” show in Hamburg’s Hagenbeck Zoo.

Around 150 guests had just started their four-course meal when the 28-year-old Christian W. stumbled and lost control of five Bengali tigers.

Three of the animals then jumped on their trainer. The big cats bit into his head and upper body, and he lost part of his left hand. Some of the circus team managed to push the animals into a corner using water jets and fire extinguishers, and then got them back in their cage within seconds.

Monkey on the loose in the Bay Area

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Monkey sightings in Novato:

The Marin Humane Society has gotten two reports of simian sightings over the past week, and spokeswoman Carrie Harrington said something may really be out there.

It all began at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, when a school bus driver reported seeing a monkey darting across the road on Captain Nurse Circle near Bolling Drive, Harrington said.

The school bus driver said he was absolutely sure it was monkey, with a foot-and-a-half-long tail, she said. The Humane Society was inclined to laugh it off as a squirrel, or perhaps a cat or small dog.

But then a woman called about 5 p.m. Tuesday to report that her 11-year-old daughter had seen a monkey in the same area Thursday, Harrington said.

The girl said, “Mom, look, there’s a monkey over there,” but the woman didn’t see it, Harrington said. The girl said the monkey was dark brown and the size of a bottle of soda.

Marin animal control officers have been patrolling the area but haven’t seen the animal, Harrington said.

Elephant rampage in Nepal

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Wild Elephant Kills 11 on Two-Week Rampage in Nepal

Wildlife officials are frantically hunting for a wild elephant which they believe is responsible for the deaths of 11 people in Nepal, Sky News reported.

The animal has gone on the rampage across three districts in the south of the country for more than two weeks.

One victim, an 18-year-old male, was killed while attempting to worship the animal as the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesh.

According to news site newkerala.com, two women and a seven-year-old girl have also been killed by the male beast.

“We don’t plan to kill the marauding elephant as it is protected under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species),” said Yadav Dhital, District Forest Officer.

Sometimes man’s best friend isn’t

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Police say Westport man was devoured by his starving dog

Westport police investigating the discovery of a decomposing body at a bush campsite were shocked to find most of the body had been devoured by a dog, a coroner’s inquest in Greymouth has heard.

Regional coroner Richard McElrea said yesterday he would have dealt with the case in the privacy of his chambers but Douglas Arllington, a brother of the dead man, had concerns that warranted a public airing. The remains of Charles Harold Arllington, 53, of Westport, were found on August 22 last year.

A reclusive man, Arllington had been living in a tent amid dense bush bordering a farm on Nine Mile Road, about eight minutes’ drive from the Westport Post Office.

When a farmhand, Joshua McDonald, got sick of Arllington’s dog scavenging near the house he went to the campsite to remonstrate with him – and instead discovered a collapsed tent and the remains of a body.

Detective John Cunneen said little but the torso and head remained of the man, and marks on the body were consistent with a dog having gnawed on it, the Greymouth Star reported.

Bears hate Muslim fanatics too

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Bear kills militants in Kashmir:

A bear killed two militants after discovering them in its den in Indian-administered Kashmir, police say.

Two other militants escaped, one of them badly wounded, after the attack in Kulgam district, south of Srinagar.

The militants had assault rifles but were taken by surprise – police found the remains of pudding they had made to eat when the bear attacked.

It is thought to be the first such incident since Muslim separatists took up arms against Indian rule in 1989.

The militants had made their hideout in a cave which was actually the bear’s den, said police officer Farooq Ahmed.

Jellyfish up the ante, sink fishing boat

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Japanese fishing trawler sunk by giant jellyfish:

The trawler, the Diasan Shinsho-maru, capsized off Chiba`as its three-man crew was trying to haul in a net containing dozens of huge Nomura’s jellyfish.

Each of the jellyfish can weigh up to 200 kg and waters around Japan have been inundated with the creatures this year. Experts believe weather and water conditions in the breeding grounds, off the coast of China, have been ideal for the jellyfish in recent months. R

The crew of the fishing boat was thrown into the sea when the vessel capsized, but the three men were rescued by another trawler, according to the Mainichi newspaper. The local Coast Guard office reported that the weather was clear and the sea was calm at the time of the accident.

One of the largest jellyfish in the world, the species can grow up to 2 meters in diameter. The last time Japan was invaded on a similar scale, in the summer of 2005, the jellyfish damaged nets, rendered fish inedible with their toxic stings and even caused injuries to fishermen.

Elephants hate the papparazzi too

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

BBC Nature Guide Killed by Stampeding Elephant

A British guide for a BBC nature program for kids has died after being trampled by an elephant.

Former army officer Anton Turner, 38, was helping with the filming of an episode of the CBBC series “Serious Explorers in Tanzania” Friday when the attack happened.

A BBC spokeswoman said that Turner was mortally injured after being charged by an elephant.

A doctor was traveling with the expedition and treated Turner at the scene, but he died shortly after the incident.

Canadian coyotes hate folk musicians

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Coyotes kill Toronto singer in Cape Breton:

A 19-year-old folk singer from Toronto has died after being attacked by two coyotes in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Taylor Josephine Stephanie Luciow, who went by the stage name Taylor Mitchell, died overnight at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. She had been on tour in the Maritimes.

Mitchell was hiking on the Skyline Trail when she was attacked Tuesday afternoon. She was taken to the hospital in Cheticamp, then airlifted to Halifax in critical condition.

Park officials said Mitchell was walking the trail alone. They said other hikers managed to scare off the coyotes and call 911.

An RCMP officer shot at one of the animals but couldn’t find the body. Later Tuesday evening, park staff located another coyote and killed it.

Derek Quann, the park’s resource conservation manager, said he doesn’t know whether it was one of the ones involved in the attack. He said there were no signs on the animal’s body that it had been shot.

Remember folks, bears do not like ice-skating

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Ice-skating bear from Russia kills circus director in Kyrgyzstan:

An ice-skating bear from Russia has attacked and killed a circus director during rehearsals for a show in Kyrgyzstan.

The five-year-old bear, part of a visiting troupe from the prestigious Russian state circus, was wearing ice skates when he lashed out at his handlers and circus staff before a performance of their “Bears on Ice” show in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.

He dragged 25-year-old circus director Dmitry Potapov across the ice rink by his neck and nearly severed his victim’s legs.

Mr Potapov died at the scene from his injuries.

Please don’t pet the deer during rutting season

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Woman Gored By Deer While Trying To Pet It:

A 63-year-old woman trying to pet a male mule deer, or buck, was gored by it near Florissant on Monday, the Department of Wildlife said.

Joan Nutt was at her sister’s home at 893 County Road 31, around 5 p.m., when the attack occurred.

Nutt was transported to the Pikes Peak Regional Medical Center in Woodland Park where she was treated for large cuts caused by the buck’s antlers and hooves.

Most injuries were to her elbow and lower arm, but she also had cuts and bruises on her hands, upper leg, stomach, and hip, the DOW said.

Nutt’s sister’s family said they were familiar with the buck, which was a frequent visitor to their property.

Nutt said she had gone out in the yard to call the deer so she could pet it. When the deer got close it lowered its head and charged at her, she said.

She grabbed hold of an antler to try to fend it off, but it knocked her down before she could run away.

Remember kids, bears make bad pets

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Pa. Woman Mauled To Death By Bear

A northeastern Pennsylvania woman, whose husband is an exotic pet dealer operating on an expired license, was mauled to death by a black bear over the weekend.

Authorities say Kelly Ann Walz, 37, of Ross Township in Monroe County, was attacked by her 350 pound pet bear while cleaning its cage at about 5 p.m. Sunday.

Walz had reportedly thrown a shovelful of dog food to one side of the cage to distract the bear while she cleaned the other side, but the animal turned on her and attacked.

Walz’s children and the neighbor’s children saw the attack and summoned help, and the neighbor shot and killed the bear while it was atop Walz, said Tim Conway, an information and education supervisor with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

“Why this woman chose to go in the same area that the bear was in is beyond me. It’s a fatal mistake,” he said. “These things are not tame animals, they’re wild animals.”

Gang-banger raccoons on the attack in Florida

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Sheriff describes raccoon “gang attack” on Lakeland woman

A Lakeland woman is recovering from serious injuries in the hospital after sheriff’s investigators say she was “gang attacked” by five raccoons Saturday afternoon.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says 74-year-old Gretchen Whitted was trying to shoo the animals away from her front door when they suddenly attacked.

“When she fell down, they enveloped her,” said Sheriff Judd in a news conference called Sunday to warn the public of the aggressive raccoons.

“She’s literally bitten and scratched from face and the chest all the way down through the legs.”

Raccoons are known to be aggressive when going after food, but the sheriff called Saturday’s attack very unusual. “Not in all my years in Florida have I known of a gang attack by raccoons on an individual,” Sheriff Judd said.

Please don’t play with the tigers

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Tiger mauls men at Calgary Zoo

Police and Calgary Zoo officials are investigating an incident where two men were attacked by a Siberian tiger after allegedly breaking into zoo property around 1 a.m. this morning.

The two men, both aged 27, are believed to have scaled an eight-foot fence to gain access to the zoo and then climbed over a 42-inch fence outside the tiger enclosure and approached the cage where the zoo’s three tigers live.

Zookeepers believe Vitali, a two-year-old male tiger, hooked onto one of the men’s arms with his claws. Though it is not known how this happened, zoo officials said tigers cannot reach outside the cage so the men were likely pressed up against or reaching inside the cage.

Both men suffered injuries in the attack and were taken to hospital after calling the personal cell phone of one of their friends who happened to be an on duty security officer at the zoo.

Bear rampage in Japan!

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Bear attack at Japanese bus terminal leaves 9 injured – with video:

An Asian black bear entered a mountain bus terminal in central Japan and then started attacking visitors and employees. Nine people were injured, four seriously, before the bear was cornered and finally shot by local hunters at the request of police.

The incident started at a little after 2pm yesterday, September, 18th (JST), at the Hita-Nyukawa Noriraku Mountain Bus Terminal in Gifu prefecture, about 170 miles northwest of Tokyo, according to reports.

The 4 or 5 year old male black bear, which is said to have been a little over 4-feet long and 2.5-feet tall, entered the terminal parking lot from a mountain path and proceeded to start chasing one visitor.

 Another visitor tried to beat back the bear with a stick, but the bear retaliated, seriously injuring the man. Several employees then tried to help the injured man, but were also wounded by the bear, according to reports. Other people tried to chase off the bear by honking car horns, but ended up only causing it to retreat into the terminal’s building.

Several more people were harmed in the process. A panic began, but finally one employee was able to corner the bear into a souvenir shop by spraying a fire extinguisher and then trapping it in the shop by closed the shop’s shutters.

The police eventually arrived with several the local hunters and put the bear down. The injured were evacuated to local hospitals via ambulance and medical helicopter. In total, 7 men and 2 women were reported to have been hurt. The most severe received major wounds to face, as well as broken bones and other injuries.

Raccoons on the attack in Washington state

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Raccoon attacks Ballard couple, dog:

A Ballard couple are in shock after they were attacked by a raccoon in their own backyard. Now, they’re both undergoing painful rabies treatments as a precaution.

Mark Silverstein says he still vividly remembers the sounds of his wife’s screams and his dog’s agonized yelps on the night of the attack. “I heard her screaming and the dog screaming. It was like blood-curdling, terror, like you’ve never heard before,” he says.

The bizarre episode began with a normal backyard potty break for their little dog, Bee. With no warning, a furry bandit went on a rampage, biting and clawing the dog.

“This raccoon was completely unprovoked,” says Joanna Silverstein. “It came over the fence and went for her. I don’t know why.”

Cougars on the attack in Washington state

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Rossland boy suffers cougar attack

A five-year-old Rossland boy has been hospitalized, treated and released after a cougar attack in Stevens Country, Wa., yesterday .

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), issued a press release saying the child was attacked and injured while hiking with his family on the Abercrombie Mountain Trail, along Silver Creek in the Colville National Forest east of Northport.

“His parents, of Rossland, British Columbia, reported a cougar suddenly jumped out of a brushy area onto the boy, who was near his mother on the trail,” said the release. “The mother reportedly fought off the cougar and the parents took the child to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail.”

The family has asked to remain unnamed.

The press release went on to say that the child suffered head wounds, but is expected to fully recover.

It also indicated that wildlife officers must now hunt, and euthanize, the cougar.

Please don’t vacuum the bee hive

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Phoenix FD: Man tries to vacuum bee hive, gets attacked

An elderly man is in critical condition after being attacked by a swarm of bees Wednesday as he tried to use a vacuum to suck them up.

At about 6 p.m., the Phoenix Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services said they responded to the scene of the attack near 32nd Street and Indian School Road.

Captain Dorian Jackson of the Phoenix Fire Department said the 85-year-old man tried to vacuum the entire hive in a tree outside his home.

Jackson said the victim suffered between 50 and 75 stings on his face alone.

Snakes on the loose in NYC

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

FOUR-FOOT-LONG BOA CONSTRICTOR FOUND SLITHERING DOWN HARLEM STREET

Eek! A four-foot-long snake found slithering down a steamy Harlem sidewalk this morning had pedestrians in a tizzy — until cops came and removed it.

The snake — identified as a boa constrictor — was found across the street from Central Park after a passerby stumbled upon it at about 8:30 a.m., police said.

The reptile was outside the entrance to a laundromat at 410 W. 110 St. It was taken by police officers to a nearby NYC Center for Animal Care and Control shelter in upper Manhattan.

The snake, a female, is believed to be a pet that either got away or was abandoned by its owner, authorities said.

Please don’t feed the bears

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Autopsy shows bear killed woman who fed animals:

An autopsy has confirmed that a bear killed a 74-year-old Ouray (yoo-ray) County woman known for leaving food outside her home, despite wildlife officers’ repeated warnings not to.

Donna Munson’s body had been partially eaten by a bear or bears when it was found outside her home Friday, but Division of Wildlife officials couldn’t immediately confirm that bears were responsible for her death.

Ouray County sheriff Dominic Mattivi says an autopsy showed Munson had scratches and maul marks consistent with being attacked by a bear. He says she had no signs of heart damage, ruling out the possibility that she died of a heart attack before being attacked.

Shark goes boating in Florida

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Shark jumps onto fisherman’s boat

After a day of spear fishing and lobster diving, a group of boaters got the scare of a lifetime when a shark jumped into their boat.

Michael Powers and his friends were on-board a 21 foot boat Saturday, when a shark decided to pay them an unannounced visit. “One minute it was in the air, the next minute it was in the boat just beating everything in God’s creation,” Micheal recalled. “It hit one of the crew members. It hit Patricia, then it went between Paul’s legs and my legs in the back. We’re all scattering for cover trying to get up on the deck and out of anywhere we could, just to be safe,” Michael said.

The 5 1/2 foot bull shark shark injured itself after violently flopping around the boat. “I’m thinking the whole time it was a porpoise and little did I know when I finally got up, and was like, ‘I’m OK,’ and I looked around, and he’s like it’s a shark. It all happened so quick,” said Patricia Bell.

“Oh my God, I didn’t want to turn around. I heard the noise going on and when I stumbled and got up and looked, she was OK,” Vance Bell said.

Bedbugs seize Manhattan courthouse

Monday, August 10th, 2009

BEDBUGS IN THE COURT!

Manhattan’s prettiest little courthouse has been invaded by blood-sucking pests.

No, not lawyers. Just more bedbugs than you can shake a gavel at.

The itchy problem erupted in the past few weeks at the ornate, 109-year-old state Appellate Division courthouse on Madison Avenue at 25th Street.

The infestation was believed to be confined to the second-floor clerks office, where, every summer Monday, lawyers come and go en masse to file appellate motions.

It got so bad that last week court officials called in the city’s largest extermination company to investigate.

Monkey Business in Texas

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Store owner: Monkey caught on tape burglarizing business

It’s a crime caught on camera that has the owners of a north Texas business going bananas. They have security camera video of what appears to be a monkey burglarizing their business.

Ellen Goldberg has more on the bizarre break-in.

 ”Definitely never been robbed by a monkey before,” says store co-owner Jerry Duncan. Yes, a primate is the prime suspect in the latest break-in at this Richardson, Texas nursery.

“I said no way until I look at it and said this is crazy,” said store co-owner Shelley Rosenfeld. The owners of “Plants and Planters” are convinced that’s a monkey in the bottom left hand corner of the security camera tape.

“You can see the back legs the front arms and the white head,” observes Duncan. And with the help of a human accomplice, Shelley Rosenfeld believes the monkey was trained to steal several hundred dollars worth of her merchandise.

Chainsaw vs. Mountain Lion

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Man uses chain saw in Wyo. mountain lion attack:

Wildlife officials are trying to determine why a mountain lion attacked a Colorado man who says he used a chain saw to fight off the animal during a camping trip with his wife and two toddlers in northwestern Wyoming.

Dustin Britton, a 32-year-old mechanic and ex-Marine from Windsor, Colo., said he was alone cutting firewood about 100 feet from his campsite in the Shoshone National Forest about 27 miles west of Cody when he saw the 100-pound lion staring at him from some bushes.

The 6-foot-tall, 170-pound Britton said he raised his 18-inch chain saw and met the lion head-on as it pounced — a collision he described as feeling like a grown man running directly into him.

“It batted me three or four times with its front paws and as quick as I hit it with that saw it just turned away,” he said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Jumbo squid on the attack off San Diego

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Jumbo squid invade San Diego shores, spook divers:

Thousands of jumbo flying squid—aggressive 5-foot-long sea monsters with razor-sharp beaks and toothy tentacles—have invaded the shallow waters off San Diego, spooking scuba divers and washing up dead on tourist-packed beaches.The carnivorous calamari, which can grow up to 100 pounds, came up from the depths last week and swarms of them roughed up unsuspecting divers. Some divers report tentacles enveloping their masks and yanking at their cameras and gear.

Stories of too-close encounters with the alien-like cephalopods have chased many veteran divers out of the water and created a whirlwind of excitement among the rest, who are torn between their personal safety and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to swim with the deep-sea giants.

The so-called Humboldt squid, which can grow up to 100 pounds, are native to the deep waters off Mexico, where they have been known to attack humans and are nicknamed “red devils” for their rust-red coloring and mean streak.

Those who dive with them there chum the water with bait and sometimes get in a metal cage or wear chain mail to avoid being lashed by tentacles.

Trees on the attack in Brooklyn

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Tree branch clocks Brooklyn man playing dodgeball:

It was the tree, not the ball, that tagged him out.

Justin Calicchio, 23, and his pals were playing dodge ball in Carroll Park in Brooklyn when he was clobbered by a broken branch.

 ”I blacked out,” he said last night from his bed in Lutheran Hospital.

“Everything is starting to become clear again. My girlfriend has been telling me about it and I’m starting to remember now.”

His Carroll Gardens pals had to team up with a paramedic to lift the tree-sized limb.

“It happened in a spilt second,” said Christian Miron, 21. “It was too fast and the branch was too big to even run away.”

Bulls win one at Pamplona

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Man Gored to Death During Pamplona Bull Run

A charging bull gored a young man to death Friday at Pamplona’s San Fermin festival, the first such fatality in nearly 15 years.

Nine others were injured in a particularly dangerous and chaotic chapter of the running of the bulls.

The San Fermin festival Web site said the unidentified man was gored in the neck and lung during a run in which a rogue bull separated from the pack, which is among the worst things that can happen at Spain’s most popular fiesta.

Photographs showed the man lying on a stretcher moments after the goring, his face and neck stained with blood and his eyes only half-open. An emergency medical worker is leaning over him, applying what appears to be gauze to his neck wound.

Turtles take over JFK airport

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Turtle Brigade Delays Flights at J.F.K.

Dozens of turtles, presumably on a mating spree, shut down a runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport Wednesday morning for 35 minutes, causing flight delays of an hour and a half.

The 78 diamondback terrapins were picked up, put into a pickup truck and removed from the runway, said John Kelly, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

They were originally spotted around 8:30 a.m. by a pilot, who radioed the tower. “It’s not unprecedented, but it’s not at all common,” he said.

Coyote eats Ozzy’s pooch

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Ozzy’s pet dog eaten by a coyote

ROCKER Ozzy Osbourne is devastated after his pet dog was EATEN by a coyote.

The Pomeranian, who wildman Ozzy called Little Bit, was attacked in the grounds of his family’s Los Angeles mansion.

It is believed the 60-year-old heavy metal veteran and wife Sharon were watching the Michael Jackson memorial on Tuesday when the attack happened and did not hear the dog’s yelps.

Ozzy’s daughter Kelly said: “He is devastated – she was his other woman.”

Wild dogs feeding on the elderly in Alabama

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Sheriff: Bama man eaten by wild dogs

Authorities in Pickens County are trying to track a pack of wild dogs they believe may have killed a 96-year-old man and consumed his remains.

Israel Pope, Jr. was reported missing Monday night and police found his remains in a field on his property, about a quarter of a mile from his house.

 Police believe Pope had been consumed by a pack of dogs authorities tracked to a den under an abandoned mobile home.

Investigators found pieces of Pope’s clothing and what may have been human remains at the mobile home.

Humans Help Argentine Ants Conquer the World

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Ant mega-colony takes over world:

A single mega-colony of ants has colonised much of the world, scientists have discovered.

Argentine ants living in vast numbers across Europe, the US and Japan belong to the same interrelated colony, and will refuse to fight one another.

The colony may be the largest of its type ever known for any insect species, and could rival humans in the scale of its world domination.

 What’s more, people are unwittingly helping the mega-colony stick together. Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) were once native to South America. But people have unintentionally introduced the ants to all continents except Antarctica.

Locust Plague in Utah

Monday, June 29th, 2009

WHoardes of hungry grasshoppers invade Utah

An ambitious director might look at Mitch Halligan’s property and see an instant B-movie classic: “Invasion of the Grasshoppers.”

The place is overrun with the greasy little bugs. With each step you take on his property, the squirmy inch-long grasshoppers jump for cover in every direction.

Those that don’t crunch under foot perch themselves atop tall grass stalks, crawl up pant legs or munch through gardens. Across the road isn’t much better. Grasshoppers blanketed the neighbors’ entryway a few days ago and forced them to come in through the back door.

“I’d call this the closest that I’ve seen to a plague in a long time,” Halligan said.

Monkeys have no respect for human leaders in Zambia

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Monkey urinates on Zambian president

A monkey urinated on Zambian President Rupiah Banda during a press conference outside his office in the capital Lusaka.

President Banda took the unfortunate incident in good humour.

“You have urinated on my jacket,” a startled Mr Banda told the monkey, looking up at a tree.

The monkey was one of a colony that has made the its home in the trees outside Mr Banda’s offices at Lusaka’s State House.

“I will give this monkey for lunch to Mr Sata,” he joked, referring to the opposition leader Michael Sata, who Mr Banda defeated in last year’s elections.

Mr Banda somehow managed to continue his press conference, only the second of his presidency.

New crop circle theory in Oz

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

‘Stoned wallabies make crop circles’:

Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around “as high as a kite”, a government official has said.

Lara Giddings, the attorney general for the island state of Tasmania, said the kangaroo-like marsupials were getting into poppy fields grown for medicine.

She was reporting to a parliamentary hearing on security for poppy crops. Australia supplies about 50% of the world’s legally-grown opium used to make morphine and other painkillers.

Vicious attack-kitten threatens postman in UK

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Postmen boycott deliveries after Royal Mail worker is attacked… by a kitten

A family has been warned their mail could be halted after postmen refused to deliver to their house – because of a vicious kitten.

Royal Mail chiefs wrote to Ken Ridge claiming that six-month-old Illy had attacked a postal worker.

 Mail deliveries to the house could now be suspended as a result of the attack on the woman, he was told.

 Mr Ridge, 65, who lives in Clapham, South London, with his 30-year-old son Bradley, said: ‘We were not around when this happened, but it seems some mail was put through the letterbox and their hand was scratched.

‘Illy is only a kitten and I am sure she was just playing. ‘Then we got a letter from the mail delivery office warning our deliveries could be stopped.’

Too many bunnies

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Oregon woman obsessed with rabbits arrested again

Washington County’s “Bunny Lady” is back in the hutch after violating a court order banning her from owning animals for five years. Miriam Sakewitz, 47, was arrested Tuesday at a hotel in the Portland suburb of Tigard after an employee reported finding rabbits hopping around in her room.

Problems for Sakewitz started in October 2006 when police in Hillsboro, about 15 miles west of Portland, found and confiscated nearly 250 rabbits in her home, including about 100 dead ones in freezers and refrigerators.

Police said she broke into the facility where the survivors were being cared for in January 2007 and stole most of them back. Authorities found her a few days later in Chehalis, Wash., with eight live rabbits and two dead ones in her car. Another 130 rabbits were recovered at a nearby horse farm.

Sakewitz was sentenced in April 2007 to five years probation and was banned from owning or controlling animals. She also was told not to go within 100 yards of a rabbit.

Hat tip to Jinny!

Fox in boots

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

‘Imelda’ Strikes Again: Thieving Fox Amasses 120 Shoes

A vixen has stolen more than 120 shoes from doorsteps in the German town of Föhren over the last year, amassing a collection that would impress even Imelda Marcos. Little bite marks on the laces suggest they’re intended as toys for her cubs.

For more than a year, the people of Föhren, a small town in the wooded Eifel hills of western Germany, wondered who was going around stealing shoes from their doorsteps and garden terraces at night. Well over 100 muddy hiking shoes, wet Wellingtons, steel-capped workman’s boots, flipflops and old slippers went missing.

The mystery has now been solved after a forestry worker discovered an Imelda Marcos-scale collection of footwear in a fox’s den in nearby woods. The bushy-tailed culprit, believed to be a vixen with a family of cubs, is still at large, and locals have two explanations for her kleptomania. Either she amassed them as toys for her children, or she simply likes collecting shoes, or both. So far 120 stolen shoes have been retrieved.

Gorilla on the loose in South Carolina

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Gorilla attacks man in brief zoo escape:

A 177-kilogram gorilla grabbed low-hanging bamboo to scale a wall at a zoo in South Carolina, escaping his enclosure and tackling a worker before returning to his pen about five minutes later. The gorilla at Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens ran into a pizza-stand employee who curled up and played dead to try to avoid further injuries during Friday’s incident, officials said. The man was taken to hospital and released a short time later with cuts and bruises. Zoo executive director Satch Krantz said the worker heard a strange sound, saw the gorilla outside the enclosure and turned to run. “Then the gorilla did what gorillas do,” he said.

Tadpoles from the sky

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009


Sky ‘rains tadpoles’ over Japan

Residents, officials and scientists have been baffled by the apparent downpour of tadpoles in central Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture. Clouds of dead tadpoles appear to have fallen from the sky in a series of episodes in a number of cities in the region since the start of the month.

 In one incident, a 55-year-old man who was caught in a tadpole downpour described hearing a strange sound in the parking lot of a civic centre in the city of Nanao.

Upon further exploration, he found more than 100 dead tadpoles covering the windshields of cars in an area measuring 10 square metres.

Dead tadpole downpours were also reported by local officials 48 hours later in the city of Hakusan in the same prefecture.

Please don’t clean the cage when the tiger is at home

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Tiger mauls zookeeper to death:

A senior zookeeper has been mauled to death by a white tiger at a wildlife park in New Zealand.

Two keepers went in to clean the white tiger enclosure at Whangarei’s controversial Zion Wildlife Park about 11am today when it attacked one of the keepers, a police spokeswoman said.

She said that, despite the best efforts of the other keeper, the tiger would not let go. The man died before an ambulance arrived at the park.

The keeper suffered injuries to the abdomen and lower leg which involved “tearing” by a big cat.

His identity has not been released yet. The other keeper was not injured. The tiger was shot dead.

Viking Beavers Invade Scotland

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Beavers return after 400 year gap:

A total of 11 beavers have been released into the wild in Argyll as part of a reintroduction programme. Four more may join the Scottish Beaver Trial being run in Knapdale Forest.

The beavers have been brought to Scotland from Norway and their release marks a return to the UK after a 400 year absence.

The release will be studied to determine whether the trial should be extended and beavers reintroduced across Scotland.

But SNH’s Colin Galbraith said he felt a duty towards the beavers: “For me the argument is very simple.

“They were here – we killed them out.

“I think we’ve got the moral obligation to bring them back.”

Giant Spider Invasion in Oz

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Giant Spiders Invade Australian Outback Town

This Australia is known around the world for its large and deadly creepy-crawlies, but even locals have been shocked by the size of the giant venomous spiders that have invaded an Outback town in Queensland.

Scores of eastern tarantulas, which are known as “bird-eating spiders” and can grow larger than the palm of a man’s hand, have begun crawling out from gardens and venturing into public spaces in Bowen, a coastal town about 700 miles northwest of Brisbane.

Earlier this week locals spotted an Australian tarantula wandering towards a public garden in the center of town where people often sit for lunch. They called in a pest controller, but not before using a can of insect spray to paralyze the spider.

Audy Geiszler, who runs Amalgamated Pest Control in Bowen, said that the spider was a large male with powerful long fangs and was so big that when he placed it — dead — in the palm of his hand, its legs hung over his fingers.

Rat conquest of Britain accelerates in Berkshire

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Two Berkshire towns plagued by rats which have become immune to poison

The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) is calling on the Government to allow the use of more powerful pesticides to contain Britain’s growing rodent population.

It is estimated that their numbers have swelled by 13 per cent in the past year to more than 50 million, one for every person living in England.

Infestations in some towns and cities have reportedly doubled in the past 12 months. Exeter council has seen a 66 per cent rise in vermin call-outs in 2008, while there was a 40 per cent rise in Salford.

The BPCA says the situation has also escalated in two Berkshire towns, which it has not named, because the local rat population is now almost completely resistant to the standard poisons.

Mice on the attack in Oz

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

Mice ‘attack’ elderly Australians:

Australian government has ordered an investigation after mice repeatedly bit residents of a nursing home.

 One man, a bedridden veteran aged 89, was found covered in blood after his ears, neck and throat were chewed by the mice. He had to be sedated later.

The incident at the home in Queensland state was “extremely disturbing”, said Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot.

Hawks on the attack in Miami

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Hawks Divebomb University of Miami Students

While the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks wage war in the NBA playoffs, the games are a far cry from the real battle going on at the University of Miami.

A pair of real hawks is terrorizing students as they walk through one section of the college campus. One female student suffered a concussion after falling down from an aerial assault and others have reported lacerations to their heads and face from the talons of the menacing little birds.

The attacks curiously began around the same time the Round 1 playoff series started.
Coincidence? As Arsenio Hall would say, it’s one of those “things that make you go hmmm.”

Mormon crickets hate rock & roll

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Against Insect Plague, Nevadans Wield Ultimate Weapon: Hard Rock

The residents of this tiny town, anticipating an imminent attack, will be ready with a perimeter defense. They’ll position their best weapons at regular intervals, faced out toward the desert to repel the assault. Then they’ll turn up the volume. Rock music blaring from boomboxes has proved one of the best defenses against an annual invasion of Mormon crickets.

The huge flightless insects are a fearsome sight as they advance across the desert in armies of millions that march over, under or into anything in their way. The 2-inch-long insects often carpet the arid landscape in the spring and summer, devouring vegetation and driving residents to distraction.

But the crickets don’t much fancy Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones, the townspeople figured out three years ago. So next month, Tuscarorans are preparing once again to get out their extension cords, array their stereos in a quarter-circle and tune them to rock station KHIX, full blast, from dawn to dusk. “It is part of our arsenal,” says Laura Moore, an unemployed college professor and one of the town’s 13 residents.

Our insect allies in the War on Terror

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Bush Approved Use of Insects in al-Qaeda Interrogations:

The Bush Administration approved the use of “insects placed in a confinement box” during the interrogation of top Al Qaeda official Abu Zubaydah, according to a 2002 document that President Obama declassified for release Thursday.

The legal memorandum for the CIA, prepared by Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, reviewed 10 enhanced techniques for interrogating Zubaydah, and determined that none of them constituted torture under U.S. criminal law. The techniques were: attention grasp, walling (hitting a detainee against a flexible wall), facial hold, facial slap, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, sleep deprivation, insects placed in a confinement box, and waterboarding.(View pictures of life inside Guantanamo.)

The CIA desire to use insects during interrogations has not previously been disclosed, according to two civil liberties experts contacted by TIME.

The Bybee memorandum, which was written on August 1, 2002, described the CIA’s plans for using insects this way: “You [the CIA] would like to place Zubaydah in a cramped confinement box with an insect. You have informed us [the Department of Justice] that he appears to have a fear of insects. In particular, you would like to tell Zubaydah that you intend to place a stinging insect into the box with him. You would, however, place a harmless insect in the box. You have orally informed us that you would in fact place a harmless insect such as a catapiller in the box with him.”

Room 101 anyone?

Bees on the attack in DC

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

 White House hit by swarm of bees

The Secret Service is always on the alert for aerial assaults — but on Thursday, White House grounds were hit by one unexpected airborne threat. A swarm of honey bees took over a bush located between the Northwest security gate of the White House and the area where television networks stand-up positions are located early Thursday. CNN photojournalist John Bodnar said he came through the Northwest gate around 12:30 pm and was warned about the bees by Secret Service on duty in the guard post. “I walked out and thought it was a swirl of blossoms blowing in the wind, but turns out it was a swarm of bees,” he says. Half an hour later, they were still issuing warnings.”

Washington taking the war down into the squirrels’ holes

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Spokane parks to detonate squirrels:

The Finch Arboretum is being overrun by ground squirrels, and Spokane Parks and Recreation is bringing in some special artillery.

The agency is using a special machine called the Rodenator Pro to detonate some of the estimated 100 to 150 squirrels tearing up the grounds.

Shades of Carl Spackler, the gopher-hating groundskeeper from “Caddyshack.” The Rodenator Pro pumps propane and oxygen into the tunnels of squirrels, then sends an electric spark that causes an explosion. The shock waves kill the squirrels and collapse their tunnels – but in a humane way, the agency said.

Spokanimal, which is the local animal shelter and Humane Society chapter, was caught by surprise by Monday’s announcement. “You’re kidding,” Director Gail Mackie said when she learned the news. “That borders on cruelty.”

Bedbugs out to conquer America and we are powerless to stop them

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Feds Waking Up To Nightmare Of Bedbugs:

The federal government is waking up to what has become a growing nightmare in many parts of the country – a bed bug outbreak.

The tiny reddish-brown insects, last seen in great numbers prior to World War II, are on the rebound. They have infested college dormitories, hospital wings, homeless shelters and swanky hotels from New York City to Chicago to Washington.

They live in the crevices and folds of mattresses, sofas and sheets. Then, most often before dawn, they emerge to feed on human blood.

Faced with rising numbers of complaints to city information lines and increasingly frustrated landlords, hotel chains and housing authorities, the Environmental Protection Agency is hosting its first-ever bed bug summit on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Dolphins join the war against the pirates

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Thousands of dolphins block Somali pirates

Thousands of dolphins blocked the suspected Somali pirate ships when they were trying to attack Chinese merchant ships passing the Gulf of Aden, the China Radio International reported on Monday.

The Chinese merchant ships escorted by a China’s fleet sailed on the Gulf of Aden when they met some suspected pirate ships.

 Thousands of dolphins suddenly leaped out of water between pirates and merchants when the pirate ships headed for the China’s. The suspected pirates ships stopped and then turned away.

The pirates could only lament their littleness before the vast number of dolphins. The spectacular scene continued for a while.

China initiated its three-ship escort task force on Dec. 26 last year after the United Nations Security Council called on countries to patrol gulf and waters off Somalia, one of the world’s busiest marine routes, where surging piracy endangered intercontinental shipping.

China’s first fleet has escorted 206 vessels, including 29 foreign merchant vessels, and successfully rescued three foreign merchant ships from pirate attacks.

Please don’t play with the polar bears

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Polar Bear Attack At Berlin Zoo Where Famous Abandoned Bear Knut Is Being Raised

This is the moment a woman was mauled by a polar bear after she jumped into its enclosure at Berlin Zoo.
The intruder was attacked just yards away from Knut, the abandoned bear who became famous around the world.

Zookeepers managed to push the bear away and carry the woman from the cage.

The mauling took place inside an enclosure occupied by four polar bears not far from Knut’s home.

Heiner Kloes, a Berlin Zoo spokesman, said the enclosure is surrounded by a fence, a line of prickly hedges and a wall.

The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Police did not say why she jumped in with the bears.

Suicide deer attack in the Poconos

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Family survives deer landing inside SUV:

Five people riding in an SUV escaped with minor cuts and scratches after a deer hurtled through their windshield and landed in the vehicle’s cargo area.

Heather Sherman says she and her boyfriend, her two daughters and her mother were driving Saturday night on Route 32 in the town of Coeymans (KWEE’-mihnz) when an oncoming car hit the deer, sending it into their windshield.

Sherman says she and her boyfriend were covered in blood after the impact. They pulled over, and when she went to the back of the SUV to get a blanket and paper towels, she found the dead doe in the vehicle’s cargo area.

Deer on the attack in Sweden

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Man butted by deer at Stockholm supermarket

A man was butted by an unexpected assailant while shopping at his local supermarket in a Stockholm suburb on Friday – a roebuck deer.

“I was caught unawares when the roebuck suddenly came at me,” Anders Östeberg said to Aftonbladet of his meeting with the deer at a Coop store in Liljeholmen in southern Stockholm.

It is thought that the deer sneaked into the building when the loading bay was left open in connection with a delivery. The frightened deer ran into the store and Östberg was unfortunate to be in the rampaging animal’s path.

This is what happens when you let cats take command

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

House Of Filth: Nearly 100 Cats Found In NJ Home 

One New Jersey SPCA official said it was probably the worst case he’s ever seen. Nearly 100 cats and one dog were found Thursday living in a home in a million-dollar neighborhood in Morris County.

SPCA spokesman Matthew Stanton said there was 2 feet of feces in one room of the home on Farm Road in Chester Township. Investigators wore masks to help them breathe through the stench of urine, Stanton said.

“The conditions were absolutely horrific – there wasn’t one inch of the house that wasn’t covered in feces or urine,” SPCA Lt. Rick Yocum says. ”There were three foot piles of feces in the hallways.

Dragons on the attack in Indonesia

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Two Kimodo Dragons Kill a Human in Indonesia 

Two Komodo dragons mauled a fruit-picker to death in eastern Indonesia, police and witnesses said Tuesday, the latest in a string of attacks on humans by the world’s largest lizard species.

 Police Sgt. Kosmas Jalang said 31-year-old Muhamad Anwar was attacked on Komodo, one of four islands where the giant reptile is found in the wild, minutes after he fell out of a sugar-apple tree on Monday.

 He was bleeding badly from bites to his hands, body, legs and neck after two lizards, waiting below, attacked him, according to a neighbor, Theresia Tawa. He died at a clinic on the neighboring island of Flores soon after.

Attacks on humans by Komodo dragons — said to number at less than 4,000 in the wild — are rare, but seem to have increased in recent years.

Woodpecker terror in Florida

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Woodpecker terrorizes south Tampa

The woodpecker normally prefers softwood deciduous trees…except in one south Tampa neighborhood.

“Oh my god I am so devastated”, Brittany Jones told me when I met her outside her house. “You would think people would commit a crime and it’s just a measly little bird.”

Yes, a crime, a senseless act of vandalism. And Brittany isn’t the only victim of their feathered friend. “I can’t believe it actually happened,” said neighbor J.R. Gaskin.

 Car mirrors are now cracked and shattered, all the result of a woodpecker. Brittany Jones’ mother, Dorothy, first spotted it. “I heard something pecking outside and I thought they were doing construction work. And I looked up and went, ‘oh my god that’s a woodpecker.’”

 The red-crested fowl has been very busy, because in one south Tampa neighborhood near MacDill Airforce Base, he has hit at least six vehicles.

Snakes in a townhouse

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Man finds 41 snakes in buddy’s crawl space

Jeff Stafford’s buddy owes him a few beers — and 41 brews would still be a bargain for the colony of bull snakes Stafford found slithering in the crawl space of friend’s townhome in Westminster Sunday.

 The 25-year-old banker had stopped by his friend’s place near Federal Boulevard and West 112th Avenue to say “hi.” He was wearing flip flops.

His friend, who asked to remain anonymous, was tending to a leaky pipe beneath the home, while Stafford chatted with his friend’s wife.

“Thirty seconds later I heard what sounded like the yelp of a small, frightened child,” Stafford said Monday. His friend had spotted a snake in the muddy crawl space.

“Dude, you’ve got to go get it,” Stafford recalled him saying Monday.

“In the end we put a knife in its skull.”

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

MOMENT OF TOOTH

These amazing pictures show an epic, two-hour battle between spear fisherman Craig Clasen and a 12-foot tiger shark in the Gulf of Mexico.

The life-and-death struggle took place off New Orleans when Clasen, filmmaker Ryan McInnis and two friends were hunting tuna.

Suddenly McInnis found himself cut off and the shark began circling.

“I positioned myself between Ryan and the shark and I tried to watch it for a second, hoping it would pass,” said Clasen, 32, who was wearing a snorkel. “The shark made a roll and looked like it was going to charge us.

“Down in my core I really felt the shark was there to feed. I didn’t want it to come to that.”

Deer on the Attack in Maryland

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Terrified Deer Trashes Restaurant, Grocery Store:

A deer chased by two dogs crashed through a Silver Spring restaurant’s window before seeking safety inside a Giant Thursday afternoon.

The three animals’ dramatic entry into the Greek Village Restaurant at a shopping center in the 13400 block of New Hampshire Avenue astonished the staff.

The dogs continued their pursuit inside the restaurant until the deer exited and tried to hide inside a Giant Food store, instead. This time, the deer used the automatic door.

Deer on the attack in Pennsylvania

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Deer Beer Run Catches Employees At Beer Arena In Greensburg By Surprise

A family of deer that ran into a beer store in Westmoreland County sent employees scrambling. It happened last Friday near closing time at the Beer Arena in Greensburg. The front door was left open and the deer ran inside. Tony Shadler was checking out a customer at the cash register when it happened. He ran to get out of their way. “Because I almost got hit by one of them – they went up the center,” he told KDKA.

Suicide Eagle Attack in Nevada

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Eagle Crash Lands Into Semi Truck

The eagle has landed — with a thud — after crashing through the windshield of a tractor-trailer on a Nevada highway. State wildlife officials said Wednesday that a 15-pound golden eagle with a 7-foot wing span has a swollen head but otherwise appears unhurt after crashing into a Florida truck driver’s big rig on Monday.

Zoo Babies View Slideshow See all the newest arrivals at zoos around the world. Baby lions, tigers and bears step into the spotlight. Matthew Roberto Gonzalez of Opa Locka, Fla., was driving on U.S. Interstate 80 in northeast Nevada near Wells, about 60 miles west of the Utah line, when the eagle came crashing into the cab of his truck.

“I heard a loud thump like a brick or something coming through the glass,” said Daryl Young of Miami, the co-driver who was dozing in the sleeper berth when it happened. “I woke up, and the windshield was all over me. Next thing I know there was a big bird lying on the floor.”

Please don’t pet the lions

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

 Lion Mauls Kansas Man Found in Animal Refuge Cage

Lion owner Jeffrey Harsh tells authorities that a man staying at the Free Breakfast Inn motel next to the refuge near the town of Oakley apparently made his way Saturday into an outer perimeter lion cage.

 Thomas County Sheriff Rod Taylor says that when Harsh showed up to feed the animals that evening he found the man with his arm over the top of a gate on the inner cage. A Barbary lion had grabbed his right arm.

Mice on the rampage in Florida

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Mice overrun Fla. courthouse, fall from ceiling:

There are so many mice in one Florida county courthouse that they’ve been seen falling from ceiling tiles. One judge at the Palm Beach County Courthouse calls it an infestation. Some staffers say they check their handbags for stowaways before leaving the building each day. Court employees and lawyers say the rodents scuttle down corridors, munch legal papers and scratch behind the walls. Last week, one mouse ran around a courtroom floor for an hour during a burglary trial.

Monster Rats in China

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Giant rat caught in China

A giant rat with one-inch-long teeth has been caught in the southern Chinese province of Fujian.

The rat, which weighed six pounds and had a 12-inch tail, was caught at the weekend in a residential area of Fuzhou, a city of six million people on China’s south coast.

The ratcatcher, who was only named as Mr Xian, said he swooped for the rodent after seeing a big crowd of people surrounding it on the street.

Croc eats child, gets sent to zoo

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Boy’s body found in crocodile:

The remains of a five-year-old Australian boy have been found in the stomach of a crocodile, police say.

Jeremy Doble was last seen on 8 February playing near his family’s home beside a flooded mangrove swamp in northern Queensland.

Police now say he was attacked and eaten by a 14ft (4.3m) crocodile who was then trapped in a flooder river.

Queensland officials say the animal will now be sent to a crocodile farm or zoo.

Were-goat busted for GTA

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Newspaper claims suspect transformed into a goat

One of Nigeria’s biggest daily newspapers reported that police implicated a goat in an attempted automobile theft. In a front-page article on Friday, the Vanguard newspaper said that two men tried to steal a Mazda car two days earlier in Kwara State, with one suspect transforming himself into a goat as vigilantes cornered him.

The paper quoted police spokesman Tunde Mohammed as saying that while one suspect escaped, the other transformed into a goat as he was about to be apprehended.

Please don’t play with the pandas!

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

When Pandas Attack

Officials at the Beijing Zoo are considering changes to keep visitors away from Gu Gu the panda.

For the third time, the panda has attacked a visitor who climbed into its space. Officials say a man climbed a nearly five foot barrier to retrieve a toy dropped by his 5-year-old son.

A spokeswoman says Gu Gu, which weighs 240 pounds, clamped down on the intruder’s leg and refused to let go. Zookeepers had to use tools to pry open the animal’s jaws.

Deer Seek Education in New Jersey

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Students Startled After Deer Jump Into School

Officials at a Hamilton Township school are hoping for a return to normal Tuesday, a day after class was disrupted by two deer leaping through a window. Pastor Lance Walker of the Faith Baptist School says the deer jumped into a teacher’s supply room Monday morning, startling three students and a teacher who were working on a lesson.

War between Cats and Mice takes new turn

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

Mice suspected in deadly cat fire:

Mice may be responsible for a blaze that killed nearly 100 cats at an animal shelter near the Canadian city of Toronto, officials say.

The fire at the humane society shelter in Oshawa also killed three dogs and some rats that were up for adoption.

An initial report from the fire marshal says mice or rats chewing through electrical wires in the ceiling are likely to have sparked the blaze.

Offers of help have been pouring in from animal lovers across Canada.

“It’s unfortunate and ironic that mice caused the fire that killed the cats,” Toronto Humane Society spokesman Ian McConachie told the BBC News website.

Fox attack in S. Carolina

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Fox Bursts Into South Carolina Church, Bites Pastor’s Daughter and 2 Others Before Being Killed

Evening youth programs at a South Carolina church were interrupted when a fox burst in and attacked three people. The bite victims are now waiting to see whether they’ll need to be treated for rabies after the Wednesday night incident. The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reported Friday that a woman opened the door of the family life center at Liberty Baptist Church in Inman to lead youth group members to the main building when the fox pounced. The animal jumped on the skirt of Pastor David Duncan’s 20-year-old daughter, Alicia Duncan, and its teeth scratched her legs, he said. Two other people were bitten.

Hat tip to Kara!