‘Absolutely Grisly.’ A Woman Was Mauled to Death by Her Own Dogs

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME)

 

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By JAMIE DUCHARME

December 16, 2017

A 22-year-old woman was apparently mauled to death by her own dogs, described as pit bulls, according to Virginia law enforcement.

Bethany Lynn Stephens’ body was found in a wooded area in Goochland, V.A., with wounds on her hands, arms, throat and face consistent with a mauling, WTVR reports. Stephens’ father went looking for her on Thursday, and reportedly discovered her dogs standing watch over her body.

“It was an absolutely grisly mauling ,” Sheriff James Agnew told WTVR. “In my 40 years of law enforcement I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I hope I never see anything like it again.”

Agnew told WTVR that the dogs appeared to initiate the mauling. Evidence suggests the attack began when Stephens was alive, and became fatal after she fell to the ground unconscious. There is no evidence of a homicide, WTVR reports, and the sheriff’s office will look to euthanize the pit bulls.

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MONSTER SHARKS: FOUR FIERCE GIANTS

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NEWSWEEK)

 

MONSTER SHARKS: FOUR FIERCE GIANTS THAT RIVAL GREENLAND’S ANCIENT BEAST

Sharks have been making headlines recently after a 2016 report of a Greenland shark that was around 512 years old resurfaced this week. In November, a dinosaur-era frilled shark was on our minds. The ocean’s deadliest sharp-toothed predators are both loved and feared. They are also an incredibly diverse and successful group, appearing in the fossil records millions of years before dinosaurs and even insects.

Here are just a few of the most terrifying examples of sharks from across time.

MegalodonOnly the jaws of megalodon fossilized, but put to the scale of a great white shark, this prehistoric creature must have grown to 60 feet long.ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES

Megalodon
Carcharocles megalodon is the star of such B thrillers as Shark Attack 3: Megalodon, Megashark vs. Mechashark, and Attack of the Jurassic Shark. Before its movie days, real megalodons lived all over the world in the Miocene and Pliocene epochs.

Megalodon would have put the shark in Jaws to shame, with teeth as big as your hand and a body as long as a bowling lane. Sixty feet of shark is nothing to mess with, and it probably ate whales.

HelicoprionHelicoprion was an ancient ratfish, not a shark, but was just as scary, with a whorl of teeth like a buzz saw.WILLIAM WEST/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Helicoprion
Though not technically a shark, this shark-like ratfish had an unforgettable maw. Scientists first found this animal’s teeth in a bizarre spiral, and for years, they could only speculate as to how the teeth actually fit in its mouth.

Luckily for swimmers, it lived and died 270 million years ago.

A Thresher shark hunts fish by whipping its long tail at a school.PLOS MEDIA

Whip-Tailed Shark
Also known as a common-thresher, Zorro thresher shark, swiveltail, and slasher, this modern shark makes the list for its odd hunting style. This shark swims toward schools of fish, then at the last minute, whips its bizarrely long tail at its prey to stun or kill them.
Whale_sharkThis picture taken on August 1, 2014, shows a dead whale shark being carried on a tractor in a seafood wholesale market in Xiangzhi township in Quanzhou, east China’s Fujian province. Local fishermen caught the whale shark which they thought was a “sea monster” and reported to local police after returning from the sea, local media reported.STR/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Whale Shark
You would think that the largest living shark would be the most terrifying. This monster can weigh 20 tons and grow 18-32 feet long. But these wide-mouthed creatures, with spots on their backs resembling constellations in the night sky, have very small teeth and eat only plankton.
https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba2QKc5HKH4/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=7&wp=822#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A1016.5950000000001%7D512-Year-Old Greenland Shark
In 2016, scientists documented the world’s oldest living vertebrate: a Greenland shark that had been alive for 512 years, give or take. While other long-lived animalshave been discovered, a shark that has lived for half of a millennium takes the cake for incredible survival skills.

11_10_Frilled_shark_head2This living fossil has remained unchanged for 80 million years.BY OPENCAGE (HTTP://OPENCAGE.INFO/PICS.E/LARGE_13408.ASP) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (HTTPS://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY-SA/2.5)], VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Frilled Shark
The frilled shark is even older than megalodon, having evolved 80 million years ago. But the especially concerning thing about the frilled shark is that they still exist.

Fortunately frilled sharks live deep in the ocean and aren’t known to attack humans. If they did, their rows of extremely-sharp teeth would be sure to leave a mark.

American Tourist Killed By a Shark While Scuba Diving in Costa Rica

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS AND THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

By Jennifer Calfas

11:45 AM EST

An American tourist died after a tiger shark mauled her legs while she was scuba diving off the coast of Costa Rica last week, authorities said.

The tourist was identified by media outlets as Rohina Bhandari, a New York private equity director. Bhandari died after she sustained severe bites on her legs, according to the statement from Costa Rica’s ministry of environment and energy, translated by The Washington Post. The official statement identified the victim by her last name, Bhandari, and her scuba diving guide by the last name Jiménez.

The dive instructor was also bitten by the shark, but did not suffer life-threatening wounds. Doctors on site treated Jiménez’s wounds and confirmed Bhandari’s death, according to officials.

The incident occurred on Nov. 30, was an isolated incident and was the first of its kind at Isla del Coco National Park, according to officials. The attack happened as the group was reaching the end of their dive.

Rohina Bhandari attends MIGUEL FORBES Birthday Party at The Highlander on August 9, 2008 in Montauk, NY. (Patrick McMullan—Getty Images)
Rohina Bhandari attends MIGUEL FORBES Birthday Party at The Highlander on August 9, 2008 in Montauk, NY. (Patrick McMullan—Getty Images)
Patrick McMullan—Getty Images)

Bhandari’s dive took place at Cocos Island, which sits off Costa Rica’s mainland. The National Park is known for its scuba spots, where divers can spot a diverse array of marine life, including rays, dolphins and 14 different species of sharks, including hammerheads, according to authorities.

Bhandari was well-known in New York’s charity world, according to the New York Daily News. Bhandari was a senior director at WL Ross & Co. LLC, an investing group founded by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that she had worked at since Oct. 2013, according to her LinkedIn page. Before then, Bhandari was the managing director for institutional sales at PineBridge Investments.

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Prehistoric Eggs Help Reveal Early Life Of Flying Reptiles

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Elizabeth Martin-Silverstone is a Research Assistant in Palaeontology at the University of Bristol. The opinions expressed here are solely hers.

A hoard of fossilized pterosaur eggs discovered in China is helping scientists gain a rare insight into the extinct flying reptiles.

Newly released research into over 200 eggs and 16 embryos from the pterosaur Hamipterus, including the first computed tomography (CT) scans, eclipses what was previously known about these cousins of the dinosaurs.
In particular, they provide new evidence for the debate about whether pterosaurs could fly as soon as they hatched.
Relatively few pterosaur fossils are preserved because of the animal’s fragile, thin-walled bones. Even more rare are fossils of young hatchlings, eggs and embryos, making it difficult to understand how different species grew.

Illustration of a Pterosaur and Pterosaur eggs by Zhao Chuang.

The first pterosaur embryo was found in China in 2004, but the egg and embryo were flattened, and exactly what type of pterosaur it was was unclear. The first three-dimensionally preserved pterosaur egg came from Argentina from an animal called Pterodaustro, previously known from several specimens and eggs that are mostly crushed.
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But in 2014, Chinese palaeontologists discovered hundreds of bones and eggs of the pterosaur Hamipterus, which lived in the early Cretaceous period, approximately 120 million years ago. Amazingly, the site where the fossils were found contained eight separate geological layers with bones, four of which also had eggs.
Researchers think this means it was a nesting site that was hit by high-energy storms that transported the pterosaurs and their eggs to a calm lake where they were then turned into fossils.
Palaeontologists have found other sites with lots of pterosaur bones before, suggesting they were social animals. But this is the first find that indicates pterosaurs nested together as well.

Inside the eggs

A team of Chinese and Brazilian palaeontologists led by Xiaolin Wang have now examined these eggs in more detail, using CT scanning and the study of microstructures of the bone to understand how the animal grew.
The CT scans meant the researchers could use X-rays to see inside the eggs and embryos without destroying them, the first time this has been done with pterosaur eggs (although dinosaur eggs have been studied like this before).
Among the 16 embryos, the researchers found an assortment of preserved bones, mainly from the wings and legs. Unlike other pterosaur embryos from China or Argentina, very little material from the skull appeared in the embryos, with only a single lower jaw preserved.
Unfortunately, the embryos are all incomplete and disarticulated, meaning the bones have been jumbled during fossilisation rather than preserved in a nice jointed skeleton.
This means that we don’t have a complete picture of what an embryonic Hamipterus would have looked like. But the researchers were able to make some observations on growth because the large number of fossils with individuals of different sizes meant they could look at different stages of development.
All the long bones from the wings and legs showed signs of ossification, the process of laying down the minerals to form bones, but the ends of wing bones were not fully formed or mineralized. This suggests that the areas for major muscle attachments, and therefore the muscles themselves, weren’t developed in embryos.
The areas for muscle attachment of important flight muscles were either small or nonexistent in the unhatched animals, while the legs appeared to be more complete. The researchers suggest this means that Hamipterus hatchlings were incapable of flight, contradicting the common idea of “flaplings”, that the youngest pterosaurs could fly immediately.

No teeth

Unsurprisingly, the bone of these embryos appears to have grown extremely fast, with large vascular canals (that carry blood vessels through bones) and other bone structures typical of young animals that are laying down bone extremely quickly.
A surprising discovery, or indeed a lack of discovery, was in the teeth. Despite the fact that teeth normally preserve well in fossils, no teeth were found in any of the embryos.
Since at least some other pterosaur embryos possess teeth, this might indicate that the Hamipterus embryos are of an earlier developmental stage, before tooth development. The lack of other skull bones suggests the skull developed later than other bones in the skeleton.
This find adds to recent discoveries of soft Darwinopterus pterosaur eggs and hundreds of Caiuajara pterosaur fossils. Thanks to the hard work of palaeontologists, we are starting to develop a good understanding of the entire life history, from before hatching to death, of these fascinating creatures.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Don Jr. And Eric Trump Are Trophy Hunters: Now You Know Why: Play Dates

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘CARE2 PETITIONS’)

 

Save Elephants and Lions – Stop Trump’s Trophy Hunting Plan

  • by: Care2 Team
  • target: US Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
57,544 SUPPORTERS
60,000 GOAL

President Donald J. Trump just opened the door to expanded sport hunting of some of the world’s most beloved — and imperiled — animals: Africa’s elephants and lions. We need your signature today to help stop him.

Near the turn of the 20th century, Africa was home to between three and five million elephants. Now less than half a million remain. Africa’s lions have seen similar declines, with lion numbers declining by 42 percent in just the last 20 years.

To save these iconic animals from extinction, the Obama administration banned the importation of elephant trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe and made importing lion pelts and other trophies more difficult.

Now President Trump — whose sons have boasted publicly of killing rare animals in Africa — has reversed this animal-saving ban.

This reversal will almost inevitably increase poaching of these rare animals. According to Jeffrey Flocken of the International Fund for Animal Welfare:

“When a species’ greatest value is as a dead trophy, its days will inevitably be numbered, just as they are when the value of their parts — like ivory tusks, tiger skins, or rhino horn — make protection from poachers nearly impossible.”

The move is also squarely at odds with public opinion in the US. 82% of Americans surveyed support banning lion trophies, and 83% support banning elephant trophies.

That’s why Care2 is calling on Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva, one of the most stalwart animal defenders in Congress, to introduce legislation to reverse the Trump administration’s trophy import decision as soon as possible.

By adding your name today you’ll show Congressman Grijalva that conservation-minded people around the world reject sport hunting of our imperiled species. And you’ll provide the public support we’ll need to restore vital protections for whales and lions.

Speak out for our imperiled elephants and lions. Please sign the petition now to stop new imports of elephant and lion trophies.

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Trump Opens Up U.S. Market To Elephant Poachers/Hunters

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME.COM NEWS)

 

African elephant and calf walking, Masai Mara N.R, Kenya
African elephant and calf walking, Masai Mara N.R, Kenya
Anup Shah—Getty Images

By Justin Worland

11:58 AM EST

The Trump administration on Thursday said it had reversed a ban on hunters importing elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

The FWS said the move, which reverses a prohibition enacted by the Obama administration in 2014, follows a revaluation based on new information about the elephant populations and their management in those countries. New estimates show there are 80,000 elephants in Zimbabwe, according to the FWS. The agency does not say what the estimate was in 2014. The government of Zimbabwe issues permits to hunt 500 elephants annually, collecting fees that hunting backers say supports conservation.

“Sport hunting, as part of a sound wildlife management program, can provide benefits to conservation,” the FWS said in a bulletin announcing the decision. “When the Service announced an interim suspension on the import of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe on April 4, 2014, we based our decision on the limited information available to us… the facts on the ground have changed and improved.”

The agency will immediately begin issuing permits to carry elephant trophies — typically the elephant’s severed head — back to the U.S. as a symbol of the hunt. The practice received public outcry in 2015 after reports that an American dentist had killed a lion in Zimbabwe illegally. Still, trophy hunting remains popular among a small group of hunters, including the president’s children, Donald Trump Jr. and his brother Eric.

Trophy hunting remains controversial in the U.S. with animal protection groups arguing that it contributes to unsustainable population decline in a slew of threatened species. Elephants, in particular, remain an endangered species with a rapid decline continuing as a result of poaching and the ivory trade.

“The global community has rallied to stem the ivory trade,” said Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle in a blog post. “And now, the U.S. government is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them.”

The FWS service said it was still evaluating whether to allow hunters to import elephant remains from Tanzania.

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(Alpha Wolf/Poem) Within My Gaze

Within My Gaze

Within My Gaze

I see my picture

Upon T-Shirts, paintings and plates

Displayed proudly upon your walls

 

You think me to be cuddly

Domesticated easily like a lap dog hound

Only to the giant bear

Have I ever backed down

 

You come to my home

To sleep, laugh, and play

When was the last time

You ever seen me walking down your streets

 

More ignorant than the lamb I had this morning

My belly is grumbling as the dark is setting in

Do you now think I am so cute and cuddly

As I back you down

Your eyes glued, within my gaze

 

 

India: Kaziranga Park Brings Down Rhino Poaching To 16 Year Low

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

With drones and AK-series rifles, Kaziranga brings down rhino poaching to 16-year low

With sophisticated weaponry, night-vision cameras and fast-track courts, which convicted eight this year, poaching in Kaziranga has slowed.

INDIA Updated: Nov 01, 2017 07:54 IST

Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
According to park data, poachers gunned down 143 of these endangered and protected animals in 12 years but almost 70% of them were murdered since 2012, triggering calls for better conservation efforts.
According to park data, poachers gunned down 143 of these endangered and protected animals in 12 years but almost 70% of them were murdered since 2012, triggering calls for better conservation efforts.(AFP File Photo)

Poachers’ guns were silent in Assam’s Kaziranga this year. Well, almost.

Only two rhinoceros were killed this year, the lowest count since 2001 for the national park’s world-famous residents prized for their horn that feeds a multi-million dollar clandestine international market for the ivory and its perceived aphrodisiac properties.

According to park data, poachers gunned down 143 of these endangered and protected animals in 12 years but almost 70% of them were murdered since 2012, triggering calls for better conservation efforts.

Park rangers turned to sustained surveillance, stakeouts and stealth to track down poachers, especially nightly intruders. They use night-vision cameras, drones and eight 90-foot towers kitted out with cameras that stream live video feeds to a control room.

“These cameras enable us to track poachers and take action before they strike,” Kaziranga director Satyendra Singh said.

The park guards carry sophisticated weaponry now, advancing from the antiquated 303 service rifle that fired less and misfired more. And they built a better coordination network with other government agencies, especially the state police, in the fight to save the 430-square-km Kaziranga’s wildlife.

Read more

“We use night-vision cameras and AK-series rifles in our fight against poachers,” said 51-year-old Deben Borah, officer in-charge of Jakhalabandha police station near the park, whose team caught 260 poachers in three years.

The government set up a fast-track court and eight killers were convicted this year alone.

Police confiscated illegal arms from villagers near the park, dealing a blow to poachers who pay poor locals and rely heavily on them for logistics.

Most poachers are members of insurgent outfits or sharpshooters from neighbouring states.

Villagers were warned about the consequences of helping poachers and provided alternative livelihood options by training them to weave clothes and make handicrafts. The authorities set up 38 eco-development committees to help the people.

“These confidence-building measures coupled with frequent interaction with villagers led to better intelligence gathering and more arrests of poachers,” Singh said.

Statistics point to the difference these efforts made in the 10 months of 2017, after 18 deaths the previous year.

Chattra Bahadur Thapa, panchayat president of Amguri village adjacent to the park’s Burhapahar range, said: “The efforts showed results this year.”

But officials are aware poachers would up their game too, with more advanced weapons and techniques. The lure of the rhino horn is not easy to resist. It fetches nearly Rs 1 crore a kilogram in the international market, especially China.

“We can’t be complacent as poachers are expected to change strategies,” Singh said.

Rhinos in Kaziranga were relatively safe this year, although torrential rain this summer flooded large tracts of the park and put the animals in a spot of bother.

The killers turned to Assam’s other reserved forests, killing two rhinos in Pobitora wildlife sanctuary and three in Orang national park.

“The winter would be crucial as some rhinos could venture out for greener pastures. The authorities will have to be vigilant,” said Bibhab Talukdar, the founder of wildlife NGO Aaranyak.

24 Year Old British Journalist Thought To Have Been Killed By Crocodile In Sri Lanka

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME.COM NEWS)

 

British Financial Times Journalist, 24, Thought to Have Been Killed by Crocodile in Sri Lanka

8:25 AM ET

A British journalist working for the Financial Times is thought to have been killed by a crocodile while on holiday in Sri Lanka.

Former Oxford University student Paul McClean, aged 24, was found dead in mud at a lagoon nicknamed ‘Crocodile Rock,’ near the coastal village of Panama in the southeast of the country. Witnesses told the Times that McClean had been seen waving in desperation as he was dragged underwater by the beast. A postmortem examination will be carried out later today.

Alex Barker, the Financial Times‘ Brussels Bureau Chief, described McClean as “a first-class journalist in the making.” “We were so very lucky to have him as a friend and colleague in Brussels. We’ll miss him dearly,” his tribute continued.

Our Brussels tribute to Paul McClean, a terrific FT journalist & wonderful friend. What a talent, what a gentleman. https://www.ft.com/content/b82f4836-9a02-11e7-b83c-9588e51488a0 

Photo published for A tribute to Paul McClean

A tribute to Paul McClean

‘He was only 24, but a first-class journalist in the making’

ft.com

The Financial Times‘ editor, Lionel Barber, said on Twitter that McClean was a “rising star” and the team would “miss him dearly.” A minute’s silence was held in the news room today.

McClean joined the paper as a graduate reporter two years ago and was working at the London-based fastFT team at the time of his death.

Tiger on the loose near Atlanta killed by police

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Tiger on the loose near Atlanta killed by police

Police want to know where this tiger came from. It was shot and killed in a yard in suburban Atlanta.

(CNN)A tiger seen roaming the streets of suburban Atlanta is dead, but the question remains: Where did it come from?

The tiger was spotted early Wednesday morning in Henry County, in south metro Atlanta. Alarmed residents made multiple calls to 911 after seeing the animal, said Capt. Joey Smith of the Henry County Police Department.
One of those who called 911 was Brittney Speck. She woke up to police activity outside her house and high beams coming through her windows as authorities searched for the tiger. When she poked her head out of her front door, she was instructed by police to go back inside, so she did.
Speck said her dog, who was in her backyard, was barking hysterically.
“I’ve never heard her bark like that before,” Speck told CNN.
From her backyard, Speck said she could see the tiger in her neighbor’s backyard, roaming around a minivan. Once she saw where it was, Speck said she called 911 to give authorities the tiger’s location.

Journey, the dog attacked by the tiger, is going to be OK, her owner said.

At the moment she hung up with 911, the tiger jumped the fence into Speck’s yard and went toward her dog.
“I fell to the ground crying because my husband was screaming because the tiger had jumped on top of my dog,” she said. Speck said her dog managed to get away from the tiger and was running around as police closed in.
“By the time (the tiger) had jumped on my dog, the officer had started firing rounds.”
Smith said the officers had no choice but to kill the tiger after it attacked the dog.
Speck’s dog, a dachshund named Journey, suffered a few scratches but is going to be OK, she said.
The tiger was a female and its body was later cremated, said Gerri Yoder, director of the Henry County Animal Care and Control Department.
“There is an ongoing investigation and, at this time, no determination has been made as to where the tiger originated from,” Yoder said.
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