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Last Updated: Monday, 11 October, 2004, 09:08 GMT 10:08 UK

Campers hurt in crocodile drama

By Phil Mercer

BBC, Sydney

A 60-year-old woman is being hailed for her bravery, after she jumped on the back of a crocodile as it dragged a man from his tent in Australia.

Officials said the giant predator then attacked the woman before it was shot dead by another camper.

The drama occurred at a campsite north of Cairns in Queensland.

The two victims were taken to hospital in Cairns, where they are said to be stable. Authorities have not yet released their names or nationalities.

The crocodile's first victim was asleep with his wife and child when the 12.5 foot (4 metre) long reptile struck.

The man was dragged from his tent and suffered a broken leg and numerous cuts and bruises.

Hearing the commotion, a 60-year-old woman leapt out of her bed and raced to help.

She jumped on the crocodile's back before she too was attacked.

The animal tried to drag her into nearby water before the intervention of another camper who managed to shoot it dead.

The woman broke an arm in the ordeal before both injured campers were flown by helicopter to hospital.

It is estimated there are around 100,000 salt water crocodiles living in tropical northern Australia. They are believed to have killed more than a dozen people in the last 20 years.

26 June 2008

Uganda: Crocodiles Kill 40 People

Kampala — About 40 residents have been killed by crocodiles on Lake Victoria. The resident district commissioner, John Fisher Kasenge, yesterday told journalists at his office that they had contacted the Uganda Wildlife Authority to capture the animals but no action had been taken.

He explained that 30 people were killed last year while nine had been mauled by the crocodiles from January to June. "We learnt that the South African embassy has new computerised machines that can detect crocodiles under the water. We have advised the authority to contact them and kill the man eaters that are finishing off our people at different (fish) landing sites." According to Kasenge, the most affected landing sites were Lwanika, Malongo and Bwonda.

He added that at Bwonda, the hippos were also attacking homes and people on the lake. A few days ago, one resident was killed by the animals as he was fishing on the lake.


Date of Publication: November 07, 2006 on Page A03

Deer boom poses hazard for drivers

By autumn spanne, Standard-Times staff writer

When Rochester Police Chief Paul Magee cautions people about the dangers that deer pose to drivers, he speaks from personal experience.

Mr. Magee remembers the Christmas morning six years ago when a deer darted out of the darkness and slammed into his Toyota Tacoma pickup truck as he drove home to his family in Mattapoisett after a late shift. The deer struck the front of the truck and then swung around to hook the side fender, causing more than $1,000 in damage. Two years later, Mr. Magee's wife hit a deer while driving with the couple's children; that encounter cost $2,000 for repairs.

Thankful that neither he nor his family were injured in the accidents, Mr. Magee is always mindful of the risk.

"Some of these animals are a couple hundred pounds," he said. "Any type of a hazard like a deer in the street is a recipe for a serious crash."

The state's deer population has grown steadily for decades, and the rising population inevitably leads to more accidents — especially in late fall, when deer become more active during hunting and mating season.

There were an estimated 1.5 million deer-related crashes in the United States in 2003 resulting in $1.1 billion in damage, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The group found that deer-vehicle collisions caused 204 human fatalities in 2004. Although the death rate dropped to 180 last year, the overall trend is up.

Statewide, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles reported 1,350 crashes involving deer last year. The largest number of local deer-related accidents occurred in Freetown, with 27 incidents last year, followed by Westport with 16 and Fall River with 12. In Rochester, accidents increased from seven last year to 10 this year, and November and December are usually the most hazardous months.

"Right now it's archery season for deer and rutting season, and that means deer are very active and we're starting to see a lot of road kills," said Steve Hurley, Southeast District Fisheries manager for MassWildlife. "Deer are moving around and seeking out partners for breeding, which makes them susceptible to being hit by cars."

Mr. Hurley advises drivers to be especially cautious driving at dawn and dusk, when deer are most likely to be on the move.

And deer are just one reason to buckle up, heed speed limits and be extra alert this time of year, noted Acushnet Police Chief Michael Alves.

"Leaves are falling and they're on the roadways, and if it's wet it can cause an accident because you lose the friction just like ice," said Mr. Alves "You get the deer coming out, try to maneuver around them and, the next thing you know, you hit the deer and you're on the stone wall."

As development continues to encroach on wildlife habitat, sightings are also becoming more common in local residential neighborhoods, especially near woods and open space.

When Tracey Giroux looked out the window of her South Dartmouth home one recent morning, the last thing she expected to see in her large, well-manicured backyard were four large vultures picking at the entrails of a dead deer.

Ms. Giroux was even more surprised when a Dartmouth Animal Control official told her that she was responsible for disposing of the carcass, since it was on private property.

"I was on the phone all day trying to get the carcass out of the yard," said Ms. Giroux, who was afraid to let her children and dog play outside because she was concerned they might contract a disease from the dead animal.

The deer had apparently dragged itself into the yard after being struck by a car or attacked by a predator.

The town of Dartmouth no longer assists private property owners with dead wildlife removal unless there is a risk of rabies or other disease harmful to humans, according to Wendy Henderson, director of public health.

"We get more calls every year about this kind of situation," Ms. Henderson said. "There are subdivisions and development right on former and current wildlife habitat, and we haven't been able to afford the logistics. It's a considerable cost to us."

MassWildlife advises property owners to contact their local board of health about dead wildlife, since disposal regulations vary from town to town.

Published: Friday, November 17, 2006 1:07 PM CST

Deer create real danger for drivers

By MIKE ANDROES, Sentinel Staff Writer

Because the deer breeding season generally runs from October to December, law enforcement officers routinely investigate a large number of deer-vehicle crashes this time of year.

Deer continue to pose a significant traffic hazard in Kansas. According to Kansas Department of Transportation statistics, 8,553 deer-vehicle crashes occurred on Kansas roadways in 2005, causing 328 injuries and two deaths.

Of the 595 crashes reported in McPherson County in 2005, 90 involved a deer. Derrick Foos, an engineering technician for McPherson County Public Works, reports around 20 percent of the 2005 deer-related crashes occurred in November. Larry Powell, McPherson County Sheriff, reports that his agency has worked 80 vehicle-deer crashes so far this year.

“Some of the most serious crashes occur when drivers attempt to avoid the animal and lose control of their vehicle. Do not take unsafe evasive actions,” said Kansas Highway Patrol Superintendent Colonel William Seck. “It is usually safer to strike the deer than another object, such as a tree or another vehicle.”

When a deer meets up with a moving vehicle, there's on average about $2,500 worth of property damage, though it can exceed $10,000, according to information found on the web site for State Farm Insurance.

While animal-vehicle collisions can happen any time of year, fall is the peak season for deer-car accidents. That is mainly because autumn is both mating season and hunting season, so deer are more active and more likely to roam beyond their normal territory.

No foolproof way has been found to keep deer off highways and away from vehicles. Some motorists insist deer whistles have helped them avoid collisions. But the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says there is no scientific evidence to support claims they prevent deer from approaching cars or reduce crash risk.

You can prevent a collision with a deer. Here's how:

Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to “deer crossing” signs. Scan down the road and far off to each side. At night, use your high-beam lights if possible to illuminate the road edges.

Be especially watchful in areas near woods and water. Deer usually travel in groups. When one deer crosses the road, there may be others about to cross. Be prepared to stop for others darting into the road.

Be particularly alert at dusk and dawn when these animals venture out to feed.

If you see a deer on or near the roadway and think you have time to avoid hitting it, reduce your speed, tap your brakes to warn other drivers and sound your horn. Deer tend to fixate on headlights, so flashing them may cause the animal to move. If no vehicle is close behind you, brake hard.

If a collision seems inevitable, don't swerve to avoid the animal; your risk of injury may be greater if you do. Maintain control of the vehicle.

If you hit a deer, pull over onto the shoulder, turn on your emergency flashers, and watch for traffic before exiting your vehicle. Do not try to remove a deer from the roadway unless you are certain it is dead; an injured deer could hurt you. If you have a cellular phone, dial *47 (*HP) for a Highway Patrol dispatcher or *KTA (582) for assistance on the Kansas Turnpike or 911 for a local law enforcement agency.

In Kansas, anyone involved in a vehicle-deer crash that results in personal injury or property damage that totals $1,000 or more is required to immediately report the crash to the nearest law enforcement agency. Failure to report any traffic crash is a misdemeanor and may result in suspension of driving privileges.

All of the sources remind motorists to always use seat belts.

Using seat belts and properly securing children in safety seats are the best ways to prevent injuries and death in the event of a crash.

Deer, Dead

Article Last Updated:11/21/2006 09:55:45 PM MST

Attempt to dodge deer kills 2

Three are seriously hurt as a driver swerves and rolls off I-25. Officials say it's deer-migration season.

By Joey Bunch and Mike McPhee

Denver Post Staff Writers

A dead deer on Interstate 25 caused a fatal traffic accident Monday night - a common hazard in Colorado this time of year, according to traffic and wildlife officials.

Jeremy Singleton, 20, of Albuquerque swerved his 2002 Chrysler Sebring to miss the carcass in the southbound lane of I-25 in the Greenland Ranch area south of Larkspur, rolling the car several times and killing himself and 18-month-old Jennessa Arbelaez Monday night.

Three other passengers were seriously injured: Vennessa Arbelaez, 18, of Albuquerque; her son, Jeremiha Arbelaez, 3 months; and the children's maternal grandmother, Nora Arbelaez, 42, of Rio Rancho, N.M.

No other cars were involved; neither were alcohol, drugs or excessive speed, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Eric Wynn said. Authorities don't know why the group was passing through Colorado, nor did they know Singleton's relationship with the others.

Singleton and the deceased child were wearing safety restraints, according to the State Patrol.

The deer in the roadway appeared to be from a recent collision. The Colorado Department of Transportation had not received a call to remove the carcass, an official said.

The Greenland Ranch area, between more urban developments in Castle Rock and northern El Paso County, has a history of problems with deer on the highway, said Bob Wilson, spokesman for CDOT.

"That ranch is wide open spaces where you're most likely to encounter wildlife," Wilson said.

Greenland Ranch is one of 12 priority areas statewide where wildlife and traffic mix, according to the the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project, a Denver-based nonprofit that works to restore and protect wildlife habitats divided by development and roadways.

A CDOT study found that from 1993 to 2003, there were 24,678 animal-vehicle collisions statewide, including 8,400 involving deer.

Twenty-three people were killed in wildlife-vehicle collisions during that 10-year period; 2,266 sustained injuries and more than 22,388 vehicles were damaged.

"It's a trend that's going off the chart," said Monique DiGiorgio, spokeswoman for the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project.

This is the worst time of year for animal-vehicle collisions, said Tyler Baskfield, spokesman for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Deer are in mating season and migrating from the high country to the plains.

"Deer are paying more attention to finding a mate than they are ... to traffic," Baskfield said.

Daylight-saving time also puts commuters on the road at dusk, when deer are more active, he said.

While the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project advocates highway engineering and other programs to make driving safer, humans can protect themselves simply by being more careful, DiGiorgio said. "We tell people: Don't swerve. It's the hardest thing to do, but it's the safest."

Denver Post researcher Barbara Hudson contributed to this report.


MMWR. 2009. “Nonfatal Fall-Related Injuries Associated with Dogs and Cats --- United States, 2001--2006”. MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), vol. 58, no. 11 (27 March 2009), pp. 277-281,


And the typical response of lawsuits:

Page last updated at 18:32 GMT, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Killer dogs sow terror in Sicily

Italian police are hunting a pack of stray dogs which killed a boy aged 10 and mauled a 24-year-old woman in the Ragusa area of southern Sicily.

They caught about 30 strays after the boy was dragged off his bicycle and killed on Sunday but about 20 dogs are believed still to be running wild.

The priest at the boy's funeral accused society of turning animals into icons.

It is an offence to kill a dog in Italy and the country lacks properly funded pounds in which to collect strays.

Reports suggest the dogs had been neglected and starved by a man entrusted with caring for them. A suspect has been arrested.

Animal rights groups estimate there are up to half a million stray dogs, mainly in the south of the country, many of them abandoned by their owners and left to run wild.

Although local town councils are supposed to round up strays and put them in public kennels, the law is often ignored as public funds are not provided for building dog pounds, the BBC's David Willey reports from Rome.

Health officials in Sicily are to meet on Wednesday to decide how to cope with the killer dog emergency.

In the latest attack, the 24-year-old, a German tourist, was seriously injured while walking on a beach near Ragusa on Tuesday.

"Her face was particularly disfigured," said Christian Ilardi, a rescue official who was on the helicopter that rushed the woman to Catania.

"Her life is in serious danger due to the wounds, which are very deep."

Local police killed two animals which tried to attack them during the day.

Some 7,000 mourners people attended the funeral of Giuseppe Brafa, the boy killed on Sunday.

24 December 2010 Last updated at 13:17 GMT

Woman killed in dog attack in south London

A woman in her 50s has died after being attacked by a dog in south London.

The victim, named locally as Barbara Williams, suffered multiple injuries during the attack on Thursday evening in Demesne Road, Wallington.

Armed police called by somebody else in the house arrived to find the woman grappling with the dog, thought to be a Belgian mastiff. It was shot dead.


Det Ch Supt Ferguson said: "My officers were confronted with a ferocious dog which had attacked a lady in her 40s.

"They attempted to rescue her involving the use of shields and managed to contain the dog in another part of the premises."

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