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Collision with elk kills four in Washington

NORTH BEND, Wash. - Four people were killed and a fifth was injured when a car struck an elk on Interstate 90 early Sunday morning.

Eastside Fire and Rescue officials said the car hit the elk in the westbound lanes of I-90 near North Bend about 5 a.m., then went over an embankment and ended up underneath the freeway on a street below.

Three men and a woman, all from Mabton, Wash., were killed. Mabton is near Yakima. The victims included 26-year-old Jesus P. Reyna, the driver of the car.

Also killed were 19-year-old Enrique Gonzalez-Reyna, 42-year-old Rafael S. Gonzalez and an unidentified 18-year-old woman.

Reynaldo Gonzalez, 20, was injured when he was ejected from the car. He was taken to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition.

Washington State Patrol was investigating.


Leaping sturgeon injures woman in Suwanee River; 2nd such incident this year

Posted: June 5, 2012 - 10:38am | Updated: June 5, 2012 - 10:51am

By Dan Scanlan

A jumping sturgeon knocked a 32-year-old Chiefland woman unconscious Saturday afternoon as she and her family were boating on the Suwannee River near Manatee Springs State Park, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Brianne H. Megargel was with her husband Stephen and their 10-year-old son Grayson Megargel in their 17-foot open boat when the accident happened, according to commission investigators.

The sturgeon jumped out of the water as the boat was traveling north at about 25 mph, hitting the woman as she sat on the starboard side. The impact also knocked her out of the boat, witnesses reporting that the fish was about 60 to 70 pounds. Megargel's husband jumped into the water to rescue her, while the 10-year-old operated the boat, and they took her to Manatee Springs State Park. She was taken to Shands Hospital in Gainesville by helicopter for treatment of multiple injuries, according to the commission.

This is the second reported sturgeon encounter this year, the last one on May 1.

Giant Jumping Fish Striking People At Record Pace In Stretch Of Water

POSTED: 8:15 pm EDT July 28, 2007

UPDATED: 10:41 am EDT July 30, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Boaters and other watercraft riders are being hit and injured by giant jumping sturgeons at record pace within a 40-mile stretch of water in Florida.

"People and sturgeons are colliding," Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission official Karen Parker said.

Sturgeon, which is one of the oldest genera of fish in existence, have been leaping out of the water without warning and striking people.

"If it hits you, it is like being hit with a brick," boater Karen Parker said.

Within the last 24 months, wildlife experts have documented more than 12 random strikes within a 40-mile stretch from the Suwannee to Manatee Springs.

Allie Katrick, 14, of Brevard County, Fla., was recently on a jet ski with her friend Kori Snitker, when a sturgeon leaped in front of them. The sturgeon's thick armor-like skin sliced into her knee, requiring stitches.

The teens said they had a close call with a 200-pound sturgeon the day before the injury in an area where the fish were not expected to be.

"Even the locals were commenting they had not seen sturgeon that far north," a witness said.

"It's pretty random," Parker said. "I can't tell you where the next sturgeon is going to jump as you can attest to."

Sturgeon have been making leaps from the water for 195 million years.

The increase in the collisions with humans can't be explained, Local 6's Mike Holfeld reported.

Experts said they spawn in the Suwannee until mid September then head back to the Gulf of Mexico until next year.

Sturgeon, which can grow to be 8 feet long, are protected by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They can't be caught for sport or harvested.

Mission Bay produces tall but true fish tales


September 30, 2008

You need only consult The Log newspaper for evidence that truth is stranger than fiction this month - at least in local boating and fishing circles.

Its Sept. 25 online edition carried the report of a teenager thrown off an inner tube in Mission Bay - and landing on the lap of a bikini-clad lady in another boat. The 14-year-old boy complained of sore ribs but was otherwise unhurt.

A second report told of a 5-pound fish jumping into a passing boat on Mission Bay and smacking the pilot across the face.

The boater, a 59-year-old man driving a low-profile speedboat about 25 mph to 30 mph near Crown Point Shores, had no idea what had suddenly hit him in the eye, bloodied his nose and caused him to briefly lose consciousness. Other boaters came to his rescue, and lifeguards confirmed that the fish, a species that jumps out of the water to catch bugs, apparently caused the injury.

They recovered the evidence in the boat - a dead mullet.

San Diego lifeguard Lt. Nick Lerma in informing The Log that officers had decided not to press charges against the culprit, concluded: "The fish got it the worst, I think."

The injured boater took home the fish as a trophy, saying he planned to stuff it and mount it on his mantel.

Boating lifeguard Sgt. Rick Strobel, who was called to the scene, said he had never responded to anything so strange in his 18-year career.

Another fish tale

A bizarre "fish attacks fisherman" incident also occurred earlier in the summer at the tip of the Mission Bay jetty where three young men were fishing.

One was poked or bitten by a fish he had caught, said Sgt. Rich Stropsky of the San Diego Lifeguard Service. That would have been merely a minor annoyance except that it caused the fisherman, in his late teens, to lose his balance and tumble 10 to 15 feet down the rocks where he hit his head and had to be flown out by helicopter.

This rescue, along with that of the boy riding the inner tube, was covered by the reality TV show "Ocean Force," which had a camera crew tail lifeguards over the summer. The rescues are expected to be aired this season on the cable network truTV.

Jumping barracuda injures kayaker off Florida Keys

Mon Oct 18, 2:47 PM

MIAMI (Reuters) - A barracuda jumped out of the water and bit a

45-year-old woman kayaker in the chest in the Florida Keys, causing

injuries which required her evacuation by boat and helicopter to a Miami

hospital, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Monday.

It said the incident, in which the woman suffered a suspected punctured

lung and broken ribs, took place on Sunday evening near Big Pine Key where

the victim and a companion were kayaking in shallow water.

The two told rescuers the fish was about 4 feet long and was previously

seen skipping across the water. It knocked the woman out of the two-person

kayak when it hit her in the chest, the Sun-Sentinel newspaper reported.

She climbed back into the kayak and her companion, unable to row her to

safety, called for help on his mobile phone.

"She had a pretty bad chest wound," the paper quoted one of the rescuers,

Captain Kevin Freestone, owner of TowBoatU.S. in Big Pine Key and Cudjoe

Key and a member of the Volunteer Fire Department in Big Pine Key. "She

was conscious, and she was scared about what had happened to her."

The U.S. Coast Guard station in Marathon launched a vessel, but because of

the shallowness of the water it was a small boat deployed by TowBoatU.S.,

which assists vessels in distress, which was able to transport a paramedic

to the injured woman and bring her to shore.

A helicopter took her to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami where she was

listed as stable, the Coast Guard said.

Barracudas are sleek, swift predators with razor sharp teeth. Other cases

of the fish leaping out of the water and biting fishermen and boaters have

been reported in Florida.

(Writing by Pascal Fletcher; editing by Jim Marshall)


26 May 2010

Flood of frogs shuts down major Greek highway

THESSALONIKI, Greece – Greek officials say a horde of frogs has forced the closure of a key northern highway for two hours.

Thessaloniki traffic police chief Giorgos Thanoglou says "millions" of the amphibians covered the tarmac Wednesday near the town of Langadas, some 12 miles east of Thessaloniki.

"There was a carpet of frogs," he said.

Authorities closed the highway after three car drivers skidded off the road trying to dodge the frogs. No human injuries were reported.

Thanoglou said the amphibians probably left a nearby lake to look for food.


Last Update: Friday, October 8, 2004. 10:46pm (AEST)

Fleeing giraffe injures two tourists

Two women, one British and one Dutch, have suffered serious back injuries after a half-tonne giraffe fleeing a lioness slammed into their safari vehicle, the owner of their South African safari lodge said.

"It was a freak accident - it's the talk of the industry," Tammy Mclintock said.

"They were watching lions stalking when they heard a stampede behind them. A lioness was chasing three giraffe.

"They turned on the lights but one of the giraffes ran head-on into the vehicle."

The giraffe fell onto the Dutch tourist, who was in her 40s, also injuring the British woman.

A South African Air Force helicopter airlifted them to hospital from the reserve, on the edge of the Kruger National Park in the north of the country.

The Dutch woman underwent three hours of surgery, Ms Mclintock said.

"She still has no feeling in her legs," she said.

"But they've both been marvellous. They said they were concerned by the crime in South Africa but never expected to be taken down by a giraffe."

-- Reuters

13 May 2010

Mother Giraffe Kills Woman With Kick In Neck

A woman has died after being kicked by a giraffe while walking her dogs in a South African game reserve.

Merike Engelbrecht was out with her pets in the northeastern province of Limpopo when one of the dogs ran towards a herd of giraffes.

As she tried to retrieve the animal, the 25-year-old was kicked in the neck by one of the frightened giraffes.

The powerful blow killed her.

It is believed the animal felt threatened by the dogs and was trying to protect its calf which was nearby.



17 October 2010 Last updated at 16:44 GMT

Mountain goat kills US hiker in Olympic National Park

A hiker has died after being attacked by a mountain goat in the US state of Washington, officials have said.

Robert Boardman was gored in the leg by the goat while out walking on Saturday with his wife and a friend on Klahhane Ridge in Olympic National Park.

The 63-year-old was transported by US Coast Guard helicopter to a hospital in Port Angeles, where he was pronounced dead.

Rangers later killed the goat, which was known for its aggressive behaviour.

Barb Maynes, park spokeswoman, told the Peninsula Daily News that in the past rangers had tried "hazing" the animal - inducing it to be frightened of people - by shooting it with bean bags and throwing rocks.

But there had been no reports of any incidents which would have warranted killing the goat, she added.

Witnesses said Mr Boardman, his wife and friend had stopped for lunch on Klahhane Ridge when the goat appeared and moved towards them.

Mr Boardman tried to shoo the animal away but it instead attacked him. After goring the hiker the goat stood over him, and had to be pelted with rocks by a ranger before finally moving away.

Some 300 mountain goats live in Olympic National Park. Found only in North America, they usually stand about 3ft (0.9m) at the shoulder and can weigh up to 300lbs (136kg).


29 November 2006

Will sue to avoid goblins

Håkon Robertsen has refused to tear down a condemned barn for fear of reprisals from 'little people' and is ready to sue local authorities to protect the building.

Robertsen continues to resist a local order to tear down the derelict structure, and is currently being fined NOK 300 (USD 47.50) a day until he flattens the barn. Local authorities first ordered the barn demolished in February 2005 after complaints from Robertsen's neighbors and a new order was passed this autumn.

Robertsen fears the consequences of tearing the building down.

"I don't believe in ghosts, but underworld creatures have taken up residence in the building," Robertsen told newspaper Nordlys, referring to a term used for the fairies and goblins of Norwegian folklore.

Robertsen would not go into detail about his experiences, but said he was convinced that to comply with the order would have serious consequences for his life and health.

"A while back I removed the top of the building and that is an experience I will not repeat," he said, and points out that the barn is built on an old Viking site.

He has offered to build a solid fence around the ramshackle building so that it no longer poses a danger to anyone.

The head of the local building policy department, Mette Mohåg, told Nordlys that there was as yet no deadlock in the matter.

(Aftenposten English Web Desk/NTB)


Teenager assaulted with hedgehog: police

April 7, 2008 - 9:41AM

A New Zealand man charged with assaulting a teenage boy with a hedgehog threw the animal at him from about 5 metres away, a newspaper reported.

"It hit the victim in the leg, causing a large, red welt and several puncture marks," police sergeant Bruce Jenkins told the Herald on Sunday.

He said that William Singalargh, 27, of Whakatane was arrested shortly afterward on February 9, for assaulting the 15-year-old with a weapon - "namely the hedgehog."

It was not known whether the hedgehog was dead or alive at the time, but it was dead after the incident when it was collected as evidence, the paper said.

Singalargh's lawyer Rebecca Plunket told the paper that her client would deny the charge, which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence, when he reappears on April 17 in court.


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