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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.


Hobbs, G.D., D.M. Yealy, and J. Rivas. 1994. “Equestrian Injuries: A Five-Year Review”. The Journal of Emergency Medicine, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 143-145.

Regan, P.J., J.O. Roberts, L. Feldberg, and A.H.N. Roberts. 1991. “Hand injuries from leading horses”. Injury, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 124-126.

Man killed when car hits horse

Wed Oct 20, 1:32 AM

By Max Harrold

MONTREAL - A 22-year-old man was killed when the car he was in struck a

horse in St. Eustache Monday night. Three others escaped the vehicle with

minor injuries.

The collision took place about 11 p.m. on 25th Ave. near Grande Côte Rd.,

in the community about 35 kilometres nortwest of Montreal, according to

St. Eustache police Constable Normand Brulotte.

“The driver and the rear passengers were able to get out of the car but

the front passenger was stuck in the car and he died,” Brulotte said.

The survivors include one woman and two men, all friends in their early 20s,

The horse was propelled into a ditch and was killed by the force of the


Speed and alcohol were not factors in the crash, Brulotte added. The horse

was black and was difficult to see. “It’s just a very unfortunate


Police investigators are looking into why a horse was loose on the road,

he said. There is a horse farm nearby but usually the animals are kept in

a enclosure.

Hymenoptera (e.g. Bees and Wasps)

Barnard, J.H. 1973. “Studies of 400 Hymenoptera sting deaths in the United States”. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, vol. 52, issue 5, Pages 259-264.

McGain, F., J. Harrison, and K.D. Winkel. 2000. “Wasp sting mortality in Australia”. The Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 173, pp. 198-200,

Yang, C.-C. and J.-F. Deng. 1997. “Clinical features of wasp and bee stings in Taiwan”, Toxicon, vol. 35, no. 4, p. 501.


Monday, 23 October, 2000, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK

Hunt for golf-course kangaroo

Is it a birdie, is it an eagle? No it's a golfing kanagroo

Animal welfare experts have sprung into action after reports that a 6ft kangaroo is prowling a golf course and park in south London.

Members of Lewisham Council's animal welfare department have found a set of paw prints - but so far the creature is keeping one jump ahead of them.

Beckenham Place Park manager, Jim Horn, said that several golfers had reported seeing the animal.

But the latest sighting was made by two women walking their dogs.

Her dog had been kicked by the creature and came flying out of the bushes

Beckenham Place Park manager, Jim Horn

"They were visibly distressed," said Mr Horn.

"One claimed her dog had been kicked by the creature and came flying out of the bushes."

Another park worker, who did not want to be named, said that a number of tall shrubs had been uprooted and eaten.

"This could only be the work of a tall creature like a kangaroo.

"We just don't know where it could have come from," he said.

A council spokesman urged people not to go looking for the antipodean beast.

"Kangaroos are potentially dangerous creatures and the last thing we want is anyone getting hurt," he said.

Tuesday, 21 May, 2002, 05:58 GMT 06:58 UK

Australia takes aim at kangaroos

By Phil Mercer

In Sydney

The cull of thousands of kangaroos has begun on an army camp in southern Australia, to stop them terrorising residents of nearby communities.

Each hunter is expected to kill 100 kangaroos a day

The marsupials have been allowed to breed unchecked inside the secure borders of the Puckapunyal military base in Victoria for several years.

The area hasn't been able to sustain the explosion in the 'roo population and the animals have been escaping in their thousands and have invaded nearby farms and villages in search of food and water.

It is estimated between 80,000 and 100,000 kangaroos are living in the military training area.

The Australian Defence Department says the population is now way beyond what is sustainable and that many animals are starving to death.

It has obtained a permit to kill 15,000 of the marsupials, which are a national symbol of Australia.

An army spokeswoman has confirmed that professional marksmen have been given the go-ahead to begin the cull on 42,000-hectares of land used for artillery practice and tank training.

Culling teams will also include safety officers and inspectors from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to ensure the eradication programme is conducted humanely.

The slaughter could take up to two weeks to complete.

So far, the military has contracted 10 hunters to carry out the cull. Each would be expected to kill up to 100 kangaroos a day.

Animal rights campaigners have threatened to stand between the marksmen and the animals.

One activist, Rheya Linden, said she hoped a management plan could be put in place to protect the kangaroos but said she was not confident of stopping the cull.

Other campaigners claim the slaughter has more to do with money than animal welfare.

They say it is part of a plan to establish the commercial killing of kangaroos on the Puckapunyal base.

These are allegations denied by the army, but a senior official did say its position over commercial culling could change in the future.

Elsewhere in Australia the trade in kangaroo meat is a multi-million dollar industry, with exports to Europe and Japan, where the lean meat is extremely popular.

Wednesday, 2 February, 2000, 11:09 GMT

Robo-Roo helps crash safety

An unusual crash test dummy has been created in Australia to help cope with an unusual driving hazard - suicidal kangaroos.

It is believed that about 20,000 motor accidents are caused every year by kangaroos leaping in front of cars and lorries. The accidents, which occur mainly in the outback, can cause serious injury to drivers.

However, in what is hoped will be a leap forward for safety, car maker Holden has designed what it calls Robo-Roo.

The plastic and metal marsupial is used to model the effects of a collision. The dummy has a leather skin and can be posed in a hopping or sitting position.

Kangaroos have been hit in mid-leap and this is simulated too, by crashing the car into a dummy which has been propped up on polystyrene bricks.

Last Updated: Monday, 14 July, 2003, 11:13 GMT 12:13 UK

Australian axes to death 'killer' kangaroo

An Australian man has axed a kangaroo to death after it turned on him and his wife while they were on holiday in Queensland.

John Crouch, from New South Wales, said the two-metre animal pounced on him outside his caravan in the town of Monto, 400km north-west of Brisbane.

Mr Crouch said the kangaroo scratched his wife Helen on her face, back, and groin and kicked her in the stomach, before he pulled the animal off her.

He suffered a badly sprained hand, scratches and bruising.

"It was killed or be killed," Mr Crouch told the Bundaberg News-Mail.

"I'm absolutely sure it would have killed us if it could... It was completely crazy and became enraged without provocation," he was quoted as saying.

Local authorities said the offending animal may have been the same one that attacked a local motel owner and his wife in Monto last month.

Doug and Pauline Lawson were slightly hurt after a kangaroo knocked them to the ground for no apparent reason.

Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 July, 2004, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK

Australia on angry kangaroo alert

Residents in Australia's capital city have been warned to beware starving kangaroos after a spate of attacks.

The desperate marsupials have been attacking people and other animals as drought conditions drive them to seek food in the Canberra suburbs.

Wildlife authorities said the normally harmless, grass-eating animals were grazing on fields or golf courses.

Officials said a woman and her dog had recently been attacked, and two dogs hurt in a separate incident.

Government wildlife ecologist Murray Evans told The Associated Press: "Kangaroos don't come bounding out of the bush looking for people to attack.

"It's usually kangaroos minding their own business and people thinking they're cute and cuddly and getting too close."

But in a recent letter to the Canberra Times, dog owner Christine Canham said her pet had been drowned by a kangaroo in a city park.

The dogs had been swimming when a large kangaroo appeared on the bank and entered the water, she said.

The kangaroo "held her under the water with its back legs and drowned her as we watched helpless," Ms Canham wrote.

Kangaroos can weigh up to 80 kilograms (176 pounds) and grow as tall as an average man.

Experts say they rarely attack humans, but because of the shortage of food could be more likely to stand their ground if confronted.

Capital may take up arms against a kangaroo glut

By ROD McGUIRK, Associated Press Writer Rod Mcguirk, Associated Press Writer – Sun Apr 12, 3:29 pm ET

CANBERRA, Australia – They bounce across the roof of Parliament House. They collide with cars. They come in through the bedroom window.

Canberra, Australia's capital, has a problem — too many kangaroos.

Authorities have tried giving them vasectomies and oral contraceptives, to no avail. They say trucking them to new and distant pastures is too expensive. Now they're proposing a cull. But many people are aghast at the idea of their best-known marsupial being shot en masse in the national capital.

A government survey has found that more than 80 percent of Canberra residents think the wild kangaroos should stay.

On the other hand, in a different survey, 17 percent of drivers in the district reported having collided with a kangaroo at least once.

Canberra's latest man-vs.-roo horror story concerns a confused beast, standing about 5 feet 9 inches on its powerful hind legs, which last month bounded through a closed bedroom window onto a bed where a couple huddled with their 9-year-old daughter, then hopped into their 10-year-old son's bedroom.

The animal was wrestled out of the house by the father, Beat Ettlin, and headed for the hills, leaving claw marks on a bed and a trail of blood from broken glass.

Maxine Cooper, environment commissioner for the government of the Australian Capital Territory, says humans aren't the only ones at risk — the kangaroos are destroying the grassy native habitat of endangered species such as a six-inch-long lizard known as the earless dragon.

But "Compare that to anything furry with big eyes — the human emotions generally respond to furriness and big eyes," Cooper said.



14 May 2010

Love-Struck Kangaroo Hunts Aussie Women

A frisky kangaroo has caused mayhem after stalking women in an area known as the Honeymoon Ranges in northern Australia.

Female residents in the isolated town of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory have complained that the animal has been lurking and making its intentions vey clear.


Male red kangaroos can grow over six feet tall and weigh 200 pounds, and can cause serious injury or death if they attack.


It also bounded into a local speedway race meeting in the town, which is located about 500 miles south of Darwin.

Tanya Wilson said: "I thought it was strange that a kangaroo would come to such a noisy place, but I grew up around kangaroos so I went up to say hello.

"There I was having a nice chat to him when I heard others calling out to me, warning me to step away," the mum-of-three said.

She added: "I didn't take any notice of them because I didn't think I had anything to worry about - I thought he was just a cute, friendly kangaroo."

But other speedway fans could tell what the roo wanted and the newspaper reported that one man tried to intervene and was punched in the face by the animal before it hopped off.

Komodo dragons

Two Komodo dragons kill fruitpicker in eastern Indonesia

Tue Mar 24, 2009, 3:46 AM

JAKARTA, 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 neighbour, 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.

An 8-year-old boy was killed in 2007 - the first recorded deadly attack on a human by one of the endangered lizards in three decades. A park ranger narrowly survived after one of the animals entered his hut last month and started biting his hands and legs.

There have been several other attacks in recent months, according to Metro TV.

The reptiles, which can grow up to three metres long and weigh as much as 70 kilograms, have shark-like serrated teeth and a bite that can be deadly. Its saliva contains roughly 50 different known bacteria strains, so infection is a risk.

Komodos can be found in the wild on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Padar and Rinca. Tiny numbers also can be found on Flores.

Komodo dragon attacks terrorize Indonesia villages

2009 May 24

IRWAN FIRDAUS, Associated Press Writer Irwan Firdaus, Associated Press

Writer – Sun May 24, 1:58 pm ET

KOMODO ISLAND, Indonesia – Komodo dragons have shark-like teeth and

poisonous venom that can kill a person within hours of a bite. Yet

villagers who have lived for generations alongside the world's largest

lizard were not afraid — until the dragons started to attack.

The stories spread quickly across this smattering of tropical islands in

southeastern Indonesia, the only place the endangered reptiles can still

be found in the wild: Two people were killed since 2007 — a young boy and

a fisherman — and others were badly wounded after being charged


Komodo dragon attacks are still rare, experts note. But fear is swirling

through the fishing villages, along with questions on how best to live

with the dragons in the future.

Main, a 46-year-old park ranger, was doing paperwork when a dragon

slithered up the stairs of his wooden hut in Komodo National Park and went

for his ankles dangling beneath the desk. When the ranger tried to pry

open the beast's powerful jaws, it locked its teeth into his hand.

"I thought I wouldn't survive... I've spent half my life working with

Komodos and have never seen anything like it," said Main, pointing to his

jagged gashes, sewn up with 55 stitches and still swollen three months

later. "Luckily, my friends heard my screams and got me to hospital in


Komodos, which are popular at zoos in the United States to Europe, grow to

be 10 feet (3 meters) long and 150 pounds (70 kilograms). All of the

estimated 2,500 left in the wild can be found within the 700-square-mile

(1,810-square-kilometer) Komodo National Park, mostly on its two largest

islands, Komodo and Rinca. The lizards on neighboring Padar were wiped out

in the 1980s when hunters killed their main prey, deer.

Though poaching is illegal, the sheer size of the park — and a shortage of

rangers — makes it almost impossible to patrol, said Heru Rudiharto, a

biologist and reptile expert. Villagers say the dragons are hungry and

more aggressive toward humans because their food is being poached, though

park officials are quick to disagree.

The giant lizards have always been dangerous, said Rudiharto. However tame

they may appear, lounging beneath trees and gazing at the sea from

white-sand beaches, they are fast, strong and deadly.

The animals are believed to have descended from a larger lizard on

Indonesia's main island Java or Australia around 30,000 years ago. They

can reach speeds of up to 18 miles (nearly 30 kilometers) per hour, their

legs winding around their low, square shoulders like egg beaters.

When they catch their prey, they carry out a frenzied biting spree that

releases venom, according to a new study this month in the journal

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors, who used

surgically excised glands from a terminally ill dragon at the Singapore

Zoo, dismissed the theory that prey die from blood poisoning caused by

toxic bacteria in the lizard's mouth.

"The long, jaded teeth are the primary weapons. They deliver these deep,

deep wounds," said Bryan Fry of the University of Melbourne. "But the

venom keeps it bleeding and further lowers the blood pressure, thus

bringing the animal closer to unconsciousness."

Four people have been killed in the last 35 years (2009, 2007, 2000 and

1974) and at least eight injured in just over a decade. But park officials

say these numbers aren't overly alarming given the steady stream of

tourists and the 4,000 people who live in their midst.

"Any time there's an attack, it gets a lot of attention," Rudiharto said.

"But that's just because this lizard is exotic, archaic, and can't be

found anywhere but here."

Still, the recent attacks couldn't have come at a worse time.

The government is campaigning hard to get the park onto a new list of the

Seven Wonders of Nature — a long shot, but an attempt to at least raise

awareness. The park's rugged hills and savannahs are home to orange-footed

scrub fowl, wild boar and small wild horses, and the surrounding coral

reefs and bays harbor more than a dozen whale species, dolphins and sea


Claudio Ciofi, who works at the Department of Animal Biology and Genetics

at the University of Florence in Italy, said if komodos are hungry, they

may be attracted to villages by the smell of drying fish and cooking, and

"encounters can become more frequent."

Villagers wish they knew the answer.

They say they've always lived peacefully with Komodos. A popular

traditional legend tells of a man who once married a dragon "princess."

Their twins, a human boy, Gerong, and a lizard girl, Orah, were separated

at birth.

When Gerong grew up, the story goes, he met a fierce-looking beast in the

forest. But just as he was about to spear it, his mother appeared,

revealing to him that the two were brother and sister.

"How could the dragons get so aggressive?" Hajj Amin, 51, taking long slow

drags off his clove cigarettes, as other village elders gathering beneath

a wooden house on stilts nodded. Several dragons lingered nearby, drawn by

the rancid smell of fish drying on bamboo mats beneath the blazing sun.

Also strolling by were dozens of goats and chickens.

"They never used to attack us when we walked alone in the forest, or

attack our children," Amin said. "We're all really worried about this."

The dragons eat 80 percent of their weight and then go without food for

several weeks. Amin and others say the dragons are hungry partly because

of a 1994 policy that prohibits villagers from feeding them.

"We used to give them the bones and skin of deer," said the fisherman.

Villagers recently sought permission to feed wild boar to the Komodos

several times a year, but park officials say that won't happen.

"If we let people feed them, they will just get lazy and lose their

ability to hunt," said Jeri Imansyah, another reptile expert. "One day,

that will kill them. "

The attack that first put villagers on alert occurred two years ago, when

8-year-old Mansyur was mauled to death while defecating in the bushes

behind his wooden hut.

People have since asked for a 6-foot-high (2-meter) concrete wall to be

built around their villages, but that idea, too, has been rejected. The

head of the park, Tamen Sitorus, said: "It's a strange request. You can't

build a fence like that inside a national park!"

Residents have made a makeshift barrier out of trees and broken branches,

but they complain it's too easy for the animals to break through.

"We're so afraid now," said 11-year-old Riswan, recalling how just a few

weeks ago students screamed when they spotted one of the giant lizards in

a dusty field behind their school. "We thought it was going to get into

our classroom. Eventually we were able to chase it up a hill by throwing

rocks and yelling 'Hoohh Hoohh.'"

Then, just two months ago, 31-year-old fisherman Muhamad Anwar was killed

when he stepped on a lizard in the grass as he was heading to a field to

pick fruit from a sugar tree.

Even park rangers are nervous.

Gone are the days of goofing around with the lizards, poking their tails,

hugging their backs and running in front of them, pretending they're being

chased, said Muhamad Saleh, who has worked with the animals since 1987.

"Not any more," he says, carrying a 6-foot-long (2-meter) stick wherever

he goes for protection. Then, repeating a famous line by Indonesia's most

renowned poet, he adds: "I want to live for another thousand of years."

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