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Moose, Drunken

First published: 29 Nov 2002, 15:17

Drunken moose alert in southern Norway

Experts are not sure how it will affect moose behavior, but if you meet Norway's 'King of the Forest' in the southern part of the country, he could be intoxicated - and potentially dangerous.

According to a report from the Newspapers' News Bureau (ANB), the reason behind the warning is this year's early snowfall.

A warm summer has led to an unusual bounty from the region's fruit trees. The sudden and early snowfall has left some fruit under snowy cover, while still more remains on the branch. This fruit is fermenting, and also a readily available and tempting source of food for the region's moose.

"This is the first time I have heard that moose are getting drunk. But I assume that they react the same way people do to intoxication - some become harmless while others are the exact opposite," said district veterinarian Paul Stamberg in Kristiansand.

Martin Kolberg, head of the local animal committee in Telemark, warns people to beware of drunken moose.

"Be careful when you approach moose that have been munching apples for days. Their behavior can alter and they can become frighteningly aggressive. Clap and see how it reacts. If it doesn't retreat but instead comes even closer, by all means stay vigilant. It can be intoxicated and attack," Kolberg told newspaper Faedrelandsvennen.

Aftenposten English Web Desk

Jonathan Tisdall

Musk Ox,0,3092999.story

Musk ox attacks Alaskan musher at Russian Mission

6:12 p.m. AKST, December 24, 2010

RUSSIAN MISSION, Alaska — A musher at Russian Mission was attacked by a musk ox that killed two of his dogs.

Alaska State Troopers say 32-year-old Ryan Housler of had to climb a tree Monday and wait for help on the trail between Russian Mission and Kalskag.

Troopers say another Russian Mission man, 38-year-old Peter Minock, came by and shot and killed the ox.

The meat was salvaged and donated to the Russian Mission tribal council and Bethel senior center.

Russian Mission is a village on the Yukon River 70 miles northeast of Bethel and about 400 miles west of Anchorage.


February 27, 2009

Octopus floods Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

By Bob Pool

The mollusk diassembles a valve at the top of her tank, flooding the place with some 200 gallons of seawater.

It's not surprising that with eight arms and inquisitive nature, the two-spotted octopus is pretty handy around its tank at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.

Still, those reporting for work Thursday at the popular beachfront attraction were caught by surprise when they were greeted by water lapping around the kelp forest display, the shark and ray tank and the rocky reef exhibit.

The guest of honor in the aquarium's Kids' Corner octopus tank had swum to the top of the enclosure and disassembled the recycling system's valve, flooding the place with some 200 gallons of seawater.

"It had grabbed the tube that pulls out the water and caused it to spray outside the tank," said aquarium education specialist Nick Fash. Judging by the size of the flood, Fash estimated that the water flowed for about 10 hours before the first staff member, Aaron Kind, showed up for work.

Kind issued an all-hands-on-deck call to summon co-workers to the pier with mops, water vacuums and fans. Even though the aquarium is built over the beach, it has no floor drain.

The tiny octopus, which is about the size of a human forearm when its appendages are extended, floated lazily in the water that remained in its tank.

It watched intently through glass walls and portholes as workers struggled to dry the place out in time for the day's first busload of schoolchildren to arrive on a 9:30 a.m. field trip.

Randi Parent, the aquarium's community outreach coordinator, said the only significant damage was to newly installed ecologically sensitive flooring in several offices. It consists of linseed-and-cork tiles that soaked up the seawater and squished beneath workers' feet the rest of the day.

The incident was reminiscent of a 1994 incident at San Pedro's Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in which an octopus named Octavia pulled a plastic pipe loose.

That giant Pacific octopus died when all of the water in her tank drained out.

Since octopuses are considered by many to be the most intelligent invertebrate -- and to have good memories -- Fash said he jury-rigged his octopus tank piping with clamps and tape in hopes of thwarting any further mischief by its occupant. "She would need tools," he said of his octopus, which until now had no name.

"Some people are suggesting we call her 'Flo,' " he said.


Page last updated at 03:31 GMT, Sunday, 11 May 2008 04:31 UK

Pelican 'bombs' bather in Florida

A woman required 20 stitches to her face after a pelican crashed into her in the sea off Florida, apparently diving for fish.

The bird, which died in Thursday's collision, ripped a gash in Debbie Shoemaker's face as she bathed near the city of St Petersburg.

The city fire chief said he had never heard of a diving pelican hit a person.

Pelicans grow to up to 30lb (13kg) and can dive from heights of 60 to 70 feet (18 to 21 metres).

Ms Shoemaker, 50, returned home on Friday, the Associated Press reports.


First published: 02 Jul 2004, 11:26

Love-starved pig sparks traffic chaos

A male pig who hadn't been castrated took off from the farm where he lives near Trondheim, apparently on the prowl for lady pigs. He was finally captured after nearly causing a few traffic accidents on a busy local highway.

"Many motorists drive much too fast here, and both a motorcycle and a bus had to swerve to avoid hitting the pig," one local witness told newspaper Adresseavisen.

The pig took off early Thursday and was later observed trotting along a two-lane road near Jonsvatnet. Local police refused to respond to the escaped pig alarm, but a local security firm, neighbors and his family from the farm came quickly to try to round him up.

"He's a young pig, not even a year old yet, and he hasn't been castrated," said farmer Bredo Furnes, who thinks the pig was out looking for a mate to relieve some sexual frustration.

It marked the third time the pig, named Grisa, had run away from the farm. "He'll try his luck with horses or whatever," said Furnes after Grisa's romantic fling failed.

Aftenposten English Web Desk/NTB

Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 November 2006, 13:39 GMT

Delhi boy eaten by herd of pigs

A three-year-old boy has been eaten alive by a neighbour's herd of pigs on the outskirts of the Indian capital, Delhi, police say.

The boy, Ajay, strayed from the family home as his parents and other family members were having lunch.

When his mother went to look for him, she found the pigs chewing something and spotted bits of her son's clothing.

She threw stones at the animals but they turned on her. Her screams alerted neighbours who came to her rescue.

Relatives in the village of Samaipur Badli in north-west Delhi told police the boy had been carrying bread, which might have led the animals to attack him.

A senior police official, Manish Aggarwal, said a local man who owned the pigs had been detained for causing death due to negligence.

"Three children were playing outside their house when the incident took place," Mr Aggarwal told the BBC.

"The victim, Ajay, strayed from the area but his parents or relatives were not there to save him since they were having lunch inside their house."


30 December 2003

Possums suspects in scrub fire

A pair of possums probably caused a scrub fire in Lyttelton yesterday.

The blaze, which started about 3.30am yesterday, destroyed about 1000sq m of scrub along Harmans Road near the Bridle Path.

It is thought the possums climbed power poles causing sparks - and fur - to fly as the 11,000-volt lines short-circuited.

The suspected culprits were found dead at the scene.

The sparks ignited the fire, which quickly spread in the dry conditions.

Firefighters attacked the flames from the ground, but steep terrain and dense undergrowth meant three helicopters were needed to extinguish the blaze.

Lyttelton chief fire officer Alan Goodmanson said it might have been far worse had the wind picked up.

Orion control centre manager Colin Wright said line interference by possums was not uncommon.

Often the metal bands around poles failed to stop them, especially if they were chased by a predator, from reaching the wires.

However, the "flash-overs" rarely started a fire.

Fire Service Transalpine fire safety officer Steve Warner said the fire risk in Canterbury had worsened over the last week, and the blaze highlighted the extremity of the risk.

"Normally sparks from power lines wouldn't spark fires. This accentuates the dry conditions."


Al-Sadoon, M.K. and B.M. Jarrar. 2003. “Epidemiological study of scorpion stings in Saudi Arabia between 1993 and 1997”. Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases, vol. 9, no. 1 pp. 54-64,

Dittrich, K., R. Ahmed, and Q.A.A. Ahmed. 2002. “Cardiac Arrest Following Scorpion Envenomation”. Annals of Saudi Medicine, Vol. 22, Nos. 1 -2, pp. 87-90.

Gajre, G. and A.S. Dammas. 1999. “Scorpion Envenomation in Children: Should All Stings Be Given Antivenom?”. Annals of Saudi Medicine, vol. 19, no. 5, pp. 444-446.

Snakes on a plane? Try scorpions instead

Passengers on two separate flights stung by stowaway arachnids

MSNBC News Services

Updated: 11:39 a.m. MT Jan 10, 2007

Snakes on a plane? That is so 2006 ... try scorpions on a plane!

In two separate instances, airline passengers were stung by scorpions after returning home from vacations.

A scorpion stung David Sullivan on the back of his right leg, just below the knee, then crawled up and down his left leg, he thinks, before getting him again in the shin.

Not what he was expecting on his flight home from Chicago to Vermont.

Sullivan, a 46-year-old builder from Stowe, was aboard the United Airlines flight on the second leg of his trip home from San Francisco, where he and his wife Helena had been visiting their sons. He awoke from a nap shortly before landing and noticed something strange.

“My right leg felt like it was asleep, but that was isolated to one spot, and it felt like it was being jabbed with a sharp piece of plastic or something.”

The second sting came after the plane had landed and the Sullivans were waiting for their bags at the luggage carousel. Sullivan rolled up his cuff to investigate, and the scorpion fell out.

“It felt like a shock, a tingly thing. Someone screamed, ‘It’s a scorpion,”’ Sullivan recalled. Another passenger stepped on the two-inch arachnid, and someone suggested Sullivan seek medical help.

Separately, a stowaway scorpion that stung a man on board a plane headed to Toronto caused a delay at the airport as investigators combed the aircraft for further arachnids, an airline spokesman said Monday.

The scorpion apparently crawled out of the man's carry-on knapsack on American Airlines flight 1552 from Miami to Toronto on Sunday morning, said John Hotard, a company spokesman in Fort Worth, Texas.

"We delayed the outbound flight and searched the cabin of the aircraft to see if we could find any more, which we did not," said Hotard.

He said there was no indication the scorpion was brought on the plane intentionally.

A return flight to Miami was delayed by less than an hour after touching down at the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Hotard said the man told airline officials he was returning to Canada from a camping trip with his brother in Costa Rica, from where the scorpion likely originated.

"This is rare," said Hotard. "I'm not aware of a scorpion stinging a person on any of our flights before."

Still, "we get critters on board from time to time," he said.

After the plane touched down in Toronto, the passenger initially said he was alright but then reported feeling some "numbness," said Hotard, who couldn't provide further details on the man's health.

Fire and emergency crew responded and the man was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority said.

Sullivan scooped up the scorpion and headed to the hospital in Burlington. His wife stopped at the United counter and was told the plane they were on had flown from Houston to Chicago. The Sullivans surmised the scorpion boarded in Texas.

“The airlines tell you you can’t bring water or shampoo on a plane,” Helena Sullivan said. But the scorpion did make it aboard, she said.

United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said the incident “is something that we will investigate and look into. We’re very sorry for what happened. Our customer safety and security is our No. 1 priority.”

Scorpion stings are rarely fatal, except to babies or older people with health problems, said Dr. Stephen Leffler, director of emergency services at Burlington’s Fletcher Allen Health Care hospital.

“We don’t see many scorpion bites in Vermont,” Leffler said.

For a healthy adult, a scorpion sting can mean numbness or shooting pain extending out from the bite, or flu-like symptoms, which Sullivan said he had the next day.

He said he hadn’t seen the recent movie, “Snakes on a Plane,” starring Samuel L. Jackson.

“I’m pretty selective about what I see,” Sullivan said. “Maybe I have to see it now.”

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Sea Lions

Last Updated: Sunday, 15 April 2007, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK

Sea lion attacks Australian girl

A teenage girl has been attacked by a sea lion while surfing behind a speedboat off Australia's west coast.

Ella Murphy, 13, suffered cuts to her throat, a broken jaw and lost three teeth when the mammal leapt out of the sea and mauled her.

She is in a stable condition in a Perth hospital after having surgery.

A marine scientist said attacks by sea lions were rare and it may have been trying to play with the girl. Sea lions can grow up to 300kg (660 pounds).

'Bizarre' attack

The sea lion jumped out of the water like a white pointer shark, family friend Chris Thomas, who was driving the speedboat at Lancelin, 125km (80 miles) north of Perth, said to Western Australia's Sunday Times newspaper.

"It actually lined her up. It jumped out of the water at her and hit her head-on ... it opened its mouth and grabbed her head. It latched on," he said.

The girl narrowly avoided a second attack, Mr Thomas said.

"It was going back for her, it was looking for her and it spotted her," he said. "I had this horrible feeling I was not going to make it back in time."

Sydney Aquarium marine scientist Grant Willis told AP news agency he had never heard of such an incident.

"To be out in the water and be attacked like this is just bizarre," he said.

Mr Willis said the protected species would only attack humans if provoked.

"It might have been like a rag doll toy ... it could have been ... play for them, just wanting to shake it around," he said.

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