Thursday, May 29, 2014

Animal Home Invasions meet Clueless Experts

-Deer smashes into woman's home, jumps on her bed

We've seen this sort of thing before, but the interviewees in this news video are quite good at conveying the horror. "It sounded like a car crash," said one witness, as someone heroically followed a trail of bloody footprints - "It looked like a murder scene" - to find a 180 pound buck on top of an elderly woman in her bed. 

It's fortunate that citizens handled that situation well on their own, because in our next two stories, authorities are of their usual dubious usefulness.  In London, a fox was found sleeping in a couple's spare room:
Sarah Preddy and her partner Colin Linton were enjoying a Sunday morning cup of tea, when they discovered the ‘arrogant’ animal relaxing on the bed in their spare room after pet dog, Molly, became restless.

They said upon opening the door they saw bushy-tailed squatter had made itself at home on top of the duvet.

It apparently stayed at their house in Rosemary Avenue for another hour before it finally left, with Sarah’s step-sons managing to take photographs of the fox lying on the bed and then making its way out down the stairs.
Just as well they didn't ask for help because the supposed experts were clueless: A spokesman for the RSPCA said  "It is unusual for foxes to enter homes as by nature they will tend to avoid human contact. In the rare instances when they do venture into a home, it is likely they are attracted to food which has been left out." Apparently he hasn't read any of the four stories in this post of foxes in people's homes, three of which also involve them being in beds.

Finally, surprisingly soon after our last case. we've got a woman in Spain that was bitten by a snake in her toilet:

A poisonous snake is apparently living in the plumbing system of a block of flats in northern Spain, leading to one resident being bitten on the bottom as she sat on the lavatory and others using potties.

Iris Castroverde, 30, a hairdresser and mother of two young children, got the shock of her life when she felt a nip on her left buttock as she was seated on the loo.

The resident of a block in the small town of Naron, a suburb of La Caruna in the northwestern Galicia region, described how she heard a splash and then felt the pain in her bottom.

"When I turned around I saw a florescent yellow and green serpent about 20cm (8 inches) long disappear with the flush," explained the horrified woman.
Residents are pouring bottles of bleach and caustic cleaning products down the pipes in hopes of killing the snake. This approach doesn't seem particularly likely to succeed but I can't blame them for taking matters into their own hands, seeing the treatment the woman was given:
A hospital spokesman said: "We found four incisor marks in the buttock near the perineal area, and we followed standard practice for snake bites which includes a tetanus and rabies shot as well as administering an antidote. We had to remove the poison from the wound but some of it had spread into the body and we needed to give her an injection to counter that."
I'm mystified how they knew which antivenin to administer when reports are that the type of snake hasn't been identified and they're sure it's not a local species. You might be thinking that they are snake geniuses who know more than I do... except apparently they are unaware that reptiles do not get or carry rabies.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Aquatic attack squirrel and local news destroy my fantasy of Britain

Today was one of those rare days that I ran across an animal problem even I never thought to worry about. It happened in a swimming pool in Devon, England:
A squirrel sparked panic today after it dashed into a busy leisure centre before leaping in the pool and biting a swimmer on the finger.

When lifeguards tried to coax him out the creature leapt into the water and paddled around the deep end for several minutes.

A swimmer tried to fish the squirrel out of the water but was bitten on the finger before the animal scampered off through a fire exit.
Then to my horror, the "related stories" links presented with this article were a litany of problems that completely destroy my idyllic vision of the British isles. There's the seaside resort town in Cornwall that's battling a "plague of giant rats":
People living in the town say they have been plagued with the giant creatures and are worried the super-sized vermin are becoming increasingly bold.
Figures show the number of reported rats in the town has gone up 50 per cent in the last year.

Experts add that the rat population has been allowed to swell since the council stopped killing them for free.

One resident said: "I'm not happy with the situation. I have a daughter who's seven and she's seen dead rats in the garden. She's quite a girlie girl so she doesn't like them at all.

"They are massive - really big for a rat. Some of the cats that live further up the road would think twice about going after one."
And both of those rodent stories are nothing compared to this one:
Killer Asian hornet could arrive in the Westcountry 'within days'
Swarms of killer hornets that have plagued France could cross the Channel to the Westcountry within days.

Giant Asian hornets are responsible for the deaths of six people in France – and experts have warned that they could now be headed to the South of England.
The predators have jaws powerful enough to chew through regular protective bee suits and their venom, which they can spray, dissolves human flesh. If their venom lands in the eyes, the eye tissue will melt, according to a National Geographic documentary.
I don't know if you should reconsider if you were planning a vacation to England this summer - but if you go, seriously, don't ruin it by reading the local paper.

Squirrels should stick to their own facilities, like the one photographed by Jessica Lucia.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bad Animal Roundup

-At a university in Wales, final exams in languages and law were halted and had to be rescheduled when pigeons caused a disruption in the exam hall. As a student explained:
"There were two pigeons that somehow got in the room and they were on top of the organs in the back of the room and would not just shut up. I guess a few people complained and then they ended the exam."
-A particularly bad case of Snake in the Toilet in Singapore:
She had just sat down on the toilet bowl when she felt a sharp pain.

She looked down and saw a 1.8m-long python writhing in the toilet bowl, its jaws clamped on the back of her right thigh.
As usual, experts were no use - a pest controller called in failed to catch the snake, perhaps due to questionable loyalties:
"The python looked tired and scared," said the pest controller, who declined to be named.
-Angry beaver delays traffic, roams town chasing people in Canada:
An angry beaver was roaming around Miramichi on Tuesday, creating traffic delays and chasing onlookers.

Jim O'Neill was driving his taxi when he noticed a man being chased by a beaver off King George Highway on Tuesday.

"You look out the corner of your eye and see a beaver backing somebody up the driveway,” he said.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dolphin deadly sin

This needs nothing additional from me except to say that I haven't been so pleased with a story for a very long time.

Greedy dolphin 'died of gluttony' say marine experts

A greedy dolphin “died of gluttony” after stuffing himself with so many fish he could not eat any more, experts have said.
The mammal, dubbed Monty, was found with his next meal stuck in his throat by marine experts. Experts carried out a post mortem at the scene and found his airways blocked by a dab starving him of oxygen.
Rod Penrose, Strandings co-ordinator for Wales, helped carry out the post mortem on Monty.
“Its stomach was crammed full of fish, and I don’t think there would have been room for any more,” he said. “So when it swallowed this last fish, it must have been pushed back rolled into a cigar shape, and unusually then lodged firmly in the nasal passages.
“I’ve heard of this happening before but have never seen it. So you could say that Monty was killed by gluttony”.

Heed the warning not to feed the dolphins in that sign photographed by mwms1913, they sure as heck don't need it.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Beware Birds

My original plan had been to make a big deal of this article:

California woman lives Hitchcock movie as birds swarm home

about a woman who's got what she claims are now a couple hundred chimney swifts in her house:
When Brown came home on Friday, the birds were everywhere: in her kitchen, behind the TV, under the couch, and on the ceiling fan - nearly 70 birds loose inside her home.
"I think the most horrifying was how they got in and the mess that they were making while they were here, because birds are scared and they are pooping," Brown said.
To clean up, Brown fired up her vacuum.
"But when I did that, I scared them, and they came flying out of the chimney, and you're just dodging these black birds, so we were just chasing birds all over the house. It was nuts. I just assumed they were trying to get away from the storm, Friday night."
But since Friday, Brown says they've been back, every night around 8 p.m., like clockwork.
But probably we should be more worried about this one:
Man hospitalized after bird attack

Any comments by me would only take away from the drama of these excepts from this tale of people being attacked outside a shop in Texas:
"I took off my cap and started waving them away," said Hines over the phone. "All of a sudden it was more than one bird."

First one bird, then in seconds, three others.

"He was running, and I mean running," said Sieger.

"Running for fear of his life," added Michelle Bradley.

And the birds were close behind.

"The more I tried to fight them off," said Hines, "the worse it got. It was like why were they after me you know."

"All of a sudden that bird hits him, and he went flying," said Sieger.

Benny was down, bleeding and unconscious.

Benny also lost a tooth. People inside the store heard the commotion. They rushed to help the man on the ground and called 911. But no one knew what happened to him, until they checked the video.

And this tale gets creepier because today it happened again.

"I felt something on my neck, and there was a bird coming after my ass," said Sieger.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Animals vs Cars Roundup

-In England, one neighborhood suffering a months-long epidemic of flat tires finally exposed the criminal by installing TV cameras - and by paying closer attention to what was going on than the human who was on the scene every time:
Recent analysis of the CCTV has revealed the culprit, a border collie named ‘Jess’.

The dog, who is owned by someone in the local area has been using her daily walk to bite the two nearside tyres of cars she comes across. This caused a slow puncture and by the morning the tyre is flat.

PC Simon Amos, who solved the mystery, said: “These incidents have been happening for the last six months, with many residents being very upset at the thought of someone targeting them and causing the damage deliberate.

“The dog had been seen approaching the cars and many believe that she was just sniffing at the tyres. It isn’t until you take a closer look , that you can see her biting the tyres."
-In Florida, peacocks are attacking cars - and have been doing it for years:
Jade Hays couldn't believe her eyes when she saw a bird going bonkers over her car. The peacock caused hundreds of dollars worth of damage. "For all that to happen -- on my new car. It upset me. I actually called my mom in tears," she said.

Neighbors say the peacocks also break rip through pool cages and damage homes.
And here's a warning if you're in the market for a used peacock - make sure you inquire about whether it has a record:
Over the past couple of years, animal control has removed a dozen peacocks from this area.  They are sold at auctions.
-Finally, in Maine, the problem is goats:
A pair of Richmond goats found themselves on the wrong side of the law recently after attacking a car on Marston Road.
The car owner reported the apparently unprovoked attack around 6:30 p.m. on April 19, said Richmond Police Chief Scott MacMaster.
“Apparently the goats got loose from the neighbors’ and were climbing all over his car,” MacMaster said.
As we've seen again and again on this blog, officials washed their hands of the situation, despite the fact that these animals are repeat offenders:
“The vehicle owner was going to get estimates and give it to the neighbor and hopefully take care of it civilly,” MacMaster said.
No charges have been filed against the goat owner or wayward goats.
The goats are familiar to local law enforcement.
“They have been known to get loose in the past,” MacMaster said.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Animals are bad, but people don't help

A roundup of stories where there's ample blame to go around all the species involved:

In England, a colony of 300 bats that roost in the church roof can't be removed because they are a protected species, despite the fact that their excrement damages historic objects and - horror of horrors - they've made couples decline to hold weddings there:
 Bats "showering" parishioners with faeces and urine at a Norfolk church appear to have "more rights that the worshipping community", a vicar said.
In Canada:  In Vancouver new law banning old-style doorknobs in favor of level-style is supposed to help the elderly and disabled. But some warn that it's enabling a bad animal:
True, elderly and disabled people find it easier to operate doors with handles. But so do bears. In British Columbia, bears have been known to scavenge for food inside cars—whose doors have handles, knob advocates point out. Pitkin County, Colorado, in the United States, has banned door levers on buildings for this very reason. One newspaper columnist in the pro-knob camp has noted that the velociraptors in “Jurassic Park” were able to open doors by their handles.
And finally, in Brazil, the video above shows staff fleeing from an ox that invaded a hospital - with a soundtrack of their co-workers laughing as they review the security cam footage of the incident. The clip also won a competition on social media. We can only hope that Brazilian bovines don't have access to the Internet, because this sort of success can only encourage them.