February 10, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of animal attacks on humans.
Elephant rampage causes panic in West Bengal, India
A wild elephant went on an hours-long rampage in India's West Bengal state, sending residents fleeing in panic.
Officials fired tranquillizer darts to control the animal after it damaged dozens of homes, cars and motorbikes.
Local forestry authorities said no-one was hurt in the incident, in the town of Siliguri.
The animal was taken to a park where domesticated elephants are kept and officials have said they hope to return it to the wild.
WATCH: Elephant creates ruckus at Siligur in West Bengal.
Eyewitnesses said the animal had strayed into the town from a nearby forest and seemed frightened and confused. - BBC.
Pregnant gray nurse shark attacks diver in S. African aquarium, shredding arm (VERY GRAPHIC)Watch a diver attacked by a pregnant shark as he was doing a routine checkup on it in a South African aquarium.
The procedure is carried out across the globe very often, and is usually successful, but this time things turned violent.
The video, said to be shot in 2012 and released only now, shows how the diver assists the pregnant gray nurse shark to an isolated tank in a South African aquarium – but all of a sudden, the shark turns and attacks him.
The diver’s colleagues attempt to come to the rescue as he is tossed by the shark, and pull him to the surface.
As he emerges, you can see a horrific impact to the shark’s left: the water is red with blood, and the diver’s left arm has been mauled.
WATCH: Shark attacks scuba diver in aquarium.
Colleagues carry out first aid, bandaging the hand. The diver had to undergo serious treatment on his arm and luckily has since made a full recovery, according to local media.
Gray nurse sharks are commonly the most frequent shark species found in aquariums across the globe: they are known to be relatively docile, and when showing signs of aggression, generally attack other objects in the tank rather than humans.
The video appeared just a few days after striking statistics were released: In 2015, there were 98 shark attacks across the globe, beating the previous world record of 88, set in 2000.The majority of the attacks occurred in the US, with Australia and South Africa in second and third place, with 18 and eight attacks, respectively.
Number of unprovoked shark attacks reached record high in 2015
The number of unprovoked shark attacks reached a record high of 98 in 2015 - a massive jump of 26 from 2014, beating the previous record of 88 from back in 2000.
The US led the way with 59 unprovoked attacks, surpassing its previous high of 53 in 2012 and 2000, according to the International Shark Attack File, which began compiling data 57 years ago.
While the number of attacks increased, the number of fatalities remained on par with previous years, with six fatalities recorded across the globe - two on Reunion Island and single incidents in Australia, New Caledonia, Egypt, and Hawaii.
Florida's inviting coastlines attracted the most shark attacks in the US, as usual, with 30 unprovoked attacks recorded. That's greater than last year's total of 23, but still far off the record high of 37 seen in 2000.
Hawaii experienced seven attacks, while the rest were spread across California, Texas, Mississippi, and New York.Australia followed the US with 18 attacks, while South Africa recorded eight.
The curator of the file, George H. Burgess, suggested that an increase in the human population could be behind the upsurge in attacks.
"Sharks plus humans equals attacks. As our population continues to rapidly grow and shark populations slowly recover, we're going to see more interactions," he said in a statement.
"However, year-to-year variability in local meteorological, oceanographic, and socio-economic conditions also significantly influences the local abundance of sharks and humans in the water and, therefore, the odds of encountering one another," he added.
It should be noted that he also said "the ISAF's efficiency in discovering and investigating attacks has improved greatly over past three decades, leading to further increases in the number of recorded interactions."
The International Shark Attack File, housed in the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida, investigated 164 incidents worldwide in 2015, but found 36 of those cases to be provoked attacks.
|Map of Florida's confirmed unprovoked shark attacks 1882-Present|
|Map of US confirmed unprovoked shark attacks 1837-Present|
An unprovoked attack is defined as "incidents where an attack on a live human occurs in the shark's natural habitat with no human provocation of the shark."
Sharks, however, have much more to fear from humans, who are responsible for around 100 million shark deaths per annum, according to research published in the journal Marine Policy.
The report adds that this is a conservative estimate, and the figure could be as high as 273 million. Sharks are fished for their meat, liver oil, cartilage, and valuable fins.
They are also economically valuable, with the value of global shark catches estimated to be around $630 million per year. This figure is steadily declining, however, according to IFL Science. - RT.