Wednesday, February 10, 2016

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Disaster Precursors - Elephant Rampage Causes Panic In West Bengal, India; Pregnant Gray Nurse Shark Attacks Diver In South African Aquarium, Shredding Arm; The Number Of Unprovoked Shark Attacks Reached Record High In 2015! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

According to an official, the female elephant appeared to be a loner without a herd and was likely searching for food. Reuters

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.

People threw stones to try to drive away the elephant. Reuters

The animal damaged dozens of cars and motorbikes. Reuters

Authorities shot the elephant three times with a tranquilizer gun. Reuters

Officials used a crane to lift the animal into a truck once it had calmed down. Reuters

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.
- RT.

Number of unprovoked shark attacks reached record high in 2015

© Andrea Comas/ Reuters

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.

DELUGE: Winter Storm Hits Ocean City, New Jersey - Many Areas Submerged By Widespread Flooding! [VIDEO]

Floodwaters in New Jersey.

February 10, 2016 - NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES - Down the shore it wasn't snow that people had to worry about - it was flooding.

Roads in Ocean City were flooded Tuesday. Many streets were impassable, but that's not a surprise to locals.

We found Bud Arcaini on 13th Street right on the bay checking on some houses to make sure they didn't get water inside.

Arcaini tells us, "New moon, high tide and the way the wind was blowing keeping everything in the bay. Water can't leave the bay with that wind coming out of the north, so this is what you get."

Lauren Perkins says, "This is higher than we get normally because there's a push from the northeast, but it's not uncommon to see this."

Not uncommon, but residents and business people say it's getting old.

Phyllis Casper says, "It's unsettling because you can't leave your house. So that's why I'm out early this morning so I can move my car and go back this afternoon."

"Obviously, there's no place to park and it cuts down on the customers," says Bob Farnsworth, who runs the Tuckahoe bike shop on West Avenue.

Part of Farnsworth's shop was flooded Tuesday. He's been repairing bicycles that got wet in the last storm.

He says, "Basically, saltwater and bikes don't mix very well. It gets into bearings, it gets into the spokes." The flooding situation was much the same in North Wildwood. The area around Chestnut and Delaware was submerged. Back bay flooding created a watery mess in a town still recovering from the storm that caused serious flooding two weeks ago.

WATCH: New Jersey street flooding.

Mark Reimet of Ocean City says, "It seems to be flooding in areas that didn't flood before. I don't know what's going on, whether there's been some sort type of change, but it's definitely deepened the normal areas but more so in areas that typically hadn't flooded."

The good news is, by Tuesday evening much of the flooding had receded and snow is not expected along the coast, so there won't be that added element to deal with. - 6ABC.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Deep Water Oarfish Caught Alive Off Japan; Dead Sei Whale Found In Malaysia; And Body Of Minke Whale Washes Up At Sheringham, UK?! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

Oarfish caught in Japan.

February 10, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

Deep water oarfish caught alive off Japan

Japanese fishermen made a rare catch on Monday when they found a huge oarfish in their nets.

The fish will now be housed at an aquarium.

WATCH: Rare oarfish caught alive off Japan.

- Global News.

Dead sei whale found in Malaysia

Dead sei whale.

The dead whale that was found beached at the Sungai Sarang Buaya river mouth is the same one found and rescued in Pontian two days ago.

Johor Fisheries Department director Munir Mohd Nawi said the mammal is from the highly endangered Balaenoptera borealis species.

Widely known as sei whale, it is the third largest of its kind in the whale family.

He said a forensics team from the Turtles and Marine Ecosystem Centre was examining the carcass.

"This is the same whale that was found and rescued in Pontian waters a couple of days ago.

"The carcass is being towed to the department's jetty here for a post-mortem and to find out the cause of death," he said.

It was recently reported that a whale was rescued by a group of people in Pantai Rambah on Monday.

However the mammal was found beached again in shallow waters along Sungai Sarang Buaya on Tuesday. - The Star.

Body of minke whale washes up at Sheringham, UK

The dead creature, at first thought to be a giant squid, rolling in the surf at Weybourne. © Sue Webber
The 20ft-long minke whale, first spotted at Salthouse last month, came to rest over a wooden groyne at Sheringham.

North Norfolk District Council chiefs went to investigate this afternoon. A council spokesman said: "We are currently assessing the situation to see whether it is necessary to remove the minke whale carcass before the next high tide or allow tonight's high tide to move the carcass and for nature to take its course."

Chiefs were advising people not to touch the whale or allow dogs to come into contact with it.

The badly-decomposed body, which has been gradually rolling down the coast, came to rest at Weybourne on Tuesday evening.

It was spotted there, half submerged and in fast-fading light, by villagers Max and Sue Webber, and local fisherman Johnny Seago who thought they could see tentacles and mistook it for a giant squid.

But that theory was quashed later in the night when it was properly examined under artificial light by someone acting on behalf of Norfolk cetacean recorder Carl Chapman.

He confirmed it was actually the Salthouse minke whale.

Mr Chapman said he hoped the mistaken identification would not discourage people from reporting findings for fear they were wrong.

"There are always false alarms but, on the odd occasion, it comes up trumps. I'd much rather people got in touch so that we can investigate," he added.

Dr Peter Evans, director of the national Sea Watch Foundation, said minke whale were relatively rare off the Norfolk coast but were not uncommon around the Dogger Bank, north-east of The Wash. "They tend to live in rather deeper waters," he added.

There had been a "fairly marked increase" in minke whale numbers since the 1980s but that had now stabilised.  - Eastern Daily Press.

DAWN OF THE AGE OF AQUARIUS: Precursors To The End Of Christian Dominionism, White Supremacy Paradigm And The Piscean Age Of Belief - Catholic And Anglican Leaders Say That Christians Are Now A MINORITY In The UK And Must Pull Together In Order To SURVIVE, As The MONUMENTAL PARADIGM SHIFT OF AGES Accelerates!

February 10, 2016 - UNITED KINGDOM - Practicing Christians are now a minority in the UK and the Catholic and Anglican churches must pull together in order to survive, according to two senior British clerics.

The Right Reverend Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, were speaking at an event at Hampton Court Palace, London, on Tuesday.

They hailed the reconciliation between two churches that have traditionally been rivals, and the gathering also saw the first Catholic act of worship at the chapel of Henry VIII for 450 years.

“I would like to think of this evening as a celebration of how far we’ve come and also a celebration of a common agenda,” Chartres said.

Nichols spoke about the contribution Catholics had made to the UK as a “significant minority,” to which Chartres said “we are all minorities now.”

“What I see, particularly around London, is that increasingly we are living in a post-denominational era,” Chartres added.

Recent studies suggest the cleric may be correct, with figures showing a plunge in regular worshippers in the UK.

The church’s annual pew count reports only 1.4 percent of the population of England attends Anglican services every Sunday. Mid-week services have also slipped below the one million mark for the first time.

Average Sunday attendance has fallen by 22,000 from 764,700 in 2014. That is a third less than the average during the 1960s.

The fall is partly down to the ageing and death of worshipers, with the church losing one percent of its attendees per year.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told a recent crisis meeting of Anglican leaders the church is being affected by an “anti-Christian culture.”

“In this country many talk of the post-Christian society, but the Church of England educates more than a million children in our schools,” he told the gathered Primates. - RT.