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This is a spare 'blog in case my main 'blog at markwadsworth.blogspot.com isn't working
From the BBC:
Scientists in Wales have shed new light on the social lives of otters by studying roadkill found by the public.
Cardiff University Otter Project says it has made new discoveries about how the animal communicates with scent by studying the glands of 150 dead otters. The team identified more than 400 chemicals, including some previously thought not to exist in the species…
The project already knew that otters use scent as their main means of communication, but wanted to learn more about what information was communicated or the social functions of the scent. With otters notoriously hard to find, the team, based at Cardiff’s School of Biosciences, appealed to the public to send in any dead otters they came across.
From The Daily Mail:
A holidaymaker has told how he was blinded after a bird pecked out his eye in a horror attack on a beach.
Animal-lover Michael Buckland, 38, kindly tried to rescue the injured gannet when he spotted it struggling for life. But the terrified bird began pecking at his face – and punctured his right eyeball at least three times with its razor sharp six-inch beak in Gower, South Wales.
His left eyelid was sliced in two and his right eye dangled from his face following the frenzied attack. Now welder Michael has been told by doctors he will never be able to see again through his right eye – but his left eye has been saved…
Jesus H Christ, this isn’t funny any more.
Cows that have grazed next to the Thames under a 200-year tradition are to be enclosed in a paddock at weekends and holidays because of safety fears…
A spokeswoman for the National Trust said: “Following a vicious attack by a dog on the cows on Petersham Meadows on the 2 May, we have been monitoring the cows for signs of distress and defensive behaviour towards dogs. There were two occurrences recently when the cows did chase after dogs. We have to balance the safety of the public with the well-being of the cows, so we sought further advice and in consultation with the farmer and other stakeholders, we have decided to use temporary fencing at weekends, bank holidays and busy times during school holidays, to create a buffer between the cows and the public walking their dogs.”
Er… cattle can jump over walls and fences if they are so minded:
Splendid bit of reporting of a splendid cow-related event in The Daily Mail*:
The reisdents of the usually quiet street are used to having sheep straying on their gardens – but said the cow invasion is the final straw. Ann Ingram, who was woken by the mooing, said, ‘It used to be sheep, and that’s bad enough, but cows are a whole different kettle of fish.
* Spotted by View From The Solent.
From The Daily Mail:
The Colonial Baptist Church in Cary, North Carolina, may want to look into updating its security system after a deer broke through a glass door and tore through the house of worship. Security cameras caught the deer pushing his way though an unguarded entrance, before taking the grand tour…
The deer proceeded to charge though the halls of the crowded church, leaving children – who were forced to dodge the sprinting animal – terrified and scrambling for the exits. A trio of brave men followed behind the unwanted guest as he nosed through a few rooms in what resembled a classic skit on the Benny Hill show.”
* OK, glass door, window, what’s the big difference?
From the Des Moines Register:
A rural Urbana woman died after a cow attacked her while she was feeding her animals, leaving people baffled.
“It’s pretty unusual for a cow to become aggressive,” said Terry Engelken, an associate professor at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “We have a few instances of (cow attacks) across the country every year – but it’s uncommon. For it to result in a fatality is very uncommon.”
I also wonder why the URL includes the word “SPORT”, it’s only a sport from the cows’ point of view.
From the BBC:
A woman has died after a horse hitched to a carriage bolted and crashed into spectators at an event in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk…
St Edmundsbury Borough Council Chief Executive Jeff Rivers said health and safety officers were investigating… Mr Rivers said:
“Unfortunately one of the horses, that wasn’t actually being used at that time, was being held by a member of staff. But something happened so the horse took fright, bolted, went round the circuit it had traditionally done when it was giving rides, and then broke away from that and crashed right down the middle avenue where most people were.”