March 20, 2013

    Photo: Creative Commons

Dachshund Loses Short Battle With Mountain Lion

Snatched away during a routine walk

One Colorado man’s pleasant afternoon walk with his dachshund turned gruesome last week when tragedy leapt from the shadows and struck mercilessly. The unidentified Colorado Springs pet owner was walking his dog in a gated community on the city’s southwest side when a mountain lion emerged from the bushes, snatched the small, sausage-like dog from its owner, and dragged it away to be eaten in private.

Parks and Wildlife were able to eventually trap and then euthanize the mountain lion, but it was too late for the dachshund. Sangre por sangre.

Sadly, Colorado Springsians say they are resigned to living under this reign of terror. “We know there are mountain lions in the area, there have been other attacks several years ago,” one resident told CBS. “Our backyard neighbor, a mountain lion climbed a tree and jumped onto her deck and took her dog.”

In the event of a mountain lion encounter, wildlife officials advise that you do not attempt to run. Instead, turn and face your attacker, then back away slowly while making yourself appear as big as possible.


    Photo: Courtesy of the London Cycling Campaign

Cycling Group Designs Bike-Safe Truck

Urges widespread adoption

On Wednesday, the London Cycling Campaign released its design for a new concept truck that they say would reduce the incidence of fatal cycling collisions. The Safer Urban Lorry has a lower clearance and a larger windshield and windows to give the driver a better view of traffic around it. Other technological features include side cameras and wheel guards designed to prevent cyclists from being dragged underneath the truck in the event of a crash. "Our safer Urban Lorry design is a challenge to the construction industry to use vehicles that help reduce the terrible number of people on bikes and on foot who are killed by lorries," said former truck driver and LCC expert Charlie Lloyd. Check it out:

The U.K. has seen a number of high-profile cycling deaths over the past year. In August, a cyclist was run down by a bus and killed outside of Olympic Park, prompting reigning Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins to call for a mandatory helmet law. In November, Wiggins himself was injured when a car struck him during a training ride in Eccleston, England.

Via London Cycling Campaign


Elephant slaughtered in Bouba Ndjida, Cameroon

Elephant slaughtered in Bouba Ndjida, Cameroon     Photo: Dirck Byler/USFWS

Poachers Kill More Than 80 Elephants

Herd found slaughtered in Chad

Poachers killed at least 86 elephants, including 33 females and 15 calves, last week in Chad, according to conservation groups as reported by Reuters. It is the worst recorded elephant slaughter since February of 2012, when more than 300 elephants were found dead in Cameroon.

"The poachers killed pregnant females and all the calves," said Celine Sissler-Bienvenu of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. "Even if the conditions were right, which they are not, it would take more than 20 years for this population to recover."

Officials found the carcasses near the border with Cameroon. It is believed poachers on horseback killed the animals with AK-47s and removed their tusks with hacksaws.

The animals often migrate between countries in Central Africa during the dry season. Estimates of elephant numbers in the region have declined from 150,000 to as low as 2,000 over the past 30 years, according to The Guardian.


Locals, like this buffalo, are pitching in to make sure Yellowstone opens on time.     Photo: wbee/Shutterstock

Yellowstone Locals Pitch in to Open Park

Monetary donations flood in

Businesses and local residents in Cody and Jackson, Wyoming, have raised almost $170,000 to plow the roads into Yellowstone National Park so that the park can open to tourists on time.

Normally around March 4, Yellowstone begins hiring crews to plow the park's roads. Because of the sequester, which took effect March 1, the park was forced to cut $1.8 million from its budget. Park Superintendent Dan Wenk decided to save some money by allowing the spring sun to do some of the melting and open the park a couple of weeks late, which would have saved $250,000.

Businesses in the area pressed for an alternative because they could lose millions of dollars in tourist revenue, on which the region is heavily dependent. They are working with the local governments and the state plows to open the park's roads on May 3, instead of the new date, May 17.

Leaders from the community warned that this shouldn't set a precedent for the future. Wenk assured them that he would work for a long-term solution.

“I have told [the business communities] that this is a one-year solution and if these cuts of the sequestration are continued into the fiscal 2014 budget, we will have to evaluate all options for future years.”

Wenk has said he would consider closing Yellowstone to winter visitors if sequestration stays in effect next year. Fewer than 100,000 snowmobilers and other tourists trek to the park in winter.

The park is finding other savings to cover the cuts through a hiring freeze, a reduced seasonal workforce, and leaner visitors services.

Via Standard-Examiner