May 21, 2013
Burmese python

Burmese python     Photo: bobosh_t/Flickr

Record Python Caught in Florida

Snake was almost 19 feet long

An 18-foot, 8-inch python killed in Miami-Dade County is the largest snake of its kind on record in Florida history, according to state wildlife officials.

Jason Leon of Miami spotted the snake while out for a drive on May 11. He grabbed the snake by its head and attempted to drag it out of the brush, but the animal began to twist itself around his leg, prompting Leon to kill it with a knife.

"The FWC is grateful to him both for safely removing such a large Burmese python and for reporting its capture," Kristin Sommers, head of the comission's Exotic Species Coordination section, said in a statement. The previous record-holder was a 17-foot, 7-inch snake captured in August 2012. That python was carrying a clutch of 87 eggs, another record.

Read about the 2013 Florida python hunt.

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    Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

At Least 24 Dead in Oklahoma Tornado

Search for survivors continues

At least 24 people are dead, including 9 children, after a massive tornado swept through the suburbs of Oklahoma City Monday. The tornado was estimated to be at least two miles in diameter at the height of its powers, with winds up to 200 mph. Emergency personnel have so far rescued 101 people from rubble in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.

At least 7 of the 9 children killed were at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, just south of the Oklahoma City area. The school took a direct hit from the storm with many children still inside. Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb told CNN that some of the children killed at Plaza Towers likely drowned in the basement during the storm.


Plaza Towers Elementary after the storm.(Via DailyMail)

Emergency personnel in the metropolitan area have pulled 101 people from the rubble so far and are continuing to search for survivors as of Tuesday morning. Moore, Oklahoma Mayor Glen Lewis told CNN Tuesday that they are optimistic that they “might find one or two people."

President Barack Obama signed an order declaring the Oklahoma City suburbs a major disaster area, and has diverted federal aid to supplement state recovery efforts in the area.

Severe weather is expected to continue in the area with hail, severe thunderstorms, and more tornadoes.

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    Photo: cliffordjol via Flickr

WATCH: Baboons Ransack House

South African video goes viral

A Jumanji remake? Or just your typical day in South Africa. Seven baboons broke into a home near Cape Town and had a field day, while a concerned neighbor and his friends filmed their criminal activity

The footage has now gone viral (understandably). You can watch the baboons slip into an open window to raid the cabinets for chicken wings—then the neighbor as he makes a heroic assault with some loud noises and a broom. Later, there’s a tense showdown with a particularly stubborn animal that stuffs tissues in its mouth and refuses to leave. In short, it's an emotional rollercoaster.

The baboons all left eventually, but they made their mark on the internet. National Geographic may want to consider a Big Baboon House: Part Two.

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    Photo: Vadim Petrakov/Shutterstock.com

First Live Video Call From Everest

Climber in trouble with authorities

A British climber who conducted the first live video interview from the summit of Mount Everest has incurred the wrath of Nepalese authorities who say the call was made without their permission.

A number of climbers have made calls—albeit without video—from the summit, but Purnachandra Bhattarai, joint secretary of Nepal's tourism ministry, told The Independent that the climber, Daniel Hughes, had broken the law by failing to seek permission from the government for his broadcast.

"Even the tourism ministry has to seek permission from the communication ministry to film, broadcast or conduct media related events on Everest," said Bhattarai.

The trekking agency hired by Hughes is now under investigation.

Hughes was hoping to raise money for the anti-poverty charity Comic Relief. The call, made with an HTC One, was the first from the summit using a smartphone. Despite the effort, Hughes still has $1,537,099 left to raise toward his charitable goal.

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    Photo: Courtesy of ZOZI / Bear Grylls Ventures

Bear Grylls Announces Partnership with ZOZI

Giving away 100,000 local adventures

Survivalist Bear Grylls announced a partnership with ZOZI, an adventure travel company, to become the brand's lead spokesperson. Grylls will be leading a team of celebrity experts to help with guided experiences and adventure-based stunts.

ZOZI and Grylls have launched a campaign to give away 100,000 local adventure experiences—such as sunrise hot air ballooning and water-powered jetpacking—to launchthe partnership.

Last spring, Grylls walked away from Man vs. Wild. Here's the story behind his surprising move.

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