December 26, 2012

Rhino     Photo: Theyoungones1994/Flickr

South African Farmer Wants Drones to Protect Rhinos

Purchase approved by U.S. government

After a record year for rhino poaching, a South African farmer has a solution for the future: drones. The U.S. government has granted permission to Clive Vivier, cofounder of the Zululand rhino reserve in the KwaZulu-Natal province, to purchase its Acrturus T-20 drone. "It can tell whether a man is carrying a shovel or firearm and whether he has his finger on the trigger or not," said Vivier. "We can see the poacher but he can't see us. We're good at arresting them when we know where they are. Otherwise it's a needle in a haystack." Over 650 rhinos have been slaughtered for their horns in 2012, and Vivier believes that, in total, it would cost $9 million to keep all the drones (he wants 30) in the air for two years. He hopes to have a six-month trial period approved by local civil aviation officials.

Via The Guardian


    Photo: Beertographer/Flickr

2 Die in California Avalanches

Over three feet of snow in Lake Tahoe

After over three feet of snow fell in Lake Tahoe this past weekend, in-bounds avalanches claimed two lives in the region on Monday. Snowboarder Steven Mark Anderson, 49, of Hirchsdale, California, was reported missing three hours after an avalanche at Donner Ski Ranch on Monday morning, and his body was eventually recovered at the slide’s base. Bill Foster, 53, a ski patrol veteran, was doing avalanche control work at Sherwood Bowl when he was buried by a slide. His body was recovered within eight minutes and given CPR, but he later passed from injuries at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada. Two skiers at Squaw Valley were also caught in an avalanche on Sunday, but both escaped with non-life-threatening injuries.