August 17, 2011
Whale in Klamath River

Whale in Klamath River     Photo: jrfiorello/Flickr

Whale in Klamath River Dies

After month upstream, whale beaches

After a month upstream, a female gray whale died early Tuesday morning when it became stuck on a sandbar in California's Klamath River. The 45-year old gray whale had been seen swimming in the river since June. It was accompanied by a calf until July 23, when the calf returned alone to the Pacific Ocean. Biologists don't know why the whale entered the river, nor why it stayed, although some have speculated that it was hiding from orcas. Repeated efforts to direct the whale back to sea were unsuccessful. Though rare, whales have been known to venture up inland water ways before. A Northern Bottlenose whale died in London's River Thames in 2006, and two humpback whales were seen 90 miles inland in California on Sacramento's American River in 2007 before swimming back to the ocean. 

Read more at the Associated Press

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Wolf

Wolf     Photo: Marieke IJsendoorn-Kuijpers/Flickr

Wolf Poaching Under-Reported

Half of Sweden's wolves killed illegally

Poaching has weakened Sweden's wolf population and may account for nearly half of all wolf deaths in the country, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Researchers believe that nearly two-thirds of all poaching kills in Sweden go undetected after a ten-year project to track wolves by scientists at the Grimso Wildlife Research Station revealed a discrepancy between expected and observed population numbers. "The poaching we see is the 'tip of the iceberg,'" said Conservation biologist Guillaume Chapron. Swedish wolf populations have been struggling since the 1970s, when wolves from Finland began occupying territory vacated by extinct Swedish wolves. Researchers think Sweden's wolf population would have grown to 1,000 by 2009 without poaching. Some 250 wolves, many of which are weak and ill from inbreeding, live in Sweden today. On Wednesday, Swedish officials canceled a government-sanctioned wolf hunt planned for winter amid criticism from the European Union. 

Read more at BBC News

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Broken Glass

Broken Glass     Photo: Sherrie Thai/Flickr

Tacks strewn along Pro Cycling route

Anti-cycling tension rises in Colorado

Police in Colorado believe that glass, tacks, and box cutters found along roads outside Denver are the work of anti-cycling saboteurs, part of an escalating dispute between riders and local drivers just days before two major races will pass through the area. The Jefferson County Sherrif's department has found sharp debris on as many as six occasions along Lookout Mountain Road, a route popular with cyclists. Both the 100-mile Deer Creek Challenge, which begins Sunday, and the five-day USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which starts Monday, will cover ground on Lookout Mountain. Tour de France top three Cadel Evans and brothers Frank and Andy Shleck are scheduled to ride the Pro Challenge. Race officials plan to check and sweep the course before both events. Last year's Deer Creek Challenge was disrupted when somebody left tacks on a different section of the course, causing several flats but no serious injuries.

Read more at CBS Denver

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Blood IV bag

Blood IV bag     Photo: mikecogh/Flickr

Study supports use of platelet therapy

Blood injections help tennis elbow

Blood injections may help relieve pain in athletes suffering from chronic tennis elbow, according to a Greek study recently published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Researchers led by Christos Thanasas of Henry Dunant Hospital in Athens, Greece injected patients' elbows with either whole blood or platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, blood spun in a centrifuge to separate out the red blood cells. The group found that both treatments reduced elbow pain but that platelet-rich plasma was more effective than whole blood. Thanasas said the study indicated that PRP might work for patients who have exhausted other treatments. While PRP has become popular among athletes—Rafael Nadal and Tiger Woods have both received the treatment—some doctors question its efficacy.

Read more at Reuters

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    Photo: Tiarescott/Flickr

Shark Kills Man in Seychelles

Attack is second in August

A British man died yesterday while snorkeling on his honeymoon off the coast of Seychelles, becoming the second shark attack fatality on the island this month. French tourist Nicolas Virolle was attacked and killed by a shark at a nearby beach on August 1. The deaths are the are the first on Seychelles since a tiger shark killed a fisherman in 1963. The six-foot shark that bit Ian Redmond, 30, is also believed to be a tiger shark. Redmond, who was swimming roughly 20 yards from where his wife sat sunbathing on the beach, suffered large wounds to his hip and arm. Authorities have asked shark tracking experts from South Africa to help prevent further attacks.

Read more at The Guardian

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