June 18, 2012

Wolf     Photo: Dennis Matheson/Flickr

Wolf Pack Kills Swedish Zoo Employee

Park allows visitors to pet wolves

A pack of wolves mauled a Swedish zoo worker to death on Monday after she entered their enclosure for a routine check. The Kolmarden Wildlife Park employee, who has not been identified, was found dead by her colleagues, and officials were forced to make a human chain in order to recover her remains. It's unclear what led the animals to attack the 30-year-old woman, who had raised them since they were pups, Swedish public radio reported. "It's very unusual for something like this to happen, but it has happened before," said Olof Liberg, a wolf behavior researcher from Sweden's University of Agricultural Sciences. The zoo's wolf enclosure is famous for allowing visitors in to pet the animals.

Read more at The Independent


    Photo: az1172/Flickr

Scientists Denounce Olympic Gender Test

Inaccurate and discriminatory, says panel

A group of scientists have challenged a controversial IAAF gender testing policy that is supposed to be implemented at the London Olympics, calling it "significantly flawed." The paper's authors argue that the new policy of measuring athletes' testosterone levels is not an accurate way to determine gender. “[The test] is based on a lot of speculation and folklore about hormones, instead of precise science,” Rebecca Jordan-Young, one of the paper's co-authors, wrote. Last month, the IOC announced plans to require female athletes with unusually high testosterone to undergo surgery, take drugs, or face a ban.

Read more at the Toronto Star



Crocodile     Photo: dszpiro/Flicrk

AU Introduces Croc Safari Hunting

Steve Irwin's family voices opposition

On Thursday, the Australian government announced its approval for a controversial plan that would allow safari hunters to pay $15,000 to hunt protected crocodiles. The proposal, which would allow 50 saltwater crocodiles to be killed over a trial period, has received widespread rebuke from conservationists, including the father of the late "Crocodile Hunter," Steve Irwin. Herpetologist Bob Irwin has said the plan will make rivers more dangerous. "If the shooters knew anything about how nature works, they'd know the really big boys keep everything in check,"  Irwin said. "You shoot out the big males and the teenagers will start running around testing their skills." Advocates say the policy would be a boon to the tourism industry in Aboriginal areas. Saltwater crocodiles have been protected since the 1970s and the population is estimated at around 150,000.

Read more at Business Review Australia


    Photo: Walt Morgan/Flickr

CO Fire Most Destructive In State History

Authorities concerned over looting

On Saturday, officials said the High Park wildfire in northern Colorado had become the most destructive in the state's history, burning at least 181 homes over 25 square miles west of Fort Collins. The Fourmile Canyon fire in 2010 burned 169 homes. More than 1,600 firefighters now combat the 55,000-acre High Park blaze and have struggled to contain 45 percent of the burn amid 50 mph winds and 90-degree days. "When you have a fire like this, even if it rains it evaporates before it hits the ground," Julie Berney of the Larimer County Sheriff's Office, said. Local authorities are concerned about looting after deputies arrested a man on Sunday who posed as a fireman with stolen government plates while stealing from homes in restricted areas.

Read more at The Denver Post


Mount McKinley

Mount McKinley     Photo: HBarrison/Flickr

4 Climbers Presumed Dead on McKinley

Park Service calls off search

The National Park Service called off the search Sunday for four climbers presumed dead in an avalanche on Mount McKinley. The climbers were part of a five-person Japanese team caught in a small slide early Thursday morning. One team member survived after climbing 60 feet out of the crevasse and descending to base camp. The search effort for the other four was halted after a park ranger found their climbing rope at the bottom of a crevasse more than 100 feet deep. The deaths are the first known avalanche fatalities on that section of the mountain, known as Motorcycle Hill.

Read more at The Washington Post