The number of people missing and feared dead after a Himalayan glacier burst and unleashed a huge rush of water and debris that crashed into two dams in northern India jumped to more than 200 Monday.
Initially, first responders in the state of Uttarakhand said some 150 were missing after the disaster Sunday. Nineteen are confirmed to have been killed.
Rescuers were working to remove people trapped inside two tunnels that were blocked with debris, according to police.
More than 2,000 members of the military, paramilitary forces and police have been taking part in search-and-rescue operations, according to The Associated Press.
The Geological Survey of India was investigating what caused the glacier to burst and will send a team of experts into the area to look for possible causes.
Already, however, researchers are pointing at climate change as a contributing factor in the glacier's collapse.
Anjal Prakash, coordinating lead author of a 2018 special report by the U.N.'s climate body, said climate change has altered the frequency and magnitude of the natural hazards in high mountain regions of the world.
And while data on the cause of the disaster was not yet available, “this looks very much like a climate change event as the glaciers are melting due to global warming,” he said.
Dave Petley, professor of landslide science at U.K.’s University of Sheffield, said there is evidence that massive landslides were becoming more frequent in high mountain areas.
“The cause of this is likely to be the impacts of warming," he added. "The rock masses in the high mountains are stuck together with ice in cracks and fractures. As this ice thaws, the incidence of these events increases.”
A 2019 report by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development has found that more than a third of the ice in the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush mountain range will melt by 2100 even if governments take tough action to limit global warming under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
Two-thirds of the ice could vanish if governments fail to rein in greenhouse gas emissions this century, it added.
Akston Biosciences, which develops new classes of biologic therapeutics, today announced it has signed licensing, development and supply agreements with Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC, a global veterinary pharmaceuticals company, for the commercialization of AKS-425c, a once-a-week insulin therapy for the treatment of diabetes in cats.
The companies expect development to be completed within five years and receive marketing authorizations in the U.S., European Union and other global markets. The supply agreement calls for Akston to be the exclusive manufacturer of the product to be marketed by Dechra. The multi-million-dollar licensing and development agreement includes payments to Akston on signing, for development milestones, and a royalty on sales.
In 2019, the two companies signed a licensing and supply agreement for AKS-321d, a once-a-week insulin therapy for dogs. Dechra has successfully completed a proof-of-concept (POC) study of it in privately-owned veterinary practices with client-owned diabetic dogs.
“The current twice-a-day treatment for dogs and cats with diabetes is difficult on pets and most owners prefer the convenience of a once-a-week injection that can improve the quality of life for their pets,” said Todd Zion, Ph.D., President & CEO of Akston Biosciences. “Dechra has proven to be a strong and valued partner in the commercialization of our ultra-long-acting insulin technology for pets.”
Ian Page, CEO of Dechra Pharmaceuticals, added, “Our work with Akston’s long-acting insulin for dogs, and now for cats, continues to position Dechra as a world leader in veterinary endocrinology. Once approved, these two biologic drugs will be amongst the most significant products in our portfolio as we continue to expand our range of novel therapeutics.”
More than 150,000 cats are diagnosed with diabetes each year in the U.S. and the E.U. Current therapy is indicated for twice-a-day subcutaneous injection and owners generally find the treatment regimen to be onerous and error-prone. A significant number of animals are euthanized within one year of diagnosis. AKS-425c for cats offers the potential of a once-a-week treatment, using specially-designed insulin to increase glucose-lowering bioactivity and a modified cat Fc, which enables a long half-life through FcRn recycling. Currently, AKS-425c is in field testing in veterinary centers with client-owned, diabetic cats.
The coronavirus pandemic has elevated to new heights concerns over pet health and wellness, with the constant spotlight on disease and prevention causing Americans to embrace myriad strategies to keep pets healthy. Market research firm Packaged Facts’ November/December 2020 Survey of Pet Owners, which is featured in the new report Pet Supplements in the U.S., 8th Edition, shows that 41% of pet owners are paying closer attention to their pets’ health and wellness because of COVID-19, with 14% changing the health care products they buy their pets.
The end result has been a boon to the pet supplements industry. Packaged Facts estimates that pet supplement sales skyrocketed 21% in 2020 to reach nearly $800 million, quadrupling the rate of growth seen in 2019.
“Interest in pet supplements has risen across the board, but condition-specific formulations directly related to COVID-19 concerns, such as those boosting the immune system and offering stress-reducing or anxiety-reducing benefits, have seen demand soar,” says David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts.
Pets anxiety can be brought on by changing habits and schedules, causing pets to exhibit a range of undesirable behaviors and problems for pet owners attempting to work from home. Additionally, although the influx of new pets into households has been a welcome distraction for many, new pets can become stressed out while attempting to acclimate to their new environments.
This state of affairs is occurring at the same time as the mainstreaming of CBD products, which are perhaps most famous for their anxiety-reducing properties. CBD is also said to provide anti-inflammatory benefits and aid in immune system regulation, additional spot-on areas of interest in COVID-19 era. Other immune-building supplements often feature probiotics — a cross-over from human supplements that continues to gain momentum in the pet market.
A month on a Bahamian island could be the stuff of dreams for some, but for three people their 33-day ordeal has finally come to an end thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard announced this week that a crew from Air Station Clearwater saved three Cuban nationals who had become stranded on the uninhabited island Anguilla Cay, WPLG reported.
The area is an island chain between the Florida Keys and Cuba, NBC News reported.
The MH-60 helicopter crew spotted the group on Monday while on a routine patrol around the area. They noticed a makeshift flag that the people had been waving. The Coast Guard members also saw a cross the people had constructed.
The crew dropped water, food and a radio to the stranded people but were not able to rescue them at the time because of bad weather. They had to return Tuesday to pluck them from the island, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
Lt. Justin Dougherty said the three people had been stranded for over a month after their boat capsized in rough seas causing the trio to swim to the island.
They survived by eating conchs and rats.
“That is pretty extraordinary. It was incredible,” Dougherty told WPLG. “I don’t know how they did it. I am amazed that they were in such good shape.”
They did appear dehydrated and fatigued, aircraft commander Mike Allert told ABC News. There was no fresh water on the island.
They were flown to the Lower Keys Medical Center for treatment.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Murray told the Sun-Sentinel he was not sure if the people were migrants trying to get to the U.S. or if they were fishermen lost at sea.
Two cousins from Hardee County captured a snake on their family property this past week. And we’re not just talking about any snake. It turned out to be a Burmese python more than 16 feet long and close to 300 pounds.
“He was huge,” said Bobby Wilkinson, who couldn’t believe it when his cousin Aaron Brown first told him he’d spotted the enormous snake on the family’s property in Zolfo Springs.
“It was very odd,” Wilkinson said. “Whenever he told me he had a snake as big as his truck you know, I’m like come on man.” But when he got there, coiled up inside a culvert was a snake bigger than anything they had ever seen. “I looked in there and it was like holy cow,” Wilkinson said. “He looked as big around as a five-gallon bucket.”
Eventually, the family caught and killed the snake but at first, Wilkinson didn’t have a tape measure. So, they estimated the snake’s length by laying his cousin, stepson, and daughter next to it.
“I said you all lay down and that will give us a rough idea of how long the snake is. You know, because I was telling him this snake is 16-foot plus,” he said. Once measured up, it ended up being a 16-foot and 4-inch python.
Pythons are an invasive species that has decimating wildlife in the Florida Everglades for nearly three decades. So, finding a snake this big and this far north is a big concern.
Was this snake someone’s pet that escaped years ago and has managed to survive? Or are the reptiles migrating?
“Are they moving up this way? Let’s hope not,” Wilkinson said. “But there are plenty of animals where I am at for them to feed on. So, they’re going to go to where the food sources if they’re depleting the Everglades and the ecosystem and running out of food down in the Everglades, just like anything else they’re going to start traveling looking for food.”
Even more disturbing, the snake had about a hundred eggs inside it, according to Wilkinson.
They’ve since handed the serpent over to well-known python hunter Dusty Crum who says he’s been in contact with FWC.
Wildlife experts plan to check the snake for a chip to see if it ever was a pet. They also plan to examine the eggs to see if they were fertilized because, if so, this reptile wasn’t alone.
“I’m hoping it was just a freak incident. That it was somebody’s pet that got out,” Wilkinson said. “We’re going to wait and see.”
FWC says the largest python found so far in Florida measured more than 18 feet long. It was captured and killed this past October in a canal about 35 miles west of Miami.
Six Syrian brown bears - some said to have been rescued from people's homes - were taken from towns in the south to their new home in the Gara mountains.
Steel cages were lined up on a wall, surrounded by a large crowd of cameramen, armed security guards and onlookers.
Moments after the cages were opened, the panicking bears charged towards the crowd.
Terrified spectators were pictured running to escape the beasts as the release ceremony descended into chaos.
The bears eventually wandered of into the snowy landscape near Duhok, in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq close to the border with Turkey.
The American-Kurdish Association released the bears as part of a scheme to save the near-extinct species from vanishing in its natural habitat.
The head of the organisation, Blend Prevkani, told Shafaq News agency: "The bears were brought from areas in southern Iraq.
"Some of them were bought, while the others were given to us by their owners."
This was the third such release by the organisation over the past few years.
In 2018, reporters were attacked by three bears after they were released in the same mountain range.
Mr Prevkani said at the time the bears probably panicked while surrounded by a large group of people including media crews.
Two journalists were injured on that occasion.
A Utah man received a scary surprise when he went to check on a relative's home and found a mountain lion wandering around inside the house.
Jon Hughes said he was checking on a family member's home in Millcreek when he found a sliding glass door was shattered and potted plants were strewn about a room.
Hughes said he initially suspected raccoons had broken into the home until he spotted a mountain lion about an arm's length away from him.
"Just kind of a surreal thing. Never seen one in my life," Hughes told KSL-TV. "I'm really glad it wasn't mad at me."
Hughes said the cougar darted out of the house without attempting to confront him.
"It had no interest in me at all. It just kind of took off. It didn't even look back," Hughes said.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said the big cat may have been reacting to its own reflection when it broke through the sliding glass door.
"We believe that it probably saw its reflection in that glass and may have lunged at that glass and broke it," DWR outreach manager Scott Root told KSTU-TV.
Root said the animal likely had no interest in humans, but had ventured into the foothills of Millcreek Canyon in search of deer.
The name is Hannibal: a handsome Blue Doberman, 2-years-old.
Haley Plymale bought him to breed puppies to sell and to keep.
"He is our first family pet. We love him to death. He's a good-looking dog. I wanted a little piece of him to keep in the family forever,” said Plymale.
On Tuesday morning, she drove him to the Creekside Animal Hospital in Roanoke Rapids to get his teeth cleaned.
As a COVID-19 precaution, pet owners are not allowed inside:
You drive up and hand over your pet to a staff member.
"About an hour and a half after I dropped him off, the vet herself called me. I could tell she was really upset,” said Plymale.
She says the clinic owner, Dr. Cynthia Elias, told her one of the vet techs had made a mistake: Hannibal had been neutered.
"She said this had never happened to her before. She sounded like she was in tears,” said Plymale.
But how could this have happened?
She thinks the staff may have confused her dog with another Doberman, but she says the outside drop-off was also to blame.
"Because I think had I been able to go inside the office with them and sit in a room, had the vet tech come to me and say, 'oh he's here for a neuter,' I could have said no, you have the wrong dog,” said Plymale.
Staff members told reporters that Dr. Cynthia Elias is the only person who can speak about this and that she was out of town. Judging by the website and Facebook page, this vet has a good reputation.
On its web page, Creekside is described as a "full-service, modern" hospital with a "highly trained staff."
"I spent a lot of time and money into this dog and breeding him is something I really wanted. I mean, it was a goal of mine,” said Plymale.
Now, she wants compensation for what she's lost.
The Denver Police Department is investigating a felony menacing case after a man filed a police report claiming he was threatened with a gun during a confrontation at a dog park. The victim said the confrontation started after his French Bulldogs were attacked by an aggressive dog.
Those who bring their dogs to the popular park near East 23rd Avenue and Spruce Street said attacks are not uncommon. They said all bets are off when certain dogs are thrown into the mix— described as aggressive and not properly socialized.
“We’ve seen some pretty bad fights,” a dog park visitor said Thursday. “Some really bad fights.”
On Jan. 31, a man known as “Vell,” and his girlfriend, were at the dog park with their two dogs. Vell said he noticed a man dragging his mix breed by a harness into the park.
“His dog finally came in and then immediately started attacking Licious,” Vell said.
Licious, a French Bulldog, was left cut up and bleeding after the attack.
“She’s just underneath this big old dog being attacked for no reason,” Vell said. “All she wants to do is just play.”
After Licious was thrown around, Vell said his other dog was also attacked by the same dog.
“I punched his dog off of my dog and then he [said] he’ll draw on me,” Vell said. “He said that twice. And then he said he’ll pull his gun on me the third time.”
The gun threat took the entire situation to a new level. However, no guns were pulled. Vell said he spotted the man who threatened him in the neighborhood a few days ago.
Licious is now recovering and is expected to be OK.
Social media posts show dog-on-dog attacks are not uncommon.
As far as dogs attacking people — The Problem Solvers found 51 reported dog bites in Denver between Dec. 9, 2020 and Feb. 9, 2021. During the same timeframe a year earlier, there were 74 reported cases of dogs biting people in Denver.
Dog experts say socialization is key to having a safe and enjoyable experience.