Authorities in Norway have euthanized a walrus that had drawn crowds of spectators in the Oslo Fjord after concluding that it posed a risk to humans.
The 600-kilogram (1,320-pound) female walrus, known affectionately as Freya, became a popular attraction in Norway in recent weeks, despite warnings from officials that people should refrain from getting close and posing for pictures with the massive marine mammal. Freya liked to clamber on small boats, causing damage to them.
Walruses are protected and as recently as last month officials said they hoped Freya would leave of her own accord and that euthanasia would be a last resort.
Norway's Directorate of Fisheries said Freya was put down early Sunday "based on an overall assessment of the continued threat to human safety."
“Through on-site observations the past week, it was made clear that the public has disregarded the current recommendation to keep a clear distance to the walrus," it said. "Therefore, the Directorate has concluded, the possibility for potential harm to people was high and animal welfare was not being maintained."
The head of the directorate, Frank Bakke-Jensen, said other options — including moving the animal elsewhere — were considered. But authorities concluded it wasn't a viable option.
"We have sympathies for the fact that the decision can cause a reaction from the public, but I am firm that this was the right call," Bakke-Jensen said. "We have great regard for animal welfare, but human life and safety must take precedence."
Atlantic walruses normally live in the Arctic. It is unusual but not unheard of for them to travel into the North and Baltic Seas. Another walrus, nicknamed Wally, was seen last year on beaches and even a lifeboat dock in Wales and elsewhere.
A dog in France has tested positive for the monkeypox virus.
The greyhound’s owners had the virus, and the dog “began exhibiting symptoms 12 days after they did,” The Hill reports. They dog’s symptoms included lesions on the abdomen.
The case is suspected to be the first known case of human-to-dog transmission, CBS News reports.
The case was reported in the the The Lancet, a medical journal. The authors wrote that their findings “should prompt debate on the need to isolate pets from monkeypox virus-positive individuals.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that animals can spread monkeypox virus to humans and that “it is possible that people who are infected can spread Monkeypox virus to animals through close contact.”
Officials in Poland and Germany are trying to work out the cause of a mass fish die-off along the Oder river, which runs between the two countries.
Thousands of dead fish have been appearing along hundreds of kilometres of the river since late last month.
It is thought that a toxic substance entered the water, although the exact chemical remains unknown despite tests.
People have been told to avoid the river amid warnings of an environmental catastrophe from the German government.
But authorities in both countries have been accused by activists of failing to work together to quickly respond to the disaster and protect humans.
German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke called for a comprehensive investigation of the incident, saying authorities were working "flat out" to work out the cause.
Tonnes of dead fish are said to have been retrieved from the river after the first reports of an issue from Polish fishers and anglers as early as 28 July.
The Oder has generally been considered a clean river which acts as a home to 40 domestic species of fish, the news agency AFP reports.
But an official in Germany's eastern Brandenburg state said test results were showing increased levels of oxygen in the water, hinting at the presence of a foreign substance.
Beavers, birds and ducks have also been affected, said Katarzyna Kojzar, a journalist from the Polish investigative website OKO.press.
Indications that the Oder had been contaminated with mercury were concerning, Ms Kojzar told the BBC. But she noted there was still no confirmation of the substance or its origin - or whether it had an effect on humans. "We know it's serious, but we don't know what it is," Ms Kojzar said.
Dredging work on the river could have released embedded mercury, one fisheries researcher told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
But historically low water levels on the Oder combined with a heatwave meant that fish were already struggling, said Christian Wolter of the Leibniz Institute.
More than 800 pounds of butter has arrived at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, N.Y., as construction of one of Central New York's best-kept secrets and most beloved attractions gets underway – the 54th Annual American Dairy Association North East Butter Sculpture, sponsored by Wegmans.
Sculptors Jim Victor and Marie Pelton unpacked the butter and their tools and have begun work on the sculpture. The butter comes from Batavia, N.Y.-based producer O-AT-KA Milk Products.
The butter used for the sculpture is out of specification for retail sale for a variety of reasons, so American Dairy Association North East works with the sculptors to put it to good use by creating a beautiful piece of art that thousands enjoy.
Even after the Fair, the butter doesn't go to waste. Instead, it will be sent to Noblehurst Farms, a dairy farm in Pavilion, N.Y., where it will be recycled into renewable energy in a digester along with other food waste.
"I really love that this iconic attraction repurposes butter not just once, but twice – first by turning unusable product into an artistic sculpture, and then after the fair, by recycling it into renewable energy on a dairy farm," says John Chrisman, CEO, American Dairy Association North East. "I encourage fairgoers to visit the Dairy Products Building and see the annual Butter Sculpture that always pays tribute to our hardworking dairy farm families who work 365 days a year to sustainably and responsibly produce milk."
American Dairy Association North East will unveil the 54th Annual Butter Sculpture to the media and live on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AmericanDairyNE/ on Tuesday, August 23rd, the day before the Fair officially opens.
Melissa Martin took her golden retriever puppy, Subaru, to tag along with her on a 3-hour trip to Toronto. She lives in Dobbinton, Ontario, Canada, where she breeds dogs, and this expedition was to deliver one of the new puppies to its forever home. While on the trip, things went haywire. "It was a disaster," Martin said. "I was dropping off a puppy in Toronto, and left Subaru in the front seat of the vehicle. Normally I keep her in the back in a crate with the other dogs, but I wanted the company. When I came back from delivering the puppy, I found that Subaru had dug out a 300-count bag of apricot kernels I keep in the console." Martin eats 2 to 7 kernels a day as a supplement.
Apricot kernels are the seeds found inside the hard pit, and they can be harmful to pets as the seeds, leaves, and stems of the apricot tree contain cyanide. A toxicology expert at Pet Poison Helpline noted that this toxin prevents proper function of cytochrome oxidase, an enzyme required for cellular oxygen transport, inhibiting oxygen from being released from red blood cells and delivered to cells. The clinical signs of ingesting it in toxic amounts include: vomiting, ataxia, difficulty breathing, panting, bright red gums, arrhythmias, blood pressure changes, seizures, shock, and death can be seen.1 Additionally, there may be a bitter almond smell of the breath.
"I vividly remember her and I making eye contact," Martin expressed. "I could tell she was looking suspicious. That is when I saw the bag, and I remembered that apricots have traces of cyanide.”1 Because of Martin’s experience working with pets, she knew the clinical signs Subaru was experiencing including eyes rolling back in her head and panting meant she needed immediate medical attention.
" My panic level went from zero to ten instantly, but luckily, we were only 15 minutes away from Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital, one of the best emergency facilities in the area.”1
Renee Schmid, DVM, DABVT, DABT, a senior veterinary toxicologist at Pet Poison Helpline added, "Subaru was lucky that her owner quickly recognized how dangerous her clinical signs were and took immediate action. Due to the number of apricot kernels ingested and severe signs observed there was a true concern for cyanide poisoning."1
The medical team at the hospital immediately started providing intravenous fluids, supportive care and performed a gastric lavage to help remove any remaining kernels. Because they were returned so quickly after ingestion it decreased further progression of Subaru's clinical signs. In circumstances with severe cyanide poisoning, death can occur within minutes.
Different amounts of cyanide are found in the seeds of Prunus sp. fruit including peaches, apricots, cherries, and apple seeds.1 Generally, for cyanide poisoning to occur, an animal needs to chew open, crush and ingest many cyanide-containing seeds before signs of poisoning. It is common for animals to ingest the pits/seeds whole, which doesn't usually lead to poisoning, but may cause a gastrointestinal foreign body or obstruction concern. "Subaru has made a full recovery, and I'm so grateful to the hospital team, as well as Pet Poison Helpline," Martin expressed. "It is important for people to understand when symptoms are critical and who to call."
As children transition from summertime to attending school each day, dogs must transition to a change in routine as well, many experiencing separation anxiety. Therefore in a company release,1 Brett Levitzke, DVM, chief medical officer with Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group (VERG) Brooklyn, outlined signs of separation anxiety, plus tips for preventing dog depression and other behaviors they may exhibit as a result.
“Any abrupt change in routine can trigger a dog's anxiety. Because dogs lack a concept of time, a change in routine that leaves them separated from people they’ve grown accustomed to can cause severe behavioral issues when left alone,” shared Levitzke, in the organizational release.1 “These behavioral issues can cause anxiety within the pet owners themselves, so it’s best to act quickly and take simple steps to ease a dog’s anxiety, as well as your own.”
Signs a dog may be experiencing separation anxiety include: prolonged howling and barking, unwanted chewing, excessive pacing, using the bathroom indoors, and trying to escape.
Levitzke suggested pet parents reference these tips to help alleviate a dog’s distress1:
- Feed freezable chew toys. Stuff the chew toys with peanut butter or another dog-friendly spread so they can remain entertained and distracted from their stress. Freezing the toy allows the activity to last longer and provides mental stimulation. Store the toy away when you return home as this indicates to your dog that your departure is routine and you will be back.
- Find a daycare or sitter. Enrolling your dog at an animal daycare several days a week may be useful because spending time with other dogs and people may help decrease anxiety. Additionally, setting up a stop-in or routine walk may offer companionship your dog can use during the day.
- Go on an early walk with your dog. Routinely taking your dog on a 30-minute walk early in the morning will give them an abundance of exercise and hopefully tire them out.
- Plan dog-friendly activities. When your family returns home, it’s essential they spend quality time with the dog. When making out-of-home plans looking for places to eat, search for dog-friendly establishments so they don’t spend entire days alone.
- Play background noise. You can play talk radio or related noise that provides your dog a sense that they are not totally alone. This emulates the noise they heard while the house was full during the summer.
- Install a “nanny-cam.” Sometimes it is hard to tell if a dog is expericing separation anxiety. Placing a camera in a common area enables you to get a better idea of your dog's mental well-being .
If the dog continues to experience separation anxiety and display destructive behaviors, pet owners should consult their veterinarian.
Have you treated a female cat for recurrent bacterial cystitis? Was it an overweight to obese cat? If both are true, you may have noted severe dermatitis was present in the perivulvar and perianal areas. This group of findings is typical when an obese female cat has perivulvar skin fold disease.
As weight gain occurs, a vertically oriented skin fold develops on each side of the vulvar opening. It will cover the vulvar opening, so it is no longer visible. When the cat urinates, urine is trapped in these skin folds. Chronic, moist skin folds invite bacteria to multiply. The dermatitis becomes more severe as fecal bacteria, especially E. coli, are added to the mix. Long-haired cats are at increased risk.
Frequently, these bacteria ascend the urethra and cause bacterial cystitis. You treat with antibiotics for the cystitis and often correct the dermatitis at the same time. However, the cat is predisposed for the next event, which may be only a few weeks away.
The cystitis and dermatitis must be corrected, but the skin folds need to be removed surgically.
Two vertically oriented elliptical-shaped incisions are made on each side of the vulva. They need to be wide enough to remove all of the skin folds. Medially, they need to be 1 to 2 mm from the lateral aspects of the vulva; enough skin should be left for suturing.
The first two sutures are placed next to the vulva, which will probably be in the dorsal one-third of the incisions. The incisions are closed with simple interrupted sutures 1 to 2 mm apart.
When suturing is completed, the vulvar opening will be held open by the first two sutures. This confirms you have removed the skin folds and made the incisions wide enough. Over the next two to three weeks the skin will stretch, so the vulva is in a normal (closed) position.
The second key to long-term success is to prevent reformation of the skin folds. If the cat gains weight, they will reform, and the sequence will start again. The dermatitis and cystitis will return, so a second surgery may be needed
California is already known for being vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires and even tsunamis, but a new study in the journal Science Advances finds that it is at increased risk of another: a disastrous megaflood that could cause more than $1 trillion in losses and turn low-lying areas into a “vast inland sea.”
The Golden State is currently enduring the worst 20-year drought in at least 1,200 years — an event made more likely due to climate change, as warmer air causes more evaporation. But, the study’s authors note, “Despite the recent prevalence of severe drought, California faces a broadly underappreciated risk of severe floods.”
Just as increased evaporation causes more frequent and severe droughts, it also causes more extreme rainfall when a storm arrives. The paper finds that climate change has doubled the chances of a dramatic flood in California during the next 40 years, and that the risk will continue to increase if average global temperatures keep rising.
The researchers used new high-resolution weather modeling and existing climate models to find how often a long series of storms fueled by atmospheric rivers that have occurred about once a century in recent history would occur, now that global average temperatures have risen 1.1 degree Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since the Industrial Revolution. What they found was that warmer temperatures have doubled the risk of those conditions, so that what was once a 1-in-100-year flood would now occur every 50 years, on average.
An atmospheric river is a long, narrow band of heavy moisture. Historically, winter atmospheric rivers have led to large snowfalls in the Sierra Nevada mountains. In a warmer climate, however, atmospheric rivers will be stronger because they hold more moisture. With warmer temperatures, more of the precipitation will fall as rain, causing flooding, instead of snow, which melts gradually.
In recent history, the only example of such a flood is the Great Flood of 1862. In December 1861, nearly 15 feet of snow fell in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and subsequent atmospheric rivers dumped rain for 43 days after that, with the water pooling in valleys. This meant that in the winter of 1862, parts of California were submerged in up to 30 feet of water for weeks, according to CNN. The effects would be far worse, now that California has grown to 39 million residents, with an economy that, if it were a country, would be the world’s fifth-largest.
According to the researchers' modeling, Stockton, Fresno and Los Angeles would be under water and damages could be upward of $1 trillion, potentially the most expensive disaster in world history. The increased risk of extreme rainfall due to climate change is not limited to California or the West Coast. The United States recently experienced three extreme rainfalls of the kind that were supposed to only occur once in every 1,000 years: southern Illinois received 12 inches of rain in 12 hours, the St. Louis area 6 to 10 inches of rain in just seven hours, and parts of eastern Kentucky were drenched by 14 inches of rain in two days.
The former host of the "Price Is Right" is once again stepping into the spotlight, this time to help the wild burros in the Inland Empire.
The new Donkeyland Wildlife Sanctuary is officially open, serving a huge area in and around Reche Canyon. Bob Barker and his charitable foundation contributed millions of dollars to help build the preserve.
"They've been in this canyon for over seventy years, roaming between different cities," said Chad Cheatham, vice president of Donkeyland.
The burros have been found in cities like Moreno Valley, Colton Riverside, and Loma Linda.
Cheatham says for years they have been working on this sanctuary with the main goal of caring for hundreds of these wild burros.
"Five hundred acres that's fenced and that's thanks to Bob Barker and Nancy Burnet and the foundation for the generous contributions for the sanctuary and the fencing," Cheatham said. Barker, 98, has long been a vocal advocate for animal rights. Cheatham says the sanctuary is desperately needed because donkeys have been targeted by animal abusers, who have even shot them with bow and arrows.
Other donkeys have been hit by cars.
"They don't have to be no longer in traffic, and they don't have to be roaming through people's private properties," Cheatham said. "Now the donkeys get to run free and safe they no longer have to run because of danger."
Cheatham says if they find any donkeys that are in harm's way they will be brought to the sanctuary and a vet from So Cal Equine Hospital will check them out.
"We try to vaccinate all the donkeys so that they are not exposed to equine influenza virus," said Dr. Paul Wan of the So Cal Equine Hospital. "Things like that or anything that could be contagious to the equine population in general."
The sanctuary will also help control the wild burro population, but Cheatham says most importantly it will give these gentle animals the peaceful life they deserve.
Judicial Watch, an organization that promotes government transparency and accountability, obtained reports from Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine trial on animals.
During the study, female rats were given human doses or 100 micrograms of the mRNA vaccine—two before and two during pregnancy.
The test results show that about 4 percent of their offspring had statistically significant skeletal malformations, specifically abnormally wavy ribs.
“Wavy ribs appeared in 6 fetuses and 4 litters with a fetal prevalence of 4.03% and a litter prevalence of 18.2%,” they add – litter referring to a group-birth of rats. “Rib nodules appeared in 5 of those 6 fetuses.” Says Former pharmaceutical executive Alexandra Latypova
For five days following the last dose – gestation day 13 – maternal toxicity was observed in the rats, the documents continue. This is the most sensitive period of time for rib development in rats, which occurs during gestation days 14 and 17.
Wavy ribs are ribs that improperly form, just to be clear. Moderna’s trials saw six out of around 149 rat babies suffer from this, as well as five that developed rib nodules.
Only female rats were given the Moderna shot, we also now know. For some reason, Moderna avoided testing its injections on male rats, possibly because the shots are known to devastate sperm counts.
The FDA requires reproductive toxicity testing for all new medicines that could be taken by women with childbearing potential. Latypova knows this because she has worked at more than 60 pharmaceutical companies and mainly focused on reviewing the associated trials that were submitted to the FDA for approval.
Amazingly, the FDA looked at the outcome of this Moderna trial and declared via a January 30 statement that there are no adverse effects on postnatal developments.
“No vaccine-related fetal malformations or variations and no adverse effect on postnatal development were observed in the study,” reads an FDA statement on the Moderna Spikevax label.
It turns out that the Pfizer vaccine produces the same rib malformation effect in rats, which makes sense since it is a similar mRNA formula.
Scientists strapped GoPro cameras to the bodies of six dolphins trained by the U.S. Navy, and recorded them hunting for food and consuming their prey in grisly detail. According to the study, there was a purpose behind this potential invasion of dolphin privacy; namely, to learn more about how the mammals hunted and ate.
Scientists have previously made two competing assumptions about how dolphins ate. They engaged in either ram feeding, in which the predators swim faster than their prey and clasp the fish in their jaws as they overtake them; or suction feeding, in which predators move their tongues and expand their throats to create negative pressure and slurp up prey. The authors of the study, set out to determine which method dolphins actually used.
“Sound and video together have never been used before to observe the behavior of dolphins and of the live fish they capture and consume,” they wrote in the study.
And, of course, there’s the fact that these dolphins were trained by the U.S. Navy. The Marine Mammal Program as it’s called today has existed in some form since before 1960, when Navy researchers attempted to improve torpedo design by studying dolphins. Since then, they have spent millions of dollars annually to foster and train bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions. According to the program’s website, these animals “have excellent low light vision and underwater directional hearing that allow them to detect and track undersea targets, even in dark or murky waters”—and unlike human divers, they don’t suffer from the bends.