Possum tackles large snake: Mother saves its baby joey from grip of python

 

THIS possum reacted as any mother would after a python snatched her baby joey from her back, as the fight for life unfolded in a Queensland backyard.

Christine Birch Williams said the carpet python had been living in the courtyard of her property for quite some time, before trying to make a meal of the wandering possum’s baby, the Sunshine Coast Daily reports.

But the possum’s mother wasn’t going to let that happen, biting and scratching at the snake with the full force of her rage as the python tried to squeeze the life out of her offspring.

The pair of possums came out winners over the snake.
Picture: Christine Birch Williams

A debate has since raged among commenters on whether the resident should have intervened to save the possum instead of taking photos, or was it right to let nature take its course.

“As hard as this would be to watch … this is all a part of nature,” Mr McKenzie said.

“What would you do if you were there at the time? .

Henry Sapiecha

Tourists warned about feeding kangaroos after several attacks in NSW Australia

‘One woman got 17 stitches’: Kangaroos hopped up on carrots are seriously injuring tourists who get too close

They are the cute and cuddly icons of Australia, but kangaroos are viciously attacking people at a popular tourist spot, and a dependence on carrots is to blame.

“There are people getting kicked and scratched on most days,” tourist shuttle bus driver Shane Lewis said.

“One lady got 17 stitches in her face from her eye to her chin.”

Every week, thousands of people flock to the unlikely tourist destination of Morisset Hospital in southern Lake Macquarie, where big mobs of kangaroos can always be found on the grassy slopes.

It’s less than a two-hour train ride from Sydney and the travel blogs promise “adorable wild kangaroos” that are “tame enough to get close to and take photos with”.

But far too many tourists are dangling a carrot to get the perfect roo-selfie.

“The kangaroos see at least 2,000 tourists a week and they don’t need 2,000 carrots or bananas and bread, chips and biscuits,” Mr Lewis said.

“I’ve even seen some silly people feeding them McDonalds, KFC, corn chips, oats and there are some foods they are very aggressive for.”

Mr Lewis has made a business out of shuttling people from the Morisset train station to the kangaroos at the hospital, but wants more done to prevent people hand feeding them.

He said he did his best to educate people and warn them of the dangers and, over the past eight months, has been collecting photos of injured tourists to help convey the message.

“Once I show them the photos they usually pull their kids away and put their food away when they know what can actually happen,” he said.

“There was a guy who got his stomach gashed open and he wasn’t even feeding them but … they’d been to McDonalds 10 minutes before, so whether they still had the food smell on them I have no idea, but for some reason the kangaroo took to him.”

Carrots as bad as chocolate

According to the experts the kangaroos have most likely lost their fear of people, and have grown hungrier for the unnatural food being supplied to them.

“If they spy a carrot and they’ve been fed a carrot 100 times before by a tourist, then they’re going to come up and just try to take that carrot,” said Andrew Daly, an animal keeper at the Australian Reptile Park.

“And in doing so they can be quite spontaneously aggressive. They can kick, they can scratch with their front paws and do quite a bit of damage, especially when they’re trying to get those foods that they really like, or maybe addicted to.”

And if you thought a carrot was healthier for a kangaroo than junk food, think again.

“They’re both just as bad in different ways,” Mr Daly said.

“To a kangaroo a carrot is really, really high in sugar, so for us it’s quite healthy, but for a kangaroo it’s like having a chocolate bar.

“They can gorge or overfeed on them quite easily.”

And the result will not just be a fat and angry kangaroo.

Mr Daly said feeding kangaroos anything other than grass could cause them to develop deadly diseases.

“One in particular is called lumpy jaw and it’s where high sugar diets or any food that can be a bit abrasive in the mouth causes cuts and lesions and then a bacteria will get into those cuts,” he said.

“From there the disease develops and it’s generally fatal.”

Better signage, more education

There are signs zip-tied to traffic poles and nailed to trees at the Morisset Hospital issuing a warning to visitors.

“YOU HAVE ENTERED A WILDLIFE SANCTUARY. DO NOT FEED THE KANGAROOS!!”.

But the area is largely unpatrolled and the site is unregulated. There aren’t even public toilets.

Mr Lewis has called for more signage and has enlisted the help of local Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper who last night raised the issue in NSW Parliament.

“Despite several warning signs placed strategically throughout the area, people still come in droves and they feed the kangaroos processed foods,” he told Parliament.

“I was there only last week and saw tourists attempting to feed the roos corn chips.”

Mr Piper said he didn’t want to see heavy regulation imposed, but suggested erecting better signage in multiple languages and a greater presence of National Parks and Wildlife rangers to inform and educate visitors.

He also dismissed the idea of closing off the area, which has organically grown into Lake Macquarie’s biggest tourist drawcard.

“I don’t see how you can close off the area, you can attempt to discourage them, but I don’t think that’s going to be much good,” Mr Piper said.

“The fact is that the site is open to the public and it’s so heavily advertised, it’s well known, the genie is out of the bottle … it’s something we just have to manage.”

A tourist at Morisset Hospital feeding a kangaroo despite signage against it

Henry Sapiecha

Kangaroo wouldn’t hop – so zoo visitors in China stoned it to death

A kangaroo was stoned to death in a Chinese zoo – apparently for the same reason that a brown bear was once crushed to death by Russian videographers, and a shark in Florida was dragged behind a motorboat like a kite.

That is, to gratify a human.

The kangaroo – a 12-year-old female whose name is not known – was not hopping enough to amuse spectators at the Fuzhou Zoo in February, The New York Times reported, quoting Chinese media.

The kangaroo was not hopping enough to amuse spectators.

Photo: Dean Osland

So someone picked up a rock. Or it might have been a brick or slab of concrete, Agence France-Presse wrote. In any case, it wasn’t unusual for visitors to this zoo in south-east China to provoke the zoo animals with projectiles.

“Some adults see the kangaroos sleeping and then pick up rocks to throw at them,” a zookeeper told the Haixia Metropolis News, as reported by the Times.

Zoo employees tried to dissuade the crowd, the worker said, but “after we cleared the display area of rocks, they went to find them elsewhere.”

By the time zookeepers rescued the kangaroo from the crowd, AFP reported, her foot was almost severed.

Details of the attack were first exposed publicly this week, when Chinese television stations broadcast images of the kangaroo lying battered in its enclosure, and then hooked to an intravenous drip, on which she survived for several days before succumbing to internal bleeding.

One of the rocks had ruptured the animal’s kidney, veterinarians discovered after the autopsy, the ABC wrote.

Pics of the bricks that visitors hurled at kangaroos at the zoo in Fujian, killing one and injuring another. Zoo staff say visitors often throw objects at animals despite it being ‘prohibited’.

Had the attacks ended then, they might be no more sadistic than any other to occur at a Chinese zoo, which AFP reports are lightly regulated and therefore especially prone to abuse. Last summer, for example, investors involved in a dispute with a zoo in Jiangsu province released a donkey into the tiger pen, with predictable results.

But the Fuzhou stonings didn’t end with that death. Just a few weeks later, the agency wrote, visitors attacked and injured a five-year-old kangaroo for similar reasons. It survived.

In nearly every media interview, zoo workers stressed that it’s against the rules to bludgeon the animal, but people keep doing it anyway. Having apparently given up on the prospect of voluntary civility, AFP wrote, the zoo now plans to install more security cameras.

The zoo also plans to stuff and display the dead kangaroo – as a sort of memorial to whatever it might now symbolise.

Washington Post

Henry Sapiecha

GIANT PYTHON SNAKE: He’s off and racing in Australia

JOCKEY Masayuki Abe was given the fright of his life on Wednesday when a giant snake slithered onto the track in Cairns. North Queensland Australia

Abe posted the awsome snaps of the lerge python snake on his Facebook page

Abe was heading out to the track at about 5.30am when an attendant warned him that there was something on the track. Having ridden the track many times, Abe thought there might have been a kangaroo hopping around on the course.

“There are millions of Kangaroos on tracks in Cairns,” Abe told punters.com. “So off I went just cantering a lap and on the last corner he was there close to the inside track fence.”

The giant python makes its way onto the course proper at Cannon Park. Cairns North Queensland Australia

At first glance, Abe wasn’t quite sure if it was a snake because “I just never seen one that big before.”

“It looked like big crack on the ground in the dark.” he said.

“My horse didn’t even look at that, so I was fine, but in two seconds I realised that was what the gateman was yelling to me and I was so scared after that. I was hoping he’d be gone by the second lap, but he was still there waiting.”

www.sunblestproducts.com

A jockey watches as snake makes its dash across the track.

Henry Sapiecha

YOU SEE ANY OF THESE CREATURES RUN FOR YOUR LIFE IN THIS VIDEO

DEADLY CREATURES YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT

This list of scary deadly things will amaze you

Henry Sapiecha

AUSTRALIAN SNAKE FIGHT TO THE DEATH: Red-bellied black takes on deadly brown snake.To the victor a meal

WHEN a red-bellied black snake is looking for food, not even the world’s second-most-venomous land snake can escape being on the dining menu of the red bellied black snake.

Recently Sean Shaw captured footage on his phone of a red-bellied black snake chasing down and ingesting a brown snake on a dirt road near Myponga, south of Adelaide in South Australia.

The brown snake tries desperately to retaliate, but cannot penetrate the scales of its hunter, despite trying again and again.

Mr Shaw – who used to work for Adelaide Snake Catchers – said he first sighted the red-bellied black chase the brown snake across the road as he drove past, and stopped to film the fight.

“After about a 20-minute tussle the red-bellied black snake eventually was able to swallow the brown snake,” he said.

“The whole episode took maybe half an hour.

“When we left the brown snake was about half swallowed but (the red-bellied) seemed to have stalled!”

While confronting, snake catcher Corey Renton, from Snakeaway Services, states it’s not really that uncommon.

“Red-bellies are really reptile eaters,” Mr Renton said.

The Brown snakes food preferences are rodents while red-bellies gorge on frogs and lizards, they live in waterholes,dams and creeks naturally.

Red-bellied black snakes are dangerous to humans but their bites are not usually deadly.

Henry Sapiecha

Why Wolves Work Together as a group while Wild Dogs do not

Contrary to popular belief, domestication has made dogs less likely to cooperate to get food than wolves

Anyone who’s watched a dogsled team in action knows that dogs are capable of teamwork. Many researchers even believe that due to domestication, dogs are likely more cooperative than their wild wolf cousins. But as Elizabeth Pennisi reports for Science, a new study shows just the opposite, suggesting that wild wolves work together much more coherently than dogs.

To compare the two species, Sarah Marshall-Pescini of the University of Vienna tested dogs and wolves at the Wolf Science Center in Austria, which houses a pack of 15 mutts and seven small packs of wolves. All of the animals are raised in semi-wild conditions. She tested the canines using the “loose string” test, which involves placing pairs of dogs or wolves in front of a cage with a tray of food in it. In order to slide the tray out of the cage, both animals had to pull on a rope simultaneously.

When the animals tested were not initially trained to pull the ropes, five out of seven wolf pairs were able to figure out the test and cooperate enough to get the food in at least one trial. For the dogs, only one pair in eight cooperated enough to figure out the test—and they only accomplished it in a single trial.

In a second test, the animals were briefly trained on how to tug the ropes. When tested again, three out of four wolf teams figured out how to pull the tray together. But dogs again failed, with only two out of six pairs able to get the food. And in those cases, they succeeded during just one trial. The researchers published their results in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“We were surprised at how little the dogs did cooperate,” Marshall-Pescini tells George Dvorsky at Gizmodo. “We expected a difference but perhaps we were not quite prepared at how big of a difference we saw.”

Though dogs seemed engaged, they approached the food one at a time, “very respectfully waiting for one to finish before the other started,” she says, which prohibited them from testing out teamwork. Meanwhile, the wolves cooperated well, working together on the level of chimpanzees, according to Helen Briggs at the BBC.

In some ways, the results are not surprising. Wolves are highly social and live in packs, raise their young together and hunt as a team. Dogs, when left to fend for themselves in wild or semi-wild conditions, raise their young on their own and look for food as individuals, not as a group.

The study also shows that researchers need to conduct more studies on free-ranging dogs, reports Ed Yong at The Atlantic. Similar studies of pet dogs show they work much more cooperatively, likely because they are trained or educated by their human companions.  While most people in the United States think of dogs as the popcorn-stealing pal that watches movies in their lap, 80 percent of dogs in the world live wild in the streets of villages or agricultural areas.

“If I ask people to close their eyes and think of a dog, everyone thinks of a pet dog,” Marshall-Pescini tells Yong. “But pet dogs are a really recent invention and free-ranging dogs are more representative of the earlier stages of domestication. We need to base our theories on a different understanding of what a dog is.”

There are several theories for why semi-wild dogs aren’t as cooperative as wolves. As Yong reports, it’s possible that in the process of domestication humans, rather than other dogs, stepped into the role of dogs’ social partners. It’s also possible that the lack of cooperation is an adaptation to living in a human environment where the ability to grab a snack from the trash is more important than cooperating to take down an elk.

Another hypothesis is that dogs actively try to avoid resource conflict with each other, writes Dvorsky, and that prevents them from doing well on this particular task. Whatever the case, it sheds some light on the differences between the two related species and shows what needs to be investigated next.

Henry Sapiecha

The Island Where Scientists Bring Extinct Reptiles Back to Life

Reviving a long-dead Galapagos tortoise will take Jurassic Park-esque tactics—but have humans already intervened too much?

Today’s Galapagos tortoises mostly feature dome-shaped shells, like the one shown here. But researchers have found some that have the saddleback-shaped shells and longer necks that once characterized extinct Floreana and Pinta tortoises. (Sunshine Pics / Alamy)

On a remote tropical island in the middle of the ocean, researchers have managed to succesfully extract the DNA of long-extinct reptiles. Now, these genetic pioneers are working to bring them back to life. No, this isn’t the latest sequel to Jurassic Park. It’s an ambitious conservation effort to bring back the Galapagos Islands’ extinct Floreana tortoise, after conservationists discovered their distant genetic relatives on nearby islands.

Nor is the plot of the original Jurassic Park likely to play out on Floreana Island. However, for conservation biologists working to avoid disrupting the balance between humans and their natural surroundings, there are some instructive parallels. In fact, the InGen scientists on the fictional Isla Nublar might have learned a thing or two from the groups working to save the Floreana tortoise today.

This real life sci-fi plot all began when Gisella Caccone, senior research scientist at Yale University, took her first exploratory trip to the Galapagos Islands over 20 years ago to gather tortoise blood samples for genetic analysis. On one island, her team noticed a group of tortoises with saddleback-shaped shells rather than the prevalent dome-shaped shells, a morphological distinction reminiscent of the extinct Floreana and Pinta tortoises.

When they looked at the genomes of the tortoises on Wolf Island, over 200 miles away from Floreana Island, they noticed genetic divergences that did not match any known tortoise species. “I called them aliens because I thought they were from Mars or something,” she laughs.

Intrigued, her team headed to the museums, where bone samples from the rich history of humans mingling with Galapagos tortoises yielded DNA samplesthe team’s very own mosquitos in amber. Using bone samples of tortoises at different museums including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Caccone and her team built genetic profiles for several extinct species.

 

In comparing them to the “alien” animals, the scientists noticed components of new genome that were closely related to two extinct species: Floreana and Pinta.

In the film, Jurassic Park was built on an island because isolation is key to developing new species and keeping them distinct. Similarly, the Galapagos naturally lends itself to speciation (hence, Darwin’s famous finches). The islands’ closed ecosystems allow species that arrive on this volcanic archipelago some 800 miles away from mainland Ecuador to interbreed and adapt to the specific islands’ geography until they no longer resemble their mainland relatives—or even their neighboring relatives on other islands.

That all changed, however, when humans arrived.

Logbooks from some of the Galapagos’ earliest visitors, in the late 17th century, reveal that mariners brought tortoises onto their boats for food, but would drop them onto other islands if their cargo was full of whale meat or other economically viable resources. The haphazard movement of tortoises from island to island allowed the species to intermingle and create hybrid populations like the ones found of Wolf Island.

The human impact on the fragile, isolated Galapagos was profound. Besides killing and cooking critters, mariners and buccaneers also brought rats and other pests with them to the islands that decimated the local populations. The last pure Floreana tortoise died out some time not long after Darwin visited in 1835—leaving him just enough time to enjoy some delicious tortoise soup.

But the same human carelessness that destroyed the Floreana tortoise now gives modern scientists the opportunity to bring it back: The transfer of tortoises from island to island ensured that their genes were distributed enough for today’s scientists to find them.

After identifying the genes from the extinct tortoises in the Wolf Island population, Caccone and her team returned to gather more DNA samples. They focused on Banks Bay Harbor on Wolf Volcano, a perfect spot for mariners to drop off wayward tortoises. They gathered 1,600 blood samples from tortoises by flipping the giant reptiles, drawing blood from a vein in their leg, equipping them with a microchip for tracking and sending them on their merry way.

Though the tortoises strongly exhibited Floreana genes, it seemed Pinta genes had all but disappeared (at least, based on the specimens Caccone and her team collected when they returned in 2008). When the results were published in 2013, locals and tortoise-loving scientists alike couldn’t help but be a little disappointed; the last Pinta tortoise, the beloved Lonesome George, died in 2012.

But Caccone is optimistic. Her earlier studies show that the Pinta genes are out there—her team just has to focus their efforts.

The next step in reviving the Floreana tortoise is a simple captive breeding program, which is being run by the Galapagos Conservancy and the National Park. The scientists play matchmaker with male and female tortoises to bring the Floreana gene expression to the forefront. Though breeding programs have been successful in the past—15 Española tortoises once brought their species back from the brink of extinction—such selective breeding has not been done before with tortoises in the Galapagos.

The conservationists in the Galapagos have something that those in Jurassic Park did not: purpose, and one grander than human entertainment. The Floreana tortoise is crucial for helping to restore the island ecosystem, explains Linda Cayot, science advisor at the Galapagos Conservancy explains. Cayot calls them the island’s “ecological engineers”; as they amble around, they plow trails, graze and deposit plants in their path.

“Tortoises are the dominant herbivore in the Galapagos,” she says. “They are incredibly important to maintaining the island ecosystems.”

Floreana is one of the islands that the National Park hopes to restore to its natural diversity—or at least get close. In an ideal world, the tortoises would be bred in captivity until the Floreana genes were brought to prominence, but tortoises mature slowly and the habitat restoration cannot wait. “I will not be alive to see a ‘pure’ Floreana tortoise,” Caccone says. It’s likely that no one will.

The first generation of Floreana tortoises will be raised in captivity on Santa Cruz Island for five years (any less, and the tortoises are small enough to be easy snacks for other Galapagos species). Once they are released, evolution will run its course and some genetic combinations that are favored for Floreana will reign supreme. The Galapagos will once again have a tortoise species tailored to the Floreana environment.

“It’s hugely exciting to even come close to something that we thought was extinct for 150 years,” Cayot says.

But another human-caused island disaster stands in the way first: pests. Floreana Island is overrun by invasive cats and rats, which carry diseases and dine on hatchlings tortoises and eggs. They have already wreaked havoc on unique endemic species like the Floreana mockingbird, whose population has been reduced to the hundreds on fringe islets near the island they once called home.

“The majority of extinctions occur on islands with animals with invasive species,” explains Paula Castaño, a restoration specialist at Island Conservation, an organization that aims to eliminate invasive pests from the Galapagos. Island Conservation successfully removed rodents from Pinzón Island to save their endemic giant tortoise, but this the first time such would be done on an island with human inhabitants.

Though they only inhabit about 2 percent of the land on Floreana, the island’s 150 human residents have played an enormous role in helping rebuild the habitat to make it more suitable for the tortoise and other native species driven out by pests. It is in their best interest for the agriculture and ecotourism industries that serves as the economic lifeblood of the community.

“Our target is not just to provide healthy ecosystems for tortoises. We are looking to provide a balanced, healthy ecosystem for all the nature on Floreana and the community that is living there,” says Gloria Salvador, Island Conservation’s Floreana project facilitator. “People are living on Floreana, have been living there for many years and have a relationship with the environment.”

Which is good because, as Jurassic Park so neatly illustrated, in our world there must always be a balance between humans and nature. Humans never have total control; that’s the illusion.

Yes you can buy a full size lifelike tortoise made from sturdy high quality fibreglass>>>> HERE

Henry Sapiecha

FIBRE-GLASS QUALITY REALISTIC LIFE-SIZED ANIMALS FOR SALE-Section 2

Section 1 earlier in my site depicted a range of fibreglass animasls available from an earlier supplier. This section caters for fibreglass animals from another supplier. So enjoy the journey.

In due course another web site specifically for fibreglass animals will be built. >>  With my domains-au.com site        www,fibreglassanimals.com.au

Some samples of animals are below.

Please contact me if you have any questions re buying fibreglass animals or products HERE

1…FARM ANIMALS & MORE

2…JUNGLE ANIMALS & MORE

3…BIRDS & MORE

4…SNAKES & LIZARDS & MORE

5…SEA LIFE & MORE

6…CATS & DOGS & MORE

7…DINOSAURS & DRAGONS & MORE

8…FROGS & MORE

9…AUSTRALIAN ANIMALS & MORE

10…CROCS & MORE

11…APES & MORE

12…BEARS & MORE

13…TURTLES &  TORTOISES & MORE

14…CAMELS & MORE

15…BUFFALO,BULLS & BISON & MORE

16…GIRAFFES & MORE

YOU WANT OTHER FIBREGLASS REPLICAS OF STUFF ??-JUST ASK>>>> HERE

Henry Sapiecha

 

Hulk Like Workout ‘bodybuilder’ kangaroo with rippling biceps squares up to stunned gardener in Australia

THIS is the bizarre moment a gardener spotted a threatening ‘bodybuilder’ 100kg kangaroo bathing its bulging biceps in an Australian creek.

Jackson Vincent snapped these astounding photographs of the huge roo tensing its rippling muscles in Boodjidup Creek in Margaret River, Western Australia.

The 27-year-old couldn’t believe his eyes when he clocked the mammoth two metre mammal standing in the water – and feared it could be preparing to attack beloved pet dog Dharma.

Jackson Vincent snapped these astounding photographs of the huge roo tensing its rippling muscles in Boodjidup Creek in Margaret River, Western Australia Picture: Jackson Vincent/Caters News

Jackson, from Freemantle, Perth, had been visiting his grandmother in Margaret River and saw the gargantuan animal on her property at about 11.30am.

He said: “I have been going to that creek since I was a little boy and there have always been kangaroos on the property.

“I was walking my dog and we saw this huge roo standing in the water. I have never seen a kangaroo standing in the water like that, we could just see his head at first.

“As I ran around him to take a picture he came closer and that was when I realised he was coming right at me and he was really big – one of the biggest I have ever seen.

“I am pretty confident around animals but the moment when he started to come out of the water my heart definitely jumped and I decided to take a few steps back.

“He looked to be at least two metres tall or taller and must have weighed at least 100 kg

The 27-year-old couldn’t believe his eyes when he clocked the mammoth 6ft 5in mammal standing in the water and feared it could be preparing to attack beloved dog Dharma. Picture: Jackson Vincent/Caters News

“He had a really big body and was taller than me. There are a lot of roos at my grandma’s place but I have never seen one that muscular before – he was a big macho male.

“I decided to get Dharma out of there as we thought the kangaroo was going to lure her into the water to drown her.”

Jackson’s Facebook post with his images of the kangaroo’s muscular physique instantly went viral, racking up thousands of likes and shares.

Online commenters were quick to point out the animal’s impressive bodybuilder-like muscular shoulders, biceps and chest and threatening posture.

After dropping Kelpie Dharma back at his grandmother’s house Jackson returned to the creek to see the roo was still there.

Wat M8. I’ll box ya. Picture: Jackson Vincent/Caters News

Jackson added: “His claws were really big – they were as long as my hand. That for me was even scarier than his muscles, they looked nasty.

 

“I have never seen a kangaroo be so defensive – it definitely looked like he was puffing his chest muscles up.

“I definitely wouldn’t like to take him on in a boxing match.”

Henry Sapiecha