Category Archive 'Human Predation'
20 Sep 2018

People Recently Attacked (or Killed) by Mountain Lion, Black Bear, Grizzlies, Cinnamon Bear

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see bottom story from New Mexico.

Hiker found dead on Mount Hood was likely killed by cougar. (ABC News 9/12):

The hiker who went missing on Mount Hood in late August and was found dead at the bottom of a ravine Monday was likely killed by a cougar, authorities said — a shocking twist in the missing persons case.

The body of Diana Bober, 55, was found Monday at the bottom of a 200-foot embankment on the famous Oregon mountain’s Hunchback Trail, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

Bober was last seen on Aug. 29 when she went for a hike on the trail. Her backpack was found by two hikers on the following day and her car was left in a parking lot at the base of the mountain.

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Ginseng hunter killed by black bear in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, bear still at large. (wbir 9/12):

The body of 30-year-old William Lee Hill Jr. of Louisville, Tennessee, was found Tuesday afternoon two miles north of Cades Cove off Rich Mountain Road, according to a news release from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Park officials began searching for Hill when they were notified on Sunday that Hill was missing. He and a close friend had gone to the park on Friday to look for ginseng and were separated during the day, and Hill had not been heard from since. …

An adult male bear remained in the area where Hill’s body was found and showed aggressive behaviors for multiple hours as rangers recovered Hill’s body throughout Tuesday evening, the release said. Evidence of wildlife scavenging of Hill’s remains was visible.

Wildlife biologists reportedly came to the area, trapped the bear and recovered human DNA from it, the release explained. At that point, park officials said they decided to humanely euthanize the bear out of concern for public safety — but on Friday it was revealed the bear had not, in fact, been euthanized yet and was fitted with a GPS tracker.

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Wyoming grizzlies kill hunting guide, maul client. (Jackson Hole Daily 9/16)

The grizzly bears suspected of fatally mauling outfitter Mark Uptain were trapped and killed early Sunday near the elk carcass that caused conflict on Terrace Mountain.

“We killed two grizzly bears up there a little bit ago, and we have every reason to believe they are the offending bears,” Wyoming Game and Fish Department Jackson Regional Supervisor Brad Hovinga said around 10:45 a.m. Sunday. “They fit the description.” …

[W]ildlife managers are not releasing all the details about what they believe occurred when Uptain and his bow-hunting client, Corey Chubon, were aggressively attacked by the pair of bruins Friday afternoon.

Hovinga surmised that the bears involved were a sow and its grown cub.

“The behavior exhibited by these bears is abnormal behavior for a family group,” he said. “It’s not typically how we would see family groups behave.”

Chubon, who was airlifted out of the Teton Wildness with leg, chest and arm injuries, reported to investigators that of the two grizzlies involved, only one was the aggressor. The Florida resident, who flew back home Saturday, told authorities that he was unable to fire a shot from a handgun he retrieved during the attack, but he threw the firearm to Uptain before departing the scene.

Late Saturday, Hovinga declined to discuss evidence collected at the scene, but he did say that bear-deterrent pepper spray was among the things the guide and client possessed. He said he “didn’t know” if the handgun was with Uptain’s remains. The gun was not recovered immediately around where the attack took place, at the site of an elk Chubon had struck with an arrow Thursday. The guide and client did not locate and start to retrieve the elk until early the next afternoon.

The elk carcass was “undisturbed” when it was located by Uptain and Chubon, which suggests that the bear was not necessarily food guarding — a common behavior that often leads to conflicts with humans, especially hunters.

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New Mexico hunting guide kills attacking bear with Glock, deceased bear remains attached to his leg. (All Outdoor 9/14):

When a New Mexico hunting guide reportedly found himself the target of a bear, he dropped his phone and reached for his pistol. It would turn out to be one of the best decisions he ever made. An earlier decision, though, threatened to cost him his life.

He’d been working out his dogs in preparation for the upcoming hunting season when they’d struck a bear’s trail. The only way to put an end to that was to catch up with his dogs, so he pursued, with family members following. As he approached the fight, he grabbed his not-fully-loaded pistol as he left his UTV.

    As an afterthought, he took the GLOCK 20 10mm pistol from his vehicle and shoved it in his waistband behind his cowboy belt. It was loaded with 175 grain Hornady Critical Duty FlexLock loads. The magazine only had 10-12 rounds in it. A few months earlier, he had heard the theory of “spring set” and decided not to keep the magazine fully loaded.

He approached the melee, expecting the bear to run at the sight of him. And when he spotted the bruin, he grabbed his phone to take some video of its unusual cinnamon coloration. But the bear had other ideas.

    Bridger’s first thought was to get video. It would be an incredible image. Big cinnamon bears aren’t common. The bear would run at any moment, once he saw or smelled the man. Bridger grabbed his phone.
    That bear never read the rulebook. It didn’t run. The bear saw Bridger, turned toward him, and flattened its ears back along its head. Its eyes had locked on Bridger. He’d watched hundreds of bears in similar situations and he knew he’d been targeted. He dropped the phone and snatched the GLOCK from his belt.

    A lot happened very fast, but for Bridger, everything slowed down as he went into tachypsychia. It’s a common occurrence in high stress life-or-death situations. The mind speeds up and events appear to be happening in slow motion. In reality, the person is acting faster than they ever have before.

    The bear was coming for him. Bridger elected not to aim for the head. He didn’t want to hit one of his dogs. He triggered two or three shots aimed at the bear’s body. The bear started to spin, snapping at the wounds, about six feet away.

    Bridger decided to retreat. He turned and hopped to the next boulder, then the next. He was mid air to the third when he saw dogs moving past him.

    In his fast mind-state, he realized this was bad. As he landed and turned, the big GLOCK in his hand, and saw the bear coming at him like an over-sized NFL linebacker with claws and big, pointy teeth.
    Before he could fire again, the bear hit him. They went over the edge of the shelf together, tumbling down a steep, rocky slope in mortal combat.

Although he has no memory of shooting as they fell, empty shells were later found along the path of their descent.

    Bear and man stopped downslope, wedged into brush and boulders. Bridger could feel the bear and frantically attempted to disentangle. The bear reared erect, jaws ready to strike. Bridger shot him again, in the front of his chest before falling/sliding further down the slope. The bear pursued him. He screamed at Janelle to stay away.

    Bridger tried to kick the bear away from him as it tried to get at his upper body. He couldn’t shoot for fear of hitting his own legs.

    The bear dodged a kick, and grabbed Bridger’s right inner thigh in its jaws, lifting him like a dog lifting a rabbit. Bridger shoved the muzzle of the GLOCK against the bears neck, trying to shatter its spine and shut the bear down. He fired.

    The bear released his lower thigh, then grabbed his calf, just below the knee. The shot missed the spine. Man and bear are still moving fast, but in Bridger’s hyper-aware state, time slowed. He saw an opportunity for a headshot and pressed the trigger on the GLOCK.

    Click.

    Later, Bridger found bear hair between the guide rod and the slide of the G20 pistol. The hair prevented the slide from returning into battery. Bridger knew he should still have ammunition left in the magazine, so he racked the slide and saw a live round eject in slow motion.

    Fractions of a second later, another opportunity for a head shot presented itself. The bear ripped at his leg. As the bear tried to tear off his calf muscle, Bridger saw his chance and pressed the trigger.

    Blam!

    Man and bear went down together, rolling and sliding a bit further down the slope.

Although the bear was dead, its teeth were still hopelessly tangled in Bridger’s calf muscle. When rescue personnel arrived — quickly, thanks to his family’s close proximity at the time of the attack — they struggled and failed to free the meat from the fangs. Only after cutting the bear’s head off with a pocket knife could they transport Bridger and his now-gray leg muscle.

06 Jul 2018

Go, Maneaters of Sibuya

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Daily Wire has some good news:

A gang of poachers learned the merciless rules of nature when they broke into a South African game preserve to slaughter a herd of rhinos and were instead eaten by a pride of lions.

“A head and a number of bloodied body parts and limbs were found near the scene after at least three illegal hunters were devoured by the predators,” reports Mirror. “Staff at the Sibuya Game Reserve, in Eastern Province, South Africa, called in a helicopter to search the area for more poachers.”

The six lions had to be tranquilized in order for police to venture into the area and recover the poachers’ remains. The owner, Nick Fox, said as many as three poachers were eaten, according to the evidence.

“We found enough body parts and three pairs of empty shoes which suggest to us that the lions ate at least three of them but it is thick bush and there could be more,” said Fox. “They came heavily armed with hunting rifles and axes which we have recovered and enough food to last them for several days so we suspect they were after all of our rhinos here.”

The poachers were most likely going to kill the rhinos for their horns.

RTWT

The Tsavo lions were only two and they reputedly ate more than 100 railroad-building coolies. Who knows how many rhino poachers these six can get?

15 Jun 2018

Bring the Grizzly Back to California?

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Jeremy Miller plays with the idea in the Pacific Standard.

University of California–Santa Barbara researcher Peter Alagona has other ideas about what constitutes viable grizzly habitat. Alagona says that the grizzly was also known as the “chaparral bear” because it was found in greatest numbers not in California’s high country but in its Coast Ranges. In his 2013 book After the Grizzly, Alagona paints a vivid picture of these coastal bears: “Grizzlies scavenged the carcasses of beached marine mammals, grazed on perennial grasses and seeds, gathered berries, and foraged for fruits and nuts. They rooted around like pigs in search of roots and bulbs, and after the introduction of European hogs, the bears ate them too. At times and places of abundant food—such as along rivers during steelhead spawning seasons or in oak woodlands during acorn mast years—grizzlies congregated in large numbers. Such a varied and plentiful diet produced some enormous animals.”

In late March of 2017, Alagona and an interdisciplinary team of more than a dozen professors, lecturers, and graduate students made their first foray into the Sedgwick Reserve, a roughly 6,000-acre parcel of open space an hour north of Santa Barbara that is owned and managed by the University of California. The rolling hills were green, and bloomed with a colorful assortment of flowers. To the south, over a series of undulating hillsides, lay the Pacific Ocean. Beyond the property’s northwest boundary lay the former Neverland Ranch, the infamous estate of the late Michael Jackson.

Known as the California Grizzly Study Group, the team’s fieldwork is focused on gaining a better understanding of how the California grizzly lived in these coastal regions before human interference. As it turns out, reconstructing the way of life of an absent omnivorous animal largely means reconstructing its diet. One common misunderstanding, says Alagona (the group’s head and founding member), is that grizzlies are bloodthirsty predators just waiting for a hiker to snack on. “The California grizzly was an omnivorous opportunist—it ate almost anything and everything that was available,” wrote Tevis and Storer in California Grizzly. “In this respect the big bear was something like the house rat, the domestic pig, and even modern man.” …

We continued upward, to a ridgeline covered in a vibrant green rock called serpentinite. Below us unfolded a pastoral landscape of orchards and vine-stitched hillsides with small towns and farmhouses tucked between. The scenery was of a distinctly Mediterranean cast, which may explain our conversation’s turn toward Europe. There, Alagona noted, European brown bears (European cousins of the American grizzly) have recovered in areas very close to cities, including in Abruzzo National Park, only two hours by car from downtown Rome—closer than we were to downtown Los Angeles.

Demographic shifts and social changes have also played a key role in the brown bear’s resurgence overseas. “One of the reasons you have predators coming back to Europe—wolves, bears, lynx, and wolverines—is partly because Europe has become more urbanized, and parts of the countryside are emptying out,” Alagona said. “You also have a change in thinking and attitudes. People are imagining different futures, which is also vitally important.”

Alagona gestured to the high peaks of the Dick Smith and Sespe wilderness areas, rising to over 7,000 feet. He noted that, even in these wilderness areas—which are small by U.S. standards—one can find more continuous, roadless “wild” land than nearly anywhere in Europe. “When the Europeans look at our situation here, they think we have an ungodly amount of space. They are working in a completely different model,” he said, ticking off the essential differences on his fingers: Lots of people. Smaller land area. No wilderness. More bears.

In the U.S., we tend to operate in an either-or paradigm when it comes to conservation. And this historically has been a key stumbling block for the restoration of many large American mammals, including grizzly bears. Alagona points to the Central Valley, which has been transformed almost entirely into an unbroken industrial-scale agricultural landscape. And then there are the wilderness areas of the Sierra, which are off limits to all development. It is this bifurcation, he says, that has greatly influenced our thinking about what belongs where, what is “wild” and “not wild.” “We tend to think that animals belong in wilderness,” he said.

Europeans, on the other hand, have a less doctrinaire way of categorizing landscapes and, consequently, a more fluid way of looking at what constitutes habitat. “The Europeans are working to create more nature reserves, but they are limited in what they can do,” Alagona said. “And so, by definition, conservation has to occur in these human-dominated landscapes.” …

As Alagona said, it was easier to imagine the risks than the rewards. Any discussion of grizzly reintroduction is moot, he said, until we recognize that a reintroduction of this sort is not really about animal management but people management. “It’s not really clear whether having more bears in the world is actually good for bears, or whether it results in an increase in, say, ‘bear happiness,'” he said. “So if you can’t make that calculation, then you have to start looking at people—notably, what people want and what they are willing to risk or give up to have something else that is of value to them.”

That public reappraisal of the value of wildlife can happen—and sometimes very quickly. “When mountain lions started showing back up in Southern California in the 1980s and ’90s, people also freaked out,” Alagona said. “Now the mountain lion has become the mascot of Los Angeles.” He believes that the same might be true for the California grizzly. “If there was a way to fit these animals in,” he said, “then maybe a lot of other things that seemed impossible are possible.”

The next morning Owen and I rose at sun-up and plodded uptrail, toward the summit of Reyes Peak, which loomed 2,500 feet above. As we climbed the switchbacks, the full dimensions of the landscape became apparent below. Arid hillsides covered in chaparral and veined with arroyos ran in orderly rows toward the misty horizon. Plenty of space for a large omnivorous mammal to roam, it seemed.

In Spanish, Chorro Grande means “big flow.” But when we arrived at the trail’s namesake spring, it was dry. We plodded up one last steep section, through a stand of tall Ponderosa pines, before reaching the ridgeline. From the dry summit ridge, we could see the expanse of the Coast Range extending below us and, just beyond, the humped masses of the Channel Islands looming offshore. To the south, in the next valley, flowed Sespe Creek, one of the range’s permanent water sources and one of the last undammed waterways in Southern California. Just out of view, beyond the endless furrows of rolling ridgelines, lay the concrete wilderness of Los Angeles.

As I jotted notes, Owen sat on a large rock surveying the terrain through binoculars. “Dad, I can see bears up here,” he said matter-of-factly. I took him literally, and asked with slight concern if he’d spotted a black bear somewhere below us.

“No,” he said, smiling in the full California sun. “I mean someday. I think a grizzly would like it here.”

Grizzly bears and self-entitled hipsters in t shirts and Bermuda shorts sharing the wilderness a hop, skip, and a jump from densely populated suburbs?

Old Ephraim traveling down the arroyos in the dry three-quarters of the year from the Santa Cruz Mountains right into Palo Alto and Atherton?

Big, hungry bears munching cyclists and joggers in the San Gabriels bordering LA?

What the heck!

The tree-hugging California environmental whackos want those bears back, and the bears will want breakfast. I call that a win/win.

HT: The News Junkie.

High time to start working on restoring the extinct sabre-tooth tigers found in those La Brea tar pits to Los Angeles as well!

20 May 2018

Mountain Lion Kills 1, Injures Another, 30 Miles East of Seattle

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Some News Service:

NORTH BEND, Wash. — One man is dead and another has been injured in a cougar attack in Washington, authorities said Saturday.

The two men were on a morning mountain bike ride in the foothills near North Bend when the attack occurred, King County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ryan Abbott said.

The cougar ran into the woods, he said. The Seattle Times reported state officials tracked, shot and killed the cougar just before 3 p.m.

North Bend is about 30 miles east of Seattle. The injured victim, who is in his 40s, was airlifted to a hospital. He was initially listed in serious condition but has since been upgraded to satisfactory.

A search and rescue team has been dispatched to recover the body of the deceased man.

KIRO-TV reported that the injured man called 911 shortly before 11 a.m. and shouted, “Can you hear me? Help!” and then the call hung up.

Authorities found the cougar standing over the body of the dead biker, the station reported.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the two victims were biking together or separately.

That’s the Left Coast for you.

Coastal cities and suburbs densely inhabited by granola-crunching moonbats on bicycles exist just a short distance from genuine wilderness. The crunchies love the scenery and think nothing of going off into an out-of-doors shared with large predators unarmed, unprepared, and unaware.

In 1900, nobody would have considered going off into mountain lion country unable to defend himself. Today, the overwhelming majority of Left Coast-ers would not dream of carrying a gun, and a sizable percentage will protest the shooting of a man-eating mountain lion.

04 Apr 2018

“If You Go Out to the Woods Tonight…”

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Boston Globe:

Something attacked my son while he was sledding in the woods. But what?

My child went sledding alone and emerged from the trees bloody and dazed. He still can’t remember what happened. …

The doctors’ conclusion, shared with us the next day, is that Beckett was attacked by a large bird of prey, probably a great horned owl. He likely encroached, unknowingly, on the bird’s nest and was blindsided with such force that he was knocked unconscious. The image of our son alone, face down in the snow, is haunting. We wonder what might have happened if he hadn’t managed to stagger to his feet and find his way home.

DO A LITTLE GOOGLING and you’ll discover that violent attacks of this sort aren’t common, but they do happen, usually in places where raptors and humans are forced to coexist, such as ski areas, golf courses, and suburban parks. Some victims compare the blitzkrieg to being hit in the head with a baseball bat.

The Fells includes hiking trails, meadows, and reservoirs, and over the years, we’ve encountered a lot of wildlife, including deer, foxes, coyotes, turkeys, hawks, and, once or twice, an owl with tufted ears and a storybook scowl, perched in a tree.

Andrew Vitz, the state ornithologist, tells me the Fells is home to raptors, including several types of hawks. But because hawks nest in the late spring and summer, they typically don’t behave aggressively in winter. If they do strike, Vitz says, hawks don’t inflict the sort of damage that was done to Beckett.

But great horned owls, which also reside in the Fells, are another matter. They nest in the winter and they’re bigger, more powerful birds, weighing about 4 pounds and capable of flying 40 miles per hour. Great horned owls are notorious for their stealth and strength. They strike without warning — their feathers are adapted to minimize noise during flight — and their long, needle-sharp talons can apply sufficient pressure to snap the spine of their prey.

“The great horned owl is a large, very strong bird, and when it strikes, it’s almost always at the head,” Vitz tells me. “What happened to your son is consistent with an owl attack.”

HT: Althouse via Bird Dog.

28 Jan 2018

The Real End of Timothy Treadwell

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The Onion:

LOS ANGELES—Shedding new light on the tragic ending to his critically acclaimed portrait of the animal activist, filmmaker Werner Herzog told reporters Wednesday that he killed and ate Timothy Treadwell in 2003. “I should finally say that during the filming of my documentary Grizzly Man, I mauled Timothy Treadwell to death and then devoured his remains,” said Herzog, admitting after 15 years that it was in fact he and not the grizzly bears of Katmai National Park who sunk his teeth into Treadwell’s neck, ripped out his jugular, and feasted on his organs. “Timothy and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard were setting up camp by a salmon stream when I approached them, aggressively batted them around, and then tore them limb-from-limb while they screamed. His judgment was perhaps clouded by his optimistic view of nature, which, in the end, sadly led to me picking his bones clean.” Herzog went on to say that the most tragic part of the story was that, after years of integration, Treadwell felt he had finally gained his trust.

04 Jan 2018

A Man-Eating Elephant

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David Shepherd, Wise Old Elephant, 1960s

Recently on FB, one of my college friend’s associates was abusing the younger Trumps for hunting elephants. He described elephants as intelligent and affectionate creatures, and stated that the idea of people hunting them made him weep.

This fellow was a typical example of the deracinated and emasculated urban male, who draws his understanding of the natural world from sentimental, anthropomorphizing nature programs in the mode of Disney. People like this think meat grows on supermarket shelves and that elderly wild animals retire to live on pensions in nursing homes.

The reality is that big game animals, particularly elephants, are commonly in direct competition with African natives for living space. Elephants, additionally, constitute huge potential windfall sources of meat and ivory and inevitably attract poachers. African countries take care to protect and preserve wild elephants in a world in which wealthy foreign sportsmen, like the Trumps, come to hunt, providing lots of local employment for safari staff at a cost of thousands of dollars per diem and fork over $25K or more for elephant license fees. It’s the hunters who provide both the incentive and the financing for game conservation.

As to the affectionate character of elephants, like a lot of other animals, elephants are known to kill the offspring of competing males, and sometimes simply to become rogue killers. My college friend’s New York associate obviously never read Sir Samuel Baker and has no idea that elephants have been known to turn maneater….

There was a notorious rogue elephant at Dolana about 30 years ago whose ferocity was so extreme that he took complete possession of a certain part of the country adjoining the lake. He had killed eight or nine persons, and his whole object in existence appeared to be the waylaying and destruction of the natives. He was of enormous size, and was well known by a peculiar flesh-colored forehead.

In those days there were no firearms in this part of the country; therefore there was no protection for either life or property from this monster, who would invade the paddy fields at night and actually pull down the watchhouses, regardless of the blazing fires which were lighted on the hearth of sand on the summit; these he used to scatter about and extinguish. He had killed several natives in this manner, involving them in the common ruin with their watchhouses. The terror created by this elephant was so extreme that the natives deserted the neighborhood that he infested.

Many months passed away without his being either seen or heard of. The people began to hope that he had died from the effect of poisoned arrows, which had frequently been shot at him from the watchhouses in high trees. By degrees the terror of his name had lost its power, and he ceased to be thought of.

It was in the cool of the evening, about an hour before sunset, that about 20 of the women from the village were upon the grassy borders of the lake, engaged in sorting and tying into bundles the rushes that they had been gathering during the day for making mats. They were on the point of starting homeward with their loads when the sudden trumpet of an elephant was heard, and to their horror they saw the well-known rogue, with the unmistakable mark upon his forehead, coming down in full charge upon them. The ground was perfectly open; there were no trees for some hundred yards, except the jungle from which he was advancing at a frightful speed.

An indiscriminate flight of course took place, and a race of terror commenced. In a few seconds the monster was among them, and, seizing a young girl in his trunk, he held her high in the air and halted, as though uncertain how to dispose of his helpless victim. The girl, meanwhile, was vainly shrieking for assistance, and the petrified troop of women, having gained the shelter of some jungle, gazed panic-stricken upon the impending fate of their companion.

To their horror, the elephant slowly lowered her in his trunk till near the ground, when he gradually again raised her, and, bringing her head into his mouth, a report was heard like the crack of a whip—it was the sudden crushing of her skull. Tearing the head off by the neck, he devoured it and, placing his forefoot upon the body, tore the arms and legs from their sockets with his trunk, devouring every portion of her.

RTWT

06 Dec 2017

Spiders Could Theoretically Eat Every Human on Earth in One Year

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Christopher Ingraham, in the WaPo Wonkblog:

The World’s spider population weighs 29 million tons — as much as 478 Titanics.

Spiders are quite literally all around us. A recent entomological survey of North Carolina homes turned up spiders in 100 percent of them, including 68 percent of bathrooms and more than three-quarters of bedrooms. There’s a good chance at least one spider is staring at you right now, sizing you up from a darkened corner of the room, eight eyes glistening in the shadows.

Spiders mostly eat insects, although some of the larger species have been known to snack on lizards, birds and even small mammals. Given their abundance and the voraciousness of their appetites, two European biologists recently wondered: If you were to tally up all the food eaten by the world’s entire spider population in a single year, how much would it be?

Martin Nyffeler and Klaus Birkhofer published their estimate in the journal the Science of Nature earlier this month, and the number they arrived at is frankly shocking: The world’s spiders consume somewhere between 400 million and 800 million tons of prey in any given year. That means that spiders eat at least as much meat as all 7 billion humans on the planet combined, who the authors note consume about 400 million tons of meat and fish each year.

Or, for a slightly more disturbing comparison: The total biomass of all adult humans on Earth is estimated to be 287 million tons. Even if you tack on another 70 million-ish tons to account for the weight of kids, it’s still not equal to the total amount of food eaten by spiders in a given year, exceeding the total weight of humanity.

In other words, spiders could eat all of us and still be hungry.

RTWT

04 Oct 2017

Indonesian Man Wins Fight with Giant Python

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AFP via Breitbart:

A giant python attacked an Indonesian man, nearly severing his arm, before hungry villagers chopped up the reptile and ate it, a police chief said Wednesday.

Security guard Robert Nababan crossed paths with the giant creature while patrolling an oil palm plantation in the remote Batang Gansal subdistrict of Sumatra island on Saturday.

“The python was 7.8 metres long (25.6 feet), it was unbelievably huge,” local police chief Sutarja, who like many Indonesians only has one name, told AFP.

Sutarja said the 37-year-old Nababan, who sometimes liked to eat snake, tried to catch the giant python and stuff it in a gunny sack.

But the huge serpent fought back and bit him on his left arm, nearly severing it from his body.

Nababan was then rushed to a hospital in a neighbouring town for treatment.

The police chief said the intervention of another security guard and several local residents, one of whom hit the snake with a log, helped to save the man’s life.

Hungry locals later killed the snake and displayed its body in the village before dicing it up, frying it and feasting on it.

Giant python, which regularly top 20 feet in length, are commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines.

In March, a 25-year-old Indonesian farmer has been discovered inside the belly of a giant python after the swollen snake was caught near where the man vanished while harvesting his crops on the eastern island of Sulawesi.

Wikipedia: Reticulated Python.

15 Sep 2017

Eat ‘Em All

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Fox News reports that a reporter for a prestigious newspaper was eaten by a crocodile.

A Financial Times journalist was killed by a crocodile while washing his hands at a lagoon in Sri Lanka during a holiday with pals.

Paul McClean, 25, an Oxford University graduate, is understood to have wandered away from his group of friends to find a toilet when he was attacked.

The British victim is believed to have been dragged under water at a lagoon called Crocodile Rock near a popular surf spot after being ambushed by the reptile.

McClean graduated from Oxford with a First class honors degree in French in 2015 before joining the Financial Times later that year.

He had covered Brexit and the European Union for the newspaper and had recently returned to London after living in Brussels for a couple of months.

The lagoon, known to be crawling with crocodiles, is yards away from popular surf spot Elephant Rock near Arugam Bay on the southeast coast.

Sri Lankan police and the army are said to be searching the shore surrounding the area.

Locals claimed the victim had been staying at the East Beach Surf Resort – located just minutes away from the surfing area he went missing from.

Fawas Lafeer, owner of Safa Surf School, located up the coast from where the incident happened, said: “A local fisherman witnessed a man being dragged into a river, set back from the beach, by a crocodile. The fisherman was on the opposite side of the river and downstream of the incident location.”

RTWT

28 Jul 2017

Darn! She Almost Had Him

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A young sow named Bear 148 almost caught a fleeing bicyclist earlier this month in British Columbia. Had it not been for a passing couple and their truck, she would have.

Sporting Classics:

Two Idaho sightseers wanted to see wildlife on a recent trip to Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia, along the BC-Alberta line. Did they ever! The couple was driving a pickup truck along Highway 93 when they spotted a bicyclist heading their way, fast. It wasn’t until they saw what was behind him that his need for speed became clear.

A young grizzly bear, known to local authorities as Bear 148, was hot on the cyclist’s trail.

“I was sitting in the passenger seat and had my cell phone and had been taking scenic pictures all the way,” Cassie Beyer told CBC News. She continued taking pictures as the chase unfolded, snapping the above image during the process.

Another driver began honking their horn at the bear, allowing Beyer’s husband to put their truck between the cyclist and Bear 148. With the cyclist safe, the couple then headed on down the road.

This wasn’t the first encounter with humans Bear 148 has had this year. The young sow has chased a woman who was pushing a stroller and walking her dog; has interrupted a rugby event at a nearby high school; and has followed a number of hikers. She was relocated to nearby Kootenay National Park earlier in July but returned to Radium within two days.

As amazing as the bear’s brazenness is, the public’s outcry over the incident is even more so. Locals are organizing protests against the Alberta government’s decision to euthanize the bear if any more incidents occur, despite the many close calls people have had with 148 in 2017.

RTWT

Well, if Bear 148 will stick to only eating bicylists, I think she ought to be treated as a priceless natural resource, be bred from, and have her offspring transplanted to Eastern states.

08 Jul 2017

Watch Out For This Bear!

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20 Apr 2017

First Tsavo Man-Eater, Scientists Find, Had a Toothache

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Colonel Patterson with the first deceased Man-Eater.

Vanderbilt News:

An analysis of the microscopic wear on the teeth of the legendary “man-eating lions of Tsavo” reveals that it wasn’t desperation that drove them to terrorize a railroad camp in Kenya more than a century ago.

“Our results suggest that preying on people was not the lions’ last resort, rather, it was simply the easiest solution to a problem that they confronted,” said Larisa DeSantis, assistant professor of earth and environmental studies at Vanderbilt University.

The study, which she performed with Bruce Patterson, MacArthur Curator of Mammals at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, is described in a paper titled “Dietary behavior of man-eating lions as revealed by dental microwear textures” published online April 19 by the journal Nature: Scientific Reports. …

In order to shed light on the lion’s motivations, DeSantis employed state-of-the-art dental microwear analysis on the teeth of three man-eating lions from the Field Museum’s collection: the two Tsavo lions and a lion from Mfuwe, Zambia that consumed at least six people in 1991. The analysis can provide valuable information about the nature of animal’s diet in the days and weeks before its death.

DeSantis and Patterson undertook the study to investigate the theory that prey shortages may have driven the lions to man eating. At the time, the Tsavo region was in the midst of a two-year drought and a rinderpest epidemic that had ravaged the local wildlife. If the lions were desperate for food and scavenging carcasses, the man-eating lions should have dental microwear similar to hyenas, which routinely chew and digest the bones of their prey.

“Despite contemporary reports of the sound of the lion’s crunching on the bones of their victims at the edge of the camp, the Tsavo lion’s teeth do not show wear patterns consistent with eating bones,” said DeSantis. “In fact, the wear patterns on their teeth are strikingly similar to those of zoo lions that are typically provisioned with soft foods like beef and horsemeat.”

The study provides new support for the proposition that dental disease and injury may play a determining role in turning individual lions into habitual man eaters. The Tsavo lion that did the most man eating, as established through chemical analysis of the lions’ bones and fur in a previous study, had severe dental disease. It had a root-tip abscess in one of its canines—a painful infection at the root of the tooth that would have made normal hunting impossible.

“Lions normally use their jaws to grab prey like zebras and buffalos and suffocate them,” Patterson explained. “This lion would have been challenged to subdue and kill large struggling prey. Humans are so much easier to catch.”

The diseased lion’s partner, on the other hand, had less pronounced injuries to its teeth and jaw—injuries that are fairly common in lions which are not man eaters. According to the same chemical analysis, it consumed a lot more zebras and buffalos, and far fewer people, than its hunting companion.

30 Mar 2017

Missing Man Found Inside 23-Foot Python

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National Geographic:

At first the video is blurry and difficult to make out. A bunch of men standing around a python begin slicing its belly down the middle. It soon becomes apparent that something of note is inside the giant snake, but it’s not immediately clear what has drawn so much attention.

Then you see it: An entire grown man, swallowed whole, lies dead inside the python.

According to local news reports, the body found inside the 23-foot-long snake turned out to be 25-year-old Akbar Salubiro, a harvester who worked on a palm oil plantation on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. He was reported missing on March 26.

Local media also report that the snake involved is a reticulated python. These snakes are among some of the largest in the world, growing over 20 feet long and weighing more than a hundred pounds.

Full story.

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