Monday, May 28, 2012

Bad Animal News Briefs

-On this blog we've seen bears going after pizza, candy, birthday cake and sandwiches, but now they're really getting personal: a man on a camping trip in Ontario was attacked by a bear while he was using the outhouse:

When asked if the attack scared the "you-know-what" out of him, Shurvell replied, "It was already gone!"

"I'd already done my business," he added. "All the defence I had is a … piece of [toilet] paper in this hand."

-We've also seen many animals with a taste for alcohol (and you can read a whole chapter about it in the book), but some cows in Boxford, Mass. took this to new heights by actually crashing a party to get at the beer. A police officer was following some delinquent bovines down the street when they headed into a backyard:
He witnessed about 10-13 young people run from a picnic table where they had been drinking beer when the cows arrived. The young women all jumped up on the rear deck of the house to avoid contact with the cows.

Meanwhile, the party cows were helping themselves to the beer, knocking the beer-filled cups off the table. “I saw one cow drinking the beer on its way down as it spilled off the table,” the lieutenant said.

“Some of the cows were also picking through the empties in the recycling bin,” said Lt. Riter. “They just went in and helped themselves.”

The partiers, reportedly mostly from out of town and unused to rural bad animal behavior, were in a panic, but locals were unsurprised:
When he was first received a picture of the cows via cell phone, Police Chief Michael Murphy thought they were deer. But then he realized, no, “It’s just a bunch of cows having a few beers.”

-And finally, another blow against bad animals, this time in Tanzania, where they've discovered a safe and effective way to prevent elephants from stealing crops: take advantage of the fact that they don't like spicy food.

The problem is explained by the Wall Street Journal:
Birds and insects cause crop damage, too. But they don't consume 660 pounds of food in 18 hours, as big elephants tend to do. Herds of 15 to 20 can quickly wipe out an entire field and obliterate all the work of a subsistence farmer.

African elephants also can be very sneaky.

Crop raiders tend to work as teams—typically involving three to five elephant family members. Farmers say a lone elephant will scout for tasty, ripe crops. The next night, the scout returns with ravenously hungry reinforcements.

After ruling out many possible solutions, a researcher noticed their dislike of hot pepper. So now, fences are being slathered with a mixture of oil and chilis - and elephants are walking up to the fences and abruptly turning away:

One farmer says he watched an elephant pause at the fence and then try to reverse through it holding his trunk up in the air to avoid the stink.

What if they develop a taste for the stuff? Researchers working on keeping one step ahead, and already have another plan:
Elephants don't like being stung by bees flying up their noses. African elephants are known to avoid acacia trees occupied by honey bees, so villagers in the south of the country are now constructing lines of beehives spaced around fields. When an elephant crosses these lines, says Mr. Malugu, villagers "shake the hive and release the bees, sending the elephants running."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.