Update: 230 whales stranded on Tasmanian beach

More than 200 whales have been found stranded on a remote beach on the west coast of Tasmania, Australia. Half of the pod, thought to be pilot whales, are believed to be still alive. Rescuers are being sent to the area. It’s unclear what caused the whales to beach on a sandflat at the entrance to Macquarie Harbour, the same remote location where Australia’s worst stranding occurred two years ago. It comes a day after a separate mass stranding in northern Tasmania. The incident on Tuesday saw 14 young sperm whales found dead on King island, in the Bass Strait. Experts … Continue reading Update: 230 whales stranded on Tasmanian beach

Sperm whales die in mass stranding on Australian beach

Fourteen young sperm whales have died in a mass stranding on a beach in Tasmania, Australia. The whale carcasses were discovered by locals on King Island and reported to authorities on Monday afternoon. The reason for the stranding is unknown, but wildlife biologists and a vet have been sent to investigate. Whale strandings are not uncommon in Tasmania – experts say the island state is a “hotspot” for such events. An aerial survey will determine whether more animals are stranded in the area, a state government spokesperson said. Sperm whales, which are considered vulnerable globally, can grow up to 18m … Continue reading Sperm whales die in mass stranding on Australian beach

Ecuador fears Galapagos tortoises were hunted and eaten

Ecuador has launched an investigation into the killing of four Galapagos giant tortoises, which prosecutors fear were hunted and eaten. Remains of the reptiles were found in a national park on Isabela, the largest island of the Galapagos archipelago. Killing the endangered animals has been banned since 1933 but more than a dozen have been hunted in the last two years. Tortoise meat was once considered a delicacy, but those who hunt them now face up to three years in jail. In September 2021, park rangers found the remains of 15 Sierra Negra giant tortoises on Isabela. Photos of their … Continue reading Ecuador fears Galapagos tortoises were hunted and eaten

Cats to be freed from special lockdown in German town

Cat owners in one German town will be allowed to let their pets out for the first time in three months when the authorities lift a special lockdown. People in Walldorf, in the south-west, were ordered in May to keep their cats indoors to protect an endangered bird. Cats were only allowed to venture outside if they were kept on a leash no more than two metres (6ft) in length. But the animals will again be allowed to roam free from 00:01 local time on Monday. If a cat escaped while the lockdown was in force, owners were told to … Continue reading Cats to be freed from special lockdown in German town

Walrus Freya who became attraction in Norway’s Oslo Fjord put down

A walrus that had become a popular attraction in the Oslo Fjord has been put down out of concern for the safety of the public, Norwegian officials say. The walrus, nicknamed Freya, rose to fame after clambering on to boats to sunbathe – sometimes sinking them. People refused warnings not to get too close to the 1,300lb (600kg) animal, putting her and themselves at risk. On one occasion, police blocked off a bathing area after the walrus chased a woman into the water, local media say. Last week, Norway’s fisheries ministry issued a photograph of a large group of people, … Continue reading Walrus Freya who became attraction in Norway’s Oslo Fjord put down

Two more swimmers bitten by a dolphin in Japan

A dolphin has bitten two more swimmers on the arm, in what is believed to be the latest in a string of attacks on a Japanese beach. According to local media, at least one man was taken to hospital on Thursday after encountering the sea mammal. Japanese officials believe the same dolphin is responsible for at least six related attacks so far this summer. While dolphins are not usually aggressive to humans, hostility towards swimmers is not unheard of. Local media reported that one man was bitten on both his arms on Thursday morning, which was followed by another attack the … Continue reading Two more swimmers bitten by a dolphin in Japan

France to rescue beluga whale stranded in River Seine

A beluga whale has been spotted in France’s River Seine, and officials are now deciding how to save a mammal more suited to cold Arctic waters. They say the animal is currently near a lock at Vernon, about 70km (43 miles) north-west of Paris. Members of the public are being urged to keep away from the whale that appears to be underweight. Experts are puzzled as to why the whale has strayed so far south from its natural habitat. “The challenge now will be to help feed it, and try to accompany it towards the ocean,” Lamya Essemlali, the head … Continue reading France to rescue beluga whale stranded in River Seine

Indonesians strike over increase in entry price to see Komodo dragon

Indonesian tourism workers have gone on strike over a dramatic hike in the price of tickets to see Komodo dragons. Visitors will now be charged 3,750,000 rupiah (£206.40) to visit the main islands in Komodo National Park – up from 200,000 rupiah (£11) before. The government hopes to limit visitor numbers and protect the endangered lizards from overexposure to humans. But local workers say it will scare off tourists completely, causing their income to dry up. Indonesia is home to around 3,300 rare Komodo dragons, according to Reuters news agency. The world’s largest lizard have razor-sharp teeth, a venomous bite, … Continue reading Indonesians strike over increase in entry price to see Komodo dragon

Japan’s police to take measures after wild monkey rampages

Japanese police are turning to tranquilizer guns in an attempt to stem the tide of wild monkey attacks that have been terrorizing residents. In recent weeks, 42 people have been reported injured in Yamaguchi city – including children and the elderly. The attacks are being blamed on Japanese macaques. However, while they are a common sight in large parts of the country, incidents like these are unusual. “It’s rare to see this many attacks in a short period of time,” said one city official, declining to give their name. “Initially only children and women were attacked. Recently elderly people and … Continue reading Japan’s police to take measures after wild monkey rampages

RIP: Oldest-ever male giant panda in captivity dies

The oldest-ever male giant panda in captivity has died aged 35. An An lived most of his life at a theme park in Hong Kong after he and a female panda were gifted by China in 1999. The female panda, Jia Jia, died in 2016 at the age of 38, making her the oldest-ever female panda in captivity. Ocean Park theme park mourned An An as a family member who built bonds with locals and tourists. “An An has brought us fond memories with numerous heart-warming moments. His cleverness and playfulness will be dearly missed,” Paulo Pong, chairman of Ocean … Continue reading RIP: Oldest-ever male giant panda in captivity dies

Armed gunmen kill 29 dogs and injure countless others in Qatar

A group of armed men stormed a secure area in Qatar and killed 29 dogs and injured others over claims the animals had bitten someone’s child. The armed thugs threatened security staff with weapons and then entered the secure factory colony, an area where stray and dogs can be fed, neutered and looked after by the community. The unidentified men proceeded to shoot 29 dogs, including puppies, left several others badly injured, Doha-based rescue charity PAWS Rescue Qatar confirmed on social media. The men claimed they attacked the facility and shot the dogs because one of the pooches had bitten one of the gunman’s … Continue reading Armed gunmen kill 29 dogs and injure countless others in Qatar

Dozens of sea turtles found stabbed off Japanese island

At least 30 green sea turtles have been found dead off a beach of a remote Japanese island, with many having been stabbed in the neck. Locals on Kumejina island made the discovery last Thursday, after a low tide revealed the bodies. At least one fishing operator admitted to wounding the animals to remove them from fishing nets, said news site the Mainichi. Police are investigating animal cruelty claims. “I disentangled some of the [turtles] and released them into the sea, but I couldn’t free [the] heavy ones so I stabbed them to get rid of them,” an unnamed fishing operator … Continue reading Dozens of sea turtles found stabbed off Japanese island