More than 600 dogs and cats are airlifted out of Hawaii to be put up for adoption on the US mainland
More than 600 adoptable cats and dogs were airlifted from Hawaii to the US mainland in the largest animal rescue flight in history, according to Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency.
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- ScienceThe Telegraph
A giant spider which was feared extinct in the UK has been rediscovered at an army training centre after not being spotted for over 25 years. Conservationists say that interesting creatures are often unearthed at Ministry of Defence sites because they are undisturbed and unaffected by farming or development. The Great Fox-Spider is Red-listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ and was feared extinct in the UK as it hadn’t been seen since 1993. It was discovered by an arachnid-obsessed worker at the Surrey Wildlife Trusts, who had been hunting high and low on MoD land with his torch. For two years, Mike Waite, spider enthusiast at the Trust, walked around for hours at night in the hopes of finding the nocturnal, ground-dwelling arachnid. Finally he discovered some unidentifiable immature spiderlings, on MOD land managed by the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, and then, at last several mature males and one female Great Fox-Spider, which was 55mm or just over two inches in diameter including its hairy, spiny legs. The delighted naturalist said: “I am naturally over-the-moon to have finally proved the continued existence of the Great Fox-Spider in the UK. Although I’ve always held a latent interest in spiders, as a bona-fide arachnologist, I am still a relative newbie, so am doubly pleased to have made this important contribution to our scientific knowledge.” Mr Waite now plans to continue his study to gauge the size of the population, looking for their silk-lined burrows over winter. The spiders are named because of their wolf-like chasing of prey. They love to run across sandy terrain, over gravel and rocks before catching insects. The Great Fox-Spider then pounces, injecting the unfortunate bugs with deadly venom. The spider is then ready to feast on its catch using its strong, fang-bearing front appendages called chelicerae. Great Fox-Spiders have excellent eyesight with wrap-around vision provided by eight black eyes on its head, or cephalothorax. Two large eyes glint from the top of the head; two large eyes stare out the front; and four smaller eyes form a row just above the spider’s mouth. Conservationists have praised the MOD for preserving land for important animals. Rob Free, Weald Reserves Manager, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) said: "The discovery of the Great Fox-Spider shows how amazing the MOD heathland is, not just for spiders, but also for Sand Lizard, Smooth Snake, Dartford Warbler, Nightjar, Silver-studded Blue butterfly and Marsh Clubmoss. The spider’s rediscovery is a wonderful exoneration of all the incredibly hard work put in by MOD staff, Conservation Group members, ARC staff and volunteers." ARC has managed key parts of the site since 1974, with particular emphasis on preventing the endangered Sand Lizard from becoming extinct, and as MOD’s conservation partner, ARC has been managing much of the open heathland on the site since January 2019. Managed for nature’s recovery, the MOD site is recognised as being nationally important for its populations of rare bird, reptile and invertebrate species. Rich Lowey, Defence Infrastructure Organisation's Head of Technical Services, said: “Many people are unaware of the size and diversity of the Defence estate and its tremendous wildlife richness. It has generally been protected from agricultural intensification and urban development, so it now provides a vital sanctuary for many of the country’s most rare and endangered species and habitats. We are proud to hear that the Great Fox-Spider has survived because of MOD’s commitment and enthusiasm to have positive and active conservation management on the Estate and close integrated working with ARC, Surrey Wildlife Trust and MOD Conservation Groups.”
- WorldThe Telegraph
Soldier killed by elephant died after army bosses underestimated time to get to a hospital, report finds
A soldier killed by an elephant while on an anti-poaching patrol died after army bosses underestimated how long it would take to get to a hospital, a report has found. Guardsman Mathew Talbot of the 1st Battalion the Coldstream Guards was fatally injured in the incident in Liwonde National Park in Malawi on May 5 2019. The 22-year-old was part of a five-man mixed Malawian and British patrol, deployed as part of an anti-poaching operation when he was attacked by the elephant and suffered multiple serious injuries. A Ministry of Defence (MOD) service inquiry, published on Friday, found that when Gdsm Talbot died during an evacuation four hours and 17 minutes after the attack, he was still three hours away from the nearest hospital. That was despite an Army risk assessment stating casualties should reach hospital within four hours of an incident, known as the "medical timeline". Because of the assumptions the timeline was achievable, the lack of any available medical helicopter was never considered an issue. The report also found supplies of the three treating British Army medics were "just adequate", but praised their actions as having given Gdsm Talbot a fighting chance. However, a key vital signs monitor failed to work correctly, there were a lack of blood products and confusion over when powerful pain medication could be used on patients with head injuries and breathing trouble. As a result, the seriously injured soldier had no pain relief while he was being transported. A consultant-led post-mortem examination found the young soldier's death was "not preventable" given the circumstances. But the report concluded Gdsm Talbot would have had a 50%-60% chance of survival had he reached a hospital in Blantyre some 160km away. "The underestimation of the medical timeline and the resources in place to assure it were inadequate," the report concluded. Along with 30 other recommendations, the report also called for immediate improvements to training. In a statement released through lawyers Irwin Mitchell, the soldiers' parents Steven and Michelle Talbot said it had it had taken months "to get any of the answers" from the Army. They said: ""Those that are responsible for putting these risk assessments in place should hang their heads in shame if they think this is adequate for our brave serving soldiers who are prepared to put their lives on the line for Queen and country.” An inquest into the soldier's death will take place at Oxford Coroner's Court in due course. In a statement released through the Ministry of Defence, Brigadier Ben Cattermole, Commander 11 Brigade, said the Army's "thoughts and sympathies" were with the bereaved. He added: "The welfare of our personnel is of the utmost importance and the MOD has accepted all of the recommendations in this report, including robust training to better assess the risk of animal attack and fully rehearsing medical procedures before operations begin. "We have already put in place plans to implement these recommendations and changes will be made as soon as possible. "The MOD will review the coroner's findings when available and address any additional recommendations."
- CelebrityThe Independent
Lil Wayne: 50 Cent criticises rapper for sharing smiling Trump photo after retracting own support for president
‘I would have never took this picture,’ rapper commented
- NewsBleacher Report
Warren Sharp previews the highly-anticipated Steelers-Ravens game (The Lefkoe Show)