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NEWSFILE: ATTACKS (17) News: Apr-Jul 1998


YOU LION GIT!!!!

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - A pride of lions in South Africa's Kruger National Park has made a meal of a suspected illegal immigrant from Mozambique, Police said Wednesday. The man was attacked and eaten early Tuesday near the border with Mozambique, prompting speculation he was the latest in a stream of illegal immigrants attempting to enter South Africa through the park "We suspect the man was from Mozambique but we cannot identify him," said a police spokesman in the eastern province of Mpumalanga. "We have only a portion of the head and a few bones to go on"... The park straddles the border between the two countries, and lions have eaten illegal aliens from Mozambique in the past.

GOING TO THE DOGS

BRISBANE, Australia (AP). Hungry dingoes near the central Queensland coast are stalking residents in their hunt for food. Authorities said they are powerless to control the packs of wild dogs. Dingoes from the Mount Archer National Park on the city's eastern border were wandering through nearby suburbs, menacing residents, said Rockhampton Deputy Mayor Jim Rundle. One man complained of being stalked as he walked along a road. Speaking to Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio, Rundle said there was nothing authorities could do because of ordinances that prohibit baiting the dogs within a mile of a residential area.

"You can't shoot in a residential area, plus with the gun laws, no-one’s got a gun anyway," Rundle said. Several people were attacked by dingoes on Fraser Island recently and National Parks officers moved in and shot the offending animals. In 1980, Lindy Chamberlain claimed a dingo carried off her 9-week-old infant, Azaria, sparking a debate over whether the relatively small dogs are aggressive enough to attack. The baby was later found dead. Mrs. Chamberlain and her husband, Michael, were imprisoned on murder and accessory to murder charges, but were later released and their conviction squashed when new evidence showed a dingo could have killed the infant.

KITTEN KONG

OSAKA, Japan. Japanese on Wednesday briefly forgot about their economic woes to indulge in a bit of monkey business about a catnapping. While television stations had no room for live coverage of a news conference by Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto about the state of the economy, viewers were gripped almost non-stop by the tale of a monkey on the run after kidnapping a kitten.

The saga started on Tuesday when a wild monkey came down from nearby wooded hills into the outskirts of Japan's second largest city of Osaka, a sprawling, high-rise metropolis. After numerous sightings and news bulletins, the monkey was cornered by 50 police in the backyard of a home. With capture imminent, the monkey took diversionary action by grabbing a several-month-old kitten belonging to the home owner. "There was a stare off for about 15 minutes in the backyard between our officers who didn't want to injure the kitten and the monkey cradling her," an Osaka police spokesman told Reuters.

When the posse members briefly let their attention wander, the monkey sprang to freedom, still carrying the kitten. The monkey's flight took him to a nearby primary school which was swiftly evacuated. As night fell on Wednesday, police were still scouring the city, despite regular sightings by residents. The last sighting, nearly 20 miles from the catnapping, reported the monkey had ditched his hostage and was on the run alone. "We're just going to have to ask the monkey when we find him where he released the kitten," the spokesman said.

TAKING THE PISHTACOS

On April 8, 1998, the police in Pisac, a small town in the Andes of Peru, received a phone call from an anonymous informant, claiming that he had stumbled across the bodies of two dead men. As he hung up, the agitated caller shouted, "Pishtacos!" The pishtaco is a legendary creature of Andean folklore, whose image appears on the ceramics of the ancient Nazca and Sipan cultures. It is reputed to be a demon in the form of a human, which strips the victim's body of all adipose tissue.

Investigating police searched the town and found two dead men, both unidentified, "with all of their muscles exposed and not a single gram of fat on them." On April 9, 1998, the Policia Nacional del Peru (PNP) moved the two bodies to the nearest large city, Cuzco, approximately 47 kilometers (24 miles) to the southwest. The autopsies were performed by Dr. Oscar Gallegos of the PNP's Forensic Medical Department. According to the autopsy report, "The victims showed characteristics compatible to death from bleeding. There were no signs of torture, beating nor of having been struck by a knife or a bullet. Cause of death was cardiac arrest due to excessive bleeding. No skin or subcutaneous cellular tissue was found. The rate of decomposition was slight."

Pisac is in the Andes approximately 665 kilometers (425 miles) east of Lima, the capital of Peru. (Muchas gracias a Raul Rios y Scott Corrales para esas noticias.) from UFO Roundup May 10...

MONSTER RAMPAGE IN TOKYO (AGAIN)!!! yawn

2 Jul1998. TOKYO parents have been told to keep an eye on their babies following the escape of a12-ft African python. It slithered into a river while its owner was sunbathing. The snake is not poisonous, but its species is known to prey on small animals and there are fears that the snake could attack babies.

GATOR BAIT

A 5-year-old girl was recovering in a hospital Monday after being attacked by an alligator while swimming in a lake near her home. Sarah Martin and her father Stephen were swimming in the lake close to their Lakeland, Fla., home Sunday when an alligator pulled the girl under water. Her father pulled her up and found bite marks on her right arm and collar bone, according to the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission. Sarah was listed in stable condition at a Lakeland hospital after undergoing minor surgery. Commission officers are trying to trap and kill the alligator. Florida has an estimated 1 million alligators, but attacks on humans are rare.(Reuters)

MOOSE IN MAINE

PORTLAND, Maine (Reuters) - Moose are running amok in Maine, leaving behind a trail of demolished cars and motorists who are injured or sometimes killed. Each year at about this time, the slow-moving beasts that can weigh more than 850 pounds lumber out of the woods and onto the highways, fleeing the black flies that are especially abundant because of heavy rain this spring. Their dark brown fur combined with their great height - most stand taller than a horse - make it almost a certainty that a car's headlights will not spot the animals in the dark. The results are sometimes fatal to the moose and the driver and almost always to the car. "There's a saying in the game warden's office here. There's only one size of moose - extra large, " state biologist Keel Kemper said. There has been an epidemic of car-moose collisions in the last few weeks, Maine police report. One involved a police cruiser that was on its way to investigate a moose-car collision at the time. The trooper was unhurt but the police car was badly damaged.

KEEP SHARP EYE OUT FOR MOOSE... State police spokesman Steve McCausland says his agency is urging motorists to watch out, particularly at dawn and dusk. "That's when many of the collisions occur," he warned. "Motorists that travel in corridors frequented by moose have got to keep a sharp eye out because they can be deadly. We’ve had two fatal collisions this year because of moose. " Like many Americans, moose appear to dislike the media. The news director of a central Maine television station was in a hospital last week after a near-fatal encounter with a moose. Animal entrails were found on his body as he was extricated, barely conscious, from his car.

And earlier this spring Susan Chisholm was on assignment for Maine Public Radio when she rammed a moose. Chisholm fled to a local convenience store to phone her husband. "Honey, " she said, " I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I’m OK. The bad news is that the moose got away. " Some see the car collisions as the moose's retribution for a state lottery guaranteed to cost thousands of the animals their lives every fall. Each year in Maine, more than 90,000 hunters compete for permits to kill the male moose, known more for his brawn than his brain. Last year, some 1,300 moose were gunned down in the state. Almost 95 percent of the hunters allowed to take a moose bagged one. Now some want to thin the herd even further so that the survivors do not present such a threat to motorists the following spring.

'LINE UP EVERY MOOSE AND SHOOT THEM DEAD'...? "That would never work, " biologist Kemper said. "You'd have to line up every moose along Route 201 and shoot them dead, and even then there'd be plenty left to run intocars. " Kemper says he is not sure why moose find it so difficult to avoid oncoming cars. But he notes, "Their vision is not so great, and their only predators are coyotes and wolves. Maybe they never learned to fear cars. "

The moose hunting season in Maine lasts only a week. But from the moose’s point of view motorist hunting season lasts from mid-May to October, when the normally sluggish animals are a bit sprightlier and more likely to roam. A single moose in search of its favourite food - the meadow grasses conveniently planted on highway median strips - can cover as much as 64 square miles of territory. When they are not menacing the roads, moose become a profitable tourist attraction in western Maine.

Visitors to the Rangeley Lakes region can often be seen peering into the woods at dusk, waiting to capture the awkward-looking critters with their huge antlers on film. But one perplexed native said, "Why someone would want to go home with a snapshot of a mangy old Bullwinkle is beyond me. "

CODOR CONQUERS COUGAR

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Armed only with a pocket knife and a mother's powerful instincts, MaryJane Coder fought off a mountain lion that tried repeatedly to attack her young daughters on a remote Texas trail. The family survived, but just barely. "It was incredibly scary, " Coder, 41, told Reuters in a telephone interview on Monday. "We came very close to dying. " The attack took place on May 25 in Big Bend National Park in west Texas while Coder paused to take photographs of her three daughters -- Jessica, 9, Dallas, 8, and Meagan, 6 -- during a hike in the Chisos Mountains. Coder had Dallas in the viewfinder when she noticed that the girl, sitting on a boulder, was not smiling. "She started screaming "Mommy, Mommy, get me down from here. 'I turned around and there was a big mountain lion getting ready to pounce, " Coder said. Coder, who lives in the south Texas town of Harlingen, quickly pulled the girls behind her and told them to get a pocket knife out of a backpack. In the meantime, she threw a rock at the lion to try to scare it away, but the big, tan cat's only response was an angry hiss. She shouted at the lion and waved the knife, but the animal began running at the girls one by one, "trying to cut them (out of a herd) like they were baby deer. "

"My kids started scattering, which was the worst thing to do. It would go toward one of them and I would run toward it and it would veer away, " Coder said. "I was shouting at them to come to me and shouting at the cat to go away. It was running back and forth after them. It was chaos. " At one point, Coder was so close to the mountain lion that it reached out and whacked her hand, puncturing it with a claw. "It was like it was batting me away to get to my children. " After about 15 minutes, Coder was able to push the girls under a rock ledge. She looked up and the big cat was poised on a boulder just above her. She told the girls to pray. "That was the most fear I have ever known, " Coder said.

"I thought to myself, if you stand here and stare at it, it's going to consider it a challenge. And if you get into a fight with this animal, you're probably going to die and it’s going to get your children, " she said. She told the girls to walk quickly back up the trail toward their car, which was two miles away. They did so, and Coder, walking backward with her small knife in hand, followed with an eye on the lion until she could no longer see it. But a few hundred yards down the trail, Meagan screamed. The cat had circled around in front of them and was waiting in the bushes. Coder went ahead of the girls and, brandishing her knife, shouted at the lion. "I yelled 'get out of here. no!' like you do with a dog, " she said. The cat stayed in the bushes and the Coders hustled on to their car, safe at last.

Coder, who is a case worker with a children's protection agency, said the only physical reminder is her sore hand, but the vision of the hungry cat remains. Mountain lions can grow to 300 pounds and Coder said their attacker was full-grown. Rangers at the park told the Valley Morning Star, the Harlingen newspaper, that the lion is a reclusive animal that shies away from humans, but may have gone after the Coders because a severe drought has made food scarce. The trail where the encounter took place has been closed, but there are no plans to hunt and kill the cat, they said. Coder does not believe the cat should be destroyed, saying, "he was doing what mountain lions do. " ^REUTERS@ Tuesday June 9 11:26 AM EDT

WE'RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE

WICHITA, Kansas (Reuters) - Kansas wildlife officials are baffled by a massive fish kill that is affecting white bass in the main source for drinking water for the city of Wichita, Kansas. ``Our estimate is about 70, 000 white bass killed, but it’s only the white bass, none of the other fish populations have been affected, '' said Steve Sorensin, regional supervisor of the Kansas fisheries and wildlife division. Dead fish began appearing Monday in the Cheney Reservoir, on the North Fork Ninnescah river 25 miles west of Wichita, in what is now the largest sport fish kill in Kansas history. "It's something that is affecting their gills, impacting on their ability to exchange oxygen," he said, adding the exact cause is unknown. Specimens have been sent to a laboratory in Colorado for testing, and results are expected in about a week. Sorensin said the water quality of the reservoir is not a factor and is still safe to drink. "There has been no indication of a drop in quality. If there were, we should see a far broader impact on fish populations in the reservoir," he said.

ELASMOBRANCH ANTICS

A BRITISH tourist was dragged out to sea and drowned when he hooked a shark yesterday. The man was fishing off a pier in Rockingham, Western Australia, when the fish took his bait, pulling yards of line screaming from his reel. Finally the entire rod shot into the water. The man dived in and grabbed it but was pulled deep into the crashing waves pounding the shore. Horrified anglers ran to raise the alarm.

Police divers dragged the man from the sea and tried to revive him on the beach but without success. Fisherman Joe Montagna said: "One minute he was fishing at my side and then suddenly his rod shot into the water. The bloke just upped and jumped straight in after it without saying a word. I think he managed to grab it but then he must have been pulled under the surf because he just disappeared. The next time we saw him was when the police arrived and pulled the body from the water." He added: "It must have been one hell of a fish but it wasn't worth dying for." Last night police still had no idea who the mystery man was. The only clue they had was that he told fellow anglers he was on holiday from the UK. A police spokesman said: "We are still trying to identify the victim and are seeking any friends or family who may have been on holiday with him."

A BEAR OF LITTLE BRAIN

Wyoming Moose - Rangers were trying to trap a bear that mauled a Callfomia woman while she was hiking with her father in Grand Teton National Park. Rangers believe the animal involved in the Friday incident is a black bear. The woman, 36, who wasn't identified, suffered several bites. She has been released from the hospital. Her father wasn't harmed. JUNE 8, 1998 - USA TODAY

YOUR FEARFUL SYMETTRY (sic)

Autopsy: Tiger preyed on humans after wounds left it unable to hunt 3.53 a.m. ET (753 GMT) June 29, 1998

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP). A man-eating tiger that terrorized Malaysian villagers had stalked humans because gunshot wounds left it unable to hunt wild game, according to an autopsy report. The 310-pound tiger, estimated to be 25 years old, was shot by rangers Friday after it killed two men in villages near Sungei Siput, a town 90 miles north of Kuala Lumpur. For a week before its death, villagers in the wooded mountains of northern Malaysia remained in barricaded huts and were guarded by armed police against the rampaging tiger.

An autopsy showed the tiger could no longer prey on wild animals because more than 16 gunshot wounds by poachers had left it crippled, Sunday's New Straits Times reported, quoting Wildlife and National Parks Department spokesman Mohamad Faud Sharif. "This incident shows us that indiscriminate shooting of wild animals by hunters can endanger the lives of villagers,'' he said. The Malaysian tiger has been classified by the World Wildlife Fund as an endangered species. Hunting of the animal has been banned since 1972. The Malaysian government estimates only 500 tigers are still alive, down from 5,000 in 1952.

KUALA KROK KILLED

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP). Using a lethal combination of magic and skill, a village witch-doctor in eastern Malaysia helped kill a crocodile that fatally attacked a fisherman, a newspaper reported today. Nyalih ak Nengalie, medicine man in the village of Sri Aman, put a spell on the dead fisherman's dog and then set the animal out as bait, the Star daily said. The reptile was captured by villagers when it came to eat the dog. They then quickly hacked the crocodile into several pieces to be cooked and served at a feast in the village, located in remote Sarawak state on the island of Borneo. The 20-foot-long crocodile attacked the 27-year-old fisherman June 15 while he was mooring his boat to a pier on a lake. Villagers sought help from the magician after they failed to kill the crocodile with bullets. - June 30, 1998

BEAVER PATROL!!!!!!

A BEAVER attacked a woman on her way to rinse her laundry in a lake in the Novgorod region of northwest Russia, the Interfax news agency reported yesterday. The woman was in hospital being treated for bites and shock, it said. This was the first reported attack by a beaver.

(AP) - In its endless search for a few good men, Uncle Sam is ordering one Sam Garmize to register for the draft - or face prosecution. But there's something the military brass ought to know: Sam is a parrot. "They probably wouldn't want him because he only has four toes, green hair and no teeth," said Sharon Garmize of Wright Township, Pa., owner of the blue crown mealy amazon parrot who received the letter from the Selective Service . Ms. Garmize suspects a friend or co-worker listed Sam and two dogs as members of the family on a survey several years back. Since then, Visa has offered him a credit card with a $2,000 limit. A tuxedo shop has offered a nice deal just in time for the prom. A student foreign exchange program has asked him to study abroad.

Editor`s note: "The Only Way I get my kicks/ is go down town and hustle chicks/Beaver Patrol!!!" Who why where when??? Win a signed copy of the new Domra Publications edition of "The Owlman and Others" by being the first to telephone me and tell me.............

PRIME CUT OF BEEF - LIVESTOCK AT STEAK

The night of Sunday, April 5, 1998, a 1,100-lb.cow was stabbed to death and mutilated in a pasture near Boyce, Louisiana (population 1,361). According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, the perpetrator "removed its genitals and udder, but there were only a few drops of blood where a pool might have been expected. Whoever killed the cow Sunday may have drained the blood from knife wound in its neck, or may have mutilated it after it died, investigators said. I would tend to believe that it could be some kind of religious cult. I can't say that for sure. But I would think it has something to do with it," Rapides Parish sheriff's detective Buddy Willis said

Tuesday, April 7, 1998. Gary Dunn, an investigator for the Louisiana Livestock Brand Commission, said he thinks the cow was tranquillised and killed, then the blood was drained and taken away. 'That's strictly a presumption," he said. "The cow was three to four years old and reportedly healthy. The pasture gate was locked, so whoever killed the cow had to jump the gate", Dunn said. "Another odd feature: There were no signs of a struggle, and tiny yellow flowers around the body stood straight, indicating that the cow had not been dragged anywhere." Boyce is on Interstate Highway 49 approximately 227 miles (361 kilometers) north of New Orleans.(See the Baton Rouge Advocate for April 9, 1998. Many thanks to Lou Farrish of UFO NEWS CLIPPING SERVICE for this story.

ELASMOBRANCH ANTICS (2)

PLETTENBERG BAY, South Africa (July 7, 1998) - A ragged-tooth shark that attacked a father and son lost the struggle when the father grabbed the four-foot-long shark and dragged it onto the beach. Mark Thomas, 10, had just caught a wave on his surfboard in waist-deep water Monday when the shark sunk its teeth into the boy's right leg, the newspaper Beeld reported. Clark Thomas grabbed the shark and pulled it off his son but also was bitten in the right leg in the process. "I grabbed the shark in a vise grip, pulled it out of the ocean and threw it onto the beach," the 47-year-old father was quoted as saying. Mark needed 22 stitches and his father 21, news reports said. With the attack happening amid a spate of shark incidents in recent weeks, doctors dissected the fish to see if it had attacked other bathers. No human flesh was found in its stomach, Beeld said. The attack happened in Plettenberg Bay in the Indian Ocean, 280 miles east of Cape Town. At least six people have been injured in shark attacks off South Africa in the past six weeks. One of the victims died. Sharks apparently mistake some wetsuit- clad surfers for seals or turtles. Others approach the coast to feed on schools of sardines that make migratory runs past the shores. Dive operators also lure sharks into coastal waters by throwing bait into the ocean so paying customers in underwater cages can view the predators.

CURIOUS CORVIDS CREATE CHAOS

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka 8 Jul 1998 - As if war and poverty haven't taken enough of a toll on this capital city, now crows are adding to the chaos. The screeching birds are proliferating here, attacking pets, annoying humans and driving out their fellow avians -- and experts aren’t sure what to do. "It is really an alarming situation, believe me, "Ismeth Raheem, chief of Colombo’s 55-year-old Bird Club, said in an interview this week. For years, the black and shiny-plumed crows were mostly confined to what is known as "Crow Island, " a ferry ride away from Colombo. But in the battle for space over the last 15 years or so, tens of thousands of people began building homes on Crow Island, and in turn, the crows started to settle in Colombo. The birds have found they can not only live among their fellow bipeds, but thrive. Raheem estimates there are 500, 000 crows In Colombo today, compared to 100, 000 five years ago. The crows gorge on the garbage thrown out by Colombo's 2. 5 million residents and also occasionally snack on a kitten. Drivers are forced either to come to a sudden halt or take sharp turns to avoid crows on city roads crouched over the carcasses of cats and other prey.

A cricket match in a Colombo suburb was recently interrupted when hundreds of crows flocked to the field to investigate a half-eaten loaf of bread. The departure of an Australian ship that had delivered apples to Colombo had to be delayed because dozens of crows had descended on leftover fruit strewn on the decks. Finally, the crew fired blanks to scare away the birds. The house crow and bigger jungle crow are two of 425 bird species -- 26 of them unique to Sri Lanka -- enjoying this Indian Ocean island’s tropical climate, isolation from the Asian mainland and wide range of habitats. But crows invade the nesting areas of other birds and eat their eggs. Paradise flycatchers are now difficult to find in Colombo, though they once flocked in the city's parks and gardens. The Indian Golden Oriole, which used to migrate from India for part of the year, now prefers to stay away. The crow population has grown so large that it would be futile to try to cull their numbers to restore nature's balance, Raheem said. "I don't think we can afford the cost of ammunition, " he said.

HAVEN`T THEY GOT ANYTHING BETTER TO DO IN OSLO?

OSLO, Norway (AP) _ Dogs seem to prefer men, cats have a taste for older women, and horses usually go for girls when it comes to whom they choose to bite. A two-year study of animal bites published Tuesday said 60 percent of dog bite victims registered in Oslo were men, 70 percent of cat bite victims were women and 68 percent of horse bite victims were girls. Eilif Dahl, a Norwegian doctor, studied 1, 051 bite cases at Oslo's main public clinic between 1993 and 1995. His results were published by the Norwegian Physicians Association. Dahl doubted that dogs, cats or horses actually prefer biting one kind of person more than another. ``It probably says something about who has the most contact with the various species. Young girls take care of horses, many older women have cats and men may more often provoke dogs. Men have a tendency to play rougher, approach strange dogs or try to break up dogfights, '' he said. According to Dahl, man's best friend, the canine, accounted for the vast majority of bite wounds, 76 percent. German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Dobermans were at the top of the list. Cats accounted for 17 percent of the bites, horses 2 percent, and snakes, rodents and birds were blamed for the rest.

JONATHAN LIVINGSTONE PSYCHO

WHEN Don Weston found a young gull squawking pathetically on the ground in his car park he knew he had to help. Tenderly, he picked it up and put it on top of his hut to keep it safe from marauding cats. A few hours later it flew off and Mr Weston went home with the warm glow that comes from a good deed. Now that warm glow has turned to cold terror. For the past three years Mr Weston has been the target of a bloody vendetta run by a crazed seagull - the very one, he believes, whose life he saved. By way of gratitude it has pecked his head, bombed him with droppings and vomit, stalked him through the city by air, dive-bombed him and terrified him with its blood-curdling screams. Mr Weston, who runs the Thomas Rich car park in Gloucester, said yesterday: "Four years ago I found a young gull that had fallen out of its nest and put it on top of my shed. A few hours later it flew off and I never saw it again but the next year, in 1995, a fully grown gull came back and the attacks started. "

The bird, which has turned up regular as clockwork in June and July for the past three years, persecutes no one else. "At sight of me it goes crazy. It swoops down and divebombs me and the only thing I can do is run away. There must be four or five hundred people who walk in and out of this car park every day and the bird takes no notice but as soon as he sees me he starts attacking. " Mr Weston says he is convinced it is the same gull year after year. "Its evil squawk is so distinctive, like a banshee wailing, that I have had nightmares about it. " The RSPB said: "May and June is the nesting season. If someone gets too close to a nest they are likely to attack. The bad news from Mr Weston's point of view is that gulls can live up to 25 years. " June 8 1998 BRITAIN

"HE FALL DOWN AND GO BOOM"

PLEASANTON -- A fight over a stuffed "Tweety Bird" carnival prize may have triggered the shooting spree that left eight people wounded and caused a stampede that injured dozens of others at the Alameda County Fair, according to witnesses. "They were fighting for the last Tweety Bird, " said Gary Godinez, who was working at the booth where the trouble erupted Saturday night. "These guys got in an argument and then one pulled out a gun andstarted shooting over one dumb little toy bird. It was a really stupid reason to go crazy like that. " Five witnesses identified the alleged gunman as Jamal Desmond Johnson, 23, of Richmond, according to Lt. Dave Hoig of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. Johnson was arrested minutes after the shootings at about 8:20 p. m. Saturday.

Godinez and other employees at the carnival booths recalled that the incident began when two young men were playing a game in which participants toss a miniature basketball through a small hoop. Each won on different hoops and each insisted on getting the Tweety, refusing to accept another stuffed animal as a prize, Godinez said. The argument escalated to shoving and one young man grabbed a plastic trashcan nearby and tried to dump it on his rival's head. The other knocked away the trash can, pulled out a handgun and started firing wildly in the direction of his assailant, said Godinez and several other witnesses at nearby booths. "It was just wild shooting, " said Nicholas Grayson, another booth employee. "It was totally crowded and everyone went crazy trying to getaway. "

Sheriff's investigators said the Tweety Bird scenario has credibility. Other witnesses told them the dispute might have resulted from an argument between the two men over a woman. "It appears on the surface to be a totally random action -- it was just spray and pray, " said Hoig. "We've got a lot of statements from a lot of witnesses. It was crowded and people saw different parts of this and we’re trying to sort it all out. " One of the witnesses was a retired cop, Sheldon Spicey, who saw Johnson tuck the handgun back into his waistband after firing several shots, Hoig said. The retired transit officer followed the gunman and saw him and several other people jump on a parked truck and vault an ivy-covered barbed wire fence adjacent to the parking lot, Hoig said.

A DOG`S LIFE

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) _ Summons or not, no dogs are allowed in the McLean County courthouse. That means a spaniel named Nike can ignore a summons issued for his appearance June 30 in court, Sheriff Steve Brienen said. The document was issued by mistake in a lawsuit filed by Bloomington landlord Larry Knuth, which named Eddie Willan Jr. and Nike. The complaint seeks $1, 125 and the eviction of Willan and Nike from an apartment Knuth owns. The dog was named as a defendant to ensure the animal would be removed from the apartment as soon as possible, said Knuth's attorney, Mark Johnson.

Willan, 26, maintains he doesn't owe the money. He said he doesn't live in the apartment _ his parents do _ and the dog is his mother's. Willan will have to fight it out in court without Nike. Brienen says all dogs, except those for the blind, are barred from the court because of public safety, security and to maintain proper decorum. Brienen said Nike shouldn't be insulted by the ban. "We have people upstairs that are harder to control than that dog would be," the sheriff said. He also joked about Nike finding the right lawyer if the dog did have to appear in court. "He has the right to proper representation, and I know of no attorney in McLean County that speaks dog," he said.

CHELONIAN CHAMPION

LEOTI, Kan. (AP). Sarah Reeb has watched turtles scampering across the searing Kansas plains, literally running for their lives at county-fair turtle races. The sight always leaves her feeling a bit sick. ``What you don't see is how many of them are cooking in the sun, how many are starving, and how many have died, '' Reeb said. The Leoti woman has made it her mission to save them. Reeb, 45, has spent the last two years contacting turtle-race sponsors and asking them to consider the feelings of the turtles. She isn't demanding that they stop the races; rather, she wants them to make small changes to ensure the reptiles' safety.

For example, she said, the turtle races could be held in the shade rather than in open rodeo arenas to protect the small racers from the hot sun. "As with other cold-blooded animals, turtles' body temperature is not self-regulating," Reeb said. "Protection from high heat is critical if turtles are to avoid stewing in their own juices in the shell." Twenty western Kansas communities have been hearing from Reeb. Among them is next month’s Wichita County Fair, which has staged box turtle races for 67 years, often with as many as 500 reptiles entered. "We're just trying to do the best we can," said Gary Kreutzer, Wichita County Fair Board president. "I'm sure there's also a million dogs in the world, and some aren't being treated right. Maybe some of these turtles aren't being treated right." But Kreutzer disputes Reeb's charge that turtles can die quickly in the sun on a hot afternoon. "In western Kansas today, it's about 100 degrees," he said. "(Turtles)don't wear that shell around for nothing."

Reeb's persistence is making a mark on the fair's turtle races. She helped to convince race organizers to stop painting the turtles' shells. "The paint can also have a toxic effect on the shells, and can deform the shell," she said, adding that the loud, psychedelic colours could inhibit their ability to remain camouflaged in the wild. Reeb also is pushing race organisers to be more diligent about making sure competitors pick their turtles up after each race, rather than letting them lie abandoned for hours in sun-baked grandstands or the beds of pickup trucks. "I am not an activist nor a radical," Reeb said. "Just a regular working person who believes in the use of (natural) resources without abuse."

Another Out of Place Emu turned up in Denmark. Lars Thomas wrote to us: "there isn't much to go on. The emu was found dead at Bork, which is a little place on the west coast of Denmark some 20 km north of Esbjerg. The date was may 6th. and it was in the newspaper called Jyske Vestkysten on may 9th. The emu was taken by the local forestry department and destroyed. The made a search for any private owner of the bird, but no-one came forward". . . . .

IT'S A GOOD JOB THEY DIDN'T LIVE IN MILTON KEYNES

AFP · ZURICH [June 27, 1998] - A gang of five "cattle thieves" were caught red-handed in the early hours of Friday morning as they unsuccessfully attempted to squeeze a painted plastic cow into their car, police said. The synthetic cow - one of the thousands of brightly coloured bovine creatures currently dotting the streets of Zurich in its campaign "for a lively and gay town" - spent the rest of the night at the local police station. The thieves were interrogated by police, anxious to discover if it was a pure act of vandalism or a premeditated crime. Many of the cows, decorated by artists and adopted by local shopkeepers, have already been maltreated or mutilated, losing a horn or worse. Despite being riveted to concrete stands, many of the unfortunate beasts have already been tossed into the Limmat River running through this prosperous Swiss city, the Swiss ATS news agency said.

ANT-I BODIES (1)

SATTLER, Texas (AP) — An estimated 22,000 trout died after eating dead fire ants that had fallen into the Guadalupe River, wildlife officials said. Some of the trout had ingested as many as 500 ants, which are toxic to the fish, said Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials. The deaths were discovered in a 15-mile stretch of the river. A trout kill on the Guadalupe happens every May, and experts determined three years ago fire ants were to blame. Tens of thousands of the winged ants go on mating flights after the first heavy rain of the month. Males die, fall to the ground and roll into the river, while females land and start new colonies, said Andrew Labay, a biologist with the department. But in previous years, only a few dozen fish would die. It's unclear whether past counts were inaccurate or this year's kill was much larger.

ELASMOBRANCH ANTICS (3)

ADELAIDE, Australia - A fisherman diving for abalone off the South Australian coast was killed Sunday by a shark. The attack occurred near South Neptune Island, 220 miles west of Adelaide in the Spencer Gulf. Police said the man had been on the island checking nets with his fishing partner when he decided to go for a swim and dive for abalone without scuba equipment. The man's partner saw the attack and dragged him to shore. He took him to a house on the island for medical assistance, but the man died soon afterward. ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH - NEWS - MONDAY, JUNE 29, 1998

ANT-I BODIES (2)

The U.S. Agriculture Department said Tuesday it added nine Arkansas counties to a quarantine for imported fire ants, which have been known to kill crops, livestock and even humans. Known as imported fire ants because of their origin in South America, the winged pests have infested 11 southern U.S. states and have been found as far away as California, Kansas and Maryland. Researchers say approximately 300 million acres in the U.S. are infested with the pests. Imported fire ants are aggressive, stinging insects that in large numbers can injure or even kill livestock, pets and humans. See Infobeat for more.

THE RESULT IS A THAI

A bison in Yellowstone National Park attacked a woman tourist who was apparently walking too close to the animal, park officials said. The bull bison gored Fong Chang, of Taipei, Taiwan, throwing her in the air. She lost consciousness for a short time and was taken to an area hospital. Park officials warn visitors to steer clear of bison, who look aloof and calm, but weigh up to 2,000 pounds and can sprint up to 30 miles an hour. In May, a bison butted a woman near Old Faithful geyser when she got too close to the animal. (Reuters) THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 1998 - USA TODAY

A BEAR OF LITTLE BRAIN (2)

Alaska Fairbanks - Authorities plan to reopen portions of the Chena Lake Recreation Area, closed for a week because of bear sightings. One bear was killed and another is avoiding the lake area. The park was Closed on May 25 after the bears frightened three people who fled into the lake and drowned. THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 1998 -USA TODAY

AT LAST - CROCODILES IN THE SEWERS FOR REAL!!!

MONDAY, 20 APRIL 1998 BRISBANE, Australia - A 6-foot crocodile has been spotted in a storm water drain near a neighborhood where a teen-age girl was mauled in February, police said. The crocodile was noticed on the banks of a drain running off a creek in Westcourt, a suburb of the Queensland city of Cairns, said police Sgt. Trevor Crawford. The animal fled into the drain after a man threw a rock at it, he said. Department of Environment officers removed another 6-foot saltwater crocodile on Friday from the same area, about 825 miles north of Brisbane. "The big danger is that this drain is close to a heavily populated (area)," Crawford said. In February, a crocodile grabbed a 15-year-old girl by the legs and tried to drown her. She grabbed hold of an overhanging branch while her grandmother forced the crocodile to release its grip by kicking it in the head.

DOG BITES MAN

ARLINGTON, Texas A 6-month-old boy was in critical condition after being bitten nearly 100 times by his family's white, 5-pound pet rat. The 21-year-old mother of Lamonte Coruthers said the baby had been asleep for about 15 minutes Wednesday when she found him covered with blood. The stereo apparently muffled any cries for help. Animal control officers destroyed the rat, which had apparently escaped from a fishtank.

NUT HOARDERS OF THE APOCALYPSE

LOS ANGELES (June 9, 1998) - Authorities warned hikers and campers Tuesday that two squirrels carrying bubonic plague had been found in a southern California wilderness area. Moise Mizrahi, a spokesman for the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health, said crews were posting signs and handing out fliers after routine tests on squirrels at William Heise County Park in southeastern California determined they were infected. He said the plague, a bacterial infection, can be transmitted from rodent fleas to animals and then to humans and is potentially deadly if not treated. "It's a severe disease, that's why we do the monitoring program, so we can find it early and intervene, " Mizrahi said. Mizrahi said crews were treating the area where the squirrels were found to kill any infected fleas.

DOG WON`T BITE MAN

A POLICE dog called Storm has been sacked from the force because it no longer wants to bite villains. The two-year-old German Shepherd is believed to have been put off grabbing suspects' arms after an ulcer in its palate made it painful for to clamp its jaws. But it could not be persuaded to start biting again even after a vet removed the ulcer. The Norfolk force persevered for five months before deciding it had to dismiss Storm. Sergeant Don Gyton, head of the dog section, said: "Storm was a marvellous police dog in every other way, but we decided he could not stay with us if he was not prepared to bite. "It is a relatively rare act for our dogs because most of their work is following the scent of offenders or acting as a deterrent. But police dogs have to be able to grab hold of people. "

Sergeant Gyton said Storm had appeared to show perfect potential when it was given to the police by an animal shelter last year. The force spent £, 500 putting Storm and its handler through a 13-week training course. The dog passed with flying colours and began operational duties in Dereham last July. But by the following January the problem had been discovered. Storm has been found a post as a guard dog on a farm estate near Norwich where its new owners, Gerry and Pam Tyler are apparently unperturbed at his lack of grip. Mrs Tyler said: "Although he is not supposed to like biting much, he still looks extremely big and fierce when he wants to. " The Times, June 19 1998

THE PERILS OF PET-KEEPING PERESTROIKA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Three Russian policemen who mistakenly killed a dog owner while shooting at her pet went on trial in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, the Izvestia daily newspaper said. Izvestia said the woman took her dog for a walk after it started barking late at night and then apparently left it in the yard tied to a post. Unnerved neighbours called the police. ``The policemen, without any reason, decided to shoot the dog, '' the paper said. Nine shots from police pistols missed their target but one of them broke the leash, sending the animal running frantically around the yard. ``The policemen ran after the dog, shooting at the silhouette in the dark. The 13th bullet hit the owner, who was trying to catch the animal, right in the heart. ''Izvetsia did not say what penalty the policemen faced if found guilty

GOING POSTAL (3)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Folks considering a job as a mail carrier may want to skip Houston, and possibly Chicago too. The Postal Service reports that Houston led the nation in dog bites to letter carriers last year with 65 canine attacks. That was 10 more than second place Chicago. New York managed third place, combining four delivery jurisdictions to total 44 bites. No. 4, Miami, recorded just 36 bites in fiscal 1997, followed by 29in Los Angeles and 25 in Cleveland. Next came Dallas, 23; Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 22 and, tied at 17 each, Kansas City, Mo. ; St. Petersburg, Fla. ; Phoenix; Charlotte, N. C. , and San Antonio, Texas. Buffalo, N. Y. , Boston and Denver each recorded 16 bites, while Baltimore and Oklahoma City had 15 apiece. There were 14 bites in Indianapolis. Rounding out the communities with the most dog bites were Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Cincinnati with 13; San Diego, San Francisco, Minneapolis and West Palm Beach, Fla. , at 12 and Rochester, N. Y. and Virginia Beach, Va. , with 11 bites apiece.

GREAT SNAKES

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) - A Malawian man claiming to be a witchdoctor was shot in the foot after threatening a South African garage owner with a briefcase of highly venomous snakes, police said Monday. Police said in a statement the businessman had received anonymous threats that snakes would be sent to him by mail to kill him. The Malawian and an accomplice arrived at the man's car repair shop in Bethlehem in South Africa’s Free State province to have their vehicle repaired and offered to rid him of any snakes for 10, 000 rand ($2, 000). An agreement was reached but a day later, they returned and an argument ensued. As the shouting match intensified, the witch doctor opened a briefcase with two snakes inside and threatened to throw them at the unnamed 55-year-old businessman. The businessman shot him in the foot and called the police. The two Malawians were arrested on charges of dealing in endangered reptiles and theft under false pretences. Five snakes, including three highly poisonous green mambas, were recovered

GOSH A GLUTTON!!!

Wyoming Buffalo - State officials are blaming a wolverine for the death or injury to 20 sheep and lambs at one ranch and 10 more at another. , The animal is rarely seen south of Canada and Montana, officials said. The wolverine is protected by state law; ranchers can't file a claim, if one kills their livestock. USA TODAY MONDAY, APRIL 13, 1998

IS THIS THE PLACE FOR ANOTHER JOHN OTWAY JOKE?

NEW YORK, June 11, 1998 - A woman who was head-butted and injured by an elephant before its appearance on "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee" received a $1. 65 million settlement on Wednesday. Yelena Aleynikov, an English-Russian translator, wept after the settlement was announced. The deal was struck just before the start her $5 million lawsuit against ABC, the Greater Moscow Circus and its booking agent, Wessex Productions. The settlement will be paid by the circus and Wessex. Aleynikov was backstage at the ABC studio where the show is taped when Flora, an elephant scheduled to perform, knocked her against a wall in 1994. Aleynikov suffered a fractured skull, a punctured lung, broken ribs, and facial injuries. Flora's trainer said the pachyderm may have panicked after he left her alone to change his clothes. Mark Manus, Aleynikov's lawyer, said his client has not been able to work because her ability to concentrate is impaired. "It's a lot of money but she would give it back in a second for this not to have happened, " he said.

PUT THE CATTLE ON MOTHER

The body of a pensioner who was apparently trampled by cows has been found lying beside those of two of her pet dogs. The woman, believed to live locally and aged in her 70s, was found in a field at Lyminster, West Sussex, by a man and woman walking along a footpath. Acting Detective Inspector Dick Shelton, of Sussex Police, said: "Weare keeping an open mind at this stage, but it would appear that the lady was trampled by the animals in the field. I understand that there were around 50 cows and one bull there at the time. " He added: "The relatives of the deceased lady have been informed and obviously they are very distressed. Local police have spoken to the farmer who owns the field. " Mr Shelton said that although he had never dealt with a similar case, it was not unheard of for cows to stampede. He said that, hours before her body was found, the woman was seen by a farm worker at the entrance to the field. "At that time she had four dogs with her. Later, a local resident noticed one of the dogs running loose, " he said. Two of the woman's Sheltie dogs were found dead by her side. The two surviving dogs were caught by officers. From the UK Teletext - www. teletext. co. uk - 1 June 1998

TIGER VICTIM LIVES TO TELL TALE

DODGEVILLE, Wis. (AP) _ A fisherman bitten by a tiger muskie on a foot he dangled over the side of a canoe is battling the state Department of Natural Resources over the fish. The incident involving Dan Droessler, a Platteville police officer, took place on Twin Valley Lake as he vacationed at Governor Dodge State Park near Dodgeville. Droessler said Tuesday he yanked up his injured foot, and the 36-inch muskie dropped into the canoe. "The fish and everybody went to the ER," said Randy Rossing, a state DNR warden. Droessler went to Memorial Hospital of Iowa County's emergency room that afternoon, said nurse Jill Johnson. The fish was put on the floor while Droessler got 60 stitches to close the gash. The DNR confiscated the muskie and placed it in a freezer in Dodgeville. "We had to take it. It's not a legal size for one thing, and it's not a legal way to catch fish - with your foot," Rossing said. Droessler says he's talking with the DNR and will need a special permit to get the fish back. Rossing said the attack was a first for that area, but he has heard of it happening once or twice before in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, the fish is memorialised with a photo in the Dodgeville hospital's emergency room, Johnson said. "The sign under it says `man-eating fish,'" she said. Droessler said he does not usually fish, does not know when he will get back to work and is not amused by the incident. "I don't think it's funny at all," he said.

SERVES THE BASTARDS RIGHT!!!

OSLO, Norway (AP) - A harpooned whale fighting for its life rammed the Norwegian boat that shot it, breaking the vessel's mast and hurling two crewmen into the icy waters. The whale escaped, but it was unclear if it survived, the Oslo newspaper Verdens Gang reported Tuesday. The two crewmen, one of whom suffered cracked ribs, were rescued. According to the paper, the whaling boat, the Bolga, was off Norway's northern tip on Monday when it harpooned a minke whale, which can grow up to 30 feet in length. The whale then rammed the 53-foot-long wooden boat. The two crewmen, who had been spotting whales from the crow's nest near the tip of the mast, were thrown into the ocean, about 425 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Norway resumed commercial whaling in 1993, despite a ban imposed by the International Whaling Commission. 2 June 1998

Norway has been granted a catch quota by the toothless IWC and is legally - if not morally - entitled to carry out whaling. For more information on whaling and other green matters visit the GreenScene site.

GOING POSTAL (2)

ALBANY, N. Y. (AP) _ The U. S. Postal Service has run afoul of a fowl. A wild turkey lurking in an Albany neighborhood has taken a keen dislike to the mail truck. Residents have seen the bird pecking at the truck's tires and chasing it down the street. Several times over the past week, the mailman refused to deliver the mail because as soon as he pulled up, the male turkey trotted out and fanned his tail feathers wide enough to fill a front door. The bird is about 24 to 30 inches tall.

"For the safety of the driver, he has been instructed not to get out of the truck when the turkey is there," Postal Service spokeswoman Mary Madonna told the Daily Gazette of Schenectady. State wildlife biologist Karl Parker speculated that the bird, viewing the truck’s eagle emblem as a male competitor, may be strutting his stuff to protect his little harem of hens. People who live along the street said they like having the turkey around, even if it means having their mail service disrupted. The bird is aggressive, but it hasn’t attacked any people, said resident Lloyd Hebert, who puts food out for wild turkeys that have lived-in the neighborhood for about five years.

Madonna met with residents on Monday to discuss what to do about mail delivery, since they want the bird to stay. One possibility would be to put a row of mailboxes at the end of the street. Residents suggested the mail carrier leave the truck parked out of sight, and walk to the houses. ``They say neither rain, nor sleet nor dark of night will keep them away,''said resident Jim Palmer. ``I guess that doesn't include turkeys.''

GOING POSTAL (3)

DETROIT has declared war on thousands of wild dogs that have made life so hazardous in parts of the city that the post office has threatened to stop deliveries in the worst areas. People are complaining to the ombudsman in "Motor City" that they are being trapped in their homes by packs of the animals and there are growing fears over both rabies and distemper. The city council has increased its dog-catcher squad to 15 and bought four new animal control vehicles to tackle the problem. A record 1,532 dogs were caught in the first three months of the year.

Recently, Lloyd Wesley, the city's postmaster, urged the mayor, Dennis Archer, to treat the growing menace with "grave urgency" after a huge increase in the number of attacks on postmen. Donald Hamel, the head of the city's dog control division, said: "We've been trying to get as many dogs off the street as we can, but we can have packs of up to 20. We can't always get them all. " - Electronic Telegraph Monday 25 May 1998


For autumn (fall) 1998 attacks news, click HERE.