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Archive for February, 2007

Brazilian Saves Grandson From Anaconda


Brazilian Saves Grandson From Anaconda By TALES AZZONI, Associated Press Writer

A 66-year-old Brazilian saved his grandson from the grip of a 16-foot-long anaconda by beating the snake with rocks and a knife for half an hour, police said Thursday.
“When I saw the snake wrapped around my grandson’s neck I thought it was going to kill him,” Joaquim Pereira told the Agencia Estado news service. “It was agonizing, I pulled it from one side, but it would come back on the other.”

Pereira’s 8-year-old grandson, Mateus, was attacked by the anaconda near a creek on his grandfather’s ranch in the city of Cosmorama, about 250 miles northwest of Sao Paulo.

While the boy was playing with friends, the snake attacked and wrapped itself around him, police officer Hudson Augusto said. Anacondas are not poisonous, but kill their prey by coiling around them and squeezing until victims suffocate.

“It brought me to the ground and bit me,” the boy told Globo TV, which showed footage of the dead snake. “Then it started crawling up my neck and began suffocating me.”
Mateus’ friends ran to get his grandfather, who reached the scene and battled with the snake until it released his grandson.

The boy was rushed to a hospital and needed 21 stitches on his chest where he was bitten.
Police said anacondas are not uncommon in the region, but attacks on people are rare.
Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Rare turtles found dead in Bangladesh By TOFAYEL AHMED, Associated Press Writer


Hundreds of endangered sea turtles have been found dead along Bangladesh’s coast in the past two weeks, triggering concerns about pollution and local fishing practices, an official said Thursday. A team of four scientists has launched an investigation into the deaths of the olive ridley turtles, said Jafar Ahmed, a top official in the government’s marine fisheries department.

At least 65 of the sea turtles — ranging from 88 to 132 pounds — have been found dead along a three-mile stretch of beach near Cox’s Bazar, one of the main cities on Bangladesh’s coast. Hundreds more dead turtles have been found elsewhere in the area, and on a pair of islands. There is no clear total of exactly how many turtles have died.

Olive ridleys, the smallest of all sea turtles, are endangered. They often come ashore at this time of year to lay eggs, Ahmed said.

There have been reports of turtle deaths before, but not as many as this year, he said.
Ahmed would not give any specific reason for the spike in deaths, but said the use of illegal fishing nets near the shoreline has apparently increased recently. The fishermen do not properly release the turtles and often kill them, leaving them to wash ashore, he said.
Other turtles that come to lay eggs on the beaches may be killed by pollution, stray dogs or foxes, or captured by tourists, he said.

Mohammad Aminul Islam, the top administrator for the area, ordered local officials to teach people, from fishermen to tourists, to change their behavior.

“It’s really sad that we couldn’t protect the turtles,” he said. “We are trying to mobilize resources to make a bigger plan to save the sea turtles in the future.”
Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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