Massive liger - cross between lion and tiger - mauls U.S. volunteer to death after he breaks rules to enter its cage

Friday, October 31, 2008

A volunteer at a US animal sanctuary has died after he was savaged by a 1,000-pound liger - a rare cross between a lion and a tiger.

Peter Getz, 32, suffered fatal puncture wounds in his neck and back as Rocky, who weighs twice that of an ordinary lion and is 20 times more powerful than a human, pounced on him during feeding time.

An investigation was under way last night into why Mr Getz, an accomplished big cat keeper, broke with protocol and entered Rocky's enclosure at Safari's Animal Sanctuary in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Bleeding heavily, he hauled himself out of the enclosure with help from two fellow keepers but collapsed outside and was airlifted to hospital, where he died last night.

"This is just horrid," said the sanctuary's owner, Lori Ensign.

"We try to have all the procedures in place but for some reason they weren't followed this time. In all my years we've stressed that whatever you do, don't open that gate."

Rocky, who came to the sanctuary from a zoo in North Carolina that closed because it went broke, is so powerful that his toys were bowling balls and he would ordinarily be fed fresh meat via a pole poked through the fence.

But Ms Ensign also stated that when Rocky was younger, she would ride on his back and that he was playful and gentle. Pictures on her website show her walking a tiger on a leash and bottle-feeding a cub.

Animal Planet host and wildlife expert Jeff Corwin said yesterday: "You're talking about an animal that is 20 times more powerful than the human that was feeding it.

"This animal could have, by its nature, a very individualistic, nice, personality...but one bad moment can be critical, if not lethal, to a human being."

Ligers are a cross between a male lion and a female tiger and are the biggest of all big cats.

The non-profit Safari's sanctuary is run by volunteers and regulated by state wildlife officials, who were investigating last night.

They will determine whether Rocky will have to be euthanised. Eight years ago, a bear was reportedly put down after biting keepers at the refuge, which is home to around 200 rescued animals.

Mr Getz had volunteered there for over a year and had previously worked at Tulsa Zoo.

Dr Dan Danner, a local veterinarian who knew both the keeper and the liger, said: "Rocky is a big old baby, but if you've got an offensive lineman and they get excited, they are going to chomp a little harder and get aggressive."


October's weird weather continues as hailstorm swamps one small town in 6ft drifts

Thursday, October 30, 2008

These astonishing scenes are the aftermath of a deluge of hailstones that buried a town in a river of ice.

Ottery St Mary, in Devon, was plunged into chaos by the storm in the early hours yesterday.

First, the area was battered by an astonishing 12in of hail in just two hours. This blocked drains, which led to widespread flooding as the rain began to fall.
More than 100 people had to be evacuated from their homes and 25 were airlifted to safety or rescued by firefighters.

After a day of heavy rain on Wednesday more than three inches of rain and hail fell between 6pm and 8am yesterday morning.

The Met Office said the 'hugely localised' weather system was less than 4 miles across and seemed ' to be centred on Ottery St Mary'.

The most severe weather hit just after midnight on Thursday but by 5am the entire town was cut off and coastguards scrambled helicopters to airlift residents.
Emergency services were inundated with calls from terrified home owners who watched helplessly as flood water rose to 5ft high in some places, and there were fears that hundreds of animals may have been killed in the floods.

Residents in Ottery St Mary said the town was unrecognisable after the hail storm..

Sarah Galliford said: 'I was woken up by the sound of hailstones thundering down on the roof. I thought it was the end of the world. I looked outside at about 1am and there was a river of ice coming down the street. It was a total freak of nature. It wasn't even on the weather forecast. They said there would be rain but nothing like this. It was absolutely crazy.'

Clara Pedmore added: 'There is 2ft 6ins of water on the road. I can't get out of the house.One farm nearby has lost about 500 sheep which were out in fields which are now completely underwater.'

Emergency crews also sent in jeeps and fire appliances and boats to take residents to an evacuation centre at the local hospital.
Tony Fabry, who runs the town's post office, said: 'At one point I was watching beer barrels, sandwich boards and even a children's slide floating down the road.

'It was absolutely horrendous. It was a nightmare and it happened so quickly. The drains became blocked with hail and so when the snow melted it was just a deluge.'

David Garland, whose home was completely flooded, said: 'It happened in a matter of minutes and all of a sudden the whole house was deluged. I didn't have time to save anything at all because it happened so quickly. Everything was ruined.'

Fire crews rescued an elderly couple at 10.30am who were stranded on the roof of their car. The two pensioners had scrambled on top of their vehicle after they became trapped and the car started to quickly fill with water.

Susanne Reed from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: 'It has been absolute chaos. It started just after midnight when we were out rescuing people stuck in their cars in flood water. It got worse and worse and one of our own crews got stuck in a 6ft hail drift. We have been rescuing people constantly.'
The Environment Agency said an 'unforeseeable and freakish' combination of factors had led to the extreme conditions in Ottery St Mary.

A spokesman said the area was 'pelted' by extremely heavy hail and rain which triggered the floods and bizarre ice-logged landscape.

He said: 'What we've seen is a very unusual combination of extreme weather - and circumstances that were unforeseeable and freakish. The heavy hail and rain seem to have solidified into what looks more like snow than anything else - it is not the normal sort of hail you would encounter.

'This is likely to have contributed to the problem by blocking drains and culverts along with other debris.'

A spokesman for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service added: 'Around 1ft of hail fell in just two hours between 1am and 3am. Cars in the town were left tightly packed in ice and the drains were blocked meaning the water had nowhere to go.

The surrounding villages of Awliscombe, Rockbeare and Newton were also affected.

An evacuation centre was set up at Ottery St Mary Hospital, where people who were flooded out of their homes received care and shelter
Police say scores of minor roads in East Devon were closed by landslips, standing water or flood damage and motorists were urged not to make journeys.

The town had been preparing for a carnival this weekend, ahead of its annual Tar Barrel Rolling festival on 5 November - but its bonfire was flooded out.

Ottery St Mary, population 7,000, is the birthplace of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and is renowned for its thatched cottages and picturesque winding streets.
The baby boy who stormed into the world

The hailstones were thundering down all around, the flood waters were rising and it was the middle of a freezing night.

But Juliet Hall knew that she and her husband had to brave the storm.

Her waters had just broken - and she was sure the baby wasn't going to wait for the foul weather to subside.
Mrs Hall, 34, and her husband Phil set out for the hospital around midnight in the appalling conditions, but were soon forced to stop.

The new mother, a PhD student, recalls the drama of the moment: 'I was kneeling in the back of the car and when we stopped and I saw the flashing lights I said "please don't let the road be closed" but of course it was.'

'When the police said we could not go on I was about to cry but we told them I was in labour and they said they would do what they could.'

She and Mr Hall, 42, a software company boss, had a nail-biting ten-minute wait by the side of the road.

'A police 4x4 came in about ten minutes,' Mrs Hall said.

'They transferred us to another ambulance on the other side of the flood and by the time I got to hospital I was in quite a lot of pain.'

Yesterday afternoon, after giving birth to a healthy 6lb 10oz boy at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, she was able to look back on the episode with a smile.

'It was an exciting way for a child to be brought into the world,' she said.

The couple named their son Nathan Christopher Michael - rather appropriate given that St Christopher is the patron saint of travellers, and legend has it that he carried the infant Jesus across a river.

'Christopher is very appropriate but in fact he got the name from his great-grandfather,' Mrs Hall said.

• For the first time, scientists have proved that mankind is to blame for the warming of the Antarctic.

The study by the Met Office used temperature records from the last 50 years in new computer models.

The results showed that the collapse of the ice shelves cannot be explained by natural variations in weather. The report in Nature Geosciences means that man-made climate change has now been shown to be taking place on every continent.


The children who walk to class each day along 5,000ft cliff ledge

For most parents the school-run may seem death-defying, but it usually only consists of a quick drive or walk to the gates.

So spare a thought for the families of Gulucan village in West China, who take their lives in their hands every day with a a school walk which involves navigating a narrow path carved into a 5,000-ft cliff-side.

It is the only way they can get to the school, which with its five concrete rooms is the known as the best construction in the village.


Bizzare Snake Spa

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Meirav Stardinner receives a snake massage from Ada Barak at Barak's snake spa in Israel. Barack's income comes mostly from exhibiting her plants which eat everything from insects to small mammals. She discovered snakes' therapeutic value after letting people hold them after her act "Some people said that holding the snakes made them feel better, relaxed," she says. "One old lady said it was soothing, like a cold compress." Now she uses a combination of big snakes for deep massage and little ones for light massage, though all are non-venemous

The picture you are looking at (and if you're anything like me, squirming at) depicts an approximately $70 snake massage in northern Israel.
That means people pay for this. People pay to let non-venomous snakes crawl all over them.

Tomer Stardinner holds snakes in his hands at Ada Barak's snake spa.
Snakes crawl on Meirav Stardinner foot as she receives a snake massage from Ada Barak at Ada Barak's snake spa.
A rodent crawls on a girls foot at Ada Barak's snake spa .

A boy stands in a tub as snakes crawl in it at Ada Barak's snake spa .

Meirav Stardinner receives a snake massage from Ada Barak at Barak's snake spa.

Massage therapist Ada Barack says she uses big snakes for deep muscle massage and small snakes for lighter massage. No word on whether or not she speaks Parseltongue, but I'd like to know how she directs these serpents to the places that need massaging and keeps them out of... warm places where they shouldn't go.


World's Most Bizzare Pain - Proof Man

Meet the man who ran away from the circus to become a lawyer - Eak the Geek!
For the average law student, the thought of spending time sleeping on a bed of nails rather than revising for your bar exams might sound like lunacy. But Eduardo Arrocha – a first year student at the Thomas M Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan – is anything but average.
Better known as Eak The Geek, for 15 years the 45-year-old tattooed wonder was a performer at the Coney Island Circus Sideshow in New York, under the monikers The Pain-Proof Man and The Man Who Tattooed His Face Like Outer Space. His act involved walking on broken glass or inviting audience members to stand on his chest while he was sandwiched between two beds of nails, and these incredible skits were punctuated by poetry readings and lectures on the importance of diversity.
But Eak’s ditched his life on stage in favour of the classroom. And armed with a bachelor’s degree from New York’s Marymount College, he’s packed up his bed of nails and moved to the land of the Great Lakes to pursue a brand new career.

The first term at law school is intense for any student – but in addition to the typical rigours of classes and studying, Eak has endured instant celebrity status and the stares of his fellow pupils.

“It was hard at first because I got way too much attention,” he says. It was inevitable that people in a blue-collar town would be interested in someone with tattoos of stars and planets covering his face. The local paper made sure everyone noticed Eak by running a front-page story the moment he hit town. Some students already knew Eak from Coney Island, but it still took time for the shock to wear off.

“Going to the mall was strange at first,” he says. “The people in Lansing had never seen anybody like me. They freaked out! They weren’t nasty – just really shocked.”
Eak’s career is now firmly in the legal field. When he first considered law school, he assumed his tattoos would prevent him from making the leap to academia. However, he later realised his galaxy of ink gave him an opportunity to do something unique.
“If you’re as tattooed as I am, you’re not really a trailblazer in the sideshow,” Eak explains. “If you look the way I do, it’s no surprise you do that kind of work. That’s what people expect. But if you look like me and you’re in law school, then that’s a real surprise.”
In fact, changing that perception might be a bigger victory than any he’ll achieve in the courtroom. Once he qualifies and begins to practice as the world’s most tattooed lawyer,Eak would like to work with the alternative community and offer representation for business or housing needs. “In New York you meet so many weird-looking people who are incredibly successful, but aren’t part of the mainstream,” he says. “They get snubbed a lot.”
But first he’ll need to get through the rest of law school, which will be a daunting task unlike any other he’s faced: “It makes the sideshow look like a piece of cake. It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever done in my life. Now I tell people I went from one freakshow to another.”

In short : You must be thinking about that this guy belongs in a circus!” And he actually was a part of the Coney Island Circus Slideshow, in New York, where he was known as Eak the Geek, The Pain-Proof Man or The Man Who Painted His Face Like Outer Space. His acts included walking on broken glass, or asking people to walk over him as he was sandwitched between two beds of nails.


Amazing Flexi Girls

Sunday, October 26, 2008


MMM Tatoos on Different Body Parts



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