Hundreds of rescued sea turtles released back into Gulf of Mexico

Hypothermic sea turtles that were on the brink of death last week along the Texas Gulf Coast are recovering and being released back into the wild.

More than 2,000 “cold stunned” turtles were rescued out of frigid gulf waters from New Years Day through Friday, in what is now the largest cold stunning event since 1980.

“I haven’t had much sleep,” said Donna Shaver, Texas Coordinator of the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network.

NEARLY 1,000 SEA TURTLES RESCUED ALONG TEXAS GULF COAST

Shaver organized the enormous rescue effort that spanned almost the entirety of the Texas Gulf Coast. The National Parks Service led the rescues with help from Sea World San Antonio, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, ARK and the Texas Sea Life Center.

The effort was especially difficult Thursday and Friday because many turtles had been exposed to 40-degree water for almost a week.

“I put on Facebook a post asking for help from my volunteers, I was desperate,” said Shaver.

SCIENTISTS DISCOVER OVER 100 NEW SPECIES, INCLUDING CROCODILE LIZARD, SNAIL-EATING TURTLE

The turtles recovered at three local animal rehablitiation facilities -the Texas State Aquarium, Texas Sea Life Center, and ARK.

Nearly 400 turtles were released back home Sunday afternoon. The event brought 2,500 people to Padre Island National Seashore to watch, much like the popular sea turtle hatchling releases. Hundreds more turtles will be released Monday and Tuesday.

“It’s just release after release,” said Shaver.

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Conditions should be much more favorable for the sea turtles this week. After air temperatures dropped below freezing and wind chills hit the teens last week, Corpus Christi’s forecasted high was above 70 for Monday. Warm air will quickly increase shallow water temperatures where many of the turtles live.

While most of the turtles will go back into the wild, approximately 500 were found dead, or died soon after being rescued. The breadth of the cold made it very difficult to get the turtles out of the water, and some were stuck for many hours if not days.

“It’s really hard to get to them all before some perish because our events are state wide,” said Shaver. “Other areas of the country are also having cold stunning but that’s in pockets.”

The remaining turtles that survived but aren’t ready to be released will likely have a slow recovery. According to Shaver, some of them will have to be put down.

“The likelihood of them surviving and being able to survive in the wild is minimal,” said Shaver.

Ray Bogan is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in El Paso, Texas. Follow him on twitter: @RayBogan

Shark attacks newlywed on her honeymoon, video goes viral

A couple on their honeymoon experienced sheer terror when the bride was attacked by a nurse shark that took a bite out of her arm.

A video shot by the husband shows the woman happily swimming in the Caribbean water when a shark suddenly appears in front of her and bites her.

Frantically, she swims away recoiling in pain.

“I felt a whoosh of water, something clamped down on my arm and I assumed my husband was playing a prank on me,” said Sarah Illig in comments obtained by The Sun.

‘JAWS’ SPOTTED?  MASSIVE GREAT WHITE SHARK SIGHTED OFF AUSTRALIAN COAST

“Less than a second later I realized how much it hurt and looked past where my goggles were blocking my side vision to see the shark (bigger than myself) latched on to my arm,” she added. “I pulled away and got out of there.”

The video was shot by her husband, Evan Carroll, and has been viewed more than 750,000 times on YouTube.

Nurse sharks are generally thought to be less harmful to humans than other species such as great whites, but a study in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery shows nurse sharks rank fourth in documented bites.

Cancer in elephant is being treated with unprecedented approach

An Asian elephant in the El Paso Zoo in Texas has undergone two successful rounds of electrochemotherapy.

The elephant, 50-year-old Juno, underwent her second successful treatment Friday. She was diagnosed with a malignant mass in her right mammary gland in January; she underwent her first electrochemotherapy treatment in March.

“The El Paso Zoo is on the cutting edge in terms of the cancer treatment they are providing Juno,” Dr. Jospeh Impellizeri, of Veterinary Oncology Services, said in a statement. “This type of treatment on large, exotic animals isn’t getting done anywhere else—not even Europe. It’s incredible.”

The treatment was performed by Impellizeri, along with two veterinarians from the El Paso Zoo and the zoo’s staff.

According to the zoo, this is only the second recorded case of a cancerous mass in an elephant.

“The make up of elephants is that they’re able to sequester those tumors and they don’t metastasize all over their body. But we did want to treat this cancer simply because it was uncomfortable for her,” said El Paso Zoo Director Steve Marshall.

THE WORLD OF ANIMALS

The electrochemotherapy treatment uses a chemotherapy drug that’s infused into the tumor before an electric pulse draws the chemotherapy directly into the cancer cells. Juno was put under anesthesia for an hour and a half for the treatment but is now alert and walking, according to the zoo.

The tumor is very big and the zoo said the electrochemotherapy allows for multiple treatments, unlike invasive surgery.

GORGEOUS, MAJESTIC WHITE GIRAFFES SPOTTED, CAPTURED ON VIDEO FOR FIRST TIME EVER

“We broke the tumor down into four quadrants and treated each quadrant with the electrochemotherapy,” Impellizeri said in March after the first treatment. “This is an extremely large tumor, the largest I’ve ever treated, but if you break it down into quadrants, you can treat it like four or five smaller tumors.”

Treating the tumor and giving an accurate prognosis is a challenge for the zoo. There is no record of a malignant mammary gland tumor in all of veterinary literature, and cancer of any kind is extremely rare in elephants, according to the zoo.  As a result, the zoo can’t predict how the cancer will progress and using ultrasounds and x-rays to determine if the cancer is spreading isn’t possible because of Juno’s size. However, the zoo expects Juno to survive.

“It does not take on the characteristics of a tumor that’s going to spread throughout her body, but it was growing in size,” said Marshall.

Juno’s treatment was featured on Nat Geo Wild’s show Animal ER in August.

Gorgeous, majestic white giraffes spotted, captured on video for first time ever

A pair of rare white giraffes were spotted in Kenya and captured on film for the first time ever.

The giraffes, a mother and its child, have white skin due to a condition known as lueucism. The condition prevents pigmentation in skin cells and causes skin to turn white and pale.

The giraffes were filmed walking around the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservacy in Kenya’s Garissa county. Several times during the video, the mother giraffe appears to recognize she is being filmed and looks directly at the camera.

PHOTOS: EXTREMELY RARE ‘PALE TIGER’ PHOTOGRAPHED FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER

In a blog post, Hirola Conservancy said this was the first time the white giraffes had been spotted by a number of its community rangers. The post also noted that the giraffes were first reported by a local villager.

“The mother kept pacing back and forth a few yards in front of us while signalling the baby giraffe to hide behind the bushes,” the post read.

White giraffes have been spotted twice before. In January 2016, the first report of a white giraffe came from Tarangire National park, Tanzania. The second time was in March of 2016 in Ishaqbini conservancy, Garissa county, Kenya.

This is the first time the creatures are believed to have ever been captured on video.

‘Harvey the Hurricane Hawk’ released back into the wild

Harvey the Hurricane Hawk is back in the skies over North Texas.

The bird became famous after taking refuge in a Houston man’s taxi during Hurricane Harvey refusing to leave. She was featured in a series of YouTube videos and became an instant viral sensation.

The taxi driver took care of Harvey until she could be turned over to the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition.

The Houston-based animal care facility then took Harvey to the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center in Lucas for rehabilitation.

“Cooper hawks eat songbirds and other types of birds,” said Jess Glotzbach of the Raptor Center. “And with all the flooding down [in Houston], the food source wasn’t like what they wanted it to be. So they said, ‘Let’s release it in Dallas, where we know everything is fine.'”

Harvey was released Wednesday afternoon in the parking lot of Oak Point Amphitheater in Plano.

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Walruses show up early in Alaska as ice recedes

Sign of the times? Several hundred Pacific walruses began amassing on an island off Alaska’s northwest coast in the first week of August in what wildlife officials say is the earliest date yet for their annual “haulout.” The culprit appears to be shrinking Arctic ice.

Walruses tend to head ashore two weeks after warm temperatures cause sea ice to recede too far north for them in the Chukchi Sea. This year, it happened earlier than ever.

Walruses typically use sea ice for protection and as a home base, particularly for juveniles, while adults dive to the ocean floor for food. But “when that ice retreats to the deeper water, they can’t do that,” Fish and Wildlife rep Andrea Medeiros tells Alaska Public Media.

For the past several years, a barrier island near Point Lay has served as an alternative home base. Last year, thousands of walruses had arrived there by Oct. 7.

This year, however, the haulout was observed beginning on Aug. 3—a full two weeks ahead of the next earliest date observed back in 2011, reports Alaska Dispatch News.

Medeiros tells the AP that last week some 2,000 walruses were observed on the island, where they’re expected to stay until the fall. Hoping to head north to observe the animals? Officials would rather you not.

Not only is it illegal to disturb them, the walruses are known to stampede to the water in response to plane and boat activity in the area, which spells bad news for juvenile walruses.

This article originally appeared on Newser: Walruses Show Up Early in Alaska as Ice Recedes

Fisherman films great white shark leaping from water, stealing fish off line

Captain Hap Farrell says Saturday’s fishing trip was “nothing special,” but the footage he captured from his boat seems to suggest otherwise.

Farrell, who charters a fishing vessel out of Cape Cod, Mass., took two groups of clients out for fishing expeditions near Orleans, and both of them were thwarted by hungry great white sharks. During the latter trip, one of the sharks even leapt from the water — quite dramatically, too — to snag a striped bass off the fishing line.

‘MONSTER’ CATFISH REELED IN BY CALIFORNIA FISHERMAN

“It’s not an unusual occurrence, but the fact that I had a video camera at the time, I was able to get the shot,” Farrell told The Boston Globe. “You can’t plan something like that.”

Farrell later shared the footage of the day’s events on Facebook, where they’ve been viewed close to 200,000 times as of Tuesday morning.

In the first part of the clip, Farrell explains that one of his clients can be seen reeling in a striped bass when a shark chomps it off the line from underwaterprivacy. At Farrell’s urging, the group proceeds to reel in what’s left of their catch: the head of what was once a “decent”-sized fish.

“He chomped your fish!” said one of the young clients to the woman holding the line.

BALD EAGLE SWIPES SALMON FROM FISHING BOAT

But during Farrell’s second trip of the day, the captain calmly says he “had another surprise,” and this one wasn’t content to hide beneath the surface of the water.

As seen in the latter portion of the clip, Farrell’s charter group is seen sitting on the stern of the boat, reeling in another fish. But just before they can yank it in, a great white breaches from the water, trapping their catch in mid-air before ripping it off the line and disappearing back beneath the water.

“Whoa!” Farrell hollers as the rest of the group jumps backward at the awesome sight.

However, Farrell later revealed to CBS Boston that the trip wasn’t all that noteworthy for a boat captain such as himself.

“Remember I’ve caught sharks before, so it was nothing special for me,” said the fisherman of 37 years.

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Furthermore, Farrell says he isn’t all that frightened by his close encounters out on the Cape Cod Bay.

“It’s funny about nature,” he added to CBS Boston. “If you don’t play around with it or act scared of it or anything like that, you can pretty much get along with anything.”

Monster croc the size of an SUV caught in Australia

An image of a monster crocodile caught by Outback Wrangler Matt Wright has gone viral, with some animal lovers criticizing the use of duct tape to bind the animal’s snout shut.

Mr Wright uploaded a snap of the saltie to his Facebook page on Saturday, and it has already attracted more than 4,000 likes and hundreds of shares and comments.

Many people were quick to point out the thick layers of tape covering the croc’s snout and eyes.

Tom Miller estimated it would have taken 10 rolls of duct tape to cover the saltie’s mouth.

“Did you get enough tape on him?” Sally-Jo Famlonga said. “Hope that’s not staying on for too long poor boy.”

Dean Adermann said he could see no reason why the monster was caught in the first place. “Leave the poor animal alone,” he said.

Others were quick to jump to Mr Wright’s defence.

“It’s a crocodile, they’ve been around since the dinosaurs,” Jay Ryan said.

“I’m sure he doesn’t mind a bit of tape on his snout.”

Rebecca De Vries praised the Wrangler’s team for catching the saltie and keeping the community safe.

Andrew Buckley pointed out croc catchers moved on salties so they didn’t pose a threat in populated areas, or risk being shot by people.

“Most times these crocs are being relocated as they have clashed with humans/livestock and so if good people don’t relocate them, some redneck will just shoot it,” he said.

When asked about the photo, Wright’s publicist told Fox News:

“As a crocodile conservationist, one of Matt’s efforts is to help relocate crocs that are in danger of being killed by the property owners,” Wright’s representatives said via email. “In this instance, this particular croc was a major threat to nearby people and livestock and had to be relocated. The crocodile’s safety and welfare is always a priority and this method is the recommended way to secure the crocodile’s snout by Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife.”

This story originally appeared in news.com.au with additional reporting by Fox News. 

Monster alligator steals fish off kid’s line in viral video

Bummer…

Everyone has lost a fish, but I’ll hazard a guess that few anglers have lost one like the kid in this video.

In the clip—first published in February—a boy named Connor has hooked a large redfish, and at first, everything seems to be going to plan. But then the man standing next to him says, “He’s right here.” Then the cameraman repeats, “He’s right here!” And the men were not referring to the redfish.

As Connor reels the fish toward the dock, a huge alligator suddenly appears in frame, swims up, and casually snatches the redfish.

Turning slightly, the gator moseys toward the far shore, with the hooked redfish hanging from its jaws. Finally, one of the men tells Connor, “Dude, you need to cut your line,” as the gator continues across the lake.

Texas alligator lassoed after trespassing on cattle ranch

East Texas cowboys are seen in a video roping a monster-size alligator threatening livestock.

Cattle rancher Hal Canover rounded up a group of friends when the 10-foot creature wandered onto his land in Hawkins last week, Fox 4 Dallas reports.

“He was a dangerous one,” Conover said. “But he was leaving the place — dead or alive.”

Canover and his buddies lassoed the beast and then waited for help.

Licensed alligator trappers showed up to haul it away.

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The alligator wasn’t willing to go easy.

During the struggle to get the alligator into a trailer one of the trappers was bitten.

WALLENDA DAREDEVIL DANGLES OVER NIAGARA FALLS BY HER MOUTH

Conover said the man’s injury was only a flesh wound.

The alligator was driven Gator Farms in Grand Saline, according to the station.