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Giant Invasive Snakes Threaten U.S. Wildlife, People



Nine different species of exotic giant snakes, released into the wild by irresponsible pet owners, could pose a major threat to U.S. wildlife, according to a new report published today by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Although pet constrictors start out small and cute, the largest snakes can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh as much as 200 pounds. The enormous reptiles end up in the wild when they’re abandoned by overwhelmed owners, or when they use their impressive musculature to escape from inadequate enclosures.

Tens of thousands of giant Burmese pythons already inhabit parts of southern Florida, and now scientists say at least eight other species of giant snakes have the potential to breed and thrive in parts of the United States, threatening already-fragile native ecosystems and putting 150 endangered species at risk.

“They will eat almost every vertebrate of the right size, but they mostly prefer birds and mammals,” said USGS biologist Gordon Rodda, who co-authored the 350-page study. “We’ve pulled a number of endangered species out of their stomachs.”

In addition, Rodda said all nine species are large enough to kill an adult human, although fatalities are rare. For example, despite the large population of captive Burmese pythons in the United States, the first unprovoked fatal attack was recorded earlier this year, when a pet python escaped from its cage and killed a 2-year-old child.

“There have been recorded fatalities from these species,” Rodda said. “Personally, I don’t think it’s a big deal, but if I had a small child, I would be mindful of that risk if the child was in an area where there might be pythons.”

Individual snakes from all nine species have been found in the United States, but so far only three species — Burmese pythons, boa constrictors and northern African pythons — have established breeding populations in the wild, all currently confined to southern Florida. Based on the snakes’ preferred climate range, potential ecological impact and prevalence in trade and commerce, the report classified five species as high risk and the other four as medium risk to native ecosystems.

A preference for warm weather means most of the snakes could only survive in Florida, southern Texas, Hawaii or tropical islands like Guam and Puerto Rico. Still, Rodda said a few species could potentially spread throughout many of the southern states. “The most temperate of the species is the Burmese python,” he said. “That’s the one that really goes up both coasts and across the southern U.S.”

The hardy animals tolerate urban and suburban environments quite well, and boa constrictors and northern African pythons have both been spotted in the Miami metropolitan area.

Unfortunately, once invasive snakes have taken hold in a particular region, the researchers say they’re almost impossible to get rid of, in part because elaborate camouflage makes the snakes very hard to spot. Some progress has been made in terms of radio-tracking and trapping the snakes, but despite several years of effort, Florida’s population of Burmese pythons and boa constrictors shows no sign of shrinking.

“At this time, we have no tools that would likely suffice to eradicate a big population of snakes once they had spread,” said USGS biologist Robert Reed, the other co-author of the study, who presented the findings today at a congressional briefing. “Instead of looking at the pound of cure,” he said, “maybe it’s time to look at the pound of prevention.”

The results of the study, along with more than 1,500 public comments solicited by the Department of Interior, will be used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to decide how to prevent further spread of the giant constrictors. One option would be to place them on a list of injurious species under the federal Lacey Act, which would make it illegal to import the snakes or carry them across state lines.

Of course, reptile enthusiasts don’t want to curb the sale of these exotic snakes, and the researchers point out that owning a snake has educational value. “We can testify to these snakes’ attraction personally, as we both have kept pet giant constrictors,” the scientists wrote. “Thus the social value of protecting native ecosystems must be weighed against the social value of fostering positive attitudes about the protection of nature through giant constrictor ownership.”

Regardless of whether these giant snakes are eventually classified as injurious, the Fish and Wildlife Service says they’re taking steps to reduce breeding populations in Florida and prevent further snake invasion.

“It’s going to take a huge public education and outreach initiative to make people understand the value of being responsible pet owners,” said FWS spokesperson Ken Warren. “We don’t pretend that there’s any easy solution, but no action is not an option.”

Image: A researcher measures the length of a captured Burmese python. Lori Oberhofer/NPS.

Source: Wired


Takanakuy Festival at risk? – Strange Events




250px-Location_of_the_province_Chumbivilcas_in_Cusco.svgDid you ever heard about “Takanakuy”? Did you have wanted the opportunity to straight up your differences with somebody you knew in a fight, enjoin a good food, special dress, dance and booze? Well a lot people call that Saturday night.

Chumbivilcas is a province in the Andes, South Peru, and according to the Peru 2005 Census 77,721 inhabitants, rural communities families with eight and more children are not unusual, one of the poorest regions of the country.

The people in the province are mainly indigenous citizens of Quechua descent.

Takanakuy Festival for beginners

Each December 25th part of the population from Chumbivilcas Province reunite to the Takanakuy “festival”, where participants practice of fighting fellow community members.

Takanakuy Festival at risk - 02The practice started in Santo Tomás, the capital of Chumbivilcas, and has now spread to other villages and cities, the prominent ones being Cuzco and Lima.

The festival consists of dancing and of individuals fighting each other to settle old conflicts or simply to display their manhood.

Those holding the grudges call out their opponents by their first and last name.

Kicking and punching are allowed in the middle of the circle. Biting, hitting those on the ground, or pulling hair is not allowed during the fight, this is a civilized community!

Takanakuy Festival at risk - 01Although the government of Lima has tried to eradicate Takanakuy Festival, the celebration has diffused into urban areas such as Cuzco and Lima.

People of non-indigenous descent are now taking part in this originally indigenous cultural custom, yeah, why not?

Then everybody goes drinking to numb the pain and move on to a new year.

Now serious, tells us, don’t you have a co-worker, neighbor, a church member you have a beef with?

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Polish company to brew beer from a Czech model’s vagina bacteria




Polish company to brew beer from a Czech models vagina bacteriaPolish brewery company launched a crowdfunding for its attempt to brew beer from a Czech model’s vagina bacteria.

There are large number of bizarre ingredients used in the manufacture of craft beers, but use a formula from a vaginal bacteria stands out in the crowd.

Warsaw-based The Order of Yoni — “Yoni” being a Sanskrit word for “vagina” — is seeking to raise about U$170,000 (£118,000 or 150,000 Euros) with an IndieGoGo campaign for Bottled Instinct, a beer brewed using lactic acid bacteria collected from the vagina of Alexandra Brendlova.

The Order of Yoni says the initial run of beers would include sour ales, lambics, flanders ales and sour stouts. Each bottle of beer will be stamped with Brendlova’s name as well as “the date of the collection of her vaginal swab.” Also it will brew six batches of 16,600 beers each, with funds going towards the ‘brewing process, ingredients and bottles’ decorations’.

The money will also cover the ‘model’s reward’ and a budget for the ‘perks’ offered to investors. However, there is no detail provided as to the breakdown of the costs.

The beers do not, however, feature the taste or odor of a vagina, the brewers say.

The company says their future plans include brewing other types of beers using bacteria harvested from other woman, as well as other products incorporating said bacteria including kefirs and yogurts.

Not as strange as vagina bacteria beer

In 2012 an Oregon brewery, developed a drink that led, among the ingredients, beard strands of his brewmaster. The drink was sold, including in other countries.

More informations on “The Order of Yoni” oficial website

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Roswell Spaceship Stoled, 1 Human arrested 2 on the loose




Roswell Spaceship stoled, 1 Human arrested 2 on the looseRoswell Police Department informed on its Facebook page “Be on the lookout: missing spaceship,” the Identify Roswell Spaceship has been stolen from a UFO Museum.

The silver-colored saucer made of fiberglass and stainless steel was stolen about 3:30 a.m. Saturday from behind the International UFO Museum and Research Center on Roswell’s main drag by 3 allegedly human beings.

During the day Roswell police spokesman was proudly announcing that they were able to track down the 17-year-old boy who was one of the three suspects in the theft of the spaceship, because of a phone call.

Surveillance video shows the three males walking toward the spaceship, and two of them lifting it up.

They then walk away and out of the camera’s view with it, put the ship into a pickup truck and drove off. The UFO Museum is located just around the corner from police headquarters.

The allegedly human-teen in custody hasn’t said what the motivation behind for stealing the spaceship or who else was involved.

Roswell Spaceship stoled, 1 Human arrested 2 on the looseThe Identify Flying Saucer had a tough year, a blizzard this past winter knocked the saucer from its usual mount on the corner of the museum building on South Main Street, for over 24 years, as the picture to the right.

It recently had been repaired and was being stored under an awning behind the museum.

Now it was The New Mexico Department of Transportation sent an heart broken picture of the saucer in pieces to museum.

Roswell Police Department  are urging Roswell residents and from the surrounding areas to be on the lookout for the Roswell Spaceship’s thieves

Hopefully the other two suspects are still on Planet Earth and can be bring to justice.

“Only in Roswell.”

Source: Daily Mail

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