Nature Hub

New Zealand Paddle Boarder Has Incredible Close Encounter with Orca: VIDEO


Luke Reilly, a 27-year-old paddle boarder from New Zealand, had an extremely close encounter with a curious and playful orca on Monday, and captured it on his GoPro, 3News reports.

ReillyReilly went into the water after hearing someone had seen orcas and shortly thereafter found himself being checked out by one, which even grabbed the back of his board for a moment.

Said Reilly:

"I grabbed [my GoPro] thinking something might happen. I didn't think I'd get anything. Then this one bee-lined it for me. He popped up about 10cm away from the back of my board. I was a bit nervous thinking, 'what's this guy going to do?' Then he slowly crept up and grabbed the back of my board and I yelled, 'What are you doing!'"

Watch Reilly's incredible video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Wounded Turtle Gets a Second Chance At Sea Life with 3D Printed Beak: VIDEO


This sea turtle who had part of its beak torn off by a boat propeller might have been a goner if not for Turkish animal rescuers and some marvelous modern technology.

After finding the poor guy, rescuers decided to reach out to 3D printing company BTech Innovation and see if something could be done to help the wounded turtle recover and return to the ocean. 

3D Printing Industry reports:

BeakAfter receiving approval from the medical team, the resulting design was 3D printed in medical-grade titanium and airmailed to the surgical team. Soon an arduous surgery, closely watched by a large audience of physicians, led to the first successful implant of a 3D printed turtle jaw.

Presently receiving antibiotics, the sea turtle is recovering from surgery back at the rehab center, where the BTech team even got to see the implant attached to the moving jaw of their patient. Once their sea-faring friend is fully healed, the rehab team plans to release it back in the wild

See the incredible results, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Rainbow and Tornado Cross Paths in 'Wizard of Oz'-Style Meteorological Moment: VIDEO


Storm chasers in eastern Colorado on Saturday afternoon captured a tornado near the town of Lamar sharing the landscape with a rainbow. Lamar is not too far from western Kansas, where several more of the twisters were witnessed later that evening.

Watch the stunning video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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The Andean Condor is in Trouble. The Reasons are Known, and Preventable

(wer-al zwowe)


LIMA, Peru — Another day, another endangered species, or so it seems.

The Andean condor could be next. The iconic giant scavenger is a national symbol of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, but it is disappearing in parts of the region. 

According to the Red List of Threatened Species, the conservationists’ bible, there are an estimated 10,000 of the birds left in the wild.

Yet things are not as simple as that.

“The problem is no one really knows,” says Robert Wallace, who heads the Wildlife Conservation Society’s operations in Bolivia.

“It is very hard with animals that cover such large distances and inhabit such inaccessible terrain. The condors you see in one place today and 300 miles away tomorrow could easily be the same animals.”

What is known is that populations in Argentina and Chile, mainly Patagonia, are relatively healthy, while there are thought to be just a handful left in Ecuador and Colombia. Venezuela probably now has no resident condors left.

In Peru, one forthcoming study puts the minimum number at just 250. Meanwhile, Jessica Galvez-Durand, head of sustainable wildlife management for the Peruvian government, says that there are “fewer than 2,500.”


Continue reading "The Andean Condor is in Trouble. The Reasons are Known, and Preventable" »

Tortoise Gets its Ride Pimped After Rat Chews Off its Legs: VIDEO


There was good news for a Welsh tortoise that suffered a disfiguring injury when a rat broke into its den during hibernation and chewed off its two front legs.

The tortoise's owners glued wheels from model airplanes onto her shell and now she's getting around faster than before.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Death Toll in Nepal Climbs Over 3,700 After Devastating Earthquake; Here's How You Can Help

Basantapur Durbar square, before and after the earthquake.

The official death toll from Saturday's massive earthquake in Nepal has risen to more than 3,700 with nearly 7,000 injured as of Monday morning. It is expected to rise sharply and could exceed 15,000.

Many of Nepal's historic sites have been completely destroyed. Makeshift tent cities have sprung up around the country filled with survivors afraid to return home because of aftershocks. The International Committee of the Red Cross has a page filled with hundreds of names of people still unaccounted for.

There was a bit of good news on Monday as Turkish rescue workers in Kathmandu pulled a man alive from the rubble:

Some of the Relief Organizations where you can contribute:

The Nepal Red Cross Society is at the center of relief efforts in the devastated country and help is needed.

Its online donation link is here but is experiencing issues with heavy traffic. It is down as of this posting. the American Red Cross is coordinating efforts with them and you can select Nepal Earthquake Relief on its donation page.

Also collecting funds is the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (already they are Partnering with the IDF field hospital in Nepal to provide medical equipment, including two neonatal incubators; Working with UNICEF to secure supplies to meet children’s shelter, nutrition, water, and sanitation needs; Mobilizing a rapid assessment team of disaster experts who will arrive in Nepal this week; Collaborating with partners — among them, Tevel B’Tzedek, the All-India Disaster Mitigation Institute, and Sarvodaya — to distribute emergency relief) , the American Jewish World Service, and Americares, which has sent a response team.

Efforts are also underway from CARE. Their relief effort page is here.

Other relief organizations working to get aid to the people and organizations of Nepal are World Vision, The World Food Programme, UNICEF, Shelterbox, Nepal Children's Emergency Relief Fund from Save the Children, Real Medicine Foundation (online or text REALMED to 50555 to make a $10 donation), Plan International, Oxfam International, and Operation USA.

Over the weekend a terrifying video emerged of the avalanche that occurred at Mt. Everest (below). The US State Department reported three US citizens killed. 150 climbers remain stranded above the avalanche but helicopters have begun rescue efforts. At least 61 were injured and many remain missing.

Nepal's Blue Diamond Society is the largest LGBT rights organization in Nepal, founded in 2001. A couple of messages have been received from a leader and a former leader (and national MP) of that organization.

BdsAn update on the LGBTI situation in Nepal from Parsu Rai of Blue Diamond Society:

I am in the [Blue Diamond Society] office since the fatal took place and have talked to many staff and there has been continuous flow of information. Some information has been shared from the districts and we are yet to receive from other. If there is any information that needs to be shared then please do so. Please keep communicating. The recent update is as follows:

The buildings of BDS donated by international and national donors are cracked in many parts; walls are almost about the fall. The ground floors of both the building are damaged and have huge cracks that can tumble at any time.

There has been severe damage of houses in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kavre, Sindulpalchowk and Gorkha, Tahanu, Kaski as well as in Siraaha and many community members might have lost their houses.

Due to fear, most of the community people are staying outside in the tent and have difficulties in accessing different facilities as there has been no support from outsiders. The daily wages earner has no means to sustain their livelihood. One of the community members have been out of contact since the fatal earthquake occur.

Some members have their houses damages (Gorka meti, Chari, Halasta from sakhu, Budi Meti from Sakhau Thimi in Sakhu), Kritipur, Kavrepalanchowk, Thimi Gorkha, Siraha, Lalitpur and janakpur and the information is yet to come as there is no means of communication and electricity is completely lost.

We will be updating as soon as we get into access to internet and other means of communication with electricity.

Parsu Ram Rai

PantA message from gay former Nepali MP Sunil Pant:

Blue Diamond Society's main building has a crack, as told by staff; they feel its not a major crack but will need repair. Blue Diamond Society's care home for HIV positive LGBTIs also has a crack and need good repair. One staff of Blue Diamond Society who works for care support centre, JYOTI PRAKASH, is missing so far.

Many TGs reported having problems of accessing toilets, has been a big problem as they spending nights in the open in Kathmandu. Three TGs from Gorkha said their houses are completely destroyed. As Gorkha and Lumjung are hardest hit districts, my ancestral home is damaged too. The current president, executive director and all other staff at BDS are ok. Phone lines and networks are non functional mostly so have not been able to reach out everyone. In Makwanpur districts also LGBTIs spending nights in the open. LGBTIs from Bhaktapur and Patan are also spending nights in the open, every TG expressed problems of accessing toilet... Food, blankets are not reaching like many others have not been reached in in Nepal. Like many women who are in need, lesbians who have to spend nights out, also finding difficulty to access toilets. I am outside of Nepal since a while, this update is through phone calls or emails with those LGBTIs in Nepal that I could get in touch. Will keep you update as I hear more. There is a need for help with relief and some rehabilitation to LGBTIs in Nepal.

Sunil babu Pant


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