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The Same Koalas That Survived Australia’s Fires Are Now Being Rescued From Flash Floods

Torrential rain turned into the worst floods to hit Australia in months as cyclone season begins.

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(TMU) — From one extreme to another—koalas and other wildlife that escaped the devastating bushfires of Australia are now needing to be rescued from the worst floods to hit Australia in months as the cyclone season begins.

Drenched koalas were carried to safety after thunderstorms and heavy rain struck parts of the island nation’s east coast. Although the rain brought relief to drought stricken areas and gave firefighters a desperately needed break from battling some of the fires, the floods come with the threat of landslides, water contamination, and dangerous conditions for rescuers trying to drive into forests to rescue injured animals.

The worst bushfire season on record started in September 2019 and badly affected the koala population. According to the government, koalas could soon be listed as endangered after many burned to death and those that survived face starvation thanks to the destruction of their natural habitat.

Koalas and other native animals had to be rescued at the Australia Reptile Park in New South Wales as the heavy rains caused flooding on Friday. Park director, Tim Faulkner, said:

“This is incredible, just last week, we were having daily meetings to discuss the imminent threat of bushfires. Today, we’ve had the whole team out there, drenched, acting fast to secure the safety of our animals and defend the park from the onslaught of water. We haven’t seen flooding like this at the park for over 15 years. The contrast between the current bushfire crisis and this sudden flooding is striking. We are well-aware that a huge part of Australia is still burning and millions of animals are under threat.”

Having lost over 100,000 cattle in the brutal wildfires, farmers rejoiced when the rain came and helped dampen blazes and smoldering trees.

Farmer Stephanie Stewart said:

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What can I say, we are so lucky. Before this, dams were dry, and we were carting water and feeding stock for months. This has made life a lot easier on the land, that’s for sure. Now hoping it spreads and can ease the burden for so many other amazing farmers who have been and still dealing with this dreaded drought.”

Despite the flooding residents in Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales welcomed the rain while those in South Australia hoped it would reach them soon. Queensland’s major highways had to be closed and thousands were left without power in New South Wales after Friday night’s storms. Showers and thunderstorms are still forecast for the weekend, the Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed.

https://twitter.com/VeronicaKoman/status/1219095127148220416

New South Wales fire services welcomed the rain which would help in controlling the 75 fires still burning in the state. Around 25 fires still to be contained.

Reinforcements from both the New Zealand Defense Force and Fiji will be joining teams and specialists sent by other countries including Japan and the United states.

While Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his conservative administration continue to downplay the role of human activity in climate change, some say the changing climate Australia has in fact increased the frequency and severity of what scientists call “fire weather”—periods of high fire risk due to a combination of higher temperatures, low humidity and rainfall, and strong winds. A combination putting 26.4 million citizens at risk and vulnerable to fires amid warnings that many Australians could become “climate refugees” as the Earth’s temperature continues to rise.

NASA confirmed earlier this week that smoke from the wildfires has circumnavigated the globe, returning to its place of origin.

In a statement, NASA also said that the smoke from Australia’s fires had a dramatic impact on New Zealand by “turning the skies hazy and causing colorful sunrises and sunsets.” NASA also highlighted the fact that the fires in Australia could cause global damage, saying that the “unprecedented conditions that include searing heat combined with historic dryness” have led to an erratic weather phenomenon called “fire clouds.” These clouds allow smoke to travel up to 5 miles high from where it can disperse miles away from where it originated.

Since the start of the bushfires 29 people and an estimated one billion animals have died while around 2,500 homes and over 16 million acres of bushland has been destroyed.

By Jade Small | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Animals

Scientists Catch a Glimpse of a Ultra-Rare Giant Phantom Jelly, With Bizarre Ribbon-Like Arms

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Researchers have seen a large deep-sea jellyfish with the assistance of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) named Doc Ricketts off the coast of California, in an extremely rare sighting. The footage revealed the creature’s unique and exquisite features.

The uncommon encounter was documented in November this year, 990 meters (3,200 ft) deep in Monterey Bay, according to a report issued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).

Youtube Screenshot

The enigmatic phantom jellyfish was initially discovered in 1899, but scientists did not recognize it as a distinct species until 1960. Scientists still know very little about this creature.

The specimen of the huge phantom jelly has only been seen 110 times in 110 years across the world. According to the MBARI research, despite thousands of dives, their ROVs have only observed this amazing species nine times.

The huge phantom jellyfish has the following characteristics:

The bell of this deep-sea denizen is more than one meter (3.3 feet) broad, with four ribbon-like oral (or mouth) arms that can grow to be more than 10 meters (33 feet) long, according to an MBARI report.

Youtube Screenshot

The species is said to inhabit anywhere between the surface and 21,900 feet in depth. It does, however, remain in the twilight zone, which is just beyond the reach of sunlight.

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The organism, formally known as ‘Stygiomedusa gigantea’, is found all across the planet except in the Arctic Ocean, according to the experts.

Youtube Screenshot

It’s worth noting that, in the past, scientists depended on trawl-nets to examine deep-sea species; but, the jellies, which transform into a viscous goo in trawl nets, were difficult to research using this outdated method. Fish, crabs, and squids are among the only creatures that can be effectively studied from nets.

Researchers may now examine these creatures in their native habitat with high-definition footage thanks to the robot cams. I, personally, prefer this “no-touch” approach.

Watch the mesmerizing video here:

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Animals

Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

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A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

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Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

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Animals

Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son

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A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

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The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

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