(TMU) — As the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow, misinformation in the form of fake news, rumors, and gossip have continued to feed mass hysteria and panic over the deadly disease.
In Peru, this has resulted in locals attempting to fight CoViD-19 by attacking communities of bats despite the fact that the novel virus still hasn’t been decisively proven to have originated from the winged creature.
On Wednesday, the Peruvian government issued a statement warning residents to stop killing bats after authorities were forced to intervene when roughly half a thousand of the flying mammals came under attack by gangs of peasants hoping to exterminate what they believed were carriers of the disease, reports Peruvian network América Noticias.
Roughly 300 of the creatures were killed in the arson attacks that took place in the small village of Culden, which lies in the Cajamarca region, after mobs attacked the caves where the bat communities dwelled, Peru’s National Service of Wild Forests and Fauna (SERFOR) announced.
About 200 bats were saved from the torch-bearing gangs by members of the wildlife service and National Agrarian Health Service (SENASA) who later released the animals into a distant cave far from Culden.
AFP reports that in a statement, SERFOR said:
“We must not distort the situation due to the pandemic. Bats are not our enemies.”
Continuing, the wildlife agency explained that the bats are actually quite beneficial to humans and are even helping to combat deadly viruses including dengue. Dengue fever outbreaks in Southeast Asia and the Americas have continued unabated while the world’s attention has been fixed on containing the CoViD-19 pandemic.
“70 percent of the [bat] species in the world feed off insects, many of which are harmful to agriculture and our health, like mosquitoes that spread dengue and other diseases”.
Jessica Galvez-Durand, head of wild fauna operations at SERFOR, also used the opportunity to remind Peruvians that they should abstain from eating wild animals or using their flesh for medicinal purposes.
Exotic species are famously seen as delicacies in some Asian and Pacific Island nations due to the often unproven medicinal benefits of eating the wild creatures or because the consumption of exotic and even live animals is seen as a symbol of social status.
However, the misconception that soup made from bat meat is some popular menu item throughout China—and that bat soup is “responsible” for the coronavirus outbreak originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan—has been thoroughly debunked as misinformation that spread through viral fake news stories and social media posts.
Some scientists do believe that the virus may have originated in bat microbes but transformed into deadly human pathogens through an intermediary animal, such as pangolins, whose meat is sometimes used in traditional medicine.
So far, there have been over 400 confirmed CoViD-19 infections and at least nine deaths from the novel virus in Peru.
Police Rescue Dogs Trapped In Car on Sizzling Hot Day, Owners Complain About Broken Window
Police in the UK acted quickly to save a two dogs locked inside a car in sizzling hot temperatures by smashing open a window, upsetting the car’s owner over the damage.
Officers responded Sunday to reports that a beagle and another dog were trapped in a car parked in the seaside British city of Brighton on a day of boiling heat.
In video captured of the incident, an officer can be seen jamming his baton through a rear window before finally shattering it to free the pooches.
This prompts the car alarm to go off as the car’s owners can be seen rushing toward it, upset over the police intervention.
A woman, standing with her shocked family, says: “You broke my window out!”
One of the officer responded: “It’s a hot day. You shouldn’t be leaving the dog in the car in this weather.”
The incident happened on a day when people across the region flock to the seaside resort city to dip into the beaches amid surging hot temperatures.
The onlooker who filmed the incident noted that the owners seemed unaware of the dangers posed to their pets by weather conditions.
“Where they had parked there is just no shade,” they told The Sun. “It’s directly on the seafront in 25°C (77°F) weather outside – I’ve got no idea what it was inside the car.”
The family was indignant over what they claim was an overreaction by the police.
“At first it was ‘what the f*** are you doing, why did you break my car window? I was only gone for 10 minutes,’” another witness explained.
“The bloke obviously thought he was completely in the right,” they added. “He didn’t really seem to have much empathy.”
According to UK animal welfare group RSPCA, outside temperatures of 22°C (71°F) can reach a brutal 47°C (116.6°F) inside a car within an hour.
“Police officers attended and tried to get a contact number for the owners of the car but were unable,” a Sussex Police spokesperson said. “Officers had no choice but to smash the side window to gain access and a kind member of the public donated a bottle of water.”
Authorities added that the officers let the pet owners off with a stern warning, without ticketing the family or separating their dogs from them.
Golden Retriever Filmed Giving Woodchuck Ride Across Massachusetts Lake
There are some occasions when the natural world resembles something we might think belongs to the realm of Disney films but no – it’s simply the animal kingdom in motion.
Such was the case when a dog owner captured amazing footage of her dog giving a ride to a small rodent across a lake in Massachusetts.
Lauren Russel was with her dog, Wally the golden retriever, at Hickory Hills Lake in Lunenburg last month when the dog encountered a woodchuck in the water.
So Wally did one any good dog of his breed would do – he gave his new friend a ride back to shore.
“He was about 100 meters out and a woodchuck, I think, just crawled right up on his back and he swam back to shore with him,” Russell told WCVB on Monday.
She always knew that her Wally was a friendly pooch, but she never imagined something like this.
“We were flabbergasted. It was unbelievable. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing,” Russell continued.
To top things off, once they arrived onshore, Wally and his fast friend gave each other what appeared to be a kiss.
“They like touched snouts and then he ran away,” Russell said.
You can watch the video of the touching event here:
Tiny Creature Frozen for 24,000 Years is Brought Back to Life
A microscopic creature has come back to life and reproduced asexually after 24,000 years of lying dormant in the permafrost of Siberia.
Russian scientists found the tiny freshwater creature, called the bdelloid rotifer, in the rich soil of the Alazeya river of Russia’s far northern Siberan region of Yakutia.
The multicellular organism is common throughout the world and is known to be extremely resilient, capable of surviving extreme cold, dryness, starvation and low oxygen.
While previous research found that it could survive a decade when frozen at -20 degrees Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit), the new study published by the journal Current Biology offers a stunning testimony of the survivability of the tiny animal – which is by far the longest survival period known of any creature in the world.
“Our report is the hardest proof as of today that multicellular animals could withstand tens of thousands of years in cryptobiosis, the state of almost completely arrested metabolism,” said Stas Malavin, an author of the study, in a statement.
Malavin’s Soil Cryology Lab in Pushchino, Russia, used a drilling rig to extract the miniscule organism from roughly a dozen feet below the remote Arctic location.
Once the ancient organism thawed, it reproduced on its own through a process of parthenogenesis. Researchers then found that it could withstand repeatedly being frozen and thawed dozens of times due to its innate processes of cell and organ protection.
“The takeaway is that a multicellular organism can be frozen and stored as such for thousands of years and then return back to life – a dream of many fiction writers,” Malavin said.
“Of course, the more complex the organism, the trickier it is to preserve it alive frozen and, for mammals, it’s not currently possible,” the scientist added. “Yet, moving from a single-celled organism to an organism with a gut and brain, though microscopic, is a big step forward.”
Researchers hope that the knowledge gleaned from studying the microscopic organism will bring further insights on how to preserve animals’ cells, tissues and organs – including those belonging to human beings.
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