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Spanish Beach Sprayed With Bleach, Causing “Brutal Damage” to Local Animals

Spanish authorities were forced to apologize for spraying a beach with bleach.

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(TMU) — Authorities in a Spanish coastal town have been forced to apologize after they sprayed a local beach with bleach in a clumsy attempt to protect residents from the coronavirus.

The apology from officials in the fishing village of Zahara de los Atunes, near Cadiz, comes after they used tractors to spray the beach with a bleach solution in anticipation of a planned four-phased lifting of quarantine measures and the release of children from lockdown for the first time in six weeks.

However, the move became the subject of regional outcry as environmentalists claimed it caused “brutal damage” to the local ecosystem just as it was in the midst of a respite due to the lockdown, reports El Pais.

Officials sprayed roughly one thousand liters of water with a two-percent bleach solution over the Zahara de los Atunes beaches on Saturday in hopes to provide a cheap way of “disinfecting” the beach.

But according to local environmental activist María Dolores Iglesias, the bleach did unconscionable harm to the local ecology, which consisted of beaches and dunes that offered breeding and nesting space for protected migratory birds such as the black-backed plover.

Iglesias claims she witnessed at least one nest filled with eggs get completely destroyed by a tractor, while the bleach “killed everything on the ground, nothing is seen—not even insects.”

Continuing, she explained:

“Bleach is used as a very powerful disinfectant, it is logical that it be used to disinfect streets and asphalt, but here the damage has been brutal.

“They have devastated the dune spaces and gone against all the rules. It has been an aberration what they have done, also taking into account that the virus lives in people not on the beach. It is crazy.”

Like many locations across the globe, the beaches at Zahara de los Atunes experienced thriving conditions for wildlife due to the lockdown. Yet the local authorities ham-fisted attempt to clean the beach indicated a basic disrespect of the local ecosystem.

Iglesias explained:

“The beach has its own way of cleaning itself, it was not necessary.

“They do not think that this is a living ecosystem, but a lot of land.”

As the Andalusian regional government mulls imposing penalties on the local authority for the move, local official Agustín Conejo offered a sorrowful public apology, admitting that it was a “wrong move.”

“I admit that it was a mistake, it was done with the best intentions,” Conejo explained.

The town of 1,300 residents has been trying to shield itself from the spreading pandemic by spraying streets with disinfectant solution and even erected a “fumigation arch” for cars entering the village.

Environmentalist group Greenpeace in Spain compared the autonomous local government’s move to the recent suggestion by U.S. President Donald Trump that doctors “look into” injecting patients with disinfectant to rid them of coronavirus.

The group tweeted:

“Fumigating beaches in the middle of the breeding season for birds or the development of the invertebrate network that will support coastal fishing… is not one of Trump’s ideas. It is happening in Zahara de los Atunes.”

The total death toll in Spain now stands at 24,275, making it one of the countries hit worst by the novel coronavirus. On Tuesday, the country announced that there were 1,308 new infections—the lowest number yet since the country announced a state of emergency on March 14. However, by Wednesday the number quickly shot up to 2,144 new infections, reports El Pais.

The country’s center-left government under Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has come under harsh criticism from opposition parties for an announced plan to begin relaxing quarantine measures and return to a “new normality” by the end of June. The announced de-escalation will follow a four-stage plan with no set dates, contingent on the severity of the outbreak in each province.

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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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.

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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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.

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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Blue Whales Return to Spain’s Coast After Disappearing for 40 Years

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Blue whales have been returning to the Atlantic coast of Spain after an absence of over 40 years in the region, when whaling industries drove the species to the brink of extinction.

Blue whales, which are the world’s largest mammals, had long disappeared from the region until the recent sightings.

The first was spotted off the coast of Galicia near Ons Island by marine biologist Bruno Díaz, who heads the Bottlenose Dolphin Research.

Another one of the majestic creatures was spotted the following year in 2018 and yet another in 2019. In 2020, two whales again made their return to the area.

It remains unclear as of yet as to why the creatures have returned to the area, but controls on local whaling industries are believed to play a role.

“I believe the moratorium on whaling has been a key factor,” Díaz remarked, according to the Guardian. “In the 1970s, just before the ban was introduced, an entire generation of blue whales disappeared. Now, more than 40 years later, we’re seeing the return of the descendants of the few that survived.”

Whaling had been a traditional industry in Galicia for hundreds of years before Spain finally acted to ban whaling in 1986, long after the blue whale’s presence in the region had faded away.

Some fear that the return of the massive sea mammals is a sign of global warming.

“I’m pessimistic because there’s a high possibility that climate change is having a major impact on the blue whale’s habitat,” said marine biologist Alfredo López in comments to La Voz de Galicia.

“Firstly, because they never venture south of the equator, and if global warming pushes this line north, their habitat will be reduced,” he continued “And secondly, if it means the food they normally eat is disappearing, then what we’re seeing is dramatic and not something to celebrate.”

Díaz said that while the data certainly supports this theory, it is too early to determine climate as the precise cause.

“It is true that the data we have points to this trend [climate change] but it is not enough yet,” he told Público news.

Another possibility is that the ancestral memory of the old creatures or even a longing for their home may offer an explanation, according to Díaz.

“In recent years it’s been discovered that the blue whale’s migration is driven by memory, not by environmental conditions,” he said. “This year there hasn’t been a notable increase in plankton, but here they are. Experiences are retained in the collective memory and drive the species to return.”

In recent years, researchers have found that migratory patterns are also driven by the cultural knowledge existing in many groups of species.

Researchers believe this type of folk memory, or cultural knowledge, exists in many species and is key to their survival.

A typical blue whale is 20-24 metres long and weighs 120 tonnes – equivalent to 16 elephants – but specimens of up to 30 metres and 170 tonnes have been found.

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