Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 8 November 2009





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Chimpanzees seen ‘mourning’ late friend

The huddled chimps pay their respects to Dorothy.
Photo: Monica Szczupider/Solent

A group of chimpanzees have been captured on camera apparently lost in grief for the death of a friend. More than a dozen apes watched in silence from their enclosure in Cameroon as the body of Dorothy, a chimp in her 40s, was wheeled past for burial. Dorothy, who died of heart failure, was described as a “prominent figure” within the group of about 25 chimps at the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Centre, which cares for orphaned animals whose mothers were killed for the illegal bushmeat trade.

“We were burying Dorothy,” a spokeswoman for the centre said.

“We brought her in the wheelbarrow to let the others see. “I cannot emphasise enough how silent and still they were. Chimpanzees are typically not like that. “They are loud, with short attention spans. It was unbelievably emotional. We were awe struck.”

Two-headed snake found in couple’s drawer

A two-headed snake has been discovered in a drawer full of rubbish in Illinois. When Jerry Williamson’s wife first told him she had found the scary reptile he thought she was pulling his leg. But to his surprise she was telling the truth.

Unfazed by the terrifying stigma attached to the two-headed Hydra of Greek mythology the couple decided to keep the reptile. They were worried it would not be able to survive on its own. They say it is a North American water snake and has just shed its skin. The ‘Nerodia sipedon’, as it is also known, is a large non-venemous snake active during day and night.

‘Monster Shark’ chomps into great white

A giant shark that could be up to 20ft long has sent shockwaves across Australian beaches after a great white was nearly bitten in half. A stunning picture shows a 10ft predator thrashing about with two massive chunks missing on either side of its body, off the Queensland coast.

Experts said its rival may be 20ft long, judging by the size of the huge bites. The great white was savaged after it got snared on a drum line - a baited hook attached to a buoy - near North Stradbroke Island, east of Brisbane. The wounded creature was still alive when a crew hauled it onto a boat, close to Deadman’s Beach.

“It certainly opened up my eyes. I mean the shark that was caught is a substantial shark in itself,” said Queensland Fisheries’ Jeff Krause. Fisheries minister Tim Mulherin told the Mail that the capture of the bitten shark - and the indication of a larger one feeding in the area - bolstered the decision to keep defences in place. He added there were no special plans to hunt the attacking shark but contractors had reset the drum lines.

- Sky news

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