Archive - Jul 29, 2007
Here are a couple of stories that caught my eye back in June that share a common theme:
From boing boing:
Dale Rippy, 62, killed a rabid bobcat with his bare hands when it attacked him on his porch in Wesley Chapel, Florida. The Vietnam vet was later treated for bites, scratches, and exposure to rabies. From Associated Press:
Dale Rippy endured the (25 pound) bobcat's slashes and bites until it clawed into a position where he could grab it by the throat. Then he strangled it.
and from the Battle Creek (MI) Enquirer:
Swan allegedly attacks jet skiers at Goguac Lake
Michigan Department of Natural Resources is investigating reports of an aggressive male swan attacking jet skiers on the south side of Goguac Lake.
Christine Hanaburgh, Michigan DNR wildlife biologist for Calhoun, Berry and Kalamazoo counties, said she's heard conflicting reports and is looking into the issue.
"We're determining if the swan is a danger to humans," she said.
Some lakeside residents are worried that the DNR will euthanize the male swan, who they believe is overly aggressive because his female partner has a broken beak.
"That's a possible explanation, however, I would gravitate to another explanation," said John Lerg, acting supervisor for the state DNR Wildlife Division, southwest management unit.
Swans often pair for life, or until one bird dies then the other finds a new mate. They also tend to nest in the same area year after year, he said.
"Regardless of the condition of the female, it's not out of character to find the male, the cob, to be the more aggressive of the two," he said.
Who knew male swans were called cobs?
This story of the same title from The Week magazine is to me emblematic of a sickness in our government and society in general. On the advice of the lawyers, FEMA failed to investigate claims that fumes in trailers provided to Katrina survivors were making them sick. Rather than "undermine the agency's position in any court proceedings," FEMA leaves them to the formaldehyde fumes.
FEMA officials covered up concerns that trailers provided to survivors of Hurricane Katrina contained toxic levels of formaldehyde, congressional investigators said last week. Agency e-mails unearthed by a House committee show that FEMA lawyers vetoed a proposal to test the trailers for formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Some 120,000 people displaced by the 2005 hurricane lived in FEMA-supplied trailers, and hundreds have reported health problems such as nosebleeds and shortness of breath. Following the death of one hurricane victim who had complained of fumes in his trailer, agency lawyers advised against an investigation, saying it Â“could seriously undermine the agencyÂ’s positionÂ” in any court proceedings. FEMA officials this week apologized and said they were testing the 66,000 trailers still in use.