200 ‘exposed’ to rabid bat: Roughly 200 people were possibly exposed to a rabid bat while staying overnight at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, the zoo said.
The zoo and Nebraska health officials recommended that roughly 186 campers who stayed overnight at the aquarium in recent weeks, as well as some staffers, get rabies shots.
A camper on July 4 woke up to a wild bat flying around her head. A zoo emergency medical technician didn’t find any bites or scratches on her.
The zoo found seven wild bats in the aquarium and euthanized them. One tested positive for rabies.
The zoo in a news release Friday said it has recommended that people exposed to wild bats while they were sleeping get rabies shots. The zoo gave campers refunds and is paying for their shots.
Animal Health Director Dr Sarah Woodhouse in a statement said guests who visited the aquarium during the day shouldn’t be concerned because bats come out only at night.
“The bats we identified were Little brown bats, a common bat species in Nebraska that anyone could find in their backyard or attic,” Woodhouse said. “It is not unusual for a wild bat to be infected with rabies, which is why you should never directly touch a wild bat.”
Zoo staff didn’t find any signs of longterm bat roosting at the aquarium. The zoo said it has moved all overnight camping events elsewhere as workers try to pinpoint how the bats got into the building. (AP)
Brazil deforestation falls: Preliminary data from Brazil’s government released on Friday showed Amazon deforestation in June fell from the prior month, counter to the trend seen in the period over the last several years.
The area deforested in June, based on satellite images, dropped 24% compared to May, according to daily alerts compiled by the National Institute for Space Research’s Deter monitoring system. It’s only the second time in six years there has been less forest loss in June than May.
However, the 1,062 square kilometers (410 square miles) deforestation represented a slight year-on-year increase and still marked the worst destruction for any month of June since the 2015-2016 start of the data series.
Deter data is considered a reliable leading indicator for more complete calculations released at yearend.
The data comes as foreign investors and the administration of US President Joe Biden watch closely to see if Brazil can manage to rein in deforestation. President Jair Bolsonaro in late June signed a decree to dispatch Brazilian soldiers to the rainforest after withdrawing them in April. His vice president, Hamilton Mourão, who leads Brazil’s Amazon Council expressed hope redeploying the troops could help turn the tide - although environmental groups have said they had little impact over past two years.
“We have to get to the end of July with a reduction there of some 1,000 square kilometers of deforestation,” Mourão told reporters, referring to the 12-month tally that concludes in July. “That is our objective and it is a feasible objective.”
The annual deforestation tally, compiled with a more accurate system called Prodes, uses at least four different satellites to capture images. (AP)
Boats used to fight algae: The northern Chinese port city of Qingdao has deployed thousands of boats and powered scoops to deal with a massive algae bloom that is threatening sea life, tourism and water transport.
The thick layer of plants that has coated waters and clogged beaches appeared last month and is reportedly the heaviest on record.
Such blooms can displace critical food sources for ocean animals while giving off a strong smell.
State media reported Thursday that the outbreak has spread over around 9,290 square kilometers (3,600 square miles).
The Xinhua News Agency said authorities have deployed about 7,300 vessels that have thus far collected 240,000 tons of algae.
Qingdao has seen such outbreaks for at least 15 years, but never on this level. Similar blooms have occurred in inland waterways such as Lake Tai to the south of Qingdao in Jiangsu province. Xinhua said a large patch of algae was first spotted drifting northward from the coast of Jiangsu in mid-May, blooming and thickening as it went.
Algae blooms can occur naturally, but are thought to be growing worse due to a rise in sea temperatures and the heavy use of chemical-based fertilizers. (AP)