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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "fox-news/science/wild-nature"

Awful-smelling plant along this US roadway has one saving grace — it melts snow

Westlake Legal Group skunkcabbage-cropped-2am Awful-smelling plant along this US roadway has one saving grace -- it melts snow Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/science/planet-earth/plants fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 9d43551c-4606-5fe8-a387-e61d9e8852b2

Mild winter temperatures along a stretch of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Parkway in Watauga County have resulted in the growth of a fetid-smelling pod that, despite its odor, has the uncanny ability to create enough heat to melt snow around it, a published report said.

NC DAD ‘TACKLED’ SUSPECTED HOME INTRUDER AFTER DAUGHTER SCREAMED, INVESTIGATORS SAY

While experts say the plant – known as skunk cabbage – is fatal if eaten, in a Facebook post Saturday, National Park Service officials say the prodigious bloom has “a face only a mother could love,” the Charlotte Observer reported.

“Equipped with a chemical process that heats this early bloomer up to over 55 degrees Fahrenheit, these stinky members of the Arum Family can even melt snow in order to bloom. Talk about determination!” 

— National Park Service Facebook post

Skunk cabbage is “a warm-blooded plant” that can raise the surrounding temperatures by as much as 20 degrees, according to a Pennsylvania State University report. By doing this, it “will use as much oxygen as a comparably sized mammal,” the report says.

MISSISSIPPI PEARL RIVER FLOODING LEAVES CAPITAL IN ‘PRECARIOUS SITUATION’ AS CREST, MORE RAIN ON THE WAY

Descriptions of the plant say it “looks like something out of a science-fiction movie,” with a fierce defense mechanism, according to Gardening Know How.

“Skunk cabbage gets its name from the fact that, when the leaves are crushed or bruised, it gives off a smell of skunk or rotting meat,” Gardeningknowhow.com says.

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“In small doses, or two small bites, the skunk cabbage plant can cause burning and swelling of the mouth and a choking sensation. Eating larger portions of these leaves can, in extreme cases, be fatal,” the gardening site says.

Westlake Legal Group skunkcabbage-cropped-2am Awful-smelling plant along this US roadway has one saving grace -- it melts snow Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/science/planet-earth/plants fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 9d43551c-4606-5fe8-a387-e61d9e8852b2   Westlake Legal Group skunkcabbage-cropped-2am Awful-smelling plant along this US roadway has one saving grace -- it melts snow Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/science/planet-earth/plants fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 9d43551c-4606-5fe8-a387-e61d9e8852b2

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Adorable video shows coyote and badger playing, possibly hunting together in California

If only Wile E. Coyote had a partner in crime against the roadrunner.

A coyote and badger were caught on camera using a culvert to cross under a California highway together, in what was described as rare footage and a first for the area, according to a post on Tuesday by the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST).

The video, believed to have been taken in November, shows the coyote prancing while waiting for his badger friend to catch up — before they both ventured into the pipe.

DESCENDANTS FROM EXTINCT TORTOISE SPECIES DISCOVERED IN GALAPAGOS

“Have you seen the adorable video of the coyote and badger we recently caught on camera? Though scientific studies and Native American records show that coyotes and badgers have been known to hunt together, this is the first documentation (that we know of) showing a coyote and badger using a human-made structure to travel together safely,” POST said.

Westlake Legal Group Capture Adorable video shows coyote and badger playing, possibly hunting together in California fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc David Aaro d7af4749-b754-50e8-b05b-997cc24fe9f7 article

Coyote and badger at Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center in 2016 (Kimberly Fraser U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

The organization said it’s easier for the two animals to catch their prey when hunting together, although they added it was surprising to see them moving through a small tunnel while playing.

Badgers spend most of their time underground so it’s rare to see them out in the open, let alone hanging out with a coyote, POST said.

BABOON STEALS, GROOMS, LION CUB IN SOUTH AFRICA

POST’s Wildlife Linkages Program set up roughly 50 remote-sensor cameras at bridges and culverts in the southern Santa Cruz Mountains to study animal behavior.

The video was captured by one of those cameras as they researched how wildlife interacted with major roadways that surround the area, the organization said.

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“With the information we’re collecting from this research, we are building a robust data set to identify the areas where wildlife can safely move across roadways, as well as the areas that need to be enhanced for safer crossing,” POST said.

Westlake Legal Group Capture Adorable video shows coyote and badger playing, possibly hunting together in California fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc David Aaro d7af4749-b754-50e8-b05b-997cc24fe9f7 article   Westlake Legal Group Capture Adorable video shows coyote and badger playing, possibly hunting together in California fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc David Aaro d7af4749-b754-50e8-b05b-997cc24fe9f7 article

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Drug lord Pablo Escobar’s hippos have become an invasive species, befouling lakes: study

Large wild hippos once owned by infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar have become an invasive species whose waste is wreaking havoc on Colombia’s aquatic ecosystem.

That’s the conclusion of a new study published this week in the journal Ecology, according to the tech publication C/Net.

According to researchers from the University of California, San Diego and the Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia, who conducted the study, Escobar’s four hippos have since multiplied to 80 hippos, C/Net reported. Hippos can grow to 3,000 pounds each.

The researchers determined that the large amounts of waste these creatures are excreting into the lakes they inhabit are changing the water’s chemistry and oxygen levels, according to the news outlet.

PABLO ESCOBAR’S LAST GIFT TO COLOMBIA: OUT OF CONTROL HIPPOS THAT MAY HAVE TO BE PUT DOWN

Westlake Legal Group Hippo-REUTERS Drug lord Pablo Escobar's hippos have become an invasive species, befouling lakes: study Robert Gearty fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox-news/tech fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/tech fnc fb4ed9d6-c4e0-5bb5-9613-d0af35241e2f article

A veterinarian prepares a hippopotamus, known as “Orion,” for dental treatment at the Zoo Santa Fe in Medellin January 27, 2010. The hippo was born in the private Hacienda Napoles ranch which belonged to Pablo Escobar. (REUTERS/Albeiro Lopera) 

The study found that the hippo waste fertilizes harmful algae and bacteria, causing problematic algae blooms similar to red tides, which cause illness in humans and animals, C/Net reported.

PABLO ESCOBAR’S HUNGRY, HUNGRY HIPPOS HAVE LEFT COLOMBIAN TOWN IN STATE OF FEAR

Escobar’s sprawling drug lair contained an exotic zoo for his children’s enjoyment, according to reports.

Columbian police killed Escobar in 1993 and afterward, the government found homes for all the zoo’s exotic inhabitants — except the hippos.

The authors of the study published in Ecology said hippos are difficult to catch and dangerous to confront.

They warned that the hippo population is likely to grow, further changing the aquatic ecosystem, C/Net reported.

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“If you plot out their population growth, we show that it tends to go exponentially skyward,” said UC San Diego’s Jonathan Shurin, a biological sciences professor and the study’s lead author. “In the next couple of decades there could be thousands of them. This study suggests that there is some urgency to deciding what to do about them. The question is: What should that be?”

Westlake Legal Group Hippo-REUTERS Drug lord Pablo Escobar's hippos have become an invasive species, befouling lakes: study Robert Gearty fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox-news/tech fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/tech fnc fb4ed9d6-c4e0-5bb5-9613-d0af35241e2f article   Westlake Legal Group Hippo-REUTERS Drug lord Pablo Escobar's hippos have become an invasive species, befouling lakes: study Robert Gearty fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox-news/tech fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/tech fnc fb4ed9d6-c4e0-5bb5-9613-d0af35241e2f article

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‘Obese’ bear removed from Pennsylvania club after living in poor conditions for ‘possibly decades’: report

Westlake Legal Group Obese-Bear-KDVR 'Obese' bear removed from Pennsylvania club after living in poor conditions for 'possibly decades': report Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/us fnc df27602b-ff25-5d71-8918-86b2e6f9695b article

An overweight bear that may have been living inside a small enclosure with poor conditions for “possibly decades” got a fresh start this week after being released to a Colorado animal sanctuary.

Dillon, an Asiatic Bear, was removed from the Union County Sportsmen’s Club in Milton, Penn., on Monday where he was enclosed in small cement cage with inadequate water, declawed and subject to continuous gunfire as his cage was just 200 feet from a shooting range, FOX31 reported, citing officials.

“He’s been there for possibly decades,” Kent Drotar with the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg told the station. “He’s incredibly large. We estimate he’s hundreds of pounds overweight. Just obese.”

GERMAN WOMAN USES TINDER TO FIND HELP AFTER GETTIN STUCK AT EUROPE’S MOST NORTHERN POINT 

Dillan was taken to the sanctuary with significant medical issues. According to a statement released on the group’s Facebook page, his teeth, gum lines and jaw bone have been eaten away at by a long-standing infection, he has patches of raw skin and his paws are severely disfigured after he was declawed at some point in captivity.

“Once Dillon’s dental issues have been repaired and his multiple infections are cleared, he will be able to move into a natural habitat where he can begin losing weight through exercise and receiving a correct diet,” the statement continued.

Dillon was released after several organizations, including actor Alec Baldwin, wrote to the governor and pressured the club to release the bear.

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The Union County Sportsmen’s Club is a 200-acre property that features a shooting range, golf course, restaurant and bar, and other wildlife. Members pay $25 a year to gain access to the club.

A request for comment was not immediately answered but an employee told Fox News over the phone that there are other animals on the property, including deers and bears, but nothing as large as the obese bear.

Westlake Legal Group Obese-Bear-KDVR 'Obese' bear removed from Pennsylvania club after living in poor conditions for 'possibly decades': report Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/us fnc df27602b-ff25-5d71-8918-86b2e6f9695b article   Westlake Legal Group Obese-Bear-KDVR 'Obese' bear removed from Pennsylvania club after living in poor conditions for 'possibly decades': report Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/us fnc df27602b-ff25-5d71-8918-86b2e6f9695b article

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Predators most likely to be lost when habitats are converted for human use, study claims

Predators, especially small invertebrates like spiders, are more likely to be decimated when natural habitats get converted for human use, a new global study claims.

The first of its kind study looked at over one million records of animal abundance at sites that included primary forests, managed farmland and cities. The data represents over 25,000 species across 80 countries.

“Normally when we think of predators, we think of big animals, like lions or tigers. These large predators did not decline as much as we expected with habitat loss, which we think may be because they have already declined because of human actions in the past (such as hunting),” Tim Newbold, at UCL (University College London) and lead author of the research, said in a press statement. “We find small predators – such as spiders and ladybirds – to show the biggest declines.”

STARVING LIONS IN SUDAN PARK PROMPT WORLDWIDE EFFORT TO SAVE THEM

Westlake Legal Group malaysian-spider-tim-newbold Predators most likely to be lost when habitats are converted for human use, study claims fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 662abdca-52c2-5b8a-8a25-91961b0f6c41

A Malaysian spider, one of the small predators found in the study to be most affected by habitat loss. (Tim Newbold_ (Tim Newbold)

COULD YOU LIVE IN A GIANT FUNGUS MEGASTRUCTURE?

According to researchers, the results show that humans are having a major impact on the world’s ecosystems, with disproportionate losses happening at the top of the food chain. Scientists hope that gaining a stronger understanding of how land-use impacts different species could help us figure out more about these ecosystems.

“Human land use has caused substantial declines in global species richness. Evidence from different taxonomic groups and geographic regions suggests that land use does not equally impact all organisms within terrestrial ecological communities, and that different functional groups of species may respond differently,” the scientists write in the paper’s abstract.

“We know that different types of animals play important roles in the environment — for example, predators control populations of other animals,” Newbold explained. “If some types of animals decline a lot when we lose natural habitats, then they will no longer fulfill these important roles.”

Their work was published on Monday in the British Ecological Society journal Functional Ecology.

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Westlake Legal Group malaysian-spider-tim-newbold Predators most likely to be lost when habitats are converted for human use, study claims fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 662abdca-52c2-5b8a-8a25-91961b0f6c41   Westlake Legal Group malaysian-spider-tim-newbold Predators most likely to be lost when habitats are converted for human use, study claims fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 662abdca-52c2-5b8a-8a25-91961b0f6c41

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Illinois zoo staff, visitors heartbroken after female lion euthanized less than 2 weeks after longtime mate

In just two weeks, the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois has been forced to euthanize both of its African lions.

On Tuesday, the Chicago Zoological Society announced that Isis, a 14-year-old female lion, was found injured and lying on the floor of her enclosure’s moat. Officials believe Isis fell sometime Monday morning after animal care staff checked on her around 9 a.m.

Despite intensive treatment by the veterinary staff, she reportedly suffered “significant injuries” and “the difficult decision was made” to humanely euthanize her, according to the zoological society.

HUMANITY’S FOOTPRINT IS SQUASHING THE WORLD’S WILDLIFE

Westlake Legal Group 373b9768-28be-44d4-b84f-2f017a90f746 Illinois zoo staff, visitors heartbroken after female lion euthanized less than 2 weeks after longtime mate fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc David Aaro article 230b45d6-803d-56ab-a3b1-ab8e623608d8

 Isis, female African lion, at Brookfield Zoo (Chicago Zoological Society)

“The safety and well-being of the animals in our care is our utmost priority,” said Bill Zeigler, senior vice president of animal programs. “Although it is unclear what caused her fall, we are reviewing all aspects of this tragic occurrence.”

Isis’s passing was devastating for zoo staff considering her longtime mate Zenda — Brookfield’s 13-year-old male African lion — was euthanized Jan. 2 after his health had declined dramatically.

He would have turned 14 in July.

Westlake Legal Group Lions-Isis-and-Zenda Illinois zoo staff, visitors heartbroken after female lion euthanized less than 2 weeks after longtime mate fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc David Aaro article 230b45d6-803d-56ab-a3b1-ab8e623608d8

Zenda and Isis, the male and female African lion pair, at Brookfield Zoo (Chicago Zoological Society)

“Just before Christmas, animal care staff observed Zenda having difficulty standing and walking,” a Jan. 3 news release said. “Over the past week, veterinarians had been treating his symptoms with medication to help ease the pain. Preliminary necropsy results revealed Zenda had several degenerative discs in his spine that had ruptured as a result of his advanced age and were inoperable.”

BONE-EATING LIFE-FORM FOUND IN STRANGE ALLIGATOR-CORPSE STUDY

Both lions had arrived at the zoo in May 2008 and were routinely seen “grooming one another other and sleeping together,” according to Tuesday’s release.

They were also reportedly loved “by staff and visitors alike.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

“Isis and her mate were majestic animals who had a strong bond, said Zeigler. “The staff, who dedicated their lives to care for these charismatic lions, are heartbroken by their loss.”

Westlake Legal Group Lions-Isis-and-Zenda Illinois zoo staff, visitors heartbroken after female lion euthanized less than 2 weeks after longtime mate fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc David Aaro article 230b45d6-803d-56ab-a3b1-ab8e623608d8   Westlake Legal Group Lions-Isis-and-Zenda Illinois zoo staff, visitors heartbroken after female lion euthanized less than 2 weeks after longtime mate fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc David Aaro article 230b45d6-803d-56ab-a3b1-ab8e623608d8

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Fukushima nuclear plant’s exclusion zone overtaken by wild animals

The 2011 earthquake and tsunami that caused Fukushima’s nuclear plant to melt down prompted the Japanese goverment to evacuate a huge area as dangerous radiation spread.

The evacuated region, which was carved up into several zones based on how the radiation spread, has become home for a wide range of wild animals that apparently found a way to thrive amid the desolation despite the radiation.

Researchers set up cameras in all of the zones. They were able to collect more than 267,000 images over the course of two 60-day periods, providing a unique glimpse of animals roaming the Fukushima countryside — including feral hogs, monkeys and a fox.

INDONESIA TRIES ‘CLOUD SEEDING’ TO STOP THE RAIN AMID CATASTROPHIC FLOODS

Westlake Legal Group wildlife-fukushima Fukushima nuclear plant’s exclusion zone overtaken by wild animals fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc e11d33d3-3a38-534a-baea-2612f7904653 Christopher Carbone article

Wildlife has thrived amid the devastation in Fukushima, (University of Georgia)

RARE ALBINO LOBSTER GOES ON DISPLAY AFTER BEING CAUGHT OFF ENGLAND’S COAST

“Over time, some wildlife species have responded favorably to the absence of humans, even in the presence of high radiation levels, resulting in a rewilding of the evacuation zones,” Thomas Hinton, a radioecologist at the Institute of Environmental Radioactivity at Fukushima University who worked on the study, told Earther.

Human beings have put an unrelenting amount of pressure on animals. Whether fueled by the clearance of land, by wildfires or by a warming climate, some scientists believe we are at the start of a sixth mass extinction event.

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Their study, which was released Friday, was published in Frontiers in Ecology.

“Humans are nature’s cancer,” Hinton explained. “Our ever-expanding presence has discernible impacts on many wildlife species. Nature, however, is resilient and if the stress of persistent human presence is reduced, many wildlife populations are about to rebound and increase in numbers.”

Westlake Legal Group wildlife-fukushima Fukushima nuclear plant’s exclusion zone overtaken by wild animals fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc e11d33d3-3a38-534a-baea-2612f7904653 Christopher Carbone article   Westlake Legal Group wildlife-fukushima Fukushima nuclear plant’s exclusion zone overtaken by wild animals fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc e11d33d3-3a38-534a-baea-2612f7904653 Christopher Carbone article

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Sydney suburb becomes hottest place on earth as temps reach 120 degrees; wildfire death toll reaches 23

Australia’s wildfire crisis reached new heights Saturday after it was reported that temperatures in a large suburb in the western part of Sydney reached 120 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the hottest place on earth.

The nearly 200,000 residents of Penrith experienced the hottest day ever recorded in greater Sydney after temperatures soared to 120 degrees, prompting officials to warn that it’s now too dangerous to even evacuate.

AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES PROMPT NAVY BEACH RESCUES, MARKING LARGEST PEACETIME EVACUATIONS IN HISTORY 

Westlake Legal Group AP20004327426049 Sydney suburb becomes hottest place on earth as temps reach 120 degrees; wildfire death toll reaches 23 Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc b00ab1f6-20c7-5687-9e79-1f48a27153da article

Australia’s prime minister called up about 3,000 reservists as the threat of wildfires escalated in at least three states on Saturday, while strong winds and high temperatures were forecast to bring flames to populated areas including the suburbs of Sydney. (AP)

“We are now in a position where we are saying to people it’s not safe to move, it’s not safe to leave these areas,” New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters. “We are in for a long night and I make no bones about that. We are still yet to hit the worst of it.”

By nightfall, some 3,600 firefighters were battling blazes that continued to burn across the state.

Westlake Legal Group AP20004120418961 Sydney suburb becomes hottest place on earth as temps reach 120 degrees; wildfire death toll reaches 23 Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc b00ab1f6-20c7-5687-9e79-1f48a27153da article

A man uses a water hose to battle a fire near Moruya, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison called up about 3,000 reservists as the threat of wildfires escalated Saturday in at least three states with two more deaths, and strong winds and high temperatures were forecast to bring flames to populated areas including the suburbs of Sydney. (AP)

High temperatures, dry heat and strong winds have created the perfect storm to allow the now-more than 200 fires to continue to burn and spread at a rapid speed since the wildfires first began in early Sept.

“The ignition sources are already there,” Country Fire Service chief officer Mark Jones said Friday. “There are millions of sparks out there ready to go if they break containment lines.”

Smoke from the wildfires has choked air quality and turned daytime skies to near-nighttime darkness in the worst-hit areas. Its presence can be even seen in satellite images.

AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER BERATED BY LOCALS IN VISIT TO WILDFIRE-RAVAGED TOWN; FIRE CONDITIONS MAY WORSEN 

Westlake Legal Group AP20004114988000 Sydney suburb becomes hottest place on earth as temps reach 120 degrees; wildfire death toll reaches 23 Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc b00ab1f6-20c7-5687-9e79-1f48a27153da article

A Forest Corporation worker manages a fire hose as he battles a fire near Moruya, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020.  (AP)

Video and images shared on social media showed blood red skies taking over Mallacoota, a coastal town in Victoria where as many as 4,000 residents and tourists were forced to shelter on beaches as the navy tried to evacuate as many people as possible.

Westlake Legal Group Australia-Wildfire-Getty-4 Sydney suburb becomes hottest place on earth as temps reach 120 degrees; wildfire death toll reaches 23 Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc b00ab1f6-20c7-5687-9e79-1f48a27153da article

Residents look on as flames burn through bush on January 04, 2020 in Lake Tabourie, Australia. A state of emergency has been declared across NSW with dangerous fire conditions forecast for Saturday, as more than 140 bushfires continue to burn. There have been eight confirmed deaths in NSW since Monday 30 December. 1365 homes have been lost, while 3.6 million hectares have been burnt this fire season.  (Getty)

Kangaroo Island, which lies just off the coast of South Australia, has seen some of the worst destruction to land and wildlife.

One man shared a video to Facebook Thursday that showed fire tornadoes that were forming due to the strong winds.

“Here’s another fire twister on Kangaroo Island this afternoon. We had a fair few of them today and it wasn’t even a hot day,” his post read.

THOUSANDS OF KOALAS FEARED DEAD IN RAGING AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES, OFFICIALS SAY 

A father and son, 78 and 43, died on the island Saturday bringing the total death count up to at least 23, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

“We are facing another extremely difficult next 24 hours,” Morrison said at a televised news conference where he announced that about 3,000 reservists have been called up to battles the wildfires.

Westlake Legal Group Australia-Wildfire-REUTERS Sydney suburb becomes hottest place on earth as temps reach 120 degrees; wildfire death toll reaches 23 Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc b00ab1f6-20c7-5687-9e79-1f48a27153da article

The sky glows orange as surrounding wildfires close in on the town of Mallacoota, Victoria, Australia, January 4, 2020, in this photo obtained from social media.  (@brendanh_au/via REUTERS)

“In recent times, particularly over the course of the balance of this week, we have seen this disaster escalate to an entirely new level.”

Defense Minister Linda Reynolds said it was the first time that reservists had been called up “in this way in living memory and, in fact, I believe for the first time in our nation’s history.”

An early and hot start to Australia’s summer has contributed to the wildfires which have now burned more than 12.35 million acres of land and destroyed more than 1,500 homes.

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In addition to the loss of human life, Australia’s wildlife has been heavily impacted.

Sydney University ecologist Chris Dickman told the Sydney Morning Herald that it is likely that 500 million birds, reptiles and mammals in New South Wales alone have been killed in the fires. This excludes frogs, bats and insects which he said would make his estimate far greater than that.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Australia-Wildfire-Getty-4 Sydney suburb becomes hottest place on earth as temps reach 120 degrees; wildfire death toll reaches 23 Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc b00ab1f6-20c7-5687-9e79-1f48a27153da article   Westlake Legal Group Australia-Wildfire-Getty-4 Sydney suburb becomes hottest place on earth as temps reach 120 degrees; wildfire death toll reaches 23 Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc b00ab1f6-20c7-5687-9e79-1f48a27153da article

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Arizona authorities kill 3 mountain lions found devouring human remains

Westlake Legal Group MountainLionsiStock Arizona authorities kill 3 mountain lions found devouring human remains Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc f54d00f1-b040-5cb0-a9f1-2d0e415fdd8a article

Three mountain lions found eating human remains and determined to be a danger to the public near a popular Tucson hiking trail have been killed, Arizona officials said Wednesday.

While the animals were not considered linked to the deceased’s death, they failed to show any fear of officers trying to remove the remains, the Arizona Game and Fish Department said in a statement, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

CALIFORNIA WOMAN PUNCHES MOUNTAIN LION IN ATTEMPT TO SAVE HER DOG

Authorities closed off a portion of the Coronado National Forest for a day while officials attempted unsuccessfully to trap the mountain lions.

The medical examiner will try to identify and determine a cause of death for the victim, who was found Tuesday morning off the Pima Canyon Trail.

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The trail – at the base of Mount Lemmon – reopened Wednesday, ahead of a planned Jan. 14 date, after authorities decided there was little danger to the public with the lions gone.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group MountainLionsiStock Arizona authorities kill 3 mountain lions found devouring human remains Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc f54d00f1-b040-5cb0-a9f1-2d0e415fdd8a article   Westlake Legal Group MountainLionsiStock Arizona authorities kill 3 mountain lions found devouring human remains Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc f54d00f1-b040-5cb0-a9f1-2d0e415fdd8a article

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Thousand of koalas feared dead in raging Australia wildfires, officials say

Thousands of koalas are feared to have died in the wildfires raging in parts of Australia, with officials saying they believe up to a third of the iconic marsupial population may have been lost.

The mid-northern coast of New South Wales was home to up to 28,000 koalas before the blazes began scorching the region last month.

Sussan Ley, Australia’s environment minister, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Saturday that “up to 30 percent of their habitat has been destroyed.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19357177839193 Thousand of koalas feared dead in raging Australia wildfires, officials say Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc article 6f403378-c5c1-5aec-8cd8-4308bc5898be

In this image made from video taken on Dec. 22, 2019, and provided by Oakbank Balhannah CFS, a koala drinks water from a bottle given by a firefighter in Cudlee Creek, South Australia. Around 200 wildfires were burning in four states, with New South Wales accounting for more than half of them, including 60 fires not contained. (Oakbank Balhannah CFS via AP)

“We’ll know more when the fires are calmed down and a proper assessment can be made,” she added. “In the meantime, I’ve convened experts, scientists, people who understand koala behavior, to work out how we build those corridors in the habitats and how best we reintroduce koalas from the hospitals.”

KOALA RESCUED FROM AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES DIES AFTER INJURIES WORSEN

Koalas are native to Australia and are one of the country’s most beloved animals. However, their natural habitat, Eucalyptus forests, has been threatened by wildfires and a years-long drought.

The dramatic rescue of a koala in New South Wales last month captured the hearts and attention of people around the world. A video of a woman pulling the badly burned, wailing koala from a brushfire and dousing it with water went viral.

But the severely injured koala, named Lewis by Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, woud die days later.

Images shared on social media in recent days showed koalas drinking water out of tubs and bottles after being rescued.

“I get mail from all over the world from people absolutely moved and amazed by our wildlife volunteer response and also by the habits of these curious creatures,” Ley said, adding that other native animals have also been heavily impacted by the fires.

AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES EXPECTED TO WORSEN AS ANOTHER ‘EXTREME HEAT WAVE’ LOOMS

Officials said more than 12.35 million acres of land have burned nationwide during the crisis. Nine people – including two firefighters – have been killed and more than 1,000 homes destroyed.

The fire danger in New South Wales – just north of Sydney – was upgraded to “severe” Saturday, as temperatures topped 100 degrees in parts of the region.

Westlake Legal Group AP19356361253350 Thousand of koalas feared dead in raging Australia wildfires, officials say Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc article 6f403378-c5c1-5aec-8cd8-4308bc5898be

In this Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, photo, NSW Rural Fire Service crew fight the Gospers Mountain Fire as it impacts a property at Bilpin, New South Wales state, Australia. Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday, Dec. 22, apologized for taking a family vacation in Hawaii as deadly bushfires raged across several states, destroying homes and claiming the lives of two volunteer firefighters.(Dan Himbrechts/AAP Images via AP)

The high temperature in Sydney was expected to reach 88 degrees Sunday and 95 on Tuesday.

Canberra, Australia’s capital, peaked at 100 degrees Saturday, with more oppressive heat expected throughout next week.

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The hot weather, which has come in the first part of Australia’s summer, started early this year after an unusually dry and warm winter.

Fox News’ Travis Fedschun and Greg Norman, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19357177839193 Thousand of koalas feared dead in raging Australia wildfires, officials say Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc article 6f403378-c5c1-5aec-8cd8-4308bc5898be   Westlake Legal Group AP19357177839193 Thousand of koalas feared dead in raging Australia wildfires, officials say Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc article 6f403378-c5c1-5aec-8cd8-4308bc5898be

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