WWF Fears For Siberian Tiger After Russian Oil Leak

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A leak from Russia’s new Siberian oil pipeline shows the potentially damaging consequences the project could have for the endangered Siberian tiger, an environmental campaign group warned on Friday.Around 300 cubic metres (10,600 cubic feet) of oil leaked from the pipeline in eastern Siberia, Igor Dyomin, spokesman for Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft told AFP.The leak covered an area 10 metres (yards) across and two kilometres (1.2 miles) long, he said.

“The major accident on the new Siberia-Pacific oil pipeline which has just come into operation shows the project has major flaws around ecological safety,” the environmental campaign group WWF said in a statement.The first section of the pipeline, linking Taishet in eastern Siberia with Skovorodino in the Amur region, entered service in December.A second section is planned which will run 2,100 kilometres (1,300 miles) from Skovorodino to the Kozmino oil terminal near the Pacific Ocean port of Nakhodka.

Russia, the world’s largest exporter of crude oil, hopes the route will help it diversify its customer base away from Europe by supplying energy-hungry Asian nations.”A discharge of oil took place during regulatory work on the pipeline,” Dyomin said.”We are trying to establish the cause, but it is not connected to the operation of the pipeline. We have not ruled out human error,” he said, adding that the results of the investigation were expected in a month.

The WWF said the causes of the accident should be assessed in public and called for a fresh assessment of the second stage of the pipeline project, involving all parties.Far eastern Russia is the main habitat for the Siberian tiger, the world’s largest feline.Around 450 remain in the wild there, and a further 20 to 25 live in China.

(source)

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Rare Siberian Tigers Among Dead Circus Cats

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Two rare Siberian tigers were among a group of big cats in a Russian traveling circus that died during a 20-hour truck journey this week, a circus administrator said Thursday.Veterinarians suspect the animals were suffocated by exhaust fumes in the enclosed truck, which was heated to counter outside temperatures below minus-30 degrees Fahrenheit (Celsius).

Circus officials and police initially said that eight Bengal tigers had died.But Mechta circus administrator Yevgeny Kudashkin said there were seven tigers and two were Siberian tigers, which some conservationists fear may be approaching extinction.

The loss of the endangered tigers — also known as Ussuri, Amur or Manchurian tigers — was certain to increase the outrage over the animals’ deaths.A lioness also died during the trip across Siberia to the city of Yakutsk, where the circus was due to perform.

The animals appear to have been killed by exhaust fumes, Darya Kokhunova, deputy director of the Irkutsk veterinary laboratory, said. She cautioned that the tests were not yet complete.
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The Last Known Wild Tiger In China Killed And Eaten By Villagers

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The last wild Indochinese tiger in China was killed and eaten by a man who was yesterday sentenced to 12years’jail.Kang Wannian, a villager from Mengla, Yunnan Province, came across the tiger in February while gathering freshwater clams in a nature reserve near China’s border with Laos.He claimed to have killed it in self-defence.The only known wild Indochinese tiger in China, photographed in 2007 at the same reserve, has not been seen since Kang’s meal, the Yunnan-based newspaper Life News reported earlier this month.

A local court sentenced Kang to 10 years for killing a rare animal plus two years for illegal possession of firearms.Prosecutors said Kang did not need a gun to gather clams.Four villagers who helped Kang dismember the tiger and ate its meat were also sentenced from three to four years for ‘covering up and concealing criminal gains’, the report said.

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Puffer Fish Russian Roulette Ends As Scientists Breed Non-Lethal Version

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The fugu is one of the world’s most dangerous foods, thanks to a concentration of anhydrotetrodotoxin 4-epitetrodotoxin in the liver or ovaries that is 1,200 times more lethal than cyanide.The poison paralyses the nerves and prevents the lungs from working. There is no antidote and death occurs within minutes – with the first indication that all is not well reportedly a numbness of the lips.

Only specially-licensed chefs are qualified to prepare this winter delicacy for human consumption and there are several fatalities every year, mostly among sport fishermen who think they know how to remove the poisonous parts.Now an aquaculture company based in the southern prefecture of Ehime said it had raised 50,000 non-poisonous fugu at a fish farm.

But many fugu chefs – who are traditionally bound to commit ritual suicide with their own fish knife should one of their customers expire after eating one of their meals – said they preferred to take their chances with the potentially deadly wild varieties.

“It’s a very tasty fish, but that’s not the only reason people choose to go to a fugu restaurant,” said Shinichi Ueshima, the chef at the Dote fugu restaurant in Yokohama.
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Unknown Creature In Russian Waters

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CHELYABINSK, Russia — According to a local report, A strange prehistoric creature has been found in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. The creature, still unidentified, appeared in a flooded ditch at a construction site. Evidently the deep ditch was inundated by a underground river and sat full of water for quite some time.The report goes on to say that a few months later, some workers spotted some movement in the water. When they threw some of their lunch in the water, the workers were amazed to see movement in the ditch.Puzzled, the worked investigated and brought up the creature. When the creature tried to bite, the workers had to kill it with some nearby equipment. The workers estimated the size of the creature at
5 inches

(source)