Agence France-PresseJuly 05, 2021 12:28:40 pm
The pandemic and climate change are testing the delicate balance of human coexistence with the natural world like never before. As an Australian prison is evacuated after being overrun by the mouse infestation ravaging the east of the country, we look at some of the most spectacular recent examples.
Australian mouse plague
Battling a massive plague of mice after the end of a three-year drought, eastern Australia is seeing destroyed crops, infested grain silos and barns, and homes overrun by the rodent that was first introduced to the country by colonialists. Europeans.
Mouse plague hits Australia, farmers are hopeful of India’s banned poison.
Mice have also entered houses, inside containers and have found their way to water tanks. pic.twitter.com/nxT8sRhUkw
– Kyhan Chase 🇮🇳 (@KyhanChase) May 29, 2021
Videos of masses of skin-crawling rodents have been shared around the world, along with reports of patients being bitten in hospital, destroyed machinery and swarms crossing roads in droves.
In the latest twist Tuesday, mice forced hundreds of inmates to evacuate from a jail after they gnawed through ceiling panels and wiring.
Experts warn that climate change could make these chronic infestations more regular.
Indeed, the Gippsland region in the southeast of the country has been covered in a sea of cobwebs after an invasion of cobweb spiders that fled the floods in early June.
A herd of elephants that has moved away from their reserve in China’s Yunnan province has made headlines around the world, with 3,500 people on their way evacuated from their homes and hundreds of trucks deployed to keep them out of densely populated areas.
State broadcaster CCTV is broadcasting live 24 hours of the migration that began late last year and has so far cost farmers more than $ 1 million in damage to crops.
Elephant in the room
An elephant poked its head through the wall of Kittichai Boodchan’s kitchen in western Thailand on Sunday night to poke around her pantry for a midnight snack.
Kittichai lives near a national park and this was not the first such visit. Last month, the elephant blew a hole in the wall, creating an opening reminiscent of a restaurant window.
A California teenager became a social media sensation when a video of her shoving a large bear from her suburban garden wall to protect her dogs went viral earlier this month.
“The first thing I plan to do is push the bear. And somehow it worked,” said the 17-year-old, whose push caused the bear to fall off the low wall and back off with her cubs.
But there was a grim ending to another Ursine encounter in Slovakia last week when a 57-year-old man was killed by a brown bear on the outskirts of Bratislava.
The death provoked the fury of hunters who claim that the number of bears has become too high due to the ban on hunting to save the species.
The clamor echoes similar debates in other countries about bear conservation.
The wolves divide
Protection from wolves is equally divisive, with an outcry in the US in March after licensed hunters in Wisconsin killed 216 wolves in 60 hours, a fifth of the state’s total population.
Donald Trump lifted federal protection for wolves, exposing them to trophy hunting in several states.
An equally heated debate is raging in France, where wolves have flourished since 1992, after being hunted to extinction.
While their numbers are only a fraction of those found in Italy, Spain, Romania or Poland, farmers are resisting the ban on killing the predator in most of the EU.
Door crashing wild boars
Wild boars also cause problems in most of continental Europe, damaging manicured lawns and golf courses from the French Riviera to the Baltic, where they have become famous for venturing into residential areas in search of food.
In one of the funniest incidents, a German wild boar stole a nudist’s laptop last year by a lake in Berlin, with a video of the naked bather chasing the animal and garnering millions of views.
Freedom from confinement
Pandemic closures have brought new freedom to many wild animals, allowing them to roam the heart of cities.
With half the world’s population locked out last year, social media was littered with images of wildlife reclaiming the streets, from herds of wild sika deer roaming subway stations in Japan to herds of jackals congregating in the center of Tel Aviv in Israel.