How To Avoid Getting Attacked By A Mockingbird

Reports of mockingbirds attacking people who were walking through Transmitter Park in Greenpoint, Brooklyn started coming in over the last couple of weeks, but mockingbird attacks aren’t limited to New York City. That’s because mockingbird attacks aren’t contingent on a specific location but are instead determined by the time of the year and the creatures within closest proximity to the nest. Mockingbirds breed during the spring and early summer months and they defend their nests vigorously during this time.

A 2009 study published in Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences described the ability mockingbirds possess to recognize individual features of humans as well as other species. Individuals who come too close to a mockingbird nest are subject to an attack within a couple days should they continue frequenting the area, according to the study. The best way to avoid a mockingbird attack? Never get too close to a mockingbird nest.Mockingbirds aren’t the only animals to watch out for when you travel. Check out the following stories about animal attacks:

Rape Fears Plague Indian Tourism

Several countries have updated their travel advisories to warn tourists of the threat of sexual assault when traveling to India. The South Asian country has made headlines in recent weeks and months following a spate of rape cases involving travelers and locals alike.

In the most recent incident, a 25-year-old British woman threw herself off her hotel balcony to escape a sexual assault. The woman was sleeping in a hotel in the tourist city of Agra, when the owner of the hotel burst into her room in the middle of the night demanding a massage before trying to assault her. The terrified woman jumped from her first floor balcony, and is now in the hospital suffering two broken legs and head injuries.This latest attack comes on the back of the vicious gang rape of a Swiss woman last Friday. The 39-year-old was camping in the temple town of Orchha with her husband when a gang of men arrived, armed with sticks. The men beat up the husband before tying the woman to a tree and attacking her. According to police, the woman said she was raped by up to seven or eight men.

But it’s not just travelers who face the threat of being molested in the subcontinent. Three months ago, a 23-year-old Indian medical student was killed after five men raped her on a bus before throwing her from the moving vehicle in the Indian capital, New Dehli. The deadly attack sent shockwaves across the country, spurring protests and a call for tougher laws against sexual assault.

However, any changes are too little too late for the country’s tourism industry, which is bracing itself for the fallout. Both the UK and Switzerland have issued travel advisories warning about the rise in sexually motivated crimes across the country.

What do you think? Would you still visit India despite the latest attacks?

[Photo credit: Flickr user McKay Savage]

Crazy squirrel attacks residents of Vermont

In Bennington, Vermont, a gray squirrel has been terrorizing locals with his own brand of march madness. Perhaps harboring a vendetta against humans or possibly mad from rabies, the squirrel has attacked at least three separate people. The attacks have been described as an unprovoked flurry of scratching and biting.

The “Beast of Benington” attacked one resident, Kevin McDonald, while he was innocently shoveling snow in his front yard. According to the Bennington Banner, the squirrel jumped McDonald from behind, scratching at his back until being thrown off. The persistent squirrel came back for two rounds before McDonald retreated to his home and the squirrel disappeared into a nearby tree.

The next day, he saw his neighbor battling the same rodent with a metal pole and a blanket.The local Game Warden has visited with several of the squirrel assault victims and reported that a woman that was bitten on the back of her neck will undergo a series of rabies vaccinations.

If your travels take you to Bennington, beware this hostile creature.

flickr image via bobolink

San Diego homeless man gets 14 years for beating, burning Aussie tourist

Damian Maple, a homeless man in San Diego, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for beating an Australian tourist, Robert Schneider, with a skateboard and dragging him into a fire pit. Maple went down for attempted murder for attacking the 26-year-old Adelaide resident in 2008.

Maple’s accomplice, Francisco Montoya, was sentenced to two years in prison for assault with a deadly weapon. Montoya is also homeless.

According to a witness, Schneider threw sand in Montoya’s face, prompting the latter to attack the former. Maple encouraged Montoya and then dragged the unconscious Australian tourist into a smoldering fire pit. Schneider’s injuries – including burns and a skull fracture – put him in the hospital for several weeks.

Beware Australia’s “Ninja Kangaroo”

Kangaroos just don’t look that threatening. Perhaps it’s because they carry their offspring in a pouch. Or the fact they move around by hopping up and down. But if you think kangaroos don’t have a mean streak in them, you’d be wrong. One night when you least expect it, clandestine marsupials will come smashing through your bedroom window, ready to terrorize you and everything you care about. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

It’s a lesson Australian couple Beat Ettlin and Verity Beaman recently learned the hard way. The couple, who live in the suburb of Canberra with their two children, were fast asleep recently when they were awakened by the sound of their dogs barking. Suddenly a dark silhouette burst through their bedroom window, shattering glass everywhere and landing on the bed.

By the time the startled Beat and Verity had realized the rogue intruder was a kangaroo, the frightened animal had crushed one side of their bed and smeared blood up and down the family’s hallway, terrifying the family’s two young children. In a fit of valor, Mr. Ettlin pounced on the six-foot tall kangaroo from behind, wrestling it to the floor and dragging it out the family’s front door.

The whole scene is best summed up in Mr. Ettlin’s own words: “I thought it was a lunatic ninja coming at us through the window.” Thankfully this particular ninja did not come equipped with deadly throwing stars or nunchucks. Just a furry pouch.

[Via Buzzfeed]