October 2, 2012

In the News: A Calf, A Pig, and An Osprey



What do a calf, a pig, and an osprey have in common?

They endanger—or point out danger to—humans, according to three news stories in the October 2, 2012, issue of the Greensburg Tribune-Review:

  • A calf points to the danger of abandoned mine shafts.
  • A farmer may not be safe from bodily harm inflicted by his pig.
  • An osprey may endanger airplanes in flights.


From Ligonier Township in Southwestern Pennsylvania1

When a calf fell into a mine shaft his mother allegedly saved its life by acting out of character, drawing the attention of the owners.

Dozens of firefighters did a great job in rescuing the calf, which was possibly in the shaft up to twenty-four hours. They removed the bucket from a backhoe and replaced it with a nylon sling, which was lowered into the shaft (estimated to be eighteen feet deep with a diameter of forty inches), and carefully looped around the calf and hooked to the backhoe. This allowed the rescuers to hoist the animal out of the shaft.1

What this calf incident demonstrates is the danger of abandoned mineshafts. Its story brings to mind the myriad of incidents where underground mining a century ago is resulting in sinkholes today, sinkholes that swallow up cars and endanger structures—and lives.


From Oregon: Farmer eaten by his hogs, authorities say2

Is it cannibalism if you eat pork from a hog shortly after it ingests a human being?

This question occurred to me after I read this short article stating Oregon authorities are investigating how a farmer was eaten by his hogs…2

Allegedly a seventy-year-old farmer set out to feed the hogs, which later on were found in their enclosure, licking their chops (italicized are my words) and surrounded by pieces of the man’s body and the man’s dentures. What happened?

Perhaps the farmer…had a medical emergency, such as a heart attack, or was knocked over by the animals before he was killed.2 Or perhaps the hogs were exacting revenge on a farmer who preferred pork over beef or chicken. Either way, the man-hog table was turned in this situation.

Criminal activity has not been ruled out.2

I wonder if there will be a trial, and if so, will the judgment on the pigs be the death penalty or incarceration for life?


From Japan: Ospreys fly to U. S. base despite protests…3

After having spent sessions photographing osprey during two summers when I spent time in Northern New York State’s St. Lawrence River Valley region, the above headline caught my eye.

Perhaps the protests are against the ospreys because they endanger themselves and airplanes when the two meet, or because they make a mess with their droppings of white stuff and twigs (gathered to make their huge nests).

Curious, I read the short article. And I discovered how wrong my thoughts were.

Hundreds of protesters were concerned about osprey safety because they are birds of a different kind—hybrid aircraft which take off like a helicopter and fly like an airplane. Six of these MV-22 osprey aircraft were transferred to a U. S. base on the island of Okinawa on October 1, 2012. It is expected that twelve of these aircraft will be stationed at Futenma, which is surrounded by residential areas.3

I wonder if feathered osprey fly in Okinawa. If so, communication had better be specific or safety could be severely compromised.


So there you have it, three creature stories from the daily newspaper. Did you enjoy them?



A Pig’s Eye View of National Pig Day

Osprey in New York’s St. Lawrence Valley

Googins Island, Maine: An Osprey Sanctuary:

Air Show in Latrobe (PA) Features the Navy Blue Angels

SOURCE: The Greensburg Tribune-Review: B61, A72, and A23


1 Comment »

  1. Only you would find the story of a man being eaten by pigs   –  as interesting.   FMW


    Comment by Fred Wells — October 2, 2012 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

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