- Obama hosting annual Easter Egg Roll
- Big Bang a big question for most Americans: Poll
- Jimmy Carter’s grandson: People have right to sport Confederate battle flag license plate
- Supreme Court issues no ruling on case challenging N.J. gun law
- Sharyl Attkisson: Media Matters ‘clearly targeted me’
- Sherpas consider boycott after Everest avalanche
- Democrat Rep. Stephen Lynch on Obamacare: ‘We will lose seats’ this November
- Syria to hold presidential election on June 3
- People will be safe at 118th Boston Marathon, Mayor Marty Walsh says
- Boy Scout, 12, killed by rolling tree during troop outing at Washington park
No ark needed for flood in Asia
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Wildlife officials in Sri Lanka said yesterday that although thousands of people perished in the quake and tidal wave catastrophe, no dead animals had been found on the island nation.
A photographer who flew over Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park spotted “abundant wildlife,” but not one carcass.
Almost 23,000 people are thought to have died in the country, but H.D. Ratnayake, deputy director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation Sri Lanka, said it appeared that the animals had sensed danger and headed to safety.
“The strange thing is, we have not recorded any dead animals. No elephants are dead, not even a dead hare or rabbit. I think animals can sense disaster. They know when things are happening in nature,” he said.
Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne, who runs a hotel in the park, said, “I am finding bodies of humans, but I have yet to see a dead animal.”
Yala, Sri Lanka’s largest wildlife reserve, is home to 200 Asian elephants, crocodiles, wild boars, water buffaloes and gray langur monkeys. The park also has Asia’s highest concentration of leopards. The Yala reserve covers 391 square miles, but only 56 square miles are open to tourists.
Rupert Sheldrake, biologist and author of “The Sense of Being Stared At,” a book about unexplained human and animal abilities, said animals “seem to sense when a disaster or catastrophe is about to occur.”
“The most striking examples concern earthquakes,” he said.
In some instances, cats have been said to go into hiding up to 12 hours before an earthquake, while dogs would bark “frantically” shortly before it struck, he said.
Roger Tabor, an animal behaviorist, said initial reports from Sri Lanka about the miraculous escape of the animal population were “intriguing,” but would need to be investigated further.
In these situations, he said, dead animals often are ignored or not even noticed because of the scale of the human tragedy.
A French official coordinating European aid to Sri Lanka told the French government by telephone yesterday that almost 23,000 were killed in that country in the weekend tsunami disaster.
Col. Philippe Nardin, of the national civil emergency service, told French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin in a telephone briefing from Sri Lanka that “we can expect 40,000 to 50,000 dead” in the end, officials said.
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Twitter blocks accounts critical of Turkish government
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Jimmy Carter's grandson: People have right to sport Confederate battle flag license plate
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- CURL: Shelly O first lady Michelle Obama comes in last
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.