Half Moon Bay, CA - 3 November 2005: Shark Attack Leaves Surfer OK, Tooth in Surfboard

A 25-year-old man survived a close call with a shark Wednesday evening (2 November.) Tim West said he was surfing Mavericks, the world-famous surf break off this city about 30 miles south of San Francisco, when the shark came up directly beneath him and knocked him about 2 feet into the air. He was unharmed but the attack left a tooth in his board.

"It makes you think twice, but it's going to happen — it's shark season," said another local surfer, Libby Grestin.

Indeed. Experts are surprised there have not been more recent shark attacks in the area because great whites are usually close to shore this time of year searching for food. Read stories from Global Surf News, KRON-4, KSBWChannel.com, and NBC17.com.

3 November 2005: Pit Bull Update

DENVER: Gregg Jones, 10, was in his back yard on 2 November when three pit bulls - his family pets - attacked and mauled him. Denver has enacted a controversial breed ban, as has Aurora, a suburb - but Aurora's ban will not become effective until Jan 1, 2006. The Rocky Mountain News and WRAL of Raleigh, NC cover the story. D Mahoney and Wayne F tipped us off.

WASHINGTON DC: According to NBC4.com, a girl apparently became enraged and unleashed her dog 3 November after a restaurant sold a burrito she had already purchased to another man. The dog was eventually taken away.

UKIAH, CA: Two pit bulls apparently invaded a fenced area Sat., 29 Oct. and killed a small pet. This story is from the Ukiah Daily.

MONMOUTH, IL: Reviewatlas.com reports that two pit bulls attacked and injured a man and later badly mauled a miniature horse in this town about thirty miles south of the Quad Cities.

Maranhão, Brazil - 3 November 2005: Rabid Vampire Bats Kill 23

Residents of marshy areas in the rain forest have suffered a spate of attacks by blood-sucking vampire bats. From the story on almendhar.com:

Mass attacks on humans have occurred in other cattle regions in Latin America when the cattle are suddenly removed, denying the bats their normal food.

The bats typically feed on mammalian blood.

Stories in Times (UK), the New Scientist, and the BBC. AAF thanks correspondent D Mahoney for this tip.

California - 1 November 2005: Deer Attacks Puzzle Wildlife Officials

Two recent deer attacks against people and three against neighborhood pets have prompted California wildlife officials to warn people to keep their distance from the wild animals.

In one of these attacks, a male deer attacked Ron Dudek, 73, in Rancho Santa Fe in Southern California as he was picking tomatoes in his garden on Sept. 25. The 6-foot-tall buck charged out of a patch of shrubbery and gored Dudek in the face before running off. Dudek was rushed to the hospital. He received 220 stitches for the wounds, but died from a pulmonary blood clot resulting from the encounter in mid-October. (See this San Francisco Chronicle story or this story in the Lake County, CA Record-Bee for more information.)

The Animal Attack Files commends ABCNEWS.COM reporter Amanda Onion for this special report.

(The photo, of an attack in Orinda, CA, is credited to Louis Pimentel.)

Junagadh, India - October 31 2005: Leopard Attacks Family In Home

“I was having breakfast with my family when a leopard suddenly rushed into our house and before we could do anything attacked us,

Johannesburg - 31 October 2005: Seal Attacks Woman, Bites off Nose

Cape fur seals are common on South African shores. This particular female "had been lying in the same spot since Friday, so the lady and a few other people were trying to take it back to the water,

San Francisco - 29 October 2005: SF Chronicle Sunday Magazine Highlights Pit Bull Politics

Numerous high profile dog attacks in San Francisco mean the city's newspaper readers flock to stories about this issue. The Chronicle put the Pit Bull - and the controversy over a possible breed ban - on the front page of their Sunday Magazine section this week. Although not all of the material in the issue is available through this link, it is a good place to start.

Shizuoka, Japan - 25 October 2005: Brown Bear Attacks, Kills Zookeeper

Tomohiro Tamura, 34, who had been in charge of bears for three and a half years at the zoo, was pronounced dead at a hospital from blood loss, the police said. He had suffered injuries to his head and left leg.

The full story is available in this Japan Today article.

Nairobi, Kenya - 21 October 2005: Rhinocerous Attacks, Kills Keeper

The endangered black rhino bull, a resident of the famous Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Sanctuary in Kenya's Nairobi National Park, fatally gored a keeper and charged other sanctuary staff before being shot dead. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has the story.

Picture of the Year: Peregrine Falcon Attacks Starling Flock

The BBC reports that this picture has won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award. Shown is a peregrine falcon as it stoops on a flock of urban starlings, in Rome.

Bodega Bay, CA - 19 October 2005: Surfer Reports 'Sharky Feeling' Before Great White Attack

"It was weird. I was sitting out there thinking, 'Wow, this feels shark-y to me,'" Megan Halavais, 20, said. "It was straight out of 'Jaws.'"

In an interview at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, the surfer went on, "A 16-foot shark is a big shark. It's not just 16 feet in length. It's big. I couldn't fit my arms around its tail. Its fin, its main dorsal fin, was like taller than me." The shark struck her from behind. Halavais fought back and was rescued by other surfers.

Stories from the Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle. Video coverage available from Sacramento's CBS Affiliate. CBS13.com (look for the Flash movie) and from this NBC11.com link.

Sydney, Australia - 19 October 2005: Don't Mix Drinking and Crocodiles

This sounds like common sense. Drinking and hanging around 'salties', as the vicious and aggressive Australian salt-water crocodiles are known, may be hazardous to your health. An Australian review of unprovoked crocodile attacks on humans between 1971 and 2004 found that 29% of the 62 attacks had involved some alcohol consumption by the victim.

Read more in this News 24 Story.

South Australia - 18 October 2005: Are Sharks Shifting To Human Prey?

Dr. Scoresby Shepherd, the retired noted marine biologist from Australia, discussed shark attacks in a recent radio interview. There is some controversy as to whether sharks are switching to human prey. Read stories from ABC News Online and The Age (both from Australia).

Rohnert Park, CA - 14 October 2005: Pit Bull Pack Attacks Two Humans, Kills Pet Dog

Two female pit bulls and one male invaded several homes in this Sonoma County town north of San Francisco, by digging under or breaking down fences. The dogs' owner was known to the police and had recently been arrested for marijuana farming. More details are available in the San Francisco Chronicle story.

Meanwhile, across the country in Petersburg, Va., two city animal control officers said they feel lucky to have their lives after being attacked on 11 October by what appeared to be an abandoned but docile and friendly pit bull. This story is from the Petersburg Progress-Index.

Shanghai - 14 October 2005: Lion Mauls Zoo Cleaner On His First Day At Work

The zoo worker's first day, that is. He took a short cut through a lion's den and ended up brutally mauled. The newly hired cleaner was in critical condition Friday, state media reported. Japan's Mainichi News report is here, and the China Daily story is here.

Attacks of this nature are not that unusual. The Chicago Tribune has obtained a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture report under the Freedom of Information Act describing a Feb. 12, 2004 lion attack at a private zoo, Cougar Bluff Enterprise, near Elizabethtown, Ill. Simba, a five-year-old lion, killed associate keeper Al Abell in his first attempt to clean the lion enclosure. More information appears in this belleville.com story.

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