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. (look for the Flash movie) and from this 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 story.

Anchorage, AK - 11 October, 2005: Woman Mauled By Grizzly Bear

Colleen Sinnott, an elementary school teacher in the Alaska town of Kasilof, and her husband, John Poljacik, were walking their two dogs on Sunday. The couple was about 100 yards from their car when Sinnott glimpsed what she thought was a moose charging from the alders. It was not a moose.

Read the Anchorage Daily News story here.

Thanks to AAF Correspondent Steven Tonder for this link.

Sacramento, CA - 11 October 2005: Utility's Safety Training Gains Urgency After Dog Attacks

Pacific Gas & Electric meter readers are paying extra attention to dog-attack safety training after two pit bulls mauled a company worker in Vallejo, near San Francisco.

Trainers used Rottweilers and other aggressive breeds to showcase the strength of dogs and the need for caution. PG&E employees have suffered 51 bites so far this year, up from 50 for all of last year. And nationally, 3,400 letter carriers for the U.S. Postal Service were attacked by dogs in 2004.

Read the full story in the Sacramento Bee online. (SacBee Photo credit: Andy Alfaro)

Northboro, MA - 6 October, 2005: Grandfather, 76, Kills Coyote As It Attacks Boy, 4

Arthur Cole, 76, was walking in the woods along the Assabet River about 50 miles west of Boston on October 5 when he was attacked from behind by a female coyote. He grabbed it and held it down, allowing his 4-year-old grandson to run home. The boy told everyone "a wolf" got "Grampy."

Read more in stories from the Worcester Telegram and the Boston Herald. (Photo of the dead Coyote, Canis latrans, credit: Ken McGagh, Boston Herald)

Melbourne, FL - 6 October 2005: Alligator Attacks Woman At Park

A 25-year-old woman told authorities she was leaning through the railing feeding fish at Crane Creek when an alligator lunged from the water and bit her hand. The alligator (right) was trapped and destroyed. The victim could be fined if the state determines she was feeding the alligator. Read the story on the WFTV website.

Everglades, FL - 5 Oct 2005: Python Battles Gator To The Death

Apparently both species lost. The snake tried to swallow the gator whole - and then exploded. Scientists stumbled upon the gory remains last week. The Associated Press story is here.

Newport, CA - 14 September, 2005: Sea Lions Mob, Sink Sailboat

It may sound funny - unless it's your boat. 18 or more of the giant pinnipeds piled onto a 37-foot sailboat in Newport Harbor, near Los Angeles, and sank it. The Harbor Commission is now forced to confront what it fears may be an invasion. Along the West Coast, said marine biologist Doyle Hanan, "it's a growing problem and it's going to continue to grow." The U.S. West Coast Sea Lion population is presently estimated to be between 300,000 to 400,000 animals.

Los Angeles Times link here. An audio report from is available here.


Santa Barbara, CA - 6 July 2005: Sea Lion Attacks Lifeguard

Officials said Jim West was bitten three times while he swam about 50 yards offshore. West needed about 30 stitches after the attack. Read more in this story.

Note this is not the only recent attack of this kind on the West Coast. This archived story from the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska interviews the survivor of a 2004 attack by a 1200-pound Sea Lion.


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