Picture of the week: Mediterranean grouper

Epinephelus marginatus closing in

News: Rescue Thai soccer team: all boys plus coach boys now saved

Sgt Saman Kunan retired from the Thai Navy who volunteered in the rescue operation, but lost his live Thurday while returning from the delivery of oxygen cylinders.

Rescue operation: Thai caves:   now 8 boys saved

The operation that led to the rescue of the first group of four boys trapped in the Thai cave system on Sunday  proceeded much faster than expected due to the walkable water level in the cave after it was launched at 10am local time on Sunday. The remaining boys will be escorted by the same group of rescue divers on Monday bringing  them out in two shifts of  four boys each. Monday: four more boys rescued in what appears to be a successful operation with many (around 90) divers assisting!  On Tuesday the evacuation  of the remaining four boys and their coach is expected. The first part of the cave near the entrance has now fallen dry, which means no swimming  but walking or dragging of the weaker  boys

Tuesday: today 19 rescue divers entered the cave for the final  phase of the rescue mission, with water levels rising again through the rain. Which leaves  coach Ekapol, a former Buddhist monk,  and the last boy still to be saved

All saved! The entire soccer team and their coach have now finally been saved after a spectacular, brave and probably also very costly rescue operation. 

News: Antarctic ice melting at alarming rate

The Antarctic ice is an important indicator of climate change and driver of sea-level rise. A new study performed by an international investigation team published this week in Nature, reports a survey of ice lost in the last 5 years (2012-2017)  based on combined satellite observations.  Almost 7 million kilograms of ice was lost per second in this period.  Every year the weight of the  Antarctic ice cap diminishes with around 219 billion tons. If all ice at the Antarctic would melt it would cause a worldwide rise in sea level of around 58 meters.  


New study reveals a 50% decline of river dolphins in 10 years.

Orinoco dolphin or 'boto'

 A New study reveals a 50% decline of river dolphins in 10 years. Two species of river dolphins live in the Amazon rivers, the boto or  Orinoco dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) and the smaller tucixi or Amazone dolphin (Sotalia fluviatilis).  The study was based on a 20 years count in the  Mamiraua reserve of the Brazilian rainforest, 500 km West of the city Manaus. Fishery seems the main culprit according to investigators with dolphins getting caught up in nets and dying. And riversides becoming more densely populated by people dependent on fishing for their food and income. 

Gorilla reunion

You perhaps already know this moving film by Damian Aspinall, revisiting his gorilla friends in Africa after 12 years separation, together with his teenage daughter,  in this Gorilla reunion. Couldn't help uploading it again. 

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