Peru Attacks Illegal Mining Ahead of Climate Talks

“Peru has sent 1,000 police into its southeastern jungles to dismantle illegal gold-mining camps, just weeks before the country hosts global climate talks. Even before the officers began blasting away at miners’ makeshift shelters, the Amazon rainforest nearby looked like a war-scape, pocked with craters and littered with the trunks of amputated trees. Peru’s anti-illegal mining czar, retired army Gen. Augusto Soto, marched the men 6 miles (11 kilometers) to the wasteland known as La Pampa, where 50,000 hectares of rainforest have been obliterated in the past six years. They destroyed motors and dynamited a dozen motorcycles as they tore down dwellings that included at least one mud-flanked bordello. The miners had removed and hidden some machinery.

Peru first criminalized unlicensed gold mining in 2012 but only began enforcing the law vigorously this year with serious manpower and explosives. The operations have displaced thousands of the estimated 40,000 people who authorities say moved to the jungle to mine gold. In addition to contributing to deforestation, which scientists blame for between 12 and 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the illegal alluvial gold mining contaminates the jungle with tons of mercury. Mercury is a toxin and has already contaminated the food chain, including fish, the local population’s main protein source. Peru’s environment minister says the country loses about 400 square miles (between 100,000 and 120,000 hectares) a year to deforestation. The South American country will host U.N.-sponsored climate talks that start on December 1”. – The Associated Press.

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In this November 12, 2014 photo, a column of policemen occupy a gold mining camp as part of an operation to eradicate illegal mining in the area known as La Pampa, in Peru’s Madre de Dios region. Less than a month before Peru plays host to global climate talks, the government sent a battalion of police into southeastern jungles to dismantle illegal gold-mining mining camps. Peru’s anti-illegal mining czar, retired army Gen. Augusto Soto, marched the men to the wasteland known as La Pampa, where 50,000 hectares of rainforest have been obliterated in the past six years. (Photo by Rodrigo Abd/AP Photo)
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Brutus the Giant Crocodile Attacks Shark in Australia

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A 5.5 metre massive crocodile makes mince meat out of a bull shark in Kakadu’s Adelaide River on August 5, 2014 in Kakadu, Australia. The crocodile forced the bull shark into the mangroves and devoured the bull shark. A 43 year old Sydney father took these exclusive photos in the Northern Territory. (Photo by Andrew Paice/Getty Images)

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Diving Jaguar Attacks Crocodile

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When a jaguar pounces, sometimes one bite is all it takes to get a meal. National Geographic has exclusive video of a jaguar taking down a caiman in Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands, photos of which went viral earlier this month. Continue reading »

Escaped Cow Attacks Farmers, Shot Dead


A cow, which escaped from a truck, attacks a farmer trying to catch it in Liangdun village of Nangang township, Anhui province December 15, 2013. The 700 kilogram (1,543 lb) cow attacked several farmers before being shot dead by policemen, local media reported. (Photo by Reuters/China Daily) Continue reading »

Can This Surf Gear Prevent Shark Attacks?

Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS) is a company in Perth, Australia, that has developed a line of wetsuits and surfboards that could prevent shark attacks. Continue reading »

NYC Murals Pay Tribute to Victims of 9-11 Attacks

As the U.S. approaches the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, murals of remembrance have been spotted all over New York City. Some murals contain inspiring messages, while others commemorate the towers that once stood. Photo credits: Shannon Stapleton / Reuters. Continue reading »