Lovelorn koala nabbed after zoo escape in hunt for mate

Above, Irene the koala is held by an Australian wildlife staff. Irene was discovered missing from her holding yard at the Australian Reptile Park some 50 kilometers north of Sydney. (Australian Reptile Park/AFP)
Updated 05 October 2017
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Lovelorn koala nabbed after zoo escape in hunt for mate

SYDNEY: Australian wildlife staff needed a crane to rescue a lovelorn female koala who escaped from her enclosure at the start of her first mating season, impatient to find a partner.
Irene the koala was discovered missing from her holding yard at the Australian Reptile Park outside Sydney early Thursday, park officials said.
The two-year-old was eventually found stuck in a nearby tree after a “Houdini-style” escape through an opening in her pen, they said.
General manager Tim Faulkner said Irene had only recently reached sexual maturity and this week marked the start of the annual koala mating season.
“It’s not the first time we’ve had a young female koala keen on finding a mate, and it’s no coincidence she made her way out of her yard to find a mate’s yard,” he said.
Park officials insisted Irene’s desires would be satisfied, but more prosaically.
She “will be introduced to the correct male after ‘selective pairings are made’ managed by a stud book,” the park said.


’Lava bomb’ from Hawaii volcano injures 23 on boat

Updated 2 min 25 sec ago
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’Lava bomb’ from Hawaii volcano injures 23 on boat

  • Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanos and one of five on the island
  • The eruption has destroyed hundreds of homes since it began on May 3

LOS ANGELES: A projectile from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii struck a boat carrying people watching lava from the two-month-old eruption, injuring 23, the fire department said.
Thirteen of them required hospitalization and the rest were treated at a harbor when the boat engaged in a “lava tour” returned to the Big Island, also known as Hawaii.
Lava flowing into the Pacific is a spectacular sight, producing a foggy haze known in Hawaii as “laze.”
One woman was in serious condition with a fractured femur.
The total number of people on the boat was not immediately known, the Hawaii County Fire Department said.
In the early morning incident a “lava bomb” punctured the roof of the boat and damaged a railing, the department said. It gave no further details.
“It was an explosion, basically,” said Janet Snyder, a spokeswoman for the county mayor, told the Tribune Herald newspaper. “It punctured a hole right through the roof of the boat.”
She described the boat as “covered with lava.”
The eruption has destroyed hundreds of homes since it began on May 3.
Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanos and one of five on the island.
One of the most active fissures, number 8, continues to erupt and its lava has formed a small “island” a few meters from the coast, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
It is very likely that it is part of the flow of fissure 8 that is entering the ocean, the USGS says.
Lava has engulfed an area of about eight square miles (20 square kilometers) since the volcano began erupting.
Scientists believe that volcanic activity can be a precursor to a major eruption, similar to a Kilauea eruption in the mid-1920s.