Stray cat a suspect in Japan attempted murder

Above, a stray cat in Japan. Police turned their attention to the stray cats loitering around Mayuko Matsumoto’s house after realizing her wounds were caused by the feral felines, and found traces of what may be human blood on one of them. (AP)
Updated 10 November 2017
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Stray cat a suspect in Japan attempted murder

TOKYO: A Japanese police probe into the attempted murder of an elderly bedridden woman has reportedly led to an unlikely suspect: a stray cat.
Mayuko Matsumoto’s daughter found her bleeding profusely from about 20 cuts to her face on Monday at her home in a mountainous region of southern Japan.
Police launched an attempted murder investigation after seeing the wounds, some of them relatively severe, according to local broadcaster RKK.
“When we found her, blood covered everything above her chin. Her face was soaked in blood. I didn’t know what had happened,” Matsumoto’s daughter told RKK.
Matsumoto, who is 82 years old and reportedly unable to speak, had to receive emergency care, Kyodo News said.
Investigators found no sign of people entering or leaving the house at the time of the suspected attack, the private network NTV said.
They then realized that Matsumoto’s wounds looked like cat scratches, it added.
Police turned their attention to the stray cats loitering around Matsumoto’s house, and found traces of what may be human blood on one of them, the Nishinippon Shimbun newspaper said Friday.
“Police are analizing a blood sample taken from the claw of the cat which might have scratched the victim,” national broadcaster NHK reported.
A police spokesman declined to directly comment on the case on Friday, but said that investigators were not disputing the media reports.


Classical piano soothes old elephants at Thai sanctuary

British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano for sick, abused, retired and rescued elephants in sanctuary along Thailand-Myanmar border in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, December 9, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 December 2018
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Classical piano soothes old elephants at Thai sanctuary

  • At another music session, several elephants seemed to move their heads and move about in front of the piano as the notes flowed

KANCHANABURI, Thailand: Lam Duan, a 65-year-old, blind Thai elephant is enjoying her lunch, listening to Silent Night being played on a piano.
For eight years, pachyderms like Lam Duan — old, overworked and sometimes disabled — have been rehabilitated with music at Elephants World, a retirement sanctuary for the animals in the western Thai province of Kanchanaburi.
Almost 80 percent of about 3,000 elephants at tourist venues in Thailand, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal and Sri Lanka, endure poor living conditions and diets and are overworked, according to the animal welfare group World Animal Protection.
The animals at Elephants World get good food and treatment for their physical ailments, but the music is an extra, special treat they appear to love.
Several times a week, British classical pianist Paul Barton, 57, sets up a piano against a backdrop of forested slopes and plays for his four-legged friends.
“Maybe some of these blind elephants get a little bit of comfort from hearing pieces of soothing classical music occasionally,” says Barton, who studied at London’s Royal Academy of Arts.
Lam Duan approached Barton as he began to play and she appeared to calm down and focus on the music.
At another music session, several elephants seemed to move their heads and move about in front of the piano as the notes flowed.
The owner of the sanctuary, Samart Prasithpol, 44, said the music seemed to provide the elephants with some special comfort.
“We work here to rehabilitate the elephants physically,” Smart told Reuters.
“The use of music has been useful in rehabilitating their soul,” he said.