Two circus elephants survive Siberia fire

Updated 14 December 2012
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Two circus elephants survive Siberia fire

MOSCOW: Russian rescuers saved two circus elephants on a Siberian highway when their wooden van caught fire amid freezing temperatures, police said Friday. The elephants’ wooden truck caught fire on Thursday evening in Siberia’s Novosibirsk region. A petrol-powered heater in the van most likely set fire to their straw, police said, publishing photographs of the blackened vehicle.
Police, firemen and passing drivers helped rescue the elephants, their trainer said in a police video, adding that “the animals are alive and well.” The elephants, which belong to a Polish circus, were on tour between the Siberian cities of Novokuznetsk and Omsk, police said, a distance of around 1,000 kilometers (620 miles).
Amid temperatures of minus 35 degrees Celsius (-31 Fahrenheit), the elephants “suffered a light frostbite to the tips of their ears,” a local official told the RIA Novosti news agency. “They rubbed them with special ointment, and as far as I understand, nothing else was wrong with them.”
The animals have temporarily been sheltered in a garage, police said. Traveling circuses are popular attractions in Russia’s remote regions, but are poorly regulated with frequent accidents and attacks on children.


World’s oldest person dies in Japan at age of 117

Updated 28 min 3 sec ago
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World’s oldest person dies in Japan at age of 117

  • Tajima was born on Aug. 4, 1900, and had more than 160 descendants
  • Chiyo Yoshida, another Japanese woman aged 116, is now the world’s oldest person, says Gerontology Research Group

TOKYO: The world’s oldest person has died in southern Japan at the age of 117.
An official in the town of Kikai says Nabi Tajima died in a hospital on Saturday shortly before 8 p.m. She had been hospitalized since January.
Tajima was born on Aug. 4, 1900, and reportedly had more than 160 descendants, including great-great-great grandchildren. Her town of Kikai is in Kagoshima prefecture on Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands.
She became the world’s oldest person seven months ago after the death of Violet Brown in Jamaica, also at the age of 117.
The US-based Gerontology Research Group says that another Japanese woman, Chiyo Yoshida, is now the world’s oldest person in its records. She is 116 years old.