Video: Enormous condor nursed back to health by Argentinian rancher runs to give his friend a hug

A South American rancher who helped an injured condor back to health has shared a touching moment where he gives his former pet a cuddle.

The man is a farmer in the Loncopue area of Argentina, LMN reports, and he nursed the immense bird back to health after finding it in his yard injured and unable to fly in March.

Since then, the bird - which is a very large variety of vulture - has healed nicely and begun to fly and hunt again on its own.

The man, identified only as Edgardo, told the news outlet the bird is returning to him less and less often but he still sees it occasionally.

The video widely seen online was taken when the bird was still unable to fly and was being nursed to health, LMN reported.

Condors can have a wingspan of up to up to 3.1 metres and can weigh up to 15kg.



Watch: US police officer's heroics saves woman from being hit by a truck

Newly released dash-camera video is showing a close call for a police officer in Anna, Texas saving a woman from being hit by a pickup truck.

The woman had been in a minor accident, with her car stopped on the side of the road.

Officer Brandon Blair stopped to help her. 

As they were talking, the driver of a pickup truck lost control on the same curve. 

The officer's dash camera showed him pulling the woman out of the way just in time.

Newly released dash-camera video is showing a close call for a police officer in Texas, who saved a woman from being hit by a truck. Source: Associated Press


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Watch: Environmental advocate wipes coal ash from turtle in North Carolina river

Coal ash from the dump of a power plant could be flowing into Cape Fear River in Wilmington in the US state of North Carolina.

Floodwaters from Hurricane Florence on Friday breached a dam holding back a large reservoir at the the LV Sutton Power Station and waste could be entering the river, which is nearby.

Gray material the company characterized as "coal combustion byproducts" could be seen floating in the lake and river.

Earthjustice, an environmental advocacy group with a boat in the river, provided The Associated Press with images Friday showing wide gray slicks in the water. 

A team member plucked a turtle from the muck and rinsed it off.

Duke Energy spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said the utility doesn't believe the breach at the power plant poses a significant threat to nearby communities.

Floodwaters breached several points overnight in the earthen dam at Sutton Lake, the plant's 445-hectare reservoir. 

Lake water then flooded one of three large coal ash dumps lining the lakeshore.

Sheehan said the company can't rule out that ash might be escaping the flooded dump into the river.

Coal ash from the dump of a power plant could be flowing into Cape Fear River in Wilmington in the US state of North Carolina. Source: Associated Press

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Sunday preview: What is the future for whitebait?

Saturday morning at the market. I bite the bullet, line up and buy one. It's a delicious, piping-hot, wee taste of home, but boy do I feel guilty. Not guilty enough to stop at one, though. I go back for a second. Then a third.

I've read the headlines. Read the entire stories. Whitebait are being wiped out because of people like me. They could soon be gone forever - and it's my fault. Or is it?

According to a Department of Conservation report released last year, three of the five whitebait species are "at risk/declining" and one species is "threatened".

Everyone agrees humans are having a huge impact on whitebait habitat, but people don't agree on how much of an impact fishing has on these species.

To help protect these native fish Forest and Bird are calling for recreational catch limits and a complete commercial ban on whitebaiting.

"Here is a species that are in trouble and there's no limit at all to the amount that you can catch" says Forest and Bird's Kevin Hague.

But Dr Mike Hickford, a marine ecologist at the University of Canterbury says fears of wiping out whitebait are grossly overblown. "I don't think we will ever wipe out whitebait" he says.

Hickford says a distinction needs to be made between adult and the post-larvae fish. "There's no doubt that the adult stage of these fish are in trouble, but it doesn't translate to the whitebait".

Hickford says there's no evidence to suggest at this stage that whitebaiting affects the threatened adult population, which spawn in such huge numbers.

"The majority of those whitebaits that are coming back in to the river, they're going to die anyway, they always have died and they still will die in the future no matter what we do".

Despite a lack of clear evidence, Kevin Hague says restrictions on how we catch whitebait, how much we can catch and the sale of whitebait should be introduced before the start of next 3-month long season (Sept-Nov).

"We don't want to interfere with someone's ability to go and get a feed for their family, but we just think there should be some tools that we use to actually reduce the pressure on these species".

Cascade Whitebait, one of New Zealand's biggest commercial whitebaiters, fish each season on the isolated Cascade river, just south of Haast.

Nan Brown, whose parents helped set up the operation 70 years ago, says their records don't show any decline in whitebait catch.   She wants to hold on to their fishery and says, "It would be unfair to let the guillotine drop on something you don't know enough about.” 

Watch the full story tomorrow night AT 7.30pm on SUNDAY TVNZ1 or TVNZOnDemand

Whitebait are being wiped out but people can’t agree on how much of an impact fishing has on these species Source: Sunday


Mormon church breaks ties with Boy Scouts over decision to allow gay members

The Mormon church's new youth program, which will roll out in 2020 when it cuts all ties with Boy Scouts of America, will still include outdoor and adventure activities even as the initiative becomes more gospel-focused, the faith confirmed Friday.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided a few more details about the initiative in a news release that said a full and detailed description will come later because different aspects of the program are still being tested.

The Utah-based faith announced in May it was leaving the Boy Scouts of America at the end of next year in a move that ends a nearly century-old relationship between two organisations that were originally brought together by shared values but diverged in recent years.

Amid declining membership, Boy Scouts of America recently opened its arms to openly gay youth members and adult volunteers as well as girls and transgender boys. The Mormon faith, which has long been the biggest sponsor of Boy Scout troops in the United States, has clung to its opposition of homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

The church has also seen significant expansion in countries outside the U.S. where Boy Scouts wasn't offered and said it wanted to create its own uniform youth program it could use around the world and tailor specifically to its gospel. More than half of the church's 16 million members live outside the U.S. and Canada.

The news release reiterates that the faith's program will be similar to Scouting with an emphasis on outdoors, service work and character building. It won't have a ranking system like the one culminating in an Eagle Scout recognition that many generations of Mormons strived to achieve as a life milestone. It will be for boys and girls.

"Camps and other outdoor activities have always been and will continue to be a prominent part of gospel learning, building relationships, and strengthening faith in Jesus Christ," the release said. "Leaders, youth, and parents will be empowered to identify and provide outdoor activities that invite spiritual experiences and meet the unique needs of their children, young women, and young men."

For now, the faith is referring to the program as its new "children and youth development initiative."

The May announcement that it was unhitching from Boy Scouts didn't come as a major surprise. The faith removed 185,000 boys between the ages of 14 and 18 last year, signalling that an end to the long-time alliance was near. The remaining 425,000 boys will end Scouts at the end of 2019.


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