Friday, December 26, 2014

THEATRE OF WAR & ECONOMICS: Putin Maneuvers Against European And American Aggression - Russia's New Military Doctrine Lists NATO And The U.S. As MAJOR FOREIGN THREATS, Counteract NATO's Boosted Presence In The Black Sea; Ruble Sees A Full Week Of Recovery!

AFP Photo / Natalia Kolesnikova

December 26, 2014 - RUSSIA
- Russia has adopted an updated version of its military doctrine, which reflects the emergence of new threats against its national security. NATO military buildup and American Prompt Global Strike concept are listed among them.

The new doctrine was approved on Friday by President Vladimir Putin. Its core remains unchanged from the previous version. The Russian military remains a defensive tool which the country pledges to use only as a last resort.

Also unchanged are the principles of the use of nuclear weapons which Russia adheres to. Their primary goal is to deter potential enemies from attacking Russia, but it would use them to protect itself from a military attack – either nuclear or conventional – threatening its existence.

The new sections of the doctrine outline the threat Russia sees in NATO’s expansion and military buildup and the fact that the alliance is taking upon itself “global functions realized with violation of international law.”

The doctrine lists among major foreign military threats “the creation and deployment of global strategic antiballistic missile systems that undermines the established global stability and balance of power in nuclear missile capabilities, the implementation of the ‘prompt strike’ concept, intent to deploy weapons in space and deployment of strategic conventional precision weapons.”


The Yury Dolgoruky nuclear-powered submarine.(RIA Novosti / Pavel Kononov)


Another new point in the doctrine is that one of the Russian military’s goals is to protect national interests in the Arctic region.

The document also points to the threat of destabilization countries bordering Russia or its allies and deployment of foreign troops such nations as a threat to national security.

Domestically, Russia faces threats of “actions aimed at violent change of the Russian constitutional order, destabilization of the political and social environment, disorganization of the functioning of governmental bodies, crucial civilian and military facilities and informational infrastructure of Russia,” the doctrine says.

Moscow sees international cooperation with countries sharing its effort to increase security, particularly members of BRICS, the OSCE, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and others as the key to preventing military conflicts, the doctrine states.

Traditional threats that Russia must deal with mentioned in the doctrine include extremism and terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and rocket technology and actions of foreign intelligence services.

The document notes that modern threats are increasingly drifting from a military nature to informational, and states that the likelihood of anyone launching a fully-fledged war against Russia is decreasing.


Russia to counteract NATO's boosted presence in Black Sea – envoy

The USS Destroyer Donald Cook. (AFP Photo / Petrut Calinescu)

Moscow is being forced to come up with countermeasures in response to NATO's increased presence in the Black Sea, Russia’s envoy to the alliance said following an announcement on the arrival of another US warship in the area.

“Unfortunately, the Black Sea is becoming a place where non-regional powers have a permanent presence. What they are doing there is unclear,” Aleksandr Grushko said.

“Of course, we will take the necessary countermeasures,” he continued.

Grushko also criticized the North Atlantic Alliance for stationing high alert forces near Russia's borders by holding frequent military drills with counties including Poland and the Baltic states.

Russia’s new military doctrine, adopted on December 26, stresses that the country’s army remains a defensive tool, but lists NATO's military buildup and the United States' Prompt Global Strike concept as main security threats.


USS Donald Cook.(Reuters / Bogdan Cristel)

The USS Donald Cook is scheduled to boost NATO's fleet in the Black Sea on Friday.

“Donald Cook's presence in the Black Sea is meant to reassure and at the same time demonstrate our commitment to work closely with NATO allies in order to enhance maritime security," Cmdr. Charles Hampton, the ship's commanding officer, said in a statement.

This is the second time the USS Donald Cook has entered the Black Sea since the start of the Ukraine crisis which began in spring 2014.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer was previously stationed in the area in April.


Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) reviews ships of Russian Black Sea fleet during a visit to the Crimean port of Sevastopol on May 9, 2014.
(AFP Photo / Alexey Druzhinin)

NATO sent additional ships to the Black Sea after Russia’s reunification with the Republic of Crimea in March.

The USS Vella Gulf, USS Ross, USS Truxton, and the USS Taylor – as well as warships from other NATO member states – were spotted in the area.

In July, NATO deployed a total of nine vessels to the Back Sea, setting a record in the post-Soviet period.

Despite the Montreux Convention of 1936 allowing warships of non-Black Sea states to stay in the area for no more than 21 days, the alliance has managed to secure its presence by constantly rotating vessels.


Ruble recovers, as big exporters ordered to behave

AFP Photo / Alexander Nemenov

The ruble has seen a full week of recovery after its drastic 20 percent drop on December 16 dubbed as ‘Black Tuesaday.’ This was triggered by the call from the Russian government for businessmen to sell currency earnings.

The Russian ruble closed Friday session at 54 against the US dollar, which compares to the average of 56 on Monday.

“We are now seeing how the ruble is strengthening. It is now approaching, in my view has already approached, the area of a balanced rate, which is also called a fundamental one,” Russia’s Economy Minister Aleksey Ulyukaev said Friday in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV.

A drastic drop in the ruble’s exchange rate has triggered some of Russia’s biggest exporters in agriculture and energy to either accumulate foreign currency earnings or increase sales overseas.

In agriculture, increased exports of grain have caused a shortage within Russia which also pushed prices up.

To balance the market, the Russian government ordered the introduction Thursday of a 15 percent plus €7.5 export duty on wheat from February 1, 2015. The duty was calculated so the price is no less than €35 per ton.

As for oil companies, they started hoarding foreign currency earnings from selling crude which also poses risks to the domestic economy, as the supply was low compared to the increased demand.

After the CBR and a number of businesses raised concerns over the currency risks, President Putin ordered the Government Issue guidelines for all exporting companies to sell their currency earnings.

On December 23 the government urged the five largest state-owned exporting companies including Rosneft and Gazprom to bring the amount of their net foreign currency assets to an amount not exceeding the level of October 1, 2014.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Thursday the weakening period of the ruble has stopped and the national currency is seeing a strengthening trend.- RT News.




WEATHER ANOMALIES: White Christmas In Hawaii - Blizzard Blankets Big Island's Mountains In Snow?!



December 26, 2014 - HAWAII
- Yes, there were blizzard warnings in effect in Hawaii, where the two highest mountain peaks on the Big Island eventually saw a White Christmas.

Blizzard warnings were in effect on Christmas Eve for Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa above 11,500 feet for strong winds and heavy snow which led to blowing and drifting snow. By definition, winds must be at least 35 mph or greater with falling or blowing snow that reduces visibility to 1/4 mile or less for at least 3 hours to reach blizzard criteria.

Lower elevations saw heavy rain and were under flash flood watches through Christmas Eve.

This was due to a sharp upper trough west of the Big Island which brought enough moisture and cold air aloft to produce snow in the higher elevations of Hawaii's Big Island.

Snowfall totals of up to 8 inches were expected, with higher drifts. Sustained winds ranged from 40 to 55 mph with gusts over 80 mph.











The Mauna Kea Weather Center reported a temperature of 24 degrees Fahrenheit at the summit around 2 a.m. local time Thursday, along with sustained winds of 53 mph and gusts as high as 82 mph. This resulted in a wind chill of just 2 degrees.

Travel to the mountains' summits was dangerous and potentially life-threatening through Christmas morning. The road to the summit of Mauna Kea was closed as of Wednesday evening due to ice and snow on the roads along with low visibility.

This is only the second blizzard warning that the National Weather Service office in Honolulu has issued since 1986. The only other blizzard warning was on Dec. 5, 2007. The National Weather Service reported that Park Rangers saw 5 to 7 foot "frozen drifts of snow" on roads to the Mauna Kea summit during the Dec. 5-7, 2007 event.

Snow in Hawaii: It Happens More Often Than You Think


Palm trees, sandy beaches and tropical breezes typically come to mind when thinking about the Hawaiian Islands.

And when brainstorming a fun Hawaiian activity, the question "Hey bro, wanna go hang ten on some Maui waves?" will pop up more often than "Hey bro, wanna go shred some pineapple powder on Mauna Kea?"
You may be surprised to learn that you can actually do both!

Yes, It Actually Snows in Hawaii


Despite its tropical latitude farther south than Miami, snow does fall in Hawaii, thanks to elevation.

According to Ken Rubin, an assistant professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Hawaii, "it snows here every year, but only at the very summits of our three tallest volcanoes (Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and Haleakala)."

"The snow level almost never gets below 9,000 feet in Hawaii during the winter, but since these mountains are taller than 13,600 feet, 13,700 feet and 10,000 feet, respectively, they get dusted with snow a few times a year. It rarely stays on the ground for more than a few days though."

Can You Really Ski in Hawaii?


Technically, it is possible to ski in Hawaii, but there are a lot of caveats.

Mauna Kea Ski Corporation explains that "Mauna Kea is a National Science Reserve and is not maintained as a ski area. Skiing areas may have unmarked and exposed rocks. Adverse weather conditions may arise unexpectedly... Most runs are for intermediate to advanced skiers/snowboarders - weather permitting."

In addition, the Hawaii Ski Club cautions potential skiers that "there are no lifts, no grooming, no resort, but a road goes to the summit to serve the dozen or so world-class observatories located at the summit. You must have a 4-wheel drive vehicle to get to the summit, which serves as your 'lift'." The club adds that skiers take turns being the driver, picking up the other skiers at the bottom of the runs and ferrying them up to the summit.

"Conditions at the top are extremely variable. Winter temperatures range from 25 to 40 degrees, but wind chill and the high altitude can make it seem much colder. Between April and November the weather is milder, with daytime temperatures varying from 30 to 60 degrees."

Bottom line, it may be better to hang ten near the beach rather than ski down a Hawaiian mountain. Thankfully though, technology is on snowbirds' side: beautiful views of Mauna Kea's peaks can be seen via the Mauna Kea Weather Center's web cams. - Weather.




ICE AGE NOW: Disaster Precursors And Strange Animal Migratory Patterns - Out Of Place Birds, Cougars, Turtles, Clouds And Rainbows?!

Robin from the United Kingdom, seen in China.

December 26, 2014 - EARTH
- December so far has yielded out of place bird migrations with species showing up in places not seen since 1870, along with rainbows in the driest place on Earth.


WATCH: Out of Place Birds, Cougars, Turtles, Clouds and Rainbows.




- Adapt 2030.



MAJOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: "Noah's Ark" - Russia To Build The World's First DNA Databank Of ALL LIVING THINGS?!

Reuters / Ints Kalnins

December 26, 2014 - RUSSIA
- Not quite the Biblical Noah’s Ark, but possibly the next best thing. Moscow State University has secured Russia’s largest-ever scientific grant to collect the DNA of every living and extinct creature for the world’s first database of its kind.

“I call the project ‘Noah’s Ark.’ It will involve the creation of a depository – a databank for the storing of every living thing on Earth, including not only living, but disappearing and extinct organisms. This is the challenge we have set for ourselves,” MSU rector Viktor Sadivnichy told journalists.

The gigantic ‘ark’, set to be completed by 2018, will be 430 sq km in size, built at one of the university’s central campuses.

“It will enable us to cryogenically freeze and store various cellular materials, which can then reproduce. It will also contain information systems. Not everything needs to be kept in a petri dish,” Sadivnichy added.

The university’s press office has confirmed that the resulting database will contain collected biomaterials from all of MSU’s branches, including the Botanical Garden, the Anthropological Museum, the Zoological Museum and others. All of the university’s departments will be involved in research and collation of materials. The program, which has received a record injection of 1 billion rubles (US$194 million), will promote participation by the university’s younger generation of scientists.


Moscow State University (RIA Novosti / Evgeny Biyatov)


Sadovnichy also said that the bank will have a link-up to other such facilities at home, perhaps even abroad.

“If it’s realized, this will be a leap in Russian history as the first nation to create an actual Noah’s Ark of sorts,” the rector said.

Russia is of course not the first to attempt something of this general scale - the quest to preserve biological life forms is one everyone should be engaged in. Britain has done just that with its Frozen Ark project, its venture into preserving all endangered life forms, also the first of its kind. They say it’s "the animal equivalent of the 'Millennium Seed Bank'," a project that encompasses all of the world's seeds. - RT.



MONUMENTAL PLANETARY TREMORS: Oklahoma Earthquakes Quintuple From Previous Year - USGS Continues To Monitor The Unprecedented Increase!



December 26, 2014 - OKLAHOMA, UNITED STATES
- There have been more than 500 magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes in Oklahoma this year, up significantly from 109 in 2013 and just 35 in 2012, according to U.S. Geological Survey officials.

As of Monday, there were 549 of the higher magnitude quakes in 2014, with 19 being magnitude 4.0 or greater.

USGS officials focused on magnitude 3.0 or greater quakes because the smaller the magnitude, the more potential there is for missing an event, USGS Geophysicist Robert Williams said.

The USGS is looking into the increase in earthquakes, mostly occurring in central and north-central Oklahoma, he said.

“Starting probably in 2009, we started to notice the jump in earthquakes, even though it was small back then, relative to 2014,” Williams said.


Earthquake increase dramatically


A new scientific group focused on studying induced seismicity has been formed. There probably are six to 10 researchers working on the issue, with about four or five working full time now, according to Williams.

“This group, along with others from academia, have published a number of papers — eight or so papers in the last couple of years in peer review journals — that point toward water in disposal wells injected deep under ground as contributing to the cause of earthquakes in Oklahoma.”

A USGS statement released in May, in collaboration with the Oklahoma Geological Survey, indicated the likelihood of injection wells contributing to the seismicity and noted a higher chance of earthquakes, Williams said.

“Because, the more small earthquakes you have generally leads to the occurrence of more large earthquakes,” he said. “So the possibility of a damaging earthquake is higher in the last couple years.”

As part of its continued monitoring of the situation, the USGS has deployed a few more seismographs in the region, according to Williams.

“We’re monitoring the situation, trying to understand what’s going on,” he said. “We’ve also been funding researchers outside of the USGS to study the problem over the last three years or so.”

The researchers are being funded through a competitive grant program renewed on a yearly basis by the USGS, Williams said.

“Most of the activity that we think is related to injection wells is in Oklahoma,” he said. “It’s not a new problem. Seismologists have known about if you inject or withdraw fluids from the earth’s surface, there’s a pretty long history of, in some cases, that process causing earthquakes.

“And it goes back 50 years or so to seeing this and monitoring it. It’s not the first time seismologists have seen this activity before.”

Williams said there also has been a burst of earthquakes in the past year, just across the border, in south-central Kansas, near Harper and Conway Springs, Kan.

“It was an area that had virtually no earthquakes historically and has had a number of them recently,” he said.

The Kansas earthquakes are related to new injection wells in south-central Kansas that came on line in 2012 and 2013, Williams said.

USGS officials think the oil and gas production activity in south-central Kansas and north-central Oklahoma is related to the same oil play, he said.

“It’s a similar formation that they’re going after to extract oil and gas,” Williams said. “It just happens to be at the border.”

There also has been some earthquake activity in Arkansas and Texas believed to be related to injection wells, he said.- Enid News.



PARADIGM SHIFT: Rise Of The BRICS And Precursors To The Collapse Of The Petrodollar - Central Bank Of Russia Launches SWIFT Alternative For Domestic Payments, In Direct Move Away From Western Financial Dominance!

Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev

December 26, 2014 - RUSSIA
- The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has launched a new SWIFT-style payment service aimed at moving away from Western financial dominance. The system is already operating, and will be fully functional within six months.

"The new service was launched in order to ensure smooth and safe transmission of financial messaging within the country, and is another step towards improving the system of services provided by the Bank of Russia,” said the bank statement Friday.

The regulator said the new service will allow credit institutions to transmit messages in a SWIFT format through CBR to all Russia’s regions without restrictions.


The Central Bank of Russia on Neglinnaya Street in Moscow.(RIA Novosti / Vitaliy Belousov)

The calls to disconnect Russian banks from the global interbank SWIFT system came amid the deterioration of relations between Russia and the West and the introduction of sanctions.

However, SWIFT itself does not intend to switch Russia off from the system, saying a number of countries put pressure on it, and insists it is not joining the anti-Russian sanctions.


Alla Bakina, head of the CBR’s national payment system department said in November the cost of transmitting financial messaging will be comparable to those of similar services in the market.

The deputy head of the department Ramilya Kanafina said the bank plans to complete Russia’s switch to its SWIFT alternative by May 2015.

SWIFT is a global banking transaction system used by most international banks. The information the system carries, including payment instructions, is securely exchanged between financial institutions. It began operating in 15 countries in 1973 and is now used in 210 countries. - RT.



CONTAGION: The Ebola Crisis - Sierra Leone Declares THREE-DAY LOCKDOWN In The North In Major Effort To Contain The Epidemic; Over 7,500 People Have Died From The Outbreak In West Africa So Far!

Sierra Leone recently overtook Liberia as the worst affected country in the Ebola outbreak

December 26, 2014 - SIERRA LEONE
- Sierra Leone has declared lockdown of at least three days in the north of the country to try to contain the Ebola epidemic.


Shops, markets and non-Ebola related travel services will be shut down, officials said.

Sierra Leone has already banned many public Christmas celebrations.

More than 7,500 people have died from the outbreak in West Africa so far, the Word Health Organization (WHO) says, with Sierra Leone the worst hit.

Sierra Leone has the highest number of Ebola cases in West Africa, with more than 9,000 cases and more than 2,400 deaths since the start of the outbreak.

The other countries at the centre of the outbreak are Liberia and Guinea.

State of emergency


Alie Kamara, resident minister for the Northern Region, told AFP news agency that most public gatherings would be cancelled.


"Muslims and Christians are not allowed to hold services in mosques and churches throughout the lockdown except for Christians on Christmas Day", he said.

No unauthorised vehicles would be allowed to operate "except those officially assigned to Ebola-related assignments" he added.

The lockdown would operate for at least three days but this could be extended if deemed necessary, officials said.



Sierra Leone has been in a state of emergency since July.

The outbreak began a year ago in the West African country of Guinea, but only gained international attention in early 2014. - BBC.


Tracking the EBOLA Virus Outbreak

DISASTER PRECURSORS: Omen – The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior, Mass Animal Die-Offs, Appearance Of Rare Creatures And Warnings From Mother Nature!

December 26, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.


Dead minke whale found near Dam Neck Naval base, Virginia, United States

Female Minke whale.  © Virginia Aquarium


Virginia Aquarium responders found a stranded whale in Virginia Beach Wednesday morning.

The female Minke whale was dead when the aquarium's stranding response team arrived near Dam Neck Naval base. It was about 14 feet long. Heavy equipment on the base is assisting moving the animal above the high tide line and the stranding team will conduct a necropsy Friday morning.

The program is supported by the Virginia Aquarium Foundation through donations from the community, and grant-making organizations. To report a dead or live stranded marine mammal or sea turtle call the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program 24-hour hotline at (757) 437-6159. - WAVY.


Large fish kill found washed up along a beach on Anna Maria Island in Florida, United States

A Christmas Day walk along Holmes Beach in Anna Maria Island turned foul today with the discovery of hundreds of dead fish washed ashore.

Tourists and residents discovered the dead fish littered along the Anna Maria shoreline Christmas morning. The fish measured about a foot in length and created a stench by the afternoon.

Tourists and residents discovered the dead fish littered along the Anna Maria shoreline Christmas morning. (Photo: Randi Nissenbaum, staff)

The fish measured about a foot in length and created a stench by the afternoon.

There has been no official explanation for the fish kill although a red tide bloom could be to blame.

One visitor from Chicago on the beach said possibly as many as 1,000 dead fish were on the beach.

An investigation is ongoing.  - Bay News 9.


Wild elephant kills yet another individual in Sri Lanka



An individual has been killed yesterday (21st) in a wild elephant attack in Uhana area.

The remains of the victim are lying at Ampara Hospital. The post-mortem is yet to be conducted.

Uhana Police are conducting further investigations in to the incident. - Ceylon Today.


Bear attacks increase in Annapurna, Nepal

Asiatic black bear


A significant increase has been noticed in the tendency of Asian black bear entering human settlements, damaging crops and attacking humans in Annapurna Conservation Area which is said to be a suitable habitat for the animal, according to a survey conducted by the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP).

The study carried out a year ago has shown an increase in the incident of bear attacks, raising questions about security of local residents in the area.

Local people who enter nearby forests in the region to collect fodder are falling victim to bear attacks. Bhadra Bir Nepali, 41, of Parche was attacked last August when he went to collect fodder for his livestock. Likewise, Bal Bahadur Gurung of Dhampus was also seriously injured in a bear attack in the same month.


Researcher Ashok Subedi, who is also an officer at ACAP, said bears were not only attacking people but also found actively engaged in destroying crops. He said more than a dozen people are left injured due to bear attacks over the past four years. "Looking at the trend, we can assume a rise in bear population in the region," Subedi said.

Meanwhile, ACAP has received two complaints regarding people being injured in bear attacks this year alone. Bears are found to disfigure the faces of the victims in frontal attacks.

The injured are provided Rs 50,000 in compensation as per the Wildlife Damage Relief Guideline. Meanwhile, a meeting held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Monday decided to set up a separate trust fund to compensate families of the victims, injured or deceased and for the loss of plantations as a result of animal attacks.

The Asian black bear are usually found in areas above 1,500-4,000 metres above the sea level.

According to another researcher Paras Bikram Singh, areas from Kobang in Mustang to Sikh, Kharapani, Ghandruk, Landruk, Lwang in Myagdi and lower regions of Manang are deemed suitable habitats for the bears.

Though the Asian black bear does not fall under the list of endangered species in the country, it has been enlisted as endangered wildlife by International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The bears usually feed on bamboo shoots, insects, grass and honey. Though various species of bears are said to be in Nepal, detailed studies are yet to be conducted on them. Researchers, meanwhile, said the bears are being killed by poachers due to ineffective security measures. - Ekantipur.


Circus elephant kills 12-year-old boy in Vietnam

Photo: VTV

A 12-year-old boy was killed by an elephant from a travelling circus troupe on Tuesday in Dak Mil district's Duc Manh commune.

Nguyen Van Luat was feeding the elephant while it was chained up in preparation for that evening's show when the 40-year-old animal grabbed him with its trunk and crushed it under its foot, according to chairman of the communal people's committee Du Van The.

The elephant keeper rushed out to save the boy, but it was too late.

Binh Minh circus troupe, which comes from northern Thai Binh Province, arrived in the commune on Monday during its tour of Viet Nam.

Pham Thanh Cao, deputy head of the troupe, said the boy and his friend were annoying the elephant. He admitted that the troupe had not taken any protective measures.

The case is currently under investigation. - Vietnam News.


'Tame' hippo attacks people for the second time in 4 weeks, South Africa

Jessica the tame hippopotamus would never intentionally hurt a person, a man who was reportedly attacked by the animal said on Tuesday.

"I worked with her for two years, she knows me and I did the tours with the people," Stephen Jansen van Rensburg said.

"There is no way that she will hurt anybody intentionally, maybe by accident, I mean look at my hand but never intentionally. Wish these people will stop sensationalising it."

Jansen van Rensburg said a report in the Beeld newspaper on Tuesday was sensationalising the incident that happened on Saturday when he put his hand in the 14-year-old hippopotamus's mouth.

Beeld reported that paramedics on the scene said Jansen van Rensburg was swimming with his girlfriend and friends when Jessica made a dash for them. His hand was bitten while he wrestled with Jessica and tried to stop her.

Paramedic Pieter Papdorf was quoted as saying Jessica's owners were more worried about the traumatised Jessica than the bleeding Jansen van Rensburg and took her to a quiet place where they massaged her to calm her down.

"He bled a lot. His left thumb was hanging on skin. The muscle was torn and the rest of his hand was badly injured," he was quoted as saying.

However, Jansen van Rensburg said it looked worse than it was. He said he put his hand in Jessica's mouth and she closed her mouth and a small tusk pierced the webbed part of his left hand between his thumb and index finger.

"My thumb is definitely not hanging. A small piece of skin is the only thing that is missing, it is not that serious at all. It looked way more serious," he said.

Tame

He said even the doctor at the hospital was surprised that he was transported to hospital with a helicopter.

Jessica's owner Tonie Joubert said the report was "a lot of nonsense" and not true.

Owner of SanWild-conservation area Louise Joubert told the Beeld that she spoke to Tonie Joubert and warned him that it was dangerous to have a hippopotamus.

"A tame hippopotamus is more dangerous than a wild one because it has no fear of humans. Jessica turns into a murder weapon and it's the owner's fault," she was quoted as saying.

Neighbour Mario van Rooyen was quoted as saying that he was scared for his children because this was the second time in four weeks that Jessica attacked someone.

However, Joubert said the reports were not true and the emergency services guy "dramatised everything".

"It is a lot of nonsense, Jessica is world-famous and 14 years old. The reports are not true," he said.

Joubert raised Jessica after finding her at a few hours old on the banks of the Blyde River with her umbilical cord still attached.

Jessica now lives with the Joubert family near Hoedspruit in Limpopo.

Jessica, who turned 14 in March, is one of the country's most renowned tame animals. She weighs over 1 400kg, and is a movie star with her own fan club and web page.

Source: South African Press Association

- News 24.