Endangered tapirs thriving on former drug cartel ranch

By Author  |  Published: 29th Aug 2019  9:34 pmUpdated: 4th Dec 2019  5:34 pm

Almendra, a young tapir, is fed with a bottle at the Joya Grande zoo in the mountainous north of Honduras, which the government confiscated from drug traffickers six years ago. Now, it forms part of a project to rescue the threatened Central American tapirs, which Honduras declared at risk of extinction in 2008, when their population had fallen to just 5,000 adults. The species has been driven out of its natural habitat throughout Central America by deforestation, while its trusting, amiable nature makes it susceptible to hunters. The conservation project aims to protect several other species as well in an area covering 220 hectares (540 acres) of forest and grasslands.

Almendra is one of 10 tapirs living in a 12-hectare natural area alongside a giraffe called Big Boy, two African lions, four Bengal tigers and four hippopotamuses. Pumas, jaguars, camels, zebras, ostriches are among the 500 animals from 48 species that live there.

Keto diet gives infants with genetic epilepsy better seizure control

Infants and young children with genetic epilepsy had a better response to treatment with the ketogenic diet compared to patients with other types of epilepsy, finds a study. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. “Overall, we observed that ketogenic diet continues to be a safe, effective and well-tolerated treatment for patients under 3 years of age with drug-resistant epilepsy,” said John Millichap, the study’s author. The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate and protein-restricted diet that is rigorously medically supervised. It is widely recognised as an effective treatment for epilepsy that does not respond to medications. “The ketogenic diet helps control seizures by reducing fluctuations of blood sugar, which reduces hyperexcitability in the brain,” explained Millichap. Generally, it is only in the last few years that epilepsy specialists began offering ketogenic diet to younger kids, and most studies in infants have only included babies with infantile spasms

Shoppers overcrowd US store on opening day in China

US retail chain Costco was brought to a standstill when bargain-hunting shoppers thronged the store on its opening day in Shanghai. Aiming to make deeper inroads into the fast-growing consumer market, Costco entered China despite the ongoing US-China trade war, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. “A long queue formed outside the store’s entrance, with some parts of the store so full they were impossible to enter immediately,” as the store offered good-quality stuff at cheaper price, said the report. “Due to overcrowding in the market, and in order to provide you with a better shopping experience, Costco will temporarily close. Please avoid coming,” the company said in the notification. The Costco entered three months after German supermarket chain Aldi opened its first stores in China. France’s Carrefour sold a majority stake in its China operations to local retailer Suning for $700 million in June this year. Walmart is also growing in China.

Duolingo introduces classic Latin course

Language learning app Duolingo has introduced a new language course — Classical Latin, to help you translate ancient scripts, perhaps. The new course has been introduced with the help of the Paideia Institute, allowing one to learn Classical Latin — a language that hasn’t been commonly used for centuries, Engadget reports. The course is currently in beta and is suited for those who want to build their vocabulary, read classic poetry and literature or simply understand more about the ancient Roman culture.

Women facing violence in relationships likely to suffer from economic hardship

Women who experience violence in their relationships, may it be physical, emotional or controlling abuse, are more likely to suffer material hardship the inability to purchase food, housing, utilities, medical care or other needs for a healthy life, finds a study. The study published in the journal Violence Against Women, found that experiencing violence increases the probability that a woman will experience material hardship by 10-25 per cent when factors such as ethnicity, education, mental health, and drug use are accounted for. Physical abuse, including being slapped, kicked, hit or experiencing sexual abuse, had the strongest association with material hardship, such that women who experienced this form of abuse reported 25 per cent greater likelihood of being unable to purchase basic necessary items and services.

Controlling abuse, which happens when a partner controls the victim by not allowing her to work or taking her wages, had the second-strongest association, increasing the likelihood of reporting material hardship by approximately 13 per cent.