Weekly News Roundup 5/11–5/17


Dog shoots man who may not have had it coming

An Iowa man was shot in the leg last week when his dog triggered his handgun while the two were playing, according to a report. Richard Remme and his Pit bull–Labrador retriever mix, Balew, were having fun in Remme’s Fort Dodge home when the pooch’s paw managed to set off the Ruger 9mm Remme was wearing around his waist. Remme said he didn’t even notice he’d been shot until he saw his bloodied pant leg. “I’m looking around to see where [the bullet] went, and I realized it went in my leg,” Remme said. “That’s when I called 911.”

Thank you for not thirdhand smoking

It turns out there’s such a thing as thirdhand tobacco smoke: it’s pretty widespread, and it could be dangerous. New evidence demonstrates that tobacco from the air (secondhand smoke) can seep into buildings, then coat surfaces and become airborne again—this time, as thirdhand smoke. So, just because you’re sitting in a nonsmoking building or area doesn’t mean you’re not exposed to tobacco. Mounting evidence over the past year supports this study, and other research on mice reveals that thirdhand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer, liver damage, and diabetes. Although these mouse studies have not be translated to humans, the effects of thirdhand smoke are worrisome. Especially for babies or small children, and pets who are exposed to tobacco residue from clothing and furniture.

Family suspects pet dog might be a bear (but not nearly soon enough)

A Chinese family has been forced to give up their pet dog after realizing they had actually bought a black bear. The family, who lives near the city of Kunming in Yunnan province, China, purchased what they thought was a Tibetan mastiff puppy while on holiday in 2016. In fact, they had brought home an endangered Asiatic black bear cub. From day one, the family was impressed by their pet’s massive appetite. The “dog” reportedly chowed down on a box of fruit and two buckets of noodles every day. But it wasn’t until the pet reached 250 pounds and started walking around on its hind legs that they realized their dog might not actually be a dog.

A case of mistaken animal identity that’s a lot easier to understand

A “puppy” found by a concerned citizen in Bartlett, Illinois, is the latest case of botched animal species identification. According to reports, a Good Samaritan discovered the lost (and very cute!) canine along the side of a busy road last Thursday morning. Fearing for the animal’s safety, the would-be rescuer brought the would-be puppy to the nearest police department. However, upon closer investigation, the small and helpless creature was identified as a baby coyote, not a young dog. Authorities think the coyote pup must’ve somehow been separated from its litter.

University of California, Berkeley researchers responsible for accidental deaths of 22 lab animals

Errors by University of California, Berkeley, animal researchers led to the deaths of 22 animals from starvation, suffocation, or botched surgeries, and to the suffering of countless others from 2015 to 2017. The animals received too little pain medication or simply weren’t fed, watered, or monitored, according to correspondence acquired by an animal-rights group. The animals include three monkeys, as well as bats, rats, mice, and chicks. It’s not the first time UC Berkeley researchers were caught asleep at the wheel: They were fined $8,750 by the US Department of Agriculture in 2014 after five voles deprived of water for five days died of thirst.

NEWStat Interesting/unusual