Chimpanzees have begun attacking children in western Uganda during recent years in a shocking trend that has resulted in serious injuries and deaths.
A highly publicized and gruesome attack in 2014 saw a chimp savage a 2-year-old child after snatching it from its mother. At least three more fatal attacks on infants have occurred since then, accompanied by a half-dozen other attacks that resulted in injuries or narrow escapes.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority points to the destruction of the chimps’ forest habit outside of protected areas to grow crops. It says this is sending the primates into villages in search of food, leading to the attacks.
A new scientific review points to light pollution as a major contributor to the “insect apocalypse” decimating many species.
An earlier study this year blamed pesticide use, habitat destruction and climate change for the loss of nearly half of the planet’s insects since 1970.
But writing in the journal Biological Conservation, an international team of experts says artificial light is disrupting insect reproduction and navigation, as well as drawing insects to untimely deaths.
“Artificial light at night is human-caused lighting – ranging from streetlights to gas flares from oil extraction. It can affect insects in pretty much every imaginable part of their lives,” said senior author Brett Seymoure.