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Tag: smoke

110 animals die in Texas shelter fire

A Sunday fire at the Second Chance Animal Shelter in Killeen, Texas, killed 99 cats and 12 dogs.

Volunteers on MOnday descended upon the shelter, operated by the Centex Humane Society, to help clean and repair the facility, which is expected to be closed for at least two weeks.

The fire started around 1:30 a.m. Sunday and was reported by a passing driver. It was quickly extinguished, according to the Killeen Daily Herald. No animals were burned. Instead, the fire’s smoke killed all the animals.

The  fire remains under investigation, but it is believed to have started in or near a kitchen close to the building’s entrance. Only one dog and two cats in the front of the building survived the fire. The dog, a 2-year-old Pomeranian named Shirley, had been struck by a car two weeks ago when she darted into the street after she escaped from a volunteer during a walk.

She and the other surviving animals were transported to foster care in private homes and at other shelters.

“They are like your kids after awhile,” said Dana Ingram, a kennel technician. “I know all the ones that passed away. It was very hard.”

More than 60 volunteers from Fort Hood and local churches crowded the shelter Monday. Many volunteers covered their faces with masks to avoid the smell of smoke that lingered in the hallways. The cleanup began Sunday when almost 100 people responded.

Flight of the bumble bee

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Smooth as it may look — especially when one’s zooming toward your head — the flight of the bumble bee is actually an awkward affair.

In fact, it’s surprising they even get off the ground.

According to a report in the journal “Experiments in Fluids” (in case you didn’t get your copy this month), an Oxford University study observed bumble bees in free flight within a smoke-filled wind tunnel, and found them to be “surprisingly inefficient.”

“Aerodynamically-speaking it’s as if the insect is ‘split in half’ as not only do its left and right wings flap independently but the airflow around them never joins up to help it slip through the air more easily,” the study leader said in a statement.

Most flying insects and birds rely on aerodynamic forces, but, with the bumble bee, it’s a matter of brute force — augmented, researchers say, by their diet of energy-rich nectar.