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Deadly 'Furry Cat' Caterpillar Strikes In Argentina

Deadly 'Furry Cat' Caterpillar Strikes In Argentina

Watch out, Argentina — a deadly caterpillar with a bristle-like appearance is on the loose.

Cristian García, 22, was sipping maté on the porch of his Santa Ana home when a rare venemous Hylesia nigricans catepillar dropped into his lap. Authorities say the young man is fighting for his life in intensive care.

Contact on human skin with the caterpillar, commonly known as the "hairy one" or "furry cat," can cause edema and hemorrhages in various parts of the body, as well as severe pain and blood clotting, says the country’s Ministry of Public Health.

The antidote, which isn’t produced in Argentina, had to be brought in from Brazil, which García's family hopes will save his life.

Roberto Stetson, who heads Argentina’s Venomous Animals Program, said that every time there’s a bite from banana spiders or other tarantulas, they “must ask favors from their neighbors.” He added that it’s difficult for them to give them the cure as the neighboring countries don't have any standing agreement for the supply of such substances, reported the Argentine daily Clarin.

The only other reported incidents have taken place close to the Brazilian border, but this new case in Santa Ana shows that the caterpillar has expanded its territory, increases the possibility of more human victims.

Photo: Serox

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Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

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