required medical attention (because of the shortness of breath)
Never Touch Anything that Looks Like Donald Trump’s Hair
Can’t Touch This: The Southern Flannel Moth caterpillar, or Asp, Megalopyge opercularis, will give you a painful sting.
Asp Caterpillars are making news this week, so I thought I’d dispense some professional entomological advice: if it looks like The Donald’s hair, leave it alone.
Several different caterpillar species look like escapees from Trump’s noggin, and nearly all of them have urticating hairs. “Urticating” is a fancy way of saying highly irritating. (The jokes write themselves here, don’t they?)
Asp Caterpillars (Megalopyge opercularis) have a variety of nicknames: southern flannel moth, puss caterpillar, and the tree asp. They are considered the most highly venomous caterpillars in North America. The “hairs” of these caterpillars can break off and cause itching, but also hide an unpleasant surprise: sharp spines. The spines are connected to venom gland cells, and function like little hypodermic needles. The pain from injected venom is said to be intense, and lasts at least 12 hours.
Managers at a Mexican zoo say they are baffled as to why a trainee vet thought it was okay to put her hand into the orangutan's cage to stroke the beast, prompting it to attack and bite off one of her fingers.
According to Chapultepec zoo spokesman Amir Nieves Saenz the young woman who was in the final year of studying veterinary medicine should have realised the dangers of attempting to pet the wild animal.
But Carolina Hernandez Matias, 25, claimed bizarrely that she thought the huge orangutan looked "rather cute" when she had decided to try and pet him at a zoo in the Mexican capital Mexico City.
Zoo official Amir added: "She had been asked to feed the animals and was putting pea plants in the feeder outside the cage when the orangutan came over to eat. When she put her hand through the cage to stroke him, he grabbed her hand and pulled it causing her to scream. When other zoo staff arrived and tried to scare the orangutan off, it seems to have made him aggressive and he bit off her middle finger."
Medics that took the young woman and the finger to hospital say it was impossible to reattach it because of the damage and she is being kept in to check for risk of infection.
The young woman defended the decision to stroke the animal saying: "I had done it several times before and never had a problem. I don't know why he suddenly attacked me this time."