Four-inch scorpions called death stalkers descend to Egypt

Mourad Abazid, 56, a government worker in the lower village of Kobaniya on the west bank of the Nile, said flooding flooded his home, for...


Mourad Abazid, 56, a government worker in the lower village of Kobaniya on the west bank of the Nile, said flooding flooded his home, forcing him and his family to take refuge in a mosque. He now slept in the street next to the rubble of their house, while his wife and three children stayed with neighbors.

“Thank goodness no one died; we saved people, but our homes are gone, ”he said. “We don’t know what we’re going to do now.”

Most of the houses in the village were at least partially damaged, he said, with some at risk of collapsing. There had been no electricity or water since Friday evening.

“It was only an hour of rain, but it destroyed everything,” Mohamed said.

Aswan and the greater region of Upper Egypt have a long history of official neglect. Amid widespread poverty, some Aswanis have turned to self-employment as scorpion hunters, a profitable but risky business.

Scorpions can be milked for their venom, used for scientific research and certain medical treatments. A single gram of scorpion venom, requiring the milking of 3,000 scorpions, can be exported for $ 8,000, said Dr Abdel-Rahman, who studies the venom’s medical and scientific uses.

The toxins isolated from Deathstalker venom are currently used in laboratory research and cancer treatment, where they can be used to paint tumor cells in the brain during surgery, highlighting them for removal.

“I am very, very sad when people kill scorpions,” said Dr Abdel-Rahman, “because scorpion venom is very rich and useful.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Four-inch scorpions called death stalkers descend to Egypt
Four-inch scorpions called death stalkers descend to Egypt
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