Four-inch Scorpions Called Deathstalkers Descend on Egypt

Mourad Abazid, 56 years old government employee from the low-lying village of kobania, on west of the Nile bank, said the floods had engulfed his house, making him and his family take shelter in a mosque. He was sleeping now in the street next to the rubble of their home, while his wife and three children Remained with neighbors.

“Thank god, no one died; we saved people but our homes are gone,” he said. “We do not know what we are going to do now.”

Most houses in the village was at least partially damaged, he said, with some in danger of to collapse. There has been no electricity since Friday evening of more water.

“It was just an hour of rain, but it destroyed everything,” said Mr. Muhammad.

Aswan and the wider region of Upper Egypt has a long time history of suffering official neglect. Amid widespread poverty, some Aswanis have taken up freelancing as scorpion hunters, a profitable but risky business.

Scorpions can be milked for their poison, used for scientific research and some medical treatments. a single gram of scorpion venom, which requires milking of as many as 3,000 scorpions, can be exported for $8,000, said Dr. Abdel-Rahman, who studies medical and scientific uses for the poison.

Toxins isolated from deathstalker venom are: currently used in laboratory research and in cancer treatment, where they can be used to paint tumor cells in the brain during surgery, stressing it for removal.

“I’m very, very sad when… people kill scorpions,” said Dr. Abdel-Rahman, “because the poison of scorpions is very rich and useful.”

Read More: World News


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