Friday, August 01, 2014

It's a dog's life

Bear at Budapest zoo saves drowning crow

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Simon Cowell rescues baby hedgehog stuck in empty dog food tin

Not that Simon Cowell, but Simon Cowell, founder and managing trustee of the Wildlife Aid Foundation.

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Couple unhappy about pig's legs in soil supplied by landscaping company

A couple from Jacksonville, Florida, couldn't believe what they found buried in the soil delivered from a local landscaping company. Chris Frank's wife was just gardening in her yard. "As she was digging, she saw something and dug around it. That's when she had discovered that there was actually some kind of animal part in there," Frank said. They found at least two more in other spots.

Frank snapped photos and knew exactly what it was buried about 13 inches down into the soil. "That's a pig leg," he said. "She said how do you know? I said I know what the hoof looks like." Frank's wife is a semi-vegetarian. "She was disturbed by it," he said. "I was disturbed by it." Frank had paid $300 to a local landscaping company on July 22. Frank said the services were to remove palm trees and put soil in.

He said the company's owner came out to his home and took the putrid pork away. "He said, 'I've got all of them. You're good," Frank said while describing the exchange he had with the company's owner. "I said 'OK, we'd like the soil to be removed too because it's gross." Frank claims the owner recently said he'd put lime on the ground, but Frank said that hasn't happened yet. "He called my wife and told her that he was not going to come get the soil," Frank said.

"I'm sorry, for him to not take care of his customers like that, I think it's bad business." Scott, a manager with the company, said they recently bought fresh clean soil and after cleaning a pig, the pig parts were accidentally left inside the bucket of a back-hoe used to move soil. The manager said the owner apologised, removed the parts from the Frank's soil and that this has never happened before. The manager would not say if the landscaping company would give the Frank's new soil.

Man claims burglar smoked his wife's ashes

A man claims a burglar broke into his home and smoked the ashes of his deceased wife. Last week, Phillip McMullen, from Citronelle in Mobile County, Alabama, went out of town to stay with some friends. While he was gone, he said the unspeakable happened. “(The burglar) ransacked my house, tried to break in my gun safe, which, they weren’t able to, they even took my wife’s ashes off my headboard, strewed them around, looked like they tried to smoke some of them or something,” McMullen said.

“I guess they figured out this stuff ain’t worth smoking, so they threw it up underneath one of my toolboxes.” McMullen says he thinks the burglar thought the ashes were drugs, since the ashes were kept in a plastic box, rather than a metal urn. “Tried it out to see if it was some kind of drugs, and I bet that was a nasty taste when they (did) that though,” said McMullen.

McMullen said he and his wife were married for 22 years, and now, he’s hoping the burglar will be caught, so justice can be served. The burglar was able to break in McMullen’s house through a window. Once inside, the thief stole some 15 items, according to the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, including a generator, chainsaw, knife and fishing rods and reels. McMullen said he was furious when he first saw what happened.

YouTube link.

“I don’t know if God will forgive them for what they’ve done or not,” added McMullen. Meanwhile, the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office is continuing the investigation, and is hoping someone will do the right thing and turn the criminal in. “If someone did something like this, that’s just horrible,” said Lori Myles, with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, “and if we do prove that he has tampered with this urn, there will be additional charges, such as desecration of a grave.” Sheriff’s officials say the burglar is still at large.

Indian family surprised to find five-foot crocodile in their bathroom

A family in Sojitra village, Gujarat, were surprised to find a five-foot crocodile in their bathroom on July 21.

Bharat Patel was entering the bathroom when he saw the crocodile in the corner.

He immediately locked the bathroom from the outside and informed his neighbours about the presence of the wild animal in his house.

Forestry officials were called to cage the animal, which was released in a lake in a nearby village.

Men disguised as langurs employed to scare away monkeys in central Delhi

About 40 trained youths have been pressed into service, disguised as langurs and screeching and grunting loudly, to scare away monkeys from Delhi’s corridors of power. The men are summoned by the New Delhi Municipal Council to spots, including the Parliament House, that come under siege from monkeys. The 'langurs' suddenly appear from behind bushes and trees to drive away the simians through sounds and gestures.

On Thursday, urban development minister M Venkiah Naidu acknowledged through a written reply in Rajya Sabha that men have been posing as langurs to keep the monkey menace in check. According to NDMC sources, the practice started after real langurs were barred from being kept in captivity. By all accounts, the human 'langurs' have proved to be effective in their new role. NDMC sources said the men are paid Rs 700-800 (£7-£8, $11.50-$13) per 'visit' and have not been hired permanently. They get work for around 10-15 days a month, earning anywhere between Rs 7000 to 10,000.

NDMC sources said while it would take time, the 'langur men' would continue to do their job until all the monkeys left the area. The men disguised as langurs are also armed with rubber bullets to drive away the simians. Until last year, Delhi's streets were patrolled by actual langurs. But because of change in law in November 2012 this practice ended. "These young men have trained themselves to pose as langurs. We have no option but to hire them because, as per law, even an officer who calls for langur and its master to drive away monkeys can be booked and jailed," said a senior official.

Monkeys, often moving in large groups foraging for food, pose a threat to people in the high security zone housing central government ministries. "We are no more using air guns to scare away monkeys. Only rubber bullets are used. We also use electric strips which give out a minor shock to animals when they touch them. The monkeys are only stunned, not harmed in any other way. We are taking all possible steps to address the concerns of all parties and trying to ensure that monkeys stay away," NDMC chairman Jalaj Srivastava said. He added that NDMC was also considering issuing extra taxes to those who keep bananas and other fruits on the roadside for monkeys to feed on.

Kenyan Wildlife Service warns locals and travellers against giving booze to baboons

The Kenya Wildlife Service has warned travellers on the Nakuru-Nairobi highway not to give baboons alcohol. “Doing so is irresponsible and careless, as it poses a huge risk to motorists,” said KWS director William Kibet Kiprono.

“Liquor has the same effect in animals as on human beings. They might become violent, or distract road users, causing accidents. They might also start fighting people and cause death if unchecked.” Mr Kiprono added that the law stipulates that people should not feed wild animals, explaining that this was meant to protect the wildlife as they might be adversely affected by eating human food.

Maai Mahiu residents have been complaining of a baboon menace. “They eat our goats, and we have been unable to plant food for the last three years,” said a local farmer, Mr Kabiu Kabiru. Another villager, Mr John Mwangi added: “We chase 20 monkeys every night. They enter our kitchens and steal food.”

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Mr Kiprono admitted that the animals living outside the reserve were many, citing that close to 7000 animals were living outside protected areas. “We are trying to stem out human – wildlife conflict and this can only be done through ensuring that both the rights of the animals and the people are well respected,” he added.

Man who allegedly sniffed petrol while smoking a cigarette asked for a peanut butter sandwich

The case of a man in the Narrows suburb of Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory who allegedly sniffed petrol while smoking a cigarette and burned down a shed has sparked debate on whether he should have known there was a “substantial” risk of explosion. Timothy Fordham’s beard was “burned off” with clumps stuck to his shirt when police found him in a neighbour’s backyard – demanding a peanut butter sandwich – after the alleged incident, a committal hearing was told on Tuesday. He also had blistered feet.

Magistrate Greg Smith said trying to imagine sniffing petrol while smoking was an 'intriguing prospect'. “He may well have been stupid enough to be doing it given what happened to his beard,” he said. Prosecutor Steve Ledek said: “If there was a charge for stupidity, it would have been made out.” Fordham was instead charged with arson and unlawfully entering the shed at a house in the Narrows, on December 18, 2013. The court was told a neighbour across the road found him, dishevelled, in her yard shortly after an “explosion”.

Acting Sergeant Paul Morrissey said the accused was sitting in a chair on the woman’s patio demanding food. He said Fordham was intoxicated but he was uncertain if he had been drinking alcohol or sniffing. “I saw (he was burnt) ... I said ‘what happened’ ... he made spontaneous admissions,” Sgt Morrissey said. “His demeanour went from calm to aggressive. He asked for a peanut butter sandwich.” The officer gave evidence that Fordham admitted going into the shed and sniffing petrol with a lit cigarette. He reportedly told Sgt Morrissey that “the fire just started”.

Investigators said the source and origin remained “undetermined” but the court heard a lawnmower and other fuel-powered machines were inside the workshop, along with containers. They found petroleum slick on the floor. Defence lawyer Anthony Pyne said Sgt Morrissey’s evidence was weak. He said the law drew a line between deliberately or recklessly starting a fire and people who did not perceive a risk. “This may be a negligence case but it’s definitely not arson,” he said. Mr Smith said it was “common knowledge” that a lit cigarette near petrol could lead to an explosion. He is now to decide if the case is handed up to the NT Supreme Court. Fordham remains in ­custody.

Police appeal after painted mannequin stolen from garage roof

Police in Cambridge have appealed for information after thieves stole a painted mannequin which was due to be auctioned off for charity.

The mannequin, part of a community art project called Mitcham’s Models, had been on show on top of a garage roof in when it was stolen between 9pm on Monday and 7.30am on Tuesday.

It was set to be auctioned off for Tom’s Trust in the next few days, a charity which cares for children with brain tumours.

Anyone with any information should contact the police or call Crimestoppers anonymously. Two weeks previously, another mannequin from the same series was cruelly dismembered by vandals.

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Maymo takes on a big scary shark

YouTube link.

Company are offering space funerals for pets

A company from Houston, Texas, has begun offering memorial space flights for four-legged loved ones. Celestis Inc. on Wednesday announced Celestis Pets. Rockets carrying cremated remains of dogs and cats are offered as a way for owners to “celebrate the life of their pet.”

“I think we’re also creating some new cultural norms,” said Director of Celestis Pets, Steve Eisele. “Humanity has a lot of different rituals. We think we take our rituals with us when we end up travelling to different places whether they’re on this planet or off the planet.”

Eisele says a small portion of cremated pet remains will be sent into orbit for $995. If you want to send your pet’s remains to the moon it could take some time, and it will cost you $12,000. “The Apollo missions only took three days to get to the moon, so there could be a faster path,” said Eisele.

“It all depends on the launch. It could take as little as three days, and up to years based on which trajectory is taken.” Celestis Pets is working with Californian company, Into the Sunset Pet Transition Center of San Diego, with the first rockets scheduled to launch this autumn. Celestis Inc. has for years offered a rocket service that takes partial human remains into space and brings them back.

Lady arrested after throwing contents of old cup of dip spit at ex-boyfriend

According to the ex-boyfriend of Jenna Ketcham, she threw saliva and tobacco juice at him on July 12 at a filling station in Sebastian, Florida, a recently released arrest affidavit states. The ex-boyfriend, identified as the victim, told police he was filling his vehicle with fuel when Ketcham, 25, pulled in. The victim’s current girlfriend was in the passenger seat of the victim’s vehicle.

The victim hopped in his vehicle and locked the doors. After punching the window on the passenger side where the victim’s girlfriend sat, Ketcham went to the driver’s side. She remembered the key pad code and got the door open. She punched the victim in the face, and “grabbed an old cup of dip spit . . . and tossed its contents all over (the victim’s) right shoulder, leaving a brown stain on his T-shirt,” the affidavit states.

Dip spit is the mixture of saliva and tobacco juice produced by users of smokeless tobacco, also known as dip. Dip, which is not to be confused with chewing tobacco, is placed between the cheek and gum, and the resulting, brownish combination of saliva and dip juice is spit out, often into a cup. Ketcham then “gave (the victim) one final blow to the genitals with her fist,” the affidavit states.

Ketcham then got in her vehicle and left. The victim’s current girlfriend gave an account of the incident consistent with the victim. Police eventually spoke to Ketcham, and she denied striking the victim. The affidavit didn’t state whether the “dip spit” was produced by the victim, his current girlfriend or someone else entirely. Ketcham, of Sebastian, was arrested on charges including burglary of a conveyance and battery (domestic violence).

Woman found naked man sleeping in her bed

An Albuquerque woman says she found a naked intruder sleeping in her bed. She said the man apparently let himself in while she and her husband were home. The woman doesn’t want to be identified, but said the man police identified as Freddie Shelby, broke into her home, grabbed a drink, then made himself at home and took a nap. “It was kind of funny,” the woman recalled. She can laugh about it now, but she said what happened on Sunday at her home in a gated neighbourhood, was at first very scary.

She and her husband were upstairs watching TV when she heard a noise.“I just thought that it was windy and the blinds were moving,” she recalled. She thought the wind had blown the screen to her kitchen window off, but when she opened her bedroom door; “I turned on the lights, and there was a man sleeping in the bed,” she said. “I did freak out but I didn’t scream or anything, I just backed out, went to the stairs and called my husband who was sitting upstairs.” The woman’s husband grabbed a knife and rolling pin from the kitchen, just in case. Then, the couple called 911 and waited outside for police to arrive.

When officers showed up, police said Shelby was still asleep in the master bedroom. His clothes were tossed next to the bed. The woman said it appeared Shelby had made himself pretty comfortable, cuddled up with her quilt and pillows. “I remember that when I saw him in the bed, I was freaked out but as soon as I saw his clothes, I felt disgusted,” the woman said. Police learned Shelby had let himself in through the kitchen window by removing the screen, climbed over the sink, grabbed a Sprite from the fridge then climbed under the covers in the master bedroom to take a nap.

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Aside from the Sprite, the couple said nothing was missing. “That’s a good thing because my wallet was right beside the bed,” the woman said. She’s since cleared the bed sheets and washed the linens. She can’t seem to shake the thought of finding Shelby, a man she’d never seen before, sleeping naked in her bed. The woman who found Shelby says she’s glad he didn’t wake up when she spotted him and turned the lights on. The couple said they’re sleeping upstairs in a different bedroom for now. Shelby is charged with breaking and entering. He told police he thought he was in his girlfriend’s house. The couple said the officers on scene thought he may have been drunk or high. Shelby appeared in court on Tuesday, where a judge kept his bond at $2,500 cash or surety.

Man with dirty face arrested following Burger King incident

A man with a noticeably dirty face was arrested after an incident at a Burger King in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday. An intoxicated Jamie Henson, 36, placed an order at the International Drive store just before 3:20am but ran away before getting his food, according to his arrest report.

The Orlando man pushed BK's door open with such force, it came off the hinges. An officer responding to a vandalism/criminal mischief call found a man later identified as Henson standing in the centre lane of International Drive while talking on a cellphone. As the officer approached, he could overhear Henson saying ' "the police are here" and he had to get off the phone." '

Henson ran from the officer, who caught him after a roughly 100-foot chase. "No force was used to detain Henson and no injuries were sustained by myself or Henson,'' Officer Matthew Davis said in his report. Then Henson appeared in his booking photo at the Orange County Jail with dirt on his face.

How he got so grimy wasn't addressed in the report. Burger King said Henson caused $500 in damage. "I was able place the door back on the hinges but noticed there was still damage to the hinges and closing mechanism," Davis said. Henson was charged with criminal mischief and resisting an officer without violence.

Slithering thief stole wigs intended for cancer victims

A wig store in south west Houston is asking for the public's help in tracking down a sneaky burglar. The man was captured on surveillance video overnight on Monday slithering through Tiffani Chanel Luxury Hair.

He got into the business after breaking into a vacant space next door, punching a hole through a bathroom wall and crawling in. The intruder stayed low to the ground the entire time to avoid the motion-detecting alarm. "He was laying on the ground, (doing a) low crawl like they do in the military," explained store manager Chanie Speller.

"He's a snake. That's what they do." Surveillance footage shows the man inching his way behind the register, crawling over to the wigs and crouching onto his knees. He was only able to reach 11 wigs on the lowest shelf and some other merchandise. The store's owner says she was furious when she watched the video. "He should be ashamed. That's the lowest of the low," said owner Tiffani Speller.

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Speller says the stolen wigs were going to be donated to a cancer makeover event in two weeks. She hopes the images of the culprit will blow the lid off of his low profile. "It's just pathetic, a grown man stealing wigs that are designated for cancer patients. It's just ridiculous," Speller said. The stolen wigs are estimated to be worth more than $3,000. Houston Police are investigating.

Beaver blamed for felling tree that toppled onto car still at large

Police in Prince Edward Island, Canada, are on the lookout for a beaver after a family of four from Quebec narrowly escaped injury while travelling on a remote road last weekend.

According to the RCMP detachment in Kings District, the beaver chewed through a series of tree trunks along Highway 16 in Priest’s Pond, PEI, causing one of the trees to topple suddenly onto the family’s vehicle. The driver saw the tree beginning to fall, but was unable to stop in time to avoid it.

“The vehicle sustained significant damage to the roof, windshield, and to a cargo box that was mounted on the roof,” said a release issued by the RCMP on Tuesday. “The couple in the front seat of the vehicle were uninjured, as were their 1 and 2 year old children who were in the back seat.”

When officers arrived on the scene and examined the tree trunk, they saw that it had been gnawed just about all of the way through. Several other trees along the highway were in similar shape. “Arrangements were made to have the damaged trees taken safely down,” the release said. “The beaver is still at large.”

Man has started pushing Brussel sprout up Mount Snowdon with his nose

A man is attempting to push a Brussel sprout up Mount Snowdon with his nose. Stuart Kettell, from Balsall Common in the West Midlands, set off at 7am on Wednesday and hopes to reach the 1,085m (3,560ft) summit in four days.

The 49-year-old, who wants to raise at least £5,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, will replace the sprouts as they fall apart. It is his latest in a series of fundraising challenges, which have so far raised more than £40,000 for the charity.

Mr Kettell has been training for the event by pushing a sprout around his garden and also had a half-mile trial run on the mountain. The trial run showed that he could cover just one tenth of a mile in 50 minutes.

YouTube link.

Cameraman Richard Crump, who is filming Mr Kettell's challenge, said: "The first day has been gruelling for Stuart. He has no skin on his knees, his back is hurting and his neck is really tired. But he is still going."

Stuart Kettell's website.

Police officers who made arrest in monkey and zebra onesies commended for bravery - Update

A pair of off-duty police officers who arrested a man while dressed as a zebra and a monkey have been commended for their bravery. PCs Tracy Griffin and Terri Cave, based at Solihill in the West Midlands, were wearing zebra and monkey onesies when they were confronted by the man in March last year.

They were picking up drinks and snacks at a supermarket in Coventry for a friend’s party when they spotted him threatening women inside the store. The pair stepped in while they waited for uniformed colleagues after a shop worker dialled 999. However the man became more aggressive and even chased one woman on to a bus.

The man was pursued outside the store and the fancy dress-clad duo grappled him to the ground - despite fears he was carrying a weapon. Other officers arrived within minutes to arrest the man and take him in to police custody on suspicion of public order offences. At a ceremony in Edgbaston, Birmingham, they picked up the commendation from West Midlands Police Chief Constable Chris Sims.

Chief Supt Alex Murray, from Solihull Police, said: “Joking apart, PCs Griffin and Cave were faced with a very dangerous man in difficult circumstances and they stepped up to the plate. Let’s not lose focus on the risk they exposed themselves to, without any protection − in tackling this man. Whether they were in fancy dress or not − the fact is they chose to put a member of the public’s safety above their own and then cancelled their night out to make sure a professional job was done.”