Monday, July 27, 2015

Sleeping beauty

Young Black Jaguar enjoys a dip in the pool

This is Cielo, who lives at the Black Jaguar White Tiger Foundation in Mexico. I think this video was filmed a while back when she was still a cub.

YouTube link.

Bonus video: Here's Tonkey Bear the fluffy bearcoat Shar Pei swimming both in and out of the bathtub.

Man claims to have found caterpillar with human face

Robert Palmer was giving his horse some water a few weeks back when he says he spotted a caterpillar with a human face looking back at him from the side of the trough. "My first thought was to crush it with my cane, then I thought, no, it looks so strange, I'm going to take a picture of it, " said Palmer, from Toutle, Washington. He has since been been asking experts about what type of caterpillar he’d seen.

"I'm going to be 70 in November. And I've never seen a bug with a human face staring back at me," said Palmer. Palmer would like to know what kind of caterpillar he's looking at. He'd done all the research he can. "I've sent the picture to OMSI, the Portland Zoo, Fish & Wildlife, the Extension Service, The Master Gardeners. People either don't respond or don't know what kind it is. Some people aren't taking this very seriously." He says he tried to keep the bug alive, but it has since died.

He guarantees the validity of the photo, however, saying he even took the caterpillar into town to show the folks at his local grocery store. "I sent a picture to my grandson, he said 'nice Photoshop grandpa'. I said I can't even use my smart phone half the time, much less do some special computer effects. I had to have the girls at the Shell station send the picture to the local TV station. He knows I wouldn't lie about this," said Palmer. The staff at Drew's Shell in Toutle back him up.

YouTube link.

Others who know Bob Palmer, who's lived in the area for nearly 50 years, say he's the real thing. "It's Bob, he wouldn't lie about anything. He's just really intrigued by what kind of caterpillar it is, and getting somebody to figure it out, that's why he's always talking about it," said Kay Hanke, "One woman told it looks like the devil," says Palmer, "I decided to stay away from her, if she's sctually seen the devil. Haha."

Accident left car leaning against home

A car left a road and ended up on its front bumper against a house on Friday morning.

No one was hurt in the accident along Francis Mine State Road in Smith Township, Pennsylvania.

The vehicle was left leaning against the home, which was not damaged.

Details on what caused the accident were not immediately available.

Brisket mistaken for torso

On Monday July 13, a resident in Andover, Massachusetts, reported that there was an item on the side of the road that looked like a torso.

The responding officer reported that “it was a brisket.”

Man jailed for running over nine ducklings with a lawnmower

A Florida man who intentionally slaughtered nine baby ducks by driving a lawnmower over them has pleaded guilty to felony animal-cruelty charges and will spend the next year in the Palm Beach County Jail. Circuit Court Judge Glenn Kelley on Thursday sentenced Jason Scott Falbo II, 24, of The Acreage to a combined three years of probation on these nine charges as well as a domestic battery charge from an incident a month before the killing of the ducks. The first of those years will be spent in the jail.

“They should have just thrown away the keys,” Boyd Jentzsch, the resident who called Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control about the slaying of the ducks, said on Saturday when told of Falbo’s sentence. “There is no justification for what he’s done,” Jentzsch added. Jentzsch called Animal Care & Control officers to his home in the Olympia community at about 2 pm on May 2, according to a probable-cause affidavit released by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. He told Officer Tania Quinones he was feeding a female Muscovy duck and her eleven ducklings outside his home. He went inside after he left food out for them near a tree with his wife, Larissa Gontchar, and their son.

“We have five to six families of ducks come here at least two or three times a day,” Jentzsch said. Gontchar joined Jentzsch at his door when they observed Falbo riding on a lawn mower. Falbo started to head towards the mother and her baby ducks when he then “ran directly over the ducklings and body parts were scattered all over the lawn,” the police report said. Gontchar and Jentzsch ran out to Falbo yelling at him to stop, but Falbo smiled, backed up his mower, and continued to kill more ducklings. Jentzsch got in front of the mower and asked Falbo what he was doing “They were in my path, so I just kept mowing,” the police report quoted Falbo as saying. “I thought he was going to run over my toes,” Jentzsch said.

“He wasn’t even cutting the grass. … He went right toward (the ducklings) and veered to the left.” The mother duck and her four remaining ducklings avoided the mower and headed to a nearby lake, but two ducklings later drowned from injuries. Falbo’s employer, Wayne Soini, from Reliable Lawn Care, told Quinones it was Falbo’s first day on the job. He also said Falbo was not mowing the lawn in the right path. But Jentzsch said it was Falbo’s first day driving the mower, not his first day on the job, and he had seen Falbo in their neighbourhood once or twice before. “Just seeing the look on his face, it told me he was a very violent person inside,” Jentzsch said. Besides the probation and jail time, Falbo must also serve 10 hours of community service each month and have a mental health exam within 30 days after he is released from jail.

Couple locked puppy in apartment bathroom while they went on two-week vacation

A couple from London, Ontario, Canada, have pleaded guilty to four counts of animal cruelty after they left their puppy locked in a bathroom while they went on a two-week vacation. The Chihuahua mix was found after a superintendent heard cries coming from the couple's apartment.

The London Humane Society responded to the superintendent's complaints by obtaining a search warrant to enter the home on Jan. 6, 2015. The puppy was found with an empty water dish and faecal matter all over its body, said Judy Foster, executive director of the London Humane Society. Foster estimates the puppy had been there for about three or four days before it was rescued.

"It's staggering that this puppy was left alone," Foster said. "It's absolutely staggering. It was a nine-week-old puppy." Shelley Anderson and her family adopted the dog, newly-named Peanut, after she was found in January. Anderson said it was clear the puppy had been through a lot. "She's not very trusting," she said. "So we're hoping in time it'll come around."

Gabrielle Penney, 20, and Kyle O’Neill, 26, pleaded guilty to causing and permitting distress and failing to provide necessary care and appropriate sanitary conditions. The two were given six-months' probation and fined $400. They are also prohibited from owning or caring for an animal for 10 years. Anderson said her heart broke after seeing the condition the puppy was left in. "Now we know why she follows us around so much," she said. "She doesn't want to lose her mom and dad again."

With news video.

Woman battles council to retrieve body of her beloved cat now classified as hazardous waste

A cat lover has been told she can not have her dead pet back by council refuse bosses because it is hazardous waste. Yasmine Khalid, 55, was devastated when her 11-year-old cat went missing from the family home in Whitefield, Greater Manchester, last Friday. Mrs Khalid spent the weekend searching for the long-haired Persian cat, named Sherekhan, and put up posters in an attempt to find him. She popped into her local hairdressers to ask if she could place a poster in the window and was informed by a staff member they saw a tomcat matching the description lying dead outside.

The worker said it appeared he had been hit by a car, but did not have any scratches or injuries and Bury council came to take him away. Mrs Khalid called Bury council to try and find out how she could get the body back, but was told by waste services they had only collected a grey tabby cat that day. She followed it up with an email and was then informed the council did pick up a long-haired ginger cat on Monday morning. The council passed on contact details for Viridor who are contracted to deal with waste management for the local authority.

But when she called up Viridor she was told he was placed in a red bag, which means he was hazardous to humans, and could only be retrieved by a third party contractor. Mrs Khalid said: “I said that is my cat I wanted him back I want to bury him in my garden. He is a family member, he is well loved and well cared for. He is an 11-year-old domestic long haired ginger cat with a fluffy coat, beautiful and bonnie.” She added: “They keep saying make sure you have your pet chipped so you can have them back but clearly this is not working. He was not a stray, he was a loved and cared for animal and he had his collar on him when he died.

“It is awful, my grandkids are crying because they loved him.” She said the cat had been with the family since he was a young kitten, and she is desperate to bury him in her backgarden with a ceremony her grandchildren can attend. A spokeswoman from Viridor said: “Unfortunately in circumstances as sensitive as these we still must abide by waste legislation which dictates that once the waste (now classified as hazardous clinical) enters our facility only licenced contractors can remove it off site for appropriate treatment. We appreciate that this is not the answer that Ms Khalid was hoping for and we pass on our condolences at this time.”

With only five months until Christmas Santa makes appearance in supermarket

Christmas came earlier than ever this year as Santa was spotted in July. Shoppers and confused children all stared in amazement as St Nick manned a table at the Asda supermarket in Radcliffe near Manchester.

Aided by a helper, the face of the festive season was there to tell customers about the store’s Christmas savings cards. And Tracey Snelling, 53, said she couldn’t believe it when she noticed Father Christmas ringing his bell in the aisles while doing her weekend shop on Friday afternoon.

Tracey said: “I was dumbstruck when I saw him and it seemed like everyone else was too. People were doing double takes. The store was very busy at the time and there were lots of children around, they all seemed very confused. Even a member of staff at the store said they were nonplussed as to what he was doing there. They said to me ‘you’ll be amazed by what you see in Asda’.”

Tracey says despite the surprise of seeing Christmas come so early in the year, there was a serious side to the visit. She said: “I would hate to be a parent with small children having to explain that, obviously kids are going to be thinking that they will be getting presents and getting excited thinking that Christmas is just around the corner.” They only have another 151 days to wait.

Armed police and helicopter searching for person with firearm found man with didgeridoos

Armed officers and a police helicopter where called out to a suspicious incident on the A331 in Surrey on Tuesday afternoon.

A caller alerted the police to the village of Tongham, off the Hog's Back near Guildford. Surrey Police received a report that the caller spotted a man on the bridge over the A31 carrying what he believed to be a firearm.

Fearing serious danger, the police sent armed officers to the scene and the police helicopter was deployed. After carrying out a search for the the man, the officers discovered that it was not as dangerous and they were first led to believe.

Officers at the scene who carried the search discovered that the caller was mistaken and instead of a firearm it was in fact two didgeridoos.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Are we nearly there yet?

Little dog begs cat for return of its duck

Or possibly it's doing a doggie version of the invisible wall mime.

YouTube link.

Bumper Buddy has given blind dog his confidence back

Buddy the dog lost his eyesight due to cataracts a few months back.

So his owners have made him this bumper harness meaning that he can confidently walk around the house without hurting himself.

YouTube link.

Consternation over clown in Chicago cemetery

A woman had a close encounter with a nocturnal clown in a Chicago cemetery earlier this month. A person dressed in a clown suit, trespassing at historic Rosehill Cemetery in the dead of night.

Julia Graham says she was “freaked out” at the figure as it ran toward the main gate. She and her husband were driving by around 10pm. “When we get closer, we realise it’s a clown, which is super weird,” she says.

The first picture her husband snapped was of the clown scaling the 7-foot-tall gate at the Ravenswood Avenue entrance. That feat is no easy task, especially for someone wearing a clown suit. “I mean, this was somebody putting forth a lot of effort — and being really weird,” Graham says.

YouTube link.

The North Side cemetery was clearly closed and locked for the night. Officials don’t know what to make of it because other than the trespass there were no complaints of vandalism. It got weirder. When Julia and her husband hung around to get a better look, the clown was not deterred or afraid. He waved slowly at the couple. Chicago police say there have been no other clown sightings.

Tree trimmer sees Virgin Mary in log

Tree trimmer Mike Iacovetta, says a piece of tree he has kept in his garage for eight years is really the sight to see.

Iacovetta, 51, says the Virgin Mary can be seen in the rings of a tree he cut years ago. "She is the key to my whole life," he says.

Iacovetta sees her figure in the wood, as well as her hands praying. He cut it down at a home in Denver, Colorado, near Our Lady of Guadalupe.

YouTube link.

Iacovetta says the figure came to him as a message, to help some of his young employees who he described as "troubled youth." "The message is to come to the wood, pray to the wood and heal your spirit," he said. "Love and faith and kindness in the world."

Indian state puts limit on schoolbag weight

Maharashtra in west India has ruled that children must not carry to school a bag that exceeds more than 10% of their weight in a bid to prevent injury. Officials have warned that heavy satchels were tiring children and damaging their spines and joints.

Teachers are being asked to weigh students' bags at school but the state has not specified a punishment. Indian children are often under immense pressure to succeed, carrying extra study materials from class to class.

"We have found bags that weigh 20% to 30% [of the children's bodyweight] due to thick notebooks, textbooks, unrequired stationery and even cosmetics," wrote Nand Kumar in the executive order.

Schools are being requested provide more storage space for books. "I am happy to know that now we will be carrying a lighter school bag," one student said. "Initially, after school, I had no energy to play or study; but now I will be happy walking home with a lighter bag."

Mystery raccoon fell from Austrian apartment block

Council workers in Vienna, Austria, made an unusual discovery when they found an injured raccoon in the city’s central Landstrasse district, in front of an apartment building. They believe he fell out of one of the apartment windows, or from a balcony. The young male was wearing a harness and had a bad cut on his chin.

Council workers took him to the animal shelter in Vösendorf, where his wound was stitched up. He was also given painkillers and antibiotics and is being kept under observation for a few days, as it’s not known how high his fall was. Volunteers at the shelter said that he appeared well nourished and that they believe he was kept as a pet.

Animals such as raccoons, which are native to North America, are allowed to be kept as pets in Vienna as long as the owner has registered them with the city's veterinary department and fulfilled certain legal requirements. These include having a minimum enclosure space of 40 square metres across and three square metres high. The rules also recommend keeping a pair of raccoons, as the mammals usually live in groups in the wild.

"Raccoons are not cuddly toys and like most other wild animals are not really suitable pets to be kept in apartments,” said Marion Wenny from the Vienna Tierschutzverein animal protection group. Tierschutzverein president Madeleine Petrovic said that for her keeping wild animals on pets bordered on cruelty and added that it was unlikely that the raccoon had been kept in a suitable enclosure, otherwise it would not have fallen out of a window. So far, the raccoon’s owner has not come forward. The animal does not have a microchip and nobody from the apartment block has admitted to being his owner.

Elderly man visited in nursing home by pony

89-year-old Karl Holmen was sad that he was too unwell to visit the new foal born to his granddaughter’s Susan’s horse, but Susan devised a plan to cheer him up. That plan took the shape of Bolla, a 15-year-old mini Shetland pony, who is just 85cms tall.

It may not have been possible to take the mother and newborn horse to visit her grandfather in Stavern nursing home in southern Norway. But Susan knew that Bolla was used to visiting Karl in his sitting room when he still lived at home. So she investigated the possibility of taking Bolla in to to see her grandfather.

“It was actually a very simple process. I asked a girl who worked at the nursing home if she could help me arrange it, and after a few days it was done,” said Susan. She says that her grandfather was very happy when Bolla came to visit. “He thought it was great. And so did the others at the nursing home.

"They thought it was very special to have a horse to visit,” says Susan, who, after taking the pony to see her grandfather, took a tour with Bolla to see the other patients at the nursing home. “She is calm around people, so it went very well,” Susan said. One of the managers of the home, Inger Johanne Stensland, said that the visit was a huge success. “This was a very big event, both for us employees and residents. It was great fun. Bolla is definitely welcome back."

Gardener delighted as thief returns giant onion that was growing on top of telephone box

A mystery vegetable thief has been shamed into returning a gardener's giant onion. Gardener Phil McManamon, 51, was close to tears when his onion was stolen from outside his home as he grew it for the village pub giant vegetable contest. Green-fingered Phil posted pictures of his onion on Facebook and spread the word through his village to find the missing vegetable.

And his wife Linda was amazed when the thief knocked on their door - to hand over the prized onion. Phil said: "It was incredible. He said he found it outside and took it for safety. But then someone spotted it in his van and told him: You'd better take that back - half the village is looking for that onion." Phil had put the onion in its pot on the roof of a phone box across the road from his home in Hakin, near Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, to get more sunshine than his garden.

But he was horrified to return from a trip to the library last Friday to discover the onion and the pot had been pinched. Phil said it was his first year entering the giant onion competition - and he is keen to do his best. He said: "I have three or four onions I'm tying to bring on. But I have problems with my garden not getting enough sun. I've been moving the pots from the front garden to the back garden during the day to make the most of whatever sun we get.

"The phone box is right opposite my house and I could see the top gets a lot of sun. I'd put the onion there for maybe three days when it is calm and sunny. It seemed to have been okay and I was hoping it would do well." He was mystified when it disappeared while he was out at the library. Police were given a crime report by Phil, but the case of the missing onion has now been closed. Phil said: "I'm just glad it is back - I have no idea who took it because he didn't leave his name. But I'm glad he saw the light in the end."

High street gun alert caused by teenage girl carrying a tennis racket

A gun scare which saw a dozen armed police descend on a Worcestershire town was sparked by a girl carrying a tennis racket. A member of the public reported the girl wearing a pink T-shirt was carrying a gun through Droitwich.

The High Street was sealed off while a team of officers searched for the girl, thought to be a teenager. West Mercia Police said CCTV pictures have confirmed she was carrying a tennis racket. The force said it had been studying the footage since the incident.

Images suggest the girl, in her mid to late teens, was carrying a tennis racket and a set of tennis balls, police said. She has not been identified, a spokesperson said, but she matched the description provided by the member of the public who contacted them.

"This report was a genuine concern," the force said. "We would rather people were vigilant and we would like to thank the public for bringing the matter to our attention." It added it had "no concerns" over the way it responded to the report.