Tuesday, July 28, 2015

That was my nut

Pug has a snooze in bowl of water

YouTube link.

Previously: The same snoozing pug minus the shades but with one eye open.

Man charged after jumping zoo fence to pet cougars

A zoo in Ohio has pressed charges against a man who jumped a fence to pet cougars - then posted video of it on YouTube. Joshua Newell had his camera rolling when he leaped over the outer fence of the big cat enclosure at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

The 35-year-old then began petting two adult cougars through a second fence as he said things like, "Kitty, kitty, kitty". The footage showed the animals appearing to enjoy the attention.

Zoo officials called the video "alarming" and said it was fortunate that neither Newell nor the cougars were harmed. "Animal welfare and safety are two of our top priorities," Columbus Zoo president Tom Stalf said in a statement.

Original YouTube video. Alternative LiveLeak link.

"Barriers, like the fence line at the cougar habitat, are in place to keep our guests safe. The actions taken in this video were alarming and resulted in our decision to press charges." Newell is charged with with a misdemeanour count of trespassing. He is due to appear in court on Wednesday.

Reward offered to trace person who dumped puppy with manicure

A puppy sporting a red manicure was abandoned in a purple purse in Salinas, California, last week, and now authorities are offering a $1,000 reward in the case. The SPCA for Monterey County says the pup was found by a Good Samaritan behind a restaurant on Sunday, July 19 at around 10pm.

The six-week old Chihuahua mix puppy was shut up behind the restaurant Patria in a dirty lavender purse pet carrier with no access to food or water. The SPCA says the puppy was "hungry, thirsty, and crying." The Good Samaritan then turned the puppy over to the SPCA. SPCA staff are calling the puppy with the red nails Pierre.

Beth Brookhouser, director of community outreach of SPCA for Monterey County, said: "He's too young. He should still be with his mother, but we're taking good care of him and he seems to be a big person in a little package." Brookhouser said the SPCA investigated the possibility that Pierre was stolen, but results came up short.

"We have some leads, but we want people to know that abandonment is not the answer," she added. "Shelters will take in all animals - no questions asked, but when you choose to do the illegal thing and the inhumane thing, we will do our best to go out, find who did this and prosecute the person responsible." Anyone with information about this case, should contact the SPCA.

Woman traumatised after she and her dog were terrorised by feral pig in 30-minute attack

Walkers have been warned to be on the lookout for a feral pig on the loose at Mount Jerrabomberra in south-east New South Wales, Australia, after a woman and her dog were set upon in a vicious attack. Canberra woman Michaela Vodvarka, 22, was walking her parent's dog Zeus, on Sunday, July 19 when she was confronted by a wild boar. While protecting her dog, Ms Vodvarka was bitten by the pig twice, sustaining cuts that later required 10 stitches in hospital. Ms Vodvarka said the attack happened at about 5:00pm, not far from the base of the mountain near Queanbeyan.

Zeus, a Great Dane, Boerboel cross, was first to hear the pig and broke free of his harness to chase it. When Ms Vodvarka finally found him, he was being attacked by a wild boar. "It was almost as big as the dog... the pig was almost the same weight and height. It was huge," she said. "It was attacking the dog, the dog was attacking it. Instinct for me was to not let anything happen to the dog. I didn't want anything to happen to him. So I've stepped in and started to try and push the pig away. In doing that the pig's got aggressive towards me and has started running at me." In the 30-minute scuffle that followed, Ms Vodvarka desperately tried to get her dog away from the pig. At one point Ms Vodvarka wrapped herself around the dog in bear hug to protect it, but the pig kept coming at both of them.

"All I could do was stand there screaming at the dog to come to me. But he just wouldn't listen. About five minutes after that... two people came over the hill," she said. The two men were able to call Zeus away, and the pig eventually left too. "I don't know what would have happened to be honest, I have no idea... I don't know what I could have done in that situation," she said. One of the men drove Ms Vodvarka home and later took her to hospital, where she was given a serious dose of antibiotics. "They cleaned the wound peroxide and then stitched me up," she said. "And then sent me home with antibiotics, a Tetanus shot and a syringe full of antibiotics pumped into my veins... I was in quite a lot of pain for about a week." Ms Vodvarka said Zeus escaped the encounter unharmed.

Queanbeyan City Council has since hired a licensed specialist to search the area and remove the animal. The council's manager for environment and health Natasha Abbott said the woman was extremely upset by incident. "The lady involved was quite shaken by the ordeal," she said. "Council is urging those who walk Mt Jerrabomberra and people who occupy houses that may back on to the reserve to take care." Ms Abbott said as a safety precaution, walkers on Mount Jerrabomberra should keep to the roads and keep their dogs on a leash at all times. "If you come across a feral pig, please do not approach it," she said. How the pig came to be on the mountain was unclear. "This is the first report of its kind that council has received in recent memory," Ms Abbott said. The council said warning signs would be erected until the area was deemed safe again. Feral pig sightings should be reported to Queanbeyan City Council, with the time and location of the sighting.

Kind police officers helped family of lost ducks

A passer-by spotted a couple of police officers helping a family of ducks who got lost in St Andrews, Scotland.

The two Police Scotland officers escorted the mother duck and her nine babies along a busy road to the safety of a nearby river.

With cars passing perilously close, the two male officers guided the flock along the town’s Bridge Street on Friday, using their bodies as shields.

YouTube link.

Thanks to their stellar efforts, the group of mallards made it to a hole in the wall, which leads to the Kinnessburn, before making a daring leap of faith to get to the river.

Legal high thief who told shopkeeper his name unsurprisingly caught some time later

A knife-wielding robber made it easy for police to identify him when he proudly revealed his name to the shopkeeper he was targeting. And Carl Harrison even told the victim at record store Smokin Vinyl in Erdington, Birmingham, where he used to live before he made off with £1,000 worth of legal highs. Harrison, 30, of Erdington, admitted two charges of robbery, having a knife and possessing drugs.

He was jailed for three years and four months. Birmingham Crown Court heard that the defendant made his the store just after 3pm on February 10 this year. There had been one other customer in the shop and William Lee, the shop keeper, had initially told Harrison to get out because he was smoking a cigarette. However he then became aggressive, and after throwing the cigarette outside, he returned and told Mr Lee that he should give him what he had come for.

The shopkeeper, who felt intimidated, then handed over a couple of pouches of legal highs. The defendant then told him: “Do you know who I am. I’m Carl Harrison.” Ten minutes later he returned to the shop, but this time armed with a knife, and forced Mr Lee to give him a whole tray of legal highs. Mark Phillips, prosecuting, said that, in fact, it did take the police some time to track Harrison down because of his itinerant lifestyle. He was finally arrested on June 4 after he became involved in a incident in a bar.

Paul Mytton, defending, said Harrison, who had problems with drink and substance abuse, had got himself a job as a driver. “He was hoping for a better future but, of course, this has caught up with him.” He went on “There are some bizarre features, perhaps the highlight was to say who he was and, unless there be any doubt, where he used to live, that show that he can not have been thinking properly when the offences were committed.” Judge Simon Drew QC said: “It must have been a very frightening experience as far as the shop keeper was concerned.”

Village show allowed contestants to enter shop-bought vegetables in bid to increase entries

Homegrown and homemade produce have always taken pride of place at Gloucestershire's many village shows. Green-fingered residents are able to show off their hard work and it all becomes worth it when a rosette is placed on their parsnips. But this year, entries at one event were so low that organisers allowed people to show products bought from the supermarket.

Quedgeley Show, which has run since 1972, saw people competing for awards in more than 50 different categories including best vegetables, photography and flowers. But councillors heard the turnout was not good this year at a meeting of Quedgeley Parish Council. Graham Smith, vice-chairman of Quedgeley Parish Council, said: "It was quite frankly embarrassing. People were told they could buy it, show it and eat it after but that still didn't persuade people. It is pathetic."

The show took place last Saturday at Severn Vale School and involved games, activities, performances and craft stalls. Mr Smith said: "I suppose the times have changed. Many people don't have their own garden, let alone an allotment, so they just buy their food from Tesco or Asda." Parish councillor Jean Hanks said: "The turnout was not very good. I think the organisers are going to have to rethink the event."

The show is organised by the Quedgeley Community Trust. Andy Jarrett, from the Trust, said they were hoping for more entries. "In the real world it is impossible to know if someone has actually grown their entry," he said. "Buying from the supermarket is not something we encourage but we do want more people to get involved. We were hoping for more entries and we will be doing all we can to get more people involved, including reviewing the classes to make sure the show is still relevant to the people of Quedgeley."

Helicopter, armed officers and dog unit sent to 'weapon incident' found gardener holding a rake

Dorset police launched a major hunt involving a helicopter, armed officers and a dog unit for a man brandishing a weapon in the dark only to find it was a gardener holding a rake. Stephen Hogan had been working late in his back garden with friend Wayne Dodd when police swooped on their home in Stanpit, Christchurch. They had earlier received a 999 call from a member of staff at a nursing home two doors down who reported seeing a man holding what appeared to be a weapon.

After making their way through the home, the two policemen found Mr Dodd, 43, holding up a rake from where he had been helping to landscape an area of Mr Hogan's garden under an external light. Mr Hogan, a 55-year-old plumber, had bought a heavy roller to help with the garden project on Friday and he, his son Sean, 23, and Mr Dodd helped to put it together. Mr Hogan said: "All of a sudden there was a lot of commotion coming from out the front. My wife Alison looked outside and saw about five police cars and armed police officers and dogs.

"We could hear the police helicopter above us. Then two policemen approached the front door. They said there was someone with a weapon in the area. They asked to come into the back garden and asked if someone was out there because their ‘eyes in the sky’, as they called them, had seen someone. They came in and found Wayne with the rake and then left.” Mr Dodd said: "I was rolling an old part of the garden and saw the helicopter was up. By the time the two policemen came, I was raking over the ground and then they just left."

Mr Hogan said: "We were more bemused than anything. It is reassuring that the police checked it out so thoroughly but in the end they did all that just to see what was going on in our garden. It didn't help that after leaving our house the police just packed up and left without telling the neighbours it was a false alarm.” A spokesman for Dorset police said: "At 11.41pm on Friday, we had a report of someone with a weapon but it turned out to be someone who was doing some late night gardening using a rake. It was a misinterpretation of what the caller had seen."

Police appeal for help to find broom-snapper

Derbyshire police are appealing for information after a storage box and brooms were damaged in Eyam.

Sometime between 9pm on Sunday, July 19 and 9am on Monday, July 20 offenders forced the lid of a storage box at Eyam Cricket Pavilion.

Damage was then caused to the container and two brooms were broken.

Anyone with information is being urged to contact police quoting crime number 30670/15.

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.

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."

There's a news video here.

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.