The Weird Week in Review
Police and Zookeepers Chase Papier Mâché Rhino
The Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, Japan, holds annual escaped animal drills for zookeepers and emergency responders. However, there is no way to hold these drills using rare and possibly dangerous zoo animals. This week, the drill was held to train workers in how to deal with a rhinoceros on the loose, using a rhino made of papier mâché with two men underneath to provide the action. The rhino even attacked a zookeeper and had to be pushed away with sticks. Zoo visitors enjoyed the spectacle, which was recorded on video.
Man Adopts Girlfriend, Other Children Sue
John Goodman of Palm Beach, Florida, is facing a wrongful death lawsuit that could ruin him financially. As his assets are facing possible seizure, he legally adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend, Heather Ann Hutchins. She therefore is entitled to a share of a $300 million trust fund set aside for Goodman's children. The trust would be untouchable if Goodman loses the lawsuit. The millionaire did not tell the judge in the adoption case about the lawsuit, nor did he tell his ex-wife or two biological children about the adoption. The two teenagers were surprised to hear the news, and are now suing their father to have the adoption of Hutchins set aside.
Police Officer Chased Himself
In a story that was shared with a monthly police magazine, a police officer in Sussex, England, ended up chasing himself around for twenty minutes. A CCTV (closed circuit TV) operator saw a suspicious man on the streets, and called a plainclothes officer for help. The operator gave directions to the areas where the suspicious man was caught on camera, and the officer always seemed to be close, but could not see any evidence of the man. That is, until they realized that the "suspicious character" was actually the plainclothes officer! The date of the misadventure has been lost in the retelling, as all police officers involved were too busy laughing.
Bomb Squad Finds Schrodinger's Cat Alive
A mysterious box appeared in a parking lot at Erie Community College campus in Amherst, New York, last Friday afternoon. The state police bomb squad responded and took an x-ray of the sealed box, which showed a cat inside! Police turned the cat over to the local SPCA. Gina Browning of the Tonawanda SPCA says the cat is okay.
"The cat was not malnourished, not dehydrated, didn't need any kind of veterinary care. So, it had a happy ending. What concerns me is the people capable of doing this might be capable of doing something worse," Browning said.
Just who would put a cat in a taped up box and leave it in a parking lot remains a mystery at this point.
Capt. Camilleri said, "Right now it doesn't appear there's really much to follow up on. It didn't have any identification on the box or anything like that."
The upside to this is that the cat, named "Truffle," is fine, healthy and back with her owner. Tracking down the person responsible is unlikely, if not impossible.
If found, the persons responsible could be charged with animal cruelty. Even Schrodinger never wanted to try his famous thought experiment on a real cat.
Toddler in Vending Machine Hands Out Toys
Three-year-old Noah Jeffrey wanted a toy so badly that he climbed into a claw machine at a restaurant in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. You've read stories of children in vending machines before, but Noah took the adventure to a new level when he started handing toys out to other children who gathered around the machine! Then his mother saw him. She tried to get Noah to climb back out, but he didn't want to. She finally told him he would have to come down the chute to get a toy, and she helped him get past a barrier on the way. Noah managed to get out of the machine before the fire brigade arrived to rescue him.
Pennsylvania's Purple Squirrel
Percy and Connie Emert of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, trap squirrels in their yard to protect their bird feeders from raids. They normally release the squirrels elsewhere, but one squirrel stood out from the rest. Connie Emert saw a purple squirrel several times, but her husband did not believe her. Then it was caught in their squirrel trap Sunday and photographed. They relocated the purple squirrel on Tuesday, but those who saw the pictures are trying to figure out where the color came from. One theory is that it fell into a portable toilet and was covered in chemicals. Another is that it ingested too much bromide from molluscs or some other source. Or it could have been dyed. (Thanks, Brendan!)
Don't Bring a Crack Pipe to Drug Court
Stanley Ramos was arrested in Manatee County, Florida, on New Year's Eve for possession of a crack pipe, which a sheriff's deputy said was in plain view in Ramos' backpack. Ramos had a hearing Tuesday in connection with the case at the Manatee County Courthouse. As he was passing through the building's security checkpoint, he was found to be in possession of another crack pipe. Ramos completed his court appearance and was then arrested on a second charge of possessing drug paraphernalia.