Zoological Center Tel Aviv/Ramat Gan
Zoological Center Tel Aviv/Ramat Gan

The Weird Week in Review

Zoological Center Tel Aviv/Ramat Gan
Zoological Center Tel Aviv/Ramat Gan

Putting Pants on an Ass

Haim is a donkey in Israel who was abused before being taken in by Ramat Gan Safari, an animal sanctuary that is home to 1,600 creatures. He has been in rehabilitation for skittishness and physical wounds. But the raw skin on his legs wouldn't heal because of flies which cause Haim to scratch and pick. Traditional bandages caused too much damage and pain because they had to be changed often.

Two caretakers, Becca Rivkin and Shira Inbar-Danin, came up with a solution. They spent four hours stitching a special pair of pants for the donkey that are held up by suspenders over his shoulders. The pants are double-layered, with a soft stretchy material on the inside, covered by a rougher baggy material that flies can’t bite through. The two women also rub cream on his legs every day.

The special pants are working swimmingly, and Haim will soon receive pants for his hind legs as well. With his skin protected, his fur is expected to grow back quickly, and then Haim the donkey will be able to trot around bare-ass once again.

Welcome to College; Enjoy the Water Slide!

It happens at a lot of colleges when a new class of freshmen arrive: there aren't enough dormitory beds. Within a few weeks, the no-shows are counted and alternate housing is found, but meanwhile, many colleges put cots in the gym or commons building for the overflow. Some freshmen at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, are getting a totally different experience because the school is putting them up in an indoor water park! Capital University spokeswoman Nichole Johnson said the school thought using Fort Rapids was a better option than putting new students in storage areas or lounges. Fort Rapids Indoor Water Park is also a resort, with suites that will accommodate about thirty students. The school is setting up a shuttle service to connect those students with the campus. Meanwhile, they will have access to the water slides. With living accommodations like that, who'd want to go to class?

Chinese Zoo Displays Dog as Lion

A private zoo in Luohe, Henan province, China, is under fire for trying to pass off a Tibetan mastiff, a particularly hairy dog, as an African lion. A zoo representative said the lions were away at another zoo for breeding purposes, and the dog was in the cage for his own protection. However, visitors also noticed that the creature in the jaguar enclosure looked suspiciously like a fox, and a "wolf" that was clearly a domestic dog. An official of the People's Park, where the zoo is located, said that the signs for the animals would be corrected. The zoo is a private enterprise, and is only there because its contract with the People's Park has not yet expired. See more pictures here.

Google Street View Driver Detained in Thailand

Sa-eab, a village in northern Thailand, is the scene of a long-running feud between locals and environmentalists and developers who want to build a dam. Google confirmed that one of their Street View drivers was caught in the crossfire. A group of about 20 people stopped the Google vehicle and made a citizen's arrest, which included taking the driver to a temple and making him swear on a statue of Buddha that he wasn't taking survey pictures for the dam project. The driver was eventually released, and the citizens apologized for the incident.

Surgeon Steals Drugs from Patient's Gut

Police in Russia arrested a man who became ill on a train from Krasnoyarsk, and he was taken to the hospital in Bogotol to have smuggled heroin removed from his stomach. Then they arrested the surgeon who performed the operation!

Law enforcement agents confiscated the capsules but later found five grammes of heroin hidden in the surgeon's clothing. Police have released video footage of a young man wearing an Adidas jacket, his face blurred, who is purported to be the surgeon.

Local news outlets said he is 32, with previous convictions for drug possession. "At the moment of his arrest, the doctor was in a state of drug intoxication," the police said.

A criminal case has been opened and the surgeon faces up to 15 years for drug possession and theft.

Meanwhile, the smuggler is in a coma, while other doctors try to save his life.

Turning the Tables on the Bank

Dmitry Agarkov of Voronezh, Russia, received a credit card offer from Tinkoff Credit Systems. He didn't like the terms spelled out in the contract, so he changed the contract and sent it back to the bank. The altered contract called for 0% interest, an unlimited line of credit, no fees, and an agreement to pay Agarkov a hefty fine for not complying with the agreement. Plus, if the bank tried to cancel the contract, they would have to pay Agarkov six million rubles -which is over $100,000! Like most people confronted with a lot of small print, the bank didn't bother to read the contract and accepted it.

When Agarkov went deep into debt and the bank tried to call in its usual fees, they ended up in court because Agarkov did not consider himself liable for fees not specified in the contract. And a judge agreed - Agarkov is only liable for the outstanding balance ($578), not the bank fees ($1,369). Next, Agarkov is suing to get the bank to pay him the penalties stated in the contract they signed.

Don't Name Your Baby Messiah

Jaleesa Martin and the father of her seven-month-old son went to a child support hearing in Cocke County Chancery Court in Tennessee because they could not agree whether the child should have his mother's or father's last name. Instead, the judge, Lu Ann Ballew, objected to the boy's current first name and ordered that it be changed. The child, so far named Messiah DeShawn Martin, was ordered to be named Martin DeShawn McCullough, which incorporates both parents' surnames. The judge said that Messiah was a title reserved for Jesus Christ, and that a child with that name would have a hard time growing up in a predominately Christian area. Jaleesa Martin says she was shocked, and is appealing the decision.

5 Strange News Stories From This Week

Welcome to The Weird Week in Review, where we bring you odd news stories from all over.


On January 11, Nick Stafford of Cedar Bluff, Virginia, carted 1600 pounds of pennies into the Lebanon Department of Motor Vehicles to pay taxes on two of his vehicles. It was the end of a saga that began in September, when Stafford tried to find out which of his homes (which are located in two counties) he should use to register his son's new car. When he tried to call his local DMV, he was routed to a larger call center—and so, to get the local number he wanted, he submitted a successful Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Then he went one step further, filing three lawsuits to get the direct numbers for nine other local DMVs. “If they were going to inconvenience me then I was going to inconvenience them,” Stafford told The Herald Courier.

A judge ultimately dismissed the lawsuits when the state's Attorney General physically handed Stafford the phone numbers in the courtroom. But Stafford still had to pay sales tax on his vehicles, and he got in one last dig at the DMV while doing so: First, he bought five new wheelbarrows. Then, he bought a bunch of rolls of pennies. He hired 11 people to help him unroll the pennies—300,000 in total—and drove them to the DMV, where he put them in the wheelbarrows and, with the help of people he had hired, rolled them in. (“I’m not used to lifting,” Stafford said. “These are heavy.”) The lawsuits, wheelbarrow, and hired help cost Stafford more than $1000 above the amount of the vehicle tax.


When he was pulled over in early December 2016, Ross Lebeau thought it was a routine traffic stop—but Houston sheriff's deputies arrested him on drug charges. In his car, the officers had found a substance in a sock, which, when field tested, was positive for meth. A press release stated that Lebeau had been found with a half pound of meth in his vehicle; the release contained both Lebeau's mugshot and a picture of the substance seized.

Lebeau spent three days in jail, but he was released when lab tests revealed that the substance was not meth after all—it was kitty litter! As WMC Action News 5 reported on January 7:

Lebeau said the substance was cat litter inside a sock.

His father left one in his car and gave the other to his sister for her car. It's supposed to keep the windows from fogging up.

The problem was that two field tests done by deputies came back positive for meth.

The county's forensic lab tested the substance as well, and no drugs were found. The case was then dismissed, but the damage was already done to Lebeau's reputation. "People have been calling me a kingpin or drug lord," Lebeau said, adding that he's lost out on work because of the accusation. “I was wrongly accused, and I'm going to do everything in my power to clear my name."


Nancy Holten was born in the Netherlands, but she's lived in Switzerland since she was a child. The outspoken vegan and animal rights activist has campaigned against the cowbells that local livestock wear, saying the tradition is animal abuse, and has complained about loud church bells, hunting, and pig races. Holten, who is seeking Swiss citizenship, as been denied twice. Local residents can approve or deny villagers' requests, and they have deemed Holten too annoying. As Yahoo News UK reported on January 11:

"Tanja Suter, the president of the local Swiss People’s Party, claimed Ms Holten has a 'big mouth' and that residents did not want to grant her citizenship 'if she annoys us and doesn’t respect our traditions.'"

Holten's citizenship case has been transferred to the Cantonal (regional) government body, which can overturn the local decision.


Gjyste (Julie) Margilaj heard a crashing sound in her first-floor Manhattan apartment kitchen just after midnight on January 10. “I freaked ... out for a couple of minutes, and then I went over to the kitchen and I heard someone panting and breathing like they were in obvious pain. They were freaking out," she told the New York Daily News. “I opened the kitchen vent so he could breathe.” The man, a new resident of the seven-story building, had been on the roof hanging with some friends when, according to the FDNY, he removed the cover of an exhaust fan and slid down into the ductwork. "The shaft was so small that his body took up the entire vent," FDNY Chief Patrick Tansey told Pix 11 News. "So, using power tools was out of the question. We had to expose him by hand." The man—who was wearing just his underwear—only had minor injuries after the ordeal. "He had told the occupant who called us something about a pool in the basement," Tansey said, "but I don't know."


This week, Brian Berg filed a lawsuit over an incident that occurred last summer at Fox Run Golf Links in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. The golfer was enjoying a day on the green when he was run over by a portable toilet. An employee of the course was using a forklift to move the toilet but couldn't see where he was going because the toilet obscured his vision. According to CBS Chicago,

"After he was knocked to the ground by the porta-potty’s “initial blow,” it did not stop, hitting him in the face and knocking him unconscious, the suit says. It injured his shoulder, cut his chin, cracked a rib, bruised a bicep and caused 'a large, deep bruise to his leg.'"

Berg is asking $50,000 in damages from the Elk Grove Park District, which runs the golf course, and the forklift driver.

5 Strange News Stories From This Week

Welcome to The Weird Week in Review, where we bring you odd news stories from all over.


When authorities got a call about a calf that was loose on Tennessee's Highway 79N, David Bevill of Paris, Tennessee, volunteered to help local police capture it. Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew drove down the highway with Bevill on the hood, ready to rope in the calf. According to a Facebook post,

Belew said the calf became loose when a man was driving through town and his cattle trailer door broke. “There were actually two that got loose, but Dr. Lyons at Mineral Wells Animal Clinic and his crew were able to get the other one,” Belew said.

“So everybody is happy—we roped one calf, Dr. Lyons got the other one and the guy who was hauling them through town is happy, too,” Belew said.

It's always handy to know a cowboy when you've got a job to do.


Erin McCutcheon's cat Juno escaped a zippered cat carrier and jumped out of a moving car on the upper deck of I-93 in Boston on Christmas Day. McCutcheon couldn't find her cat, and so distributed posters and put out a call for help on Facebook. On Tuesday, a Local 103 crew of electricians doing maintenance work spotted Juno high above the lower deck, perched on the support girders under the upper deck. Juno had been stuck 80 feet above the highway for nine days! The crew couldn't catch the frightened feline, but eventually lured her out with cans of cat food. Juno, hungry and thirsty, went home with electrician Jay Frazier, and was later reunited with the McCutcheons.


Ma Van Nhat underwent surgery at Bac Kan Hospital in Vietnam in 1998 after suffering injuries in a traffic accident. Recently, he complained of pain in his abdomen, which doctors dismissed as a stomachache. But on December 27, during a routine checkup, a doctor determined there was a foreign object there. Last Saturday, surgeons removed a pair of surgical scissors, which had apparently been inside Nhat for 18 years. The scissors had broken and adhered to Nhat's abdominal organs. According to The Huffington Post,

The hospital’s director, Trinh Thi Luong, is now taking great pains to find out who may have left the scissors inside Nhat.

“Even if they are already retired, we will still inform them,” Luong said, according to Reuters. “This is a lesson to all doctors.”


An unnamed man in Mainhausen, Germany, woke up Monday morning and got ready for work as usual—but when he opened his front door, he couldn't leave: Someone had built a brick wall over the door opening. The perpetrators had built the wall quickly and quietly during the night. He had to tear out the bricks to leave his house. Police don't know whether the wall was a prank or an act of revenge.


The citizens of Roane County, West Virginia, elected a new sheriff in November. Bo Williams began his new job last Sunday, but on Tuesday, according to the New York Daily News, he was was arrested on charges of grand larceny for stealing meth from an evidence locker at his previous job with the Spencer, West Virginia, police department. Bags of meth with evidence numbers were found in his desk and in his car. Williams had resigned from that job after admitting to drug addiction in December. The Roane County commission removed Williams from office that same day, and asked a former sheriff to step in to run the department. Williams is out of jail on bond and may face up to 10 years in prison.


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