ZOO THWARTS FAKE ZEBRA ESCAPE

Zookeepers in many places hold drills to practice catching an escaped animal, but zoos in Japan have elevated such drills to public relations events, with a zookeeper wearing an animal costume playing the escapee. The Ueno Zoo in Tokyo held a drill for a zebra on Tuesday.

“The zebra is an animal that easily panics,” said Yumi Tamura, 27, who dressed as the zebra but usually cares for gorillas and monkeys.

“I myself felt panicky when acting it out,” she told reporters.

In this year’s drill, one zookeeper had a "heart attack," while another was "injured" by the zebra. In the end, the "zebra" was subdued by a fake stun gun and was successfully returned to its pen.

WOMAN CRASHES HER OWN FUNERAL TO CONFRONT MURDEROUS HUSBAND

Noela Rukundo of Melbourne, Australia, was visiting her native Burundi when two men kidnapped her. They had accepted money from Rukundo’s husband Balenga Kalala to murder her, and they called Kalala back in Melbourne to prove they had Rukundo in custody. In doing so, they informed Rukundo that her husband had contracted the murder. Two days later, the kidnappers gave Rukundo recorded evidence against her husband and set her free. She flew back to Australia without contacting Kalala. That is, until he was leaving her memorial service a few days later. When Kalala saw his wife, he thought it was a ghost—or hoped so. He was then arrested, and pled guilty after being confronted with the evidence of his murder for hire scheme. In December, Kalala was sentenced to nine years in prison.

SEA LION VISITS SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

A young sea lion must have been hungry when he wandered into The Marine Room restaurant in San Diego on Thursday. He walked in and sat down at a prime booth with an ocean view. Employees called Sea World about the matter. The Sea World Rescue Team arrived to collect the sea lion and determined that he only weighed half as much as he should for his age. The juvenile sea lion is listed in critical condition, but the rescue team is optimistic about his chances for recovering his health. Chef Bernard Guillas took several photos of the sea lion while he was at the restaurant.

POLICE OFFICER MISTAKEN FOR STRIPPER AT PARTY

Policeman Mike Ober noticed a door open at a social club in Wiltshire, UK, that normally isn’t open on weekends. He went inside to investigate, and was greeted with loud cheers from a group of women. They were holding a 50th birthday party, and when they saw the uniformed officer walk in, they assumed he was the hired stripper! Ober was told to leave, as he had arrived too early. Ober was glad to oblige, and actually passed the real stripper on his way out.

"It's a matter of personal taste, but the uniforms aren't very flattering, so I guess [the mix-up] is flattering," he said.

MISSING CAT FOUND LIVING IN PET FOOD FACTORY

Tanya Irons of Toton, Nottinghamshire, UK, had a nine-month-old Norwegian Forest Cat named Clive that went missing 14 months ago. Recently, employees of Kennelgate Pet Superstore warehouse noticed evidence of a cat in the 20,000-square-foot facility. Supervisor Diane Gaskill set a cat trap after a week of sightings, and Clive was apprehended and taken to a veterinarian. He was traced to Irons through his microchip. Irons was excited to see Clive again, but noticed he had gained a lot of weight since he left home. No one knows for sure how long Clive had been in the warehouse, or how much food he had helped himself to.

BUTT PRINT VALENTINE'S CARDS

A family joke has turned into a greeting card business for a man from Australia. They sent each other increasingly inappropriate cards until his sister Jamie hit on the idea of decorating cards with butt prints. The artist goes by just the name “Davis,” because he has a day job he wants to keep.

"I had to squat on 10 pieces of paper to get the right print," he said. "We spent 90 minutes experimenting with food dye and acrylic paint. Meanwhile, all my shorts hairs got covered in paint."

The first two cards are now on sale for Valentine’s Day (Link contains NSFW language). Davis wants to assure customers that the cards on sale are reprints, not the original paintings.