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North Carolina Man Charged with Stealing 1000-Pound Chicken Statue

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Some lawn ornament thieves target pink flamingos, but a man in rural North Carolina set his sights on a much bigger bird. He’s been accused of using a tractor to steal a 1000-pound concrete chicken statue, the Statesville Record & Landmark reports.

Alexander County police believe that Andrew Emilious Justice of Taylorsville, North Carolina, stole the lawn ornament, which is more than 3 feet tall, from a poultry farm last weekend. On February 16, authorities apprehended Justice and charged him with felony larceny and misdemeanor injury to real property.

Nobody quite knows what may have motivated Justice to commit such a cocky crime. But we do know that in addition to being massive, the statue was also expensive: It cost $1100 and was a birthday gift from the poultry farm’s owner to his wife, NPR reports.

The chicken statue stood on the farm until it mysteriously disappeared overnight, between February 11 and February 12. Police found the base several miles away, but the statue was still missing; they later discovered broken pieces of the statue scattered along the road. Authorities also located a tractor believed to belong to Justice that had white paint on its forks (presumably from the rooster statue).

Justice is scheduled to appear in court on Monday. In addition to larceny and property damage, he also faces a charge of reckless driving: When arriving to meet police, the accused thief reportedly sped off the state highway and into the driveway, proving that there's more than one way to run a-fowl of the law. 

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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Animals
Why Male Hyenas Have It Worse Than Females
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A life of hunting zebras and raising young on the savanna isn’t half bad for a female hyena. Sadly, the same can’t be said for their male counterparts. As MinuteEarth explains, things take a downturn for the males of the species once they hit adolescence. No female in their pack will mate with them, a behavior scientists believe evolved to avoid inbreeding, so they head off in search of a different group to join. After dealing with vicious hazing from their new clan, they file in at the bottom of the rank and wait for other males above them to die so that they can slowly gain status.

Even after rising through the hierarchy, the most a male hyena can aspire to is being second place to the lowest-ranking female. Thanks to their bulky build and aggressive behavior, female hyenas enjoy a dominant position that’s rare in the animal kingdom.

After watching the video below, head over here for more facts about hyenas.

[h/t MinuteEarth]

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Art
A Beached Whale Sculpture Popped Up on the Banks of Paris's Seine River
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In Paris, dozens of fish varieties live in the Seine River. Now, the Associated Press reports that the famous waterway is home to a beached whale.

Rest assured, eco-warriors: The sperm whale is actually a lifelike sculpture, installed on an embankment next to Notre Dame Cathedral by Belgian artists’ collective Captain Boomer. It’s meant to raise environmental awareness, and evoke "the child in everyone who still is puzzled about what is real and what is not,” collective member Bart Van Peel told the Associated Press.

The 65-foot sculpture has reportedly startled and confused many Parisians, thanks in part to a team of fake scientists deployed to “survey” the whale. One collective member even posted a video on social media, warning Parisians that there “may be others in the water” if they opt to take a dip in the river, The Local reported.

The whale sculpture is only temporary—but as for Captain Boomer, this isn’t their first whale-related stunt. Last summer, the collective installed a similar riverside artwork in Rennes, France, and they also once strapped a large-scale whale sculpture to the back of a truck and drove it around France.

[h/t Associated Press]

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