Odd News Roundup
July 24, 2013 05:30 PM | 521 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For Ohio animals, a spread of doughnuts, hot dogs

By Ann Sanner, Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — It turns out doughnuts, dog food and Gatorade are bear necessities.

At least those were the preferred foods of Dewey, a 400-pound Asiatic black bear temporarily housed at a state facility in Ohio.

The building holds wild creatures confiscated or surrendered under Ohio's exotic animal law, which was strengthened following the release of dozens of animals including lions and tigers by their suicidal owner in 2011 in Zanesville. Authorities fearing for public safety killed most of the animals in a headline-capturing saga.

At least five alligators and two bears have come through the state's roughly $3 million facility since it opened in February. Ohio's agriculture department then looks for permanent housing for the critters in sanctuaries or zoos.

Groceries and supplies for the hungry boarders have topped $1,025 since the end of May, according to records obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request.

Items included a 20-inch jungle ball for the bears bought online for $225 and five, 5-foot kiddie pools for alligators from Wal-Mart for about $74.

Feeding logs show Dewey and an American black bear named Boo Boo weren't light eaters.

Dewey's meals included chicken breast, nuts, cookies and bagels. Boo Boo, a female who weighed 250 pounds, enjoyed hot dogs, lettuce, corn and fish.

Both bears had poor diets before they arrived. Sixteen-year-old Dewey ate like a teenager, munching on pizza and drinking Mountain Dew.

The state initially got food for the bears through an agreement with the Columbus zoo, though Dewey turned up his nose at the nutritious chow.

"In this particular case, we felt like it was more important to keep them on the food that they liked," said Erica Hawkins, a spokeswoman for Ohio's agriculture department.

State veterinarians eventually worked more wholesome items into their diets, she said.

Both bears left this month for a sanctuary in Colorado. The department expects to see more creatures after Jan. 1, when Ohio's law allows officials to take away dangerous wild animals if their owners don't meet state requirements to keep them.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Rare corpse flower to bloom at UC Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — An Indonesian flower famous for its foul odor is expected to unfurl its putrid blossom within the next week at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The school says its greenhouse will be open to the public during the one-day blooming of the so-called corpse flower.

Unlike other flowers that rely on bees for pollination, this one counts on flies. It attracts them with the smell of rotting flesh, and they in turn spread its sticky pollen.

Its nauseating scent comes from two sulfur-producing chemicals within its leaves.

The UCSB plant is 4 feet tall and growing rapidly. A live webcam of the plant can be found on the school's website.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Man swims across Detroit River, prompts rescue

DETROIT (AP) — A man who wanted to prove he could swim across the Detroit River from Canada to the U.S. after a night of drinking ended up prompting an international rescue operation.

John Morillo told The Windsor Star that Monday night's swim from Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, was "really stupid" and said in retrospect he shouldn't have done it. He was cited for being intoxicated in a public place and released from jail Tuesday.

"I was drinking, but I wasn't really drunk," Morillo, 47, of Windsor, said Tuesday. "The thing is, I've been telling people I'm going to swim across the river for years and they're like 'yah, yah, blah, blah, you can't make it.' So, I don't know, last night I just decided it was the time to go."

Morillo said he regrets causing problems for authorities, including Windsor police and Coast Guard crews from the U.S. and Canada. Three boats and a helicopter responded, The Detroit News reported, and authorities warn the river's current makes a dangerous place to swim.

"As soon I saw the helicopters going by and the boats looking for me, I was like 'oh, this is really stupid,'" Morillo told The Windsor Star.

Police in Windsor initially responded around 11:30 p.m., when a neighbor of Morillo called to say she had lost sight of him about a half-hour earlier.

Morillo made it across to Detroit, getting out of the water near downtown's Renaissance Center, and was swimming back when he was found about 12:50 a.m. Tuesday by the U.S. Coast Guard. During his stop on the Detroit side of the river he said people wanted to take his picture.

"There was one woman, she said she was from Windsor and she thought I was crazy," he said. She was right."

Morillo said he was told that he'll also likely be fined for swimming in a shipping channel, which could be $5,000 to $25,000.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Montana man injured when bridge jumper lands on him

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A western Montana man floating on an inner tube suffered broken bones in his legs and torn ligaments in his knees when another man jumped from a bridge and landed in his lap.

Andy Hill of Missoula and his wife were floating under a bridge on the Clark Fork River near East Missoula Sunday when the man landed on him, KECI-TV reported.

"Suddenly I had intense pain and was under water," Hill said.

"There was a guy on my lap and he rolled off my lap and he just kept apologizing saying 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry,'" Hill said.

The man swam Hill to shore, still on the inner tube, and the man's friend helped Hill as well.

Hill suffered broken bones in both lower legs and a cracked femur in his left leg and will likely spend the rest of the summer in a wheelchair or on crutches.

But he's been able to keep his sense of humor.

"Who does this happen to?" asked Hill, laughing. "I don't know of anybody this has ever happened to."

Missoula County authorities say the man who jumped could be charged.

Information from: KECI-TV, http://www.keci.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Pants found in century-old tree unveil mystery

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Workers trimming Shelbyville's most famous tree have turned up a mystery a museum director is determined to solve.

The Old Linden Tree has stood for more than a century. Crews from Shelby Tire and Auto Care were removing a broken branch that was a safety concern when they discovered an eight-foot hollow patch containing a pair of old men's trousers.

Grover Museum Director Candy Miller tells The Shelbyville News the pants were likely sewn during the 1800s and are stained with what appears to be white paint.

Miller plans to research the land's history and try to establish why a painter would have been there. She hopes to discover the date the pants were left at the tree.

The tree trunk will be displayed at the Grover Museum.

Information from: The Shelbyville News, http://www.shelbynews.com/

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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