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Weird National Briefs (03/10/2021)

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Later, gators!

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Police and conservation officers were searching Friday for an unknown number of young crocodiles that escaped earlier in the week from a large breeding farm in South Africa.

The crocodiles are suspected to have entered the nearby Breede River after escaping Wednesday morning near the town of Bonnievale in Western Cape province, about 180 kilometers (111 miles) east of Cape Town.

So far, 27 of the reptiles have been recaptured and another seven had to be euthanized, Cape Nature conservation spokeswoman Petro van Rhyn said. Another six were spotted but evaded capture.

The commercial breeding farm contains about 5,000 crocodiles, van Rhyn said, and a big part of the problem is that recovery teams aren’t certain how many escaped. They are waiting for the owner of the farm to give them an accurate count.

“Is it 100, or is it 1,000?” van Rhyn said. “We don’t know.”

The crocodiles are thought to be between 1.2 and 1.5 meters long, according to Cape Nature.

Conservation officers have been using cages with food bait inside to try and capture the crocodiles, but that hasn’t proved to be very successful because the river is full of fish, van Rhyn said.

Police and Cape Nature officers are concentrating on an area as far as five kilometers (three miles) upstream and five kilometers downstream of the escape point but don’t believe the crocodiles will have moved very far.

Van Rhyn said residents of the area should be watchful but shouldn’t panic. Crocodiles are nocturnal and generally shy, she said, it’s highly unlikely to see one on the streets of Bonnievale.

She said it was not a good idea to go swimming in the river there, though.

TME – I’m no expert, but “unknown” seems like a bad number of lost crocodiles to have.

Just the tips

JUNO BEACH, Fla. (AP) - On a random Thursday night, restaurant server Kimberly Filion got the surprise of her life, not once but twice: two staggeringly high tips on otherwise modest checks. The tips, inspired by a national tip-off challenge that started among rival college basketball fans in Cincinnati, totaled to $2,800.

Filion, a single mother of four who has worked at Kirby's Sports Grille in Juno Beach for the past six years, had never heard of the Crosstown Tip-Off Challenge that has revved up fans of University of Cincinnati and Xavier University since an Xavier Musketeers fan left a $1,000 tip at a local burger joint in January. Last week, a UC Bearcats fan in Wyoming, Ohio, left a $7,000 tip on a $65 check at a local Italian cafe.

The Juno Beach server learned about the challenge from a customer on that Thursday night, Feb. 18. Filion was fascinated, not only because she was a struggling server but because she had a personal connection to Ohio - she is a graduate of Ohio State University. She mentioned that in passing to the customer.

“And then he leaves a $1,300 tip on a $30 tab,” says Filion, 45, who also serves as Kirby's bar manager.

The exact check amount was $29.71, but the server's eyes went to the handwritten total -- $1,329.71 -- and the note scribbled beneath it, saying “Go XU!!”

The customer left another note as well: “Five Kelley Boys love Kirby's in Juno Beach, FL! They cook your catch! Let's go XU nation! Let's get this to the national level!”

Filion says she ran after the customer when she saw the tip, but he was gone.

Floored, she recounted the incident later that evening to one of her regular customers. The guy had no particular loyalty to Xavier or to U.C., but he's a big fan of Kirby's bar. When Filion reviewed his check, she got her second shock of the night: a $1,500 tip on a $78 tab.

“He wrote something like, `I want to be the king,”' she says.

TME – Bearcats and Musketeers and gratuities, oh my!

Not today, Satan!

BOSTON (AP) - The Prince of Darkness is apparently looking for a date on the Boston subway system.

A 20-year-old woman approached transit police at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's Forest Hills station at about 10:45 p.m. Monday to complain about an encounter with a man dressed all in black, including a mask covering his entire face and his hood drawn tight, police said on their website.

The woman told police the man typed something on his phone and extended his arm across to her, displaying a message that said “I am Satan,” then stared at her.

The woman said the encounter frightened her, so she pointed out “Satan” to police.

The 22-year-old man told officers he was only flirting and trying to be funny, and said “I was going to try and get her number.”

He was told that his actions were not humorous and was ejected from the station. The woman was escorted by police to her destination.

No names were released.

TME – I would have just told him to go to hell.

Back the moo!

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - The Savannah Police Department has canine officers and horses for mounted patrols. For a short period, the force also had a police cow.

Savannah officers were dispatched Jan. 26 to reports of a cow wandering alongside Interstate 16, according to a police news release. While police got the word out that they were looking for the bovine's owners, the cow moved into the stables where mounted officers keep their horses.

Weeks passed and no owner came forward, police said, so they began a search to find the cow a new home.

Officers said goodbye to the cow Monday. It's going to live at Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue in Wantage Township, New Jersey.

TME – What an udderly ridiculous story.

Last modified on Wednesday, 10 March 2021 07:15

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