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Weird National Briefs (07/01/2020)

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Whose kid is this?

ODESSA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman has filed a lawsuit seeking either a paternity test on her goats or a refund — and she’s not kidding.

Kris Hedstrom filed the suit against her neighbor, Heather Dayner, last month seeking DNA for the goats she purchased. Hedstrom paid Dayner $900 for five Nigerian dwarf goats in December.

According to the lawsuit, Hedstrom believed the goats — Bella, Gigi, Rosie, Zelda and Margoat — could be registered with the American Dairy Goat Association, a group that records goat pedigrees. Registered goats have higher values than unregistered goats.

Dayner, who has been selling goats at Baxter Lane Farm for about 10 years, typically provides information to her clients so they can register their animals themselves.

She said the father goat was registered, but the Tampa Bay Times reports the American Dairy Goat Association rejected Hedstrom’s application to register the babies because Dayner is not an active member.

Proving paternity would require about 40 of the father goat’s hair follicles for a DNA test, so Hedstrom wrote Dayner a letter requesting the DNA in February.

Dayner offered to refund the money in exchange for the goats.

She said Hedstrom called police on her for three months straight and has trespassed on her farm. A Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputy visited the property at least three times in the spring.

Dayner said she didn’t hear anything else from Hedstrom until the lawsuit was filed.

TME – Someone get Maury Povich’s people on the phone ASAP.

Iguana new pizza

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — File it under pizza toppings only offered in Florida. State inspectors found an 80-pound (36-kilogram) iguana stashed in the freezer at a local pizza joint.

Pizza Mambo in West Palm Beach was forced to close for a day last week following the inspection by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

The restaurant could not be reached for comment, but an employee told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that the reptile was given as a personal gift to the owner. It was stored in a separate freezer away from the restaurant’s food and was immediately trashed after they were informed it was a violation.

Non-native iguanas are multiplying so rapidly in South Florida that a state wildlife agency has been encouraging people to kill them. Iguanas aren’t dangerous or aggressive to humans, but they damage seawalls, sidewalks, landscape foliage and can dig lengthy tunnels. The males can grow to at least 5 feet (1.5 meters) long and weigh nearly 20 pounds (9 kilograms) and female iguanas can lay nearly 80 eggs a year.

The reptile is considered a delicacy by some. One company even makes iguana sausages and burgers.

TME – Still better than pineapple.

Second scratch success

SOUTH ROCKWOOD, Mich. (AP) — How does he do it? For the second time, a southeastern Michigan man has won a $4 million lottery game, officials said Monday.

Mark Clark of South Rockwood scratched a ticket with a coin that was given to him by his late father about 10 years ago. They often fished together after Clark won a different $4 million instant game in 2017.

“You don’t think you’ll win millions once, and you definitely never think it would happen twice,” Clark, 50, said in a statement released by the Michigan Lottery. “It’s hard to put into words exactly what I am feeling. ... I can’t help but think maybe that lucky coin helped me win this.”

Clark chose a lump sum of about $2.5 million instead of taking $4 million in payments over time.

“I’ve had a lot of ups and a lot of downs in my life, but everything is pretty amazing right now,” Clark said.

TME – He’s definitely going to win again, right?

Turtle power

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A 65-pound (29-kilogram) alligator snapping turtle with a face only its mother could love has found a new home at a Virginia zoo after freaking out residents in a northern Virginia suburb.

The turtle, dubbed Lord Fairfax, was repeatedly crossing a residential road in the Alexandria area, according to Fairfax County Police. Not native to the area, the alligator snapping turtle is generally found in the wild farther south.

Animal control officers initially took Lord Fairfax to the county animal shelter, and then to the state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

The fisheries folks say the turtle is just a juvenile and could eventually grow as big as 200 pounds (90 kilograms). They say the northern Virginia climate would have been too cold for him to live in the wild.

He will live instead at The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk.

TME – Here’s hoping he makes some new friends and comes out of his shell.

Shark assist

LEWES, Del. (AP) — A swimmer in Delaware was caught on camera prying a shark’s mouth open with his hands this weekend in an effort to free it from a fishing hook.

The video shows the man grabbing onto the shark at a beach in Cape Henlopen State Park. He went into the water to unhook it after another person caught it, the Daily Times of Salisbury reported Tuesday.

“Everyone started yelling, ‘Shark, shark, get out of the water!’” said Delaware native Rachael Foster, who shared her video on social media. “It was so crazy, like a movie. Like Jaws.”

State law prohibits people from keeping sand tiger and sandbar sharks if caught. People must release them immediately.

The newspaper reported park rangers were on site Sunday to assist and monitor the situation.

Earlier this month, a boy was hospitalized for puncture wounds after he was possibly bitten by a shark in the park. The boy, 12, was surfing when something bit his leg. Officials then temporarily closed the park’s Herring Point to surfing and swimming.

Shark attacks are rare. The Florida Museum of Natural History recorded 41 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks in the U.S. last year. The cases represented 64% of the worldwide total.

TME – The best stories have a good hook.

Panda-monium

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — One of Copenhagen Zoo’s giant pandas escaped from its enclosure early Monday and roamed the park before staff were able to sedate it and bring it back.

Xing Er, a 7-year-old male who arrived at the zoo last year, was seen on surveillance video breaking out of the newly built, 160 million-kroner ($24.2 million) Panda House that also houses female panda Mao Sun.

Zoo spokesman Bengt Holst said that on the video staff could see how “the male panda crawls up a metal pole, which is studded with three rows of electrical wires ... and then crawls out into the garden.”

He said the park now was looking at making changes to security around the enclosure “to ensure that it does not happen again.”

Zoo staff reacted “quickly and efficiently,” the animal was corned and sedated with a dart without being harmed, he said. Monday’s incident happened before the animal park opened to the public.

“It doesn’t change the fact that we want to avoid that kind of situation in the future,” Holst said.

The enclosure to house the pandas from China’s southwestern city of Chengdu, was inaugurated by Queen Margrethe and other dignitaries in April 2019.

Beijing lends out pandas as a sign of goodwill. Any cubs born during the 15-year loan period are considered China’s property.

TME – This is basically the major set piece in a Dreamworks movie.

Last modified on Thursday, 02 July 2020 07:39

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