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Animals A Go-Go


Baby Turtles Take Wrong Turn, Gatecrash Home

Thu Aug 29, 9:27 AM ET ROME (Reuters) - A batch of 51 sea turtles took the wrong turning after they hatched on a moonless night and instead of heading out to sea walked into a vacationer's house. La Repubblica newspaper reported Thursday that the tiny turtles were attracted by the house lights close to the Agrigento beach on the Mediterranean island of Sicily. The animals were collected in a bucket by the astonished resident, Andrea Crapanzano, and taken down to the sea at dawn. Marine experts said the turtles' eggs had been laid on a busy stretch of beach and were amazed they hadn't been crushed by the crowds of summer visitors. Turtles lay eggs on a number of Mediterranean islands and 2002 looks like throwing up a bumper crop of the endangered species.


Escaped Emu Mistaken for Naked Man

Fri Aug 23,12:47 PM ET HAMBURG, Germany (Reuters) - An escaped emu caused confusion in Hamburg after a woman called police to report what she thought was a bare-chested man with two big white dots on his forehead staring into her window, police said on Friday. The large, flightless, Australian bird resembling an ostrich has been on the run from a local zoo since Thursday. "The woman heard someone tapping at the window at night and when she looked out she saw a head with two big eyes and a bare chest," a Hamburg police spokesman said. Officers said they knew there was an emu on the run and put two and two together after they found no one suspicious. "We're still looking for either a naked man with huge eyes or an emu," the spokesman added. The bird has escaped twice in two weeks. Last week it ran away and frightened a horse, but was eventually captured.


Bear Kills Woman in Retirement Home

Wed Aug 7,12:46 PM ET HANOVER, Germany (Reuters) - A performing bear entertaining pensioners in a German retirement home accidentally sat on a 90-year-old and killed her, the manager of the home said Wednesday. "Nora," a 485-pound brown bear, was being led into a hall when she stumbled over the woman's wheelchair, lost her footing and fell on the woman, who later died in hospital from her injuries. "The bear was only supposed to sit on a bench and eat fruit while her handler talked about the history of bears," said Klaus J., director of the home in Hanover, northern Germany. He declined to give his full name because he and the handler face charges of culpable manslaughter. Nora, who has appeared on German television, is still performing. The incident happened during a Christmas party for 40 elderly people in 2000 and has now come to trial.


Texans Chip in to Rescue Stranded Chicken-Hypnotist

Fri Jun 28, 9:19 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - The plight of an Alaskan chicken-hypnotist whose circus tour was cut short in Edinburgh when a charity shop sold her bicycle by mistake has tweaked heartstrings as far afield as Austin, Texas.

Emily Harris left the $1,800 bicycle inside the shop this week and found it was missing after she came out of a fitting room. A shop assistant had sold it for 10 pounds. Now a group of Austin engineers, who read about her loss on the Internet , have raised $525 to help the 25-year-old from Palmer, Alaska, buy a new bicycle and resume her tour. "There's been tons of layoffs here, Austin's been hit pretty hard with the technology sector, so we're just looking to do something to cheer ourselves up," software engineer Lawrence Hartley, who started the impromptu fundraising, told Reuters.

Hartley said he and his friends had identified with Harris after reading that her star act consisted of hypnotizing chickens and making them play the piano. "We're all pretty much not quite normal. We identify more with a chicken-hypnotist than with the normal world," he said. He and his friends have unusual hobbies of their own. One is building a submarine in his garage and several others practice "geo-caching," a form of treasure-hunting using satellite communications systems. Harris was thrilled to hear of their efforts on her behalf and said $500 was enough for her to purchase a new bicycle and join her troupe for the rest of their tour of Britain.