Odds and Ends – Friday August 31, 2018 – September 6, 2018

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(Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust via AP)
(Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust via AP)

Heat wave put flamingos in the mood for 1st time in 15 years

London (AP) – A British conservation charity says record-breaking temperatures have encouraged a rare flock of Andean flamingos to lay eggs for the first time since 2003. The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust says six of the exotic birds laid nine eggs, all of which were infertile. The charity’s reserve in Gloucestershire in southwest England then gave the Andean flamingos eggs from near-relatives, Chilean flamingos, to look after. Mark Roberts, the aviculture manager at the Slimbridge reserve, says “with the Andeans in full parenting mode, we gave them Chilean chicks to bring up as their own. It’s great motivation and enriching for the birds.” The Andeans are some of the oldest animals at the trust’s Slimbridge reserve. Some arrived in the 1960s as adults. The birds are long-lived and can breed into old age.

Colombian city urges a break from sex to fight heat wave

Bogota, Colombia (AP) – Health officials in one Colombian coastal city have a controversial recommendation for residents trying to stay cool during an intense heat wave: Take a break from sex. Santa Marta city health secretary Julio Salas sparked a mix of laughter and disbelief this week when he urged residents of the Caribbean tourist mecca to refrain from sex during the day as part of a list of recommendations, such as staying hydrated and wearing loose clothing to prevent overheating. Sex is considered only a moderate physical activity, as much of a strain on the heart as walking up two flights of stairs, according to the American Heart Association. Temperatures in Santa Marta have soared past 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and Salas says medical facilities in the city of 600,000 have been overwhelmed with patients complaining of symptoms of heat stroke such as nausea and headaches.

Bear makes an unlikely stop in a liquor store

Bristol, Conn. (AP) – A bear took a stroll into an unlikely snack venue – a Connecticut liquor store. The mid-sized creature lumbered across a parking lot in Bristol Monday afternoon, getting close enough to the entrance of Crazy Bruce’s Liquors to trigger a sensor that automatically opened an outer door. The Hartford Courant reports video from inside shows the bear walking around the foyer while an employee locks an inner door. One unassuming customer also walked into the lobby as an employee unlocked the door and ushered him in. The bear eventually figured out how to leave, and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was notified.

Police look into video of man
spanking hippo at LA Zoo

Los Angeles (AP) – Police are investigating after a video shows a man spanking a hippopotamus at the Los Angeles Zoo. The video shows the man crossing a railing last week and sneaking up on two hippos, Rosie and Mara. He smacks Rosie on the rear and her mother lifts her head as the man runs off and raises his arms in gesture of victory. Zoo spokeswoman April Spurlock tells the Los Angeles Times that any unauthorized interaction with an animal is unsafe for the animal and potentially unsafe for the person. Spurlock says state law prohibits entering zoo enclosures. The zoo has posted a “No Trespassing” sign on the exhibit for the first time. Police told the newspaper they’re investigating the case as trespassing because the hippo didn’t appear to be injured.

Mexico City restaurant busted
over protected tarantula tacos

Mexico City (AP) – Fancy a tarantula taco for a cool $27? Not so fast, Mexican authorities say. A Mexico City market restaurant recently put the arachnids on its menu and posted a video on Facebook showing a chef torching one until blackened. The only problem: The Mexican red rump tarantula is a protected species. The federal environmental protection agency said Tuesday it was alerted to the situation via social media and seized four tarantula corpses that were ready to be served up on tortillas. The tarantula tacos were apparently on offer for 500 pesos, or 50 times the price of a basic street taco. The restaurant’s menu also features other creepy-crawlies such as grasshoppers, worms and ant eggs, which have a long tradition in Mexican cuisine, and scorpions, which are less common.