QUICK TAKES | Wild cat visits Arizona home and steals the resident dog’s bed
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The dark figure lounging on the dog bed in Nikola Zovko’s Arizona home wasn’t Squeakers, his beloved 10-year-old chihuahua-dachshund mix. Nor was it Fuzzerhead, the family’s cat. In early March, Zovko found a grown bobcat had jumped a 5-foot fence at his San Manuel property, entered through an unlocked doggie door, and taken up residence in Squeakers’ bed. Wildlife officials told Zovko to keep himself and his pets away from the wild feline and open all the doors in hopes the bobcat would exit the home on her own. The plan worked, but it took Zovko a day to find Squeakers who, judging from his wounds, had tussled with the wild predator before fleeing the scene. Zovko said his dog needed veterinary treatment for deep lacerations but is recovering at home.
Newark, N.J., officials wish they’d done more fact-checking on Google. In January, Mayor Ras Baraka inked a sister-city deal—typically an agreement to promote trade and cultural understanding between cities—with officials from the Hindu nation of Kailasa. Problem: Kailasa doesn’t exist. By March, officials confessed they’d been taken for a ride by Nithyananda, an Indian fugitive and scam artist. Nithyananda purchased a small island in 2019 off the coast of Ecuador to establish Kailasa, described by its own website as “the great cosmic borderless Hindu nation.”
Giving two hoots
Strange bird-like sounds coming from a wall prompted residents in North East Lincolnshire, U.K., to phone a wildlife removal service. But while employees of Cleethorpes Wildlife Rescue were en route to help, they received another call from the residents. It turned out there wasn’t a stuck bird, and the sounds weren’t even coming from the wall. According to a Cleethorpes’ Facebook post, the residents found a stuffed Harry Potter owl toy playing recorded sounds under their couch.
A Japanese company that specializes in growing giant radishes has harvested one for the record books. The Manda Fermentation Co., a supplement and fertilizer company, pulled a radish from the ground in late February weighing 101 pounds and 1.8 ounces—the biggest known to man. According to Guinness World Records, the company typically harvests radishes after three months for use in its products, but the record-breaking radish was allowed to grow for six months.
Aid by air
With herds trapped by a blizzard that buried grass under several feet of snow, some took to the skies to save the cows. A group of federal, state, and county officials in Northern California teamed up with local ranchers to airlift hay to starving cattle. Operation Hay Drop started March 5 with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the California National Guard mobilizing helicopters to locate stranded herds and drop hay bales in Humboldt County and Trinity County. “If it wasn’t for them, I guarantee you 110 percent there’d be thousands of cattle that are dying,” a rancher told NPR.
The Los Angeles Metro is turning to the classics to stem the tide of crime in one troublesome metro station. Workers rigged speakers at the Westlake/MacArthur Park Station to play classical music at such a volume that it (hopefully) won’t disturb passengers but will annoy loiterers and criminals so they don’t hang around. Officials also hope the loud music will drive off the homeless who use the station as a shelter. Music was just one tactic the Metro rolled out in February as a test. Officials also closed an entrance, changed the lighting, and brought in more police. After a month, a Metro spokesperson said emergency calls were down 75 percent.
Florida’s beaches may host an unwanted guest this year. Oceanographers warned in March that a giant seaweed bloom may be drifting toward Florida’s Gulf Coast. The sargassum bloom currently floating between the African coast and the Gulf of Mexico measures 5,000 miles wide, about the driving distance from New York to Los Angeles—and back again. “What we’re seeing in the satellite imagery does not bode well for a clean beach year,” Florida Atlantic University oceanographer Brian Lapointe told NBC News. Others warn the giant seaweed patch might clog Florida’s seaside infrastructure and inhibit boat traffic.
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