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Added October 14, 2009 with 14 photos
Added October 13, 2009 with 10 photos

HALF MOON BAY, Calif., Oct. 13 (UPI) -- An Iowa man's 1,658-pound pumpkin was the winner -- and record-setter -- at the 36th Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in California.

Don Young, 45, of Des Moines was awarded $9,948 for topping pumpkins entered by 60 growers from California, Washington and Oregon at Monday's competition in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

Event organizers said Young's pumpkin, dubbed the "Monster from the Midway," crushed every giant pumpkin record in the state. It will be displayed at the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival during the weekend.

While a gargantuan gourd, indeed, Young's plump pumpkin would not have made the grade at this month's Ohio Valley Giant Pumpkin Growers Weigh-In where Nick and Christy Harp of Jackson Township near Massillon beat all comers wit the 1,725-pound pumpkin they grew, WJW-TV in Cleveland reported at the time.

Added October 12, 2009 with 8 photos

Gaza's only zoo hired a local artist to paint donkeys to look like zebras to attract crowds, zoo officials said.

Keen to keep one of Gaza's only attractions open to the public, head keeper Mahmoud Barghouti said the zoo's financial situation forced him to seek a creative solution to the problem of not being able to afford new animals, a report in Yedioth Aharonoth said Thursday.

"It is the only place of entertainment left in Gaza. We used to have two zebras but they died from starvation during the military offensive. Some of the other animals escaped and died and some were stolen," he told the newspaper.

The faux zebras are the zoo's main attraction and young visitors love to take photos with them.

"Currently the children of Gaza must suffice with cats and dogs and donkeys painted as zebras, and the lioness Sabrina," he said. One of the zookeepers said they explain to the visiting children how the dogs, cats and monkeys were smuggled in through tunnels from Egypt, the newspaper said.

Added September 28, 2009 with 6 photos
Added September 24, 2009 with 30 photos
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Added September 22, 2009 with 8 photos

NEW YORK, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- An 8-foot, 1-inch Turkish man who was recently certified as the world's tallest says he used to "kind of hide away" but now he is proud of his height.

Sultan Kosen, 26, who was certified as the world's tallest man by Guinness World Records, said through a translator during a tour of New York he used to be embarrassed by his stature, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

"I used to kind of hide away, but now I accept my height and accept that people are really interested," Kosen said. "I'm really proud, not only for me but also for Turkey, that I'm able to take this title."

Kosen, whose feet measure 14.4 inches long, said his current goal in life is to find love.

"To this day, I haven't had a girlfriend because, with my height, they're generally frightened," he said. "But eventually that's one thing I really want to have -- and she doesn't have to be as tall as me."

Added September 17, 2009 with 8 photos
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Added August 31, 2009 with 10 photos
Added August 28, 2009 with 15 photos
Added August 28, 2009 with 12 photos
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Added August 24, 2009 with 20 photos
Added August 18, 2009 with 4 photos
Added August 17, 2009 with 10 photos
Added August 13, 2009 with 9 photos
Added August 12, 2009 with 8 photos
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