Llama gets a leg up
NEWCASTLE, Calif., May 5 (UPI) -- Bella, a 12-year-old llama residing in Newcastle, Calif., got a leg up when she was outfitted with a prosthetic leg that allowed her to walk and run again.
Bella suffered severe injuries to her back right leg when she stepped in a gopher hole at the age of 10. Owners Trish and Chuck Brandt-Robuck attempted to treat the leg, but advanced infection forced veterinarians to amputate.
Bella struggled with mobility, eventually giving up on standing. The Brandt-Robucks told KXTV, Sacramento, they almost had to put Bella down. That is, until they consulted with prosthetist Michael Carlson of Hanger Clinic.
Carlson noticed Bella's greatly diminished muscle strength and motivation, and set to work for 3 1/2 months designing and fitting Bella with a brand-new leg. She is now walking again, even running, and will be able to breed.
Man finds turtle with son's initials on it
SOUTH STRABANE, Pa., May 5 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania man said he recently found a live turtle his son carved his initials into 47 years ago.
Holland Cokeley, 85, was walking in the woods behind his South Strabane home with his neighbor's dog when the dog found the turtle, KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh, reported Friday.
"I picked it up, and I thought, 'Oh geez, this is Jeff's turtle!'" said Cokeley. "It's been here for 47 years, and it still has the same markings on it!"
In 1965, Jeff Cokeley, then 13, carved "JC" and "1965" on the turtle's bottom shell and then released it back into the wild. He now lives in New York but laughed when his father sent him a picture of the turtle, Holland Cokeley said.
Experts say some eastern box turtles can live for 100 years.
Holland Cokeley said he kept the turtle for a few days, then released it.
Saab fans buy last Saab made
TROLLHATTAN, Sweden, May 5 (UPI) -- A Saab-enthusiast group raised money through a blog to buy the last Saab 9-3 Griffin produced by the Saab Automobile factory in Trollhattan, Sweden.
The Saab United blog raised more than the $29,330 needed to buy the car, The Local reported.
"We, the fans, set out on a mission to buy a car, and not just any car, we set out to buy the last of a production series, the last Saab 9-3 Griffin," operators of the Saab United blog posted Friday. "And we have done it. Today we passed the amount required."
More than 600 diehard Saab fans donated funds to buy the last Saab produced.
The car will not be in the hands of Saab United for long, however, as the group plans on donating the car, as well as extra money donated, to the Saab Museum in Trollhattan.
Saab Automobile declared bankruptcy in December 2011, following the failure of a Chinese partnership to follow through on a takeover.
Saab United was started in 2005 by Australian Steven Wade and later taken over by Tim Rokka.
Historian: Cinco de Mayo has roots in U.S.
LOS ANGELES, May 5 (UPI) -- Americans can't be accused of completely hijacking Mexico's Cinco de Mayo since a historian says the holiday was actually born in the United States.
UCLA Professor David Hayes-Bautista concludes in a new book, "El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition," that Latinos living in California and Oregon first marked Cinco de Mayo in 1862 when Mexican forces defeated French invaders in the Battle of Puebla at the same time the Union and Confederacy were slugging it out in the American Civil War.
The two events might not appear at first glance to be related, but Hayes-Bautista said Mexicans living north of the border saw the Civil War and the French incursion into Mexico as part of the same conflict.
"In Mexico today, Cinco de Mayo means the Mexican army defeated the French army," Hayes-Bautista told CNN. "In California and Oregon, the news was interpreted as finally that the army of freedom and democracy won a big one against the army of slavery and elitism."
Hayes-Bautista said French ruler Napoleon III was sympathetic to the slave-owning Confederacy and no friend of democracy in general. Had France overrun the fledgling Mexican democracy, Napoleon III would have established a monarchy that could have caused trouble for the Union on the lightly defended West Coast.
For that reason, Mexicans north of the border and their American neighbors both embraced Cinco de Mayo as a rallying point. For at least a few years after the wars, Mexican and U.S. veterans would appear together at May 5 celebrations.
"From 1862 to 1867, the public memory of Cinco de Mayo was forged in the American West," Hayes-Bautista said.
While memories of Puebla faded quickly, the United States continued to have a strong Mexican presence. The U.S. Census Bureau said its most recent head count has 31.8 million people of Mexican descent living in the United States, which is about 10 percent of the total population.
|Additional Odd News Stories|
CANNES, France, May 25 (UPI) --A Russian man paid $1.5 million to sit next to Leonardo DiCaprio on the maiden voyage of the Virgin Galactic trip into space.
TORONTO, May 25 (UPI) --A Canadian man has been charged with sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl in Toronto more than 20 years ago.
NEW YORK, May 24 (UPI) --U.S. stock indexes closed mixed on Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average closing just above break-even on the New York Stock Exchange.