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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

  |   July 30, 2012 at 5:05 PM
Germans get muddy for charity

BRUNSBUTTEL, Germany, July 30 (UPI) -- Organizers of the Mud Olympics in Germany said 34 teams competed in events including soccer, volleyball, handball and mud sledding.

The organizers said the athletes gathered Sunday in Brunsbuttel to compete in the events in the Elbe river mud-flats and raise money for a local counseling service for cancer patients, The Local.de reported Monday.

They said they are hoping the event, which was the ninth annual Mud Olympics, will result in a donation as large as last year's $183,705.

Insa Krups, who played soccer with her team, said they key to mud sports is to "grip your opponent and force them into a mud-wrestle."


Orangutans isolated to quit smoking

SURAKARTA, Indonesia, July 30 (UPI) -- Officials at an Indonesian zoo said a pair of orangutans have been isolated from the public to help the primates quit smoking.

The Taru Jurug Zoo in Surakarta said orangutans Tori, 13, and Didik, 23, were moved Saturday to an island at the center of the zoo's lake to keep visitors from throwing lit cigarettes into their enclosure, The Jakarta Post reported Monday.

Zoo chief Lilik Kristianto said the orangutans would smoke any lit cigarettes thrown into the cage.

"At first they looked anxious and drained, but after two days they looked better and have started to play in the trees on the 300-square-meter (3,229-square-foot) area," Lilik said.

Daniek Hendarto, conservation program coordinator for the Jakarta Animal Aid Network's Center for Orangutan Protection said blood tests administered July 3 found Tori and Didik were both suffering from hepatitis and tuberculosis.

"We should focus on disciplining visitors. We have put up signs prohibiting visitors from throwing cigarettes into the apes' enclosure, but they keep doing it when nobody is looking. They think smoking orangutans are funny, hence they do it over and over again without knowing that the outcome could be fatal," Hendarto said.

He said the orangutans may remain on the island permanently to keep them away from cigarettes.


Panda born in San Diego zoo

SAN DIEGO, July 30 (UPI) -- Officials at the San Diego Zoo said panda Bai Yun has given birth to her sixth cub, tying her for oldest panda to give birth in captivity.

Zoo officials said Bai Yun, who will turn 21 in a few days, welcomed the cub Sunday, but the gender of the baby bear won't be immediately known, U-T San Diego reported Monday.

Spokeswoman Christine Simmons said the birth was Bai Yun's sixth and tied her for the oldest panda to give birth in captivity. The cub's father was Gao Gao, who has previously mated with the mother.

"Bai Yun has always from the beginning been a wonderful mother to her cubs," Simmons said. "She has always been incredibly attentive ... She doesn't eat or drink for the first couple of days."

Simmons said the zoo usually does not name baby pandas until they are about 100 days old.


Woman arrested trying to get into jail

HAMILTON, Ohio, July 30 (UPI) -- Authorities in Ohio said they arrested a woman accused of trying to break into a jail while shouting, "I want to be arrested."

The Butler County Sheriff's Office said Tiffany Hurd, 36, was spotted attempting to climb over a barbed wire fence early Sunday at the jail in Hamilton and a corrections officer was unable to convince her to leave, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Monday.

"I want to be arrested," Hurd allegedly shouted. Deputies said she appeared to be intoxicated.

Hurd was arrested on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

"Prisoner arrested trying (to) get back (into) jail ... She got her wish. Not the norm. Got it backwards," Sheriff Rick Jones posted on his Twitter account.

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