ISTANBUL, Turkey, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A Turkish plastic surgeon says he's keeping busy performing mustache implants on men wanting to project virility, wisdom and maturity.
Dr. Selahattin Tulunay told CNN he's doing 50 to 60 of the procedures each month, using a technique called follicular unit extraction in which clumps of hair are transplanted from other parts of the body under local anesthetic. Most of his patients are medical tourists from the Middle East between the ages of 30 and 50 who pay about $7,000 each, the U.S. broadcaster reported Thursday.
"For some men who look young and junior, they think [a mustache] is a must to look senior ... more professional and wise," he said. "They think it is prestigious."
Saudi Arabian journalist Andrew Hammond says the mustache has deep roots in Arab culture.
"Having a mustache was always a big thing, ever since the Ottoman time," he said. "Most Arab leaders have mustaches or some form of facial hair. I think culturally it suggests masculinity, wisdom and experience."
Christa Salamandra, an associate professor of anthropology at City University of New York, says the mustache conveys "high social status" in the Arab world where men have even used them as collateral for loans and have had them shaved off as punishment.
Dog saves woman from venomous snake
KISSIMMEE, Fla., Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A 3-year-old Labrador being cared for by a Florida woman whose son-in-law is deployed to a Madrid naval base is being credited with saving the woman's life.
Gudrun Mastriano of Kissimmee said she was walking Dante, the Labrador, only a week before he was scheduled to join her daughter, Charlotte Eierle, and son-in-law, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Carl Eierle, in Spain when the pair found themselves face to face with a venomous cottonmouth snake, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported Thursday.
Mastriano said the dog leaped to her rescue when the snake lunged toward her and dragged the reptile away. Dante was bitten on his face and leg while struggling with the snake and Mastriano took the injured canine to an emergency veterinarian.
"It could have been me," Mastriano said. "I would have died."
Dante was treated with antivenin and was given seven treatments in the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy unit over the course of two months.
Dante is now on his way to Spain as a "traveling hero," Mastriano said.
Lion cub found near Russian village
SEYATEL, Russia, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Authorities in Russia said a runaway lion cub found by a group of children was taken to a zoo and its owner was later identified.
Police said the children discovered the 7-month-old cub Wednesday near the village of Seyatel in southern Russia and police took care of the young lion until it could be transported to the Rostov-on-Don Zoo, The Moscow Times reported Thursday.
The male cub was originally thought to have escaped from a traveling circus, but owner Irina Kulikovskaya soon came forward and said the lion, which she planned to create a zoo around, had fled while being transported in the trunk of her car.
"The lion was meant to become the real star of the new zoo," said Kulikovskaya, who said she is planning to retrieve the cub from the Rostov-on-Don Zoo.
Jail squatter seeks immigration papers
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A legal immigrant from Togo has been arrested 17 times in the past three years in Arizona, mostly for refusing to leave a county's jail lobby, authorities say.
Martin Kombate's most recent stay began in October.
"To stay in jail like this is extremely unusual," Coconino County Sheriff's Office Lt. Bill Glenn, who oversees jail housing, told the Arizona Daily Sun.
While the arrests began in 2009, most have occurred since January when Kombate's immigration papers apparently disappeared. Sheriff Bill Pribil says the jail's records show Kombate was given all his property. But Kombate keeps returning to the jail and won't accept other efforts to have his papers replaced. When not in jail, he has been known to sleep in city parks Authorities suspect he may have mental issues.
"He's been camped out in our jail lobby. He'll go out for lunch and come back and watch TV," Pribil said.
"It's highly frustrating. We're trying to do the right thing."
Kombate, 45, arrived in the United States in 2003, first settling in Seattle where he stayed with friends until eventually moving to Flagstaff.
Pribil expressed frustration in getting help from the federal government in trying to resolve the situation. Federal officials have declined to get involved, he said.
"It's like the feds have just washed their hands and said it's a local issue. It's absurd," Pribil said. "We're sending illegal immigrants back to Mexico who are working hard and paying taxes and yet there's this man who is a huge burden."