COLORADO SPRINGS, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Anyone who wants to take part in the time-honored custom of track Santa's progress on Christmas Eve choose from multiple Santa-tracking services this year.
Longtime Santa-tracking partners North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, and Google parted ways and each is offering a tracking service, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.
NORAD, based in Colorado Springs, has paired up with Bing Maps for a 2-D Santa-tracking display, as well as Cesium to show a 3-D version of Santa's progress. The system will be available online, as well as in application form for Windows, iOS and Android phones.
NORAD's Santa hotline, (877) HI-NORAD, will be functioning as of 2 a.m. Christmas Eve for those with questions about where the jolly elf is.
Google is offering its Santa-tracking application available at google.com/santatracker.
Santa-tracking began in 1955 when U.S. Air Force Col. Harry Shoup -- who was director of operations for the agency that became NORAD -- began receiving calls from children trying to reach Santa. A local Sears store had set up a Santa hotline but misprinted the number in its catalog, sending calls about Santa to Shoup.
The agency has been tracking Santa for the public ever since.
Police dog on the loose in Virginia
LEESBURG, Va., Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Police in Loudoun County, Va., are on the lookout for a police dog named Bronco who escaped while being groomed.
Bronco, an 80- to 85-pound dark sable German Shepherd employed by the Loudoun County sheriff's office, got loose Friday afternoon, The Washington Post reported.
The sheriff's office said Bronco "escaped from the groomers" in Leesburg in the area of King Street and Catoctin Circle. It was not immediately clear how the dog escaped.
The sheriff's office asked for the public's aid in locating the dog.
Anyone who spots Bronco is asked to call the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office at 703-777-1021.
Colo, first zoo-born gorilla, turns 56
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Colo, the first gorilla born in captivity and the oldest gorilla in any zoo, turned 56 Saturday at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio.
Birthday cake was served to the zoo's gorillas and human visitors alike, zoo officials said.
Colo, short for Columbus, Ohio, got her name from a national "Name the Baby Gorilla" contest.
She gave birth three times in the late 1960s and early '70s. She has16 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
The Columbus Dispatch noted Colo weighed 3 pounds, 4 ounces when she was born to Christina, a 280-pound gorilla captured in the French Cameroons.
Ohio State University veterinary student Dean Thomas cut the umbilical cord and breathed into Colo's mouth to start respiration and quickly transferred her to a human incubator, the newspaper said.
Zoo Superintendent Earl F. Davis, said Colo's mother appeared afraid of the newborn and he credits Thomas with saving her life.
Turkey wants St. Nick's bones back
ISTANBUL, Turkey, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- A Turkish professor has requested that the bones of Saint Nicholas, the original Santa Claus, be returned to Turkey from the Vatican.
Akdeniz University Archaeology Professor Nevzat Cevik alleged the bones were taken from Turkey "by force" in 1087 and buried in a church in the Bari province of Italy, Hurryiet Daily News reported Sunday.
"This has nothing to do with tourism. Returning his bones to his grave in Demre [a town in the southern province of Antalya] is a human wish," Cevik said.
Cevik said Saint Nicholas would have wanted to be buried in the funerary chapel next to his church in Demre. The Saint Nicholas Church was built in the 4th century A.D., in current-day Demre, where Saint Nicholas lived.