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Watercooler Stories

Jan. 4, 2013 at 6:30 AM   |   Comments

Python, crabs left in hotel rooms

THAME, England, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- British hotel chain Travelodge UK said some of the oddest items left in its rooms include a pet python, breast implants and a bucket of live crabs.

The budget chain based in Thame, England, said items in its lost-and-founds include a pet python named Monty, a winning EuroMillions lottery ticket, the prop used as Harry Potter's wand in one of the films, a diamond-encrusted iPhone, a bucket of live crabs and a set of women's breast implants, The Scotsman reported Thursday.

The hotel chain said the most popular items left in their rooms include pajamas, phone and laptop chargers, teddy bears, toiletry items and electronics.

The company said the 20,000 books left in its hotel rooms during the past 12 months include 7,000 copies of "Fifty Shades of Grey."


Police bust alleged cruiser thief

L'EPIPHANIE, Quebec, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Authorities in Quebec said a man accused of stealing a police cruiser during his arrest is facing multiple charges.

Police said a 39-year-old man, whose name was not released, was arrested on an outstanding warrant early Dec. 29 during a dispute at a home in L'Epiphanie, The Montreal Gazette reported Thursday.

Officers went back into the home for an unspecified emergency and the man was able to drive off in the police cruiser, which was found abandoned a few hundred yards away about four hours later.

Police arrested the man at the same home at 5:30 a.m. Thursday. He is facing charges including impersonation, auto theft and driving under the influence of alcohol.


Police find owner of lost lobster

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Police in Nova Scotia said they have reunited a woman with a suitcase full of lobster and gifts discovered by a bus driver.

Halifax Regional Police said a Metro Transit bus driver discovered the black suitcase around 11 a.m. Dec. 31 and turned it over to police, who put out a notice seeking the owner of the frozen lobster, Nintendo Wii, clothing and gifts found inside the bag, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Thursday.

"Are you missing a suitcase full of lobster and gifts?" Halifax Regional Police said in release. "Officers were unable to find any identification to determine the rightful owner."

Krista Nash, sister-in-law of the suitcase's owner, said an unidentified woman saw both an online posting seeking the missing suitcase and the police notice. The woman contacted Nash.

"I didn't even get her name, I was so excited," Nash said Wednesday. "Her phone number didn't show up on the phone so I couldn't even call back but very thankful that she was able to put two and two together and give me a call."

Stacey Nash, the sister-in-law who was visiting Nova Scotia from Toronto, said the suitcase must have fallen from the family's pickup truck when her husband left the tailgate down.

Constable Pierre Bourdages, a spokesman for Halifax Regional Police, said the lobsters were kept frozen during the search for the owner.


London zoo census begins with photo op

LONDON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The London Zoo began its annual weeklong census of its animals, and invited 50 photographers to attend the proceedings on the first day.

While the stock-taking has scientific integrity, zoo Director David Field said, "We're not just checking how many we've got, but who we've got. That forms the basis of our breeding programs," so the press was invited in to observe and take pictures.

Field said some animals are harder to count than others. A photograph of an aquarium suffices when counting fish, for example, but the endangered partula snails, which are small, well-camouflaged and hide under leaves, must be found and counted by hand.

"They're an incredibly endangered species, so we count each one individually," said Field of the snails. Knowing the precise number we have is crucial."

The more photogenic animals had the most attention Wednesday, the British newspaper The Guardian reported, noting one photographer telling a zoo employee, "Can you move, love, we can't see the meerkats. That's the worst place you can stand."

The meerkats, officially counted as nine, seemed to relish the attention, the newspaper said, but the 59 penguins were described as uncooperative for the cameras, as were the 23 Bolivian squirrel monkeys.

"It's all about charisma," Amy Harris, the Zoo's media manager. "Some animals just have it, and the best way to judge is to look at children's faces when they first see them.

Or count the lenses aimed at the animals, the newspaper suggested.

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