SITTINGBOURNE, England, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A British woman who obtained two guinea pigs four years ago had to get help from animal rescuers when their numbers grew to more than 100.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the Sittingbourne, England, woman, whose name was not released, came to the group for help when the animals' breeding got out of control and she was saddled with more than 100 guinea pigs, The Mirror reported Wednesday.
The RSPCA said it left the woman with four guinea pigs of the same sex.
"You couldn't fault the care. Some were living in very nice cages," the group said. "It just got out of hand. She was embarrassed."
Man builds car for pet parrot
GAINESVILLE, Fla., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A Florida computer engineering student said he built a small, robotic car for his parrot so the pet bird could get around the house easily.
Andrew Gray, 29, a graduate student at the University of Florida in Gainesville, said he tried several methods of keeping his African grey parrot, Pepper, from squawking all the time and eventually realized the bird, which he has had for 10 to 11 years, just wanted to be around people, ABC News reported Wednesday.
"I realized the bird needed to be around people constantly. He just needed to be in the same room," Gray said. "So I built the Bird Buggy."
Gray said Pepper steers the robotic car with his beak.
"He knows how to drive, forwards, backwards, left and right," Gray said. "He loves his new toy."
He said the car had sensors to make sure Pepper doesn't crash.
Gray said the Bird Buggy has been effective in keeping Pepper's squawking spells under control and may have other benefits in the future.
"It was just an experiment that will maybe get me a job down the road," Gray said.
Bucket disguise came too late for burglar
SLIDELL, La., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Louisiana police said a burglar who attempted to hide his identity from security cameras by putting a bucket over his head was too late with the precaution.
Slidell police said Richard Boudreaux, 23, burglarized multiple businesses in a single night last week, including his former employer, Kenney's Seafood, WDSU-TV, New Orleans, reported Wednesday.
Police said Boudreaux realized while at Kenney's Seafood the business used security cameras and he wasn't wearing a mask, so he placed a bucket over his head. However, investigators said his face had already been seen by the cameras.
Boudreaux, who was arrested on burglary and drug charges, told police he chose Kenney's Seafood because he needed money and had "bad blood" with the owner. He said he also attempted to break into Jerry's Buy and Sell to steal a gun because he feared future gun control laws.
Orlando considers looser garden rules
ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A Florida couple convinced their local planning board to recommend changes to proposed local gardening restrictions to allow for front yard vegetables.
Jason and Jennifer Helvenston had been ordered by an Orlando city code enforcement officer to dig up their front yard vegetable garden and replace it with a city-approved lawn, but city lawyers dropped the issue Monday, saying the city's laws on the front gardens are too vague, the Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday.
The couple went before the Municipal Planning Board Tuesday to argue new gardening restrictions being drawn up by city planners are too restrictive. The restrictions would allow for front-yard vegetable gardens, but would require them to be screened, set back at least 10 feet from the property line, take up no more than 25 percent of the yard and be no more than 4 feet tall.
The planning commission agreed with the Helvenstons and recommended the City Council form a task force including gardeners to look over the regulations and loosen some of the restrictions.
"I worry that we're over-complicating the matter a little bit for a vegetable garden," planning board member Karen Anderson said.
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