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April 7, 2008 at 6:00 AM
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Swim with the crocs could be costly

ALYANGULA, Australia, April 7 (UPI) -- A man who took a drunken swim with the crocodiles on an island off northern Australia could face a criminal charge.

Officers say the swimmer not only acted with extreme stupidity but hurled abuse at the constable who rescued him from a circling crocodile, the Northern Territory News reported.

The man was with his brother at a beach on Alyangula on Groote Eylandt when he swam to a baited crocodile trap. His brother watched him from shore, calling to him to "stop being stupid."

Constable Sean Stanley went after the daredevil and brought him back to the beach. A witness said the only thanks Stanley got was the drunk yelling at him and asking him why he was shooting at the crocodile.

The man was expelled from Groote Eylandt and fined $200 Australian ($184), but police said they think he needs a bigger lesson.

"He has been given an infringement notice for disorderly behavior in a public place,'' said Lee Morgan, the officer in charge in Alyangula. "I think his behavior warrants being summonsed to court and we are looking into that.''

Trash-eating moose on the rise in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, April 7 (UPI) -- Alaskans could soon be hit with bigger fines for not doing their part to keep moose out of their trash if state natural resources officials have their way.

Moose in the Anchorage area, in particular, appear to have gotten into the habit of foraging through people's trash for food in recent years, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said.

"Moose aren't naturally inclined to eat out of garbage cans, but if they're around people enough, they'll learn to get into them," biologist Rick Sinnott told the Anchorage Daily News.

Experts have cited concerns about moose ingesting plastic bags and other garbage as they graze city trash cans.

Fish and Game and the Department of Public Safety called on the Alaska Supreme Court to raise the $100 fine for feeding moose, bears and other animals to $300, enforcement specialist Al Cain said. The higher fine could be put in place this month.

Snakes freed by car crash recaptured

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill., April 7 (UPI) -- Eleven snakes that slithered to safety when a car crashed into a house belonging to an Illinois breeder have been rounded up.

By Saturday, the last of the reptiles were back in their cages, KSDK-TV in St. Louis reported.

A driver ran off the road Thursday in Fairview Heights, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. He told police he passed out at the wheel because of an illness.

The car struck two houses, causing significant damage to both. In one, it also broke open the snakes' cages.

Police said none of the snakes were venomous. Most were quickly recaptured.

The driver suffered cuts and bruises.

Engineers win $1000 for 156-step burger

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., April 7 (UPI) -- A team of engineers from Indiana's Purdue University have been awarded $1,000 for their creation of an elaborate 156-step hamburger-making machine.

Purdue won Saturday's annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, a competition in which engineering students from across the country create devices to perform basic jobs with the most possible number of steps, the Lafayette (Ind.) Journal and Courier reported.

"With all the hard work we've put into this machine, it's just fantastic," said Drew Wischer, Purdue Society of Professional Engineers team captain.

More than 1,500 people attended the competition at Purdue University to watch machines from seven U.S. universities creatively assemble hamburgers with at least one meat patty, two vegetables and two condiments in a pair of buns.

The winning machine featured King Kong scaling New York's Empire State Building, London's Big Ben clock and the Eiffel Tower in Paris among numerous other well-known structures.

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