Watercooler Stories

Subscribe | UPI Odd Newsletter

Man teaches orphaned heron to fly

PORTREATH, England, June 2 (UPI) -- A British wildlife expert claims he taught a young orphaned heron to fly by running and flapping his arms "like an idiot."


Gary Zammit, 42, said he found the heron chick, which he named Dude, in March after its family died in a storm and took it to the Gwel an Mor wildlife park in Portreath, England, The Sun reported Monday.

"To encourage him to try flying I had to tempt him along with food in the hope that instinct would kick in and he'd go up -- but for days he just walked alongside me, or occasionally hopped a bit," Zammit said of the rescued bird. "I ended up getting really involved and running alongside flapping my arms like an idiot. Eventually he began half flying at a height of around three feet, and he's gone on from there."


Zammit said Dude now reaches heights of 70 feet and returns when his name is called.

Whale bone arch replaced with fiberglass

NORTH BERWICK, Scotland, June 2 (UPI) -- A fiberglass whale jaw is being airlifted to a hill that overlooks North Berwick, Scotland, to replace an actual bone that had become unsafe, officials said.

East Lothian Council officials said the famous landmark atop North Berwick Law, an Antarctic whale jawbone that was removed by helicopters three years ago after it became unsafe, is set to return in fiberglass form with a replica made by Jim Ralph of Ralph Plastics, The Scotsman reported Monday.

The original whale bone was placed atop the hill in 1709 and was first replaced in 1789. The Antarctic whale bone was placed atop the hill in 1935, after its predecessor was blown down in 1933.

A spokesman for the East Lothian Council said the fiberglass bone is expected to be placed during the next two to three weeks.

Man: Arrest threat for Transformers shirt

LONDON, June 2 (UPI) -- A London man said he was threatened with arrest at a city airport because his "Transformers" T-shirt depicted a cartoon robot with a gun.


Brad Jayakody, 30, said he was passing through security at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5 for a business trip to Dusseldorf, Germany, when a guard began joking with him about his "Transformers" shirt, which featured main villain Megatron, The Daily Mail reported Monday.

"Then he explains that since Megatron is holding a gun, I'm not allowed to fly," he said.

Jayakody said the guard gave him the option of changing his shirt or facing arrest for the "offensive" image.

"It's a 40-foot tall cartoon robot with a gun as an arm," Jayakody said. "There is no way this shirt is offensive in any way, and what, I'm going to use the shirt to pretend I have a gun?

The passenger said he changed his shirt.

A spokesman for BAA, which runs the airport, said the incident is being investigated.

Man uses pepper spray to ward off squirrel

ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 2 (UPI) -- New York officials said they were called to a Rochester neighborhood after a man tried getting a squirrel to leave his home by using pepper spray.

Emergency officials arrived at the home Sunday afternoon to rinse out the eyes of five people who were present when the pepper spray was released, said Scott Williams, deputy fire chief of the Rochester Fire Department.


Firefighters tuned on fans in the home to get rid of the lingering pepper spray, the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle reported.

"When the fire department went in and opened up all of the windows, the squirrel decided to leave. I guess he figured his work there was done," Williams said.

Latest Headlines