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Freaky Friday news: Animal kingdom out of control

Unusual news nuggets from around the globe:

Moohunt: Runaway cow captures German hearts

BERLIN — A runaway cow named Yvonne is on the loose in Germany and the manhunt — or moohunt — for the Bavarian bovine has captivated the country. The freedom-loving cow ran away from a little farm in Bavaria in May and has managed to hide successfully in the forests of southern Germany ever since — despite her sturdy 1,500-pound figure. Locals have reported a few sightings of the brown dairy cow with the white head, but every time search teams have tried to capture her, Yvonne had already hoofed it from the area. A helicopter equipped with a thermal camera used in search-and-rescue missions returned empty-handed. Searchers have tried to lure Yvonne into the open with food, with the bellows of her son Friesi and her sister Waltraud, even with a prospective mate named Ernst. Scores of volunteers are combing upper Bavaria’s woods for her.

Billy goat spells grief for German tourists

AUSSERVILLGRATEN, Austria — No buts about it — this billy goat was a pain in the butt. Austrian state broadcaster ORF reports that a German tourist couple had their hands full for three hours with a goat that wouldn’t quit attacking them. To stop the butting, Steffen Prill was forced to grab the beast by the horns — and hold on. Prill says he literally dragged it down the mountain slope they were hiking on toward the Tyrollean village of Ausservillgraten, near the Italian border. He and Anja Buder, his wife, said that every time Prill let go, the horned assaults continued. Police called to the scene finally soothed the animal. There were no serious injuries — but ORF, citing police, says the goat’s owner will have to pay for Buder’s ripped trousers.

Cemetery snake now up for adoption in Pa.

HERSHEY, Pa. — A six-foot boa constrictor that crashed a funeral a few months ago has been nursed back to health and is ready to be adopted. Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary tells the Patriot-News of Harrisburg that the snake, Cocoa, is now healthy enough for a new home. Animal welfare workers took Cocoa into custody in May after people attending a memorial service at Hershey Cemetery spotted her. Police believe Cocoa’s owner dumped the snake after being unable to care for her. The Patriot-News report says police never discovered who abandoned Cocoa. Cocoa is available for adoption.

Snake bites man in car after yard sale purchase

DUNCANSVILLE, Pa. — Police say a Pennsylvania man picked up more than he bargained for at a yard sale. Duncansville police Chief James Ott tells the Altoona Mirror that a small snake bit Donald Forshey on the leg as he and his girlfriend were driving home from a yard sale. Ott says the snake likely slithered into a milk crate containing items the couple had purchased. The pair bailed out of the car on Interstate 99 and called 911. A state trooper was unable to help them find the snake, which Forshey tried to pin to the floor with a crutch he uses. Authorities believe it was either a garter snake or a copperhead that didn’t inject any venom when it struck.

Bat causes stir at NH selectman’s meeting

EPPING, N.H. — Maybe the bat just wanted to air its concerns to the board. The Board of Selectmen in Epping, N.H., was discussing road signs when the meeting was interrupted for about two minutes by a bat that swooped and flitted over the panel, causing members to duck and chuckle. The bat was eventually chased out the door. Selectman James McGeough calls the wildlife encounter a comedy of errors, and jokingly suggested police shoot it. Board Chairwoman Karen Falcone tells WMUR-TV the meeting became a “frenzy.” Town officials have long known that bats live in the tower above town hall, but this was the first time one made an appearance at a meeting.

Runaway Rainier anteater back home after outing

RAINIER, Ore. — An anteater named Sweetpea is back home with its owner after an adventure in Rainier. The 20-pound South American anteater was spotted by a driver alongside a road, slurping up ants. Abram Dreyer took it home and started calling veterinarians and the Humane Society to find the owner. The Daily News of Longview reports the anteater was a hit with neighbors who petted it and admired its claws. A tip finally led to the owner. Kellie Caron is licensed to breed exotic animals. She picked up her wandering anteater. This fall, Sweetpea is headed for a zoo in Texas.

Swedish house up for sale, complete with skeleton

STOCKHOLM — A Swedish real estate agent has an unusual piece of property up for sale: a five-bedroom house, complete with medieval tomb and skeleton in the cellar. The central Visby town house on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland was built in 1750 on the foundations of a Russian church. The kitchen lies on the presbytery, and the tomb containing the skeleton — visible through a glass panel — is in the cellar. The real estate agency’s owner Leif Bertwig says there is no reason to be afraid as the skeleton “lies in consecrated soil and rests in peace.” Bertwig said the remains likely belong to a Russian man who died some 800 years ago. The starting price for the house — all included — is $640,000.

NY man, 61, suing over skimpy lifeguard trunks

LONG BEACH, N.Y. — A 61-year-old New York man says he lost his job as a lifeguard when he refused to wear skimpy swim trunks for the annual swim test. Roy Lester tells the New York Daily News he was forced out of the job after 40 years in 2007 when he wanted to take the swim test in biking shorts instead of the tiny swim trunks. He filed a lawsuit against the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in 2009. The lawsuit had been dismissed but was reinstated by an appeals court last week. Lester is a triathlete, but says no one his age should be wearing tiny trunks. He says the bathing suit requirement was aimed at getting rid of older lifeguards. State officials declined to comment.

Abercrombie asks ‘The Situation’ to shop elsewhere

NEW YORK — The Situation doesn’t usually require a lot of motivation to lose the shirt. But Abercrombie & Fitch wants him to go one further — the company has offered to pay “Jersey Shore” cast members to stop wearing clothes carrying their brand. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said in a news release posted that it’s concerned that having Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino seen in its clothing could cause “significant damage” to the company’s image. Abercrombie says a connection to The Situation goes against the “aspirational nature” of its brand and may be “distressing” to customers. The Ohio-based retailer says it has offered a “substantial payment” to Sorrentino and producers of the MTV show so he’ll wear something else. The company says it also is making the offer to others in the hard-partying cast.

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