(TMU) – Workers at a popular safari park are on edge after baboons were spotted wielding tools like knives, screwdrivers, and even a chainsaw. And to make matters worse, the primates are having a blast using the tools to terrorize visitors’ cars.
The baboons at Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside, England, have long enjoyed the ignominious reputation of being extremely destructive mischief-makers who were previously infamous for nabbing objects from the cars of visitors, including side-view mirrors and windshield wipers.
One mechanic in nearby Sale said that he’s had two customers this year alone who needed work done after the monkeys went to town on their cars.
“The kids start chirping up saying they want monkeys all over the car, and the next thing you know, you’re driving home with no registration plate,” the mechanic said.
However, some local workers worry that the creatures are possibly being given the weapons and power-tools “for a laugh” by equally mischievous park-goers, reports the Sunday Times.
“We’re not sure if they are being given weapons by some of the guests who want to see them attack cars, or if they’re fishing them out of pick-up trucks and vans,” one worker said.
Given the primates’ history of thievery, it would make sense that the baboons themselves are taing it upon themselves to find goods hidden in toolboxes scattered across the 550-acre safari park.
“One of the baboons was seen lugging around a chainsaw,” the worker added.
However, given the frequency with which the baboons have been sighted walking about with knives or screwdrivers in-hand, suspicion has been raised about how they are suddenly so well-supplied to wreak havoc.
“The baboons have been found with knives and screwdrivers. I do wonder if it’s some of the guests handing them out,” a source told Daily Record.
The safari park, which hosts a range of individual creatures including rhinos, lions and tigers, reopened last month after being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Aquariums and other zoos were also given the green light by the U.K. government to resume operations following the lockdown.
On the park’s website, potential visitors are assured that while proper public health measures are in place and people are restricted to their cars, a similar guarantee can’t be made about the problems caused by the baboobs.
“If you take a drive through our Baboon Jungle, we’re unable to return any car parts that our cheeky baboons may take,” the website noted, adding that a “car friendly route” is also an option.
Managers at the safari park are skeptical about whether the tales of knife-wielding baboons stalking park grounds is true, shrugging it off as an urban myth.
“We believe many of these stories have grown in exaggeration as they’ve been retold, with embellishment to make the objects that are sometimes found in the enclosure seem more exciting and unbelievable,” the park said.
Police Rescue Dogs Trapped In Car on Sizzling Hot Day, Owners Complain About Broken Window
Police in the UK acted quickly to save a two dogs locked inside a car in sizzling hot temperatures by smashing open a window, upsetting the car’s owner over the damage.
Officers responded Sunday to reports that a beagle and another dog were trapped in a car parked in the seaside British city of Brighton on a day of boiling heat.
In video captured of the incident, an officer can be seen jamming his baton through a rear window before finally shattering it to free the pooches.
This prompts the car alarm to go off as the car’s owners can be seen rushing toward it, upset over the police intervention.
A woman, standing with her shocked family, says: “You broke my window out!”
One of the officer responded: “It’s a hot day. You shouldn’t be leaving the dog in the car in this weather.”
The incident happened on a day when people across the region flock to the seaside resort city to dip into the beaches amid surging hot temperatures.
The onlooker who filmed the incident noted that the owners seemed unaware of the dangers posed to their pets by weather conditions.
“Where they had parked there is just no shade,” they told The Sun. “It’s directly on the seafront in 25°C (77°F) weather outside – I’ve got no idea what it was inside the car.”
The family was indignant over what they claim was an overreaction by the police.
“At first it was ‘what the f*** are you doing, why did you break my car window? I was only gone for 10 minutes,’” another witness explained.
“The bloke obviously thought he was completely in the right,” they added. “He didn’t really seem to have much empathy.”
According to UK animal welfare group RSPCA, outside temperatures of 22°C (71°F) can reach a brutal 47°C (116.6°F) inside a car within an hour.
“Police officers attended and tried to get a contact number for the owners of the car but were unable,” a Sussex Police spokesperson said. “Officers had no choice but to smash the side window to gain access and a kind member of the public donated a bottle of water.”
Authorities added that the officers let the pet owners off with a stern warning, without ticketing the family or separating their dogs from them.
Golden Retriever Filmed Giving Woodchuck Ride Across Massachusetts Lake
There are some occasions when the natural world resembles something we might think belongs to the realm of Disney films but no – it’s simply the animal kingdom in motion.
Such was the case when a dog owner captured amazing footage of her dog giving a ride to a small rodent across a lake in Massachusetts.
Lauren Russel was with her dog, Wally the golden retriever, at Hickory Hills Lake in Lunenburg last month when the dog encountered a woodchuck in the water.
So Wally did one any good dog of his breed would do – he gave his new friend a ride back to shore.
“He was about 100 meters out and a woodchuck, I think, just crawled right up on his back and he swam back to shore with him,” Russell told WCVB on Monday.
She always knew that her Wally was a friendly pooch, but she never imagined something like this.
“We were flabbergasted. It was unbelievable. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing,” Russell continued.
To top things off, once they arrived onshore, Wally and his fast friend gave each other what appeared to be a kiss.
“They like touched snouts and then he ran away,” Russell said.
You can watch the video of the touching event here:
Tiny Creature Frozen for 24,000 Years is Brought Back to Life
A microscopic creature has come back to life and reproduced asexually after 24,000 years of lying dormant in the permafrost of Siberia.
Russian scientists found the tiny freshwater creature, called the bdelloid rotifer, in the rich soil of the Alazeya river of Russia’s far northern Siberan region of Yakutia.
The multicellular organism is common throughout the world and is known to be extremely resilient, capable of surviving extreme cold, dryness, starvation and low oxygen.
While previous research found that it could survive a decade when frozen at -20 degrees Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit), the new study published by the journal Current Biology offers a stunning testimony of the survivability of the tiny animal – which is by far the longest survival period known of any creature in the world.
“Our report is the hardest proof as of today that multicellular animals could withstand tens of thousands of years in cryptobiosis, the state of almost completely arrested metabolism,” said Stas Malavin, an author of the study, in a statement.
Malavin’s Soil Cryology Lab in Pushchino, Russia, used a drilling rig to extract the miniscule organism from roughly a dozen feet below the remote Arctic location.
Once the ancient organism thawed, it reproduced on its own through a process of parthenogenesis. Researchers then found that it could withstand repeatedly being frozen and thawed dozens of times due to its innate processes of cell and organ protection.
“The takeaway is that a multicellular organism can be frozen and stored as such for thousands of years and then return back to life – a dream of many fiction writers,” Malavin said.
“Of course, the more complex the organism, the trickier it is to preserve it alive frozen and, for mammals, it’s not currently possible,” the scientist added. “Yet, moving from a single-celled organism to an organism with a gut and brain, though microscopic, is a big step forward.”
Researchers hope that the knowledge gleaned from studying the microscopic organism will bring further insights on how to preserve animals’ cells, tissues and organs – including those belonging to human beings.
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