BEWARE OF POLAR BEARS
Florida’s got gators, which are scary enough, but at least they have the courtesy to mostly remain in or around water. In Iceland, you never know when a polar bear might come lollygagging along. These are not the cartoon Coca-Cola chugging polar bars, neither, but immense carnivores: males weigh upwards of 1,000 pounds. As Icepeople reports, a mother and her two cubs have been spotted in the vicinity of Longyearbyen so many times that the governor of Svaldbard released a travel warning about them. A travel warning for polar bears—and you thought Disney had problems.
Other polar bear news of note reported by Icepeople includes a bear that ransacked so many cabins at Kapp Laila, officials tranquilized it and flew it far north by helicopter to Nordaustlandet. (Well, that’s one way to get a free flight.) No word if the specimen of Ursus maritimus was named Goldilocks.
WHO WANTS A PUP?
On Sept. 6, three adorable pups entered the world at Maui Ocean Center. Three adorable grey reef sharks, that is. The pups (yes, they really call baby sharks ‘pups’) were healthy and well gestated; each measured 29 to 30 inches, well above the average length of 24 inches for newborns of the species, according to Maui Time. Grey reef sharks are listed as near-threatened on the IUCN list, so any healthy births in captivity are cause for celebration.
The sharks were, of course, “welcomed to the world with a traditional Hawaiian blessing by Ko`i Lum, Maui Ocean Center’s Cultural Practitioner,” Maui Time added. In fact, all sharks that come to the facility are given a traditional blessing. Maui Time noted that after their quarantine period, the pups were transferred to the exhibit at Nursery Bay where they “will serve as ambassadors of their species.” Nice work if you can get it.
Lest you think that California is a liberal enclave where the streets are rainbow-colored and all the buildings are glittery and pink—also, human rights and freedom, yo—Palo Alto is embroiled in a semi-controversy over what to do with the city’s aging, insufficient animal shelter. Palo Alto Weekly reported that the shelter was so small and overcrowded, some smaller animals like hamsters, birds and snakes were being housed in the employee friggin’ lunchroom.
This brings several discomfiting thoughts racing through our minds. First, if locking eyes with lunch over lunch won’t make you go vegetarian, nothing will. Also, what an appetizing aroma that bodily waste must create! We’re betting a) no one takes a long lunch and b) that’s one svelte staff. And, um, don’t snakes eat hamsters and birds?
According to Palo Alto Weekly, the city is planning to contract with a local nonprofit no-kill shelter to provide shelter services in the future. We imagine the shelter employees will start putting weight back on shortly thereafter.
BUNNIES, RUBBERS AND THE JUICE
In a fabulous news mashup, Boise Weekly added its two cents to the news of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s death. In his lifetime, the 91-year-old squire, advocate of silk pajamas and silicone, was as hated as he was heralded by women, Christians and shepherds of class the world over. At Hefner’s death, bunnies frolicking at the Playboy Mansion became ghosts of a bygone era; the mansion was sold for $100 million and now reverts to the buyers.
In other news, in what Boise Weekly referred to as a “sign of the times,” Stanford University has installed a “vending machine that sells birth control and emergency contraceptives.” Take that, enemies of reproductive freedom; condoms and baby blockers are just a couple of smackers away! Best hope that foil package or nondescript pill pouch doesn’t get stuck on the way down, though.
Boise Weekly went on to report that O.J. “The Juice” Simpson could be released from prison as soon as Oct. 2. Where’s he headed? Where else? Flo-ri-da! Fingers crossed he moves anywhere but here.