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Weird World News: Fox mugs man, kitesurfer stabs shark and nerds design robo-Cheetah

PHUKET: This has been a week of man taking on wild. From the cobbled and cold streets of England to the warm waters of the Red Sea and at a state-of-the art Massachusetts robotics lab, snarling and snapping animals coming face-to-face with man made headlines this week.

Man ‘mugged’ by fox

A BRITSH man claims he was mugged by a hungry fox this week, which backed him into a corner and forced him to hand over his dinner.

Civil servant Seb Baker, 29, was walking home from the supermarket and had just turned onto a narrow lane when the fox pounced.

The aggressive fox circled him and tried to snatch his shopping bags.

Baker made desperate attempts to flee the fox, but eventually was cornered into giving up his prize dinner treat: his Tesco garlic bread.

Content with its prize, the fox scampered off.

Baker told The Sun newspaper he thought the fox would have been scared of a 15-stone man.

A British wildlife expert said foxes are getting bolder, but this was an isolated incident.

Handy advice offered if confronted by a fox is to shout at it, according to the same expert, or “shoot it with a water pistol”.

It is not known how many Britons are walking the streets armed with water pistols.

Red Sea sharks defeated by knife-wielding kitesurfer

A POLISH kitesurfer has survived an at-sea struggle for his life, fending off repeated shark attacks for two days.

Jan Lisewski, 42, was attempting to cross the Red Sea from Egypt to Saudi Arabia (200km) when the wind stopped – a big problem for kitesurfers.

With night fast approaching and large waves crashing over him, the Polish kitesurfing champion sent an SOS signal, Reuters reported.

Lisewski survived the at-sea ordeal by drinking energy supplements and a little water – and fighting off sharks, some as big as six meters, with his trusty knife.

He told Polish media earlier this week, he stabbed sharks in the eyes, nose and gills.

Lisewski was the first person to kiteboard across the Baltic Sea last year.

That Cheetah looks like a robot!

CHEETAH’S aren’t known natives of Massachusetts, United States, but they are now.

A four-legged robot known as The Cheetah has set the land-speed record this week for robots with legs, a speedy 18 miles per hour (mph) on a treadmill.

The Cheetah was developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from the US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, The Telegraph reported.

The Cheetah sped past the previous record set in 1989, when a two-legged robot at Massachusetts Institute of Technology set the 13mph record.

But ol’ Cheetah is now world champ.

Robotics scientists plan to have The Cheetah running outside to push the limits of the sprinting robot.

Want a peek? Click here.

Remember to tune in next week for more of the Phuket Gazette‘s Weird World News round-up.

— Fraser Morton

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