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Weird World News: Grrrrrrrrrreat escape in Ohio, monster mistake for giant slipper man and tears for loveable crocodile Pocho

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Animals leaped into the world’s news headlines this week with scary, silly and sad stories to report.

The great Ohio escape: Monkey still AWOL, feared eaten by lion

A FUGITIVE monkey who has been on the run from Ohio police since Tuesday night is presumed dead, eaten by one his “big cat” accomplices.

One of the 18 tigers or 17 lions among the 58 animals who were set free from the Muskingum Exotic Animal Farm late Tuesday night by their owner are thought to have eaten the Macaque monkey.

Police have now officially ended their search for the monkey.

Sherrif’s deputies shot and killed 48 of the animals after Terry Thompson, the owner of the farm, opened all the animals’ cages before committing suicide, the Telegraph reports

His body was found close to the cages with bite marks to the head. They are believed to have been inflicted shortly after his death by one of his large cats.

With wolves, tigers, bears and lions on the loose, schools were closed in the Zanesville area on Wednesday and flashing signs along highways warned: “Caution exotic animals” and “Stay in vehicle”.

Police officers were under orders to shoot to kill all animals when the alarm was first raised in the early hours of Wednesday morning due to fear the animals would evade capture under the cover of night.

Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said public safety was his primary concern and that his “suspects” were not everyday house cats or dogs, but “300 pound Bengal Tigers”.

Animals rights activits have been voicing their outrage at the shootings.

HOAX of the week: Monster slipper fit for a giant delivered to man’s home

A SLEW of British newspapers were caught up in an elaborate hoax this week about a man who mistakenly received a size 1,450 monster slipper – big enough for him to sleep in.

The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Mirror and other major newspapers reported that Londoner Tom Boddingham, 27, ordered a custom-fit size 14.5 monster slipper from Hong Kong, but the manufacturer misplaced the decimal point and sent him the giant slipper, measuring seven feet long.

The Guardian today reports the story to be an elaborate PR stunt from Monster Slippers, and the “real” Tom is actually a bloke called Jospeh Jennings, none other than the web manager for the slipper company.

Click here for the full story.

Tears for last act of Pocho the crocodile

ONE of the world’s most famous crocodiles was given a heroe’s funeral this week.

Pocho, a 14-foot-long crocodile, was a local legend in Siquirres, Costa Rica, a small banana farming town. Pocho and his owner Gilberto Shedden, 54, were a double act called Tarzon Tico.

Their weekly Sunday shows were a much-loved tradition in the town. They used to wrestle each other much to the delight of locals and thousands of internet fans around the world.

Hundreds of locals lined the streets to pay their respects to the 70-stone Pocho and Gilberto, wearing his trademark loincloth, sat alongside his beloved friend for the funeral procession.

Tarzan Tico performed for eight years, putting on shows that helped put the Caribbean town on the map.

Gilberto found the Pocho in a river badly injured from a gunshot wound to the head 20 years ago. Her nursed Pocho back to health and the two became best friends.

Pocho’s body will be embalmed and put on display in a local museum.

Click here to see some of Tarzan Tico’s amazing acts.

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

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Pakistan goes dark after electrical fault causes nationwide blackout

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Pakistan is slowly recovering after the entire country experienced an electrical blackout today. Power minister Omar Ayub Khan tweeted that this latest blackout was caused by a fault in southern Pakistan at 11:41pm local time yesterday, which was at 3:41am today here in Thailand.

“The fault tripped the transmission system of the country… leading to the shutdown of power plants.”

The blackout darkened all of Pakistan’s cities, including the capital Islamabad, its economic hub of Karachi and the 2nd largest city of Lahore.

“The breakdown took place when frequency tripped from 50 to 0 in the electricity distribution system. However, electricity is gradually being restored across the country.”

There were no immediate answers as to whether hotels experienced a disruption as they often rely on back-up generators. Power has been restored to some parts of the country but many areas in Lahore and Karachi were still waiting according to a water and power ministry spokesman.

The same spokesman says an investigation is underway to find out the cause of the blackout, which also saw the internet connectivity nationwide to collapse. Netblocks, which monitors internet outages said on Twitter that the blackout caused a dip in levels.

Connectivity was at “62% of ordinary levels.”

Pakistan’s electricity distribution system is a “complex and delicate” web, and a problem in 1 section of the grid can lead to a domino effect in breakdowns nationwide.

In 2015 a rebel attack on a key power line sent about 80% of Pakistan into darkness. That blackout, which was one of the worst in Pakistan’s history, caused major cities, including Islamabad, to go dark, even affecting one of the country’s international airports.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Songkhla

Nude Panda: naked food delivery man hit with 500 baht fine

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Nude Panda? Rude Panda? Or NoodPanda? A man working as a food delivery driver in the southern province of Songkhla, has been filmed riding his motorbike while naked. 24 year old Botsin Dueanchamroon later handed himself in to police, explaining that he’d taken his clothes off due to “a personal problem”. The nature of the problem is not known, and police let Botsin go with a 500 baht fine.

The incident came to light after a video was posted on social media, showing a naked Botsin hurtling along on his motorbike, which had a food delivery bag on the back. The video has now been deleted. According to a 66 year old motorbike taxi driver, Bai Aumaoom, Botsin parked his bike in front of a local temple, removed his clothes, then got back on the bike and drove off.

He later returned and strolled around before putting his clothes back on. One woman who witnessed the spectacle says she was “sickened by the sight” and would not want to eat any food delivered by the man.

Social media response was mixed with most just inquisitive about his motives to ride “commando” with little (actually no) protection.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Divers believe they have found a 77 year old wrecked US Navy submarine by Phuket

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Divers in the Strait of Malacca have reportedly found what they believe to be a 77 year old US Navy wrecked submarine in what is seemingly the concluding piece in a tale from World War II. The divers are currently awaiting confirmation of the finding from the United States Naval History and Heritage Command for verification after sending photos and other evidence to be reviewed. Over a five month time period, the divers gathered evidence over six separate dives to substantiate their claims that the shipwrecked submarine is that of the USS Grenadier, one of the 52 American submarines lost during the conflict.

The Grenadier, weighing 1,475 tonnes and measuring 307 feet long, was found about 150 km south of Phuket, Thailand in the Strait of Malacca. Singapore-based Jean Luc Rivoire, Frenchman Benoit Laborie, Australian Lance Horowitz, and Belgian Ben Reymenants-all who live in Phuket made the discovery. Reymenants was also one of the divers who helped in the dangerous rescue mission of the 12 Thai young football players who became trapped in a cave with their coach 2 years ago.

The Belgian has made a habit out of searching for sunken vessels over the years and would enlist Rivoire’s help in underwater searches as he had a suitable boat.

History of the submarine’s sinking details the story of the boat’s crew abandoning ship after Japanese bombs nearly killed them undersea. However, the sailors were lucky as all 76 of its personnel reportedly survived the bombing and subsequent sinking, but their luck soon took a dark turn. After Japan took the crew as prisoners, they were allegedly tortured, beaten and nearly starved for more than 2 years with 4 reportedly succumbing to the ordeal.

Divers believe they have found a 77 year old wrecked US Navy submarine by Phuket | News by Thaiger

In this image taken from video, the top hatch of a conning tower can be seen from a submarine wreck somewhere in the Strait of Malacca on March 4, 2020. Divers have found what they believe is the wreck of a U.S. Navy submarine lost 77 years ago in Southeast Asia, providing a coda to a stirring but little-known tale from World War II. (Jean Luc Rivoire via AP)

The Belgian says he has been researching possible locations of shipwrecks for many years. When they dived to look at one captivating object, they found it was much larger than they had originally expected. Horowitz says once confirming the object’s size, they searched archives to find out which vessel it could be.

“And in the end, we took very precise measurements of the submarine and compared those with the naval records. And they’re exactly, as per the drawings, the exact same size. So we’re pretty confident that it is the USS Grenadier.”

However, the confirmation could take anywhere from 2 months to up to 1 year to complete. But its 77 year old history may make it well worth the wait.

The Grenadier set sail from Pearl Harbor on Feb 4, 1942 embarking on multiple missions while sinking 6 ships and damaging 2. Then, it took to the waters again on March 20, 1943 from Australia, on its 6th patrole to the Malacca Straight and Andaman Sea. One month later, a plane was sighted causing the ship to be ordered to crash dive. But it was too late. Blasts from 2 bombs attacked the sub, leaving important parts of the ship damaged.

Divers believe they have found a 77 year old wrecked US Navy submarine by Phuket | News by Thaiger

This Dec. 27, 1941, photo released by U.S. Navy shows USS Grenadier (SS-210) off Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Divers have found what they believe is the wreck of the U.S. Navy submarine lost 77 years ago in Southeast Asia, providing a coda to a stirring but little-known tale from World War II. Photo: United States Navy via AP

The next morning, the crew made plans to scuttle the submarine but was captured by an armed merchant ship and hauled off to Penang, a major port town in Malaysia. Fitzgerald says the crew landed in a Catholic school turned Japanese prison where they then began to become the recipients of alleged abuse.

“The rough treatment started the first afternoon, particularly with the (enlisted) men. They were forced to sit or stand in silence in an attention attitude. Any divergence resulted in a gun butt, kick, slug in the face or a bayonet prick. In the questioning room, persuasive measures, such as clubs, about the size of indoor ball bats, pencils between the fingers and pushing of the blade of a pen knife under the finger nails, trying to get us to talk about our submarine and the location of other submarines.”

He says after a few months, the sailors were transferred to camps in Japan where they saw 4 of their compatriots die from a lack of medical attention. Such a tale that has spurned from the Grenadier has Horowitz enthralled in its history and significance.

“This was an important ship during the war and it was very important to all the crew that served on her. When you read the book of the survivors, that was, you know, quite an ordeal they went through and to know where she finally lies and rests, I’m sure it’s very satisfying for them and their families to be able to have some closure.”

 

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