M. Alex Johnson – Journalist at Large

An analog journalist in a digital world

Posts Tagged ‘animals-in-the-news

Police Blotter of the Day: Bay Area man accused of skinning, eating bobcat

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Where I come from, that verb would be “applauded for.”

Investigators said the bobcat made five of Henry Arnibal’s 50 roosters into a tasty meal.

Arnibal was not pleased with the bobcat eating his roosters, so the Morgan Hill man shot the big cat with a .22-caliber rifle and turned the tables, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Steve Lowney said.

Prosecutors said Arnibal used tools to skin the bobcat before eating it.

Eating a bobcat is not illegal, but it is against the law to kill one, Lowney said.

Prosecutors said Arnibal was high on methamphetamine when he killed and ate the bobcat.

Full story (KCRA-TV of Sacramento, Calif.)

Written by Alex

November 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Why I Love Local News: Bull semen forces closure of interstate ramp

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Canisters of bull semen caused quite a scare on the on-ramp to Interstate 65 South Tuesday morning.

The canisters fell off a Greyhound bus just after 5 a.m. as the bus traveled around the curve of the ramp just south of downtown Nashville.

Fire and emergency crews were called to the scene amid reports of a foul odor. …

Officials traced the containers to Greyhound after finding bus tickets on the ground. The bus did not know it lost its load and had continued on. …

Greyhound said the sperm was stored in a separate compartment below the bus and not near the belongings of passengers.

Well, that’s a relief. 

Full story (WKRN-TV of Nashville, Tenn.)

Written by Alex

August 24, 2011 at 12:33 pm

(Bonus) Police Blotter of the Day: Idaho residents annoyed by neighbor in bunny suit

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“Police in Idaho Falls have told a 34-year-old man to stop wearing his bunny suit in public because it was annoying his neighbors and frightening their children.

“A police report says officers responded Monday after a resident reported her son had been frightened by William Falkingham wearing a black bunny costume and hiding behind a tree pointing his finger at the boy like it was a gun. …

“They also reported he occasionally wears a tutu with the costume.”

Full story (AP via KHQ-TV)

Written by Alex

August 2, 2011 at 11:22 am

Reporting: Deadly virus hits horse circuit

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KSL-TV's Nadine Wimmer reportsCross-posted from msnbc.com, where it originally appeared. To read it in context, with all information boxes and art, click here.

Alice Rieckman has spent most of her life as a horsewoman. She runs Rieckman’s Arabians, a horse farm in Kennewick, Wash. Horses are constantly being brought in for training sessions and care or heading out for shows, but right now, none are being allowed into or out of the farm.

Washington is one of nine Western states where equine herpes virus 1, or EHV-1, has spread since it was first detected in early May at the National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championship show in Ogden, Utah. So far 75 horses have been infected, 12 of which have been put down, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

None of the horses are at Rieckman’s Arabians, but Rieckman is taking no chances. She has quarantined the farm to make sure no horse that could have been at the show or exposed to one of them can endanger her animals.

“It really would be devastating to lose one or to have them get sick, because they can’t help themselves,” she said. “You know, they depend on us to keep them well.”

With the opening of the summer horse season under way, breeders, owners and exhibitors are deeply concerned. The National Cutting Horse Association has canceled all events nationwide through mid-June, hoping to to keep the virus in check.

Read the rest of this entry »

Great Moments in Journalism: Camel eats reporter’s hair

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“You never know what might happen when you’re reporting on a farm.

“WWBT reporter Tara Morgan learned that lesson the hard way. While working on a story in Hanover County, VA, a camel started eating her hair. …”

Full story (WWBT-TV of Richmond, Va.)

Written by Alex

May 13, 2011 at 10:45 am

Cops Blotter of the Day: Cow pulls Walmart milk heist

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“The cow entered the Walmart on all fours about 10:35 p.m. Tuesday night. And though you’d think cows might already have access to milk, this one snatched 26 gallons of the stuff, nudged a cart outside of the Walmart and started trying to give it away.

“The cow then fled on hoof and escaped. And in the final irony, he was captured a short time later outside a hamburger restaurant. …

“[T]he suspect was not a cow, but allegedly an 18-year-old Stafford man in a cow suit, according to Bill Kennedy, the spokesman for the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office. …

“There is, unfortunately, no surveillance video of any of this.”

Full story (Washington Post)

Written by Alex

April 28, 2011 at 10:19 am

Why I Love Local News: N.C. towns greet new year with giant pickle, flea

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Update 2:45 p.m. ET: BREAKING NEWS BULLETIN: The Mount Olive Pickle Drop will be live streamed! (http://malexj.tk/k9; 3:45 p.m. ET)


I, um, I remember the Brasstown Possum.

In North Carolina, nothing says “Happy New Year” like a giant pickle. Except maybe a giant flea.

Towns and cities across the state are planning to welcome 2011 with their own distinct variations on the world-famous Times Square ball drop.

Raleigh will drop its famous acorn, while the Cumberland County town of Eastover will drop a 3-foot-tall, 30-pound flea made of fabric and wood.

A celebration in Kure Beach will include the dropping of a giant lighted beach ball. And in the Clay County community of Brasstown, people will gather for the annual lowering of the possum. …

Full story (AP via WNCN-TV/Raleigh, N.C.)

Written by Alex

December 31, 2010 at 11:40 am