USA: A dog that raced a New York commuter train has a new family-

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QUIRKY WORLD ... Racing puppy on track with new family

USA: A dog that raced a New York commuter train has a new family-

QUIRKY WORLD ... Racing puppy on track with new family

Tie was rescued last week after running alongside a Metro-North Railroad train on a parallel track. About half a dozen trains had to slow down. New York’s Animal Care & Control received about 100 inquiries and three dozen applications for the energetic animal, which is believed to be a shepherd-collie cross.

Engineer Joseph Delia said Tie was running “like she didn’t have a care in the world”. The transit authority said passengers applauded as Tie walked into the arms of police officers at a station in Manhattan. The animal care agency noted it still has lots of other deserving dogs, cats, and rabbits in need of homes.

HELPING HAND

SCOTLAND: The UK’s only female giant panda has been artificially inseminated after she and her intended partner failed to mate naturally.

Edinburgh Zoo bosses were hopeful that Tian Tian would mate with male Yang Guang this year, but moved on to artificial insemination after her hormone levels started to fall quickly.

The procedure was carried out on Sunday using samples from Yang Guang. Experts said they will not know for certain whether Tian Tian is pregnant until she gives birth, which could be in August or September.

VILLAGERS SET ANTS ON RAID SUSPECTS

BOLIVIA: Amazon villagers nearly killed two young men with venomous ants, tying them to a tree swarming with the insects for allegedly stealing three motorcycles, Bolivian authorities said.

One of the men remained in intensive care while the other had required dialysis for kidney failure, Dr Roberto Paz told reporters in Cochabamba.

The venomous ants, of the pseudomyrmex triplarinus species, live in symbiosis with the triplaris tree variety. Their venom has anti-inflammatory properties and is used as a traditional cure for arthritis.

A sister of one of the men told Radio Fides that villagers in Ayopaya held the two men, aged 18 and 19, for nearly three days, freeing them after relatives paid compensation for the motorcycles.

Otherwise, she said, the two would have been killed.

COURTING TROUBLE

USA: A man was arrested after using a stolen car to get to a court appearance in California.

James Manning was taken into custody after police said they received a call from an auto dealership in Redding reporting the vehicle stolen on Friday.

The 2001 Mitsubishi’s GPS indicated it was parked in front of the Tuolumne County courthouse. Officers found the car, which already had a different set of licence plates on it.

Manning’s wife, Teresa Castillo, told officers her husband had bought the car earlier in the day for $200 (€145) so they could drive to his court appearance.

Manning, 49, and his wife were arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft and possession of a controlled substance.

FULL STEAM AHEAD

USA: One of the largest steam locomotives ever built is coming back to life.

The Union Pacific Railroad plans to restore an engine known as a Big Boy. It was a 6,300-horsepower monster designed to drag heavy freight trains over the Wyoming and Utah mountains.

Twenty-five Big Boys were built for the Union Pacific in the 1940s, but they were pushed aside by more efficient diesels by 1960.

The railroad plans to restore Big Boy No 4014, which has been on display at the RailGiants Train Museum in California. It will be towed this month to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where the work will be done at Union Pacific’s steam shop. The project is expected to take three to five years. After that, the locomotive will be used to pull special excursion trains.

NEW RECRUIT

ENGLAND: A wobbly lamb has become the latest member of staff at a National Trust property.

Terence was not expected to survive when he was born at Arlington Court near Barnstaple, Devon. The Jacob sheep, one of twins, struggled to walk and was very small, so was taken from his mother.

He is now being reared by Murray Sharpe, head ranger at Arlington Court, who bottle- feeds him every four hours. Terence spends all his time with Mr Sharpe and travels in his Land Rover across the 2,700-acre estate.

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