QUIRKY WORLD ... Man driving bike in dark hits black cow, dies

USA: A 59-year-old man was killed when the motorcycle he was driving at night collided with a black cow on a blacktopped road.

QUIRKY WORLD ... Man driving bike in dark hits black cow, dies

Kansas Highway Patrol trooper Brant Birney said there were no witnesses when James Zordel hit the cow on a paved rural road about 10km south of Interstate 70 near Russell.

Zordel was driving in the roadway when the incident happened and it is not clear if he was speeding or if the cow suddenly appeared from the side of the road.

“It was dark. He was driving down a blacktop road, and he hit a black cow,” said Birney, adding that exactly what caused the accident may never be known.

Zordel, who was not wearing a helmet, died at the scene.

Ruff and rocky reunion

ENGLAND: A dog that plunged 150ft from a cliff while chasing a rabbit was rescued and reunited with his owners two days later.

Jack, a nine-year-old Jack Russell, was on the South Devon coast path in Noss Mayo, near Plymouth, when he went over the edge.

The following day, a group of local coasteerers — who explore rocky coastlines by jumping off cliffs — spotted Jack trapped in an inaccessible cove 50m below. They called the RSPCA and coastguard rescue teams managed to bring the nervous but unharmed pet up the cliff in an animal bag.

RSPCA inspector Beccy Wadey scanned Jack for a microchip and reached his owners, who are from Ludlow but were staying in North Tawton, Devon. He was reunited with them at RSPCA Little Valley Animal Shelter in Exeter on Friday.

Scary Skyslide

USA: A glass slide perched 1,000ft above the ground on the side of a skyscraper has opened to the public — after terrifying even the most experienced thrill-seekers during preview events.

The Skyslide on the US Bank Tower in LA has a tight bend at the top which ensures sliders slip to the outside edge of the glass tunnel before they drop almost straight down, with near-360-degree views of the surrounding cityscape.

One slider, who thinks nothing of 400ft rollercoasters which hit 160km/h and once found herself using her fingernails to cling to a rock face on a climb without gear, said her hands trembled as she began tearing down the glass, and said it was “absolutely” one of the scariest things she has ever done.

Flood of insight

ENGLAND: A flock of cranes that ended up at the centre of a once-in-200-years flood has given researchers a rare insight into how wildlife copes with extreme weather.

The cranes’ progress was being tracked by researchers from the University of Exeter, the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and RSPB when severe flooding hit the Somerset Levels in 2013.

The study found that the floods forced the cranes out of their usual roosts and feeding sites, and caused them to spend two extra hours a day searching for food along the margins of the flooded areas.

Vet cleared for doing his job

USA: A Boston terrier named Mr Pigglesworth is as frisky as ever — and the Michigan vet who saved his life on a reality TV show has been cleared of misconduct.

The Michigan appeals court has overturned a $500 (€455) fine and probation for Jan Pol, who has a popular show on Nat Geo Wild called The Incredible Dr Pol.

In a 3-0 decision, the appeals court seemed incredulous that Dr Pol was in hot water for saving a dog that was struck by a car.

In 2011, the vet removed Mr Pigglesworth’s badly damaged eye, stitched lacerations in his mouth, and determined that the pelvis would heal without much treatment. “The dog lived. What did I do wrong?” Dr Pol, 73, had said.

Gorgeous goats

LITHUANIA: The village of Ramygala held its annual beauty pageant with the top prize going to a 16-month-old female goat called Demyte, or “Little Spot”.

Around 500 people braved the summer heat to attend the parade in honour of the goat, a traditional symbol of the northern village. The pageant also included a marching band, dancers in fancy costumes and a “king” and “queen” presiding over ceremonies.

It was the first time Demyte’s owner, 74-year-old retired veterinarian Ferdinandas Petkevicius, had won the competition after six years of trying.

“The only thing we didn’t do to prepare the goat for the pageant is we didn’t polish its nails — because we thought of it too late,” said Petkevicius, holding the leash of the winning white goat with black spots, who was decorated with two roses on its head.

Six goats decorated with flowers were paraded on a red carpet before a jury comprising the local MP, the head of the local school, and a cucumber farmer. Several contestants stubbornly refused to walk, having to be carried by their owners.

Cakes, jars of honey, books, and coupons for a haircut were awarded to winners’ owners, before they walked their goats away from a by-then generously stained red carpet.

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