QUIRKY WORLD ... Sap jailed for treemendously dangerous felling

USA: A Pennsylvania man who believed sap from a tree next door was ruining his car chopped the tree down, causing the tree to crash into an apartment building he owns, damaging it so badly it had to be condemned.

Five others who lived in the building are now homeless.

Raymond Mazzarella, 51, has been in Luzerne County jail on reckless endangerment and other charges following the incident in Pittston Township. He is also charged with aggravated assault after allegedly getting into a fight with a neighbour.

A township code official says the tree was not on Mazzarella’s property, but its branches were hanging over his parking place.

Pre-death funeral

Bosnia: A childless couple have staged and attended their own funeral, saying they wanted it to be an opportunity to celebrate life with friends and family.

Dragan Maric, 61, and his 65-year-old wife Dragica had sent invites to their pretend funeral and some 200 people turned up.

During the ceremony at a cemetery in the northern village of Pojezdina, Maric held a speech about the couple’s love-filled life.

The ‘mourners’ then proceeded to a traditional post-burial feast in a restaurant which turned into an all-night celebration with music and dancing.

Maric said: “We do not have children so we had to organise a proper funeral for ourselves before we die. Our only obligation now is to die when our time comes and that is just a formality.”

From pennies to millions

USA: A Hawaii woman has won over $10m (€8.9m) playing the penny slots in Las Vegas.

The unidentified woman from Oahu won a total payout of $10,777,270.51 after betting $3 on a penny slot machine.

The jackpot happened about 9pm on Sunday at the Strip casino on an IGT Megabucks Wynn Wheel slots machine.

Cat monkeys about

Russia: A cat has adopted a baby squirrel monkey after he was abandoned by his mother at a zoo, comforting the little primate by letting him cling to her back for warmth.

Tatyana Antropova, the director of the zoo in the Siberian city of Tyumen, saysthat she took the newborn monkey home three weeks ago after his mother refused to carry him on her back.

To Antropova’s surprise, her 16-year-old cat Rosinka accepted the baby, who is called Fyodor. By now, though, the elderly cat is getting a bit tired of the little monkey because he “is getting naughty” and “has started biting and pinching her”.

The cat just has to hold out for another month, when Fyodor will go back to the zoo to live with other squirrel monkeys.

Pig pegs it

USA: A Pennsylvania couple is offering a $500 reward for the safe return of their missing potbellied pig, who also serves as a therapy animal.

The Vietnamese potbellied pig named Charlotte was last seen July 11.

Charlotte served as a therapy animal at Beaver Elder Care and Rehab Centre in Hopewell Township, where she helped cheer up residents.

Katie Manni and her fiance, Edward Perry, got Charlotte in February when she was six weeks old.

The pig was left in a car with a pair of pugs for about 10 minutes in July while Perry ran into the centre to get keys from Manni, who directs nurses there.

Manni says someone might have opened the car door to help Charlotte get out or to see her up close, and the pig escaped.

Ducking out

Scotland: Police are hunting thieves who stole more than 200 ducks from a farm.

The 230 ducks were taken from a shed and police believe they were rounded up and loaded into a vehicle such as a pick-up truck or van.

The birds are valued at a low four-figure sum.

They were stolen in the early hours from a poultry farm near Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire.

Police officer Marc Camus said: “Due to the number of ducks taken it is believed that a vehicle similar in size to a pick-up truck or a transit van would have been sufficient to transport the animals.

“The breeds of ducks taken are not common and are difficult to source. The ducks may therefore be offered for sale to other poultry farmers.”

That snakey feeling

USA: A large snake believed to be lurking along a riverbank in Maine does not appear to be a fan of Donald Trump.

In a Twitter account created for the snake dubbed Wessie by people in Westbrook, Maine, Wessie P Thon says it would like to give the Republican presidential nominee a “really long hug”.

The reptile created a media sensation when it was seen earlier this summer eating a beaver along a riverbank in Westbrook.


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