Freedom-Loving Animals Face Obstacles

by Kevin Burton

   In my zeal to bring you the most up-to-date news about our two cats, I’m afraid I’ve been lax in reporting on the rest of the animal kingdom.

   I sincerely apologize for this, though I am sure you can understand how it could happen. But not to fear, your wait is over.

   All reports are courtesy United Press International unless otherwise indicated. We lead things off with a question:

   Are any of your kangaroos missing?

   A driver in Denmark captured video of a kangaroo hopping loose next to a road Monday morning and local police said they do not know where the animal came from.

   South Zealand and Lolland-Falster police said in a Facebook post that a driver contacted officers Monday morning to report spotting the kangaroo next to a road in Oster Ulslev, Lolland, at about 8 a.m.

   The nearby Knuthenborg Safari Park said a Monday count of its kangaroos confirmed none of the animals was missing.

   Police are hoping the owner of the kangaroo will come forward to assist with the capture. They are concerned for the safety of the animal, as well as the safety of drivers, if the marsupial wanders into a roadway.

    Meanwhile one animal in Australia found freedom wasn’t all he had hoped for.    

   Keepers at an Australian zoo faced a dangerous situation when an alligator used floodwaters to escape from its enclosure and ended up trapped between fences.

   The Australian Reptile Park in Somersby, New South Wales, said floodwaters allowed a male American alligator to cross an internal boundary fence but the large reptile then found it was trapped between the boundary and a second fence.

   Jake Meney, the zoo’s head reptile keeper, said workers had to lift the alligator back into the enclosure by hand.

   Meney told the rains complicated the rescue operation by making both the ground and the alligator “incredibly slippery.” 

   “You never really know the temperament of an alligator, so although this guy was pretty happy to be relocated, we have to be prepared for him to change his mind at any stage,” Meney said.

   And if you’re one of those people who can’t tell an alligator from a crocodile here’s a tip; just look for the motorcycle tire. 

   This story from Indonesia is courtesy of The Associated Press. 

   A wild crocodile with a used motorcycle tire stuck around its neck for six years has finally been freed by an Indonesian bird catcher.

   The 14.8-foot saltwater female crocodile has become an icon to the people in Palu, the capital city of Central Sulawesi. The beast was seen on the city’s river with the tire around its neck becoming increasingly tighter, running the risk of choking her.

   Conservation officials have tried to rescue the crocodile since residents spotted the reptile in 2016.

   In early January, 35-year-old bird catcher and trader Tili, who recently moved to the city, heard about the famous crocodile from his neighbors and determined to rescue the reptile after he saw her frequently sunbathing at a nearby estuary.

   “I have experiences and skills in catching animals, not only birds, but farm animals that are released from the cage,” Tili, who goes by a single name, told The Associated Press. “I believe I can rescue the crocodile with my skills.”

   He stringed ropes of various sizes into a trap tied to a tree near the river, and laid chickens, ducks and birds as bait. After three weeks of waiting and several failed attempts, the crocodile finally fell into the trap Monday night. With the help of two of his friends, Tili pulled the trapped crocodile ashore and sawed through the tire, which was 1.6 feet in diameter.

   Residents then contacted firefighters and a wildlife conservation agency to help them release the animal back into the wild.

   Haruna Hamma, who heads Central Sulawesi province’s conservation agency, said it was unclear how a used motorcycle tire got stuck around the crocodile’s neck.

   Conservationists have said that it was likely deliberately placed by people in a failed attempt to trap it as a pet or skin it for sale, but crocodiles and other swimming reptiles often travel into garbage-studded waters with nothing to stop a tire from encircling them, Hamma said.

   Meanwhile a young leopard also had a brush with human junk, but had a much shorter time wearing a man-made accessory.

   Animal rescuers in India assisted a leopard cub seen wandering for at least 48 hours with a plastic jar stuck over its head.

   Forest officials and personnel from local group Wild Animal and Reptile Rescue said they spent about 48 hours searching for the leopard cub after it was spotted with the jar on its head in the Thane District.

   The cub was located in Goregaon village, and the rescuers were able to remove the jar.  Rescue team members said the big cat had been unable to eat or drink water for at least two days.

   The leopard was taken to Sanjay Gandhi National Park to be evaluated by veterinarians. The cub will be released back into the wild once it has been cleared by medical staff.

   There you have it, your animal kingdom update, a happy ending and the new jar-over-your-head diet craze, all in one post.

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