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San Antonio’s Mutant Ninja Sewer Turtle

SAWS sewer turtle videoFrom this angle, I can’t quite tell if this is Michaelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, or Donatello! A few mutant Ninja skills might have helped this fully grown, totally stuck turtle found trapped inside a Texas sewer pipe. The San Antonio Water System’s snaking sewer camera caught the oddball obstruction during a routine sewer line check.

It took hours of dirty digging and dismantling to free the native “red-eared slider” who was then safely relocated to a nearby pond.

Here is a screenshot from the camera video (I guess they don’t have spell-check on those rigs!) which can be seen in total on the San Antonio Water System’s Facebook page. Also, see www.kens5.com for the complete video of this story as seen on the local news broadcast.

SAWS sewer turtle rescue

SAWS sewer turtle rescue

SAWS sewer turtle

Par-tay! Croc Inna House!

If you really want to  get the party started, how about throwing on a skimpy bikini and cage dancing on a crocodile trap, like these blon…uh, spirited young Australian ladies? Despite ongoing and frequent warnings in the media and from wildlife officials, it seems the lure of croc-infested waters is too strong for for exuberant partiers and sportsmen to resist.

From a November 19 story at www.netnews.com.au,

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ANOTHER photo has emerged of more “idiots” risking life and limb by larking about atop a crocodile trap in the Territory.

These bikini-clad ladies were spotted singing in the rain, using champagne bottles as microphones, while standing on a croc trap in a crocodile-infested river in Maningrida.

Their mates were in a fishing boat several metres away taking photos.

The image, taken at the weekend, surfaced yesterday – a day after the Northern Territory News published a picture on the front page of two male tourists tempting fate by doing a similar thing at Jim Jim Falls in Kakadu National Park.

The hooligans were laughing and joking as they posed as cowboys riding atop the trap.

Park ranger and crocodile expert Garry Lindner said the behaviour of the men was absurd.

“Crocs are attracted to the bait in the traps, so it is extremely dangerous to fool around like this,” he said.

Read the rest of the story here, where they have thoughtfully included these witty obervations from readers:

One reader suggested the photo caption should have read: “Dinner is served! Tonight’s menu features two courses of stupid.”

And another browser said: “I don’t know about a croc trap but it certainly works as a moron trap.”

Also worth perusing is the “Croc Bait” photo gallery at ntnews.com.au where you’ll find this hysterical photo series with captions: (All photos by Doron Aviguy)

Fisherman Novon Mashiah thinks he's safe from this croc on a Territory river.

Fisherman Novon Mashiah thinks he is safe from this croc on a Territory river.

But the croc thinks he might not be so safe.

But the croc thinks he might not be so safe.

This monster croc came within a metre of making a meal of fisherman Novon Mashiah on a Territory river.

This monster croc came within a metre of making a meal of fisherman Novon Mashiah on a Territory river.

Who Says Turkeys Can’t Swim?

As you’re pondering what to do with all that leftover Thanksgiving turkey, ponder this from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. In the Letters section of the October 2008 Conservationist:

One morning my daughter and her friend were canoeing across Little Tupper Lake in the Whitney Wilderness Area when they saw a large bird land in the water and start swimming. They paddled up to take a closer look and were surprised to see that it was a turkey. Fortunately they had a camera with them and were able to snap a couple of quick shots. I’ve never heard of a turkey swimming. Is this usual behavior? Or was the turkey forced into the water to escape some danger? Donald Hughes, Albany, Albany County

What a remarkable photo. Your daughter and friend were very lucky to witness some behavior that is rarely seen. While wild turkeys can swim for short distances, it is not a preferred mode of travel. These large birds are “built” for walking and running on land. When in danger, running, rather than flying, is their preferred mode of escape. However, turkeys have powerful wings and are capable of rapid, short flights that range from several hundred yards to one mile in length.

The fact that your daughter saw the turkey land in the water confirms to me that this was likely a last resort move on the turkey’s part. Most likely the bird was unexpectedly flushed from its location near the shore by a predator or person, took flight to escape, “ran out of gas” half way across the lake and had no choice but to swim for it. -Michael Schiavone, DEC Wildlife Biologist

Who knew? And here’s another sighting from my neck of the woods: from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks:

James Trogdon filmed this oddity at Eldorado Reservoir on May 19, 2007. The turkey flew into a cove and landed in the water, swam 300 yards to shore, and walked out.