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An itch you’ve gotta scratch

Ever had an itch so bad that, no matter what, you must stop whatever you’re doing and scratch it? If you have, you’ll understand the behaviour of this elephant, pictured at Pilanesburg National Park, South Africa. Trouble is, when you’re out on the plains, and you’re that big, your options for soothing that itch are limited. Now, a male African elephant weights between 1800 and 6300kgs (2 and 7 tons).

So when this largest of all land animals chose a nearby Volkswagen Polo to rub itself against, you can imagine the horror of the young couple who were travelling in it. Park rangers witnessed the couple’s distress but were unable to shoo the animal away until, itch relieved, it ambled off. Fortunately the car’s occupants escaped uninjured although, as you can imagine, they were very shocked.

The car meanwhile, had its roof crushed, every window smashed and its tyres punctured by the beast’s sheer bulk.

Using those 9 lives

Staying firmly within the animal kingdom, we move way lower down the weight scale. At no more than a few ounces, a tiny kitten is vulnerable and helpless. One black and white baby cat proved surprisingly tough, after surviving a trip under the bonnet of a car.

Driver Steven Goldstraw was on his way home in his Renault Clio, having just taken his dog to the park, when he heard a strange sound above the noise of the engine. He lifted the bonnet and discovered a tiny black and white cat staring back at him.

Steven took pity on the creature and, after waiting for the engine to cool, popped the kitten into a cardboard box he had in the boot, for the drive home.

A visit to the vet confirmed that the animal hadn’t been harmed, and was reckoned to be nine weeks old. A neighbour whose cat has just had kittens has taken the feline, now named ‘Lucky’, and she has become part of the litter.

Maserati police car

Giving your local police a helping hand can only be a good thing. Or at least that was the line taken by the owner of a Maserati in Braintree, Massachusetts. He attracted the attention of the local force because he’d decked out his two-door performance coupe to resemble a police cruiser.

Maserati 'Decepticon' police car

He’d had it painted matt black with white doors, and put the ‘911’ emergency phone number on its flanks. As a finishing touch, he’d added the words ‘speed enforcement’ to the rear bumper.

Look closely, though, at our picture and you’ll notice that it has ‘decepticons’ painted where a pukka cruiser would have the word ‘police’.

And, as any seven-year-old will affirm, ‘decepticons’ are the villains in the Transformers movie franchise. Those in the know affirm that this car is painted to resemble a Transformer called Barricade.

Deputy police chief told his local newspaper, the Patriot Ledger ,http://www.patriotledger.com/ that its driver said he believed he was helping the local force because other drivers slowed down when they spotted the Maser.

The officers weren’t impressed, however, and the driver faced a charge of impersonating the police. The court, however, dropped the charge after hearing that the owner, Zhang Zhijun, aged 23, had never pretended to be a cop; besides, the words ‘Decepticons punish and enslave’ emblazoned on the vehicle’s doors rather gave the game away.

 

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