Daily Dispatches
A bear named Ze Comeia eats frozen fruit at the city zoo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Associated Press/Photo by Silvia Izquierdo
A bear named Ze Comeia eats frozen fruit at the city zoo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Massive fruit spill cause for celebration at the Oakland Zoo


Animals at the Oakland Zoo indulged in an unexpected treat Wednesday after a truck overturned on Interstate 580 in California. The zoo received about 13,000 pounds of plantains and jackfruit. Bears, giraffes, and elephants feasted on the treats, though zookeepers say some animals were hesitant at first to try the unusual fruits. Only fruit in good condition without major bruising, broken skin, or insects are fed to the animals, according to zoological manager Darren Minier. The Oakland Tribunereports another beneficiary of the fruit fiasco: the Alameda County Food Bank, which received about 35,000 pounds of fruit. The fruit spilled after the truck collided with a pickup on Monday. No one was hurt.Minier said they will keep the fruit as long as it stays fresh: “We don’t want to give our animals too much of a good thing, but if we freeze it we will be able to use it through winter. What fruit is left could be frozen for jackfruit popsicles.”

Otter on the run

An otter who attacked a boy and his grandmother last Thursday is now a fugitive. State and federal wildlife agents want to capture and likely kill the otter, who attacked the two swimmers 30 miles outside of Seattle. “Otters are not known to be aggressive toward people,” said Captain Alan Myers of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. He called this an “extremely rare incident.” The otter offensive left the 8-year-old boy in need of stitches for bites. The grandmother could lose her eye from the attack. Expert trappers will try to catch the 4-foot otter with a foot snare. If it was a female with pups, they may find another location for the otter family. If the otter was a male protecting territory, it will be euthanized because of the liability of trying to relocate a hyper-aggressive animal, according to Myers. The boy’s mother, Tabitha Moser, told a local television station the otter was on top of her son’s head and continued to attack as they left the water: “Even after it got into the river and out of our way it stood on its hind legs looking at us like, ‘Don’t do it again; don’t come in here.”

A case of cold feet

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A Michigan couple had cold feet Saturday at their wedding, but not the hesitant kind. The couple took their vows at the place they first met: an ice rink. The two met in seventh grade. The groom, 23-year-old Ben Sikkenga, is a lifelong hockey player and his now-wife Courtney is his biggest fan. The Muskegon Chronicle reported groomsmen and bridesmaids got dressed in locker rooms at the Lakeshore Sports Centre before skating onto the ice. Guests could sit either in chairs on the ice or on the benches behind the protective glass.  The newlyweds exited under a tunnel of hockey sticks as guests threw sprinkles in the air.

Gas station clerk and martial arts champion knocks out thieves

Some work skills really are transferable. Mayura Dissanyake may work behind the counter as a gas station clerk at a Fuel Depot in Houston. But he’s also a five-time consecutive Mixed Martial Arts national champion. When men tried to rob his co-worker last month, he jumped from behind the counter, kicked one man and punched the other. He said he learned the moves from cage matches. He’s been involved with mixed martial arts for more than a decade and was a five-time national champion in his native Sri Lanka: “We learn how to punch, how to kick and all that stuff you can use in the streets.”

Allie Hulcher
Allie Hulcher

Allie is a World Journalism Institute intern.


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