ODDS AND ENDS: Drunk driving elephants and other offbeat offerings

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Did you know you can’t drink and ride an elephant at the same time in Sri Lanka?

That’s because the country is trying to preserve the lives of elephants and other animals under its new animal protection law. According to AFP, Sri Lankan officials will now issue biometric identity cards for captive elephants while also banning their riders from drinking on the job.

Elephants are often kept as pets by wealthy Sri Lankans in an effort to show off their riches. With this often comes widespread complaints of animal cruelty.

The new law is designed to improve the lives of animals — particularly working elephants. AFP reported there are currently about 200 domesticated elephants in Sri Lanka, with 7,500 living in the wild.


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All owners of domesticated elephants must ensure their animals have new ID cards with a DNA stamp.

There are stricter rules under the regulation, such as a ban on baby elephants for work and logging elephants cannot work over four hours a day.

Elephant owners must also send the animals for a medical check-up every six months. Violators of the law could face three years behind bars and the loss of their elephants to state care.

The brown bear welcomes, waves a paw.
The brown bear welcomes, waves a paw. Photo by File Photo /Getty Images


You can sue for just about anything in the United States.

In this case, a California man is suing a condominium after a trip and fall as a result of being scared by a bear in a dumpster.

According to USA Today, California resident John Donaldson was a tourist at a condo in Nevada 2019 when he went to throw away a doggy bag in a dumpster. When he opened the lid of the garbage receptacle, he was startled by a bear inside.


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Running away from the large animal, Donaldson reportedly tripped, twisted his ankle and landed on his back in the process. The bear ended up wandering the condo grounds for a few minutes before heading back into his home base in the woods.

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The man suffered a full tear of his Achilles tendon and spinal cord compression from the fall which all required surgery, according to court documents. Donaldson has now filed a lawsuit against the condo and Nevada’s waste management for a “defective and malfunction dumpster.”

The lawsuit claims the condo owners knew for months about a defective latch on the dumpster and was required by law to have a wildlife-proof dumpster because of the bear problem in the area.

Donaldson hopes to get $15,000 in damages.


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A Giant African land snail found was found inside a package in Britain.
A Giant African land snail found was found inside a package in Britain. Photo by Screenshot /RSPCA


Snail mail was taken quite literally in Britain recently.

According toUPI, a large African land snail was found in an unmarked box while being sorted at a package distribution centre. RSPCA inspector Richard Durant was sent to the distribution centre in Hinckley, Leicestershire, after employees found the box, which had no address or labelling.

“The workers found an unmarked box containing a giant African land snail amongst the boxes ready to be distributed for delivery across the country. When they realized there was this giant snail inside, they contacted us for help,” said Durant.

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The snail was found to be in good health and sent to an exotic animals centre for care. Durant said officials are trying to find out where the snail came from.

Durant noted African land snails are kept as pets, but they are rare to come across, especially at a mail sorting facility.


Talk about a big spender!

A customer who dined at the Wahoo Seafood Grill in Gainsville, Fla., recently recognized the hard work of restaurant staff by leaving one hell of a tip.

In an Instagram post, Wahoo Seafood Grill stated a customer recently asked to speak with all the staff recently while dining in the restaurant. After gathering in the main dining area, the staff was thanked by the unnamed man “for showing up and working hard.”

The satisfied diner then said he would be tipping the 10 workers $1,000 each. In total, that’s a $10,000 tip.


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“I’m not usually an emotional guy, but this really got me. I’m blown away. We’re ALL blown away by his generosity,” wrote Shawn Shepherd, the restaurant’s owner.

Shepherd noted the last 18 months hasn’t been easy on the restaurant industry because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The man’s “incredible act of kindness” has restored faith in humanity, he said.



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