Odd Side

Elephant Seals Take Over California Beach During Shutdown

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A colony of elephant seals took over a beach in Northern California during the government shutdown when there was no staff to discourage the animals from congregating in the popular tourist area, an official said.

Now they’re not going anywhere.

About 60 adult seals that gave birth to 35 pups took over a beach in Point Reyes National Seashore, knocking down a fence and moving into the parking lot, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.

The park north of San Francisco is home to a colony of about 1,500 elephant seals that tend to frequent another beach with 100-foot-tall cliffs that keep the animals protected and mostly hidden from the public, said park spokesman John Dell’Osso.

Dell’Osso said it’s likely recent storms and high tides inundated the animal’s normal habitat with water and so they sought a wider swath of dry land around the corner.

But since nobody was at work to address the seal migration, the animals took over. One seal even ventured under a picnic table near a cafe, the newspaper reported.

The elephant seals were lounging in the sand after the park reopened Sunday, leading staff to temporarily close the road to the beach.

Officials have no plans to move the animals while some of them nurse their pups. Staff is considering offering guided tours of the colony.

Police Capture Pair of Runaway Emus in Coastal Texas

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Police in coastal Texas have captured a pair of emus that had escaped from their owner’s backyard.

Emus aren’t permitted in Galveston, but police say a man recently brought the large, flightless birds to the island after the death of his mother. She’d owned them at her home near Houston.

The Galveston County Daily News reports that police recaptured the birds near an elementary school Tuesday morning.

Officials say the birds’ owner didn’t realize Galveston had a ban on emus and that he’s working with authorities to find an off-island home for them.

Police: Would-Be Bank Robber Has Change of Heart

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Police in Massachusetts are looking for a woman they say intended to rob a bank but got cold feet and left without a penny.

Fall River police tell the Herald News the woman walked into the Fall River Municipal Credit Union on a Monday afternoon and approached a teller.

Police say the woman hesitated, told the teller “give me a minute,” and went to a counter and wrote on a piece of paper.

But she ripped up the note, dropped the pieces in the trash and walked out. Bank employees pieced the note together and it said: “Give me the money.”

Anyone who recognizes the woman in surveillance images is asked to contact Fall River police.