Odd Side – October 16, 2018

Gecko Pocket Dials ‘Bazillion’ Times From Hawaii Seal Hospital

HONOLULU (AP) – If you got incessant phone calls last week from a hospital that cares for Hawaiian monk seals, you were pocket-dialed.

Or, more specifically, foot-dialed.

By a gecko.

Marine mammal veterinarian Claire Simeone was at lunch when she got a call from Ke Kai Ola, the Big Island hospital where she’s director. There was silence on the other end. Nine more silent calls followed. Fearing a seal emergency, she rushed back.

She wasn’t the only one getting calls, and people started asking why the hospital was calling non-stop.

Trying to figure out why a “bazillion” calls were made from one line, she called the phone company and a rep tried to talk her through finding a possible line on the fritz. She walked into a lab and found the culprit. The gecko was perched on a phone, making calls to everyone in the recent call history with “his tiny gecko feet,” she wrote in a Twitter thread the next day, detailing the saga.

Some people offered jokes about a certain company’s gecko calling to save you money on your car insurance.

After discovering the mystery caller, Simeone caught the gecko and put it outside on a plant, she said Tuesday.

“If there’s a little gecko that helps us share the story of conservation, then that’s a win,” she said of the work she does caring for the endangered seals. “I think people needed a little pick me up with the news cycle.”

Giant Hammer Artwork Stolen in Northern California

HEALDSBURG, Calif. (AP) – Authorities in Northern California are looking for a hammer. A really, really big one.

The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says police in Healdsburg in California’s wine country are looking for an enormous artwork that vanished over the weekend. The artwork was an 800-pound ball-peen hammer made of metal with a long redwood handle. The hammer measures 21 feet long and the head is 6 feet tall.

The piece, valued at $15,000, was loaned by the artist about a year ago to the Healdsburg Community Center. It vanished from the lawn sometime Friday night or Saturday morning.

The artist, Doug Unkrey, says it would have required about eight people or a flatbed trailer with a winch to carry off his work.

Police, of course, want to nail the thieves.

Restaurant Offers Free Steak Tips for Tips on Burglar

RAYMOND, N.H. (AP) – A New Hampshire restaurant is offering free steak tips to anyone with tips on a recent burglary at their location.

Police say a man broke into Tuckaway Tavern and Butchery in Raymond around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday and stole more than $25,000.

The man was captured on surveillance video entering the closed restaurant with a crowbar, and a restaurant manager says one of their safes was broken into.

The restaurant says it is offering a $2,000 cash reward and free steak tips for the duration of the burglar’s sentence to anyone who helps police catch the man.

Dutch Jogger Runs Into Lion Cub

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – A jogger’s run through the Dutch countryside turned into a walk on the wild side when he discovered a lion cub in a field.

Police say the young cub was found Sunday in a cage dumped in a field near Tienhoven between the central cities of Utrecht and Hilversum.

Police have taken to Twitter to appeal for help in tracing the animal’s owner, while the young cub, a male believed to be about five months old, is being cared for by a foundation that looks after big cats.