Keep an eye on your boots and toast

Burt's Eye View

Welcome to another episode of “Animals Behaving Badly.” The guest stars on this week’s episode include international shoe thief foxes, a laundered snake and emus banned from a bar.

Let’s welcome our first guest:

* In late July, a fox in Berlin, Germany, was busted for theft — of more than 100 shoes.

Footwear left outside disappeared. A resident who lay in wait finally caught the thief red-snouted — a fox hot-footing it away with a pair of flip-flops in its mouth. Trailing the critter to its hideout revealed a booty of sneakers, clogs, Crocs and sandals — none in the fox’s size.

A year ago in Melbourne, a security camera captured a fox stealing boots off a woman’s porch.

* A wild turkey, not COVID-19, shut down Morcom Rose Garden park in Oakland, Calif., this month. News reports state that neighborhood residents liked the turkey — until mating season rolled around. Then the big gobbler went crazy. If you weren’t a hen, he’d peck you right out of what he considered his private preserve.

Oakland Animal Services said the bird would be relocated. It was not mentioned if he will be invited to Thanksgiving dinner.

* In Michigan, a bald eagle destroyed a drone piloted by the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy — EGLE.

State officials said the drone was mapping shoreline erosion in the Upper Peninsula when the eagle tore a propeller off of the $950 mechanical interloper and drove it to a watery doom in Lake Michigan.

EGLE officials quipped that they contacted the Michigan Department of Natural Resources “to see if it might issue a citation or violation notice to the rogue eagle.”

* On Aug. 7 in West Palm Beach, Fla., a woman opened the lid of her washing machine to discover a snakeskin had been left inside. When she reached for the fabric, it slithered. The snakeskin was genuine — and the python was still using it.

A building maintenance crew evicted the reptile, noting that snakes were not permitted as pets in the apartment complex. The woman, who told news outlets that she screamed her lungs out, couldn’t agree more.

* LiMu Emu, star of TV commercials with his partner, Doug, isn’t the only 6-foot-tall flightless bird running amok.

On Aug. 11, animal control wranglers captured an emu galavanting through the neighborhoods of Paterson, N.J. A week earlier, the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office in Wyoming was dispatched for an “emu on the loose call.” And an emu eluded Doncaster, England, authorities for a week after a resident reported that her pet bird had flown, er, run the coop.

But in Queensland, Australia, local birds Kevin and Carol were banned from the Yaraka Hotel pub. The critters were cute and beloved — until they learned to climb the front steps. Then they strutted around the pub, swiping food from plates, snitching toast from the toaster and leaving bird droppings everywhere.

“They’re enormous, very large and very smelly, and they created great stains,” pub owner Gerry Gimblett told Guardian Australia.

She did not say if the birds ran up a bar tab — or told anyone how to save lots of money on their car insurance.

• Share animal tales with Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.


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