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Weekly weird news

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Sunday, November 13, 2011 - 9:15 am

Cat comes down from cactus after 3 days

SAGUARO LAKE, Ariz. — A lot of cats get stuck in trees, but an Arizona kitty was perched atop a giant saguaro cactus for at least three days before finally coming down on its own.

Residents living in a desert area northeast of Phoenix noticed the black cat with white patches at the very top of the 30- to 40-foot cactus.

At times, the feline would stand up and survey the area, possibly trying to figure out how to get down — or how it got up there.

Helicopter video shows the cat eventually climbing down the cactus Friday. It started making its way down head-first before turning around and scooting backward. It finally took a big leap and landed on its feet before wandering into the desert.

Ex-NBA center riding high after stolen bike found

MURRAY, Utah — At 7-foot-6, former NBA center Shawn Bradley needs just about everything custom-made, from clothes and chairs to countertops and doorways.

It's why he was bummed when his custom-build Trek road bicycle, complete with an 80 centimeter carbon fiber-aluminum frame, was stolen last Nov. 4.

“There's no way they could have ridden it away,” Bradley said Thursday morning. “It's kind of baffling. I think it will turn up.”

He was right.

A random search of a residence by state probation and parole officials turned up the bike Thursday afternoon in the town of Murray, where Bradley has a home, police said. Joshua Carter, 34, was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property and felony theft, Murray police Sgt. Brian Wright said.

Bradley, who has been riding the bicycle since packing on the pounds after his retirement following 13 NBA seasons, was thrilled at the news.

Authorities wouldn't reveal a motive for the theft, but Bradley speculated that anybody who took it simply was looking for something they could pawn for quick cash.

They certainly weren't going to ride it — as it is about 50 percent larger than what a normal-sized person would ride. Trek never even included a serial number when it built the bike in 2005 because it is so unique.

Rodeo bull freed from giant tire

HONOLULU — A rodeo bull in Hawaii appears comfortable again after spending about 20 hours with his head stuck in a giant tire.

The 800-pound bull, named Skywalker, couldn't eat or drink after he got his head lodged in the truck tire that someone dumped at the Triple L Ranch in Maui, ranch owner Paige De Ponte said.

“He was uncomfortable and it took all day to get him out,” she said Wednesday.

No one could get near the cranky bull Tuesday until Skywalker became exhausted enough for ranch worker Kawika Manoa to use a piece of wood to pry off the tire, which weighs more than 50 pounds. Skywalker didn't put up a fight and then went straight for the water trough after being released from the rubber ring, De Ponte said.

She didn't know how the tire ended up around Skywalker's neck, but she said she hopes his plight will raise awareness about using the rural Kanaio area, in the upcountry region of the island, as a dumping ground.

Lion tranquilized outside den at Seattle zoo

SEATTLE — A lion got out of its den at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, but it didn't get far before it was tranquilized in a service building.

The zoo says the 12-year-old female named Kalisa gained access to a hallway Tuesday afternoon. The zoo's emergency response team of firearms units and veterinary staff immediately responded with tranquilizer darts.

She was secured in about an hour. Two other lions remained in their dens during Kalisa's brief escape.

The zoo is investigating how she made her break.

NC town with no candidates counts write-in votes

TAR HEEL, N.C. — One North Carolina town won't let a lack of candidates stand in the way of democracy.

Voters in the Bladen County town of Tar Heel cast their ballots last week. All the election's votes were write-in votes because no one registered to run for office.

The rural town of about 117 residents has four part-time elected positions. Bladen County Board of Elections officials say there were clear winners in all the races, with about 10 names being written in by voters.

Officials now have to make sure that the top vote-getters live inside town limits and are willing to accept the jobs.

Fleeing suspect found in leaf pile

HASTINGS, Mich. — Police investigating an alarm at a Michigan restaurant used a thermal imaging device to find a fleeing suspect hiding in a pile of leaves.

When the man was discovered concealed under leaves in a bush in Hastings, near Grand Rapids, he ran off again — and jumped into a river.

Police arrested the suspect after he went to a nearby motel to change his clothes. Officers found a backpack belonging to the man that contained waste from methamphetamine production and say he likely was making meth in the motel room.

The man is being held on a probation violation. He is expected to face drug charges.