Tennessee Police Department Comes Clean, Admits That Meth-Gators Are Not Real

Mickrick/iStock via Getty Images
Mickrick/iStock via Getty Images

After arresting a suspect trying to flush his stash of meth down the toilet earlier this month, the Loretto Police Department in Tennessee posted on Facebook warning people against doing the same, as the drugs could leak into nearby bodies of water and create “meth-gators.”

The post went viral, generating dozens of news reports from New Zealand to China and causing the police force to feel the need to issue a clarification: They were just joking—drug-addicted alligators don’t really exist (that they know of).

“Alas, the meth-gator is not real,” they said in a Facebook post on July 19. “Let’s say that again: THE METH GATOR IS NOT (at this time) REAL. We’ve had to explain that to our cousins across the pond twice.”

Loretto Police Chief Bobby Joe Killen told ABC News that the comment about meth-gators was meant to be a lighthearted way to get people to pay attention to the real message: Don’t flush drugs down the toilet.

“We take our job seriously, but we like to joke amongst ourselves at the department,” Killen said. “When you work eight, 10-hour shifts in our line of work, there are times when we like to laugh a little bit. Otherwise, you take problems home.”

Though Killen doesn’t know of any reports of methed-up animals in the area, gators or otherwise, there are definitely drug-addicted animals elsewhere in the world. One Australian prison even launched a program where staff and inmates help rehabilitate animals like pythons, bearded dragons, and blue-tongue lizards rescued by police during meth-lab raids or found in the area. What does a meth-python act like? Ian Mitchell, a senior overseer for the facility, told The Telegraph the python was more aggressive, confused, and erratic than normal.

The Loretto Police Department is planning to turn the worldwide misunderstanding into a philanthropic endeavor, and they’re hoping to launch a website soon where you can purchase shirts and other items that feature themes from their funniest meth-gator posts. All the proceeds will go to a local charity that supports children affected by drug use.

[h/t ABC News]

You’ll Be Able to Buy Some of Fiona the Hippo’s Poop to Fertilize Your Garden

Mark Dumont, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0
Mark Dumont, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Fiona the hippo has come along way since she was born two months premature at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2017. Today, Fiona is happy and healthy, weighing in at more than 1200 pounds. A hippo that size makes a lot of excrement, and now Fiona fans can purchase some of it to fertilize their gardens, WLWT5 reports.

Fiona produces about 22 pounds of poop a day; just 7 pounds shy of her birth weight. Normally the dung would be sent to a landfill, but as part of its new zero-waste initiative, the Cincinnati Zoo is composting all of its animal waste into fertilizer. Much of it will be added to the zoo's own farm and gardens, but some will also be available to purchase from the zoo's gift shops and online store. The fertilizer will be made from the dung left behind by the hundreds of animals living at the zoo, including Fiona.

The Cincinnati Zoo bills itself as the greenest zoo in the country. In addition to recycling all of its animal waste into compost, it also aims to fill its animal habitats with recycled rain water and grow more food for its animals on its own farm [PDF]. For the zero-waste part of the plan, the zoo plans to repurpose two million pounds of animal feces each year using a combination of on-site and off-site composting.

The zoo is in the process of acquiring the necessary equipment to launch its waste composting program. When the time comes, Fiona will be ready to make her sizable contributions to the project.

[h/t WLWT5]

The Disabled Chihuahua Puppy Who Befriended a Flightless Pigeon Now Has a Tiny Wheelchair

Lundy, the Chihuahua, and his pigeon friend, Herman.
Lundy, the Chihuahua, and his pigeon friend, Herman.
HandicappedPets.com, YouTube

The only thing more heartwarming than an interspecies friendship between a Chihuahua that can’t walk and a pigeon that can’t fly is if the Chihuahua in question happened to own a very tiny wheelchair.

Earlier this month, The Mia Foundation, a nonprofit shelter for special needs animals in Rochester, New York, took to Facebook to share photos of Lundy, a two-month-old Chihuahua without mobility in his back legs, snuggling up with a flightless pigeon named Herman.

"I took Herman out of his playpen to give him some time out and I put him in a dog bed and then I had to tend to Lundy so I put Lundy in with him,” Sue Rogers, who runs the foundation with her husband, Gary, told WHEC. “They just looked really cute together, so I took some pictures and posted them to Facebook and the next morning it was crazy.”

After the post went viral, The Mia Foundation received more than $6000 in monetary donations—and a surprise gift for Lundy. New Hampshire-based pet mobility company Walkin’ Pets provided him with a Mini Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair, a two-wheeled harness meant for disabled animals that weigh between two and 10 pounds. According to a press release from Walkin’ Pets, the shelter had been worried that two-pound Lundy, who could probably fit in the palm of your hand, wouldn’t get the chance to run around with the help of a wheelchair until he grew quite a bit bigger.

lundy the disabled chihuahua with his wheelchair
Lundy patiently waits to try out his new wheelchair.
Walkin' Pets

Newly mobile and even cuter than before, Lundy is now waiting for a kind family to adopt him. Finding a forever home might take him away from his fine feathered friend, but Lundy and Herman’s bond won’t ever be forgotten: There’s now a book called Lundy and Herman that tells their story. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Mia Foundation, and you can order it for $20 here.

[h/t WHEC]

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