Dogs sitting in back of van

News of the Weird: Wildlife Edition

Bits and pieces of the bizarre, the horrific and the downright puzzling scooped up from various parts of the web so you don’t have to. Yer welcome.

They say cars and animals don’t mix. We beg to differ. Herewith, our round up of some of the strangest auto-fauna stories out there.

Elk freed after 2 years of roaming Colorado with car tire around neck

Wildlife officials in Colorado say an elusive elk that has been wandering the hills with a car tire around its neck for at least two years has finally been freed of the obstruction.

The 4½-year-old, 600-pound bull elk was spotted near Pine Junction, southwest of Denver, on Saturday evening and tranquilized, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Officers with the agency had to cut off the elk’s five-point antlers to remove the encumbrance because they couldn’t slice through the steel in the bead of the tire. 

 “We would have preferred to cut the tire and leave the antlers for his rutting activity, but the situation was dynamic and we had to just get the tire off in any way possible,” officer Scott Murdoch said. 

Murdoch and fellow officer Dawson Swanson estimated the elk shed about 35 pounds (16 kilograms) with the removal of the tire, the antlers and debris inside the tire.

Wildlife officers first spotted the elk with the tire around its neck in July 2019 on a trail cam while conducting a population survey for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goats in the Mount Evans Wilderness. They say they have seen deer, elk, moose, bears and other wildlife become entangled in a number of items, including swing sets, hammocks, clotheslines, decorative or holiday lighting, furniture, tomato cages, chicken feeders, laundry baskets, soccer goals and volleyball nets.

Source: Elk freed after 2 years of roaming Colorado with car tire around neck (autoblog.com)

Squirrel stashes 42 gallons of walnuts in a Chevrolet Avalanche

Built from 2001 to 2013, the Chevrolet Avalanche was a segment-bending cross between a pickup and an SUV that could carry a wide variety of items thanks to its clever Midgate system. What no one at Chevrolet bothered to figure out is how many gallons of walnuts can be stored behind the truck’s body panels, but a North Dakota man found the answer thanks to a red squirrel hoarding food for the winter.

Billy Fischer was stunned to find his second-generation Avalanche brimming with black walnuts. They were all over the engine bay, including behind the radiator and around the battery, and dozens were hidden in and under the body panels. He quickly realized that a red squirrel had spent several days carrying them from a tree in his yard to the truck-turned-buffet, where it hoped to live and feast during the winter months.

Squirrels aren’t very talkative, so we don’t know why it chose the Avalanche over any of the other cars in the tree’s vicinity. We’re guessing the cavernous engine bay was better suited to becoming a pantry than, say, one sized for a Subaru flat-four. Regardless, Fischer ended up having to dismantle most of the truck’s front end (including the fenders, the grille, and the bumper) to take the walnuts out, but some were stashed in places only a squirrel could reach. “I still have some rolling around the frame, rail wells as well, that I can’t get at,” he told the Fargo-based Grand Forks Herald. At least it sounds like the squirrel was so busy hoarding food that he forgot to chew up the wiring.

Fischer pulled out about 42 gallons (or about 150 pounds) of walnuts, a number that’s even more impressive when you consider the squirrel likely brought them in one at a time. He’s giving the paw-picked bunch away on Facebook; black walnuts are edible raw or cooked.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen evidence that cars and rodents don’t mix. Every year when fall begins to settle in, squirrels and other rodents look for a warm, safe place to store food and spend the winter, and cars are ideal candidates because they’re full of nooks and crannies. If you park outside, especially if your car sits for several days at a time, take a peek under the hood to make sure it’s not being reclaimed by furry squatters. While taking apart a truck’s front end is annoying, dealing with a chewed-through wiring harness is even worse.

Source: Squirrel stashes 42 gallons of walnuts in a Chevrolet Avalanche (autoblog.com)

Toyota HiAce Dog Van has special dog seat and custom bed

If you are a dog owner, you know that driving with your puppy can be a joy or a complete fiasco, sometimes on the same trip. At least in Japan, there is now a way to make transporting your pooch easier, as the Flex dealer network offers a customized Toyota HiAce with the obvious name Dog Van.

An important part of the customization is the modular bed which has eight moving parts. It can adjust in height according to the size of your dog’s crate. If your puppy prefers to walk around the cabin, a mat can sit on the flat part to give your furry baby a place to lie down.

9 Pictures

There is also a flat extension that fills the legroom in the second row. This creates more space for your dog to walk around. Owners can pair it with a room that extends all the way to the center console. This allows your puppy to stand between the front seats. There’s even padding and a hook for attaching a leash to keep your pooch in place.

Some smaller upgrades include a cargo mat that has a non-slip treatment, in addition to being antibacterial and fighting odors. A mosquito net allows dogs to get some fresh air without being able to stick their heads out. Homeowners can even add a fan for even more air circulation.

For added style, Flex offers a front spoiler, fender covers and an auxiliary corner mirror for the HiAce. At least your dog would be able to ride in more style.

The HiAce in the pictures has all the features of the Dog Van collection from Flex. However, the company actually offers the parts individually, so a person can configure their Toyota to meet their pup’s needs.

Unfortunately, the HiAce isn’t available in the US, so you can’t get this dog-focused pickup there. The aftermarket industry for puppy-focused upgrades is quite large, however, whatever vehicle you own, there’s likely a way to make it more comfortable for your dog.

Source: Toyota HiAce Dog Van Has Special Doggy Seat And Custom Bed (motor1.com)

Stinking bugs cause headaches for the global supply chain 

Shortages of raw materials, computer chips, labor and almost everything else have caused significant disruption to the global supply chain since the heyday of the pandemic, but new problems have arisen. Australia, And this time it’s one of the excesses. Of what do you ask? A stinking bug. An invasive and nasty stinking bug.

The presence of the brown marmorated stink bug delayed the import of cars into Australia by up to a month. ABC news ReportThe importer is working to fumigate the container in which the bug was found. Aggressive pests can be dormant for months in the gap between shipping containers and the goods they carry, making bug detection and elimination even more difficult.

Andrew Tang, biosecurity boss of the Australian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Environment, told ABC: “The ability of bugs to feed on hitchhiking, flies and various plant hosts has led to rapid introduction into new areas. Can spread to. ” Radio Brisbane.

Exacerbating the problem is the fact that bugs are pervasive around the world. Due to the high probability of bugs, ships are forced to be inspected even from ports where the bugs do not originally exist. Bug habitats now include the United States and countries throughout Asia and Europe. Australia wants to prevent a full-scale aggression.

https://www.autoblog.com/2021/10/20/australia-stink-bugs-shipping/ Stinking bugs can be a headache for the global supply chain

Source: Stink bugs add to global supply-chain headaches (autoblog.com)

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