Curiousities

Panda escapes from enclosure at Danish zoo; returned safely

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — One of Copenhagen Zoo’s giant pandas escaped from its enclosure early Monday and roamed the park before staff were able to sedate it and bring it back.


Xing Er at Copenhagen Zoo. (Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

Xing Er, a 7-year-old male who arrived at the zoo last year, was seen on surveillance video breaking out of the newly built, 160 million-kroner ($24.2 million) Panda House that also houses female panda Mao Sun.

Zoo spokesman Bengt Holst said that on the video staff could see how “the male panda crawls up a metal pole, which is studded with three rows of electrical wires ... and then crawls out into the garden.”

He said the park now was looking at making changes to security around the enclosure “to ensure that it does not happen again. ”

Zoo staff reacted “quickly and efficiently,” the animal was corned and sedated with a dart without being harmed, he said. Monday’s incident happened before the animal park opened to the public.

“It doesn’t change the fact that we want to avoid that kind of situation in the future,” Holst said.

The enclosure to house the pandas from China’s southwestern city of Chengdu, was inaugurated by Queen Margrethe and other dignitaries in April 2019.

Beijing lends out pandas as a sign of goodwill. Any cubs born during the 15-year loan period are considered China’s property.

Police: Florida man lets 12-year-old drive Jeep 85 mph

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man is facing felony charges after police said he let a 12-year-old girl drive his SUV and told her to speed because he wanted to be a “cool father” — even though he is not her dad.


We’d hope so: Shaun Michaelsen, 41, is facing felony charges.(Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Shaun Michaelsen, 41, told the arresting officer Monday he is friends with the girl’s mother and that the girl and her friend were staying with him for a few days, according to court records.

He said the girl had asked earlier in the day if she could drive his Jeep, so he thought “it would be cool” and that he was trying to be a “cool father,” the police report said. Michaelsen also told officers he had been drinking.

Jupiter Officer Craig Yochum said in his arrest report that he spotted the Jeep make an illegal U-turn and then speed away at about 12:10 a.m. Monday. He followed and the Jeep reached speeds of 85 mph (135 kph) in a 45 mph (70 kph) zone before he was able to pull it over. He said that when he asked the 12-year-old why she was driving so fast, she said Michaelsen told her to.

Michaelsen is charged with child neglect, allowing an unauthorized person to drive and causing a minor to become a delinquent for buying the girls vape pens — he says they requested, according to authorities.

He was being held without bond Tuesday at the Palm Beach County Jail. Court records do not indicate if he has an attorney.

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