Weekly news, tips, trivia, fun facts and wild tales from the outdoors
Dec. 31, 2014
Fish colliding with aircraft, sex toys found inside codfish, bears crashing birthday parties, and home-invading wood ducks: it’s all part of this year’s compilation of the wildest stories brought to you in the past 12 months by The Outdoor News Hound. Enjoy!
Something Fishy About Plane’s Animal Strike
We’ve heard of the danger posed by birds and other wildlife to aircraft landing and taking off at various airports across the country, but a 2014 case in Florida involved an unusual collision with an airborne fish.
The takeoff of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Gulfstream G-IV jet from MacDill AFB in Florida was aborted after it collided with a 9-inch airborne fish while on the runway.
Base wildlife manager Lindsey Garven was called out to search the runway after the jet’s crew reported it apparently collided with a bird. So he investigated the report.
“I found a fish on the runway,” Garven told the Tampa Tribune. “It was a comical thing.”
Subsequent DNA samples taken from the exterior of the jet confirmed the fish was indeed the collision victim.
Investigators surmise the fish was likely dropped from the air by a bald eagle or osprey in flight. The sheepshead caused no damage to the NOAA jet, said Garven, but “it left a streak of fish guts.”
“This was the first fish strike we have had on base,” he said.
Norwegian Fish Aroused by Sex Toy
A 60-something Norwegian fisherman achieved his 15-minutes of fame in 2014 when he was photographed with a rubber woman’s sex toy he reportedly found inside the stomach of a cod found in his daily catch.
Norwegian fisherman Bjørn Frilund was cleaning a 12-pound cod when he discovered a bright orange motorized sex toy — without batteries — in its stomach.
“First two herrings came out, and then I found this rubber thing,” said Frilund, 64.
Frilund said he has enjoyed fishing in the waters around his hometown of Eidsbygda, in western Norway, for as long as he can remember. But this is the first time he’d found anything like this along with his catch.
“I was astonished. It was totally unexpected,” he told the local news affiliate. “Fish eat all kinds of different things, and the dildo looks like what the fish eat. We have a kind of multi-colored octopus in Norway, maybe the cod thought this was one of these and ate it.”
As far as speculating where the item may have come from, Frilund told the Åndalsnes Avis newspaper he was amazed that such an unusual object was in the Barents Sea to begin with.
“The chances of winning the lottery are probably greater,” he laughed.
Party-Crashing Bear Has Taste for Cupcakes
Also in 2014, a black bear crashed a Juneau, Alaska, toddler’s first birthday party just before guests began to arrive, helping itself to cupcakes and treats in front of startled parents.
“I was…in the room, and I heard this cracking,” Glenn Merrill told the Juneau Empire newspaper. “And the next thing you know, there’s this bear that, I mean, literally, fell right from (the skylight).”
When the bear recovered from its fall, it calmly wandered over to the table and helped itself to lemon blueberry and peanut butter cupcakes. Merrill, 45, whose 1-year-old son Jackson was in the adjoining room at the time, locked eyes with the bear as the two stared at each other in disbelief.
“I don’t know who was more stunned,” he said. “I think, both.”
Jackson’s mom, Alicia Bishop, observed the events from the adjacent kitchen, behind glass doors.
“The bear walks over and puts its paws up on the table and starts licking his birthday cupcakes, and I’m just like, you’ve got to be kidding me,” said Bishop, 33.
The bear was inside the house for about three or four minutes, before they successfully shooed it through an open door and into the front yard. But the incident didn’t end there, the couple said, as the determined bruin came around the back of the house and peered inside from the backyard porch.
“It was up by the window like, ‘I want more cupcakes,’” Bishop said.
About 30 minutes after the bear retreated to the nearby woods, officials from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game responded to a call not far from the site of the original home-crashing, where they shot and killed a 180-pound male bear that had entered a home. It was presumed to be the same bruin that had a taste for cupcakes, and, unfortunately, little fear of humans.
Cops Quack Home Invader Case
And finally, a North Reading, Mass., homeowner awakened by loud, crashing noises coming from her downstairs living room area in February called 911 to summon authorities to what she assumed was an intruder up to no good.
Responding officers from the local police department could not find any visible signs of forced entry to the home, so they entered the residence to investigate. Indeed, indication of an intruder was located near the fireplace, where sooty footprints were positively identified by North Reading’s finest.
Since Christmas was fully two-months passed, an entry via chimney by an errant Santa Clause was immediately ruled out by the savvy investigators. Besides, the webbed tracks belied the outsider’s identity.
Soon the cops spied the home-crasher, a soot-covered wood duck hen that apparently made a wrong turn at a nearby wetland and found itself in an unfamiliar environment.
According to a report in The Boston Herald, officer Greg Connolly used a blanket to capture the wayward waterfowl and safely transported it to a local pond, where it was released, without charges.
J.R. Absher is a freelance outdoor writer whose articles and columns appear in numerous national publications. He offers his unique perspective of the outdoors weekly for sportsmansguide.com. You may contact him at email@example.com.