From a vegetarian alligator to some American political birds… Your weekly roundup of offbeat stories from around the world.
Indians are mourning the death of a “vegetarian” crocodile that protected the Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple in Kerala for decades.
Babia, who was at least 80 years old, is believed to have never attacked another animal, and took children to touch her in the temple lake to get her blessing.
The revered reptile lived off offerings of rice and sweet brown sugar, according to worshipers.
The 3,000-year-old Hindu temple has been protected for centuries by a lone “divine” crocodile.
Babia took over the role when the British fired the last one in 1940, temple official Ramachandran Bhat told AFP.
Although India’s agriculture minister praised “God’s crocodile” for living without meat, Bhat said he couldn’t be sure Babia hadn’t nibbled on some fish.
The tiger that terrorized a university campus in Bhopal was anything but vegetarian, killing two errant cows and forcing the cancellation of a technology fair that was to attract 10,000 students from across India.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, long an expert at weaponizing memes and viral videos against Russian invaders, outdid itself by gently trolling France, which Kyiv believes could be a bit more generous with arms supplies.
“If you really want to win our hearts,” purred a fake video love letter to Paris, “nothing beats the 155mm High Mobility Self-Propelled Artillery.”
Filled with roses and heart emojis, his pastiche “Paris, City of Love” was set to soundtrack Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg’s sultry hit “Je T’aime… Moi Non Plus.”
Kyiv would love to get their hands on more French Caesar truck-mounted guns to drive the Russians back.
American democracy was dealt another blow when the hugely popular Fat Bear Week poll was sullied by rampant ballot stuffing.
A recount had to be held after a semi-final of the online vote to find the fattest bear in an Alaskan national park was hit by a spam campaign.
“Just as bears fill their faces with fish, our urn has also been filled,” Katmai National Park tweeted.
So far no one is pointing the paw at nearby Russia.
We can assure you that there is no needle in scientists naming a “blind subterranean ground beetle” after vaccine-phobic tennis star Novak Djokovic. It comes months after a Montenegrin snail was named in his honor.
The personal is political for US Democratic candidate Katie Darling, especially after her home state of Louisiana banned abortions.
Her campaign clip for the midterm elections begins fairly conventionally with her and her family before taking an unexpected turn.
“And someone else will join us,” she adds as the video shows her going into labor and giving birth.
“I am the one in the hospital bed, not the legislators in Baton Rouge or Washington,” she said in a striking call for women’s right to choose.
Politics can be a bird business. Take for example the battle to be the next governor of South Carolina, where Democratic challenger Joe Cunningham appeared onstage carrying a chicken to roast his opponent Henry McMaster for refusing to accept any more televised debates.
“Come on, Governor, don’t be a chicken,” he taunted, naming the bird “Henrietta McMaster.”