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Odd News Roundup: Amid pandemic, orders soar for Brazil robot that feeds pigs playing classical music; Tokyo zoo unveils first elephant born there in 138 years and more

Airlines can still choose which other species to allow on board, but the rules issued on Wednesday largely resolve years of disputes with passengers who falsely claim pets as "emotional support animals," which may travel in the cabin with little oversight. One of the Hungarian companies that normally rents out Santas for families and business events has come up with several forms of COVID-19-proof meetings.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 04-12-2020 10:59 IST | Created: 04-12-2020 10:29 IST
Odd News Roundup: Amid pandemic, orders soar for Brazil robot that feeds pigs playing classical music; Tokyo zoo unveils first elephant born there in 138 years and more
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Following is a summary of current odd news briefs.

Amid pandemic, orders soar for Brazil robot that feeds pigs playing classical music

Orders for a Brazilian pig-feeding robot, which plays classical music while dispensing meals, soared this year as farmers strove to cut costs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Roboagro, the privately-owned company that sells the robot, said in a statement sent to Reuters on Thursday that orders rose by an average of 400% to 60 units per month.

Romanian cobbler makes size-75 winter boots to stamp out COVID-19

A Romanian cobbler who made giant shoes to help keep people apart during the first wave of COVID-19 has come up with a new line of huge winter boots to stamp out the second onslaught of the disease. Grigore Lup said the shoes he launched in May in a European size 75 had sold across the world and helped keep his store afloat in the Transylvanian city of Cluj.

Tokyo zoo unveils first elephant born there in 138 years

Japan's oldest zoo unveiled the first baby elephant to be born there since its founding more than a century ago, and asked the public for help in naming it. The male calf was shown to the public on Tuesday for the first time since his Oct. 31 birth at Tokyo's Ueno Zoological Gardens.

Singer Cher says Kaavan will live life as an elephant, not a prisoner

Pakistan's lonely elephant Kaavan began his new life in a Cambodian wildlife sanctuary on Tuesday, the result of years of campaigning for his relocation by U.S. singer Cher. She was there to see him beginning to explore his new home and said: "You know this is amazing for him... his life is going to be the life of an elephant and not the life of a prisoner."

Meals on wheels: Camper van dining beats lockdown rules in Belgium

A Belgian restaurant has found a way to keep orders rolling in during lockdown - by serving its seafood to customers in camper vans. People can rent a vehicle or bring their own, park up outside the "Matthias and Sea" restaurant and wait for masked staff to bring the food over from the kitchens.

Namibia to auction 170 elephants over drought, increased population

Namibia has put 170 "high value" wild elephants up for sale due to drought and an increase in elephant numbers, the southern African country's environmental ministry said on Wednesday. An advertisement carried by state-owned daily New Era said an increase in incidents of human-elephant conflict motivated the sale of the large mammal that is at risk of extinction due to poaching and ecological factors.

Czech golden pig ornaments get mask for COVID Christmas

A Czech Christmas ornament maker has added tiny masks to the country's traditional golden pigs, which are said to arrive in the homes of good children who fast before Christmas Eve's family feast. The glass ornaments which can be hung from a Christmas tree have proved incredibly popular.

Monolith monotony? Another mystery structure appears and vanishes in California

A 10-foot-tall metallic monolith appeared mysteriously atop a Central California mountain this week, then vanished just as suddenly early on Thursday in what seemed to be a copycat of one that appeared and then vanished in a Utah desert. "I can't say it's aliens, but it was here and now it's gone," said Terrie Banish, deputy city manager of Atascadero, California, a city of about 30,000 off U.S. Highway 101 near the central coast city of San Luis Obispo. Trained dogs, yes.

But other pets on board is U.S. airlines' call: regulator

Only trained dogs qualify as service animals on U.S. airlines, as regulators rejected requests to extend legal protections to miniature horses, monkeys and other species, under final U.S. Transportation Department rules issued Wednesday. Airlines can still choose which other species to allow on board, but the rules issued on Wednesday largely resolve years of disputes with passengers who falsely claim pets as "emotional support animals," which may travel in the cabin with little oversight.

Hungarian Santas ditch the chimney for the internet

With Hungary under partial lockdown to curb a surge in COVID-19 cases, several local companies have started offering online meetings with Santa Claus for children holed up at home with their families. One of the Hungarian companies that normally rents out Santas for families and business events has come up with several forms of COVID-19-proof meetings.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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