Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Sep 5 2015, Page 23

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - September 5, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba < C M K PAGE A24 ¡ e ¡ ¡ A 24 WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, SATURDAY, SEPTEMRER 5, 2015 CANADA/ WORLD winnipegfreepress. com Missing king cobra busy on Twitter Since he can’t type, accounts are likely fake By Stephanie Allen ORLANDO, Fla. — He’s been spotted on Twitter and T- shirts, but officials have yet to catch him in the wild. The 2.4- metre king cobra that escaped earlier this week from its owner’s home near Orlando made national headlines and has apparently been pretty active on social media. Who knew snakes had thumbs? Since its escape, numerous Twitter parody accounts claiming to be the sneaky snake have popped up with updates on its possible location. So far, there’s talk of it hanging out at the theme parks and in downtown Orlando. And the venomous animal is apparently enjoying its time in the wild. “ Officially 2 days gone. The reality of my freedom continues to catch me off guard. I am free at last. # orlandocobra,” one tweet reads. Officials set out about four box traps Friday on property along North Apopka Vineland Road, near where the deadly snake escaped, in an effort to catch it, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Each trap has food the snake’s owner says it likes. Officers and other snake handlers have been searching the heavily wooded area since Wednesday, when Mike Kennedy reported his snake missing. At that time, he said it could have escaped sometime within the previous 24 hours. As of Friday afternoon, there hadn’t been any sightings. The wildlife commission said Kennedy has the proper permit to keep the venomous animal. He has been co- operative and is “ assisting with all aspects of the search,” wildlife commission spokesman Greg Workman said. Orange County court records show Kennedy has held permits to keep various exotic and potentially deadly animals for years. He’s been cited a handful of times for letting the permits expire or failing to provide adequate housing. In 2001, one of Kennedy’s king cobras escaped from a house in the College Park area of Orlando and was eventually shot by a homeowner who found it in his garage. That snake, Elvis, turned out to be harmless as its venom glands had been removed during a botched operation eight years earlier. Kennedy was fined for letting the snake escape. King cobras are among the deadliest snakes in the world, producing enough neurotoxin in one bite to kill an elephant. They can grow up to 5.4 metres long and have the ability to raise about onethird of their bodies straight off the ground. Local snake handlers say it’s likely the missing king cobra is hiding near where it escaped, and it could stay that way for a while. George VanHorn, owner of the Reptile World Serpentarium in Saint Cloud, has been bitten by a king cobra twice. He said king cobras are shy, typically avoid humans, and can hide for several days before needing to come out for food and water. The sneaky snake, he said, has probably done exactly what snakes do: escape and evade. Thursday afternoon, the wildlife commission said there were 10 experienced snake handlers searching the property where they think the snake might be hiding, along with several officers keeping a lookout along the perimeter. Officials had also called a biologist to help with a capture plan. Students at Clarcona Elementary School — about a kilometre from where the snake escaped — were kept inside again Friday as a precaution. Wildlife officers patrolled near the school and all classes normally held in portable building have been moved to the main building, a school spokesperson said. The wildlife commission is warning people not to approach, or try to capture the snake. And in case it gets caught without incident, you can always purchase an “ I Survived the King Cobra Escape of 2015!” T- shirt that is now available on teespring. com. — Orlando Sentinel Winnipeg free Press SU B S C R I P T I O N OF FER Conrad the dead raccoon lies amid a makeshift memorial on a sidewalk in Toronto in July. He’s gone to a much butter place ORONTO — First he was toast, now he’s butter. Conrad the raccoon is back, sculpted into a slab of butter at Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition. The furry critter, whose demise on a downtown street in July brought Torontonians together in grief and giggles, is now being memorialized by a sculptor. Every year, the CNE — fondly known as “ the Ex” to local residents — invites local artists to create butter sculptures in a refrigerated, glass- enclosed space as visitors watch. Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford and Yoda were among the fan favourites of years past. This year, a buttery duplication of a dead Conrad, lying flat on his back in the middle of a makeshift shrine, has become a social- media sensation. The creation even features butter roses situated around him and a framed butter portrait of the waving, grinning raccoon in happier times. Earlier this summer, a group of Torontonians who noticed the dead raccoon created the shrine to the animal in the hours it took for municipal animal control workers to show up and dispose of his corpse. “ A fitting tribute to a wonderful trash panda... this gives me closure,” wrote someone on the Toronto Reddit page. The sculpture appears to be the work of Olenka Kleban, who posted photos of the raccoon butter creation to her Instagram account. In 2012, she sculpted Ford in butter at the CNE event. — The Canadian Press Save 10 % On your newspaper subscription CALL TODAY convert your subscription quoting code EZPAYBKS Call: 204- 697- 7001 | 1- 800- 542- 8900 Email: fpcirc@ winnipegfreepress. com winnipegfreepress. com / subscribe Cut your costs and save money by converting to EZ- Pay monthly! If you are a 6- day subscriber paying every 3 months for your subscription you can save 10% regularly using EZ- Pay, our auto- renewal payment plan. ¡ Save over $ 28 annually ¡ Enjoy smaller monthly payments ¡ Easy to budget for ¡ Consistent delivery without interruption if you forget to pay an invoice * 6- month subscribers save 5%. Savings may vary slightly depending on subscription term and location Winnipeg Free Press - e - e A_ 24_ Sep- 05- 15_ FP_ 01. indd A24 9/ 4/ 15 9: 18: 13 PM

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