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The skinny

The skinny: Paraguay zoo seeks mate for lonely hyacinth macaw

Coco wants a cohort

zoo seeks mate for paraguay's lonely macaw

The Asuncion zoo is desperately seeking a mate for Coco, the last known male of his species in Paraguay. Scientists estimated several years ago that only 6,500 hyacinth macaws were left in the wild. Coco was sent to the zoo eight years ago after authorities broke up a gang of animal traffickers. Only recently did a test show he's male, zoo veterinarian Cristiane Rainner said. To avoid mixing species, the zoo has had to keep him apart from other macaws, which has left him lonely and a bit bored, Rainner said. "He's quite sociable, although he's only learned to say 'Hello.' But when he hears the cumbia he dances," Rainner said. Coco is more or less a cousin to "Blu," the Spix's macaw that stars in the animated movie Rio. That species is even more endangered than the hyacinth macaw. Like Blu, scientists hope to find Coco a mate to rebuild the species.

Musical miscue

Obama mocks toast blooper

President Barack Obama has made light of a musical mishap that threatened to cut short his toast at Tuesday night's state dinner in London. Obama had just toasted Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace when the band, apparently deciding that he had finished his speech, struck up God Save the Queen. Obama talked over the music, quoting Shakespeare before the music ended. Obama said it gave a sound track to his closing passage.

Critter jitters

Californian finds big cat in garage

A father of five rooting around his garage for what he thought was a raccoon or other small critter was suddenly face-to-face with a mountain lion. Jesse Taylor's wife called 911 Tuesday after he discovered the big cat in Hesperia, about 80 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Officials showed up, tranquilized the cougar and released it in the San Bernardino National Forest.

Balloon man

Compressed air fills trucker

A New Zealand truck driver said he blew up like a balloon when he fell onto the fitting of a compressed air hose that pierced his buttock and forced air into his body at 100 pounds a square inch. "I felt the air rush into my body and I felt like it was going to explode," Steven McCormack, 48, said from his hospital bed in the town of Whakatane. "I was blowing up like a football." McCormack's mates heard his screams and quickly released a safety valve.

Prison perks

Behind bars had another meaning

A prison in northern Mexico featured a bar that served beer, tequila and vodka to inmates. It was discovered Monday at the prison in Chihuahua city, the state capital. Federal police and state authorities confiscated 200 beer cans, 12 bottles of tequila and 20 bottles of vodka. The bar also had a billiard table.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources

The skinny: Paraguay zoo seeks mate for lonely hyacinth macaw 05/25/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 9:03pm]
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