Today's stories [6.17.20]
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Watertown, New York:
It was eagle-eyed zookeepers who noticed first.
The DNA testing only proved what they already
The Thompson Park Zoo's American bald eagle breeding
program was going nowhere. Not with two males, anyway.
"We had our suspicions right away. The birds are
virtually the identical size," said Director
Glenn D. Dobrogosz, who laughed Tuesday about the
gender mix-up that provided a comical start to the
zoo's new eagle breeding program.
"It happens. Not a lot. But it happens," he said.
The two American bald eagles - supposedly a male and
female - arrived at the zoo last July from the Bird
Treatment and Learning Center in Anchorage, Alaska.
The two males became good buddies but zookeepers
quickly realized there would be no amorous flights
for these two, Dobrogosz said.
Because bald eagle males and females share the same
coloring characteristics, it is difficult to determine
gender by visual inspection. However, in most raptor
species, the female is slightly larger than the male,
Based on their size and behavior, the Alaska center
mistakenly thought it had sent a male and a female,
Dobrogosz said. It wasn't until the Thompson Park Zoo
took blood samples for DNA testing that it confirmed the
"Sure enough, they both were boys," he said.
Now that the confusion has been cleared up, zookeepers are
once again focused on the romancing.
One of the males is being sent to the Clinch Park Zoo in
Traverse City, Mich. Meanwhile, the Watertown zoo already
has received a new female from another raptor rehabilitation
center on Sitka Island in Alaska.
"We're positive this time," Dobrogosz said, heading off the
inevitable inquiry about the bird's gender.
One of the funniest "most-embarrassing-moment" stories I've come upon in a
long time was about a lady who picked up several items at a discount store.
When she finally got up to the checker, she learned that one of her items
had no price tag. Imagine her embarrassment when the checker got on the
intercom and boomed out for all the store to hear, "PRICE CHECK ON
LANETHIRTEEN, TAMPAX, SUPER SIZE." That was bad enough, but somebody at
the rear of the store apparently misunderstood the word Tampax" for
"THUMBTACKS." In a businesslike tone, a voice boomed back over the
intercom. "DO YOU WANT THE KIND YOU PUSH IN WITH YOUR THUMBOR THE KIND
YOU POUND IN WITH A HAMMER?"
ON THE ROLE OF GOOD LOOKS IN LOVE
"If you want to be loved by somebody who isn't already in your
family, it doesn't hurt to be beautiful." (Jeanne, 8)
"It isn't always just how you look. Look at me. I'm handsome
like anything and I haven't got anybody to marry me yet." (Gary, 7)
"Beauty is skin deep. But how rich you are can last a long
time." (Christine, 9)
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