Clone Could Save Endangered Species

The first U.S. endangered species has been successfully cloned.

According to CPR News, researchers at the National Black-Footed Ferret Conservation Center in Colorado have cloned a ferret that died in the 1980s. “It’s pretty inspiring that people 30 years ago saved those tissues, in case this could happen someday. So dreams do come true,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife veterinarian Della Garelle, who works at the center.

The clone’s name is Elizabeth Ann, and scientists hope that by introducing her genes into the current pool, she will be able to help bolster an animal that is nearly extinct. “Elizabeth Ann stands to bring in this huge boost of diversity for the species,” said Ben Novak, the center’s lead scientist. “Today every black-footed ferret is related to each other, somewhere between a sibling and a first cousin.”

The black-footed ferret was thought to be extinct until a dog in Wyoming came home with a fresh carcass in 1981. Scientists were able to track down the last remaining group of black-footed ferrets nearby. There are currently around 500 of the animals left in the wild.

Oliver Ryder, the director of conservation genetics at San Diego Zoo Global, was able to procure skin biopsy samples of one of the ferrets that was found in Wyoming. He stored the cell samples away for more than 30 years before they were used to create new embryos.

Biologists plan on introducing more clones of the same long-dead ferret in the near future.

Wrestling Coach Sent 600 Bananas

A Kansas coach of children’s wrestling has been sent hundreds of bananas, presumably as a reward for leading teams to win both the girls and boys state wrestling titles.

According to WIBW in Kansas, Washburn Rural wrestling coach Damon Parker was surprised to find a strange package waiting on his door step last week.

“About 2:30 in the morning, there were about 100 bananas that had been delivered to my front porch,” he told reporters.

Over the next few days, more deliveries of the yellow fruit were made. Now the coach estimates that he has around 600 bananas spread across his home and office. “My house, my office, my everything smells of potassium,” he said.

Throughout the season, the coach reportedly told his teams to “Win the whole banana,” and he was even known to have written the phrase on a dry-erase board located in his office. He believes that’s why the strange deliveries have been made.

Parker said that he will not be able to eat all of the bananas and plans to pass them out to students and donate the remainder to food shelters.

Man Uses Mannequin For Carpool Lane

A Los Angeles man has been cited for allegedly using a mannequin to drive in the high-occupancy vehicle lane on the freeway.

According to KUSI in California, a police officer was patrolling the 210 freeway in Glendora, Calif., when he noticed that a vehicle had illegal tinted windows on its front passenger side. When the officer pulled the vehicle over, he realized that the passenger wasn’t a real person at all.

“The driver didn’t say much,” California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez told reporters. “Other than that he’s been driving with the mannequin and he’d been getting away with it for a year and a half.”

The driver was cited for breaking carpool laws and faces a fine of up to $400. The mannequin was not confiscated.

Men Rescued From River Mattress

Illinois authorities were able to rescue two men who were trapped on a mattress floating down a river.

Rockford Scanner reports that firefighters were sent to rescue two men trapped on a mattress that was sitting on a sheet of ice and floating down the Rock River. Rescue workers, including seven divers and 22 firefighters, were able to save both men, neither of whom were injured during the incident.

Authorities say the two men became trapped while fishing on an ice sheet. The men were sitting on a mattress placed out on the ice when the sheet broke away from shore. The ice sheet floated off, taking the men along with it. Numerous witnesses spotted the two men as they floated downriver through Downtown Rockford.

Both men and all of the emergency responders were safe and uninjured following the incident.

Eatery Serves Froot Loops Pizza

An Iowa pizzeria is using a strange marketing ploy to bring in customers: Froot Loops breakfast pizza.

Today reports that Fong’s Pizza in Des Moines, Iowa, is now serving what it calls “Loopy Fruits Pizza.” The pie is topped with a sweet cream cheese sauce, mozzarella, a layer of Froot Loops and a drizzle of Greek yogurt and condensed milk.

According to the pizzeria’s founders, the Loopy Fruits pizza originally debuted at their Ankeny location five years ago. The company decided to start serving breakfast pizzas after it opened a suburban location and wished to appeal to families.

“We wanted to provide an option that we thought would be fun for children because of the suburban market,” said co-founder Gwen Page. “But also we love doing things that are just off-the-wall. Like, what can we do to give people that truly unique experience? That’s what we strive for at Fong’s.”

The Loopy Fruits pizza will now be a permanent addition to the restaurant’s menu.