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Surfing mice, lovelorn pooches brighten up '05

In the world of the weird and wacky, the animal kingdom was the big winner in 2005.
File photo of Yorkshire terriers in a pet motel in Sao Paulo
Two Yorkshire terriers, Billy, right, and Jully, left, sit on a bed at a doggy love motel in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Aug. 26.Fernando Cavalcanti / Reuters file
/ Source: Reuters

Dogs went woof over a Brazilian puppy love motel, an Australian trained mice to surf the waves and an Indian village married off toads in bid for rain.

In the world of the weird and wacky, the animal kingdom was the big winner in 2005.

It handsomely defeated incompetent thieves and misplaced corpses to take the prize for the year’s most bizarre headlines.

A love motel for dogs in Sao Paulo proved a big hit with amorous Brazilian pooches, offering a heart-shaped mirror on the ceiling and headboards resembling doggy bones.

Shane Willmott trained his three mice -- Harry, Chopsticks and Bunsen -- to enjoy Australia’s favorite sport with special mouse-size surf boards. He even dyed their fur so he could spot them among the crashing white waves.

An Indian woman applies vermilion on a female toad during a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony between two giant toads at Khochakandar, 365 km (225 miles) north of Calcutta, in this June 5, 2005 file photo. The 5,000 Indian Rupees ($115) ceremony was held by Indian villagers hoping to propitiate the rain gods and end a dry spell. Dogs went woof over a Brazilian puppy love motel, an Australian trained mice to surf the waves and an Indian village married off toads in bid for rain. In the world of the weird and wacky, the animal kingdom was the big winner in 2005. TO MATCH ODD WRAPUP SLUGGED ODD REUTERS/Stringer/FilesX01242

Two giant toads were married in a traditional Hindu ceremony in eastern India by villagers hoping to please the rain gods and end a dry spell.

Peruvian officials saved 4,000 frogs from the cocktail blender after they were found hidden in an abattoir. In the Andes, frog cocktails are popular because of their supposed aphrodisiac qualities.

Finnish wolves with a taste for domestic dogs were given a nasty shock -- Helsinki shops started selling wired dog coats which sent 1,000 volts of electricity through the outer layer.

And in Germany, a woman burned down her family home by setting fire to the garage when trying to kill spiders with a can of hairspray and a cigarette lighter.

Saga of the year
The award for the most bizarre animal saga of the year was a close fought contest between Russia, China and Germany.

Stone the cows ... Russia’s long winter is just flying by for a herd of cows being fed confiscated marijuana.

Drug workers said they adopted the unusual form of animal husbandry after being forced to destroy sunflower and maize crops that 40 tons of marijuana had been planted among.

In China, it was a case of crouching tiger, hidden donkey.

A restaurant in northeast China was caught serving donkey meat spiked with tiger urine in pricey dishes advertised as endangered Siberian tigers.

A German inventor sparked the fury of animal lovers with his macabre solution for soaring fuel costs.

Christian Koch concocted an organic diesel fuel that contained garbage and run-over cats among its ingredients.

He said around 20 dead cats added into the mix could help produce enough fuel to fill up a 11 gallon tank.

Thick as thieves
Bungling thieves hit the headlines in 2005.

A South African mugger was mauled to death by tigers after he fled the scene of his crime and took refuge in a Bloemfontein zoo.

Australian police responding to a break-in at a furniture store were surprised to discover the suspected culprit asleep at the scene and snoring loudly.

Across the globe, the dead were not always allowed to rest in peace.

A Frenchman in his sixties lived for five years with the body of his dead mother so he could keep receiving her monthly pension.

A Mexican motorcyclist with a helmet-wearing corpse strapped to his back crashed in the northern city of Tijuana when he lost control rounding a curve.

Police believe the killer, who fled the scene, had been trying to take the body somewhere deserted so he could dispose of it.

And back in Australia, city officials faced the ultimate embarrassment -- they apologized to the family of an elderly man given a parking ticket while he lay dead in his car in a suburban shopping center.