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Strange.. but true; Bizarre stories from around the world.

Toad in a home A stowaway toad that survived a cargo ship journey from China to South Africa has won a last-minute reprieve at its destination.

A startled customer spotted the Asian gold toad in a porcelain candlestick.

Plans to put the creature down over fears it could cause harm as an invasive species were overruled when conservationists in Johannesburg promised to give it a new home. Facebook fiddle An Italian musician got his stolen PS14,000 violin back after pleading for its return on Facebook.

Within two hours of the antique instrument being snatched from a Florence railway station, Stephano Colleti, 20, got a message from a witness saying she'd seen what looked like a violin in an alleyway.

He said: "I raced round and it was still there. I couldn't believe my luck." Daft snatchers Three would-be kidnappers have been arrested in Bulgaria after a string of bungles.

The men rented a lock-up garage in Sofia and used a police surplus shop - run by former cops - to kit it out with beds, walkie talkies and secondhand police uniforms. One officer said: "We were watching them for a month and they were so useless, we thought it was a TV prank show but they meant to go ahead." Jumbo honey trap Wildlife workers in Nepal have turned to desperate measures to try to catch a killer elephant.

Rangers hunting the rogue elephant, which is responsible for killing a dozen people, have released a female elephant into his path in a bid to lure him into a honey trap.

Vets hope she will calm the raging bull elephant, called Dhurve, who is from the Chitwan National Park. Elk of a punch up A Swedish dog walker has told how he punched a rampaging elk on the nose when the 500lb beast charged at him.

Jan Akesson came across the 7ft animal and her two calves as he walked his two Jack Russells near Skipas.

He said: "Somehow, I managed to punch her in the nose and she fled - but not for long." Akesson had to outrun the elk when it charged again.

Double organ op Surgeons in Switzerland are claiming a breakthrough after carrying out two simultaneous operations on a woman's heart and liver using 20 medics.

While one team were rebuilding one of the chambers in her heart, a second unit at Zurich University Hospital were taking part of a liver from the 22-year-old patient's sister for a transplant op. Brass booze ban Shares in Chinese alcohol firms have tumbled after Beijing banned its top brass from hosting boozy banquets while working.

Shares in firms such as Moutai, whose premium white spirits are favoured by the Chinese military, fell by more than five per cent after the decree.

Senior military officials have also been banned from staying in luxury hotels while on business.


STOWAWAY Toad jumped on a cargo ship
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 30, 2012
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