Soggy Ending for Unwanted Gift: A Leopard Isn't Just for Christmas
Police in the German city of Bochum were called out to inspect the cadaver of a dead leopard spotted floating in a city lake on Christmas Day. Intrigued, they dispatched a squad car -- and solved the mystery.
A photo of the leopard after being hauled ashore with the help of police tape.
The emergency call to the police in the German city of Bochum was logged at 9 a.m. on Christmas Day. The eyewitness began by insisting he was totally sober and not the least bit crazy, and that he was certain he had seen the cadaver of a full-sized leopard floating in the lake of a city park.
A squad car was sent to the scene and the police officers confirmed what the man had seen -- the sad sight of a lifeless leopard drifting in the grey water.
"The officers attached some plastic police cordon tape to a stick and kept throwing it at the animal until it caught," a spokesman told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "They dragged it ashore and found that it was a deceptively realistic stuffed toy.
The leopard, standing on all fours, may have been an unwanted Christmas present, tossed into the water with merciless frustration on Christmas Eve, when Germans traditionally hand each other their gifts.
"We wouldn't mind tracing the owner," the spokesman said. "The leopard is still in quite good condition, if a bit damp."
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