Eight Britons have decided to spend the weekend at the zoo — but not as visitors.
Selected from a crowd of 30 applicants, the lucky octet are appearing in an exhibit entitled "The Human Zoo," which runs Friday through Monday at the London Zoo (search).
The not-exactly-representative selection of homo sapiens — the five women and three men were notably young, attractive and clad in bathing suits covered by fig leaves — climbed onto the zoo's "Bear Mountain" area Friday morning, juggling balls and spinning hula hoops.
"Why are there people in there?" children could be heard asking their parents in front of a sign reading "Warning: Humans in their Natural Environment."
Zoo spokeswoman Polly Wills had a ready answer.
"Seeing people in a different environment, among other animals ... teaches members of the public that the human is just another primate," she told the Associated Press.
Or, as the zoo's Web site put it, "the humans will become an important feature of zoo life as they are cared for by our experienced keepers and kept entertained through various forms of enrichment."
The "animals," who do get to go home every night, had different reasons for participating.
"A lot of people think humans are above other animals," said Tom Mahoney, 26. "When they see humans as animals, here, it kind of reminds us that we're not that special."
"The idea of working for a zoo was something that appealed to me," Simon Spiro, 19, told the BBC. "I've brought Pocket Scrabble in case we're bored. The only problem is I won't have any pockets to put it in."
Actor/model/musician/fitness expert Brendan Carr, 25, won his place with a poem, which read in part: "I got a laugh like a hyena, but get the hump like a camel, so cover me in fig leaves, as I'm the ultimate mammal."
Visitor Damien Largey, 23, speculated that exhibitionism may have been a motivating factor, and joked that the zoo should consider a breeding program.
"You can tell why some people came here, like the big muscly men who clearly like parading around in thongs," he said.
Melissa Wecker, 21, was disappointed that the humans were wearing swimsuits beneath their leaves.
"They're not doing anything," she complained. "It looked lots better on the news."
WESTFIELD, N.J. (AP) — At 6-foot-1 and 160 pounds, Jim Pfeiffer is used to being called skinny.
But Pfeiffer's beanpole status came in handy Monday, when the 25-year-old firefighter slipped into a narrow crevasse to rescue a toddler trapped 9 feet underground.
The 16-month-old Metuchen boy, John Michael Butterfield, had been running at the Tamaques Park playground with another child under his mother's watch when he darted off toward an adjacent tennis court. He slipped into one of six holes dug by a contractor earlier that day to support new floodlights.
A concrete column took up most of the space in the 3-foot-wide hole, but Butterfield fell into a 10-inch gap. His face was pressed against the dirt wall when firefighters arrived, and before long his cries ominously ceased.
Pfeiffer stripped down to a T-shirt and trousers. His colleagues fastened ropes around his waist and ankles, and lowered him headfirst into the gap. Pfeiffer soon became wedged himself, but the boy remained out of reach.
"I took one deep breath and tried to make myself as small as I could," Pfeiffer told The Star-Ledger of Newark. "I guess he could sense I was there, because he started crying. That was the best sound in the world."
The firefighter managed to grip the child's shirt, and then slip his fingertips under the boy's armpits. His colleagues then hoisted them to freedom.
Butterfield was treated for cuts and bruises and released from a hospital.
Said Pfeiffer: "The guys used to laugh at me for being so skinny, but I guess in this case it paid off."
POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — A 420-pound man was charged with felony robbery, accused of stealing beer from the same store he stole from in January, authorities said.
Levi Timbana, 23, of Fort Hall was accused of walking into the Cowboy Oil (search) store Aug. 9 and taking a swing at a clerk who refused to sell him beer after hours.
Prosecutors say the clerk held Timbana at bay with a metal pipe until police arrived; Timbana's companion allegedly fled with two cases of beer.
Police said Timbana punched a different clerk at the store during a January beer heist. He spent 43 days in jail in that case.
"You have to wonder if he's done this before and got away with it because of his size," Police Capt. Kirk Nelson said.
If convicted of felony robbery, Timbana could face up to life in prison. He remained in the Bannock County Jail (search) in lieu of $70,000 bond. Arraignment was set for Monday.
MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Beer drinkers in this college town will have to settle for bottles or cans -- more than a dozen liquor stores have quit selling kegs.
The stores are hoping to ditch low profits from kegs, compared with beer sold by the case. Some say they also hope the move will help cut down on alcohol-related violence and accidents.
"The majority of students are very angry because they don't get why we're doing this," said Chris Johnson, manager of Muncie Liquor.
All six of the chain's stores have been no-keg zones since Saturday. At one store, a popular mural featuring a Ball State University (search) Cardinal with a keg and the logo "Keg Headquarters" has been painted over.
"A keg weighs 165 pounds. That's a lot of weight for my people to handle," said Johnson. "It's tough on our equipment, it's tearing up our coolers, and I no longer see the profitability of it."
Save-On Liquor also has quit selling kegs at its six stores in Muncie, and Friendly Package has joined in as well.
But some beer drinkers — particularly those of college age — don't understand why the stores would quit selling a product that is sought-after, profitable or not.
"You tell kids at other schools that you go to Ball State, and now you're going to hear, 'You mean that school where you can't buy a keg?"' said senior Aaron Shepard.
AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A postal worker has been charged with putting urine in the coffee of co-workers who set up a video camera in their break room after they became suspicious, authorities said.
Thomas Shaheen, 49, of suburban Springfield Township, who works as a vehicle mechanic for the U.S. Postal Service, was charged Aug. 5 with two misdemeanor counts of adulteration of food or placing harmful objects in food.
He was ordered to appear in Akron Municipal Court on Monday.
Prosecutors said workers believed Shaheen poured urine into a coffee pot in a break room on July 5 and again July 6. Suspecting a problem, workers started their own investigation.
"Employees did put a video camera in, and that's how they were able to put a stop to what he was doing," Akron Prosecutor Douglas Powley said.
Powley said Shaheen was unhappy at work but the prosecutor declined to get into any further details.
None of Shaheen's co-workers was physically harmed.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Peter Symons noticed something odd about a postcard he received in the mail from Florida.
"When I looked at it, I saw it had 4 cents in stamps and I said, 'Well, that's sort of strange,'" he said.
Then he noticed the postmark: Nov. 7, 1955.
The card, which he received Thursday, showed an aerial view of the Fontainebleau Hotel (search) in Miami Beach, Fla. It bore a pair of 2-cent stamps with the image of Thomas Jefferson and was addressed to "Mrs. Harry McGee, 1-1135 Davie St., Vancouver 5, B.C., Canada."
The message, written in blue ink, read: "Darling & kids: Arrived here 6:15 this morning. It's nice and cool now but promises to be a stinker later on. Am going to have a wash and shoeshine, etc., and go into town."
It was signed "Love & kisses, Har."
Symons said the card is in good shape with just a couple of bends on one end.
Bob Taylor, a spokesman for Canada Post, said the delivery truly was a fluke. Because of insufficient postage, he said, the postcard should have been returned to sender.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Paul Wagenseil.
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