L.A. Unleashed

All things animal in Southern
California and beyond

Category: Mythical Animals

Have you seen a unicorn?

Unicornphoto

Last week, we wrote about a unicorn that went missing in New York City.

We've had a large reader response to the story, and now unicorns seem to be appearing everywhere. For instance, we saw this unicorn mural (pictured above) on the side of a bus in a downtown L.A. parking lot Monday.

Have you seen a unicorn recently?

If so, you should show us. E-mail your photo to go@latimes.com, or send your photo through Twitter to @LATunleashed with the hashtag #unicorn.

RELATED POSTS ABOUT MYTHICAL ANIMALS:
The history of unicorns and the case of one gone missing in New York City
Is that a chupacabra being stuffed by a taxidermist in Texas?

-- Lori Kozlowski
twitter.com/lorikozlowski

Photo: Unicorn mural on the side of a bus in downtown L.A. Credit: Martin Beck / Los Angeles Times

The history of unicorns and the case of one gone missing in New York City

Posteruni Typically, missing-animal posters encourage one to wonder: Have I ever seen that creature?

In the case of one "missing" poster seen on the Upper West Side in New York earlier this month, the lost animal was not a puppy or someone’s cat. It was a unicorn.

Described as a female with a friendly disposition, the missing unicorn in question and the poster belonged to Camomile Hixon, a New York-based painter.

The missing unicorn, in fact, was part of a larger vision for New York City.

“I was travelling back and forth in the subways, and I just noticed the dejection. I’m a pop artist, and I thought –- if I could just make one person smile. I was thinking about ways to do that," she said.

“A unicorn is beyond race, beyond religion. I wanted something that could reach anyone at any age. I thought, if I could just make a handful of businessmen on Wall Street think about unicorns, I will be successful.”

So on Oct. 29, she and a team of friends hung 2,000 posters all around the city.  By the next day, she’d received 350 phone calls.

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Is that a chupacabra being stuffed by a taxidermist in Texas?

ChubacabraThe mythical chupacabra is a hairless, nocturnal wolf-dog; the name, roughly translated, means "the goatsucker." Widely regarded as the Mexican Bigfoot, tales of the bloodsucking beast originated in Puerto Rico, but alleged sightings have been reported  over the last few years in the U.S. Last week a Texas taxidermist got what might be a chupacabra, and CNN and Telemundo rushed over to interview him faster than you can say "Look at that hairless goatsucker!"

"The phone has been ringing off the hook" at the Blanco Taxidermy School, Robert McDaniel, the chief instructor, told The Times on Wednesday. The news media and the curious -- "Good Morning America" among them -- have called in asking for interviews and to find out if they have really found a chupacabra. "We've gotten about 100 calls today," he said.

The interest is all about a dead, hairless, coyote-like creature that was captured by Lynn Butler, a former student at the school. According to McDaniel, Butler heard something in his cousin's barn "tearing up the chickens pretty bad. So he left poison out thinking it was a raccoon or other varmint." The next day he found the lifeless animal that many claim is a chupacabra.

Jerry Ayer, owner of the Blanco Taxidermy School, isn't so sure that what he has really is what everyone hopes he has. But as the man who is in the process of stuffing the beast, he does know he's working on something unique.

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WebClawer: Army wants to move endangered tortoises, stray dog saves rescuer's son, elephant freed from manhole

Tortoise

From real-life tortoises, dogs and elephants to a presumably fictional worm that spits acid, the Web is full of animal news today.  Some of the stories that grabbed us:

-- In order to prepare for a planned expansion of a training center in the Mojave desert, the U.S. Army has proposed a plan to relocate more than 1,000 endangered California desert tortoises.  The problem? A similar attempt last year, in which 600 of the tortoises were to be moved, ended with the project's being suspended after its first phase when about 90 of the animals were found dead, mainly because of predation by coyotes. The federal Bureau of Land Management must approve the Army's request before it can be put into action; the bureau is conducting an assessment of the situation. (Greenspace)

-- It's a real-life pet story reminiscent of "Old Yeller": When a Florida woman found a stray terrier mix, she left it in the care of a neighbor, Yolanda, and the two women set about trying to find its owner. In the days that passed, Yolanda's two sons, 10-year-old Azaiah and 21-year-old Christian, who has Down syndrome, grew attached to the little dog, whom they named RaeLee. Shortly thereafter, RaeLee interrupted Yolanda while she was watering plants on her porch, barking frantically. Yolanda reentered the house and the little dog led her to Christian, who was having a severe seizure that could have resulted in death. The next morning, Yolanda received a call from RaeLee's owner, who called him Odie and wanted him back. But after seeing the boys' distraught faces when he came to claim the dog, the man changed his mind and allowed them to keep him.  (Fox News)

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