LOS ANGELES (TMZ) — The wildfires raging in California are forcing tons of farm animals to be packed up and moved to safety … including a pig in a blanket who can play the piano.
Nearly 200 animals are being evacuated to Pierce College in Woodland Hills — it has an agricultural program — and the farm manager on campus, Marcie Sakadjian, tells us they’ve run out of room to keep the displaced critters.
Pierce College works in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control … the institution started taking in large animals evacuated from the Getty Fire earlier this week, and more started showing up today as a result of the Easy Fire in the Simi Valley.
We’re told Pierce College is housing about 170 animals on its 30-acre farm — mostly horses in addition to goats, alpacas and a pig who arrived with a blanket and a piano. Seriously.
The piano-playing pig, Romeo, is a 15-year-old potbelly and his owner tells us he can also play the tambourine. We’re told Romeo’s been lifting the spirits of the Pierce College volunteers by playing his unique brand of music. Yes, Romeo’s getting piggy with it.
Pierce College is housing the animals in 3 large barns, and we’re told the school recently built about 50 temporary pens that are coming in handy. Students, staff and volunteers are working around the clock to feed and take care of the animals, and the good news is the critters are showing up in good health with no signs of burns from the fires.
With Pierce College at capacity, we’re told other large animals are being evacuated to another location in Ventura County.
Meanwhile, an alpaca farm in Somis, CA — about 7 miles West of the Easy Fire — is preparing to evacuate its 38 alpacas, 2 dogs and 4 cats … this according to “Alpacas & Beyond” owner Kim Marziole. She says 3 of the alpacas are special needs animals.
It sounds like a crazy scene at the alpaca farm … we’re told there’s horses running around on the loose and smoke is filling the air surrounding the farm.
Hopefully, those horses are as brave as the stallion who rushed into the Easy Fire to lead its fellow steeds to safety.
Texas & California Wet Markets Show Full Extent of Vile Conditions
(TMZ) — It’s becoming more clear by the day that wet markets are NOT just a China problem — it’s an American problem too … just take a look at these latest clips from Texas and California.
TMZ has gotten a hold of even more graphic videos of two different live animal shops in TX and CA — where people pick out the animal, have it slaughtered on the spot and then sold to them right then and there — and you see the mixed-in livestock runs the gamut.
There are pigs in pens, goats and sheep hoarded together … and, of course, as we’ve seen in New York and elsewhere — chicken and rabbits cooped up in cages — all in the same area within earshot of each other, and all getting butchered.
Ya got pigs hanging from hooks out in the open, chicken beaks, feathers and guts all over the floor and in an exposed trash can — this while customers (including kids) come in and browse the freezer for whatever cuts of meat they want. It’s downright dirty and gross.
As we’ve been told by the experts, these one-stop-shop slaughterhouses/storefronts can be breeding grounds for disease — including new viruses, like COVID-19, which supposedly got started at a wet market in China.
We already know of lawmakers in Cali and New York working to get these things shut down, but it’s pretty apparent there needs to be federal legislation rolled out to address this. Can’t call the kettle black when we’re swimming in the freakin’ pot.
Joe Exotic Prison Has 2nd Highest ‘Rona Rate
FORT WORTH (TMZ) — The prison Joe Exotic is currently being held at is the second leading hotbed for coronavirus in the entire federal prison system — but not to worry … Uncle Sam’s got a plan.
The ‘Tiger King’ star has been locked up at FMC Forth Worth in Texas, and as of Tuesday … there was a total of 298 confirmed COVID-19 cases among inmates, making it number 2 behind a federal CA facility at 570 inmate cases.
If that sounds troubling, it should … we’ve seen jails and prisons across the U.S. getting besieged with the virus — and some of the inmates are suffering. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has assured us they’re going above and beyond for their prisoners, staff and visitors alike at Joe’s facility to keep them safe and healthy.
As for Joe … his people have repeatedly told us … he’s virus-free.
The agency tells TMZ there’s a comprehensive action plan in place at all of their institutions — which includes reducing inmate transfers, increasing screening and testing, minimizing unnecessary movement on the inside and temporarily canceling social and legal visits, not to mention training for BOP employees. They will also do regular temperature checks.
The trick is … as little congregating as possible. BOP says it’s trying to keep guards at one post for as long as possible to avoid unnecessary interaction.
BOP also tells us they’ve made sure everyone — prisoners and staffers — have received surgical masks. BOP says it has things under control — so far fewer than 5 deaths at the Fort Worth facility … but with nearly 300 cases, it’s gotta be viewed as a full-fledged outbreak.
So … guess that means Joe’s in good hands??? Here’s hoping so.
Dolphins Still Putting on Show in Japan without Spectators
JAPAN (TMZ) — Move over LeBron James … while pro sports leagues are trying to figure out when they can return to action, some dolphins are way ahead of ’em.
These photos are from Hakkeijima Sea Paradise’s special dolphin show Thursday in Yokohama, where they had zero spectators due to the coronavirus quarantine guidelines there.
Animal trainers still did their thing, though, with dolphins and a beluga whale putting on quite a show — despite lacking a crowd of oohing and ahhing humans. Let’s keep it real … the animals are in it for the food.
The show wasn’t just a dress rehearsal … the aquarium videotaped the performance and aired it on the web for folks to watch safely from home.
Makes ya wonder … do the animals feel differently performing without a crowd? Or, is it just a little closer to being in the wild without a loud pack of humanity watching ’em? We sure hope so.
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This Just In…
- Petition Circulating to Ask Judge to Keep Ed Buck in Jail
- RAGE is Latest Venue to Fall Victim to the Pandemic
- Koretz Won’t Back ‘Uplift Melrose’ Plan
- Man Sentenced for Hit-and-Run Death of Pedestrian on Sunset
- Beverly Grove Man Charged for COVID Relief Loan Fraud
- County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family
- Processions to Cedars Will Salute Healthcare Workers on National Nurses Day