Police set up a secret camera to catch a mountain lion. That's when everything went bonkers.

On March 29, young mountain lions attacked a 7-year-old boy in Canada, but they were fought off by the boy's mother. This came on the heels of encounters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Palestine, Texas, and Santa Barbara, California.

The recent encounters in the news aren’t a fluke, but actually the sign of something good. Since the ‘60s, conservation efforts have helped replenish the mountain lion population in North America, so they’re becoming more visible to humans.

“From the '60s until now, you've had a steady progression of conservation benchmarks that have brought us to the distribution of mountain lions in the west,” Jim Williams, regional director for the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, told ABC News.


With news of mountain lion sightings on the rise, a funny story from three years ago needs to be retold.

A mountain lion was spotted in the area around Gardner, Kansas. So the local police decided to set up a camera to try and capture the beast. But shortly after the camera got rolling, things started to get weird. Like, surreal in an Italian expressionist film from the 1950s weird.

First, the camera captured a skunk wandering by. No biggie.

via Gardner Police Department / Facebook

Then a coyote sniffed around for a bit. Dangerous, but not out of the norm.

Gardner Police Department / Facebook

The a person using a walker carrying a sword-like object ambled on by. That's a little strange.

Gardner Police Department / Facebook

OK, so what’s this dude in a gas mask carrying plastic bag up to?

Gardner Police Department / Facebook

Things got scary when a guy in a cheap-ass gorilla suit showed up looking like a cross between a ‘60s "Star Trek" alien and a guy you’d see in the stands at a Raider game.

Gardner Police Department / Facebook

Then someone — who’s probably a friend of the gorilla — strutted on by wearing a werewolf mask, high heels, and a white onesie.

Gardner Police Department / Facebook

Some creature that looks like the swamp thing Sasquatch-walked its way by the camera.

Gardner Police Department / Facebook

Then two alien gorillas joined each other in what appears to be a loving embrace. My god, let’s hope they don’t mate.

Gardner Police Department / Facebook

The Gardner Police Department released the bizarre photos and now it looks like the mountain lion was the least of its problems.

Wildlife concerns: The Gardner Police Department was contacted recently about concern over the possibility of a mountain...

Posted by Gardner Police Department on Monday, November 28, 2016

Stay safe out there.

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Comedy legend Carol Burnett once said, "Giving birth is like taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head." She wasn't joking.

Going through childbirth is widely acknowledged as one of the most grueling things a human can endure. Having birthed three babies myself, I can attest that Burnett's description is fairly accurate—if that seemingly impossible lip-stretching feat lasted for hours and involved a much more sensitive part of your body.

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via SNL / YouTube

Christopher Walken is one of the greatest actors of his generation. He's been nominated for an Academy Award twice for best supporting actor, winning once for 1978's "The Deer Hunter" and receiving a nomination for 2002's "Catch Me if You Can."

He's played memorable roles in "Annie Hall," "Pulp Fiction," "Wedding Crashers," "Batman Returns," and countless other films. He's also starred in Shakespeare on the stage and began his career as a dancer.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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Gerrymandering is a funny word, isn't it? Did you know that it's actually a mashup of the name "Gerry" and the word "salamander"? Apparently, in 1812, Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry had a new voting district drawn that seemed to favor his party. On a map, the district looked like a salamander, and a Boston paper published it with the title The GerryMander.

That tidbit of absurdity seems rather tame compared to an entire alphabet made from redrawn voting districts a century later, and yet here we are. God bless America.

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