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A black bear at home. 

And now, from the Animals-in-all-the-Wrong-Places Department, let’s start with the giraffe.

Scores of laid-off workers at Toys R Us, the once-great toy emporium that has seen massive layoffs and widespread store closings, are furious that Geoffrey the Giraffe still has his job, while thousands of his workmates have been put out to the proverbial pasture.

The mascot showed up unexpectedly the other day at an industry event, the Washington Post reported, just days “after court filings showed that the owners of Toys R Us might be pursuing a comeback, with the hedge funds that own the company opting to hold onto the Toys R Us and Babies R Us brand names, Web domains and other assets — including Geoffrey.”


But Geoffrey’s not the only animal making surprise appearances these days. From California to Louisiana, the critter sightings have been hard to keep up with. Here are a few of the cameos:

The black bear outside the cop shop

Recently, South Lake Tahoe got another bear scare, this time just outside the Courthouse Plaza. ABC News reported that after a bear was seen loitering about, an El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputy started shooting — photos, not bullets. This was just the latest in a string of bear sighting around Lake Tahoe this year.

According to the sheriff’s office press release: “Sgt. Seligsohn was seated at his desk in our South Lake Tahoe office when he caught this fellow walking past his window. The Courthouse Plaza is no place for a bear at 4:30 in the afternoon, so the Sgt. chased him off but not before taking a few photographs.”

The black bear inside the car

El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies were also on hand this past August when they responded to a report of a bear inside a car in South Lake Tahoe. All it took to dislodge the bear was a single “bean bag” round and the drama was wrapped up.

The black bear figuring out how to get inside the car

August was apparently a busy bear month around Tahoe. A video, posted on YouTube, shows one of them approaching a parked car and opening the door to score some obviously tantalizing snack.

The gator at the front door

Folks in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, got a shocker when a larger-than-life alligator decided to impersonate a door mat at someone’s house. The St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page shared this photo of the reptile, just chillin’ on the porch. “So … you never know what may show up on your door step!” said the post. “Just another day in the life of a St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputy.”

The office said its photo has been shared more than 2,000 times, “with many commenters cracking jokes. ‘Brings new meaning to the welcome mat … or should I say unwelcomed mat,’ Katrina Lee wrote.

And Jackie David wrote: “Now, that’s a watchdog!”

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