- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 7, 2007

White tiger cubs die at traveling zoo

DULUTH, Minn. — All four white Bengal tiger cubs born this week at a traveling zoo exhibit died within a few hours of one another, a zoo official said. A cause of death was not immediately released.

The cubs were born Tuesday to Gita and Splash, two royal white Bengal tigers on display at the Zoo Dynamics exhibit at the Mighty Thomas Carnival, which is traveling through Duluth. Marcus Cook, senior animal care specialist with Zoo Dynamics, said the young tigers all died between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Mr. Cook said the cubs did not die as a result of care or zoo conditions, and added that they had been nursing. A veterinarian from the Lake Superior Zoo had examined the cubs Thursday morning but could not pinpoint a cause of death.

Girls arrested in kidnapping

ENID, Okla. — Detectives arrested a 12-year-old girl and her 10-year-old sister for purportedly abducting their neighbor’s 1-year-old son and demanding $200,000 for his return.

Brandon Wells was safe at home Thursday night, hours after intruders broke into his family’s residence and took him while his mother slept, police said.

The siblings, who were not identified because of their ages, are accused of sneaking into Sheila Wells’ home about 5:30 a.m., taking son Brandon and leaving a ransom note.

The plan began to unravel when the girls’ mother saw them with the child, police said. They told their mother they had found the boy on a street corner, police said.

The girls appeared in Garfield County District Court on Thursday and were taken to Community Intervention Center for juveniles. They have not been formally charged.

Doctor’s wife guilty of murder for hire

AKRON, Ohio — A woman accused of offering her younger lover a share of her doctor husband’s multimillion-dollar estate to entice him to kill the 69-year-old man was convicted yesterday of murder-for-hire and other charges.

Donna Moonda, 48, could now face the death penalty.

The defense had argued that her 25-year-old lover, Damian Bradford, had acted alone and that Moonda had tried to revive her husband after Bradford shot him along the Ohio turnpike. Federal prosecutors argued the two were in it together and portrayed Moonda as a perpetual liar, thief and drug user.

The federal jury also convicted Moonda of interstate stalking and two counts of using or carrying a firearm in the commission of a violent crime.

Bradford, of Monaca, Pa., met Moonda in drug rehabilitation, according to court records. He has pleaded guilty to interstate stalking and a gun charge and is expected to receive a 17½-year sentence.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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