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Bright and Brief

October 27, 1988

CHICAGO (AP) _ Lenore, 25, tips the scales at 230 while her friend, Terra, weighs in at 275 pounds. These simian grand dames need a fat farm - and fast, say medical experts at Lincoln Park Zoo.

But just how do you tell a lady gorilla she’s too fat? Very carefully.

An even trickier question: How do you get her to eat low-fat fare while the rest of her pals are getting the usual?

Veterinarians, borrowing from the human fitness craze, are using body composition analysis and blood tests to determine just how big is too big for six lowland gorillas that call Lincoln Park their home.

The study is spurred by concerns that a matronly gorilla may have some difficulty becoming a mom, chief zoo veterinarian Thomas Meehan said this week.

Members of the zoo staff noticed that the youngest, slimmest and trimmest of the female gorillas were better reproducers. But until the veterinarians finish analyzing test results in several weeks, they aren’t sure whether other gorillas are fat because they’re old, not conceiving offspring because they’re fat or old, or all of the above.


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Brawny athletes quaked in their tennis shoes and female volleyball players ran out screaming as sparrow-sized bats swooped through the University of Central Florida gymnasium.

″We’ve got guys who are 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds ...,″ said basketball coach Phil Carter. ″I bet the bats don’t weigh an ounce.″

The harmless bug-eating bats, which have a wingspan of about six inches, were some of the thousands displaced from inside the ceiling of an education complex, which includes the gym, over the weekend.

The bats were discovered in May, but because they were breeding, officials decided to wait until Friday to block the entry holes to their ceiling homes.

Some of the bats unexpectedly flew into the gym this week, apparently through open doors, and ″our girls went crazy. They were screaming and running,″ said women’s coach Bev Knight.

The men did no better. One player crawled on the floor to avoid a dive- bombing bat. Others kept one eye on the bats and another on the basketball.

After all the commotion Wednesday, student Paul Zeiser was designated as bat-catcher. He waited until the bats landed, then threw a towel over them and took them outside. He caught five Wednesday.

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