Former English soccer star Gary Mabbutt, 57, traveled to South Africa in July to visit his daughter, who works at Kruger National Park, but it wasn’t the exotic big game that left the most lasting impression on him. While he was sleeping, he later told the BBC, “... a rat has come into the bedroom, climbed into the bed and has decided to chew on my foot,” which Mabbutt couldn’t feel because he suffers from Type 1 diabetes and has little feeling in his foot.

The rat “made quite a big hole in my toe, going down to the bone, and ate underneath my foot.” Mabbutt was finally alerted to the rodent’s presence when it bit his thumb and he saw his bloody foot. He flew back to the United Kingdom, where he underwent surgery and spent a week in the hospital.

“All the opponents that I’ve played against,” he said, “and I finally get taken out by a rat.”

— The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in Maine is seeking state permission to construct a permanent memorial to the 4,500 or so lobsters that perished on Aug. 22 when a truck carrying them crashed in Brunswick. The monument, a 5-foot-tall granite tombstone, would “remind everyone that the best way to prevent such tragedies is to go vegan,” said Danielle Katz, director of PETA. The proposed wording for the stone is: “In memory of the lobsters who suffered and died at this spot August 2018, Try Vegan, PETA” and would include a graphic of a lobster. Of course, Maine residents are possibly the least sympathetic about their crustacean counterparts: The Portland Press Herald reports that in 2017, 110 million pounds of lobster were harvested in the state.

— Along with a nail salon, a massage parlor and a dry cleaner, a mall in Toronto, Canada, is now the site of North America’s first sex doll brothel. Aura Dolls offers “an exciting new way” for patrons to achieve their desires “without the many restrictions and limitations that a real partner may come with,” says the company’s website. Marketing director Claire Lee told City News on Aug. 27 that customers “come in, they have their own room ... a TV monitor that plays adult entertainment and a doll ... will be ready and waiting for you.” Lee also assures potential customers that the dolls will be cleaned after each customer using a three-step process. The company says it has had requests from women for male dolls and is considering adding them.

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