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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Police Find Small Zoo In Car While Investigating Traffic Accident

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Police sent to investigate a traffic accident found more than they expected -- a small zoo.

A kindergarten teacher known as the "Critter Lady" and her menagerie -- including a boa constrictor, turtles, frogs, small mammals and a monster toad -- were shaken up in a two-car collision while en route to a wildlife lecture in New York City.

Deborah Mumford, who collects and cares for abandoned and stray pets of various kinds, was listed in good condition at a hospital on Sunday, a nursing supervisor said.

None of the animals escaped, but an officer had to return the toad to its box, Lt. Michael Palumbo said.

"The officer described it as a huge toad," he said.

Among the teacher's other pets, a chinchilla may have suffered a broken leg and a rabbit may have an eye injury, said her husband, Allan Mumford. A veterinarian found the other animals were unharmed.

No one in the second car was hurt, police said.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.

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