Dogs are supposed to be man's best friend, but for Hunter James Harris his pooch wasn't so much good as it was a good shot. Harris was shot by his dog in a bizarre accident, when, according to officials of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, he placed his shotgun on the ground to cross a fence and his dog stepped on the trigger. Harris was hit in the lower leg and is listed in good condition at an Iowa City hospital, and thankfully, no other people or animals were hurt in the incident.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Danish police have appealed for public help to track down a kangaroo that escaped from its owner's home in Copenhagen. Two of the fleet-footed native Australian marsupials escaped from their owner's residence in the Copenhagen neighborhood of Amager on Monday. One found its own way home today but the second remains on the loose, police said.
Authorities in Germany are trying to re-capture 7,500 mink who have escaped from a fur farm. The mink stole away after unknown criminals opened a large number of cages and destroyed fences at a fur farm in the early hours of Friday morning, police reported Friday. There is speculation that animal rights activists, who have repeatedly criticized fur farms as cruel, may be behind the incident. However, police admit they have little evidence to go on and are making no statements as to possible perpetrators.
Royal Navy officers are paying tribute to Simon the cat, a rat-catcher on the HMS Amethyst who continued his duties despite being hit by shrapnel and singed during shelling raids by Chinese communists on the Yangtze River in 1949. Simon stuck to his task despite injury during the 101-day summer siege that followed. The communists withheld supplies for over three months while they used the ship as a political bargaining chip. But the black and white cat kept up morale and crew credited him with saving their lives by protecting dwindling food stores from a rat infestation.
In an apparent first for butterflies, the Florida Museum of Natural History is auctioning the naming rights for a newly discovered species online to raise money for butterfly research. University of Florida researchers George Austin and Andrew Warren discovered the new species of owl butterfly earlier this year. The discovery is significant because the species is large and colorful, and is the first butterfly from this group to be named in more than 100 years. Rather than naming the butterfly themselves, the customary practice when new species are discovered, Austin and Warren decided to auction the naming rights of the new species to raise money to support continued research on Mexican butterflies at the McGuire Center. View Bid Form
Arctic foxes create "nest eggs" each year to prepare for leaner times, according to a new study. Like squirrels gathering nuts for the winter, the small foxes hoard bird eggs in case there's not enough of their favorite prey—the collard lemming—to go around in the spring. The stored eggs can last for up to a year after being buried, thanks to the Arctic permafrost and natural preservatives inside the eggs. (via)
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Fup, the resident cat at Powell's Technical Books, passed away on October 25. She was 19 years old. She continued to greet her admiring public to the end, when her health failed and there was no choice but to put her to sleep. Her lifelong veterinarian made the trip out to the store to perform the task and Fup died peacefully at home with several of her longtime co-workers present. (via)
Worth $22,156.63? The Daily Mail reports that the Ashera is the world's "largest, rarest and most exotic" domestic cat. The large pointed ears and eye-catching coat come from two wild bloodlines, the African serval and Asian leopard cat, crossed with an undisclosed domestic breed.
About 7 percent of dog owners say they have purchased a Halloween costume for their pet, up from 4 percent in 2004, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. If you're part of that trend, beware of the hazards of costumes for our furry friends. Some tips: • Be sure that straps aren't buckled too tightly, because they might constrict air passages and cause choking. • Make sure the costume lets the animal move comfortably and does not restrict vision or hearing. • Don't let your pet chew on the costume; it may contain dangerous dyes and other chemicals. • Make sure no part of the costume is flammable. • A reflective costume adds to safety after dark. If you do dress up your dog on Halloween night, don't have him wear the costume for too long. And always keep dogs on a leash, as there are lots of distractions around. One final warning: Don't let dogs or other animals get close to a candlelit jack-o-lantern. It could be dangerous for the animal and become a fire hazard.
Monday, October 29, 2007
A clam dredged up off the coast of Iceland is thought to have been the longest-lived creature discovered. Scientists said the mollusc, an ocean quahog clam, was aged between 405 and 410 years and could offer insights into the secrets of longevity. Researchers from Bangor University in north Wales said they calculated its age by counting rings on its shell. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the longest-lived animal was an Arctica clam found in 1982 aged 220.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Swiss Chalet Pet Estate ($8,000) This beautiful house will make your animals feel right at home. This chalet two-dog house designed and built by Alan Mowrer, can be constructed with countless interior and exterior options. Whether it is cable, running water, electricity, central air or a wireless communication system, Alan can accommodate your wishes.
This fun coat conditioner contains mica chips to add a fun sparkle and shimmer to your dog's coat. This high-quality conditioner is non-staining, antistatic, and also acts as a light-duty detangler. Unscented spray is safe for puppies over 6 weeks old. Not safe for cats.
Kong Time for Dogs KongTime, all day entertainment for the home-alone dog™. Put dog food or treats inside a Kong toy and what do you have? Magic! Your dog will happily chew at the Kong toy, trying to get out every last morsel. It's fun! Simply fill the four - included with purchase - Kong toys with food. At random intervals over the day, the KongTime will dispense a food-filled Kong toy for your dog. Before a toy is dispensed, a sound beeps, indicating to your dog that it's time for fun!
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Do you wonder how the scenes involving owls were created and shot for the Harry Potter movies? This article has some interesting "behind the scenes" information. Animals received royal treatment during filming. In many cases, the animals received better treatment than the human actors – such as the scenes with the cats Mrs. Norris and Professor McGonagall. Many of the scenes take place in a real castle, which was actually quite drafty and cold. For the cats' comfort, they were provided heated floors to keep their paws and their bodies warm. The human actors had no such comforts.
Friday, October 26, 2007
The world's most endangered cat species may be slightly less endangered than previously thought. A new population of Iberian lynx has been discovered in a remote area of Spain—raising the number of known populations from two to three—a conservation group reports. The newfound population appears to roam private estates in the Castile la Mancha Province of central Spain, according to the international conservation group WWF. The two other known populations occupy isolated portions of Andalusia in southern Spain.
Bob and Judi Olwine's home in Woodstock, near Patapsco Valley State Park, is where the deer play. Judi and her husband decided to do what any baffled suburban couple would do in this situation: They got rifles from the hall closet and ... Just kidding!
Which salamanders have four legs, a flat head, a paddle-like tail, beady little eyes and are called names like "snot otter" and "devil dog"? Also known as Allegheny alligator, mollyhugger, and mud cat, the hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) is North America’s largest salamander, reaching lengths of nearly 30 inches. These strange, but interesting creatures once thrived in thousands of pristine streams throughout the eastern United States. Populations have drastically declined, mainly because of declining stream quality. Not only has the hellbender population dwindled by 80 per cent in the last 30 years, but those remaining have severe deformities – missing toes, limbs and open sores. There is a 95 per cent chance of extinction of this animal over the next 75 years. The average age of Cryptobranchus in the wild is unknown, but in captivity, they have lived as long as twenty-nine years. Hellbenders are not venomous, though their skin secretions are somewhat toxic. They will bite, but only if they are really provoked. A common myth is that hellbenders will 'ruin' good fishing streams by eating all the fish. This couldn't be farther from the truth! In fact, if you see hellbenders in a stream, this is an excellent indication that the water quality is still good -- and this is good for both hellbenders and game fish. The hellbender's voracious appetite for crayfish also means that they are very important for keeping a stream's food chain balanced, and this is good for fish and the entire ecosystem. Photo #1: Kurt Buhlmann Photo #2: Jeff Humphries
Thursday, October 25, 2007
A brightly colored tropical frog under threat of extinction is the focus of a new research project hoping to better understand how environment and diet influence its development and behavior. Biologists from The University of Manchester have teamed up with experts at Chester Zoo in the hope that their findings will not only help save the splendid leaf frog Cruziohyla calcarifer from extinction in the wild but provide clues as to how it can be better catered for in zoos and aquariums.
The Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary in Montana rescues and shelters disabled animals. Every animal who arrives at the sanctuary gets another chance to have a safe and loving home. Residents include blind dogs, blind horses, deaf dogs, blind cats, and others with medical issues like muscular dystrophy. Although these animals may have disabilities, they do not consider themselves handicapped. They just want to get on with life and enjoy themselves. Thanks to the support of the sanctuary's friends, that's what they get to do there.
A captive Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA. This critically endangered subspecies of the Gray Wolf once ranged from central Mexico to the Southwestern United States. In 1980, the last five known surviving members were captured to save the species. Now, over 300 wolves are taking part in a wolf reintroduction program, with at least fifty individuals in the wild. Photo credit: Jim Clark, USFWS (via)
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
There was no time for social niceties, table manners or even a please and thank you. When little pigs insist on stopping for lunch, there's nothing much a mother on the move can do. "The sow was feeding her piglets in the middle of the road and there was no way of moving her," said Bernie Bedford, a local doctor who took the picture. Photo: Daily Mail
The deputy mayor of the Indian capital Delhi has died a day after being attacked by a horde of wild monkeys. SS Bajwa suffered serious head injuries when he fell from the first-floor terrace of his home trying to fight off the monkeys. The city has long struggled to counter its plague of monkeys, which invade government complexes and temples, snatch food and scare passers-by. (via)
Pal is a 10 year old Great Dane, dressed up for Halloween as a race horse complete with her friend Snap the Chihuahua as her jockey. Does your dog have a great Halloween costume? Then enter the Second Annual PupLife.com Dog Halloween Photo Contest. If your dog’s photo is chosen, you could win a $25, a $50 or even a $100 Gift Certificate. Hand made costumes are encouraged, but store bought costumes are fine, too.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The Central Vermont Community Land Trust usually has no objection to a service animal moving into its apartments. But Patty Cooper's service animal is a horse of a different color: a black and white miniature horse, to be exact. The nonprofit housing group is trying to figure out whether it can accommodate the disabled woman's new companion amid concerns about the horse's need for grazing space and whether it will be adequately housebroken.
A blue lobster, so rare that only one in two million have the color, has been trapped off the Massachusetts coast. The lobster, nicknamed Betty Blue, was found in a trap off Minot's Light, one mile offshore of Scituate, Mass. The lobster is so blue that "she glowed in the trap," said Eddie Figueiredo, who trapped the pound-and-a-quarter lobster.
Monday, October 22, 2007
The Latin name of Panthera leo krugeri is not limited to white lions. It applies to all South African lion subspecies; the prides of which are mostly located in Kruger National Park and nearby game reserves. White lions are not albino as they have pigmentation which shows particularly in eye, paw pad and lip colour. The correct term for their condition is leucism, a state where there is near-normal eye colour, but loss of pigment in the skin and fur. The cause of the unusual colouration is the same as for the white tiger. A recessive gene which results in the white appearance is found in a very small number of captive lions. White specimens usually have a yellowish-brown or golden eye color which is very similar to their tawny cousins, though some have bluish coloring like the white tiger.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Great for small dogs, pet birds, and free roaming lizards! Makes a great addition as an inside garden spot for plants and seedlings. Give your cat "the outdoor experience" within the safety of your home. If you have a cat and a window you will enjoy The Feline Solarium. Cats naturally enjoy the outdoors and love to sleep in warm sunlight. You will make your best friend so happy!
A range of designer fashion for pets will go on sale in a special collection in Harrods stores next month. The very best doggy creations will be showcased in the Pet a Porter collection including a £2,500 diamond and sapphire encrusted Vivienne Westwood coat for the designer loving dogs. Pampered pooches will take to the 'dogwalk' to model the latest pet fashion with a diamond studded Ben de Lisi body warmer, as well as designs by Basso and Brooke and a coat by jewelery designer Issa. Photo: China Daily
Woolies are created using a technique called needle-felting. In addition to selecting the highest quality pure carded bulk wool from Australia, America and England in various colors, each Woolie is treated to be moth-resistant. To begin, the wool is pressed together or rolled tightly against itself into a basic form. This roughly formed wool is then sculpted into a specific shape with a felting needle. There are a bunch of poses to choose from.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
A baby porcupine eats a banana. You'll hear tiny squeaks--those are hiccups! His mother was killed when she was hit by a car and he was cared for by licensed wildlife rehabilitator Gail Buhl. He was orphaned and imprinted on humans and is now living at a nature center in northern Minnesota. (via)
Friday, October 19, 2007
Walton County’s fi rst-ever documented leatherback sea turtle nest has hatched, and 23 babies have made their way safely to the Gulf of Mexico. After 79 days of close watch by the South Walton Turtle Watch Group, Walton County’s sea turtle nest No. 12, located in Seagrove just west of Seagrove Villas, came to life Oct. 6 following the day’s heavy rain. At 9:15 p.m., Turtle Watch Volunteer Joe Burton checked on the nest and found a tiny flipper coming out of the sand. After making several phone calls, Burton, fellow volunteer Sharon Maxwell, and 23 other spectators crowded around the nest as the baby sea turtles slowly emerged and crawled into the water. “A truly awesome sight,” Maxwell said.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
A bizarre breed of guinea pig that was created for laboratory testing more than 30 years ago has become the latest designer pet. The skinny-pig has no hair on its body except for tufts on its face and feet - so needs strong suncream in the summer and a jumper in winter. What do you think, kind of cute?
A 38-year-old Brooklyn woman got quite a surprise when she used her bathroom Monday morning. The New York Daily News is reporting that Nadege Brunacci was washing her hands when she glanced at the toilet and saw a 7-foot python staring back at her.
Scientists have discovered that the mangrove killifish spends several months of every year out of the water and living inside trees. Hidden away inside rotten branches and trunks, the remarkable creatures temporarily alter their biological makeup so they can breathe air. Biologists studying the killifish say they astonished it can cope for so long out of its natural habitat. The discovery, along with its ability to breed without a mate, must make the mangrove killifish, Rivulus marmoratus Poey, one of the oddest fish known to man. Around two inches long, they normally live in muddy pools and the flooded burrows of crabs in the mangrove swamps of Florida, Latin American and Caribbean. (via)
Fifth-grade students in a vocabulary class in Aberdeen, N.J., got an unexpected lesson in animal sciences when a deer crashed through their classroom window. Teachers Brenda Adelson and Bonnie McCullough had just moved from the front of the room when the buck burst in at 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press reported. The deer trotted through the classroom into a hall, into the vacant nurse's office, the staff lounge and finally into the empty cafeteria of Lloyd Road Elementary School.