Oh, the poooor thing!
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
FLEXPETZ is a unique concept for dog lovers who are unable to own a full-time doggy pal, but miss spending time with a canine friend. FLEXPETZ provides members with local access to a variety of dogs, all of whom are rescued or rehomed, very lovable and fully trained. FLEXPETZ members can spend from just a few hours to a number of days with the dogs. FLEXPETZ dogs are available in varied breed sizes to ensure compatibility with their member's individual lifestyles and unique circumstances. Local drop-off and collection to home or office is available in some locations. (via)
Something is not quite white about this animal. It has two bizarre patches of stripes on its head and flank thanks to a strange parentage. Dad was a zebra stallion, mum was a horse . . . so their odd-looking offspring is known as a zorse. The animal, called Eclyse, can be seen at a safari park in Schloss Holte-Stukenbrock, Germany. (via)
Free of the ethical concerns — and practical difficulties — that impede the practice of eugenics in humans, dog breeders are seizing on new genetic research to exert dominion over the canine gene pool. Companies with names like Vetgen and Healthgene have begun offering dozens of DNA tests to tailor the way dogs look, improve their health, and, perhaps soon, enhance their athletic performance. But as dog breeders apply scientific precision to their age-old art, they find that the quest for genetic perfection comes with unforeseen consequences. And with DNA tests on their way for humans, the lessons of intervening in the nature of dogs may ultimately bear as much on us as on our best friends.
California’s most troublesome tourist, a tiny, mud-coloured moth from Australia with a taste for Napa valley’s finest grapes – not to mention all other crops and the state’s fir trees – is generating panic. Theories as to how the moth reached the Golden State abound; the most likely is that the first entered the country on a plant imported from Australia. By the time a retired entomologist from Berkeley found one in a trap behind his house, it was too late. The invasion was under way – resulting in a $100 million (£50 million) crisis for California’s farmers and a political battle in Washington over how future invasions of exotic pests might be prevented. As California’s farmers have found out, the Australian light brown apple moth is a very hungry creature. It might have a passion for grapes but it will happily eat anything else grown by California’s farmers. Its caterpillars will eat everything from corn and tomatoes to cherries, peaches and plums. It is able to procreate at an astonishing pace even if its life-span is shorter than the average summer holiday.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
If you or someone you know has the luxury of a swimming pool or nearby watering hole, your dog is likely to take an interest, too. Swimming may well be one of the healthiest and most entertaining exercises a canine will ever encounter. But it’s not without its hazards. So responsible parents would do well to take note: not all dogs take gracefully to the water. They and others, like geriatrics and epileptics, need special attention while poolside.
The rare recurve-billed bushbird, recently rediscovered by scientists in Colombia after a 40-year absence, sports a curving beak that gives the illusion of an enigmatic smile. This photograph, taken by a conservationist with the Colombia-based nonprofit Fundación ProAves, is the first ever taken of a live bushbird. The elusive species had not been spotted between 1965 and 2004, due to its limited range and remote habitats. It was seen recently in Venezuela and in a region of northeastern Colombia, where it was photographed.
Forest rangers in the northern Italian Alps have confirmed for the first time the existence of an albino mountain goat - and named him "Snowflake." Rangers took photos of the albino capra ibex climbing with its mother at about 10,000 feet above the Les Laures valley in the northwestern Val d'Aosta region, said Christian Chioso, a regional wildlife official. "This is the only one ever documented, the only one ever seen," Chioso said. Albinism is rare in any species and has not been previously documented among the capra ibex, a type of wild mountain goat with large curved horns that lives in mountainous areas. Chioso estimated the albino animal is about a year old.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Good shooting, guys! A Wilkinsburg police officer and an animal control officer were injured Tuesday evening when bullet fragments ricocheted off the pavement as police fired at a trio of pit bulls along Ella Street that were trying to attack them, Wilkinsburg police said. The animal control officer, David Keller, was struck in the leg below the knee and taken to Mercy Hospital, Uptown, for treatment, said Paul McIntyre, chief at Triangle Pets in McKees Rocks, which provides animal control services for Wilkinsburg.
Aren't there enough homeless dogs in the USA? Do we really need to import more? 12 dogs were rescued from a Romanian forest, where wolves and bears roam, and brought to the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe. Eight were still waiting to find new homes yesterday. The puppies had been loose in the Snagov Forest north of Bucharest, home of Vlad the Impaler, on whom the book “Dracula” was based. The actress Frances Conroy had visited the forest and noticed the stray dogs. She alerted a local rescue group, FPCC Romania, run by a British man named Robert Smith. Smith had the dogs sterilized before arranging to have Romania Animal Rescue of Livermore, Calif., take the dogs to the United States. Conroy paid for their care and travel. Including an escort, the travel bill was about $1,400.
Burger King is asking their customers in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana to decide how they donate $100,000 in each metropolitan area. Launched in the spring of 2007, Campaign For Your Cause™ provides you with the chance to vote for the cause you believe is making a difference to improve your community. Whether you're passionate about education, the environment, medical research or any other cause, BURGER KING® invites you to choose how they donate and HAVE IT YOUR WAY®. All ten finalists from each of the metropolitan areas receive a piece of the $100,000, based on the number of votes they receive - 1st Place: $50,000, 2nd Place: $25,000, 3rd Place: $11,000 and 4th through 10th Places: $2,000 each. The Capital Area Animal Welfare Society is one of the finalists in the Baton Rouge community. Vote for The Capital Area Animal Welfare Society to win $50,000! Click here, select "Click here to Vote for Baton Rouge", then select "Capitol Area Animal Welfare Society". Vote once per day at CampaignForYourCause.com or text your vote to 287437 (BURGER). Voting starts Tuesday, June 5, 2007 at 12:00 AM CST and ends on Friday, July 13, 2007 at 11:59 PM CST.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
This bizarre-looking bat got rave reviews when it recently posed for the camera for the first time. Scientists found the twisted-faced creature, called the Maclaud's horseshoe bat, while surveying the highland forests of Guinea in West Africa this spring. German biologist Natalie Weber took this picture after finding 16 members of the species in a series of remote caves. The bat had never been photographed before and had not been seen in the wild in nearly 40 years. The Maclaud's bat is one of about 70 known species of horseshoe bats, so named for their distinctive—some might say grotesque—facial features called noseleafs. Scientists aren't certain what the skin flaps are for, but they're thought to aid in echolocation—the process bats use to navigate by emitting and receiving high-frequency sound waves.
The news just doesn't get any better for a rare breed of donkeys that grow to be taller than most horses. A British stud farm dedicated to preserving the rare Poitou donkey has managed to breed four foals within a 20-day period - two colts and two fillies. Just 44 Poitou donkeys were known to exist in 1976. Their numbers have since increased to an estimated 600 to 800 worldwide. The four newcomers, Tilda, Tomas, Tarka and Tizer, have proved to be a big hit for Woodford Farm, in Hampshire.
Polar Bear News is a blog meant to keep people in touch with the polar bear and what's happening to them around the world. It includes photos and information on their natural habitat and the efforts to save this magnificent marine mammal.
Monday, June 25, 2007
An Alaska man has pleaded guilty to selling more than 100 fur seal "oosiks" -- or penises -- to a local gift shop that intended to sell the items as an aphrodisiac. Federal law forbids the sale of any raw marine mammal parts unless they have been crafted into pieces of Alaska Native artwork.
Elwood, a 2-year-old Chinese Crested and Chihuahua mix, was crowned the world's ugliest dog, a distinction that delighted the mutt's owners. Elwood, dark colored and hairless — save for a mohawk-like puff of white fur on his head — is often referred to as “Yoda,” or “ET,” for his resemblance to those famous science fiction characters. “I think he's the cutest thing that ever lived,” said Elwood's owner, Karen Quigley, a resident of Sewell, New Jersey. Quigley brought Elwood out to compete for the second year at the annual ugly dog contest at the Marin-Sonoma County Fair on Friday. Elwood placed second last year.
At a time when affluent dog owners coddle their pets with massage, antidepressants and spa vacations, it’s not surprising that dogs have the equivalent of personal trainers. Hiring a dog runner isn’t merely fashionable. “Many people have come to understand that their dog needs more exercise than they can provide,” said Dr. Monica Clare, a critical care specialist at the Animal Surgical and Emergency Center in Los Angeles. “Dog walking is fine, but some dogs need more exercise. Dog runners provide it.” Some deskbound owners dispatch their pets to run miles that they can’t. “In some cases people do for their dogs what they don’t do for themselves,” said Josh Schermer, the founder of nycdogrunners.com, in Manhattan. “They know they should go to the gym. They should eat better. They should run. So they have their dog do it.” Photo credit: NYC Dog Runners
Sunday, June 24, 2007
kattbank Kattbank is a creative solution to one of the more challenging space-sharing issues for cat-owners and the animals they love. Kattbank is a modern bench designed especially to conceal the cat litter box. The litter box is hidden within the contemporary lines of kattbank, which is cleverly vented to provide adequate airflow for the cat's health, yet does not give up any offending odors.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Houston Zoo has a blog dedicated to baby elephant, Mac, who was born October 1, 2006. At birth, he weighed 384 pounds, measured 40 inches from his head to his rump, and stood 40 inches tall. When Mac was born on October 1st, he already weighed 384 pounds—the biggest Asian elephant born in an AZA Zoo. His growth has continued and today he weighs 764 pounds! Here’s a weighty issue - when will he weigh 1,000 lbs?
A very disturbing article ... The commercial pet foods industry rakes in billions of dollars annually. In exchange for our dollars, we trust the companies to provide our pets with quality nutrition. The recent pet food recall demonstrated that our trust has been misplaced. But while many were shocked by the tragic deaths of beloved pets, many more would be shocked to know that the pet food industry has a long history of mistreating our pets.
The last 100 mountain gorillas still alive in the Democratic Republic of Congo after years of fighting, live in the 8,000 sq km Virunga National Park, in eastern DR Congo. Around 1,100 wildlife rangers work in the parks of eastern DR Congo, protecting not only mountain gorillas, but also chimpanzees, forest elephants, rhinos and lowland gorillas. The rangers, who work for the Congolese wildlife authority (ICCN), risk their lives to protect the gorillas, despite small and irregular wages. (via)
Thursday, June 21, 2007
20 Common Bird Species Are In Dramatic Decline, According To Audubon Study New data show the populations of some of America's well-known birds in a tailspin, thanks to the one-two punch of habitat fragmentation and, increasingly, global warming. From the heartland's whippoorwills and meadowlarks to the Northern bobwhite and common terns of the nation's coasts, 20 common bird species tracked by the National Audubon Society have seen their numbers fall 54 percent overall since 1967, with some down about 80 percent, the group reported.
BIG PINE KEY, Fla. -- An iguana walking across a high-voltage electrical transformer caused a brief power outage for 27,000 Lower Keys and Key West electrical customers Tuesday. A spokesman for Keys Energy Services said the iguana plopped down on a transformer at the Big Pine Key electrical substation. That caused a main transmission line circuit breaker to open. Power was restored to most customers in 20-minutes. Keys Energy Services says the iguana survived, but lost some of its tail. Photo credit: Melissa Kaplan's Herp Care Collection
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
BUSHNELL, Fla. -- A Sumter County man was in an Orlando hospital, Monday, with a poisonous snake bite. Deputies said a rattlesnake, which the man stole, was the one that bit him. One snake expert said, before you steal something, read the sign on the cage: "Danger, venomous reptiles. Authorized personnel only. Do not enter." You can't get much simpler than that. But, Sumter County deputies said, 20-year old Jonathon Lafever ignored the warning. They said he broke into a shed behind a home along Northwest Street in Bushnell and stole five snakes, but one of them, a banded rock rattlesnake, bit him.
Monday, June 18, 2007
The only surviving pair of endangered pygmy rabbits released as part of a program to increase their numbers in the wild have dodged coyotes, badgers, hawks and owls and found time for love. Proud scientists announced Thursday that the rabbits have successfully bred. The rabbits, slightly larger than a man's hand, eat sagebrush and are the only rabbits in the United States that dig their own burrows.
Milan's Linate airport was closed early Sunday while 200 hunters tried to outfox scores of hares infesting its runways. The operation was ordered after hares became tangled in aircraft landing gear twice in recent weeks. Officials say at least 80 hares are living on the airport grounds, confusing radar equipment and endangering flights taking off and landing.
The cheetah is known as the fastest and one of the most beautiful animals on earth. A mother cheetah's maternal role is critical to the survival of the species, which has been considered endangered since the Sixties. For 18 months, mothers must raise their cubs from tiny, helpless creatures - only ten ounces in weight and less than 12 inches long - into grown animals capable of taking care of themselves.
Wonderful, poignant article by Arthur Phillips in the New York Times. "MY little guy is growing up fast. He’s toilet-trained, he goes uncomplainingly to sleep and he no longer chews on his playmates’ faces until they bleed. He is 8 months old, and I know, years from now, that I will always remember this summer as the time he and I fell in love."
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Felt Froggies for Felines Frogs with RickRack legs made especially for your feline friends. Each one is stuffed with a healthy dose of Cosmic Catnip, sure to drive your kitty crazy! Tested and approved by Big Bill, Tucker, Humphrey, Truman, Bubba, Sam, Ashe, Atta, Buddy, Mittens and Paws. Their stamps of approval are all over these little froggies.
COCKTAIL BLACK CAT DRINK HANGERS Perfect for your Party Punch Glasses! Slightly spooky and very cute, these 1-1/2" (3.8 cm) tall, plastic Black Cat Cocktail Buddies will add an extra layer of cool to any cocktail party. Their long black tails act as a hook over the rim of the glass as they dangle on the side just daring anyone else to touch your drink.
Catnip Cat Toys Zoo Pals Tired of hot pink, glittery cat toys strewn about your house? Catnip Toys Zoo Pals are better! * Hand-knitted in detail with luxuriously soft real Alpaca wool * Cat toys are stuffed with delicious premium organic catnip * Toys are stitched with a length of silk yarn string (perfect for dangling and twitching seductively or hanging from a doorknob * Zoo Pal Catnip Cat Toys are lovingly hand made in the USA Size: 2.5" - 3" 12 inch silk string with loop for dangling
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Elephants are secretive about giving birth in the wild and witnessing such an extraordinary event is rare even for conservationists. The extraordinary moment an elephant gave birth in the wild has been captured on camera by a couple on honeymoon. The thrilling amateur footage was recorded by newlyweds Debbie and Jon Smith at Ulusaba private game reserve in the Kruger national park in South Africa.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Ron Aiello, credits his canine partner, Stormy, for saving his life during the Vietnam War. Stormy was one of nearly 5000 dogs that served as patrol and scouts during that conflict. After he returned home, Ron founded the United States War Dog Association, and even built a memorial to honor dogs that served in the military. There are still dogs serving in the military and fighting the war on terror. To offer support for them, one woman, Amy Nichols, founded K-9 Support. She's held several fundraisers in her hometown, Baltimore, and has been sending care packages overseas. In the packages are grooming aids, protective gear, special toys and snacks for the military dogs and their human handlers.
A new diet drug for dogs is now available through your veterinarian that may help your pet win the war on weight. Slentrol is formulated specifically for dogs. It works by telling the dog's brain it is not hungry. Therefore he eats less. My suggestion: Why not just feed the dog LESS?
It was a strange sight in western Massachusetts when a family in Pittsfield came home to find a cow in their swimming pool. Several cows had wandered off from a nearby farm and apparently one of the cows decided to take dip in the family's in-ground pool. The homeowners called Pittsfield police, who called a nearby farmer. The cow was harnessed and pulled out.
The red-eared slider was the "it" pet for generations of kids until tiny turtles were banned more than 30 years ago because they shed salmonella. Later this week, Congress will decide if these baby reptiles are ready for a comeback. The sale of turtles with shells smaller than 4 inches was banned in 1975 because the sweet-faced reptiles harbored a dirty little secret: They shed salmonella. Kids became infected with the dangerous germ after putting their turtle-tainted fingers — or the turtles themselves — in their mouths. Regulators figured by banning turtles smaller than 4 inches, they’d curb the pet’s popularity, and at least bigger shells wouldn’t be able to fit into kids’ mouths. Before the ban went into place in 1975, an estimated 100,000 cases of salmonella sickness occurred each year as the result of baby turtles and other pet reptiles, Sundlof says. Since the tiny-turtle prohibition, that number has gone down by about a quarter.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
In recent years, evidence has begun to show that animals have personalities after all. Chimps, for example, can be conscientious: they think before they act, they plan and they control their impulses, says Samuel Gosling, a Texas-based psychologist. Research has identified similar personality traits in many other species. The implications of these findings for research on human personality are powerful. Scientists can look to animal studies for insight into humans the same way they now look to animal testing for insight into drugs. Animal research has already begun to shed light on how different types of people respond to medications and treatments—aggressive and passive rats respond differently to antidepressants, for example. The hope is that animals can illuminate the murky interplay of genes and the environment on people's personalities.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
A baby mountain gorilla has been left orphaned and fighting for its life after its mother was shot and killed in eastern Congo. Rangers discovered the two-month-old gorilla clinging to the breast of its slain mother in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rebel militias in the area have been accused of slaughtering and eating the critically endangered apes.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. -- Those pesky little bugs, cicadas, have been making their return in recent weeks in parts of the Midwest. They pop out of the ground like clockwork every 17 years. Looking something like angry versions of crickets, cicadas are known for their bright red eyes. Nicholas Wagner, 6, of the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove learned in kindergarten that about one in every million of the bugs has blue eyes. When the cicadas finally showed up, Nicholas was ready. And last Friday he spotted that one-in-a-million. His mother, Maria, said Nicholas shouted, "Mommy, I found a blue-eyed cicada!" *** Sorry, I personally didn't find any blue-eyed cicadas, but have more than enough of the red-eyed variety. Here's my collection:
Monday, June 11, 2007
California may become the only U.S. state to require the sterilization of pets under a bill passed by the state Assembly, pitting dog and cat lovers against animal rights activists. The bill would require pet owners to spay and neuter their dogs and cats, or face a $500 fine for each animal. Breeders, as well as owners of guide dogs, could obtain exemptions.
Droves of cats and kittens are swarming into animal shelters nationwide, and global warming is to blame, according to one pet adoption group. Several shelters operated by a national adoption organization called Pets Across America reported a 30 percent increase in intakes of cats and kittens from 2005 to 2006, and other shelters across the nation have reported similar spikes of stray, owned and feral cats. The cause of this feline flood is an extended cat breeding season thanks to the world’s warming temperatures, according to the group, which is one of the country’s oldest and largest animal welfare organizations.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
An exotic cat with the looks of a mini-leopard and a whopping $22,000 (11,000 pound) price tag has joined a crowded designer pet market that also features hypoallergenic kittens. The Ashera is the result of blending the African Serval and the Asian Leopard Cat with a domestic cat, creating what Los Angeles-based Lifestyle Pets described this week as "the world's largest, rarest and most exotic domestic cat." With tiger stripes and leopard-like spots, Ashera is pictured on the company's Web site wearing a diamond studded collar. It grows up to 30 pounds and sports fearsome teeth but the company says it gets along with other pets and children and takes well to being walked on a leash.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
An outrageous and shameful story: Some residents called it parade time. A group of preening peacocks would strut up the middle of Harbourne Avenue, drawing admiring stares and bringing traffic to a halt. Half an hour later, the birds would saunter back to their home in Paignton zoo. But not yesterday. To the horror of many local people, the concern of animal activists and the despair of zookeepers, seven male peacocks were culled by the zoo after one neighbour complained that the spectacular birds were a noisy nuisance. The Devon zoo argued that it had no choice after the neighbour took his fight to the local council and threatened legal action, claiming the peacocks, which make themselves noticed at this time of year with a piercing screech, were ruining his sleep and causing havoc in his garden. A similar, disturbing, controversy is brewing in my neighborhood. We live next to a large forest preserve area and within the last few years the deer have become more and more invasive. They eat the flowers, munch on the bushes, and leave piles of poop behind. Some of the neighbors are demanding drastic action to control or eliminate the deer population. They want them gone! Many are advocating just killing them outright. My thoughts? The forest preserve was there when I bought my house - the deer were there before I was. I'm giving up on impatients and hostas, the deer enjoy them too much. I'm trying to plant more decorative grasses and herbs which the deer are not so fond of. I refuse to spray coyote urine - yuck! nasty stuff! I also enjoy the chipmunks, racoons, coyotees, foxes, squirrels and even the opposums that like to wander through my yard. I would have loved to have had the daily peacock parade through my neighborhood. How sad that some people think otherwise.
Three men said they hooked an 8-foot bull shark that weighed more than 600 pounds this weekend after a lengthy struggle with the animal. The shark was hooked off a dock this weekend. Ed Maloney, Frank Maloney and Chuck Meyer said they worked in shifts to catch the shark and had toss ice on their reel to keep it from overheating. "I never thought we were going to get it in," Frank Maloney told the St. Petersburg Times. "I thought we were going to break the line several times." The group measured the shark at 8 feet, 10 inches but did not have a scale to properly weigh their catch. They estimated its weight at about 650 to 700 pounds. (Photo credit)
A baby Binturong, also known as the Asian 'bear-cat', emerges from its nest box at Sydney's Taronga Zoo. The baby, named 'Indah', which means beautiful in Malay, is the zoo's first Binturong cub since they were first put on display more than 50 years ago. REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA)
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
With modern art fetching such astronomical prices these days, you can't blame a guy for trying to cash in. Staff at Pennywell Farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon, have taken a novel approach to fundraising as they turn their pigs into painters. Their miniature pigs have been creating works of modern art which sell for up to £16 each and have so far raised more than £150 for the Farm Crisis Network charity.
A purple fluorescent frog is one of 24 new species found in the South American highlands of Suriname, conservationists reported on Monday, warning that these creatures are threatened by illegal gold mining. The two-tone frog -- whose skin is covered with irregular fluorescent lavender loops on a background of aubergine -- was discovered in 2006 as part of a survey of Suriname's Nassau plateau. Scientists combing Suriname's Nassau plateau and Lely Mountains found four other new frog species aside from the purple one, six species of fish, 12 dung beetles and a new ant species, the organization said in a statement.