A fisherman accused of stabbing a sea lion with a steak knife after the animal stole his bait was charged Thursday with violating the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. Hai Nguyen, 24, faces a misdemeanor count of illegally taking and attempting to kill a marine mammal, the U.S. attorney's office said. If convicted he faces up to one year in prison and a $20,000 fine. Police said he was fishing off a pier when the sea lion, a 6-foot female weighing about 150 pounds, apparently snatched the bait from his fishing pole. Authorities said he stabbed the sea lion with the knife. The animal was severely wounded and was later euthanized.
Friday, August 31, 2007
This month Japan's Ministry of the Environment reclassified the Iriomote cat as "critically endangered" on the government's Red List of threatened species. The wildcat is found only on Iriomote Jima, a tiny, tropical, mountainous island on the southern end of the Ryukyu archipelago, which stretches from Japan to Taiwan. The Iriomote cat has been considered at-risk since it was discovered in 1967, and surveys in 1985 and 1994 estimated that only about a hundred animals remain. Now a three-year survey, still in progress, is providing evidence that the cat's already small population is shrinking, researchers say, most likely due to habitat loss and road-kill deaths.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Indian border guards have come up with a novel way to stop cattle being smuggled from eastern India into neighbouring Bangladesh: they are issuing cows with photo-ID cards. The guards began photographing thousands of cows in border areas of the state of West Bengal earlier this year after a series of gun battles with smugglers and Bangladeshi border patrols. They have now started producing laminated identification cards, including each cow’s photograph, its owner’s name and address, and details such as the animal’s height, colour, sex and other distinguishing features. (Our passport was created with Badge Maker.)
After giving birth to twin calves two years ago, an eastern Ontario cow has really raised some eyebrows in the agricultural community by delivering four healthy calves, two bulls and two heifers. The likelihood of a beef cow birthing quadruplets as one in a million. The calves, are named Hershey, Scotty, Gladys and Christian.
If you hate creepy-crawlies, you might want to avoid Lake Tawakoni State Park where a 200-yard stretch along a nature trail has been blanketed by a sprawling spider web that has engulfed seven large trees, dozens of bushes and even the weedy ground. "At first, it was so white it looked like fairyland," said park superintendent Donna Garde." Now it's filled with so many mosquitoes that it's turned a little brown. There are times you can literally hear the screech of millions of mosquitoes caught in those webs." There is little consensus about what sparked the phenomenon or even the type of spider responsible. Parks officials say similar but smaller webs have sprouted along another trail. Click photo to see large size.
In the early 1990s, local volunteers lifted about 1,200 of them over the bump through two rainy April nights. Then, park staff knocked down a curb so the animals were able to scale it to cross the road. But they're still being squashed by cars and trucks. The mortality rate has been estimated at 10 percent to 40 percent, so now the federal parks agency plans to install tunnels under a stretch of highway at a cost of about C$40,000 ($38,000) to end years of carnage among the long-toed salamander of Waterton Lakes National Park in southern Alberta.
In the movie "The Godfather," a horse's head was used to intimidate, and that's what Milwaukee police said they think is behind the discovery of a bloody goat's head at an attorney's office. Prominent Milwaukee-area defense attorney Robin Shellow has represented hundreds of clients, many of them convicted criminals, reported WISN-TV in Milwaukee. So, the list of people who may have an ax to grind is long. Milwaukee police said they are taking Monday's discovery outside Shellow's office very seriously. The severed head of a goat was found near the corner of the building stuffed inside a pink gift bag. A note, which police described as threatening, was in the goat's mouth. It contained a name, but apparently not the name of a suspect.
From the Quagga -- half zebra, half horse -- to the Irish Deer -- the largest deer that ever lived--, an impressive list with pictures of amazing animals we will never see. A bit of irony here: Great placement by Google ads: Ads posted twice on this page, for Mukiwa Safari Company, "Trophy hunting on some of the largest and most exotic game ranch concessions in Southern Africa." Maybe they can help add to that list of extinct animals?
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Geoduck - pronounced gooey duck - is a species of large saltwater clam. Other nick names for geoduck are elephant trunk clam and king clam. The Geoduck is the largest burrowing clam in the world, on average they weigh about three pounds. The largest one on record weighed in at a massive 15 pounds and was 2 meters in length. The amazing thing about these saltwater clams is that they have a life expectancy of about 146 years - but the oldest one on record lived for 160 years - this has to be one of the longest living organisms throughout the Animal Kingdom. See the giant, phallic & revered geoduck clam of Puget Sound, Washington: Video: 3 Feet Under - Digging Deep for the Geoduck Is that a geoduck in your pocket? Video: Cooking the gooey duck (Several years ago, we saw these in a tank in a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco's China Town. They are very bizarre looking! Being very adventurous that evening, we had some for dinner. They were thinly sliced and were prepared with vegetables in a yellowish sauce. )
Leona Helmsley's dog will continue to live an opulent life, and then be buried alongside her in a mausoleum. But two of Helmsley's grandchildren got nothing from the late luxury hotelier and real estate billionaire's estate. Helmsley left her beloved white Maltese, named Trouble, a $12 million trust fund, according to her will, which was made public Tuesday in surrogate court. She also left millions for her brother, Alvin Rosenthal, who was named to care for Trouble in her absence. "I direct that when my dog, Trouble, dies, her remains shall be buried next to my remains in the Helmsley mausoleum," Helmsley wrote in her will. The mausoleum, she ordered, must be "washed or steam-cleaned at least once a year." She left behind $3 million for the upkeep of her final resting place in Westchester County, where she is buried with her husband, Harry Helmsley. Photo credit: AP Photo/Jennifer Graylock
Heavily-armed police surrounded a Manila bank for hours on Tuesday after its alarm went off, only to have the intruders, a pair of cats, escape. The Special Weapons and Tactics unit of Marikina City rushed to the bank at dawn and made sure no one could leave the bank except through the front door. The police then entered the building only to see a stray cat slip through the door and escape. Once inside, the police saw another cat flee through a small hole in the ceiling. Nothing was missing from the bank although cat droppings were all over the place.
Why he became extinct? All the female walruses ran when they saw that thing! A fossilized penis bone from an extinct walrus went for a whopping $8,000 at a Beverly Hills auction Sunday. The 4 1/2-foot-long bone was sold to the company that runs the Ripley's Believe It or Not museums. Discovered in Siberia, the fossilized penis bone is from a species of walrus that went extinct 12,000 years ago. The piece curves to a point and is covered with weathered skin and dry muscle tissue. (via)
Happy Birthday, pink flamingo! In the flamingos' heyday, everything from ovens to Cadillacs came in pink, and flamingos were all the rage as the unofficial symbol of tropical Florida. What better way for newly affluent suburbanites to revel in Florida's exotic cool factor than to stab pink flamingos into their well-manicured lawns? There were the dark days, too, when the flamingos were reviled as tacky trailer-park kitsch, the repugnant epitome of mass-produced artifice and bad taste. In fact, some communities even banned them. We can thank Don Featherstone, 71, for creating what he later dubbed phoenicopteris ruber plasticus. Now a resident of Fitchburg, Mass., Featherstone had nine years of fine arts training under his belt when Union Products, a plastic molding company in Leominster, hired him in 1957 to design three-dimensional lawn ornaments. Now here we are, raising a glass of pink champagne to this pop culture icon, toasting its 50th anniversary. Maybe the fact that a plastic bird merits attention on its 50th anniversary lays bare a profound truth: a bit of black-velvet Elvis painting lurks in all of us. Photo found at Confined Space
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The Wolf Fish is a powerful, elongated fish with a dorsal fin extending the whole length of its body. Its fearsome set of teeth are used for smashing up shellfish and sea urchins and the whole of the inside of the mouth is made up of grinding molars. Caught commercially and marketed in the north of Britain as Scotch Halibut and Scarborough Woof, the flesh is excellent quality. However, it is always sold skinned and beheaded for obvious reasons. The skin can be turned into a type of leather and is used for making small personal items such as wallets and purses.
"My Pet Fish" Soap looks like the bag that you carry home from the pet store, but don’t be fooled…these plastic fish are not swimming in water, they are embedded in clear, vegetable based glycerin soap shaped like "water in a bag". A great party favor. Fun for kids from 1 to 100. Comes in assorted colors. (via)
Punch loves to be petted and held. Not so unusual in a pet, right? But Punch is a type of goldfish, an oranda. Punch has developed a real need for human attention - as well as communication by varying speeds of vibrations showing satisfaction - or if he is ignored, he shows displeasure by whipping his tail - with amazing force.
Fish Bowls is a new project by designer Roger Arquer that presents 15 variations on the standard fish bowl. Fish Bowls will be exhibited in London this September as part of an exhibition called Conversational Spanish 02. To the left, "Above Water," tells us about sharing the water between the fish bowl and the plant. (via)
Monday, August 27, 2007
The University of Washington needed to clear a 10,000-square-feet hillside overgrown with blackberry bushes and English ivy. Because the area was so steep, it would have been difficult for gardeners to work in the area safely, so the department contracted the work to Rent-A-Ruminant, a Vashon-based company that supplies goats to do heavy munching. Goats, which have a four-stomach digestive system, are able to process the tough fibers of many pesky plants.
One block of Capitol Hill is plagued with so many bird droppings that even the U.S. Postal Service says there are days it won't deliver the mail. The starlings roosting on the 1600 block of Potomac Avenue in Southeast have turned the neighborhood into a disgusting mess. Not only have the birds been dropping a constant whitewash and turning the street and sidewalks into a slippery stinkfest, but the birds' "fecal matter" -- as the District Department of Health indelicately terms it -- makes nearly every parked car on the block look like an ambushed victim from a paintball war. Postal Service spokeswoman Deborah Yackley says the mess extends all the way across the sidewalk and into the street, so it's impossible for mail carriers to get to the mailbox without going through it.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Children’s Hot Water Bottles Cuddly fleece covers in a cow or sheep design for hot water bottles with an optoional matching toy are perfect for children. Made from a luxurious range of anti-pill sherpa fleece with a zip up the back and complete with mini hot water bottle, these are the ideal kid’s bedtime companion.
Dozi Paperclip Holder You don't have to get all prickly hunting high and low for paperclips. This clever porcupine creature, by young Korean designer Mika Kim, lets you collect them neatly, and adds a touch of wit to your desk. (via)
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
A Florida fisherman found the remains of a rare baby giant squid that is nearly 7 feet long. About 15 giant squids have been found off the Florida or Bahamian coasts, but never any babies like this one, scientists said. Most giant squids have been discovered off the coast of New Zealand, and one has never been seen alive. The animals live between 2,400 and 3,000 feet below the ocean's surface and can get as long as 60 feet. (That's a lot of calamari!)
In this photo taken by a surveillance camera and released by the Schoenbrunn zoo in Vienna, female panda Yang Yang holds her newborn baby in her mouth. For the next two or three month Yang Yang and her baby will spend in the enclosed area where she gave birth. A giant panda on loan from China gave her Austrian zookeepers a surprise Thursday: the first panda cub born in Europe in 25 years. Caretakers at the Schoenbrunn Zoo detected the cub on a surveillance camera after hearing little squeals coming from an enclosed compound where the mother, Yang Yang, had retreated. Zookeepers had not been certain Yang Yang was pregnant. A photograph released by the zoo showed Yang Yang, a first-time mother, holding the tiny creature in her mouth and looking up toward the camera. (via)
A friendly young antelope found cavorting with a dog along a walking path was probably picked up illegally in Wyoming and may be too tame to return to the wild, wildlife authorities say. The 3-month-old, 15-pound buck was spotted Wednesday morning, running and playing with a neighborhood dog named Skeeter. "It's just the craziest thing I've ever seen," said Ronda Underwood. "We were just riding along the trail and saw this antelope playing with a dog." She said the antelope came up to her, nuzzled its head and neck along her leg and seemed almost to beg to be petted. (via)
Meet, Toula, a rescued border collie that will make you laugh and prove that she is the best companion. Toula's video features her fetching slippers, a tissue, a pillow, a soda, opening the refrigerator and the trash can, and flushing the toilet. Toula beat out more than 600 dogs and gained the most online votes to win the ``Petco Stars'' competition.
Take some trading cards picturing a disgraced NFL superstar. Add some dog slobber and teethmarks. What do you get? The most valuable Michael Vick cards -- by far -- on eBay, that's what. Collector Rochelle Steffen of Cape Girardeau, Mo., gave every Vick card she owned to her dogs and let them go to town on the images of the Atlanta Falcons quarterback who is scheduled to plead guilty to a federal dogfighting charge Monday. Once Monte, her 6-year-old Weimaraner, and Roxie, her Great Dane puppy, were done worrying them, nearly two dozen $1-$10 cards were crumpled, crimped, chewed, torn and generally in a sorry state. Some even had corners missing. As of Thursday evening, the highest bid on the lot of 22 cards had risen to $455 and more than 2,000 people had viewed the posting. Seventy-seven people already have bid on the auction, which ends Sunday. NOTE: We tried to make a bid, but eBay notice says : This listing (200142824314) has been removed or is no longer available.
Now that five Harry Potter movies and all seven books have been released, people have become very familiar with owls. This website will give you facts about owls both in the real world and in J.K. Rowling's magical world.
Many people think it would be fun to have an owl for a pet, especially after watching the Harry Potter movies or reading the books. Karla Kinstler at Owl Stuff explains the top ten reasons why you don't want an owl as a pet. (via)
Thursday, August 23, 2007
In this video, two men sit down an have dinner with a herd of deer. We're not advocating this ... In Illinois the ban on feeding wild deer has been in place since 2002 to help prevent spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the Illinois wild deer herd. But it's an interesting video to waste a few minutes on.
More than 50 pit bulls seized from Michael Vick's property face a deadline today to be claimed. If no one comes forward, they could be euthanized. Federal prosecutors filed court documents last month to condemn 53 pit bulls seized in April as part of the investigation into dogfighting on the Vick's property. No one has claimed any of the dogs, which are being held at several unspecified shelters in eastern Virginia, the U.S. Attorney's office said Wednesday. "These dogs are a ticking time bomb," said Daphna Nachminovitch, a spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "Rehabilitating fighting dogs is not in the cards. It's widely accepted that euthanasia is the most humane thing for them." Photo credit: Newport News Daily Press photo by Joe Fudge / May 22, 2007
When Buffy the Chihuahua lost a puppy during a C-section July 29, the doctor sent her home with a replacement for consolation — a chipmunk weighing less than an ounce. Marty the chipmunk has adapted well to Buffy’s nursing, surprising even his caretaker. Marty, chipmunk species not yet identified, weighed about 7/8 an ounce. when he was brought to Companion Pet Clinic in Keizer on July 29. He was no more than 2 to 3 days old. He now weighs 1 1/4 ounces with no signs of rejection after seven days of nursing by Buffy, a Chihuahua. (via)
Tinkles The Toilet Cat Listen for shrieks from the bathroom when your guests open the toilet lid to find a soaking wet cat! This black and white cat looks none too happy about falling into the toilet! Attaches to the underside of the toilet seat rim with suction cups included.
This is Lurch, an African watusi steer, who lives at Rocky Ridge Refuge. Lurch holds the Guinness World Record for the largest horn circumference, at 37.5 inches, but broke his own record when his horn circumference reached 38 inches. From tip to tip, Lurch's horns are over 7 1/2 feet long.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
People in the Chicago area already have to worry about West Nile virus and those mysterious mite bites. Now there is a new concern: rabid bats. Several bats with rabies have been found in the Chicago area this month. Nine bats in suburban Cook County have tested positive for rabies this year, including three in the past week, according to the county public health department. A 61-year-old Aurora woman was trying to remove a bat from her home Thursday when it bit her, department spokesman Tom Schlueter said. Officials tested the bat on Friday, with the results coming in Tuesday that it had rabies. These results bring the tally to 59 bats testing positive for rabies this year statewide, Schlueter said.
A temporary, 30-ranger gorilla-protection force has been deployed in the troubled African park where at least five mountain gorillas were killed, execution style, in July. The emergency measure is intended to end the attacks on endangered gorillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Virunga National Park. More than half of the world's 700 endangered mountain gorillas are found in Virunga National Park, which straddles the border of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Aftenposten reports that Norway's national mascot may be contributing to the destruction of the environment, through burping and other bodily functions. Researchers linked to Norway's technical university (NTNU) in Trondheim contend that moose are responsible for tons of gas emissions a year through their frequent burping and, well, farting. A grown moose will burp and pass so much methane gas in the course of a year that it amounts to 2,100 kilos of carbon dioxide emissions. A motorist would have to drive 13,000 kilometers in a car to emit the same.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
A naked man suffered burns to one-fifth of his body when he tried to set fire to a spider at a nudist resort. The 56-year-old Sydney man tried to kill what he thought was a funnel web spider by pouring petrol down the spider's burrow and igniting it with a match. But the fuel exploded and the man was left with burns to 18 per cent of his body, on the upper leg and buttocks.
Pigs around the world In China, 68,000 pigs have died and 175,000 more have been slaughtered because of the highly infectious blue-ear pig disease. Some Western press reports have said the number of infected pigs is much higher than disclosed government figures, citing the dramatic spike in pork prices in China this year as evidence. In Spain, Manuel Maldonado, is taking the art of the ham to new heights, pampering his pigs with a free-range lifestyle and top-quality diet of acorns before slaughtering them, then curing the meat for two years - twice as long as his competitors. His a salt-cured ham, the 2006 Alba Quercus Reserve, will cost about $1,979 per leg, or $158.35 per pound - the most expensive ham in the world. In Austria, three people were injured after a truck carrying 200 pigs crashed. Police and rescue teams were forced to conduct a pig hunt to catch the fleeing pigs. After the fugitive hogs had been apprehended, the driver continued his trip but a few hours later he crashed against a tunnel wall in southern Austria, causing porcine pandemonium on the motorway a second time when his pigs escaped again.
World Wildlife Fund is holding a contest to find the World’s Cutest Animal and is asking people worldwide to pick their choice. From tigers to polar bears to blue-footed boobies, there are 40 different animals to choose from on the contest website. The site also provides links to fun facts about the animals and exclusive photos of them in the wild. People have two chances to vote – once between August 17-31 to select the five semi-finalists and once again from September 1-20 to choose the winner. The critter who has won the title of the World’s Cutest Animal will be announced on September 21. The 40 animals selected were chosen by World Wildlife Fund staff from among the many species WWF is working to protect in the wild in addition to popular animals the public would recognize.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Michael Vick has agreed to plead guilty to the federal dogfighting charges against him under a deal reached today between his attorneys and prosecutors, his lawyer said. Vick was charged with helping to operate a dogfighting ring based at a property owned by him in southeastern Virginia. He had been scheduled to go on trial Nov. 26. State charges against Vick remain possible, and a source said that this deal with federal prosecutors does not address the issue of state charges. The federal indictment of Vick portrayed him as an active member of the dogfighting operation who attended and even traveled to dogfights, paid bets for losing fights and participated in the killing of dogs that didn't perform well.
A woman in Australia has been killed by her pet camel after the animal may have tried to have sex with her. The woman was found dead at the family's sheep and cattle ranch near the town of Mitchell in Queensland. The woman had been given the camel as a 60th birthday present earlier this year because of her love of exotic pets.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
pig ottoman The pig was the first ottoman created, designed by Reiner Henneveld himself. Reiner’s Originals is proud to offer you the animal that was so significant to Reiner. Reiner’s Originals Pigs are made from 100% quality upholstery leather and stuffed with acrylic, polyester and mixed fibers. Pigs are available in ten classic colors— black, ivory, grey, burgundy, navy, beige, chocolate brown and multi-color patch.
"John" is a free-standing, 32" tall bear with a big grin. He is sure to bring about hours of amusing conversation in addition to holding Jumbo rolls of your favorite tissue. Crafted by Big Sky Carvers, the leader in outdoors home decorations. (via)
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
The feral pigeon that we see in our towns and cities today is descended from the Rock Dove (Columba livia), a cliff dwelling bird historically found in coastal regions. The word ‘pigeon’ is actually derived from the Latin word ‘pipio’ which meant ‘young bird’. (via)
The first giant anteater born at Smithsonian's National Zoo in 118 years, will be known as "Little Schnozzy," until its gender is determined in a few weeks. The public will vote for the new name among choices including Aurora, Pilar, Cyrano, and Francisco.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Le Dachshund Soap The Dachshund is clever, courageous and one of the most popular breeds in America. Our accurate Dachshund rendering is scented with a crisp, cottage linen fragrance and is packaged in a chocolate and ivory houndstooth patterned box, tied with a burnt orange ribbon.
Germans are turning their backs on dachshunds, the short-legged, long-bodied "sausage dogs" which are as much a national emblem as beer and lederhosen. The German Dog Association (VDH) says only 7,158 dachsund, or "dackel," puppies were born in the country last year and the birth rate has dropped by about 35 percent in the last decade. "Dackels are in decline because German owners have a far wider range of breeds to choose from than they did 20 years ago," said Birgit Buttner of the VDH.
Mental disorders associated with aging, including Alzheimer's, are far more common in domesticated cats than previously realized, with more than half of all cats over age 15 showing signs of senility, according to a forthcoming Journal of Small Animal Practice paper. The behaviors associated with senility in cats range from acting disoriented to changes in their social relationships, to shifting sleep habits. They may also include inappropriate vocalizing, forgetting commands, breaking housetraining, pacing, wandering, sluggishness, unusual interest or disinterest in food, and decreased grooming and confusion, such as "forgetting that they have just been fed." (via)
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
SAGINAW, Mich. - Tours at a 163-year-old home-turned-museum are sometimes disrupted by a grumpy groundhog. The furry critter's digging has foiled some of the Saginaw Valley Historic Preservation Society's attempts to refurbish the house on the city's east side. "We put in a walkway, and part of that collapsed due to Grumpy's efforts," preservationist Thomas Mudd told The Saginaw News. Construction workers leveled a mound of soil that Grumpy the Groundhog had settled into, "but Grumpy still has his hole under the handicap ramp," Mudd said. Mudd's latest tactic is to use fox urine as a groundhog repellent. But other efforts have failed to rid the pest in the past. Mudd tried evicting Grumpy with ammonia and mothballs, but the animal dumped the offending materials outside of his tunnel. A few years ago, Mudd said he baited a trap with broccoli, caught Grumpy and took him to a wooded park near the Tittabawassee River. "I waved good-bye to Grumpy, and I was so happy," Mudd said. Grumpy was back within a week.
Persian leopard triplets born in June were presented Tuesday at the Budapest Zoo. The cubs—a male and two females—were born at the zoo on June 19 and are doing well, said zoo spokesman Zoltan Hanga. The Persian leopard is the largest of the leopard subspecies and is native to Western Asian countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Armenia. The leopard is endangered, however, with less than 2,000 thought to be living in the wild. An additional 74 leopards live in zoos. The cubs born in Hungary—sisters Bella and Bara and brother Bahar—are part of a breeding program of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.