Friday, February 29, 2008

Try another excuse

A mail carrier was trapped inside her car for nearly two hours at a home near Hanover after a pair of dogs attacked her tires, flattening three of them. When the police arrived, the dogs attacked the cruiser's tire as well. Authorities were preparing to tranquilize the dogs Judge and Justice, a Rottweiler and a pit-bull mix, before the surprised and apologetic homeowner arrived. Stephanie Dekelbaum, the dogs' owner, called them "generally sweethearts" and blamed the attack on a tire toy the dogs had recently been given. Source: Yahoo news

Fight to the death

This is the moment a sparrow hawk swoops on a starling before flying away with its prey gripped in its talons - captured by an amateur photographer in his back garden. (more photos) Source: Daily Mail

Billy the boxer adopts a kid

Billy the boxer has become the constant companion of the 12-day old kid called Lilly. He sleeps with the goat, licks her clean, and protects her from any dangers at Pennywell Farm wildlife centre at Buckfastleigh, near Totnes, Devon. The unusual bond has developed over the last month and the pair are now inseparable. Source: the Daily Mail

Fail Dogs

Dogs are not perfect

Leap (frog) Day

What Are You Doing for Leap Day? Starting February 29th more than 70 members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) will be celebrating "the Year of the Frog!" and holding fun, family-friendly events and programs to educate people about amphibian conservation. Why Year of the Frog? One-third of all amphibians on the planet are threatened with extinction. Amphibian declines are now attributed to a new cause - chytridiomycosis - a disease that wipes out frogs, toads, and salamanders. Zoos and aquariums, with strong public support, will play a major role in preventing the amphibian extinction crisis - one of the most sweeping wildlife conservation challenges of our time. I think in honor of the Year of the Frog, today, February 29th, should be known as Leapfrog Day!

Look, even Google is participating:
Frog Tape Dispenser You can be the envy of everyone in the office with this adorable frog tape dispenser. With his bright red tongue, he'll dispense the perfect amount of tape for any project. $15.95 from Patina
Is that a frog I hear? Advertisement calls are the loud calls that male frogs make to attract females. These are the familiar calls most people are familiar with. Some frog species have aggressive calls made by males towards other males, some have distress calls when bitten by a predator, and some have release calls. Sample some frog sounds on this page.
Frog solar light Frog solar light glows when the sun goes down. Enhance your yard or patio (and make your neighbors green with envy!) with this alluring amphibian. He turns on automatically in the dark and turns off in the morning. No wiring needed. $9.98 at Taylor Gifts
***** Have fun, enjoy the extra day!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Making sugar ants

Click the photo to see how the ants were made. (via)

I disagree

Robert at Environmental Graffiti is way off base! He has selected five totally cute, harmless and totally lovable baby animals and has accused them of being ugly. Ugly? Shar-Pei Puppies? Look at those floppy little folded ears. Look at that smooshed little nose, those stubby little paws, those squinty, sad little eyes. Look at those soft, puffy wrinkles. Who in their right mind would call this ugly? Even Robert wouldn't sink this low. Ugly? A baby sloth? So what's not to love with this little guy? Smooth, blond hair - sweet little eyes, fuzzy little curled feet. A cute button nose. Totally adorable! Ugly? Baby Pandas? This I don't even have to defend, do I? Everybody in the universe knows that pandas are the most irresistibly adorable creatures ever created. What a travesty to even think "panda" and "ugly" on the same day. Ugly? Naked Mole Rats? Oh, naked mole rats, these poor little things. Always maligned, always made fun of, always pointed to as a perfect example of ugliness. Don't they look scrumptious? A little tomato sauce, and lunch is served. Ugly? Robin chicks? Robert says baby robins are gross and disgusting. That's because Robert has never observed a robin's nest and taken a photo each day and waited eagerly for those beautiful little blue eggs to hatch. I have. Ugly? Baby hedgehogs? I love the translucent teensy nails. The pink wrinkly skin looks so soft and silky but then juxtapose those dangerous looking quills. Here's the thing: baby hedgehogs are dangerously cute! Photo 1: Lauren's Shar-pei Photo 2: Carlen Altman Photo 3: the Cute Project Photo 4: verabee Photo 5: The robin's nest Photo 6: Dark Roasted Blend

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Seeing is believing in case of orange raccoon

Nobody believed Kevin Blackford when he said an orange raccoon had been eating his cat's food. When Blackford told Craig Reel and the guys over at Reel & Sons Feed Store in Worthington, they all shook their heads at his tall tale. But Blackford insisted he had seen an orange raccoon. He even said it had orange eyes. "Nobody believed me," said Blackford. Reel, who has a frequent problem with raccoons trying to get into his building to eat grain, decided to set one of his traps on Blackford's porch. "We got him right away, with just a little dab of strawberry preserves. Raccoons love strawberry preserves," said Reel. The next morning, the orange raccoon, in the trapping cage, was taken to Reel & Sons Feed Store where all of the disbelievers could see the unusual animal. Source: Green County Daily World (via)

Crowds flock to monkey 'wedding'

Some 3,000 villagers have attended an elaborate Hindu wedding ceremony in eastern India for two monkeys. The "bride" was dressed in a five-metre long sari and decked in flowers. The "groom", a three-year-old male monkey named Manu, was taken by procession to a temple in the company of hundreds of bemused onlookers, accompanied by loud music, dancing and fireworks. The monkeys were showered with gifts by those present. They included a gold necklace for the bride, donated by a local businessman. "I feel as if my own daughter is getting married. I cannot bear the thought that she would not be with us anymore," Mamina, the woman who has been looking after the female monkey said. The two monkeys, who were kept in chains before the marriage, have now been released by their owners. They have been spotted hanging out at the temple where the "marriage" took place. Source: BBC

Python Eats Australian Family Dog

A 16-foot python stalked a family dog for days before swallowing the pet whole in front of horrified children in the Australian tropics, animal experts said Wednesday. The boy and girl, ages 5 and 7, watched as the scrub python devoured their silky terrier-Chihuahua crossbreed Monday at their home near Kuranda in Queensland state. Stuart Douglas, owner of the Australian Venom Zoo in Kuranda, said scrub pythons typically eat wild animals such as wallabies, a smaller relative of the kangaroo, but sometimes turn to pets in urban areas. Source: AP

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bear Hunt in Orland Park, IL

Truffles, a light brown fuzzy Kodiak bear that stands four feet tall has been stolen from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Orland Park, IL. The store has video footage of two teen-aged boys taking the bear hostage. Truffles was last was seen wearing a pink turtleneck, blue overalls and pink ribbons. The store's owner, Jean Kuhn, is willing to pay a hefty ransom for Truffles; "A box of chocolates or something," she said. Source: NBC5 Chicago

Video: Flocke takes a walk

She's ten weeks old and weights 16 pounds. Watch the video of cute little Flocke.

U.N. Conference Promotes Insect-Eating

Three dozen scientists from 15 countries gathered in Chiang Mai, Thailand, this month, at a U.N.-sponsored conference on promoting bugs as a food source. Crickets, caterpillars and grubs are high in protein and minerals and could be an important food source during droughts and other emergencies, according these scientists. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates 1,400 species of insects and worms are eaten in almost 90 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Researchers at the conference detailed how crickets and silk worms are eaten in Thailand, grubs and grasshoppers in Africa and ants in South America. Source: Fox News (via)

German Police Dogs Issued With Boots

Good news for police dogs in the German city of Düsseldorf: They are getting US-made boots with thick rubber soles so that they don't cut their paws while chasing criminals around the city. The dogs will wear the boots while policing demonstrations and patrolling the city's old town. "When they're on assignment in the Düsseldorf old town we often get problems with discarded bottles and other rubbish which could injure the animals," a police spokesman said. The boots, which have thick rubber soles, were bought in the US and the dogs will start using them on assignment in March, once they have got used to them, police said. Source: Spiegel

Monday, February 25, 2008

Vanilla sweetness

Found at the always excellent Biomes Blog

Check local laws on ferret ownership

According to estimates from the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, about 500,000 people own some 2 million ferrets. Ferret folks claim the real numbers are much higher. But ferrets, those slinky, mink-y cousins of weasels, badgers, skunks and polecats, are outlawed in New York , Salt Lake City and numerous other municipalities, and the states of California and Hawaii and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. "It's because they believe they're wild animals and they believe they'll decimate the wildlife. These are neutered and spayed animals," said an exasperated Norine Barnes, president of the Greater Chicago Ferret Association, which has about 275 members and runs a shelter for ferrets, which are legal in Illinois. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals agrees. It opposed the 1999 ban on ferrets in New York. Source: Chicago Tribune

Earthworms Found To Contain Chemicals

Earthworms studied in agricultural fields have been found to contain organic chemicals from household products and manure, indicating that such substances are entering the food chain. Manure and biosolids, the solid byproduct of wastewater treatment, were applied to the fields as fertilizer. Earthworms continuously ingest soils for nourishment and can accumulate the chemicals present in the soil. The chemicals investigated are considered indicators of human and animal waste sources and include a range of active ingredients in common household products such as detergents, antibacterial soaps, fragrances, and pharmaceuticals. Source: Science Daily

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Does your dog need to diet?

Is your dog a little on the heavy side? There’s now a tool to help dog owners determine if their pets are overweight or obese – or heading in that direction. Spend a few minutes taking the BARC (Body Assessment Rating for Canines) survey to determine if it’s time to speak to your veterinarian about tackling weight loss measures.

The Naked Ape

Cinder, the hairless chimpanzee, is a popular attraction at the St. Louis Zoo in Missouri. Cinder was born with a full coat of hair on August 9, 1994, to mother Mollie, and father, Smoke. When she was about five months old, Cinder began losing some hair. She continued to lose her hair and in a definite pattern, first from her lower body and gradually extending up until after close to a year, Cinder was completely bald. Afflicted with alopecia universalis. Cinder is otherwise a normal, healthy chimpanzee and, unlike humans, is not faced with the psychological and social challenges the disease presents. (via)

Dine With Death - the Deadliest Delicacies

Poisonous or dangerous food is considered a special delicacy by some cultures in several parts of the world. In most cases, a nice feast may turn into a deadly game of Russian roulette. So, would you take the risks of eating these deadly delicacies? (via)

Eagle Eyes

Eagle Eyes is a game where you can test your skills of observation. There are 5 pairs of photos. Each pair has 5 small differences between them. It's your goal to spot them. (via)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tiger wanders out of cage at Honolulu Zoo

Honolulu Zoo officials are taking another look at procedures for keeping their 245-pound Sumatra tiger, Berani, in his cage. The tiger was wandering around an unsecured area just before the zoo's opening on Thursday. A startled female volunteer reported the escape after the tiger brushed past her. The volunteer quickly retreated and secured a second gate that kept the tiger from going into a public area. Zoo officials say the tiger was loose for about five minutes in an area with only a 4-foot fence that it could have jumped over to roam the zoo. After Berani was contained in the holding area, it took about 15 to 20 minutes to coax him into one of the feeding rooms with a meatball. The brief escape was resolved before the zoo opened to the public at 9 a.m. Source: Honolulu Star Bulletin

Video: Guinness Penguins

A new Guinness Draught commercial tells a tale of friendship through two penguins' tumultuous journey. The story follows the lives of two penguin friends as they battle for survival against their harsh environment including avalanches and a killer whale attack. (via)

Brooklyn welcomes rare red panda Mao Mi

All the other animals must be green with envy. The one getting the most attention at Brooklyn's Prospect Park Zoo these days is Mao Mi, a rare red panda that just arrived from his former home at Michigan's Binder Park Zoo. Red pandas are endangered, and Mao Mi is part of a Wildlife Conservation Society breeding program that's trying to ensure the survival of threatened or endangered species. Mao Mi has black legs, a furry reddish-brown face and body and white ears. Prospect Park zookeepers said Thursday that their cuddly cutie is very playful and loves to climb trees and explore his new home. Source: Yahoo News

Miami Metrozoo's pet amnesty day

So that pet marmoset, anaconda, or poison dart frog you have isn't really working out. You would like to part with the exotic critter, but it's not like you can just release the little (or huge) guy into the wild, and selling the thing may even be illegal. For pet owners in this kind of bind, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has a way out -- but only for a day. Nonnative pet amnesty day, to be specific. Saturday at the Miami Metrozoo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the wildlife commission will accept exotic or illegal pets of all types and place them with qualified pet adopters or licensed animal dealers, no questions asked, free of charge. Source: Miami Herald

Friday, February 22, 2008

How a cockroach put 30 people out of work

For the viewers of Turkmenistan's popular nightly news program, Vatan, it was another routine bulletin. But as the newsreader began the 9pm broadcast, viewers across the central Asian country spotted something unusual crawling across the studio table: a large brown cockroach. The cockroach managed to complete a whole lap of the desk, apparently undetected, before disappearing. The program, complete with cockroach, was repeated at 11pm that night. Turkmenistan's president, Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, was so upset when outraged viewers complained to the station that he fired 30 workers from the main state TV channel. Source: Guardian (via)

Dog Bone Paper clips

These dog bone shaped paper clips come in a silver tin with a magnetic bottom. Approximately 50 per tin. Cute idea for dog lovers. $4.95 at Patina

Give a Dog a Bone

In many legal cases, animals are seen as evidence, but animals are not inanimate objects that can be put in a brown paper bag and left in a locker until their case has been adjudicated. Whether you call them "custody" animals, long term shelter guests, or by any other name, Animal Control Agencies around this country face a real challenge when trying to care for these animals. Most Shelters, especially ones in densely populated urban areas, are just not set up to house animals for long periods of time. It's an unfortunate fact that such prolonged confinement often causes severe stress, loss of appetite, poor hygiene, diminished motivation, depression, aggressiveness, and in some cases, self mutilation. Many of these dogs have been rescued from neglectful and cruel situations, others are being held for "Vicious & Dangerous" dog hearings and some are there because their owners have been victims of eviction, in jail, or some other disaster in their lives where they can't take care of their animal(s) right now. Give a Dog a Bone was created in 1999 by Corinne Dowling to relieve the isolation, boredom, stress, and suffering of dogs in enforced custody and medical isolation - a population hitherto not served by the dog volunteer program at San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC), an open admissions municipal shelter. With her dedicated volunteers, Corinne improves the quality of life for these dogs by providing enrichment though emotional sustenance, mental and physical stimulation, socialization and kennel stimuli.

Dog Bone Earrings

Aren't these cute? Solid dog bone earrings In 14k yellow gold $696 from Esquivel & Fees

Bones Salt & Pepper Shakers

Los Angeles designer Chris Stiles created these salt and pepper shakers from unglazed refined white clay. Shake them bones $28.00 from A+R

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Traveling Cats

Is this the feline version of Spring Break? If so, they're starting a little early, but they're traveling, for sure ... Meatloaf, who took a 3-week cross-country ride locked in a storage container, is headed home to Florida. The 2-year-old gray cat apparently crawled into the large locker in Pompano Beach, Fla. The container spent time in a Florida warehouse and on a semitrailer before being delivered to a company's Phoenix facility. A worker heard a cat meowing inside the container late Tuesday and found him hungry and thirsty but unharmed. Miko ran away from his burning home in Albuquerque, N.M., in December, and turned up in February, some 240 miles away in Pueblo, Colo. It is believed that Miko hid in a truck, which then drove up Interstate 25 from Albuquerque to Pueblo. Miko's collar was missing when she was picked up by animal shelter staff, but her microchip identification put officials in touch with her owners. Sam, an eight-year-old cat, got scared when his owner was taking him to the vet. He squeezed out of his cage and jumped out the car window. Because of his microchip, Sam and his owner were reunited - three years later. Clinton is another traveling cat reunited with his owners because of a microchip. Rescued by an animal shelter in Rhode Island, housed temporarily in a foster home and pending adoption, the cat was scanned and his microchip was identified. It turned out that Clinton was actually Gizmo, who had been missing from his Pennsylvania home since last spring. Hey, nice vacation, Gizmo!

Learn to speak dog

What is your dog trying to say? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. That’s because dogs speak using body language. Type a word into this handy canine translator to see what your pooch is trying to tell you. (via)

Kids' Play

What was this playground designer thinking? (via)

Political Doggy Treats

Peanut butter & honey flavored political treats for your partisan canine! The perfect gift for the politically savvy and the dogs who have everything. Available as Democratic donkeys and Republican elephants. $8.95 from Organic Doggy Kitchen Organic Doggy Kitchen donates $1 from each bag sold through their online store to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria .

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Art by Jeff de Boer

Jeff de Boer is a Calgary-based multi-media artist with an international reputation for producing some of the world's most original and well-crafted works of art. With an emphasis on metal, he is best known for such bodies of work as suits of armor for cats and mice, armor ties and sword-handled briefcases, rocket lamps and pop culture ray guns, and exquisite high art, abstract works called exoforms. (via)

The real ouroboros

The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon swallowing its own tail and forming a circle. It is one of the oldest mystical symbols in the world. The serpent or dragon appears in Aztec, Middle East, and Native American mythologies, among others. (from Wikipedia) xenmate at a near life experience has discovered the REAL ouroboros: This is an Armadillo Lizard, which, if frightened, will grab its tail in its mouth and roll into a ball.

Look how cute and little they are:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Time for a bigger cat door

This is Sooty, a massively overweight fat cat who has been put on a strict diet after getting stuck in his cat door. Source: Daily Mail (via)

Sri Lankan Frogmouth

Nathan Yaussy at Endangered Ugly Things wrote about an intriguing bird: Sri Lankan Frogmouth ARKive says, "Distinctive in both its appearance and its loud laughing song, the Sri Lankan frogmouth is a tropical bird related to the nightjars. So called because of its large, gaping mouth, the Sri Lankan frogmouth's head is as wide as its body, and has a broad, flattened, hooked bill. The female is rusty red with sparse white freckling, whereas the male is grey and more heavily spotted with white. The tail feathers are long and narrow." I think they're kind of cute. Photo: Vijay Cavale

Monday, February 18, 2008

A fun business trip

From February 13 thru February 17, we were in San Diego, attending the Global Pet Expo. The pet industry's largest annual trade show is presented by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA.) It is not open to the public, but is open to just about everybody who has anything to do with pets: manufacturers, distributors, sales reps, pet shop owners, groomers, breeders - you name it. We saw some very interesting individuals at the show. Some were there hawking their products. Some show attendees were colorfully dressed. Of course we had to visit's favorite supplier, Pet Factory. Pet Factory is the only manufacturer of USA rawhide pet treats. Doesn't their display look wonderful? At this display for a bird seed manufacturer, we got to pet an American Eagle and an owl. There were numerous dogs of all sizes at the show. This guy looked like he was ready to leave. This magnificent Newfoundland patiently greeted visitors at the display he was representing. The Global Pet Expo had an amazing amount of pet merchandise - just about everything you can imagine for pets of any sort. What I noticed was a trend in automated toys for pets to play with if their owners were just too lazy to play with them, doggy treadmills for dogs whose owners were too lazy to walk them, pet strollers for pets too lazy to walk. The clothing and accessories for little dogs is just overwhelming - think of any item for your children - they'll have it for your dog. The most ridiculously silly items? Canine coffee for your dog's morning drink, an artwork kit for your dog to create paintings, a self-flushing litter box to put on your toilet and this: Contech’s new ChatterBowl is a talking pet bowl, so your dog can hear your voice any time it wants. The food bowl records your voice, and plays it back when your pet approaches. Your voice will play whenever your pet comes to eat or drink. The show was fun, but even more fun was exploring San Diego and meeting some of the locals ... We met this pooch having lunch at the Prado restaurant in Balboa Park. (No, the hamburger was not for him.)