Su Lin, a 2-year-old giant panda at the San Diego Zoo, enjoyed the cool feel of snow on an unusually hot day in San Diego on April 27, 2008. The San Diego Zoo's Giant Panda Research Station was covered in 15 tons of snow on Sunday. In two weeks, on May 10, the Zoo's polar bear exhibit will be blanketed with snow as part of Bear Awareness Days, presented by Mission Federal Credit Union. The fun and educational four-day event discusses bear conservation efforts. (UPI Photo/Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo)
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Children run less risk of being sensitive to allergens if there is a dog in the house in the early years of their lives, scientists have found. The conclusion, based on a six-year study of 9,000 children, adds weight to the theory that growing up with a pet trains the immune system to be less sensitive to potential triggers for allergies such as asthma, eczema and hay fever. The “hygiene theory” of allergy holds that modern life has simply become too clean, meaning that babies’ immune systems are not exposed to enough germs to develop normally. Having a dog provides enough dirt of the right kind. Source: Times Online
One of the benefits of owning a dog is getting exercise while talking it for a walk. But what if you don't want all the responsibilities of owning a real dog? Just get yourself a walking dog balloon! They come in three heart warming varieties – a pretty pug, a darling dachshund and a remarkable retriever. They have been balanced perfectly so that when filled with helium they float just above the ground with their little feet dangling to the floor. When you gently walk with them, pulling the lead, their little legs and feet appear to walk giving a super fun, realistic K9 look. Guaranteed to convince everyone you meet that you are totally crazy. (via nerd approved)
With Fairy Tail Dust Body Bling for Dogs your dog can now glimmer in the moonlight or glitter while she's greeting you at your front door - or hide under the bed in shame because of what her goofy owner is subjecting her to. Under no circumstances should you apply this stuff to a cat, not if you ever want a peaceful night's sleep afterwards. (via Dog Bliss)
This is not a costume. This is a kit to completely transform your beloved pug or beagle from a cute canine to the ultimate unicorn. It includes screw-in horn, hoof attachments, medical grade glue, peroxide, mane fur, a tail and a handful of glitter! Just peroxide the color out of your dogs hair and attach the fur and accessories with glue. Once you have the horn in place (Dremel not included) your beloved pooch will be ready to accompany you to fairyland. Please specify size of dog when ordering. Not legal in California, New Mexico and part of Maine. Dog to Unicorn Transformation Kit (via the Presurfer)
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Visitors loved Oscar, the Okefenokee Swamp Park's resident 13-foot, 5-inch, 1,000-pound, alligator, who often slumbered on the freshly mowed grass and sometimes the concrete walkways in the park. But sometime during his long life, someone must have wanted his hide. Oscar survived a shotgun blast to the face, at least three bullet wounds to the head, turf wars, multiple broken bones and crippling arthritis. Officials know that now because the beloved old gator died last July and the evidence is visible in his bones. Oscar died about a year ago, but within a few months, visitors will be able to view him once again, or at least his skeleton, which is being mounted like that of a museum dinosaur. The contents of Oscar's stomach at death will also be included in the display: a plastic dog collar, a dog's tag, a penny, pieces of plastic, rocks and the top section of a flagpole. Source: Jacksonville.com
Environmental and animal rights groups are suing the federal government in hopes of restoring endangered species protections for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies. Wolves in 1974 almost disappeared as a species in 48 US states -- excluding Alaska and Hawaii -- except for some isolated packs in Minnesota and Michigan. In 1995, 66 wolves were released by the government in Idaho and in the nearby Yellowstone National Park with the hope they would propagate and multiply. The program was successful. Currently, an estimated 1,200 wolves roam Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. But now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has removed the region’s 1,500 wolves from the endangered list in March, turning over management responsibilities to state officials in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. Defenders of Wildlife said in a statement that Wyoming and Idaho authorities had given their residents a blank check for the "senseless and indiscriminate killing of wolves." Source: CANOE
This is Mondex, a 5-year-old Chihuahua, posing as he walks the aisle dressed as a scuba diver during a dog show at a mall in suburban Manila on Sunday April 27, 2008. Mondex bagged first place during the fashion show category. Was he trying to compete with that penguin? AP Photo/Aaron Favila
Monday, April 28, 2008
New studies and statistics about the "Baby Boomer" generation dominate the headlines almost daily, but there is another population, the nation's 45 million "Pet Boomers", which is quietly slipping into its senior years. On average, pets age seven times faster than humans. Consequently, the potential for age-related disease also progresses seven times as fast. Unfortunately, many pet owners are unaware of the signs of animal aging which may actually indicate treatable health problems. Certain health conditions can occur more often in aging pets. Below are five common health conditions that every pet owner should monitor in their pets. * Weight Gain * Tooth Decay and Gum Disease * Stiff Joints and Slower Movement * Changes in Coat and Skin * Eye Abnormalities Is your pet a boomer? PetBoomers.com is a great new web resource for all pet owners. It offers quizzes, facts, statistics on the aging pet population and is a terrific for pet owners dealing with traveling with a pet, pet poisons and emergencies. This short video segment from Marty Becker, DVM, a nationally recognized pet expert, author and Good Morning America contributor, features five common health conditions in aging pets. Photo from Flickr by Corsi_photo
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
A pack of mutant testosterone-charged black squirrels is rampaging through parks and woodlands of Britain. This gang of beasts is faster and more fiercely competitive than both reds or grays. Britain's native squirrels are red. The gray squirrels were introduced to Britain from America in the 1870s, and for years they held sway - driving their red cousin into the remotest corners of the country. The upstarts are genetic mutations of grays, but have a darker fur and higher levels of the male sex hormone testosterone - making them more aggressive and more successful. Sex selection is also boosting their numbers because female grays appear to prefer them as mates. The rise of the black is the biggest change in squirrel demographics since the indigenous red squirrels almost disappeared 50 years ago from most of England. Source: Daily Mail
Friday, April 25, 2008
Josie, a bassett hound mix, ate some gorilla glue that formed a large mass in her stomach and required life-saving surgery. Watch video for more information. We use Gorilla Glue around our house but I never thought to taste it. Must be yummy.
Put your traditional puzzles out to pasture and take a chance on these amazing 3-D anatomical animal puzzles. Challenging, educational and entertaining, these highly detailed puzzles come with organs, bones and muscles so you can build your animal from the inside out. Available in horse (26 pieces), cow (29 pieces) or pig (19 pieces). $28.00 - $40.00 at unCommon goods via Random Good Stuff
Shawn, Jason and Hannah think dogs are the most charming and intelligent and perfectly formed creatures on the planet. While sporting the original skeledox t-shirt around town, they caught the eye of many closeted hipster dog lovers. People who are semi-religious about design but still get caught eskimo-kissing their rottweilers and baby-talking their pugs. These people demand fine tees! So they started drawing all kind of skeledogs, so everyone can worship the fine form of their pooch without feeling like a dork. Skeledog t-shirts are $25 and come in a wide variety of breeds..
Thursday, April 24, 2008
The Sichuan takin, an unusual-looking relative of the musk ox, looks like a small moose, climbs like a mountain goat, has short curved horns like a gnu, and snorts. Takin stand 3 to 4 feet tall. The animals eat grasses, shrubs, and leaves. They are able to stand on their hind legs and reach branches 10 feet off the ground. Takin are rare in North American zoos. Only 50 takin are found in 12 zoos in North America. The baby takin was born on exhibit Wednesday morning at the zoo. Zookeepers knew the animal was pregnant, but didn't know when the calf was going to be born. Source: StarTribune
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Rocky, the grizzly bear which appeared in a recent Will Ferrell movie, "Semi-Pro," killed a 39-year-old trainer with a bite to his neck Tuesday April 22, 2008. For unknown reasons, the 700-pound bear lunged at 39-year-old Stephan Miller, a trainer at Randy Miller's Predators in Action. Two other trainers subdued the 5-year-old, 7 1/2 -foot-tall grizzly with pepper spray and were unhurt. Source: Los Angeles Times
A troupe of African monkeys are on the loose after escaping from a remote wildlife facility north of Tampa. Officials at Safari Wild say it may take more than a week to round up all the patas monkeys that ran away on Saturday. The monkeys live on a one-acre island that is surrounded by an eight-foot-deep moat. Officials say one female monkey with a baby on her back swam across the moat Saturday, and the other monkeys followed. The animals arrived Thursday from Puerto Rico, by Saturday, they had vanished. Photo from Flickr, by alyyxphoto Source: St. Petersburg Times
Hearing strange noises at about 10:30 p.m., Sandra Frosti, 69, called 911. Frosti had an 8-foot alligator in her kitchen. The whole thing apparently started when Poe the cat was prowling outside and the big alligator followed it home. When Poe slipped onto the back porch, the 220-pound gator came along, crashing through a screen and passing a potted ficus tree and litter box. Tailing Poe, the 8-foot, 8-inch reptile crawled over the blue carpeting, through an open sliding glass door and past the green suede sofa in the living room. The gator likely emerged from one of the many ponds, lakes and creeks in Eastlake Woodlands in north Pinellas, where they are a common sight. Source: St. Petersburg Times
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Peternity.com, a website devoted to helping people honor the lives of their pets, has added a new line of Pet Keepsake Jewelry to their product offering. The new jewelry line is a collection of Pet Ash Pendants. These beautifully hand carved wooden pendants are created from 8 different precious woods. Each pendant contains a small glass vial inside to hold a small portion of pet or human ashes. The pendants are made in Seattle, WA by a company called River Dreams and sell for $75.00
Researchers from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo have discovered a rare giant turtle in northern Vietnam, giving scientists hope for the species they believed was extinct in the wild. The scientists from the Cleveland Zoo discovered the Swinhoe's soft-shelled turtle when they followed up reports from villagers of a mythical creature living in a lake. Vietnamese legend tells of a huge turtle that helped the country fight off Chinese invaders in the 16th century. "This is one of those mythical species that people always talked about but no one ever saw," said the zoo's curator. Only three other specimens of this turtle are known of by scientists: there are two in Chinese zoos and one in Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of Hanoi. Scientists refused to provide the name of the lake or other details about the position of this turtle because of concerns the turtle would be illegally hunted. Source: The National Register
Monday, April 21, 2008
Six white male dogs collectively named Toppy reported for duty at a training facility for sniffer dogs run by the Korea Customs Service in Yeongjongdo. Chase, the father of the dogs, and his six sons look exactly the same -- because the sons were cloned, born to surrogate mothers via the transfer of the nucleui of Chase’s somatic cells. “Toppy” is a compound name meaning “tomorrow’s puppy”; the Toppies are numbered one to seven to tell them apart. The Korea Customs Service commissioned the cloning project because they thought that training clones of an effective sniffer dog would be easier than training ordinary dogs, which may or may not have the right genetic makeup for the job. Source: English chosun
A Eugene police officer can now add snake wrestler to his list of skills after an attack on a pet store worker Thursday. Police said they were called to the pet store on Elmira around 3:30 p.m. on a report that a 12-foot Burmese Python had latched onto the woman and wrapped itself around her. Police Sergeant Ryan Nelson was about to use his knife to get the snake free, but the victim pleaded for the snake’s life. Nelson and another firefighter were finally able to pry the snake’s mouth open and uncoil it after a struggle, freeing the woman. After Nelson got the snake into its cage, the huge reptile escaped and tried to attack Nelson. The snake lost a couple of teeth in the ordeal, but no one suffered any serious injuries. Photo from Flickr, by DashTapper
My sons loved LEGO blocks while they were younger. We had LEGO creations all over the house. And we also had loose blocks all over the house. Very sharp when you stepped on them barefoot, uncomfortable when you sat on them on the couch. One time, when we had a blocked toilet, guess what we found? LEGO blocks! Hopefully, Dave doesn't have pieces all over his house to step on. I'm sure he doesn't, he's way too creative for that. Dave e-mailed me to show me his LEGO cat birdhouse creation: Dave's kitty, Simon, approves of the birdhouse. Although Dave designed his birdhouse to be a functional birdhouse, he never intended to put it outside and let the elements destroy good LEGO bricks. This made him a little sad because the birdhouse would never really have any birds as visitors. So Dave built a LEGO bird for the LEGO birdhouse! Very creative, Dave!
Friday, April 18, 2008
Charley Chick Wall Clock Rise and shine or back to slumberland? Charley Chick, or at least his beak, always shows the right time. The chick can flap its wings as they can be attached and detached thanks to hook and loop strips. $59.99 at Oompatoys
If you've ever had dreams of keeping a flock of chickens in your own back yard, the City Chicken website might inspire you to bring a little country into your city life. You might want to check your local ordinances before you start hatching those eggs.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
A federal agency has authorized the killing of some California sea lions that prey on migrating salmon and steelhead at the base of Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. By some estimates, the sea lions at the base of the dam take up to 4 percent of the spring chinook run headed upriver to spawn. Opponents of the kill have said sea lions are a highly visible and politically convenient target when the real problem lies elsewhere, such as the hydroelectric dams. The Humane Society of the United States and other groups also cite other hurdles facing fish, such as the deterioration of spawning grounds, bird predation of salmon smolts headed to the ocean and agricultural runoff and other pollution. Nonlethal attempts to keep the sea lions away from the dam, such as rubber buckshot, loud noises and pyrotechnics, generally were deemed failures. Some sea lions trapped and taken to the mouth of the Columbia River 140 miles downriver returned to the dam in two or three days. The authorization is valid until June 30, 2012, and can be extended for five years; it can be also revoked by the National Marine Fisheries Service with 72 hours notice. Source: Los Angeles Times via: L.A. Unleashed
Busy British pet lovers have been buying hedgehogs, whose nocturnal habits make them appealing to the modern worker because they wake in the evening when their owners arrive home after a day in the office. Although Britain has its own wild breed of hedgehogs, the latest pet craze focuses on African pygmy hedgehogs -- a cross between Algerian and white-bellied hedgehogs. "They are unbelievably pretty little creatures, the way they bumble along, the way they poke their noses into everything," British hedgehog breeder Bonnie Martin told Reuters. Initial costs for the animal and accompanying equipment can run to 300 pounds ($591). "spike200503b" uploaded by kschinchillas Source: Reuters
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
There are thousands of venomous animal species on Earth. Just a few of the most lethal are the Gila monster, the death adder, the fugu puffer fish and the Sydney funnel web spider. Medical researchers are finding a positive side to these dangerous creatures: the complex and highly sophisticated poisons produced by these creatures have components that might save lives rather than kill. The PBS show, Nature, Victims of Venom, illustrates how some of the animals we fear most may one day soon be helping us solve or alleviate a wide range of life-threatening medical problems. Venomous animals use their toxins to capture prey or defend themselves. They inflict their poisons by biting, stinging, and, in the case of some marine animals, by emitting venom into the water so it can be absorbed through the skin. The venom itself typically comprises many different substances that have various effects on their victims. The film introduces us to carefully trained researchers around the world who are risking harm - even death - to themselves by "milking" the venom of live animals so that the various components of these poisons can be studied in great detail and better understood, perhaps preparing the way for clinical trials against a variety of diseases and medical conditions. It's not only a dangerous job but a laborious one, since only tiny amounts of venom can be extracted at a time. Heart disease, stroke, various cancers, and the management of chronic and severe pain are other potential targets of the chemicals that comprise venom.
Komodo dragons may have a wimpy bite for their size, but somehow the giant lizards manage to take down prey as large as water buffalos. A new study reveals that a few dozen razor-sharp teeth combined with beefy neck muscles make up for the reptile's dainty chomp. The Komodo displays a unique hold-and-pull feeding technique. The lizard nabs prey with 60 perilous teeth, although its bite is weak. To make up for the lack of biting power, strong throat muscles drag the meal through the razor-sharp jowls and into the stomach. Once a Komodo dragon maims its prey, which can weigh nearly as much as the lizard, it is swallowed whole and later regurgitated in a foul-smelling pellet of hair, bone and other indigestible remains. The lizards are also known for their infectious bites and parthenogenesis, or the ability to reproduce without mating. Source: Yahoo News
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
A cougar ran loose in Chicago on Monday for the first time since the city's founding in the 19th Century. But by day's end, the animal lay dead in a back alley on the North Side, shot by police who said they feared it was turning to attack. No one knew where the 5-foot long, 150-pound cat came from, though on Saturday Wilmette police had received four reports of a cougar roaming that suburb, roughly 15 miles from the site of Monday's shooting. Source: Chicago Tribune
The Daily Mail has printed photos of Orazi, the ginger tom cat who weighs in at a whopping 35.2 lb. Orazi lives in Eupilio, Italy. I think Monty, who lives with my friends Christina and Luke, is almost as large as Orazi. I'm not sure how much Monte weighs - they probably can't lift him up to weigh him. What do you think? Close?
Meet Cindy, the Cavalier King Charles who’s the queen of doggy-balancing. Cindy the Cavalier King Charles is able to carry out a dazzling display of tricks taught to her by Wolverhampton owner Ron Bucknall. Watch the video of Cindy performing. via: Ursi's Blog Source: expressandstar.com
Monday, April 14, 2008
African wild dogs, native to the vast and beautiful sub-Saharan Africa, are making the Los Angeles Zoo their home for the first time in nearly 40 years. The African wild dog is an endangered species. It is estimated that the total population is fewer than 5,000 dogs. L.A. Zoo's pair of dogs, courtesy of New York’s Bronx Zoo, is two of just under 150 African wild dogs in zoos across the United States. These dogs are part of an aggressive plan to try and preserve the species. A number of zoos, including the L.A. Zoo, are looking to help wild dog conservation efforts by participating in the Species Survival Plan Program (SSP) established in 1981 by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The program tracks a species’ genetic ancestry so that appropriate mates can be found for the animal in question. For example, the L.A. Zoo has two wild dogs, but since they are brother and sister, it would be inappropriate to breed them. In the future, if the Zoo were to receive a breeding recommendation, the Zoo would work with the AZA to locate suitable mates for the dogs. A zoo that has a compatible mate would then exchange that animal with the L.A. Zoo so that the quality breeding programs could continue.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
India's armed forces, which have been battling insurgents in the northeast for over six decades, are now engaged with another enemy - rats. The rat population in the northeastern states of Mizoram and Manipur - the two states bordering Myanmar - has witnessed a massive growth. With rats destroying crops and devouring grain, the threat of famine looms over the region. Soldiers deployed in the area to fight insurgents are being called in to help the civilian administration tackle the impending crisis. The explosion in the rat population has been triggered by the flowering of a certain species of bamboo (Melocanna baccifera) that grows mainly in Mizoram but in other neighboring states as well. Thirty percent of Mizoram is covered by wild bamboo forests. The flowering of this bamboo results in millions of seeds being dropped. Rats devour these seeds. The high protein content of the seeds is believed to either dramatically increase fertility rates among the rats or provide them with the nutrition to enhance survival rates of the entire litter. Litters of over a dozen rats survive and within three months are ready to reproduce themselves. This has resulted in a major rat population explosion. Some experts say that the rat population in Mizoram is perhaps ten times that of humans in the state. Source: Asia Times Online
With rat infestations estimated to be up by nearly 40 per cent in the past six years, a group of rugby players who started ratting on a Sunday morning to exercise their dogs now have more invitations to farms than they can cope with. The Malton & Norton Rugby Ratcatchers, who set off most Sunday mornings from the Spotted Cow pub in Malton, North Yorkshire, enjoy bacon sandwiches and mugs of tea before getting out their terriers, the wisest among them tucking trousers into socks to stop any rodent making a run for freedom up their legs. David Harrison, who farms 300 acres on the Yorkshire Wolds, was constantly out poisoning rats. He says catching the rats with terriers is safer for his livestock - there are no longer any worries about the pigs picking up any of the poison - and for wildlife. At Harrison's farm, the terriers set a new record, killing 103 rats in two hours. Source: Telegraph
Michele Diller, 64, of Rochester, WA, bought rats as food for her pet snakes but eventually came to think of them as ''friends'' and allowed them to breed and overrun her house. The rats have gnawed through wiring, walls, cupboards and drawers, and have begun turning up in neighbors' yards. When Animal Control officials entered the house, they saw that rat feces covered table tops, floors, chairs - virtually every flat surface in the house. In addition, the carpets were saturated with rat urine, and the air inside the home was heavy with odors and moisture. There was no electricity in most rooms of the house because the rats had chewed through the wiring. In addition, the sewage had backed up and there was no running water or heat in the home. The sound of rats chewing in the walls and floors was a "constant undertone." Souce: KOMO-TV
Friday, April 11, 2008
I never knew fish made sounds. It's hard to believe that they do, but when you think about it, why not? Most other animals make noises, so why not fish? In "Run Noisy, Run Deep," the New York Times samples of some of the sounds made by five species of fish. My favorite is the clownfish which are prolific "singers" that produce a wide variety of sounds, described as "chirps" and "pops" in both reproductive and agonistic behavioral contexts. Clownfish sounds were recorded as early as 1930, but it was just recently that scientists discovered the unusual ligament that allows this fish to pull its jaws together quickly to produce the sounds. The accompanying article, "What’s Making That Awful Racket? Surprisingly, It May Be Fish," tells an interesting story about Cape Coral, FL, where residents were pushing the City Council to pay an engineering firm more than $47,000 to eliminate the nightly noise reverberating through their homes. James Locascio, a doctoral student in marine science at the University of South Florida, rescued the city from financial folly. He explained that at 100 to 500 hertz, black drum mating calls travel at a low enough frequency and long enough wavelength to carry through sea walls, into the ground and through the construction of waterfront homes like the throbbing beat in a passing car. How cool.
A woman whose husband died after receiving a liver transplant claims a diseased hamster purchased at a pet store is to blame. Nancy Magee, 51, of Whitman, Mass., is suing PetSmart for negligence. Thomas J. Magee was one of three people who died after receiving organs donated by a woman who had contracted lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV) from a hamster she bought at a PetSmart in Warwick, R.I., according to a law suit Magee has filed in federal court. The organ donor later died of an unrelated stroke and the transplants were done by hospitals which had no knowledge of her disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control Web site, lymphocytic choriomeningitis is a rodent-borne viral infectious disease with symptoms similar to meningitis. Thomas Magee’s liver transplant was performed at Massachusetts General Hospital in April 2005. Five days later, the suit says, he “was exhibiting high blood pressure and a fever.” Weeks later he died and according to the suit, the virus was the cause of death. “The immediate cause of” Thomas Magee’s death was “determined to have been the dissemination of LCMV in the liver he received.” Source: the Boston Channel
Thursday, April 10, 2008
101 Best Businesses for Pet Lovers What You Need to Know about Starting and Succeeding in a Pet Business of Your Own is a great reference for anyone who loves pets and is thinking about turning that qualification into a means for making money. The money spent on pets has more than doubled since 1994, creating a multi-billion-dollar industry that is even more lucrative than the human toy industry. 101 Best Businesses for Pet Lovers lists a wide variety of moneymaking opportunities from something as simple as dog walking, to careers which require education and training such as pet grooming and pet masseuse. Authors Joseph Nigro and Nicholas Nigro are well qualified to write about this subject. Joseph began his entrepreneurial career with pet shops which he was eventually able to sell to the Petco Company in 1996 for $19.1 million. 101 Best Businesses for Pet Lovers interested me on a personal level because I am one of those people who turned my love of animals into a business - Internet Pet Supplies - Internet Pet Supplies has been selling pet treats and pet supplies on the Internet since 1998. i-pets.com does not have a physical store, we sell only on the internet. I started very cautiously, selling only a few items, mainly USA rawhide treats, and have increased the products carried because of customer feedback. I would recommend this book, it is well researched, well written, and offers some very imaginative ways of making money.