Thursday, July 31, 2008


(via Clarissa's House Of Cats)

Bears on the attack in Russia

Russia’s bears have traditionally been a national symbol of pride and potency, mythologized in fairy tales and depicted in advertisements and on the flag of Russia’s top political party. They are as hallowed in Russia as the bald eagle is in the United States. Today, however, Russia’s bears are on the attack. Some thirty gigantic and ravenously hungry Kamchatka brown bears have already killed and eaten two men at a platinum mine in Russia’s Far Eastern Kamchatka region and appear to be hunting for more. People in the region have been forced to cower in their homes waiting for hunters to dispose of the animals, which can stand 10 feet tall and weigh up to 1,500 pounds. The bears are generally peaceful and feed on salmon in Kamchatka's rivers. Environmentalists argue that widespread poaching has caused a fish shortage, prompting the starving bears to become aggressive as they seek out food close to human settlements. Source: New York Times

How do you lose a 44-pound cat?

Meet Princess Chunk, a 44-pound hunk of feline flesh, a cat so big that she needs a bathtub for a litter box. Volunteers at the Camden County Animal Shelter in New Jersey are trying to find a new home for the corpulent kitty - a really big home. Officials at the shelter say they received the cat Saturday from Animal Control after she was found wandering around outdoors with no ID tags. As hard as it is to fathom, volunteers think her owner might have lost her, which is as difficult a possibility to imagine as, well, as a 44-pound cat. "I mean, how do you lose a 44-pound cat?" said shelter volunteer Deborah Wright. Source: New York Post

Saudi religious police ban pet cats and dogs

Saudi Arabia's religious police have announced a ban on selling cats and dogs as pets, or walking them in public in the Saudi capital, because of men using them as a means of making passes at women, an official said on Wednesday. Othman al-Othman, head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Riyadh, known as the Muttawa, told the Saudi edition of al-Hayat daily that the commission has started enforcing an old religious edict. The reason behind reinforcing the edict now was a rising fashion among some men using pets in public "to make passes on women and disturb families," he said, without giving more details. The 5,000-strong religious police oversees the adherence to Wahabism -- a strict version of Sunni Islam, which also forces women to cover from head to toe when in public, and bans them from driving. Graphic: Cartoon Stock Source: AFP

A 400-year long wait

Captured on camera as they swim in a lake, drag pieces of wood to make their dens and play with one another, these are the first beavers to be born in Britain in 400 years. The enchanting scene is a heartwarming sight for animal lovers as the species was previously extinct in Britain. The 12 baby beaver ‘kits’ – all from the same mother – were born at the 550-acre Lower Mill Estate near Cirencester, Gloucestershire. Jeremy Paxton, owner of the estate, brought three pairs of beavers – named Tony and Cherie, Gordon and Sarah and John and Pauline – from Bavaria in 2005. He has spent almost £1million on the project. He said: ‘I have always wanted to bring an extinct indigenous species back to Britain. Source: The Daily Mail

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cruel, cruel, cruel ...

but funny in a sadistic kind of way ... Sarah Jessica Parker Looks Like a Horse

Crucified frog creates controversy

An ongoing row over a sculpture of a crucified frog on show in a Bolzano, Italy, museum gained momentum when a Catholic politician reported the work to the police for public obscenity. The sculpture, which depicts a warty, pop-eyed amphibian nailed to a cross with a frothing mug of beer in one hand and an egg in the other, has been at the center of furious polemics ever since it went on display in May. But the row has heated up after Pope Benedict XVI's arrival in the nearby town of Bressanone for his summer holiday. Right-wing separatist party the Union for South Tyrol said Wednesday it had collected 10,000 signatures supporting the removal of the work, while the president of Trentino-Alto Adige regional council, Franz Pahl, entered his eighth day of a hunger strike in protest over the frog. Local bishop Wilhelm Egger - a strong critic of the work from the start - said on Tuesday that he had discussed the sculpture with the pope, although he would not comment on the pontiff's views on the matter. "The crucified frog has shocked many visitors to the Museion and has hurt their religious feelings," Egger said.

New Rare Lemur Group Found

A new population of wrinkly-faced, bamboo-eating lemurs has been found in a swampy region of east-central Madagascar—more than 240 miles from the other only known group of the primates, listed as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union. Scientists suspect that 30 to 40 of the lemurs—known for cracking open giant bamboo with their powerful jaws—live in the wetland, where bamboo is still their main staple. The new group joins another population of about a hundred animals in the island's northern bamboo forests, which are under threat from illegal logging and habitat destruction, according to Conservation International. Source: National Geographic

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just hangin' around

These two-week-old triplet lemurs are the star attraction at Folly Farm, in Kilgetty, Pembrokeshire. The gorgeous threesome are the second set of triplets born to resident lemur Kirindy, who is said to have bonded marvellously with her litter. Source: The Sun (via Zooillogix)

Gimme a kiss!

Photo: Darren Staples / Reuters

Monday, July 28, 2008

The pride of Britain

Six adorable white lion cubs – born to two different mothers – help form the world’s largest pride of this striking species in captivity. The cubs take the number of white lions at West Midland Safari Park in Worcestershire to 19. The park’s white lion collection has grown from four animals who were introduced in 2004. The lions are not albino but are a rare mutation of lion found in a 200-square-mile area called Timbavati, in South Africa’s bush country. According to African folklore, once every hundred years, magical white lions will be born bringing joy to those who witness them. Source: Mail online

Cute or not? Baby colobus monkey

This baby's mother, the Oregon Zoo's adult Colobus, Molly, was chosen as the 2008 mother of the year! Watch the video

Elephants: traumatized by humanity

According to researcher Gay Bradshaw, "There are things about elephants that seem so similar to us. Their family life, their emotional life, the fact that they grieve. They stand out from other animals." Elephants are able to recognize themselves in a mirror, a trait shared with humans, apes and dolphins. Field scientists have studied the special bonds of elephant herds for decades. Family members mourn their dead, even gently caressing the jawbones of their ancestors during grieving rituals. "I think the real shock right now, in terms of the mirror self-recognition tests and their intelligence and their emotions is, they're like us. It's not that they're way up there. It's that they're on level footing with us," said Bradshaw. But even as science holds a mirror to our similarities, in recent years researchers have observed a violent change in elephant-human relations after decades of peaceful coexistence. "Humans are regarded as the enemy. You must never, ever be cruel to an elephant because they have an amazing memory. They will remember that for life. And they bear grudges," said Daphne Sheldrick, a renowned wild elephant expert and director of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Creatures who seem to share the best of what makes us human are now revealing they are also capable of the worst. Source: ABC News

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sun protection for pets

Animals can and do get sunburned! Animals with very little hair covering, light-colored animals, newly shorn sheep and other animals that are clipped can suffer from sunburn and the parts of animals that normally lack hair cover can be sunburned. The problem can be worsened because animals may be exposed to certain substances from their feed, medications such as antibiotics, and spores of certain molds, that can photo-sensitize them, making them more likely to burn; extreme sunburn and sometimes large open skin wounds can result. Human sunscreens are not formulated nor are the prepared to be compatible with skin of pets. Epi-Pet FDA Tested Sun Protector Sunscreen for Dogs and Horses blocks damaging UVA and UVB rays that cause cancer in the skin. The Sun Protector spray is light and does not leave a thick oily residue on the skin and hair coat of the pet. It also leaves a pleasant vanilla fragrance. The can is designed with a unique bag on valve spray system which quietly releases a constant spray from any direction (even upside down) when pressed down. This spray system is environmentally safe since it releases no ozone depleting CFC's into the atmosphere. $18.95 at

Bow WOW! Great product for biker dogs

Road Hound pet carrier For motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and bicycles. These trendy and durable pet crates are the perfect way to travel in comfort and style - for both you and your dog. Enjoy the great outdoors - and take your pet with you. Priced from $299.00 to $399.00 at Moto-Pets Accessories, Inc. (via Inventor's Spot)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dachshund Humor

(via The Long and Short of it All)

Poultry in Motion

Photo credit: Jodi Frazier / Parade Magazine

Don't squeeeeze too hard!

Did you ever wonder: Why are humans born with eyes open and puppies are born with eyes closed? Photo credit: custom875

Newspaper Won't Run Obituary

A grieving woman in Orange County, FL, says her loved one is being discriminated against by a local newspaper. She says the West Orange Times decided not to run an obituary after they saw the picture. Kimberly DeWolf is so angry she is threatening to sue if Bailey is not given the proper farewell. She was preparing for a 13th birthday party next month. "His birthday would've been August 18th. He's been the love of my life. My parents, their grandchild," she said. But instead of a celebration, Kimberly was at a funeral service. "He's actually buried at my parents house, has a gravesite," she said. During a week off for bereavement, Kimberly wrote an obituary and wanted it placed in her local paper, the West Orange Times. But when editors saw the picture of Bailey, there was a problem in their eyes. "He's not a dog, he's my child, he's never been a dog," Kimberly said. "They're discriminating against me because it's a dog in their eyes." Source:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Not for the weak stomached

Caution: Do not read this while eating lunch! Guinea pig festival in Peru An Andean woman holds a 'cuy' or guinea pig dressed as a miner during a fashion show at a guinea pig festival in Huacho, Peru. The one-day festival includes an animal show and a food and fashion contest which features the guinea pig, native to the Andes. The guinea pigs spend the day being dressed up... ... pampered... ... and fattened up. Yes, fattened up. Many of us think of the guinea pig as a cute pet, but in parts of South America, it is a major source of food. Warning ... you might want to stop reading here. Guinea pigs can be served fried, roasted or in a casserole. Those of a sensitive disposition should probably not view the next two pictures. Around 65 million guinea pigs are eaten in Peru every year. The meat tastes like rabbit or the dark meat of chicken, in case you were wondering. Source: Telegraph

Penguins rescued off Scottish coast

Rescuers hunting for the site of a plane crash at sea off the coast of Scotland called off their search - after the casualties turned out to be two inflatable penguins. Coastguard and lifeboat teams, along with a helicopter, were scrambled after an elderly man reported a light plane had ditched near Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire. He was convinced he saw wreckage glinting in the sun. But rescuers discovered that what he had spotted were two massive balloons shaped like penguins. The search was called off after the 4ft penguins, which were semi-inflated, were discovered . The two penguins - whose source remains a mystery - have now been "adopted" by the lifeboat team. Source: Daily Record (via: Penguins!)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dropping in for a coffee

Frightened by the noise of thunder from summer storms, a wild deer brought chaos in Bolzano, Italy. The deer sent cafe patrons scrambling as it raced through the center of town. The deer leapt over tables, broke a window, and injured two people. Several police officers, hunters and the local fire brigade tried for two hours to catch the animal, which was eventually shot dead in a car park by local forestry officials. Source: Telegraph

Legs to spare

Veterinarians at a north Georgia college have been treating an odd-looking deer after it was attacked by a dog. The deer, according to vets at Berry College, has six legs and was found over the weekend near Rome, GA. The animal is recovering from wounds it suffered in the attack. Due to the injuries, one of its two tails had to be amputated. The fawn has two distinct pelvises and uses one leg from each pelvis to walk. • Click here to watch video of the six-legged deer. Source: Fox

the Dickin Medal

The Dickin Medal was instituted in 1943 by Maria Dickin to honor the work of animals in war. It is a large bronze medallion, bearing the words "For Gallantry" and "We Also Serve" within a laurel wreath, carried on ribbon of striped green, dark brown and pale blue. Traditionally, the medal is presented by the Lord Mayor of the City of London. It has become recognized as "the animals' Victoria Cross". As of February 2008, it has been awarded 62 times. (wiki) The Medal, which can only be considered on receipt of an official recommendation, was awarded 54 times between 1943 and 1949. The recipients comprised 32 pigeons, 18 dogs, three horses and one cat. In October 2000 a Canadian dog called Gander was added to the Roll of Honor. Since then, a further six Dickin Medals have been awarded and all to dogs. Tthe only cat to be awarded the Dickin Medal is Simon. Awarded posthumously 1949, the record states that Simon “Served on HMS Amethyst during the Yangtze Incident, disposing of many rats though wounded by shell blast. Throughout the incident his behavior was of the highest order, although the blast was capable of making a hole over a foot in diameter in a steel plate.” You can read the list of recipients at PDSA Dickin Medal: 'the animals' VC'. You can see more pictures of brave animals at BBC's World's Hero Pets.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Baby animal alphabet

Cute baby animals, alphabetically. This is a baby iguana. (via Look at this)

Lincoln Park Zoo has flamingo eggs

10 potentially viable eggs have been laid by Lincoln Park Zoo's Chilean flamingos, with zoo experts expecting offspring to begin hatching in about two weeks. Available records indicate that the zoo has been egg-less since at least the late 1950s. In 2003, the zoo swapped breeds, changing from the American species to the hardier Chilean type. Adding the vegetation helped make the population -- there are currently 48 of the birds -- seem denser, which flamingos prefer. Source: Chicago Sun-Times FLAMINGO FACTS Why are flamingos pink? The color reflects the beta carotene in their diet of shrimp and shellfish. Why do they stand on one foot? Raising one foot helps them shift their weight to make themselves more comfortable. Folding one leg also can keep them warm by reducing the blood supply to the folded limb. Do flamingos fly? Yes, but they need a few paces to take off. Zoo flamingos either have their wings regularly clipped or are pinioned, having parts of their wings removed when they are young. Source: Lincoln Park Zoo; Sea World 2nd photo: (via Mutts) Hanover Zoo's newest addition, who increases their flamingo family to an even 100 birds,

A fishy story

Ready for the latest in spa pampering? Prepare to dunk your tootsies in a tank of water and let tiny carp nibble away. Fish pedicures are creating something of a splash in the D.C. area, where a northern Virginia spa has been offering them for the past four months. John Ho, who runs the Yvonne Hair and Nails salon with his wife, Yvonne Le, said 5,000 people have taken the plunge so far. The fish are called garra rufa but typically known as doctor fish. They were first used in Turkey and have become popular in some Asian countries. Source:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tough Duck


Hard to swallow?

An apparent set of conjoined twin birds -- an incredibly rare find -- has been discovered in Arkansas. The bodies of the barn swallows, which are attached at the hip by skin and possibly muscle tissue, are being sent to the Smithsonian Institution for examination and confirmation, Arkansas wildlife officials said Friday. The birds, found by a landowner in White County, fell out of a nest as a healthy sibling flew off to learn how to hunt with its parents, Rowe said. The birds first appeared to have only three legs, but further examination found a fourth leg tucked up underneath the skin connecting the pair. Source:

Cute or not? Praying mantis nymph

The best doggy shampoo & conditioner

Recently, I was fortunate to receive free samples of DERMagic - a dog shampoo, conditioner, and hot spot treatment. I had planned on trying them on my son's new puppy, Hershey. Unfortunately, Hershey died of distemper just four weeks after we had adopted her from an animal rescue group. My next thought was to use the shampoo and conditioner on our cats, Grace and Bandit. Well, Grace had spent a day of beauty at the spa, instead, which left only Bandit. Luckily, I told Jennifer, the PR rep, about my plans and she stopped me just in time. Good advice to pet owners - dog products are not always suitable for cats, nor vice-versa. DERMagic for dogs contains peppermint and tea tree oil which are not beneficial for cats. My neighbor kindly let me borrow Bailey, a pug & boxer mix. Bailey loved coming over and getting pampered in my kitchen sink. The DERMagic shampoo smelled really nice and pepperminty, Bailey seemed to be enjoying the scent. It lathered great and rinsed off easily. The conditioner made Bailey's fur feel soft and silky. It's been four days since I gave Bailey her bath. She still smells great! I would highly recommend DERMagic products. See their website to order online, or look for a salon in Oregon or Washington which carries the products. Photos: corsi photo

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dog Luggage Tags

Never miss your luggage at the airport with these ultra cute luggage tags. Faux leather with applique and embroidery details. Approximately: 5" Wide x 5.5" High (not including strap) $14.00 at Fluff

Bacon, bacon, bacon!

Dentists recommend flossing and we recommend bacon! Now you can improve your dental hygiene while enjoying the amazing flavor of crispy fried bacon! Is there anything bacon can't improve? Each 2" tall plastic dispenser contains 27.3 yards of waxed floss. Yummy. $3.99 at Perpetual Kid

Friday, July 18, 2008

A duck in the city

Invariably, one of my treats each day is to read Cute Overload. It really is an overload of cuteness each day. Read co's story, Duck Darwin Awards, a suspenseful tale of a confused mother duck in Downtown Spokane who laid ten eggs in a nest in the corner of a planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air. As the ten ducklings hatched, the mother duck needed to get her brood to leap from a ten foot high ledge and negotiate 2 full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs, and pedestrians to get to the closest open water, the Spokane River. Luckily, the heroic office staff of the Sterling Bank gave mama duck assistance all through the process. Nice work, ladies and gentlemen. Give yourselves a hand. Or better yet, go out for several drinks after work today. You earned it.

Doggie wisdom

I LOVE this blog! On Mackenzie Speaks, we get snippets of wisdom from the viewpoint of a very insightful dog. Some of my favorite Mackenzie-isms: "Chihuahua’s are adorable, except for the fact that they’re tiny and rat like." "If I were invisible, would my poop also be invisible?" "Being a dog is great. We can walk around carrying a tennis ball in our mouth and it’s no big deal. Humans, on the other paw, could never pull that off." "If something called a ‘jalapeƱo’ ever falls on the kitchen floor, do not eat it. You must trust me on this."

Licked Toys

LickedToys is the first dog toy graveyard. You send in pictures of your pets' destroyed toys and they'll post them so that your toys may rest in pieces. Time for new toys? We suggest - they have excellent prices on canvas dog toys, plush dog toys, wooly dog toys, rope toys, floating toys, vinyl dog toys and heavy duty vinyl dog toys. (via corsinet)

Lenore and Brutus, an unusual love story

John Katz has lived for some years with sheep, cows, steers, goats, barn cats, chickens—and dogs—on a farm in upstate New York, Bedlam Farm, but he had never encountered a situation where animals of different species have fallen in love, or even had much of a friendship. In an article for Slate Magazine, "My Dog Has a Crush on My Ram," he writes about Lenore, a highly affectionate black lab, who is is utterly smitten with Brutus, a neutered ram. Each day, the pair seems more companionable. Lenore looks for Brutus, and when she finds him, she sometimes challenges him to romp, occasionally rolling over and flirtatiously showing her belly. She isn't above giving his nose or ear a lick. Some days, they just graze side by side, Lenore also chomping down the grass. The two of them are always together. She cleans his ear, he noses her or butts her gently. It's something to see. (via: The Roanoke Times: The Happy Wag)