animals: June 2010 Archives

275x250.jpgAn odd-looking chihuahua called Princess Abby has won the dubious title of world's ugliest dog 2010.

The grey and white pooch - which has a curved back and legs (as well as a scrunched up left eye) won the annual World’s Ugliest Dog contest in Northern California.

Each year the strangest looking dogs are rewarded, this years winner was malformed Princess Abby - rescued off the streets just five months ago.

Owner Kathleen Francis - who won $1,000 - says she ignored how the four-year-old looked when she took her in from the Humane Society which had found her malnourished and flea-infested.

To scoop the title, Princess Abby beat 14 other dogs in her category before making it to the final… where one look had her competition howling in horror.

275x250.jpg A country hotel designed specially for dogs has opened in Wales - complete with luxury rooms and a swimming pool.

The Royvon Pet Hotel in Merthyr Tydfil should mean you don't feel guilty about jetting off on holiday and leaving your dog behind… because they'll probably have a better room than you.

Charged at £29 a night pampered pooches enjoy a private room, an extensive selection of spa/grooming services and a swimming pool. There are also indoor and outdoor play areas.

The Presidential Suite even includes a 22 inch TV mounted on the wall -- ideal for watching Animal Planet or old episodes of Lassie.

275x250.jpgA theme park is being forced to spray a roller coaster with insect repellent -- because open-mouthed riders are swallowing flies.

Bosses at Alton Towers say too many people riding TH13TEEN ended up chewing insects because it's located in a wooded area.

And after looking into the impact of eating bugs - the majority carry illness-causing bacteria - they decided to do something about it.

The park will now trial the use of natural essential oil of the lemon eucalyptus in a bid to minimise the amount of insects swallowed and killed.

A spokesperson said flies are also surprisingly calorific… 20 flies are apparently the equivalent of a small bag of jelly beans.

275x250.jpgPostal workers will not be making their normal deliveries in Paignton -- because they keep getting attacked by seagulls.

While dogs are the more traditional nemesis of the posited, Royal Mail say a gang of seagulls are making life unbearable for workers in Devon.

For the past couple of weeks a gang of 20 gulls have been dive-bombing delivery staff as they try to make deliveries in Berry Drive, Paignton.

To start with postal workers tried to to shield themselves with a golfing umbrella but it didn't offer sufficient protection and they complained to manager.

As a result residents will now have to collect their own post -- which nerve would have happened in the days of Postman Pat.

275x250.jpgUS President Barack Obama has once again been upstaged by a humble fly which buzzed around him as he delivered a speech at the White House.

While the President talked about healthcare in the famous East Room, the pesky insect repeatedly buzzed close to his face.

But while the fly distracted Obama enough to stop him talking, he was careful not to lash out and swat it.

Last year Obama was criticised by animal rights group PETA after killing a fly which interrupted a TV interview he was giving.

Speaking at the time he proudly said: "I got the sucker…" However, now they know he's not going to retaliate, we can expect to see more insects plaguing the President.

275x250.jpgA patriotic parrot will be cheering for England tonight -- after owners spent a month training it to squark "Come on Rooney".

Feathered football fan Benji - and African Grey - is said to enjoy watching matches and squarks whenever he recognises the England team.

Owner Ruth Borrill from Peterborough says she has taught his to support our boys in South Africa by also cheering 'Come on England' and 'Goal!'.

African Grey Parrots are originally from West and Central Africa, so it is quite surprising Benji is supporting England.

As you can see from the video after the link, Benji currently says "Come on Roon" rather than Rooney -- maybe by the time we are in the World Cup final he will have got it right.

275x250.jpgA professional pooper scooper says he recently found ripped banknotes worth $58 (£40) in the dog mess he was clearing.

Steve Wilson had been picking up poo in St. Louis when he noticed one particular mess contained something odd.

On closer inspection, Steve, who works for 'DoodyCalls Pet Waste Removal' realised it was a number of banknotes - presumably having previously been swallowed by the pooing pooch.

He then proceeded to pick the notes - which totalled $58 - out of the mess and sanitise them, before returning them to the dog's confused owner.

As many of the notes were ripped (but still had an intact serial number) they will now be paid into a bank… so they can be taken out as another deposit.

275x250.jpgThe faeces from Southern Ocean sperm whales removes the same amount of carbon as emissions from 40,000 cars each year, scientists have claimed.

Researchers from Flinders University in Australia say their discovery highlights the important role of whales in removing carbon from the atmosphere.

While it had been thought whale respiration would increasing atmospheric carbon levels, it turns out this is more than offset by their poo, which is rich in iron.

The iron-rich poo stimulates phytoplankton to grow in turn trapping carbon. When the phytoplankton dies the trapped carbon sinks to the bottom of the ocean.

It's hoped the research will create enough of a stink to renew calls for a ban on whaling.

275x250.jpg A bald penguin at a UK wildlife centre have been given a specially designed wetsuit to protect him getting sunburn over the summer.

Ralph, a ten year old Humboldt penguin suffers from a moulting problem which causes him to lose all of his feathers within a couple of days.

This means that unlike other penguins - who moult as new feathers grow - his pink skin is left exposed and he could easily get sunburn.

A spokesperson for Marwell Wildlife in Hampshire said the wet suit is made from neoprene, has velcro fastening and was made to measure… well even we didn't think you could buy penguin wetsuits in the average surf shop.

275x250.jpgThey look like a science fiction movie special effect gone wrong, but these ugly cats are said to be the latest must-have pet.

Sphynx cats are currently selling for up to £3,000 each and their rare breed has only recently become available in the UK.

Their weird hairless bodies have made them a hit with asthma sufferers or those who are sick of cleaning fur from their furniture.

Pam Williams, of the Sphynx Cat Association, said: "They’re a bit like Marmite – you either love them or hate them."

She added that they have a good temperament, snuggle put to owners to keep warm… and can scare mice just by looking at them.

275x250.jpgA four-man mountain rescue crew were called out to save the life of a dog which became tired on a Snowdonia mountain walk.

Nero, a 10-year-old black labrador had been trekking above the Ogwen Valley near Bangor, when he became tired and the stoney path caused him to suffer sore paws.

His owner, a woman in her 30s, didn't know what to do and dialled 999 for mountain rescue - asking them to help the poor pooch back down.

A team was dispatched and located the dog and owner before taking it in turns to slowly carry Nero down on their shoulder

The mountain heroes say it took three hours to get off the mountain -- and that the phrase 'rescue dog' is normally a description rather than an instruction.

275x250.jpgA bird which became too-fat-to-fly after bingeing on sausages has taken to the sky again thanks to a diet and exercise regime.

The bulky Kookaburra had found at a park in Mosman, Australia, running along the floor as it was being chased by a group of dogs.

Experts said that because people had been feeding it BBQ leftovers it had put on too much weight and was unable to fly.

But staff at Taronga Zoo took the bird in and gave it a healthier diet and encouraged it o be more active.

Yesterday - after shedding almost 1/5 of its weight - the bird mad its first flight… straight to the nearest Burger King.

Toucans at Leeds Castle have started playing a specially adapted version of the classic 1970s hit game KerPlunk.

But rather than marbles falling when they lose, the birds at the aviary in Kent are rewarded with falling fruit when they pull out the right sticks.

Staff at the attraction adapted the game in a bid to keep the birds active in their cage and they appear to take it in turns.

Watching the 'games' has also proved a hit with visitors, may of who have uploaded videos the feathered KerPlunk players to YouTube.

But we are not surprised, isn't it well known that the animal kingdom has a fascination with 1970s board games… unless we dreamt about the turtles with a penchant Connect Four that is.

275x250.jpgAnimal experts say lions, tigers and cheetahs have a strange 'obsession' with Calvin Klein aftershave.

Zookeepers from the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo in New York claim CK Obsession stimulates the curiosity of big cats.

Tested against 23 other fragrances - by spraying it on objects in an cheetah enclosure - Obsession was found to hold attention for longest.

In fact, the cats spent over 11 minutes nuzzling up to a tree sprayed with Obsession for Men, compared to a couple of minutes with other sprays.

The results were so compelling Obsession is now used in zoos and wildlife areas around the world… and quite a few nightclubs too.

275x250.jpg Firefighters were forced to rescue a cow from a family's swimming pool after it broke through a fence to their garden and jumped into the water.

Unfortunately after taking the dip in Motcombe, Dorset, the bovine was unable to get back out and had to be rescued by firefighters.

A total of 18 firefighters were needed to attach a harness to the half-tonne animal - which had been sedated by a vet - and lift it out from the chilly water with a hydraulic crane.

After a quick check from a vet the cow was able to trot back to the field, but given the traumatic day it had, we think it will probably be producing milkshake for a while.

A 5-tonne elephant which escaped from a circus in Zurich spent two hours walking through the city's streets.

Sabu, a 10ft tall dumbo, escaped from his trailer as circus workers tried to load her onto it

After taking a quick dip in Lake Zurich, he then proceeded to walk down normally busy roads in the Swiss city centre, leaving passers-by terrified.

Police closed a number of roads and vets tracked the elephant before he was eventually lured into the back of a lorry and returned to the circus.

Admittedly we can be a bit bleary-eyed on our morning commute -- but we're pretty nothing like that has ever happened here.

275x250.jpgA dog which became world famous for her bizarre looks has died at the age of 17.

Miss Ellie, a Chinese crested hairless from Tennessee with a lolling tongue and crazy hair won Animal Planet's "World's Ugliest Dog" contest in 2009.

Her odd look - which many found strangely cute - made her an internet favourite and she made many public appearances raising over $100,000 for rescue animal charities.

Owner Dawn Goehring, who took a seven-year-old Miss Ellie in as a rescue dog almost ten years ago, said the death was "not unexpected even though she had been doing well."

And ss a make of respect to little Miss Ellie we have not made any 'looking woof' jokes in this article, well we tried not to.

275x250.jpgAn embarrassed zoo produced a cardboard cut-out of a baby antelope when a rare oryx failed to give birth in time for a visit from a children's choir.

The children's choir from Uganda had been invited to visit and name the animal which was due to be born over the weekend.

But the birth did not happen when it was expected to, meaning the 15-strong group from Kampala Children's Centre would have nothing to see and name.

In a desperate bid to save face zoo bosses decided to create a cardboard baby deer for the children to see.

As the bemused choir posed for photos with the faux deer, expectant mother, Zola, calmly grazed oblivious to the embarrassment she had caused.

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