animals: September 2010 Archives

Police have slammed the behaviour of a man who called 999 -- to report there was a cat in his kitchen.

Flabbergasted emergency staff say they even asked the man to repeat himself during the call, because they couldn't believe anyone was so stupid.

But he was that dim, repeating shouting "Cat, cat, cat!" and then asking them to send officers to get the kitty out of his house.

At one point the heavily accented man shouted: "I need to sleep. It's in my, my home." He was then politely advised to pick up the cat and remove it himself

The call has been released by Gloucestershire Police to highlight the problem of people misusing 999… and worryingly they said he wasn't the worst.

There's now yet another good reason for dog owners to clean up after their pets -- their waste can be used to create energy.

A dog park in Massachusetts has revealed an ingenious system which uses dog poo to create energy to power a streetlamp.

Dog owners simply clear up after their dog and dump the waste into a steel oil tank on the edge of the park in a bio-degradable bag.

The then spin a wheel to 'stir things up' and generate burnable methane from the bacteria, which is then fed to gaslight street lamp above.

Oddly the idea did not come from an engineer but from artist Matthew Mazzott… though we dread to think what Tracey Emin would have suggested do with the poo.

275x250.jpg Dozens of water-loving dogs have competed in an annual surfing contest in the US, in front of more than 1,000 fans.

The event at Huntingdon Beach in California sees the dogs divided into sized-based categories before heading into the surf to show off their tricks.

Scores are then awarded on the basis of confidence, the wave they picked and their general boarding skills before the winners are announced.

All of the pooches are given specially designed life-jackets… though some also had surf t-shirts and board shorts. Really.

Theme park bosses have been forced to start offering visitors weird-looking umbrella hats -- to stop birds from pooing on them.

Zoo keepers at Chessington World of Adventure say they noticed many visitors to their walk-through aviary were ending up with poop on their head.

And while it's meant to be considered lucky, few guests agreed and many were even being put off visiting by the prospect of being pelted by parrot poo.

As they couldn't stop the 65 brightly plumed parrots - which are constantly being fed by visitors - from doing their business, they decided to shield the visitor.

Now everyone is offered one of the stylish umbrella hats to wear as they make their way around… we just wish they had a bullseye on the top.

275x250.jpgPolice in Colombia have 'arrested' a parrot after they found it was working as a lookout for a drug gang.

Officers say the bird called Lorenzo had been trained to squark "Run, run you are going to get caught." whenever it spotted a police uniform.

But unfortunately for the bosses of the drug cartel in question, when their hide-out in Barranquilla was recently raided by police… they were undercover officers.

As a result our men were arrested and it was only when uniformed officers seized the feathered look-out, he started squawking: "Run, run you are going to get caught."

A police spokesperson said more than 1,500 gang member birds in Colombia had been trained as lookouts… but many, like Lorenzo, are now jailbirds.

Pigeon vs Broadband: Which is the fastest?

The chances are you're reading this via a broadband connection and not having had it delivered by a carrier pigeon… but if you were, you might have received it faster.

Broadband campaigners recently pitched the humble carrier pigeon against the latest tech in a bid to highlight connectivity problems in rural areas.

A race was organised to send a five minute video from a Yorkshire farm to a destination in Skegness 120km away and see which was quickest, rural broadband or pigeon.

Ten birds were released with USB sticks at the same time as someone started uploading the 300MB file via a 200 Kbps broadband connection.

By the time the pigeons arrived at their destination only 24% of a 300MB file had uploaded… which is all well and good, but you try giving your digital camera to a pigeon along with directions to YouTube.

275x250.jpgResearchers have discovered the fossil of a scary-looking bird which had a monster 17ft wingspan and was the biggest bird to ever fly.

The winged giant - which lived 5-10 million years ago in Chile - was twice the size of the biggest modern-day birds like the albatross.

Experts say the Pelagornis chilensis also had bony-teeth which would have been useful for catching slippery prey in the open ocean such as fish and squid.

The newly discovered and largely complete Pelagornis chilensis skeleton now said to be important for understanding the physics behind how birds fly.

However, given the bird could have coexisted with the earliest humans it may also explain why some people always paranoid about being attacked by birds.

275x250.jpg The inescapable fact everyone loves odd animals has not been lost on Guinness World Records -- they've wheeled out a bevy of interesting animal-based records to promote the launch of their 2011 book.

Weird animal records include the dog with the longest tongue, the world's smallest cow and a Jack Russell which can burst 100 balloons in 44.49 seconds.

Swallow, a pint-(of milk)-sized cow from Yorkshire was the one named as the world's smallest bovine measuring just 33 inches from hind to foot despite being fully grown.

Owner Caroline Ryder says the micro cow has already become a star and her diva like demands could see The Wonder Stuff's 'The Size of a Cow' play every time she enters a field.

275x250.jpgA pet camel which fell into a two metre deep sinkhole has been freed by firefighters who staged a rescue operation lasting several hours.

While they might be the perfect desert creature - with their hump and sand-proof sealable nostrils - it turns out camels are less adept at climbing out of sinkholes.

Moses, a 680kg beast, had fallen into the 2m deep hole on land in Oregon and been unable to get out of his own accord.

When his owners were also unable to get him out, they became worried he'd break his legs struggling and called fire-fighters.

The fire crew then spent several hours carefully digging mud out from around the animal to free it… but were glad it hadn't been stuck in a tree.

275x250.jpg A German toy firm has started producing a range of cuddly-toys which each suffer a psychiatric disorder.

Creator Martin Kittsteiner, from Hamburg, says he came up with the idea for the soft toys after joking with his girlfriend about her teddy bear collection.

Between them they created and produced a collection of toys with mental illnesses ranging from depression and water phobia to bipolar disorder.

The £25 each toys are currently on sale online and Martin says they are proving a hit with children and adults… keep reading to discover the illnesses.

275x250.jpgA street in Luton has been named as the most 'spider-ific' in Britain after a massive number of spider sightings were recorded there.

According to research carried out by invertebrate conservation charity Buglife there are more spiders in Selbourne Road, Luton, than anywhere else in the UK.

In fact, experts conducting a study spotted 2,300 arachnids there and observed  a whopping 143 separate species.

This was considerably more than recorded anywhere else though Hornby in West Lancashire, Washingborough in South Lincolnshire, Doddington in Kent and Reading University Campus all had high numbers of sightings.

The odd news will not come as a surprise to residents of Selbourne Road… where the number of spiders constantly sends then up the wall.

100 cats have been let loose in a London IKEA store… to see what they got up to.

The cats were given a free run of the Wembley store while several TV crews followed them around to see what they did.

Bosses had waited until the store was closed in the evening and then invited animal handlers and local cat owners to release their kitties.

Footage of them exploring the store and furniture will now be used in a new TV advert which will air for the first time during the X Factor.

In odd news at least this could explain why some people with cat allergies also thought they had recently become allergic to IKEA.

Dancing merengue dog becomes an online hit

A video of a golden retriever dancing the Merengue - while wearing a sparkly green dress - has become a hit on YouTube.

The three minute clip, filmed in Chile, shows golden retriever Carrie standing on two legs and dancing with a man in a red shirt.

Since it was uploaded six days ago it's already been viewed by over 1.5 million people who have been suitably impressed by her moves.

Cheered on by a crowd, the dog twists and turns to the Latin American music performing surprisingly complex moves.

Not bad considering she has two left feet… then again she has two right ones too.

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