animals: October 2010 Archives

275x250.jpg The world's longest snake living in captivity -- a 24-foot python called Fluffy -- has died due to an apparent tumour, say keepers in Ohio.

18-years-old and weighing 300-pounds Fluffy held the title of longest snake by Guinness World Records and was a hit attraction at Columbus Zoo.

But a spokesperson for the US zoo, where Fluffy had lived since March 2007,  has confirmed workers yesterday found her dead due to an apparent tumour.

While the news will come as a blow to many fans of Fluffy, it will no doubt  be well received by the Ohio rabbit and mouse communities.

A US man was left shocked when he went outside and found a runaway buffalo in his swimming pool.

Chris Nonnemaker had noticed a couple of holes in the cover on his swimming pool in Georgia and went to investigate.

When he got to the outdoor pool he realised there was something moving under the cover and pulled it back -- revealing the wet buffalo.

Nonnemaker called police and filmed them rescuing it as officers tied ropes to the beast and pulled it towards the shallow end.

It turned out the buffalo had escaped from a neighbour's property… he probably hadn't got a pool.

200x190.jpgA bomb squad was called out to investigate a suspicious package left outside a Social Security office in Florida - and found it contained kittens.

Officers closed off the area surrounding the Social Security office east of Orlando, after staff there reported a suspicious package wrapped in tape.

The ten-man team, wearing protective suits, then proceeded to scan the white cardboard box with X-ray equipment to assess whether it was a bomb. It wasn't.

In fact, the scan revealed there were two kittens inside -- though that didn't stop one of bomb squad experts jumping as they opened the box and a kitten leaped out.

Only one of the two kittens was recovered as the other made a bolt for it and ran off… but that is still better than blowing them both up which almost happened.

275x250.jpg Today is a sad day for fans of psychic cephalopods -- Paul, the World Cup predicting oracle octopus, has died in his tank at an aquarium in Germany.

Paul shot to fame during the World Cup when he correctly predicted the winners of eight matches by eating mussels from a box draped in the flag of the team he thought would be victorious.

As a result of his 100% record all the way to the final, the eight-legged mystic mollusc became a hit with the media and there was even talk about a Hollywood movie being made about him.

But this morning staff at Sea Life Oberhausen say they were "devastated" to discover Paul had passed away overnight… no-one could have predicted it. Except for Paul.

Other than not wanting to end up in the lion enclosure, you've probably never given a second thought to what animals at the zoo eat.

But London Zoo has just revealed their annual food shopping list -- and if you thought your family eat like animals, their mega-order should put it into perspective.

Every week the zoo gets through more than a tonne of bananas and apples and each years their 600 different species eat nearly nine tonnes of meat.

Other items on their giant annual shopping list includes thirteen tonnes of carrots, four tonnes of eggs and two tonnes of cabbages.

Unusual foods also on the menu include 240 coconuts for the hyacinthine macaws and bearded pigs plus 78 kilos of popping corn for its four gorillas… who love movie night.

Zoo keepers at Chessington World of Adventures have given a group of meerkats a pile of pumpkins - to get then in the mood for Halloween.

The pumpkins are just one of the tricks zoo-keepers use to treat the animals as part of their enrichment programme.

While the meerkats normally eat mealworms and crickets, they also enjoy fruit and vegetable so will munch their way through the smaller squashes,

However, they're currently enjoying taking it in turn to stand on top of the giant Sumo pumpkin, because it's the highest point in their enclosure.

Phew, and to think we got through all of that without saying 'Simples!' once, D'oh.

Firefighters were called in to help rescue a clumsy cow which accidentally fell down a three metre well in Wiltshire and become trapped.

Emergency bosses say they were contacted after the 12-month-old bovine had fallen through the cover of the 10ft deep well and could not be easily recovered.

Luckily for the cow, she had somehow remained upright and the impact of the fall had been softened by the water at the bottom of the well meaning she was okay.

Vets used a ladder to climb down into the cramped space and sedate the cow before attaching ropes which were used by firefighters to lift her out with a JCB teleporter.

They then turned the hose reel jet on the dozy cow in a bid to wash the worst of the thick mud off… they say cats in trees are easier to deal with.

A footballer has received one of the strangest bookings in the history of the sport -- the ref gave him a card for pointing out a dead mole on the pitch.

Winger Sean Williams was playing for Cradley Town in a recent game against  midlands rivals Shawbury United when he noticed something odd on the pitch.

After taking a closer look and realising it was a dead mole, the 28-year-old tried to get the attention of the ref and have the mole removed.

But the referee thought the player was contesting an earlier offside decision and issued him a yellow card for dissent.

It wasn't until half-time the ref realised his error, apologised and had the mole taken from the pitch … he is now bracing himself for a few choice 'blind' chants next weekend.

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