animals: May 2011 Archives

A woman says she was refused service at a McDonald's drive-through because she was riding a horse and carriage -- luckily she wasn't far from a friendly KFC.

Debbie Murden from Derbyshire had driven her two-wheeled carriage to the drive-thru window at the Alfreton branch and ordered her burgers and milkshakes.

Having done this before, she didn't think it would be a problem, but staff said that due to health and safety rules they couldn't serve her -- prompting her to angrily head off to a nearby KFC.

Commenting on the incident, a spokesperson for McDonald's said it was company policy not to serve customers in horse-drawn carriages… which suggests this happens more often than we would have thought.

275x250.jpg So, you quite fancy hopping into the jacuzzi in your back garden, but there's an enormous black bear already chilling in there, what do you do? You wait, that's what.

Scott Wright says he recently looked out of the window at his Florida home and saw a
black bear lounging around in his pool an jacuzzi… and she had no plans to leave.

In fact, the bear was there for 30 minutes and seemed to enjoy blowing bubbles in the pool, playing with toys and generally chilling.

Amazingly the 44-year-old private investor says this is not the first time a bear has made use of his pools, he says there are a number which live locally and enjoy the occasional dip.

275x250.jpg A comedian has performed a one-off gig to a field of cows in a bizarre 'experiment' to see whether they have a sense of humour.

Mock the Week and BBC Radio 4 funny-man Milton Jones, traveled to Hertfordshire where he performed an exclusively written routine to the assembled crowd of Friesians.

His 'Pull the Udder One' stand-up set included a selection of visual and verbal one liners and puns and the performance was observed by a bovine behaviour expert to see how the cows responded.

Milton's jokes included: ‘So you cows say you’re vegetarians – but how come you all wear leather, eh?’ and ‘Went to one of those farmers markets the other day – bought a couple of farmers. Should taste lovely!’

275x250.jpg Police in Hampshire launched a major operation which involved dispatching armed officers and scrambling the force helicopter… because of a cuddly toy.

Of course they didn't realise it was a cuddly toy when they received reports of a live white tiger in a field close to the M27, near Hedge End.

As a result they contacted animal specialists at nearby Marwell Zoo, prepared a team of officers armed with tranquiliser darts and dispatched a police helicopter.

But when the helicopter approached it became clear this was no real tiger, firstly because it didn't move… and then because the downward force of the chopper knocked it over.

275x250.jpg Staff at an aquarium in Blackpool say they were shocked to discover there was a unknown shark swimming around their tank.

Bosses at the Sea Life centre only realised the presence of the mystery shark when they spotted two shark eggs in the massive half-a-million litre tank.

Because the sharks known to be in the tank only give birth to live young, they concluded there was another hidden one somewhere in there.

Experts think the still undiscovered shark is an easily camouflaged tropical carpet shark which may have been introduced by one of several former aquarium curators.

What's wrong? You look like you've never seen a man trying to board a train with his friendly pet pony before.

A rail passenger in Wales recently barred from boarding a train from Wrexham to Holyhead after taking his pony down to the platform in a station lift.

According to Arriva Trains Wales, the unnamed traveller had arrived at Wrexham station and promptly tried buying ticket for himself and the animal for the 7.02pm service.

As these images show, despite being told the pony was too big to travel in a carriage, he then proceeded to take it down to the platform where he was stopped from boarding. Thank goodness for CCTV.

Until this morning we were fairly convinced Luna the showjumping cow would reign supreme as our odd showjumping animal of 2011… and then we saw this.

Zack the showjumping zebra come from Texas and took up the sport when owner Sammi Jo Stohler noticed the six-year-old enjoyed jumping.

After he jumped out of his field one too many times, Sammi decided to put up a series of jumps for Zack, and sure enough he started hopping over them.

She then began teaching Zack to be groomed and ridden and now thinks nothing of putting her showjumping garb on and taking him around the course… people who see her are less nonchalant.

275x250.jpg An airline passenger in Thailand has been arrested after trying to smuggle a 'virtual zoo' of rare and endangered animals into Dubai.

The 36-year-old man had two leopards, two panthers, one Asiatic black bear, and two macaque monkeys in his cases as he tried to check-in at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International airport.

Officials say they had been following the UAE man since he purchased the animals on the black market and couldn't believe he tried to smuggle so many.

A spokesperson for anti-trafficking group Freeland said: We've never seen one like this before. The guy had a virtual zoo in his suitcases."

You might think it's an innocent tennis ball, we thought it was an innocent tennis ball. But this kitten clearly knows different.

Because, if there wasn't something absolutely terrifying lurking within, why would he be treating it with such trepidation?

Complete with a wonderfully over the top soundtrack, the video 'Kitten vs A Scary Thing' has become a YouTube hit, and it's not hard to see why.

During the clip the tentative kitty can be seen repeatedly approaching the yellow tennis ball, before each time recoiling in horror. Maybe tennis is just more scary if you are a kitten.

275x250.jpgNeuroscience researchers at Dundee University say they've been stung… by crooks who stole thousands of their bees.

The boffins had been using the bees as part of a £2m neuroscience study which looked at the effect of pesticides on bee learning.

It had been hoped the study could explain the current decline in honeybee numbers. But recently it was discovered £3,500 worth of British black bees had been taken.

Lead researcher Dr Chris Connolly says the thieves must have known how to handle bees and that the crime would hamper the research.

He also added that the bees were unique and should be easy to identify… which make us think they were breeding super clever bees.

The owner of a skateboarding dog who was previously threatened with an ASBO, has been fined £80 and told he could face legal action over his boarding pooch.

Bodhi the Lakeland Terrier is said to like noting more than riding his skateboard around Brighton and pulling tricks.

And his kerbside antics have proved a hit on YouTube and even gained him an appearance on Britain's Got Talent… though council bosses are less impressed.

Owner Jonathan Fell, 51 says he's been fined £80 by the authority after complaints were made, and told to keep Bodhi on a lead… not a problem Tony Hawks ever had.

275x250.jpgIf you were to make a list of things you thought owning would help you woo women, how long would you be going before you said "a live alligator"?

We're guessing quite a while… but that's because you're not Dewayne Yarbrough. He claims he kept a four-foot alligator for five years to impress women.

The 43-year-old from Chicago has been charged with possession of a dangerous animal after he was found to be keeping the snappy creature in a small tank.

He apparently told investigators - who found the animal in his kitchen - that he only fed it 10 live mice a month to keep it from growing too large.

While it appears he also told them he'd kept the gator because he hoped it would be a chick magnet, it's not clear how well it worked and helped him pull.

275x250.jpg Hoping to make the most out of the online success of FarmVille, the National Trust is looking to recruit 10,000 virtual farmers... to manage a real life farm.

Their MyFarm experiment will see the virtual farmers - who each pay a £30 subscription fee - decide how 1,200 acre Wimpole Home Farm, in Cambridgeshire is run.

They will debate and vote on issues including whether to grow wheat, barley or oats as part of the autumn sowing, through to which animals to buy and rear.

Organisers hope that not only will the scheme see thousands of people gain a better insight into the working of a farm but that it will also be profitable… even if not as much as FarmVille itself.

When police in Florida were called out to deal with an alligator wandering around a residential neighbourhood, it didn't take long to find the offending creature… it attacked their patrol car.

Officers say the 10ft gator promptly clamped his jaw down on the bumper of the patrol car and, as this video shows, refused to let go.

Eventually red-faced cops, who'd managed to dislodge the snappy creature by reversing the car, were forced to let him go and call in a licensed trapper.

Officers say the vehicle suffered some damage to the bumper and grill… but it was nothing compared to the damage caused to the officers pride at having to call for backup.

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