animals: June 2011 Archives

275x250.jpg Each year more than 52,000 tennis balls are used during Wimbledon, and because tournament bosses like to see them go to a good home, they are normally sold off for charity.

But this year many of the balls will 'become' a good home after the All England Lawn Tennis Club did a deal with an aquarium in the Lake District.

Stamped with the date of the tournament, the balls will have a hole cut in them to make an ideal nesting place for brown mice (yes, mice at an aquarium).

It's hoped that the balls might encourage the brown mice to breed… now all they need are the little signs saying: 'If this tennis ball is a rockin, don't come a knocking'.

275x250.jpg Last week we told you about Ci the sheepdog who is scared of sheep. Today we've got someone showing him how it should be done. Meet Nancy the chihuahua-turned-sheepdog.

Tiny little Nancy weighs just 2.5lbs and is an unlikely sheepdog - but she's already proven her expertise in the field, by confidently herding sheep more than six times taller than her.

Nancy only discovered her sheep herding ability after being rescued and taken in by Battersea Dogs Home when she was found with no fur and suffering from mange.

Taken in by Ali Taylor, the pint-sized pooch started visiting farms and was fascinated by the way Border Collies would chase the sheep. Then one time she decided to join in and the rest is history internet gold.

275x250.jpg Cats are not normally know for their smiling sunny disposition… and Mr Pip is not different. In fact this moody moggie could be Britain’s grumpiest cat.

According to owner Rose Oughton, Mr Pip does not like noise, bad weather and especially hates football. Yes, this sour-face puss is constantly in a grump.

The irritable Persian Burmese is said to constantly act like he is is in a foul mood - even when partaking in his favourite activities of ‘starring at dogs’ and 'sitting in his favourite bush'.

Worried her beloved cat might have an underlying illness which was causing the stroppy behaviour, Rose even took Mr Pip to the vet, but they said he was just like that… he didn't look impressed with their diagnosis.

A video featuring dozens of Asian carp jumping out of a river and bombarding a boat in the US, has become an online hit, unsurprisingly.

The 70-second clip shows a family travelling down the Spoon River in Illinois which is heavily populated by Asian carp. As they soon find out.

That's because -- as anyone who has ever been on YouTube will know -- Asian carp have a fear of boats, and are blessed with an amazing jumping ability.

So when a boat passes over them, the 5-10lb fish leap up to two metres from the water en mass. Something you can see for yourself if you just click play.

275x250.jpg A funny-looking Chinese-crested Chihuahau mix called Yoda now has the dubious honour of officially being the world's ugliest dog.

The 14-year old dog scooped the highly prestigious title at an annual contest held at Sonoma-Marin Fair after beating off competition from other ugly mutts.

Judges praised 1.8 pound Yoda for her wiry hair, protruding tongue, gangly legs and the scruffy fur between her toes and she was an audience favourite.

Owner, Terry Schumacher, from California said Yoda was found by her daughter, but she initially thought she was a rat. She aded that she doesn't think dogs and owners always look alike.

275x250.jpgPolice in Germany say they have caught an 84-year-old woman who had been feeding her pet rabbits with cannabis.

The pensioner was contacted by cops after they spotted a field of the metre-high pot plants growing in a field she owned next to her home.

While the elderly woman denied growing the plants herself - she says they just sprung up - she did admit using them to feed her pet rabbits. Police say this is plausible.

According to Tagesspiegel she said that no only did the rabbits really enjoy munching the plants, but because they grew back so quickly they were an ideal food.

Unsurprisingly the cops chopped down the cannabis plants and took them away in three large plastic sacks… maybe they have a rabbit hutch at the police station.

A cat which was left paralysed after being run over by a car is taking swimming lessons in a bid to regain full control over his legs and walk again.

Earlier this year, Mog the cat was hit by a car in a hit-and-run incident
and sustained serious injuries to his front legs prompting owns to fear he'd never walk again.

Vets even said the nerve damage to his front legs was enough to leave him completely paralysed -- but now the pussy is on the route to recovery.

The one-year-old grey tabby is currently taking swimming lessons at a hydrotherapy pool in Cornwall and looks set to get back on his feet… but only after becoming an internet star.

275x250.jpgIt's safe to say that Ci the sheepdog is never going to win One Man and His Dog… because this balmy Border Collie is scared of sheep.

Owners say that while like any other sheepdog, his instinct is to chase sheep, whenever the four-year-old mutt gets close to them, he gets scared.

In fact, he gets so scared of sheep that he runs away from them and can even get chased around by flocks of sheep.

As a result of his ovinophobia, the cowardly Collie has been unable to do the job he was born for and been dubbed the worst sheepdog in Britain.

Farmer Jane Lippington says the only way to get Ci to work, is for her to join in and chase the sheep around the field herself. See him in action here.

275x250.jpg An Antarctic Emperor penguin which took a wrong turn has ended up stranded on a New Zealand beach 2,000 miles from his intended destination of Antarctica.

It's thought the young lonely penguin got lost while swimming near Antarctica, made a wrong turn, and then proceeded to swim the mammoth journey to New Zealand.

Defying the odds, the 80cm tall bird - believed to be 10 months old - somehow ended up on Kapiti Coast where he was spotted by a local resident out walking her dog.

Experts say people should not disturb the critter and that dogs should be kept on leads as penguins can give vicious bites if they feel threatened… something they never covered that in Happy Feet.

When we saw the words 'breakdancing gorilla' we had a sneaky suspicion we'd be writing about it for Newslite… and thankfully this video does not disappoint.

The footage of Zola, an eight-year-old Western lowland gorilla, strutting his stuff at Calgary Zoo has become an online hit.

In the clip the groovy gorilla can be seen spinning around, showing some fancy footwork and generally dancing considerably better than we can.

Sure he wasn't really responding to the rhythm of the music and he's not technically breakdancing, but who cares... if this video doesn't make you smile there is something wrong with you.

275x250.jpg Animal rights group PETA have said they would like to see giant cages erected around the famous lion statues in Trafalgar Square.

In a letter to the Greater London Authority the organisation say the addition of cages at the landmark would draw attention to the misery endured by animals used in circuses.

Their move comes ahead of the debate in the Commons this week, and the government's failure last month to implement a ban on wild animals in circuses.

It's hoped the plan will gain the attention of the general public and encourage MPs to turn up to the debate on Thursday. If not maybe the MPs could be caged on the fourth plinth.

275x250.jpgWhen he repeatedly found his cows out of their shed - knowing he'd locked them inside the night before - farmer Tom Grant thought cattle rustlers could be responsible.

So he set about installing CCTV cameras at his South Armagh farm, to catch them in the act, trying to steal his animals.

But when he reviewed the footage, he was shocked to discover that one of his prized cows was actually using her tongue to unlock a gate.

That's right, footage clearly shows Daisy using her tongue to help her bovine brethren escape, by sliding open the locks on her enclosure and letting them out.

Now the jail-breaking heifer has become an internet hit and has really raised the steaks when it comes to bovine brilliance. She's udderly amazing. Sorry.

A video of a playful dog wanting a game of fetch with a pair of twin babies has become a hit online -- and it's not hard to see why.

In the two minute clip Marley, an eight year old Australian Labradoodle, can be seen presenting a pair of six-month-old girls with a ball.

Initially he seems surprised that little Lilly and Sophia don't want to take the ball and throw it for him so he tries dropping it for them.

When that doesn't work, he tried sitting and waiting patiently and even placing the chewed directly in the hands of the tots. But don't worry, there is a happy ending.

275x250.jpg A video of a brave young lad staring into the mouth of hungry lioness, who appears to be trying to eat him, has become an online hit.

The clip shows one-year-old Trent Higley visiting Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs where he took an interest in the lions.

And the lions took an interest in him, specifically a lioness called Angie who looks like she wanted to munch on the tot for her dinner.

Angie can be seen repeatedly opening her jaw and trying to snare the youngster, who was luckily protected by a big thick sheet of secure glass. Even so, he was still being braver than we'd have been.

When we told you about a family of geese getting a police escort, we wondered where they were heading, now we're beginning to suspect they were going surfing.

That's because we've seen this footage of a gaggle of geese in Colorado surfing on a river. And they don't seem to be half bad.

In the 50 second clip, the birds can be seen riding along on the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs, before hitting a wave on a part of the water used for white water rafting.

Once they do, the plucky geese show off their skills by riding the wave like seasoned pro surfers… is seasoned pro surfers didn't have surf boards that is.

275x250.jpgA species of shark which has been blamed for hundreds of attacks on humans has been spotted swimming off the coast of Cornwall.

The oceanic whitetip shark was initially seen by a mackerel fisherman who said the beast repeatedly rammed the side of his wooden boat.

But the harbour master's office in St Ives has also confirmed a separate independent sighting of the shark, just one mile off shore.

Oceanic whitetips have been blamed for a number of attacks on humans around the world, though experts have doubted the validity of the Cornwall shark.

They say the species is typically found in tropical waters and there has never been a confirmed sighting in British waters. You could say they poured cold water on the claims.

275x250.jpgCops in Seattle were led on a literal wild goose chase when they were called on to give a police escort family of geese.

The Canada goose and her goslings had been spotted strolling busy highway by rush hour passers-by, who were worried for their safety and reported it to police.

As a result, three cars of Washington state troopers were dispatched to I-90, to guide the gaggle from the highway and close two lanes of traffic.

It took around 20 minutes for the officers to guide the Canadian geese to an appropriate highway exit and safety.

And police say the operation, dubbed "Operation get the little guys cleared" was a success… if the aim was to create a cute video, we agree.

275x250.jpg It's that time of year again, water-loving pooches have taken to the sea to compete in an annual surfing dog competition in California.

The Lowes Surf Dog competition sees dogs battle it out in three categories - small dogs, large dogs and tandem rides - to see who has the best surf skills,

Each of the 60 competitors is judged on confidence level, length of ride and overall surf ability and thousands of fans turned out to watch the event.

The winners received an all-expenses-paid pet vacation at the Imperial Beach Resort, which is not to be sniffed at… even if you're a dog and therefore inclined to sniff things.

275x250.jpgBrave US police officers have successfully neutralised the threat posed by a deadly alligator, shooting it twice in the head.. then they realised it was a garden ornament.

The officers had been called to the Kansas City home after an alligator sighting had been reported by a member of the public.

And when they saw the powerful-jawed creature lurking in the grass, they were quick to reach for their rifle and shoot it twice in the head.

It was only when the second shot bounced of the stationary creature the officers realised it was made out of concrete and a garden ornament.

Homeowner Rick Sheridan said the 'reptile' was there to keep people off his land… maybe a creepy gnome would have been better.

275x250.jpg The penguins at London Zoo are feeling decidedly more p-p-p-pampered after the opening of a new £2 million home.

Their new abode includes a pool which is four times bigger than their previous one, a more natural environment and has underwater viewing areas for visitors.

It was constructed when the zoo's original penguin pool, built in 1934, closed eight years ago after it was deemed not suitable.

Being England's largest penguin pool, the new enclosure will eventually house a 200-strong breeding colony, but for now 65 lucky penguins have the place to themselves.

275x250.jpg These adorable meerkats might not be quite as sweet and innocent as they initially look… because they appear to have developed a bit of an foot (and maybe upskirt) fetish.

Bosses at Longleat Safari Park were pleased when they opened their new meerkat enclosure earlier this year - because it's the first where visitors can mingle with the cute critters.

But now they say the meerkats have developed what can only be called a foot fetish and love nothing more than exploring the feet of bare-footed visitors.

Keepers say they little meerkats are particularly attracted to anybody wearing sandals or flip-flops… and have a real thing for painted toe-nails.

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