animals: July 2011 Archives

275x250.jpg Scientists in South Korea have created a genetically modified glow in the dark dog which they say can be turned on and off like a light switch.

The glowing beagle was born two-years-ago thanks to a cloning technique which boffins claim could be used to find cures for diseases including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Tegon's luminosity - which can be seen under ultraviolet light - is said to be controlled by adding a doxycycline antibiotic to her food at Seoul University.

While the £2million research could lead to huge leaps in medical science, it's already solved one of life's great questions, are dogs or cats the brightest.

275x250.jpg A baby ostrich which was abandoned by his mother and dumped in the rain is now being kept company by a soft toy surrogate mum and a radio.

Staff at Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire say this is the first first baby Ostrich to be cared for there, as in previous years rain has hampered incubation with excess moisture in the nests.

And while it was all going much better this year, it looked like it could take a turn for the worse when this 10 inch baby Ostrich left out in the rain by its mum.

However, carers have taken him in and after putting him at ease by placing a slightly taller toy in his enclosure, are now hand-rearing the bird which will eventually be somewhere between 6ft and 9ft tall. Good luck finding a toy that big.

A video of a sleepy baby sloth yawning has become an online hit and been viewed more than 900,000 times… by 900,000 people who probably proceeded to yawn themselves straight after.

The 19 second clip, which was uploaded to YouTube earlier this month starts off with an already adorable baby sloth slouched over the hand of a carer.

But then the cuteness level gets dialled up all the way to eleven when the tired little critter lets out a massive yawn before closing its eyes and going to sleep.

We know how you feel little guy, we know how you feel. 

A video of a baby hippo appearing to perform a series of underwater ballet moves in California, has become an online hit.

Little Adhama - whose name means "honour" or "glory" in Swahili - is said to regularly strut his stuff pulling pirouettes, backflips and tumbles in his enclosure at San Diego Zoo.

Now the six-month-old calf and his 26-year-old mother Funani have now become a web sensation after a video of their antics was uploaded to YouTube.

In the footage, the critter, who was born weighing around 100 pounds, looks almost as graceful as the the hippo from Fantasia, almost.

275x250.jpgTwo Australian police officers say they both had to resort to using pepper spray on a red kangaroo after it attacked a 94-year-old woman.

The cops from Queensland had been called out after the elderly woman was attacked by the jumping marsupial as she was putting out her laundry.

While trying to fight off the beast with a broom, the woman had been knocked to the floor but eventually managed to get inside where her son called police.

When the officers arrived at the scene the male kangaroo was still there and charged at one of the cops who discharged his capsicum pepper spray at it.

Not happy, the roo then jumped towards the second cop who was standing at the back of the police car and he too used his spray. What's that Skippy, you want to lodge a complaint with the police complaints authority?

275x250.jpg A three-year-old horse called Elvis has been rescued by a team of ten firefighters after getting stuck neck deep in a muddy swamp.

The 14-hand horse had been discovered by his owner struggling for air and to get free after escaping from his field and falling into a 20m sq mud pit.

Firefighters from West Midlands Fire Service were dispatched to the woodland scene in Coventry where one donned a dry suit and climbed into the mud pit to being a two-hour rescue.

Colleagues then shovelled away mud from around the horse to fit strops and pull him to safety… luckily they won the tug-of-war and the animal was returned to the safety of solid ground.

275x250.jpg There's a sure fire way to tell that your dog isn't exactly the world's best guard dog… like when it gets stolen itself.

And that's just what happened to Rocky the Rottweiler, a guard dog who was recently snatched from his home in Gloucestershire.

Thieves are understood to have lifted the fencing into the area where Rocky was kept and stolen him, nothing else was taken.

As such the home owners, who'd hoped the dog would be an active deterrent to would-be burglars, were forced to make an embarrassing call to police to   report that he'd been stolen.

275x250.jpg Vegas, a German Shepherd trainee police dog has been left looking for a new home after officers realised she is not brave enough to cut it with the force.

The 19-month-old dog had been specially bred for police work and gone through part of her initial training course before it was recognised she's a big scaredycat.

It's said the pup was great at things like jumping through windows, ignoring gunshots and chasing suspects -- she refused to bite them when she caught up with them - which means she won't be able to work with police.

Northumbria Police are now appealing for people who might be able to offer her a home to come forwards and say she loves to play with her toys and would be a fun and loyal companion.

275x250.jpgThe personal computer has now overtaken the family dog as 'man's best friend', a poll conducted by YouGov has found.

A recent survey discovered almost two thirds of us consider our computers as "a more constant companion than a dog" and that this is especially true for younger dog owners.

People are also now spending more time with their PCs than their pooches and with many people having ditched newspapers for online news sites, dogs are being relied on less to perform household tasks.

In fact, only 6% of those polled believe "most people rely more on their dog than they do on their PC" (probably people who need a lot of slippers fetching) while 67% think the opposite is true.

So if you had to do without your pet dog or your computer, which would it be? And remember your dog can't fetch you Newslite.

A humpback whale which was saved after getting tangled in a fishing net said 'thank you' to rescuers by performing a series of breaches and dives.

When a group of whale watchers off the coast of California discovered a humpback whale tangled in fishing nets, they feared it was already dead.

But as they approached, it let out a loud breath through its blow hole and the whale watchers turned whale rescuers jumping in the water and launching an hour-log rescue bid.

After eventually being able to free the beast and pull the net into their boat, the whale swam away - but not before putting on an impressive display  for them. Skip to 6 minutes 10 seconds to see it. 

275x250.jpgWhen two would-be armed robbers stormed into a store in California and demanding a bag was filled with cash, they probably didn't expect anyone to put up much of a fight.

But that's because they didn't know about Paco, the diminutive Chihuahua who took umbrage at their attempts to steal from his owner.

After the duo waved a gun around and made their threats at the store, Paco ran straight towards them and started biting at their ankles.

The pint-sized pooch continued to snap at the pair until they ran out of the door and across the street - he didn't even stop when they pointed a gun at him.

And while some doubters suggest this was probably because he has no concept of what a gun is, we'd like to think it was just because he's brave.

275x250.jpg At Newslite we have a bit of a thing for Lego - whether it's being used to make massive towers, sculptures, recreate works of art, the Royal wedding or even to propose.

We also enjoy anything to do with superheroes. So when someone combines the two they've got our undivided attention. Step forward Alexander Schranz who recently produced a stunning Batcave with 9,000 Lego bricks

The 31-year-old Lego fan from Germany - who works as a Concept Designer for The LEGO Group - says he came up with the idea after playing Arkham Asylum and being inspired.

A life-long Batman fan, Schranz started off by making the Batmobile before spending a week planing the Batcave and then 70 hours building it… it would have been quicker but there was no Alfred to help him.

275x250.jpg As far as Newslite is concerned she is no oracle octopus, but a psychic pachyderm called has apparently predicted the winner of the Women’s World Cup.

Nelly, an 18-month-old elephant at Serengeti Park in Germany, made her forecast by
kicking a ball into a net into a net of the team she though would win.

After correctly predicted the winner of every German match in the Women's World Cup, she'd been called in to do her stuff ahead of the final between the USA and Japan.

Sure enough she pelted the ball into the back of the net with a Japanese flag and they went on to win the contest - which obviously proves she's psychic. If you think otherwise you can tell the 1,058 pound beast yourself.

275x250.jpg Staff at a zoo in New Zealand say the emperor penguin who famously took a wrong turn and ended up 2,000 miles from his intended destination is recovering after eating sand on a beach.

Bosses at Wellington Zoo say the 80cm tall bird had tried eating sand from Peka Peka beach (well it works with snow so why not sand) and fallen ill.

As a result the bird dubbed Happy Feet had to have his stomach pumped and experts had feared whether the lost critter would survive the ordeal.

But he's now gained 5.7 pounds since being rescued and the experts are formulating a plan to return him to Antarctica once he is fully well… and has sold the movie rights to his story.

After a series of 'monster shark' sightings' in an Australian lake, the morning news TV show Today, decided to dispatch a fishing expert to go and investigate.

Unfortunately not everything went to plan when they linked to Paul Burt who was at Evandale Lake, on the Gold Coast, and the segment ended up being a rather awkward moment of live TV.

It started off badly enough when, after a big build up, Paul simply said "Hi Karl", causing the studio host to crack up laughing. But it got considerably worse when he asked the fisherman to have a go at catching the 'monster'.

That's because after casting off, Paul soon caught something… a duck which had been peacefully swimming on the lake. Oops. As he pulled it in he said to camera: "I'd go to another shot."

275x250.jpg A silverback gorilla called Ya Kwanza has shot to internet fame after recording a movie of himself.

Staff at Durrell Wildlife Trust in Jersey gave the 27 year-old gorilla a feeding device - covered with honey and oats - with a built in video camera to see what he got up to.

The resulting high-definition footage shows him investigating the device, meticulously picking out raisins before taking a number of close ups and profile shots

He then obediently throws the yellow 'camera feeder' back to his keeper when asked to return it. Okay so his footage isn't going to win any Oscars, but it's still pretty impressive.

275x250.jpg Owls are known for their exceptionally good vision. But not all can see exactly where they are going… as this owl-shaped imprint on a window shows.

Sally Arnold, from Kendal says she recently returned home to see the huge bird imprint on her bedroom window.

And after contacting the RSPB her suspicions were confirmed and experts said that a tawny owl had flown directly into the window pane and bounced off.

The marks on the window are said to have been left by ‘powder down,’ a substance that helps birds protect growing feathers. We just hope the bird didn't get into too much of a flap after the accident.

275x250.jpgSan Diego Zoo Safari Park have started putting on daily blink-and-you'll-miss-it Cheetah Runs where the big cats show their speed by running from 0 -70mph in just four seconds.

Once a day visitors will be able to watch one of the three cheetahs there -- Amara, Johari and Shiley -- show off their impressive speed.

They will each chase their favourite toy which will be mechanically pulled along the 330-foot track in front of a visitor viewing area.

Organisers say: "If you're close enough, you may feel the wind as the cheetah passes by. The spotted sprinter races on a straight 330-foot-long track that allows the cheetah to really stretch its legs"

The event is said to take place at 5.00pm each day… and at those speeds is probably over by 5.00pm and six seconds.

275x250.jpg Little Rachel Warren was trying to copy her pet dog when she shoved her head through the garden gate… but unlike the rottweiler Tess, Rachel couldn't get back out.

As a result the four-year-old had to be rescued by firefighters who pried the black gate apart to release her.

Mom Carlene, from Brierley Hill in the West Midlands, says she was taking Rachel to nursery and had just put her reins on when she started pretending to be a dog and ran outside.

The next thing she knew, she heard a loud noise, went out to investigate and found her daughter lodged between the black railings.

275x250.jpgPet stores in New York say they've been forced to introduce a ban on drunk puppy-buying, because of the number of inebriated animal-lovers.

Bosses at Le Petit Puppy say the move to refuse the sale of puppies to drunks is a response to the number of people they've had come out of nearby bars and take an interest in their pups.

The problem is reported to come from the fact the pet store is surrounded by bars and that after happy hour, drinkers are taken by the cute dogs in the window.

In the past, drunk dog buyers have even been known to return the next day with the puppy and ask the store to take it back.

So now, even if they have got the $1,200 to $3,000 to buy a puppy, inebriated dog fans will be turned away and asked to come back when sober… alternatively they could log into the live-stream of the puppy window

275x250.jpg Most nature enthusiasts would think nothing of getting up early and heading off to a country park in the hope of seeing wild deer close-up.

But residents in the Black Country industrial town of Walsall didn't have to when this pair of deer strolled into their estate just half a mile away from a busy town centre.

Locals couldn't believe their eyes as they saw the two impressive animals calmly walking along a road past them… which is why they took these photo.

Tim and Tom Kitchen, who were making their way to the local bus station at 7.15 when they saw them, say the deer looked relaxed and were in no rush… maybe they are thinking of moving to the area.

Normally when we bring you a video of a dancing animal, it's just that, a video of a dancing animal… but not this time.

This clip of a bird grooving to Queen is cold hard science and forcing scientists to re-evaluate their opinion on avian intelligence, maybe.

Researchers from the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego say videos of Snowball, the dancing cockatoo have left them scratching their heads because he appears to have a sense of rhythm.

It had previously been thought only humans could move to a beat... and what makes it all the more remarkable about 13-year-old Snowball is that he's a white cockatoo.

275x250.jpgCows not only have best friends, but also get stressed when they're not with them, academic researchers have discovered.

Boffins from the University of Northampton say they have found proof that cows are more social than previously thought after conducting a series of tests.

Doctoral student Krista McLennan looked at the heart rate and cortisol levels of cows when in a variety of environments, including a period of isolation.

It was found the cows were more relaxed when with a 'preferred partner' compared to being with a random other cow or alone.

The findings are said to be important to the dairy industry because the stress levels of cows can strongly impact their milk yield… more than whether they are finding something funny anyway.

This squirrel is lucky to be alive after running across a racetrack as a Lamborghini hurtled towards it at over 100mph -- and passing under it.

The close shave happened at the AutoClub Speedway in Fontana, California during an event called the "The Ultimate Lamborghini Experience".

And this little chap certainly got the ultimate Lamborghini experience as he ran out in front of the speeding yellow Lamborghini LP670-4 SV.

As this footage shows, the car passes over him as he continues running across the track… no, we're not sure how he survived either.

Is sounds like the start of a dodgy horror movie, but a nuclear power plant in Scotland has been shut after an invasion by loads of jellyfish.

Two reactors at EDF Energy's Torness nuclear power plant were stopped this week when the jellyfish began obstructing cooling water filters.

The measures were brought in because an obstruction could have meant the plant wasn't able to draw in enough water to maintain a safe operating temperature.

Ii's been reported that if this happened (which it couldn't because of automated safety procedures) the nuclear power could overheat.

Operators are currently working to clear the jellyfish from the waters near the power station and say it should reopen next week… unless any more sea creatures launch an attack.

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