animals: November 2011 Archives

Some dogs bring their owner a newspaper or their slippers -- but this one goes much further and even does the shopping.

That's right, a man in China has trained his dog to do the grocery shopping by taking a shopping list money in a basket to the shops.

The lazy owner says he started off by taking the dog shopping with him and  getting it to carry they bags home. Then it progressed to going on its own.

While the man is all very happy at the moment… let's see how he feels when the pooch returns with a basket full of gnawed bones.

A video of a porcupine enjoying a corn on the cob so much that it squeals when someone tries to take it away has become an online hit. Obviously.

Teddy Bear the North American porcupine was recorded by staff at Zooniversity (a mobile teaching zoo) after they realised he was being particularly grumpy.

After giving Teddy an ear of corn, they tried to take it from him to see (or rather hear) how he responded… and oh boy did he.

He released a bizarre series of squeals which bosses say was so impressive they've been contacted by two major TV networks wanting to use the footage.

A mad-capped pianist has dragged his piano up a mountain in Kanchanaburi, Thailand to serenade a group of blind elephants. As you do.

50-year-old Brit Paul Barton -- who played Slow Movement 2 from Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata for the beasts -- made the odd bid in order to raise money for charity.

He says he hopes to raise enough money to install an electric fence at the sanctuary where the injured and handicapped elephants live.

Barton was also quick to point out that the keys on his piano were made from synthetic plastic and that no elephants were injured for the making of his music.

It's amazing how salmon know to swim upstream to lay their eggs and are able to find their way negotiating rapids and waterfalls… usually.

But a video of lost and confused salmon trying to cross a flooded road in Washington State has become an online hit.

Experts say the salmon were filmed on the side of the Skokomish Valley Road in Seattle after heavy rain had caused flooding to nearby rivers.

The unusual footage shows them wriggling in the water as cars driver past… and answers the question 'why did the salmon cross the road?' -- which no-one had ever asked before seeing this.

A video of a pet Labrador going rogue and chasing a huge group of deer in Richmond Park in London has become an online hit.

The footage starts off by showing a small number of deer relaxing in the sun, but then as a man shouts in the distance, dozens more deer charge through the park.

Then it becomes clear why -- the Labrador is chasing them as his owner continues to scream: "Benton, Benton! Oh Jesus Christ, Benton!"

The fleeing deer, followed by Benton, who is in turn followed by his posh-sounding owner continue to run across a road… and all too soon the 47 second clip ends.

An incredibly cute and sleepy dormouse has become an online hit -- without even having to wake up to do so.

Footage shot by Surrey Wildlife Trust shows the dozing rodent being discovered nesting boxes in woods near Leatherhead.

The cute critter -- lying on his back snoring with his paws tucked in -- is then held in the palm of a nature officer before being weighed and sexed.

Writing on YouTube a spokesperson for Surrey Wildlife Trust said: "Don't worry, the dormouse wasn't dying or having breathing problems.

275x250.jpg Staff at an aquarium have resorted to tricking fish into being healthy after they avoided taking their vitamin supplements.

When the grey variety of Mullet got wise to being fed vitamins, workers at SeaLife Blackpool resorted to hiding the supplements in porridge oats.

Surprisingly the greedy Mullet loved the oats so much they have now becomes a staple on the menu -- and the fish are getting their vitamins.

Head Aquarist, Scott Blacker, said: "Mullet love the stodgy texture of porridge and there is always a feeding frenzy when the Readybreak comes out.

275x250.jpg Living in a city-centre might not prevent you from embracing your bee-keeper dreams for much longer -- after Phillips revealed the urban beehive.

Designers who say we are disturbing its equilibrium, have tried to tackle the issue of dwindling bee numbers with the bizarre concept.

The urban beehive is designed to fit to the windows of apartment blocks and consists of a entry passage and flower pot outside and a glass vessel containing an array of honeycomb frames, inside.

The glass shell filters light to let through the orange wavelength which bees use for sight. The frames are provided with a honeycomb texture for bees to build their wax cells on.

To access the honey, users pull a cord to release smoke into the hive and calm the bees before it's opening it… and if it's not working you've just got 10,000 angry bees in your flat.

275x250.jpg Everybody knows you shouldn't give your dog a sip of your beer, but pooches no longer have to miss out -- because a new brew made specifically for dogs has gone on sale.

Bowser Beer really is a beer made for dogs. But unlike your Stella Artois it won't get them drunk and it's designed with their digestive system in mind.

While the beer contains the same malt barley brewers use, the vitamins are good for shiny coats, the hops (which are dangerous to dogs) are replaced with beef or chicken.

As for the taste, it's described as being a "beefy-malty broth" which most dogs lap it up either straight out of the bottle or over ice or their food.

275x250.jpg Five Humboldt penguins were the first to try out a London ice rink recently -- amusing passing commuters on their way to work in the process.

The penguins were brought in from Heythrop Zoological Gardens in Oxfordshire to give the rink an inaugural waddling.

And though native to the coasts of Chile and Peru, the penguins seemed sufficiently happy with a chunk of ice in the heart of the City of London’s square mile.

Described as London’s only “turn up and skate” outdoor ice rink, Broadgate Ice, is now open to the public… who don't look nearly as cute.

We've often wondered what sort of fast food deers like (you know, during quiet moments at the office) -- but luckily this video gives us the answer.

A deer recently shocked staff and diners when it smashed though a window of a taco restaurant in Georgia and proceeded to charge around.

CCTV footage shows chaos in the eatery as the animal runs around -- with staff generally running away while diners want to get closer.

The fun ended when a server opened the door to the patio and the deer exited. But not before breaking one of its antlers off… and probably ordering a taco.

275x250.jpg When a driver in Hampshire couldn't start their car, they assumed there was a mechanical problem and called a rescue service.

But the fault was actually due to a squirrel preparing for winter by stashing hundreds of nuts in the air intake pipe and box.

AA man Andy Smith said: "When I looked over the car there was no obvious fault. I tried all the usual things but was left puzzled when nothing worked.

However, spotting an air pipe collapsing while the engine was being revved Andy took the air intake off and the cause of the problem became immediately apparent.

275x250.jpg Train passengers in Yorkshire couldn't believe their ears when they were told they couldn't exit a train -- because of reports of a lion on the loose.

West Yorkshire Police had received a call from a woman driving in the village of Shepley, stating that she thought she'd seen a lion.

This prompted them to launch a 12 officer search for the beast and notify rail operators that it may not be safe for passengers to disembark at the nearby station.

National Rail Enquiries said on Twitter: "Passengers are currently unable to alight from trains at Shepley due to reports by police of a lion in the area."

However officers were unable to find the elusive lion, and because no-one had reporting their lion going missing, the two-hour operation was called off.

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