We've been hearing of the horrible tragedy in Japan over the past week caused by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Plant, but there is one story of hope from the striken oriental nation: rescue workers discovered a dog guarding a fellow dog that was injured in the earthquake.
At first, the dog would not let rescue workers near its friend, but they were able to gradually bring the injured dog to an animal hospital in the city of Mito. The guardian dog was taken to a different shelter in the city; both are recieving medical treatment for their ordeals.
The left head is named Magda and the right, Lenka. They are conjoined twins of a sulcata tortoise native to the Sahara Desert. If the tortoise survives to adulthood it may reach a length of 1m and weigh up to 75kg.
Although all are scientifically known as chelonians there is often confusion about the terms tortoise, turtle and terrapin. Although there are regional differences, a generally accepted definition is that chelonians on the land are tortoises, those in the sea are turtles and the ones in ponds/lakes/rivers/swamps are terrapins.
Hachikō was an Akita Inu who was born in Japan in 1923. He became the pet of Professor Hidesaburō Ueno of the University of Tokyo. For around a year Hachikō would meet his master, at the end of the day, at Shibuya Station.
On 21 May 1925 Prof. Ueno died from a stroke while at the university. For the rest of his life Hachikō continued to make the trip to the train station and wait for his master. Hachikō finally died in 1935.
The repopulation of grey wolves in Montana and Idaho led to their removal from the Endangered Species List in 2008, concerning many conservationists. But last August a U.S. federal judge ruled this kind of subdivision of populations illegal.
Now Michael Brune of the Sierra Club says lawmakers seek to withdraw this protection through a budget amendment. [tip: Ezno]
A Michigan man has been sentenced by the St. Ignace District Court to serve a year in jail – with a mandatory 90 days in prison – and pay US$5090 in restitution and fines, after having been found guilty of shooting three wolves. 58-year-old William Hayward of Bay City, MI plead guilty to shooting three wolves in Mackinac County, and destroying tracking collars that two of the wolves wore. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment is investigating separate wolf poachings in Chippewa and Luce counties, also in the eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula. Courtesy: WDIV-TV Local 4 (ClickOnDetroit.com) and the Associated Press
Update: Michigan DNRE is continuing its investigation. [WDIV-TV Local 4 (ClickOnDetroit.com)]
While most animals prefer a ground-level existence, it appears some foxes enjoy the high life. Animal control experts disapprove, as the BBC reports:
We explained to him that if foxes were meant to be 72 storeys off the ground, they would have evolved wings
Run by taxidermist and tattoo artist Susan Jeiven, the $45 class assumed no prior experience, and supplied each student with a deceased mouse obtained from a snake-feed store. The 15 places quickly sold out.
After being found as an orphan, Heidi was raised in a North Carolina wildlife sanctuary, before being rehomed at Denmark's Odense Zoo and, later, Leipzig Zoo. She became an international sensation last December, after photographs of her cock-eyed visage were published in the German newspaper Bild. The images went viral, and led to a hit song ("Opossum Heidi Schielt" or "Opossum Heidi Peers"), Heidi's own Facebook account, and an upcoming line of plush toys.
Previously, Larry lived as a stray and was recruited from Battersea Dogs and Cats' home. Larry was recommended as the mouser as he showed "a high chase-drive and hunting instinct". Although an official spokesman described him as 'easygoing', Larry proceeded to scratch reporters who tried to do a story on him.
The first Chief Mouser was Treasury Bill in 1924. The position has been held by a number of cats over the years, although the position has been vacant since Sybil left it in 2008.
Twenty-five lions have been rescued from circuses in Bolivia by animal rights activist group Animal Defenders International. The thirteen males and twelve females were taken from what were called "deplorable conditions" after Bolivian lawmakers prohibited animals from being used in performances.
Television personality and former The Price is Right host Bob Barker helped finance a jetliner to fly the lions to Denver at a cost of US$200,000, in what was called "Operation Lion Ark". When rescued, most of the lions suffered from dehydration, as well as foot and eye infections.
Cat cafés are coffee houses including a seperate room where customers are able to play with cats. They are particularly popular in Japan, perhaps due to many apartments forbidding pets, with Tokyo having between 30 and 40 such cafés.
Walter Potter (1835-1918) was a self-taught English taxidermist who created elaborate anthropomorphic tableaux of small mammals and birds. These dioramas, along with various other odd items, were put on display in Potter's museum in Bramber, Sussex.
Most people love dogs; many would say they're one's best friend. However some exploit animals for profit – and when said animals don't create profit, they perform extremely disturbing actions, often causing harm to the animals.
In a recent story, an owner of a Canadian dog sled tour business did just that, slaughtering 100 magnificent animals over the course of two days.
More details, photos, and a video can be found in the Vancouver Sun's coverage.