Creative Commons license icon

animals

Whether it's got fur, feathers or scales, we want to hear about it.

Smokey, the world's loudest cat

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

World's Loudest CatSmokey, a 12-year-old cat from the UK, made world-wide news in March when she was submitted to Guinness as a candidate for the loudest cat in the world.

Reports claimed her purring reached 73 dB (16 times louder than a normal cat). She was recorded by a music expert from Northampton College and the recording was witnessed by four individuals with various backgrounds.

On 5 May, Guinness announced that Smokey was the loudest domestic cat in the world, at 67.7 dB (LA peak).

Freeway extension rattles snakes

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

Ontario King's Highway 401shieldIn recent days, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) has erected a two-meter (six foot) tall fence, stretching 9 kilometers (about 5.5 miles) along the threatened eastern fox snake's habitat in the city's west end.

The special fabric fence – which extends below ground level – was erected because the snake can climb and slither beneath regular fences. The MTO was concerned that snakes might wander into the construction zone, where they would be at risk.

The fence was built with assistance from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to keep the construction project in compliance with the Endangered Species Act, as work begins on extending Highway 401 west towards the proposed bridge to Detroit.

Red foxes force shrinkage of arctic fox territory

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)
Arctic fox in Svalbard, Norway

In the Arctic there has been a change in the distribution of both red and arctic foxes. Red foxes have expanded their territory to the North as the climate has warmed, at the expense of arctic foxes.

Due to a lack of observations of interactions between the two fox species, biologists have been unsure whether the loss of arctic fox territory was due to direct competition, or if they were indirectly competing for the same food. Rodnikova et al have now reported observing a red fox intruding upon a arctic fox den in 2007.

Outrage over video showing squirrel being pepper-sprayed

No votes yet

Police were called to Kimbrough Middle School in Mesquite, Texas, after a squirrel was seen behaving erratically. The concern was that this can be a sign of rabies.

As a baby squirrel hopped towards a policeman in the grounds of a school, he took out his pepper spray, apparently to defend himself against the potentially infected animal. As school children pleaded with the officer not to harm the creature, the squirrel advanced and the man reacted by spraying it. The squirrel became disorientated and started writhing on the ground.

A Mesquite Animal Control officer was called and cleaned the spray off the squirrel. After being given a satisfactory bill of health, it was released back into the wild.

A video recording of the pepper-spraying incident, made by students, generated outrage after it was posting on YouTube. Having received over 700,000 views in one week, comments on the video are split between those condemning the officer's actions as heavy-handed, and those sympathising with his need to maintain personal safety in the face of a possibly rabid animal.

Oklahoma City police hunt vandal squirrel

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

For the past few weeks, deputies at the Oklahoma Sheriff's Office have found their vehicles being vandalised, with tampering to the electrical wiring.

Closer examination revealed the wiring had been chewed through, with the culprit leaving a mass of tiny footprints in the engine compartment. Deputies have since observed a squirrel dropping down from under one of the vehicles, which showed signs of recent squirrel habitation, and have called in animal control. So far, attempts to trap the vandal squirrel have failed.

In a sign of the times, the Scofflaw Squirrel now has a Twitter account.

Sacred Hoan Kiem turtle captured for medical treatment

No votes yet

Kim Qui and the Restored Sword, by Renaud d'Avout d'AuerstaedtMany concerned Vietnamese are focussed on the lake in the capital city, Hanoi, where veterinarians are deciding how to treat the sacred Hoan Kiem turtle.

Concern arose after the turtle was seen with open flesh wounds. Efforts to treat it began, involving ten government agencies and requiring the expansion of the lake's island.

Alaskan congressman refuses award from 'extreme' HSUS

No votes yet

U.S. Representative Don Young of Alaska has refused an award from the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund after being recognized this week with 145 other members of Congress, according to a press release from his office.

"HSUS are hypocrites, plain and simple, and I will not join them by accepting this award," said Rep. Young, explaining his refusal. "Local animal shelters and humane societies do excellent work by caring for neglected and homeless animals, and through their spaying and neutering programs. This organization, however, has absolutely nothing to do with animal welfare. Instead they prey on the emotions of big-hearted Americans."

He elaborated on his reasons on the floor of the House:

I've been a hunter all my life. And they're against hunting. And that bothered me.

Humane Society COO and HSLF president Michael Markarian said that while HSUS "[disagrees] with [Rep. Young's] views on most animal welfare policies," they "also believe in giving credit where credit is due and recognizing positive actions."

Dog survives three weeks at sea following Japanese tsunami

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

Another Japanese dog has survived the terrible earthquake and tsunami — this time, by clinging to the roof of its floating home after it was swept out to sea. The dog (named Ban) was rescued by the Japanese Coast Guard (with some assistance from nearby American disaster relief workers and the JSDF) during a search for survivors after its house was washed away three weeks ago. Thomson Reuters had reported that the dog was found on the roof of its home, floating 1.8 km (1.1 miles) off the coast of Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, in northern Japan. See also: Japanese dog stays by injured canine comrade after disaster

Go Daddy CEO elephant hunting video sparks controversy

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

Time blogger Bryan Walsh gives his account and opinions on a recent video released by Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons. The video was taken from Zimbabwe, where Parsons had shot and killed an elephant while handing out GoDaddy swag to local residents.

While Bob Parsons defended his actions, stating that the elephant was a menace to the locals and ruined crops, animal rights groups have called the actions deplorable. PETA responded to the action by handing out their first ever "Scummiest CEO of the year" award, claiming that there are "many humane ways to keep elephants away from crops."

Knut the polar bear dies at age four

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

Knut as a cubKnut the polar bear, who gained international fame as debate raged over whether he should be hand-reared or euthanised, has died at age four.

Japanese dog stays by injured canine comrade after disaster

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (6 votes)

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.

Two-headed tortoise born in Slovakia

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

large_mutant-torrtoise-two-heads.jpgA two-headed, five-legged tortoise was born in Slovakia two weeks ago, and displayed in Žilina on March 7.

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.

New information on the death of chūken Hachikō

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (5 votes)

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have come up with a new theory to explain the death of the famous dog, Hachikō (also known as chūken ['faithful dog'] Hachikō).

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.

Congress may remove Rocky Mountain wolves' protection

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

WolfThe 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]

Michigan man jailed for wolf hunting

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

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)]

Page traffic