Cosmetic Surgery and Botox for Pets a Growing Trend in South Korea

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Move over, humans, it seems animals need makeovers too. It’s all the rage in South Korea right now as pet owners are actually paying for cosmetic surgery for their furry companions!

Some of the popular procedures include tail shortening and ear trimming for dogs, to make them ‘cute’ with pointy ears. Fat reduction is another popular surgery, along with stretch marks removal, wrinkle smoothing, double eyelid removal and even botox injections. These procedures start from $60 and ostensibly run into the thousands.  

It’s not entirely surprising, given that South Korea is the plastic surgery capital of the world. This is the place where tourists become unrecognisable to the extent that they need special doctor certificates to return to their native lands after having work done on their faces. So it was only a matter of time before people started thinking of botoxing their pets as well.

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Awesome 80-Year-Old Man Builds Dog Train to Take Rescued Pooches on Fun Rides

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Ever since he retired 15 years ago, Eugene Bostick has spent a huge chunk of his time caring for animals. Among the many awesome things he does perhaps the most interesting is playing train conductor for a bunch of rescued stray dogs. He actually built a custom train for the canines, consisting of a tractor pulling a row of plastic barrels with the tops cut off.

The 80-year-old from Fort Worth, Texas, says he never planned on spending so much time with dogs, but it sort of just happened. “We live down on a dead-end street, where me and my brother have a horse barn,” he told online magazine The Dodo. “People sometimes come by and dump dogs out here, leaving them to starve. So we started feeding them, letting them in, taking them to the vet, to get them spayed and neutered. We made a place for them to live.”

But Bostick has done more than just give the strays a place to live. He’s actually made their lives fun, by constructing a unique train to take them on little trips. “I started out with my tractor,” he explained. “I had a little trailer and I put four or five dogs in there and took them riding. Then more dogs started to show up and I thought ‘Uh-oh! That’s not enough room.’”

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The BEEcosystem Lets You Keep Bees as Indoor Pets

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Growing bees indoors has never really been an option before, but an American startup called Living Interiors is changing that with their revolutionary new product – the BEEcosystem.

The BEEcosystem is a hexagonal cedar observational hive, “small enough to be manageable in non traditional beekeeping spaces,” but also large enough to produce cut-comb honey. The viewing window on the hive allows people to see the bees at work on the hive.



Skach Koyl – Guatemala’s Unique Drunk Horse Riding Race

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Drunk driving might be against the law, but there’s no such rule about drunk horse riding. And believe it or not, it’s actually a sport in Guatemala!

Traditionally, Skach Koyl – a drunken horse race – is meant to mark the end of Day of the Dead celebrations. Drunk riders gather every year on November 1 at the town of Todos Santos to participate in the much awaited race. As you’d expect, there aren’t any rules to the race, no start or finish, and riders stop whenever they please to gulp more mouthfuls of booze. The chaotic race continues for seven hours straight, with no visible concern for safety.



Woman Who Gives Away Her Dogs When They Stop Being Cute Puppies Sparks Controversy

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It’s not clear what freelance journalist Shona Sibary hoped to achieve by making an online confession about her puppy-abandoning habits, but her article in the Daily Mail has sparked outrage among internet users who are condemning her for her actions.

In the article, Sibary admitted to having abandoned four dogs in the last four years, just because they weren’t cute puppies anymore. “Over the past four years, I have fallen in love with four puppies and, on each occasion, driven miles with hundreds of pounds of cash in my pocket to buy them,” she wrote. “Then, months later, I have turned my back on them and given them away.”

Sibary said she finds this habit “strange” because according to her, “no one is more welcoming and loving to a doe-eyed little puppy than me.” She claims that all four puppies had perfect lives – with comfy baskets, colorful collars, vaccinations, and microchipping. But in her own words, “the minute they become too much trouble – which they always do – I fall out of love and start advertising them in the classifieds section of our local newspaper.”

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Meet Loki, the Internet’s Favorite Vampire Cat

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Loki is the internet’s newest feline sensation – her pictures have gone viral and people can’t stop gushing over her evil vampire face. With over 50,000 followers on Instagram already, her distinctive appearance is only making her more popular by the minute.

Loki’s owner Kaetlyn Koch, from Portland, Maine, says that in real life, Loki is just as adorable as any other cat. She loves to to hide under bath towels and lay on her back for a rub. Her murderous stare only seems to emerge when she’s confronted with a camera lens. She looks downright scary with her fangs jutting out, even when she’s peeking out from under towels or lazing in Kaet’s lap. Loki’s eyes never seem to close, which is a bit of a mystery.

Kaetlyn didn’t know about the vampire look when she adopted the Siamese-mix cat from a shelter two years ago. “They didn’t give me many details about her looks,” she said. “They said it was healthy but she wasn’t able to close it (her eyelids). She’s been to the vet three times in the last year, and no one has made mention of her teeth or why she looks the way she does. Still a mystery.”

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Animal-Loving Homeless Man Dedicates His Life to Helping Stray Dogs

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In spite of being homeless himself, a California man named Steve has made it his mission to take care of stray dogs. He has adopted 50 canines in the past 14 years, tended to their daily needs and sometimes even finding new homes for them. Steve has never abandoned any of the dogs in his care, not even when he had to move to another state.

This year, Steve decided that he’d had enough of California. He believed that a change of scene might help him get back on his feet, so he started to think of moving to Indiana to meet an old friend who had offered him help. He had a distance of 2,000 miles to cover, with nothing but a bike, but he couldn’t think of leaving his beloved dogs behind. So he put the 11 dogs currently in his care in a shopping cart and attached it to the back of his bike. He only had $6 in his pocket at the time.

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The Internet Is Going Crazy over “Sea Bunnies”, Marine Snails with Cute Rabbit Ears

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Slugs are not what you’d normally call “cute” creatures, but the Jorunna Parva species is an exception. These marine slugs bear a striking resemblance to small rabbits, which has recently earned them the nickname ‘sea bunnies’.

Jorunna parva slugs were discovered by Japanese malacologist Kikutaro Baba in 1938, but the rest of the world has only become aware of their irresistible cuteness last year, when footage from a Japanese diving school was released online. The clip, featuring parva off the coast of Japan, has gone viral on the internet and people all over the world are going ga-ga over the adorable underwater creatures.



Twinkle Tush – A Bejeweled Accessory That Hides Your Cat’s Bare Derriere

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Constantly having to look at your cat’s butt comes with the territory when you’e a pet owner. Luckily, however, now you don’t have to, thanks to a little accessory called Twinkle Tush.

Some people are apparently put off by the sight of a cat’s bare derriere, but now you can just cover that sucker up with some fake bling. Introducing the Twinkle Tush, a plastic jewel that hangs around the base of the feline’s tail and covers its butt. It was introduced to the world on July 8th, when the makers of Cat Crib, a cat hammock that attaches to chair legs, released a video of felines wearing the Twinkle Tush.Cats are usually don’t like it when you mess with their tales and will do anything to remove whatever you attach to them, but they seemed oddly comfortable wearing this concealing piece of plastic.



Japanese Hotel Lets You Rent an Alpaca as a Witness at Your Wedding

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The Epinard Nasu Hotel, in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture, offers a highly unconventional wedding service – newlyweds can rent a cute, fluffy alpaca from a nearby zoo to act as a witness to their wedding.

No one really knows when the hotel started using alpacas to attract customers, or how they came up with the unique idea, but judging from the number of photos happy newlyweds have been posting on Japanese social media lately, it’s definitely becoming popular. It’s not that alpacas are good luck charms, nor are they part of some obscure Japanese ritual, they’re just cute and a sure way to make a wedding memorable.

The alpacas are escorted down the aisle by a professional trainer who makes sure they are on their best behavior during the wedding ceremony. Still, somethings not even the most experienced trainers can prevent, so if you smell something funny during the proceedings, just ignore it. Usually they just stand there as the newlyweds exchange vows and declare their love for each other, kind of like human witnesses do.



Japanese Women Are Falling Hard for a “Handsome” Gorilla Named Shabani

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Meet Shabani, a handsome male gorilla that has managed to steal the hearts of young women all over Japan. He is fondly known as ‘ikimen’, a Japanese term for ‘good-looking man’, and some have even hailed him as the animal-world equivalent of George Clooney or Hugh Jackman!

Shabani, who grew up in an Australian zoo, has been living at Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Nagoya, Japan, since 2007. The western lowland gorilla is blessed with a shiny black coat and a macho brooding expression that make him very photogenic. In fact, his photos have gone viral on Twitter, where fans have shared them thousands of times over with comments like: “he’s too handsome!”



This Wasp’s Sting Is So Excruciating You can’t Help but Fall Down and Start Screaming

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The Tarantula Hawk is a type of wasp with an excruciatingly painful sting that lasts only three minutes, but feels like a lifetime. The pain, rated four (highest) on the Schmidt sting pain index,  is best described as “fiercely electric”. Bug experts and people who have been stung claim the pain is a lot like getting electrocuted. And the best strategy to deal with it is – get this – to lie down and start screaming!

According to a report in the Journal of the Kansas Entomology Society, “Tarantula hawks produce large quantities of venom and their stings produce immediate, intense, excruciating short term pain in envenomed humans.” The report adds that “the instantaneous pain of a tarantula hawk sting is the greatest recorded for any stinging insect,” but “the venom itself lacks meaningful vertebrate toxicity.” In other words, the wasp’s sting isn’t deadly, but it’s so painful that it’ll make you want to die.

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Kindhearted Woman Saves 100 Dogs From Being Eaten During Controversial Festival

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A 65-year-old dog lover from China, has gone to great lengths to save as many dogs as she possibly could from being eaten during this year’s Yulin Dog Meat Festival. She managed to pay around $1,000 for the release of 100 otherwise doomed canines. It may not sound like much, but the media attention her actions got in international media also helped raise awareness about the cruel festival, thus increasing the chances of it being banned in the near future.

Yang Xiaoyun, a retired school teacher from Tianjin, China, traveled 1,500 miles from her home to the city of Yulin, to save scores of dogs from being slaughtered and eaten during the Dog Meat Festival. Photos shared on Chinese internet portal Netease show the 65-year-old woman walking through a market where dogs were kept in cages and paying for various sums of money for their release. Reports say she ended up paying 7,000 yuan ($1,000) to save 100 dogs.



Hero Landmine-Sniffing Rats Are Saving Human Lives in Africa

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Rats are normally classified as vermin, but they can be heroes too. Proving the fact is APOPO, a Belgian NGO that trains African giant pouched rats to sniff out landmines and tuberculosis infections. Since 2006, these ‘hero rats’ have been working on minefields in Mozambique, clearing the country of over 13,000 landmines, thus reclaiming over 11 million square meters of land. They’ve also accurately analyzed over a quarter of a million blood samples for TB infections.

Bart Weetjens, founder of APOPO, first came up with the idea of training sniffer rats a couple of decades ago, when he was a student at the University of Antwerp. He used to keep pet rodents as a boy, so he knew that they were “very trainable, sociable, and intelligent creatures.” So when he read an article about gerbils being taught to recognise the scent of explosives, it got him thinking.

Weetjens wanted to use his experience of dealing with rodents to find a locally-sourced resolution to the problem of landmines. “I was looking for an appropriate solution that communities at the bottom of the pyramid could use, independent from expensive foreign know-how and technology,” he said. So he placed himself in the situation of the people affected by the problem, and looked at the resources they had at hand.

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The Glowing Firefly Squids of Toyama Bay

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Every year, between March and June, the 14-km shoreline of Japan’s Toyama Bay is lit up in blue. The electrifying light show isn’t man-made; it’s a natural phenomenon, caused by thousands of bioluminescent cephalopods known as ‘Glowing Firefly Squids’. These fascinating creatures normally live 1,200 ft underwater, but are pushed to the surface by waves during the Hotaru Ika (firefly squid) season.

Firefly Squid, or Watasenia Scintillans, are normally about three inches long and covered with photophores. Large photophores are present around their eyes and on the tips of their tentacles, while tiny photophores cover the entire body. These photophores contain light-producing chemicals that are responsible for the squid’s bioluminescence. Fireflies have similar photophores, so the squid are named after them.



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