Researchers in Panda Costumes Trick Four-Month-Old Cub

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Researchers at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan province, China came up with a gumptious way to help a four month panda cub re-adapt  to wildlife.

For the success of the reintroduction the baby panda isn’t supposed to come in contact with humans so the researchers had to dress-up as giant pandas in order to do their job, because although the cub is being supervised with hidden cameras, some of the procedures, such as weighing or measuring his body temperature,  involve handling.

Although they aren’t very convincing to us it seems that this cute baby panda has accepted his new “family” and is making great progress.

Australian Man Marries His Dog

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Joseph Guiso has surprised his family and friends when he decided to tie the knot with his best friend, a 5-year-old labrador retriever.

The young Australian, from Toowoomba, describes himself as a “religious guy” and says he could no longer stand to live with his four-legged mate outside of wedlock. The couple decided to go through with the wedding while they were walking by one of the city parks. Joe saw another couple getting married and told his lab Honey “that could be us”. Since she didn’t say anything, her owner took it as a “yes” so he made arrangements to have their own wedding right there in Laurel Bank Park.

Thirty of the couple’s 30 friends were present at the emotional event, and of them even played the role of priest. After reading his touching vow (“You’re my best friend and you make every part of my day better”), Joseph Guiso sealed the deal with a kiss right on Honey’s wet snout. Now that’s puppy love for ya!

Guiso also assured onlookers that “it’s not sexual. It’s just pure love.”

After a German dude married his pet cat, a few months ago, something like this was to be expected.

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Chinese Woman Adopts 1,500 Stray Dogs and 200 Cats

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Ha Wenjin, a dog lover from China, has given up her job, sold her house, car and jewelry to take care of over 1,500 dogs and 200 cats.

The middle-aged woman says she started out with just a few dogs that she could tend to in her spare time, but as their number kept growing, she had to give up her career and spend her entire day caring to the dogs’ needs. Before she knew it, she practically had her personal animal shelter, complete with 10 workers who look after the dogs, and 2 more who take care of the cats.

LIFE Magazine first reported on Ha Wenjin‘s amazing animal shelter, in 2006, and the resourceful woman managed to keep the facility outside Nanjing running until now. She had a number of volunteers coming in at least once a week to check on the dogs, and people donated most of the food. But now, the 1,500 dogs and 200 cats have to move to a new home, as Chinese government officials reclaimed the land the shelter is built on, and threaten to close the place down.

Ha Wenjin had to act fast, and find a cheap but large enough space, where her beloved pets could relocate to. She managed to find it in Houyu village, far away enough from human settlements, because she admits 1,500 dogs are not quiet. Now all she has to do is find enough volunteers to help her move the dogs with the help of four buses, and clean the vehicles afterwards. Ha Wenjin definitely has her work cut out for her, but she has no intention of giving up in her fight to save as many stray dogs and cats as she can.

Back in 2006, LIFE Magazine reported it cost around $37,500 a year to take care of the dogs, but now, with more than double the number of animals, you can imagine how tough it is for Ha Wenjin to keep her animal center open, especially with no help from local authorities. Luckily, most of the food comes from donations, but there are many other things that cost a lot of money.

Just to be clear, the animals are not as crowded as the photos show. It’s only like this at feeding time.

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Incredible Dog Learns to Survive Without a Tongue

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Caine, a beautiful 2-year-old boxer/Rhodesian ridgeback mix, has learned to survive without a tongue, after he lost his in a paper shredder incident.

The adorable Caine has always been a curious pet, and that, unfortunately, cost him his tongue. It happened at the beginning of 2010, when his owner, Ashley Taylor, left him in the care of her mother, Pat, while she went away for the winter holidays. The last thing Pat remembers before the accident is hearing Caine sniffing around the kitchen, as was his habit. Then came a terrifying yell, and when she rushed into the kitchen she saw the dog’s tongue hanging around three inches, on the other side of the shredder. He had probably tried to grab a piece of kibble that had somehow fallen into the shredder, and activated the device.

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Lily’s Kitchen – A Dogs-Only Restaurant Opens in London

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Lily’s Kitchen may not be the world’s first restaurant for dogs, but it’s certainly the coolest one right now. Dogs get to eat for free, have their bellies rubbed and can even listen to a nice story. What more could they ask for?

Lily’s Kitchen recently opened on Pimlico Road, in London’s upscale Belgravia neighborhood, and dog owners were quick to have their pooches test out the menu, for free. That’s right, your four-legged friends get to sit at one of the restaurant’s three tables and fill up their bellies with organic food served by a waiter, and you don’t have to pay for it. It sounds to good to be true, but this is just a clever way a dog food company has found to promote their line of organic foods.

During the six week period Lily’s Kitchen is open, dogs will get the chance to be the stars, for a change, while their owners relax or take care of their daily chores. The dogs are served their favorite dishes in paper bowls, by waiters who actually love serving canines, because they never complain about the food, check or stuff like that. After they’ve filled their stomachs, dogs have a wide range of pleasant activities to enjoy. They can have their bellies rubbed, snooze on a comfy sofa, have their aches soothed by a holistic vet, or even enjoy a nice story, read to them by members of the restaurant staff.

While there are always those who complain this sort of things are just stupid, many London dog owners are already in love with Lily’s Kitchen. It offers them the chance to carry on with their daily activities, knowing their dear companion is well taken care of. So even though Lily’s Kitchen is just a temporary establishment, a permanent restaurant for dogs could prove quite profitable.

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Meet Tubby the Recycling Dog

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A Labrador Retriver called Tubby has helped his owner gather and recycle around 26,000 plastic bottles, in the last six years. The canine’s efforts did not go unnoticed, as Guinness offered him a spot in their famous book of records, for the most bottles recycled by a dog.

Tubby and his owners live in Pontnewydd, Wales – one of the best performing recycling authorities in the country, and it’s no wonder, considering both people and pets like to lend a hand…or paw. On every one of his two daily walks, Tubby picks up at least three plastic bottles, crushes them with his teeth, and brings them to his owner, Sandra Gilmore. She says Tubby has had a nose for plastic bottles ever since he was a young pup. He would crawl under things, jump into bushes and even leap into water to fetch the bottles.

Sandra suspects her beloved Labrador loves to collect plastic bottles because of the sound they make as he bites down on them, but regardless of the reason, Tubby has proven his commitment to making our planet greener. Come to think of it, the fact that he likes to chew on them makes recyclers’ lives a lot easier, as the bottles are already crushed.

Miss Gilmore tries to do her part as far as recycling is concerned, and she admits Tubby has helped her quite a bit. During the six years that he’s been “on the job”, he managed to collect 26,000 plastic bottles. I’d say his Guinness Records mention for the “most plastic bottles collected by a dog” is well deserved. Still, it’s pretty sad that dog does more for the environment than most humans bother to.

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Dog Beer – Because Dogs Like to Get Wasted Too

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Polish pet owners have been storming through local pet shops looking for a radical new product – dog beer. You may thinks it’s weird, but I think it’s nice owners want their beloved dogs to enjoy a nice hops-based drink.

Jerzy Dilyk, a pet-store owner from Widzew Lodz, says he was reluctant to sell Dog Beer at first, but seeing clients returning for more of the magic canine ale convinced him to stock up on it. He even offered his own dog a bottle, and he went through the whole thing in one go.

Dog Beer has a gold color and smells of hops, an odor known to appeal to canines, but what’s more important is hat it’s based on beef extract. The beer has no gas, and Dilyk believes it has a positive effect on dogs’ urinary tract. He added that clients are most thrilled that they can have their pets join them for beer on Friday and Saturday Night.

Normal beer is hazardous to dogs’ health, because of its alcohol content and its high carbohydrates value, but vets can’t yet form an opinion on the new Dog Beer, because they haven’t had a chance to test it yet.

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Finnish Bear Won’t Hibernate Unless He Is Tucked-In

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Juuso, a large brown bear from the Predator Animal Center, in Finland, only agreed to crawl into his shelter and hibernate, after his best friend tucked him in.

With winter drawing ever nearer, Juuso, a young brown bear from Finland’s Predator Center, seemed tired. All the other bears had already began their winter hibernation, and Juuso’s eyes were closing all the time, but refused to go into his man-made lair. You’d think he was suffering from insomnia, but in fact, all he really needed was to be tucked-in by his best friend, caretaker Sulo Karjalainen.

Sulo has been making sure the animals of the Predator Center have everything they need, and in turn, this ferocious creatures accepted him as a friend. To make sure Juuso gets some shut-eye during the winter months, Sulo went into the bear’s lair first, and his furry friend followed shortly. Happy and relaxed in the company of his friend, Juuso soon laid his head on his bed of straw, sighed and finally went to sleep. All I can say is: Sleep tight Juuso!

Watch a video of Juuso and Sulo, at the bottom.

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The Cats’ House – A Real Feline Paradise

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An American couple decided to drastically modify their home to fit the needs of their pet cats, transforming it into a modern-day feline temple known as The Cats’ House.

Bob Walker and Frances Mooney are both mad about cats. They proved it on their wedding day, when they adopted their first cat, who ended up sharing a bed with them that night. But that was only the beginning of their obsession with purring balls of fur. Knowing that cats love to climb to high spots, Bob first built a giant scratching column, using 395 feet of rope. The cats would just run up it at full speed and stop at ceiling. That’s when he realized that to keep his beloved pets happy, he and his wife needed to expand their installation throughout the whole house.

Bob and Frances ended up creating multi-level staircases, a 140-feet-long cat highway and a colorful catwalk, all connected by cat-shaped holes in the walls.They even fitted them with neon lights, so the cats could see where they were going, at night. I thought cats could see purfectly in the dark…but I guess some help couldn’t hurt, right? The Cats’ House also features scratching poles of various sizes, cat shaped statues, portraits and paintings of cats, and even carpets printed with leopard and tiger models.

The Cats’ House started out as the wish of two people to enrich the lives of their pet cats, but it became something much bigger than that. Cat lovers from all around the world started following Bob and Frances’ example and transformed their house into a feline paradise, and The Cats’ House soon became one of San Diego’s minor tourist attractions. The last time the couple opened up their house for visitors, they received 900 guests in four hours.

Since the unusual home became famous, Bob Walker has become an author and photographer, and has written successful books on his amazing cat abode. He admits it’s amazing how trying to change their cats’ lives for the better, ended up changing their lives completely, as well.

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Incredible Friendship Between Man and Crocodile

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Chito is one Costa Rican who loves to play with the crocodiles. Yes, I know, he must be crazy but the man plays, swims and feeds the giant crocodile, Pocho.

Also known as the “Crocodile Man”, Chito’s friendship with the crocodile began 20 years ago when he found the croc shot near the left eye by a cattle farmer, near the Parisima River. He called his friends to help him load it into a boat when he realized the croc was dying and he decided to bring it home to survive.

Pocho was skinny and very ill but the Costa Rican helped him to overcome that terrible moment giving him food, medicine and, the most important thing, affection. After he took care of him, Chito left Pocho in a lake near the house but when he got away from the lake, Pocho got out of the water and followed him home.  He even slept next to the croc so that the reptile won’t feel alone for any second.

After several years, Chito realized that Pocho is not a threat anymore. He made his courage and approached him, closer than ever. It was just a matter of time before the two became best friends. A few years ago, Chito invited some friends to show them some tricks, including getting Pocho to close his eyes on command.

After that, Chito decided that he and his friend Pocho must be on a show and now they are an important tourist attraction. For a few dollars, everyone who travels in the lowland of tropical town of Sarapiqui can watch Chito and Pocho in action on the lake near their house.

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Amazing Catch in Congo River : 5ft long 100lbs Giant Piranha

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You probably all know the famous fisherman from Animal Planet’s River Monsters, Jeremy Wade. While he was on a fishing expedition with his crew in Africa, up the Congo River, the British angler made an amazing and rarely catch : he grappled with a giant piranha and managed to defeat the monster after a serious fight.

The result was astonishing as the 52-year-old fisherman pulled out of water a 5ft long goliath tigerfish and held it with both arms for fear of being bitten by its 32 razor-sharp teeth that have the same dimensions as those of a white shark. The goliath tigerfish is well known as being one of the most dangerous freshwater fish in the world, so Wade said he was extremely cautious when he pulled it out of water.

The 100lbs monster hasn’t been caught more than a few times before because of its ferocity and its habitat, which is very hard to reach. The giant piranha seems to consume prey the same size at itself and there have been cases when others have seen it tearing apart crocodiles or even people.

Jeremy Wade’s catch, the “giant piranha”, can easily be on top when we talk about world’s most terrifying creatures.

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Stewie, The World’s Longest Domestic Cat

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Stewie is a Maine Coon cat from Reno, Nevada, who proudly holds the record for being the world’s longest domestic cat.

Robin Hendrickson and Erik Brandsness, Stewie’s owners, have the cat since 2005 from a breeder in Hermiston, Oregon, and they decided to contact Guiness Book after seeing their friends astonished by the cat’s size. Measuring 48.5 inches (around 4 feet long), the Maine Coon Stewie is now the longest domestic cat in the world. The previous record holder was also a Main Coon that had a length of 48 inches from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail, with only 0.5 inches less than Stewie.

Robin Hendrickson also said that the Main Coons are considered the “gentle giants” of the cat world.

 

Two-Legged Pig Becomes Tourist Attraction

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Zhu Jianqiang, which translates as “strong willed pig”, was born without her hind legs, but managed to survive, and is now a local celebrity.

As a piglet, Zhu Jianqiang had nine strong siblings, and neighbors told her owner it would be best to just throw her away or put her out of her misery. But farmer Wang Xihai would hear none of it, and he even refused his wife when she told him to throw the piglet away. He believes all life should be given the chance to survive, and Zhu Jianqiang managed to beat all odds.

After seeing the little piglet fight for her life, Wang Xihai decided to get more involved, and began training her to walk on her front legs, just a few days after she was born. After only 30 days, she began walking on her own, and now, even though she weighs a good 50 kg, Zhu Jianqing walks upside down quite effortlessly.

Word about the amazing two-legged pig spread rapidly, and Wang Xihai says his home is overrun by tourists, every day. “I won’t sell her no matter what the offer is”, he added.

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Scientists Discover the World’s Largest, Toughest Spider Web

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Scientist have recently discovered that the web of Darwin’s Bark Spider is the largest in the world, and is also ten times more resistant that Kevlar.

Igni Agnarsson, from the University of Puerto Rico, first discovered Darwin’s Bark Spider and their giant webs, back in 2001, and knew he had to return to Madagascar and study these little creatures further. He did just that in 2008 and 2010, and his research revealed some pretty incredible data.

While it isn’t exactly the largest spider known to man (the female is larger than the male, and it only measures 3-4 cm, with its legs outstretched), Darwin’s Bark Spider spawns giant webs that reach up to 25 meters in length, with a main core of around 2.8 square meters. With webs this size, it’s now wonder the silky substance can withstand twice as much force as a normal spider’s, which makes it 10 times stronger than a similar piece of Kevlar, and thus, the strongest biological material ever found.

How, and why Darwin’s Bark Spider creates these giant webs is still a secret, but the fact that they are usually found across rivers and lakes suggests they mean to capture big insects that spent their young lives in a water environment, trapping them right when they take to the air. Birds and bats also pass right above the water, but there’s yet no evidence the spider web could trap such large prey.

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Ziggy the Painting Pekingese

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Ziggy, a fluffy Pekingese dog, has taken the art world by storm, ever since his owner discovered his incredible talent for abstract painting.

Elizabeth Moncelli says her beloved Ziggy took up painting soon after he was old enough to hold a brush  between his teeth. Seeing he had a soft  spot for the arts, she encouraged him to use a brush, by attaching it to a paper roller which the dog bites on. Ziggy’s abstract paintings aren’t praised only by his owner, but also by her neighbors in Fallbrook, California, who spend up to $250 for one of his masterpieces.

But like all artists, Ziggy is pretty moody. He only picks up the brush when he is in the right frame of mind, and even then, he only paints for two minutes at most. These short bursts of artistic inspiration apparently take all the dog’s energy, so he usually takes a nap or starts looking for snacks after every painting session. That’s why Ziggy takes days, sometimes weeks to finish one of his paintings.

One of the most talented painters of the animal kingdom, Ziggy the Pekingese is an established artist.

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