Hercules – the Biggest of Big Cats

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Hercules is a 900-pound-heavy, 6-feet-tall and 12-feet-long liger who holds the Guinness World Record for the largest cat.

Born from a lion father and tiger mother, Hercules grew into an impressive creature, able to run at speeds of up to 50 mph and eat 100 pounds of food in one sitting. Ligers have been known to be fat and unhealthy cats, but Hercules is an exceptional specimen that got the best from both feline races.

During a recent photo-shoot, Hercules’ caretakers wanted to show his enormous size by placing him against popular English symbols, like an old double-decker bus or a black cab. He was actually able to climb the bus to receive a tasty treat. It might look like the world’s biggest cat is actually in London, but he’s really quite close to home, at Freestyle Music Park in Myrtle Beach, Southern California.

Despite his gigantic size, Hercules is very tame and Dr. Bhagavan, one of the liger’s caretakers, says looking into his eyes is “like looking into God’s own eyes”.

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The Basketball-Playing Elephants of Thailand

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I don’t know how they do it, but Thai trainers get elephants to do the most amazing things. After the amazing elephant painters, from the National Elephant Institute, it’s time for the extraordinary basketball-playing elepahnts.

Malie and Toktak are the stars of the Island Safari Center, on Koh Samui Island. After undergoing months of rigorous training, the two pachyderms have mastered the sport of basketball. I know what you’re thinking, Shaquille O’neal finally found someone his own size to play with.

The elephant trainers start by teaching them the basics of basketball control, before they get to the carrying of the ball in their trunk and shooting it to the basket. It takes a few months before they get the basics of the sport, but they’re improving every day. it won’t be long until NBA drafters start checking these two out, mark my words.

Photos by Bronek Kaminiski/BARCROFT INDIA

via Telegraph.co.uk

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Cats Can Do Yoga Too

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You didn’t think these adorable purring fur-balls were going to stand by and let dogs show off their yoga moves without proving their own flexibility, did you?

Two months ago Dan and Alejandra Borris presented the amazing Yoga Dogs Calendar and now they’re blowing the minds of animal lovers everywhere, with the 2010 Yoga Cats Calendar. Alejandra, a former yoga teacher, borrowed her neighbors’ cats and coaxed them in yoga-like positions while her husband took the photos.

Because they didn’t want to force the cats into anatomically-impossible positions, the couple got them as close as they could get to the desired positions and then Dan used his Photoshop skills to get the right effect.

Have a look at the entire Yoga Cats and Yoga Dogs Calendars on their official site.

via Daily Mail

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Oscar the Globetrotting Dog

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Meet Oscar, the luckiest dog in the world. This year he and his master traveled across 5 continents and 29 countries.

Five years ago, Joanne Lefson found Oscar in a South-African kennel and took him in. In May of this year, Joanne sold her house and went on a trip around the world, accompanied, of course, by her beloved pooch. Their incredible journey was meant to inspire people everywhere to take stray dogs of the streets and offer them a home.

Here are some amazing photos of Oscar taken in some of the most amazing locations in the world. Oh, and check out the full of list of countries he visited, at the bottom.

Photos by CATERS NEWS AGENCY

via Daily Mail

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Private Owner Parts with His Pet Lion

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27 -year-old Lucian Craita, from Romania, parted ways with his pet lion, Richie, after raising him in his backyard for over a year.

Lucian has always had always had a thing for lions and when he had the chance to buy one for a pet, from an animal market, he didn’t hesitate. Richie cost him just 1,000 euros and he never regretted spending the money. Over a year and a half of living together, Lucian and Richie developed a truly special relationship, so you can imagine the young man’s grief when he had to hand his pet lion over to the Vier Pfoten animal association.

The Romanian gave up his friend voluntarily, after realizing he couldn’t offer it the life it deserved. Now Richie will be taken to Lion’s Rock Lion Reservation, in South Africa, where he can be with his own kind. Because Richie spent so much time as a house pet, he will never be a real lion, but at least he’ll enjoy being free in the savanna.

Photos by REUTERS via Xinhua

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Cody – The Barking Store Clerk

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Cody, a Chocolate Labrador is one of the most valued employees of a conveniance store from Clearwater, Florida.

Karim Manour started bringing Cody to work with him about five months ago, during the early shifts. At first it was just so he could have some company, but customers that spotted the fury rascal fell in love with him instantly. Seeing his beloved pet was so popular, he decided to throw the dog a bone, as it were, and gave him a job.

Now Cody has his very own t-shirt and name tag and is up for the employee of the year award, because of his growing customer approval rating. The mutt doesn’t really work as a clerk, but he does manage to calm-down angry people and make sad people feel better simply by being his adorable self. Now if that doesn’t deserve a raise, I don’t know what does.

Photos by Jim Damaske

via Tampa Bay

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Ugly Bat Boy

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No, this post is not about a bat boy, but it is about one of the ugliest, weirdest cats you’ve ever seen.

Ugly Bat Boy is an 8-year-old that lives at the Exeter Veterinary Hospital, in New Hampshire. He was born bald, except for an area on his chest, but, despite his unnatractive looks, Ugly Bat Boy still managed to become a local celebrity. Members of the hospital staff were forced to post stickers saying there is nothing wrong with the cat, he is just ugly.

Ugly Bat Boy may look different, but he acts just like any other feline, sleeping on a computer to keep warm and loving attention and petting. Although he’s not pretty to look at, his keepers say his beauty lies on the inside.

 

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Scarlett’s Magic – The World’s Tallest Cat

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Scarlett’s Magic, an 18-months-old F1 Savannah cat, is the new record holder for the world’s tallest domesticated feline, measuring 17.1 inches from shoulder to toe.

The adorable pet is also awaiting the result of a second nomination for the world’s longest cat,from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail, but for now she and her owner, Kim Droper, are more than happy with the Guinness World Record for the Tallest Cat.

Miss Droper, a passionate Savannah breeder, says Scarlett’s Magic and her kind are the smartest, most obedient cats a family could have. The breed is becoming more and more popular in California, thanks to their beauty and advanced learning capabilities.

Together with Ashera and Toygers, Savannah cats are as close as you can get to actually having a wild feline as a pet.

via Daily Mail

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The Hog Parade of Malolos

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Dozens of pigs wearing make-up and funny costumes are displayed through the streets of Malolos, during the Hog Parade.

Highlighting a week-long food festival in the Philippines, the Hog Parade took place on September 12, in the town of Malolos, Bulacan province. The tasty protagonists were dressed as Superman, Popeye, clowns, queens and even brides.

After the fun Hog Parade, the people of Malolos feasted on some free roasted pig, offered by the local authorities. Malolos is the main supplier of pigs in the Philippines.

Photos by Erik de Castro/REUTERS

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Toygers – Tiny Replicas of Tigers

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With most species of tigers about to become extinct, cat breeders are trying to help their cause by creating a tiny tiger replica, called Toyger.

Jennifer Santee has always had a thing for tigers and dreamed of having one as a pet. But knowing that wasn’t ever going to happen, she decided to make a tiger of her own, one that she could keep in her house. Together with a small group of cat breeders, she managed to create the Toyger (for toy tiger), a breed designed “specifically to preserve the beauty of an exotic animal”.

Although Toygers don’t actually have any tiger genes, their rusty color and dark stripes closely resemble those of the Bengal tiger. But they are friendly and playful animals that will go for walks, play fetch and come when they are called. Unlike the Margay,  they are perfect human companions.

Santee says 25 breeders all around the world are working on perfecting the Toyger breed, to make the cats resemble tigers even more. The new species is already in demand and, although each specimen costs over $3,000, they have all been sold. Part of the profits go towards the conservation of wild tigers, the inspiration behind the Toygers. The breeder estimates will truly be tiger replicas by 2010, when the last tigers will disappear from zoos.

via National Geographic

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Tattooed Fish Sold as Lucky Charms in China

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Tattooed Parrot Fish and other species of ornamental fish are becoming quite popular at a pet-shop in Chengdu, China.

Known as Fortune Fish, these tattooed swimmers bear patterns, such as flowers and rainbows, and characters that are said to bring good fortune and happiness to their owners. The tattoos were apparently done with lasers and made the common Parrot Fish quite popular.

A normal Parrot Fish sells for 10 yuan, while a tattooed Fortune Fish sells for 25 yuan.

via ImagineChina

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Spain Invents New Style of Bull Fight

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Very different than traditional bullfighting, bull dallying is a lot more fun and doesn’t involve killing the bull at the end.

People in San Sebastian, a small town in central Spain, have come up with a way of having fun and keeping the bull as a part of their ancient tradition. Instead of torturing and finally killing the animal to show off their matador skills, the brave Spaniards simply taunts the bull and try to dodge its attacks.

That’s it, no swords, no blood, no animal cruelty, just pure guts and, they say, a lot of fun. I have to say I like bull dallying a lot better than old fashioned bullfighting and I just wish they had thought about this sooner.

Photos by Xinhua/Chen Haitiong

via Xinhua

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Bald Pengiun Wears a Wetsuit

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Ralph, a nine-year-old Humboldt penguin wears a custom-made wetsuit that might just save his life.

Ok, so it’s not designed by Armani or Versace but it’s good enough to protect Ralph from the harmful rays of the sun. Unfortunately for him, Ralph lost all of his feathers in just one day, instead of five weeks, as it usually happens, so the caretakers at Marwell Wildlife Center had to find a way to protect his sensitive pink skin from sunburns.

They came up with the original idea of converting the leg of a human wetsuit into a penguin wetsuit. It didn’t seem to bother Ralph and the other penguins, although curious at first, accepted Ralph into the group.

via People.com.cn

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Chouchou the Dog Walks Like a Man

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It’s hard to believe a dog can walk on his back paws without losing its balance, but Chouchou proves it’s not impossible.

Chouchou may look like just a small dog, but he’s one of the biggest stars in Chongqing, Southwest China. People stop and stare every time he goes out for a walk with his master, and it’s not because of his looks. Unlike most dogs, he enjoys walking like a man, on his back paws, and can do it for long periods of time.

He has been practicing his human walk with his master and he’s gotten quite good at it. The only other dog I know can walk on two paws only is Faith the Wonder Dog, who has no choice, since she has no front paws.

Photos by icpress

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Most Amazing Groomed Poodles Ever

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Grooming a poodle is not easy, but these photos go to show you just how complex this craft can be.

Ren Netherland is the owner of animalphotography.com, an online pet photography studio and the man who tours the country to take photos of winners at grooming competitions all over the United States.

Personally I never considered grooming to be an art, but more like something that needs to be done, but Ren’s photos prove just how wrong I was. And to think groomers complete these living masterpieces in just two hours, amazing!

via Telegraph.co.uk

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