India’s Two-Year-Old Snake Charmers

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While other two-year-olds are just learning to walk and talk, the children of the nomad Vadi Tribe are introduced to the centuries-old art of snake charming.

All the children of the Vadi Tribe come face to face with a poisonous cobra at age two, and go through a ten-year ritual, in which they learn all the secrets of snake charming. Both boys and girls must learn to handle snakes. While men must be able to manipulate cobras by playing the flute, the women must know how to take care of the reptiles when their husbands or brothers are away.

The Vadi treat snakes like their own children, never keeping them away from their natural habitat for more than seven months. Any longer than that would be disrespectful to the snakes, according to Babanath Mithunath Madari, the 60-year-old Vadi chief-charmer. In fact, the only time a snake actually bit his charmer, was when he kept it for more than seven months.

Vadi snake-charmers don’t cut the fangs of their snakes, instead they feed them an herbal mixture which, they say,  makes their deadly poison harmless.

Unfortunately, in 1991, the thousand-year-old tradition of snake-charming was banned in India, and the Vadi tribe are stripped of their snakes whenever they are confronted by the police. They never spend more than six months in the same place.

Photos by BARCROFT MEDIA

via Telegraph.co.uk

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The Chinese Angel-Cat

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This weird cat with wings was spotted in Chonqing, China.

Although you might think the angel-cat of Chonqing is unique, there have been other cats with wings in Russia and the United States. Her owner says she wasn’t born like this, her wings started growing when she was one year old.

A worker from the Chonqing Museum of Natural History says this kind of oddities are becoming quite common and are the results of pollution in the area. This particular angel cat will be adopted by the Chonqing Museum.

via China.org.cn

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The Blonde Black Bear

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Well, it’s not exactly the blonde we’re used to, but it’s as blonde as a black bear can get.

Known as a Spirit Bear or Kermode Bear, this polar-bear look-alike was thought to exist only in Indian mythology. Brave photographer Steven Kazlowski took some photos of a Spirit Bear, an achievement considered impossible among wildlife photographers. 39-year-old Steven went through a one-one-one encounter with one of these great white beasts, but managed to escape with his life.

It’s important to mention that Spirit Bears are not albino animals, they’re what you can call a blonde black bear. They are extremely rare creatures and because of extensive logging around coastal temperate rainforests, their habitat has shrunk even more.

Photos by Steven Kazlowski, BARCROFT MEDIA

via Daily Mail

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Man Finds Alligator in His Pool

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What would your reaction be if you woke-up one morning and found an alligator swimming in your pool?

That’s what happened to Larry Bland, from Texas, who found a 5-foot-alligator cooling-in his backyard pool. Apparently the burning sun was too much for this reptile and Bland’s pool was the perfect getaway.

The uninvited guest was removed by Gary Saurage, a very brave trapper who went into the pool, brought it up to the surface and then pushed it out. That takes some serious “cojones”, I’ll tell you…

Photos by [CFP]

via China.org.cn

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The Rare White Lions of South Africa

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A pride of rare white lions was released into the South African wilds, in an attempt to re-establish the species in their natural habitat.

This was the second pride released in the last three years. The white lions were fitted with radio tracking devices, used to monitor their hunting behavior and growth. They may look like albinos, but their unusual color is the result of a unique gene. They are seen as the most sacred animals by many tribes, but, because of poaching, only three white lion prides roam free today.

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Photos by BARCROFT Media

via Telegraph.co.uk

Charlie the One-Winged Drake

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Charlie is a lucky British drake who had one of his wings amputated, but managed to recover and is now looking forward to a peaceful life.

The drake was found near the Download Open Air Museum, in West Essex, after he had been shot while swimming peacefully on a pond. His injuries were to severe and one of his wings had to be amputated. If he were a wild drake he wouldn’t have been able to survive, but lucky Charlie has fuly recovered and will go on to live a happy life.

via Daily Mail

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The Giant Coconut Crab

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I know what you’re thinking, but no, these are not stils from Starship Troopers, these giant crabs live right here, on Earth.

The Coconut Crab is the largest land-crab in the world, with a diameter of around three feet and weight of over nine lbs. As you might have guessed, this giant crustacean loves coconuts. It climbs coconut-trees, crushes their fruit with its powerful pinchers and scrap out the inside.

They are sold as pets in markets like Tokyo, but I find it hard to believe people would want such a creature in their houses. It’s not only their appearance and size, but also their strength. If you’re not careful, a Coconut Crab could easily crush one of your limbs. Just think, if it can crush a coconut, what could it do to your arm.

Coconut Crabs live on the islands of the Indo-Pacific region, but, unfortunately, their numbers are declining, due to loss of habitat and poaching. They are considered a delicacy by some people and it is said their flesh resembles the taste of lobsters.

via Scienceray

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Dirndl Dresses for Horses

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Pet fashion really took off in recent years, so I wasn’t that surpised to see these horses dressed in traditional Bavarian dresses.

Dirndl dresses are famous all around the world for being Bavaria’s traditional outfits, thousands of Bavarian women wear them, and now, apparently even horses. German designer Hildegard Bergbauer used to create drindl dresses only for women, but has recenlty began taking orders for house pets and even horses.

The horses do look elegant in their brand-new drindl dresses, but I do believe the young Bavarian beauties holding them look even better.

Photos by Alexandra Beier/REUTERS

via Sina

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The Retirement of Billy the Goat

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Having a goat as a member of the Royal Army might seem funny to most people, but it has been a British tradition for more than 200 years.

Lance Corporal William Windsor has served in the army for the last eight years, traveling overseas, meeting royalty and leading military parades. His comrades from the 1st Battalion of the Royal Welsh said goodbye to their loyal colleague as he walked by to the trailer that took him to the zoo, where he will spend his retirement.

Billy the Goat is a Kashmir goat and was offered as a gift to the Royal Army, by the Queen herself. Billy’s replacement will be announced in June, when another kid goat will be picked from a heard in Great Orme, North Wales.

Photos by PA and REUTERS

via Daily Mail

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Goat on a Wire

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Balancing on a wire is a tough job for a human, let alone for a goat. Still, the animal trainers at a Chinese circus managed to teach this goat how to keep its balance while having a small monkey perform stunts on its head.

And I thought Eskil Ronningsbakken’s balancing stunts were impressive. What this goat does is ten times cooler.

via bbs.163.com

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Charlie the Spider-Cat

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Cats are great climbers, that’s not a big secret, but a cat climbing up a 13-foot dry wall? Now that’s something you don’t see every day.

Charlie is a very special seven-year-old cat from Falkirk, Britain, who has the very special skill of climbing buildings. As you’ve probably guessed, this is the talent that got him the very cool nick-name Spider-cat.

Charlie began climbing up to his owner’s flat, on the first floor of an apartment-building, after he got bored of waiting for someone to open the front door of the building, after his daily walk around the bloc. One day he just went to the back of his owner’s home, took a long look at the obstacle in front of him and just jumped up the wall. Using his front paws for grip and his behind paws for leverage, he made it up to the first floor and started miaowing until someone opened the door for him. Since that faithful day, Charlie the Spider-cat has been climbing up the dry-wall on a regular basis.

Check out the incredible video of Charlie doing what he does best, after the photos.

Photos by PA

via Daily Mail

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Amazing Surgery on a Frog

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Australian vet performs life-saving operation on a frog.

A female tree frog had been nearly sliced in half by a lawnmower, but a talented vet, with a soft spot for frogs, managed to fix her back to life. Stephen Cutter spent 30 minutes in surgery, stitching the skin on the frog’s back, after it had been ripped by the blades of a lawnmower.

The procedure was very delicate, considering frogs are very sensitive to chemicals used to clean wounds on humans and other animals. But the good doctor managed to rescue the brave amphibian who fought for her life, and is now almost fully recovered.

This is not the first time doctor Cutter has saved a frog, as he confessed he has also operated and saved frogs hit by cars. Victoria, named after the Victa lawnmower that injured her, is now set to be released on the outskirts of Litchfield National Park, and has every chance of living a normal, healthy life. That’s if she doesn’t get in front of a lawnmower again.

Photos by Barcroft Media

via Daily Mail

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Dog-o-Matic – The Pet Washing Machine

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Smelly-dog-owners around the world, rejoice! The Dog-o-Matic washing machine has arrived.

Invented by Romain Jarry, a 31-year-old Frenchman, the Dog-o-Matic is a pet washing machine that turns your pooch from filthy to fluffy in just 30 minutes. Jarry says his machine proved a real success in his home town of St Max, and he’s now thinking of introducing it to the rest of France, and soon Britain.

He claims the Dog-o-Matic isn’t harmful to animals, as they just sit inside waiting to be washed and dried. I reckon that depends on how used the animals are to water, the puppy in the photos doesn’t seem very calm and comfortable. All the pet-owner has to do is put the dog/cat inside the Dog-o-Matic, set the wash cycle and select the animal’s size.

I have a feeling the Dog-o-Matic will be in a world of trouble once PETA hears about it, those guys don’t joke around when animal cruelty is mentioned

via Daily Mail

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An Unlikely Duo

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Primates and dogs don’t normally get along too well, but Suryia the orangutan and Roscoe, a Blue Tick hound have become best friends.

Their beautiful friendship began when Roscoe followed some of the caretakers at a South Caroline animal shelter through the gates. As soon as she saw him, Suryia ran to him and started playing. Since that day, there’s nothing the two love more than swimming and rolling around together. The friendly orangutan even takes her buddy on his daily walks and occasionally feeds him some of her monkey biscuits. When bored, the two take a ride on Bubbles, a 27-years-old African elephant.

Word of their bizarre but beautiful relationship reached the media and now Suryia and Roscoe will be featured on one of Oprah‘s special shows, called Amazing Animal Friendship. National Geographic also paid them a visit.

Their bond might seem incredible, but if tigers and pigs can be friends, then anything is possible.

Photos by Barry Bland/Barcroft Media

via Daily Mail

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Donkey Basketball – Cruel Sport or Just Plain Fun?

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Invented during the 1930s as a cheap form of recession entertainment, donkey basketball remains a popular sport in midwest America.

Basically, the tow four-player teams have to shoot hoops while riding on the donkeys. The animals often just lay down, crushed by the players’ weight and, in these situations, competitors are allowed to dismount and drag the donkey to the hoop. Donkeys can carry up to 68kg, but many of the donkey basketball players weigh considerably more.

This unusual sport is played mostly in school gyms, by school staff and local celebrities. PETA has denounced donkey basketball as animal cruelty, but the folks in Iowa, where these pics were taken, say they don’t pay much attention to that. ‘We’re just a bunch of good ol’ boys and farmers down here in rural Iowa, so we’re not worried about PETA.’ said Angela Stufflebeam, event organizer.

Before the beginning of a donkey basketball match, an announcement is made, saying the animals are treated humanely. But protesters say the donkeys are starved so they don’t defecate during the match, they are often kicked, pulled by their tails and ears, and get stressed by the chaotic atmosphere.

Donkey basketball has been banned in Portland, Oregon, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, but it’s still thriving in Iowa.

I say this is just as bad as riding ponies on thin ice.

via Daily Mail

Photos by The Associated Press

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