Dogs with Perfectly Square or Round Haircuts Are All the Rage in Taiwan

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A bizarre new dog grooming trend in Taiwan has dog owners giving their pet pooches square or round haircuts. Canine hairdressers all over Taipei are up to date on the special technique required for these eccentric makeovers.

“It came about because people were always looking for more impressive haircuts, and somebody came up with the idea of shaping the dog like a hedge,” parlour owner Tain Yeh says. It started with a few people opting for these haircuts and sharing their pets’ photographs online, after which the trend caught on. Thousands of pet owners are now approaching salons, asking for their dogs’ hair to be cut in geometric patterns. Some are actually doing it simply to gain more likes and shares!



This Famous Dutch Owl Loves to Land on People’s Heads

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A strange owl in the Dutch town of Noordeinde has become famous for its penchant for landing on people’s heads. It seems that the bird simply lands on people who happen to be walking by, for no apparent reason!

Apparently, a fence or a tree just isn’t good enough for the beautiful European eagle owl, weighing around six pounds. It only lands on people’s heads, staying perched for about a minute before flying off in search of its next target.

The residents of Noordeinde aren’t bothered by the owl one bit. In fact, they’re quite delighted with all the attention that their town is receiving, thanks to the wild bird. “I’ve seen photographers and birders from around the country, from The Hague to Spijkenisse, they come from everywhere to see the eagle owl,” a cheerful resident said. “Our village is finally on the map!”

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Stray Dog Who Followed Extreme Sports Team During Grueling Amazon Race Melts Internet Hearts

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When a team of Swedish athletes trekking through the Ecuadorian rainforest last year sat down for a meal of canned meat, they were joined by the most unusual dinner guest – a scruffy old stray dog. They felt sorry for the poor creature and gave him some of their food, but little did they expect that the small gesture of kindness would earn them a friend for life. From that moment on the dog never left their side, following them through the rough terrain for the entire duration of the trek!

The group of four trekkers happened to be navigating the final two stages of the 430-mile Adventure Racing World Championship, during the time that the dog – whom they later named Arthur – befriended them. “I had just opened a food pack when I saw a scruffy miserable dog in the corner of my eye,” said team member Mikaels Lindord. “I thought he was hungry and gave him a meatball. Then I thought no more of it.”

But the act certainly made an impression on Arthur, who refused to leave his new master’s side. Despite his ill health, he kept up with the team through every gruelling task. He swam alongside them while they kayaked down rivers, dragged himself up treacherous hills as they hiked, and even managed to pull himself through knee-deep mud during treks.



Breathtaking Photo Almost Cost the Photographer His Life

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When Pakistani photographer Atif Saeed set out for a drive through a safari park in Lahore in 2012, little did he know that he would end up risking his life for what is possibly the best photograph of his career – a close-up shot of a charging lion!

It all started during the drive, when Saeed spotted a lion a short distance away. “It as an adult male lion, and what I liked most about him was the beautiful, dark hair on his neck,” the 38-year-old later recalled. He got out of the car, left the door open, and crouched in the grass to take pictures with his 500mm telephoto lens. He did realise at the time that it could be a foolish move, but he told himself that it was the only way to get a natural photograph.

Saeed got his opportunity within seconds – the sound of the shutter apparently irritated the lion, and it turned around to charge at him. The lion’s expression at that moment was ferocious enough to send even the bravest of huntsmen into a state of shock. But Saeed managed to quickly gather his wits. He clicked a picture at lightning before leaping into his car and slamming the door shut, missing the aggressive beast by inches!

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Japanese Beauty Cream Leaves Your Hands Smelling Like Cat Paws

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Lots of people love cats, but how many would actually want to smell like one? Well, as it turns out, there’s a small army of cat-lovers out there who love the smell of cat paws. So much so that they’re willing to spend money on this Japanese hand cream that promises to lend them the irresistible whiff of feline paws.

The cream is the brainchild of Japanese online retailer Felissimo. The company claims that the unusual idea came about during a brainstorming session, when an employee suggested a cream that leaves the skin as soft and squeezable as a cat’s paw. Everyone at the meeting loved the idea, and eventually they got to talking about the smell of cats’ paws, which is apparently considered mysteriously soothing. So the company finally decided to market their cream with the same smell.



Female War Veteran Is Now Fighting to Protect Africa’s Wildlife from Poachers

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U.S. Army veteran Kinessa Johnson, who served in Afghanistan for four years, has gone from protecting humans to protecting animals. She is the latest addition to VETPAW (Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife), an organisation that enlists retired veterans to hunt down wildlife poachers in East Africa.

According to the African Wildlife Foundation, rhinos, elephants, and other types of wildlife on the continent may become extinct within our lifetime. Which is why the work that Johnson and her fellow veterans are doing is immensely important. The team arrived in Tanzania on 26 March, and quickly got down to work: “We’re going over there to do some anti-poaching, kill some bad guys, and do some good,” Johnson said.

Johnson, a former sharp-shooter from Western Washington, works as a technical advisor to anti-poaching rangers. Her job is to train park rangers and patrol with them to provide support. The training will include marksmanship, field medicine, and counter-intelligence. “Our intention is not to harm anyone; we’re here to train park rangers so they can track and detain poachers and ultimately prevent poaching,” she said. “So I patrol routinely with them and also assist in intelligence operations.”



Cat Finally Gets Rescued after Living in the Wall of a Subway Station for Five Years

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After five long years of entrapment inside the wall of a subway station in Cairo, Egypt, a cat was finally set free last month. The poor feline was first discovered in 2010 by an elderly man known as Uncle Abdo, who heard its meows from behind the wall at Mohamed Naguib Metro station. After checking the premises, Abdo found a tiny hole and realized the cat must have crawled inside and had gotten stuck. He named the cat Biso, and made it mission to take care of it.

At first,Uncle Abdo, who owns a shop outside the station, wasn’t sure of what to do about the situation – he would have liked to break open the wall the free the cat, but that would have meant destruction of public property. So he continued to bring food and water for Biso, reaching into the hole and placing them there so that she could survive. The bizarre arrangement continued for five long years. Even during the revolution on January 25, 2011, when most stores were closed, Uncle Abdo went to the station, just to feed Biso.

“I do it for God, what is for God does not go away,” Uncle Abdo said, adding that God rids him of many problems for such good deeds.



Karl Lagerfeld’s Modelling Pet Cat Earns Way More Money than You

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German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is undoubtedly a rich man, but here’s a shocker – even his cat Choupette is richer than most people. The furry white feline managed to earn over three million dollars from just two days of modelling work. She is now believed to be the world’s most pampered cat – she has two maids, enjoys First Class travel around the world and even has her own Instagram account with hundreds of thousands of followers.

According to 81-year-old Lagerfeld, creative director of Chanel and Fendi, Choupette did two modelling assignments last year – one for Japanese cosmetics brand Shu Uemura, and the other for a Opel Corsa car calendar. Collectively, the two jobs earned her a whopping three million euro – a figure that professional supermodels might probably get paid for a much harder year’s work.



Every White Line in these Ultra-Realistic Animal Portraits is Just a Scratch

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We’ve seen highly talented artists burn paper, roller skate, and even kick a football around to create art. But here’s something new – Illinois artist Allan Ace Adams actually scratches away at paper to create breathtaking animal portraits. It’s called scratchboard art, and it involves using an exacto knife to scrape away a top layer of black ink off the canvas to reveal the white clay underneath.

A scratchboard is actually a hardwood board coated with a thin layer of porcelain clay. Another thick layer of black ink is added on top of the porcelain, which the artist has to scratch off in order to create an image. “I explain to people that I’m scratching in the highlights instead of the ‘darks’ like you would with a graphite drawing,” Adams wrote on his website. “Shades of gray can be achieved by how much ink is removed or by applying an ink wash. The ink wash can be scratched back though to reveal the white once again.”



Stray Dogs Show Up for Funeral of Woman Who Used to Feed Them

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When Margarita Suarez, from Merida, Mexico, passed away last week, her funeral service was attended by the most unusual mourners – stray dogs.

It’s utterly baffling that the dogs weren’t even from Cuernavaca, the city where Margarita gave her last breath. They were her companions from back home in Merida, where she used to feed them every single day. Photographs showing the dogs lying around the coffin have now gone viral online – receiving over 130,000 likes and 33,000 shares in only four days.



Mutable Rain Frogs – Shape-Shifting Amphibians That Change Skin Texture in Minutes

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Scientists in Ecuador have discovered a new species of frog that is able to morph the texture of its skin – from spiny to smooth – within a matter of minutes. Aptly named ‘mutable rain frog’, the tiny, finger-nail sized creature is the first shape-shifting amphibian to ever be found.

According to a Livescience report, the mutable frogs were found in Reserva Las Gralarias, a protected cloud reserve forest on the western slopes of Ecuador’s Andes Mountains. The incredible discovery is credited to biologist Katherine Kryna and naturalist Tim Krynak, who have spent the past decade combing the reserve for rare frog species.

The duo first spotted the frog in 2006, when they had captured it on camera. On closer inspection of the photograph, they realised that it could be a new species. The frog’s spiny-textured skin stood out, so they started calling it ‘punk rocker’. “It wasn’t until we saw the amazing texture of its skin that we thought, ‘wow, this is something different,’” said Katherine.

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Controversial Pigs Tattooed with Disney Characters Selling for Up to $70,000 in China

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Given the fact that pigs are mostly raised for slaughter, it seems rather pointless and cruel to spend hours inking them with intricate tattoos. But believe it or not, tattooed pig skins are actually fetching a handsome price in China – up to $70,000 per hide!

These special pigs are inked under anaesthesia, with a variety of designs including Disney characters, Louis Vuitton logos, and even patterns that are popular with Russian prison inmates. Three artists work simultaneously on each pig, and their skin is later massaged and moisturised by carers. Once the pigs reach the end of their lives, their skins are sold to collectors for tens of thousands of dollars. One canvas featuring Disney characters, for example, was sold to Chanel and made into two bags.



Samsung Creates $30,000 High-Tech Dream House for Dogs

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Samsung UK has come up with a real treat for dogs and their owners – a high-tech dream house for dogs. The unique pooch pad comes fully loaded with an automatic food dispenser, a grass turf covered treadmill, a hydrotherapy pool, vinyl walls that the owner can cover with photos, and a Samsung Galaxy Tab S for the dog’s browsing pleasure. With a price tag of £20,000 (roughly $30,000), the Samsung Dream Doghouse is being touted as the most expensive doghouse ever.

“With the Samsung Dream Doghouse, we wanted to reflect the nation’s growing trend for using technology,” said Samsung Electronics UK president Andy Griffiths. “From dogs who have social media profiles to owners who use video calling to check on their pet while away, technology is fast becoming an integral part of everyday life. The Samsung Dream Doghouse looks sleek and modern, featuring the kind of tech the discerning dog of the future will need.”



Pseudis Paradoxa – The Paradoxical Frog That Shrinks as It Grows

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The Pseudis Paradoxa is the Benjamin Button equivalent of the amphibian world. The paradoxical creature starts off as a 25-cm-long tadpole and shrinks as it grows. ending up as a small tropical frog, about a quarter of its original size.

When biologists discovered the paradoxical frog in the South American wild,they were understandably confused. At first, they thought the adult frogs were actually the babies, which later grew into giant tadpoles, exactly the opposite of how every other frog species in the world develops. They later figured out that the 11-inch tadpoles were indeed the juveniles, but still couldn’t explain the bizarre phenomenon.

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8-Year-Old Girl Feeds Neighborhood Crows, They Thank Her with Gifts

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8-year-old Gabi Mann, from Seattle, has some very unusual friends who shower her with gifts almost every day. Ever since she started feeding her neighborhood crows, they began returning the favor and bringing back all kinds of trinkets.

Gabi’s unique relationship with the neighborhood crows began in 2011, when at age four, she was prone to dropping food. Soon, the crows were always watching for her, hoping to get a bite of the crumbs she dropped. As she got older, she began to feed them consciously – she would share her lunch with them on the way to the bus stop. It wasn’t long before crows were lining up in the afternoon to greet her at the stop.

In 2013, Gabi started feeding the birds regularly, instead of sharing her scraps with them. Along with her family, she would fill the birdbath in the backyard with fresh water every day, cover the bird feeder platforms with peanuts and throw handfuls of dog food on to the grass. Soon, the crows automatically lining up on the telephone lines, waiting for their treats.

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