The Unbelievable Story of Mike the Headless Chicken

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According to Mike the chicken, losing your head is not that bad as it’s thought to be. You better believe it since this one of a kind rooster lived headless for two years and became world-famous for it.

Mike became “the Headless Chicken” on September 10th, 1945 after being decapitated by his owner, Lloyd Olsen from Fruita, Colorado, who wanted to cook him for dinner. During Mike’s attempted decapitation, Llyod hit all the wrong (or right) spots, leaving Mike headless but still alive. Baffled, the owner had a change of heart and decided to nurse the rooster back to health. Mike shook off the upsetting incident and shortly after, started pecking around and grooming his feathers as if nothing had happened. Well, he couldn’t really do all those things because without a head the bird couldn’t eat, drink or see but that didn’t stop him from trying! After feeding him grains and quenching his thirst, Olsen took Mike to the University of Utah where flabbergasted scientists took a close look at the death-defying chicken. According to them, a blood clot prevented Mike from bleeding to death after Olsen’s ax had missed the jugular. As if by miracle, Mike was still left with his left ear and most of his brain stem intact which was enough to keep this feathered critter healthy for the following two years of his life. Apparently chicken’s reflexes lie in their brain stem which explains why Mike still attempted to peck and even sing – gurgle rather, despite his handicap.  Olsen swore to take care of him for the rest of his life, feeding him milk and water with syringes. Mike was doing so well, he even gained weight determining Lloyd to call him a “robust chicken – a fine specimen of a chicken except for not having a head.”

Mike-the-Headless-Chicken

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Meet Boomer the Dog, a Canine Stuck in a Human Body

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Roll over and shake paws with Boomer the Dog – a man with a canine soul, who often roams the streets of Pittsburgh in a large dog costume, barking at every passing car and digging holes in the backyard. Boomer takes his persona very seriously and wishes everyone would treat him like a real dog.

Born Gary Matthews, Boomer is now a 50-something unemployed computer technician who lives by himself. He wears ears made from his long hair and a collar with a dog tag with his adopted name, Boomer the Dog. He rarely dresses as a human as he loves wearing his full size paper dog costume and getting on all fours. He eats dog food with his snout from a special bowl on the floor, barks, chases cars and digs for bones in the backyard like any other canine would. The guy even sleeps in his own indoor doghouse which, according to him, is much more comfortable than a human bed. Boomer, who resides in Pennsylvania, adopted his canine persona after watching the NBC hit show “Here’s Boomer” when he was only a child. The popular TV series was about a mixed-breed stray called Boomer who travels around helping people in trouble. This idea appealed to Mathews and soon, his fascination with dogs in general as well as with the star of the show took a life of its own and became his ultimate obsession.

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Disney’s 101 Dalmatians Inspires Dog Lover to Take in as Many Spotted Canines as He Can Find

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Nelson Vergara loved the movie “101 Dalmatians” so much that after watching it, he couldn’t help himself from adopting any spotted dog that crossed his path. His love and dedication for Dalmatians is well known throughout his hometown of Santiago, Chile where he is called the “Dalmatian Man,” a name he got from the 42 liver spotted canines living in his backyard. Vergara is so obsessed with the popular breed that he even painted black dots on his white van.

“It all started because of that film,” Vergara says. “That was computer-generated. But I wanted to do the real thing.” But the true reasons behind his passion is to save the millions of stray dogs which roam Chile’s streets every day. The number rises even further during working hours when pet owners leave their dogs outside. These dogs are not very well taken care of either – they are never sprayed for fleas or neutered. Vergara’s intentions are purely humanitarian for he wants to raise awareness about the growing number of stray dogs which the country’s Humane Society considers alarming.

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China’s Bizarre Pet Craze – Puppies Painted with Toxic Varnish to Make Them Look Like Unique Breeds

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In 2010, the Year of the Tiger,  a series of pictures showing orange puppies with black stripes caused controversy in China after they were posted online. Hoping to make a profit off them, some vendors had started selling striped dogs under the false pretense that they were a new breed.  At the time, everybody questioned the authenticity of those photos, not knowing if they were photoshopped, if the puppies where genetically altered or simply painted, but now everyone knows the truth. These are “one week puppies” a name that hints at their short life expectancy due to the toxicity of the varnish they are painted with. Believe it or not, they are still very popular in China.

It seems making your canine companion look like other animals using toxic varnish has become very popular in China. Pandas and tigers are especially sought after and dogs resembling these animals have been showing up in every city. “I have seen this kind of dog more than once in China, once in ZhuHai last fall and then in the city of Guangzhou. Both times the dogs were for sale from a street vendor, they were not all the same color, but they were all striped. The only thing I can think is that the stripes are spray painted on,” a woman wrote on a forum. The coloring process used in the case of the “Bengal dogs” (tiger-skinned dogs) must have required some powerful chemicals as the people curious enough to buy a striped individual reported that the dog was very ill. “I recently bought one of these dogs in Beijing China,” another person wrote . “I got it home and it was very dehydrated. I took it to the vet today and they confirmed that its hair had been dyed. It is a black dog, that gets to be about medium size. They dye the orange part, that’s why the orange is never around the eyes, or nose, and the stripes are so uniform. The vet stated that the dye would wear off in about 2 months, and that the dog would be healthy unless we continued to dye the dog,” he detailed.

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Snoopybabe, the Cute Flat-Faced Cat Taking the Chinese Internet by Storm

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Do you think mastering social media is hard? Apparently, it’s so easy even a cat can do it. Snoopybabe is China’s new internet sensation with 275,000 followers on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter and 190,000 fans on Instagram.  Hailing from the Sichuan Province, Snoopybabe, an American short-hair and Persian crossbreed, has taken the Chinese interwebs by storm with his cute short snout, innocent brown eyes and charming outfits.

His owner, Miss Ning started posting pictures of Snoopybabe a while back to show him off to her friends. She did not expect the huge attention the two-year old cat attracted. As she posted more videos and pictures of him in different poses and dressed in colorful clothing accessorized with elegant neck pieces, his popularity grew exponentially. He soon reached the same popularity level as already well-established felines such as Tardar Sauce aka Grumpy Cat or Maru. These adorable kitties have become irresistible even to big cat food companies such as Friskies which named Grumpy as their spokescat this month.

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Lethal Alkaline Lake in Africa Turns Animals into Stone Statues

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When photographer Nick Brandt first visited Lake Natron, in Northern Tanzania, he was shocked by the macabre animal statues he saw aligned across its shoreline. He later found out something even more shocking – those were real animals calcified by the lake’s alkaline water.

Natron, which gives the lake its name, is a naturally occurring compound found in volcanic ash. It’s the same mineral the Egyptians used to preserve their mummies. The lake’s alkalinity is similar to that of ammonia, with a pH between 9 and 10.5, and the temperature of the water can reach 60 °C. No animal can withstand this caustic environment and venturing into the acidic environment is usually fatal. As soon as birds and bats plunge into the waters of lake Natron, the minerals start turning their flesh into stone and preserving them exactly as they were in their final moments. Flamingos sometime use the predator-free salt islands that sometimes form on the lake for nesting, but it’s a risky gamble, as the photos below clearly show. Only invertebrates, a few algae invertebrates and some fish that live near the edges of the lake can survive this environment.

Lake-Natron

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Chinese Zoo Visitors Play Tug of War with Tigers Using Live Chickens

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Who would win in a fight between a man and a tiger? What about a man, a tiger and a chicken? The elusive question has now been answered thanks to some curious visitors of the Changsha Ecological Zoo who played tug of war with caged tigers using live chickens.

According to the zoo staff, when lying around with nothing to do and having food served to them, zoo animals often become lazy, overweight and even lose interest in any kind of physical or intellectual stimulation. They came up with a very interesting but controversial way of keeping the animals in shape through tug of war games. The game is as simple as it gets: the visitors pull at one end of a rope and at the other, the tiger bites and pulls at a hessian bag with a live chicken inside. The chicken is an added bonus meant to engage the tiger’s interest and keep him on his toes. Apart from training the animals, the game was designed as a mean of entertainment for the upcoming National Day Holiday. For 45 yuan ($7), anyone can play and it seems there are many courageous folks willing to measure their strength against the powerful beasts. So far, the tigers are in the lead, winning most of the tug of war games, with one 4 year old Siberian tiger demonstrating his muscle superiority by tackling 7 men at the same time.

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Feline Fashion Calendar Features Stylish Cats Wearing Runway-Ready Designer Clothes

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Do you wish that your cat was just as fashionable as you? Now you can both wear couture designs courtesy of United Bamboo’s kitty clothing line. United Bamboo, a well-known fashion brand has been making calendars for three years now featuring cats dressed up in miniature versions of their most valued designs.

Wearing exact copies of runway clothing, the felines featured in the first issue belonged to friends and family. But soon the brand felt the need to start an Instagram campaign in order to find the most fashion forward cat lovers whose companions not only looked stylish in designer clothes but also looked good on camera. A number of kitties have been selected so far but the competition is tough and not all of them are going to make it in the 2014 issue. Some cats are already popular models such as Jasper, a part Maine coon, part domestic longhair cat who wears a red duffle parka on top of a striped shirt and is featured on the first month of the calendar. Another favorite, Huxtable, a hairless gentle-tomcat who loves “to hang out on people’s shoulders and will walk on a leash!” is wearing a simple yet stylish blouse and a black wool jumper. There is also sociaholic Prince Snowflake dressed in the brand’s colored binding coat, and toothpaste-phobic Gertrude wearing a sparkly dress. All the stars of the calendar are photographed by cat enthusiast Noah Sheldon, while the calendar itself is designed by Studio Lin.

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Nothing to See Here, Just a Hamster Steering a 15-Tonne Truck on a Narrow Quarry Road

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To prove how easy it is to drive their new trucks, Swedish automaker Volvo transformed the steering wheel of one of their big rigs into a hamster wheel and let a tiny rodent steer the vehicle up a narrow quarry road.

Volvo’s new Dynamic Steering uses an electric motor to replace the driver’s muscle power, making even large trucks like the Volvo FMX a breeze to steer. Turning the wheel becomes an effortless affair, and in their latest advert, the automaker proved even a tiny hamster can do it. The now viral clip was shot on a steep and narrow quarry road at Los Tres Cunados, in north-west Spain, and shows Charlie the hamster steering a truck while guided by a precision driver holding a carrot. After training Charlie for weeks, the team placed the pint-sized rodent inside a hamster wheel installed on the steering wheel and let him take the truck all the way up the perilous road. Sitting in the driver’s seat was stunt driver Seon Rogers, who handled the pedals and guided Charlie in the right direction by baiting him with a fresh carrot. There were a few tense moments, like when the truck hit a big rock boulder sending it crashing down into the water below, but in the end Charlie managed to steer the large vehicle across the finish line.

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Brazilian Man to Marry Pet Goat in Devil’s Curch

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Aparecido Castaldo, a retired stone cutter from Jundiai, Brazil has decided to marry his beloved Carmella, a goat. Because no Christian minister would agree to perform the marriage ceremony, the two will be wed by a known satanic leader, in the Church of the Devil.

People have married their pets in the past, although in most cases the marriage ceremony was just a symbolic one performed by family or friends. However, 74-year old Aparecido Castaldo, a widower and father-of-seven, apparently wanted to be united with his goat Carmela in a church, by an evangelical minister. Unfortunately, none of the churches he contacted with his unusual request wanted to perform the ceremony, so Aparecido eventually contacted Toninho do Diabo (Tom the Devil), an old friend who just happens to be one of the most famous satanists in Brazil. The wedding is scheduled to take place at midnight, on October 13, at the Devil’s Church, in Sao Paolo. “Only our church accepted this love between man and animal because we have no prejudice,” Toninho said.

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Alligator Snapper Turtle Goes through 10 Cigarettes a Day

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According to Chinese media reports, in a village on the outskirts of Changchun lives a nicotine-addicted alligator snapper turtle who smokes around 10 cigarettes a day. The turtle’s keeper says that whenever it feels the need for a smoke, the reptile becomes agitated and starts to hiss.

So how does a turtle become addicted to cigarettes? A local chef, surnamed Tang, who is helping his boss take care of it, says it all started about two months ago when he noticed the pet had lost interest in its daily fish diet. After inspecting the reptile, he noticed there was a sharp chicken bone lodged in its soft belly, but when he tried to pull it out, it snapped at his hand from the pain, nearly biting off his fingers. Tang realized the only way he could take out the bone was to distract the turtle, so he took the lit cigarette that was resting in his mouth and gave it to the pet to bite on. Its jaws snapped on the filter and didn’t let go for hours. His idea proved effective, as he managed to remove the sharp chicken bone, but little did the cook know it would lead to an even bigger problem.

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Dog Lover Will Live in Animal Shelter for 35 Days to Highlight the Plight of Abandoned Pets

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Sean Le Vegan, a dog lover from Manchester, England, will spend over a month in an animal shelter enclosure  to raise awareness about the plight of stray dogs and encourage people to adopt rather than buy canine pets.

Sean, a 35-year-old web-designer and volunteer at the Manchester and Cheshire Dogs’ Home, believes spending 35 days and nights in a cage is a good way to attract attention to the hideous plight of homeless dogs. It’s also a great way to raise some much-needed funds for the dog shelter, as he plans to broadcast his challenge on the internet with webcams and charge £5 ($7.50) per subscription. People will be able to watch a human living a dog’s life and Le Vagan plans to offer them a realistic experience. 35 days is the average stay for a dog at the Manchester-based animal shelter. Just like the canines brought here, Sean won’t eat anything for the first four days and will have to make do with just water and a blanket. After that he will be feasting on vegetarian dog food throughout the whole event. He will only be allowed one hour of freedom per day, to use the toilet and freshen up. To make his experience even more authentic, he even had a chip implanted in his shoulder which  is hooked up to the dog-care database.

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Houtong Cat Village – How a Few Purring Felines Saved a Dying Community

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This is the story of how a few dozen cats managed to save an entire community just by purring and looking pretty. Houtong was just another dilapidated mining town in the mountains of eastern New Taipei City, but everything changed when the felines came and livened up the place.

Houtong used to be one of Taiwan’s most important coal extraction sites, up until the 1970s. Then, oil and electricity took the place of coal, and the town suffered a steady decline. At one point it was reduced to a train stop along the Yilan line, one that most travelers ignored, and that forced many of its younger residents search for better opportunities elsewhere. The population of this defunct mining town dwindled from around six thousand inhabitants to a couple  of hundred, who struggled to survive. But their fortunes changed in 2008, when a cat lover who goes by the name “Palin88” organized a series of cat photography events in the mountain town. He and his friends posted the photos online, and got an overwhelming response from fellow feline enthusiasts. As they shared the photos on forums and social media sites, Houtong welcomed more and more tourists eager to photograph the cats themselves, or simply watch them roaming through the town. Nowadays, Houtong is known as the Cat Village, or Taiwan’s Cat Mecca.

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Spanish Town Mails Dog Poo Back to Their Owners

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Sick of having to clean up after irresponsible dog owners, authorities in Brunete, a small town 20 miles west of Madrid, came up with an ingenious way to keep the streets clean. They started sending the dog poo back to their owners in boxes marked “Lost Property”.

The council of Brunete had not approved a budget for the original street cleaning campaign, but advertising agency McCann was willing to do all the work for free. During the course of a week, more than a dozen volunteers patrolled the streets keeping an eye out for owners who didn’t clean up after their pets. As soon as they spotted an offender, they approached them and sparked up a conversation about their dog, trying to find out its name and breed. “With the name of the dog and the breed it was possible to identify the owner from the registered pet database held in the town hall,” a spokesman of the town council explained. As soon as the owner left, the volunteers picked up the poo and packaged them in cardboard boxes branded with the town hall insignia and marked as “Lost Property”. The smelly packages were then delivered by courier to the pet owners homes, along with a fine warning.

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Fluffy Cows – Models of the Bovine World

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Have you ever seen a cow that you simply couldn’t help want to cuddle? I hadn’t, until I saw these photos of extremely fluffy show calves that look like they’re modelling for some kind of bovine fashion magazine.

I first spotted these real-life plush cows on Reddit a few days ago, and I simply fell in love with them. Not in a deranged way, but I just found them irresistible and wished I had one of my own so I could sink my face in its fluffiness. Okay, enough about my weird self. These cows don’t belong to any particular breed. They are show calves, a cross between two different high-quality breeds, bred for bovine show-business. That means that apart from their genetic characteristics, owners go out of their way to make sure the cows look their best. Special feeding, basic manners training and grooming are all part of the show calf world, and believe me when I tell you a lot of effort goes into styling cattle. Just think of them as girls, but with their very own conditioners, hair sprays and lotions. Show calf trimming is also considered an art form among cattle enthusiasts, as it gives the animals that Photoshop-like boxy shape. But as you can see in the photos below, the results are nothing short of spectacular.

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