Woman Diagnosed with Noah’s Syndrome Kept 159 Cats in Her Apartment

A 68-year-old French woman diagnosed with Noah’s Syndrome has been given a one-year suspended sentence for keeping 159 cats and 7 dogs in her 80sqm (861sqft) apartment.

The unnamed woman and her 52-year-old male partner got into a dispute with neighbors in their Nice apartment building because of the mess and filth caused by their dozens of pets. Police were eventually called and the state of the woman’s apartment shocked them. There was animal excrement everywhere, over 150 cats and seven dogs, as well as at least two dead cats and two dogs in the bathroom. Many of the animals were dehydrated, suffering from malnutrition, or infected with parasites, and some of them subsequently died because of their health problems. The elderly woman admitted that she had “screwed up” while trying to take care of her many pets, but described the animals as “the love of her life”.

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Influencer Slammed for Wearing Live Chick on Her Head as Bizarre Headgear

Filipino online influencer Abby Domer Salle has come under fire for alleged animal cruelty after being spotted wearing a live chick in a small metal cage on her head on the streets of Manila.

Inspired by Japanese Kawaii culture, the so-called ‘duckling fashion’ has become very popular in Southeast Asia in the last few years. The exact origins of this fashion trend are unclear, but it has been linked to anime series or characters. There are multiple variations of this trend all over the world, but in its simplest form it involves wearing decorative plastic or plush ducklings on one’s head. However, one Filipino influencer recently took this already unusual fashion trend and took it to an all-new level of weirdness by caging a live chick and wearing it in public as a bizarre hat.

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Living Nightmare – The World’s Largest Leech Can Grow Up to 18 Inches Long

Haementeria ghilianii or the Amazonian Giant Leech is the world’s largest leech by quite a significant margin, growing up to 18 inches (46 cm) long.

Leeches are found in wet and humid areas all over the globe, and while most are smaller than the average person’s index finger, a few can grow a lot longer than that. But one particular species of leech can get so big that it is considered the stuff of nightmares. Haementeria ghilianii, also known as the Amazonian Giant Leech, is an elusive leech that can only be found in French Guyana and certain nearby areas in Brazil, so you’re unlikely to run into one unless you live there, but photos of this slimy critter should be enough to send shivers down your spine. While most specimens measure between 30 and 35 centimeters, exceptional specimens can grow up to 46 cm long.

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The World’s Largest Frog Is Teetering on the Brink of Extinction

The Goliath Frog, the largest living frog on Earth, is facing extinction after a 50% decline in population size in the last three generations, mainly due to human activity.

The Goliath Frog certainly lives up to its name. Reaching up to 13 inches long (32 cm) from snout to vent, and weighing up to 7.2 lb (3.25 kg), it is by far the world’s largest frog. However, it has a contrastingly tiny habitat range in Africa’s Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, which makes it particularly vulnerable to human-related habitat destruction. They are skittish creatures that tend to avoid humans as much as possible, but increasingly sophisticated traps and habitat destruction have caused a massive decrease in the number of Goliath frogs, and experts warn that if things don’t change soon, this impressive creature will become extinct.

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Stray Dog Finally Rescued After Living with a Box Stuck on His Head for Almost a Year

Bear, a stray Cane Corso that had been roaming around Alabama’s Gulf Coast for almost a year with a large box stuck on his head was recently caught and freed from his plastic trap.

Bear’s story first made news headlines in January of this year, when it was covered by CBS affiliate, WKRG, following multiple reports of a large canine walking around Mobile with a large, black box on its head. One person told the outlet that his son had seen the dog a couple of months earlier, but they only believed the account after seeing the animal themselves. The story of this unfortunate animal caught the public’s attention and WKRG followed it up with another report, this time featuring the City of Mobile Animal Services (COMAS). The dog had gotten its head stuck in the metal box many months before, but all attempts to capture and free it had failed.

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Instagram-Famous Feline Looks Like a Real-Life Cartoon Character

Four-year-old Fedya, a gray rescued cat from Russia, has become a social media sensation thanks to his funny permanently startled look.

When Fedya’s owner, Natalya Zhdanova, found him in her backyard in 2020, she had no idea he would one day become an Instagram star with over 300,000 followers. At the time, she wasn’t even sure he would survive. He had been born with a coordination issue and struggled to move around, but as he grew, his condition improved, and before long he was behaving like a normal cat, although he didn’t really look like one. Natalya claims she didn’t really notice his unusual looks, but her friends always seemed amused by Fedya’s constantly startled appearance, and she reluctantly started posting photos of him on social media. The rest, as they say, is history.

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Frog Smaller Than a Human Fingernail May Be World’s Smallest Vertebrate

The Brazilian flea frog (Brachycephalus pulex) measures only between 7 and 8 millimeters in length, which likely makes it the smallest vertebrate on Earth.

In 2011, Mirco Solé, a researcher at the State University of Santa Cruz in Brazil, discovered the tiny Brazilian flea frog, an amphibian so small that it could comfortably fit on a small coin. The discovery made news headlines in the scientific community, but because of a small available sample, there was simply no way to provide conclusive information regarding the frog’s size. Now, over a decade longer, a team led by the same Mirco Solé has published an extensive study on the elusive frog species that can only be found on two forested hillsides in Bahia, Southern Brazil. It shows that the flea frog is a very likely candidate for the title of ‘world’s smallest vertebrate’.

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Meet Rope Daddy, a Special French Bulldog Specimen Valued at $120,000

Rope Daddy is an exceptional specimen of Big Rope, one of the most sought-after varieties of French Bulldog, whose enviable genetic traits allegedly make him worth around $120,000.

According to a study by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the global number of French bulldogs has increased by over 1,000% in the last decade, helping the canine breed dethrone the Golden Retriever as the world’s most popular dog breed. However, this overnight popularity has caused the degradation of the breed’s genetic structure, resulting in thinner, longer, and taller dogs, all of which are considered undesired traits. The Big Rope variety is characterized by a small, compact, and muscular body, and a large, square head, making it among the most coveted among French bulldog fans. But even among other Big Rope specimens, one pooch stands out as exceptional thanks to its excellent genetic material. His name is Rope Daddy and he is probably the world’s most expensive French bulldog.

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Scientists Baffled by Mushroom Growing on Live Frog

In what is believed to be the first ever such documented case, researchers in India came across a live frog with a small mushroom growing on the side of its body.

The Last of Us, the hit HBO series based on the namesake video game series, has popularized the fictional idea of mushrooms and fungi infecting humans and turning them into mindless zombies. In reality, fungi from the cordyceps family only infect insects, but a team of Indian researchers recently made a discovery that speaks to the adaptability of these microorganisms and their ability to survive and thrive in the most unusual conditions. While observing the fauna around a small pond in the foothills of the Kudremukha Ranges, India, hobbyist naturalist Chinmay Maliye and wetland specialist Lohit Y.T. came across a frog with a mushroom sprouting from its flank.

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Belgian Couple Share Their Home with a Wild Boar

Tiffany and Grégory, a couple from Belgium’s Wallonia region, have been sharing their home with Oscar, a rescued wild boar, for more than a year now.

It all started about a year ago, during a hunting trip, when Grégory Guiot brought home a 700-gram boar cub that his dogs had found. It was December 6th, Saint Nicholas Day, and Gregory didn’t have the heart to just leave the helpless animal in the wild, where it would have likely perished on its own Instead, he took hit home to his partner, Tiffany Pierre. Neither of them even entertained the idea of keeping the boar at first, instead focusing on caring for it until they found another arrangement. However, Tiffany and Grégory found themselves becoming more and more attached to the little bundle of joy with each passing day, so when they finally decided to take little Oscar to an educational farm where he would be well taken care of, they both had tears in their eyes…

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Parasitic Worm Manipulates Host into Drowning by Stealing Its Genetic Code

The hairworm might not look like much, but it is a sinister parasite that steals its host’s genetic code to manipulate it into deep water, so it can reproduce and start the cycle all over again.

During its larval stage, a hairworm’s first goal is to get eaten by a tadpole or a mosquito. It then lies dormant until this initial host is itself eaten by a larger creature, such as a cricket, grasshopper, or mantis. Once its Trojan horse is digested by the new host, the hairworm breaks out and begins sapping the poor insect of nutrients. This only takes about three months, after which the hairworm somehow manipulates its drained host toward water, where it would never go on its own, to drown. Hairworms breed in water, so after their host dies, they swim to the nearest ball hairworms to reproduce and start the cycle once more. Scientists have known about the worm’s ‘mindsnatcher’ trick for years, but a team of researchers claims to have finally figured out how hairworms actually brainwash their hosts.

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‘Mickey Ears’ Cosmetic Procedure for Pets Sparks Controversy in China

Chinese media reports that a growing number of pet owners are putting their animals through painful cosmetic procedures in order to give them rounded ears inspired by Mickey Mouse.

Most cats and dogs have naturally pointy or droopy ears, but a new disturbing trend sweeping through China these days has pet owners ignoring common sense and their animals’ physical and mental well-being for the promise of stylish ‘Mickey Ears’. Apparently, some shady pet clinics will slice part of the animal’s ears off to achieve the Mickey Mouse look, but there are also a variety of special clamps available online for pet owners disturbed enough to perform the procedure themselves. Recent coverage of this bizarre trend sparked controversy online, with most of the general public urging authorities to ban the ‘Mickey Ears’ procedure and punish those who would torture defenseless animals purely for cosmetic purposes.

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Prison Replaces Guard Dogs with Flock of Vigilant Geese

A prison in the Brazilian state of Santa Cantarina recently replaced its guard dogs with a flock of geese that supposedly make loud noises when they detect strange noises, like someone trying to escape.

In this day and age, prison complexes feature state-of-the-art detection systems that make it very difficult for inmates to escape undetected. Still, regardless of technological advancements, it’s always a good idea to have a backup analog detection system as well, in case the sophisticated stuff fails. Human guardians and guard dogs are usually the norm, but some prisons use some unlikely alternatives. For example, several prisons in Brazil have replaced guard dogs with geese, which they say are not only just as effective, if not more so, but also cheaper to maintain. Apparently, geese have very good hearing and will make loud noises whenever they detect strange noises, thus alerting the human guards.

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Scubadiver Has Been Friends with a 15-Foot-Long Tiger Shark for Over Two Decades

A Florida scuba diver claims he has been best friends with a 15-foot-shark named Emma for almost 23 years now, describing her more like a playful dog than an apex predator.

Jim Abernethy and Emma first met in 2001 when he removed a fishing hook from her mouth, and they’ve been inseparable ever since. Every time Jim goes into the water in the area of Tiger Beach, in the Bahamas, she comes around and rubs heads with him as a sign of affection. It’s not the kind of behavior most people expect from a huge, 15-foot-long tiger shark that could easily tear a human apart, and that’s exactly what makes Emma the perfect poster girl in Jim Abernathy’s ongoing mission to change people’s perceptions of sharks.

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The Picasso Moth Is Truly a Living Work of Art

Baorisa hieroglyphica, also known as the Picasso mothis a species of moth named after the famous Spanish painter Pablo Picasso because of its unusually artistic wing patterns.

First described by British entomologist Frederic Moore in 1882, the Picasso moth is native to Southeast Asia and Northern India. Like most moths, Baorisa hieroglyphica is a nocturnal insect that feeds mostly on the nectar of various plants. Arguably the most beautiful of the Noctuid moths (Noctuidae family), this stunning-looking insect has been dubbed the most interesting moth in the world. The species’ scientific name ‘hieroglyphica’ refers to the striking geometric lines and shapes on its fore wings, while its common name was inspired by the blotches, strips, and dots of color that hint at the work of a talented painter.

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