Monday, December 31, 2007


New Year's Pet Resolutions

#10 No Table Scraps: Our four-legged friends won’t be happy about this one! No more people food from the table or placed in the pet bowl, and no more plate licking either.

#9 Nail Trims: Keeping pets nails trimmed properly can be a real challenge but 2008 will be a year of fewer toe nails clicking on floors!

#8 Disaster Preparedness: It doesn't matter what part of the country you live in., we can all be affected by disasters. Putting together a pet disaster plan and survival kit is the plan for many pet parents in 2008.

#7 Brushing Teeth: It’s recommended that you clean your pet’s teeth at least once a week, but not many pet parents do this. Looks like it’s on the “list” now!

#6 Healthy Treats: Looks like many of our furry friends will be saying goodbye to processed treats. Many pet parents plan on “treating” their pets to more natural and organic treats.

#5 Sit, Stay, Down: Pet obedience and training ranks high in the top pet resolutions for the year. A well behaved pet is also a less stressed pet.

#4 Car Safety: We’re very pleased about this one! Pet parents plan to invest in their pet’s safety in 2008. They plan to better secure their pets when traveling by car by using a pet car seat, pet safety belt, travel carrier, or pet barrier.

#3 More Road Trips: Whether it’s a trip to Grandma’s house, a visit to the pet store, or a vacation to Hilton Head – pet parent’s resolve to do more of them with their pets!

#2 More Bonding Activities: Pet parents have vowed to include their pets in shopping trips, dinners at pet friendly restaurants, and other pet friendly places.

#1 More Exercise: Whether it’s walks, runs, fetch, or hikes. Getting Fido and Fluffy moving is the top New Year’s pet resolution.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cat eat milk the dog!

Don’t taze me, bro!

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Teen Killed by Tiger Was Helping Friend

The last minutes of a 17-year-old boy's life were spent trying to save his friend from being mauled by an escaped tiger at the San Francisco Zoo, police and family members said.

Carlos Sousa Jr. and his friend's brother desperately tried to distract the 350-pound (160-kilogram) Siberian tiger, but the big cat instead came after Sousa.

"He didn't run. He tried to help his friend, and it was him who ended up getting it the worst," the teen's father, Carlos Sousa Sr., said Thursday after meeting with police.

The heroic portrait of Sousa and a timeline of the dramatic Christmas Day attack emerged as officials revealed that the tiger's escape from its enclosure may have been aided by walls that were well below the height recommended by the accrediting agency for the nation's zoos.

The Wall

San Francisco Zoo Director Manuel A. Mollinedo acknowledged that the wall around the animal's pen was just 12.5 feet (4 meters) high, after previously saying it was 18 feet (5.5 meters). According to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the walls around a tiger exhibit should be at least 16.4 feet (5 meters) high.

Mollinedo said it was becoming increasingly clear the tiger leaped or climbed out, perhaps by grabbing onto a ledge.

Investigators have ruled out the theory the tiger escaped through a door behind the exhibit at the zoo, which remained closed Friday.

"She had to have jumped," he said. "How she was able to jump that high is amazing to me."

Mollinedo said safety inspectors had examined the wall, built in 1940, and never raised any red flags about its size.

"When the AZA came out and inspected our zoo three years ago, they never noted that as a deficiency," he said. "Obviously now that something's happened, we're going to be revisiting the actual height."

The four-year-old tiger, a female named Tatiana, went on a rampage near closing time Tuesday, killing Sousa and severely injuring the two others before police shot it to death.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tiger shot dead at San Francisco zoo after killing one

One person was killed and two others were injured Tuesday at San Francisco Zoo when a tiger escaped from its cage and attacked Christmas Day zoo visitors, according to a newspaper report.

The tiger was shot dead by police officers while it was attacking visitors, a fire department spokesman was quoted as saying by the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper at its website.

Officials said the attack happened shortly after the zoo's 5 p.m. closing time at a cafe on the east end of the zoo.

The tiger cages are located near the center of the zoo and it was still not clear how the tiger escaped. Police said they were investigating the incident.

Zoo officials at first worried that four tigers had escaped, but three of the tigers never left their pen, according to Ken Smith, the spokesman of San Francisco Fire Department.

The condition of the two injured people was not immediately known.

Tuesday's killing at San Francisco Zoo happened almost exactly a year after a zookeeper was mauled by a tiger during a public feeding. The California state authorities have ruled that the zoo was responsible for that incident because of the unsafe configuration of the cages.

Sneezing Panda!!!

Love, or Something Like It

Back by popular demand (seriously, overwhelming guys, thanks for your generous showering of support) our weekly tribute to the titallation and well, let's face it, ickiness of animal husbandry.

Now if you were silly enough to ignore the sagacity of Bob Barker surely you're asking yourself now, "what is that high pitched screech coming out of my cat? Why is Miss Kitty rubbing her junk all up on my shit? Seriously, cat! That's my toaster! I was going to eat that bagel!"

Well, friend, when you're irresponsible (who wants to be responsible anyways, its not like you use condoms either!) and don't take care of Miss Kitty's ovaries she becomes a queen!

And she announces to the world, "Fuck Me!". And the Tom Cat happily obliges.

Mounting from behind, he bites the nape of her neck while thrusting. Rough! All male cats being equipped with a barbed penis, she's bound to finish off loudly.

Seriously, I'm not making any of this up. Ask Franny Syufy, who, judging from her picture, probably knows more about pussies than cock.

Friday, December 28, 2007

I'm a father... of eight baby Hamsters!!!!

Fit Fur Life Doggy Treadmill - Walks your dog so you don't have to!

One of the newest trends among pet owners is purchasing treadmills to exercise their pets. Check out the Fit Fur Life treadmills for dogs that offer a complete muscle enhancing, toning and fitness regime that not only improves the overall health and vitality of a dog, but also increases life span and prevents obesity. The Fit Fur Life treadmills are manufactured to the highest standard and combine the latest, innovative technology and top quality workmanship, to create the best dog treadmill in the world. The treadmill gives your dog a real workout, allows you to control the terrain, and eliminates distractions.

All the models except the Professional Fit Fur Life Treadmill can be easily folded and stored inside home or garage. These dog treadmills come with motorized incline and Monitor 3 window display chrome finish. A well-exercised dog is, in general, a well-behaved dog. I am planning to get one for my Terrier.

We're just wondering, unless your dog is one of those really smart, well-trained and obedient types, how on earth are you going to get him to walk on this thing, especially when you scare the bejeezus out of him by "controlling the terrain?"

Fur For Life

Naked Animal Blogging...

A breaking new development has come to my attention. Here at Animal Insider our favorite contributor "hobbes" has been known to blog in the nude. After I found this out, I asked her, why she prefers to blog naked? She replied "well my cat is naked all the time, so why shouldn't I be?" I agree with this philosophy. I think nudity and animal love should be more hand and hand. Wait wait no that isn't phrased properly. I think naked animal blogging is a great idea! So as I sit here typing away I find the cool breeze against my naked body welcoming as I come to terms with my new love of blogging about animals naked.


Patches the Coolest Horse

"He can answer the phone. He doesn't actually talk, but you put the phone up to his mouth and he moves his lips"

Further proof that animals are in fact people too. And that people are often fucked up and turn to animals to replace honest human relationships in their lives.

And yep, I'm naked. Right now.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Baby Panda Glamour Shots Released!

As an antidote to downer coverage of the tiger attack, we present the newest photos of Zhen Zhen, the San Diego zoo's new baby panda. We documented her arrival on the scene back in September, but now that she's four months old, she's gotten furrier, less gooey, and more comfortable around humans. She made her public debut last weekend, and the folks in Southern California are still enduring long lines to get a peek.

Luckily if you don't want to wait to see her in person, the AP has the slideshow offering all imaginable permutations of cuteness. For some inexplicable reason, the gallery also includes holiday shots of the not-so-cute Tao Tao, the oldest panda in the world, and the release of big old Xiang Xiang, the first captivity-raised panda to be released in the wild. Skip ahead to pictures 3-10 to see cute-as-pie Zhen Zhen peer over a tree stump, cuddle with her mama, and play with an enormous ball.

Associated Press

Battle at Kruger

This is the most amazing animal video ever! I know it's long, but if you haven't seen it i highly recommend it!

Cat Attacks Reporter...

Cat Attacks Reporter FOX TV - Watch more amazing videos here

New York Knicks coach mauled by Frisco tiger!

The San Francisco Zoo remains closed today as authorities investigate the fatal mauling of New York Knicks' coach Isiah Thomas, whom witnesses say was seen taunting a Siberian tiger at the railing of a sealed grotto on Tuesday. The incident ends a sad chapter in Knicks' history, as the large jungle cat finally accomplished what New York protesters could not. Ignoring fans' pleas to fire the embattled coach, Knicks president James Dolan only last week gave his support to Thomas ... plus a complimentary Zoo Pass with coupon good for a free endangered animal ring tone. The Knicks honored their unfortunate coach on Wednesday by charging out and losing to the Orlando Magic, 110-96.

"Siberian tigers tend to become aggressive when exposed to shooting percentages below 35 percent," said wild animal expert Roger Smale, curator of the San Diego Wildlife Park. "Tigers appreciate sound defensive principles and teamwork. Sadly coach Thomas was in the wrong place at the wrong time." The Magic had lost four straight at home before Wednesday's victory, getting 26 points from Hedo Turkoglu and 25 from Rashard Lewis.

Farting Squirrel Saves The World!

Farting Squirrel Saves The World! - The best video clips are here

Alfred Hitchcock presents...

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Damien’s Gone Solar

Damien Hirst is once again making headlines, this time on the environmental scene.

Following the path of Tracey Emin and Gavin Turk, who created a series of t-shirts to support the Global Ocean Charity. Damien Hirst is set to become the second biggest generator of solar power in the UK. The first being the CIS Tower in Manchester (Cooperative Insurance Society). He is set to spend up to £1.5m on a 310kw solar power system for his studio buildings in Stroud, Gloucestershire.

The solar panels will spread over some 1,800 square metres and will cover all three of Hirst’s warehouses, one of which is his formaldehyde studio, presumably where his famous preserved shark was prepared.

This system is so large that it will account for nearly 2% of the UK’s solar power, although it is not clear whether it will be attached to the national grid. Unfortunately, although it is a great step forward for the UK, we are still lagging behind the rest of Europe in the uptake of clean energy. Germany, for example, has almost 200 times more energy generated by renewable power.

Whilst many have heralded Hirst’s move as a boost for the solar industry, and prompts other environmentally savvy individuals to take charge of their own energy use. David Timms, the Economic Advisor at Friends of the Earth said,

“We can’t rely on the environmentally aware wealthy to nurture the low carbon industries. We need a feed-in tariff scheme which would reward all businesses and individuals who invest in small-scale renewable technologies with a guaranteed premium price for the clean electricity they generate.”

If anyone wants to join Damien in the quest to reduce our reliance on energy generated through fossil fuels, there is still funding available under the Low Carbon Buildings programme.

Do you work with a bunch of monkeys?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hail Satan!

It's almost time when the time is here,

The time that's only once a year.

We can hardly wait, 'cause it's so near.

A Woodland Critter Christmas!

Frozen hair holds secrets of Yellowstone grizzlies

Locks of hair from more than 400 grizzly bears are stored at Montana State University, waiting to tell the tale of genetic diversity in the Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Ranging from pale blond to almost black, the hair is filed in a chest freezer where the temperature is minus-77.8 degrees. Some of the tufts are almost 25 years old.

The hair will head to Canada in a few months to be analyzed at Wildlife Genetics International in Nelson, British Columbia, said Chuck Schwartz, head of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team based at MSU. The team is monitoring the genetic diversity of the Yellowstone grizzlies over time and wants to know when new DNA appears. The team will also compare the Yellowstone bears with those in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem where a similar study has been done.

"An objective of the study is to determine if bears from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem migrate to the Yellowstone," Schwartz said.

The Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem includes Glacier National Park, parts of the Blackfeet and Flathead Indian Reservations, parts of five national forests, five wilderness areas and Bureau of Land Management property in northwest Montana. The Yellowstone Ecosystem includes Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, six national forests, and state and private land in portions of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

imposter ornamint

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Fat Squirrel Behind Bars

It seems obesity is not just a human problem, it has spread into the animal world. In this case, it was a squirrel whose eyes were too big for it’s stomach.

Having cleverly mastered the ‘squirrel-proof’ birdfeeder in Christchurch, Dorest, this troublesome squirrel then took his prize and ate all the delicious nuts. So many nuts in fact, that his little stomach grew too big to escape from the feeder.

The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) was called to release the pesky snacker. Insp Graham Hammond, came to the rescue and managed to widen the gaps between two of the bars with the aid of a crow-bar and a grasper. The squirrel, which was not hurt, escaped into the wilderness as soon as he could fit through the bars.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Is There a Santa Claus?

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." But there almost wasn't.

The famous line was penned part of a real 1897 New York Sun editorial written in response to the letter of a curious 8-year-old girl.

Virginia O'Hanlon wrote to the Sun in September of that year in anticipation of the gifts she would receive that Christmas. The letter implored, "Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?" But it was apparently misplaced or ignored for several weeks, according to research done by Joseph Campbell, a journalism professor at American University.

When the letter came to the paper's attention again, a quick response was written by Francis P. Church:

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias."

Readers were thrilled with the editorial and repeatedly asked the paper to reprint it each year, which the paper only did sporadically until the 1920s, when it was finally an annual feature until the paper folded in 1950.


Monday, December 24, 2007


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Merry Christmas Kitty

Tigers In the Crisper

Just in time for Christmas the Chinese government is considering re-opening the business of domestic tiger trade. This is after farm-bred, captive tiger populations have thrived in recent years.

And, and yeah, they just found a bunch of dead tigers in a Hubei province wildlife park refrigerator. I mean, they were probably just planning on selling them to become plasticene models in the Bodies exhibit, like they did with all those political prisoners. Those communists really are amazing capitalists.

Rare Siberian Tigers Found Dead

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Whales Descended From Tiny Deer-like Ancestors

Hans Thewissen, Ph.D., Professor of the Department of Anatomy, Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM), has announced the discovery of the missing link between whales and their four-footed ancestors.

Scientists since Darwin have known that whales are mammals whose ancestors walked on land, and in the past 15 years, researchers led by Dr. Thewissen have identified a series of intermediate fossils documenting whale’s dramatic evolutionary transition from land to sea. But one step was missing: The identity of the land ancestors of whales.

Now Dr. Thewissen and colleagues discovered of the skeleton of Indohyus, an approximately 48-million-year-old even-toed ungulate from the Kashmir region of India, as the closest known fossil relative of whales. Dr. Thewissen’s team studied a layer of mudstone with hundreds of bones of Indohyus, a fox-sized mammal that looked something like a miniature deer.

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Bird Gets Loose in the Senate Press Gallery

Invisible hula-hoop

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Video: Reindeer Tourism Booms

As tourism to Finland's Lapland region booms, reindeer farms reap the benefits. Video

Friday, December 21, 2007

Attack of the Flying Puppy

Attack of the Flying Puppy

Woman Ticketed After Goats Caught Mating

Some "goats gone wild" are the talk of a small Oklahoma town.

A woman received two tickets after her goats were caught mating and relieving themselves on her own yard.

City law said it is illegal for any two animals to have sex in public within Dibble city limits.

It's also against law for them to relieve themselves in public even if the animal is fenced in on private land.

The owner was shocked when she heard the charges.

“I kind of thought if anyone was caught having sex in public, it could have been me,” Carol Medenhall said.

The woman fought the tickets and won partially because she didn't know she lived within city limits.

Her land was recently annexed by the city, located south of Oklahoma City, but she claims no one told her.


Naughty pets can unleash Christmas chaos

Ho, ho, uh-oh! One of my earliest holiday memories is of our cat climbing the Christmas tree, knocking ornaments off all the way.

Most cat owners have probably had a similar experience. Dogs, too, have their own brand of holiday mischief, such as chewing open the gifts or scarfing down Christmas dinner.

The holiday season offers ample opportunity for pets to show their naughty side, leaving some owners to scramble to save the tree, the trimmings or the turkey.

Retired schoolteacher Joanne Nash of Los Altos, Calif., used to decorate her tree with clay-bake ornaments made from flour, salt and water. “I had made some myself, bought some, and had some that my students had made,” she says. Unfortunately for Nash, her Dalmatians thought the ornaments were delicious dog treats, placed on the tree just for them.

“Stealthy Dalmatians managed to snatch them one by one when we weren’t in the room with the tree,” Nash recalls. “We replaced the consumed ones with a few more the next year, but some invisible dog stole those too, and we haven’t had any clay-bake ornaments since.”

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Oh Noes!!

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Japan Will NOT Hunt Humpbacks

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had recently announced plans to dispatch an armed observation ship to track the Japanese whaling fleet and gather evidence for a possible lawsuit at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The news was revealed by chief government spokesman Nobutaka Machimura in a press conference today. Machimura said: “Japan will not hunt humpback whales.”

“It’s true that Australia expressed quite a strong opinion to Japan on this. As a result, I hope that this will lead to better relations with Australia.” he added.

“Japan’s relations with Australia could improve, but it depends on how it will see our decision.”

The victory was greeted with enthusiasm by many conservation groups. They weren’t amazingly enthusiastic though, as this is a classic “We win! Kinda.” situation. The fleet still plans to hunt more than 900 minke whales and 50 fin whales in the Antarctic waters. Australia has been particularly upset over the plans partially because they consider the hunting waters part of an Australian whale sanctuary.

Japan has stood by its repeated assertions that the hunt is being conducted for scientific purposes, despite essentially nobody believing them. The whales that are killed are all butchered and packaged for consumption on a large factory ship that accompanies the harpooning vessels. Japan has a long cultural tradition of whaling, and has continually refused to stop its whaling activities.

Baby Turtle...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Nora, the piano playing kitten!

I Am An Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA

Ingrid Newkirk may be the most influential person most people have never heard of. President and co-founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Newkirk has sparked controversies around the world for more than 25 years, engineering radical campaigns for animal rights that have encompassed everything from undercover investigations to anti-fur protests to naked demonstrations. Directed by Matthew Galkin, I AM AN ANIMAL: THE STORY OF INGRID NEWKIRK AND PETA provides an unprecedented portrait of a very private person committed to a very public crusade, and offers a glimpse into the inner workings of the animal rights group.

The film includes often-graphic footage of animal cruelty that fuels many of Newkirk's campaigns against research facilities, meat-processing factories and clothing stores around the world. Without question, the direction and strategies of PETA are a direct reflection of its single-minded leader, who is both revered and despised for her uncompromising beliefs in the rights of animals, and her willingness to cross taboos and offend numerous groups to make her point.


Is there sumthin in mah teef?

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Video: Whales Dead From Oil Spill

Seven whales died in South Korea after a major oil spill earlier this month. Volunteers are cleaning the shoreline and removing bird-killing oil slicks. Video

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Secret Squirrel training facility

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An 8-Second Ride Lures Sponsors Beyond the Rodeo

JUSTIN McBRIDE and Adriano Moraes are hardly household names, but advertisers are betting that these bull riders — who compete for prize money by trying to stay on a bucking bull for eight seconds — could represent the next big thing in sports sponsorship.

The sport’s dominant association, the Professional Bull Riders, already has 20 sponsors, including Ford, Wrangler, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Jack Daniel’s. It stages more than 100 contests a year, some of them broadcast on NBC and many more available for download on YouTube. The popularity of the sport as an “extreme” form of entertainment has many media and marketing executives salivating.

“Professional Bull Riders has a great story; it has live attendance growth. The number of events and TV viewership have both been growing every year,” said David Abrutyn, a senior vice president at IMG Consulting, who puts advertisers together with established and emerging sports franchises.

Bull riding counts its season as January through November, so now is the time that executives at Professional Bull Riders are lining up sponsorship deals. Since the sport is new to TV, the prices are low. National packages — which can include ringside signs, tour title sponsorships and media time — cost $1 million to $2 million, according to Sean Gleason, chief marketing officer of the Professional Bull Riders. On the lower end, an advertiser might buy local exposure for $500,000 or less, he said.

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Ant invaders eat the natives

The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, is one of the most successful invasive species in the world, having colonized parts of five continents in addition to its native range in South America. A new study sheds light on the secrets of its success.

The findings, from scientists at the University of Illinois and the University of California at San Diego, appear this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Argentine ant is tiny, aggressive and adaptable, traits that have helped it in its transit around the world. Once seen only in South America, the ant is now found in parts of Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South Africa. It most likely made its way to these destinations on ships carrying soil or agricultural products.

Under the right conditions, the Argentine ant marches through a new territory, wiping out - by eating and out-competing - most of the native ants and a number of other insects. In the process it radically alters the ecology of its new home.

The Argentine ant thrives in a warm climate with abundant water, and is often found on agricultural lands or near cities. But it also invades natural areas, said U. of I. entomology professor Andrew Suarez, principal investigator on the new study. The ant is highly social, and sometimes forms immense "super-colonies" made up of millions workers spread over vast territories. In prior research, Suarez identified a super-colony in California that stretched from San Diego to San Francisco.

Insurer Adds Collision Benefit For Pets

Most dogs that enjoy traveling with their head hanging out the window aren't concerned about insurance, but now an auto insurance company is offering pet owners increased peace of mind.

Auto insurance generally provides property, liability and medical coverage. Progressive Corp., based in Mayfield, is now providing collision coverage for customers' dogs or cats at no additional premium cost. It will pay up to $500 if a customer's dog or cat is hurt or dies in a car accident. Liability coverage would kick in for any pets hurt in a car other than the insured's. The new Progressive benefit is not pet insurance, which some people obtain to help them pay veterinarian costs, and is seen more as a value-added benefit of auto insurance with the company.

There are over 150 million pets in the U.S., and Americans spend over $40 billion on their pets annually, according to a recent Insurance Information Institute study, and most pet owners have never given any thought to whether any medical costs for their pets would be covered by their insurance policy. The Progressive benefit has been in place since Sept. 6, and it's still too soon to determine if the company's undetermined cost of offering it will be offset by better sales.

Progressive is the third-biggest auto insurer, ranking behind State Farm and Allstate, who have confirmed a pets benefit is not in the collision part of their policies. Progressive's pet benefit is available in 46 states and the District of Columbia; it's not yet available in North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York and Virginia, but the company hopes to offer it in those states soon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Giant Rat, Tiny Possum Discovered in Indonesian Jungle

Researchers in a remote jungle in Indonesia have discovered a giant rat and a tiny possum that are apparently new to science, underscoring the stunning biodiversity of the Southeast Asian nation, scientists announced Monday.

The discoveries by a team of American and Indonesian scientists are being studied further to confirm their status as newfound species.

The animals were found during a June expedition in the Foja-mountain rain forest in eastern Papua province, said U.S.-based Conservation International (CI), which organized the trip along with the Indonesian Institute of Science.

"The giant rat is about five times the size of a typical city rat," said Kristofer Helgen, a scientist with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, according to CI's press release. "With no fear of humans, it apparently came into the camp several times during the trip."

The possum was described as "one of the worlds smallest marsupials."

Santa Cat...

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India’s Tigers are Moving On Up

Just like George and Weezie, India’s tigers are movin’ on up.

India's tiger population is being increasingly threatened by the loss of their native habitat. With their original forest homes logged or developed, many of the surviving tigers are moving to new ground, including mountainous areas tigers haven’t previously occupied.

Tigers are being spotted at higher altitudes in India’s northeast and western sections. They only occupy mountainous areas with a large enough population of prey, so they should be able to survive there, but the tiger is not as adaptable as other big cats to life in the mountains. Belinda Wright of the Wildlife Protection Society of India said: “Tigers can feel the effect of villages on the bio-diversity from miles, and move away. But they are not as adaptable as leopards in mountains.”

That hasn’t stopped the tigers from moving into their new territories. At least 20 tigers have been spotted living in the high altitude mountains of Neora, an area sandwiched between the eastern state of West Bengal in India and the country of Bhutan. The tigers appearance in the area is a big change. The tigers are moving to the mountains from their original home in the Gorumara reserve nearby. According to the World Conservation Union’s Pranabes Sanyal: “Until 1998, we found one or two tigers straying into the Neora from the foothills, but now they live there.”

Neora is not the only Indian state seeing tigers in unexpected places. Another group of up to 20 animals was spotted in the hills of the western state of Maharashtra. The animals had previously been poached out of existence in the area. India’s Himalayan neighbor Bhutan is also seeing an influx of tigers into their mountain range. The Manas and Buxa tiger reserves on the India-Bhutan border are being increasingly encroached upon by human settlement, driving the tigers farther into the Bhutanese mountains.

Pet-Proof Your Holidays with Bob Vila!

If you're like Bob Vila, you've decorated for the holidays and are now experiencing the slow but steady destruction of all your hard work due to pets. Here are some tips on ways you can make your home more pet-friendly to protect your decorations and the safety of your animals. Some of these ideas will actually work on a toddler, too!

Tree etiquette. Anchor your tree to the wall or ceiling. Cover the stand as pine sap and water can be poisonous. Use unbreakable, nontoxic ornaments. Put decorations high out of pets' reach.

Decoration don'ts. Don't put decorations so low that pets can reach them. That includes bulbs, balls, tinsel or anything else they could put in their mouths. Keep lights and electrical cords out of your pets' way.

Floral with your fauna. Keep mistletoe, holly, amaryllis and poinsettias away from pets.

Food. Be careful your pets don't eat table scraps, which may be hard for them to digest and may contain bones. And, of course, remember that chocolate is toxic to most animals.

Guests. Your family and friends won't know the rules you've established for your pets, so be sure to let them know what foods, rooms and behavior are off-limits. To prevent your pets from becoming overstimulated, you may want to set up a quiet retreat for them.

With some preventative measures and a vigilant eye, your pets can enjoy the holidays as much as you do. Just don't forget they deserve their own stocking stuffers, too!

Elvis the RoboCat!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

And Introducing: The Soft-Shelled Turtle

Seriously, this is probably one of the most frightening concepts in animalry, like ever. Its an incircumcized paddle-penis that can flaggelate itself thru water. And what's with the I-spent-my-summer-vacation-in-Bhopal claws!
Gross. I need to go take a shower and feel safe.

Horse Dentist!

Park Rangers Hire Sharpshooters to Cull Elk Herds?!

The park’s elk herd is a major tourist attraction, but has become an ecological problem. The elks are not originally native to the park. They were probably transplanted there from a herd in Wyoming in the early 20th century. The animals can grow to a fairly large size, up to 700 pounds, and feed on fragile native plant species like aspen and willow.

The elk herd has already wiped out several stands of aspen and willow. According to park officials, a sustainable elk population would be about 1,600 to 2,100 animals. The current herd is close to 3,000 animals. The plan proposed by park officials involves shooting between 100 and 200 of the animals per year starting in 2009.

Officials were quick to point out that they would not kill the animals unnecessarily. They will be basing their culling numbers on the scientific data each year, rather than implementing a plan now and following it every year. There will be some years they might not even cull the animals. Recently, for instance, herd numbers have dropped slightly as hunters outside the park shot as many as 700 of the animals.

National park officials will not only use lethal force to help limit the damage the population inflicts. They’ll also take measures such as fencing off more new growth forest, as well as trying to herd the elk away from vulnerable areas by shooting them with non-lethal ammo. They will also experiment with birth control on the park’s herd. The park plans to cull the animals in as natural a manner as possible. They’ll do the vast majority of the shooting in the winter and target the old, weak, and sick. They’ll try to mimic the behaviour of wolves.

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Woolly Mammoths Were Killed Off by Trees???

Was this animal killed by a tree?

For years we’ve taken it as gospel truth that the woolly mammoth was hunted to extinction by our hairy ancestors. Some scientists, however, are suggesting that what wiped out the mammoth was not hunting, but trees.

It is much easier to picture the violent extinction of a species than the opposing scenario. We can easily imagine fur clad hunters stabbing the giant beasts with spears until one day there were no more left. You could even picture the hair covered animals being too hot to survive in the rising temperatures at the end of the ice age. It’s a bit harder to imagine the mammoths being killed off by a lot of trees.

We’re not talking about any Lord of the Rings style fighting trees or anything, although that would be a much cooler article. The trees were just regular forests which expanded to previously uncovered territory at the end of the last ice age, but their marching expansion still spelled doom for the elephant relatives.

It all comes down to food. Mammoths thrived most in large areas of frozen grassland. Around 10,000 years ago, temperatures started to rise. The frozen grasslands where the animals lived and fed started to be replaced by forests expanding from the warmer climates. No more frozen grasslands meant no more food.

University College London palaeobiologist Adrian Lister conducted the study. Lister analyzed the DNA from hundreds of mammoth fossils, and found that the animals changed so slightly over the course of 20 thousand years or so that they would have been unable to adapt to the new environment.

Lister said: “The DNA we have been able to extract from mammoth bones is like a clock and allows us to trace the evolutionary story in great detail now.”

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The Daily Coyote

Charlie is a wild-born coyote who was unexpectedly delivered to my doorstep this past April after both his parents were shot for killing sheep. Whatever reservations I had about raising a wild animal simply didn't matter - couldn't matter - when I realized his survival, at least in the short term, depended on me.

At the time I write this, Charlie is nearly six months old. I don't think of him as "my pet," even though he sleeps curled against me every night (every night except the nights around a full moon), and happily rides in my truck, and adores my cat. I don't wish to own him, just to live together in harmony. And that we do.

The Daily Coyote

Sunday, December 16, 2007

60 Minutes visits the "Garden Of Eden"

(CBS) Correspondent Bob Simon visits a pristine paradise in Indonesia where only a few humans have ever set foot, many new species are being discovered and a 60 Minutes camera is the first to catch the mating dance of two rare birds: the black sickle bill bird of paradise and the golden-fronted bower bird.

Simon and his guide, Bruce Beehler of Conservation International, encounter more rare and exotic creatures in the Foja Mountains, including the wattled smoky honey eater, a bird recently discovered by Beehler and others, the pigmy possum and Berlepsch's six-wired bird of paradise.

Beehler hopes that by cataloging its flora and fauna, he can protect the Fojas from incursions by man that would jeopardize the beauty of this Garden of Eden.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

iPond Combines Portable Speaker With a Fish Tank, Enrages Animal Rights Activists

A TINY fish tank that doubles as a music speaker has sparked outrage among animal activists and aquarists.

The iPond - up to 15 times smaller than the recommended tank size for the fish it contains - is proving a hit with Christmas shoppers.

One Sydney store has sold out of the $70 device and other outlets are reporting brisk sales.

But the RSPCA has called on the device to be banned because it is too small to provide fish with adequate oxygen supplies and a clean environment.

The iPond is sold nationally by the Pets Paradise and Pet Goods Direct chains. Users can play their iPods through a speaker built into the bottom of the brick-shaped tank.

The tank's water capacity is about 650millilitres once rocks are placed in it.

Pets Paradise is selling Siamese fighting fish with the iPond.

The fighting fish are native to South-East Asia and have a "labyrinth lung" that allows them to take in oxygen from air. Typically they live in puddles and rice paddies.

A Melbourne Aquarium spokesman said Siamese fighting fish required a minimum tank size of 10 litres - dramatically more than the iPond provides.

Animal Liberation Victoria's Noah Mark said he was disgusted by the invention.

Studies proved fish had memories well beyond a few seconds and were social creatures that experienced pain and boredom, he said.

"The fish in this thing does not look like it has very long to live and it can barely move," he said.

"Even if it does live it's not [a] life worth living ... it's really just a torture box."

Acoustics expert Jason Gedamke said there was no doubt noise from the speaker would escape into the water.

"The speaker is directly coupled to the outside of the tank ... [so] you are going to have a small level of sound introduced," Mr Gedamke said.

"It's the same as putting a fish tank on a speaker."

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