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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A bird in the hand: Photographer gets close-up as tame robin feeds from his fingers


Coming in to land: The robin approaches

Photographer Mike Walker feeds a tame robin with one hand - while taking these amazing close-up pictures with his other hand.

The bird flew into his garden in Portchester, Hampshire and gradually became tame enough to accept food, and would even sit on the 64-year-old's grandchildren's hands.

The photographer said: 'The thing with robins, I was told, is to get mealworms - and he just went mad for them.

Nearly there: The robin is just inches away from Mike's hand

Made it: The bird rests on one hand, while Mike takes photos with the other

'I think he was feeding youngsters at the time, that was half of it. He would fly away and then he was back ever two minutes.

'He took no notice of the noise of the camera, he was just absolutely oblivious. He is just so tame, the grandkids have had him on their hands.

'He is a fantastic bird, you could get him to do virtually anything.'

Resting robin: The bird appears oblivious to the camera Detailed: The extraordinary close-up shows the bird just as it is about to land

source: dailymail

'I've killed my dog, ha ha': Sadistic teenager hangs pet... and posts pictures on Facebook



Sadistic: Teenager Kamil Hric from Slovakia uploaded this picture of him hanging his pet dog on Facebook

A sick 17-year-old boy filmed himself hanging his pet pooch and posted photos of it on Facebook saying, 'I’ve killed my dog - ha, ha.'

The picture shows the helpless dog - still apparently struggling - swinging from a clothesline while Kamil Hric looks on laughing.

Hric, from Poprad, Slovakia - who was arrested after other horrified Facebook users alerted police - told prosecutors: 'So what? It's only a dog. I did it for fun.'

A police spokesman said: 'We don’t know what made him do this but we will be carrying out psychiatric reports.'

Appalling cruelty: This is how star the crossbreed dog was discovered; buried alive, with all her legs tied together and with 40 gun pellets in her skull

In another shocking display of animal cruelty, a dog was buried alive in Malta last week.

The cross-breed mongrel was found by chance near the city of Birzebbuga by animal welfare officers investigating an unrelated case.

The dog, who was later named Star by her rescuers, was found buried in the dirt after officers heard whimpering from beneath a wooden board.

A tree stump had been placed on top of it to weigh it down. Star was buried alive up to her nose and had been shot in the head 40 times.

Her four legs had been tied together and she had been shot repeatedly with a pellet gun.

Star miraculously survived an operation to remove the 40 pellets from her head at Ta' Qali hospital, in Central Malta.

source: dailymail

Spineless and unloved: Abandoned hedgehog will never find mate because she has no bristles


Having a ball: Betty the hedgehog, who was abandoned by her family because she does not have any spikes

A rescued baby hedgehog will never be able to attract a mate because of a mystery skin condition which has left her completely bald and without spines.

Betty was abandoned by her family before she was found by a member of the public and handed in to staff at an animal rescue centre.

Animal experts are baffled by her mystery skin condition, which has caused the lonely hedgehog's skin to become dry and left her without any spines.

Unlucky in love: Betty is being snubbed by the male hedgehogs because of her skin condition

Six-week-old Betty is now so scared of other hedgehogs that staff at the animal sanctuary believe she will never find a mate.

However, she cannot be returned to the wild because her lack of spines means she would be unable to defend herself against predators such as badgers and foxes.

Tonia and John Garner, 47 and 52, who run Foxy Lodge rescue centre, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, revealed Betty will endure a lonely life unless her spines return.

Mum-of-one Tonia said: 'She's healthy and everything is absolutely fine apart from she doesn't have any spines.

Helping hands: Betty is being cared for by Toni Garner at her rescue centre near Great Yarmouth

'It's very sad because she cannot protect herself. She rolls up in a little ball but because she doesn't have the spines she is easy meat for any predator.

'We won't let Betty be with alone with the males. She is very frightened of being near other hedgehogs and any offspring could have the same genetic condition.

'We keep her alone in an enclosure indoors and I mix almond oil and tea tree oil to put on her back sometimes because her skin can get very dry.

'We have to keep her out of the sun because she can burn up as her skin is very sensitive. We just hope the spines will return so she can have a normal life.'

source: dailymail

Monday, May 30, 2011

The real watchdog: Border terrier is the king of bling with a ROLEX collar

By Daily Mail Reporter

King of bling: Smike received the 'watchdog' collar for his seventh birthday
And now the 30-year-old and Smike are celebrities when she takes him for his daily stroll on Merseyside.

Border terrier Smike really is the king of bling with his Rolex dog collar - and with his new gear he has earned the nickname 'watchdog'.

Smike's owner, Karen Denney from the village of Crawford near St Helens, specially commissioned the collar, as she wanted the ultimate canine accessory.

The leather collar has a designer watch built-in and dog-lover Mrs Denney decided to splash out for her pet's seventh birthday.

Mrs Denney loves showing-off her 'watchdog', equipped with his collar which includes a £200 replica Rolex.

Fireworks, cheerleaders and kayaks: 3,000 Grand Rapids residents respond to 'declining city' charge with epic 'lip dub' YouTube music VIDEO

The shop assistant said: 'Over the years I've seen a lot of accessories for cats and dogs but I wanted something a bit different.

'I wouldn't usually go for something this flashy but when I saw this design I just had to have one.

Watch this: The collar includes a £200 replica Rolex watch

Commission: The specialist collar was made my pet jewellers in St Helens, Mersyside

'Smike gets lots of attention when I take him out for a walk he's so full of fun.

'He's the talk of the village at the moment.

'Everyone keeps asking me where they can get a "Dog's Rolex" for their dog.'

The top-of-the-range collar was the work of Alison Jones, who owns Prince and Princess Petwear in St Helens, which specialises in luxury items for pets.

The 27-year-old said: 'We have a huge range of designer collars but this one tops the lot.

'It is the ultimate accessory for any watchdog!

'We can make them in any size, shape and colour.'


You flirty rat! New York fashionistas splurge on designer outfits ... for their pet rodents

By Daily Mail Reporter

Runway: Perriwinkle wows the NYC Fancy Rat Convention in Manhattan with her emerald green tutu

First there was doggy dresses, and coats for mini pigs, now trendy pet owners are ordering designer clothing for their rats.

Pet fashionista Ada Nieves is selling rat tuxedos, wedding dresses and bridesmaids gowns among other exclusive designs.

Ada, from New York, said: 'The rats look very cute and seem to like wearing them. Rats are very popular these days and the owners love to dress them up.'

Rat fans gathered in New York yesterday for a rodent fashion show featuring Ada's outifts, which come complete with crystals, feathers and frilly tutus, and sell for around £50 each.

Rat owner Kelly Antonova, 27, said: 'Rats have amazing personalities. They are like a dog, cat and ferret all rolled into one. But each also has its own individual character.

'I've had rats who swim in a little bath, or sleep on the bed. You can train them on a little lease and they will learn how to dance, and how to fetch things like a dog. Rats are very sociable and give you a lot of love. They are very intelligent and

share similar characteristics to humans.'

Traditional: Rat Lily showcases designer Ada Nieve's wedding couture dress

Model behaviour: Sugar and Spice storms the catwalk in this matching jacket and lead ensemble

The latest breeds sell for around £70 but owners are also spending a fortune on rat furniture for their cages, toys, hammocks, clothing and harnesses.

Kelly, from Long Island, who runs a pet supply business, Kelly Critter Creations, added: 'Friends of owners usually end up falling in love with rats and getting their own.'It became more fashionable once people realised celebrities were keeping rats.

The message is finally getting out that rats make great pets.'

The fashion show, held as part of the New York City Fancy Rat Convention, was organised by the Big Apple Rattery, which provided all the rat models.

Frills: Lily shows off her colourful dress which was designed by Ada Nieves

Dressed to impress: Blue the rat takes part in the fashion show in this teal dress


Britain's most extravagant dog owner spends £800 on bespoke tiaras for her posh pooch


Louise Harris and her pet dog Lola pose for a photograph wearing their matching tiaras.

SHE has always treated her dogs like royalty, and now pet-mad Louise Harris has had two £400 tiaras custom-made so her Yorkie Lola can look just like Kate Middleton on her wedding day.

Miss Harris, 32, spent £20,000 on a dog wedding for Lola earlier this year, where the pooch married a Chinese crested called Mugly.

Pampered Pooch: Louise Harris and Lola wearing their posh headpieces designed to be replicas of the one Kate Middleton wore when she wed Prince William.

But while that bash was lavish, Louise, from Chelmsford, Essex, got even more ambitious after watching the Royal wedding last month.

Now Louise - who has spent more than £100,000 on goodies for Lola and her other two Yorkshire Terriers Lulu, four, and Larry, two - has had a pair of posh headpieces constructed so Lola can look like a dog version of the Royal bride.

Louise Harris, left carrying Lola and Bev Nicholson, holding Mugly during the UK's most expensive dog wedding in Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex

Both are meant to be mini replicas of the tiara Kate now the Duchess Of Cambridge wore when she wed Prince William on April 29.

While Kate's version was a priceless Cartier halo tiara loaned to her by the Queen, Lola's were pieced together by bespoke jewellers Latimer Couture using Swarovski crystal and genuine silver.

Wearing her own £500 bespoke tiara and matching necklace, Louise said: 'I've always seen Lola as my little princess, so it was only fitting she had a tiara just like Kate's.

'Now I can call her the Duchess of Yorkshire Terrier. Lola had a few less expensive tiaras before, but seeing Kate's tiara during the Royal wedding inspired us to have a special one made.

'In the end I got two done, because I couldn't decide which looked better. When I see Lola wearing them I think she looks gorgeous. She looks like the puppy version of the Royal bride.

'I only wish she'd had the tiara made in time for her own wedding.'

Bev Nicholson, left and Louise Harris on their dogs' £20,000 lavish wedding day

Lousie Harris and Lola wearing their matching tiaras, while inset, Lola perches on a throne

Louise has spent more than £100,000 on her three dogs over the last six years, including £26,000 on clothes, collars and harnesses and £16,000 on a nanny when she is at work.

She said: "Some people may think I'm crazy, but I don't care. I treat them like my children.

'Lola looks amazing and she's brought so much joy to my life. They all do. They deserve to have every luxury.'

source: dailymail

Mega moggies: Two stone cats bred from African wildcats taking over living rooms across Britain


Sahara to sofa: Servals are a species of African wildcat being crossed with the domestic moggy to create sought-after Savannah cats

Hundreds of British cat lovers are no longer satisfied stroking the traditional moggy atop their lap.

A growing trend is emerging for 'mega moggies' bred by crossing a domestic feline with a species of African wildcat to create Savannah cats.

Only owners with deep pockets and space can provide homes for the felines which cost up to £10,000 and can grow to three times the size of the traditional household puss.

The wildcats - called Servals - hail from sub-Saharan African and share common traits with the cheetah - including its ability to run.

They can leap up to three metres in the air to catch birds and insects and feast on hares and mole rats.

However, the RSPCA says the new super-cats, which can weigh up to two stone, are dangerous and are calling for the government to stop people keeping them without a licence.

Breeders insist the cats are harmless. Carl Ainscoe is one of about 300 people in Britain who keeps the cats and sells his kittens for up to £4,500.

He told the Sunday Times: 'It's a load of rubbish that they are dangerous. They get on beautifully with children.

Unusual cross: A Bengal cat, pictured, is a hybrid with the Asian leopard cat and is a nationally recognised breed

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it has no plans to alter the list of dangerous wild animals listed in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act.

The RSPCA said hybrids are likely to display characteristics from both domestic and wildcat species and even new characteristics which might be dangerous.

They are also concerned they could impact on wildlife predation.

By law anyone who owns a wild animal breed or a first generation descendant from it must have a licence.

Bengal cats are already officially recognised by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, the cat equivalent of the Kennel Club.

They are bred by crossing a domestic cat with an Asian leopard cat.

source: dailymail

Happy and safe, the Border Collie stabbed 13 times and left to bleed to death in the gutter


Safe and well: Five-year-old Border Collie Bonnie plays with RSPCA worker Tracey Hutchins in Leicester after making a recovery from the attack

A Border Collie was back to her playful self today after recovering from a sickening attack in which she was stabbed 13 times and left for dead in the gutter.

Cute five-year-old Bonnie was left looking like a 'patchwork quilt' after the savage attack which has been described as the 'worst case of animal cruelty' seen by the animal care centre that took her in.

Bonnie was found in a street drenched in blood following the heartless stabbing in Daventry, Northamptonshire, last week.

Painful: Bonnie was stabbed 13 times and left to die in the street last week before a passer-by called the RSPCA who were able to perform surgery

After a member of the public alerted the RSPCA to the badly injured dog, she is now recovering in Leicester following emergency surgery.

Lisa Smith, manager of the charity's Woodside Animal Care Centre, said it was the worst case of cruelty she has seen in the 11 years she has worked there.

'Bonnie had knife wounds ranging from half a centimetre to three centimetres all over her body,' said Ms Smith.

'She was in an awful mess and is hugely lucky to be alive.

'She's still a bit traumatised and she's not been eating properly, but it's not surprising as she's been through such an ordeal,' she added.

Ms Smith said that if it hadn't been for the person who phoned the RSPCA she would have died.

'She's going to need to go to someone who can help with her rehabilitation and who can help her regain her trust in people.

'She is nervous but once you get her out of the kennel she likes to cuddle and wants to get close. She's a lovely dog.'

RSPCA inspector Sue Haywood said: 'We're still investigating who caused these injuries. No-one has been charged.

'We didn't think she was going to make it but luckily she pulled through.

'It's so shocking that someone could do such a thing.' Anyone with information about what happened to Bonnie can contact the RSPCA.

source: dailymail

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Smotherly love! A reassuring snuggle for the kitten having a nightmare


Deep sleep: The kitten starts to move its paws as its imagination takes over

Awww factor 10! People usually say they're either a dog person or a cat person, but this display of motherly love should have universal appeal.

A fluffy young kitten is lying, snuggled as close to her mother as possible, with the parent's front left leg draped over the young 'un's stomach.

The orange and cream striped kitten seems to be deep in sleep with its little mouth wide open.

Kitty nightmare: The arms start flailing and mother is waking

Suddenly the kitten's left paw jerks quickly.

Then the right, then the left, then both.

Clearly having something of a nightmare, the kitten lifts both front legs up in the air.

We'll have none of that: Without opening her eyes, the cat pulls the kitten close

Safe enough for you: The kitten is virtually smothered by its mother

Fighting off a vicious dog, perhaps, or some other big nasty animal.

At that point, mother decides she's had enough.

She lifts her left leg, puts her right leg under the kitten's body and reassuringly pulls her baby as close to her as possible.

Comfy now: The kitten moves her head to a better position

The kitten obviously enjoys her new safer position, eventually moving its head to face her mother's.

The video has had more than 1.3 million views since it was posted on Thursday.
So cute! It's enough turn even the bitterest old man into an emotional ball of fluff!

source: dailymail

Hop-pily ever after: Bernie the kangaroo joey brought back to life by his rescuer with a kiss


Claws for thought: Bernie can consider himself the luckiest kangaroo alive after being brought back to life by Lisa Milligan

A baby kangaroo was brought back from the dead after being given the kiss of life by a wildlife carer.

So young that it hadn’t even grown hair yet, the joey - the name given to baby kangaroos - was rushed to a rescue centre after it was found lying lifeless by the side of a road near Melbourne, Australia.

The tiny pink animal was cold to the touch, but Lisa Milligan didn’t give up hope. She breathed air down its nose and mouth and massaged its heart until it suddenly came to.

‘It was gone for all love and money. It wasn’t breathing. It was icy to touch and rigid,’ Ms Milligan told Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper.

I love roo: Bernie gives his saviour, Lisa Milligan an affectionate nibble

‘But I kept going and after 15 minutes, it suddenly barked, which is what they do. And it started turning from a lifeless grey colour to perfect pink again.’

Ms Milligan has settled on calling the four-month-old creature Bernie, having concluded that naming him Lucky would be plain unlucky.

‘I think Bernie will suit him, after the movie Weekend At Bernie's,’ she told the paper.

He was found by the side of a road next to his dead mother, who had been killed by a collision with a car.

Ms Milligan, who works at the Wildlife Rescue Centre at Kilmore, near Melbourne, explained that a passer-by had dragged the body of the adult to the side of the road so that his daughter would be spared from seeing it on her journey to school the next day.

In the pink: Bernie has been given a blanket that matches his colouring to nestle in

It was then that he noticed the joey lying worryingly still not far away.

Praying that there was a hope he could be saved, the kind-hearted motorist dashed to the wildlife centre, where Ms Milligan saved him.

Kangaroos are particularly vulnerable near roads as engine noise and bright headlights surprise them and cause the energetic creatures to bound into oncoming traffic.

Such is the damage a kangaroo can cause a car that many are fitted with protective ‘roo bars’.

Sadly, because joeys travel in the pouches of their mothers, they too are often victims of collisions.

source: dailymail

Safari park visitors warned to beware... after meerkats develop a fetish for human feet

By Daily Mail Reporter

Foot fetish: A little Meerkat at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire jumps up onto one woman's ankle in an effort to grab her foot

Warning signs have been put up at a new attraction where meerkats mingle with visitors after the quirky creatures developed a fetish for human feet.

The small mammals have taken a liking to painted toenails and colourful sandals and jump all over them given the chance.

The bizarre foot fascination extends to the meerkats sniffing women's feet and one has even taken a little nibble at one visitor.

Staff at the new Jungle Kingdom enclosure at Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire, have had to put up signs to warn female guests about the odd fetish.

The new enclosure is the first place in Britain where people can interact with the cute critters.

Among the more inquisitive meerkats are the six new arrivals which have been venturing into the walk-through enclosure for the first time.

Keeper Catriona Carr said: ‘The babies seem to be settling really well into their new environment and are certainly not lacking in confidence.

Curious meerkat: The small mammals have taken a liking to painted toenails and colourful sandals

‘We've had to keep an eye on anybody wearing sandals or flip-flops, especially if they have painted toenails.

‘They seem to be more attracted to reds and blues for some reason.

‘We're not entirely sure what it is about the feet. It might be the bright colours of the footwear and toenails, the movement of the toes or even the smell.

‘As keepers it certainly keeps us on our toes to make sure the cheeky critters don't nibble any visitor feet!’

Warning sign: Staff have had to put up signs to warn female guests about the odd fetish

The new path through the enclosure in Jungle Kingdom enables people to interact with the animals, which are among the favourites at the park.

The six baby meerkats are now part of a group of 19 living in Jungle Kingdom at Longleat, with the majority all successful births from previous years.

Groups of meerkats are known as mob and originate from parts of Southern Africa, Namibia and the Kalahari.

Waiting for visitors: Baby Meerkats on the lookout for the first painted toenails of the day


Is this the worst case of animal cruelty ever? Dog shot 40 times in head, tied up and buried alive... but survives

By Daily Mail Reporter

-But Star miraculously survived horrific ordeal

Appalling cruelty: This is how star the crossbreed dog was discovered; buried alive, with all her legs tied together and with 40 gun pellets in her skull

The discovery of a dog that was buried alive up to its nose after being shot in the head 40 times has led to calls for Malta to reform its animal welfare laws.

The crossbreed mongrel, which was named Star by his rescuers, was found near the city of Birzebbuga by animal welfare officers investigating an unrelated case.

After hearing whimpering coming from beneath a wooden board with a tree stump placed on top of it to weigh it down, officers were confronted with the distressing sight of a dog's face buried in the dirt.

Watch the video below...

But worse was to follow. When Star was dug out of the ground they discovered all four limbs had all been tied together and that she had been repeatedly shot with a pellet gun.

Miraculously, after doctors removed 40 pellets from her skull during emergency surgery at the Ta' Qali hospital, Star survived.

The case has caused outrage in Malta where, regardless of the nature of the act, the maximum sentence one can face for animal cruelty is a one-year jail sentence, or a maximum fine of 46,500 euros.

A pending change in legislation will raise the maximum fine to 50,000 euros but the one-year jail maximum will remain.

Animal lovers are holding a silent protest in Valetta next week to express their disgust.

With the abuser still at large, people have expressed their support with dedicated Facebook pages, the largest of which has 7,000 followers.

Shocking: The hole in which Star was buried, with the wooden board which had been placed over it it visible on the left

More than 1,000 people have also signed an online petition to help catch the perpetrator and to generate funds to meet Star's vet bills.

A local jewellers has offered a 250 euro gift voucher as a reward to help catch the sick individual who abused Star.

But her case has touched hearts much further afield and Star has received a personalised blanket from Canada as well as letters of concern from the Amsterdam Fire Brigade.

Having gone through an appalling ordeal, Star is now spoilt for choice with 20 potential loving new owners offering to adopt her.

However, due to the level of trauma through which she has been, Star is considered too withdrawn to be re-homed at the moment.

'We have another 110 dogs that also went through bad experiences and need a home, maybe people can help them,' Malta Animal Welfare Department spokesmanJanice Chetcuti told The Times Of Malta.


Wingo Starr: The bird with a Beatles-style mop-top


Let it beak: His unusual appearance caused much amusement among onlookers, who said his ruffled head feathers made him look like a member of the Fab Four

This grebe must have had a Hard Day's Flight judging by the state of his mop-top hairdo.

The winged water bird had twitchers all in a flutter as he swanned about a lake showing off a Beatles' pudding bowl coiffure.

His unusual appearance caused much amusement among onlookers, who said his ruffled head feathers made him look like a member of the Fab Four.

The incredible sight was captured on camera by photographer Rob Palmer in North East Colorado, America.

Beatles fans will no doubt argue over whether the bird, a clark's grebe, looks more like John Lennon or Paul McCartney.

Some may even joke that he would be more at home in band Wings.

Pudding bowls: Beatles fans will no doubt argue over whether the bird looks more like Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ring Starr or George Harrison

Mr Palmer, from Littleton, Colorado, explained the bird had ended up with the bizarre barnet after flaring up its feathers for a fight.

The 57-year-old said: 'The grebe had got in to a territorial dispute and had flared up its head in a posturing pose.

'I do love the feather style. It's very funny. It could be one of the Beatles.
'Most people laugh or smile when they see the picture.'

source: dailymail

Horror at the zoo: Pair of lions tear apart escaped cuddly baby bearcat in front of terrified children


No chance: The lion pounced on the unfortunate bearcat as soon as it landed

A family day out turned into a nightmare for zoo visitors after they witnessed a bearcat cub being ripped apart by a pair of lions.

The horror unfolded at the Chessington World of Adventure in Surrey after a pair of the cute mammals - also known as binturongs - climbed a tree before dropping from some overhanging branches and landing in the neighbouring lion enclosure.

One of the cubs was immediately set upon by the lions, who made short work of killing it in front of shocked spectators.

The second cub was heard shrieking as it hurried into the undergrowth and out of view. It died of fright shortly afterwards.

Jason Harcombe, who had taken his two-year-old son to the zoo, told the Sun: 'The poor animal didn't stand a chance. The lions jumped on it straight away and killed it.

Distressing: The lion ripped the cub apart in seconds as visitors looked on

'The lioness brought the body up to the glass and then she and her mate just ripped it apart in front of us.'

Mr Harcombe said that about 20 visitors witnessed the killing.

'It was a really distressing thing to see,' he added.

Cute: The bearcat, also known as a binturong, is a shy, nocturnal mammal inhabiting the forests of Asia (File photo)

A zoo spokesman said: 'Before it was discovered the young binturong had escaped, they had ventured into the Asiatic lions' enclosure.

'This is an unfortunate incident which Chessington is taking very seriously. Our Zoo team, particularly the keepers concerned, are very distressed by the events.

'We are very sorry for any visitors who may have been upset by witnessing the incident.'

The zoo was home to a single family of bearcats consisting of two adults and three cubs. The parents and remaining single cub have now been moved to a different area of the zoo. An investigation into the incident is being carried out.

source: dailymail

Lin Ping's 2 years Birthday Celebration on 27 May 2011.

Panda cub Lin Ping sits next to the birthday cake made of ice and soft drinks to celebrate turning two at Chiang Mai Zoo, Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand, 27 May 2011. China allowed Thailand to keep the cub and both its parent for two more years. The cub is born to giant pandas Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui, both on loan as well as the baby also officially belongs to China.

source: imageglobe

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