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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Shame of Euro 2012 hosts Ukraine as footage shows baby bear being tortured to entertain tourists in front of its frantic mother

By Leon Watson

Torn away from his mother, and then shoved screaming into a tiny box which is nailed shut - this is what happened to a bear so it could please tourists in Ukraine.

This heartbreaking footage was released by an Austrian animal charity trying to get the two bears reunited.

The baby bear Nastasia is seen screaming in terror as she is taken away by a photographer who has been using her to make pictures of tourists in the country co-hosting Euro 2012.

These heartbreaking pictures from Lutsk zoo in Ukraine show a bear cub is torn away from his mother and shoved screaming into a tiny box which is then nailed shut have been released to start a campaign to have the two reunited

The campaigners from Vier Pfoten (Four paws) released the video and want support to pressurise the zoo in Lutsk in Ukraine's northern Volyn region to reunite mother and four-month-old cub.

While the youngster is screaming, the mother bear is shown racing around the cage and throwing herself at the metal mesh in a bid to get back to her cub.

The cub is then pushed down into a wooden box still shrieking - and it is nailed shut with a wire cover.

Four Paws spokesperson for Ukraine Dr Amir Khalil said: 'The pictures were shot in May this year and they were the most shocking I have seen in my time covering this region.

The bear is dragged out of its cage where it lived with her mother by the scruff of its neck

Nastasia is seen screaming in terror as she is taken away by a photographer who has been using her to make pictures of tourists in Ukraine

Brutal: While the youngster is screaming, the mother bear is shown racing around the cage and throwing herself at the metal mesh in a bid to get back to her cub

The cub is then pushed down into a wooden box still shrieking - and it is nailed shut with a wire cover

'A baby bear in the wild usually spends two years with its mother. Taking it away so young would leave the tiny bear traumatised.

'In addition being used as a tourist attraction represents a lifetime in torment for the baby bear.

'The sale of baby bears to private individuals is supposed to be illegal in the Ukraine.'


Friday, June 29, 2012

Splash of colour: Bright bird shows off its incredible plumage as it dives head first into bath

By David Baker

..This brightly coloured bird looks to be having a splashing good time as it shows of its eye catching plumage.

Readying itself to make a big splash the 'Painted Bunting' bird was snapped in these incredible shots, while washing itself in a bird bath.

The multi-coloured U.S. bird tip-toes up to the bath but its not before too long that he dives straight in.

Splash of colour: The Painted Bunting bird readies itself for a wash as it perches on the side of a bird bath

Splashing good time: The colourful bird ruffles its feathers as it splashes around in the bath

Ray of light: The amazing shots were captured by Geoff Powell at Jekyll Island, in Georgia, USA

The amazing shots show the bird with its distinctive blue head, red chest and yellow back and were captured by photographer Geoff Powell at Jekyll Island, in Georgia, USA.

He said: 'It was a thrill to witness.

'The painted bunting is arguably the most diversely colourful bird in the U.S., certainly along the east coast.

Headfirst: The Painted Bunting launches itself back into the water bath showing of its impressive plumage along the way

Soggy: Its distinctive blue head, red chest and yellow back can still just about be seen as it thrashes around in the water

De-light-ful: The incredible pictures were captures using a camera with a slow shutter speed

'I was very excited when he came to bath, which enabled me to get the images.

'Jekyll Island is a great place to view migrating song birds and warblers, which is why I visited the island that week.

'Being in a southern climate the birds were very much drawn to various baths that people put out for them.

'This particular bath was at the campground at which we stayed.

'Before too long he is fully in the water shaking ferociously without the slightest care for his appearance.

He used a slow shutter speed to capture the rapid bird movements.


In search of higher ground: Wildlife tries to keep dry as raging waters in India overwhelm 2,000 villages

By Leon Watson

Wild elephants and rhinos are among the animals searching for higher ground after raging torrents overwhelmed more than 2,000 villages in northeast India.

The floodwater fed by monsoon rains has swept away homes and leaving hundreds of thousands of people marooned today.

At least 27 people were killed, but the toll was expected to rise.

Wild animals reach highlands in Kaziranga wildlife sanctuary due to large floods, around 150 miles east of Gauhati, India

The Indian air force was delivering food packages to people huddled on patches of dry land along with cattle and wild elephants.

Rescuers were dropped by helicopter into affected areas to help the stranded, but pouring rain was complicating operations.

About one million people have had to evacuate their homes as the floods from the swollen Brahmaputra River – one of Asia's largest – swamped 2,084 villages across most of Assam state, officials said.

Assam's flooded capital of Gauhati was hit by mudslides that buried three people. Many of the city's two million residents were negotiating the submerged streets in rubber dinghies and small wooden boats. Most businesses were closed.

Officials have counted 27 people dead so far, but the toll is expected to be much higher as unconfirmed casualty reports mount. Many of the victims so far have drowned, including five people whose boat capsized amid choppy waves.

Telephone lines were knocked out and some train services were canceled after their tracks were swamped by mud.

Seeking higher ground: A rhinoceros stands in the flood water at Kaziranga wildlife sanctuary

Young Indian girls wade through flood waters at Burhaburhi village about 40 miles east of Guahati, India

Flooded: A group of wild animals reach the safety of high land in Kaziranga

As the floods soaked the Kaziranga game reserve east of Gauhati, motorists reported seeing a one-horned rhino fleeing along a busy highway.

'We never thought the situation would turn this grim when the monsoon-fed rivers swelled a week ago,' said Nilomoni Sen Deka, an Assam government minister.

Residents of Majuli – a 310 square mile island in the middle of the Brahmaputra River – watched helplessly as the swirling, gray waters swallowed 50 villages and swept away their homes.

More than 2,000 villages in northeast India, were inundated with water sweeping away homes and leaving hundreds of thousands of people marooned

A herd of wild elephants find a safe spot above the flood water

Telephone lines were knocked out and some train services were canceled after their tracks were swamped by mud

'We are left with only the clothes we are wearing,' said 60-year-old Puniram Hazarika, one of about 75,000 island residents now camping in makeshift shelters of bamboo sticks and plastic tarps on top of a mud embankment soaked by rain.

Ratna Payeng, who was sheltering with her three small children in the camps, said she was praying for the rains to stop.

'If they don't, our land will become unfit for cultivation and everything will be lost,' Payeng said.

Nearby, a herd of 70 endangered Asiatic elephants, which usually avoid humans, were grouped together, Majuli island wildlife official Atul Das said. 'The jumbos have not caused any harm, but we are keeping a close watch,' he said.

In neighboring Nepal, landslides also triggered by monsoon rains killed at least eight people last night and left two others missing.


Sea you later! Crab who picks up unwanted friend in adorable puppy... and leaves him disappointed as he runs for ocean

By Daily Mail Reporter

..A playful pup has found its match in an unlikely opponent - a crab.

An adorable video, posted on YouTube, captures the moment a two-year-old dachshund makes friend, or foe, with a side-stepping ghost crab on a South Carolina beach.

The energetic puppy, named Madeline, is shown bounding around with her new playmate on the sandy beach in Pawley's Island.


Stare: The pup stopped its chase for the occasional starting contest

She only stops to stare down her rival, who looks like he'd like to take a swipe at her snout.

Instead, the white crab darts in all directions in an unsuccessful attempt to escape Madeline's clutches.

But the game of cat and mouse finally comes to an end when the agile crustacean gets close enough to the water that a wave washes him out to sea.

Friends: The ghost crab, pictured, tries to evade the playful dachshund

The rescue dog is left looking toward the horizon forlorn and pensive, missing her new best buddy.

The two minute video could be an advert for the South Carolina island, with the sea sparking in the sunshine and the bright white sand clean and deserted.

The footage was uploaded last year by Madeline's owner, Jason Wheeler, but has gone viral in the past week, clocking nearly 100,000 views.

Cute: Two-year-old pup Madeline, pictured, chases the crab energetically around the beach

Confused: Madeline, pictured, watches as the crab scurries away

Pensive: The pup looks forlorn after her friend rides a wave out to sea


Thursday, June 28, 2012

A foreign correspondent's heartfelt tribute to the rescue dog who has followed him around the world

By Toby Harnden

In his day, Finn, a hairy mongrel and former Belfast stray, was a daredevil. He would leap spread-eagled into huge waves at the seaside and launch himself off 10-feet-high banks during river walks.

Soon after I got him in early 1998, I thought our brief relationship was over when he leapt over a harbour wall at Howth. I ran over, my heart in my mouth, expecting the worst. There he was, perched on a rock having landed cleanly, looking just a little sheepish.

A favourite trick of ours was me throwing a tennis ball close to the top of some rapids. Finn would swim towards the ball, grasp it in his jaws and then be swept down the rapids, emerging sodden and triumphant on the other side.

Toby and Finn leave Washington DC for London in 2005. Finn used to travel quite happily in a crate in the cargo hold

Alas, such antics are long gone. Now, Finn, who used to be able to run like the wind, is so arthritic he has to be carried up and down stairs. Sometimes we find him splayed on the hardwood floor unable to get up.

Although he still enjoys his walks – two a day – he is so slow and deaf and blind that I often have to retrace my steps to find him and point him back in the right direction. He is given four pills twice a day and will occasionally yelp from the pain in his limbs. Massaging them seems to soothe him.

His teeth, for many years almost perfect, are now rotten and he can’t eat biscuits as he used to. His breath smells like a sewer.

Back in 2001, Finn was more than capable of getting a bit of speed up, even on dry land

I first met Finn when looking for a pet at the National Canine Defence League home outside Ballymena in Northern Ireland where I was working as a newspaper reporter.
Then, he was called Buddy and listed as a ‘terrier cross, reference number 34/98’.
All the other dogs were barking and flinging themselves at the sides of their cages. Finn was quiet, just looking up at me and wagging his tail.

His look seemed to say: ‘OK, it’s a deal - you and me going through life together.’ When I got him home, it was clear he’d never really been touched by people before.
But within days, he was curling up next to me. The kennel I had bought for him went unused – Finn made it clear he was sleeping on my bed.

He soon became minutely attuned to my moods. I remember returning to Belfast after more than a week away covering the Omagh bomb in 1998. After picking Finn up from friends, I sat down on the sofa in silence.

Finn in 2007: 'OK, it's a deal - you and me going through life together'

It was the first time I had been able to reflect properly on the horror of what had happened and the carnage that had killed 29 people. Tears welled up. Then I felt Finn’s head resting gently on my thigh; he had sensed my sadness and was looking up at me with those soulful, consoling brown eyes.

In the 14-plus years since then, Finn has lived the life of a foreign correspondent’s dog. I took him with me to Washington where, coming from the UK, he suffered no quarantine restrictions.

For him, the major ramification of September 11th was more vigilant security guards and, therefore, an end to visits to my office block in Washington. After the Iraq invasion, we both headed to Jerusalem. Perhaps the sounds of the bombs exploding reminded him of his birthplace.

Finn was always a survivor. When I had to leave him home alone all day in Washington, he would sit in the window looking sad. Eventually, a Belgian lady called Martine who lived a few doors away took pity on him and asked if she could walk him each lunchtime.

In Jerusalem, he learned to accept that not everyone loved dogs. We had a regular five-mile running route close to the old Green Line, Israel’s pre-1967 border, that could prove hazardous. On one run, he was attacked by a feral cat and then had to dodge stones thrown by Palestinian youths.

There were also problems with ultra-orthodox Jews, who tend to consider dogs unclean animals. One religious woman went into spasms of horror when Finn trotted past her as I walked him on the lead. His less-than-helpful contribution was to try to lick her leg.

During these years, Finn was the one constant in my life. When I was jailed for two weeks in Zimbabwe, accused of breaking immigration rules in the country where foreign journalists are banned, the way I’d get to sleep on a hard floor in a cell filled with more than 100 inmates was to close my eyes and imagine I was stroking Finn’s silky coat.

Knowing he was there back home was something that helped sustain and soothe me when I was away. I used to have frequent nightmares about Iraq – of being kidnapped by men with long beards and threatened with beheading.

Once, one ended with me looking down from the clouds at Finn running happily through lush green Irish fields. It seemed that I was dead. When I woke, I was at first disturbed. But there was a serenity about the image that was comforting. From then on, the nightmares receded.

Right from the outset, Finn was happy each day just to do what I was doing. Until recently, he never had much of a routine. When I went away, he always embraced being looked after by others - staying with families, couples, single friends with cats, even an old lady in her 80s with a fondness for her drinks trolley who looked after two dozen dogs at a time.

There has always been a Finn fan club of people willing to take him in. In 14 years, he’s never had to go to a boarding kennels.

Each time I left him somewhere, by the time I was walking out of the door, he was already sitting happily at the feet of the latest surrogate owner. He’d fended for himself as a stray; he always knew how to get by. Air travel, in a crate in the hold, was never a problem for him.

In 2007, I was a family dog: Toby with his wife Cheryl, daughter Tessa and Finn, whose life changed when wife and children came along

As a bachelor’s dog, Finn was a fine wing man. A female guest in the house always brought the best out in him. After Finn had wagged his tail, rolled on his back and nuzzled against her, she would invariably exclaim: ‘I think he really likes me!’

Finn’s life, along with mine, changed in 2006 when I got married. We moved back to Washington and he began sleeping on the floor, not the bed. He immediately accepted Cheryl as a co-owner.

A year after we were married, I was away when Cheryl suffered an early miscarriage. Finn knew something was very wrong and throughout that awful night he never left her side.

Happily, in 2007 Finn witnessed a small bundle being brought back from the hospital - our baby daughter Tessa. I’ll never forget his ears pricking up when he first heard her cry.

From day one, Finn would sleep beside Tessa’s crib. When she began to walk, she and Finn would play games in which they would wrestle a toy duck off each other. Sometimes we would catch Tessa chewing one of Finn’s old bones. Perhaps it helped her build up antibodies.

When Miles came along three years ago, Finn decided his new sleeping spot was right outside their bedrooms – or inside one of them if a door was left open. He had become a faithful guardian to our children. Sometimes, they would pull his tail, grab clumps of his hair or try to ride him like a horse. But Finn never snapped or bit.

Finn can’t play much with the children any more. They hug him and lie beside him to talk to or kiss him. They realise he is too old to do much. He chased his last squirrel quite some time ago. When he’s gone, the kids say, we’ll get a new puppy, or perhaps a hamster.

Throughout his life, whenever I’ve been home Finn has almost always been in the same room as me during the daytime. That’s still the case. If he wants to come up or go down stairs, he barks so I can carry him. He’s never minded being picked up and at about 35lbs I can lift him with one arm.

He won’t eat his pills if they’re put in his food but he’ll let me put my hand in his mouth and place them in his throat.

Finn’s decline has been slow and steady. He knows his limitations and seems to sense he is in his final days. Occasionally, however, he still wags his tail.

Every few days or so he’ll briefly break into a trot and try to chase a stick. He stills rubs his face on the sofa and snorts – an expression of happiness. We recently took him for a beach holiday in North Carolina, where he happily padded around in the surf.

Tessa hugs Finn during a family holiday in North Carolina, where the dog played happily on the beach last month

Finn follows Miles along the beach in North Carolina

Up until recently, Finn has seemed like the dog he once was, just older. But there are some signs of dementia now. The other day, he was stuck in a corner of our bedroom, whimpering and apparently unsure where he was.

The most difficult decision will be when to accept Finn is at the end of the line.

When that happens, a vet who has been kind to him will come to our house to give him that final, lethal injection. I don’t want his last minutes alive to be spent slipping and scrambling on a metal table while smelling the disinfectant of the animal hospital.

I have a hunch that a lot of people put their pets down prematurely. We don’t want to do that. On the other hand, it would be wrong to keep him alive if he’s just miserable.

Finn’s always been intuitive rather than intelligent (he never worked out that the way to get a big stick through an opening was to turn his head so it was diagonal). I have a feeling he will somehow let me know when he feels it’s time to go.

Perhaps strangely, I don’t feel sad that Finn will soon have to leave us, though I dread the moment the decision will have to be made. He’s been a wonderful companion and had quite a life. That will be something I will always celebrate.


The only wheels most lambs see is on a shopping trolley! Buster the disabled sheep is saved from the chop and given specially designed wheelchair

•Vets said he should be put down because of his deformed leg but volunteers were determined to find another solution
•The £445 device was paid for by donations from the local community
•Now Buster can whizz around the field at great speed and can even reverse

By Emily Allen

A disabled sheep is enjoying a new lease of life after receiving a specially designed wheelchair to help him get around.

Buster the sheep is unique amongst the animals at Clough Farm Animal Sanctuary, in Stockport, as instead of four legs he uses just three - plus four wheels.

Vets recommended that he be put down as a deformed leg meant he could barely walk but volunteers at the sanctuary were determined to find another solution.

On the move: Buster the sheep is unique amongst the animals at Clough Farm Animal Sanctuary, in Stockport, as instead of four legs he uses just three - plus four wheel. He is pictured with his owner Jayne Murray

Instead they raised enough money to give Buster his own custom made wheelchair.

It means he can now whizz around his field with the other sheep and even reverse.

Jayne Murray, 51, who runs the sanctuary with her partner Ronnie Price, 65, explained how Buster was born with his forelimbs splayed outwards and over time it became apparent he had a problem.

He moved to the sanctuary with another sheep, Poppy, in April 2011 and shortly afterwards Ms Murray sought out a vet who might be able to help him.

She said: 'I called all the local farm vets to get him examined and all but one told us it wasn’t worth their time as he should have been put down at birth. They said he had no hope of living for long.

'We eventually found a vet in Whalley Bridge who agreed to see him so we put him in a pet carrier and took him there. He moaned all the way and it wasn’t until I picked him up and carried him in my arms that he shut up.'

New lease of life: The custom-made wheelchair is specially made and the harness and frame cost £455

Buster spent five days at Leahurst animal hospital where vets carried out full X-rays and scans and also intensive physio.

They discovered that all his muscles and tendons were welded to the bone at a 90 degree angle and, as sheep feed on their elbows, surgery to amputate was not an option - Buster would need to be put down.

Ms Murray said: 'We were devastated. Apart from his leg, Buster was such a happy chap. He would play with Poppy and run around the paddock without a care in the world.

'The physio hadn’t worked and the vet explained that the pressure caused by walking on three legs would eventually damage him internally.

'All we needed was something to support his leg.'

One of us: The device means Buster is back on his feet with the other sheep and can move at great speed

Another volunteer at the sanctuary had heard of a dog that had a wheelchair specially made and suggested Buster get a similar device to help him get around.

However, a specially made harness and frame cost £455 and the sanctuary did not have the funds to pay for it.

But an appeal to the local community to help Buster get his wheels meant he was back on his feet in just a couple of months.

Ms Murray said: 'We noticed that when we were in the enclosure with Buster he would lean on us and hold himself up using us as a crutch.

'We decided that if we could get a contraption to support his deformed leg he could hopefully get around easier.

'One of our volunteers searched the internet and found dog wheelchairs which seemed to do what Buster needed and set about making enquiries to see if we could find one to fit a sheep.

'He looked very confused when we first strapped him in but he took a step forward and as he felt the frame move he soon got the idea.

'He quickly learnt how to move at great speed across the yard and steer using his other leg. Even learning how to reverse when he got stuck was wonderful to watch.

'Now, he loves nothing more than scooting about in his wheelchair. The wheels are too big for his pen so I take him out for four hours a day so he can run around to his heart’s content.

'He is so comfortable in his chair that he stands in it and waits for us to hook him up to the harness so he can go out. It’s so wonderful to watch him clearly enjoying his new mobility.

'There have been a few funny moments though, like the first time he flew down a hill and I thought he would never stop.

'Another time Buster managed to get his frame stuck between two trees. Most importantly, the wheelchair saved his life and our farm would be a lesser place without him.'


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happy happy hippo: This acrobatic fellow proves the notoriously fierce creatures have a playful side

By Tom Goodenough

Despite a fierce reputation as one of the planet's deadliest creatures, it's still difficult to take this hippo seriously.

And the huge creature looked as though he was more interested in frolicking around in the mud than starting any trouble.

The amazing images of the over-sized beast were taken at the Khwai River in Botswana, on the border of the Moremi Game Reserve.

Bottoms up: The hippo shows off its playful side as it puts on an apparent performance for the camera

But despite the apparent fun of the occasion, the hippo still did its best to try and scare off the photographer who took the pictures.

In an apparent bad-tempered display, the animal tossed his head up and down before charging at Richard DuToit.

Said to be one of the most fierce animals on the planet, this hippo was more interested in larking about

The acrobatic hippo even pulled off a roly-poly while he frolicked around in the river

Speaking about the remarkable episode, the South African photographer, said:
'On arriving at the river I got out my vehicle and walked towards the hippo.

'He charged towards me and snorted, and his breath was blasting through the water.

'As I fired away with my camera, the animal ended things by rolling like a barrel.

Despite the apparent fun of the occasion, the hippo still took the chance to bare its huge teeth

The hippo even charged through the water towards the photographer at one point before retreating

He added: 'I dashed back to my vehicle feeling pretty excited but as all the images were taken on film I had to wait until I got home to see the results.

'I was amazed at the shots.'

Fortunately for the photographer, on this occasion the hippo stopped a few metres short of him before retiring back to the river.


Surely it can't be that bad in Number 10: Larry the cat lies down in front of Downing Street traffic


It is often said that pets bear a striking resemblance to their masters.

And, just like David Cameron, it seems that Larry the Downing Street cat is partial to a little ‘chillax’ here and there.

The five-year-old tabby, a rescue cat from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, was spotted taking time off from his mousing duties yesterday to enjoy the morning sun outside No 10.

Cat nap: Larry the Downing Street Cat takes a nap in the road outside No10 this morning

Unfortunately his favoured spot – the middle of the road – proved something of a headache for ministers arriving for a Cabinet meeting.

In a rude awakening, Larry found himself hoisted up by a police protection officer and dumped unceremoniously by No 11, where the Camerons live.

The slightly disgruntled feline then sauntered off in search of a safer spot to resume his slumber.

The basking pet is treated to an affectionate tummy stroke by a passing officer

Larry was given the title of Chief Mouser to the Cabinet and chosen by Downing Street staff to tackle a growing rat problem last year.

But since his arrival he appears to lack the killer instinct and instead of boasting an impressive kill ratio Larry has become better known for his sleeping.

Which draws some unfortunate comparisons with the more famous inhabitant of number 10, David Cameron, who has attracted criticism for his own fondness for 'chillaxing'
following claims in a biography that he spends weekends at Chequers singing karaoke, playing tennis against a machine dubbed ‘The Clegger’ and downing several glasses of wine with lunch.

Precarious: Worried about Larry's welfare, the armed officer tries to move him to a safer spot

The officer finally prizes Larry from the asphalt and plops him down outside the door to Number 10


There's a bear in the air: Tranquilised black bear falls 80ft from Boston tree… but survives the ordeal with little more than a sore head

By Leon Watson

..It's happened again - yet another bear has got stuck in a tree.

This black bear was seen falling from a canopy above a residential street in Boston, Massachusetts, after being tranquilized by environmental police officers.

It plunged 80ft, but survived the ordeal with little more than a sore head.

A black bear is seen falling from a tree near Hammond Street in Brookline, Boston after being tranquilized by environmental police officers

According to The Boston Herald, the 200lb bear was transported out of the residential area in Brookline to an 'undisclosed location'.

It is the fourth case of its kind this season, following reports in May of another bear that got stuck some 40-feet into a tree in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and was tranquilised by authorities.

Also that month a 200lb animal was spotted in New York State backyards before climbing to a resting spot on a large branch about 15ft up.

The previous week, Department of Environmental Conservation officers tranquilized a bear in a tree in Albany. It was later released in rural Schoharie County.

It fared better than another black bear who took a plunge at a university campus also in Colorado.

Sore head: The 200lb bear survived the 80ft fall and was transported out of the residential area to an 'undisclosed location'

This stuck up a tree is the fourth case of its kind this season after incidents in Colorado and New York State

The tranquilized bear was taken away for treatment after the fall before being released

That 300-pound black bear was dubbed the ‘flying bear’ after pictures of it falling from a tree hit the internet, instantly becoming a meme.

Two tranquiliser darts were fired by wildlife officials at the animal on April 26, after it took residence in a tree on a University of Colorado campus.

It survived the fall, cushioned by a large black mat, and was taken to the wild and released. Sadly it was fatally struck by a car a week later.


So where's the deep end, then? The moment unlikely guest Monduli the giraffe took a dip in club swimming pool

By Nick Enoch

Three-and-a-half-year-old Monduli is a regular sight at the Kilimanjaro Golf and Wildlife Estate in Tanzania

When this unlikely guest took a dip in a club house swimming pool, he had no trouble keeping his head above the water... which is not surprising since he's a giraffe.

In fact, three-and-a-half-year-old Monduli is a regular sight at the Kilimanjaro Golf and Wildlife Estate in Tanzania

The leggy swimmer is the only giraffe at the estate after being rescued as a baby by the anti-poaching unit of the Wildlife Department of the Tanzanian Government.

The leggy swimmer was rescued as a baby by the anti-poaching unit of the Wildlife Department

Would sir like a tall latte at the table? Monduli is well over 13ft tall (4m) and will reach 18ft when fully grown at around six years old

Zummi Cardoso, general manager at the estate, said Monduli was quite lonely as the only member of his species there

Workers at the estate said Monduli thinks he's a cross between a guest and a horse and is often up to mischief trying to play football, polo and taking a dip in the pool.

Monduli is well over 13ft tall (4m) and will reach 18ft when fully grown at around six years old.

Zummi Cardoso, general manager at the estate, said Monduli was quite lonely as the only member of his species there.

He said: 'He has been with us for about three years and we bottle and bucket-fed him milk for more than a year.

No ladder for him... Monduli gracefully leaps out of the pool after his dip

On bended knees, the giraffe does a spot of stretching after his exercise

'He is accompanied by lots of zebra, wildebeest and gazelles but he thinks he is a human being, hence the dip in the pool.

'Monduli sometimes joins in football games at the polo club and regularly scares visiting polo ponies. He loves to take part in any activities at the club and even if he's not welcome he cannot be easily dissuaded.'

Zummi said as well as being a lively character around the estate, Monduli also acted as a gardener.

Monduli investigates some of the vegetation but what's this behind him...?

A car! Zummi said: 'Monduli's also a bit of a pervert when it comes to cars. One or two seem to get his attention and he has attempted to mount those chosen ones'

Never mind the food, this giraffe has probably got his eyes on that pick-up in the background

He said: 'He regularly trims all the plants around the club when he has had enough of the ample acacias we have on the estate.

'He's also a bit of a pervert when it comes to cars. One or two seem to get his attention and he has attempted to mount those chosen ones.

'He got his leg caught between the bumper of our pick-up and dragged it for more than a metre to get dislodged.'

The Kilimanjaro Golf and Wildlife Estate is located near the town of Usa River, approximately 30 minutes' drive from both Arusha and Kilimanjaro International Airport.

The estate provides spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru to the north and over the vastness of the Maasai Steppe to the south.

As well as being a lively character around the estate, Monduli also acts as a gardener. He's seen here with one of his friends

The estate provides spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru to the north and over the vastness of the Maasai Steppe to the south

Monduli also joins in football games and likes to scare polo ponies


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