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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Panda-style: Giant bear gets in on the Gangnam craze as he dances on his back legs

-Qin Chuan strikes up pose that looks just like Psy's hit routine
-Playmate LeLe unimpressed and chews bamboo instead

By Steve Robson

It's the most successful Youtube video of all time, now even giant pandas are doing their own version of the famous Gangnam dance.

Zoo keepers watched in amazement as Qin Chuan stood up on his hind legs and assumed a pose with an uncanny resemblance to Psy's smash hit routine.

Unfortunately his playmate LeLe seemed more interested in chewing on bamboo leaves.

Dancing on ice: Qin Chuan jumps up and assumes the now famous Gangnam pose

Cool moves: Qin Chuan gets into the groove at China's Jinbao Amusement Park in Weifang, Shandong

Parodies of the Korean dance have been popping up all over the world as it recently surpassed 1 billion hits.

So it shouldn't come as a surprise that those in the animal kingdom are getting in on the act.

The pair of giant pandas, who moved to China's Jinbao Amusement Park in Weifang, Shandong two years ago, have been spotted copying human behaviour before.

At the sight of the first snow of the year, LeLe also jumped up on his hind quarters and started running forward as if looking for a hug.

This time it was Qin Chuan who, after twirling around his enclosure several times, padded off looking fairly pleased with himself.

Spectators were delighted by the show and judging by this performance, Qin Chuan will be expecting the lead bear's role.

Cold feet: Qin Chuan limbers up, right, before taking a twirl during his impromptu routine, left

Qin Chuan pads off after strutting his stuff in front of LeLe looking satisfied with the performance


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Just wait until I get you home: Lion cubs covered in mud after playtime at Longleat (but mom's clearly not looking forward to doing the washing)

-The group couldn't resist rolling in the dirt on first trip out
-First-time mothers Nikata and Louisa seemed unimpressed
-Four males and four females born at Longleat Safari park in August

By Steve Robson

After finally being let out to play for the first time, these impatient lion cubs couldn't wait to get rolling around the dirt with a playful game of stuck in the mud.

The eight cubs - four males and four females - were born in August but they had not been allowed to join the rest of the pride at Longleat Safari and Adventure Park in Wiltshire until now.

The pouring rain didn't deter them from enjoying themselves and in fact made playing in the leaves and dirt all the more fun under the disapproving gaze of mothers Nikata and Louise.

The four-month cubs ventured out into the cold at Longleat Safari park for the first time today

The cubs appeared to enjoy getting muddy and taking it in turns to play on a fallen tree

The eight cubs- four male and four female - were born in August to lionesses Nikata and Louisa

Keepers say both the first-time mothers have been very attentive to their offspring, although they are less patient when it comes to humans.

'Nikata and Louisa don't seem to have any problem joining in the rough and tumble games with their cubs,' said keeper Bob Trollope.

'However, they are extremely protective and are nowhere near as accommodating with us.'

Within minutes of being released, the cubs were covered in mud and leaves and were taking it in turns to try to balance their way along a slippery fallen tree trunk.

Several of the braver individuals even began perfecting their ambush skills on their mother, although they were rather more cautious when father Hugo came over to say hello.

'Both mums have four cubs, with two of each sex, and Hugo is also a first-time father. However, he is considerably less interested in the youngsters and soon went back to what male lions do best - sleeping,' said Mr Trollope.

Two of the adorable cubs hide underneath their mother after the rough and tumble gets too much for them

The cubs were undaunted by their first trip outside and enjoyed playing around in the leaves and mud

Lionesses Nikata and Louise keep a watchful eye on the cubs as they play

Longleat is famed for its lions, which are kept in two separate prides, but this is the first time the 'woodland' pride has had cubs.

At birth, the cubs weighed just 2lb but now tip the scales at 18lb.

Male lions usually reach their full size by the age of two, while females will be about three years old before they are fully grown.

Adult lions can weigh up to 440lb and grow to lengths in excess of 10ft.


Monday, December 24, 2012

The cute Christmas pictures that will melt even the coldest heart: Adorable snaps of kittens, puppies, and lambs in festive hats

-Photographer Mark Taylor, from Guildford, has earned himself the title 'Master of Cuteness' for snaps like these
-He follows in the footsteps of his renowned photographer mother Jane Burton who passed away in 2007

By Amanda Williams

Even the coldest-hearted Scrooge would be melted by these adorable Christmas animals.

Dressed in Santa hats or playing with tinsel the merry models start their careers early - aged just six weeks old.

And it's a fine art for photographer Mark Taylor, from Guildford, who has to distract the kittens and puppies just enough so they don't eat the props.

Hey, that's my hat! Photographer Mark Taylor supplies card companies and calendar makers all over the world with his cute snaps

Time for a nap: Even the coldest-hearted Scrooge would have their heart melted by these adorable Christmas animals

What a little cracker: The photographer manages to distract his subjects just long enough to get the perfect shot

Card companies and calendar makers all over the world use his work which he does following in the footsteps of his renowned photographer mother Jane Burton who passed away in 2007.

Growing up in Surrey Mr Taylor said he was surrounded by some very unusual animals his mother used to photograph.

Mr Taylor, 48, who together with dad Kim Taylor run the family firm Warren Photographic, in Guildford, said continuing his mother's work was a lovely experience.

He said: 'Growing up in Albury in Surrey as a child we used to have a tame fox, a badger, an iguana and even a type of crocodile called a caiman. The kids would love to come to our house because it was like a zoo.

Give us a slice! The photographer has mastered the art of getting different animals to work together

Baa Humbug: This little lamb does not seem to think much of his Santa hat

Dog tired: Dressed in Santa hats or playing with tinsel the animals start their merry modelling careers aged just six weeks old

Peekaboo! The photographer is following in the footsteps of his renowned photographer mum Jane Burton who passed away in 2007

'I'm not sure this suits me': The photgapher said continuing his mother's work was 'a lovely experience'... although this chap doesn't look so sure

'At first I wasn't as keen on photography, we spent some time as a family in Kenya.

My sister Hazel and I would spend what seemed like hours in the back of a Land Rover while mum waited to get a picture of a lion or something.

'But I actually picked up a camera about 15 years ago when I was in Canada while my ex-wife taught there, mum said to me as something to do why don't I do landscape pictures for them.

Where are the huskies when you need them? Mark Taylor has now become known as 'the master of cuteness' for his work with animals

Nuts about Christmas: This cheeky little chap won't be telling anyone where he has squirreled his presents away until the big day

'The Canadian landscape is stunning on the western coast and I think I got the bug from there. Doing the cute animal pictures now is a great privilege and I am proud to continue mum's work.'

Mark said using Christmas hats and props with his furry subjects was a challenge especially as most of the time they tried to eat them.

It wasn't us: These two look like they may been caught up in some trouble as they play with Christmas decorations

He said: 'The natural reaction of a kitten is to lift its paw up and try and take the hat off and eat the bobble.

'Luckily as well as inheriting mum's talent for cute animal pictures I also have her assistant Britta who is great at keeping them distracted just long enough to get the picture.'


Playtime for panda! Giant cub loves nothing better than a swing in the snow

By Daily Mail Reporter

He may be playing in sub-zero temperatures but this adorable giant panda could still melt any heart.

The lovable bear clearly relished the snowfall at at Yantai Zoo in Shandong Province, China, yesterday as he rolls around in the white stuff.

First of all the brave panda shows off his skills on the climbing frame by crawling along upside down.

But it seems he only had eyes for the tyre swing.

Fearless: The giant panda shows off his skills as he crawls upside down on the snow-covered climbing frame

Not tyred out yet: The panda moves on to the tyre swing as he rolls around in the snow

Oops: The panda tips over in the thick snow

After tentatively making his way along the beam, he then grabs the tyre for a play fight in the fresh snow.

And even when he lost his balance, the panda refused to be beaten.

He immediately jumped up again for another wrestle and a swing before finally allowing himself a rest.

No time to paws: The panda does not lie in the snow long before jumping back on the tyre

Giant pandas are solitary bears when in the wild, usually preferring their own company when foraging in Chinese bamboo forests.

They are an endangered species, with less than 2,000 thought to be left roaming free in the cool forests that are their natural habitat.

They mostly eat bamboo, but in captivity are also enjoy being fed honey, eggs, fish, yams, leaves, oranges, bananas and other special treats.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Little donkey is plodding on towards Christmas after being born premature

-Nikolaus the foal was born at Berg Zoo in Halle, Germany, at just 8.3kg
-Birth came as Germany prepared to mark inspiration for Father Christmas

By Alex Gore

This little donkey is plodding on towards Christmas after taking zookeepers by surprise when he was born premature.

Worried staff at Berg Zoo in Halle, east Germany, kept a round the clock vigil for two days when Nikolaus was born weighing just 8.3kg.

But after plenty of love, attention and bottle feeding, the foal pulled through and became strong enough to join his mother in her stables.

Adorable: The foal weighed just8.3kg when he was born at Berg Zoo in Halle, east Germany, this month

Christmas present: Nikolaus was determined not to miss out on the festive fun by being born premature

Concern: Worried staff kept a round the clock vigil for two days after Nikolaus arrived ahead of Christmas

Nikolaus was born just minutes after midnight on December 4, with donkeys born before 11 months considered premature.

His arrival came as many Germans were preparing to celebrate St Nicholas of Myra two days later.

St Nicholas was a Greek Christian bishop who became a patron saint of children, sailors, merchants and students, and is widely accepted as the primary inspiration for Father Christmas.

He lived during the lived during the 3rd Century and became known for his generosity and secretly giving gifts to children.

Reunited: After two days of bottle feeding, the foal was strong enough to join his mother in her stable

Festive fun: Nikolaus was named after St Nicholas of Myra, the primary inspiration for Father Christmas

Foal in the mirror: Zookeepers have been getting Nikolaus into the festive spirit with a bright red Santa hat


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Santa paws, claws and even hooves! Cute dogs, lizards and horses dress up just like Father Christmas (but they don't exactly seem thrilled)

By Becky Evans

Forget Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, dogs dressed as Father Christmas are just as cute.

And who needs Little Donkey, when you have the Holiday Horse.

As these adorable pictures show, cats and dogs, lizards, rabbits, horses and even goats can get just as festive as their owners.

All dressed up: But he doesn't look a happy bunny does he - despite the time of year?

Christmas helper: This pampered pooch looks happy to be dressed as Santa

Not so merry: This little dog has donned a Christmas hat but does not look like he is in the festive spirit

Holiday cheer: This cheeky poodle is certainly enjoying the Christmas gear

Fashion fur-ward: These dogs have gone to town with their Christmas outfits

The animals have been given a Yuletide makeover - although some do not seem thrilled with the transformation.

A French bulldog looks forlorn in its Christmas outfit, while another dog looks suspiciously at the camera from under its over sized Santa hat.

A horse also seems bemused as he is forced to embrace the festivities in some seasonal headwear.

Although the most fashion fur-wood dogs seem to enjoy the attention.

Festive feline: This cat puts its feet up over Christmas

Spot the difference: This unhappy looking cat gets lost among the cuddly toys

Bunny love: These cute rabbits pose in their Christmas capes

Unusual gift: A pair of reptiles pose in bonnets under the Christmas tree


Sunday, December 16, 2012

The real pony express! Hilarious moment mystery woman boards subway train with Shetland

-Subway passengers in Berlin were surprised to share their carriage with a pony
-Angry rail authorities say the police have been informed of the incident

By Harriet Cooke

A pony perplexing German commuters on the subway has become the latest internet sensation.

A YouTube video of the brown Shetland pony's antics on Berlin's S-Bahn - an overground subway similar to London's Tube - has been watched nearly a quarter of a million times since it was posted on Thursday.

A mystery blonde woman, in her twenties, can be seen nonchalantly leading her horse on to the train.

Scroll down for video

Shock: The mystery blonde woman, in her twenties, led her brown Shetland pony onto Berlin's S-Bahn, prompting surprised looks from fellow passengers

Not fussed: Some passengers were clearly less enraptured by the animal, and continued to read

She held the horse on a short leash as it stood patiently surveying other passengers.

Fellow commuters were bemused by the bizarre scene - but quick to photograph and film the cute pony.

Passenger Jarkko Riihimaki said: 'This was supposed to be a normal trip home with the S-Bahn.

'After one stop, a girl - pretty conventional looking - comes in with a pony. Yes, with a pony!

'I don't know what to say about the whole thing.'

A S-Bahn spokesman failed to see the funny side of the incident, saying the horsey passenger clearly violated its travel policy.

Spokesman Burkhard Ahlert said: 'One may smile but according to our transport regulations, this is clearly not allowed.

'This clearly violates our conditions of carriage.

'A horse can be dangerous. What if it escapes? The S-Bahn is no place for such animals.

'We have informed the police already.'

He said that it is believed that the pony belongs to a circus troupe that collects donations.

Careful: Passengers on the S-Bahn carefully edged their way around the animal

Wow: One passenger leans in for a close-up shot of the animal on his mobile phone

Affection: The pony nuzzles another commuter who did not shy away from the unusual subway passenger

Watch the hilarious moment the Shetland pony boards the train and surprises passengers:


Who said Rottweilers were scary? Adorable video shows a baby boy giggling as dog licks his hands

By Daily Mail Reporter

Rottweilers have gotten a bad reputation over the years, but one fierce-looking member of the breed was not match for a baby who ended up having the last laugh.

A heart-warming video posted on YouTube shows a little boy named Dylan, who was six months old at the time, having a laugh attack when confronted by the family dog, a large Rottweiler named Brodie.

In the 48-second video uploaded by Dylan’s mother, the pooch towering over the baby lying on the floor begins licking his little hand, sending Dylan into a laugh fit.

Scroll down to watch video

Best pals: A mother posted a video online showing her six-month-old son, Dylan, giggling while being licked by the pet dog, Brodie

Perfect pair: Far from being scared of the large animal, Dylan squeals with laughter

Fearless: The little boy bravely reaches and grabs the pooch's ears and head as Brodie continues licking his hands

The little boy with dinosaurs on his shirt bravely pets the dog's muzzle and sputters with giggles as the pooch continues slobbering over his hands.

Dylan squeals with delight, grabbing the canine's head and ears as Brodie licks his chops and playfully nudges his tiny playmate, careful not to harm him in any way.

‘You can't help but laugh along with him when you watch this video,’ the boy’s mother wrote in the description of the video.

Protective: The large dog is seen gently licking and nudging the little boy, careful not to harm him

Backlash: While some commenters wrote that the video was endearing, many others reacted with horror that the large canine was allowed to interact with the helpless boy

Since being first posted online, the adorable clip has drawn nearly 3.7 million views.

While some commenters reacted positively to the sweet interaction between the pup and child, many expressed horror that the parents allowed a Rottweiler near a baby.



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