Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Lion regrets making this zebra cross... after he lashes out with a kick to his face

It was like the scene from the hit film Madagascar when hungry Alex the lion sees his friend Marty the zebra as his next meal.

But as in the film this lion was left hungry after he chose to make this particularly zebra cross - and was rewarded with an almighty kick to the face.

These amazing images were captured from the safety of a truck in Ngorongoro Conservation area, Tanzania, by wildlife fanatic Thomas Whetten.

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Take that! The hind legs of the zebra slam into the lion's face and jaw, leaving him dazed but he is soon after the animal again

In them, the zebra, who was blissfully unaware that a pack of lions were on the prowl for lunch, casually strolls through the grasslands.

But hiding in the grass, one of the killing machines creeps up on the oblivious animal, who becomes spooked and bolts.

The lion's speed means he swiftly catches up with his potential meal, leaping on its back and sinking its teeth deep into the zebra's flesh.

Undaunted, the zebra desperately fights to save its life - ducking, diving and weaving to shake off the predator.

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The end? The lion easily catches the spooked zebra and grabs onto the back of the desperate animal before sinking his teeth into its flesh

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Ducking, diving and weaving: The zebra uses all its strength to fight off the lion before delivering the almighty blow with its legs

And with one big buck the zebra manages to catch the lion square in the face - knocking it to the ground.

Amazingly, the big cat manages to regain his footing and continue to snap at its legs as it flees - almost managing to sink a big bite into the zebra's rear end.

But after a high-speed chase, the lion is embarrassingly dumped into a muddy puddle - leaving him humiliated in front of a group of females.

Mr Whetten, from Tucson, Arizona, and who runs photographic tours of Africa said: 'We were all stood up in the safari jeep watching these two packs of lions when suddenly this zebra walks between both sets.

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Not this time: The lion, with his jaws wide open and ready, makes a leap at the zebra's leg but he managed to escape its grasp

'He was completely unaware that they were even there and the lady standing next to me started screaming 'run zebra run' but it didn't take any notice.

'The next we know the lion is chasing him, jumps on its back but it managed to kick the lion into a big mud puddle.

'The funny thing is some people in another jeep got bored of watching the lions simply standing there and left before the action - missing it all.

'It was spectacular - even better than you see at the movies. It's very rare for a zebra to get away without being mauled at all.'

nice pic Best of friends... and enemies: The battle between lion and zebra invoked memories of a scene in the 2005 film Madagascar

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Monday, 28 March 2011

From sheep pigs to zenkeys and ligers: The world's weirdest animals

A weird creature with a foot-long 'rat's tail' has been pulled from a lake in Canada. Cue a look at some of our favourite curious creatures of recent years…

bigg white pigBuddy the woolly Mangalitza pig at Tropical Wings zoo in Essex.

Manuka: Micro pig in the city

Manuka with owner Jane in a London taxi cab Manuka with owner Jane in a London taxi cab

Micro pigs are almost passé now, such is the fate of the celebrity pet craze du jour. But who can refrain from stopping, staring and simply sighing with joy at the picture of extreme cuteness that is little Manuka on her big day out, no matter how many times they see it?

World's largest rodent

worlds largest rodentCaplin Rous the capybara: Check out the size of those hands

From ickle oddities to house-sized hamsters (almost) – Caplin Rous the capybara is so big he has his own blog, a Facebook page and a Twitter stream. Weighing a hundred pounds, the big pig-alike has the enviable title of the world's largest rodent. Don't fancy bumping into that one down a dark alley…

Tiger+lion= tigon

Hercules the ... liger why the bigg pawsHercules the... liger: why the big paws?

You may remember Hercules the liger who, measuring 12 feet long and weighing over 900 pounds, has a whole page devoted to him in the Guinness Book of World Records. But check out our tigon – the cross-bred beast you get when a male tiger gets jiggy with a lioness (the liger is the result of a love-in between a male lion and a tigress, fact fans).

Albino gorilla

Albino gorilla Copo de Nieve (Snowflake) was Barcelona zoo's only albino gorilla

Say hello to 40-year-old albino gorilla Copo de Nieve (it means 'snowflake' in Spanish… see what they did there?). The most popular resident of Barcelona Zoo, he drew thousands of visitors keen to say goodbye in 2003 when it emerged he was dying. After suffering from an unusual form of skin cancer, he was put down in November 2003.

Baby zenkey

Baby zenkey Japan's baby zenkey snuggles up to his donkey mum.

Cross a donkey mummy with a zebra daddy and what do you get? This male baby zenkey, that's what! Nasu Safari Park in Japan is the home of this stripey phenomenon, believed to be the world's only living zenkey when he was papped here snuggling up to his mum in 2003.

Olympic pigs

olympic pigs Midget porkies paddle their way to glory in the Pig Olympics

They're pigs, but not just any pigs… they're midget pigs swimming in China's Pig Olympics! They may not have a patch on Manuka in the cuteness stakes, but this midget species from Thailand showed off a mean breast stroke in Shanghai in 2005.

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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Genetic Mistakes: Eight Two-headed Living Lives

It’s always hard to draw a parallel line when it comes to “two animals share with one body” or/and “one animal is conjoined with two heads”. While the most common animals with two heads or two faces like snakes, tortoises and cats do not always shock the experts, many other uncommon two-headed species and two-headed human as well, always shock the experts. Not surprisingly, there is always a controversy debate on this issue among the community.

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A gene mutation refers to a permanent change in the DNA sequence of a gene which might alter/modify the amino acid sequence of the protein encoded by the gene itself. Gene mutation can either be inherited from a parent (called hereditary mutation) or acquired during a person’s life (called acquired or somatic mutation). The hereditary mutation is a type of mutation that can present throughout a person’s life in almost every cell of their body while somatic mutation can occur in the DNA of individual cells on the cause of environmental factors (such as ultraviolet radiation from the sun) or it might occur if a mistake is made during the time DNA copies itself during the stage of cell division or a mistake occurs when it is being replicated (in S phase of the eukaryotic cell cycle).

De novo mutation is another type of mutation that occurs in sperm cell or an egg just after fertilisation, explaining the reason of the presence of genetic disorders in an affected individual who has a mutation in each of their cell, although they have been brought up in a family without a record of such strange and rare disorder. Nevertheless, up to now, certain genetic disorders are extremely strange and unbelievable and they cannot be explained with a scientific theory alone.

Two-headed Cat

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In November 2008, this unusual kitten with two faces cat was born in Midvale. In the same year alone, in August, a kitten with four eyes, one mouth and two noses was born in Ohio, but it died after five days.

This two-headed kitten appeared to be healthy since it meowed and purred just like other normal cats. Its deformed appearance was believed to be the result of a congenital deformity which might have occurred in its early embryonic development.

Two-headed Fish

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In 2009, scientists had seen hundreds of thousands of two-head fish being born at a Sunshine Coast hatchery which have prompted them to call for the ban of certain agricultural chemicals. They believed that the birth of mutant two-headed fish was caused by contamination of agricultural chemical in catchment area. Following this incident, approximately 90% of larvae that hatched from the eggs having two head died after two days.

Two-headed Grasshopper

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This was an interesting shot of two-headed grasshopper taken in a farm situated in Amaga, a state of Antioquia, Columbia with the altitude of 1.4m above the sea level.

Two-headed Lamb

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This freaky two-headed lamb was born in Iceland in March 2009 and its birth has shocked animal experts globally. Local vet Pall Stefansson said that this lamb was rare.

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Another mutated lamb with two heads, four eyes and two mouths was also born in China in 2007.

Two-headed Python

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Measuring 25 inches in length, this two-headed python became an attraction of the Colombo Zoo in the region of Tissa. Both heads can function independently and it uses its right head to control the movement, while its left head follows suit naturally.

Two-headed Gecko

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On June3, 2008, one unusual gecko with a head on each end of its body was discovered in an antique shop of Huaihua City, Central China’s Hunan Province. When found, it was measured about 10 cm in length.

Two-headed Pig

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Coincidently, this 1.5-kg two-headed pig was born in 2007, during the Chinese Year of the Pig, so the local said the birth of this two-faced pig was a blessing. It was born with four eyes and two mouths in a small village of Quanzhou in the eastern part of China’s Fujian province.

Two-headed Human

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Abigail “Abby” Loraine Hensel and Brittany “Bitty” Lee Hensel are conjoined twins who share the same body. They were born on March 7, 1990 in Carver Country, Minnesota, United States, with two backbones and separate half-sacrum converging distally within a slightly broad pelvis. Although each of them controls a single half of their body, they still can walk easily.

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Friday, 25 March 2011

Top 10 Heroic Animals

Video recently surfaced of a dog who refused to leave behind an injured hound amid the devastation in Japan. Animals have often shown bravery in extraordinary circumstances. TIME takes a look at some of history's most courageous animals

10. Magic the Miniature Mare

miniature_horse 01 Sometimes heroism can come in the quieter, more unassuming guise of a miniature therapy horse (such as the one seen above). Magic, a blue-eyed mare, regularly visited patients who needed comfort, whether in group homes, hospitals or hospice-care facilities, but one particular interaction gained her recognition as AARP's Most Heroic Pet in 2010. Magic went to visit a patient who had lived in an assisted-living facility and hadn't spoken to anyone during her three years there. But the moment she laid eyes on Magic, she said, "Isn't she beautiful?" Those first words caused the staff to break out in tears, and she continued to communicate from that point onward. The Florida program that brought the two together, Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, continues to work its magic in the Sunshine State.

9. Japanese Rescue Dog

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Amidst the chaotic, haunting images that have defined news coverage of Japan since the earthquake hit on March 11, a heartwarming scene emerged last week. A video captured a haggard dog standing guard and protecting an injured companion in the middle of a mutilated landscape, occasionally offering a comforting stroke of the paw. It took rescue workers an hour to convince the sentry to leave the ward. The injured dog was then taken to a clinic, the other to a shelter. The world was left with a heartening lesson: Sometimes a dog can be another dog's best friend, too.

8. Moko the Dolphin

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In the summer of 2008, Moko the bottlenose dolphin was a constant fixture at a beach along the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, coming by every few days to play with swimmers. But one day her visit was more business than pleasure when she showed up just in time to save two beached pygmy sperm whales. Successfully doing what humans could not, Moko seemed to communicate with the two whales and lead them safely back into deeper water. Had the dolphin not shown up, rescuers said, the mother whale and calf likely would have been k*lled as they had resisted human attempts to herd them to sea. "I don't speak whale and I don't speak dolphin," Conservation Officer Malcolm Smith told the BBC in 2008, "but there was obviously something that went on because the two whales changed their attitude from being quite distressed to following the dolphin quite willingly and directly along the beach and straight out to sea."

7. Simon the Cat

simon_cat 01 Aboard a British Royal Navy ship sailing down China's Yangtze River, Simon the Cat — a long-time favorite of the sailors on the H.M.S. Amethyst (seen above) — was hit by shrapnel as a result of an attack by Chinese Communist forces. Simon was injured in the leg and back, and his whiskers were singed off. Some of the sailors didn't think he'd make it through the night. But eventually, Simon recuperated enough to wipe out a massive rodent infestation on board the ship, eventually taking down an enormous rat the sailors named Mao Tse Tung. Later, his exploits became known around the world; he even managed to garner a TIME obit. In August 1949, Simon was awarded the Dickin Medal, which honors animals in wartime.

6. Trakr the Dog

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Trained as a police dog in Halifax, Nova Scotia — where he worked for six years, helping to find more than $1 million in contraband — Trakr had retired in May 2001 before he and his trainer, Canadian police officer James Symington, drove 15 hours to help recovery efforts in New York City following the Sept. 11 attacks. Trakr was credited with locating the last survivor found beneath the rubble. Two days after arriving and searching for survivors the entire time, Trakr collapsed from smoke inhalation, exhaustion and burns and was treated for his injuries before returning to Canada. Later in life Trakr suffered from a degenerative neurological disorder that experts say could have been caused by his work at Ground Zero. Before Trakr died in April 2009, his DNA was entered into a cloning contest by Symington and was later chosen for use. In June of that year, five cloned Trakrs were born.

5. Scarlett the Cat

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Though Cats was in the middle of its Broadway run in 1996, New York City's most famous feline that year made a more daring play out in Brooklyn. Scarlett, a homeless calico, had been staying with her 4-week-old kittens in a garage that had been damaged in several fires. The shelter again went ablaze and one firefighter arrived on the scene to find Scarlett amidst her brood, terribly burned from having carried them out one by one. The story quickly hit the tabloids and more than 1,000 offers to adopt the entire family rolled into the shelter where Scarlett was staying. She eventually found a home with a local woman and then spent her days being pampered and courted by the likes of talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael until passing away in 2008.

4. Cher Ami the Pigeon

cher_ami_pigeon 01 Pigeons aren't often thought of as the smartest of our feathered friends, but the incessantly cooing, bread-crumb-eating birds have their uses. During World War I and World War II, the U.S. military enlisted more than 200,000 pigeons to conduct surveillance and relay messages. One such pigeon, Cher Ami ("Dear Friend" in French), flew for the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France during WWI. He flew 12 important messages before being struck by enemy fire. Despite being shot in the breast and leg, he managed to deliver the message, which was found dangling from his shattered leg. His brave dedication to the mission led to the rescue of 194 soldiers in Major Charles Whittlesey's "Lost Battalion." Cher Ami, who died in 1919, likely as a result of his battle wounds, was awarded the French Croix de Guerre award for his heroic service and was inducted into the Racing Pigeon Hall of Fame. His one-legged body is on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History's "Price of Freedom: Americans at War" exhibit in Washington, D.C.

3. Stubby the Dog

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Stubby was just another stray dog before he found his way into an area near Yale University where the 102nd infantry, Yankee Division was training for World War I. Private J. Robert Conroy found the puppy there in 1917 and named him Stubby on account of his short tail. Although animals were not allowed in the regiment, Stubby was allowed to stick around because he was smart and boosted morale. He learned the bugle calls, the drills and even a modified salute where he put his right paw on his right eyebrow. Later he proved his usefulness at war. Conroy smuggled the pooch aboard a ship to France, and when he was discovered by Conroy's commanding officer, Stubby won him over with an adorable salute. He was allowed to join the soldiers on the front lines, where he was once injured during a gas strike. Having developed a sensitivity to the smell of gas, he was able to save the soldiers as they slept through another gas attack. He even thwarted a German soldier's attempts to map out the layout of Allied trenches by biting him on the leg and subduing him until U.S. soldiers arrived. By the end of the war, Stubby had served in 17 battles and had developed a knack for locating his wounded comrades. The dog became a lifetime member of the American Legion and later became Georgetown University's mascot when Conroy went to study law there. In 1921 the pooch was awarded a gold hero dog's medal that was commissioned by the Humane Education Society. He lived until 1926.

2. Bucephalus the Horse

horse_alexander 01 Bucephalus was the famed steed of Alexander the Great. As legend has it, Alexander broke the wild horse when no one else dared go near — not by force but by turning the horse's head toward the sun, understanding that Bucephalus was simply afraid of his own shadow. No one but Alexander could mount the horse after. As one history puts it, "Long did this noble animal share the toils and dangers of his master; and this was the horse that Alexander delighted to honor." So excellent was Buchephalus in battle that when he was once lost, Alexander is said to have threatened the destruction of an entire country unless he was returned (which he was).

1. Togo the Sled Dog

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In 1925, a ravaging case of diphtheria broke out in the isolated Alaskan village of Nome. No plane or ship could get the serum there, so the decision was made for multiple sled dog teams to relay the medicine across the treacherous frozen land. The dog that often gets credit for eventually saving the town is Balto, but he just happened to run the last, 55-mile leg in the race. The sled dog who did the lion's share of the work was Togo. His journey, fraught with white-out storms, was the longest by 200 miles and included a traverse across perilous Norton Sound — where he saved his team and driver in a courageous swim through ice floes. Togo, we salute you.

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Wednesday, 23 March 2011

10 Wild Celebrity Pets

Whether it’s a ploy for more attention or just plain craziness, some celebrities take their desire for animal companionship a little too far. Most of us regular folk favor standard pets, like dogs, cats and maybe a fish or two (although one Pennsylvania woman recently found out the fatal way that bears do not make good pets). Below, check out 10 celebrities whose furry friends are just a little bit over the top.

Michael Jackson’s Chimp

Michael Jackson’s Chimp

Bubbles, the chimpanzee, and Michael were inseparable in the 1980s. However, due to his extremely aggressive behavior, Bubbles was sent to the Center for Great Apes conservatory in 2003.

The Kardashian’s Chimp

The Kardashian’s Chimp

This past February, the fiery brunette bombshell sisters adopted a chimp (similar animal shown above) named Suzy who supposedly likes to steal mobile phones and drink Capri Suns.

George Clooney’s Pig

George Clooney’s Pig

Clooney’s companion for 18 years, Max, the 300-lb potbellied pig (similar animal shown above), was reportedly purchased for one of the eternal bachelor’s many loves. After suffering from a series of mishaps—including being run over by a car in 2001—Max passed away in 2006.

Richard Pryor’s Pony

Richard Pryor’s Pony

During the early years of his career, comedian Richard Pryor owned Ginger, a pet pony (similar animal shown above). According to his widow, Jennifer Lee, Pryor was an avid animal lover and treated his pets like they were his children.

Mike Tyson’s Tiger

Mike Tyson’s Tiger

Thought Mike Tyson’s tiger in The Hangover was just a comedic foil? Think again! His ferocious feline friend reportedly costs about $4,000 per month to own.

Paris Hilton’s Kinkajou

Paris Hilton’s Kinkajou

Socialite Paris Hilton named her pet kinkajou (similar animal shown above)—a rainforest mammal related to the raccoon—Baby Luv. In 2006, the ferret-look-alike bit Hilton on the arm, causing her to rush to the hospital.

Michael Jackson’s Koala Bear

Michael Jackson’s Koala Bear

Making another appearance on our list, Michael Jackson at one time owned a koala bear (similar animal shown above) that accompanied the pop star on many worldwide tours—including stops in its native Australia.

Courtney Love’s Turtle

Courtney Love’s Turtle

Rocker Courtney Love’s newest pet is a turtle (similar animal shown above). Earlier this year, the singer posted photos online of her and the tough-shell reptile cuddling in bed.

Kellie Pickler’s Monkey

Kellie Pickler’s Monkey

American Idol contestant and country singer Kellie Pickler was the proud owner of a three-ounce marmoset monkey (similar animal shown above)—that is until, she realized the tree-climbing sidekick was too much work for her busy schedule.

Vanilla Ice’s Wallaroo

Vanilla Ice’s Wallaroo

When, in 2004, Bucky Buckaroo (similar animal shown above)—a cross between a wallaby and kangaroo—escaped and ran wild in the streets of Saint Lucie, Florida, the ’90s rapper no longer wanted the pet.

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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Incredible Animal Sins - LoL

Once sin is not as shocking as it is often thought. See 14 incredible funny scene when the animal instinct fails.

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