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The Lincoln Park Zoo welcomed their first-ever birth of red panda cubs, a litter of a boy and a girl named Clark and Addison, respectively. The cubs were born to mama Leafa and papa Phoenix on June 26, and are every bit as typically adorable as all cubs of the species.
The video footage below shows Addison and Clark as they received their second medical exam. The two are thriving; Addison's weight has nearly tripled since last weigh-in and Clark's has doubled. See additional pictures and read more about Lincoln Park Zoo's growing red panda family at Zooborns.
Pacific Coast League minor team the El Paso Chihuahuas got more race than they bargained for when they hosted the Wiener Schnitzel weenie dog race on the field before their game last Saturday. Apparently no one at the park anticipated the soaring spirit of a dachshund running on his own personal Field of Dreams. The desire to break free of all constraint was just too strong to keep in check. As is evident from the video, the joyfully naughty canine was eventually apprehended after a chase. Nice run while it lasted, little guy. Via Bark Post
Mastiffs make effective guard dogs due to their massive size and deep barks, and their giant frames also make them ideal steeds for kids, but they're not generally know for their swimming skills.
Some mastiffs can't even doggy paddle without swimming lessons, but as you can see in this video if you try and try again, and treat your mastiff like a big ol' baby, they'll get the hang of swimming with just a few lessons.
You gotta give it to Sailor the mastiff for keeping a cool head, and his human Brad H is not only a calm and caring owner, he's also quite the doggy swimming instructor!
Beau is just a baby corgi; at eleven weeks, he's only been weaned from mama corgi for a short time. But youth isn't stopping Beau from figuring out how to live his best puppy life around the ol' homestead. Why should he be confined to a treat-free, boring kitchen when his human is away? Exploring the house would be much more fun. Thus, day after day, Beau is bustin' himself out of his lame, poorly positioned puppy gate. You're going to have to get up earlier than that in order to outsmart this pup, human. Via Viral Nova
Loki is a malamute/husky/arctic wolf mix (a “low content wolfdog”), so he is naturally at home in the snow. Enjoy watching him frolic joyfully across the mountains of Colorado. It might just cool you off on a hot day!
Losing weight is never easy, which is why it can be so important to find some inspiration when you're trying to push through those hunger pains. Sometimes people get inspiration from other people who have gone through the journey, but it's easy to feel like those people would judge you for not being able to follow in their footsteps. If you're looking for a little motivation from someone who is sure to love you no matter how many times you take an undeserved cheat day, these ten critters who have gone through some serious weight loss might be just the ticket.
Of course, even if these adorable weight loss success stories don't motivate you to drop your own spare tire, they're still adorable to look at.
Jason Frost and Brandon Key went fishing on the Black Warrior River in Alabama on Saturday. They didn’t expect to see kittens swimming toward them as if desperate for a boat ride.
Frost posted the video to Facebook, where he said,
I really don't know how to describe this video, but the Warrior River never fails to surprise me......this puts a new spin on the term "catfishing"
On the other hand, if you prefer Frozen over Star Wars (to each his own, I guess), you don't want to miss this adorable Olaf hat featuring the character's trademark goofball face.
You can even make your kitty into an amazing Little Mermaid.
Via Fashionably Geek
The Dumbo Octopus (Grimpoteuthis) is unavoidably cute! He can dance and stick out his tongue, so he's a natural performer. But that's only once he's ready. When caught unawares, the Dumbo gets shy. The oceanographers on board the exploratory vessel Nautilis discovered that while exploring the coast of central California. At the 1:34 mark in the video below, he covers his face when the camera zooms in on him.
The Chicago Zoological Society proudly announced two new arrivals at the Brookfield Zoo yesterday: snow leopard cubs! Well, the announcement was yesterday; the cubs were born on June 16th. Since then, they have been living in seclusion with their mother, 4-year-old Sarani. Their father is 5-year-old Sabu. Both cubs are female, and have no names yet (which sounds like a crowdsourcing project may be coming). Snow leopards are one of earth’s seven "big cats," and are an endangered species. There are only a few thousand left in the wild.
The new cubs will remain in their own private living quarters until October, when they will be introduced to the public. Meanwhile, you can read more about them at the zoo’s website, and keep up with their progress through Facebook. -via Buzzfeed
(Image credit: Chicago Zoological Society)
See also: the cubs’ older brother, born in 2013 and now named Everest.
Willie and Waylon are raccoons. They're also brothers. Willie is a "hold my beer and watch this" type of raccoon. It's Waylon who has to get him out of his messes. In this case, the insane Willie decides to swim in the pool. Waylon drags him out when he manages to get to the edge.
Willie is alive--for now. Eventually, Waylon won't be there to save him.
-via Tastefully Offensive
Grumpy Cat is slated to be enshrined in Madame Tussauds wax museum in San Francisco. That means she had to travel to their studio to be studied, measured, molded, and photographed by the artists who will create her wax doppelgänger. Did Grumpy Cat enjoy the session? Duh. -via Tastefully Offensive
The American Kennel Club only recognizes new dog breeds when there are a certain number of registered members of that breed. Until then, they compete in dog shows under the “miscellaneous” class. Meet some of the breeds that are beginning to find popularity among dog fans, like the almost-hairless Peruvian Inca Orchid.
The Peruvian Inca Orchid, nicknamed the PIO, is ranked by the AKC as the 166th most popular dog breed. People often think the hairless version has a higher body temperature than other dogs, but according to the AKC, the dog actually just feels warmer to the touch, because there’s no coat between you and the dog’s skin. Of course, no coat can leave her cold, so she’ll probably need a sweater or jacket when temps drop. This charming yet reserved pooch is usually best handled by an experienced owner. We love how PIO fans refer to the small patch of hair on her otherwise-hairless head as the “kiss spot!”
There’s also another hairless breed from America, a long-legged breed from Africa, an adorable Dutch breed you won’t be able to pronounce, and more in a rundown of new dog breeds at Care2. -via the Presurfer
(Image credit: Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography / Vetstreet.com)
The Zoological Center of Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan in Israel is home to the lovely and rare adult female sand cat shown above, named Rotem. After Rotem's partner Sela died approximately a year ago, a worldwide search was launched by zoo staff to find another mate for her. Rotem's match, three-year-old male Kalahari, was found in Sweden.
Despite the fact that, at first, male and female sand cats aren't typically left unsupervised in the same enclosure due to possible fighting, when a friendship looked likely between Kalahari and Rotem, the zoo staff decided to let them live together. It was a decision that proved fruitful for all.
Three weeks ago, the zookeepers arrived at the Safari to find three tiny kittens in a burrow in the enclosure. Rotem had already bonded with and was actively caring for her babies. Ever since they were born, the kittens have remained close to their mother. Until recently, Rotem had hidden them under her body; they are just now getting a peek at their new world.
Any sand cat births worldwide are cause for conservationists to celebrate, as the species is classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List. Only 200 sand cats exist in European zoos, and constant attempts are made to increase their numbers.
Sand cats are native to the border between Israel and Jordan and the area further east. Additional subspecies can be found in North Africa and Saudi Arabia.
See more gorgeous pictures of Rotem and Kalahari's new family at Zooborns.
Images: Tibor Jager
The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.
Studies of varied meows here and there, now and then
by Alice Shirrell Kaswell, Improbable Research staff
Human beings struggle to understand what, if anything, cats are communicating or trying to communicate. Here are reports about some of those struggles.
Schötz on Meows
Susanne Schötz, at Lund University, Sweden, together with various colleagues, studies many aspects of cat meowing. One of those colleagues, Robert Eklund, maintains a web site devoted to purring research.
“A Study of Human Perception of Intonation in Domestic Cat Meows,” Susanne Schötz and Joost van de Weijer, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody, Dubin, Ireland, May 20-23, 2014. (Thanks to investigator Daniela Müller for bringing this to our attention.) The researchers explain:
This study examined human listeners’ ability to classify domestic cat vocalisations (meows) recorded in two different contexts: during feeding time (food-related meows) and while waiting to visit a veterinarian (vet-related meows). A pitch analysis showed a tendency for food-related meows to have rising F0 contours, while vet-related meows tended to have more falling F0 contours. 30 listeners judged twelve meows (six of each context) in a perception test... Listeners also reported that some meows were very easy to classify, while others were more difficult. Taken together, these results suggest that cats may use different intonation patterns in their vocal interaction with humans, and that humans are able to identify the vocalisations based on intonation...
The participants who were familiar with cats were not only more often correct in their answers, they were also more confident in their answers.
Schötz and van de Weijer also present a terse taxonomy of cat mouth sounds:
Cat vocalisations are generally divided into three major categories: (1) sounds produced with the mouth closed (murmurs), such as the purr, the trill, and the chirrup; (2) sounds produced with the mouth open(ing) and gradually closing, comprising a large variety of meows with similar [A:ou] vowel patterns; and (3) sounds produced with the mouth held tensely open in the same position, i.e. sounds often uttered in aggressive situations, including growls, yowls, snarls, hisses, spits, and shrieks.
Cat Hospital is a classic soap opera set in a hospital, with cats. The lead characters are a surgeon who lost an eye to a cat scratch from a patient, and nurse Mittens, who gets around.
Follow the adventures of the doctors and nurses of Cat Hospital, their families, the sexy ambulance driver, Dr. Scratch Adams, patients with nine lives, and a variety of standard soap opera stereotypes both human and feline. Oh yeah, and an overabundance of cat puns. -via HuffPo
Earl Grey is a cat with political ambitions. He is running for prime minister of Canada as the Tuxedo Party candidate. That’s the same party that promoted the candidacy of Tuxedo Stan for mayor of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Stan, sadly, died in 2013. Earl Grey is keeping Stan’s legacy alive by aiming for a nationwide office. His platform is all about animal welfare and animal rights, particularly those of cats. Read more about Earl Grey and his campaign at his website, and see more pictures of the cat at Buzzfeed.
(Image credit: Tuxedo Party of Canada Cat Welfare Society)
Yindee, a baby elephant who lives at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand, warmed up to a canine friend who was interested in romping around with him in the spirit of playtime. With his elders looking on, Yindee is able to safely experiment with leisure encounters of the canine kind, and the two oddly matched playmates seem to enjoy each other. Via Laughing Squid
Here we have a newsworthy version of the classic moment when a bunch of women see a kitten and squeal with delight. They had a really good reason- this kitten’s life was saved from a storm drain full of rising water during a storm in Charleston, South Carolina. Dorella Tuckwiller of the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee went head first into the drain to pull the kitten out. Firefighter Galeena Wileman held a rope tied to Tuckwiller’s foot in case the attempt went bad.
There were three kittens in the drain when the storm began. The mother cat removed one, another kitten drowned, and the third was rescued. The rushing water was much worse before the video began. Firefighters and volunteers built a makeshift dam upstream from the drain to lower the water level for the rescue. The kitten, named Stormy, spent some time in an animal hospital and is now is doing well in a foster home. -via Laughing Squid
Snorri Sturluson is a cat burglar. Snorri is a two-year-old cat in Portland, Oregon. If he could, Snorri would probably insist its not thievery, just his hobby of collecting things from around the neighborhood. His owner, Gabrielle Hendel, said Snorri started out in the spring bringing home trash and sticks, but soon moved up to bigger objects.
"It escalated to include kids toys, matchbooks, a leopard print towel, dog toys, rags, hats, socks, gloves and then finally shoes," Hendel, a medical student who splits her time between her surgical rotation and editing Snorri's footage, told HuffPost.
If her neighbors notice anything missing, they will check Snorri’s Instagram account, where Hendel posts pictures of the night’s take. The popularity of the gallery has made Snorri a star. As you can see from the many pictures there, Snorri likes to take shoes more than anything. He also has his own YouTube channel. Who says crime doesn't pay?
Image: Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian's National Zoo
The black-footed ferret litter shown above isn't just cute and cuddly; it also represents great strides in bringing the species back from extinction. Black-footed ferret populations drastically diminished in the 20th century due to the Great Plains being converted for agricultural purposes. At that time, prairie dogs – the ferrets’ primary food source – were eradicated.
Black-footed ferrets were considered extinct until a small population of nine was discovered in South Dakota in 1964. The last ferret in captivity died in 1979, and the species was again thought to be wiped out until a group of 18 black-footed ferrets was discovered living in Wyoming in 1981. At that point, the species was labeled "critically endangered." Since then, however, wildlife conservationists have increased the numbers of the species to more than 2,600 in the wild.
This summer, a breakthrough by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute involving artificial insemination from cryopreserved samples further increased and will continue to grow the number of black-footed ferrets.
Don't miss the adorable video below, and see additional photos and read specifics about the process of artificial insemination to increase the numbers in the species at Zooborns.
Nikai, a wolf pup at the Wolf Conservation Center in Salem, New York, is seen here in this footage being taught by Faye the Border Collie in the ways of playing tug of war with squeaky toys. Though it appears that Nikai is a bit stronger than Faye and has some pretty large paws to grow into, this video seems to capture the pair's common traits more than their differences. Via Viral Nova
Nero the corgi is obviously enthusiastic about the feel of cool water against his fur on a hot summer day. Yet he discovers quickly that the filling of his doggie pool isn't going to be the most straightforward or continuous of processes. No big deal — he'll just make a jump for it... again and again. Way to solve the problem and stay cool, Nero! Via Laughing Squid
What would it take for Simon's cat to win the last delicious slice of pizza from the clutches of his human? You can almost see the wheels turning in the cat's head as he attempts one technique after the other. Finally he learns the secret, and it's likely easier than he ever could have imagined. Nice... work (if you can call it that), kitty! Via Tastefully Offensive
This is Khufu Beans, a cat owned by artist and pop culture commentator Comicbookgirl19. She loves to dress Khufu in custom costumes that look almost exactly like the original inspirations. In this case, Khufu is looking sharp in Leeloo's white strappy outfit from the science fiction movie The Fifth Element.