This Kitty Wants to be a Pastry Chef

(Video Link)

Kitties tend to knead with their paws when they get petted, but this little fluffball has discovered a much more practical use for his kneading -baking! With this great food video, he was inspired to take his natural instincts to a whole new level. I'm just glad no one shot down his dreams by warning him that most people aren't going to want to eat bread filled with cat fur.

Via That's Nerdalicious

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A Kangaroo's First Hops

A joey named Jellybean recently left his mother's pouch for the first time at the Australian Reptile Park near Sydney. He apparently built up a lot of kinetic energy sitting in there and has to let it out!  

(YouTube link)

Kangaroos are marsupials, meaning they are born prematurely compared to mammals, and stay in their mother's pouch for about nine months before venturing out. Jellybean will be in and out of the pouch for another nine months or so before he is completely weaned. Meanwhile he can explore and play, then go back in for a meal and some rest when he pleases. Life is a bowl of jellybeans for Jellybean! -via Mashable

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You Can Help Giraffes in Kenya Without Ever Leaving Your Home

Giraffe populations have dropped drastically over the last 20 years. In fact, their numbers in Northern Kenya have dropped 70% over the last two decades. Researchers in the area have set up a number of camera traps to help them better understand the life of wild giraffes, but since every movement sets off the camera trap, there are a ton of images to go through -that's where you come in. You can watch the traps and help count wildlife in the footage on any computer, just go to Wildwatch Kenya and start helping giraffes and other wild animals.

So get started today!

Via San Diego Zoo

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The Most Famous Dog Who Ever Lived

You may be familiar with the story of Hachiko, the loyal Akita that returned for years hopping to greet his deceased owner at the train station (if not, go grab a hankie). But there are details of the story that you probably don't know. Evan Hadfield tells us the story with some extra background and more insight into how Hachiko became a nayional hero in Japan.

(YouTube link)

In fact, Hachiko's fame ended up saving his breed. That's a good dog. This is the latest episode of the video series Chris Hadfield's Rare Earth. -via Tastefully Offensive

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These Cats Are 2 Fast and 2 Furious

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The Fast and The Furious series is one of those things that people either love or hate, but even if you can't stand all the drama and car chases, you might just love 2 Fast 2 Furryest, which features adorable felines in cars that are just too cool. But watch out for that last minute addition to the race, he's an outsider -a real rebel.

Via I Can Has Cheezburger

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Scaredy Cat

Chris Poole is playing with his cat Marmalade. Marmalade knows his human's hand very well, but he's letting his imagination go wild. Maybe he's pretending the hand is a monster, or a large predator, or just something supernatural that's out to get him. Whoever says cats faces aren't expressive doesn't know Marmalade.

(YouTube link)

See more of Marmalade's adventures with his buddy Cole from our previous posts. -via Tastefully Offensive

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Zoo Intruder Attacked by Panda

A man snuck into the panda house at the Nanchang Zoo in Jiangxi province, China. He wanted to impress his female companions by teasing the sleeping giant panda. The animal woke up and proceeded to attack the intruder.

(YouTube link)

You know how your dog can lean up against you when he wants to be hugged? Imagine that behavior in a bear-sized bear, if you will. If the man had commenced with the hugs and back scratches as directed, he might have been spared the panda rolling over on top of him. As it was, he managed to escape the pen after about five minutes. Both the man and the panda were unharmed. -via Boing Boing

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Cat Rescued from Wall

A construction worker at a new home in Northern Ireland heard a meow from a cat in distress. It was stuck between the concrete and brick of a wall!

(YouTube link)

I got my drill and started to drill holes in the wall until located the exact location of the cat and where it was able to break free. I then put the video on Facebook hoping to find the owner. After about two hours the owner got word from some friends who saw my video on facebook. He contacted me and I then took the cat to his home where the owner was delighted to have the cat home and thanked me.

-via Laughing Squid

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Cat in Labor Goes to Clinic for Help

In Turkey, a lot of cats are strays that are taken care of communally, as residents and shopkeepers feed them without trying to own them. In this system, it's no wonder a cat would ask humans for help, but one cat picked the right place -almost- when she went into labor. The pregnant cat in the in Tatvan district of Bitlis province went to the door of a health clinic Wednesday and started meowing at the door.

The nurses let her in but they could not tell what exactly was wrong with the pregnant kitty.

They soon realized that despite minutes of intense labour the cat could not produce a kitten so, they called the municipality vet.

Yeah, the cat should've gone to the veterinary clinic, but she can't read the signs. The cat was taken to the Tatvan Municipality Stray Animal Neutering and Rehabilitation Center, where Dr. Sefer Durmuş performed a C-section. The cat and her four kittens are doing fine, as you can see in a picture at Daily Sabah.

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Dog Joins Orchestra Mid-Performance

The Vienna Chamber Orchestra was performing Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony No. 4 in Izmir, Turkey, when a wandering music fan decided to join them onstage at the amphitheater.

(YouTube link)

He's a good boy, and so deserves first chair in the violin section, although he'd rather listen than play. He knows his limitations. The conductor was amused. You can imagine what the musicians who couldn't see what was happening thought when the audience started laughing and applauding at an inappropriate time in the music. -via reddit

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Enormous Condor Thanks Man Who Saved His Life

Condors don't strike me as being the most affectionate animals, but maybe that's just me judging them by their somewhat vulture-y look and those beady little eyes.

For all I know they're the cuddliest critters on Earth, and this video shot by Nestor David seems to indicate condors are quite loveable after all. In it we see Nestor's friend Edgardo Della getting lotsa love from the condor he nursed back to health:

One day in March he appeared here alone and with a broken leg. We were healing him from an injury that did not seem to be serious and from that day he approaches me every time I call him.

-Via Laughing Squid

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Boomer The Skateboarding Cat Doesn't Mind A Crowd

There are so many skateboarding dogs and cats out there I won't be surprised when they start going pro, especially the dogs who don't mind a crowd forming around them.

But cats seem like they'd be less keen on a crowd, preferring to skate behind a grocery store instead of at the skate park, so they can chill and focus on the ride.

However, Boomer the Bengal could go pro any day now- because he isn't afraid to show off his skating skills in front of an attentive crowd, as long as they don't touch his board...

(YouTube Link)

-Via Laughing Squid

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Cat Asks for Help, Gets It

The YouTuber who goes by the name "walter santi" (Walter is his/her dog, and Santi is a cat) tells the story of an injured stray cat who came to their house and asked for help. The video shows his wounds and may be disturbing for sensitive souls.

(YouTube link)

You'll be glad to know the cat is fine now. Here's an update video taken 40 days later, showing him chasing around like he was never hurt. -via Laughing Squid

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New Study Finds Cats Most Likely Domesticated Themselves

Cats are truly amazing creatures, and since humans have never been able to fully tame those tiny tigers it's not all that surprising to hear a new study has found cats pretty much domesticated themselves.

But this discovery does seem to indicate that cats like humans as much as we like them, a secret the Feline Illuminati would kill to keep under wraps.

Casey Smith reported about the findings in National Geographic:

The earlier ancestors of today’s domestic cats spread from southwest Asia and into Europe as early as 4400 B.C. The cats likely started hanging around farming communities in the Fertile Crescent about 8,000 years ago, where they settled into a mutually beneficial relationship as humans’ rodent patrol.

Mice and rats were attracted to crops and other agricultural byproducts being produced by human civilizations. Cats likely followed the rodent populations and, in turn, frequently approached the human settlements.

“This is probably how the first encounter between humans and cats occurred,” says study coauthor Claudio Ottoni of the University of Leuven. “It’s not that humans took some cats and put them inside cages,” he says. Instead, people more or less allowed cats to domesticate themselves.

A second lineage, consisting of African cats that dominated Egypt, spread into the Mediterranean and most of the Old World beginning around 1500 B.C. This Egyptian cat probably had behaviors that made it attractive to humans, such as sociability and tameness.

The results suggest that prehistoric human populations probably began carrying their cats along ancient land and sea trade routes to control rodents.

-Via Boing Boing

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What Dogs Would Say If They Could Call 911

(Via @Reverend_Scott)

Clever dogs have been known to call 911 when they or their humans are in trouble, and their call to 911 actually ended up saving their owner's lives.

But you shouldn't encourage your dog to call 911 whenever they smell danger because they might start tying up the emergency lines while you're at work.

Reverend Scott likes to imagine what a dog's call to 911 might sound like on his Twitter feed, and his scenarios seem spot on to me!

-Via Laughing Squid

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Bucket List Destinations For Animal Lovers

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True wildlife enthusiasts like to make sure there's something animal related to do wherever they go on vacation, and these days it's not hard to find small nature reserves and sanctuaries that allow guests to visit with their animals.

But if you adore animals and you're looking for places to add to your bucket list then you should make your way to Phuket, Thailand so you can have lunch with the elephants at the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary:

Phuket is home to an ethical sanctuary where you can observe and feed the elephants as they roam and do as they please. Being able to watch, understand, and respect the majestic beasts as they go about their day is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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If Thailand is too far away and elephants aren't your jam then perhaps you'd rather head north to Hudson Bay, which is near the town of Churchill, Manitoba, so you can see polar bears in the wild.

Known as the “polar bear capital of the world,” Hudson Bay near the town of Churchill, Manitoba, is the gathering place of hundreds of the cuddly-looking creatures every autumn. You can book a tour in a tundra buggie where you’ll be able to observe the bears up close while they hang out and wait for the sea ice to refreeze so they can get their seal-hunting back on.

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But if one species of animal isn't enough to earn a spot on your bucket list then you must pay a visit to Kruger National Park in South Africa, where you can see all kinds of critters, including the Big Five:

Kruger National Park is home to the Big Five: elephant, lion, rhino, leopard, and buffalo, and a plethora of other magnificent mammals, birds, and reptiles. There are a wide range of safari options available, but no matter which one you choose be sure to have your camera constantly at the ready. You never know when a casual herd of rhino may wander by!

See 11 Bucket List Destinations For Animal Lovers here

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World's Ugliest Dog 2017

The Sonoma Marin County Fair in Petaluma, California, crowns the World's Ugliest Dog every year. And most years, a Chinese crested has won the title. But not this year! Congratulations to Martha, a 125-pound Neapolitan mastiff who took the top honor on Friday. Martha is notable for her loose and droopy skin, and her lack of enthusiasm for the contest. Why show off when you can lay down and take a nap?

(YouTube link)   

The dog, from nearby Sebastopol, was rescued when she was nearly blind from neglect by the Dogwood Animal Rescue Project in Sonoma County, where the contest was held. After several surgeries, she can now see again, Zindler said.

The only animal in this year's contest too big to be held by her handler, Martha beat out 13 other dogs, most of them the kind of older, smaller dogs who win here.

Martha won $1500, a trophy, and a trip to New York City. Read more about her at CBS News. Gizmodo disagreed that Martha was the ugliest dog in the contest, so they posted a gallery of their top five picks, in which Martha only placed fourth.

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35-Pound Cat is Adopted

Symba was surrendered to the Human Rescue Alliance a couple of weeks ago when his owner went to a nursing home. Symba is 6 years old and weighs 35 pounds! The shelter in Washington, DC, put him on a diet and hoped to find a new owner who would continue the program. Publicity helped, and Symba has been adopted by Kiah Berkeley and Peter Sorkin.

“He is lovely. He is a really sweet guy,” Berkeley, 31, told ABC News of Symba’s personality.

The engaged couple heard about him like everyone else: on the news.

“There were a bunch of news stories about him,” she said. “We love cats. My fiancé and I had two cats already. I have a particular affinity for very large animals and he obviously was a really sweet, loving guy. Very cute.”   

Read Symba's story at ABC News. Keep up with Symba on his weight loss journey at his Facebook page.

-via Fark 

(Image credit: Humane Rescue Alliance)

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Saigon’s Street Cats and Dogs

Jürgen Horn and Mike Powell have a postscript from their 91 day stay in Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh City). It's a gallery of the many dogs and cats they've photographed during their stay!  

We judge a city based on a few critical factors: cuisine, transportation, museums, nightlife… and the cuteness of its street cats and dogs. And that last one is a category in which Saigon scores high. Check out some of the creatures we’ve met during our 91 days in the city. Which would you take home? You can only choose one!

There are more dogs than cats in the collection, with some puppies and kittens thrown in for good measure, at For 91 Days.

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Things Only Small Dog Owners Understand

It's hard to tell little dogs are descended from wolves just by looking at them, but when they get mad and turn into a savage little barking beast their wolven ancestry comes shining through.

It must be hard for little dogs to keep the wolf inside them in check, because everywhere they go people want to pet them and gush over how cute they are.

However, their cuteness allows them to get away with a lot, including face-licking, jumping, barking, laying on the bed and pulling on the leash during a walk, because there's no curbing a little dog's enthusiasm!

See 12 Things Only Small Dog Owners Understand here

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Well-Trained Dogs Perform Amazing Tricks Together

Trained dogs start out following orders for the treats, but once they've had some experience busting out tricks and scoring treats they look like they genuinely enjoy performing for their masters.

And when the tricks involve a pack of doggy pals who have been positively trained to perform in synchronization the show becomes a real treat for both performers and viewers alike.

(YouTube Link)

These canine performers were trained by Emily Larlham of Dogmatics, who trains using positive reinforcement and shares free in-depth training videos via her YouTube channel Kikopup:

Emily Larlham runs the dog training business Dogmantics Dog Training in San Diego, California. She is known around the world for her popular Youtube Channel ‘Kikopup’ where she has posted over 200 free in-depth dog training tutorials. She believes that by putting out free training tutorials that don’t involve any forms of physical or psychological intimidation, it will not only effect how people treat animals but also how people treat other human beings.  

-Via Laughing Squid

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Petting a Pet Spider

Most people run away from spiders, but Little Centaurs has a pet Phidippus adumbratus jumping spider. Is she cute and cuddly? Yes, if you can get beyond the fact that she's a spider.

(YouTube link)

Personality among Phidippus jumpers can vary a lot from one individual to the next, but the Adumbratus (adumbrati?) I found in Oxnard seem to all have a very calm disposition. I've noticed that one of the differences between wild and domesticated animals is whether the animal has an instinctual bite response to handling. There are certainly Phidippus that I've owned that could have been incited to bite under various conditions, but for this spider, I am not sure it would be possible to elicit a bite response outside of when she'll be guarding eggs. As this video illustrates, she does not seem to be bothered by much - even touching the dorsal side of the abdomen, which seems to be universally disliked by jumpers, just makes her lazily take a few steps in the other direction.

-via Tastefully Offensive

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Loki's Hiding Place

This Bengal cat is aptly named Loki, because he's both clever and mischievous. He likes to play hide and seek. This video captures Loki's favorite hiding place -in the dresser!

(YouTube link)

Once he shuts the drawer, you'd never think to look for him there! Unless he purrs with satisfaction, of course. Loki's owner, josht1212, says they closed this room off to him after the video was made, because they're not sure if he can get out of the drawer on his own. I bet he could. -via Laughing Squid

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Snoop Dogg Narrates Planet Earth's Iguana Vs. Snakes Video

Nature documentaries are tame and soothing to watch when narrated by Sir David Attenborough, but when Snoop Dogg narrates a nature doc the whole thing goes wizzild!

In this installment of Plizzanet Earth with Snoop Dogg from Jimmy Kimmel Live Snoop provides narration for that classic clip featuring an iguana running from a bunch of snakes. It's high-larious! (NSFW-ish language)

(YouTube Link)

-Via Esquire

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Dog Photographer of the Year Winners

The Kennel Club in London holds an annual photography competition that puts man's best friend front and center. Winners have been selected in ten categories.

Maria Davison from Portugal has been selected as the overall winner of the competition with an image of an adorable puppy resting his head, which was placed first in the ‘Man’s Best Friend’ category. Maria began taking photos of her dogs and other pets three years ago.

After finding out she had won the world’s largest canine photography competition, Maria said: “This image was already close to my heart and it is one of the photographs I am most proud of. It was not only a beautiful, real and candid moment I got to capture, but also a demonstration of the strong bond between one of my closest friends and her dog, Yzma. Winning not only the Man’s Best Friend category, but also the overall winner prize with this picture feels really good.”

Winners in the various categories come from all over the world. You can see the photos that topped each category here, and don't neglect to click through the "special mentions." -via Digg

(Image credit: Maria Davison Ramos)

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Young Orangutan Escapes from his Mother

A juvenile orangutan at the Jersey Zoo was caught trying to establish his independence from his mother. She was not having any of it. The scene played out like a sitcom, and got an appropriate soundtrack.

(YouTube link)

The dialogue is not difficult to imagine.

Mom: Come along, Junior, let's go.
Kid: Aw, Mom! I wanna play some more!
Mom: It's time for lunch.
Kid: But I have having fun!
Mom: Don't you want some nice greens so you'll grow big and strong?
Kid: Haha, you can't catch me!
Mom: Why you little… come back here!
Kid: I don't wanna!
Mom: Don't make me climb up there!
Kid: Haha!
Mom: I swear, you are just like your father!

-via Tastefully Offensive

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Wayward Black Bear Breaks Into Home, Inadvertently Plays The Piano

Animals who play instruments on purpose are cute, and some of them seem to have genuine musical talent, but it's even cuter when a critter accidentally plays an instrument because they don't know what it is.

Security cameras caught this video of a black bear breaking in to the Vail, Colorado home of Katie Hawley, and the scene was not very fun or amusing to watch at first.

But then the bear inadvertently tickled the ivories and made the whole thing adorable again, although the humor was lost on homeowner Katie, who still fears another ursine home invasion.

(YouTube Link)

-Via The Washington Post

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Incredible Examples Of Animal Camouflage

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Animals and insects have an amazing array of offensive and defensive tools at their disposal, and whether predator or prey they all try to maintain a low profile when they're hanging out in the wild.

The best tool to use when you want to remain unseen is natural camouflage, so you blend in with the plants and trees and coral reefs around you.

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Natural camouflage works so well it even hides creatures from our scrutinizing human stare, making it really hard to tell whether that's a tree bark colored owl or a chunk of tree bark pretending to be an owl.

See 13 Incredible Examples Of Animal Camouflage That Will Make You Look Twice here

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Video Footage Of A Freaky Fish "Walking" Along The Ocean Floor

Watch a fish swim around under the sea and it looks like the most natural thing in the world, and the way they flop around after being stranded out of water looks totally natural too.

But seeing a fish "walk" along the ocean floor as it would on land seems like the most unnatural thing in the world because that fish should be free floating, not shuffling along the bottom like some bottom shuffler!

According to this National Geographic video this stingfish acting strangely was spotted off the coast of Bali, Indonesia, and it may be using the bony spines protruding from the bottom of its body to hunt for food.

(YouTube Link)

-Via Geekologie

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Quick Rescue of a Baby Elephant

A security camera at a South Korean zoo caught a scary incident when a baby elephant fell into the deep end of the pool. Its mother went right into panic mode as another elephant runs up to help.  

(YouTube link)

Both adult elephants rush around to the ramp, and walk the baby back to the shallow end. All's well that ends well. This goes to show that elephants are great parents, and not only to their own offspring. -via Tastefully Offensive

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