What a dumbo! Baby elephant cools off in reservoir tank... and has to be rescued by army digger


Refreshing: The young elephant had been crossing the army quarters with his herd in west Bengal when he became stuck in a reservoir water tank

This young elephant's plan to escape the heat and take a refreshing dip in an Indian army reservoir tank went awry when he was unable to get out.

After splashing about for a while he found himself being approached by soldiers on a digger.

But luckily for him they were coming to his rescue - and proceeded to smash the tank's wall so he could make an easier exit.

He soon became stuck and found himself being approached by Indian army soldiers on a digger

He had been crossing the Bengdubi army quarters, 15 miles from the city of Siliguri, West Bengal, with his herd when members of the the 16 Field Ammunition Depot were called into action.

They were joined by the elephant squad of Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.

Help at hand: Members of the the 16 Field Ammunition Depot were called into action with staff from the elephant squad of Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary

source: dailymail

Give us a cuddle: Furry friends enjoy a team hug after hard day's lazing around

11:40 PM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments

Bear hug: Koalas snuggle up to each other at the Lone Pine Conservation Park in Queensland, Australia. Koalas are endangered due to a decline in their natural habitat

Holding tightly on to each other's thick soft fur, these adorable Koala bears look perfectly posed for a family photo.

The marsupials were spotted cuddling up together at the Lone Pine Conservation Park in Queensland, Australia.

Koalas usually sleep for up to 16 hours a day in trees, and only come down for food, so it was a lucky chance that this heartwarming scene was caught on camera.

They live on eucalyptus leaves and have become endangered due to damage to their natural habitat and the decline of food availability - it is thought that there are less than 80,000 left in the wild.

Koalas are currently listed as a priority for conservation by the Australian government and breeding programmes are encouraged - particularly as the animals are only able to produce one baby, known as a joey, each year.

The Lone Pine Conservation Park is officially recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest koala park in the world, with more than 130 koalas, and is helping to ensure the survival of the animals.

source: dailymail

The mini moos: Tiny breed of cows that grow to just two-and-a-half feet tall

9:39 PM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments

Holy cow: These tiny animals are regarded as sacred cattle in their native Sri Lanka

These tiny creatures look like new born calves but they are actually fully grown cows standing just 36 inches tall.

Owner Jay Brittain's new additions to her Small Breeds Farm Park near Kington, Herefordshire, are Zebus cows - and are the smallest cows in the world.

The breed, which are regarded as sacred cattle in native Sri Lanka, were saved from the brink of extinction five years ago.

Fully grown: These minature cows Charlie (left) and Mary. have just arrived in Britain are the smallest cattle in the world

Their numbers plummeted after indiscriminate cross-breeding with dairy breeds.

Ms Brittain said: 'I first heard about the miniature zebus around 15 to 18 years ago and thought it would just be fantastic to have them here.

They cows stand 36 inches high and weigh just five stone each - a tenth of the size of normal adult cattle.

Walkies: The cows are no bigger than an average dog

Ms Briattain said: 'They are rare and people just thought they were going to die out and become extinct.

'They have a fatty lump on their shoulders and a hump on the back of the neck - and are very, very friendly.

'People think they are calves and are amazed when they discover they are fully grown adult cows.

'They are no bigger than your average dog and are hugely popular with children.'

source: dailymail

Meet the family of 24 (That’s 2 adults, 2 children and TWENTY pampered raccoons)

9:32 PM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments

We are family: Michelle and Sean Rhodes share their Portsmouth home with 20 pampered raccoons. The fury creatures have the run of the house and are regarded in the same way as the couple's two children

A family outing usually involves a bit of organisation.

But for Michelle and Sean Rhodes, any activity is something of an adventure.

With two children and 20 raccoons to consider, life is no simple challenge.

But according to the couple, the loveable creatures feel left out unless they are allowed to tag along.

Day out: The raccoons apparently feel left out if they are not allowed to tag along on family outings

And the Rhodes parents are so besotted with their 'gaze' of raccoons that they regard them like their children - 14-year-olds Jacob and Rosemarie - and spend £3,000 a year on their upkeep.

The family even forgo holidays because no-one else can be trusted to look after the animals.

Mrs Rhodes, 39, who does not work in order to care for the animals, and her husband, a business consultant, have dedicated the last four years to raising the creatures who now have the run of their three bedroom terraced house in Portsmouth.

The first member of the gang arrived after Mrs Rhodes stumbled across an unusual-pet seller on the internet.

Pampered pets: Mr and Mrs Rhodes are so besotted with their 'gaze' of raccoons that they regard them like their children - 14-year-olds Jacob and Rosemarie - and spend £3,000 a year on their upkeep

'He mentioned he had a three-day old raccoon on his books that needed hand-rearing,’ she said. 'We did some research over the internet and thought we would go for it.

'We didn't quite know what we were getting ourselves into, but we thought we'd go for it anyway. The next day we had a four day old raccoon delivered to our door.'

Four years on life, has been totally transformed with every household task being carried out with a raccoon either helping or hindering.

'Raccoons are my life,' Mrs Rhodes added. 'They are totally part of my family - my husband and kids love them to bits.
'But they are very clever and quite naughty when they put their minds to it.

VIPs: The family even forgo holidays because no-one else can be trusted to look after the animals

'In the wild they are naturally inquisitive scavengers and they are very good with their hands.

'They can go anywhere in the home - but I do try to draw the line at the kitchen.
'Having said that I saw one trying to copy the way I cut melon for him.

'I caught him with a knife in his paws trying to help himself to a slice.'

While 20 raccoons might seem a few too many for most, the Rhodes family is expanding. Five youngsters were bred this year and are being hand-raised after they were rejected by their mothers.

Growing family: Rosie Rhodes pictured with her new born pet raccoons. These five were bred this year

'Raccoons take a lot of love and people need to know what they're doing before they take them on,' Mrs Rhodes said.

'When I got my first raccoon I wasn't as aware as I am now. But I wouldn't change my decision to have racoons in the family for the world.'

Raccoons are native to north America where they live in forests as well as cities.

They are so adaptable that since they were introduced to Russia in the 1930's their population has spread across Asia into Europe. They have been spotted in the wild as far west as Denmark.

Bath time: Michelle Rhodes with Bobo. 'Raccoons are my life,' the mother-of-two said. 'They are totally part of my family - my husband and kids love them to bits. The family even forgo holidays for the animals

source: dailymail

Swimmer torn to pieces in tiger shark feeding frenzy off Australian 'paradise island'

5:47 AM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments
By Richard Shears

Fatal attack: A tiger shark, like the ones which attacked an killed an Australian swimmer off Fantome Island, Queensland

A holidaymaker has been torn apart in a feeding frenzy by a shoal of tiger sharks off a 'paradise island' in Australia.

The Melbourne man, known to his friends as Rooster, had set out with three others to retrieve a small boat that had broken free of its anchor off Fantome Island, lying 40 miles north east of the Queensland city of Townsville.

He failed to return from the evening swim to pick up the boat and his friends found his body the following morning.

Allan Jefferson, of Queensland's Emergency Management authority, said: 'Four of them went swimming out to the boat, three of them made it and the fourth one never got there.

'The person has gone into the water to retrieve the boat last night and has not returned.'

The builder, who has not yet been named, was taking a break with a group of friends when they decided to retrieve the small boat, the Townsville Bulletin reported.

Lynndel Prior, a resident on a nearby island, was one of the last people to see 'Rooster' alive when he stopped by to visit her family at the weekend.

She and her partner had formed a close bond with Rooster, adding: 'He and my partner Anthony both hit it off straight away and they became really close mates. So this news has obviously hit us pretty hard.

'It's hard to imagine how a day that started out so great could end up so tragic.'

Fantome Island is a haven for fishermen and campers.
The man leaves behind a wife and stepson.

The tiger shark can grow to a length of more than five metres. It gets its name from the dark stripes down its body, which fade as the shark gets older.

The adult sharks are usually solitary, night-time hunters, which suggests that the ones involved in the Fantome Island attack were younger sharks in a group.

The tiger shark is considered to be a near threatened species due to excessive fishing. It is second only to the great white shark for the number of recorded attacks on humans.


Great White sharks are already here and UK waters are an ideal hunting ground, claims expert

5:37 AM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments
Shark Trust president Richard Peirce: 'Conditions here mirror those in parts of South Africa, Australia and northern California'

By Stephanie Darrall

British waters are an ideal hunting ground for great white sharks, who are already 'occasional vagrant visitors', claims a shark expert.

President of the Shark Trust Richard Peirce said that it is only a matter of time until his theory that the predators visit British shores is verified.

Mr Peirce believes he almost proved the presence of a great white in the UK with a photograph of a shark caught off the north-east coast of Scotland.

He said: 'I sent the photo to some of the world's leading experts but as soon as they heard it was caught off Scotland they started looking at what else it could be.'

'The real surprise is that we don't have an established white shark population, because the conditions here mirror those in parts of South Africa, Australia and northern California.

'The normal range of water temperature for great whites is between 14C and 20C which fits with British water in the summer.'

The shark expert has investigated more than 80 reported sightings of great whites in British waters over the last 14 years but only seven were found to be credible.

Fishermen in Cornwall have reported great whites sticking their heads out of the water, known as 'spy-hopping', and fishermen on three different boats described a sighting of a great white within three weeks of one another.

Mr Peirce said: 'The reason the evidence is so compelling is that it's from independent witnesses who do not know each other on different boats.

'The problem is these things happen in a flash. Unless the shark jumps right out of the water or is caught, all we'll see is a dorsal fin sticking out the water.

'The closest capture of a great white was off La Rochelle (in western France) about 200 nautical miles from UK shores which is no distance to them.'

There have been sightings of other sharks in British waters over the summer.

Earlier this month fisherman Jim Millar spotted a 15ft thresher shark off Dartmouth in Devon, where they are very rarely seen.

Another fisherman caught a 21 stone porbeagle shark off the coast of Donegal, Republic of Ireland, last month.

There have also been two separate sightings of what was believed to have been an oceanic whitetip shark, a species also known to attack humans, in St Ives, Cornwall, in June.

Mr Peirce believes it is only a matter of time before proof is found that the species at the top of the marine food chain, the great white shark - Carcharodon carcharias - is occasionally present in British waters.

He said: 'Great whites are highly nomadic in movement around the north Atlantic so it's reasonable to say there's a good chance they may stray into British waters.

'I do suspect we do get the occasional vagrant visitor.'

Global warming may have driven the sharks' prey further north, added Mr Peirce, which could further entice the great white to British shores.

He said: 'The water temperatures around Britain are well within the great white's tolerance range. So in theory there's no reason they shouldn't be here already without global warming.

'But what may be happening is that it may affect the distribution of shark's prey - meaning they may follow that.'

However Dr Russell Wynn, co-ordinator of the SeaWatch SW project and a senior marine scientist at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, said the odds of a great white being found in British waters were extremely low as the creatures are very rare in the northeast Atlantic.

The SeaWatch SW survey team has spent more than 5,000 hours scanning the seas off southwest England in the past five years but the only predatory sharks seen have been single blues and threshers.

Habitat: A map showing the global distribution of the Great White Shark

'The only large shark the public are likely to see is the harmless plankton-feeding basking shark, which can grow to over 10m long and is occasionally seen leaping out of the water,' he said.

But Dr Wynn accepted there was a small chance of a great white sighting off the British coast.

'It's certainly not impossible that a great white could be seen or caught in British waters one day, as we know they occur off southwest Europe in very low numbers.'

Spotted: In recent months both thresher (left) and porbeagle sharks have been seen around the British Isles

But despite the recent sightings, the opportunity of seeing sharks is decreasing year on year.

A study by Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, concluded that the North Atlantic shark population had declined by more than 50 per cent between 1986 and 2000 due to overfishing.

Mr Peirce said: 'Unless we do something about shark mortality in the Atlantic we won't be having this conversation in 50 years time.'

The Great White: An expert claims these predators will soon be spotted in British waters


Emergency haircut for sheepdog Floyd sees him lose TWO STONE of matted hair

By Emily Allen

Neglect: Emma Midgley with Floyd, the Old English Sheepdog, when he arrived at an animal charity after suffering severe neglect. He struggled to see, hear and go to the toilet

A rescued dog can finally see again after he was so severely neglected he became trapped in a filthy ball of his own matted hair - weighing two stone.

Floyd, an Old English Sheepdog, was picked up by an animal charity after he was bundled out of a van and left tied up with a piece of string on the street.

His dirty hair was so long and matted that he struggled to see, hear or go to the toilet and his claw-like nails made it painful for him to walk.

But he is now recovering after vets performed a two hour operation to shave off two stone of matted hair and clip his two-inch long nails.

Wendy Kruger, from Wood Green, the animal charity which rescued Floyd, said whoever was responsible for his condition were 'criminal'.

She said: 'We were all extremely shocked and distressed at Floyd's condition. It is the worst case of animal neglect the charity has ever seen.

'Our main priority was to make him as comfortable as possible while we tried to treat his many ailments.

'When he first came in he was understandably frightened and wary of people. He couldn't see, hear, go to the toilet or walk properly.

'Now he has had his hair cut he has got his senses back and is rediscovering the world.

'He is 10 years-old and we don't think he has ever been groomed in his life.

On the mend: Floyd trimmed of two stone of fur and on the road to recovery. He also had his two inch long nails clipped

'Unfortunately, this means his hair and skin is so damaged that we don't believe his coat will recover and grow back.

'But it is very cheering to see him growing in confidence. He is becoming increasingly friendly and has started wagging his tail.

'He is showing good signs of recovery but it's going to take time.

'This is just the first stage of his recovery, Floyd will need extensive treatment to bring him back to full health so he can live out his retirement years.

'To allow an animal to reach this state of neglect is criminal.'

Floyd was spotted by a member of the public being hauled out of a dark coloured vehicle and tied up in Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire on Saturday.

The old English sheepdog, who is approximately 10 years-old, needed emergency treatment to remove his matted hair, as well as cysts and grass seeds.

He will need further dental, ear, eye and skin treatment but is making a good recovery at the animal charity.


The bear who dared: Awesome polar animal descends 300ft cliff in a bid to scavenge eggs from some VERY surprised birds

10:12 PM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments
By Julian Gavaghan

-Previously undocumented scene stunned tourists as they watched bear scramble and slip down Russian precipice

-It is believed hungry bears are being attracted to more dangerous terrain because usual icy hunting spots are melting

Watch the birdie: A hungry polar bear inching down a 300ft cliff face in a desperate search for food on in Novaya Zemlya, Russia

For birds nesting on a precarious cliff, the last visitor they might expect to see would be a hulking polar bear clambering down to join them.

Yet this bulky beast somehow managed to descend a craggy precipice in Russia’s remote Arctic archipelago of Novaya Zemlya.

The young male risked life and limb scavenging for eggs along the 300ft-high rock face thronged with hundreds of squawking Brunnich's Guillemots.

Stunned tourists onboard a chartered ice-breaker boat were left in awe as the watched the previously undocumented spectacle.

American photographer Dylan Coker, who captured the incredible scene, said: ‘The height that the bear was at and the sheerness of the cliff face were absolutely amazing,’ said the 40-year-old.

‘Everyone was terrified it was going to fall.

‘Every so often there would be a gasp from someone on the boat when the bear slipped.
‘It was slipping quite a bit and one point it was stretched right out to reach for eggs in a nest.’

What are you doing here?! The bear approches nesting Brunnich's Guillemots, whose eggs he hoped to scavange

Gone again: The birds raced down the cliff every time the polar bear ventured further down. A quizzical seagull watches from above the bulky beast

Remote: The polar bear before making his daring descent on one of the rocky Ostrova Oranskie islands

Describing the moment the passengers relealised they were seeing a bear on the cliff on one of the Ostrova Oranskie islands, Californian Mr Coker, who now lives in Australia, said: ‘It was a really beautiful place; very foggy, cool, and serene with a sky full of squawking birds.

‘We rounded a corner and suddenly we could see this white blob at the top of some cliffs.

‘The cliffs were at least as high as a five-storey building. At first we thought it might be a large bird or a snow patch but as we got nearer we realised it was a polar bear.

‘Everyone on the boat was quiet, we just sat there in awe.’

Despite its bravado, the bear returned to the top of the cliff without enjoying a full meal after losing its footing several times.

Previously the group of group had encountered polar bears hunting on ice floes in Bukhta Maka, after journeying for two days without seeing land.

In awe: Tourists on a small boat capture the previously undocumented scene with their cameras

Precarious: The bear eventually returned to the top after losing its footing a few too many times

But it is believed that a scarcity of ice has led to bears seeking out food in more dangerous locations.

Mr Coker said: ‘There's a real problem with the ice disappearing due to climate change.

Traditionally the bears sit by an air hole in the ice waiting for a seal to poke its head out so they can grab it.

‘But because there's less and less ice, the bears are looking for alternative sources of food and have discovered the birds' eggs.’

During the expedition the tourists also witnessed bears swimming hundreds of miles out to sea.

Mr Coker added: ‘They're used to resting on and hunting from ice floes but now the bears swim around until they are exhausted, then they drown.’

This was the first time a civilian boat has been granted permission to sail in these waters, which also forms part of a large military zone.

Mountainous and shrouded in mystery, the Novaya Zemlya archipelago stretches 1000 km in an elongated crescent between the Barents and Kara seas.

Today it remains one of Russia's most restricted and isolated regions.

Aurora Expeditions secured the first permit on condition that two government representatives act as chaperones.

Mr Coker, who recently won an Archbishops Award for his photography, added: ‘We were really lucky to have witnessed it.

‘We could have easily been there on a different day and who knows how often this kind of thing occurs.

‘I will never forget the day I watched a polar bear hunt for eggs on a cliff-edge.
‘I couldn't have imagined a better or more unique adventure.’


Reunited! Couple handed back 16-week-old puppy stolen by motorbike thieves

9:54 PM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments
By Emily Allen

Puppy love: Pauline and Ian Parsons with daughter Ashleigh Parsons 16, re-united with their puppy Alfie

The delighted owners of a 16-week-old puppy that was snatched by opportunistic motorcycle thieves have been reunited with their pet.

Tiny spaniel Alfie was taken by a pair of thieves in a bank raid-style operation last week and was captured on CCTV.

Despite frantic efforts by his owners, Pauline and Ian Parsons, both 45, to find him, it was only after their story hit the headlines on Mail Online that Alfie's new owners got in touch.

The puppy was returned by a couple who bought him just hours after he was snatched from outside the family business in West Bromwich.

They said they were walking their own dog when a man approached them and asked if they wanted to buy another dog.

They paid over the £150 asking price for the little King Charles Cavalier spaniel, after being told that he was the last of a large litter.

After seeing press coverage about Alfie's disappearance, the couple contacted the Parsons family to tell them the good news.

Happy to be home: Alfie bounding around the garden with his family after heartless opportunist thieves stole him

A couple over the £150 asking price for Alfie the King Charles Cavalier spaniel after being told that he was the last of a large litter

He was quickly reunited with his rightful owners, who said that he is slowly getting over the ordeal.

Mr and Mrs Parsons, from Coseley, West Midlands, had watched in disbelief as two men roared up on a motorbike and snatched their pet from a playpen outside the family-run Metal Supermarket

The pillion rider got off scooped up Alfie and wedged the dog between him and the getaway rider before they sped off.

Mrs Parsons said: 'He was a bit timid at first, but he's settling back in now.
'It must have been a bit of a shock for him.'

She added: 'I've got to be honest, I didn't think we'd see him again.

Dog thieves: The dognappers are caught on CCTV after stealing Alfie

'He's so little, and it would be so easy to shift him on to someone else.'

The Parsons had been tirelessly canvassing their local area in an attempt to find Alfie, as well as posting messages on Facebook and various missing pets websites.

Mrs Parsons said: 'If it wasn't for the press coverage I doubt we would've seen him again.'

Though the family are 'thrilled' to have their dog back, they hope that their ordeal will act as a warning to others to be vigilant when letting their own pets out.

She added: 'The main thing to remember is that these people are still out there.

A treasured photo of Alfie: Ashleigh Parsons pleaded for help to find her dog yesterday

'I can't believe the nerve of them, they came right up to the door and took him. We are still looking out for them.'

But the family said they are finding lots of time to spoil Alfie, and that he can look forward to being a pampered pooch for some time to come.

Mrs Parsons said: 'He isn't going to be allowed out of our sight now.'

The incident last Thursday afternoon was captured on CCTV and the couple are appealing for help in finding the two thieves.

Mrs Parsons said one of them wore a helmet with a black star and silver lining.

They were riding a scrambler-type machine with yellow wheels.

She added: 'He's just gorgeous and a brilliant dog – really clever. The customers really took to him as he's a real character. Everybody turned soft when they saw him – even the biggest blokes were reduced to mush.'

She added: 'We have never had a puppy before. We decided to get one because we could take him to work with us.

Jayne Hayes, founder of the charity Dog Lost, said the number of pedigree dogs being stolen had soared since the recession began.

'We see 150 to 200 cases a week. People just grab the dogs and sell them on and they get away with it because the police don't do much.

'I've never seen a theft like this before, though. This a worrying development, but there is definitely a market out there for expensive pedigree dogs like Alfie.'


I'm just a shy guy! Timid chipmunk who tried to hide from the camera

9:44 PM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments
By Daily Mail Reporter

This chipmunk wanted to see no camera, hear no camera - then a giant flash bulb drove him NUTS.

The tiny rodent settled on a comfy stump before being startled by a photographer in a garden in Delaware, Ohio, United States.

The Eastern Chipmunk was right at home in the garden of Mark Hardymon, 45, who caught his hilarious expressions on film.

Camera shy: This chipmunk covered up for his close up by Ohio-based photographer Mark Hardymon

A keen photographer, he tempts birds and other wildlife to the garden with seeds, the cute little thing's favourite food.

Mr Hardymon, who builds custom houses for a living, made his furry friend comfortable by constructing his own little perch.

He said: 'I have an old piece of a dead tree set up with a flat rock resting in the crotch of the branches.

'The chipmunks live nearby and will often scramble up the trunk of the tree and feed on the bird seed there.

The tiny rodent had settled on a comfy stump before being startled by the photographer in a garden in Delaware

'The little chipmunk on this day climbed up on the perch for whatever reason and as animals so often do proceeded to groom himself, which is what you see in the photo.

'At that point it was just a matter of pushing the button as quickly as possible.

'Because it happened so quickly I didn't even know if I had captured it. It was only when I looked back I realised it looked exactly like he was pulling, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil poses.

'Chipmunks can be pretty skittish but the bird food is a strong attraction.

'But once they find the food and realise nothing bad happens, they come and go comfortably.

'I will set up my tripod a fair distance away and just sit and watch, often for hours as the antics of these creatures are pretty funny.'

The 45-year-old Mr Hardymon, who builds custom houses for a living, made his furry friend comfortable by constructing his own little perch

Mr Hardymon, from Ohio USA, caught the photography bug in high school, and had a darkroom set up in his parents' basement.

He said: 'After college and moving out there was no room for that so it was put on hold until about four years ago when I discovered how good digital had gotten.

'I like to shoot wildlife and landscapes with a particular interest in bird photography. I find the birds fascinating and photographing them particularly challenging.'

Mr Hardymon's two pet dogs and cat don't make it easy though.

'They enjoy the wildlife but probably not in the way you might think,' he added.

'Their enjoyment comes mostly from chasing and occasionally catching, although that's not very often.'


We're going to need some bigger chips to go with that! Angler reels in giant 185lb catfish by himself after friends head to the bar

9:37 PM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments
By Hugo Gye

Fishing fan John Whittaker was delighted to reel in a 13-stone catfish on an angling holiday.

But he had no witnesses - because his friends had already given up for the day and headed off for a drink.

John, 45, from Stockport in Greater Manchester, had headed to the River Ebro in Spain with two pals to try and land one of the area's giant fish.

Whopper: John Whittaker landed this huge catfish on a fishing holiday in Spain

So he was over the moon to catch the 185lb whopper - but disappointed that his friends Dave Watkins and Nick Duffield had already called it a day and gone to the pub.

Luckily, angling guide Gary Sheridan rushed to the bank and helped John haul in his huge catch.

John, a manager at a building firm, said his two friends didn't believe his luck when he told them what had happened.

He said: 'When I told them what I'd caught, they were clearly under the impression it was a fisherman's tale.

'Then I took the pictures to prove it and forwarded them on they couldn't believe their eyes.

Huge: But John's mates had already given up and gone to the pub

'They really wished they'd not gone to the pub, as it was a dream fish and I might not have landed it if it had caught on their lines. It was the best day's fishing of my life - the other catfish I caught weighed 72lbs and 130lbs and I also landed a common carp weighing 45lbs.'

The River Ebro, which flows through the city of Zaragoza, is a popular destination for anglers because of its monster catfish.

Last year, blind grandmother Sheila Penfold made headlines by landing a fish even bigger than John's catch.

But both fall some way short of the world record for a freshwater catfish - a whopping 646lbs.


Dognapped: Motorbike thieves caught on camera grabbing a 16-week-old puppy from under owners' noses

6:35 AM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments
By Stephanie Darrall

Stolen: Alfie was snatched in front of his owners by two men on a motorbike

Cruel thieves were caught on CCTV as they snatched a 16-week-old puppy while its owners who were standing just 10ft away before making off on a motorbike.

The footage shows adorable spaniel Alfie gazing in to the camera lens as he is wedged between the two men in bike helmets

Owners Pauline and Ian Parsons, both 45, and their daughters Ashleigh, 18, and Jordanne, 16 from Brierley Hill, West Midlands, said they were 'heartbroken' by the loss of their beloved pet.

Mrs Parsons said: 'It happened just ten feet from where we were standing.

'One of the men just jumped off and grabbed him by the neck.

'It was over in literally a matter of seconds. We have only had him 10 weeks, we are gutted.'

Dog thieves: The dognappers are caught on CCTV after stealing Alfie

The puppy was with Pauline at the franchise the family run, Metal Supermarket in a trading estate in West Bromwich, West Midlands, when motorcyclists stopped.

One of them leapt off the bike and grabbed the dog from a play pen before the pair sped off.

Mrs Parsons said the thieves were wearing distinctive helmets - one had a black star with silver lining while the bike they were riding was a scrambler-type machine with yellow wheels.

She said: 'Alfie is a pedigree, and he's only 16 weeks old.

'We have never had a puppy before. We decided to get one because we could take him to work with us.

'It felt like having a little baby when we first got him, and now it feels like we've lost a baby.'

'He's just gorgeous and a brilliant dog, really clever

'The customers really took to him - he's a real character. Everybody turned soft when they saw him - even the biggest blokes were reduced to mush when they saw him.'

She said the family were so desperate to get their dog back that they were offering a reward for information leading to the pet's return.

The puppy is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, worth about £400 and has a distinctive marking on his muzzle - half his top lip is brown while the other half is white.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police, Brigg Ford, said police were appealing for information on the theft or the whereabouts of the dog.


Baby elephant born at Disney's Animal Kingdom takes centre stage after mother's 22-month pregnancy... but will they call him Dumbo?

6:24 AM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments
By Jennifer Madison

Newborn: The African elephant calf (pictured here) weighs a staggering 311lbs

The elephant herd at Disney’s Animal Kingdom got just a little larger with the birth of a baby calf.

Weighing 311lbs, the male African elephant was welcomed into the group by his mother Vasha, 10 herd members and a team of animal care professionals assisting with the birth.

The 25-year-old mother delivered the herd’s sixth offspring after gaining more than 800lbs during a 22-month gestation. This latest addition, which has yet to be named, is the second calf for Vasha, who gave birth to a female calf, Kianga, in 2004.

With support from the animal care team, the newborn, whose first tentative steps are becoming stronger and more confident, is now successfully nursing from his mother.

A spokesman for Animal Kingdom said Vasha has been getting to know the calf, gently touching the young animal with her trunk and keeping a watchful eye on him.

Jackie Ogden, PhD, vice president of Disney’s Animal, Science and Environment Programs said in a press release: 'The natural bonding between mother and calf is fascinating. The team is encouraged by the early interaction between mother and calf and will continue to monitor them closely for the next several weeks.'

Joining the herd: This is the sixth elephant born at Disney's Animal Kingdom in the last eight years

The next critical milestone is for the calf to continue the bonding process with his mother who will teach him important lessons and protect him as he gradually acclimates to the rest of the savannah herd over the next several weeks. With 12 elephants, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has one of the largest African elephant herds in North America, including four males and eight females.

Vasha became pregnant through artificial insemination in October 2009 and received extensive pre-natal care throughout pregnancy. Since early August, animal care teams have provided round-the-clock monitoring, regular ultrasounds and daily hormone monitoring to more accurately predict the beginning of labour.

In the past few years, Disney’s animal care teams have been able to narrow the birth window to within four days, which enables them to better prepare for the delivery.

With this birth, the team had been on heightened baby-alert since Monday.

This is the sixth elephant born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Others include Tufani, a male, born in 2003; Kianga, a female, born in 2004; Nadirah a female, born in 2005; Tsavo, a male, born in 2008; and Luna, a female born 2010.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is part of a breeding program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that is focused on sustaining the elephant population in North America.

AZA’s Elephant Species Survival Plan has called for a five-fold increase in African elephant reproduction efforts - using both natural and artificial breeding methods - in order to create a self-sustaining elephant population among North American zoos and wildlife centres.


Little and large: The colour co-ordinated kitten and Great Dane who are the best of friends


Me and my Shadow: George the kitten is followed everywhere by his 7ft friend

An abandoned kitten who was rescued when he was just days old has found a safe haven after striking up an unlikely friendship with a Great Dane.

Bemused owner, Eve Hughes, 39, from Felixstowe, Suffolk, said the pair are 'inseparable' and love to curl up together for a snooze.

George, who is 13 weeks old was adopted in June after he was rescued by the RSPCA.and soon won the affection of his owner's three-year-old Great Dane, Shadow.

Dinner's up! The cat and dog also love to curl up for a snooze

Weighing over 10 stone and measuring 32in high to the shoulder and 7ft long, Shadow towers over the 2lb kitten.

But despite being 65 times heavier and eight times taller, doting Shadow follows his companion around the house and even stands guard while he eats.

Ms Hughes, a manager of an RSPCA shop said: 'I was unsure at first because if Shadow sees a cat on the street he does like to chase them.

Safe at last: Abandoned kitten George now has a new home and best friend

'But they just sniffed each others noses and have been inseparable ever since.
'They have an amazing bond, it really is very sweet because Shadow is so protective of George.

'George sits between Shadow's feet to eat his food and they always go out into the garden together in the morning.

'He didn't eat or play, he just buried his head under the cushions on the settee.

'I was worried and thought a new playmate would cheer him up but I would never have guessed he would befriend a kitten.

'The RSPCA said they had a kitten who needed a temporary foster home but when they got on so well I was more than happy to keep him.'

source: dailymail