Cheeky monkeys give each other a fright playing with spooky Halloween toys

-Ringtailed lemurs and monkeys had fun messing around with scary masks
-The monkeying around went down a treat at Woburn Safari Park


By STEVE NOLAN


Cheeky monkeys got into the spirit of Halloween early as they gave each other a playful fright messing around with masks and disguises at a Bedfordshire safari park.

Ring-tailed lemurs had fun scaring their friends with ghoulish Frankenstein and vampire masks.

Meanwhile a brave Patas monkey proves he’s not scared of monsters by eagerly tucking into this sorrowful jack-o-lantern pumpkin.

Cheeky monkeys gave each other a fright messing around with spooky disguises ahead of Halloween at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire

Ring-tailed lemurs had fun scaring their friends with ghoulish Frankenstein and vampire masks

A black-and-white ruffed lemur shows off his pumpkin head wear as animals at the safari park, close to Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, got into the Halloween spirit early

Park spokeswoman Abi Crowley says the Halloween fun went down a treat at Woburn Safari Park, which is close to Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

She added: 'All the lemurs and monkeys were running around teasing each other with the masks.As the lemurs held the masks up to eat they looked like they were trying to spook each other out.

'And the sad face carved on the pumpkin was priceless as one of our monkeys munched straight into it.

Despite some of the animals getting spooked by the Halloween paraphernalia, others got to grips with pumpkins and Jack o' lanterns

'They are usually fed a lot of cabbage, carrots, tomatoes and squash so this was a nice treat.'

Staff at Woburn put mashed banana on the back of the Halloween masks to tempt the lemurs, who live in a ‘walk-through’ section of the park.

Ring-tailed and red fronted lemurs can even be seen sticking their heads into pumpkins dangling from climbing ropes to steal the yummy snacks inside.

Ms Crowley said: 'A lot of our visitors stopped to have a good look and enjoyed watching the animals’ antics.'

This brave Patas monkey proves he's not scared of monsters by eagerly tucking into a pumpkin

Woburn Safari Park spokeswoman Abi Crowley says the Halloween fun went down a treat


source:dailymail







Cheer up, it might never happen... Baby otters sport matching glum expressions

7:41 PM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments
Baby otters at a Bournemouth aquarium have been christened Jess, Mo and Sophie after three of Britain's Olympic gold medalists


By Kerry Mcdermott


Their Olympic namesakes inspired scenes of jubilation across the country with gold-medal winning performances at the London Games.

But these adorable baby otters - named Jess, Mo and Sophie after three of Britain's 2012 Olympic superstars - all sport less than enthusiastic expressions.

The tiny oriental small-clawed pups, weighed less than half a pound and were just three inches long when they were born at Bournemouth Oceanarium in Dorset.

Olympic inspired: The adorable baby otters have been named Jess, Sophie and Mo after Britain's Olympic champions

Enchanted staff named the cute creatures after three of Britain's Olympic gold medal winners; heptathlete Jess Ennis, distance runner Mo Farah, and rower Sarah Hosking.

The oriental or Asian small-clawed otter is the smallest otter species in the world, and is distinctive for its forepaws, which give the creatures a high degree of manual dexterity allowing them to feed on molluscs and crabs.

Why so glum? The cute baby otters sport identical sorrowful expressions at Bournemouth Oceanarium

Playful: the baby otters weighed less than half a pound and were just three inches long when they were born at Bournemouth Oceanarium

Namesakes: The otters have been named after heptathlete Jess Ennis, distance runner Mo Farah and rower Sophie Hosking

Solemn: One of the solemn faced otters, left, is cuddled by a member of staff (right) at Bournemouth Oceanarium in Dorset


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Just too cute! Adorable red panda cubs born at British zoo that look like teddy bears emerge from their nest box for first time

7:34 PM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments
By Steve Nolan


These adorable pictures show the moment two cuddly red panda cubs take their first look at the outside world as they emerge from their den for the very first time.

Not only are the little pair super cute but they are also extremely rare and the first creatures of their kind to be born at Cotswold Wildlife Park in a decade after mother Scarlet gave birth back in June.

Keepers at the park were stunned at the birth as they had no idea that first-time mother Scarlet was pregnant with the male cubs.

A close up of one of the creatures. The twins are the first of their kind to be born at the Cotswold centre for a decade

This is the moment two rare red panda cubs emerge from their den for the first time at Cotswold Wildlife Park

The pair, who are yet to be named, were pictured snuggled in their box at just four weeks old. Keepers were unaware that mother Scarlet was pregnant until she gave birth

One of the rare red pandas strikes a pose for the camera as it checks out its surroundings

Staff had not observed any signs of mating between two-year-old Scarlet and father Doodoo, five, and the mother's thick fur hid any growing signs of pregnancy.

Red pandas are also secretive and shy by nature and only have a small window of opportunity for breeding every couple of years when the female is receptive.

The creatures are regarded as as 'vulnerable' by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which means the species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

Cotswold Wildlife Park has kept red pandas for 40 years but, due to a combination of habitat loss and hunting, it is thought there are less than 2,500 of the gentle species left in the wild.

One of the rare red panda cubs in its box following his birth back in June. The species grows to slightly larger than a domestic cat and has reddish-brown fur

Red pandas are also secretive and shy by nature and only have a small window of opportunity for breeding every couple of years when the female is receptive

The species normally live in mist shrouded, temperate forests of the eastern Himalayas, including parts of Nepal, India, Bhutan and Myanmar, and the isolated mountain ranges in western China

While classified as a relative of the giant panda and the raccoon, the rigid tailed animal is considered as its own unique family - the Ailuridae.

Normally slightly larger than the average domestic cat and with reddish-brown fur and waddling gait due to its short front legs, the species feeds mainly on bamboo.

They normally live in mist shrouded, temperate forests of the eastern Himalayas, including parts of Nepal, India, Bhutan and Myanmar, and the isolated mountain ranges in western China.


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The heartwarming story of a failed police dog who almost died three times but is now in a Crufts final after four years of training

-Stanley, who lives at a Devon home, faced being put to sleep after test fail
-But he was rescued from death by police inspectors Anne and Mike Higgins
-Stanley has also nearly died twice from choking and getting food poisoning

By Mark Duell


He was almost put to sleep after failing a police dog induction test, and nearly died twice after getting a piece of bone wedged in his throat and eating a rotten chicken carcass.

But Stanley, who never managed to become a police sniffer dog, has reached the final of a dog agility competition at the Crufts competition next March in Birmingham after four years of training.

He now hands the washing to his owner Anne Higgins - who is a police inspector, along with her husband Mike - and even selects the pegs for the washing line at his home near Tiverton, Devon.

Taking a leap: Stanley, who never managed to become a police sniffer dog, has reached the final of a dog agility competition at the Crufts competition next March in Birmingham after four years of training

Helpful: Stanley now hands the washing to his owner Anne Higgins (left) - who is a police inspector, along with her husband Mike - and even selects the pegs for the washing line at his home near Tiverton, Devon

After the couple rescued Stanley from being put down, they put in huge amounts of dedication and patience to train up the dog, which will show off his ability in the world’s most prestigious dog show.

But life could have been so different for Stanley, who failed the police induction because he had no interest in toys or any play drive. Now he is an exceptionally-trained and fun-loving pooch.

Mrs Higgins said: ‘As a pair of new and naive dog owners we did not really understand about socialisation, training and the importance of puppyhood.

‘What we did know was this little dog needed a home and that we could not let him go to the council kennels, where there was a high chance he would be put to sleep.

Part of the family: After the couple rescued Stanley from being put down, they put in huge amounts of dedication and patience to train up the dog

Two escapes: Stanley almost died five years ago when he bolted down a piece of bone and got it wedged in his throat, before suffering poisoning in 2010 after wolfing back some rotten chicken

‘So, home he came and there it started. Four years of hard work, sheer determination on his part and ours, sleepless nights and tears.’

Stanley nearly died in 2007 when he bolted down a piece of bone and got it wedged in his throat, before suffering poisoning three years later after wolfing back a rotten chicken carcase.

Mrs Higgins added that Stanley had not been exposed to normal human events and was scared by sounds such as sneezes, clapping, zips, screams, laughter, cats fighting and bells.

‘He had quite clearly never been allowed to explore his environment and knew no cues, except perhaps “away” – which, if he ever got the chance, he executed to perfection,’ she said.


source:dailymail







The fox outfoxed by a flock of geese: Birds gang up on predator who thought he was in for an easy lunch

12:15 PM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments
-The encounter was photographed by a visitor at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre in Barnes, south-west London

By David Wilkes


As he splashed into a pond full of geese, this hungry fox no doubt thought he was in for an easy lunch.

But he had chosen the wrong flock for that. The brave birds banded together – and outfoxed him.

The Canada geese even recruited passing ducks, coots, moorhens and cormorants for their cunning plan.

Outnumbered: As the fox wades through the water looking for an easy meal, the geese surround him

They ganged up on the would-be predator to prevent him picking them off one by one and followed him along the pond.

Eventually, the fox gave up and returned to dry land still hungry and probably rather baffled.

The encounter was photographed by a visitor at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre in Barnes, south-west London.

Safety in numbers: Other birds join in to defend themselves and their offspring

A spokesman for the centre said: ‘They will be used to seeing foxes and have developed strategies to deal with their presence and protect themselves. It is typical behaviour in the wild but rarely seen.

These are fascinating pictures.’ Tim Webb, of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said it was an example of ‘mobbing’, a form of behaviour that birds engage in to defend themselves or their offspring from predators.

They aim to divert a predator’s attention through their behaviour and to blow its cover, thus reducing its chances of success.

Better luck next time: Defeated, the fox begins slink away

Although more commonly associated with crows and gulls swooping in flight at their target, it is common among many species of birds and can take place on land or on water.

Mr Webb said: ‘It’s instinctive behaviour. At first, the birds will have acted out of fear for their young, but they will have become emboldened by the number of birds that were there and acted as a group.

‘Normally mobbing involves one species. What is quite unusual here is that they are all joining together to defend themselves against a fox coming into their patch – it’s like an avian

Neighbourhood Watch. They are being intimidating by patrolling up and down wherever the fox goes.’


source:dailymail




Mummy's little girl: Emma the orangutan holds newborn daughter close after giving birth at Chester Zoo

12:11 PM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments
By Sarah Johnson


This baby orangutan may have been born in captivity but that hasn't stopped her mother from holding her close.

Emma, the Sumatran orangutan, gave birth to her daughter three days ago and has not let her out of her sight since.

The, as yet unnamed, newborn is the latest addition to the Realm of the Red Ape exhibit at Chester Zoo which houses a group of the critically endangered Sumatran orangutans.

Proud mother: Emma, a Sumatran orangutan, looks at the camera as she cradles her newborn daughter

These adorable images show the tenderness and love that Emma bestows on her daughter.

She cradles her newborn in her arms while looking proudly at the camera before another photograph captures her gazing lovingly at the baby orangutan.

Not one for missing the action, however, the infant manages to poke her head out from underneath her mother's fur to see what is going on around her.

She looks straight at the lens before something catches her attention and she looks away.

Emma who was also born at the zoo, in 1987, gazes lovingly at the newest addition to the family

Sumatran orangutans originally come from the Island of Sumatra in Indonesia and live in tropical and subtropical forests in the lowlands as well as in mountainous areas up to a height of 1500m.

When fully grown, they can measure up to 1.4 metres tall and weigh up to 90 kilogrammes.

Orangutans are the only great ape found outside of Africa.

Their numbers in the wild have decreased from more than 12,000 in the mid 1990s to just 6,500 in recent years.

Peek-a-boo! Emma holds her unnamed three-day-old baby close to her body at Chester Zoo

A mother's love: The unnamed baby orangutan gazes up at the camera from the safety of it's mother's protective embrace

Wide-eyed: Enveloped in its mother's fur, the three-day-old orangutan catches sight of something up above

They are threatened by habitat loss with land being used for agricultural development and logging. Severe droughts and forest fires also play their part.

The animals are hunted for meat, traditional medicine and the pet trade.

With less than 900,000 hectares of suitable habitat remaining, it’s possible that this could be the first great ape to become extinct in the wild.


source:dailymail






It's for your own good! Baby elephant trapped in a well is rescued by conservationists in amazing video

Amboseli Trust sent two jeeps to the scene in a national park in Kenya

By Nick Enoch


Perhaps it’s because many of us watched the Disney classic Dumbo as a child that we all seem to have a special place in our hearts for elephants, especially baby ones.

That’s what makes this latest video from elephant research and conservation project Amboseli Trust for Elephants - which has now started to trend on the internet - so special.

An eight-month-old calf became stuck in a shallow well in the parched grounds of Amboseli national park in Kenya - while its increasingly anxious mother, Zombe, looked on, powerless to help.

Scroll down for video

This baby elephant was found stuck in a well in the Amboseli national park in Kenya

The baby's increasingly anxious mother, Zombe, looked on, powerless to help

Luckily, the Trust got word of the incident in the Rift Valley Province earlier this week and sent two jeeps to assist.

The rescue operation began early in the morning - before the mother would have been forced to leave by herders who would soon arrive to water their cattle.

At first, the team struggled to attach a rope around the calf in the 5ft-deep hole as the low-lying water caused the cord to float to the surface.

Finally, they managed to secure it and, with the other end of the rope attached to a jeep, hauled the animal to safety.

Helping hand: One of the rescuers tries to assist the baby elephant

Luckily, the Amboseli Trust for Elephants got word of the incident in the Rift Valley Province earlier this week and sent two jeeps to assist

At first, the team struggled to attach a rope around the calf as the low-lying water caused the cord to float to the surface

Finally, they managed to secure it and, with the other end of the rope attached to a jeep, hauled the animal to safety

What followed was truly tearjerking.

The calf thundered across the barren plain, leaving a trail of dust in its wake.

In the distance, the cries of Zombe could be heard as she came running in the opposite direction.

And then they were reunited, embracing each other with their trunks.

They then turned to the camera, perhaps as a sign of gratitude to the little one's saviours.

After it was free, the calf thundered across the barren plain

In the distance, the cries of Zombe could be heard as she came running in the opposite direction

And then Zombe, her partner and calf were reunited, embracing each other with their trunks

Members of the Trust were all smiles after releasing the baby elephant




source:dailymail










Life is ruff! Hundreds of pooches wag through Dogtoberfest fundraiser with 'pupsicles' and a doggy day spa

Jacksonville, Florida went to the dogs Saturday as nearly 4,000 people and their canine pals came to this year's Dogtoberfest.

The fundraiser for St. Francis Service Dogs drew poodles, pomeranians, beagles, boxers, and every other breed for dog classes, prizes, parades, diving, and a slew of other activities.

St. Francis Service Dogs trains dogs to aid the disabled but receives no government funding, depending entirely on donations and events for its budget.

Ribbit or bark? Slugo walked in the Dogtoberfest wearing a frog costume

Doggie paddlel: Savannah, owned by Kelly Waltz, cooled off in a kiddie pool at the fundraiser for homeless pets

The annual festival is held on the organization's 18-acre north Roanoke County campus.

This year's events included doggie limbo, doggie dice role and Let's Make a Doggie Deal.

Owners could also indulge their pets with a sinful 'pupsicles' before treating them at a doggie day spa.

Bow wow: Serena Bass primped dog Cash before the "Best Pair" category in the costume contest

Going to the dogs: A young girl wearing the Dogtoberfest mascot costume, takes a break to cool off

Dogs also competed for prizes in four categories: Funniest Costume, Scariest Costume, Most Team Spirit, and Best Pair.

Winners competed for a Best in Show prize.

This is the eighth annual Dogtoberfest as the event continues to attract more visitors every year.

Mine! A dog chases after a ball during Saturday's fundraiser

Lunge: Dogs flew across the pool in the Ultimate Air Dogs dock dive


source:dailymail






Polar stare: Arctic bears get up close and personal in stunning images that show fearsome animal's curious side

By Leon Watson


These in-your-face polar bear pictures are the closest most of us get to one of nature's most powerful predators.

The heart-warming images show the curious white creatures as they investigate the camera held by one brave wildlife photographer - before they jump into the water with him.

Other shots show a male standing upright like a human with its arms outstretched, just like it was waving down a taxi.

Sniffing out the camera: This polar bear sticks its nose right up to the photographer's equipment

These incredible images were taken in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, along the Arctic Coast of Alaska

The incredible pictures were taken by veteran nature photographer Steven Kazlowski, 43, from New York.

Explaining how he was able to approach the man-eaters without becoming lunch, he said: 'I never got close to them, in fact it was the polar bears themselves that got close to me.

'The young bears were especially interested.'

Requiring months of preparation, Mr Kazlowski's expedition was a far cry from the day trips most wildlife photographers take.

The rare images are the closest most of us get to one of nature's most powerful predators

Up close: Veteran nature photographer Steven Kazlowski, 43, from New York, took these incredible snaps of polar bears in Alaska

Curious creatures: A pair of curious young polar bears take a paddle together in Bernard Spit, Alaska

A cub stands upright in the water and raises one paw as if hailing a taxi

Two Alaskan polar bear in the foreground and four more in the background are shown in this stunning snap

He added: 'I managed to take my pictures by working with native guides. I had to wait for months at a time in a location where I knew there would eventually be animals present.'

The images were taken in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, along the Arctic Coast of Alaska.

But while there are currently around 20,000 wild bears living in the Arctic Circle, their numbers are rapidly falling.

A curious bear swims towards photographer Steven Kazlowski, 43, from New York

There are currently around 20,000 wild bears living in the Arctic Circle, their numbers are rapidly falling

The heart-warming images show the curious white fur-balls as they investigate the camera

That number could be cut by two thirds by mid century if the Arctic continues to warm due to climate change, as many experts predict.

In 2008, the US government declared polar bears an endangered species and banned all American hunters from returning from Canada with their trophies.

Norway is the only country that has banned all hunting for the species, with Russia, Alaska and Greenland allowing native communities to hunt the bears as a food source.

Hide and seek: A curious young polar bear goes swimming in Bernard Spit, Alaska

Mr Kazlowski, from New York, has spent 14 years watching and learning about the enormous animals

Adorable: The incredible shots showed this cuddly-looking bear getting close to the camera


source:dailymail