A group of owls is called a parliament, and these young'uns certainly must be holding court at the RSPCA's West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Taunton, England. Thirty-three baby birds found their way to the center between January and July, most likely due to the UK's turbulent weather this year. These tawny owlets are awaiting their release back into the wild . . . and hopefully not more ferocious wind!
Apple's latest version of OS X went on sale this week, and it comes with some purr-fect new features including a new big-cat name: Mountain Lion! Whether you're an Apple adherent or a PC promoter, we thought we'd have some feline fun of our own with a quiz about all of Apple's crazy software cats. See if you can match the names of the previous OS X versions to the big-cat babies in this quiz!
With the Summer Olympics right around the corner, it looks like these 3-month-old cheetah cubs are training for everything from wrestling to the balance beam to the 100-meter dash. After a risky cesarean procedure in which veterinarians were able to save both the mother and the twins, the cubs were hand-raised when Mom abandoned them (which is apparently quite common in first-time mothers under human care). After the now-strong and speedy cubs' public debut this Saturday, the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC plans to name the duo after the fastest American male and female athletes in the 100-meter dash during the Olympic Games. One thing's for sure: they get a gold medal for cuteness!
If you read Marguerite Henry's Misty of Chincoteague as a child, you'll remember that the title character came from a wily band of feral horses living on a sandy strip of island just off the coast of Maryland and Virginia. Though beloved as a bedtime story, this was not a complete work of fiction: the horses exist on Assateague Island, fabled to be the descendants of survivors of a shipwrecked Spanish galleon!
Each July, local volunteers round up the horses and swim with the herd across the channel to Chincoteague, where some of the younger members are put up for auction on Pony Penning Day. This keeps the herd at manageable levels, and the proceeds of the auction benefit the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department.
In the wild, animals have adapted to the weather patterns of their natural habitats, from sweltering Summers to bone-chilling Winters. But for zoo animals, it's not as easy as relying on their genetic makeup. So what's a polar bear to do under that thick arctic coat when the Summer heat cranks up to maximum? Zoos and animals around the world have come up with a tactic or two to help their residents stay cool as a cucumber when the temperatures are hot as a jalapeño!
The crowd at Berlin's Tierpark Zoo showered twin black panther cubs with oohs and awws when they debuted on Friday. Apparently, these 3-month-old cuties are so adorable that even papa panther is involved in their upbringing — something rarely seen in the wild. While these babes, named Remaong and Ferra, sure look lovable, they're clearly learning early how to bare their teeth and use their claws, just like Mom and Dad!
You may not think of polar bears as a summertime animal, and it's true that these Arctic creatures must adapt as the weather warms and their habitat dramatically retreats. But for one little polar bear, the sun's rays mean a new world to explore as the ice melts away from his home in the Scandinavian Wildlife Park. It's been awhile since we checked in on Siku the orphaned cub, but it appears he's been keeping himself busy over the last few months and growing bigger (but staying cute!) along the way. Here's a roundup of our favorite Siku photos to get your weekend off to a great start!
Bouncy horse? Check. Bamboo snacks? Check. Long Summer naps? You bet. These giant bears have plenty to keep them occupied while they enjoy the steamy temperatures at the Beijing Zoo in China. One thing's for certain: life is good when you're a panda.
The sight of a sea turtle gracefully gliding through the ocean or a tortoise contentedly munching on greens warms an animal lover's heart. But these visions may soon be distant memories. Today's World Turtle Day seeks to create awareness of the animal's vanishing habitats around the world and to draw attention to the inhumane treatment of turtles as pets and food sources.
Whether you're considering a turtle as a pet or simply encountering these shelled critters in day-to-day life, American Tortoise Rescue, the sponsor of World Turtle Day, hopes that we can all help in preserving and promoting our reptilian friends by observing a few easy guidelines.
- Don't buy a turtle or tortoise from a pet store, as it increases demand for wild animals. Instead, contact a local animal shelter or turtle rescue to adopt a turtle in need.
- Don't remove a turtle or tortoise from the wild unless it's sick or injured.
- If you see a turtle or tortoise crossing a busy street, then pick it up to help it across, but point it in the same direction it was originally heading. Turtles are headstrong creatures: even if you point it in the opposite direction, it will eventually return to its previous course — and straight back into danger!
For a few more tips to celebrate World Turtle Day, just keep reading.
The trunk of an elephant may be one of the most precisely prehensile features in the animal kingdom, but try telling that to this days-old Asian elephant calf born at Tierpark Hellabrunn Zoo in Berlin! He's just beginning to figure out what to do with such a long nose, and his wobbly legs just barely hold up his 225-pound body! But we're sure he will be making mischief in no time.