Bonedigger, a disabled lion at G.W. Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma, has made some unlikely BFFs in his zookeeper, John Reinke, and a Dachshund named Milo. The lion was born with a metabolic bone disease, leaving him mildly disabled in his front legs. Reinke, who is himself disabled, personally raised the lion and formed a closed relationship with him. The big cat used to live in his home, where he bottle fed him until he was too big to live indoors any longer. At 500 lbs., Bonedigger looms over both Reinke and his tiny canine friend Milo, but that hasn’t scared the pup one bit over the course of their five-year friendship. Several other Dachshunds who live at the park have joined Milo in comforting the lion, providing lots of cuddles and playtime for the cat. Reinke told the Daily Mail, “Milo does his best to copy Bonedigger when the lion tries puffing to communicate with other lions in the park…Bonedigger’s like a dog and when he hasn’t seen me for ages he gets all excited and runs up to me.” I don’t know about you, but this animal park sounds like my personal heaven. Keep reading »
When I was about 10, I decided my favorite animal was the ocelot. I liked the exotic sound of the name, the way it made me seem infinitely more cultured and knowledgeable than my simpleton friends who were still citing “cat” as their favorite animal. Plus, how could you not love a jungle cat that’s known as the “Dwarf Leopard”?! After watching this video of a 9-week-old ocelot playing on a scratching post, I’d like to, at age 28, renew my Ocelot Fan Club Membership. Click play, and I’m pretty sure you’ll want to join me. [Laughing Squid]
Rihanna gets a lot done in a day, regardless of whether or not a proper pair of pants is involved. Her trip to South Africa this week yielded not only a history-making performance as the youngest ever female artist to sell out the Johannesburg stadium, but also — more importantly — plenty of opportunities to pose awesomely alongside animals while hitting the local zoo with her fam. Without further ado, check out Rihanna, dressed to kill, hangin’ out with baby tigers, giraffes, giant crabs, and more … [Instagram]
Jessica is out on vacation this week, and that’s left me to cover the amazingly cute panda cub beat. I don’t mind though, because these twin panda cubs, born at the Atlanta Zoo, exist somewhere on the scale between mind-blowingly cute and breathtakingly adorable. The little buggers are about a month old, and weigh just four pounds, which is huge compared to their wee size when they were born. Zoo staff have to rotate them out of their mother’s care every four hours, which means that a few lucky Atlanta Zoo staffers get to spend all their time with these little buggers. I’m so jealous. [CNN]
Talk about cowardly. The Luohe zoo in the Chinese province of Henan is in trouble after it reportedly tried to pass off a Tibetan mastiff dog as a lion. The dog, pictured, was placed in a cage labeled “African lion,” but the zoo’s visitors figured out something was amiss when they heard the animal, which resembles an oversized Chow, bark.
And that wasn’t the only animal ruse happening at the Luohe zoo. Keep reading »
How do you beat a panda or rhinoceros at its own game? If you’re zookeepers at the Taiyuan Zoo in China’s Shanxi Province, you dress up in furry costumes and pretend to be zoo creatures. Keepers at Taiyuan participated in a drill where one staff member portrayed an escaped bear. (Think: More furry sex party, less grizzly.) And while we can’t comment on the program’s effectiveness, we can say that it definitely looked hilarious. [Digital Spy]