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]
While I was out in the Northwest, I visited the Portland Zoo and their new baby otter pup. While I was there, I discovered a new animal to bestow my love and affection on: The sun bear, a mythical creature that combines the best of the bear world, with the undeniable coolness of a sloth. The sun bear’s native habitat is Southeast Asia, but sadly, thanks to overpopulation and deforestation, the sun bear’s population has decreased by a third in the last 60 years, and they’re currently classified as an endangered species. And oh, you want to hear something horrifying? According to the Winton Foundation for the Welfare of Bears, “The bear is often boiled alive to be eaten as a delicacy at banquets. It is believed the bear’s fear tenderises the meat.” UGH. Don’t cook a sun bear alive. Don’t cook a sun bear at all.
There are more shots of the sun bear and his ginormous claws being adorable after the jump, but if you’d like to do something to help these guys, you can support Winton or the Save the Sun Bear Foundation. Keep reading »
The end of a romance usually begins with the first sly traces of resentment, jealousy or rage. For tortoise couple Bibi and Poldi, the end of their 115-year relationship began with a bite. According to their keepers at Austria’s Klagenfurt Zoo, the pair can no longer stand to be around one another, and have taken to biting and snapping at one another. Male tortoise Bibi attacked female Poldi several times — biting off a piece of her shell — before he was eventually moved to a separate enclosure. Animal experts attempted to reunite the pair by feeding them animal aphrodisiacs, but it didn’t work. “We have staff talking to and trying to engage the two in interacting, and we hope that they might find their harmony again,” says Zoo Chief Helga Happ. No luck yet, so maybe we’ve discovered that love is not forever — it’s actually for around 115 years. [The FW]
Surprisingly, swimming doesn’t necessarily come naturally to all members of the animal kingdom.
Like these baby otters, Sumalee and Kasem, who live at the Longleat Zoo in England. The pair were taught how to swim by first trying it out in a sink, before then graduating to a baby pool. Watch as they frolic and play — sans water wings — for a thrilled audience. [BuzzFeed
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Breaking cute thing news! A baby panda was born this morning to mama panda, Lun Lun, at Zoo Atlanta. Let me repeat that: A BABY PANDA!!!! Lun Lun, age 13, gave birth to a cell phone-sized cub inside a special “birthing den” in the zoo’s giant panda house. This is a huge deal because only 1,600 panda bears exist worldwide and, unfortunately, they do not seem to enjoy having sex. Artificial insemination is how Lun Lun’s gotten knocked up with her three cubs, including this one. Keep reading »
As any terrified toddler who’s been dropped into a pool cold turkey knows, swimming ain’t easy. And that’s equally true for tiger cubs. Witness these four cuties at the Smithsonian National Zoo in D.C. figure out the doggie paddle with a team of helpful zoo attendees standing by. [The Awl
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Wondering what happened to your Maxim magazine? An activist group in the U.K. — that calls itself Object — storms into stores and magazine stands throughout London once a month on “Feminist Fridays,” stuffing lad mags into paper bags scribbled with phrases like “This magazine dehumanizes women! Don’t buy it! and “Love women, hate sexism!” Object say lad mags like Maxim (former employer of our dear Amelia, as well as John DeVore) and the U.K.’s Zoo are just watered-down versions of porn magazines like Hustler and even if they aren’t as, um, gynecologically educational as pornographic magazines, they’re just as raunchy and disrespectful in their depictions of women. Keep reading »
Sometimes animals are so adorable, I could freaking cry. Simcha says, “That’s how you know you’re a woman.” So true. [You Tube: Huge Lion Kiss] Keep reading »