Monday, March 24, 2014

Jesse the Cat's Eight Year Sabbatical

In May 2006 Jesse the cat was being brought by his owner Lesley Corbett on a routine visit to the vet. Jesse however had other plans. He threw himself violently against the door of his cat box until the door came off. Then he jumped out and ran away as fast as he could. Ms Corbett and her family tried to lure Jesse out of hiding by rattling his food container, but to no avail. Although they kept looking for him, they resigned themselves to the possibility of never seeing Jesse again, though they never gave up hope of his eventual return.

But then on the 28th of February last Ms Corbett received an unexpected phone call from the very veterinary practice to which she had been bringing Jesse in 2006. A stray cat loitering in the area had been brought in and then identified as Jesse from its microchip.
Jesse appears to have been well-fed during his eight years away, but now that he is home he is apparently being spoiled rotten. He is also proving very vocal, informing Ms Corbett's other cats of all the exciting adventures he enjoyed while on his travels.

more (BBC) (first picture)

even more (Pawnation) (second picture)

yet more (Stoke Sentinel) (third picture)

An inuit panda production

Friday, March 21, 2014

Vladimir Putin has a feeling for animals

Russian president Vladimir Putin is no friend of Ukrainians or the gays. However, he is known for his ability to mix easily in the animal kingdom and for his interest in wildlife. The BBC reports that in the past he has been seen tagging whales and intervening to save people from an enraged tiger. He has also flown in a microlight aircraft to help cranes migrate.

Before the Sochi Olympics, President Putin took journalists and Olympic officials to visit a nearby sanctuary for Persian leopards. The president is keen to restore these spotted predators to southern Russia, where they had become extinct by the 1970s. But the visit provided another opportunity for him to demonstrate his rapport with non-human life. When one of the leopard cubs in the sanctuary became agitated, attacking two journalists, Putin stepped in and calmed the animal down.

"I like animals," commented the Russian president. "It seems I have a feeling for them. We like each other."


Russia President Putin encounters Sochi leopard cubs (image source, BBC)

Vladimir Putin helps bird migration

An inuit panda production

Monday, March 03, 2014

Murderer caught after parrot sings like a bird

In a gruesome slaying, Neelam Sharma and her pet dog were stabbed to death in their home on the 20th of February last. The only survivor was Ms Sharma's parrot Neera. The parrot seems initially to have gone into shock after witnessing the terrible crime. However, Ms Sharma's husband, Vijay Sharma, noticed that Neera became agitated when his nephew, Ashutosh Goswami visited. This aroused his suspicions, which he shared with the police. They arrested Mr Goswami; he admitted under interrogation to having gone to the Sharmas' home to rob it, but was surprised by Ms Sharma and so murdered her (and the dog).

That is the outline version of this story appearing on the website of the Times of India. The Daily Telegraph reports further details. Apparently Mr Sharma read out the names of a number of possible suspects to Neera, and then when Mr Goswami's was mentioned, the parrot exclaimed "He's the killer! He's the killer!"

Local police chief Superintendent Satyarth Anirudh has however denied that it was the parrot's evidence that led to the murderer's apprehension. "We interrogated all the suspects," he said, "and the nephew of the victim confessed to the crime. We don’t know where the parrot came into it.”

More (Times of India)

Even more (Daily Telegraph)

An inuit panda production

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Wild beavers return to England

Beavers used to live wild in England, but they were exterminated in the 16th century. In more recent years, some have been reintroduced into the wild in Scotland, but there have been no organised reintroduction programmes in England and Wales. However, there now appears to be a wild beaver community in Devon.

After reports of sightings and signs of gnawed trees, retired environmental scientist Tom Buckley set up motion sensor cameras along the River Otter in east Devon. The cameras captured an image of two beavers playing together while a third gnaws at a tree in the background. The image is fascinating, suggesting that now there might be a breeding community of beavers living wild in England.

Quite where the beavers came from is something of a mystery. There are beavers living in a securely fenced compound run by the Devon Wildlife Trust, but they have all been accounted for and have not busted loose to set up home along the River Otter. The wild beavers may have escaped from some other site where they were being held in captivity. Or perhaps some mysterious person or group set them free deliberately. In England it is currently an offence to set beavers free, but there have been calls for their wider reintroduction as a way of combatting floods.

Scientists have called for the River Otter beavers to be left alone and carefully monitored to see how their colony develops. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said however that it was looking into the case and deciding what action would be taken; the DEFRA spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the beavers would end up being left alone, moved or killed.

Image source (Guardian)

"Bring back beavers to control flooding, environment secretary told"

Saturday, March 01, 2014

[live music] Julia Holter

I saw Ms Holter and her musicians play in the Unitarian Church. She sings! She plays music! And it all has a fascinating air of being both austere modern composition and tremendously accessible fun music at the same tyme. I liked it. I liked it all so much that I bought one of her records at random. It is called Tragedy and is based on some play by Euripides, though not so you would notice. And it sounded quite different to the music she played at the concert, though not in a bad way.

more insightful music comment coming soon!

Fu Bao the Panda

An inuit panda production; this post appeared in issue 138 of Frank's APA.

Dancing Bear Cubs

Valtteri Mulkahainen was travelling in the forests of Finland when he saw a magical sight: some bear cubs playing together, looking like they were dancing or playing a game of ring-a-ring-a-rosies.
Their mother kept a close watch to make sure nothing untoward happened.
More on this important story (Huffington Post; with more dancing bear cubs)

Valtteri Mulkahainen (more bears, and other photographs)

An inuit panda production