Thursday, August 29, 2013

A bad animal classic

Some things never get old, and a Cat Burglar is one of them.
Naughty Norris first started pilfering from local residents around a year ago – dragging food taken from bins through his cat flap.
But his crime spree soon escalated and he started stealing bras, knickers, pants, T-shirts, dusters, gloves, dish cloths and boxer shorts.
He has also come back with unopened tube of gravy paste, a German sausage, baby clothes and someone’s running kit – and even a bath mat and towel set.
Two-year-old Norris has amassed such a huge pile of knickers his owners have red-facedly delivered letters to residents admitting they may have of some of their property.
Norris brings most of his hoard through the cat flap – but if it can’t fit through he leaves it on the mat outside.
Owners Richard and Sophie Windsor, of Bedminster, Bristol, reckon Norris is trawling washing lines for his ill-gotten gains.
Richard, 26, a graphic designer, said: “He was perfectly well behaved up until the age of one, then he started to turn to a life of petty crime.
“He first started bringing things in from the recycling bins when he was about one. At first it was just the odd thing – but over the last four months, he has really started to up his game.
“Initially it was dusters and dish cloths but this has now intensified to clothes, including bras, pants, T-shirts and jumpers.
“We have even had a pair of washing-up gloves – each brought in on a separate night. He goes out in the evening and then returns quite late on or in the early hours.
“He brings his stolen items in and then meows and meows to announce he is back so we will go and see what he has brought in. Sometimes he will go out multiple times during one night."
The couple are now trying to reunite the items with their owners after collecting a huge stash of Norris’ stolen goodies in a special cat swag bag.
They delivered letters explaining Norris’ naughty habit, appealing to anyone who was missing items from their washing line to get in touch.

“So far we have been able to reunite a number of items – including a towel set, some oven gloves, a bath mat, some baby clothes and some running gear – with their owners.
“Fortunately all our neighbours have been very good natured about it and think it is funny. At least now they know where to come if something disappears mysteriously.”

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bad Animal Longreads

Today I'm sending you elsewhere because, as these brief excerpts suggest, there is nothing I could write that would be better than these two articles:

Bruce the Food-addicted Pug
At a recent family party, I was carrying Bruce around in my arms, like a baby. He appeared to be sleeping, complete with Pug snores and all, but he was really assessing the situation. I walked past my grandmother, who had a hot dog in her hand, and Bruce instantly went from asleep to attack. He took the hot dog right out of her hand and ate it in two quick bites. Bruce smacked his lips a couple of times, and then immediately returned to snooze mode as if nothing had happened.
The Soulless, Flesh-Eating Kea
 Most people who are worried about keas I imagine have never met one. Endangered or threatened animals should fall into one of two categories. One, they are sad and pleading, like baby harp seals, baby polar bears, or panda bears (baby and otherwise). Or they should be majestic, like bald eagles, adult polar bears, or mountain lions. But the kea is neither of these. They are self-righteous, disrespectful ingrates whose daily behavior can only be described as dickish.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bad rodent neighbors

There is nothing I can add to this story from The Local.

Group guinea pig sex 'too loud' say neighbours
Frantically mating guinea pigs living in a free-love rodent commune at a German university are making so much noise that neighbours have complained to the city's administrative court.
Münster University's biology department keeps 13 very vocal male and female guinea pigs together in one big cage outdoors. On it, a sign states “These animals live in non-committal, mixed-gender groups and mate with every possible partner.”

The Bild newspaper reported on Friday that the guinea pigs are so noisy – particularly at night – that the institute for neuro- and behavioural biology's next-door neighbours have filed a complaint at Münster's administrative court.

“The Guinea pigs are unbelievably loud and stink to high heaven. It's unbearable,” said 69-year-old Pavo R..

On Thursday, a judge confirmed to the paper that the cage was too close to the couple's house. It is just two metres from where their garden begins. Legally, it should be three metres away.

But the institute says the cage can not be moved, and a spokesman from the North Rhine-Westphalian university told Bild that they hoped that “the ruling doesn't mean the end of their renowned behavioural research.”

Probably better not to look too closely at what's going on in that photo by Flickr user yasa.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bear news updates

We haven't covered bears breaking into houses and restaurants and stealing people's food in a while, but it definitely hasn't stopped happening:

-Black bear breaks into Idaho kitchen

A black bear in search of a late-night snack broke into an Idaho house and licked leftover Chinese food from a cast iron pan on the stove.

    David Edwards of Ketchum told the Idaho Mountain Express that his dog’s barking awakened him around 3 a.m. Monday.

    When he went to investigate what had his Irish setter-Lab mix so upset, he saw the bear on its hind legs, paws on the stove, licking a pan.

-Boy Texts Mom: ‘There’s a Bear Sleeping on the Porch!’ 
The MacDonough children were at their Naples home with the babysitter while mom Alice had just gone out for lunch, when the furry creature lumbered up to the enclosed patio, and settled in for some shuteye.
Ordering the children to get down on hands and knees, the babysitter had them crawl to a back bedroom and hide out, with 7-year-old Mason MacDonough furiously texting his mom about the unbearable situation.
"Mom!! there’s a bear in the lana not outside inside our porch help” “!!!!”
“not jokin”
“Next too couch outside help!!!”
“He’s sleeping”
“Sleeping that’s right”
“The bear sleeping in the Lana”
“Inside the Lana”
“Sleeping omg”
“What do we do”
Eventually, the bear answered the question, rousing itself and lumbering off while children and babysitter waited.
MacDonough told CNN she thinks she knows what the bear is coming for, and it’s not honey. Pizza and Chinese takeout were snatched from her neighbor’s home just the other day, leaving the fruits and veggies behind.
And finally, as illustrated above: Bear Steals Dumpster From Restaurant Twice In 24 Hours

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ungrateful gulls

The scourge of seagulls continues in the UK, now with the story of a woman who was targeted after she actually tried to help them.

The gulls were first attracted to Penny Freeman's yard by her bird feeder. Soon this wasn't enough for them:

The torment began around six to eight months ago when Penny began feeding birds visiting her garden, only for the gulls to become interested in what was on offer.
“When it was deprived of that it would start pecking at the kitchen window - we could hear it night and day,” said Penny, who believes she has been targeted by the same bird, but cannot be certain.
When they built a nest, despite their behavior, Ms. Freeman was concerned for their well-being:
A couple of weeks ago, Mrs Freeman and her brother noticed one of the gull's chicks had become stuck in some guttering, so tried to rescue it.
The pair took the bird, which had been ignored by the adult seagulls, to the vets, but it died.
When the second chick of these neglectful parents fell into the garden,  here's how they reacted:
“For four days I was held hostage in this house by two seagulls looking after a baby. It was terrifying for me, absolutely terrifying. I felt like a prisoner. The washing stayed on the line for four days.”
She's not the only one in her neighborhood to have problems:
 The gentleman next door couldn't let his children play out in the back garden because of them.
"He tried to shoo them away with a broom, but they are very evil things.
"It comes to something when even children cannot play in their own garden."
 Apparently Ms. Freeman has learned her lesson and won't be trying to help birds anymore. She's demanding the local government take action, and says:
"They are like lizards, they are raptors and they have nasty scaly feet. I find them very threatening. Why should we be dictated to by a bird?”

Seagulls attacking ducks by Flick user grussell. No one is safe!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Continuing the crusade against otters

The most-trafficked post on this blog is this one.  It lays bare the fact that the apparently adorable otter is a creature that rapes and murders baby seals, which is basically the animal pictured next to the definition of "cute" in the dictionary.
Thousands of people have read that post, so one can hope that it's had some impact on this allegedly charming animal's reputation. Unfortunately, it's not one of the posts about otters attacking people, a far more important danger. So, typically, the people in the following story were surprised, but let their experience be another lesson: being attacked by a cute animal is not "one in a million."
Kierra Clark, 13, may have accidentally gotten between a mother otter and her babies while playing in the Kalama River on Wednesday. The river otter attacked and began biting her leg.
“At first it felt like somebody was just, like, grabbing onto my leg with their nails, and then it felt like somebody was like stabbing me kind of,” said Clark. “It was probably one of the scariest things ever."
She caught a glimpse of the otter’s eyes popping out of the water. She says she can’t forget those teeth. “They were, like, sharp and long,” she said.
Clark’s grandfather and a neighbor pulled her out of the water while her grandmother watched in horror. “I could see she had blood streaming down her leg,” said Clark’s grandmother, Arlita Schlecht. “(It was like) a scene out of ‘Jaws.’”
Neighbors who’ve lived along the river for six decades said they’ve never seen anything like it. “Then all of the sudden I see it coming right after her, and thought ‘Oh she’s not playing,’” said Fred Palmer, who witnessed the attack.
Craig Bartlett of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says many animals have newborn babies this time of year and can be protective and aggressive. He says river otter attacks are unusual but not unheard of, especially this time of year.
“I think the mother was just protecting what she thought was a threat to her babies,” said Clark’s grandfather, Bob Schlecht. “I’ve never heard of it before. It’s probably one in a million.”
Clark’s grandmother wrote a reminder on her kitchen chalkboard that said “You otter be careful when swimming.”

Remember that the message is more important than the grammar in that sign photographed by Flickr user vandys.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bad behavior old and new

A couple of animals forging new frontiers, and a new case of something we've seen many times before.

-In a town in Britain, residents are demanding that huge old trees be cut down because they've become nothing but access roads for burglars - of a rodent kind:
TREES are growing so close to homes in Kentish Town that squirrels are stealing soap and shower gel from bathrooms.

Johnny Murphy, 75, who has lived at a flat in Heybridge block in Castle Road, for more than 40 years said the soap-stealing squirrels “must be the cleanest in Kentish Town”.

He added: “Nobody knows where the stuff goes or what on earth they want to do with it, but we know it’s them because they’ve been caught red-handed in the past. No one can leave their windows open because you open one window and they spot it. They leap straight in from the branches.”

Mr Murphy added: “Even if they don’t steal anything, who wants squirrels bouncing around in their bedroom?"
-In Florida: Raccoon steals woman's purse as she watches turtle release
A sea turtle was set free after being nursed back to health in Fort Myers.
But a raccoon spoiled the turtle's moment when it stole Danielle Araica's pink clutch purse.
"He stole my wallet and went into the bushes," said Araica."He dropped it, and then I had that little boy go in there and fetch it for me."
-But in Ireland, same old same old:
Marine conservationists have warned of the dangers of swimming with dolphins after two women were badly hurt by the same dolphin within a 10-day period.

One woman sustained a broken rib, compressed vertebrae and lung damage when she was rammed by Dusty the dolphin off the Irish coast on Sunday.

Ten days earlier, another woman was rammed in the abdomen by Dusty while swimming in the same County Clare area
While some people attacked by dolphins were asking for it by deliberately interacting with them, the second woman was trying to climb out of the water. And yet a conservation group which erected signs and issued a statement saying that "a fatal attack could easily happen," was reportedly "reluctant to describe it as "aggressive" behaviour." Sigh. Will these people never learn?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Bad animal trend updates

Today we've got updates for two recent trends to wary of, one for everyone, and one especially for the guys.

If you still don't believe that seagulls are a pressing danger, here's some additional evidence:

- An English grandmother who's constantly being attacked by a gull has to wear a colander on her head to go in her own backyard.
-Elsewhere in the country, a 92-year-old resident of an old age home was sitting outside feeding the birds and a gull stole her dentures
-And a young man thought it would be a funny prank to make dinner for his housemate, spike it with loads of pepper, and film his reaction with a hidden camera. Instead, he got video of a gull flying into the kitchen and chowing down.  Now they can't keep their windows open or else the bird is back looking for more.

And remarkably, right after last week's story of the dog eating his owner's testicles, comes this headline:

Man, 64, wakes up without a penis after night of drinking... and the neighbours tell him a dog ate it

OK, it is the Daily Mail... still, this is the sort of thing where you can't be too careful, so I have the duty to inform my readers so they can make their own decisions.

But I feel I also have the duty to get that picture out of your head, so I leave you with a grandmother brandishing a seagull-repelling colander:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What it takes for a cute fluffy dog to go too far

This blog is constantly bemoaning the fact that bad animals never get what's coming to them, that people make excuses and even enable them. But once in a while that's not the case - and once in a great while, people even deem a crime worthy of the death penalty. But this is what it takes:
RUMANN, Ark. (CBS Atlanta) – A paralyzed Arkansas man awoke to find blood on the muzzle of his dog and a “burning pain” in his mid-section, and according to the police report: “the dog had eaten one of his testicles.”

The 39-year-old Trumann, Ark. man, who is paralyzed from the waist down, had recently adopted the “small, white, fluffy” stray dog in hopes of having a loving companion, reports The man said the newly-adopted animal bit off one of his testicles while he was sleeping naked around 7:45 a.m. on Monday.

The man, who has not been identified, was taken to St. Bernard’s Regional Hospital for treatment to his injuries.

The dog, however, was euthanized and had the remains tested for rabies by a local veterinarian.

That small white fluffy dog with sharp teeth photographed by Flickr user riebschlager is not the dog in question. That dog could be perfectly harmless. But don't count on it.