Face it, I'm in charge: Angry lioness attacks lion after he takes a swipe at her cubs


Hell hath no fury: The moment the lion luanched herself at the male to protect her cubs

This is the hilarious moment an angry lioness launched herself at a huge lion - but ended up sitting on his head.
This grumpy mum wasn't best pleased when the lion tried to try to tame her cubs - and pounced straight at the enormous beast.
But she obviously misjudged her distance - as she ended up sitting on top of the lion's mane like a hat - before falling to the ground below.

The lioness sprang from nowhere the minute she felt her cubs were under threat

The outraged mother comically misjudged her distance and ended up on the lions head

Wildlife park ranger Jacques Matthysen captured the comic moment on camera, as he patrolled the South African plains.
Jacques said: 'We had gone out to try and photograph some lions, and were met by a very playful pride of seven Lions.

The lioness lost her grip eventually slipping from the head of the male

'The four year old male Lion was playing with three young cubs - or rather, they were tormenting him, since all he wanted to do was have a rest.
'The older male and a female were walking 20 metres from us, rubbing their heads every couple of seconds showing affection.
'While watching them the other female appeared from the thicket. As soon as the 4 year old male saw the female, which is the mother of the cubs he was knocking over every now and again, he jumped up and jogged towards her.
'It looked like she was just waiting for the right moment. She stood still until the last second.

The male lion paid little attention to the incident and strolled on after the mother fell to the ground

'As he was half a meter away, she pounced on him. She did loose her grip though and quickly fell to the other side of him.
'With the female at his paws on the ground he just glanced down, as though to say: 'Was that it?'.
'He just kept on walking past her and us sitting in the Cruiser, and lay down to rest close to a thicket behind us.
'The cubs quickly saw the opportunity of mum laying on her side, ran towards her and started suckling.'

source: dailymail

Dying mother rhino leads her calf to farm lodge and safety after being attacked by poachers on killing spree in South Africa


A dying rhino summoned the strength to save her calf as poachers went on a killing spree on a game reserve in South Africa, keepers said today.

The slaughter lasted between three and four days and left maggot-covered carcasses dotted across the landscape at the Finfoot Game Reserve near Sun City in North West province.
Gamekeepers said after being shot at, the pride of the reserve named Longhorn realised she would die. But in a final act of bravery she led her 18-month-old calf to the reserve farm's lodge, where she would be safe.

Rhino's on the Finfoot Lake Reserve on November 24 in North West, South Africa

Longhorn, who was 24-years-old, was then butchered for her 3ft-long horn. Rhino horn is highly sought after and is sold for around $60000 per kilo (about R532000/kg).
Another calf found by gamekeepers did not escape the slaughter - it was found lying next to its mother, butchered for its tiny horn that measured just an inch, Times Live reported.
Miles Lappeman heard from his son, Mark, that rhino poachers had hit the farm, the first question he asked was: 'What about Longhorn?'

Five men have been arrested in connection with the massacre and are due to appear at Brits Magistrates' Court next week

Longhorn was the first animal Mr Lappeman bought from the Natal Parks Board, and the reason he spent 25 years caring for his breeding herd of White Rhino on his farm.
He let out a huge sigh of relief when he learned that Longhorn was not among the seven rhino found killed.
But last Monday, Longhorn's body was discovered 300m from the farm's lodge. She had suffered a mortal wound to her stomach.

Since the slaying, seven men have been working around the clock to protect the remainder of the herd

Her calf has been taken to a place of safety.
Since the slaying, a group of seven men has been working around the clock to protect the remainder of the herd, with the help of Mark Prangley, an anti-poaching operator.
Mr Lappeman says it is inevitable that the poachers will return.

source: dailymail

Wood you spot the meerkats? Faces of three beady-eyed inquisitive creatures found in fence panel


Wood you believe it: Pensioner Pamela Warriner, 75, couldn't believe her eyes when she spotted three meerkat faces peering out from her fence panel

Stunned Pamela Warriner, 75, had to ‘compare the meerkat’ when she saw the faces of three of the weasel-like animals engrained in her new garden fence.
The knots in the grain of the wood appeared to form the beady eyes, pointy nose and grinning mouth of the inquisitive creature.
And the thin cut of the wood for the fence panels meant the impression has been repeated three times over.

Knot an every day occurrence: The knots in the grain of the wood appeared to form the beady eyes, pointy nose and grinning mouth of the inquisitive creature

Her son Marius took a snap of the fence when he recently visited Pamela’s home in Dover, Kent.
Marius, 38, a railway worker, said: 'The fence actually belongs to my mum’s neighbour, it’s just a normal one you can buy from a DIY store.
'When I went round to visit my mum I saw the markings on the fence for the first time.

Safety in numbers: Meerkats live in large families in burrows and work as a team with some standing on their hind legs keeping look-out, thereby allowing the others to forage and dig

'I couldn’t believe it when I saw these three faces that look like meerkats.
'Mum and I compared the other side of the fence but that was normal.”
Meerkats - Suricata suricatta in Latin - are from the Mongoose family and come from central and south Africa.

source: dailymail

Jungle Doctors to the rescue: Vets following in footsteps of murdered zoologist Diana Fossey help double numbers of endangered gorillas in African mountains


When renowned zoologist Dian Fossey, the inspiration behind the film Gorillas in the Mist, was murdered in 1985 there were just 250 mountain gorillas left in Africa’s Virunga mountains.
But 27 years on, numbers of the gentle giants have doubled, thanks to a group of doctors that her work inspired.
The Gorilla Doctors, formed as the Virunga Veterinary Center a year after Fossey's death, take care of injured and critically ill gorillas and provide medical treatment and quarantine of orphans, with as many as eight gorillas cared for at any one time.

Quarantine: A young orphaned Gorilla with Dawn Zimmerman (left) and another gorilla doctor in a sanctuary in Rwanda

Starting out with the first Gorilla Doctor - Dr James Foster - the group now employs 16 vets and operates across three countries - the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.
The group rescue gorillas from poacher's snares or when they have been exposed to potentially fatal human viruses, darting the animals with antibiotics or drugging them and operating on the jungle floor.
They have been led for the past 13 years by Dr Mike Cranfield, a faculty member of the Wildlife Health Centre of the University of California Davis and divides his time between Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and central Africa.

Caring: A close up of one of the Gorilla Doctors holding the hand of an adult mountain gorilla as part of the Village of Hope project in Rwanda

Orphan: Isangi with Dr. Martin Kabuyaya of the Gorilla Doctors at Virunga National Parkís Senkwekwe Centre in Rumangabo, Congo
But he admits that there are dangers working with such large animals.
He said: 'If the gorilla screams when darted, there is usually chaos and the silverbacks rush in to protect them.'
His 'closest call' came after darting a mother with a sleeping drug so he could treat her sick infant.
He said: 'Because it was so young I tried to work on it without anaesthetising it but it kept screaming and screaming.'

Treatment: Villagers watch the Gorilla Doctors treating an adult mountain gorilla as part of the Village of Hope project in Rwanda

Emergency treatment: Gorilla doctors treat an adult Mountain Gorilla

Wounded: Dr Magdalena Braum (far right) and Dr Eddy Kambale (far left) remove a bullet from the leg of an orphan Grauer's gorilla confiscated from poachers in Congo, Africa

Gentle: A young gorilla chewing on a branch in the Virunga mountains in Congo. The number of mountain gorillas has doubled since the Gorilla Doctors group was founded in 1986

Playful: An adult Mountain Gorilla seen with a baby in the Virunga mountains in Congo - the gentle giants have doubled in number since 1985 thanks to a group of gorilla doctors

Cute: Two young wild Grauer's gorillas seen playing in Kahuzi-Biega National Park in Congo

source: dailymail

Britain’s most senior citizen: Thomas the tortoise celebrates 130th birthday after surviving the Blitz


Identity crisis: Thomas is 130 years old and was only discovered to be a girl after 96 years

Born when Gladstone was Prime Minister, Thomas the tortoise has survived everything since 1882, even Nazi bombs.
But Thomas, now Britain’s oldest resident, hid a secret under its shell for most of those 130 years – being a female.
The tortoise was pulled from the rubble of a bomb-hit house in Essex in 1945. But it was only when owner June Le Gallez of Guernsey inherited Thomas in 1978 that a vet found the truth, after 96 years.

Healthy diet: Could the secret to Thomas's long life be her love of bananas?

‘People suggested I rename him Tomasina, but I thought it would be cruel to change it,’ said Mrs Le Gallez, 54, adding: ‘She isn’t slowing down. People can’t believe how active she is.’
Mrs Le Gallez, 54, who cares for the reptile at her home on the Channel Island of Guernsey, added: ‘Thomas is very much part of the family. I have pictures with her when I was as young as two.

'Because she is so old we thought we would have lost her by now but she is tough. I sometimes wonder if she will outlive me.
‘She’s always been very big for her age.
‘Thomas used to live and run in the garden when she was younger but now we keep her in the house and she bumbles around.
‘She is just a massive part of the family and everyone is very fond of her.
‘She really races around when she wants to. She’s really fast.’
Mrs Le Gallez inherited Thomas from her cousin Grace Hilditch in 1978.
Ms Hilditch had been given Thomas in 1922 as a present from her father Harry, who was friends with a reptile keeper at London Zoo.

source: dailymail

Top cats! Country's fanciest felines compete to be crowned Supreme Champion

Boasting lavishly decorated pens and exotic names like Bleugems Believe-in-me and Peter Purrfect, these are no ordinary moggies.

From a majestic feline boasting a lustrous coat of perfectly coiffed fur, to a distinctive sphynx cat without so much as a solitary whisker, Birmingham played host to over a thousand pampered pets at the 2012 Supreme Championship Cat Show.
Cat-lovers from all over the country brought their furry friends to the NEC to enter them in the annual show, which is one of the biggest cat fancies in Europe.

Fine feline: A cat named Bleugems Believe-in-me waits for its turn in front of the judges at the Supreme Championship Cat Show in Birmingham

Some of the entrants were spotted reclining in pens kitted out with cushions and Swarovski crystals, while others were equipped with curtains for those times when a pampered occupant needs a little privacy.
One owner had even come armed with a double cat carrier on wheels to ferry her felines around the show in style.

Unusual: This sphynx cat was just one of the exotic breeds entered in the show, which is run by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy

The show, which is run by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, sees felines competing to be crowned 'Supreme Exhibit' in categories including Persian, Siamese, Burmese, British and Foreign.

Bundles of fluff: Doting cat owner Rosa Wardle shows off her pet Blue Snowman, left, while Yvette Barber holds up her Tabby Colourpoint Firecracker at the Supreme Championship Cat Show

Cat lovers: Sue Goodger has a cat printed on her bag along with the real deal in her arms - her sphynx kitten is named Archibald Juan, left, while right, Nathan Smith shows off his Siamese Prince Soloman, right

source: dailymail

Ready for your close up? Photographer snaps elephants, tigers and lions from just a few FEET away


Almost human? This orangutan's face seems almost human as it looks into the camera, while a Siberian tiger lets out a roar under the keen eye of photographer Wilson

While some may say never work with children or animals, photographer Brad Wilson decided to ignore this pearl of wisdom.
The snapper wanted to work with something 'a little less predictable' and certainly achieved that, by bringing in hungry wild animals and taking their portrait.
Mr Wilson brought in hungry mountain lions, cheetahs and orangutans, who were trained not to attack humans, and using their favourite types of food managed to take their photograph in a studio by rewarding them with snacks.

Keeping an eye out: An elephant stares into the lense in graphic close up as part of Brad Wilson's collection

He began by calling wildlife sanctuaries and handlers that provide animals for Hollywood movies, he told Petapixel.
The photographer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, said the most difficult part was 'pre-production' of his ambitious idea.
He said: 'Trying to find the animals I could bring into the studio, find the right trainers to come with these animals, and even just to find a space that could contain an elephant, contain a giraffe - and that was a big part of it.'
Once he had the animals he needed, he signed large insurance policies and liability contracts so, if an animal died during a shoot, Mr Wilson owed $500,000, the website reported.

Detailed: The close up of this mountain lion shows its beauty in close up

out on to the set and try to attack you; beyond that, they are really going to do what they want to do.'
He would allow them to sit on the set - sometimes while held by their trainer - and then inch up until he managed to take the perfect picture of them.
He said despite the chaos around the situation, he aimed to find the perfect moment where he captured the animal.
The photographer wanted to achieve a sense of isolation with his wild subjects, he told the website.
The images - entitled Affinity - were the stunning results of his work, giving a close up view more normally gleaned from zoom lenses in the wild - all from a 90×120-foot sound stage in a Los Angeles studio lot.

I'm ready! The animals were brought in so the photographer could try and capture their portrait

The photographer got up and close personal with the animals, which have been trained not to attack

Who are you looking at? The photographer managed to get the unique shots after bringing the creatures into his studio and rewarding them with food

Beauty: The stark beauty of the arctic fox is captured against the black background - in a studio lot in LA

Made a mistake? This chimpanzee clutches his head, looking as if he's just remembered something

source: dailymail

Cat feels better! Adorable video of kitten giving his feline friend the purrfect massage


Pawwwwfect! An adorable video of a cat giving another cat a massage, kneading both tiny paws deep into his white coat, is making its rounds online to the delight of cat fans

Kneading those tiny paws in and out of a feline friend's backside, this adorable video captures a cat giving another cat a message.
Stretching out, the white and black cat flicks his tail with pleasure as his friend gets to work on his lower back, pushing every little claw into his thick coat.
The striped black and brown masseuse takes a few moments to turn and look at his friend's reaction to his efforts, before lazily sliding its paws toward his belly.

Pensive work: The black and brown masseuse shows great care while working his tiny hands into his friend, putting special attention toward his lower back

As if to say 'no' to the changed direction, with a bat of his paw the white cat turns away, catching his surprised volunteer therapist off guard.
Lying back down, the striped kitten gets back to work even when a far off distraction pulls the white cat's attention away.

source :dailymail

Miracle three-week-old kitten rescued after being stuck inside statue of Abe Lincoln for three days


Trapped: A three-week old kitten has been rescued after trapped inside this Abraham Lincoln statue for three days

After a nail-biting rescue a three-week old kitten discovered trapped inside a statue of Abraham Lincoln for three days has been rescued.
Now named 'Abe,' the squinty-eyed grey kitten's cries had been heard from around the statue at Clermont President's Hall of Fame in Florida for a number of days before its rescue.
But by the time firemen with the Minneola Fire Department got to it on Sunday afternoon, its cries were heard drastically more faint.

Cries for help: The cat's cries had been heard more and more faint as time went into the rescue, but it still called back with a squeak when called with a 'meow' shocking this reporter seen right

Calling to the kitten with a 'meow' from outside, Daniel Davis with the Humane Society jumped back after an audible squeak replied from inside.
'Did you hear it?' he asked a reporter with WFMY news.
It was clearly trapped inside the handmade statue, but without anyone's clue as to how. 'I have no idea, somebody said that there's a hole up on top here,' Mr Davis said pointing to the ceiling.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2235080/Clermont-Kitten-rescued-stuck-inside-statue-President-Abe-Lincoln-days.html#ixzz2CffMTAIC
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Saved: Firefighters cut a hole large enough for a firefighter to squeeze inside allowing himself to pull the tiny grey kitten out

It was clearly trapped inside the handmade statue, but without anyone's clue as to how. 'I have no idea, somebody said that there's a hole up on top here,' Mr Davis said pointing to the ceiling.

Condition: The cat was found dehydrated but veterinarians said that it would be okay

'But I don't see how a little kitten, a three-week old kitten, could have gotten up there. It can't crawl up there,' he said.
Drilling a hole along the statue's backside, doing their best to not destroy the piece, firefighters carved out a chunk large enough to lower a fireman inside.
Holding their breath during his return, worried onlookers let out cheers and gasps when firefighter Robert Seigworth pulled himself out, clutching the kitten in one hand.

Hungry: After wrapped in a towel, the kitten was given a syringe of a milk-like substance he eagerly took too

Story to tell: The museum's curator plans to adopt the cat and has already named him Abe

Immediately wrapped in a towel, the kitten was given a syringe of a milk-like substance he eagerly took too.
'He's going to have a nice Thanksgiving now,' an onlooker is heard saying.
While found dehydrated, the cat will be nursed back to health before given up for adoption to the museum's curator.

source : dailymail

The real-life Sylvanian Families! Photographers uses pet rats to create everyday human scenes


Adorable: This rat settles down with some cuddly friends for afternoon tea and cake, in one of a series of cute photographs taken by Dutch photographer Ellen Van Deelen

Playing up to the camera, these rats aren't shy in showing off their very human talents.
Whether it's doing sums on the abacus, knitting a woolly jumper for winter or having the family round for tea, they are the real life Sylvanian Families.
The cute pics are the work of Dutch photographer Ellen Van Deelen, who spent hours photographing her pet rats Poppy, Saffie Froppy and Rosie for a unique set of snaps.
In one, our furry friend is hopping into a VW Beetle, while another is out pushing a pram.

Say cheese! This furry friend is off on a little trip in a Volkswagen Beetle

Out for a stroll: This rat poses with a pram

Van Deelen, 54, said: 'I never used to like rats, but one day I went to a pet shop and there was one left that no-one wanted to buy because it was a funny colour.
'I felt so sorry for it, I had to take it home. I then bought a friend for it and I've loved the rats ever since.
'They're such friendly and intelligent animals and so often misunderstood.'

Doing the maths: This rat has a talent for number crunching

Ready for winter: In another photo, one of the rats knits something warm

Sound and vision: One of the rats spends her time in front of the television

She then combined her new pets with her passion for photography to get the perfect poses.
'It seemed only natural to take pictures of my rats. I started buying props for the rats and as they're inquisitive animals, it wasn't long before they started picking them up.
'I have a big imagination so often think of ideas for new photos. I use vanilla pudding on the props, on the handle of the knitting needle for example and that helps show the rats how to use the props.

In the tub: It's bath time for this little rodent

Tender moment: A lovely kiss for this cuddly toy

Papa-rat-zi: The tables are turned in this pic as the rat turns snapper

'They're so clever, they soon know exactly what to do. It's fun to photograph them as they look really cute.
'My new favourite image is the one of both my rats eating birthday cake together - they really look like they're enjoying it.
'As long as I have my rats I will continue to take photos.'

source: dailymail