Don't let go! Adorable baby opossum scrambles to safety after tumbling off branch and hanging by its tail


Uh-oh! These baby opossums were forced to cling on for dear life after taking a spill from the thin branch they perched precariously on

These cute and fluffy baby marsupials took are still finding their feet in the world - which is perhaps why a couple still haven't quite mastered their balance.
Two of the tiny opossums got slightly overconfident sitting on a thin branch and one ended up desperately clinging on using just its tail.

Reach out: After a couple of minutes it hauled itself up onto the branch

The brood of six grey babies, about three months old, were spotted by photographer Ronald Wittek gathered on and around their mother's back on a farm in Minnesota in the U.S.
But, when a couple of the small marsupials decided to explore their surroundings, they almost fell from their perch.
After slipping from the branch and hanging by its tail, one of the opossum babies appeared to wear a very uncomfortable expression.

Balancing act: The pictures were taken on a farm in Minnesota

Thankfully though, after a couple of minutes clinging on, the adorable animal managed to heave itself back to safety.
Ronald, 48, from Speyer, Germany, said: 'Opossum babies tend to leave their mother's pouch when they are about two months old.'

Brood: The tiny opossums are then carried on their parent's back - adults can have up to 15 babies at one time

Play nice! The parent opossum is swamped by the youngsters, which were just six weeks old when the pictures were taken

source: read more at dailymail

Auditioning for panto? No, they're sporting the very latest in equine fashion: Customers are chomping at the bit for horse onesies


Runaway success: The must have for your horse, a onesie from Shwmae Products as modelled by Bee

It is the bizarre fashion trend championed by everyone from Cheryl Cole to Nick Clegg. Now it seems the onesie has become a must-have item in the equine world as well.
Customers in Britain and abroad have been chomping at the bit to buy the garments – which come in a range of colours and designs – since they went on sale just three weeks ago.
Although the equine onesies were originally created to prevent horses suffering fly irritations, allergies, and other forms of skin conditions, they are also being snapped up by owners eager to keep their animals’ coats clean before a show.

Designers: Jessica Clarke, right, and Annie Brown who make the onesies in their workshop

Jessica Clarke, 20, who created the designs with Annie Brown, 18, said: ‘We started off making hoods and rugs for my grandfather’s horses and from there we built up a business.
‘All the designs led up to making the onesie, and as far as we know, we’re the only ones in the world making these products. They have been selling all over the place and have made our little company, Shwmae Products, international in just a matter of weeks.

Snapped up: The onesies were originally created to prevent horses suffering fly irritations and allergies

‘They’re particularly popular in Australia and America. We used to do the odd shipment abroad, but now it’s every day. We have three horses of our own which we use to model them.’
Each onesie costs £169.99 and is custom-made by the pair, from Pontypool, South Wales, in their Hereford workshop.
Since it emerged in 2009, the human onesie has been eagerly adopted by celebrities including One Direction, TV presenters Holly Willoughby and Amanda Holden, and even film star Brad Pitt.
In January, Nick Clegg admitted he had been given ‘a big green onesie’ as a present – although the Deputy Prime Minister later insisted he has never worn it.

Equine chic: Rodo sporting a leopard print number in his stable

source: dailymail

Out on purr-role: Cute kittens born in a prison van are rescued after their mother 'broke in' to jail to give birth


Jailcats: Kittens Jessica, Sherlock, Christie, Marple, Kojak and Morse were born inside a high security prison van

Prison staff found themselves lumbered with some extra inmates after a cat broke in to a high security prison van to give birth to six kittens.
Wardens discovered the adorable cats when they opened the rear doors of the van parked inside Parc Prison in Bridgend, South Wales.
They immediately called an animal centre to come and relieve the young kittens from their brief stretch behind bars.

Line up: Staff at Cats Protection in Bridgend named the kittens after detective legends Jessica, Sherlock, Christie, Marple, Kojak, and Morse

But their frightened mother ran off before she could be caught - and left the kittens behind. They were bottle-fed every two hours and all were doing well today.
Staff at Cats Protection in Bridgend named the kittens which were discovered on May 8 after detective legends Jessica, Sherlock, Christie, Marple, Kojak, and Morse
Centre manager Sue Dobbs, 46, said: 'It’s the first time we’ve rescued a cat from inside the walls of a well-guarded prison.
'We don’t know how the mother cat got in there - maybe inside the van.
'When staff opened the door at 8am they saw the cat and her six kittens lying there.

Freedom: The kittens pictured with their mother after being rescued from the van by Cats Protection

Adorable: It is still a mystery how the cat got in to the high security van to give birth to her kittens

'The temptation was to call them after notorious villains - but we decided to name them after more positive criminal-busting legends.'
It is thought that the cats were only in the van for one night as it is used daily.
The mother cat was later captured at the Parc Prison which houses 1200 men and young offenders.

Purr-fect: Kittens Marple and Kojak cuddle up after being rescued from Parc Prison in Bridgend, South Wales

Staff were concerned she would reject her kittens as they had been bottle fed and handled by humans.
But they solved the problem by smearing the kittens with cat food to disguise the human smell.
She has been named Agatha and was today back happily mothering her six kittens.
They will spend the next eight weeks at the cat rescue centre before being microchipped and re-homed.

On the mend: The tiny kittens need to be fed every two hours but are healthy and growing well

Sleepyhead: The kittens will spend the next eight weeks at the cat rescue centre before they are microchipped and re-homed

Hungry kitten: Morse the kitten being fed at Cats Protection in Bridgend, south Wales

source: dailymail

No wonder he's happy! Smiling salamander threatened with extinction becomes star attraction at Austrian aquarium


Happy fish: This smiling Axolotl salamander is the star attraction at Aquaria Fun Park in Austria

This rare Axolotl salamander has a reason to smile after he was welcomed by visitors as the star attraction at the Aquaria Fun Park in Austria.
Unlike his relatives he has not ended up struggling to escape pollution back home in Mexico or being experimented on in a lab where they are a much sought after research object.
They have been almost wiped out in the wild due to pollution and the fact they are widely regarded as a tasty delicacy.

With its odd smile and translucent body this creature could be mistaken for a young cousin of one of Doctor Who's adversaries

The International Union for Conservation of Nature's annual red list of threatened species lists only two lakes still known to have specimens.
In captivity they are also popular - but unlike this lucky specimen it is mainly in laboratories where they are prized for their ability to grow new limbs.

It was regarded as a medical sensation when scientists discovered the Axolotl can not only fully regenerate limbs but also internal organs, including its spine and part of its brain.
Scientists believe the animal could eventually hold the key to human limb regeneration.
But safe in his home at the aquarium in Steinerkirchen an der Traun in Austria this Axolotl has a few things to be grateful for.
The Axolotl is not the only animal which likes to crack a smile.
With its odd smile and translucent body, the semi-transparent Thornback ray has a ghostly smile.

source: dailymail

Do you like my mane? Cat owners transform their pets into lions in latest internet craze


Me-ow do I look? Pet owners can now turn their cat into the king of the jungle by giving it a hat with a golden brown lion's mane

You've heard of The Cat in the Hat but the latest pet accessory promises to turn your tabby into the king of the jungle.
The headpiece for felines conveniently fits around a cat's head and gives it a thick mane of golden hair with a pair of ears on top.
The handmade lion hats come in a variety of colours and can be bought in golden brown, black, grey, ivory and husky. Velcro is used so they can be easily attached underneath the chin.

Your cat may already think it is the king or queen of the home but why not give them a mane of hair to transform them into a lion

Designer Yumiko Landers, from Seattle, Washington, U.S. explained how she came up with the idea.
The 39-year-old said: 'Every cat we've ever known believes they're the master of their domain.
'So I thought there's no better way to represent that by making them look like a true lion.
'The idea of hats for cats came from my sewing group and the theme of the week was cats and dogs.
'I thought it would be great to make a long-eared dog hat for my cat, but it didn't turn out as expected and looked more like a pair of bunny ears.

Cute: Mrs Landers has one cat which models the hats online and can be bought from a website

'A few friends saw the photos of the hat and asked if I could make bunny ears for their cats. That was the beginnings of hats for cats.'
Mrs Landers has one cat, which models the pieces online. She also sells monkey and leopard design headgear for felines.
She added: 'We actually make hats for both cats and dogs. Several of our customers have purchased the lion hat for their dogs.

Pampered: The hat conveniently fits around the cat's head and gives it a thick mane of golden hair

King of the beasts: Designer Yumiko Landers from Seattle came up with the lion hat idea

source: dailymail

'My best pri-mate': Schoolgirl, 6, who is best friends with an orangutan forced to say goodbye as he is now too powerful for her


Firm friends: Six-year-old Emily Bland and Rishi the Orangutan pose for one last picture together at his home in South Carolina

Some childhood playmates turn out to be friends for life. For others, there comes a time when they simply outgrow each other.
For most of their six years on the planet, Emily Bland and Rishi the orangutan have been an unlikely double act – enjoying picnics, games and the occasional rough and tumble.
But now, they are being forced to, well, grow apart, because Rishi’s keepers think he will soon be too big and powerful to play with his human friend.

Going ape: Playful Rishi srays water at a giggling Emily as the two of them cool off in his pool

Emily, from St Albans in Hertfordshire has visited her friend in South Carolina several times since they were introduced in 2008

At 4st 9lb, the orangutan is already able to pick up a fully-grown human, and his weight is expected to double within 18 months.
Back in 2008 when they met, the pair were barely two years old and Emily was much bigger than Rishi.
They were introduced at an animal reserve in the US when Emily’s photographer father, Barry, took his daughter along on an assignment.

Partners in crime: Emily and Rishi play together as two-year-olds back in 2008

Stick by me: The chums pictured together again aged four in 2010

You drive me bananas: Emily gives Rishi a hand with his favourite snack

Growing lad: At 4st 9lb, the orangutan is already able to pick up a fully-grown human, and his weight is expected to double within 18 months

Rishi and Emily stunned everyone with their instant rapport, and since then Mr Bland, 42, has taken his daughter on several trips to visit her friend.
This time, the pair were reunited for one last picnic at Rishi’s home in South Carolina and played for hours in the sunshine.
Emily, from St Albans in Hertfordshire, made sure Rishi had his lunchtime banana before they splashed about in a fountain.

Monkey business: Emily giggles as her Orangutan chum larks around with a cup

Catching up: Back in 2008 when they met, the pair were barely two years old and Emily was much bigger than Rishi

Fond farewell: The pair were reunited for one last picnic at Rishi's home in South Carolina and played for hours in the sunshine

Cheers: Emily, from St Albans in Hertfordshire, made sure Rishi had something to drink before they splashed about in a fountain

The pair were introduced at an animal reserve in the US when Emily's photographer father, Barry, took his daughter along on an assignment

source: dailymail

Cuddles with mother: Adorable endangered orangutan is the first to be born in Devon zoo for 18 years


Motherly love: The baby girl snoozes in her mother's arms at Paignton Zoo in Devon

A newborn orangutan cuddles up and nestles in its mother’s arms as it enjoys a nice snooze in the sunshine.
The little ape, less than a month old, appears to content in its mothers strong arms.
The 18-year-old mother, Mali, poses for the camera with her baby at her home at Devon's Paignton Zoo.

On the brink: Orangutans are at risk because of human encroachment into their territory, notably by palm oil producers

It was the first birth at the zoo for 18 years and workers are confident that the baby ape is a girl.
Phil Knowling, a spokesperson for the zoo, said the the pair are doing well after the birth.
He said: 'We are pretty sure it’s a girl. Keepers are 99.9 per cent sure that the baby, now a month old, is female.
'Mali and the baby are doing well. They have the largest of the orangutan islands and even have an off show den to themselves.

Around 55,000 Borean orangutans live in the wild, and a number are in preservation programmes throughout the world

'We hope that visitors will be able to catch a glimpse of the youngster, which will become more mobile over the coming months.'
The pair are Bornean orangutans and they have suffered declines where the population is estimated to just be 50,000.

source: dailymail

The Ministry of Silly Squawks! Owl's bizarre stroll as it walks around looking for food


Ungainly take off: The bird looks more assured with both feet on the ground as it stalks for prey

These bizarre images show a group of owls marching through a Lancashire farm in search of dinner for their newly-born young.
The birds, who had just hatched owlets, strutted while they hunted for food.
The scene was captured by photographer Austin Thomas, who said he had to stay camouflaged and stop himself from laughing so he wouldn't disturb the birds.
He said: 'They are both fascinating and amusing at the same time.

Head first: The owl's fascinating movements were captured by photographer Austin Thomas. In this action shot, the bird lunges forward with both legs stretched behind him- perhaps he is preparing to fly

On the march: The speckled owl has a determined look in its eye as he pushes ahead from the pack. The owl's movements mimick that of a marching army

Hop to it: The owl looks serene as it moves through the air, on a mission to find food

'They have such personalities and facial expressions it was incredibly difficult not to laugh at times as the action was genuinely funny.
'They give no warning and move erratically in random directions when they decide to move. That is difficult for me to predict and also difficult for the camera electronics to keep the owls in focus.

Left, left, left, right, left: This image of the owl head-on shows him balance on one leg in a regimented fashion

'It actually reminded me of the nursery rhyme 'The Grand Old Duke of York' because of their movement.
'These owls are definitely at the top my of favourite things to take pictures of - I never get bored of watching them.'

On the move: The owl stretches its talon in mid-air as it struts to find food for its young. The pictures give an up-close look at the bird

Getting in a flap: The brown owl extends a wing and looks ready to fly as it gains momentum on the ground

source: dailymail

Nice to eat you! Hungry cormorant who was in just the right spot for lunch


This hungry bird does its own bit of fishing by waiting patiently before swooping in to catch a large rainbow trout in its yellow bill

This bird looks hungry for a fish supper as he eyeballs a large rainbow trout - before greedily swallowing it whole.
The cormorant had bided its time, waiting for the fish to jump out of the water, before pouncing.
The two animals - pictured near Long Beach, California - even appeared to look each other straight in the eye as the trout considered its fate.

The cormorant bird bides it time, waiting for the fish to jump out of the water, before instinctively pouncing on the trout

After that brief moment the cormorant didn't waste any time, swallowing the trout in one sitting.
Photographer Andrew Lee from Irvine, California, travelled to the El Dorado Regional Park in his home state to capture the fascinating moment.

And the bird doesn't waste any time eating the trout - swallowing it whole in one sitting

He said: 'I was following a group of cormorants who were hunting for the fish in the lake.
'As soon as I spotted a cormorant come up with fish, I was able to take one frame of this rare moment when the fish is looking directly at his nemesis.'
Dr Lee, a Pricing & Portfolio Manger, had to lie on the ground to take the photographs.

Andrew Lee from Irvine, California, travelled to the El Dorado Regional Park in his home state to capture the fascinating moment

source: dailymail