If you go down to the woods today... you'll find a family of dancing bears! Hidden camera reveals exactly what grizzlies are up to when they think no-one is watching

Amazing video filmed in wilderness of Canada's Kananaskis Country
When one grizzly discovers tree he returns with a whole family


Dance party: A family of bears has been filmed dancing around a tree in a Canadian park

North America may be full of bears, but it is rare for people ever to get close enough to observe them in their natural environment.
So this video, filmed by a hidden camera in a Canadian park, is a unique opportunity to see how wildlife behave when they are not in the presence of humans.
And the result may be surprising - because the bears appear to be pole-dancing around a tree in the middle of the woods.

Comfort: The bears were apparently attracted by the chance to scratch their backs on the tree's bark

The extraordinary video was filmed in Kananaskis Country, a large expanse of national park in the province of Alberta.
Part of it was made with a normal camera, and part with a night-vision lens, so that it captures wildlife at play 24 hours a day.
Over a number of days in May and June this year, a variety of animals including deer and black bears approached the tree which the camera was trained on.

Pose: The unusual positions taken by the animals are reminiscent of human pole-dancing

At one point, as many as four bears were vying to grab a spot on the tree - and their vigorous motion made it look as though they were pole-dancing.
The video of still images edited together and set to an upbeat soundtrack by Ewan Dobson was uploaded to YouTube by Alberta parks offficials.
It has garnered more than 200,000 views in less than a week as viewers flocked to enjoy the wild antics.

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2381372/Hidden-camera-Canadas-Kananaskis-Country-reveals-wild-bears-think-ones-watching.html
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Puffins at sunset and baby elephants learning how to use their trunks: Stunning wildlife photographs capture nature at its best

Images by the world's best wildlife photographers have been released
They are part of the UK's largest wildlife photography show, WildPhotos
It will be hosted by television presenter Chris Packham
Budding snappers will have the opportunity to learn the skills and tricks needed to create stunning shots


African Elephants in Botswana taken by wildlife photographer and television presenter Chris Packham

Everyone believes they are a budding photographer, but these stunning images of nature at its finest show why we should leave it to the professionals.
Taken by some of the world's top wildlife experts, they show the skill that is needed to take such intimate pictures of nature.
The images have been released as part of the UK’s largest wildlife photography show, WildPhotos 2013.

Michael Nichols from National Geographic captured a newborn elephant being taught by its mother how to use its trunk in the Serengeti National Park

Hosted by zoologist and conservationist Mark Carwardine and wildlife expert and TV presenter Chris Packham, WildPhotos takes place at the Royal Geographical Society, London on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October 2013.

A striped field mouse investigates a red blossom in a cornfield. Grzegorz Lesniewski's managed to get an impressively close shot of the animal

The photographs feature wildlife from across the globe, from elephants on the Serengei to puffins in the north of Scotland.
More than 20 of the world’s top wildlife and environmental photographers will gather in London to showcase their work and offer insight and advice.
Amateur snappers will be able to learn secret tricks of the trade from industry experts through a series of workshops.

A dramatic snap showing Atlantic Puffins resting at dusk, Treshnish Isles, Scotland, by Danny Green

The two-day event is aimed at bringing together keen amateurs, budding enthusiasts, professional photographers and industry experts in a lively arena of debate and display.
This year’s keynote speech will be delivered by the American photographer Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols, editor at large for photography at National Geographic.
Charlotte Geeves, Festival & Events Director of Wildscreen, the charity behind WildPhotos, said: ‘In addition to being able to rub shoulders with the world’s greatest wildlife and conservation photographers, you’ll also get first-hand technical advice.
'This year’s amazing line-up of the best British and international photographers appeals not only to those in the industry but to anyone interested in how nature photography can be a powerful medium in supporting the conservation of the natural world.’

A coastal black bear searching for crabs in the river by Bertie Gregory

An unusual slow exposure shot of a spider's web blowing in the wind by photographer Jodie Randall

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2381310/WildPhotos-2013s-stunning-wildlife-photographs-capture-nature-best.html
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Dwarf rabbit has to be covered with suncream to protect his skin after all his hair fell out because of condition that was thought to exist only in dogs

Delta-Mouse has pituitary dwarfism which vet had only seen before in dogs
Owner thought he'd die, but he's pulled through and is quite a character


Miniature: Owners feared their tiny, bald and funny looking rabbit might not survive

A rabbit born with a normal amount of hair has confused doctors after it appeared to show signs of a condition that only exists in dogs.
Delta-Mouse appeared just to be the runt of the litter when he was born six weeks ago, but when his fur started falling out owner Debbie Ikin from Horwich, Greater Manchester, realised something was amiss.
When she took the pet to the vet, she discovered that he had pituitary dwarfism.

Rare condition: The poor bunny began shedding his fur after he was born six weeks ago

His condition, which caused his fur to fall out all over except from his head and feet, had only been seen before in German Shepherd dogs, the vet said.

Rabbit's foot: But luck was on Delta-Mouse's side and the little creature has surprised everyone by getting stronger by the day

Ms Ikin, 40, said: 'I thought he was the runt of the litter with a skin condition. I have grown up around rabbits and we have had several litters but I've never seen anything like Delta-Mouse.
'I worried he wasn't eating properly, but he was living and just looked a bit different, especially compared to the other rabbits.'
After being checked by the vet, he was declared perfectly healthy. Ms Ikin said the vet decided not to take a blood sample from the tiny creature as it might make him anaemic, so she has been keeping a close eye on him instead.

While he remains far smaller than his siblings, the rabbit's fur has now regrown

Debbie Ikin, who bred the unusual looking rabbit, said he has become part of the family and will not be for sale

The rabbit's eyes need bathing every morning to help him open them because they get stuck together over night.
And when out in the sunshine, Delta-Mouse must be lathered in factor 50 suncream to protect his sensitive skin.
The rabbit has astounded both his owners and vets by becoming stronger by the day.
His hair has regrown on his body, but he still has bald patches on his the back of his head and the top of his feet.
Ms Ikin's son Jacob, 10, loves his new pet and after naming him Delta when he was born, added 'mouse' to the end due to his small stature.

Best friends: Ten-year-old Jacob was so afraid to hold the tiny baby bunny when he lost his fur because he seemed so fragile

Now that Delta-Mouse is on the road to recovery, he likes no where better than sitting on Jacob's head

The ten-year-old has been scared to hold him at times because he is so precious.
Ms Ikin said: 'He's thriving and very spritely. He's super friendly and loves to sit on your shoulder.
'He's become quite a little celebrity, everyone wants to come round and see him and have their picture taken with him.'
Ms Ikin's breeding pair Junior and Stitch have produced a number of litters as well as being parents to Delta-Mouse.

A good clean: Now that his fur has grown back, Delta-Mouse has to keep it all in order

The miniature bunny has settled into the family, who have become completely taken with him

While she is hoping to sell the other members of the litter, it's sure that Delta-Mouse won't be going anywhere.
Ms Ikin, a catering assistant, said: 'Delta-Mouse has become a member of the family, we're completely taken with him.
'I think after all we have been through with him, we couldn't see him go off to another home.'

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2381275/Bald-dwarf-rabbit-born-fur-body-covered-suncream-protect-skin.html
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Satanic cult blamed for ritualistic killing of Dartmoor foal which was horrifically mutilated in centre of ring of fire during full moon


Sickening: The body of this two-month-old foal was found horrifically mutilated and there are fears it is the work of Satanists

A Satanic cult has been blamed for the sickening death of a pony, which was found horrifically mutilated and laying in the remnants of a ring of fire after full moon.
Police are investigating after the young male had its genitals, right ear and tongue sliced off, and eyes gouged out. It is thought the animal may have been alive when the atrocities were committed.
Its belly was hacked open and the young pony also had traces of white paint on one of its legs, suggesting it was killed as part of a bizarre ceremony.

Cult: The foal was found surrounded by patches of burnt grass, suggesting candles had been lit during the ritual. It also had white paint of one of its legs

It was also surrounded by circular patches of burnt moorland, which experts believe were left by a ring of torches or candles.
The two-month old pony seemed to have been dragged into a clearing and placed at the foot of a slope to face the previous night’s full moon.
It was found on Tuesday morning by a horse rider at Yennadon Down, a remote, area of Devon National Park.

Easy target: Experts believe ponies have become so used to humans they are vulnerable to this sort of attack. Pictured here, the foal's mother

Animal welfare officers are investigating and police have appealed to the public to be extra vigilant.
Horse carers believe the butchery was part of an evil occult or Pagan ceremony by Devil worshippers.
Dartmoor’s Livestock Protection Officer Karla McKechnie said: 'We do get strange things happening from time to time, normally when its a full moon.
'I’ve come across strange circles in the ground, boulders used as altars, that sort of thing, but thankfully animal mutilations are rare.

Remote: The dead foal was found in Yennadon Down by a rider on Tuesday. An investigation into its grisly end is underway

'I suspect its witches or devil worshippers but it’s always hard to get to the bottom of it.
'My main concern is how someone has been able to walk up to a foal and kill it in the middle of the night.I’m almost certain more than one person was involved.'
South West Equine Protection's Jenny Thornton believed Dartmoor ponies had become so used to being fed by humans they were now easy targets.
She said: 'I’ve seen plenty of dead animals but this was horrendous.

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2377782/Satanic-cult-blamed-ritualistic-killing-Dartmoor-foal-horrifically-mutilated-centre-ring-moon.html
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Ready for take-off: Tiny owl makes its first successful flight from the top of a barn door

Photographer caught the moment a tiny owl made first flight
Pictures show owl standing nervously on door's edge before leaping out


Wide-eyed: Perched on one leg inside a disused barn in Merseyside, these two baby owls look out into the big wide world, preparing for their first flight

For any young owl, the first flight out of the nest is a nervy occasion.
And as these incredible pictures show, for this baby owl in Merseyside it was no different.
Photographer Steve Ward caught the moment a tiny owl decided to make its first successful flight from its nest in a disused barn.

Nervous: The young owl appears to test the water by hanging a leg over the edge of the barn

Bold: Summoning all of his concentration, the youngster decides to leap towards the great unknown and attempt to fly for the first time

Just a week ago, Mr Ward caught the owlet with a sibling each standing on one leg on a ledge of the barn.
They had begun to edge out from the nest as they became more bold in readiness to fly.

Brave: With his eyes flixed on his destination, the owl launches himself into flight

He has kept an eye on them ever since and finally caught one of them launching itself off the barn for its first swoop.
Mr Ward , 34, set up his hide about 12 metres from the barn and was even forced to strip to his boxers in the sweltering heat inside as he waited up to 17 hours a day to get the shots.

Success: The owl passes its first major test in life by stretching out its wings and flying with ease

He said: 'I loved the pictures I got last week, especially the one of the pair of owlets each standing on one leg.
'It is the one on the left that I finally captured flying.
'I could tell by how bold they were becoming, edging out onto the ledge to be fed by their mum, that they were getting ready to learn to fly.
'I erected my pop-up hide at 5am on site and waited patiently for the juveniles to appear in a hole in the barn door, about four feet off the ground.'
'It was a mere five hours until one appeared.'
Mr Ward said it was at about 10am when one tiny owl showed its face.
He said: 'Looking confident it stretched its wings, checked the flight equipment and posed like a true caped crusader.

Hungry: The two young owls had earlier been spotted wrestling over a large worm

Dedicated: The photographer waited up to 17 hours a day to get the shots

'Then it scratched the surface beneath its feet to make sure the ground was firm, checked the sky for clearance and potential predators and took a leap - straight down on the grass below like a cannon ball.
'It all happened incredibly quickly and the pictures of it on the ground looked very messy. I was also laughing at the sight in my camouflaged hide.
'Flapping its wings it managed to hop back up on the barn door for a second and third attempt as its mother hooted encouragement from a tree about 45 feet away.
'On the fourth attempt he avoided the drop and took to the sky giving me a great shot against the dark light coming from the gap in the barn door and being lit by the gorgeous morning sunlight outside.'
Mr Ward said that the conditions did make the shoot difficult.
He said: 'After a 17 hour shoot in the hide from 5am to 9pm I was exhausted and down to literally my boxer shorts as it was 28 degrees and with no breeze in the hide it gets seriously hot. It was a good job I took a few litres of water with me.
'But these are lengths us nature photographers have to go to to get and witness such wonderful moments such as these.
'It was a first for me and one I will never forget.'

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2378046/Tiny-owl-pictured-making-successful-flight-barn-door.html
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It's raining cats and frogs! When it gets too wet even for an amphibian...


This tiny little frog was snapped clinging to a leaf to shelter from the rain in a downpour in Jember, East Java, Indonesia

While millions of Brits swap sun hats for brollies today, this resourceful little frog was snapped sheltering from the rain - using a leaf as an UMBRELLA.
Photographer Penkdix Palme, 27, caught the tiny tree frog sheltering from the rain in his neighbour's back garden.
The aqua-phobic amphibian clung on to the stem of the green leaf for an impressive 30 minutes as it was lashed by wind and rain. In this fascinating series of photographs, the two-inch high frog appears to angle the makeshift umbrella towards the direction of the downpour.

The clever little amphibian clung to its 'umbrella' leaf for 30 minutes as the rain fell all around him

Large droplets of water gather at the bottom of the leaf and surrounding branch while the clever frog remains protected.
Penkdix, who only took up photography six months ago, said he was shocked when he stumbled upon the unusual scene in his hometown of Jember, East Java, Indonesia.

He avoided taking a battering by the rain drops, which instead collected on the leaf above him

It seems the frog wasn't too fussy on which style of 'umbrella' to opt for

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2375183/When-things-wet-frog-.html
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Cute rabbit takes five to scrub behind his ears and groom himself in the sunshine


The rabbit carefully cleaned his long ears in the sunshine at the Minsmere RSPB Reserve

This rabbit looks as though he is enjoying preening himself in the summer sunshine.
The animal, pictured at Minsmere RSPB Reserve, paid particular attention to his distinctive long ears as he gave his fur a spring clean.

Combing his fur with his paws, the rabbit took the time to groom himself from every angle

He spent a particularly long time checking over both sides of his ears

Clearly determined to look his best, the well turned-out mammal spent a long time carefully checking the rest of his fur for any dirt.
Rabbits keep themselves clean by washing regularly and grooming, using their teeth, tongue and claws.

Although very cute, this rabbit is a fully-grown adult as younger rabbits have very little fur when they are born

They often groom each other as a social activity, but it looks as though this one had to do it on his own.
As well as a way of looking smart, careful cleaning is a very important part of a rabbit's health.
In the warmer months they are at risk from attack by maggots, which can eat into their flesh in a condition called fly strike.

Happy with the state of his ears, using his sharp teeth the rabbit moved on to clean the rest of his body

Pleased with a job well done, the rabbit settles back down for a well-deserved rest

The risk is increased by dirty fur which attracts flies, so the rabbits have to take their grooming seriously.
Minismere RSPB Reserve where this rabbit lives is most famous for its unusual birds, such as nightingales, bitterns and avocets, but is home to all sorts of wildlife.
Rabbits in Britain mainly live in meadows and farmland but also occasionally in urban areas.

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2364103/Cute-rabbit-takes-scrub-ears-groom-sunshine.html
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Cute as a button (mushroom): Tiny kitten who was attacked by a crow wears heart-melting crocheted costumes that - believe it or not - are aiding her recovery


Button Mushroom: Wasabi-chan's mushroom cover was specially created by her rescuer's grandmother to allow her to be fed without stopping her feeding tube

What could be cuter than a tiny, wee kitten dressed up as a button mushroom?
Nothing of course - and when you realize that this adorable creature isn't just wearing the outfit for the 'awww' factor, but for her own good, it might just make you lose your cool.
Wasabi-chan, the adorable Japanese rescue kitten, was attacked and seriously injured by a crow who fractured her jaw and ripped her tongue in two.

Awwwww: This is the photo that launched Wasabi-chan to internet fame after her rescuer posted it onto Twitter in Japan

Taken in by her kind owner, who goes by the Twitter handle @jessiepon, Wasabi-chan's recovery was hampered by the fact that she wouldn't take to feeding through a tube.
Thinking outside the box, her rescuer realized that sticking her in cute crocheted costumes would be a fun and sensible way to stop her removing the tube from her mouth.

Where It All Began: Found on June 2nd seriously injured after a crow attack - a kindly passerby picked Wasabi-chan up and took her to the vet - who told her that the kitten needed to be fed by a tube

'She was attacked by a crow,’ explained Reddit user DopeSk1llz. ‘Her top jaw was fractured, a hole in her throat, tongue was ripped, and part of gum was eaten.
‘The rescuer was feeding her with a tube which Wasabi-chan hates, thus created this crochet to hold her down while feeding.'

Not a Big Fan for Such a Small Kitten: Wasabi-chan did not like being fed in this manner much and her arms had to be held in place

‘She’s gaining lots of weights and is now looking adorable!’
Once the pictures of Wasabi-chan were picked up by social media in Japan, the cute ball of fluff snapped up almost 50,000 fans - all wanting to hear how her recovery was going.
Updating Twitter and Instagram daily to update everyone as to her progress, @jessiepon has added to Wasabi-chan's wardrobe of outfits, all made by her grandmother.

This is one of the feeding tube solutions - holding the cutest kitten firmly in place

Improving: The crocheted costumes allowed feeding time to go unhindered and Wasabi-chan steadily increased in weight and health

Hungry: Wasabi-chan has now beefed up to the point where she doesn't need the tubes anymore

Now Wasabi-chan has moved off the feeding tube and is eating on her own and is a firm member of the household

Making Friends: The little kitten is now well enough to explore her surroundings and get to know her room-mates

Describing the moment she found Wasabi-chan on June 2nd, @jessiepon described the harrowing scene.
'I heard a horrible cry of a kitten, getting attacked by crows in front of my house. I immediately rescued her and brought her to the vet. Crows have eaten inside of the kitten’s mouth, to the point she can’t drink milk on her own.'
By the end of the month and a few cute costumes later, Wasabi-chan was well enough to eat by herself and join the family.

Picture of Health: But will she ever look as cute as when she was dressed as a button mushroom?

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2360017/Cute-button-Tiny-kitten-injured-crow-wears-heart-melting-crocheted-costumes-believe-aiding-recovery.html
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