Thursday, December 15, 2011

Meerly Christmas

I know it's a little perverse to make animals appear to be enjoying religious holidays, but I can't resist the antics of meerkats at any time of the year! The keepers at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling, England, moved some traditional Christmas decorations into the meerkat enclosure and the results were, predictably, adorable! Apparently the little ones looked at their beautiful reflections in the tree ornaments all afternoon. Check out the full slideshow!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Nose Dive!

Look out, wee mousy! This fox is going to come down hard into the snow and find you in your tiny, frozen hiding spot. What are the leaping foxes in our lives that we, mouse-like, don't see coming for us until it's too late?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Philosopher Panda

"And what if all of animated nature

Be but organic harps diversely framed,

That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps

Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,

At once the Soul of each, and God of All?",

he mused while gazing into the foliage.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Here comes the bride!

So, so funny. This is a genuinely frightening Hallowe'en costume. Imagine being the poor groom who throws up the veil to find that he's married to this "lovely lady"!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kanellos, the Greek Protest Dog

This stray dog in Athens has been "on the frontlines" of all of the protests against austerity in the Greek city. You can see him in action in this video:
What I want to know is, how does he know so consistently who's side he's on? He acts like he hates the police and wants to help the protesters. It's weird!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Buddies in Bad Times

Need I say more? If you ever doubted that monkeys are hugely intelligent and feel anguish and comfort in ways that are almost human, then look into this guy's eyes and change your mind.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gay Finches

Who says homosexuality is a human thing? We fans of the gay penguins in Manhattan's Central Park Zoo (who recently adopted an egg and are raising the baby happily, btw) know that animals can be in a fully committed gay relationship, just like humans. But ANW didn't know that Zebra Finches also swung in that direction, until this article:
If gayness in the animal kingdom is not enough proof that some are simply "born this way," then what is?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Whoo-oos going to mother us?

I couldn't resist that title for this adorable photo of orphaned owls at St. Tiggywinkle bird sanctuary here in England. The answer to the question: I will! Aren't they sooooo beautiful! I love owls!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hurrah for Herons

While in England, I've discovered the poetic, downright strange bird that is the heron. I've always known about them, but I haven't really seen them. A friend pointed one out to me in a pond in Tyne and Wear and I was smitten, as I am by looking at this spare photo. They'll sit stock-still for hours, their "hair" askew, waiting for a fish to happen by -- and then spear it with their great beaks.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Perhaps you already know Maru, the most famous cat on the internet. He lives in Japan, and is, without a doubt, the strangest cat on the planet, as the title of the video confirms. I laughed harder at that video, despite the calming and sweet music, than I have in a very long time. And that's no bad thing. I love it when he puts the bag on his head and then goes over to his water, as if to say, "Oh, water. I'd really like some now, but I can't drink through this bag on my head. Shame." Hilarious.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Owl and the Pussycat

I know this is not the greatest image, but I wanted a still from the actual video that I'm recommending you watch through the link below. I posted a strange friendship a few posts ago -- the dolphin and the cat -- but this one is in many ways at least as strange and wonderful. The owl clearly loves to fly low enough the let the cat try to catch him. And you have to watch until the end, when the cat leap-frogs over the owl, pretending to tackle him. Awesome. Thanks to DM for this one!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fennec Fox

Isn't this little beauty amazing?! It's called a Fennec Fox. What incredibly hugs ears it has -- it must hear mice whispering from miles away. I think it's quite magical. It's on my desktop now -- to remind me that I've never seen it all!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Footballs for Elephants?

O.k., maybe my movie, "Footballs for Elephants," doesn't have any smoldering, vampiric stars or pointy-chinned damsels in distress, but it does have tiny footballers with kooky, wiry hairs and ancient skin! Who will win? Will they trip? It will be full of dramatic tension! Coming to a theatre -- or maybe a zoo -- near you!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dauphin Dolphin

This is the prince of all dolphins, the king of kindness to all animals. Who ever thought that these creatures would or could be friends? You are not going to believe this video. The cat clearly wants the dolphin to come closer to him, even going to far as to put his front paws on the tiniest of all ledges over the vast ocean, and the dolphin obliges, to let the kitty rub his little cheek on the dolphin's nose in the universal cat sign of "I like you"! Truly miraculous.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

When cows fly?

When German-teen Regina Mayer's parents wouldn't buy her a horse with which she could chase her dreams of competing in hurdle competitions, she decided to teach this beautiful cow, Luna, how to be a horse. Check them out in action in this video:
Apparently, cows are very loyal -- although stubborn -- creatures. They won't always do as they're told, and you can see that Luna doesn't, but I like that attitude!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Adelie Penguin Cam

This is my dream come true! When I was a kid, I always wanted to attach a video camera to our rough-and-tumble (but incredibly sweet) fluffy, orange cat, Chauney. I imagined the great adventures she must have had during her day: hunting, fighting, going into strangers' houses, flirting with teenage boys (I saw her!), hunting. . . oh, I guess I mentioned that. Well, I didn't approve, but she was a great hunter. Well, now we can watch an animal that is at least as cool: an Adelie penguin in the Antarctic, to whom Japanese scientists have attached a video camera in a world first. Check it out!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I know it doesn't feel like it's spring to us -- what with all the snow on the ground -- but this lamb in England is pretty sure of the season. Apparently he's just been released into the field for the first time. I think he's saying to himself, "WHOA! My legs are strong! Being a lamb is AWESOME!"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Red Rules

No, this isn't a posting about the virtues of Communism. I only want to point out why red hair is the best. However, I won't make the argument; nay, I will let this photo of a "Francois leaf-eating monkey" (wha?) in Sydney, Australia, do the talking. Nuff said.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Panda Napda

Who could possibly fall asleep in this position? I mean, it's one thing of you're a relatively small creature, like a sloth or a monkey, but a massively fat panda? His back-fat alone (and it IS a big male, in China) is threatening to break the branches that he's decided to call "mattress." He's so fat that he can use his own giant tummy as a pillow. But he's surprisingly flexible for a porker. Maybe I'm just jealous, though. If I could sleep in this position, then I'd never dread an overseas flight again!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

R.I.P. Knut

ANW is sorry to report the passing of Knut, the polar bear who was hand-raised by humans at the Berlin Zoo after being rejected by his mother, and who stole hearts of millions of other humans the world over. He became famous because animal activists saw in his birth and raising the essence of what they see as zoo cruelty, and called for the zoo keepers to let him die -- which, of course, caused outrage in those who couldn't stand to see such a beautiful creature die. It's a difficult situation. All ANW can say at this point -- from having seen him "in bear" at the Berlin Zoo -- is that we're sorry to see him go at such a young age (he was only 4 years old). R.I.P., Knut. We hope that you are catching salmon and skipping on ice floes in polar-bear-heaven.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Adorable Alpacas

Funny thing is that I was just meditating last week on how much I've always loved the Camelid family -- camels, of course (such snobs, who can't love them? A cat-lover's dream!), vicunas, and alpacas, as shown here. Those huge eyes! That soft, fuzzy hair! The pert little mouth! And their very existence -- along with vicunas -- makes one think of the wonder of evolution and the shifting of the tectonic plates. They are so obviously related to their Arabian cousins, but an entire continent away.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Christian the Lion

Ah, the Swinging Sixties in London! When and where else could you share your neeps and tatties, your crisps and biscuits, with a lion? This is the story of Christian the Lion, sold at Harrod's a long time ago to a pair of guys who loved him. He made it home to Kenya . . . only to meet them again, but in his home years later. You don't want to miss this one!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Le Flâneur

Meet Ambam. He's at an animal sanctuary in Kent, England, and he's attracting quite a lot of attention for his tendency to take strolls, as in this photo. His keepers say he does it when he wants to look over the fence, or when he's carrying something, as he appears to be doing here. Apparently he comes from a long line of strollers -- as we humans do!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Capy Shower

This is a photo of one of my favourite rodents -- a capybara -- taking a warm shower on a cold day in the Saitama children's zoo in Higashimatsuyama, near Tokyo. I love how his eyes are half-closed with the pleasure of the sensation. Poor thing! He's from South America (Venezuela and Colombia). He's not used to chilly temperatures!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Aquatic Valentine

Happy Valentine, ANW readers! This image is screen-grab from a great video on The Guardian's website about a couple who met at the London Aquarium a couple of years ago and just got married in an underwater ceremony there. As you'll see, though, one attendee was more interested in eating the bridal gown than witnessing the nuptials! Click

Friday, February 4, 2011

Man's First Best Friend?

New Canadian research suggests that before there were dog-people and cat-people, there were dog-cat-people. That is, there were fox-people: "University of Toronto professor Edward Banning and his collaborators discovered what they believe is the oldest cemetery in the Middle East, a [16,500-year-old] site in northern Jordan. The cemetery includes graves with human remains buried alongside those of a red fox, suggesting the animal could have been kept as a pet by humans." Read

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kaka popo

This unfortunately named flightless parrot from New Zealand, the Kakapo, is pictured here in the winning photograph by Shane McInnes in the World's Rarest Birds Photo Competition. The category is the "critically endangered" one. How sad if we lost this beauty! He blends in with the moss in his tropical home perfectly, and seems to have such personality and curiosity. Please click on the photo so that you can appreciate the lovely detail better.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


When this photo was taken, this little guy was jumping out of the way of a huge boulder that almost took out the whole family -- but I just think he looks like he's trying on his role as supergoat! Who knows? If you don't try it, you'll never live it!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Pleasures of Winter

When I first saw this photo of Golden Haired Monkeys from China I thought they made winter look pretty good -- being so chilly is a great excuse to hug all day! But then I noticed the tiny eyes peeking out between the embracing adults and I now realize that that, if you are a baby in such a situation, winter is more than pretty good -- heck, it's awesome!