Buckalike: A proud stag meets an artificial rival and won't give up until it's crushed

Convinced: The buck stands up to the plastic model, fooled into thinking is a genuine rival for its territory

This deer looked a bit of a fool when he picked a fight with a plastic model he thought was a real-life rival.

The animal attacked after spotting the fake deer apparently trespassing on its territory.

I'll show you! The buck goes on to the attack as its rival stands its ground

This extraordinary set of pictures, taken by photographer Don Jones, show how the buck fronts up the plastic model.

When the model shows no sign of stepping down, the deer launches at it with his impressive antlers.

He doesn't back down until his rival has been floored - but appears quite bemused when its head pops off.

One last push: The fake deer apparently trespassing on its territory, is overturned

The bizarre spectacle was captured in the Kootenai National Forest in Northwest Montana, America.

Mr Jones snapped the pictures after setting up the 'decoy' deer in the area to see what reaction it would get from the resident bucks.

The 52-year-old, from Troy in Montana, said: 'I knew that once the bucks saw this smaller decoy buck they would not stand for it.

Finished: The plastic model lies in bits, its head knocked off

source: dailymail

What a whopper! Angler enters record books after catching EIGHT FOOT albino catfish


Monster catch: Chris Grimmer, left, caught the biggest albino catfish ever landed by an angler on the the River Ebro, near Barcelona, Spain

This monster from the deep has netted a British angler a place in the record books.

The whopper, caught by plucky Chris Grimmer, is the biggest albino catfish ever caught by an angler.

The 8ft beast tipped the scales at 194lbs - 2lbs heavier than the previous best by blind woman angler Shelia Penfold last year.

Say cheese: Chris Grimmer shows off his 194lb catch before releasing it back into the River Ebro

Chris, a 35-year-old ground worker, spent 30 minutes trying to reel in the white catfish after it took his bait.

Chris, from Sheffield, toasted the record catch with a bottle of champagne which he and his friends drank on the river bank.

He and three pals had been on a week's fishing trip to the River Ebro, near Barcalona, Spain, when he snared the record catfish.

The fish was so big that Chris' rod bent over double when it took his bait of halibut pellets.

Sheila Penfold, from Wandsworth, South London, caught her 192lb albino catfish last October.

The biggest catfish ever caught in the world is a staggering 646lb - or 46 stone - Giant Mekong Catfish caught in Thailand in 2005.

source: dailymail

Now THAT'S a fat cat! Otto on diet mission after weighing in at equivalent to 500lbs for a human

By Mark Duell

Diet: The New Jersey cat is six months into a fat-fighting mission and has already shed more than five pounds - dropping from 35.8lbs to 29.5lbs

When he entered hospital, Otto was the biggest cat some doctors had ever seen, weighing the equivalent in human weight of a 500lbs man.

But the New Jersey feline is six months into a fat-fighting mission and has already shed more than five pounds - dropping from 35.8lbs to 29.5lbs.

Otto, who suffers from arthritis because of his weight, has been put on a diet by vets at Clementon Animal Hospital as they try to help him.

Getting better: The cat, who has been billed 'the Round
Mound of Purring Sound', was taken to an animal hospital by his owners in January

Otto arrived at more than twice the average weight of a wild bobcat - and triple his ideal weight, reported MSNBC.

It means his little heart and lungs are working overtime to maintain his body weight, so vets knew they needed to put him on a diet.

Now less food and more exercise are helping his health improve - and staff have set him a weight target of 20lbs.

Clementon vet Dr Shashina Lyons said there is nothing funny about an obese pet, as they are prone to diabetes, arthritis and liver disease.

‘The unfortunate thing is, people think it’s cute,’ she told NBC.

source: dailymail

Your goose is cooked: Canada variety to be placed on the menu and it's perfect with teriyaki sauce

By Valerie Elliott

Dinner: The goose could soon be sold in restaurants and served as an alternative to turkey for traditional Christmas dinner

The Canada goose, one of Britain’s most hated birds, could soon be served as an alternative to turkey for the traditional Christmas dinner.

Natural England – the Government’s advisers on wildlife – want the law changed to allow meat from the bird to be sold for the first time in Britain.

The birds, with their distinctive black heads, are a common sight in parks and on lakes but are seen as pests.

They can already be shot and eaten, or given as a gift to cook at home. However, it is illegal to sell them. Restaurateurs who serve them can be fined up to £5,000 and face six months jail.

Natural England will make its recommendation to the Law Commission, which is conducting a review of wildlife statutes. It is believed that the law may be changed in time for Christmas.

Natural England want the law changed to allow meat from the bird to be sold for the first time in Britain

Thousands of the birds are killed lawfully every year to prevent them from fouling parks. The low-flying geese are also the scourge of farmers and pilots as they feed on crops and are a hazard to planes.

Many in the countryside eat the gamey bird as a roast at home and don’t understand why it is not sold.

Natural England’s Matthew Heydon said: ‘It would make sense to allow them to be sold.’ But the RSPB’s Graham Madge called it ‘a dangerous development’.

Leading cook Prue Leith said the birds would be a useful addition to menus. ‘I would slow cook the legs, cut off the breast meat, grill it and serve with teriyaki sauce.’

source :dailymail

Downton's war of the labradors: Show's canine star is hounded out by castle's very unwelcoming rival


War: Lady Carnavon with Percy and Bella at Highclere Castle - her dogs have not got on with Downton Abbey's Roly

Downton Abbey – as its millions of fans know only too well – is a house seething with tension at the best of times.

But now it seems there is another source of rivalry every bit as fierce as the class struggle between the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants.

Lady Carnarvon, the owner of Highclere Castle, where the hit ITV drama is filmed, has revealed her pet labrador Percy was unwilling to tolerate the presence of Roly, the labrador that starred as the Crawleys’ pet, Pharaoh.

Rivals: Roly, pictured here with Hugh Bonneville, has been hounded out by Highclere's resident labradors

At one stage, producers considered dropping Pharaoh’s character from the script altogether. Instead, they decided to give the castle advance warning of Roly’s movements, so the two animals could be kept apart.

Lady Carnarvon said: ‘We have blonde labradors named Percy and Bella, and what’s bizarre is they bring in their own labrador. I haven’t got a clue why they don’t use ours, which are running up and down the stairs anyway.

Be prepared: The cast of Downton Abbey may have to keep a close eye out for labrador disagreements

‘Our male labrador minds the Downton one enormously, so I have to say, “When is your dog in? Don’t turn up unexpectedly,” because he does not like any other male dogs in the castle. He is very territorial.

‘We usually ask for no dogs in the castle actually, because we have five altogether – the others are spaniels we call Naughty 1, Naughty 2, and Naughty 3!’
The website of Highclere Castle makes clear that only guide dogs are normally allowed into the castle.

Gill Raddings, the dog handler who supplied Roly to the period drama, which counts the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge among its fans, said: ‘Even before filming began, there was talk of cutting the dog from the script altogether.

‘It had absolutely nothing to do with Roly.

‘Lady Carnarvon’s dog does not like male dogs in the house and he is apparently a fighter, so we had to give them advance warning when Roly was on the premises.’

The new series of Downton Abbey, which again stars Dame Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton and Michelle Dockery, is set in 1916 and follows the fortunes of the household during the latter years of the First World War.

Filming is due to continue for another two weeks.

source: dailymail

Adorable odd couple: Chimp's maternal instincts awakened as she feeds milk to a baby tiger


Maternal instinct: A two-year-old chimpanzee called Do Do feeds milk to Aorn, a two-month-old tiger cub

They are humans' closest relative, sharing a similar genetic make-up and displaying behaviour not unlike our own.

Now this little chimpanzee is showing off a motherly instinct to rival even the most maternal of mankind.

These adorable images reveal the close bond that has formed between a two-year-old chimpanzee called Do Do and a two-month-old tiger cub called Aorn.

Bonding: The animals both live at Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo on the outskirts of Bangkok

Completely at ease in each other's company, the ape's motherly instincts take over as she attentively bottle feeds the baby tiger.

Aorn gratefully laps up the milk as Do Do tenderly holds the tiger in her arms.

At one point, Do Do puts the bottle in her own mouth - almost mimicking the actions of a human mother checking to see if the milk is suitable for her offspring to consume.

For some unexplained reason Do Do is wearing a pair of denim shorts - perhaps to protect her thighs from Aorn's claws.

They were photographed at Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand.

For some unexplained reason Do Do is wearing a pair of denim shorts - perhaps to protect her thighs from Aorn's claws

Heat test: Do Do drinks some of the milk, perhaps to make sure the temperature is okay for the tiger cub

The crocodile farm, used as a tourist attraction, houses some 80,000 crocodiles and is the largest in Thailand.

Its owners claim to hold the largest captive crocodile, measuring an astonishing six metres long and weighing 2,465lbs.

Regular crocodile shows are staged during which zookeepers place their heads inside the reptiles' mouths.

However, the farm doesn't just contain crocodiles.

As you'd expect from these pictures, monkeys and tigers also live there, alongside elephants, lions, horses and hippopotamuses.

Aorn gratefully laps up the milk as Do Do tenderly holds the tiger in her arms

Monkey feeds baby tiger

source: dailymail

Lucky cow! Barmy Brazilian bovine braves crocodile field in search of tasty treat


Silly moo: The barmy bovine was lucky to escape with his life after he wandered into a field full of crocodiles

This silly moo was lucky the only snap he suffered when wandering into a field full of carnivorous crocs was from a camera.

Showing the confidence of a catwalk model, but with more than a hint of udder idiocy, the barmy Brazilian bovine avoided stepping on the crocodile moos in his search for tasty vegetation.

Photographer Robert Mooney, of Arlington, Virginia, took the incredible photograph on the tropical Pantanal swamps in the western state of Mat Grosso.

The 50-year-old said: 'I was amazed the cow dared to stroll among the crocs with such apparent ease.'

The Pantanal is the world's largest wetland area - covering 88,803 square miles - an area larger than France.

It stretches to Paraguay in the north, Bolivia in the east, and is home to more than 3,500 species of plants, 650 different kinds of bird and 400 species of fish.

source: dailymail

Won't somebody love us? Britain's cats are being abandoned in record numbers and inspiring volunteers are struggling to find them homes


Two's company: These tabby kittens will be re homed in pairs

Stroking the motherless grey kitten on my lap, I look down and see a thin, rangy tom cat winding around my legs.

For three years Major has survived on scraps from the local Chinese, and he is covered in wounds. Yet he is so friendly, someone must have loved him once.

Sadly, those days are long gone. Like so many of the cats around me, Major was abandoned by his owner and left to the care of the Celia Hammond Animal Trust (CHAT) in East London.

Take a chance on me: (Left) Jack's eye had to be removed when he was rescued and Majorie (right) was left with two broken legs and a broken jaw after being hit by a car

This cat and dog rescue centre, opened by the former Vogue model in 1986, receives 30 or more calls a day reporting abuse or asking for help.

CHAT never turns away an animal or puts down a healthy cat, but for the first time Celia tells me she is unable to cope with the demand.

Sadly, this situation is replicated all over the country, with animal shelters straining at the seams as they attempt to care for an estimated seven to ten million abandoned cats.

Last week, it was revealed that the number of unwanted pets is so high that healthy cats are being put down.

Shockingly, black cats and black and white cats — which, apparently, are ‘unfashionable’ colours — are the most likely to be destroyed.

source: dailymail

It's a Monk-hee-hee-hee! The macaque who makes himself laugh by tickling his own feet


Adorable: Biologist Natalia Paklina caught this long-tailed macaque on camera in the Sacred Monkey Forest on the Indonesian island of Bali

This cheeky monkey couldn't help bursting out into a beautiful grin after learning how to tickle his own feet.

The long-tailed macaque was caught on camera in the Sacred Monkey Forest on the Indonesian island of Bali.

At first the cute primate appeared to be itching his toes - but he soon started to laugh as he tickled his feet.

The adorable pictures were captured by biologist Natalia Paklina, 51, who was visiting the site near Ubud while on holiday.

Mrs Paklina, who has homes in Moscow, Russia and Enkhausen in the Netherlands, said: 'You are able to get quite close to the monkeys in the forest because they are used to humans.

Monkey business: The long-tailed macaque appeared to be itching his toes, until he burst into laughter by tickling his feet

'At first I thought he was scratching but then it looked like he was tickling himself and laughing. For people on Bali these monkeys are sacred and associated with divine monkey-warrior Hanuman.

'It means that they get given what they want by the locals so they have a lot to be happy and laugh about.'

source: dailymail

Bandit bird: The shoplifting seagull that is so prolific one bakery has hired a BOUNCER


Sneaking in: Grenville steals from the Upper Crust bakery up to three times a day

Usually only shops in the roughest areas have to hire bouncers to ward off thieves.

But a bakery in the seaside resort of Newquay in Cornwall has had to take this drastic measure to tackle a shoplifter who visits three times a day.

However, no security measures have yet been enough to stop this persistent thief - Grenville the seagull.

The cheeky bird waits at the door of the Upper Crust bakery and hops behind the counter to grab pasties, sausage rolls and sweets which it drags outside.

It has a particular taste for crisps and has been known to scoff entire chocolate bars in one sitting.

Worker Martine Hawkes said: 'It's getting ridiculous. He paces up and down all morning until our backs are turned or the shop is empty before walking in bold as brass and helping himself.

Caught red-beaked: Granville's favourite food is crisps, but he is also partial to pasties and chocolate

'It was quite amusing at first but it's become a bit of a pain as he's stealing quite a bit of stock. He's gone for everything, including pasties, and we've even seen him eat a whole Crunchie bar one day.

'There's nothing we can do. We've tried shooing him out, hiding the stock, even putting up plastic barriers but he always finds a way.

'We know it's the same bird as he has a distinctive red eyebrow, which we think must be dye of some sort. Grenville's become quite a celebrity, with shoppers regularly coming in to take pictures.'

Hungry: Granville open packaging with his beak and eats his ill-gotten gains in front of the shop
The bird has been targeting the shop for over three months, and visits up to three times every day.

Staff reckon he has cost them hundreds of pounds by walking out with a bag of crisps, sweets or pasties before brazenly tucking into them in the street.

The shop has now tasked one member of staff with patrolling the front door at all times.

Shop assistant Ammii Downing added: 'He is a lovely seagull and it was funny to start with, but it's starting to get irritating.

'It's costing the shop a fortune.'

Bandit bird: The shoplifting seagull that is so prolific one bakery has hired a BOUNCER

source: dailymail

New Zealand's castaway penguin has p-p-p-picked up: Happy Feet given health clearance to return to Antarctica


Back on his Happy Feet: The emperor penguin prepares to return home after recuperating at Wellington Zoo

New Zealand's favourite penguin visitor has been given the all-clear to return to the wild after he was found on a beach more than 2,000 miles from his Antarctic home.

The emperor penguin, nicknamed Happy Feet, has been recuperating at Wellington Zoo since he was discovered on the North Island five weeks ago.

He is the first emperor penguin to be found in the wild in New Zealand in 44 years.
He became ill after eating sand, likely mistaking it for snow.

Touch and go: Happy Feet undergoes an operation to have sand flushed from his throat and stomach

But he has made good progress after a lifesaving operation by a top New Zealand surgeon, who removed nearly 7lb of sand from his stomach.

Zoo spokeswoman Kate Baker said the penguin has gained about 9lb and this week passed an X-ray and blood test.

Ms Baker said the penguin will likely be released offshore from the south end of the country sometime in the next few weeks.

source: dailymail

It's Adolf Kit-ler! The kitten with a Hitler moustache that even gives the Nazi salute


Kitler has a remarkable resemblance to Hitler

An abandoned kitten is struggling to find a loving home because her unusual markings bear an uncanny resemblance to Hitler.

The six-week-old cat - abandoned at the roadside - earned her name 'Kitler' because the distinctive black patch on her top lip looks like the Nazi leader's moustache.

Staff at the animal shelter where Kitler is being looked after say hundreds of people visiting the centre have ignored her and chosen more conventional looking kittens instead.

The six-week-old moggie was found abandoned on her own by the side of a busy main road by a member of the public

Spokeswoman Tara Dundon from Wood Green animal shelter in Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, said: 'Kitler is an adorable little girl who will make a wonderful addition to the right family. She is really playful and a typical sweet kitten.

'We rehome five and a half thousand animals every year but we cannot find a loving owner for Kitler. We think her unusual markings are putting people off.

'She is not a specific breed and we don't know where her black and white patches came from because we have no idea who her parents are.

'We think Kitler was either dumped by someone who didn't want her or couldn't look after her or she could have been a wild cat who was left by her mother.

Animal carer Beverley Street with Kitler who is yet to find a loving family because of her unusual markings

'Sadly, Kitler is just one of hundreds of stray cats we take in every year. Last year we took in 1,294 cats and kittens, of which 422 were strays.'

Kitler was found alone and close to death at the side of the A421 near Kempston, Bedfordshire.

The severely malnourished kitten would have died but recovered her health after receiving food and treatment at the Wood Green animal shelter.

Anyone interested in adopting Kitler should call Wood Green on 0844 248 8181.

source: dailymail

Revealed: Shocking cruelty at massive abattoir... but those responsible WON'T be prosecuted


Beating: Abattoir staff are filmed striking pigs with sharp paddles - even when the animals were severely injured

Appalling cruelty, including cigarettes being stubbed out on the faces of pigs, has been revealed in secret filming inside a slaughterhouse.

The footage of pigs being burned, punched and smacked across the head with sharp paddles was captured by animal welfare campaigners.

They reveal the shocking truth of the casual brutality inside one of the country’s biggest abattoirs.

Despite the clear evidence, the Government, through the Food Standards Agency, has refused to prosecute those involved.

The decision has been condemned by Animal Aid, which carried out the secret filming. It says it is evidence that ministers are putting the commercial interests of the meat industry above welfare.

The secret filming took place at an Essex slaughterhouse run by Cheale Meats, where up to 6,000 pigs are slaughtered every week.

In 2001 the outbreak of a disastrous foot and mouth epidemic which swept through the country was first identified among 27 pigs sent to the plant from the north-east of England.

Brutal: The video opens with several incidents of staff stubbing out cigarettes on pigs' faces

Torment: Incorrect stunning, as shown here, leaves pigs in terrible pain

Despite images like this, showing a pig bleeding to death as a worker looks on, the Government will not prosecute the abattoir

Violent: Staff were filmed using force to move the pigs around the slaughterhouse

‘As the RSPCA has found in previous cases, this would get it thrown out of court and do absolutely nothing to help reduce the suffering of animals.’

The FSA said it has taken action to end the cruelty at the plant.

It revoked the licence of one slaughterman identified in the footage, while another slaughterman’s provisional licence had already expired and has not been renewed.

The organisation has also increased monitoring at the plant to avoid any repeat.

source: dailymail

A little trooper: Beryl the hedgehog on the mend after being shot in the head and having two legs broken


Getting better: Beryl puts a brave face on her shocking injuries after being shot in the head with an air rifle

Sporting a bandage and still looking a little worse for wear, brave Beryl the hedgehog looks like she's finally on the road to recovery.

The tiny female hedgehog has amazed vets by somehow overcoming the shocking injuries inflicted on her just weeks ago in Northwood, Middlesex.

Beryl was cruelly shot in the head with an air rifle and kicked by heartless yobs.

The adorable creature was left with an air rifle pellet embedded in her jaw and also suffered two broken legs.

Horrific: An x-ray shows the air rifle pellet lodged in Beryl's jaw, as well as both of her broken back legs

She was found stumbling around Northwood a few weeks ago and was immediately rushed to nearby St Tiggywinkles wildlife hospital, Bucks, for emergency treatment.

Beryl was put in intensive care and had both her ankles plastered.
She will need physiotherapy and hydrotherapy and may need surgery on a knee fracture.

Les Stocker, founder of St Tiggywinkles said: "Everyone at Tiggys is appalled that some imbecile would shoot a hedgehog in the head and then kick it.

'Unfortunately it's too dangerous to remove the pellet from her jaw.

'It doesn't seem to have affected her eating as she's been eating like a horse since arriving here.

'She a little trooper and everyone here dotes over her. I'm sure she'll make a full recovery.'

source: dailymail

Wild horses get into the swim of things at the 'Saltwater Cowboys' annual fair


Giddy up: Chincoteague Ponies make their way across Assateague Channel during the 86th annual Chincoteague Wild Pony Swim in Virginia

More than a hundred wild ponies found their sea-legs yesterday as they swam across the Assateague Channel, while putting on a show for thousands of spectators.

Horse lovers took photographs and recorded the Chincoteague Pony herd during its 86th annual swim in Chincoteague, Virginia.

Keep going! A tired pony struggles through the water but luckily the low tide made it a bit easier

Each year the wild ponies are auctioned to raise money for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which cares the Virginia herd.

Ponies that are not sold and those that are donated back to the fire department will roam free for another year on the national wildlife refuge on Assateague.

Around 130 young horses were herded through the straight watched by more than 40,000 people watching.

Companions: The young horses gave each other encouragement as they made their way across the channel

Members of the fire company committee named ‘Saltwater Cowboys’ guided from above the horses, The Baltimore Sun reported.

The ponies took just four minutes and 40 seconds to make their way across the passage that measures half a mile.

And luckily for the young horses, on top of their swimming challenge, they managed to walk about half the distance due to the tide being low.

Rest time: After their swimming challenge, the ponies started grazing at the landing site

Rest time: After their swimming challenge, the ponies started grazing at the landing site

source: dailymail

Eight million animals face death to test your toothpaste and washing-up liquid


Millions of animals are subjected to painful tests every year

Thought animal testing was banned? Think again. And it's all thanks to Brussels...

After a recent review by an expert panel determined that testing chemicals on animals in laboratories produced 'few real benefits' to medicine, but should continue regardless, STEVE BOGGAN goes behind the scenes at a testing facility to find out what still goes on behind closed doors... and examines the European policies that still allow it to happen.

Trapped: Dozens of bunnies are test at simultaneously in tests BUAV say are cruel and archaic

Clad in her customary white coat, the scientist carefully pulls the latex gloves up over her wrists and walks slowly towards the cage. Reaching in, she seizes one of the rabbits, cowering near the back and clamps it into a testing harness.

Taking it over to a sanitised laboratory bench, Dr Tamsin Decker supervises as solution is squirted into the defenceless animal’s eyes. She has done this many times before — and will watch as it’s done again until the rabbit shows some side-effects: pain, irritation, bleeding perhaps, and eventually, possibly, blindness.

Caged: The scared rabbits find their metal cages very distressing with some continually pacing and biting the bars

For what cause must the animal endure such a wretched, tortured existence? Once upon a time, Dr Decker would have imagined it was to find a cure for cancer, or, at the very least, to test a compound which would relieve suffering.

But now the young woman knows that she is verifying the safety of a chemical contained in toothpaste — a well-established brand leader that she had used to brush her teeth that very morning.

source: dailymail

Experts are foxed as first ever footage of urban OTTER making its home in city dock emerges


Conservation officers in Bristol first became aware of the otters after finding droppings by the city's floating harbour

Conservationists have captured this amazing footage of a new breed of 'urban' otter which is shunning the countryside in favour of city centres.

Researchers have discovered that the usually-reclusive water creature - immortalised in Kenneth Grahame's Wind In the Willows - are encroaching into cities.

They set up hidden cameras and captured an urban otter making a home by a floating dock in the heart of Bristol city centre - just yards from a shopping mall.

Researchers believe greater access to food is one of the main reasons for the change - just like the growth of the urban fox

The footage - the first to ever show otters in a city centre - has stunned experts who had previously believed the furry creatures were too timid to venture out of the countryside.

They believe greater access to food is one of the main reasons for the change - just like the growth of the urban fox.

Phil Quinn, an ecologist who launched the study, said: 'It is just extraordinary. They are a very thriving population.

The footage - the first to ever show otters in a city centre - has stunned experts who had previously believed otters were too timid to venture out of the countryside

'There have been reports of otters in smaller cities but never in a city centre like this.

'Most ecologists working with otters would look at this situation and say - no chance.

'We were not even thinking of otters and then we just found the evidence - which is their droppings. They are very distinctive looking and very distinctive smelling things.

source: dailymail