Rescued kangaroo becomes family member, couch potato (plus lagniappe)

February 6, 2023 • 1:40 pm

This post from Aubtu, which looks like a clickbait, feel-good site, is what I need at the end of another long day (I have a sore throat and am feeling grotty, but a Covid test shows that I’m negative).

Just a little backstory from the site (click on headline to read):

His name is Rufus. He was adopted by a kind-hearted couple when he was 8 months old. His momKym Haywood, runs the Patch Kangaroo Sanctuary in Boston. [JAC: this is clearly the Boston in South Australia.]

Rufus so adores the couch that he spent almost his time on that. Luckily, he has good parents who always understand and give the best things for him. They know that Kufus is inseparable from that spot, so they decided to give him the entire sofa and buy another one for their own. They reserved that spot for their beloved Kufus, no one could sit on his spot, even their guests.

In the video footage of Kufu, when his mom told him it was bedtime, he was slumping onto the sofa and burying his head in the blanket. Another time, when his mom tried to bribe him with grapes to get him out of the sofa, smart Kufus accepted the grapes then quickly flops back down onto the sofa. His lovely action right away melted down thousands of hearts on Instagram.


And voilà, here’s the video of that giant ‘roo chilling with the fam.  I don’t much care for Mom’s narration of Rufus’s every move, but I’d love to have that thing on my couch. Look at that mighty tail!

Rufus’s Instagram site is rufusthecouchkangaroo

Two photos from the site. They both need a beer!

And of course YouTube suggested another kangaroo video for me, and I like it. So enjoy this joey going in and out of the pouch. Egresses at 0:20 and 2:08, and a whole lotta scratching going on. The little guy isn’t going to fit in there much longer!

Animals being rescued

January 26, 2023 • 1:38 pm

As does NBC News each evening, I’ll end today with another feel-good story: in this case a video of people helping animals in trouble. It’s this kind of stuff that I really go to Twitter and Facebook for.  Social media can show you the worst parts of humans, but also the best; and here’s some of the latter.

Yeah, it may be schlocky, but I don’t care. I like it. There’s a duck rescue, too.

King Penguin in the Edinburgh Zoo gets promoted to brigadier general in the Norwegian Guard. Lots of ceremony!

January 25, 2023 • 1:30 pm

What can I say? Here are the YouTube notes for this wonderful video showing the inspection of a penguin who has his own Wikipedia page, Nils Olav.

On Monday morning, 22 August, His Majesty the King of Norway’s Guard paid a very special visit to RZSS Edinburgh Zoo to bestow a unique honour upon our resident king penguin Sir Nils Olav. Already a knight, the most famous king penguin in the world was given the new title of “Brigadier Sir Nils Olav”.

I guess the Norwegian Guard went to Edinburgh to honor the penguin, which must have been a pricey jaunt. Note the dignity with which Sir Nils inspects the troops, and his final call of approval. He wears his medal proudly! I love it when the salute him!

And a bit about the penguin which explains it all.

Brigadier Sir Nils Olav III (Norwegian: [ˌnɪls ˈôːlɑv]) is a king penguin who resides in Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland. He is the mascot and colonel-in-chief of the Norwegian King’s Guard. The name ‘Nils Olav’ and associated ranks have been passed down through three king penguins since 1972 – the current holder being Nils Olav III.

The family of Norwegian shipping magnate Christian Salvesen gave a king penguin to Edinburgh Zoo when the zoo opened in 1913.

When the Norwegian King’s Guard visited the Edinburgh Military Tattoo of 1961 for a drill display, a lieutenant named Nils Egelien became interested in the zoo’s penguin colony. When the King’s Guard returned to Edinburgh in 1972, Egelien arranged for the regiment to adopt a penguin. This penguin was named Nils Olav in honour of Nils Egelien and King Olav V of Norway.

Nils Olav was initially given the rank of visekorporal (lance corporal) in the regiment. He has been promoted each time the King’s Guard has returned to the zoo. In 1982 he was made a corporal, and promoted to sergeant in 1987. Nils Olav I died shortly after his promotion to sergeant in 1987, and his place was taken by Nils Olav II, a two-year-old near-double. He was promoted in 1993 to the rank of regimental sergeant major and in 2001 promoted to ‘honourable regimental sergeant major’ On 18 August 2005, he was appointed as colonel-in-chief of the same regiment. During the 2005 visit, a 4-foot-high (1.2 m) bronze statue of Nils Olav was presented to Edinburgh Zoo. The statue’s inscription includes references to both the King’s Guard and to the Military Tattoo. A statue also stands at the King’s Guard compound at Huseby, Oslo.

Here’s the bronze statue of Sir Nils Olav:

Baby elephant and mom get stuck in the mud, but are rescued by “first responders”

January 22, 2023 • 1:00 pm

If this video doesn’t make you tear up, you have a heart of stone!

This was a really dicey situation: a female African elephant gets badly stuck in the mud, and her baby, refusing to leave her side, gets stuck, too. It takes a bunch of people, a tractor, two trucks, and some anesthetic to get her free. In the end, all is well!

The YouTube notes from We Love Animals:

Baby elephant saved from muddy pit keeps running back to his mom’s side – but she’s still trapped, shoulder-deep, in the mud 🐘❤️

How did Mom get trapped in the first place?

Cat survives long fall by being netted in an American flag!

September 13, 2021 • 2:00 pm

Ceiling Cat bless America! This is a lucky cat who was saved by some nice people. The moggie was hanging precariously from a cable at Miami’s Hard Rock stadium the other day during a football game. The crowd is disturbed (listen to their moans), but some enterprising folks repurposed an American flag to catch the falling cat. It’s caught and was apparently uninjured.

I always wonder when a cat runs out on a baseball field or football pitch, and it gets caught and removed, what happens to it. Such cats, who are television stars, should be adopted, but I always worry about their fate. Could they be sent to a shelter and euthanized?

This particularly handsome cat should definitely be adopted. I tried to find out what happened to it, but found bupkes. If you know, please tell us in the comments.


h/t: Thomas

Rescue of baby raccoons

June 2, 2021 • 2:30 pm

For some reason I’m busy rescuing waterfowl these days, and had another call last night from a famous local author whose koi pond became home to a mallard and her new babies (I referred her to the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors). And I’m a sucker for such rescues, especially when they have happy endings, like this one.

Here are the YouTube notes from ViralHog:

“My husband was cutting up a tree that fell down during a storm so we could clean up our yard and while cutting through part of it he heard animal noises. We discovered a raccoon nest and found a baby raccoon that had fallen out as well as 3 other baby raccoons inside the hollowed-out tree.”

Momma Raccoon may have vanished, but the babies will be fine.

A Magellanic penguin visits his rescuer in Brazil every year

April 14, 2021 • 1:45 pm

Below are two videos (there are more) about a 76 year old retired bricklayer from Brazil and the penguin who regularly visits him. The bird is a Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) named Din Din, and the bricklayer is João Pereira de Souza, who lives on a small island near Rio.  Ten years ago de Souza saved Din Din’s life when he found the struggling bird covered with oil on the rocks. Now the bird apparently visits Joāo every year, though it’s not clear where Din Din goes in the interim.

The story is told in full at ADAPT, which includes this:

“He stayed with me for 11 months and then, just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared,” Joao recalls.

The little guy wasn’t gone long though and just a few months later, he was back at the same beach. He spotted Joao fishing and followed him home, staying with him for the rest of the year.

Amazingly, this cycle has continued over the past five years [this was written in 2016]; each year Din Din spends approximately eight months with Joao and is believed to spend the rest of the time breeding on the Patagonia coasts of Argentina and Chile.

Well, this may be misreporting, as I find it unlikely that the bird takes the route below, traveling to Patagonia to breed; another scientist also thinks the bird stays off the coast of Brazil. Don’t believe stories (which are everywhere) that we know that Din Din travels so far every year to see his pal.

Here’s more:

“I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,” Joao told Globo TV. “No one else is allowed to touch him. He pecks them if they do. He lays on my lap, lets me give him showers, allows me to feed him sardines and to pick him up.

“Everyone said he wouldn’t return but he has been coming back to visit me for the past five years. He arrives in June and leaves to go home in February and every year he becomes more affectionate as he appears even happier to see me.”

Professor Krajewski, a biologist who interviewed the fisherman for Globo TV, told The Independent: “I have never seen anything like this before. I think the penguin believes Joao is part of his family and probably a penguin as well. When he sees him he wags his tail like a dog and honks with delight.”

Here are the videos:

I can’t find much about Din Din after 2016, so I’m not sure if this grand reunion is still going on. Wikipedia notes that Magellanic penguins can live up to 25 years in the wild, though.

A blind elephant listens to Bach, Chopin, and Schubert

March 12, 2021 • 1:30 pm

Reader John Crisp sent me this video along with the following heartfelt comment (quoted with permission):

Sorry if you have already seen and/or posted this. It made me cry. I’ve been lucky enough to spend some considerable time with elephants, and I’m not sure that a planet without elephants would be worth living on.

I don’t recognize the tunes, but the elephant clearly likes them, swaying with pleasure. What a great privilege to serenade an elephant!

The YouTube notes:

Lam Duan is the name of an old blind elephant, her name means “Tree with Yellow Flowers”. Lam Duan has been blind most of her life. Lamduan lives at Elephants World, Thailand.

Divers save a baby octopus

December 20, 2020 • 2:00 pm

This tiny octopus found its only refuge in a plastic cup, which of course would spell doom since predators could see it clearly. Then a group of divers came along and spent a lot of time trying to give it a better home. They finally succeeded.

I love videos like this, for they represent true altruism: the concern of our species for animals of other species. Every time I see something like this, it effaces, at least temporarily, the hatred and division that roils our planet.

The YouTube notes (there’s sound):

We spent a whole dive and most of our air saving this octopus from what was bound to be a cruel fate. The coconut octopus, also known as veined octopus, is born with the instinct to protect itself by creating a mobile home out of coconut or clam shells. This particular individual however has been trapped by their instincts and have made a home out of a plastic cup they found underwater. While a shell is a sturdy protection, a passing eel or flounder would probably swallow the cup with the octopus in it, most likely also killing the predator or weakening it to a point where it will be soon eaten by an even bigger fish.

We found this particular octopus at about 20 meters under the water, we tried for a long time to give it shells hoping that it would trade the shell. Coconut octopus are famous for being very picky about which shells they keep so we had to try with many different shells before it found one to be acceptable.

Filmed in: – Lembeh, Indonesia – December 2018

Look at that octopus check out each shell with its tentacles!

Abramek Koplowicz lives on in an Israeli pilot

August 18, 2020 • 1:30 pm

I’ve posted a few times about Abramek Koplowicz (see here), a 14-year-old Polish boy from Lodz whose life was snuffed out by the Holocaust (he was sent to Auschwitz). But before he died, he wrote some lovely poems, poems kept alive by his stepbrother Eliezer Grynfeld (who recently died at 97), who donated Abramek’s book of poems to Yad Vashem (see below).  The poems were translated into English by my friends Malgorzata Koraszewska and Sarah Lawson (see post here) and were turned into a wonderful illustrated and hand-printed-and-bound art book by Kelly Houle, which you can still buy here.

Koplowicz’s most poignant poem is called “A Dream,” about his wish to soar above his life in the ghetto and travel the world in an airplane, his “motorized bird.” You can read the English translation here.

Now, in a lovely story published at, Abramek’s wish lives on, in the form of a pilot for the Israeli Air Force. You can read the story by clicking on the screenshot below:

Look at the subtitle above, which makes me tear up, for I’ve lived with Abramek’s poem for a long time.

For Lieutenant C, one of Israel’s newest air force graduates, a poem written by a 13-year-old Holocaust victim about flying an airplane to the Holy Land has been a source of daily inspiration ever since he read it nine months into his training.

“When I am twenty years old,” Abramek Koplewiczwrote in his poem entitled Dream, “In a motorized bird I’ll sit, and to the reaches of space I’ll rise. I will fly, I will float, to a beautiful faraway world…”

The only son of Mendel and Yocheved Gittel Koplewicz, Abramek was ten years old when he and his parents were ordered into the Lodz Ghetto by the Nazis in 1940. A talented writer who wrote stories, poems and a diary in a notebook his parents gave him, he was deported to Auschwitz in 1944. Dream was written in 1943 when Abramek was just 13 years old and is now displayed in multiple languages in Yad Vashem’s gallery dedicated to the Lodz Ghetto.

The names of Israeli pilots are not given lest they be shot down and survive, for, if identified as pilots, they’d be dealt with “harshly”.  At any rate, the pilot went to Vad Yashem, saw Abramek’s book (below), and so Abramek’s name lives on:

Along with the other air force cadets, C had taken a week out of combat training for a weeklong IDF educational seminar. One of the days included a trip to Yad Vashem.

“I don’t know how long I stood there reading it but I was literally shaking and weeping as I realized I was living out his dream. I couldn’t speak.”

“In the air force, the planes are named after birds. So when I read those words ‘I’ll sit in a bird with an engine,’ I felt even more connected to this little boy’s dream. He wrote down the poem and memorized it. “When I first began flight training, I said over the poem before takeoff and every time since I have stepped inside a cockpit to fly. It reminds me that I am living his dream every time I fly.”

Here’s Abramek’s notebook in Yad Vashem, and a photo of the donation by Eliezer, whose nickname was Lolek):

Here’s Abramek’s half brother donating his poems to Yad Vashem.

Lolek donates (left) his half-brother’s poems to Yad Vashem in 1995, in the presence of Israel’s then President Ezer Weizman (right) and Yad Vashem president Avner Shalev (center)

h/t: Malgorzata