Fantastic video: Eastern black rhino born at Chester zoo

November 22, 2023 • 1:45 pm

I couldn’t resist putting up this video of an Eastern Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli being born at the Chester Zoo in England.  It’s a subspecies of the black rhino, and is critically endangered, hunted for its horn.

Matthew alerted me to an article in the Guardian, and I found the video on YouTube. Here are the notes. You MUST watch; I’ve never seen anything like this!

A zoo is celebrating the birth of an eastern black rhino, one of the world’s rarest mammals, with the moment captured on film.

Chester zoo said Zuri the rhino and her female calf had been inseparable since the arrival.

The calf’s birth at 2.45pm on 12 November after Zuri’s 15-month pregnancy was unusual in that it took place in daylight, which allowed keepers to film it happening.

The zoo’s rhino team manager, Emma Evison, said the birth had been eagerly awaited. She said: “It’s quite unusual for a rhino to give birth in daylight hours, we really didn’t expect it to happen right in front of us as we were going about our day.

“To be able to witness the calf safely entering the world, in front of our very eyes, was just the most incredible privilege.”

Evison said it was important for mother and baby to spend time bonding. “So far, the pair have been inseparable and the little one is feeding regularly and already gaining in size and weight.

“She’s very inquisitive and full of energy, which is just brilliant to see.”

61-year old cockatoo, living in dire conditions, gets rescued, adopted, and loved; starts to vocalize

November 22, 2023 • 12:45 pm

This is the feel-good post to end the pre-Thanksgiving website. Posting will be light tomorrow as I want to have a holiday, too.

Here’s the video story of an elderly (60 year old) cockatoo who had lived in dire conditions and, after his owner died, got taken into a sanctuary and rehabbed.  Fred the Cockatoo makes a great recovery, although he’s missing a wing, and becomes quite vigorous and affectionate.

Sadly, because captive cockatoos live about 50-70 years, Fred probably doesn’t have a long time left. But at least his golden years are happy ones.

Man rescues Indian cobra trapped in a fishing net, gives it a big drink of water

June 9, 2023 • 1:20 pm

The Indian or spectacled cobra (Naja naja) is widespread in South Asia, and is the “classical” cobra that Westerners are familiar with from wildlife shows, movies, Kipling stories, etc. The one shown in this video got itself trapped in a fishing net. Fortunately, a skilled snake handler was around and, after giving the snake a long drink of water, pinned its head and then proceeded to free it from the net, releasing it back where it was found.

My favorite part is where the snake greedily guzzles water from a plastic bottle. It must have been plenty thirsty! As in all Dodo videos, things end well, and so this is your Friday heartwarmer.

The YouTube notes:

This king cobra [see Note by GCM below] was found trapped in a fishing net on New Year’s Day near a rice paddy in East India. When the local villagers found the trapped snake, they called in snake rescuer Mirza Arif. Arif uses scissors to cut the fishing net off, but not before giving the cobra sips of water from a Sprite bottle to quench his thirst. After being freed from the net, the snake was later released near where he was found.

[Note by GCM: Youtube wrongly identifies this as a king cobra  (Ophiophagus hannah), also native to Asia, which is the world’s longest venomous snake, with extremely toxic venom. The key to identifying it correctly are the markings on the neck, which sometimes resemble glasses (hence “spectacled”), and sometimes a monocle; there are various cobras with these marks, some split off as separate species.

The guy in the video, BTW, shows real skill and knowledge in handling the snake. A lot of online videos show people doing stupid and dangerous things with venomous snakes, but this guy is appropriately prudent!]

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