Bald eagle spotted eating a black cat on busy city sidewalk

In Norfolk, Virginia a bald eagle was spotted on Tuesday  eating a black cat on a busy sidewalk along Monticello Avenue. Joshua Phelps posted several photos and two videos on his Facebook page of the seemingly made for a scary movie Halloween scene.

“Pull over on the side of Granby Street couldn’t believe what I was seeing bald eagle eating a cat,” Joshua wrote.

According to Joshua’s timeline, the eagle was spotted at 2:33 in front of Advance Auto Parts. The eagle seemed unfazed by pedestrians in the area, although everyone kept their distance and were equally sure he was keeping a close eye on the pedestrian traffic. No one interrupted him while he picked the skin and bones apart of the dead cat for the next 45 minutes. According to the PilotOnline, the store manager Bobby Rafalski did say the first call to his store on Wednesday morning was a crying woman who had been looking for her missing black cat.

“There’s a lot of cats around here. I just tried to reassure her that it probably wasn’t hers,” he said.

 

The eagle was described as more than two feet long from head to tail and stood around a foot and a half tall. No one shared any information as to the cat’s death. Was he hit be a car and the eagle dragged his body off for lunch or had the eagle swooped down and killed it? Cat owners are urged to keep their pets indoors.

The photos and videos have been shared more than 17,000 times. Photos and videos of bald eagle via Facebook and Joshua Phelps.

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Sleepy badger found napping in cat bed in a house in Scotland

On Wednesday, the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) were called to a home in the Beecraigs Country Park section of Linlithgow where humane officers couldn’t help but smile when they spotted a badger fast asleep in the resident’s cat bed.

According to the Scottish SPCA Facebook, Animal Rescue Officer Connie O’Neil said,

“I got a surprise when I arrived at the property and saw a badger having a nap! He had gotten in through the cat flap and had eaten all the cat food before going for a sleep on the cat bed. He didn’t seem too happy when I tried to move him, but I was able to slide the cat bed round and it was then the badger noticed the back door was open so made a run for it.”

Superintendent of the humane organization explained it was very unusual for a wild badger to enter a house and encourage residents to call the helpline before attempting to approach any animal.

“Lie all wild animals, badgers can be aggressive when injured or cornered so we would advise not to go near them without giving us a call first.”

Still it was, without a doubt,  an adventure to bring a smile to our faces. No humans nor animals injured in this encounter.

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Steer who made the ‘great escape’ in Brooklyn no longer slated for slaughterhouse

The young steer slated for a New York City slaughterhouse, but not before making his “great escape” has been rescued. On Wednesday, “Shankar” – the bull, whose name means one who can “bring about happiness or prosperity,” has already been settling into his new home at Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue. 

According to the New York Daily News, police corralled and tranquilized the panicky bull that escaped a slaughterhouse and knocked over a one-year-old child as he ran as fast as he could into Prospect Park. The little boy suffered only minor injuries. An emergency unit associated with the police were able to corner the calf inside of the Parade Grounds, and fortunately two hours after the animals “great escape” officers shot him with a tranquilizer dart and put him safely into a horse trailer to be taken to the city’s animal care facility.

 

It has not been determined how the bull escaped, but once social media started to react to the plight of the young animal, advocates reached out to the Wantage sanctuary for help. Shankar will be in quarantine for at least a month to make sure he is healthy. After that, this lucky boy gets to live his life out in a sanctuary instead of being pressed into a hundred burgers. And that’s no bull.

 “His worst day and his BEST day intersected yesterday. What a beautiful baby he is. Guessing he was stolen from his Mother yesterday and sent to slaughter on the same day. He saved his life and didn’t even realize it at the time!” stated one  happy advocate after watching Shankar’s freedom video.

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(Photo of steer who escaped slaughterhouse via Facebook.)

Check out his video:

Tony the Tiger – the roadside truck attraction euthanized after 17 years

On Monday evening, Tony the Tiger was euthanized; he was 17-years-old and for his entire life he had been a roadside attraction at the Tiger Truck Stop in Gross Tech, an Iberville Parish community.

According to the Advocate, Tony’s health had been declining as he continued to suffer from kidney failure. On Monday evening, Ted Baldwin issued a statement on behalf of the tiger’s owner Michael Sandlin.

“The decision was made to end his suffering at the facility… a sad day for his owner Michael Sandlin and the entire (Tiger Truck Stop) family.”

Tony has been an attraction at the Tiger Truck Stop since January 2001 when he was only six-months old. For years, there has been a lot of controversy from humane organizations relevant to Tony’s health, however Sandlin denied the tiger had any serious illness stating he had been regularly examined by a veterinarian and only limped because of age-related arthritis.  Tony lived in a cage with a grassy plot and had a “swimming pool” he used as well as some toys and a hanging tire. In captivity tigers generally live from 14 to 18 years.

For anyone following Tony’s sad story, animal rights groups had waged a long battle to have him removed and sent to a sanctuary stating he wasn’t receiving the proper care. The Animal Legal Defense Fund released a statement that “despite our best efforts, he lived and died caged at a truck stop that could never provide the life he deserved.”

What a shame Tony the Tiger never set his paws upon freedom from a truck stop cage.

Rest in peace big guy.

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Live turkeys tossed from plane 500 feet called ‘tradition’ by Yellville citizens

Live turkeys were tossed from a plane 500 feet above the location of the Turkey Trot Festival in Yellville, Arkansas on Saturday. Anywhere else this act of dropping turkeys out of the sky would be animal cruelty, but not in this little city as residents prepared for the 72nd Yellville Turkey Trot. Thousands of people called and emailed the Chamber of Commerce urging them to do more to protect the birds:

“Why don’t you jump yourselves with no parachute. … Think you’ll like it?” one person wrote to the chamber Monday. Other comments were more outspoken and at times quite profane.

And if you’re wondering why in the world any city would promote tossing turkeys out of planes, the weekend celebration is meant to be a celebration of the bird – maybe not what any compassionate animal advocate would think especially a bird tossed out into the air, but Arkansas, as one of the nation’s top turkey producing states, is proud of their tradition. They also run a “Miss Drumstick” pageant where contestants are judged solely on their legs. Besides that, the Yellville Chamber of Commerce stated the event meant fall had arrived, and that’s when people think about turkey dinners. Falling from the sky turkeys though?

On Friday, four turkeys were  released off downtown buildings during the first day of the festival, according to the Baxter Bulletin.  Dan Melton, 64, caught one of them – an 18-pound bird that he said he would probably give away as a pet.

Turkey Trot is organized each year by the Yellville Area Chamber of Commerce. The organization has stepped back from endorsing the turkeys thrown out of the plane. The organization posted a disclaimer on their website:

“The Yellville Area Chamber of Commerce does not have a part in the release of turkeys from airplanes. We are in charge of planning the events that take place at the festival, the booths that are set up on our courthouse square, and the selling of Turkey Trot merchandise.

The release of turkeys from planes has been a part of Turkey Trot for many years, but a third-party individual, not affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce, regulates it … Chamber board members, Turkey Trot sponsors, and Chamber members have absolutely no affiliation, jurisdiction, or control over what any individual does in his or her private plane in the air.”

So what happens to the turkeys? First and foremost, the birds could just free fall and land on the ground and die at impact. Then there could always be the bird who survives the frightening trauma, but then only to be mauled by the crowd chasing it as it glides to the ground – maybe slaughtered in a public display? Fortunately for the bird captured by Melton, that lucky turkey will likely survive and find a safe home.

On Saturday, a 1966 Piper PA-28-140 flew by the festival Saturday and dropped three live turkeys. Several more were tossed out from the plane later in the afternoon. The Arkansas Online, reports People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals caseworker Gemma Vaughan was present:

“We rescued four turkeys — one who was trussed by his legs and tossed onto the concrete where he lay panting as spectators walked over him, and another found bleeding from her neck and legs,” Vaughan said.”Both are being rushed to a veterinarian for their injuries. Anywhere else, the participants would be in jail, and officials’ failure to prosecute those responsible makes Yellville synonymous with cruelty to animals.”

Ironically it’s not that Arkansas doesn’t have humane animal codes with punishments for misdemeanor animal cruelty punishable with fines up to $1,000 and one year in jail. After four convictions within five years, animal cruelty becomes a felony in the state, yet not one arrest has been made for tossing turkeys from planes. And it’s not as if the turkeys fly away and live happily ever after! Wild turkeys can fly, however seldom do they soar higher than a 100 feet in the air. How can any reasonable person not call this an act of animal abuse?

(Photos via screenshots nwaonline and PETA)

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Dog owner fined at off-leash beach after pup licked baby lying on blanket

A Saturday afternoon romp at an off-leash beach in Port Melbourne, Australia for an energetic, fun-filled puppy play period, culminated with a rather hefty fine for a dog owner. Maudie, a seven-month-old English Staffordshire terrier, had been playfully jumping and running with a bunch of other active pooches for the final exercise of the day, when proper canine rules of behavior were called into question.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Neil McMahon had been at the beach with Maudie and watching the dogs happily interacting. There was a woman with a baby on the off-leash dog beach; the baby had been lying on a blanket in the sand. Maudie ran over to check things out – as puppies often do, and momentarily licked the baby – causing no harm and was immediately called away. That however, began the drama. The woman immediately reacted and called the police screaming, “A dog has attacked my baby.”

When the police arrived, they interviewed the woman and Neil; the questionable action and the fine that would result continues to baffle even the most conservative dog owners. And by now, you’re asking what was Maudie’s crime? It seems Neil failed to maintain “effective control” of his dog and was therefore fined $238. Consider the beach where the dogs romped is an off-leash area, but obviously dogs better learn to heed the rules. So pay attention to what “effective control” covers:

  • “Effective control” means a dog must return to their owner upon command. (100% of the time)
  • “Effective control” means an owner must “retain a clear and unobstructed view of the dog” at all times. (Don’t let your pooch get into the tall grasses while pursuing a stick)
  • “Effective control” means a dog “does not bother, attack, worry or interfere with other people or animals.” (Eliminate the obvious of “attack” but how does anyone define the “worry, bother or interfere” jargon?)

Neil’s dog had been in violation of the “worry” clause that lasted all of a few seconds, and the moment Maudie made her way over, she was called right back and so obeyed. Somehow she did succeed (bad doggy) in licking the baby’s chest for a second. The baby was not harmed; no doctors or first-aid were called, and although the child’s mother became excited, the baby didn’t react.

Perhaps question why a mother who is likely afraid of dogs would take her baby to an off-leash dog beach – surely there are beaches in the area where pets are prohibited? Some days we all have to question who makes these laws?

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(Photo via Neil McMahon from Sydney Morning Herald)


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Man suffers terrible injuries after tackling massive python

A security guard suffered terrible injuries to his hand and arm after deciding to tackle a massive python, which measured over 20 feet in length. According to BBC News, on Saturday, Robert Nababan tackled the huge snake after seeing it on a palm oil plantation in Sumatra.

Not surprisingly, the python fought back, sinking its teeth into the man’s hand and arm – Nababan and other villagers wrestled with the snake and finally defeated it. After the python was killed, the villagers strung up the body and then proceeded to chop it up to be fried and eaten.

Elinaryon, head of the Batang Gansal district government, discourages people from taking on pythons, he stated:

“You really shouldn’t try to do that… of course the snake, if you try and kill it, is going to get really angry and that’s when it fights back!”

The security guard was taken to a hospital for care – his hand was “nearly severed” in the incident and it may have to be removed.

(Pixabay and screenshot from BBC/Getty Images)

More news and updates on the National Animal News Facebook page.

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Man threatens to shoot his cat but message intended to garner support for aid

It’s complicated, but posting a video holding a frightened cat by the scruff of the neck with a man holding a gun to its head and threatening on social media to shoot the pet, isn’t the right way to garner support for the suffering hurricane victims in the British Virgin Islands.

The video was posted online by Leo Ferraro, 50, a self professed animal lover from the Swiss canton of Aargau, wanting John Cleese, the Monty Python star to retweet his message. Ferraro grabs one of his cats and points a gun to its head, while addressing celebrities threatening to shoot the cat if they didn’t share his message.

“…if I don’t get RT (retweet) for my friends in #bvistrong (British Virgin Islands)by today noon – this creature will be a dead cat.”

Ferraro is an online producer for Swiss daily “Tages-Anzeiger” and breeds cats in his spare time. He was hoping to garner the help of prominent people to increase his social media reach for help. Ferraro spends a lot of time in the Caribbean and has been heartbroken since viewing all of the destruction and the suffering of the residents.

He does state he is very aware of the outrage his video has caused in Switzerland, but calls it a “cry for attention.” It is not known at this time if authorities are investigating this as a possible animal cruelty case, but the online community has no patience for such madness as this.

“A ban on keeping animals and taking away your gun is the least you deserve, you scumbag,” one person posted under the disturbing video.

Ferraro later tried to reassure everyone that his cat was fine and posted a photo of the cat sleeping on the couch.

Thoughts?

(Photos via Twitter and Daily Mail)

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What’s really in the viral ‘Mermaid Dog’ video trending on Instagram

If you are an Instagram user, you have probably seen a viral video featuring what has come to be known as the “Mermaid Dog.” It’s a quick video clip – but the creature effortlessly gliding through the water with the most captivating hair is almost impossible not to stare at.

So what is the creature? Many people have guessed that it is a dog…more specifically, an Afghan Hound. But The Daily Dot did a bit of digging and they discovered that the video was created by Klarna,  one of Europe’s leading online payment companies, and the graceful creature is simply animation, not a real animal.

Klarna released the short video clip a year ago – it is titled “Smooth (the Swim)” and it is meant to sell people on its smooth payment system. The original YouTube video never really caught steam, but when the company posted it to Instagram on September 17, with #noworries, it was a completely different story.

Mermaid dog began trending on Instagram, and then Twitter. Twitter user Spooky Dogfriend let the cat out of the bag, “It was only after the tweet blew up (and watching it 100 times) I figured it’s probably cgi. I have once again filled the internet w lies.”

Viral video

Real creature or not, Klarna is considering this a marketing success. David Sandström, chief marketing officer at Klarna, told The Daily Dot, “My team is super excited about this. We’re really happy that people are sharing it.”

More news and updates at this link to National Animal News Facebook page – here.


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Chinese villager arrested for capturing and later gutting rare white dolphin

Witnesses in Ningde City in China’s eastern Fujian Province used a cellphone to video a local villager capture a rare white dolphin, tie it to his boat and later gut it – uploading the disturbing viral video to social media.

According to the Daily Mail, the video has garnered more than 20 million views. The dolphins, (Sousa chinensis) affectionately known as “mermaids”  and “the pandas of the sea” are endangered species. It is believed to have been captured in the East China Sea and not identified by fishermen  as the rare breed. It is not known if the animal was caught by accident or intentionally, but instead of notifying officials, the villager tied the dying animal to his boat and brought it back to shore where he gutted it.

The villager claimed the animal was dead when he found it and brought it on shore. The man was arrested by the Fujian Ocean and Fisheries Bureau for failing to alert authorities. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the dolphin as “near threatened,” and it remains on the “Red List.” Chinese white dolphins are protected in China; the same status given to giant pandas, Siberian tigers and snow leopards.

An investigation continues.

(Photos of the rare animal via YouTube screenshots)

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