Animals

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Jonathan The Tortoise: Still A Sexy Beast At 176

While Jonathan the Tortoise may be one of the world’s oldest living animals, he has the sex drive of a much younger hard-shelled hunk. Though a photo from 1900 proves that Jonathan is now 176 years old, he shows no signs of slowing his lifestyle, even without sight in one eye. According to his keepers at his home on the island of St. Helena, Jonathan is fit as a fiddle and routinely gets busy with the three younger, female tortoises. Not only does he continue to enjoy the ladies, but he adores attention and is a real ham for the camera. In an age of Botox and Viagra, Jonathan is a 100% all-natural stud, and perhaps a source of inspiration for Hugh Hefner.

[Photo: Splash News Online, Source: Daily Mail]

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Happy Hump Day!

It’s Wednesday, and that means you’ve made it halfway through the work week and halfway to the weekend. Congrats!

by (@katespencer)

Afternoon Snack: Which One Is Smarter?

Need some cheering up? Meet Sara, the saxophone-playing walrus who is the star of the new Istanbul Dolphinarium’s aquatic show. Next to the massive beast is her conductor/trainer Sergiy. So whose brains are bigger – the animal who can jam out some jazz, or the human who taught her to play? [Photo: Splash News Online]

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Celebrities Try To Keep Zoo From Giving Elephants More Room

Ok, that’s not totally fair. Animal activists like Bob Barker and Halle Berry may be fighting the planned six-acre “Pachyderm Forest” expansion at the Los Angeles Zoo, but it’s not because they want the beasts to stay in a cage—they want them out of the zoo entirely.

Seems elephants have a tendency to die young when they’re locked up, and despite the accolades the LA Zoo is getting from zoological institutions, some feel that all the artificial waterfalls and mudholes in the world won’t keep Billy, the zoo’s last remaining elephant, from feeling cramped. “It’s a lot of elephants’ deaths, and it points to something really wrong going on there,” Melya Kaplan of Voice Of The Animals told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We can’t ignore that.”

Even without taking angry celebs like Goldie Hawn into consideration, the $42 million bill may be too much for the local budget. If the planned City Council vote today brings the project to a close, debates over whether Billy bobs his head because he’s stressed or because he wants food will be entirely irrelephant (yes, we went there).

[Photos: WireImage/Getty]

by (@katespencer)

Afternoon Snack: Tiny Horse Warms Our Icy Hearts

It’s cold outside. There’s an economic crisis tormenting Wall Street. Real Housewives of Atlanta has ended. We’re all sorts of down in the dumps today, and the only thing that can make it better is this picture of Britain’s tiniest horse, “Little Lucy.” She’s four years old, 19.5 inches tall, and cuter than Shiloh Jolie-Pitt. Jennifer Aniston should adopt her and make us all jealous. [Photo: Splash News Online]

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Happy Hump Day!

It’s Wednesday, and that means you’ve made it halfway through the work week and halfway to the weekend. Congrats!

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Pooches Throw Their Own Halloween Parade

Anyone with four legs, fur, and a waggy tail knew the place to be yesterday was the Tompkins Square Park dog run in New York City. Canines of all sizes and breeds showed up to the annual parade (with varying levels of shame) in their Halloween costumes. Highlights included appearances by Michael Phelps, Nastia Liukin, Queen Elizabeth, Oscar the Grouch, and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man! Even Joe Six-Pack strutted his stuff in the elitist parade of what were undoubtedly “fake American” dogs.

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Happy Hump Day!

It’s Wednesday, and that means you’ve made it halfway through the work week and halfway to the weekend. Congrats! And may the weiner dog’s persistent spirit inspire you — until Friday, at least.

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Citizen Scandal: 7-Year-Old Breaks Into Zoo, Feeds Animals To Crocodile

The parents of a seven-year-old Australian boy may be sued after the child scaled a security fence at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre on Wednesday and killed 13 animals over a half-hour. The boy bashed several of them with a rock, including a 20-year-old goanna monitor lizard, before feeding them—as well as some live ones—to Terry, the saltwater crocodile. At one point, the child even crossed one of the two fences between him and Terry. Sadly (for Terry), he never made the final leap over.

Zoo officials believe the child’s small height kept him from setting off the sensor alarm system, but cannot press charges against the child (in the Northern Territory of Australia, you must be at least 10 to be found libable for a crime). “We’re horrified that anyone can do this, and saddened by the age of the child,” said the zoo director. “By all accounts he’s quite a nasty seven-year-old.”

While most children probably wouldn’t scale a security fence to make it happen (and those who would usually have parents watching them), it’s not altogether shocking that a 7-year-old boy would get off on watching a croc nosh on some lizards. It’s called the food chain, people! That kid wasn’t necessarily inhuman—he may have been nothing but a curious, amateur scientist with a rock that goes smoosh.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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The ‘Karate Monkey’ Earns A Black Belt. Cool Trick? Or Animal Abuse?

Yachan, a monkey that lives in a town near Tokyo, has become so proficient in martial arts that he’s earned a black belt. He breaks wooden panels with kicks and punches. He spars with his sensei. He also delivers drinks to the customers of his owner’s bar. Some may think a karate-chopping, bartending monkey is cute and harmless. But here at Scandalist we’re skeptics.

First, we wonder about his owner’s motives. Does he make money off of Yachan’s karate skills or is it simply that a daily regimen of sit-ups and push-ups does a monkey good? We also wonder how Yachan was trained. Is he punished when he wants to skip practice to lie around and eat bananas? And, lastly, is it really a good idea to teach a monkey how to fight?

Remember the man that lost his nose and a testicle after visiting an ape in a California animal sanctuary? Chimps, of course, are bigger and more powerful than Yachan. Still, it may be best for everyone if monkeys are left out in the wild.