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Sheep-eating plant to bloom for first time in 15 years

The national botanic garden in Wales has been cultivating a horrid, sheep-eating plant for 11 years, and now it’s finally about to bloom.

Newsmax/Cross-Posted at TrueHealthIsTrueWealth: It is not exactly Audrey II from the Broadway play "Little Shop of Horrors," but English horticulturalists say for the first time that a Chilean "sheep-eating" plant is ready to bloom in the Royal Horticultural Society garden greenhouse in Wisley, south of London.

The gardening charity told the BBC that very few specimens of the Puya chilensis were known to have flowered in the United Kingdom. Puya chilensis are known for using their sharp spines to snare and trap sheep and other small animals, which slowly starve to death.

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The animals then decay at the base of the plant, acting as fertilizer. The horticultural society officials told the BBC it opted for liquid fertilizer to feed its Puy chilensis in the greenhouse.

The National Botanic Garden of Wales waited 11 years for its plant to bloom, though clumps bloom every April in the open on Tresco in the Isles of Scilly.

"I’m really pleased that we’ve finally coaxed our Puya chilensis into flower,"  horticulturalist Cara Smith told the UK’s Metro. "We keep it well fed with liquid fertilizer as feeding it on its natural diet might prove a bit problematic."

Smith told Metro just to make sure the plant behaved, horticulturalists are raising it in a remote portion of the greenhouse so it can remain out of reach of children. The plant has bright, greeny-yellow flowers on tall spikes above the razor-sharp spines.

"It’s well worth a visit but parents coming along with small children don’t need to worry about the plant devouring their little ones," Smith said in a news release by the horticultural society.

The society said the "blossoms are gigantic with each individual bloom measuring around five centimeters across and containing enough nectar for a person to drink. The plant’s taste for sheep has also proved its undoing in its native habitat where shepherds will go in search of the plants and set fire to them to protect their flocks."

Puy chiliensis can be commonly found in the arid coastal mountain region of central and north Chile, according to The Lost World Nursery. The plants are drought tolerant and can grow as tall as 10 feet, according the Lost World Nursery.

June 22, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories, Wild Animals | , , , , | 1 Comment

Unleashed… Bergdorf Goodman Goes to the Dogs

Too cute… This will make you smile!

Video:  Unleashed

Bergdorf Goodman goes to the dogs for its annual holiday video. BG Films presents "Unleashed," starring some of New York’s most charismatic characters who invade the store in search of perfect gifts for their owners. Guest star, Salty, steals the show with a very sweet-natured performance.

Video: Bergdorf Goodman Xmas Windows 2011

The Carnival of Animals is the theme for Holidays 2011 at America’s chicest department store -Bergdorf Goodman. Sensation windows look more like Carnival of Clutter but what doesn’t work with a $10K dress?

Video: A Holiday Miracle

hing you a happy and safe holiday from all of us at Brooks Brothers. And by the way, Jingle Bells was composed in 1857.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Bergdorf Goodman and Brooks Brothers!!

h/t to Jean Stoner

December 13, 2011 Posted by | animals, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, pet fun | , , , , , | 7 Comments

Animal Photos – Too Cute to Miss 06.08.11

The Odd Couple! Brown bear cub Medo plays with the Logar family dog in Podvrh village, central Slovenia.

Baby Lambs and Mother - Dahlburg, Germany

Surf_Dogs

June 8, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal and Pet Photos, animals, Animals Adopting Animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, On The Lighter Side, pet fun, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures, Wild Animals | , , , , , | 1 Comment

77 Rescued Arabian Horses Aided by ASPCA – 400+ Animals Total Rescued in Texas

rescued

On August 14, the Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT) assisted the Denton County Sheriff’s Office in the seizure of 77 emaciated Egyptian Arabian horses, all living on the Renazans Arabians ranch in Pilot Point, TX. The ASPCA, upon learning about the case, awarded a $10,000 grant to HSNT to help care for the rescued equines.

A few days prior to the seizure, a visitor to the 40-plus acre ranch discovered 17 starved horses standing in several inches of their own waste and immediately called the Denton County Sheriff’s Department. Upon arrival, officers found 60 more neglected horses scattered around the property, in back pastures and locked in barns. In addition to being starved, the horses suffered from soft, overgrown and split hooves and sores from lying in their own waste.

“The Humane Society of North Texas has shown an extraordinary commitment and dedication to animals in its community, and this instance is no exception,” says Julie Morris, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Community Outreach. “We are glad to be able to provide them with support in their time of need.”

The funds will also be used to aid the group’s ongoing equine and livestock investigations and rescues—over the past 18 months, HSNT has taken in more than 500 abused and neglected horses. HSNT’s successful adoption program has placed nearly all of these rescued horses into permanent, caring homes.

“The rescued horses have been healing and gaining weight,” reports Samantha Laos, a supervisor with HSNT. “They are calm and happy and not scared anymore.”

The owner of Renazans Arabians, Gordon Dennis Key, 66, has been arrested and charged with one count of animal cruelty. He could eventually face 77 counts—one for each horse—with each charge carrying a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $4,000. Key was also ordered to turn over all documentation for the horses and pay $5,000 in court costs, as well as all expenses for caring for the animals during their impound. He is currently free on $10,000 bail.

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Almost 400 Animals Rescued From Texas Property

A business that has been operating in Sunnyvale for more than 100 years was raided on Tuesday, with hundreds of livestock seized.

Almost 400 Animals Rescued From Texas Property

Kearney’s Feed Store, a long-standing family business, was run by Earnest Kearney, 76, who was arrested in the raid and now faces charges of animal cruelty. 105 chickens, 79 pigeons, 41 rabbits, 35 horses, 33 goats, 27 doves, 22 sheep, 16 turkeys, 9 ducks, 6 cattle, 4 potbellied pigs, 4 guineas, 2 geese, 2 mules and 1 donkey were seized from what was described as rescuers on the scene as “deplorable” and “cruel” conditions. The allegations of cruelty include confinement with inadequate freedom of movement and contamination of drinking water with feces.

The Texas Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has warned Kearney several times over the last few years, and they have now moved all of his livestock to their facility in McKinney after multiple anonymous complaints. A custody hearing on October 15th in Dallas will decide if the animals are to stay in the SPCA’s custody, in which case the animals will be nursed back to health and offered for adoption.

“Those businesses or individuals that profit through the sale of animals need to understand that the cruelty laws apply to them as well,” said SPCA of Texas President James Bias. “If these animals are found to be in an abusive situation, they can face not only having those animals removed, but also criminal charges.”

Posted:  Just One More Pet

October 10, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Animals just want to have fun, survey finds…

From tickling to playing catch, animals do some things simply for enjoyment

Cow Takes Time To Smell the Flowers

Connie Pugh / Farm Sanctuary

A cow takes time to smell the flowers at the Farm Sanctuary, an organization that rescues abused/neglected farmed animals. A new survey suggests that animals experience happiness for happiness’ sake. 

From tickling to playing catch, animals engage in certain behaviors just for fun, even enjoying sensations that are unknown to humans, concludes an extensive new survey on pleasure in the animal kingdom.  

The findings, published in the latest Applied Animal Behavior Science, hold moral significance, argues author Jonathan Balcombe. He believes scientists, conservationists and other animal rights activists should not overlook animal joy. 

“The capacity for pleasure means that an animal’s life has intrinsic value, that is, value to the individual independent of his or her value to anyone else, including humans,” Balcombe, a senior research scientist for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, explained to Discovery News. 

He determined animals experience happiness for happiness’ sake related to play, food, touch and sex. Observations of herring gulls in Virginia, for example, found these birds play “drop-catch,” tossing clams and other small, hard objects as though they were baseballs, just for pure enjoyment

In terms of food, green iguanas go to great lengths to find fresh, leafy lettuce, even when supplied with ample amounts of more nutritious reptile chow. Studies on other animals indicate some foods, independent of their nutrition levels, cause animals to release pleasure-producing opioids in their bodies. Language-trained apes and parrots have even told their owners they loved or hated certain edibles. 

Pleasure itself can be the end-all reward, as “regardless of the evolutionary benefits of a behavior,” he said, “animals often do things because they are rewarding.”  

“I doubt that a monkey thinks, ‘If I eat this fig it will sustain me,’ but rather, ‘Ooh, yummy, a delicious fig!'” added Balcombe, whose book “Exultant Ark: A Pictorial Tour of Animal Pleasures” is scheduled for release next year.  

Regarding touch, a human might go to a spa for a mud bath and massage, but nature creates its own “spas” for hippopotamuses (hippopotami… for the record) at freshwater springs in Kenya. There, wallowing hippos gather, moving in and out of “cleaning stations” where multiple fish species congregate to nibble hippo parasites, loose skin, fungal growths and more.  

The hippos “deliberately splay their toes, spread their legs and hold their mouths open,” often becoming “so relaxed during these spa treatments that they would sometimes fall asleep,” Balcombe recounted.  

Sex isn’t just for procreation, the paper further suggests.  

“Oral sex that appears purely for pleasure has been documented in goats, hyenas, various primates, manatees, bats and sheep,” said Balcombe, who added that homosexuality is practiced within at least 300 species. Masturbation, even among certain birds, has also been noted.  

Animals also may experience pleasures that go beyond human senses. Electric fish seem to enjoy giving each other stimulating charges, for example, while dolphins use “low-pitched buzzing clicks” near their genital areas, which “appears to be a way of giving pleasure to another.”  

Martin Stephens, vice president of Animal Research Issues at The Humane Society of the United States, told Discovery News that discussions of animal pleasure are often left out of science, with the emphasis instead going to negative experiences, like pain and stress. The two extremes of the feeling spectrum shouldn’t be mutually exclusive, however.

By Jennifer Viegas – Discovery/MSNBC – Pets

Posted:  Just One More Pet

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cloner’s Ark: Ten Notable Cloned Animals

 

Researchers in Dubai made news this week by announcing the arrival of the world’s first cloned camel, a singular achievement in a region where top racing camels are prized.

Iran followed two days later with the birth of the country’s first cloned goat, though many other cloned goats have been born elsewhere.

Most cloned mammals now lead regular lives, but as recently as 10 years ago they often died young of lung malformations, a problem that appears to have been largely overcome. Healthy cloned dogs and cats are the most recent significant achievements.

Many researchers are getting closer and closer to human cloning by trying to clone monkeys.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, all attempts at cloning monkeys from adult donor cells have failed, with one researcher deeming the resulting embryos “a gallery of horrors.” (Splitting newly formed regular monkey embryos does work, but that can be seen as just inducing natural twins.)

The following is a list of significant animal species cloned from adult cells, in chronological order — plus one that’s even more remarkable.

Frog: The first amphibians cloned from adult cells were made in 1962 by John Gurdon, a British biologist at Cambridge University. His experiments showed that cloning adults was theoretically possible (clones made from embryonic cells had been created a decade earlier).

But his tadpoles didn’t survive to full adulthood, and it wasn’t until years later that he was able to get cloned frogs that lived full lives.

Carp: Way back in 1963, a Chinese researcher named Tong Dizhou apparently created the world’s first cloned fish when he transferred the genetic material from an adult male Asian carp into a carp egg, which developed and was born normally, and even sired children.

But since his work took place behind the “Bamboo Curtain” at the height of the Cold War, Tong’s achievements went unheralded in the West. He died in 1979.

Sheep: The famous Dolly was born on July 5, 1996, in Edinburgh, Scotland, the first known mammal of any species to be cloned from an adult donor. She was the only one of 277 cloned embryos to survive.

She quickly became a media sensation, yet went on to live a short but quiet life, bearing six lambs naturally. Cloned cattle, genetically similar to sheep, followed within the next year.

In February 2003, suffering from a virus-borne form of lung cancer common among sheep, Dolly was put to sleep. Some experts wondered whether she was already “old” at birth, due to her genes coming from an adult animal, but her creators disputed that.

Goat: The world’s first cloned goat was born on June 16, 2000, the result of work by scientists at Northwest University of Agriculture and Forestry Science and Technology in Xi’an, China. Unfortunately, the kid, nicknamed “Yuanyuan,” died after a day and a half from lung defects.

On June 22, 2000, another cloned goat was born in the same facility. Named “Yangyang,” she lived at least six years and had kids, grandkids and great-grandkids.

Housecat: CC, or Copy Cat, the world’s first cloned domestic cat, was born Dec. 22, 2001 on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Though she was the clone of a calico, her surrogate mother was a tabby, and CC’s coloring was a mixture of the two.

She currently lives in the household of one the scientists who worked to create her and has had naturally conceived kittens of her own.

White-tailed deer: The same Texas A&M team responsible for CC the cloned cat also created the world’s first cloned deer, which was born on May 23, 2003. Dubbed “Dewey,” he was cloned from a dead buck. Three years later, he became the father of female triplets, who were conceived the old-fashioned way.

Horse: Five days after Dewey, the world’s first cloned horse was born in Italy. A female named “Prometea” — presumably after Prometheus, the god who gave man fire in Greek mythology — news reports from the time indicate she was healthy.

Dog: Snuppy, an Afghan hound born April 24, 2005, was the world’s first cloned dog. He was created by a team led by Korean genetics researcher Hwang Woo-suk, who also claimed to have cloned human stem cells, later found to be untrue; Snuppy was the sole part of Hwang’s work that was untainted.

Snuppy has since fathered 10 puppies through artificial insemination of two cloned female dogs.

Pyrenean ibex: The world’s first extinct mammal to be “resurrected” was a subspecies of the more widespread Spanish ibex, or mountain goat. The last known Pyrenean ibex was found dead in early 2000, but tissue samples that had been taken when it was alive led to a joint Spanish-French cloning program.

After hundreds of failed attempts, a live Pyrenean ibex was born in January 2009, for the first time in more than a decade. The surrogate mother was a domestic goat. But the achievement was short-lived; the kid died 9 minutes after birth due to malformed lungs.

Camel: Injaz, the world’s first cloned camel, was born April 8, 2009 in Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates. Her name means “achievement” in Arabic, and she likely won’t be the last cloned camel, as camel racing is very popular in the Gulf states and certain animals are prized.

However, Injaz won’t ever get to know her older “twin” — the donor animal was slaughtered for its meat in 2005.

And last but far from least:

Fatherless mouse: Japanese researchers went beyond cloning in 2004 to create the world’s first fatherless mammal.

The mouse, nicknamed Kaguya, was born in 2004 and was a “parthenote” — she literally had two mommies. Genetic material from two mouse eggs was modified and combined so that one “fertilized” the other.

Kaguya has almost certainly died of old age since, but bore at least one litter of naturally conceived pups.

Source:  Fox News

Posted:  Just One More Pet

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Help Pass California AB 233 – Pet Adoption Tax Credit

ASPCA Urgent Alert
Dear California Animal Advocates,     

As you know, pet abandonment is on the rise. Shelters are overburdened, and the animal welfare community is seeking creative ways to get more people to choose adoption over purchasing pets in stores or online. That’s why the ASPCA is cosponsoring California Assembly Bill 233, new legislation before your state government.

AB 233 will encourage Californians to adopt pets from shelters by making adoption fees tax-deductible—qualified adopters can deduct up to $100 a year! This will help relieve the financial strain on overcrowded animal shelters and provide new beginnings for the state’s growing number of homeless pets.

What You Can Do
AB 233 is set to be heard before the California Assembly Revenue and Tax Committee on Monday, April 20, 2009. Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to email this committee and urge its members to support AB 233.

Thank you, California, for caring about animals.

Related Articles:

Posted:  Marion Algier/Ask Marion –  JustOneMorePet

 

April 14, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, Stop Euthenization | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments