Here are my Top 12 Animal Oddities for this week.
12. Ghost Moose
Moose in the United States are having a rough go of it. Climate change is altering their habitat and abillity to surive, and it's likely that we will lose much of the moose population in the lower 48. To add to that, a phenomenon known as "ghost moose" is on the rise, also related to climate change. Find out more about this strange condition on National WIldlife Federation's blog.
Photo by Bruce McKay via Flickr Creative Commons.
11. Deer on Roof
Somehow this poor deer ended up on the roof of a building in France. Huffington Post reports:
"According to local reports, authorities believe the deer may have made its way on to the roof from an adjacent garden and was unable to escape because of slippery roof tiles. (Flying must not have been an option.)"
10. Bizarre "Sea Monster" Caught on Camera
Has anone seen The Abyss? A oil rig camera captured this very strange creature that could be right out of that film. It definitely undulates and moves as if it is alive. Or is that simply the action of the current? Is it piece of skin from the carcass of a large, marine creature, or perhaps a stomach? Or is it an unidentified type of jellyfish or cephalopod? Watch the video and let me know what you think it is.
OH WAIT! The creature has been identified! Find out what it actually is here.
9. Pit Bull Mothers African Painted Dog Pups
Sometimes the maternal instinct is more than skin deep. This female pit bull is serving as a foster mom for African painted dogs (also known as African wild dogs). The painted dog pups were recently born at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas, but when their mother had her last litter, she didn't produce any milk.
This time around, zoo keepers collected the pups and found a loving surrogate in the form of the local pit bull that had just finished nursing her own pups. You can read the full story and watch a video of these adorable doggies here.
Check out these adorable African painted dog pups in the wild.
Video by ovenbird1 via Flickr Creative Commons.
8. What's Wrong With This Picture
Take a look at this picture of a juvenile pied-billed grebe and see if you can figure out what's wrong. Then click here to find out what to do about it.
Photo by International Bird Rescue.
7. Fisherman Rescue Killer Whale
Killer whales, like all whales, don't have legs and so don't make a habit of coming on shore. Population in Argentina has learned to half-beach themselves to catch sea lions, but that isn't a behavior common in Alaska. Check out this video below about an Alaskan killer whale that found itself in an odd and dangerous situation and the amazing rescue that ensued.
6. Three-Legged Tortoise Gets a Lego Wheel Prosthetic
Schildi is a very lucky tortoise. Well, given that veterinarians had to amputate one of his four legs, which had badly mangled in some kind of accident with exposed bone and maggot-riddled flesh, I guess he wasn't THAT lucky. His good luck started when he was found and taken to the vets, who, after amputating the unlucky leg, were able to fit him with a very special prosthetic made out of Legos.
5. Elk Spars With a Photographer
A confused young elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park decided he needed to practice his sparring skills...with a photographer. The whole thing was caught on camera.
4. Weird Fish Identified
A fisherman in Malaysia recently captured a very strange-looking fish. Locals had no idea what it was, and its discovery caused quite a stir. Turns out that it's actually a known species of fish called an armored searobin, but that doesn't make it any less bizarre-looking.
3. Elephant Shrew and Classical Music
This video features an odd creature known as an elephant shrew. Once you'll see this tiny insectivore, you'll see where it got its name. The music makes it even odder.
2. "Asian Unicorn" Sighted in Vietnam
An extremely endangered animal known as a saola was recently captured on a wildlife trail cam in Vietnam. Native to the forests of Southeast Asia, saolas look like antelope but are more closely related to wild cattle. They are remarkable because when they were discovered in 1992, it was the first time in 50 years that a new large mammal species had been documented by science.
The particular individual in the photo below is the first saola to be sighted in Vietnam this century (the last time was in 1998).
Saolas are so rare that they've been dubbed the "Asian Unicorn."
Photo by (c) WWF-Vietnam.
1. Racoon Eating Grapes
I have no idea what's they guy in this video of a raccoon eating grapes is saying, because I don't speak Russian (?). But I do know I love every second of it.
Get Involved! Protect wildlife with David and the National Wildlife Federation.