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THURSDAY FAVOURITES - ANIMAL ACTION with HANNAH SARNEY

— Posted on 10.11.2011

I really enjoy it when people I’m particularly fond of team up with animals. Thankfully people I like tend to smile upon animals too, so the chances of such pairings aren’t all that rare (thank the heavens for Natalie Portman and puppies).

The best new pair this week arrived in my Twitter feed courtesy of Taylor Swift. She’s adopted a little Scottish Fold kitten and named her Meredith.

All Scottish Fold kittens can trace their heritage back to one cat called Susie. She was found in Scotland in 1961 with an unusual fold in the middle of her ears. Two of her kittens were also born with lopped ears and one was picked up by a “cat-fancier” (William Ross) who registered it as a new breed.

Unfortunately, not everyone wants to keep pairs together. Two male African Penguins made headlines around the world when they went public with their affections towards each other at Toronto Zoo. Now plans are in place to forcibly separate Pedro and Buddy so they can be set up with females for breeding.

African Penguins are an endangered species, so zoo keepers argue that it is important to bring the boys into the breeding mixture to ensure the gene pool is kept as varied as possible. However, all the offspring will remain in captivity like their parents - so the truly struggling wild population will hardly benefit.

Get it on with the ladies for the greater good, gentlemen?

The penguins at SeaWorld Orlando will be a part of the largest single expansion project ever undertaken at the park. “Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin” has been compared to the Harry Potter attraction at Universal Orlando and will be ready to immerse punters in 2013.

The other week I briefly touched on the furious debate surrounding the whales that live and perform at SeaWorld. This week, activist in Amsterdam have been making last ditch efforts to secure the release of another orca back into the wild. Morgan was rescued in the Wadden Sea, off the northern Dutch coast, last year and is set to be sent to a Spanish marine park. Sadly, such a release didn’t work out well for a Great White Shark in California.

BACK TO GOOD NEWS:

You have been given a front row seats to watch the annual migration of polar bears from the comfort of your own office chair (or wherever you can secure an internet connection)! So far I’ve only witnessed a purply-grey grainy fuzz, but I’m still hopeful…

While you’re waiting for a polar bear to stroll past, you can watch an incredible display of aerobatics performed by European starlings as they settle in for their evening roost.

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

Have you ever wondered how a hovering hummingbird is able to cope in wet weather? Of course you have. A new study has figured out that they shake their heads!

Have you ever wondered how a rhino is able to fly in… any weather? In an effort to save the critically endangered species of black rhino, seven of them have been transported 1,500km across South Africa to a secret location – dangled by their ankles.

A wee gem has turned up on YouTube that captures the rude awakening of a snoozing panda…

I get the feeling he relates to this:

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