Animals can get into the news for all sorts of reasons. Here are some of the interesting ones from this week.
Adorable baby twin PANDAS!!!
The twin panda cubs born at Vienna’s Schoenbrunn Zoo turned 16 days old yesterday and are fit and healthy.
Releasing a video of mother Yang Yang holding the tiny cubs in her paws and licking them, the zoo said the giant panda was "extremely relaxed in her care" of her babies, which were continuing to "develop splendidly".
"The young pandas stretch, wave their little paws in the air and make first tentative efforts to crawl on their mother's tummy," zoo director Dagmar Schratter said in a statement. "The pink tinge is also increasingly replaced by black and white fur and they are looking more like miniature pandas every day."
The zoo was surprised that Yang Yang had had twins as they were only expecting one cub. Nine days after the birth, Yang Yang's keepers got to see the cubs on video.
Cat adopts abandoned baby squirrel monkey
A Russian cat has adopted a baby squirrel monkey after he was abandoned by his mother at a zoo. She comforted the little primate by letting him cling to her back for warmth.
Tatyana Antropova, the director of the zoo in the Siberian city of Tyumen, says she took the newborn monkey home three weeks ago after his mother refused to carry him on her back.
To Antropova’s surprise, her 16-year-old cat Rosinka accepted the baby, who is called Fyodor. By now, though, the elderly cat is getting a bit tired of the little monkey because he "is getting naughty" and "has started biting and pinching her."
The cat just has to hold out for another month, when Fyodor will go back to the zoo to live with other squirrel monkeys.
Penguin promoted to brigadier at Edinburgh Zoo
Westerners really love their animals, but giving one a rank? (Reuters) - Standing in line for a special ceremony, uniformed soldiers of His Majesty the King of Norway’s Guard are carefully inspected -- by a penguin.
Sir Nils Olav, a resident king penguin at Edinburgh Zoo, was honoured with the title of brigadier on Monday during a parade in the Scottish park. The bird is the mascot of His Majesty the King of Norway’s Guard and was made a knight in 2008.
Under cloudy skies, Sir Nils Olav slowly made his way down the zoo’s Penguin Walk, ending his inspection with a cry and a scratch of his head. A zoo keeper then bestowed the honour on his wing.
The penguin link between Edinburgh Zoo and Norway goes back to 1914 when a Norwegian family presented the zoo with king penguins.
In 1972, one of the zoo’s king penguins was named Nils Olav after Norwegian Major Nils Egelien, who arranged his adoption, and Norway’s then King Olav. Two others have shared the name since.
More than 50 Norwegian soldiers are in Scotland to take part in The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and it has become a custom for them to promote the penguin when in the city.
Lions and tigers and . . . dogs?
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s latest gift to the residents of Pyongyang, is the cleaned up central zoo. Thousands of visitors each day are going to look at the elephants, giraffes, penguins and dogs.
The zoo also has a high-tech natural history museum with displays showing the beginning of the solar system and the evolution of life on Earth.
Just across from the hippopotamus pen and the reptile house, dozens of varieties of dogs - including schnauzers, German shepherds, Shih Tzus and Saint Bernards - are on display in the "dog pavilion."
One, a King Charles spaniel, was given as a gift to Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, by "the U.S. company Tapco" in 1995. According to plaques above their pens, which - dog lovers will be relieved to know - are spacious and clean, Kim Jong Un himself chipped in by giving the zoo its schnauzers, poodles, German shepherds and a Chihuahua.
No, really, where did this little piggy go?
We've heard of therapy dogs and cats, bunnies and even horses, but pigs? Meet Charlotte, a Vietnamese potbellied pig from the US.
Well, you could meet her, if she wasn't missing. She belongs to Katie Manni and her fiance Edward Perry who are offering a US$500 reward for her return.
Charlotte also serves as a therapy animal at Beaver Elder Care & Rehab Centre in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. She was last seen on July 11.
We bet he gets the best bones in town
The mayor of a northwestern Minnesota village greets voters like a true politician. Duke, a 9-year-old Great Pyrenees, won a third one-year term as honorary mayor of Cormorant Township in Minneapolis in the US on Saturday.
The big, shaggy white dog was overwhelmingly re-elected at the sixth annual Cormorant Daze Festival. Anyone could pay a dollar and cast a vote.
Cormorant resident Karen Nelson says Duke "greets everyone" who comes to the village of about 20 people nestled among lakes about 180 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
Nelson says the canine mayor also is popular with children. She says Duke “can have 10 kids on him, and he don’t care.”
Duke was first elected in a write-in vote in 2014.
Double joy as another giant panda seems pregnant with twins
The mother of the only giant panda twins in the United States may soon deliver a second set of twins, Zoo Atlanta said yesterday.
Three years ago, mother bear Lun Lun gave birth to female cubs Mei Lun and Mei Huan, who are still at the Georgia zoo but could be returned this autumn to China, which owns them, zoo spokeswoman Rachel Davis said.
An ultrasound on Monday confirmed that Lun Lun, who turns 19 years old tomorrow, is once again pregnant with twins, the zoo said.
Delivery of the new twins could be in the next few weeks, Davis said, calling the pregnancy a surprise.