Animals made from car tyres
Powerfully muscled sharks, lions and rhinos also feature in his collection, with their flesh fashioned from strips of old tractor, bike and car tyres.
Each one takes three months to make and can sell for up to £52,000.
‘Rubber is very flexible, like skin and muscles,’ says Mr Ji, explaining his preference for the medium.
‘The product is from nature but here it’s changed. It looks scary,’ he added.
Whether he is fashioning a 28cm (11in) dog or a 3m (10ft) hammerhead shark, Mr Ji uses different kinds of tread to vary the skin texture.
For example, the neck and forehead of the rhinoceros above are made from broadly treaded tractor tyres.
These sit beneath a rough outer skin made of motorcycle tyres.
The 31-year-old artist from Seoul, South Korea, was inspired by a – particularly boring – childhood memory of the spare tyre on his family’s Jeep Wrangler.
He was also intrigued by the transformation of a natural material into an industrial product.
‘I wanted to express that tyres, which are intended for modern society, came from nature and can then be reborn as a yet another new form of life,’ he added.
A The Couple Who Share Their Bed With a Deer
Four-year-old Dillie was abandoned by her mother and weighed just 1.8kg (4lb) when 48-year-old vet Dr Melanie Butera, from Ohio, rescued her.
Dillie is a very quick learner as Dr Butera and husband Steve discovered.
‘This became apparent to us when we came home one day and couldn’t find her downstairs,’ she said. ‘We walked upstairs and found her standing on our bed with our dog.’
A Vegetarian Spider is Found
In the late 1800s, naturalists named the spider Bagheera kiplingi after a panther in British author Rudyard Kipling's 1894 children's book The Jungle Book.
"At that time in history, all the [naturalists] had was a tattered dead specimen," said study leader Christopher Meehan, a biologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
"They had no idea what it ate. But perhaps they knew that jumping spiders were cat-like in their movements, and [they] decided to name the spider after the agile panther Bagheera in Kipling's book."
ITV fined over I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here Rat killing
ITV has been fined for animal cruelty after two contestants on I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! killed and ate a rat, the Australian RSPCA said today. Celebrity chef Gino D'Acampo and Hollyoaks actor Stuart Manning killed the animal with a knife when they were left without meat during the latest run of the ITV1 reality series, which aired last year. Chief Inspector David Oshannessy, from the RSPCA, said ITV was fined A$3,000 (£1,903) and will pay A$2,576 in costs.
He said: "It's a reasonable result. It reflects the fact that all animals are protected by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. "The animal was killed for a TV show, that's not appropriate. The raw footage indicates that, from the first attempt, it took about 90 seconds before it actually died. "The legislation says that an animal can be killed for human consumption provided it does not cause unnecessary suffering. Had it been killed and it was over and done with, we might not be having this conversation." ITV said it would make sure that nothing similar happened in future series, and would take advice from the RSPCA on the necessary training involved.
A spokesman said: "ITV has apologised for the mistake which led to this incident.
"The production was unaware that killing a rat could be an offence, criminal or otherwise in New South Wales, and accepts that further inquiries should have been made.
"This was an oversight and we have since thoroughly reviewed our procedures and are putting in place a comprehensive training programme to ensure that this does not happen in future series."
ITV apologised for the incident last December.
John Plunkett and agencies
guardian.co.uk, Monday 8 February 2010 11.12 GMT
Sipho Mabona is sharing these incredibly intricate insects and creased creatures, bringing his original origami to feature in a British exhibition early next year.
The 29-year-old turned his eye to nature and the environment for his most recent works, after winning dozens of design awards for his installations and abstract light fittings.
His amazing insects, birds and folded fish are so detailed they are almost capable of fooling the naked eye into thinking they are real.
His designs sell for more than £1,500 and are exhibited in galleries in Japan, Switzerland, Canada, Spain and France.
Each piece can take up to 20 hours to fold and take more than six months to design.
'The quickest would probably be a koi carp but even that takes me around one hour to fold.
'On the other hand, for things like the praying mantis, I took 20 hours of solid folding,' he said.
Each of the models is made from a single piece of square paper.
Swiss-born Mabona was the first foreigner to be invited to the Japan Origami Academic Society.
Why it's good to be gay in the animal world
Homosexuality is apparently nearly universal in the animal kingdom.
And it is a necessary biological adaptation for the survival of species, scientists say, by aiding alternative reproductive tactics or co-operative breeding strategies.
'Same-sex behaviours - courtship, mounting or parenting - are traits that may have been shaped by natural selection - evolution that occurs over generations,' said evolutionary biologist Dr Nathan Bailey.
'It radically changes social circumstances by removing some individuals from the pool available for mating.'
In albatrosses, for example, the behaviour started due to an imbalance in the male-to-female ratio, his research shows.
Females would mate with a male, then pair up with another female and share maternal duties.
On the Hawaiian island of Oahu, a third of the now replenished Laysan albatross population is now raised by pairs of two monogamous females, he added.
Same-sex coupling in animals is ten per cent - the same proportion suggested in humans. But it is not the same across species.
'Male fruit flies may court other males because they are lacking a gene that enables them to discriminate between sexes,' added Dr Bailey, of California University.
'But male bottlenose dolphins engage in same-sex interactions to facilitate group bonding.
Christian the Lion
Click on the above image to see an editing of the original footage
(apologies for the soundtrack!)
Christian was a lion originally purchased by Australians John Rendall and Anthony 'Ace' Bourke from Harrods department store of London in 1969 and ultimately reintroduced to the wild. One year after releasing Christian to the wild, his owners decided to go looking for him in Africa to see whether their pet would remember them. Surprisingly Christian did and also introduced his new partner and children to his owners.
Giant Mechanical Spider Attacks Liverpool
When we've warned in the past about the dangers of giant spiders attacking the Earth, we've been mocked, laughed at, called 'crazy spider freaks'. Nobody, it seemed wanted to listen to our message of arachnoid doom.
Here we see not just a giant spider, but a giant mechanical spider, scuttling down the Concourse Tower in Liverpool, intent on devouring the innocent Scousers beneath. The demonic mechanoid is over 50 feet high and weighs 37 tonnes. Made of steel and wood, the spider needs 12 people to operate it, all of them strapped on to a frame with 50 axes to allow it to move just like the real thing. It was created by Francois Delaroziere and commissioned for £250,000 by the organisers of the city's year as European Capital of Culture. The producer of the exhibition, Helen Marriage, said: "It's the kind of show you can dip in and out of... it's an unfolding story that takes place in all the public spaces in the city using the great buildings as its stage." The idea for the show came from the Sultan's Elephant - a similar artwork which drew an estimated million people to the streets of London in 2006. Commuters have been stopping to stare up at the giant spider and take photos near Lime Street train station in the city centre.
Tortoise on wheels gets better sex
Here's a truly radical solution for getting Arava the disabled tortoise's love life moving again.
She was fitted with a customised skateboard after her back legs packed up and now the ten-year-old female is mating again.
Staff at Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo fitted the disabled 25kg (4st) spurred tortoise with the strap-on board after she arrived from another Israeli zoo. Her renewed mobility has meant that a romance has blossomed with an amorous ten-year-old male.
The Review co-sponsored a panel on animals in ethics, entitled Facing Animals, on April 24, 2007 at Harvard University. The speakers were Patricia Herzog, Christine Korsgaard, Martha Nussbaum, and Cass Sunstein.
The full video of the panel may be viewed here: Facing Animals on Google Video.
First See-through Frog is Spawned
The first transparent frog has been bred by scientists in Japan so they can see changes in the body without dissecting it. The frog has a yellow colour to its skin but it is clear enough to see through, allowing researchers to observe its organs and blood vessels. The lead researcher in Japan, Professor Masayuki Sumida, said it is possible to observe how organs grow and how cancer develops. The frog was bred from rare mutants of the Japanese brown frog using artificial insemination and Professor Sumida said it is the world's first see through four-legged animal. The practice of dissecting frogs for scientific reasons has been criticised by animal protection groups.
Giant Octopus Forms an Emotional Bond to His Mr Potato Head Toy
Louis the octopus clearly thinks two heads are better than one when it comes to toys. The 1.8m-wide (6ft) creature is so attached to Mr Potato Head that he turns aggressive when aquarium staff try to remove it from his tank.
The giant Pacific octopus was given the toy for Christmas and has even learned to dig out food hidden in a secret box at the back of it. He's fascinated by it,' said Matt Slater, of the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay, Cornwall. 'He attacks the net we use to fish the toy out every time we try to take it away.' Mr Slater added: 'Octopuses are very intelligent and they like to be stimulated and busy.
A rider takes his horse through a fire during the Luminarias religious celebration in the central Spanish village of San Bartolome de los Pinares.
Residents believe the flames purify the animals.
Tropical clownfish – the stars of Finding Nemo – face extinction five years after the animated film was released and the movie may be playing a part in their downfall, according to a new report. It is estimated just half of global demand can be met by clownfish bred in captivity, which means the rest have to be taken from the sea. Now the average group of clownfish population in Queensland, Australia, has shrunk from 25 members to just six, making it harder for them to breed, the report shows. Dr Billy Sinclair, of Cumbria University, has spent five years studying the species. He said the film – about a father clownfish trying to find his son after he was captured for a fish tank – did much to educate children about marine life. But the fish were then sold as a 'must have' children's pet, leading to soaring demand. 'My message to kids who loved the film is simple: tell your parents to leave Nemo in the sea where he belongs,' he said. But Dr Sinclair claimed the changing environment was also playing a part. Rising sea temperatures, which cause reefs to 'bleach' and then die, is another factor, he said. 'I am not saying it is solely down to over-harvesting, as climate change is clearly having an impact on the coral reefs and anemones on which the clownfish live,' the researcher added.
First cloned pet dogs
A woman whose beloved pet dog died has had him cloned into five puppies. Bernann McKinney, 57, from California, in the US, was heartbroken when pit bull terrier Booger died of cancer in April 2006. But today she became the owner of five identical copies of Booger. "It is a miracle for me because I was able to smile again, laugh again and just feel alive again," McKinney told a news conference in the South Korea capital to show off the week-old black puppies - all of whose names include the word Booger. They are the work of the biotech firm RNL Bio, affiliated with the South Korean lab which produced the world's first cloned dog. They claim the puppies are the first commercial pet dog clones. "RNL Bio is commencing its worldwide services with Booger as its first successful clone," the company said in a statement. McKinney sold her house to raise the £25,000 for RNL scientists to turn skin cells taken from Booger before he died two years ago into embryos carried by two surrogate dogs for two months until giving birth to the puppies last week.
This unidentified parrot was caught smoking in London. It's not known how long he has been smoking for but we all hope he quits the bad habit soon.
Supermodel The Snake that Ate Itself
Beibei, the Standing Cat
While many cats are content to spend their time sleeping, rubbing against your legs, and leaving dead animals for you as gifts, one cat called Beibei has an impressive new party trick: raising himself up on two paws and standing fully upright. The four-year-old freestanding feline is one of the unusual Munchkin breed of cats, which have very short front paws, making it easier to perform the feat.
"There was absolutely no training. I think it must be related to his curiosity," said Jimmy Leo, an architect who shares his Singapore home with the YouTube and Flickr sensation.
"People are amazed – the two more popular exclamations are Oh my god! and So cute!"
Beibei has been standing upright since he was a kitten, said the amateur photographer Mr Leo.
"I've never seen a cat standing so often and for so long before."
"He stands up to catch toys or when he wants to attract our attention."
"There is always a sense of amazement and disbelief, people always smile and laugh at the sight."
Public Enemy Number Swan
Located in the picturesque surroundings of Pembroke Castle it was once filled with dozens of beautiful swans.
But less than a year later Castle Pond is now home to just one rather brutal inhabitant: Hannibal.
Since arriving on the pond in February he has slaughtered 15 other birds in a terrifying rampage and maimed scores more.
His victims are often lured into a trap before being viciously attacked and left for dead.
Book Deal for Casper
A commuting cat that was mourned around the world after being killed by a hit-and-run driver eight days ago is to be immortalised in print. Casper became an international celebrity last year after it was revealed that he regularly caught the No 3 bus from his home in Plymouth for the 11-mile (18km) round trip into the city centre. The 12-year-old black and white cat would queue patiently with other commuters and, if there was a spare seat on the bus, would curl up and fall asleep. Casper, who had been making the journey for several years, was killed by a car last week. Wellwishers from as far afield as Argentina, Italy, Australia and Indonesia sent messages of sympathy to his owner, Sue Finden. Now Casper’s story has caught the eye of the New York publishers Simon and Schuster, which intends to publish a book telling his life story.
What animal is it?
Welcome to the world of creative grooming, in which owners compete to colour andshear their poodle into the most extraordinary forms.
In the space of about two hours, they can convert their pets into anything from another animal to film characters such as Pirates Of The Caribbean hero Jack Sparrow.
My Cat Only Wants Lasagna!
Sofia Atrill’s cat Humphrey is the real life version of the cat comic character Garfield: he eats only lasagna!
Just like the character Garfield, Humphrey the cat refuses to eat anything else and consumes three portions of the pasta dish a day.
The bizarre obsession started when Humphrey was a kitten and stumbled across a plate of lasagne.
His owner, Sofia Atrill, from North London, says: “In the beginning I tried to alter the recipe and make it with cat food instead of the British beef mince my husband and I enjoy but of course he noticed.”
A Different Kind of Shooting
Each time he embarks on a new project he risks life and limb as he has developed a technique of creating images by firing bullets through sheets of aluminium.
Pumping up to 5,000 shots into a piece of metal at point-blank range puts Mr Creel at risk of being wounded by a ricocheting bullet.
But the dangers are shrugged off by the 34-year-old, who has found acclaim with his dot-to-dot style pictures of US wildlife which sell for £3,000 each.
'Growing up in the south-eastern US, there is a culture tied to guns and outdoor sports in general,' said Mr Crell, of Birmingham, Alabama.
'I had wanted to incorporate guns into my art for quite a while, but was never quite happy with any of my ideas.
'I eventually took a canvas and a gun into the woods and saw the potential for a technique to develop.
'I replaced the canvas with a white painted sheet of reinforced aluminium and placed the barrel directly against the metal.
'It was at this point that I realised I was not using the gun as a weapon, but as a power tool.'
'Since I developed this technique on land used for hunting, I thought it was only fitting that my first subject matter should be southern wildlife.'
He said his portraits of deer, rabbits, owls and squirrels made with a 22 calibre rifle 'deweaponise' the gun he received as a present from his father when he was a teenager.
By Miles Erwin, originally published in Metro 02/10/09 and reprinted with permission
Wild Parakeet cull is racist...they're as British as curry, say experts
Adecision to allow parakeets to be shot or captured to reduce their numbers in and around London has been attacked as “racist” by wildlife experts.
The London Wildlife Trust says there is “little evidence” that the bright green birds are causing a problem sufficient to justify their culling. It added that the birds — which come from the Hymalaias — were “as British as curry” and they represented London's cultural and historical diversity.
Allowing a cull was “misguided” and placed other birds of similar appearance — such as the green woodpecker — at risk of being shot by mistake, it added. The wildlife trust, which also objected to an easing of restrictions on the Canada goose, said there was “no evidence that either species is having an adverse impact on native bird populations or natural habitats in London or elsewhere in Britain”.
Mathew Frith, deputy chief executive of London Wildlife Trust, told the Standard: “The evidence is scant, and our view is that there are already existing licence arrangements that can be used if parakeets are damaging cherry trees, for example, in a farmer's orchard.”
Natural England yesterday announced that from January it would relax the rules protecting the birds, which have been blamed for destroying crops and bullying smaller native species.
Owners or occupiers of land would be permitted to humanely kill ring-neck parakeets that are causing a problem, trap them in a cage or destroy their eggs.
Matthew Heydon, Natural England's licensing expert, said one farmer in Chobam had lost enough grapes in a day to make 3,000 bottles of wine.
“If you left a flock of several hundred parakeets in a vineyard for a day, you would probably have no crop left,” he said
By Ross Lydall, originally published in The Evening Standards, 02/10/09 and reprinted with permission
Wild dogs take Chewbilee Line
STRAY dogs are commuting to and from a city centre on underground trains in search of food scraps.
The clever canines board the Tube each morning.
After a hard day scavenging and begging on the streets, they hop back on the train and return to the suburbs where they spend the night.
Experts studying the dogs say they even work together to make sure they get off at the right stop - after learning to judge the length of time they need to spend on the train.
The mutts choose the quietest carriages at the front and back of the train.
They have also developed tactics to hustle humans into giving them more food on the streets of Moscow.
Scientists believe the phenomenon began after the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, and Russia's new capitalists moved industrial complexes from the city centre to the suburbs.
Dr Andrei Poiarkov, of the Moscow Ecology and Evolution Institute, said: "These complexes were used by homeless dogs as shelters, so the dogs had to move together with their houses. Because the best scavenging for food is in the city centre, the dogs had to learn how to travel on the subway - to get to the centre in the morning, then back home in the evening, just like people."
Dr Poiarkov told how the dogs like to play during their daily commute. He said: "They jump on the train seconds before the doors shut, risking their tails getting jammed. They do it for fun. And sometimes they fall asleep and get off at the wrong stop."
The dogs have learned to use traffic lights to cross the road safely, said Dr Poiarkov. And they use cunning tactics to obtain tasty morsels of shawarma, a kebab-like snack popular in Moscow.
They sneak up behind people eating shawarmas - then bark loudly to shock them into dropping their food.
With children the dogs "play cute" by putting their heads on youngsters' knees and staring pleadingly into their eyes to win sympathy - and scraps.
Dr Poiarkov added: "Dogs are surprisingly good psychologists."
The Moscow mutts are not the first animals to use public transport. In 2006 a Jack Russell in Dunnington, North Yorks, began taking the bus to his local pub in search of sausages.
And two years ago passengers in Wolverhampton were stunned when a cat called Macavity started catching the 331 bus to a fish and chip shop.
From The Sun, April 11, 2009 by Virginia Wheeler
Battle at Kruger
Click on the above image to see the film
Battle at Kruger is an amateur wildlife video that depicts an unfolding confrontation between a herd of Cape Buffalo, a small pride of lions, and one or two crocodiles. The video was shot in September 2004 at a watering hole in Kruger National Park, South Africa, during a Safari guided by Frank Watts, it was filmed by videographer David Budzinski and photographer Jason Schlosberg.
After being posted on YouTube in 2007, Battle at Kruger became a viral video sensation and was widely praised for its dramatic depiction of wildlife on the African savannah. It became one of YouTube's most popular videos, with more than 38 million views and 41 thousand comments as of November 2008[update], and won the Best Eyewitness Video in the 2nd Annual YouTube Video Awards.The video was also the subject of an article in the 25 June 2007 issue of Time magazine, and was featured in the first episode of ABC News' i-Caught, which aired on 7 August 2007. A National Geographic documentary on the video debuted on the National Geographic Channel on 11 May 2008.
Shuttle Attacked by Giant Spider
When Nasa abruptly scrubbed the planned launch of the space shuttle Atlantis on Sunday, postponing any launch until January at the earliest, the official line blamed a recurring fault in the fuel sensors as the reason for the cancellation.
However, footage of that day - from Nasa's own cameras - reveals the real reason the launch has been delayed. It's because the shuttle has been attacked by a giant alien spider beast. No Nasa spokesperson has yet commented on the massive intergalactic arachnid's attempt to eat Atlantis - but experts viewing the footage suggest that it is a clear indicator that the Earth is about to be plunged into an all-out space war with a race of 150ft-long demonic spiders who live on rocket fuel.
The spider attack lasted a little over a minute on December 9, as the shuttle stood helpless on the launchpad while the eldritch horror, vast beyond imagining, nibbled on it.
Then, in a display of supreme indifference and terrifying arrogance, the monster got bored and wandered off...
OK, maybe not 100 percent true...so don't panic! The alien attack was explained by a spider actually crawling over the lens of the launch cameras.
Nong Oui, Pattaya's Amazing Frog
Reporters arrived at the house at 5:30pm on 8 January 2008 and were greeted by Mrs. Tongsai Bumroongtai (52) and her family. The reporters explained that they had come to see her remarkable frog. Mrs. Tongsai was more than happy to accommodate the media types and promptly brought out the frog to show it off to the reporters. Nong Oui, a black spotted, female frog was lounging on her back in a bowl of water. Mrs. Tongsai spoke to the frog as one would to a baby. She put Nong Oui through her paces; such as lying on a bottle in various positions and dancing in her bowl. Nong Oui sat on a small, toy motorbike to the delight of the reporters, photographers and a crowd of neighbors who came to see the spectacle. Everybody applauded enthusiastically as they were surprised and delighted to witness the antics of the remarkable frog.
According to Mrs. Tongsai, she found the web footed amphibian about ten months ago, when she was living in Roi-et. She and her husband, Mr. Boonched Bumroongtai (51), along with their three daughters and one son, eked out a meager existence as farmers. Last year, because of the draught, they were unable to grow rice. Then, one day, when her hen woke her up at 5am, she discovered a frog standing nearby with a chick in its mouth. Mrs. Tongsai looked into the frog’s eyes and felt an instant connection. She knew she could commune with the frog. She told the frog, in no uncertain terms, perhaps as Moses had told the pharaoh, to let the chick go; and it complied immediately. Ever since, Mrs. Tongsai has become very fond of Nong Oui, the miraculous frog; and has taken care of her like a member of the family. At first, she fed Nong Oui pork and chicken, but later switched to proper frog food. Mrs. Tongsai added that Nong Oui can survive out of the water for days at a time. Everyone who comes in contact with Nong Oui loves to hold and touch her. Many people in Roi-et would come and ask for lottery numbers. In fact, with the frog’s help, they were able to successfully pick the two-three winning numbers, in ten consecutive lotteries. Eventually, Mrs. Tongsai became overwhelmed with the large number of people who kept coming to ask for lucky numbers and had to leave her village.
Mrs. Tongsai is looking forward to returning to Roi-et with Nong Oui to reunite with her husband as soon as things quiet down at home. In the meantime, according to Nong Oui, this week’s lucky numbers are…………..
Move over Miss Ireland - it's time for Moos Ireland.
Thirty friesian 'stunners' - worth up to £50,000 each - have battled it out in a beauty contest for cows. With their pageant potential nurtured from birth, no expense is spared by farmers hoping to walk away with the £6,000 top prize and the Baileys champion cow crown.
Owners apply bovine beauty treatments and attach hair extensions to make their entry stand out at the Virginia Show in Co Cavan.
Chasing birds might be a little easier for these cats now they have grown wings of their own. The moggies developed the furry flaps on their backs during a spell of hot weather in China's western Sichuan province. The harmless growths are down to a genetic mutation, according to experts.
Museum openings are usually pretty muted affairs – but not when you invite a man who can turn himself into a cat and someone who thinks he is a lizard With a contortionist along for good measure, and a mini Elvis, few guests at the launch of tonight's newest exhibition space in London should be bored – at least not with the entertainment. Stalking Cat, aka American computer repair man Dennis Avner, 50, is the world's 'most modified man' and has had surgery to create a feline cleft lip and a flat, upturned nose. He has also had tiger stripes tattooed on his body and fixes synthetic whiskers to a piercing through his lip every day. Stalking Cat says it is his Native American beliefs that have driven him to transform himself into his totem animal – a tiger. Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum has a collection of more than 500 oddities, including a display of human shrunken heads from Ecuador and a copy of The Last Supper painted on a grain of rice. Among other odd exhibits is a Mini Cooper which has been covered in a million Swarovski crystals. 'It was made by an English couple, now living in Canada, and is the finest “art car” in the world. And yes it can be driven,' said Edward T Meyer of Ripley Entertainment.
Other oddball guests at the opening in Piccadilly include Caprice and Jordan, believe it or not...