Want to keep up to date with all of the latest news from the animal world? Check out our roundup of animals making the headlines this month!
Research conducted by marine biologist Brian Branstetter at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego has discovered that dolphins can stay awake and alert for up to two weeks at a time- something which no other mammal can manage. Dolphins have the unique ability to switch off one half of their brain at a time, leaving the other half alert to keep an eye out for sharks and other predators. Brian Brandsetter and his team studied two dolphins, a male and female called Nay and Say. While the study was concluded after a fifteen day period, it is not yet known exactly how long dolphins might be able to potentially remain awake- or half awake for. "Dolphins can continue to swim and think for days without rest or sleep, possibly indefinitely," said Brian Branstetter about the results of his research.
A pit bull dog call Kno, of Savannah, Georgia, has been appointed with his own lawyer to defend him against charges of attacking a child near to his former home in Effingham County. Kno’s previous owner, Julie Long, surrendered Kno to animal control in the wake of the alleged attack, and a court hearing this month will be held to decide Kno’s fate.Pit bull ownership is illegal in the UK due to the restrictions of the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Janette Milne of Inverness, Scotland has been banned from keeping animals for two years and fined £300 after admitting in Inverness Sheriff’s Court to causing an animal unnecessary suffering.Ms. Milne’s English bull terrier, Henry, ate the cable and plug from an electric razor. Ms. Milne claimed that she did not realise her dog had eaten the plug and cable, but due to Henry’s otherwise poor condition, the Scottish SPCA proceeded with prosecution for failing to provide adequate care and veterinary treatment for her dog. Due to damage to his intestines, Henry had to be put to sleep after the SPCA intervened in the case.
A husky named Zander was adopted from an animal shelter five years ago by John Dolan in Bay Shore, New York. After John was hospitalised two weeks ago with a painful skin condition, Zander became extremely upset and depressed, and failed to settle without his favourite person. Eventually, Zander decided to take matters into his own hands, and broke out of the home which he shared with John and his wife, before scent tracking him for over two miles to the Good Samaritan Medical Centre where John was staying, crossing a busy four lane motorway in the process!Zander, who had never been to the hospital before, tracked his beloved owner right to his room un-apprehended to give him his best wishes, before John’s wife caught up with him and took him home.John and Zander are now reunited back home after Zander’s amazing adventure!
Jae Jae, a rare Sumatran tiger arrived safely at London Zoo this week after a journey of over 4,000 miles from his previous home in Ohio, USA.Jae Jae is visiting the UK as part of an international breeding programme to raise the world’s population of Sumatran tigers- one of the world’s most endangered species with only around 300 of these beautiful animals left in the wild. It is hoped that Jae Jae will mate with Melati, a female Sumatran tiger from Australia who is currently resident at London Zoo. Both Jae Jae and Melati were bred in captivity, and at four years old are in peak health and considered to have the best possible chances of a successful mating.
Two female baby gorilla orphans aged five and nine months old respectively have been plucked from the grasp of poachers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo this month. The two babies, which are not thought to be directly related, are now being cared for by volunteers in the region’s Virunga National Park orphan sanctuary.The two orphaned gorillas, which were taken from the wild by wildlife smugglers, will remain in quarantine for three months while their health and condition is assessed. Both of the orphans are Eastern Lowland gorillas, or Grauer’s gorillas, and are an endangered species with only 4,000 of them estimated to be left in the wild.