How to Make a Donkey HappyMeet a nine-year-old donkey named Donkey. Debbie Schluterman named him after the donkey in the Shrek movies. Donkey loves to play with toys. Schluterman gave him plenty of horse balls, and he had a good time with them. But then came the glorious day he was given a new kind of toy, and everything changed!
An Injured Kestrel Turns to Painting The American kestrel is the smallest species of falcon, and eats insects, scorpions, snakes, and smaller birds. About four years ago, a kestrel landed on a man's head, quite unusual for any wild bird, much less a raptor. A wildlife rehabilitator concluded that he had imprinted on humans, which made him unfit for life in the wild. The kestrel, eventually named Ferrisburgh, was sent to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) to live.Ferrisburgh had a good life with regular meals, and could even fly in his enclosure. He had a job as an ambassador, teaching the public about kestrels and their place in the ecosystem. But then he suffered a wing injury and can no longer fly. The staff looked for enrichment activities for Ferrisburgh, and decided to teach him how to paint! The kestrel has learned to walk through non-toxic paint and leave his footprints on a canvas. Ferrisburgh doesn't understand that he's creating art, but he seems to enjoy the activity, and loves the treats he gets for learning this behavior. Painting has become part of his public demonstration, too. Read more about Ferrisburgh and his art at Smithsonian.(Image credit: Anna Morris)
Good News: We Have One More Sumatran Tiger There are only about 500 critically endangered Sumatran tigers left in the wild. There are only 73 in zoos. Zoo Miami is part of the Species Survival Plan, a global effort to conserve and produce more Sumatran tigers. Their breeding couple, Berani and Leeloo, produced a male cub in 2015 and a female cub in 2021. Zoo staff were heartbroken to announce the father, Berani, developed cancer and was euthanized on November 2. He was 15 years old, an advanced age for a tiger. But Berani has left his legacy, and has even added to it. On Thanksgiving Day, Zoo Miami announced that Berani had fathered a third Sumatran tiger cub, born on September 6. Such news is always kept from the public for a few weeks to make sure that a zoo baby survives that critical period. At ten days old, the cub had its first health check, which revealed she is a girl, and is healthy and developing normally. Yes, for a ten-day-old cat, she is very big, even though Sumatran tigers are the smallest of all the tiger species. The spicy cub and her mother Leeloo will remain in seclusion for a few months before the cub is shown to the public. Zooborns has the press release from the zoo and more pictures.​
Bear Climbs into Backyard and Eats Fruit. Homeowners Assume That It's Just Dad.Spoon & Tamago, a blog about art and design from Japan, shares with us this news story from the Fukui prefecture. Assuming that Google Translate is reliable, a bear snuck into the backyard of a home, climbed a persimmon tree, and then began eating the fruit.It was night, so when one of the residents stepped out to see what was causing the smacking and crunching noises, he just assumed that it was his father. When the boy asked his father to come back inside the house, he didn’t get a response, but wasn’t worried. It was only later that he and his mother saw clearly that a bear was in their yard.The bear eventually left and wildlife authorities are tracking its location.
The Challenges of Raising a Baby AnteaterWhat do you do with an orphaned anteater? Goliath was found on the side of the road in Ecuador after his mother was hit by a car. The staff at Merazonia Wildlife Rescue took him in and fed him goat's milk. But how do you teach an anteater how to eat ants? Goliath's caretakers raised him with the freedom to roam the rainforest alternating with the security of foster care when he needed it, but the time eventually came when he was old enough to be a wild animal on his own. You can see further footage of his release in this video. Months after being sent to his new jungle home, Merazonia reports that he is doing just fine and is living his best anteater life. -via Fark​
Fire Department Rescues Capybara from Storm DrainCapybaras are the world's largest rodent. They are known for being friendly and manage to make friends with other animal species. Last month, a good-sized capybara somehow found himself in a storm drain in Biguaçu, Brazil. Someone spotted him through a small grate, but he couldn't have fallen in at that location. Who knows where he became trapped, or how long he had been underground? The Biguaçu Fire Department responded. The drain grate was stuck, so they had to use the Jaws of Life to break the concrete so they could lift it up.