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The National Zoo removed its panda cam from the Web, so we did what had to be done. World, meet our panda cam.

The dreaded government shutdown has claimed its tiniest, most beloved victim: the National Zoo's panda cam. 

The live streams, which require federal resources to run, were deemed not essential during a shutdown, according to the zoo. But we don't want you going panda-less.

We went out to the Petco in New York City's Union Square, picked up a spectacular little fish, named him Panda, and turned on a webcam. World, it's time you meet your newest star: Panda Fish! He'll be swimming live for the cameras as long as the National Zoo's pandas are sleeping in the shadows. 

Kitty Couture

On The Cat-Walk

Haute Kitty CATure Feline & Canine Fashion Show

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty

The annual Kitty CATure Fashion Show, which took place in New York this weekend, featured fashions for dogs and cats of all sizes. From "doggles" (dog goggles) to kitty tutus, Lori-Lee Emshey reports from the runway.

A few blocks north of Pier 59—a popular venue during New York Fashion Week—a very different kind of fashion show took place this weekend. And no one seemed to mind that the models had a bit of fuzz on their legs—or that none of them wore any pants. 

The fashion show was, of course, the Kitty CATure Fashion Show, courtesy of The International Cat Association at the American Kennel Club Meet the Breed showcase. This year marked a momentous event in the event's five-year history: it was the first year that dogs were allowed to walk in the show. 

This year's show, which featured clothes by designers named Ada Nieves of Ada Nieves for Pets and Katherine Golden of Golden Couture, opened with an emcee introducing his cat, a brown spotted Bengal named Poet. But despite the fact that he was a central character in the day's event, Poet kept to a chair beside the stage, where he spent much of the event fast asleep.

Haute Kitty CATure Feline & Canine Fashion Show

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty


Giant Panda Cub Looking Good, Feeling Great

Giant Panda Cub Looking Good, Feeling Great Courtney Janney, Smithsonian's National Zoo

Weighs less than a pineapple.

Look who nose what's up! The National Zoo’s giant panda cub, resembling little more than a noggin meant for snoggin’, has received a clean bill of health just days shy of her 4-week birthday, zoo officials say. The daughter of giant panda Mei Xiang already “has the signature black markings of a giant panda” and weighs slightly less than a pineapple. The little looker, whose birth was streamed live on the Web, stretches 10.6 inches from tip to tail, has a heartbeat of 130 beats per minute, and has yet to open her eyes. Immediately after her exam, panda mom Mei Xiang returned to the den and “immediately picked up her cub and began grooming her.”

Read it at WUSA9


Save the Blobfish!

What a World

The Island Ruled by Cats

Watch out humans, the cat invasion has begun. On one island off the coast of Japan, four-legged felines outnumber residents and are driving the tourist trade. Nina Strochlic reports.

On one idyllic Japanese island, there's no such thing as a dog person.

Tashirojima is a dwindling two-port, 100-person fishing community where cats outnumber humans many times over. It's a real-life cat haven, where dogs are reportedly banned from entering and monuments to the feline overlords are plentiful. The story goes that cats first prospered on the island back when occupants raised silkworms and enlisted their four-legged friends to help keep the destructive mice away. Later in the 1800s, when Tashirojima's fishing grounds became popular, fishermen came to believe that the island’s cats gave hints about weather patterns and the day's catch. They doted upon the strays that would wander into their inns and thought that feeding them would guarantee prosperity.


A resident of the island feeds some of the cats. (Sankei/Getty Images)

A few years ago, a documentary crew filmed a TV segment on the cats of Tashirojima, focusing on one black-and-white male with a droopy ear. He was dubbed Jack the Lop Ear and has become somewhat of a local celebrity. Not long after, the famous feline residents found themselves attracting a much-needed rush of tourism to the island, drawing in curious camera-and-treat-wielding visitors on the slow ferry that connects Tashirojima to the mainland. The cat population has inspired novelty souvenirs, including calendars.


All Dogs Aboard!

Pet owners had high hopes for the Pets On Trains bill currently before Congress. Miranda Green explains why even that non-controversial legislation can’t gain passage

It may be a long wait at the station for animal lovers hoping to hop a train with their favorite pet.

Amtrak won’t permit pets to board the way commercial airlines do. Congress wanted to change that with the Pets on Trains Act, introduced in May. The bill, which would require Amtrak to allow domesticated cats and dogs aboard trains for a fee, has few critics and the support of pet owners everywhere, as well as significant pet lobbies, including the Humane Society.


Still, the legislation has little chance of passage within the next year. “In a normal setting, something like this that doesn’t have a strong variant opposition, you could just put in [the transportation reauthorization bill], and it’s going to pass because it’s a reauthorization and it just sails through and everything is fine,” says California Republican Rep. John Campbell, the bill’s co-sponsor.

Too Cool

Goodbye, Gus

The zoo favorite was famous for his obsessive swimming. People called him neurotic. His shrink called it boredom. Gus never said anything. People loved him anyway. By Malcolm Jones.

Dead polar bears tell no tales. Gus, the 27-year-old, 897-pound male polar bear who died Tuesday at the Central Park Zoo, took his secrets to the grave.


A memorial for Gus. (Michael Daly/The Daily Beast)

So we will never know what made this ursine man of mystery do the things he did. But we will never stop wondering.

Like a lot of New Yorkers, Gus was originally from someplace else. He moved to the city when he was 3, from his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, where he had lived with his mother. He had a nice place in New York, on the Upper East Side, where he lived with a couple of lady friends. But there were signs that he never made the transition successfully.


‘Downton’: We Didn’t Ban Dogs

‘Downton’: We Didn’t Ban Dogs PBS

Denies rumor.

Don’t believe everything you hear. A publicist for Downton Abbey’s real-life castle insisted on Tuesday that the show has not banned dogs, despite a report that cast members’ dogs had run amok on the set and at the historic Highclere Castle. The initial report said that Isis, the Crawley family dog, was welcome on set after dogs have caused mischief. Ed Speelers, who plays footman Jimmy Kent, admitted his border collie “ran off and up to the part of the house you’re not allowed to go,” and even ran into Hugh Bonneville’s (who plays family patriarch Earl of Grantham) dressing room. Still, the earl and countess of Carnarvon, who own Highclere Castle, insisted “there is no ban from us.”

Read it at Today

First Pet’s Life

Why Bo Needed Sunny

You think being petted by Michelle Obama and lounging in the Oval Office is enough to make a dog happy? Think again—Bo was probably lonely. Veterinarian Patty Khuly on how Sunny was chosen.

While being the president’s dog might sound like the best pet gig ever, Bo’s life probably isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Even lounging on Lincoln’s bed or lapping up leftovers off presidential porcelain can’t make up for living la vida sola, bereft of any conspecific companions.

Obama Family Dogs

The Obama family dogs (from left), Bo and Sunny, sit on the South Lawn of the White House on August 19, 2013. (Pete Souza/The White House)

That’s likely what the Obamas were thinking when they made the well-considered decision to add a second dog to the first family lineup: “Poor Bo shouldn’t have to go through life all alone. He needs a friend.”

The move makes a lot of sense. After all, it’s hard to imagine that a family life as travel intensive and demanding as the Obamas’ could be ideal for anyone, much less an animal whose natural social structure looks a whole lot more like the canine version of a raucous kindergarten class than the White House’s insulated existence. Dogs just aren’t meant to live in a bubble.

Watch This!

The Crazy Dog Videos of George W. Bush

With the Obamas adopting another puppy, there are two dogs in the White House. But don’t forget there were two dogs in the previous White House, and they starred in a surprisingly large collection of ridiculous short films.

From George Washington’s coonhound named Drunkard to Andrew Jackson’s fighting cocks, presidential pets have always been a fixture of American politics, or at least American political media. With the country atwitter over the Obamas’ new puppy, Sunny, we couldn’t help but reminisce about the other pooches that have pawed around the White House.

Enter George W. Bush, Barney, and Miss Beazley. There’s no use beating around the you-know-what: the videos that Bush 43 made with his dogs might be the most ridiculous pieces of filmmaking ever. Whereas the latest White House release is a short, tasteful, glossy production of Sunny playing with Bo, the FFDOTUS (First First Dog of the United States), the Bush holiday videos—there are at least 10 of them, with names like Barney Reloaded and A Very Beazley Christmas—are low-budget, über-cheesy, almost vaudevillian mini movies featuring a star-studded cast of characters.

Remember those janky home videos you made in middle school? That’s what these are, times a thousand and featuring the most powerful man in the world. Some highlights include: President Bush chastising Barney for wanting to be part of his cabinet; Barney playing cards with Press Secretary Ari Fleischer; senior adviser Karl Rove randomly pelted by Christmas tree ornaments. The one notable absence? Dick Cheney, of course.

All About Sunny

It’s the Second First Dog!

A fluffy, black, 1-year-old puppy with a powerful last name won the Internet on Monday. See every little thing we know about Sunny so far—and how Bo is feeling right now.

Beast Beast

Welcome to BeastBeast! Feed this, pet that.

Need Tips To Become A Better Boyfriend?

These animals can help you out. Do: copy this adorable dog's 'feel better' eyes. Don't: whine like this irritated frog.

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Man Attaches GoPro Camera to Crab Net, Sees Crabs

Man Attaches GoPro Camera to Crab Net, Sees Crabs

YouTube user (and crabber?) Scott Murray attached a GoPro camera to a crab net—and was surprised with what he saw.

All Dogs Aboard!

Beast Beast

It Really Is Raining Cats and Dogs