The jig was up when the 'lion' started barking.
A Chinese zoo in the People's Park to Luohe has come under fire for attempting to pass off a dog as an African lion--a plan that was going swimmingly until the dog started barking. The "lion" turned out to be a zoo staffer's Tibetan mastiff, a large, long-haired breed of dog, that was subbing in while the lion was taken to a breeding facility. "The zoo is absolutely cheating us," a customer with the last name Liu told a Chinese newspaper. Customers apparently paid 15 yuan ($2.45) per ticket and were also treated to the sight of another dog passing off as a wolf, a white fox in a leopard's den and two coypu rodents in a snake's cage.
Biologist working on new medical first-aid technology.
Band-Aids, Neosporin, and snails? Biologists are working on new medical first-aid technology that would render stitches and staples relics of the past. Their replacement? Snail goo! The gel produced by slugs, snails, mussels, and insects as they glide across surfaces could create an ideal medical adhesive, according to Ithaca College biology professor Andrew Smith. The gel could potentially avoid the negative side effects of sutures, such as the risk of the stitches coming undone or leaking bodily fluids. The snail glue “would stick to wet surfaces, and no matter how much the tissue flexed and bent, the gel would flex and bend with it,” he said, meaning no more leakage or scarring. Science!
The Daily Beast wants you to share your horrifyingly hilarious pet-sitting stories! Do it for the dog/cat/fish you were sitting. Or better yet, do it for the animal’s owner.
Almost all of us have either fed someone's fish too much food, let the dog roam the neighborhood unattended, or washed the cat with what you thought was shampoo but was actually bleach. But sometimes it's hard to fess up and admit to your mistakes, and so, behold, the pet-sitting confessional, where you can tell us about your mishaps (name optional) and read other people's stories, too. Hey, you never know. Maybe you won't feel so bad afterward ...
In the wake of kidnapped teen Hannah Anderson’s rescue, cops tell Christine Pelisek how they tracked her into Idaho backcountry. Plus, her captor’s odd obsession with a cat named Princess.
Hannah Anderson, the 16-year-old teen who was abducted by a family friend, setting off a search that stretched from the Mexican border to the backcountry of Idaho, didn’t know that her mother and brother had been killed until she was rescued by the FBI this weekend.
The remains of a home owned by James Lee DiMaggio, Anderson's suspected killer, seen on August 7, 2013. (Sam Hodgson/Reuters; Inset: San Diego County Sheriff's Department)
“She is a victim in every sense of the word,” said San Diego County Sheriff William D. Gore at a press conference on Monday afternoon. “She was in extreme duress from the time she was taken to the time she was rescued.”
Anderson’s nearly weeklong ordeal ended with the death of her captor, 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio, in an Idaho preserve on Saturday by a member of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team.
Weather is boring. Kittens and puppies are awesome. Melissa Fares talks to the two guys behind Weather Puppy and Weather Kitty, apps giving meteorology a new, viral spin.
“A puppy or cat would never lie about the weather, would they?” says Suraj Hemnani, who co-created the year-old app Weather Puppy and its two-day-old housemate Weather Kitty. “We are trying to make the weather cute,” Shiv Takhar, the other creator, says.
Weather Kitty takes the mundane science of meteorology into the realm of art—and it’s pretty fun. We all need a little meteorology in our lives if we don’t want to wind up in the wrong coat or caught in an unexpected rainstorm. With Weather Kitty, Takhar and Hemnani offer cat lovers a plethora of felines (you can even set your own cat as the background!) that reflect the forecast. Does it get any better than that?
While the new app itself is free, a fairly priced upgrade ($1.99 is cheaper than a cup of coffee, after all) brings you the undeniably amusing “Grumpy Cat”—who is perhaps the most famous cat in the world—theme. This cat will undoubtedly make you laugh at work, so be careful where you launch the app. And it will only get better: the animal gurus are in contact with famous Internet cats. “There will be more,” they say.
But no one knows how.
Was it a marketing ploy to highlight the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week or just a sad incident that a shark wound up dead on the New York City subway? Riders of the N train found the shark late Tuesday night, but it's not clear how it got on the train in the first place. The MTA released a tongue-in-cheek statement confirming that the shark was real and that sharks are handled by "Shark Maintainer Is, or if none are available on that shift, then by Aquatic Mammal Handler IIs." The shark was thrown in the trash when the train reached the end of the line.
Grumpy Cat, the feline Internet celebrity, is testing the limits of licensing success with a new coffee line.
The angry little kitty Grumpy Cat is at it again. The scowling sourpuss has had her fair share of fame—from winning “Meme of the Year” at the Webby Awards to a mug, T-shirt, and sticker empire—but now she’s after a more robust brand. Grumpy Cat, a.k.a. Tardar Sauce, is taking on the coffee industry with the release of her new line.
Grumpy Cat makes an appearance to promote her new book on July 23 in Santa Monica, California. (Amanda Edwards/WireImage, via Getty)
On July 27, Grumpy Cat announced to her more than 100,000 Twitter followers that Grumppuccino, a Grumpy Cat–branded iced-coffee drink, would be coming soon. According to her agent, Ben Lashes (yes, she has an agent), the brew will be available online starting August 7 and comes in three varieties: vanilla, mocha, and regular coffee. The tagline of the new brew is “It’s Awfully Good,” and Lashes swears that it tastes delicious.
The idea began with a pitch from a beverage-company representative. Lashes and the rep thought it would a perfect combination since everyone is grumpy in the morning. The team spent the spring doing behind-the-scenes work on the coffee product and focused quality, going to taste laboratories and learning more about the beverage world. Lashes said the tasting process, and perfection of the formula, hasn’t been a “cheap endeavor.”
Police say a 12-foot snake ‘attacked’ two young brothers who were found dead this week, but exactly how they died is unclear. Even reptile experts are puzzled, Christine Pelisek reports.
It’s almost unthinkable—a 12-foot-long, 100-pound African rock python falls from a ceiling in the middle of the night, lands on two young boys, and kills them.
An African rock python pictured in the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga, South Africa. (Warren Little/Getty)
Yet that’s the story that police in the tiny Canadian town of Campbellton, New Brunswick, are trying to piece together after the bodies of Connor Barth, 4, and his brother Noah, 7, were discovered Monday morning in an apartment above an exotic pet store. Meanwhile, as the community grieves, animal-rights groups are calling for a ban on keeping the snakes as pets—and reptile experts are debating whether the creatures are truly capable of such a horrific act.
“Originally we thought it strangled the boys,” said Jullie Rogers-Marsh, a constable with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, “but now we aren’t confirming exactly what happened until we get autopsy and necropsy results.” She did confirm that the snake did “attack” the Barths in some way. “We feel for the family involved, and we are working hard to determine the cause of death,” she added.
The Geisha Facial in New York’s Shizuka spa is getting a lot of attention for its use of nightingale droppings. Kelsey Meany finds out what the hype is all about.
On Friday night I couldn't sleep. I pictured demonlike New York pigeons eating garbage and creating mayhem around a single crumb of bread. It was too much to handle. In the morning I was going to wake up and pay to have bird shit rubbed on my face.
Shizuka New York Skin Care Salon has been offering the hourlong $180 Geisha bird-poop facial for about five years. Yes, for five years people have been getting bird shit rubbed on their faces and told no one about it. The spa, located right by Radio City Music Hall, reportedly poop-erizes about 100 men and women each month with the treatment. The Japanese spa is owned by Tokyo native Shizuka Bernstein, who aims to bring Japanese spa treatments to America. (The treatment is relatively rare for the U.S., but has been used since the 1600s by actors and geishas in Japan.)
I had my pick of appointments; one was open every hour—never a good sign. At 11:30 a.m. on a dreary Saturday morning I was greeted with a friendly hello and a bag printed with those happy little Japanese cartoon cats (I pictured them saying “Get ready to be poopified, bi-otch!”). Inside, I found a Japanese-style robe and some slippers. Dressed in the robe, I immediately took selfies and sent them to my friends with the caption: “Hey, about to get bird poop rubbed on my face, BRB.” My friend Kristin replied, “Is that sanitary? Are you being abused?”
Science says you’re right: mosquitoes really do prefer some people more than others. Dr. Leslie Vosshall is trying to figure out why.
“It’s like stepping out of the airport in Florida,” says Dr. Leslie Vosshall, as we move from her air-conditioned laboratory at New York City’s Rockefeller University into the mosquito chamber. The air is hot and damp, and lining the walls are clear-plastic-labeled “bug dorms.” Each box contains a swarm of buzzing mosquitoes. They cling to the walls, hang off the ceiling, bounce persistently against the mesh opening, trying to get at us. “I should have asked if you have a phobia,” says Vosshall.
Feeding the mosquitoes. (Vosshall Lab)
I don’t have a phobia, exactly, but like a lot of people I feel uniquely hunted by mosquitoes. At barbecues and on hikes, mosquitoes always seem to seek me out. I’ve tried DEET spray, citronella torches, permethrin butane repellers of the sort used by hunters in the South. I once bought a mosquito net on Amazon at 3 a.m., after accidentally swatting myself in the ear while half asleep. But nothing seemed to change the fact that the best repellent, for everyone else, was to have me around. I’m at Vosshall’s lab because she’s just begun a six-month study of this phenomenon. I’ve come here for answers.
And I am not alone. Lately there are a lot of people trying to learn more about how mosquitoes choose their prey, people funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, or, as Vosshall is, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Mosquitoes, some researchers say, are the deadliest creatures in the world, killing over a million people a year through diseases like malaria, dengue, and West Nile. They’ve proven remarkably good at adapting to new regions, traveling the world in water inside used tires, ornamental bamboo plants, or shipping containers, and quickly making themselves at home. Yet until recently many of our strategies for fighting them have remained ad hoc, limited by how little we know about how mosquitoes hunt.
Gear up for Shark Week: The Animal Planet reality-show host (and professional wrestler) picks his five most insane expeditions, even that one involving pantyhose.
“There’s a thin line between stupidity and bravery, and I walk that right in-between.”
So says “Showtime” Eric Young, who can be seen Thursday evenings wrangling both full-grown men and 14-foot-long sharks—unfortunately, not in the same place.
Eric Young (Chris Marchand/Discovery )
The dynamic professional wrestler became a pseudo-scientist of the sea when Animal Planet contacted him about doing a show that would combine his love of adrenaline with his favorite pastime: fishing. “When I got into pro wrestling, it took all my time and all my money—I was busy buying spandex pants and tall boots with all my money, rather than fishing rods. I love the outdoors, fishing, doing crazy stuff, and the show is a perfect match for me,” Young told The Daily Beast.
Instagram is a world built for cats, but some are better than the rest. From Princess Monster Truck to Colonel Meow, see The Daily Beast’s 9 Hottest Power Cats of Instagram!
With great power comes great responsibility, something these felines know all too well.
Here, The Daily Beast selects nine of the hottest power cat Instagram accounts, for your personal entertainment. This was hard—really hard. There are many cats on the Facebook-owned photo app. But only few are the cat's meow. Moral of this story: contrary to popular belief, cats aren’t always cuddling, eating, sleeping, running from baths, and/or coughing up hairballs. But they’re always being cute. Follow them, and watch as they only get cuter with power.
1. Princess Monster Truck (Handle: @princessmonstertruck)
Princess Diana meets the mean guy from Monsters Inc., Randall. Princess Monster Truck has appeared on BuzzFeed, DoSomething.org, and now on The Daily Beast! She always seems to be showing her teeth to the paparazzi, though she doesn’t seem to be smiling! (Followers: 23,827 and counting)
2. Grumpy Cat (Handle: @GrumpyCat)
Half zebra, half donkey.
Everyone on the Internet stopped what they were doing today to look and squeal with delight over a baby Zonkey, who looks sort of like a donkey wearing striped knee-highs that was born several days ago at an animal reserve in Florence, Italy. The rare zebra donkey hybrid, named Ippo, wasn't intentionally bred, but came into the world thanks to the determined efforts of his beefy zebra dad, who scaled a protective fence in order to mate with an endangered donkey. Zonkeys, also called zedonks or zebroids, are special products of parents with two different types of DNA so they often aren't able to have babies of their own.
Welcome to BeastBeast! Feed this, pet that.
These animals can help you out. Do: copy this adorable dog's 'feel better' eyes. Don't: whine like this irritated frog.
Baxter is a chihuahua who likes to sing-along to a Vampire Weekend song. And it's totally adorable.