Home Archive by category Animals


Warm water and air conditions have contributed to an increase in jellyfish around New Zealand.

Throughout New Zealand people have been reporting more jellyfish than usual. Experts have blamed the high temperatures.

The outbreak has been particularly bad in the Auckland region.

Warm water has attracted the jellyfish towards the shore, causing some swimmers to break out in a rash known as ‘sea bather’s eruption.’

Some of the jellyfish were microscopic and could get caught in togs. After that swimmers get out of the sea, water drains from the swimwear and traps the jellyfish between the fabric and the skin, causing the stinging cells to release their toxin.

Children and people with allergies have been asked to be careful when at beaches.

An international agreement has been reached to protect the endangered Toroa/Antipodean albatross has been found.

One hundred and thirty countries have now agreed to protect the bird at a conference held in India. This was largely due to the collaborative efforts of New Zealand, Australia and Chile.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said the agreement would help reduce Antipodean albatross from being inadvertently caught by fishing vessels. This happens often during the 100,000-kilometre annual migration the birds make.

There are now only 9050 breeding pairs, which mean the species could be extinct within the next 20 years.

Sage said today’s agreement showed increasing international consensus on the need to save seabirds from extinction.

An ocean photographer has taken an image of what is believed to be the only known pink manta ray in the world.

Photographer Kristian Laine took the pictures while diving off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

The stingray was nicknamed Inspector Clouseau after the inspector in “The Pink Panther” media franchise when it was first discovered in 2015.

The stingray is around 3.3 metres, and has been elusive in the five years since it was first noticed.

Although locals are now well aware of him, the pink manta has only been seen around 10 times.  

Despite how shy he is, scientists from the research group Project Manta are still on the case investigating what causes the vibrant pink colour.

In 2016 they took a small biopsy to try to discover more.

The French government is fighting against bed bugs.

Last week they launched a campaign to combat a large number of bedbugs that have arrived recently.

In Paris, experts say 400,000 addresses including hotels, apartments and houses were treated in 2018.

The bedbugs that have settled in homes and hotels to feed on human blood.

Bed bugs disappeared from France in the 1950s, but the infuriating insects have come back in their thousands.

The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, is found in temperate climates in the United States and parts of Europe.

The six-legged pest posed only a minor nuisance after World War II because of the widespread use of insecticides such as DDT. But the banning of such potent poisons, because they were too dangerous, has seen a bed bug revival.

In 2016, a study found that the flightless creatures had become resistant to pesticides, further aiding their global conquest.

Illustrating how annoying the issue has become, bed bugs have even featured in the Paris 2020 electoral campaign, with mayoral hopeful Benjamin Griveaux promising to clean up the capital in 100 days. 

Bumblebee numbers are on the decline.

New research using up to date information has found the insects are far less common than they used to be.

In North America, you are nearly 50% less likely to see a bumblebee in any given area than you were prior to 1974.

Bumblebees are very important to our ecosystem. They pollinate many wild plants, as well as important crops like tomatoes, squash, and many types of berries.

The reason for the decline in numbers – hotter conditions on earth.

In a new paper published this week in the journal Science, researchers used a complex process to suggest that the decline is driven in large part by climate change.

Scientists found that in areas that have become hotter in the last 10 years, bumblebees are less common. In Europe, they are 17 percent less plentiful than they were in the early 20th century.

A zoo in the UK is asking for unwanted perfume so its big cats can play with it.

Banham Zoo in Norfolk put the request on social media. Apparently, their zookeepers are running low on supply.

They say that “Scent can play an important part in [the cats] enrichment programmes, providing animals with opportunities to express natural behaviours.”

The zoo says it will accept any perfume – but the cats do have a favourite. 

Calvin Klein perfume is a huge hit with all big cats, but any perfumes work well and the zoo do like to offer them a variety of different smells.

A cross-eyed cat has earned thousands of dollars for charities.

The cat, called Belarus, has been used by an American lady to help raise thousands of dollars for local pet shelters.

Rachel, the owner of Belarus, has been selling t-shirts with his face on the front. The t-shirts have become incredibly popular – thanks to his adorable ‘googly eyes’

The pupils of poor Belarus’s bright yellow eyes face in separate directions thanks to a condition called strabismus, leaving him with a permanently confused expression.

Despite the condition, Belarus has very few apparent issues with his vision, apart from occasionally pawing at his water bowl.

Last year, Belarus raised $6,000 for animal shelters, with $4,000 to Belarus’ shelter SFACC, $1,000 to Sonoma Community Animal Response Team for their efforts saving animals from the Sonoma wildfire, and $1,000 to Cat Town of Oakland.

Parts of East Africa have been hit by huge swarms of locusts.

The countries of Ethiopia and Somalia are dealing with the worst locust swarms they’ve seen in 25 years.

The United Nations (UN) has called for international help to tackle the locust invasions which are destroying millions of crops, threatening a food crisis. The crops are important sources of food for many in the countries affected.

Why are locusts such a threat?

The main concern is due to the rate at which the insects eat crops.

Locusts can travel up to 150 kilometres in 24 hours and an adult insect eats its own body weight in food each day.

Scientist say that a locust swarm the size of Paris can eat as much food as half the population of France in just one day.

It fears the numbers of the insects could multiply 500 times by June.

A New Zealand-based Canadian shearer has set a new world shearing record.

Pauline Bolay sheared 510 lambs in eight hours in a remote Waikato woolshed.

Bolay was challenging the women’s solo eight-hours strong wool lamb record of 507, set by New Zealand shearer Kerri-Jo Te Huia in January 2012.

She was the first North American to attempt a shearing world record.

The challenge was made at Whitford Farms, in Waikaretu which is close to Raglan. Bolay works for shearing contractors there.

After starting at 7am on Saturday and finishing at 5pm, Bolay managed to shear 510 lambs, beating the previous record by three.

The challenge was split into four two-hour runs. Each run separated by breaks of 30 minutes for morning and afternoon tea and an hour for lunch.

To break the record Bolay needed to average less than 56.8 seconds per lamb, caught, shorn and dispatched.

Palmerston the Cat lives and works in a UK government office. He has finally returned after taking six months’ stress leave.

The black and white cat was forced to take a break from work after he was overloaded with treats given to him by government employees. 

Palmerston announced his return from his Twitter account on Monday.

“I am happy to announce that I will be returning to my Chief Mouser duties at the @foreignoffice this week!”

But employees will have to follow special ‘Palmerston Protocols’ to avoid a repeat of overindulgence.

Most importantly, no-one other than his carers are allowed to feed Palmerston.