Feeding Premature Babies Wallaby Milk?

A Melbourne, Australia scientist believes he has made a breakthrough when it comes to the development of premature babies. He claims that wallaby milk could be a vital source of much needed nutrients for underdeveloped children. No, I’m not making this up. One of the dangers of children being born as premmies is that their gut may not have formed properly, making it difficult from them to absorb the nutrients from breast milk or formula. Professor Kevin Nicholas from Deakin University’s Institute for Technology, Research and Innovation reckons that tamar wallabies milk may contain the necessary nutrients to strengthen the babies gut.

The gestation period for a pregnant wallaby is just 26-weeks as compared to nine-months of a human. When a baby joey is born, it’s still developing. After birth it crawls up it’s mother’s body and finishes it’s development stages inside her pouch. Nicholas has made note of this and has linked the underdeveloped joeys with underdeveloped babies. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

“What the [wallaby] mother does during a very long lactation is change the composition of milk progressively, and we know those changes in composition are very important for driving development of the young and of course the gut is a major target,” said Professor Nicholas.

“It’s really those changes in composition that are so important… and we can target those and we can then identify, particularly proteins, that we think are important for developing the gut.”

Isn’t science a wonderful thing? I mean really, how ruddy clever. Now they’re not suggesting that you latch your premature baby to the teet of a mothering wallaby, but they’re going forward with the research as they try to identify the proteins that make the milk so effective. Professor Nicholas’s research stems from a $100,000 AUD grant, and if he can prove his concept work, the Melbourne researcher could be provided up to $1 million dollars to continue his research.

Now for a couple of gratuitous wallaby/baby jokes.

“The milk will certainly put a spring in their step.”

“It’ll help to make them healthy bouncing babies.”

I’m sorry, those were awful. If you have anymore, feel free to post them in the comments section!

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Police Find Frozen Cougar in Florida Man’s Freezer!

Shocking news came out of Florida this week when a man was found to have a dead, frozen cougar in his freezer. No, we’re not talking about Ashton Kutcher having a psychotic break with his estranged wife Demi Moore (who for the record IS alive, so please no lawsuits). We’re talking about Palm Beach County resident, Gene Stimmler.

Police were called to his house when they received allegations that Stimmler, 73, had made lewd comments towards a 15-year-old boy. Joseph Valenzuela, the boy’s father, had been living with his son in a trailer on Stimmler’s property at the time of the offense. Valenzuela, an employee of Stimmler, also told Deputy Bryan Hack that Stimmler had a “large wild cat” that was “hidden in a freezer in the garage.” The frozen animal, Deputy Hack noted, “was brown in color and frozen in a live state, eyes open.” When the police opened up the freezer, they found themselves staring face-to-face with the frozen feline. It was surrounded by a large stock of mangoes and a couple of dead parrots (don’t worry, no Monty Python “Dead Parrot” jokes here).

When questioned by a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer, Stimmler claimed that he couldn’t remember how the animal died. “It just died,” Stimmler said, adding that he did not have the money for a necropsy. Asked if he had shot the cougar–as alleged by Valenzuela–Stimmler replied, “No.”

As well as the cougar, Stimmler has kept many wild and exotic animals on his 30-acre property such as a monkey, lemurs and exotic birds. Although he was not been charged with keeping any of these animals, he was busted last month when he allegedly stole Valenzuela’s pet chihuahua. Although I cannot confirm this, it was not found in his freezer next to his dead kitty.

I can relate to this story a little. My sister once kept a dead squirrel in our freezer. My family knew a taxidermist and he had promised to stuff it for her. Yes, that’s a tad strange. There’s nothing quite like fishing around for chicken nuggets and coming up with a dead squirrel. But I just can’t fathom freezing an entire cougar. There’d be no room to store ice cream.

Real Life Gay Penguins Raising Eyebrows…

They say that penguins mate for life. A male and a female penguins pair off and spend their lives together raising children. Awww, how sweet eh? It’s a tale as old as time (or at least since penguins were invented) and I’m sure it’ll continue forever. But a penguin couple in the Toronto Zoo are raising some eyebrows with their coupling habits. Buddy and Pedro are a same-sex couple.

“They do courtship and mating behaviours that females and males would do,’’ one keeper said.

These include the practice of “braying”, a sound like that of donkeys, as mating calls. They defend each others territory, they preen each other and stand alone together for hours on end. These two little bird brains are inseparable. And it’s not the first rime homosexual tendencies have been noticed in penguins. In fact, a children’s book has been written about this very subject, “And Tango Makes Three”, and it’s based on the story of Roy and Silo, a pair of male penguins that exhibited mating habits who were observed trying to hatch rocks together. With their interest piqued, the zookeepers experimented by giving the same-sex couple a real egg to hatch out to see if the could manage it. It turned out they could and the product of which was a female chick called Tango.

This story doesn’t have a happy ending though. Due to Buddy and Pedro belonging to the endangered African penguins species, zookeepers plan to split them up and pair them off with females penguins in order to protect the species. Poor things.

Internet users have been weighing in on this topic and it’s drawing the kind of comments you’d expect. They range from gay rights activists to people condemning the act of penguin homosexuality. My opinion is that they are obviously displaying signs of a relationship (or “pair bonding” as they call it in zoo speak) but at the same time I can see the need to split them up. After all, the zoo is trying to protect the species. But it’s an interesting tale.

As as an aside note, my dad once observed same-sex tendencies in racing pigeons. My dad has kept pigeons for most of his life and he recalls a pair of male pigeons that would always try to shack up in the same nest box together. It was a funny tale to me as a young boy, but I can definitely see the parallels today…

Man Claims Hooker Turned Into Donkey!

Have you ever been caught committing an act of bestiality with an animal, only to lie to the police that it was a woman who’d shape-shifted into a donkey? Well you have if your name is Sunday Moyo. The Zimbabwean man was nabbed this past Sunday at 4 a.m. for having intercourse with the donkey as it was tied to a tree. He has since appeared in court over the matter, and the following quotes had me literally laughing my bum off!

“Your worship, I only came to know that I was being intimate with a donkey when I got arrested,” he began.

“I had hired a prostitute and paid $20 (USD) for the service at Down Town night club and I don’t know how she became a donkey.”

Wow! I just can’t fathom anybody coming up with such an outlandish excuse. A hooker turned into a donkey? It sounds like an adult version of Shrek. This guy either has an wild imagination, or at least a love for mind-altering substances. Whatever the reason, the court was allegedly in stitches listening to Moyo’s cock-and-bull story. The magistrate ruled that he was to be held in custody until October 27 and then would have to undergo mandatory psychiatric evaluation.

So what will become of this man and his would be lover? I’ll leave you with one last quote…

“I think I am also a donkey. I do not know what happened when I left the bar but I am seriously in love with [the] donkey.”

Man Assaults Woman With Frozen Armadillo!

POW!

BLAM!

No, these aren’t quotes from the 1960’s Batman TV show. These are noises that the human body makes when being struck by a frozen armadillo. “But why would anybody want to hit someone with a frozen armadillo?” I hear you ask. Well, how about over an issue of money…

This is exactly what happened in Dallas, Texas late this past September. An argument between a man and a 57-year old woman led to violence when the two couldn’t come to terms on how much the man’s frozen armadillo was worth (apparently in the state of Texas it’s illegal to sell these animals live so the only way to sell them is in a frozen state). As things got heated, the man threw the frosty critter at her, hitting her once on the leg and once on the chest. The man then did a runner and is now wanted by the police. The woman, now bruised, was planning to eat the armadillo.

Oh dear. I don’t know to start with this story. First, what kind of a man strikes a woman? With an frozen armadillo no less. If you’re trying to peddle your wares to a fellow member of the public and can’t come to terms on a price, just walk away. I’m sure the other citizens of Dallas have quite the taste for armadillo. I mean yeah, some people might be partial to a steak dinner or some other hearty meal but when push comes to shove I’m sure they’d choose the “hedgehog-on-a-half-shell” hands down. There were probably ample amounts of would-be buyers in Dallas that night (I am of course being facetious so no hate comments from Texas please).

And secondly, in this day and age why is somebody wanting to purchase and consume an armadillo? Apparently eating an armadillo that has not been prepared and cooked properly could lead to the consumer contracting leprosy. This is a legit fact. I could make a lame joke about this by saying that the woman would have given her right arm for the armadillo but corny humour like that is way beneath me.

Jack Hanna-Hatred Over Zanesville Tragedy

Did the police department of Zanesville, Ohio do the right thing when they fatally wounded 49 escaped exotic animals yesterday? Terry Thompson, owner of the reserve, released the animals then killed himself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The police at the scene claimed there was no other way to apprehend the wild animals than by destroying them with gunfire. And US TV star Jack Hanna stands by their decision. And Mr. Hanna is taking some flack for it.

I’m a Twitter user (@NigelWindsor) and I love to follow the trending topics. Last night “Jack Hanna” started to trend. I clicked on the link and that is how I found out about the Zanesville tragedy. I saw there was a lot of negativity directed towards Hanna by my fellow Twitter users. They were calling him out on his claims that destroying the animals was the only option.

First let’s look at the facts. Which animals were let loose? There were 18 Bengal tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, a pair of grizzlies, three mountain lions, two wolves and a baboon. Now it doesn’t take a zoologist to figure out that that’s quite the group of dangerous animals. Imagine all these animals, hungry might I add, escaping into the suburbs of Zanesville. Your average 180-pound human male is hardly going to stand a chance against a hungry Bengal tiger. The Zanesville police had to act fast and decided that the best way to compromise the situation was to kill the animals. A local veterinarian attempted to tranquilize one of the tigers but that just served to make it angry. This is when Sheriff Matt Lutz gave his deputies permission to open fire. Photos of the deceased animals have made it into the public and some people are shocked the police would act in such a way.

There is a small but vocal public outcry about Jack Hanna right now. In an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer he claimed that “It had to be done.” He is of course talking about protecting the public’s safety. But a lot of Tweeters came out against him, claiming that Hanna is an advocate of animal slaying. They were making Hanna out to be some kind of bloodthirsty animal hater. Here are some Twitter comments:

@kagraber: “I agree w/ shoot to kill order” Eff you,Jack Hanna. The wrong famous animal person got stingray’d
@planetbluesky Jack Hanna: No animals friend!! :'(.. Hope the animals come at night and haunt him in his dreams!!
@firemom: Apparently Jack Hanna is getting threatening calls for saying Sheriff Lutz made the right call. Because *that’s*okay.
@BSVLMJ  Jack Hanna calls himself “wild animals advocate”. Yeah, sure. Great advocate! What a joke!

I believe the “Hanna-hatred” is uncalled for. It’s not like he sneaked into a monkey’s cage and slaughtered it’s inhabitants with a jungle knife. But the way some people are carrying on it’s as if he did. In my opinion there was no other option but to destroy these animals. Imagine if they had gotten out into the surrounding suburban areas and started eating the local children. I’m sure there wouldn’t be an outcry for the poor animals then. It’s just an unfortunate situation that couldn’t be avoided. The real blame for this situation rests on the shoulders of Terry Thompson. And he’s no longer with us.

I, Snuffleupagus

Dreams are weird things, aren’t they? I’m forever waking up remembering the weird dreams I had the night before. Last night was no different. My dream definitely resided in Weird Town, population me.

In it, I was flicking through a fancy dress catalogue, looking for something new to wear. Now bear in mind, it wasn’t a case of picking out a Hallowe’en costume, this was just me looking for an any-time outlandish costume. So, after flicking through the pages for a while, I settled upon a Mr. Snuffleupagus costume from Sesame Street. Yep, pretty strange eh? So my costume came in and I couldn’t wait to try it on. I tore the box open, pulled on the body suit, then my Dad and sister helped me put on the head. I’m not sure if it had the blinking eyelashes that the real deal Mr. Snuffleupagus had, but the costume was flippin’ cool! Before long I was running up and down the road outside my house trying to make people double take and jump at the site of Snuffy cavorting around Winterton-on-sea (my English home).

The dream concluded with my dad, sister and I cooking up a plan to scare my younger brother. My dad would sneak into his room with his camcorder and wait on me to enter the room. I would sneak in and stand over my brother. My sister would then call to him so he’d wake up, scream, and my dad would capture it all on video.

Sadly, before I could pull off the practical joke of the century… I woke up. Doncha hate it when that happens?

But this kind of makes me wonder. Am I a furry, suppressing my feelings? Surely this is the kind of dream that furries have? I may have to seek counselling!

Where Does Pork Come From?

Kids say some ridiculous things, don’t they? I’m sure we’ve all heard them come out with some funny stuff before. So in honour of this, today I’m going to share with you something my nephew once said.

One day my wife and I were at Walmart and we had our six-year old nephew with us. As an uncle, I love to test out the knowledge of my nephews and nieces. So, going by the meat section, I started testing out his meat knowledge…

Uncle: So, do you know where chicken comes from?
Nephew: Erm… Chicken?
Uncle: Yep, that’s right! Do you know where beef comes from?
Nephew: Erm… (long pause) Cows?
Uncle: That’s right! So do you know where fish comes from?
Nephew: A pond?
Uncle: Haha! Okay, you got me there. You’re right! So where does pork come from?
Nephew: Erm…
Uncle: What do you think?
Nephew: Erm… Porcupines?

Porcupines. Yep, I almost died laughing. Right there in the middle of Walmart. You have to love kids, eh?

Why Cats Are Better Than Dogs!

It’s a debate that probably goes back to the beginning of human civilization. Which would you prefer to own? A cat or a dog? It’s a debate that’s always somewhat interested me. Lets weigh up the good points and bad points of  owning each pet…

Cats – Are, by nature, very independent creatures. They can pretty much look after themselves.
Dogs – Are needy creatures that rely on their owners to look after them.

Cats – Are able to gives themselves tongue baths.
Dogs – Try to give their owners a tongue bath while being washed in the tub.

Cats – If needed, are able to catch their own food.
Dogs – Wait to catch their owners by their food bowl and beg to be fed.

Cats – Have sharp claws.
Dogs – Have blunt claws but have big teeth with a matching foul breath.

Cats – Like to cuddle up with you while you watch the telly.
Dogs – Like to run around barking while you’re trying to watch the telly.

Cats – Can be trained to use  litter trays.
Dogs – Like to eat out of litter trays.

Cats – Have scratchy tongues but seldom lick you.
Dogs – Have big tongues and frequently lick you (usually after they’ve eaten from a litter tray).

Cats – Throw up furballs.
Dogs – Then eat the furballs then throw them back up again.

Conclusion: Sorry dogs, but as a pet you’re inferior to cats. You really let your side down with your neediness and stupidity. Cats on the other hand are superior in many areas. They’re independent, always there for you when you need a cuddle and are generally not bothersome. Is dog really man’s best friend? Unfortunately, I respectfully disagree!