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The cats that rule a remote island in Shikoku, Japan are licking their whiskers after a plea for food aid has triggered a flood of donations from across Japan.
More than 140 cats occupy the tiny island of Aoshima in Ehime Prefecture, which is playfully referred to as “Cat Island”, considering they outnumber humans 8 to 1. Unfortunately, the feral felines recently ran out of cat food, but a cry for help led to an extraordinary response.
“Food began pouring in from all over Japan,” says Kazuyuki Ono, whose tweet raised the alarm, said Friday, “there’s so much of it now we can’t store it,” he added. “We’re asking people to stop sending donations. But the cats couldn’t be happier.”
Fittingly, hundreds of boxes of cat food arrived at Aoshima dock, a 30-minute boat ride from the mainland, in time for Feb. 22, which is unofficially known as Cat Day in Japan. The Japanese word ni means two and also sounds like the first part of nyan, the Japanese word for meow. This inspired a group of cat lovers to designate Cat Day as 2/22.
“The food started arriving right at that time,” Ono said. “In spring and summer, tourists bring food to feed the cats, but when it gets cold, the sea is rough and nobody comes,” he said. “Sometimes boats can’t cross in the rough seas. It’s a mysterious little island.”
Aoshima was once home to 1,000 people but today claims only 16 residents, mostly pensioners. The cats, originally brought to the island to kill the mice infesting fishermen’s boats, now rule the roost and draw curious visitors from across Asia and even Europe.
“It’s a cat paradise here,” said Ono, who took to Twitter at the request of Naoko Kamimoto, president of the Aoshima Cat Protection Society, after she found the cupboard bare.
“There are no crows, no dogs, no bikes, no cars,” Ono said. “They love nothing more than to just lie about in the street sunning themselves all day. Now their bellies are full. They’re purring happily.”
Happy Caturday =^_^=
How can I tell that Spring is coming? Baby Duckies! Ducklings are hatching and learning how to swim, forage, and follow their mothers around in those adorable little queues. I know they say that the Robin is the Herald of Spring, but I submit that ducklings are the far cuter option.
These ducklings were born only four days ago!
Thank-you YouTube Channel Budgieman117 for this fantastic footage.
Happy Flyday ~^v^~
Tomorrow, February 26, the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida, is opening a brand new otter exhibit(!) called Otters & Their Waters.
The exhibit will feature North American river otters and provide an otter’s-eye view of their watershed homes. Watersheds- lands that drain water toward rivers, estuaries and the sea- are important to people and myriad wildlife, including river otters, their prey and many animals from land to the coastal oceans where Mote Marine Laboratory scientists carry out their research.
Visitors will see three otters- Huck, Jane, and Pippi- that were orphaned too young to survive alone and so were raised by wildlife rehabilitators. Mote’s animal care specialists will work with the otters and educate guests during narrated training sessions. Huck, Jane and Pippi are all too tame to be released, and they will serve as ambassadors for their watershed homes at Mote.
Huck was found in September 2015 by a veterinarian in Melbourne, Fla. He was 5 months old and appeared to have issues using his hind legs. He was people-friendly, suggesting he might have been hand-raised. He received a veterinary checkup, and within days his hind leg issues seemed to be gone.
Jane was rescued in spring 2015 and came to Mote from an animal rehabilitation facility in Conway, South Carolina. At the time of rescue, she was about 4-6 weeks old and weighed only about two pounds. She weighed ten pounds on arrival at Mote. Jane and Pippi, raised at the same facility, enjoyed a diet that started with Gatorade (a source of electrolytes) and otter formula. At 8-10 weeks, they were weaned on a protein-rich diet including scrambled eggs, ground turkey and more, then eating fish and crab meat, and ultimately, whole fresh fish. They learned to swim in a bathtub and then a larger pool. Jane is more dominant than Pippi and loves to play in her sandbox.
Pippi was rescued in spring 2015 and came from the same Conway, S.C.-based facility as Jane. At the time of rescue, she was believed to be a week to 10 days younger than Jane and weighed 2.1 pounds. She weighed 7 pounds on arrival at Mote. Pippi is more shy and calm than Jane, with darker coloring around her face.
Please watch Mote’s web site and social media for upcoming announcements. Share your excitement with us by using #MoteOtters on social media.
Happy Ottersday :#)
Just over this past weekend, the Sea Shepherd crew rescued a humpback whale entangled in an illegal gillnet in the Gulf of California.
Sea Shepherd currently has two vessels in Mexico’s Gulf of California on Operation Milagro: their goal being to save the vaquita porpoises, the most endangered marine mammal. The vaquita are caught as a result of fishing, even though it’s an endangered species and protected by law.
Thank-you Sea Shepherd crew for putting your own lives at risk to save the sea mammals swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Your efforts do not go unnoticed.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that the beginning of the following video shows some of the naked truth of the illegal fishing industry. The humpback whale rescue begins at 0:42, and I promise, has a wonderfully heartwarming ending.
Happy Humpday (^_^)
At the Auckland Zoo, in Auckland, New Zealand, there’s been a baby boom, with three squirrel monkey babies born in the last few weeks. Follow keeper Christine into the trees to see them in all their adorable furry glory. ^_^
Thank-you YouTube Channel Auckland Zoo for the wonderful video.
Happy Monkday :_)
Have you heard of a mulgara? I hadn’t, until recently. It’s a super-cute hamster-sized marsupial, and was in danger of becoming extinct, until now.
For about 150 years, Australia had been dealing with an unwanted visitor: the European rabbit. Now, bunnies are cute and floofy, and in their native habitats, play important roles in the balance of their ecosystems, but in Australia- a foreign land- rabbits are an invasive species put there by us, and they unintentionally took over, munching and reproducing their way through Australian plains, edging out important native species, like the Mulgara.
In a surprise twist, a rabbit-only virus has begun to balance out the overpopulated bunnies in Australia, and is allowing native species to thrive again. Rabbit populations are strong all over the world, and are in no way at risk, but for the Mulgara (and for other small mammals, like the dusky hopping mouse and the plains mouse), this is the chance of a lifetime to regain their lost territory, and hopefully rebuild their once thriving populations.
In spite of everything we throw at her, Nature finds a way.
Happy Bunday (|^_^|)
Jesper the Skiing Cat has taken the Interwebs by storm- or should I say snowstorm?
Jesper has already become a celebrity in his native Hedmark, Norway; he has his own blog in the Hamar Arbeiderblad (a local newspaper). But now, he is an international sensation and as of today, has more than 29,000 followers on his Facebook page, Jesperpus.
Jesper is a Norwegian Forest Cat, and behaves almost like a dog, loving to do outdoor sports all the while on a leash (was trained since 3 months old). According to his owner, Jesper loves nothing more than fishing, but it’s a bit too cold for that right now. For February we’ll settle in for some cat sledding. Thank-you YouTube Channel Signals Daily for the great video. I watched many Jesper videos, and yours was my favorite!
Happy Caturday =^_^=