International Rabbit Day: 24 September 2017


Happy International Rabbit Day

Initially classified as Rodents but, in the early 20th Century, re-classified as Lagomorphs; rabbits in the wild exist on every continent except Asia and Antarctica, and domestically world-wide.

A male rabbit is known as a Buck and a female is known as a Doe. Baby rabbits are often mistakenly thought to be known as Bunnies, but a young rabbit is actually known as a Kit or a Kitten.

For more information about rabbits, check out another of my posts, Bunny Basics – http://alisanswers.com/index.php/2014/03/28/bunny-basics/ 

Interesting: Deer, deer!


Actress, Audrey Hepburn had a pet deer named Pippen; artist Frida Kahlo also had a pet deer named Granizo.

Audrey and Pippen

Audrey’s little fawn would lie on the couch with her, and was very docile. She would bottle feed and care for the fawn. Pippen was used on set of the film Green Mansions; where she played a fawn that followed the main character, Rima (played by Audrey), around the jungle in which they both lived. As such, Audrey took the deer home and cared for her – so much so that Pippen would follow Audrey around.

Audrey nicknamed the fawn “IP” and were even photographed shopping (below) and napping (above) together! Unfortunately, after filming, Audrey and Pippen had to say goodbye and part ways.

Frida and Granizo

Frida had an array of animals around her; and it is said that she had a connection with nature. Frida was a Mexican artist, who painted throughout her troubled life; painting often by drawing from her life and pain. Her pets, so it is said, we’re dear to her; her pet deer Granizo is said to have inspired her 1946 painting The Wounded Deer.

Unfortunately there is not much information surrounding Frida’s relationships with her animals – aside from [some of] them being inspiration for pieces of art.

Interesting: Boris’ Bedlingtons


Actor, William Henry Pratt, known more commonly by his stage name; Boris Karloff, was not only ‘the monster’ in the 1931 film ‘Frankenstein’, and a big actor in horror movies for decades, but was also a breeder of Bedlington Terriers.

He was fond of animals and had many different kinds, including exotics and livestock, but he had a particular interest in Bedlingtons and would breed them when he was between films. Two of Boris’ Bedlingtons were called Silly Bitch, and Agnus Dei (meaning “Lamb of God”).

One of the stories goes… Boris was walking three of his Bedlingtons with his four year old daughter; the dogs ran off barking at a drunk on the roadside, who subsequently asked Boris to take him to the hospital, as he’d just seen three sheep barking at him! Boris is said to have obliged.


All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.


If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
. Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Twitter (@AlisAnswers)
. LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)

International Tiger Day: 29 July 2017


Tigers are the largest of the big cat species; there used to be nine subspecies, however three are now extinct. The largest subspecies being the Siberian.

Tiger subspecies:

  • Siberian (or Amur) Tiger (endangered)
  • Bengal Tiger (endangered)
  • Indochinese Tiger (endangered)
  • Sumatran Tiger (critically endangered)
  • Malayan Tiger (critically endangered)
  • South China Tiger (critically endangered)
  • Javan Tiger (extinct mid-1970’s)
  • Bali Tiger (extinct 1940’s-50’s)
  • Caspian Tiger (extinct late-1950’s)

Tiger Facts:

  • Tigers are a solitary species; maintaining solitary territories, hunting alone – coming together only to mate
  • Territory size is largely determined by the availability of prey
  • They tend to hunt at night
  • Tigers are carnivores – hunting prey species
  • Female tigers tend to hit maturity between three – four years of age
  • Male tigers reach maturity at four – five years old
  • Litters tend to be made up of three – four cubs, however can be up to seven
  • The males do not help raise the young
  • Young tigers leave their mother at around two years old
  • Unfortunately, approximately half of tigers do not live past two years of age
  • Unlike a lot of cat species; tigers love water
  • The roar of a tiger can be heard almost 2 miles away
  • Tigers can reach speeds of around 40 mph
  • No two tigers have the same pattern of stripes – like how no two humans have the same finger prints

All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.


If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
. Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Twitter (@AlisAnswers)
. LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)

Titbit: Macy the Staffie


So this morning I went for a walk/ training session with a friend and her Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Macy (pictured). Sensibly, Macy is muzzled on walks as she (like many Staffie’s and other breeds) has a particular dislike toward her fellow canine. She will grumble, whine, moan, and often pull on her lead when other dogs are around – and is particularly displeased if coming into contact with another dog.

This morning Macy (and owner) learned that it is okay for other dogs to walk past (on and off the lead), and that large groups of dogs do not have to be an issue either. Macy kept her focus on the person walking her on the lead, and made very little noise or motion toward other dogs on this morning’s walk.

Macy was walked close to heel, with the led loop around the walker’s wrist, and the other hand holding part way down the lead to keep her to heel, while other dogs were around. She was walked on the opposite side of the pavement to the other dog(s), with the walker in between Macy and the other dogs. This kept Macy focusing on what the walker was doing, rather than on who else was walking past, and whether or not she wanted to eat them! 😉

When a more difficult challenge was presented – lots of dogs coming from lots of directions – Macy and her walker stood still, backed up against something (fence/ wall/ tree/ etc.) on a short lead; the walker talked to Macy to keep her focused, and not distracted by all of the other dogs.

These basic method meant for a pleasant walk and a happy Macy (and owner) – her owner feels like Macy has called her a liar due to how well behaved Macy was, with a little bit of direction.


All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.


If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
. Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Twitter (@AlisAnswers)
. LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)

A-Z: Cat Breeds (6)


Over 8 posts, I am going to go through cat breeds, and cover some basic titbits about the breeds; a little bit of history surrounding the breed, including the original use for the breed, and some other interesting facts.

This, the sixth, post will cover P-R of cat breeds. In the follow-up posts I will look into cat breeds from S-V, and W-Z… basically I am doing an A-Z of cat breeds, covering 1-3 breeds per letter.

If I do not cover the breed of your cat in this post, and you would like me to; please leave the breed in the thoughts comment box below, or post it via the contact page, or get in touch via any social media pages listed at the end of each post – this way I can include your breed in another post (either the follow up, or a repeat with different breeds). Do the same if you want more information than I have provided on any particular cat breed, or if you would like to share a photo of your cat(s)!

P

Persian

Country of Origin: Persia

Lifespan: 10-15 years Breed Size: Medium – Large

Hair/Fur Length: Longhair Colour(s): All colours/ patterns

Breed History: Brought to western Europe, and bred, for aesthetics – the Persian was (amongst the Siamese, the Manx, and other exotic breeds) in the first organised cat show in London, in 1871. The Persian won “best in show”.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The long fur is a signature trait of the Persian. Unfortunately, due to intensive selective breeding, this breed is now also known for their squashed faces and the breathing difficulties that accompanies this aesthetic breeding choice.

Peterbald

Country of Origin: St. Petersberg, Russia

Lifespan: 10+ years Breed Size: Small – Medium

Hair/Fur Length: Very Shorthair – Hairless Colour(s): All colours/ patterns

Breed History: Bred in St. Petersberg, Russia in the early 1990’s this bald cat by crossing a female Oriental Shorthair with a male Don Sphinx. The litter of four kittens is thought to be the origin of this breed. Bred for the bald appearance.

Outstanding Physical Trait: The lack of hair on this oriental-looking breed is the most outstanding feature of the Peterbald cat. There is a type of this breed known as “ultra bald” which does not even have whiskers!

Q

As there are no breeds for this letter; however, here is an interesting fact for you all – an un-neutered adult female cat is called a “Queen”! (Fits in with the personality of cats I think!)

R

Ragdoll

Country of Origin: California, USA

Lifespan: 12-15 years Breed Size: Large

Hair/Fur Length: Semi-Longhair

Colour(s): Tabby, seal, blue, red, tortoiseshell, cream, chocolate & lilac colouration in colour-point, mitted & bi-colour patterns

Breed History: Developed in the 1960’s by a breeder named Ann Baker, the origin of this breed is thought to have consisted almost entirely of stray cats. Ann bred a domestic white longhair (named Josephine), that she found loose in her neighbourhood, to other stray cats and also to cats that she owned. By selecting the individuals with the criteria that she wanted, Ann created the Ragdoll breed.

Outstanding Physical Trait: This breed is known for their blue eyes. They are usually born with blue eyes which often stay for life, however not all Ragdolls have blue eyes into adulthood – some deepen to a golden colour as the cat matures.

Rex (Cornish, Selkirk, Devon and La Perm)

Please click the above link to learn more about the La Perm.

Country of Origin: Cornish Rex – Cornwall, UK / Selkirk Rex – Montana, USA

Lifespan: 10-15 Breed Size: Medium

Hair/Fur Length: Cornish – Shorthair / Selkirk – Shorthair and Longhair

Colour(s): Cornish – Solid colours: white, black, blue, red, cream, lavender, chocolate; patterns: tortoiseshell, calico, bi-colour, pointed. / Selkirk – Any colour and pattern

Breed History: Cornish – In the 1950’s Mrs Nina Ennismore and Miss Winifred Macalister, noticed that Serena (their pet tortishell/white shorthair) had an odd kitten in the her litter. The odd kitten was named Kallibunker and was the only one of the litter (of five) born with a curly coat and whiskers; he was the original Cornish Rex. The father of this litter was unknown but it is likely it was Serena’s brother Ginger (a shorthair red tabby).
Selkirk – This curly coated cat originated from a pet cat named Miss DePesto of Noface or “Pest” for short. Pest was found in a shelter in Montana, and ended up with a Persian cat breeder, Jeri Newman, who bred her with a black Persian. Pest produced a litter of six; three of which were curly coated (Selkirk Rex) kittens.

Outstanding Physical Trait: Cornish – Described as having an egg-shaped head, with a rounded forehead and high cheekbones. However, again, the obvious trait is the short, soft and wavy fur. / Selkirk – Described as having a round head with no flat planes; again the curl of the coat is the main outstanding trait. The curl of the Selkirk loose curled, and shows up more on the longhair than the shorthair.

Cornish Rex (left) and Selkirk Rex (right)

All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.


If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
. Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Twitter (@AlisAnswers)
. LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)

World Penguin Day – 25 April 2017


In a few days it’s World Penguin Day! Today (22nd April) is Earth Day – so I’ve decided to post my penguin post a few days early… Penguins are distributed across the Earth, and come in various sizes and appearances. Penguins are flightless, aquatic birds (of varying sizes and habitats).

There are 17 species of penguin worldwide:

  1. Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae)
    This mid-sized penguin, of the Pygoscelis genus, weighs on average 4.5-5 kg (10-11 lbs) and is only 68-70 cm (27-27.5 “) in height. Adélie penguins live on the Antarctic continent and many surrounding islands. They can dive up to 175 m (575 ft) below the surface and can hold their breath under water for up to 6 minutes, but usually only dive for 2-3 minutes a time.
    Average wild lifespan: 20 years.
  2. African penguins (Spheniscus demersus)
    Also known as “Jackass penguin” due to their donkey-like vocalisations. Populations of this species are distributed across Namibia and South Africa. They can dive up to 99.9 m (328 ft), and hold their breath for over 2 minutes. On average, they grow to a height of 60 cm (2 ft / 24″) and weigh 2.3-4 kg (5.25-9 lbs).
    Average wild lifespan: 12 years.
  3. Chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarctica)
    These little penguins are the smallest of the three species in the Pygoscelis genus, the Chinstrap weighs in at 3-6 kg (7-13 lbs) and has an average height of 71-76 cm (28-30″). Ranging across a variety of locations (Antarctica, Argentina, Bouvet Island, Chile, the Falkland Islands, the French Southern Territories, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands); Chinstrap penguins do not often dive deeper than approximately 70 m (200 ft), for no longer than 1 minute at a time.
    Average wild lifespan: 15-20 years.
  4. Emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri)
    The largest and heaviest of all penguin species; the Emperor penguin weighs on average 23 kg (50.7 lbs) and reaches 1.1-1.3 m (3.6-4.2 ft) in height. Native to Antarctica, these penguins can dive up to 565 m (1,850 ft) below the surface and can hold their breath under water for up to 20 minutes.
    Average wild lifespan: 20 years.
  5. Erect-crested penguins (Eudyptes sclateri)
    Belonging to the Eudyptes Genus (crested penguins) the Erect-crested penguin is found  on the Bounty island and the Antipodes island of New Zealand. They tend to feed in the shallows, and therefore tend to keep to short, shallow dives; however, to forage for food when scarce they can dive deep. Weighing 2.5-6 kg (5.5-13.2 lbs) and growing to 65-60 cm (25.5-27.5″).
    Average wild lifespan: 15-20 years.
  6. Fiordland penguins (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus)
    Also belonging to the Eudyptes Genus (crested penguins) the Fiordland penguins can be found on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Not a lot has been recorded about the marine ecology of the Fiordland, however studies show that they tend to take short, shallow dives. This species grows to a height of 55-60 cm (1.8-2 ft / 22-23.6″) and usually weigh 4 kg (8.8 lbs).
    Average wild lifespan: 10-20 years.
  7. Galapagos penguins (Spheniscus mendiculus)
    The mid-sized Galapagos penguin weighs in at 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) and reach 49 cm (19.2″) in height. This is the only penguin species found in the Galápagos (hence the name), and north of the equator; however most are found among the western islands of Fernandina and Isabela. Diving to depths of 7.9-54.8 m (26-180 ft), with dives lasting an average of 3+ minutes.
    Average wild lifespan: 9.5 years.
  8. Gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua)
    Third largest of all penguin species (and largest of the Pygoscelis genus), Gentoos weigh 5-8.5 kg (11-19 lbs) and reach 51-90 cm (20-35″) in height. They range across many sub antarctic islands, and dive for 7 minutes at a time (on average) at depths of up to 200 m (665 ft).
    Average wild lifespan: 15 years.
  9. Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti)
    This med-size penguin stands at an average height of 70 cm (27.5″) tall, and weighs  4 kg (8.8 lbs) on average. The Humboldt penguin is native to the Peruvian and Chilean coasts; holding their breath underwater for an average of 2 minutes, diving to depths of 15 m (49.2 ft).
    Average wild lifespan: 15-20 years.
  10. King penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus )
    The second largest and second heaviest of all penguin species, not too dissimilar in appearance to the Emperor; the King penguin weighs in at 15 kg (33 lbs) and reach just under 1 m in height (0.9 m / 3.1 ft). They inhabit a variety of sub antarctic islands, and usually dive to 100 m (330 ft) for feeding, but have been recorded at diving over 500 m (1,600 ft). King penguins can hold their breath under water for 20 minutes.
    Average wild lifespan: 15-20 years.
  11. Little (Blue) penguins (Eudyptula minor)
    This species is the smallest penguin species in the world! Standing at only 30-33 cm (11.8-13″) tall, and weighing in at 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs). They can be found around New Zealand and Southern Australia; the deepest recorded dive is 72 m (236 ft), however on average dive only 5-20 m (16.4-65.6 ft) – holding their breath for approximately 2 minutes at a time before surfacing for air.
    Average wild lifespan: 6 years.
  12. Macaroni penguins (Eudyptes chrysolophus)
    One of the larger species of the Eudyptes Genus (crested penguins), the Macaroni penguin is distributed across Antarctic Peninsula, Bouvet, Prince Edward islands, Heard Island, the Falkland islands, Marion, Crozet, Kerguelen, Chile, Argentina, South Georgia, South Sandwich, South Orkneys, and South Shetlands. They dive for an average of 2-3 minutes at a time, usually between 15-70 m (49.3- 229.6 ft) but can reach depths of 100 m (330 ft). On average, Macaroni penguins grow to 70 cm (27.5″) and weigh 5.5 kg (12.1 lbs).
    Average wild lifespan: 15 years.
  13. Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus)
    The Magellanic penguin weighs 60-75 cm (23.6-29.5″) and is 2.5-6.5 kg (5.5-13.3 lbs) in height. Studies show that this species dives anywhere between 6-90 m (19.6-295.2 ft); 66.5-68 m (218-223 ft) on average. Distributed across the coasts of Argentina, southern Chile, and the Falkland Islands.
    Average wild lifespan: 25+ years.
  14. Rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome)
    Another penguin of the Eudyptes Genus (crested penguins) this little species weighs just 2.3-3 kg (5-6.6 lbs), and is on average 51 cm (20″) in height. They can dive up to 100 m (330 ft), however tend to stick to the shallows; capable of holding their breath for approximately 6-10 minutes.
    Northern Rockhopper penguins are mostly found in the Gough Island, Tristan da Cunha, and throughout the Atlantic Ocean. Southern Rockhopper penguins are found in Southern Chile, the Falkland Islands, Auckland Islands, Isla Noir and Isla de los Estados, Prince Edward Islands, Diego Ramirez Islands, Campbell Island, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, Antipodes, and Heard Island.
    Average wild lifespan: 10 years.
  15. Royal penguins (Eudyptes schlegeli)
    Also belonging to the Eudyptes Genus (crested penguins), are 70 cm (27.5″) in height and 4-8 kg (8.8-17.6 lbs) in weight, on average. Found on the sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island and surrounding islands; diving between 50-150 m (164-492 ft) for food, for approximately 5-10 minutes.
    Average wild lifespan: 15-20 years.
  16. Snares penguins (Eudyptes robustus)
    The final species of the Eudyptes Genus (crested penguins), this species stands at 55-70 cm (21.5-27.5″) in height, and weighs 3-4 kg (6.5-8.8 lbs). They usually take short dives at depths of between 20-40 m (65.6-131.2 ft); however, for longer foraging trips, can reach depths of 120 m (393.7 ft). They are found off the coast of New Zealand, and The Snares islands (hence their name).
    Average wild lifespan: 15-20 years.
  17. Yellow-eyed penguins (Megadyptes antipodes)
    The Yellow-eyes penguin population is spread across Campbell Island, Stewart Island, Auckland Island, South Island of New Zealand, and the Otago Peninsula. They dive between 39.9-120 m (131-394 ft) for an average of 3.5 minutes. This species grows to a height of 65-73.6 cm (2.1-2.4 ft / 25.5-29″) and usually weigh 4.3-8.5 kg (9.5-18.75 lbs).
    Average wild lifespan: 10 years.

     


    All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.


    If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
    . Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers)
    . Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers)
    . Twitter (@AlisAnswers)
    . LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)

International Day of the Seal (22.03.17)


International Day of the Seal is a day to raise awareness of the cruel practise of seal hunting – it was declared a universal day by congress in 1982.

This day has, however, become an international day to recognise the plight of seals worldwide – not just those endangered from hunting, but those endangered by other causes too.

Harp seals are hunted in Canada in the largest marine mammal hunt in the world! This hunt is supposed to be of adult seals only (once all the white fluff is gone); however this is, unfortunately, not the reality – too often seal pups are killed, for their fluffy white pelt. This is a sport. There is no necessity for this brutality – there is a ban on selling the pelts, the seals are not hunted for meat, it is not a cull to control population… Around the world, many other seal species are also hunted for sport.

Other issue many seal species face include being hunted for meat/ blubber, being caught in fishing nets, pollution, destruction of habitat, and lack of food (often due to human greed).

In my opinion; we need to step up and start caring for animals – we are responsible for what we do to our planet, and the species we share it with. More and more species are becoming endangered and extinct; we need to change attitudes and protect animals.


All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.


If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages…
. Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Twitter (@AlisAnswers)
. LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)

Horrific News


Check out this News Story from Sky News – South Lakes Zoo in Cumbria (UK) has lost their  zoo licence… and not a moment too soon by the sounds of this.

Appalled that an establishment that is meant to protect and care for animals has done such things. Thankful for all the good zoos/ safari parks and other establishments that provide quality care and welfare.

Meerkat (own image, Knowsley Safari Park)