TIME viral

Little Girl and Tibetan Mastiff Are Best Friends

The Tibetan Mastiff is a gentle giant

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While Internet users seem to love watching videos of small dogs having fun instead of working (or twerking), today Simba the Tibetan Mastiff proves that big dogs deserve attention, too.

If you aren’t familiar with the Tibetan Mastiffs, the breed dates back to around 1100 BC in China, according to the American Kennel Club. The dogs, who are known for their loyalty and protectiveness, are massive animals that can stand over three feet high and weigh well over 100 pounds.

So if you are a little girl, a Tibetan Mastiff could easily look more like a mountain than a playmate. In this video uploaded to Facebook by Lin Zhihong, Simba proves that the whole “gentle giant” thing can be a reality. In the clip, Simba lets his tiny little friend Weiwei clamber all over him while he sweetly sits there and puts up with anything the little girl dishes out. It’s an adorable reminder that big dogs can be all heart.

MORE: What Life Is Like for America’s Most Famous Panda Cub

MORE: Black Cat Interrupts Barcelona Game

TIME viral

This Video of a Tiny Hamster in a Tiny Mansion Is Hugely Adorable

If you love watching tiny hamsters eat tiny burritos, then you'll love this clip

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Whether it’s Tumtum and Nutmeg or Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Two Bad Mice, the joy of seeing tiny animals act like people is universally appealing.

In the wake of viral video Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos and hit sequel Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Pizzas, YouTube hamster fanatic and tiny food enthusiast April’s Animals has released a follow-up that you have to see, featuring a tiny hamster living in a tiny mansion. It’s two minutes of adorableness as a tiny rodent sleeps in a tiny bed, sits in a tiny chair, and uses a tiny bathtub before eating a giant strawberry with its tiny little hands.

It’s a much-needed cute break for when the news cycle gets you down, and you have watched all of Beyoncé’s VMA performance. Twice.

MORE: What Life Is Like for America’s Most Famous Panda Cub

MORE: This Italian Beach Says ‘Si, Per Favore’ to Dogs

TIME animals

This Italian Beach Says ‘Si, Per Favore’ to Dogs

So your four-legged friend can enjoy the beach like you would

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Have you ever brought your dog to the beach only to see a sign of your best friend with an “X” on top?

You won’t see any such thing at Italy’s “Baubeach,” one of the few places that welcomes both two-legged and four-legged guests, according to the Agence France-Presse. The dog-friendly beach is located on the outskirts of Rome and features a play circuit, parasols for shade and, of course, the sea–open to all pooches, whether they want to jump some waves or simply paddle in the shallow water.

[AFP]

TIME animals

What Life Is Like for America’s Most Famous Panda Cub

Bao Bao is about to celebrate her first birthday—and already she's acting like a moody, rebellious teen.

Bao Bao, the newest giant panda cub at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., turns one year old on Saturday, August 23, but already she’s acting like a moody, rebellious teenager. We caught up with one of her trainers, Nicole MacCorkle, to find out the most surprising and interesting developments in her growth within the last year.

She’s sassy
Bao Bao – which means “precious” or “treasure” in Chinese – doesn’t always listen to her mom Mei Xiang or her teachers. “Sometimes she’s sitting in the tree when we’re trying to get her in at the end of the day, and it’s almost as if she is mocking us, just looking at us like, ‘You can’t reach me,'” she says. “If she doesn’t respond to her mother, she’s not going to respond to us.”

She’s a picky eater

She’s only interested in her mother’s milk and got hooked on grass early – bamboo leaves – at four months, two months earlier than when most baby pandas start eating the plant. When she obeys commands, she’s given cooked sweet potato and “fruitsicles,” frozen apple juice with apple and pear pieces, but “Bao Bao is not really interested in the non-bamboo food,” says MacCorkle. “She doesn’t have a lot of food rewards that she’s overly motivated by, so a lot of the things we would use to train an adult she’s just not that interested in.” After her first birthday, zoo keepers will start bribing her with sweets like honey. For now, they dangle a little white buoy on the end of a pole to motivate her.

She does her own thing

Bao Bao isn’t as social as her brother Tai Shan, the zoo’s first surviving panda cub born in 2005 that is now in the breeding program at Wolong’s Bifengxia Base in Ya’an, Sichuan, China. He would approach the keepers, while Bao Bao is more standoffish, preferring to climb trees, the rock cave in her yard, and walk along the window sill of the indoor exhibit room.

“We’re probably a little less interesting to Bao Bao because we weren’t as novel to her as we were to Tai Shan,” says MacCorkle. “For Tai Shan, we didn’t go into the den area when he was first born and didn’t become a fixture in his environment until he was six months old. But with Bao Bao, we’ve been going in since the very beginning.”

Tai Shan also “clung” to Mei Xiang, so much so that he didn’t want to be weaned, and mom would bark at him to tell him it was time. Mei Xiang lets Bao Bao “have her own space” – unless Bao Bao has a fruitsicle that she wants. Then she’ll just take it. “To produce the milk, she’s looking for any extra calories to consume so she can nourish her baby,” MacCorkle says.

She’s an early riser

Zoo visitors who want to see the youngster when she’s most active should show up at 7:30 a.m. She might be exploring her yard before she climbs up into her tree. But would-be selfie-takers, beware: “I have not seen her react to visitors,” MacCorkle says.

TIME viral

Watch a Fish Devour a Shark in One Bite

In case you needed a reminder that the ocean is terrifying

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Okay, so a grouper and a shark are hanging out near each other in the ocean. Then one of them SWALLOWS THE OTHER ONE WHOLE.

You’re probably assuming it was the shark who devoured the fish, because that’s a completely natural thing to assume, but in fact, it was the other way around. This video captures a goliath grouper eating a black tip shark (in one bite!) off the coast of Bonita Springs, Florida, according to the video description.

In conclusion: fish are terrifying, the ocean is terrifying, everything is horrible and nobody is safe. The end.

 

TIME animals

These Men Are Hired by The Indian Government to Talk to Monkeys

"Monkey Men" impersonate the animals to shoo them away from buildings in New Delhi

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Have a monkey infestation problem?

If you’re around Delhi, India, you might want to call up Mahendra Goswami. He is a ‘Monkey Walla,’ or ‘Monkey Man,’ one of the many men hired by the Indian government to shoo monkeys away from buildings and areas where people are present.

These men entice monkeys to leave by impersonating the sounds of the aggressive langur monkey, often wearing a mask and hiding behind trees, according to the AFP. Monkeys in Delhi have been known to trash homes and gardens and have even attacked people while looking for food.

[AFP]

TIME viral

10 Dogs That Bravely Completed the Ice Bucket Challenge

From a dachshund in a shower cap to a cavapoo in a raincoat

You might be at least a little sick of seeing people dump water over their heads everywhere you turn on the Internet, even if the hugely viral phenomenon is raising insane amounts of money for a worthy cause.

But the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has now taken a cutesy turn. Here, we present some of the best canine contributions to the ever-growing collection of icy videos.

The dachshund that’s totally prepared with a cute little shower cap:

The pug that would rather just donate the damn money and have you leave it alone:

The big guy named Jet that’s pretty chill about things:

The puppy named Buttons that’s all, “can you not?”:

The corgi that actually seems excited to complete the challenge:

This chill chihuahua named Jack:

The little dude named Phineas Ernest Sander that’s rocking a fly raincoat:

The little cutie named Tinkerbelle that chills in protective rain gear while her human sings for some reason:

The dog named Boomer that realizes the challenge isn’t so bad after all:

The courageous pooch that uses an actual bucket:

Honorable mention: this cutie named Lucky that almost completed the challenge:

 

TIME animals

A Family in Alabama Just Caught an Alligator That Is Over 1,000 Pounds

Alabama Alligator
A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15-feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Ala. Sharon Steinmann—AP

That's a big gator

A family killed a 1,011.5-pound alligator in Alabama over the weekend—the biggest captured in the state’s history. At 15-feet-long, the gator broke the scale the first time biologists tried to weigh it at Roland Cooper State Park near Camden, Alabama.

The alligator caught by the Stokes and Jenkins families in Alabama may be the largest ever killed by humans. The Safari Club International says a 14-foot, 8-inch, 880-pound gator killed in Texas in 2007 currently holds the world record, but it is unclear what criteria they used to make that declaration, according to AL.com.

[AL.com]

TIME animals

Feline Lucky? Cat Survives 12-Story Fall

It should give his owner paws for thought

A cat named Gizmo recently fell 12 stories from the penthouse terrace of a Manhattan apartment building, landing on a third floor landing and getting wedged between a skylight and a wall.

Gizmo’s owner, Samuel Jacobs, didn’t see what happened, but speculated that his cat slipped through the door to the terrace and then off the edge, the Associated Press reports.

After climbing out of a neighbor’s window, Jacobs rushed Gizmo to a vet, fearing internal injuries. When they got there, however, Gizmo was given a relatively clean bill of health—some scratches and a single broken tooth.

So how did Gizmo survive the fall? It turns out our feline friends are actually well-equipped to land unscathed after falling from high places. When cats are 3-4 weeks old, they begin to develop what’s called the ‘righting reflex‘, which is how cats twist in midair to land on their feet. It’s perfected at around 7 weeks old. (Here’s a cool schematic that shows how they actually manage to do it.)

A study conducted in 1987 and published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association examined 132 cats that had fallen from buildings and were brought into vets around New York Animal Medical center for treatment. It found that injuries per cat increased depending on the height the cat fell up to 7 stories, but actually decreased when the cat fell from above that threshold. The researchers speculated that this was due to the cats’ ability to right themselves and their relatively low terminal velocity.

[AP]

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