TIME animals

Chinese Man Gets Attacked by a Wild Panda, Sues Government for $80,000

Panda resting in a tree
Jay Schipper—Flickr RF/Getty Images

It must have been sheer pandamonium

A man in China has been awarded more than $80,000 in compensation from the government after a wild panda bit him on the leg, his lawyer said Monday.

Local officials had tried to capture the panda after it wandered into Liziba village in China’s northwest Gansu province, but ended up chasing it onto Guan Quanzi’s land, reports Agence France-Presse.

“I saw a panda jump out in front of me, its body completely covered in mud,” he told local paper the Lanzhou Evening News.

Guan endured seven hours of surgery after the incident, which happened in March last year. The panda managed to escape.

Guan’s son sued local forestry officials who now have agreed to pay $83,000, which will cover the man’s ongoing medical bills.

Though pandas are known for being pretty easygoing bamboo eaters, they are part of the bear family and can deliver a fierce bite. They’ve also been known to attack humans.

[AFP]

TIME animals

Enjoy These 10 Videos of Cute Animals Snoozing in Honor of World Sleep Day

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Getty Images He's so tired! Look at him!

From a very sleepy pug to a tuckered out red panda, these animals recognize the importance of some quality shut-eye

Today, March 13, is World Sleep Day. Organized by the World Association of Sleep Medicine, it’s an annual event that’s both a celebration of sleep and “a call to action on important issues related to sleep.”

Though education about sleep disorders and problems caused by lack of sleep is very important, we’d like to focus on the first part of the event: celebrating sleep. Sleep is a very wonderful thing — and nobody sleeps better (or cuter) than animals. Especially baby animals.

So, in honor of the blissful phenomenon that is sleep, here are 10 videos of cute animals snoozing. Grab your pillows and blankets and get some inspiration.

1. A pug

Quentin falls asleep sitting up and then keeps falling over but then sitting back up because he’s just a pug and he doesn’t know any better:

2. A little baby chick

It takes a quick snooze under the chin of a cat who is also taking a snooze:

3. A Shiba Inu puppy

This very precious, very fluffy little pup barks gently during what appears to be a great dream:

4. Baby pandas

They sleep peacefully even though one rogue cub keeps crawling all over them:

5. A baby sloth

This impossibly cute little guy goes for a big ol’ yawn before nodding off into dream-land:

6. A red panda

He’s clearly had a tough day and could really use some shut-eye if you’d be kind enough to leave him alone:

7. A kitten

He’s so talented he can sleep and purr all at the same time:

8. An owl

His name is Claude and he enjoys a nice massage before saying bonne nuit and drifting off:

9. A pig

This guy knows the only reason you should ever wake up is so you can eat a delicious cookie:

10. A corgi

Everyone knows that being this cute is simply exhausting, so this corgi should enjoy an extremely well-deserved nap beneath a cozy blanket:

Happy World Sleep Day to us all.

TIME animals

3 Million Whales Were Killed in the 20th Century

Kate Westaway—Getty Images

Researchers call it "the largest hunt in human history"

Moby Dick got lucky.

A total of nearly three million whales were killed in the 20th century, according to a new estimate—a number driven by rapid advances in hunting technology and illegal catches by nations like the Soviet Union. And the full number of whales killed may be even higher in what researchers call “the largest hunt in human history.”

The study attempts to tally the number of whales that were killed as whaling transformed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from an enterprise carried out by men with rowboats to an industrialized effort capable of processing…

TIME animals

Meet the Blind Dog Competing in the Iditarod

Mark Thiessen—AP Musher Kelly Maixner, of Big Lake, Alaska, and an auction winner who rode in his sled, during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Anchorage, Alaska, on March 7, 2015.

Her handlers say the pup is a cheerleader for the whole team

A musher from North Dakota, Kelly Maixner, is banking on a blind dog to help finish in the top 10 at the 2015 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in western Alaska, the Associated Press reports via KTUU-TV.

Five years old and weighing 50 pounds, the Alaskan husky named Laura has a cornea disease called pannus, which a veterinarian diagnosed two years ago when the dog’s eyes started to look cloudy, according to the Anchorage news station.

“Sometimes I have to throw snacks on the ground extra hard so she can hear where it falls,” Maixner told the news channel.

 

TIME animals

This Is What It Looks Like When 152 Black Cats Audition for a Movie

“As far as anyone could remember,” LIFE wrote, “it was the biggest invitation to bad luck ever seen in one place.”

When it comes to four-legged thespians, canines have generally achieved a greater level of fame than their feline rivals. We fondly remember Lassie, Benji and Toto, but cats seem to face a steeper path to Hollywood stardom. Blame it on the lack of good roles.

One role, however—the title character in Edgar Allen Poe’s 1843 short story The Black Cat—offered theatrically inclined kitties a chance to break through. In the story, the cat’s owner plasters him into a wall, along with his murdered wife. Eventually, the animal’s mewing from beyond the grave leads investigators to the woman’s body. The film adaptation, which would appear in the 1962 horror compilation Tales of Terror, adjusted the storyline by weaving in elements of another Poe tale.

Exactly 152 cats showed up for the audition, all of them “considerably less nervous than their owners.” Several were disqualified thanks to white paws or noses, but even for those left in the running, the day left dreams largely dashed. The lead role, it turned out, had already been filled by “a well-known professional cat.” Seven lucky extras, selected on account of having the meanest looking faces, were chosen as understudies.

Their owners, whose ambitions for their pets might just have exceeded those of the pets themselves, couldn’t help but let superstition get the best of them. Although they acted naturally around their own cats, “many took pains not to let any strange black cats cross their paths.”

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME animals

What’s This? Just a Poodle Walking Like a Human and Wearing Human Clothes

Its owner spent two months training the dog to do that, and it can allegedly walk up to a mile.

A poodle wearing human clothes and walking on its hind legs has raised eyebrows in China’s Sichuan province.

CCTV footage captures the one-year-old dog, dressed like a school girl—backpack and all—walking down a road in what looks like a park. NBC reports that its owner spent two months training the dog to do that, and it can allegedly walk up to a mile.

The sight even confused other canines, for at one point in the video, a small dog tries to sniff it, but a man takes the poodle by the paw and drags it away.

Is it Friday yet?

TIME animals

The World’s Oldest Cat Is Clearly Living Her Best Life

Sharron Voorhees Tiffany Two, the oldest living cat in the world, at home in San Diego, California.

Owner Sharron Voorhees tells TIME that devotion is the secret to 27-year-old Tiffany Two's longevity

On March 13, Tiffany Two, the world’s oldest living cat, will turn 27 years old — the equivalent of 125 human years, according to Guinness World Records.

The orange-and-black tortoiseshell spends her days sleeping in the middle of the staircase at her home in San Diego, Calif., where she lives with two other cats, 9 and 10 years old respectively.

On the eve of Tiffany Two’s birthday, owner Sharron Voorhees, 73, reminisces about the day in 1988 when she saw the cat at a pet shop that was going out of business. It was the same breed as her old cat Tiffany, which died of cancer in the early 70s. She drove home, but couldn’t stop thinking about it, so she went back to the pet store and bought the cat.

“I’ve always said that was the best $10 I ever spent,” she tells TIME.

She adds that while the 27 year old is “very docile” nowadays, she has a feisty side. When asked if Tiffany Two has always gotten along with other cats, Voorhees said:

She had sex appeal, man, I tell ya. The boys liked her, even if she was fixed. Once there was a kitten across the street, and he was just smitten with her. She was 13. He would race across the street to see her when they let him out. Man, it was a real Harold and Maude sort of thing.

Voorhees will be throwing a birthday party for Tiffany Two on Saturday, serving up cupcakes with little fish decorations on top, goldfish crackers, liver mousse, plus champagne for the human guests.

She claims the cat, which barely weighs six pounds, is in good health: “We take our blood pressure medications every day together. She’s probably in better shape than I am.”

But why has this cat lived so long? “Oh gosh, I don’t know,” Voorhees says. “She has just been so devoted to me. She would drool when I would stroke her. Sometimes I think she just doesn’t want to leave me.”

Sharron VoorheesSharron Voorhees, 73, holds her cat Tiffany Two, the oldest living cat in the world
TIME animals

Meet Smiley: The Adorable Therapy Dog Born Without Eyes

He lives up to his name

For the first two years of his life, Smiley the golden retriever had it pretty rough. Born without eyes, the dog was born and raised in a puppy mill.

Until Joanne George saved him from a dire fate. According to her blog post on Training the K9 Way, she adopted the pup and trained him to be a therapy dog.

At first, things were tough. “He was nervous and had many anxieties about coming into a home,” George wrote on her blog. ” He cowered at the sound of another dog eating — the scars on his face and ears told me the stories of what it was like living with so many dogs in such deplorable conditions.”

But after a lot of training, he became more confident and happy.

“People were so drawn to him, so inspired by him,” George said to CBS News. “I realized this dog has to be a therapy dog — I have to share him.”

Eleven years later, Smiley has lived up to his name. Not only has he helped those in need, but he was also the ring bearer at George’s wedding.

“Dogs can come back from anything, they forget their past,” she told CBS. “We as humans, dwell on the past.”

Read next: Weight-Loss Secrets From a Formerly Obese Dachshund

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TIME animals

Weight-Loss Secrets From a Formerly Obese Dachshund

He cut out burgers and pizza and upped his cardio

Brooke Burton/The Columbus Dispatch, Eric Albrecht—AP(top) Dennis the dachshund weighing 56 pounds on June 2013. (bottom) Dennis at 12 pounds on Feb. 25, 2015

Thanks to some dogged determination, Internet celebrity and obese dachshund Dennis is the latest weight-loss success story in the animal kingdom — registering 12 pounds on the scale today, down from 56 pounds in 2013.

Now you’re probably wondering — what juice cleanse did he do? Where does he go to spin class? Which celebrity diet did he follow? The answer is none of the above, just good old-fashioned cardio like chasing squirrels in the backyard and playing fetch. Plus, he now subsists on dry dog food instead of hamburgers and pizza.

“In the beginning, you could tell he was very depressed, that he really didn’t feel good at all. He didn’t have much of a personality,” says owner Brooke Burton, 26, a nursing student, who told the Associated Press that as the six year old lost weight, he would “trip over” the folds of skin, which also got infected and required three surgeries to remedy. But now that he’s slimmer, “this bossy little demanding man popped out.’

Read next: 7 of the Cutest Chubby Pets

TIME animals

Canadian Tourist Fatally Injured by Jumping Whale in Mexico

A gray whale during its travel by the Pacific ocean coasts, Mexico March 5, 2008
Alejandro Zepeda—EPA A gray whale during its travel by the Pacific ocean coasts, Mexico March 5, 2008

Two other injured tourists were taken to hospital

(CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico) — A Canadian woman died from injuries sustained when a gray whale crashed into a tourist boat as it returned from a short excursion out of the resort city of Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.

Two other passengers were injured in the accident, which took place close to the beach around 11am on Wednesday, according to a statement released by tour company Cabo Adventures.

“The captain had to make a movement to avoid a whale that surfaced just in front of the boat,” the statement said. “The whale hit one side of the boat, leaving two people injured and another passenger hurt who, unfortunately, later died in hospital.”

Port director Vicente Martínez said the woman was 45 years old. Some reports said she was 10 years younger. The collision happened on the Pacific coast side of the Baja California Peninsula. One reported version said the whale jumped out of the water and landed on the boat filled with 24 people, including the crew.

The confusingly worded statement from the tour company appeared to suggest that the victim fell into the water during the collision. Once she was pulled back into the boat, it said, she immediately received mouth to mouth resuscitation from another tourist who happened to be a qualified nurse before naval rescue paramedics arrived and took her to the hospital.

Two other injured tourists were also taken to hospital – one was later discharged and the other’s life was not in danger, the statement said.

Cabo San Lucas promotes whale watching among its major attractions, promising tourists safe and awe-inspiring encounters with the huge docile mammals that every winter migrate thousands of miles from Arctic waters to warm shallow lagoons off the Mexican coast where they breed.

The fatality happened on the same day that Mexican authorities announced a particularly high number of gray whales had gathered in the area during this year’s season, which runs from mid-December to the end of April.

The National Commission for Natural Protected Areas said its census indicated a 10% increase on last season, making it one of the highest migrations registered during the last two decades.

Read next: Wild Beaver Colony in England to Be Set Free After Being Cleared of Disease

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