TIME animals

The Only Thing Cuter Than Baby Goats Is Baby Goats Prancing in Pajamas

Seriously. The level of cuteness here is just off the charts

Last week, we shared a video of three precious baby goats wearing adorable sweaters. Now, we’d like to offer a video of some baby goats wearing — and prancing around in — pajamas. You’re welcome.

These ridiculous little creatures are named Winifred and Monty, and they are three-week-old Nigerian dwarf goat siblings, WCSH6 reports. They currently reside at Sunflower Farm Creamery in Maine, but they’ll soon be sent to new homes as pets and milking goats.

In the meantime, though, we feel pretty blessed that this video exists. Watch as Monty and Winifred run around, jump on stuff and headbutt each other. All while sporting their cozy pajamas.

TIME animals

This Guy Thought It Was a Good Idea to Drive Around With Thousands of Bees Flying Freely in His Car

bees montana
Montana Highway Patrol

He was cited for reckless driving

A Montana driver was cited for reckless driving after he was found with thousands of bees flying freely in his car.

The Montana Highway Patrol troopers responded to a report on May 22 near Missoula of a “vehicle driving all over the road,” UPI reports. Police found a motorist was transporting five hives of bees that had been allowed to fly freely around the inside of the car.

According to Montana’s beekeeper, the motorist’s method of transporting the bees did not require a permit, though it was “very unsafe.”

The driver said the insects were “harmless” Russian honey bees.

[UPI]

TIME South Africa

Lion Attack Victim Katherine Chappell Worked on Game of Thrones

She was in South Africa for vacation and was raising money for animal conservation

The family of an American tourist who was attacked and killed by a lion in South Africa has paid tribute to the “brilliant, kind, adventurous and high-spirited woman.”

Katherine Chappell, “was very much loved and shared her love for life with those she met,” her mom Mary, father Jon and siblings Jennifer, Lauren and Ryan said in a Facebook.

Known as Katie, the 29-year-old will be mourned at a memorial service in her hometown of Rye, New York, on Saturday.

Chappell had been living in the Canadian city of Vancouver since 2013, where she worked as a visual effects editor.

During…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME animals

Chimps Are Capable of Cooking, Scientists Say

Western chimpanzee juvenile female using tools
Anup Shah—Getty Images

But they don't have a source of heat, such as fire

Chimpanzees have the mental abilities to cook, researchers say, and would choose to cook their food if given the opportunity.

Though chimps can’t heat up raw foods on their own—they can’t quite produce fire—scientists found that when presented with two containers—one with cooked food and one regular—the chimps almost always chose to eat their sweet potatoes hot and roasted, even if it meant they had to wait. They didn’t put any of the provided wooden pieces into the “cooker,” but they were found to be interested in carrying it further (across a room) to cook it rather than quickly begin to eat.

The results, newly published in Proceedings of Royal Society B, suggest that the primates understand the concepts of planning, cause-and-effect and delayed gratification—three mental abilities that are necessary to cook. The study sheds light on the scientific mystery of when and how humans first learned to cook. Scientists suggested in the past it had to do with learning to produce fire, and argue that cooking was a pivotal moment in humans’ physiological development, as the heated food is easier to digest.

“Understanding when and how this dietary shift occurred is a pressing problem in biology,” researchers Felix Warneken and Alexandra Rosati wrote in the study. “If the cognitive abilities necessary to engage in cooking are also present in chimpanzees, it would support models in which control of fire rapidly led to cooking.”

TIME animals

These Fluffy Falcon Chicks Hatched on New York City Bridges

Almost cute enough to distract you from the latest MetroCard fare hikes. Almost.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City shared photos of 12 peregrine falcon chicks with hilarious facial expressions that hatched in nests atop the Verrazano-Narrows, Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial and Throgs Neck bridges this year.

May is that time of year when city officials nationwide are putting ID bands on the birds to track their health and numbers. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has claimed before that New York City “probably” boasts the largest urban population of peregrine falcons.

In case their fuzziness alone isn’t enough to win you over, they will grow up to eat pigeons.

Here is video of the baby falcons getting banded:

TIME animals

Police Arrest Man in Case of Dog’s Muzzle Taped Shut

William Leonard Dodson was charged with ill treatment of animals

Police have arrested a man in connection with the animal cruelty case involving Caitlyn, an adorable stray whose muzzle was taped shut last week.

William Leonard Dodson was arrested on Monday and charged with ill treatment of animals-torture, according to Charleston’s Post and Courier.

The 15-month-old chocolate Staffordshire pup was found Wednesday in a North Charleston, South Carolina, neighborhood with black electrical tape wrapped around her muzzle, which trapped her tongue between her teeth painfully for several days.

The Charleston Animal Society, which is currently caring for the dog, offered a $1,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the crime. The Humane Society of the United States also offered up to $5,000.

Almost a week since she was discovered, Caitlyn seems to be making strides.

 

“[Caitlyn] still has a long way to go in her recovery,” reads a Facebook post from the animal society on Tuesday. “She still faces surgery to repair her lips and possibly her tongue!”

A fund has been set up to help with Caitlyn’s medical costs.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME South Africa

Lion Attack Kills American Woman in South Africa Park

South Africa lions attack
Jerome Delay—AP A male lion stands in the breeze at the Lion Park outside Johannesburg, South Africa,.

The woman was driving around in a wildlife park

(JOHANNESBURG) — A lion killed an American woman and injured a man driving through a private wildlife park in Johannesburg on Monday, a park official said.

The attack occurred at around 2:30 p.m. when a lioness approached the passenger side of the vehicle as the woman took photos and then lunged, said Scott Simpson, assistant operations manager at the Lion Park.

“They had their windows all the way down, which is strictly against policy,” he said. “The lion bit the lady through the window.” The driver then tried to punch the lion and was scratched by the animal.

Park staff quickly chased the lion away from the car and an ambulance arrived promptly. “Unfortunately, she did pass away,” said Simpson, adding that the U.S. Embassy had been informed.

Earlier, the U.S. Embassy confirmed that it had received reports of an “incident involving a U.S. citizen” at the Lion Park and was ready to offer “any assistance possible.”

The Lion Park is a popular destination for tourists who can drive in their own vehicles through large enclosures where lions roam freely. Visitors can also pet lion cubs in smaller pens or have supervised walks through cheetah enclosures.

“Nowhere can you get closer to a pride of lions and other animals and still be completely safe,” says the park’s website.

The park would review its policies, said Simpson, but he believes existing safety measures are “more than adequate,” if visitors follow them. Big signs advise visitors to keep their car windows up and drivers entering the park are also handed a paper with the same warning, he said.

Earlier this year, South African media reported that an Australian tourist was bitten by a lion when he was driving in the park with his windows open. In April, a teenager was attacked by a cheetah when he tried to cut through the park on his bicycle, reported local outlet, News24.

____

Associated Press writers Lynsey Chutel and Courtney Quirin contributed to this report.

TIME animals

How the California Drought Is Hurting Wildlife

Drought-Stricken California Community Close To Running Out Of Water
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Weeds grow in dry cracked earth that used to be the bottom of Lake McClure on March 24, 2015 in La Grange, Calif.

It's not just people who are struggling to cope with the state's record drought

The California drought has left the state scrambling to provide water for its nearly 40 million residents and its very thirsty agricultural sector. But humans aren’t the only ones struggling. The historic dry spell is reshaping the habitats of much of the state’s wildlife, forcing animals to search much further for water and leaving some vulnerable to death.

“Animals are going to have to get by with less and adapt,” said Jason Holley, supervising wildlife biologist at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Those animals that can’t adapt aren’t going to survive.”

The drought has affected all of California’s vast diversity of wildlife in different ways, and the most at risk species tend to be smaller ones that can’t pick up and move to other habitats. Take small animals in the Mojave Desert region. A lack of rainfall isn’t unusual in the area—it is, after all, a desert—but a number of species have been able to adapt and thrive in a few of the marshes that dot the region. But those marshes are drying up, destroying the habitat of various fish native to the Mojave Desert like the Shoshone pupfish. And unusually, the underwater aquifers that provide water for species like the endangered Amargosa vole, which is only found in the Mojave, are also drying up.

“Marshes are becoming more and more isolated,” said Janet Foley, a professor at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “That whole area is a hot spot for Mojave endemics, animals that over time have become very isolated and very specialized. And those animals are in pretty bad trouble.”

Read More: How the California Drought Is Increasing the Potential for Devastating Wildfires

Much like small animals in marshes, wildlife that have thrived in urban habitats have also struggled to adapt as state regulations force California homeowners to let their lawns and gardens dry and die. Squirrels and hummingbirds are far from endangered, but in California their numbers may dwindle. In the Central Valley region, home to much of the state’s agriculture, the problem is worsened as farms take up nearly all the water that’s left.

The death of 12 million trees in the forest habitat as a result of drought has also damaged living conditions for small animals that live in woody areas. Many small animals that depend on plant byproducts like acorns have seen their food supplies dwindle. And the canopy created by the tops of trees has been diminished in many areas, making it more difficult for some creatures like mice and rabbits to hide from predators, said Patricia Kruger, regional threatened and endangered species coordinator at the U.S. Forest Service. “Predators can have a short term benefit but, if it continues for a long time, obviously that’s not good,” said Holley.

Though the majority of affected species tend to be small, large mammals like bears and deer could soon face their own set of problems. For one thing, species large and small have been forced to share watering holes that would have once been separate, increasing the potential for the spread of disease.

As the drought worsened, many of these large mammals simply picked up and moved elsewhere to find find food and water. But the moves have not been seamless. Wildlife officials anticipate an increase in the number of clashes between these animals and their new human neighbors.

In many cases, authorities have taken an active role in protecting wildlife from the drought. Scientists are raising the vole, which has been listed as endangered since the 1980s, in captivity to ensure it doesn’t disappear from the planet, for instance. But in other cases, they can only sit back and hope for the best, said Holley.

“We’re kind of in a waiting period,” he said. “We’re hoping for a more normal [rain] cycle. There’s one thing that’s certain, the climate in California has always been changing and will continue to change, and these animals are going to have to continue to adapt.”

TIME animals

Zoo Worker Bitten By Dragon in Omaha

A komodo dragon, that is

A zoo-keeper at the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is recovering after being bitten by a four-foot long female komodo dragon on Sunday.

In a post on Facebook, the zoo reported that the keeper had been “performing routine animal care” when the dragon bit her from inside the cage:

CNN affiliate KETV reports that the keeper was rushed to the hospital after the zoo nurse was unable to stop the bleeding. She has now been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

The 10-pound dragon is one of three at the zoo in Omaha and the facility has said that it will re-evaluate how it works with the rare lizards.

TIME animals

Half of an Endangered Antelope Population Has Died Within Weeks

Saiga
Rotislav Stach—picture-alliance/AP

More than 120,000 of the saiga antelope have died in Kazakhstan

More than 120,000 of the endangered saiga antelope have died in recent weeks due to illness, conservation and wildlife officials say, a mystifying loss that represents more than a third of its global population.

“This loss is a huge blow for saiga conservation in Kazakhstan and in the world,” Kazakhstan’s vice agriculture minister Erlan Nysynbaev said in a statement released by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, a treaty under the U.N. Environment Programme. “It is very painful to witness this mass mortality.”

Scientists have identified a number of biological and environmental factors that have likely contributed to the deaths but the exact cause remains unclear. Two bacteria pathogens, Pasteurella and Clostridia, have been found in the carcasses but neither were considered the lethal cause unless the immune system was already weak.

Adding to scientists’s confusion and frustration, the mystery ailment leaves no survivors when it hits a herd. “The scale is absolutely unprecedented,” Dr. Aline Kuehl-Stenzel, a coordinator of the Convention, told the New York Times.

More than 90% of the world’s saiga population lives in Kazakhstan, where officials have worked to support the species’ population growth and anti-poaching measures. Researchers estimated that 250,000 of the species, which has experienced mass die-offs in the past, lived worldwide earlier this year and was spread out over five Asian nations.

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