TIME animals

Watch This Skateboarding Cat Pull Off Some Sweet New Moves

Seriously though, this is very impressive

Back in January, we met Didga, the Internet’s crazy-talented skateboarding cat who lives in Australia. Now, this skilled feline is back — and this time, she’s got a GoPro camera to capture her new tricks. Really, she’s quite impressive. She’s only a cat, but she’s so much better at skateboarding than most humans, including Justin Bieber.

If the video inspires you to get your own pet to perform cool tricks, the YouTube channel that originally introduced us to Didga also offers training tutorials. You can learn how to train your cat to shake paws, use a toilet and more.

TIME animals

Wild Giant Pandas Making a Comeback in China

Mother giant panda Juxiao is seen with one of her triplets at Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou, Guangdong province
Reuters Mother giant panda Juxiao is seen with one of her triplets at Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, Dec. 9, 2014.

The population has grown by 268 despite many obstacles

The Chinese government has some good news for panda lovers.

A new survey by China’s State Forestry Administration indicates that the wild giant panda population has grown to 1,864, representing an increase of 268 pandas since 2003. The number of giant pandas in captivity also doubled.

The census, which took some three years to complete, reflects the country’s commitment to protecting an animal with a lot of obstacles against it: Pandas are slow to reproduce and historically have been a target for poachers, and, per the census, now have 832 miles of roads running through their habitats. China’s 27 preserves for pandas account for the growth.

[NBC News]

TIME animals

Here Are the Best Memes From the Llama Chase

"Llama Drama!"

Two llamas were briefly on the loose in a Sun City, Ariz. retirement community Thursday afternoon before they were lassoed by authorities—a story that has lent itself to countless headlines from “llama drama” to “llow speed chase” and “llamas on the lam.”

Livestreams showed men running to capture the animals as they galloped along sidewalks and green lawns for about an hour, Arizona’s ABC 15 reports. The black llama was captured first, while the white llama managed to keep sprinting until it was eventually lassoed and put in the back of a pickup truck. The names and owners of the llamas have yet to be released.

While the chase is over, the memes are still streaming in, including a fake Twitter account @SunCityLlamas, a music video, and a “Which Runaway Llama Are You?” online quiz. Here are some of our favorite memes and jokes that have emerged on Twitter:

And one alpaca joke:

Read next: Quiz: Is Your Dog Crazy?

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME animals

Quiz: Is Your Dog Crazy?

Take this quiz and find out

A dog’s brain and your brain have very similar chemistry and many similar structures. It stands to reason they work in more or less the same way—and break down the same way too. More and more, behavioral veterinarians are diagnosing problems as diverse as depression, anger, dementia and post-traumatic stress disorder in dogs. As with humans, treatment involves behavioral therapy and sometimes even drugs. But first you have to know if a problem exists at all. Here are some of the symptoms veterinarians consider in making a diagnosis.

 

TIME animals

This Is the Most Popular Dog Breed in America

NANTUCKET, MA - SEPTEMBER 8: Two labradors wait for their owner at a restaurant on Main Street in Nantucket. (Photo by Bill Brett/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Getty Images

A few new breeds have also gained newfound popularity

The Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in America for the 24th year in a row, the American Kennel Club said Thursday.

That may come as no great surprise in the country that brought you Marley & Me, but the real story here is the rise of the Bulldog. That so-ugly-it’s-cute breed has hit No. 4, its highest spot on the AKC chart yet. For the first time in almost 100 years, its daintier cousin the French Bulldog has broken the top 10.

But the news does not only bring wagging tails: just as there are winners, there must be losers. The Norwegian Lundehund is the least popular breed, trailed by the English Foxhound and the Cesky Terrier. It’s a dog’s life, little Lundehund.

TIME animals

Watch the Most Selfless Dog in the World Shovel Snow

Her name is Elsa and she's the new snow queen

Shoveling snow can be exhausting, so it’s always nice when somebody else will lend a helping hand. Or, in this case, a helping paw. (Get it?)

Meet Elsa. She’s a yellow lab from Guelph, Ontario, who very gamely decided to take some initiative, grab a shovel and help clear snow off her humans’ backyard ice rink. She has such a good attitude that she even wags her tail during the task.

It makes sense, of course, that a dog named Elsa would be so comfortable with snow.

TIME animals

Official ‘State Dog’ Designations Divide Utah and Maine

Image Source—Getty Images

Dog breed favoritism divides two state legislatures

Lawmakers in Utah and Maine are waging the battle of the dog breeds, trying to get a favored variety recognized as their states’ official man’s best friend.

Supporters in Utah have had uneasy success making the golden retriever the “state domestic animal.” According to the the Salt Lake Tribune, the move came at the suggestion of a fourth-grade class. Those in favor cited the breed’s popularity across the state, as well as the golden retriever’s gentle temperament as a therapy animal.

But there were many on Monday who dissented out of loyalty to the german shepherd or the cocker spaniel, and the measure barely passed. It goes to a final vote later in the week.

Meanwhile, a bill to declare the labrador retriever Maine’s state dog suffered a resounding defeat in committee. State representatives, according to the Associated Press, wanted to avoid playing favorites, while one committee member called the whole affair a “waste of time.” (Notably, Maine already has an official state cat: the Maine coon cat.)

If Utah’s representatives vote to make the golden retriever as the official state pet, they’ll join five others that have singled out a dog or a cat. The Alaskan Malamute is, predictably, that state’s dog. Wisconsin has the American water spaniel, Louisiana has the Catahoula leopard dog and Maryland has bestowed the honor on the Chesapeake Bay retriever. Maryland is also the only state other than Maine with an official cat—the calico.

TIME animals

Stop and Look at This Koala Trying to Steal a Land Rover

No arrests have been made

A 15-year-old Australian boy came home from school yesterday to a terrifying sight. His family’s Land Rover was in the process of getting carjacked — by a koala.

Sam Box, who lives on a sheep farm in Victoria, told 9news.com.au that he got off the school bus and was greeted by a koala holding tight to the driver’s wheel, “trying to drive.”

“It was checking me out as much as I was checking him out,” he said. “I opened the door and he just got out and walked away.”

No arrests have been made.

[9 News]

TIME animals

Watch Baby Otters Eat Scrambled Eggs

These little ones are otterly adorable

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida recently shared a video of two baby otters messily eating breakfast — a mixture of scrambled egg, small fish pieces and a milk replacement formula.

The siblings were rescued by Von Arx Wildlife Hospital director Joanna Fitzgerald, who responded to a call about two pups found unresponsive near a body of water on the side of a road in Naples, Fla.

As the organization wrote on Facebook, “We are very happy to report that they doing MUCH better! They are both eating well, they’re both very active and the team at the wildlife hospital is hopeful for a full recovery!”

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