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Blackie The Hippo, Oldest Hippopotamus In North America, Euthanized Due To Age-Related Ailments

Blackie the hippo, said to be the oldest Nile hippopotamus in North America, was euthanized because of age-related ailments early this week.

Blackie the hippo died at age 59 in his off-exhibit enclosure in Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Monday. He was believed to be the oldest male Nile hippo ever recorded as well.

During his time at the Zoo, Blackie the hippo sired three male offspring and was a favorite of many guests and staff members.

In 2008, the Cleveland Metroparks built a special addition with a heated pool onto the Africa barn for Blackie because of his advancing age. He lived out his last several years contentedly eating copious amounts of produce and floating lazily in a pool he didn’t have to share.

Blackie arrived to the Zoo from Africa in 1955 when he was about one year old, and generations of Clevelanders grew up seeing him in the former Pachyderm Building. He was born at the Mount Meru Game Sanctuary in Tanzania and brought to Cleveland by Zoo officials and board members…

Asian Unicorn Photographed In Vietnam For First Time In 15 Years

The Asian Unicorn has been spotted in Vietnam for the first time in the 21st century.

Officially called a saola, the critically endangered Asian Unicorn was photographed in September by a camera trap set by WWF and the Vietnamese government’s Forest Protection Department in the Central Annamite mountains.

"When our team first looked at the photos we couldn’t believe our eyes. Saola are the holy grail for South-east Asian conservationists so there was a lot of excitement," said Dr. Van Ngoc Thinh, WWF-Vietnam’s Country Director. "This is a breath-taking discovery and renews hope for the recovery of the species."

The Asian Unicorn looks like a small deer or antelope with two horns and are thought to number from a few dozen to a few hundred. The last confirmed record of the rare species in the wild was in 1999 from camera-trap photos taken in the Laos province of Bolikhamxay. It was last sighted in Vietnam in 1998.

In the area where the Asian Unicorn was photographed,…

African Serval, Domestic Cat Crossbreed Shot Dead In Detroit

A Savannah cat, a crossbreed between an African serval cat and a domestic cat, made headlines this month after residents of a northeast Detroit neighborhood spotted the huge feline roaming around the streets for several days. Rumors that the exotic-looking animal was dangerous also circulated.

Latest reports say the cat, named Chum, has been shot and killed by one of the residents. The body of the 25-pound, 3-year-old Savannah cat was found in a garbage can on Monday evening.

The cat's owners, who raised Chum since 4 months old, are heartbroken about the incident. They claim that the cat escaped from their house through screened-in window and that they have been looking for her since. Chum did not have a microchip.

"It was simply ignorance. A Savannah cat is a cross between an African Serval and a domestic cat, and that is it. They’re larger cats, they’re very beautiful, they have a lot of stripes and spots, which I think was more intimidating to people than even the size of …

World Record Halibut Caught By German Angler

World record halibut will have a new face to beat as soon as the International Game Fish Association confirms a German national’s claim of having caught the largest halibut via a rod and line.

Marco Liebenow, a fisherman from Germany has allegedly hauled the largest Atlantic halibut to date from the waters of Norway during his fishing trip with Angelreisen Hamburg . It is said to weigh at an astonishing 513 pounds, apparently beating the current world record of a Pacific Halibut at 459 pounds set in 1996 and another Atlantic Halibut at 418 pounds set in 2004.

It is said that Liebenow and 3 other companions have taken an hour and half to bring this 9 feet long Atlantic Halibut to shore. As this halibut is too large to be heaved into their fishing boat, they have had to tie the fishtail using a rope and dragged it towards the wharf.

Liebenow is ecstatic with the experience. According to David Bottcher, the representative of the angling tour company who has translated the non-English s…

Dog Buries Dead Puppy In Heartbreaking Viral Video

A dog buries a dead puppy in a viral video that has been melting the hearts of many netizens.

In the moving video, the stray dog can be seen gently using her snout to cover the carcass of the puppy, which she stumbled upon a ditch somewhere in Iraq. The mongrel spends about three minutes in burying the corpse before silently turning away.

It is not yet certain whether the dog was related to the puppy or how the latter died. But the clip has divided viewers, with some saying it was an astounding act of mourning and others arguing that the dog did it to preserve the animal the same way it would bury a bone.

"The dog is burying the other dog to conceal it so it may return later to eat it. Dogs do this with many animals, not just dead puppys (sic), get a grip people, it's a natural reaction to stock food," Youtube user Ametkhoshascake's comment reads.

Check out the said viral video below:
What's your take on this? Feel free to comment below.

Albino Gorilla Mystery Solved

Snowflake, an albino gorilla that died 10 years ago, was the only known white gorilla that ever existed on Earth. The primate's unique color had long since pushed scientists to study more about his case.

Now, researchers say they have solved mystery of the gorilla's rare pigmentation.

According to a research team at the Barcelona's Institute of Evolutionary Biology, Snowflake's albinism is a result of  inbreeding and his mother was most likely believed to be a niece who mated with her uncle.

In order to reach this conclusion, the team used genetic sequencing from the gorilla's blood samples. They found that 12.5 percent of Snowflake’s genetic make-up was very much identical making it increasingly likely that the albino gene, also known as SLC45A2, was transmitted to him by both his mother and father.

Dr. Tomas Marques Bonet, director of the research team, mentioned that in order to be albino, one organism has got to have two chromosomes with the mutation for alb…

19-Foot Python Killed By Miami Man Using Knife [Photo]

An almost 19-foot python was killed by a Miami man using a knife last week, wildlife officials said Monday.

Measuring 18 feet, 8 inches, the snake is the longest Burmese python ever captured in Florida. The previous record length for a Burmese python captured in the wild in Florida was 17 feet, 7 inches.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the man, identified as Jason Leon, was was riding late at night on May 11 in a rural area of southeast Miami-Dade County when he and his passenger spotted about 3 feet of the snake sticking out of the roadside brush. Leon stopped his car, grabbed the snake behind its head and started dragging it out of the brush. When the snake began to wrap itself around his leg, he called for assistance from others and then used a knife to kill the snake. Leon once owned Burmese pythons as pets and has experience handling this nonvenomous constrictor species.

The python was a 128-pound female that was not carrying eggs, a…

Amputee Killed By Dogs In South Carolina

An amputee was killed by dogs in South Carolina last week, authorities said Tuesday.

According to Coroner Chris Nesbit, Carlton Freeman, an 80-year-old bi-lateral amputee from Harleyville, was minding his own business while going down side of road in his wheelchair, at Spring Branch and Dunnings Road, when he was attacked by a pack of dogs. The dogs were reportedly pit bulls.

The coroner added that Freeman was able to report to EMS that he was pulled from his wheelchair by his legs as he tried to fight off the dogs and that they all were biting him and pulling at his clothes.

"Upon my examination of Mr. Freeman, it is a wonder that this gentleman was able to hang on as long as he did," Nesbit said in a statement. "He had bites and lacerations from his legs to the top of his head. This is very sad story, but even worse that Mr. Freeman was basically helpless to the attack, due to being a bi-lateral amputee." 

Three of the four dogs have been captured and broug…

Two-Headed Pig Born In Chinese Village (Photo)

Following recent news on the discovery of a two-headed bull shark, Mother Nature has surprised us with yet another one of her showcase of weird creations, this time, a two-headed piglet reported to have been born in China.

It was reported that in a village in Jiujiang, east China's Jiangxi province, an AFP photographer was able to capture on camera the birth of a piglet with two heads. A photo taken last April 10, 2013 showed that this two-headed piglet has two snouts, two ears and a shared eye between its two heads.

Sadly, this unique creature may not have much time to live on this earth. A local veterinarian checked this animal out and told the AFP news agency that the pig is suffering a rare deformity which is most likely the same condition as the other recently reported two-headed species have.

This rare condition, called polycephaly or "axial bifurcation," is a result of an incomplete or interrupted splitting process of an embryo into two separate organisms. Becaus…