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Animals in the News

Shirley, an orangutan in Malaysia, is forced to quit smoking

According to the Global Post, Shirley, an orangutan in Malaysia, must be forced to quit smoking after she has been showing some abnormal behaviors such as mood swings, drowsiness and becoming agitated when she doesn’t have a cigarette.  But how did she start smoking in the first place?

Well, apparently, visitors to the zoo would throw lit cigarettes into her enclosure, and Shirley, mimicking her “wonderful” human “role models”, would smoke the cigarettes thrown in for her.

Luckily though, Nature Alert, a British activist group, complained, authorities realized that the zoo which Shirley was in was not a good environment.  Shirley, as well as a tiger and a baby elephant, were all removed from the zoo, and should be sent to a wildlife center on Borneo island.

It just outrages me that people are so gosh darn stupid and insensitive as to throw a cigarette into an animal’s enclosure.  What the hell were they thinking?  What if Shirley had eaten the cigarettes that were thrown in?  What if a fire had started in the enclosure during a dry season or something?  It’s bad enough that she smoked them, and it also says in the article that she’s more than 20 years old, so now, depending on how long she has been smoking, it didn’t say, she could develop cancer and other health problems.

Grrr … the human population just angers me.  We all need to grow-up, and not think a “smoking monkey” is funny or cool because it’s not! It’s an outrage!  It’s not natural for animals to be smoking, and it’s not right for humans to be exposing them to man-made death traps.


Cheeky Monkey!  Macaque Borrows Photographer’s Camera to take Hilarious Self-Portraits

Say cheese: The monkeys were intrigued by their reflection in the camera lens

According to the Daily Mail, award-winning photographer, David Slater, whom was visiting a national park in Indonesia, left his camera unattended for a while.  Curious by her reflection in the lens, a female black macaque, grabbed the camera and “smiled” for a picture.

Apparently, by the time David Slater retrieved his camera, the macaque ‘must have taken hundreds of pictures’, though not all were in focus.  Guess they still need a bit more practice!

I loved reading this news article not just for the cute pictures, but also because it really does show you how intelligent animals truly are.  They are eternal children – we all know a few humans that are the same way! – and whomever says that animals don’t have feelings, souls or emotions is plain wrong.

Just by looking at the “self-portraits” by the macaque, and staring into her eyes, you can see that she is curious yet intelligent, excited yet cautious, and nothing short of a 3 year old human child!


Liger cubs nursed by dog in China’s Xixiakou Zoo

Dog nurses two liger cubs in Weihai, China (19 May 2011)

According to BBC News, only two, out of four, Liger cubs – offspring of a male lion and a female tiger – survived when they were born at the Xixiakou Wildlife Zoo in China.

When their tiger mother stopped nursing them, due to reasons unknown by the zoo staff, a dog, whom recently had her own puppies, became the new step-mother of these liger cubs.

Ligers are extremely rare and are known to only be born in captivity.  While tigers and lions are from different species, they are still able to breed together, and ligers are the biggest known cat, even growing larger than both their different species parents.

It’s strange how different species are able to breed with one another and actually produce offspring.  I wonder if, when/if aliens are found, humans could mate with them and produce a “huien” baby?!  Sick thought, I know.

Anyway, I have always been interested in hearing stories about one species that ends up taking care and nursing another species when it is left orphaned.  I know there are many stories about dogs taking in other specie babies such as pigs, kittens, and now ligers, however there are even other species – ones that no one would even think would do that – taking care of orphaned babies.  

One of my favorite books, which gives examples of inner-species parent/child relationships, is Unlikely Friendships by Jennifer Holland.  Hearing the stories which fill that book, and the story above, brings my heart joy as I think how much alike humans and animals are.

We both feel, love, nurture, and take care of those in need.


*Note:  Click on the links above to read the full articles.  The pictures were taken from the sources.  I, however, summarized the articles in my own words, and the opinions and thoughts in this post are my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2011.*


About Palm Trees & Bare Feet

Travel. Animals. Writing. Photography. Books. Movies. Art. Creating. Dreaming. Thinking. Exploring. Adventure. Living.

2 responses »

  1. What a great post! I too am frustrated by the ignorance an stupidity of many humans.


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