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23 January, 2006

Creatures Great And Small

Parrot squawks, exposes affair. An African grey parrot named Ziggy Stardust mimicked his owner’s girlfriend saying, “I love you Gary”. Gary is not his owner’s name. The girlfriend admitted to the affair and the couple broke up. The owner gave Ziggy away because he wouldn’t stop saying Gary’s name.

Moral of the story: Don’t cheat and don’t squawk.

Fido: cancer detective. A clinic claims it has trained five dogs to sniff cancer by detecting the presence of alkane & benzene derivatives in the breath of cancer sufferers, with accuracy ranging from 99% (lung cancer) to 88% (breast cancer).

I’ve seen a woman make the claim on a daytime talk show that her dog detected her breast cancer. I bet she’d be happy to know she’s not imagining things.

Snake makes friends with dinner. Aochan the snake is a finicky eater and wouldn’t touch frozen mice. When zookeepers at the Tokyo Zoo gave him Gohan -- which means “meal” in Japanese – he didn’t eat the hamster, either. Instead, he wanted to be friends.

As of last report, the two are living together in a cage, with the snake still showing no signs of gobbling up the hamster. Gives new meaning to the term “odd couple”.

Chuang Chuang, Lin Hi, sitting on a tree. Ehrm, more like Lin Hi sitting on Chuang Chuang. The couple mated for the first time in two years, and since pandas only mate yearly at the most, there has been much rejoicing at the Thai zoo where the couple is on loan from China.

Nothing was happening until Chuang Chuang eventually stopped pushing Lin Hi away, observers said. Observers? No wonder he’s shy. Give the guy some privacy, sheesh.

In Memoriam: Wally the whale. Wally, the 17-foot long bottlenosed whale which got disoriented in the River Thames, died in spite of efforts to save him.

The usually staid British threw flowers in memoriam over Tower Bridge into the Thames, and were upset with an official who said Wally was “just one whale”. There was also a furious E-bay bidding for the red can used to bathe him with water.

He didn’t survive, yet because of Wally, there is increased interest in preserving these largest of creatures on earth.

posted at 11:35 PM by City Muse

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