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Four-foot-long deadly snake named ‘Hissing Sid’ evades police who even scramble a helicopter to look for him


Slippery customer: The four-foot-long snake, pictured, has been evading capture for days and was last seen heading up a drainpipe

A potentially deadly snake is on the loose after evading a police helicopter which was scrambled to track it down.
Residents are on the lookout for a 4ft-long constrictor which has been spotted slithering along pavements in Plymouth, Devon.
The reptile was briefly captured by three people who trapped it in a bin - but is so strong that it forced its way out and vanished up an elderly lady's drainpipe.

Unusual measures: Devon and Cornwall Police diverted a helicopter in a failed bid to track the roving reptile down

A police helicopter equipped with thermal imagine gear was diverted to scour the area on Saturday, but the elusive snake - nicknamed 'Hissing Sid' by locals - remains at large.
Therapist Bernard Brotherton, 53, was one of three local residents who captured the creature in a knee-high swing-bin last Thursday, before it slipped from their grasp.
Ironically the dad-of one had been guzzling Snakebite - a cocktail of lager and cider - moments before the drama unfolded.
He said of the escapade: 'It seemed like the sensible thing to do, but it was so strong it would wrap itself around the rim of the lid and squeeze itself through the top like toothpaste.

Watch your step! 'Hissing Sid' has been spotted slithering along a pavement in Keyham, Plymouth

'We got it in about three times but even with six hands pushing down on the lid it was too powerful.
'It was getting angry so we backed off, and at that point it decided to pop up the drainpipe.'
Vets, environmental health experts, the police, the RSPCA and a local animal centre have all attended the scene over the weekend, but the snake has not been spotted since Saturday.

source: dailymail

He's my pride and joy: Pointer dog becomes unlikely stepfather to rare white lion cub born in captivity


Pride and joy: Pointer mongrel Lejon plays with the white lion cub Jojo in Stukenbrock, Germany

A mongrel dog has become stepfather to a rare white lion born in captivity in Germany but rejected shortly afterwards by his mother.
Pointer mix Lejon, two, and three-week-old lion cub Jojo are inseparable since meeting at the Safari Park in Stukenbrock in north-west Germany.
JoJo had to be separated at birth from his mother due to an infection on his bellybutton. But when carers tried to reunite them, she didn't want to know.

Pointer mongrel Lejon adopted the cub that had to be separated shortly after birth because of an infection of umbilical cord from its mother

'Now he gets fed by hand by me and gets the paternal affertion he needs from Lejon,' said park worker Jeanette Wurms.
'The dog is very patient. Jojo scrambles all over him, jumps on his head, bites his fur. But he doesn't mind - he's a very patient surrogate.'

Best of friends: Lejon, two, and three-week-old lion cub Jojo are inseparable since meeting at the Safari Park in Stukenbrock

Caretaker Jeannette Wurms, 36, cuddles up with Jojo

source: dailymail

McCartney’s plea for the elephant in chains: Star joins international battle to free animal that is shackled and beaten


Suffering: Sunder tethered in the temple shed, where he was taken after being dragged from a forest in the South-West of the country

Routinely beaten and kept so tightly manacled with medieval spiked chains, Sunder the baby elephant cannot take a single step in any direction.
He is in desperate need of treatment for a serious eye injury after being cruelly jabbed with a metal poker by his boy handler.
These are the heartbreaking pictures that have captured the young animal’s horrific ordeal and have moved Sir Paul McCartney to join an international battle to free Sunder.

The former Beatle wants the Indian Government to intervene in the elephant’s plight and has warned ministers in a letter: ‘The world is watching.’
The young animal is confined to a tiny and dark shed at a temple after being dragged from a forest in the South-West of the country.
Sir Paul asked officials to step in and save the elephant after seeing the distressing images of his many injuries.
In a letter to an Indian Government Minister written during rehearsals for the Olympic opening ceremony, the musical legend said the ‘world is watching’.

Brutal: Sunder's feet are chained with spiked manacles so he cannot take a single step in any direction

He said: ‘I have seen photographs of young Sunder, the elephant kept alone in a shed at Jyotiba Temple and put in chains with spikes.
‘I appeal to you to do what is right here and get Sunder post-haste to rehabilitation in the Forest.
‘Years of his life have been ruined by keeping him and abusing him in this way and enough is enough.
‘I most respectfully call on you to use your authority to get Sunder out, placed in your protective custody and eventually integrated into a herd in the forest.’

Multi-tasking: Sir Paul wrote his letter during rehearsals for the Olympic opening ceremony, in which he played the Beatles hit 'Hey Jude'

Humanitarian: Sir Paul, pictured as he closed the opening ceremony, is a vocal animal rights campaigner

The elephant’s plight was discovered by supporters of campaign group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).
He is held in Kerala where wild young elephants are often captured and brought to temples to represent the Hindu god Ganesha.
Campaigners say there is a growing scandal as many are mistreated as the large and unruly animals are cowed by savage beatings.
Most do not receive any medical care and are fed unsuitable food, leaving them malnourished and distressed.

Saved: Anne the circus elephant, pictured enjoying her first Christmas at her new home in Longleat Safari Park

A spokesman for Peta said Sunder’s handler has gone on the run since his mistreatment was discovered and publicised.
He said: ‘Many elephants show signs of severe psychological distress, such as swaying, head-bobbing or weaving – behaviour not found in healthy elephants in nature.
‘The lack of exercise and the years spent standing in one position on hard concrete amid their own waste lead to painful and crippling foot ailments and arthritis.’

Picture of happiness: Anne is free of her former life thanks to the generosity of Daily Mail readers and other well-wishers

Sir Paul has been a vocal animal rights campaigner, supporting a ban on the trade in dog and cat fur and posing for photos with baby seals to oppose their slaughter.
Last year the Daily Mail exposed the ordeal of Anne, Britain’s last circus elephant who was cruelly beaten with a pitchfork by her handler.

Bobby Roberts Circus, where Anne was kept: Moira and Bobby Roberts are expected to go on trial accused of animal cruelty later this year

Generous readers enabled her to be rehomed at Longleat Safari park where a £400,000 sanctuary will be completed next year.
Her former keepers, circus owners Moira and Bobby Roberts, are expected to go on trial accused of animal cruelty later this year.

source: dailymail

Don't do that mother, it makes me go ape! Baby gorilla's playful parent can't help tickling her newborn as it snuggles up in her arms


Doting: Shanga gives her newborn baby a cheeky little tickle

This newborn gorilla is getting a little tickle from his playful mother who just can't help monkeying around.
The two-week-old appeared almost human-like as it snuggled up under its doting mother’s arm at Chessington World of Adventures Resort.
The baby is the first for female gorilla Shanga, but she seems to be taking to parenthood like a natural.

Nap time: First-time mother gorilla Shanga cradles her newborn baby at Chessington World of Adventures

As these pictures show, she is the picture of gentleness with her tiny offspring as it plays in the straw.
The happy baby already has an impressive repertoire of faces, including sticking out its tongue as it rolls on the floor.
One shot shows the infant staring adoringly into its mother’s eyes, while in other Shanga cradles her child carefully in her arms during feeding time.

Hello, smiler! The two-week-old looked the picture of contentment as it chilled out with its mother

Hold on tight: The youngster keeps a firm grip on its mother while she catches up on her own sleep

The baby, whose gender is yet to be determined, is the second Western Lowland Gorilla to be born this year at Chessington, in Surrey, as part of their breeding programme.
The species is known to reproduce slowly, with females giving birth only once every five years.
So keepers were delighted when this baby turned up two weeks ago, only five months after the first baby, which was named Mwana.
The youngster has been quickly accepted into the group, which is headed by 14-year-old silverback Damisi, the only breeding male at the Zoo.

Tender scenes: The two-week-old appeared almost human-like as it snuggled up under its doting mother's arm

He is being cared for by his mum, Shanga, but his grandmother, Shani, is also lending a helping hand.
James Mackie, Gorilla Keeper at Chessington Zoo, said: 'We’re absolutely delighted to be welcoming another young gorilla into the group.
'Shanga is new to motherhood, so it’s been touching to see how helpful and protective her own mother has been since the birth.

'This is the third baby that’s been fathered by our stud gorilla, Damisi, after he was introduced in 2008, and the second this year.
'The Western Lowland gorilla is a vulnerable species which reproduces slowly.
'Females tend to produce only one baby every five years on average, so for Chessington to have welcomed two babies this year really is cause for celebration.
'We expect we’ll have plenty of visitors eager to catch a glimpse of the newborn.'

Feeding time: While Shanga will do most of the parenting, she is also receiving a helping hand from her own mother

Chessington has a total of 11 gorillas - five males and six females - and is one of the few zoos to house three generations from the same family.
The animals are divided into two groups, each with a dominant silverback.
The first group is headed by Kumba, who weighs a staggering 35 stone. He shares his enclosure with Bafia, Kumili and Kumi.
Damisi is head of the second group, which includes Asili, who gave birth to the first baby this year, along with Buu and her son Mbula, Shani and Shanga.

source: dailymail

Curious sea lion is ready for his close-up with underwater photographer


Playful: Two curious young sea lions check out the underwater photographer as he takes pictures of them near Port Lincoln, South Australia

When you are a young and curious sea lion, playing up to an underwater camera comes as second nature.
These adorable pups preened and posed for pictures when photographer Michael O'Neill plunged into the sea.
At one point, he found himself surrounded by a pod of up to 40 sea lions including a suspicious bull which swam round him before deciding he was a friendly creature.

Posing: Two tame sea lion pups have no fear of the underwater camera with one showing off his best side

Michael, a professional wildlife cameraman, took the stunning images at South Australia's Hopkins Island near Port Lincoln. He is now planning to publish them in his new book about marine wildlife.

Playful: A young sea lion demands to have his picture taken by wildlife photographer Michael O'Neill

The 45-year-old American from Florida, said: 'The pups were mostly playing in the shallows and the adults were basking in the sun, which had been absent for days.
'The minute I jumped into the water from a boat, all the pups raced towards me - they were followed by a big bull who made a few passes to check me out.
'All of the animals, including the bull, were friendly and were mesmerized by my underwater camera.

Group shot: A one stage a pod of 40 sea lions surrounded the photographer after he jumped into the sea.

'The pups played and chased each other, picking up rocks and dropping them and occasionally blowing bubbles.
'They followed me around for about two hours before they started to lose interest and swam away towards the beach.'
He added: 'I think the Australian sea lion is the most adorable wild animal on the planet, I love how engaged they were while I took the photos.
'I have to say it was the most rewarding experience I've had as a professional photographer.

Graceful: A stunning image of the sea lions as they swim undersea off Port Lincoln after investigating the photographer

'Some of these shots are my all-time favourites. I had been to Hopkins Island two times before but that day I had all the sea lions just for myself.'
The animals are highly endangered with only 10,000 to 15,000 left despite the fact they have been protected from hunting for the last 40 years.
Experts believe a variety of factors are negatively impacting sea lions, including food shortage, entanglement in fishing equipment and high pup mortality.
They are also under threat of predation from sharks, human disturbance and even bullying by New Zealand fur seals which are taking over their territory.

source: dailymail

Shouldn't it be called a swallow? Cormorant nearly bites off more than it can chew as it devours a cod whole


Down in one: The bird arches its neck while the fish can only stare down its throat

This greedy cormorant must have forgotten how to have a light bite.
The bird snapped up this huge fish and gobbled the unlucky supper up in one gulp as it hunted for food in Skagen, Denmark's most northern city.
These spectacular photos were captured by Peter Dam, which shows the bird guzzling the fish in one go, while its feathered friends looked on enviously.

Don't forget to chew: The cormorant swallows a cod whole at the the port of Skagen, the northernmost town in Denmark

Catch of the day: The Cormorant is diving for treats and swallowed the large cod in seconds

The fish appears too large to fit down the slender throat of the bird, who perseveres with its catch of the day.
Its highly elastic throat allowed the cormorant to gobble the big fish down whole within seconds.
There are thought to be around 24,000 wintering cormorants in the UK.

The picturesque town of Skagen, Denmark, where the big bird landed its fish supper

Underwater birds, found along the English Coast, dine on eels, water snakes and whatever fish they can catch.
Cormorants can swallow creatures up to two-and-a-half feet long.
Records have shown that one bird was once found to have an 11-and-a-half-inch kitten in its stomach.

source: dailymail

The moment a wildlife photographer was bitten by a deadly black mamba snake (and survived)


Lucky escape: Nature photographer Mark Laita was capturing snakes for his latest project when he was bitten by a deadly black mamba...but didn't realize until the next day

This is the terrifying moment that a wildlife photographer was bitten by one of this subjects - and didn't even realize he had suffered a potentially fatal snake bite until the image was developed.
Mark Laita was taking pictures of snakes for his latest photography project called Serpentine.
The only reason he survived the attack by the black mamba was because it was a dry bite with no venom injected. A poisoned bite from a black mamba is 100 per cent fatal. The photographer, who was born in Detroit and raised in Chicago, told New Scientist that he wasn't even aware that the snake had latched on to his leg until he looked at the photographs the following day.

Writhing: Emerald Boa with babies features in photographer Mark Laita's new book Serpentine

Laita took pictures of snakes in zoos, anti-venom labs and in private collections to highlight the plight of the species which has seen a decline in population due to the destruction of its natural habitat.
Black mambas are the longest venomous snake in Africa and can grown up to 10 feet.
Its name comes from the black color on the inside of its mouth and not its scales which are a dull green.

Predator: The Mussurana snake which is found in central and south America

It is the fastest snake in the world, able to move at up to 12mph and is aggressive and highly venomous. Its bites have been known to kill elephants.
Unlike other snakes, its population is not believed to be in decline. Black mambas have no natural predators besides humans.
Laita's new book Serpentine will be available to buy in the fall.

Coiled: The blue Malaysian coral snake captured by photographer Mark Laita for his latest book Serpentine

Venomous: The green vine snake which lives high in the trees in the south American jungle

Natural beauty: The Albino Black Ball python was pictured by the photographer in order to highlight the plight of the snakes

Risk-taker: Photographer Mark Laita didn't even realize he had been bitten by a black mamba until he developed the images the following day

source: dailymail

Morning world: Caddy the Wombat baby greets the world from her home-made pouch


Morning: Tiny Caddy the orphaned wombat emerges from her pouch at the shelter in Melbourne

This is the moment a baby wombat emerges from inside her home made pouch which has become her home after her mother was killed by a car.
Caddy is lucky to be alive as she was in her mother's pouch at the time of the accident and has been living in the temporary accommodation at Warrandyte Wildlife Shelter, in Melbourne, ever since.
As well as the care being given to her by a team of experts, the 18-month-old wombat has a pair of cuddly teddy bears that have been used to keep wombats company for the last decade and a half.

Hesitant: Reluctant at first, Caddy peers out from the safety of the pouch made by staff at the shelter

It's too early: Caddy sticks hear head out but does not seem to be pleased about being woken up and seems to 'shoo' away the photographer in an attempt to retreat back to the warm pouch

Maybe: Slowly but surely the little orphaned wombat makes her way out of the pink and blue pouch which is her home

My teddy: Caddy has found comfort in two teddy bears which have been handed down from orphan wombat to orphan wombat at the shelter

Caddy has won the hearts of the Warrandyte Wildlife Shelter in Melbourne - and judging by these pictures that does not come as a surprise

source: dailymail

Kitten found trapped in glue along parking garage's floor rescued after hours of careful cutting


Trapped: This eight-week-old kitten was found trapped in glue coating a parking garage in Salem, Oregon earlier this month

An 8-week old kitten found trapped in glue on the floor of a parking garage has been freed after hours of cutting and emergency calls that brought paramedics to the scene.
Found stuck in industrial-strength glue, the black kitten had squirmed himself to the point of immobility while on the floor of a Salem, Oregon garage on July 18.
Discovered by a passing woman her immediate call to a local animal shelter is credited for saving the animal's life.
'It was a miracle because the woman who found him called us at three minutes to closing time. We don’t usually answer the phone that late,' Penelope Mack, a board member of Salem Friends and Felines told Who Did Good Today.

Tiny find: A woman found the cat on the second level of this garage prompting her to call a local hardware store, paramedics and a veterinarian

'We told her to find a janitor, and see if anyone could find a way to remove him while we were responding,' she added.
In the meantime Ms Mack said she quickly called a local Ace Hardware store asking for advice on how to remove the glue from the cat’s body.
'There is no tougher glue than floor adhesive. It is a two-part adhesive, and it dries permanent,' Donna Stebbins, a manager at Ace Hardware who received the call told Who Did Good Today.

Glue: Said to have been industrial-strength glue, seen, a manager of a local Ace Hardware shop said that there wasn't a chemical strong and safe enough to break it from the cat's skin

'I researched for a couple of hours, and there was no good answer. Any solvent strong enough to take off the glue would take off skin as well,' she said while adding: ‘It didn’t matter what we had to do, this kitten needed help.’
Getting to the scene, Ms Mack said she arrived right as paramedics with the Salem Fire Department did too.
Carrying out a stretcher, Ms Mack said they were entirely surprised and unprepared for what they were responding to.
They were, however, able to cut out the floor around the kitten, taking it to the Willamette Valley Animal Hospital.

Hours later: After hours of cutting the glue from the cat's body the kitten, newly named Ace after the hardware store, is said to be doing fine

'He was covered pretty much his entire bottom side and his legs were [stuck from the] adhesives to his chest. He couldn't walk or move,' Joshua Braden, who works at the animal hospital told KGW.
Passed into the hands of Dr Laura Magruder, she worked late into the morning using a small razor blade to remove the adhesive and fur.
Her and another doctor said they worked for two to three days in a row chipping away at it.
'It was a very slow, very methodical process,' Mr Braden said, while adding that the cat sat through the whole procedure patiently.
'It's like he knew what we were doing was going to help,' he said.

Cone head: The cat does still have some glue stuck between his toes, however, issuing a cone around his head to stop him from licking his feet

Seen today able to move and run freely, albeit with a cone around his head to prevent him from licking some remaining glue, the cat is said to be doing tremendously better.
'The adhesive is gone, except on his toes. They are still glued together and we are hoping that the hair will grow between his toes and we can cut that out,' Dr Sherri Morris of the animal hospital told Who Did Good Today.
The cat has since been adopted by Ms Stebbins who frequently called to check up on him and named Ace, after the hardware store.

source: dailymail

Horrific blaze kills conservationist and three baboons at South African animal rescue centre


Rita Miljo was renowned for helping to reintroduced packs of baboons into the wilds of South Africa

An horrific blaze has destroyed a baboon rescue centre killing a renowned conservationist as well as three animals.
Rita Miljo, who reintroduced packs of baboons into the wilds of South Africa, died in the fire which destroyed much of the headquarters of the sanctuary she built, an official said.
Karl Pierce, a director with the sanctuary said the 81-year-old died in the small apartment she kept above the clinic of the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education in the bush of Limpopo province.
Also killed in the fire were three baboons including Bobby, the first chacma baboon she rescued and nursed back to health in 1980 after spiriting her away from a national park without a permit, Mr Pierce said.

Tragic: The fire at the animal rescue centre killed conservationist Rita Miljo as well as three baboons

The fire broke out around 8pm yesterday after volunteers and workers left the centre for the evening, he added.
No one else was injured in the blaze, which consumed the clinic, offices and a house on the property, about 250 miles north east of Johannesburg. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
While Ms Miljo no longer ran day-to-day operations of the centre, which cares for more than 400 baboons, she remained a constant presence and a figurehead for the organisation she founded in 1989.
'Everybody's still in shock about this,' Mr Pierce said.

Rita Miljo nursed orphaned and injured baboons back to health, then pioneered ways of reintroducing whole troops of cared-for baboons back into the wild

Born in Germany in 1931, Ms Miljo arrived in South Africa in the 1950s. In a 2008 article about her in the Washington Post Magazine, she said helping baboons taught her 'why people behave the way they do'.
'Chimpanzees can be deceitful, just like humans, whereas baboons haven't learned that yet,' she said. 'So what you learn from the baboons is the truth about yourself.

source: dailymail