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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Elephant gives birth after a two year pregnancy

Elephant gives birth after a two year pregnancy - the longest ever recorded at a British zoo

Baby the smallest recorded at Whipsnade Zoo
Calf so small he struggled to reach mother's milk

Elephants are notorious for their long memories, but now they will be renowned for their lengthy pregnancies.
Long-suffering Asian elephant Azizah was carrying her baby for 700 days - 84 longer than the average - and finally gave birth at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire, last Tuesday.

It is believed to be the longest pregnancy ever recorded at the British zoo - nearly two extra months over the normal gestation period of 22 months.

And the baby, at just 16 stone (104kg) at birth, is the smallest in Whipshade's history.

Mother Azizah and the newest addition to the zoo's Asian elephant herd - a baby elephant born after the longest pregnancy recorded at Whipsnade

Keepers were so concerned about the diminutive size of the newborn - yet to be named - they thought he wouldn't be able to reach his mother's milk.

But the clever calf, Azizah's third, soon solved the problem by learning to stand on his tip-toes. Elephant keeper Lee Sambrook said: 'Azizah took to him straight away and the rest of the herd are so excited to be around the baby and touch it.

You took your time! It took Azizah 700 to give birth to her third baby

Big hello: The tiny calf, which is yet to be named, was born last Tuesday and weighed just 16 stone - the smallest recorded at the zoo

'Elephants are social animals and having youngsters joining the herd is what elephant life is about.'

The calf is now venturing out of the elephant barn with the rest of the heard. And visitors are flocking to the zoo so as to catch a glimpse of him playing with his siblings and suckling his mother, who will not forget the lengthy pregnancy in a hurry.

Two Headed Tortoise..

Held up in between two human fingers, this amazing two-headed African Spurred Tortoise is a rare sight to behold - and even evolutionist Charles Darwin would struggle to explain its unique deformity.

Delicate, precious and tiny, this pair, who have been handed two names - Madga (left head) and Lenka - are only seven weeks' old.

The duo, born in Slovenia in mind November, also have five legs (one more than normal) and were displayed in Zilina today.

Although the tortoise looks small now, it should grow much, much bigger. In fact, the species are the third largest in the world, after Darwin's friends, the Galapagos Tortoise, and the Aldabra Giant Turtle.

Double header: Magda (left) and Lenka make up a seven-week-old African Spurred Tortoise discovered in Slovakia

Unique: The rare tortoise also has five feet and was displayed at Zilina on Monday

The lifespan of an African Spurred Tortoise is about 30-50 years, though can live much longer - the oldest in captivity is 54 years, located in the Giza Zoological Gardens, Egypt, 1986.

Fits in the hand: Adults can grow to have 24 to 36 inch long (60-90 cm) shells weighing 150 pounds (70 kg)

On the up: Though the tortoise is tiny now, the species will grow to become the third biggest in the world

Sunday, December 18, 2011

15 Puppies Born

Red setter day! Romy gives birth to huge litter of 15 puppies after eight hour labour

Almost double traditional litter of eight or nineBy Andy Dolan

When Romy the Irish setter went into labour, her excited owners expected to have their hands full with eight or nine puppies.

Then a tenth arrived. And an 11th, and a 12th, and a 13th, and a 14th...

After an exhausting ten hours, the litter stood at a staggering 15.

Feeding time: Irish setter Romy with her hungry litter of ten girls and five boys

So overwhelming is the boisterous brood that owners Natasha White and Alicia Copping, both 28, are working on a 24-hour shift pattern to help three-year-old Romy feed the ten girls and five boys.

Miss White, a qualified vet and dog breeder, said: ‘There is a particular greedy one. She wakes up in between feeds screaming for more milk.

‘We did a scan when Romy was just four weeks pregnant and we thought we saw eight or nine. So you can imagine our shock when she carried on giving birth to more.’

The average litter size for the breed is nine. The puppies’ father, six-year-old Ruben, is also owned by the housemates, from Allesley, Coventry, and they plan to keep one from the litter, which arrived 12 days ago.

The record in Britain is 24 pups which was set in 2004 in Cambridgeshire beating the previous record of 13.

Proud mum: Romy with her litter of 15 healthy Irish setter newborns born after eight hours of labour

Tough going: Romy spent eight hours in labour with just a few hours break before giving birth to the remaining five heaviest puppies

The squealing newborns, a healthy 10 girls and five boys, weighed between 275 and 339 grams.

Within just a week they have doubled in size.

Despite not being able to open their eyes they have been gulping milk every two hours of the day.

Ms White, who specialises in breeding guide dogs, said: 'We did a scan when Romy was just four weeks pregnant and we thought we saw eight or nine. So you can imagine our shock when she carried on giving birth to more.

'She was very tired by the end of it. We gave her a walk round the garden after her 10th one. Then after two hours the others came out.

'The last one to be born was the biggest. It took Romy more effort to get him out than the others.

New arrivals: Owner Natasha White with two of the 15 puppies. Despite not being able to open their eyes they have been gulping milk every two hours of the day

White Tiger

When hurricane Hannah separated two white tigers from their mother, Anjana came to the rescue.

Anjana, a chimp at TIGERS in South Carolina , became surrogate mom and playmate to the cubs, even helping with bottle feeding, according

to The Sun. But here's the truly amazing part: This is something Anjana does all the time, having helped raise leopard and lion cubs on several occasions.

These pics are truly gorgeous.

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