animals

Conditions in North Korea so bad even the wildlife are making a break for it 【Video】

Conditions in North Korea so bad even the wildlife are making a break for it 【Video】

Apparently unsatisfied with North Korea’s delectable, super power-bestowing mushrooms, and finding very little else in the way of sustenance, a desperate tiger was recently caught on camera making the treacherous swim across the Yalu River from North Korea towards China.

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Cheerful, cherubic cat chillin’ on a chair 【Video】

Cheerful, cherubic cat chillin’ on a chair 【Video】

When my nephew was still a baby, I clearly remember the whole family gathering to watch as he rolled over for the first time. It was an exciting moment, and we were all impressed by his accomplishment.

On the other hand, I can’t remember the last time anyone gave me a round of applause for rolling over, even if I’ve had so much beer that my motor skills have regressed to infant-level. The fact is that whether an action is compelling to watch has as much to do with the natural charisma of the performer as it does with what they’re doing.

For example, most of us couldn’t entertain a group of strangers by just sitting in a chair, but that’s only because we aren’t this incredibly cute, eminently relaxed cat.

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Dog found trapped in a Japanese suburb is a little sad, a little cute, thankfully all OK

Dog found trapped in a Japanese suburb is a little sad, a little cute, thankfully all OK

With a shortage of flat, buildable land leading to high prices for real estate, Japan is a crowded country. In homes, it’s not entirely unusual for rooms to serve dual or triple purposes, with fold-up tables and futons helping to transform living rooms into dining rooms, and later dining rooms into bedrooms.

Smaller houses and apartment buildings don’t just mean less space for human residents, though, but for pets too, as can be seen in this photo of a dog that got trapped running around its yard.

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Aoshima Island has 100 cats, and we photographed almost all of them

Aoshima Island has 100 cats, and we photographed almost all of them

Recently, we sent our intrepid reporter Meg to Ehime Prefecture’s Aoshima, also known as Cat Island or even Cat Paradise. We’d heard rumors that the island’s packs of free-roaming kitties were facing an obesity crisis from the snacks given to them by their numerous animal-loving visitors, and wanted to check up on our little friends.

When Meg came back, she reported that the cats were fine, thanks to their active, calorie-burning lifestyle. But how could she be sure? Did she check every cat on Aoshima?

She certainly came close, and we’ve got the photo collection to prove it.

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Chinese woman’s two-pronged money-saving plan: Eat her grandson’s pet for dinner

Chinese woman’s two-pronged money-saving plan: Eat her grandson’s pet for dinner

As a kid, I went through a stage where I bugged my parents to let me have a dog. My dad, though, wisely realized that he would be the one who ended up having to take care of it, so jokingly told me that I couldn’t have any animal I wasn’t prepared to eat.

Apparently a woman in China took the same philosophy regarding her grandson’s pet, only she didn’t bother to tell him before she cooked it for dinner.

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That’s not a rabbit, that’s Mother Nature’s version of Pikachu (also known as Viscacha)【Photos】

That’s not a rabbit, that’s Mother Nature’s version of Pikachu (also known as Viscacha)【Photos】

As the end of the week closes in, it’s time to slow things down a bit and unwind. It’s been raining in Tokyo for the past couple of days, and we all know what cool, rainy weather does to us, right? It makes us feel oh so sleepy… like these fluffy… real-life Pikachus…

W-what? Did I just say Pikachu? I mean, Viscacha! Just look at them dozing off on the rocks!

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Japan’s 30 best travel destinations, as chosen by overseas visitors

Japan’s 30 best travel destinations, as chosen by overseas visitors

It’s time once again for travel website Trip Advisor’s list of the best places in Japan, as chosen by overseas visitors to the country. One of the things that makes Japan such a fascinated place to travel is its extreme mix of historical and modern attractions, both of which are represented in the top 30 which includes shrines, sharks, and super-sized robots.

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Japan’s Rabbit Island – Yes, it really does exist

Japan’s Rabbit Island – Yes, it really does exist

In some ways, the island of Okunoshima, in western Japan’s Setonaikai Inland Sea, seems like a terrible vacation spot. It’s already in an out-of-the-way region of the country, and with no connecting bridges, the only way to get there is by boat.

Then there’s its dark past. During the 1920s, ‘30s, and early ‘40s, Okunoshima was the site of a secret chemical weapons lab for the Japanese Imperial Army. The clandestine work being carried out there earned it the sinister nicknames Poison Gas Island and The Island Erased from the Maps.

Happily, the postwar years have seen a return to more peaceful, benign activities on Okunoshima. As a matter of fact, in the last few years it’s become one of the area’s most beloved tourist destinations, and the reason why is easy to see from the other name Okunoshima is called by, Rabbit Island.

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“I tape them to my monitor” – Weird things people in Japan do with their cat’s fallen whiskers

“I tape them to my monitor” – Weird things people in Japan do with their cat’s fallen whiskers

As a cat owner, I’m used to having cat hair on absolutely everything. But every so often in amongst the clouds of fur I find a dropped whisker lying alone on the floor, and for some reason it feels wrong to just throw it away. Turns out I’m not alone, and some people go a few steps further when it comes to storing these precious mementos of their feline friends.

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Guy learns powerful lesson: Sending 240 beetles in the mail will kill them all

Guy learns powerful lesson: Sending 240 beetles in the mail will kill them all

An insect collector learned the hard way last year that you should never send stag beetles in the mail, because being stuffed in a box and shipped across the country unsurprisingly kills them.

A specialist apparently sent 240 stag beetles to be delivered to the collector’s Okinawa home. When the box – supplied by the Japanese Postal Service’s “Yu-paku” goods shipping service – arrived, the collector opened it to find all 240 of the beetles decidedly un-alive, prompting the man to sue for compensation; because, come on, if you’re shipping beetles, you expect a certain amount of care to be taken.

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Who needs pre-furnished apartments when you can get one that comes with a cat?

Who needs pre-furnished apartments when you can get one that comes with a cat?

Some Japanese apartments are incredibly sparse. In the most extreme cases, your lease gets you four walls, a kitchen sink, bathroom, and that’s it. Oh, you want lighting fixtures, a stove, and air conditioning? Sorry, you’ll have to purchase all that on your own.

As a result, savvy apartment hunters are always on the lookout for properties that include some of these amenities. And while it’s incredibly convenient to find a place that already comes with ceiling lamps, it still can’t match the thrill some animal lovers in Japan experience when they find a new pad that comes with a cat.

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Duckling savior has 13 baby ducks following him around, We’re absolutely jealous 【Video】

Duckling savior has 13 baby ducks following him around, We’re absolutely jealous 【Video】

It’s the weekend! Time to kick back, relax, and watch a few baby ducks chase after a full-grown man. A total of 13 little ducklings, to be exact!

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Keyboard Cat 2.0! Gorgeous cat reduces hoomin productivity by using hilarious drunk face【photos】

Keyboard Cat 2.0! Gorgeous cat reduces hoomin productivity by using hilarious drunk face【photos】

Even before the days of YouTube and news blogs, we humans all knew that cats, whether directly or indirectly, have a propensity for disrupting whatever activity you’re trying to focus on. Of course the internet helps with this too, A LOT. Heck, this article is probably keeping you from work right now!

Take Setsu-chan for example, a former stray who was adopted by doting Twitterer Mino (@mino_rs). Photos of this blue-eyed beauty acting cute, distracting his owner, and well, being a cat, are fast becoming an online hit. One serendipitous photo belies his natural exquisiteness, however, and this rib-tickling shot has been retweeted over 15,000 times. How does this cat from Japan manage to look like your proverbial wasted business man on the Yamanote line?

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Is Japan’s Cat Island in danger of turning into the Island of Fat Cats?

Is Japan’s Cat Island in danger of turning into the Island of Fat Cats?

There’s a Japanese proverb, “Neko ni Koban,” that translates as “Giving a gold coin to a cat.” It’s a metaphor for offering something of worth that the recipient either doesn’t need or can’t understand the value of, but it’s also a telling example of how hard it is to win a cat’s favor. Cats have no use for our money, they’re not impressed by our fashion trends, and even if they appreciate our modern sense of humor they’re too proud to let it show by openly laughing.

With so few options, in an attempt to curry favor, some people offer stray cats food (although not, in fact, a bowl of curry). But might this be causing a problem to the residents of one of Japan’s famous cat islands?

We dispatched our Japanese-language correspondent, Meg, to find out (and also pet some kitties while she was at it).

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New for obsessive pet owners: A wooden box to keep your cat’s whiskers and teeth in!

New for obsessive pet owners: A wooden box to keep your cat’s whiskers and teeth in!

Cat owners concerned that they might suddenly forget the existence of their pet or who wish to gross out potential lovers may be pleased to hear of the arrival of two new products on Amazon Japan. The “Cat Whisker Case” and “Cat Milk Tooth Case“, which retail for 1,580 yen (US$16) each, are the perfect way to commemorate your pet’s growth into adulthood and treat them as a true member of the family.

That’s right, you too can have a small box full of cat teeth or whiskers on your dressing table or mantlepiece, just waiting for some hapless visitor to stumble upon before suddenly remembering that they’ve left the oven on at home and have to leave.

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Panda and tiger face packs protect endangered species while they beautify your skin

Panda and tiger face packs protect endangered species while they beautify your skin

It’s kind of ironic that face packs, which are designed to make your skin healthier and more beautiful, actually look pretty ghoulish when they’re in use. Often, the price of eventual beauty can be spending a half-hour or so looking like either The Phantom of the Opera or Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface.

Stepping up with an alternative is a Japanese company that’s selling face masks that promise to temporarily transform their wearer into a cute panda or tiger.

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Chick-shaped pudding from Nagoya is so cute we’re tempted to keep it as a pet

Chick-shaped pudding from Nagoya is so cute we’re tempted to keep it as a pet

Even though it doesn’t have anything close to the number of sightseeing options in Tokyo or Kyoto, should you find yourself in Nagoya, consider yourself lucky. The city is one of Japan’s underappreciated gastronomic gems, and if you have the chance, you owe it to yourself to try the chicken wings made from the regional fowl, called kochin.

This being Japan, though, if there’s the opportunity to make food cute, someone’s going to do it, which is where this adorable chick-shaped custard pudding, made with kochin eggs, comes in.

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Kawasaki donut shop goes beyond cat sweets with cute alpacas, penguins, and killer whales

Kawasaki donut shop goes beyond cat sweets with cute alpacas, penguins, and killer whales

If we’re speaking honestly, we don’t really need much of an added incentive to eat a donut. Really, a sweet, inexpensive indulgence that we can eat with our hands is pretty much a laser-guided strike on our willpower.

Still, we can usually muster enough self-control that we don’t plow through a half-dozen in one sitting. But when you take donuts’ numerous preexisting merits and add the visual appeal of shaping them like cats, penguins, alpacas, and even killer whales, that’s when we stop even trying to resist them.

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Super-intelligent Chinese chinchilla cat’s giant eyes will eat your soul【Photos】

Super-intelligent Chinese chinchilla cat’s giant eyes will eat your soul【Photos】

Hey Rocketeers! Any idea how many cats RocketNews24 has featured so far? To be absolutely honest, we have no idea either. We stopped trying to keep track a long time ago, but here’s one more to add to the list!

We’ve seen fat cats, mohawk cats, and even cats who are capable of taking selfies, but this is probably the cat with the most intense eyes we’ve ever seen! He always looks so energetic and robust with his large eyes and powerful gaze, it wouldn’t be surprising even if someone mistook him for a toy!

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iPhone makeup app used to tart up family pets 【Photos】

iPhone makeup app used to tart up family pets 【Photos】

If pets have any acquaintance with makeup, it’s usually one that involves eating it, not wearing it. But it you are dying to see what Fido or Frisky would look like dolled up for a big night out, you can use a photo app like Perfect365 to give them an extra pretty face.

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