animals

Tokyo zoo’s snow leopard capture drill is organized, efficient, and adorably costumed 【Video】

For animal-lovers, a visit to the zoo can make for a delightful afternoon. Nothing quite spoils the enjoyment, though, like carnivorous animals escaping their enclosures and running amok.

As such, it’s incredibly important that zookeepers, such as the ones at Tokyo’s Tama Zoological Park, develop and drill recapture procedures for escaped animals. And if such exercises involve someone dressing up in an adorable snow leopard costume and flailing around like a predatory cat that’s had one too many Ebisu beers? Well, that’s just icing on the cake.

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Wild squirrel attaches itself to man’s leg in one of Japan’s cutest animal attacks, but why?

For the most part, you can walk through the mountains and forests of Japan without fear of being accosted by wild animals. Sure, some areas post signs asking hikers to beware of bears, boars, or monkeys, but for the most part, you’ll find Japanese fauna to be as hospitable and unobtrusive as the Japanese people themselves.

Unless, of course, you give them a reason to start chasing you down, like this man did with this squirrel.

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Cats in places they shouldn’t be, humans and spirits just have to deal【Photos】

If it’s worth saying once, it’s worth repeating hundreds of times over, cats own everything. It doesn’t matter what an object’s original purpose was, or who it was built for, because according to the cat, it was built for them.

It’s said that cats are also spiritual animals, that they can see spirits and beings that we humans can’t. Which is why, when you think about it, a cat moving into a shrine set up specifically for spirits, doesn’t makes a lot of sense. Because if cats can communicate with the other world, wouldn’t the two of them have a debate over who is the main tenant?

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Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo

Even in a country that adores its pets, none have captured the hearts of Japanese animal-lovers like Hachiko. The Akita dog touched the hearts of people across the nation by devotedly waiting every day for more than nine years in front of Tokyo’s Shibuya Station for his master to return from work, not knowing that he had died from a cerebral hemorrhage and wouldn’t be coming back.

Today, a statue of Hachiko stands in Shibuya, showing the dog patiently waiting. But while the bittersweet quality of the story made Hachiko famous, it overlooks the fact that before his master’s passing, the two would happily reunite every evening and walk home together. Now, it’s that moment’s turn to be immortalized, with a new statue showing Hachiko as he’s rarely been depicted before, bursting with joy upon seeing his owner.

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Hideous werebeast “attacks” Indonesian palm oil plant workers 【Video】

In what might be the first ever case of one of those viral cryptozoological animal videos actually being real, a bunch of Indonesian palm oil plant workers recently recorded a run-in with some sort of crazy-looking, hairless werebeast that supposedly charged them.

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Calling all Cat Lovers: Did you know that Singapore has a ‘Cat Museum’?

Cat cafes are still all the rage, and there are even cat pubs for adults to enjoy some feline company. So when we heard that Singapore now has a ‘cat museum,’ we were definitely excited.

When I first heard the name, I envisioned an actual museum with exhibits on the history of the feline race, along with a gift shop filled with adorable cat-inspired merchandise. However, the Cat Museum in Singapore, it turns out, is supposedly a non-profit organization. According to their official website, it’s “a mission with the message that every home or small office deserves a cat… or two!” Yeah, sure, I’d love a cat or two in my office!

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8 photos of Hana-chan chillaxing will make you as happy as a hedgehog on spa day

We all need pampering now and then. Whether it’s a good massage or a mani-pedi at the nail salon, a little me-time goes a long way towards helping you smile and unwind after a long week at work.

If it’s been a while since you last spoilt yourself with a relaxing spa visit, these photos are sure to remind you of what you’re missing. Meet Hana-chan the hedgehog, a girl who enjoys a regular grooming ritual so relaxing it makes her fall asleep with a satisfied smile. This is the most chillaxed animal you’ll see all day!

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Chinese city mobilizes whole squad of firefighters… to rescue cat’s paw from moustrap

A cat owner’s plea for help removing his pet’s paw from a mousetrap apparently took a turn towards national emergency proportions recently when not one, not two, but five firefighters were to sent rescue the kitty.

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Japanese netizens can’t stop balancing stuff on their pets, but this birdy and kitty aren’t amused

If you’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time on the internet over the past few years (haha, who are we kidding, of course you have), then you’ll probably be familiar with the trend of balancing stuff on your pets. It’s practically an old meme now, but for some reason it seems to be having a revival on Twitter in Japan. Two doting pet owners tweeted some choice snaps of their fuzzy buddies practically buried under a mountain of… stuff, and it’s totally squee-worthy! Join us after the jump for some very unamused but amusing pets!

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Japanese food blogger makes fried chicken poodles: “They’re too cute to eat!”

Whether our parents like it or not, food is an art form. Playing with food is awesome, and we’ve seen some spectacular examples of shaved-ice masterpieces, printed designs onto food, or corgi omelets.

But if you’ve been looking for a quick, easy artistic recipe you can do at home, look no further. Get ready to make the cutest little appetizers you’ve ever seen: fried poodles.

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Enjoy delicious pork sandwiches served to you by the manager of this katsu joint…who is also a pig

We’ve already talked at length about the complex feelings we have whenever we see an anthropomorphic mascot for a food joint shucking his own kin as delicious, greasy human grub. We bet you can’t even count the number of times you’ve walked by a chicken joint whose crazily grinning avian mascot was holding up a bucket of deep-fried drumsticks, or a contented pig sitting down – fork, knife, bib and all – to a barbecue rib feast and never really thought much of it.

Well, if the usually slapdash, cartoonish mascot on the sign of your local wing joint wasn’t in-your-face enough to disturb you with implications of animal cannibalism and the idea that you might just be eating animal protein that was once a creature with enough intelligence to talk and use kitchen utensils, maybe this Kanazawa, Japan pork restaurant ostensibly managed by a live, miniature pig is just the thing to kickstart your conscience, you monster.

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Japanese convenience store FamilyMart inadvertently gives away pearl in pack of seafood snacks

In a lot of ways, convenience stores in Japan are more like miniature supermarkets. So while they still sell a lot of the candy and canned beverages their counterparts in other countries specialize in, you can also find plenty of edible, even gourmet-sounding food.

For example, the chain FamilyMart sells pouches of fried scallop meat, specifically the mantle, or part of the animal that attaches it to its shell. There’s a certain level of risk that comes with eating any mass-produced foodstuff, though, as one customer found out when he found what he felt was a foreign object in his pack of marine mollusks. And while generally the only thing you want to find in your food is, well, food, we suppose if we had to find something else mixed in there, we’d want what he discovered hiding in his snack: a pearl.

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Japan’s Kawakami Dogs: Descended from wolves, adorable as puppies 【Video】

Many animal lovers are already familiar with Akita Inu and Shiba Inu, Japan’s two most prominent breeds of dog. But while they’re both popular choices as pets, there’s another special type of pooch in Japan, the Kawakami Inu.

Extremely rare, the Kawakami Inu are said to be descended from Japanese wolves. And while they have the courage you’d expect from such lineage, that doesn’t mean they’re not also adorable as puppies.

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Vietnamese police detain 16 pigeons on suspicion of being Chinese spies, discover true identities

With all of the advanced technology intelligence agencies can employ, plus the fact that so much information is now stored digitally, it’s easy to make the assumption that modern espionage is all hacking and drone surveillance. In fact, though, there’s still plenty of room in the spy game for carbon-based operatives working in the field.

As such, it’s the responsibility of militaries and police forces the world over to be on guard against organic espionage threats. So while you can admire the diligence and zeal shown by a group of citizens and police in Vietnam who captured and detained what they thought was a ring of 16 Chinese spies, the suspects turned out to be innocent.

They also happen to be pigeons.

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There could be a panda in your closet, and a blanket inside the panda with these storage cases

Staying warm during Japan’s chilly winters can be tricky, especially when it’s time to hit the sack. A lot of Japanese apartments don’t have the best insulation, so if you don’t want to blast the heater on high all night long, a nice warm blanket or down comforter is essential.

Unfortunately, six months later the weather becomes hot and muggy nationwide, so all those blankets need to be put away. And while you could just wrap them in plastic garbage bags and stick them in the closet until next winter, the far cuter option is to use a specialized case that looks like a snoozing bear, panda, or wolf.

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What happens when you scratch a capybara’s back? 【Video】

Sometimes, it can be hard to tell exactly what you’re getting with a video just from its title. For example, we recently looked at one called 100 Sizzling Japanese Maids in Action, which sounds like it should be a saucy little romp, but actually has more to do with frying pans, since it’s a cookware advertisement (albeit an awesome one).

On the other hand, the title of Scratching Many Capybaras lets you know exactly what it’s about. What it doesn’t tell you, though, is the adorable thing that happens next.

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These placid penguins really love taking a ride on this seal’s silky back【Photos】

The holiday period is well and truly over, and it’s cold, grey and generally blah outside. If this sounds like your life, then you could do with a penguin pick-me-up to perk you right up, courtesy of RocketNews24! We’ll even throw in a free seal to seal the deal! Join us after the jump for some adorable photos of a beautiful interspecies friendship!

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Man discovers fluffy wild deer nestled under porch, turns to Twitter for help

If you head out to the countryside in Japan you’re likely to notice that there’s a whole lot of wildlife to be found on these myriad islands. Whether it’s brown bears (Hokkaido), venomous snakes (Okinawa), or stinging centipedes (Everywhere), it’s important to be aware of what might be lurking. It’s not all creepy crawlies and bitey-stingies, though – there’s a possibility you’ll bump into capering monkeys, wild boar trotting down residential streets, and other adorable and fuzzy members of the animal kingdom. If you’re extra-lucky, one might even seek you out as a special friend, which is what happened to one bloke on Twitter when a deer decided to take up residence under his porch!

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The pets of Japan wish you a happy new year (some are happier about it than others)【Photos】

Just like how families in the west put lights on their homes and ornaments on trees for Christmas, Japan has its own traditional decorations for New Year’s. One of the most common is kagami mochi, a stack of two or three rice cakes topped with a mikan or daidai, both orange-like citrus fruits.

No one’s exactly sure why it’s called kagami mochi though, since even though the name literally means “mirror rice cake,” there’s no mirror included in the display. As a matter of fact, in the minds of some animal lovers in Japan, the design options for kagami mochi are wide open, as shown by this collection of photos where adorable pets take the place of the rice cakes.

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Pop-pom pigeons are topping Japan’s cute-o-meter this winter

Perhaps the (in)famous pigeon dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend has given the nation a soft spot for the feathered creatures, because Japanese people have been going crazy for cute pics of pigeons all fluffed up in the cold.

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