Penguin bars, owl cafes, and black cat coffee shops are just a few of the strange and yet completely cool shops in Japan where you can view animals while you sip and munch. It seems like new ones are turning up every week, like this one in Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. The restaurant, which is actually part of the Safari Land animal park, allows guests to enjoy a plate of curry in the shape of a smirking red panda face as they watch a real life version of their curried animal in an adjacent enclosure.
Pandas by themselves are adorable, but when you find a different animal that resembles those black and white creatures, it’s cuteness overload! First, we found Pandagators, which may or may not be categorized as “cute” for some people, but we’d say they’re far less terrifying than the original and teetering towards the cuteness realm. But this next panda-like animal is undeniably delightful. Can you guess what it is?
In these tough economic times, businesses from department stores to zoos are struggling to attract customers, and sometimes there’s nothing you can do but get a little…um…creative. For example, shrewd business people will offer discounts, find unique merchandise, or paint their zoo animals to look like pandas.
Obachan are a powerful force in Japan. While the term literally means aunt, it commonly refers to middle-aged women who have done their time in the lower ranks of the female order and are finally at an age where they can do and say as they please. Stories of strong-willed obachan are not uncommon in the news, with some forming their own political party and others even starting their own rock groups. Proving that nothing is out of their reach, one group of obachan in Hokkaido have now done something that no one ever imagined they would: They raised over 54 million yen (US$548, 000) and bought a giraffe for their local zoo.
Google Street View is amazing. Not only does it allow us common folk a few glimpses of abandoned islands, strange pigeon people, and the inside of the Ryōgoku Kokugikan sumo hall, anyone anywhere can now enjoy looking at the cuddly animals at zoos around the world. From the famous San Diego Zoo to the Chengdu Research Base in China, Google Maps will transport you to a world of cute (and you don’t even have to pay an admission fee).
A man visiting a zoo in Luohe City, Henan Province in China was surprised to hear what he described as “barking” coming from the enclosure marked “African lion.” But that’s silly, lions don’t bark, they roar…
We can’t decide whether this is the cutest or creepiest thing we’ve ever seen. This train, which transports passengers to the Asahiyama Zoo in Hokkaido, Japan includes a carriage with a children’s play area and stuffed animal seats. Zoo-goers can snuggle up with pairs of owls, reindeer, wolves, giraffes, polar bears, and many more.
China’s Internet indignation was recently set off yet again by images portraying a “dirty panda.” The panda which was photographed relaxing in its enclosure seems to have taken upon a yellowish hue.
Since then there have been scores of netizens throwing accusations of abuse at the zoo in Nanchang over what is normally the cutest and most beloved member of the bear family.
In a series of images released online earlier this week, a group of visitors to a zoo in Hangzhou, China, can be seen enjoying themselves by hurling snowballs at a defenseless lion and lioness in their enclosure.
The photos show snowballs hurtling toward the lions and exploding against their bodies as they stand feet below the cruel bombardiers, clearly distressed and with little more than angry roars with which to retaliate.
We must warn you that some readers may find the following images distressing.
There’s nothing quite like taking a dip in a hot springs to warm chilled bones during the cold months. In Japan, soaking in hot springs water, or onsen, is considered the ultimate form of relaxation—so much that even Japanese animals, such as the “snow monkeys” of northern Nagano, seek them out.
But it’s not just native species who appreciate Japan’s thermal waters; every year, Izu Shaboten Park, a theme park and zoo located in Ito City Shizuoka, runs a hot springs for their capybara to help them make it through Japan’s cold winter season.
Okay, who likes pandas?
Of course you do! How could you not? They’re fuzzy and cute, they walk around eating bamboo all day, they rarely maul people to death when they bump into them in the woods like their bigger brown relatives… That said, with fewer than 3,000 pandas estimated to be in existence across the globe, the chances of running into one while out for a morning stroll are pretty slim…
So thank goodness that Ueno Zoo in Tokyo– home to two of just 11 pandas in the country– has installed a set of cameras in its panda enclosure, allowing the public to take a sneaky peek at the pair from the comfort of their own home.
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