Archive for October, 2007

Recommended Reading: Andrew Zuckerman’s Majestic Book “Creature”

October 29, 2007

We’ve come across yet another great book with beautiful wildlife photography. (See our previous posting on Nick Brandt’s “On This Earth.”) Photographer Andrew Zuckerman has just introduced “Creature” featuring 175 amazing photographs.

Creature Cover


Zuckerman’s style is minimalistic (just like our packaging!) and focuses the viewer on the striking beauty of animals from all around the world. In addition to the African Lion, Mandrill, and Dove pictured below, some of the creatures include horned frogs, screech owls, and spotted hyenas. Each animal is photographed in front of a white background. It’s a great book for animal lovers and we’re sure you’ll enjoy it.

Creature Lion

Creature Mandrill

Creature Dove


Restless Tiger 1, Audience Member 0

October 24, 2007

In the spirit of our previous post (Gibbon 1, Tigers 0), we now present a video of a tiger playing.

Nobody was harmed in this video, just roughed up a little bit…

Gibbon 1, Tigers 0

October 22, 2007

I adore this cute video of a gibbon “monkeying” around with two tiger cubs:

I also love the quote at the end — “Worn out, Pang and Sua leave Taloum’s territory.”

Recommended Viewing: Nick Brandt’s beautiful book “On This Earth”

October 20, 2007

Nick Brandt’s “On This Earth” was published two years ago, but I just discovered his amazing work photographing wildlife in East Africa. The book is available on, and you can view (and buy) many of the prints by following this link to a gallery’s website.

Nick’s style creates an intimacy with majestic wild creatures — baboons, buffalo, cheetahs, egrets, elephants, giraffes, leopards, lions, rhinos, widlebeest, zebra, and more great animals. A small selection is below.
Elephant Drinking

Portrait of a Grevy’s Zebra

Good Dog, Bad Cat

October 12, 2007

In two recent posts, we noted the intelligence and loyalty of Labrador Retrievers. I just came across this great story about Thumper, yet another amazing Lab:

Thumper, a black Labrador retriever, is getting credit for saving a Greenville man when a fire swept through his home.

Roland Cote says his wife and their 7-year-old grandson were away when the blaze started early Sunday in a converted two-story garage. He says Thumper grabbed him by the arm to wake him, leaving just enough time for him to dial 911 before fleeing the fast-moving fire.

While the dog is the hero, a cat is the bad guy in this story.

Cote says the fire marshal investigator believes the blaze was started when Princess, the family cat, tipped over a kerosene lantern. Cote says he and his pets escaped safely, but he says Princess did get her tail singed by the flames.

A Small Sampling of Animal Riddles

October 10, 2007

What is the best year for a kangaroo?
A leap year.

What kind of leopard has red spots?
One with the measles.

What animal drops from the clouds?
The reindeer.

What kind of food does a thoroughbred racehorse eat?
Fast food

How do you stop a charging elephant?
Take away its credit cards.

Did you hear the riddle about the skunk?
Never mind, it stinks.

What do you call a sleeping bull?
A bull dozer.

Why do cows wear bells?
Because their horns don’t work.

What animal can jump higher than a house?
Any animal. Houses can’t jump.

Meet Endal, an Incredible Labrador Retriever

October 7, 2007

In a recent posting on Labrador Retrievers, we noted the intelligence and skill of this amazing breed of dog.

CNN recently published a great article about Endal, an amazing example of the love and caring that Labs are capable of.

Endal is a Labrador and companion to Parton, aformer Royal Navy sailor that has been wheelchair-bound since 1991. About nine years ago, Endal was introduced to Parton and has served as his “arms and legs” and best animal friend.

Endal helps with the weekly shopping, stops his master from rolling out into the road, and knows how to deal with any number of buttons, switches, levers and knobs.“If I fall unconscious, he can put me in the recovery position,” says Parton. “He can cover me with a blanket, then hit the emergency phone. He’s very aware of my body position — what I’m doing.”

The article describes the incredible training the dogs receive — nearly 18 months!

“You start when they are young and giggly and bouncy, and then you teach them how to use their nose, their mouth and their paws, and to use them in combo,” says Bondarenko. “We call it trial and success, because every time the puppy tries something, we make it successful for the puppy.”

Unsuccessful behavior is ignored, and daring work is approved with a noisemaker that clicks. Soon, puppies realize that the clicking sound means they’ve done something really clever.

“So he wants to do it again and again,” Bondarenko explains. “At about 12-, 14-months, we’re working in wheelchairs and we say ‘OK, now it’s for real.'”

Labrador Retrievers: Loyal canines with a playful temperament

October 4, 2007

Labrador Retrievers — also known as “Labradors” or “Labs” — are the most popular dog breed in the world. Labs love people and other pets and can quickly make themselves an important member of a family. They are also among the most useful domesticated animals and are greatly valued by enforcement agencies for their incredible detection skills and work ethic.

Labrador Retrievers were originally bred for working in the water. And they really love to get wet and swim. They were trained to retrieve fishnets and lines for fishermen and they can swim in cold water. They have an outer coat that is short, straight, and dense, plus an undercoat that is soft and keeps icy water away from the skin and body.

Labradors also have webbed feet! They can learn to swim really quickly, as the video below of a Lab named Lucy shows:

Labrador Retrievers are very friendly and outgoing, and love to be trained. They are very intelligent and they are both proactive (taking initiative) and reactive (responding to commands). Many Labs work as seeing-eye and rescue dogs. In fact, most guide dogs are Labradors!

Recommended Reading: Alan Rabinowitz’s “Life in the Valley of Death”

October 2, 2007

An upcoming book by Alan Rabinowitz — “Life in the Valley of Death” — is a must read for those who appreciate adventurers dedicated to the preservation of wildlife.

Alan is the executive director of the Science and Exploration Program (SEP) at the Wildlife Conservation Society. The New York Times describes him as the “Indiana Jones of wildlife science” because of the many risks he’s taken to protect endangered mammals. Alan’s new book, coming out in November, will share his most dangerous adventure — creating the largest tiger preserve in the Hukaung Valley of Myanmar (also known as Burma).

Unfortunately for Alan and the tigers, bitter and divisive politics is just as dangerous as the lush and harsh landscape.

And at the same time, Alan’s journey is further challenged by his own personal battle against cancer.

It’s recommended reading and I can’t wait to turn the pages in a few weeks…

Life in the Valley of Death