This is the last in this series of Animal Tales from the Bermuda SPCA, which have kindly been sponsored by our good friends at Noah’s Ark.
Catalonia’s last bull fights
Spain may be the traditional home of bull fighting, but one mainland region at least, Catalonia, is turning its back on the blood sport, and is banning bull fighting throughout its autonomous area with effect from the 1st of January.
Support has been dwindling for some time for the so-called sport, coupled with a growing awareness of animal rights in Spain.
This led to nearly 200,000 Catalan residents signing a petition for the fights to be banned, a demand which led to the regional government voting to impose the ban.
Proponents of the ban however are planning to challenge its validity in Spain’s top court.
A third factor which probably strongly influenced the voting, was the desire by Catalan nationalists to distance themselves from the rest of Spain and its old traditions.
Most Catalans continue to favour some form of separation or independence from the rest of Spain.
On Sunday, Catalonia will become only the second region of Spain where bull fighting is prohibited — the other being the Canary Islands.
The last fights in the Catalan capital of Barcelona were held back in September at the conclusion of the 2011 bull-fighting season.
Oscar the bionic cat
Ordinarily you would not expect a cat, which had suffered such horrific injuries as Oscar, to survive (both of his back paws were sliced off by a combine harvester whilst he was dozing unaware in a field).
Oscar was saved, however, by the quick actions of his local vet in Jersey, the Channel Islands, and then his owner was put in touch with a pioneering veterinary surgeon in England.
The surgeon created custom-made implants for the animal, which effectively pegged the ankles to the feet— these have since been replaced with metal skates.
Both sets of prosthetic pegs and skates were bio-engineered to mimic the way deer antler bone grows through skin.
It is hoped that this ‘world first’ can lead to further pioneering developments, which will be of major assistance to both humans and animals who would benefit from being fitted with prosthetic limbs.
The end result is that while Oscar may look somewhat odd at first sight, with his metal skates, he can now walk and run with a near normal gait — check him out in the latest Guinness Book of World Records 2012.
Early morning commuters in Vancouver got a shock recently when a workman opened the back doors of his open top truck and a groggy bear suddenly emerged.
It is thought that the bear climbed into the truck in search of food and then fell asleep.
The sound of the doors being opened obviously woke the bear, but the driver was alert enough to quickly close them again before the bear was able to escape into a residential area.
The urge to wander
Certain owners claim that their pets (dogs or cats) will never stray far, but can they ever be completely sure?
Take the case of Edward, a cairn terrier, who was known to roam close by his home, but no further.
Then one day he trotted off to the nearby railway station (a favourite spot) to watch people coming and going; that is, until he too felt the urge to catch a train.
Fortunately, he only travelled as far as the next main line station, some 10 miles distant — his train’s final destination was London, some 180 miles away from his home.
Fellow passengers alerted the RSPCA that a small, friendly dog with a collar was on their train, and an inspector collected him when the train pulled into the main line station.
Luckily, Edward was microchipped and the inspector was quickly able to identify him and advise his owners that he was safe and in good hands.
Thank goodness for microchipping, which makes me ask if your pet is fitted with a chip?
Did you hear about the former stray cat, which recently became the third richest animal in the world after inheriting his late owner’s estate? Tommaso’s fortune is estimated to be worth $13 million.
His former owner, a wealthy Italian widow, died childless and had no living relatives. She left everything to Tommaso, who now resides with her former nurse in a wealthy district of Rome.
His wealth, however, pales in comparison with that of Gunther IV, a German shepherd dog, who resides in a waterfront mansion in Miami.
Gunther was originally left $130 million and is currently believed to be worth a staggering $370 million. His inheritance came via his late father, top dog Gunther III, who was the sole beneficiary of a wealthy European widow, a German Countess.