Animals in the news this month (May 2017)

In the last week of every month we take a look back at the crazy creatures and amazing animals that have made the headlines in recent weeks. Here’s a reminder of what May’s headlines told us about some of the animals that share our planet:

UK’s first Alabama Rot conference held as deaths near 100

Many dog carers have never heard of this very serious disease, for which there is currently no cure, but vets are reporting cases from increasingly disparate parts of the UK. Alabama Rot was first discovered in the US during the late 1980s, but was not confirmed in Britain until December 2012. Since then, 98 dogs have died from the disease, with 15 cases confirmed already in 2017 – it proves fatal in 9 out of 10 dogs. Outward signs include lesions on the skin and occasionally in the mouth, which can easily be mistaken for bites, wounds or stings. Tiny clots then form in the infected dog’s blood vessels, causing blockages and ultimately kidney failure. If you spot any unusual sores on your dog, please seek further advice from a vet as soon as possible – the disease is thankfully rare but early diagnosis and treatment help improve the chances of recovery.

Uncle Fat put on a strict diet

The internet had a field day this month with the story of Uncle Fat, a morbidly obese wild macaque in Thailand who had grown to three times his normal size on a diet of junk food scavenged from tourists. (He weighs a massive 26kg, and should be closer to 9kg!)

Concerned for his health, local officials managed to catch the chunky monkey so they can control his calorie intake and ensure that his diet consists of more typical fruit, vegetables and lean proteins. Apparently the clever creature had trained several monkey minions to bring food to him once he became too large to move around. Once his weight returns to normal levels, Uncle Fat will be released back into the wild, where he will hopefully also need a new name!…

Omar the Maine Coon soon to be crowned the world’s longest cat?!

This month Omar, a beautiful ginger and white Maine Coon from Melbourne, found out that he is in the running for the record of ‘longest cat in the world’. Omar is already quite the king of social media, with 51,600 followers on Instagram! In fact, Guinness World Records called his owner Stephanie Hirst after seeing photos of the enormous feline on his Instagram feed – he measures 120cm in length and weighs in at 14kg. Omar is awaiting final confirmation from the clipboards and tape measures, but he looks on track to beat the reigning world record holder, Ludo (from the UK) who is ‘only’ 118.3cm long!

Until next time, very best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support

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