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 January’s headlines told us about some of the animals that share our planet:
New president immortalised in insect form
Newly inaugurated US president Donald Trump now has a moth named after him. The new species was discovered in a study of a collection held by the Museum of Entomology at the University of California. Classified as ‘Neopalpa donaldtrumpi’, scientists felt that the bright blonde scales on the moth’s head bore more than a passing resemblance to the unique comb-over hairstyle of the new president. Outgoing president Barack Obama was also honoured, with marine biologists recognising his conservation work in the Pacific by naming a species of maroon and gold fish ‘Tosanoides Obama’.
Hollywood filmmakers accused of animal cruelty
Unsettling images have recently surfaced from the Winnipeg location shoot for the film ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ starring Dennis Quaid and billed as “a celebration of the special connection between humans and their dogs.”
The leaked footage shows Hercules, a German Shepherd, struggling to stay out of a pool of churning water as a handler pushes him in so the film crew can get their shot. Both the film’s director and the actor who voices Hercules have expressed their shock at the apparent lapse in standards of animal care. Meanwhile, animal welfare organisations have expressed outrage and called for a boycott of the film. American Humane, the organisation that oversees animal safety during filming, is currently investigating the incident and has suspended its on-set representative pending the outcome of the inquiry.
Happy Year of the Rooster!
This year, Chinese New Year begins on Saturday January 28 and lasts until February 15th, 2018. Following the twelve-yearly cycle of the ancient calendar, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. As you may know, in Chinese astrology each zodiac year is associated not only with an animal sign, but also one of five elements: Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire, or Earth.
According to ancient belief, it is the combination of the zodiac sign and the element that shapes the astrology of the year – 2017 is a Fire Rooster year, and those born in one are said to be characterised by their trustworthy nature, and have a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility at work!
A number of famous people born in 1957, the last year of the fire Rooster, will be 60 this year: Dawn French, Donny Osmond, Martin Luther King III, Stephen Fry, Hans Zimmer, Dolph Lundgren, and Jools Holland.
Until next time, very best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support