Boomtown Rats!


They sound a little squeaky. And their taste in music could only be described as cheesy.But this must still be one of the most endearing duos in the animal kingdom. The two pet rats have been trained by their owner to ‘play’ tiny instruments in their paws.


Using food treats, photographer Ellen van Deelen taught Moppy and Witje to pose with a variety of instruments, including pan pipes, guitars, flutes and trombones.Miss van Deelen, from Roosendaal in Holland, said she came up with the idea after seeing a tiny guitar for sale in a shop window.


She claimed her ‘very intelligent’ pets picked up the knack in no time.When I held the camera they did whatever I wanted them to,’ she said.’They are so clever they even recognise their own names.
‘They know exactly how to pose and both are really talented actors. We have a really good understanding. They always know what I am saying.




New Species Lizard Found


Scientists have discovered a new species of lizard in the lush Western Ghats mountain range in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
The small reptile is a form of gecko and was found by taxonomist Varad Giri in the Kolhapur district. It has been named Cnemasspis kolhapurensis.
Mr Giri and his co-workers published their findings in this month’s edition of the Zootaxa journal.
It is the third new species of lizard recently discovered in the area.
Mr Giri, a curator at the Bombay Natural History Society, told the BBC that the Western Ghats has never been surveyed for amphibians and reptiles.

Pay tax for keeping pets in Delhi!

If you are a pet owner living in New Delhi, get ready to pay tax.
The Delhi government has finalised amendments to two municipal acts, which would enable the authorities to levy a tax of Rs 500 a year on dog and cat owners, a senior official said.The Amendment Bill also plans to tax people for keeping buffaloes and cows for milking. While Rs 2,500 tax would have to be paid for a buffalo, a tax to the tune of Rs 2,000 would be levied for a cow.
Taxes are also proposed to be levied on draught animals like horses, mules, donkeys, camels etc. A tax of Rs 2,000 annually is proposed on four-wheeled vehicles drawn by animals, while Rs 1,000 is the proposed tax amount for two-wheeled vehicles.The amendments, that were cleared by the Delhi Cabinet recently, will be taken up in the upcoming Budget Session of the State Assembly.
If the amendments in the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill 2008 and New Delhi Municipal Council (Amendment) Bill 2008 are cleared by the Assembly, then they will be sent to the Central Government for clearance.