Lost German Shepherd Turns Up 600 Miles Away From Home


About two weeks before Christmas, Deacon, an 85-lb German shepherd, went missing from his family home in rural Stuart, Va.
During the first couple of days, Pamela Holt, her husband Keith, and their daughter Brooklyn, 3, weren’t terribly worried because they figured their nearly two-year-old pet was running in the fields behind their home.

“We have a lot of land and thought Deacon might be enjoying the outdoors,” Holt, who works as a teller for SunTrust bank, “But we soon got worried and called the area dog warden, the pound and the sheriff’s office. After two weeks, we gave up, fearing he had died or was stolen.”Deacon, a gift from Holt to her husband Keith, a teacher and football coach, had become a beloved family member, and everyone was upset. But a curious call in late February from a man in Deland, Fla., changed everything.

“A male voice on the other end said he thought he may have Deacon,” Holt “I was angry at first and thought he was a prankster trying to play a joke on us … I nearly hung up on him.”The man, who said he was from Animal Control in Deland, told Holt he was looking at her dog. Holt said she thought Deacon was dead. But when he asked her if the dog’s name was Bruno, Holt went crazy with joy.


Thousands Of Robins Killed At Christmas To Make Illegal Cypriot Delicacy


Hundreds of thousands of robins from the UK are being killed illegally in Cyprus after migrating south for the winter.The birds are a delicacy on the island and are trapped and killed by locals to provide ambelopoulia, pickled or boiled songbirds, for restaurants.The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and its partner organisation BirdLife Cyprus, said one of the trapping hotspots was on the British Sovereign Base Area of Dhekalia.

The RSPB said it was ‘unacceptable’ that the illegal slaughter of the birds was taking place on an area controlled by the British authorities.During the autumn trapping season, an estimated 700,000 birds were caught on the island. Experts believe the winter figures this year will be even higher.BirdLife Cyprus’s Martin Hellicar said: ‘At this time of year, robins and other birds, such as song thrushes, escape harsh conditions further north in Europe and travel to the island for the winter.

‘Sadly many of these birds will be travelling to their deaths, particularly in the trapping hotbeds of Famagusta, Larnaca and the British Sovereign Base Area of Dhekalia.’Ambelopoulia is illegal but the law is being widely flouted as restaurants ‘openly serve’ it to locals.

Tim Stowe, the RSPB’s international director, said: ‘The illegal killing of songbirds has no place in a modern Europe and this increasing slaughter is placing increasing pressure on bird populations, many of which are already declining for other reasons’We remain concerned that many threatened species are also slain and we are working with BirdLife Cyprus to bring this barbaric practice to an end.’The birds are trapped in nets or caught on ‘traditional’ limesticks, where trappers coat sticks in ‘lime’ – a concoction made from locally-occurring fruits.

Special Cakes Only For Your Precious Pooches


Christmas in Japan just isn’t Christmas unless you’ve got chicken and cake. Especially the cake. Whether decorated with miniature Santa figurines or iced green Christmas trees, Japan’s traditional Christmas treat is a sponge cake with lots of whipped cream and glistening red strawberries.

The yuletide tradition has extended to dogs, who have their own version of the festive cake, made from rice powder, yogurt, natural honey and — why not? — strawberries. It’s sold at fancy hotels like the Prince Park Tower in Tokyo, where the Christmas dog cake costs 2,500 yen ($27).

That may sound like a lot to pay for a dog cake, but it’s worth it to see the bliss on this pooch’s face. Just take a look at Cocolo (pictured above), a 2-and-a-half-year-old toy poodle tucking into her own personal pastry treat. We tried to get a quote from her, but all we got was, “Numnumnumnum. I’m busy.”


Christmas Time At The Zoo: Animals Tuck Into Festive Treats


Brazil Spider monkeys tuck into a gift with food inside as part of Christmas celebrations at Safari Zoo in Sao PauloYuska


the female gorilla is seen enjoying Christmas treats at Melbourne Zoo in Australia