• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

The Local's top animal stories of 2012

The Local · 28 Dec 2012, 08:25

Published: 28 Dec 2012 08:25 GMT+01:00

We'll admit we have a soft spot for mankind's fuzzy friends, and, frankly, so does Germany. Here are the animal stories that moved the country in 2012.

Tyrannosauraus Rex - fluffy as babies?

One of our favourites of the year concerned animals even more fearsome than tigers - Tyrannosaurus Rex - which German scientists said were actually downy rather than scaly, somewhat dampening their reputation for toughness. Their babies were positively fluffy with little feathers, palaeontologists in Bavaria said.

Frankurt's fuzzy new star.

A three-week-old orangutan baby became the newest star attraction at the Frankfurt Zoo. Named Sayang, Indonesian for “darling,” the cute primate has stayed clutched to the chest of its mother Rosa since birth, making it impossible to determine if it’s a boy or girl.

The earless bunny known as Til.

The one which caused most heartache in our office was the tale of the earless rabbit which died after being stepped on by a hapless cameraman – who had been invited to film the bunny’s introduction to the world.

Nelson the parrot – too ugly for his parents.

Hopes that rejection by his parents would lead to global stardom for Nelson the baby parrot at Leipzig Zoo were destined to be doomed - although he was dubbed the ugliest bird by many papers, someone forgot to tell him his feathers would eventually make him look just fine.

The doomed squirrel.

An even more tragic tale was to be found in August when police officers spent their day using their ingenuity - and olive oil - to free a squirrel from a tight spot, only to find it died from stress just a few hours later.

Bao Bao - destined to die a bachelor.

Berlin's other famous bear Bao Bao, the oldest male captive panda in the world died this summer aged 34. He never became a father, much to the frustration of those wanting him to become star of a breeding programme, instead remaining a life-long bachelor, rejecting all the ladies who tried to catch his eye.

The naughty young wolves.

Three young wolves managed to completely freak out a German soldier who was on a night exercise - by diligently stalking him, stopping when he stopped and getting closer when he walked, just like a game of "What's the time Mr Wolf?"

A giant otter - eating fish.

One of the oddest zoo animal attacks of the year involved a six-foot giant otter who attacked a cleaner after escaping from its enclosure in Hamburg Zoo. Two men who tried to pull the animal off the woman were also bitten.

Don't tattoo your pony.

Story continues below…

A man who wanted to launch a pet tattooing service by inking a Rolling Stones tongue logo onto his pony was told to put his ink away and stop being silly. A court in Münster said this was against animal cruelty rules - not because the pony in question might have been more of a Beatles fan, but because the process was deemed to be too traumatic for an animal to be undertaken so lightly.

Cross-species teamwork in action?

Three kangaroos escaped from a wildlife park near Frankfurt without jumping anywhere - using holes dug by foxes and wild boar to slip under rather than over fences. How we wished there was some evidence of cross-species teamwork behind the tale.

Tiger escapes and kills keeper.

The most serious animal escape of the year was in Cologne, where a tiger got free and mauled a keeper to death before the zoo director shot the feline dead.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
President who pioneered Moscow ties dies aged 97
Former Cold War President of West Germany Walter Scheel. Photo: DPA.

Former West German president Walter Scheel, who helped pave the way for his country's rapprochement with the communist East, has died aged 97, his party's spokesman said on Wednesday.

Former East to lag behind West for years to come: study
Poverty in eastern Germany. File photo: DPA

Eastern Germany remains economically anaemic with little prospect of catching up with the rest of the country by 2030, a study published on Wednesday said.

Turkey's spy network in Germany 'thicker than Stasi's'
Photo: DPA.

Turkey has around 6,000 informants working in Germany, which experts say means they're each monitoring more people than the Stasi did in West Germany during the Cold War.

Germany's first 'intelligent' bridge to open in Nuremberg
File photo: DPA

An €11 million bridge, which is nearing completion in northern Bavaria, is set to include technology never seen before on the German Autobahn.

Stockpile food in case of attack, Germany tells citizens
Photo: DPA

Germany on Wednesday urged its population to stockpile food and water in case of terrorist or cyber attacks, as it adopted its first civil defence strategy since the end of the Cold War.

Ten injured after freight train crashes into bus in Osnabrück
The crash site in Osnabrück. Photo: DPA

A freight train crashed into a bus in Osnabrück on Wednesday morning, leaving several people badly injured, local media report.

Man wins ten-year court battle over €2.50 surcharge
Photo: DPA

An Austrian man has won a ten year court battle over an extra €2.50 he was asked to pay to get into a swimming pool in Bavaria a decade ago.

In Pictures
Düsseldorf swoons as Prince William comes for royal visit
'Well hello Mr. Prince'. Photo: DPA.

Prince William paid a visit to the Rhineland city of Düsseldorf on Wednesday to celebrate the state of North Rhine-Westphalia's 70th birthday. Here's a look at his royal stay.

Brexit
Frankfurt attempts to charm banks away from London
Frankfurt am Main. Photo: DPA

Germany's finance capital has spotted an opportunity with the Brexit-wary banking beasts of the Square Mile.

How did this bike end up on top of Berlin’s Molecule Man?
A professional climber 'rescuing' the bike hanging from the Molecule Man. Photo: DPA.

Berliners are still scratching their heads over how a bicycle ended up dangling from the capital’s iconic statue.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,647
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd