• Germany edition
 
The Year in Review
The Local's top animal stories of 2012
Photo: DPA

The Local's top animal stories of 2012

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

This year has not been short on animal stories, be they serious science, tragic accidents or simply heart warming. Here are some of The Local's favourites.

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.

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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
German ladies net Fed Cup final appearance
Germany's Angelique Kerber celebrates her victory over Australia's Sam Stosur with teammates after their match in the Fed Cup semi-final. AFP Photo: Patrick Hamilton

German ladies net Fed Cup final appearance

Angelique Kerber put Germany into their first Fed Cup final in 22 years with a fighting victory over Australia's Samantha Stosur in the semi-final in Brisbane on Sunday. READ () »

Germany should make use of shale gas: EU
EU commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger pictured in Luxembourg in 2013. AFP Photo: Georges Gobet

Germany should make use of shale gas: EU

EU energy commissioner Günther Oettinger has urged Germany to make use of shale gas options and added that the he saw no danger of Europe's access to Russian gas falling victim to possible economic sanctions in the standoff over Ukraine. READ () »

Tennis aces close in on Fed Cup final
Members of the German Fed Cup Team celebrate after an earlier victory in the tournament. Photo: DPA

Tennis aces close in on Fed Cup final

Germany took hold of their Fed Cup semi-final on Saturday, winning both the opening day singles to lead Australia 2-0 in Brisbane. READ () »

Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradited a former Yugoslav spy chief, Zdravko Mustac, to Germany on Thursday to face charges for the 1983 murder of a dissident on German soil. READ () »

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years
An officer of the Lower Saxon Criminal Investigation Department (CID) securing evidence on the hijacked ship Marida Marguerite. Photo: DPA

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years

A German court has sentenced a Somali pirate chief to 12 years in jail for hijacking a ship off the Horn of Africa and tormenting its crew during an eight-month ordeal. READ () »

New app helps clients find prostitutes
Photo: DPA

New app helps clients find prostitutes

While the German government is considering tightening prostitution laws, Berlin entrepreneurs have developed a smartphone app to connect sex-workers with clients. READ () »

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend
Photo: DPA

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend

The days running up to Easter may be cool and wet, but the holiday weekend should be a bit warmer for most of Germany, according to forecasters. READ () »

Berlin man must call himself a mother
The fight over the transgender man's right to be his child's official father has been raging since last year. Photo: DPA

Berlin man must call himself a mother

A transgender person who became the first man in Germany to give birth in March 2013 must be registered as the child's mother, a court has ruled after his year-long court battle to be named a father. READ () »

Study: rape convictions fall sharply
Photo: DPA

Study: rape convictions fall sharply

The chance of being convicted of rape in Germany has more than halved in the past two decades to fewer than one in ten, a major study revealed on Thursday. READ () »

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax
The tax privilege for investment income is unfair, says the SPD. Photo: DPA

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax

The centre-left half of Germany's coalition government has called for the old top rate of a 45-percent tax on investments to be brought back - to match standard income tax and fight the squeeze on middle incomes. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,056
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd