• Germany's news in English
 
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

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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law
Photo: DPA

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law

The German Ethics Council said the law should not be changed to permit assisted suicide in a paper published on Friday. READ  

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin
Swan Lake. An abandoned ride in the Spreewald pleasure park. Photo: DPA

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin

The iconic ruined themepark in the centre of Berlin - a long-time favourite of hipster adventurers - needs a clean-up costing at least 14 million euros, the Berlin government has revealed. READ  

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer
File photo of Nuremberg main station: Shutterstock

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer

Officers in Nuremberg arrested a man on Thursday evening after he called in a false bomb threat against the main train station READ  

Opinion
Angela, David...and Nigel
So near...and yet so far Photo: DPA

Angela, David...and Nigel

The rise of UKIP broke up what had been a good 2014 for Cameron and Merkel. READ  

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead
Dr Gunther von Hagens. Photo: DPA

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead

A Berlin court has said that infamous human taxidermist Gunther von Hagens can open a museum in the capital - over objections from local officials. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech
Photo: Phorms Education

Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech

As parents fret over children’s internet habits, a network of bilingual schools in Germany shows that putting computers in the classroom from an early age yields positive results. READ  

Networks scramble to patch mobile security
Chancellor Angela Merkel has herself been the victim of phone hacking. Photo: DPA

Networks scramble to patch mobile security

IT experts led by Berlin-based Karsten Nohl said on Thursday they had discovered security flaws in the mobile phone networks that would allow attackers to read users' messages. READ  

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport
Photo: DPA

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport

Three men suspected of being Turkish agents have been arrested by police, federal prosecutors said on Thursday. READ  

Tax take jumps 7.3 percent in November
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is having an excellent month. Photo: DPA

Tax take jumps 7.3 percent in November

Germany collected 7.3 percent more in tax in November 2014 than the same month last year thanks to the strengthening economy, the Finance Ministry said in its monthly report on Thursday, while pollsters found rising consumer confidence. READ  

Ramelow bunks off his first Bundesrat sitting
Bodo Ramelow looking low on energy at a sitting of the Thuringia state parliament. Photo: DPA

Ramelow bunks off his first Bundesrat sitting

Controversial new Thuringia minister-president Bodo Ramelow of the Left (Linke) party missed his first session of Germany's second house of parliament, the Bundesrat, to go on holiday with his family. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

3,197
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd