• Germany's news in English

The Local's top animal stories of 2012

The Local · 28 Dec 2012, 08:25

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd