Boing Boing 

Hamster eaten to prove "how dear life is" to children

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A teacher in rural South Korea is under investigation after he reportedly killed a live rodent in front of children and then ate it.

After observing the youngsters hurting hamsters, the man, 44, did so in order to teach them “how dear life is,” according to a report in the Korea Times.

He is identified only as "Yu" in media reports.

After the incident, which took place at a boarding school in Jeongeup on May 11, Yu also allegedly used "abusive language," but left the facility when other teachers learned of his actions. Parents claim that their children were asked not to discuss what happened.

Yu, charged with "child abuse," told Yonhap News Agency that he was bitten by a rat as a youngster and fears them, and has apologized for eating the hamster: "I couldn't control the situation and couldn't stand it. While watching the hamsters die from teasing, I thought I should teach the children it was wrong to make light of life."

Watch a jaguar play underwater

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Here's the majestic feline—in its not-quite-so-natural habitat.

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WATCH: BioBots, remote-controlled iBionic insects

North Carolina State University researchers are wiring up Madagascar hissing roaches with remote-control steering, with a long-term goal to use roaches, moths, and other insects as data-gathering vehicles in inaccessible places like disaster sites.

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Madrid becomes no-kill city

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On March 13, Madrid became a no-kill city, making the euthanasia of stray or abandoned animals illegal. That means all animals—even homeless ones—are free to live their lives.

Husky tempter tantrum

His owner says they go to the dog park everyday, and he still complains each time they have to leave. I love the other dogs barking at him to get over it.

We just discovered 'badass snails' and an asshole bug that eats its mom from the inside out

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Wired writer Matt Simon writes about weird animals.

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Watch ibex herds use a near-vertical dam as a salt lick

Lake Cingino in the Italian Alps has a near-vertical dam that attracts ibex herds, who climb out on the dam hundred of feet up to lick minerals from the rocks. More acrophobia-inducing footage below:

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The best response is always the Flehmen response

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Many lolcats and other memes use images of animals displaying the Flehmen response. Because we tend to anthropomorphize animals, we associate this response with similar hilarious human facial expressions. But what is it?

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Falcon dive-bombs ducks

Peregrine falcons specialize in eating other birds. Sometimes they even prey on birds larger than themselves. With dive speeds of over 200 mph, it wouldn't be a pleasant experience to get hit by one of these aerial predators, and the pintail ducks in the video seem to agree. [Video Link]

Zombie-killing animal of the week: Alligators

With some beasties -- birds, bugs, bacteria -- it's easy to dismiss their zombie-killing powers simple by adjusting the zombie scenario at hand. Alligators, however, are another thing entirely.

"Once almost totally wiped out, alligators are now numerous due to protections under the Endangered Species Act," says David Mizejewski of the National Wildlife Federation. "Any zombie that lumbered into fresh water ponds, lakes streams or swamps would likely fall prey to them, who, with their extremely powerful bite, would feast on zombie flesh. "

Animals eating the zombies is contingent upon the continued existence of animals. Support the National Wildlife Federation to make sure they're around, when the next major outbreak occurs, to make the zombie apocalypse an effortless breeze for mankind.

Check back next week to see how another type of beast would deal with The Walking Dead.

Sleepy red panda takes a nap

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A photo by Boing Boing reader John Sonderman shot at Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn, NY, and shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool.

Fox falls down chimney, tears up pub

Sooty pawprints convinced bartender Tim Carter that's how the creature got in, but it was in no hurry to leave: "He seemed quite happy in the pub. It didn't want to leave but we got him out."

Missing parrot returns speaking Spanish

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When Nigel, an African grey parrot who was missing for four years, was reunited with his caretaker, the bird was chattering in Spanish, not the British accent he had when he disappeared. (The Daily Breeze)

Pakistan's scorpion hunters

In Pakistan, a black scorpion weighing 60 grams sells for around $50,000 to medical researchers. Al Jazeera's Maham Javaid investigates the country's scorpion trade and its possible harm to the country's ecosystem. From Al Jazeera:

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Shahid and Sohail, two friends who grew up together in a housing colony in Sindh province's Thatta district, have never been scared of the scorpion's venomous sting.

"As teenagers, we caught and killed scorpions as a game," Sohail told Al Jazeera. "Last year we found out that if we caught a live one, we could be instant millionaires."

On the hottest nights of the year, these hunters search for the nocturnal creatures in the 200-hectare dry forest behind their colony. Scorpions hibernate in cold weather, so Sohail says it is easier to catch them when it's hot.

Their broker, Faraz, is constantly in contact with other brokers who can sell the scorpion to foreign companies for thousands of dollars.

"I spend all my spare time connecting scorpion buyers with sellers," Faraz, who also works at Karachi Port Trust, told Al Jazeera. "When a big deal goes through, it will be like winning the lottery."

"The scorpion hunters of Pakistan

Tangled Fox cub rescued, massaged

"I'm quite surprised how cute he is". [via Arbroath.] nma

Jane Goodall talks about viral animal videos

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"I think they’re really important in connecting heart and head. On the one hand you’ve got the science out there now that shows that animals do have personalities, minds and feelings; On the other hand you are seeing animals face-to-face in these YouTubes."

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Do animals cry?

Maria Konnikova on the appearance and the authenticity of emotion in the animal kingdom--and how we can use science to explore it.Read the rest