Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A $13 million dollar cat, psychedelic geckos among 200 new species discovered in Vietnam, and a stray dog saves an abandoned baby

      Good Morning Humboldt County! 

 It’s great to be back home. C’mon inside and have a cup of coffee with me. Grab a seat and let me start your day with a few animal stories.  

     Former stray cat inherits $13 million

It's hard to imagine an heir more indifferent to his huge inheritance than Tommaso. The 4-year-old Italian black cat -- a former stray on the streets of Rome -- is apparently now the richest cat in the world, according to the International Business Times. Tommaso inherited an estate worth $13 million when its owner, Maria Assunta, died two weeks ago at the age of 94, The Telegraph reported. Assunta was the widow of a property tycoon, and had no children or living relatives.

Other famously wealthy pets: Tommaso is the latest in a long line of pets that became millionaires upon the death of their wealthy owners.

Leona Helmsley's Maltese, Trouble, was probably the most famously wealthy pet when his owner died in 2007, leaving $12 million to the dog. The dog itself passed away in June, at the age of 12, and the money reverted to the Helmsley Charitable Trust, The Street reported.

Other rich animals include Alexander McQueen's dogs ($82,000) and Michael Jackson's chimp, Bubbles ($1 million). Oprah Winfrey's dogs are set to inherit $30 million, according to Woman's Day.

However, none are as wealthy as an Alsatian dog named Gunther IV, who inherited a fortune worth about $372 million from a German countess, according to The Guardian.

Psychedelic gecko one of 200 new species discovered in South East Asia

A psychedelic gecko (photo right) recently discovered in Hon Khoai island, Ca Mau province, in southern Vietnam.

HANOI, VietnamA psychedelic gecko and a monkey with an "Elvis" hairdo are among 208 new species described last year by scientists in the Mekong River region of Southeast Asia, a conservation group announced Monday.

The animals were discovered in a biodiverse region that is threatened by habitat loss, deforestation, climate change and overdevelopment, the WWF said in a report.

The newly described species include a "psychedelic gecko" in southern Vietnam and a nose-less monkey in a remote province of Myanmar that looks like it wears a pompadour.

 Stray dog saves abandoned baby from death

A stray dog saved an abandoned baby from certain death in freezing temperatures in Romania. The hound stood guarding the child and barking and howling in a public park until it alerted passers-by to investigate.

They heard the child's cries and found the baby girl hidden in a plastic bag under a picnic table. The baby is recovering in hospital - and the maternity unit has adopted the stray dog. Doctors say the newborn would most likely have died from hypothermia very quickly unless the stray dog hadn't discovered her.The umbilical cord was still attached. She was taken to a hospital from Oradea in Arad county.

Dr. Gheorghe Tirla said: "It is a normal baby-girl of three kilos. She was lucky with that dog or she could have frozen to death. "She hadn't even had the umbilical cord severed but everything turned out fine and she is now recovering." The baby is going to be placed in an orphanage, reports the National newspaper. Police are trying to find the mother of the baby.

Time to walk on down the road…

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