Lonely Planet Writer

Hot in travel: animal stories from around the world

This week in animal news, a judge in the US ruled that a monkey cannot own the copyright to a selfie, a man posted a video of himself petting a cheetah, a Vancouver cat café ran out of cats, and more.

A court has ruled that a monkey cannot be the copyright owner of a selfie.
A court has ruled that a monkey cannot be the copyright owner of a selfie. Image by Twitter

A federal judge in the US has ruled that a monkey who took a selfie on a photographer’s camera cannot be declared the rightful copyright owner of the photographs.

The ruling came after PETA filed a lawsuit last year, seeking an order that would allow the animal rights’ group to administer all proceeds from the photo to benefit the macaque monkey, reports the Guardian. PETA claims the animal is a six-year-old monkey named Naruto.

The photos were taken on the camera of David Slater, a British nature photographer who went to Indonesia in 2011. He left his camera, which was on a tripod, unattended, and the animal began playing with it and snapped a picture, reports to the Huffington Post. Slater had asked the court to dismiss the case, arguing the copyright holder is his company.

The photos have been widely published in the media and on Wikipedia, which has argued that no one owns the copyright as they were taken by an animal.

The judge, William Orrick, said whether animals can hold copyright is an issue for Congress, reports the Huffington Post.

Poley cautiously approaching the poolside cheetah. Image by Screengrab via YouTube
Poley cautiously approaching the poolside cheetah. Image by Screengrab via YouTube

A man from New Zealand made headlines after posting a video of himself petting a cheetah from a swimming pool while at a game reserve in South Africa. The man was swimming when the animal came for a drink. Gareth Poley decided to give the animal a pet.

Read more here.

Li'l Nimbus is loving being the centre of attention today.
Li’l Nimbus is loving being the centre of attention today. Image by Catfe Facebook

As cat café continue to sweep the world, an establishment in Vancouver, Canada proved so popular it ran out of cats. Catfé recently announced it would temporarily shut its doors as most of its cats had been adopted into permanent homes. While the café waits for more shelter animals, they note that there are still many cats in the province that need adopting from various shelters.

Read more here.

An Amur tiger enjoys the snow at the Oregon Zoo.
An Amur tiger enjoys the snow at the Oregon Zoo. Image by Oregon Zoo

When bad weather hit Portland this week animals at the Oregon Zoo enjoyed a snow day. The zoo posted video of an Amur tiger and a family of harbour seals enjoying the cold snap.

Read more here.

Beehives are being used in a pilot programme to see if they can keep elephants from trampling on farmers crops in  Northern Tanzania
Beehives are being used in a pilot programme to see if they can keep elephants from trampling on farmers crops in Northern Tanzania Image by Bastian Greshake / CC BY-SA 2.0

A community in Tanzania has ‘built’ a fence of beehives around a farm in an attempt to see if the buzzing of the bees will stop elephants from wandering into croplands. The hope is that if the project is successful, there will be less conflict in Northern Tanzania between farmers and the animals as they look for food.

Read more here.