Lonely Planet Writer

Top animal stories from around the world this week

This week’s top animal stories feature an adorable red panda celebrating her 16th birthday, a kinkajou who gave a Florida woman a fright, orphaned wolf cubs, a rare white giraffe and a ban on leopard hunting in South Africa.

Chori, the red panda, turned sweet 16 at the Symbio Wildlife Park and received a special fruit birthday cake to celebrate.
Chori, the red panda, turned sweet 16 at the Symbio Wildlife Park and received a special fruit birthday cake to celebrate. Image by Symbio Wildlife Park Facebook

Chori, the red panda, celebrated her 16th birthday this week and was given a cake to celebrate at the Symbio Wildlife Park in Sydney, Australia. A zookeeper at the park, Ash Clarke, made a cake of fruit, decorated with bamboo shoots for the adorable animal.  The animal was brought to the park six years ago as part of a breeding program.

Watch the video here.

A kinkajou found sleeping on 99-yr-old woman's chest has been returned to its owner.
A kinkajou found sleeping on 99-yr-old woman’s chest has been returned to its owner. Image by South Dade Avian & Exotic Animal Medical Center Facebook

A 99-year-old Florida woman got a surprise wake-up call from kinkajou – a rainforest mammal related to a racoon. The woman in Miami reportedly woke up to find the exotic animal stroking her face. She panicked, causing the animal to run into the attic, and a friend had to help her rescue it. The friend recognized the animal and did an internet search for kinkajous, and played the animal’s sounds to get it to come out, reports KTLA in Florida. The animal was brought to the South Dade Avian and Exotic Animal Medical Center where it was found to be in good health. It will now be returned to its owners.

Adorable wolf cubs have captured hearts.
Adorable wolf cubs have captured hearts. Image by Tom Svensson/ Nordens Ark

Two orphaned maned wolves are delighting Sweden as they are being hand-reared at Nordens Ark zoo, after their mother died from tumours days after they were born. The zoo has posted photos of the wolves, which are native to South American, on its social media channels.

Read more here.

The white giraffe that was spotted in Tanzania.
The white giraffe that was spotted in Tanzania. Image by I-Love-Africa Facebook

A rare white giraffe has been spotted again in Tanzania after first being seen almost a year ago by experts at the Wild Nature Institute. The animal has a condition called leucism, which means she doesn’t produce pigment, and therefore appears white.

Read more here.

A leopard in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa.
A leopard in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa. Image by Jae / CC BY-SA 2.0

South Africa has banned leopard hunting for one-year, a move that has been praised by conservationists. The country made the decision following recommendations from its scientific authority, which noted that the animals needed an intervention to survive. The country previously allowed 150 permits a year for trophy-hunting leopards.

Read more  here.