Lonely Planet Writer

One-eyed owls and thirsty koalas: animal stories from around the world

This week’s amazing animal stories feature a one-eyed owl, a pair of red pandas, a thirsty koala, a fancy cat hotel and a baby elephant who found a new friend.

An eastern screech owl arrived at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Tennessee after suffering a severe eye injury. Unfortunately the owl, Oedipus, lost his eye, but thankfully he has found a new permanent home in the Chattanooga Zoo.
Oedipus, an eastern screech owl, has found a new home after he arrived at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Tennessee with a severe eye injury. Image by Chattanooga Zoo

An adorable one-eyed owl has found a new home at the Chattanooga Zoo in Tennessee. Oedipus, the Eastern Screech Owl, came to the zoo through the Wildlife Rehabilitation centre after he received an eye injury that required the removal of his eye. The lack of an eye would significantly reduce his ability to survive in the wild, so the zoo says a permanent facility was needed. The zoo shared a photo of Oedipus this week, announcing that he will serve as part of the zoo’s ambassador team to help “share the importance of conservation locally and globally”.

The Melbourne Zoo has a pair of 12-week-old male red panda cubs named Keta and Mandu. An adorable night-cam video shows the two of them resting beneath and getting licked by their mother, Roshani, as well as roughhousing around with each other.
Night-cam video shows adorable red pandas at the Melbourne Zoo. Image by Zoos Victoria

The Melbourne Zoo in Australia showed off its cutest new addition in a night-cam video posted on the Zoos Victoria Facebook page. The zoo has two 12-week-old red panda cubs named Keta and Mandu. A den camera shows the little male cubs as they grow up over the course of three months from tiny flurry blogs into adorable panda twins.

Watch the video here.

A thirsty koala wasn’t shy about seeking out water from a group of passing cyclists in Australia. Found by the side of a freeway in Adelaide, South Australia, on Tuesday, the koala sat comfortably on the rim of a bike wheel as it quenched its thirst from a plastic water bottle while the cyclists waited for animal services to arrive. Given a clean bill of health, the resourceful little marsupial was released into the wild the next day
A thirsty koala gets a drink from a cyclist in Australia. Image by Nick Lothian Facebook

A thirsty koala bear got some help from some cyclists in Australia as the group stopped to give the animal water from their bottles. The cyclists found the koala while riding on the freeway in Adelaide, South Australia. The animal climbed up on the wheel of a bile for a drink while the group waited for animal services. Luckily, the marsupial was given a clean bill of health and released back into the wild.

The Wagington in Singapore to open a wing for cats.
The Wagington in Singapore to open a wing for cats. Image by ivva / CC BY-SA 2.0

Singapore’s first five-star dog hotel has opened a 14-room extension dedicated to cats. The hotel has been open since 2014 and now offers high-class accommodation for traveller’s favourite kitties – but makes sure to keep them away from their canine counterparts.

Read more here.

A rescued elephant befriends a goat at a South African animal rescue.
A rescued elephant befriends a sheep at a South African animal rescue. Image by Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre

A baby elephant left orphaned in South Africa has found a new friend in a sheep. The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre posted a video of elephant Amanzi and sheep Lammie getting along quite well. The elephant was found trapped in the holding dam of a copper mine as it was looking for water and the centre is still trying to bring the animal back to health.

Read more here.