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Zeus, Tallest Dog in the World, Has Died

WASHINGTON - Zeus, the Great Dane who in 2012 earned the Guinness World Record as tallest dog in the world, has died at age five, a local US newspaper said Friday. Credit: Associated Press Zeus died last week of old age, owner Kevin Doorlag told the Kalamazoo Gazette, a local daily in the midwestern US state of Michigan. He would have celebrated his sixth birthday in November. The gentle giant, who measured 44 inches at the shoulder and more than 7-feet tall when standing on his hind legs, weighed more than 150 pounds, the paper reported. In 2012, when Zeus entered the records book, Doorlag said his massive canine often sparked astonishment when he took him on walks. "The most common...

Japan Starts Pacific 'Research' Whaling

TOKYO - A fleet of four Japanese ships left the northern main island of Hokkaido on Sunday to start the seasonal "research" whaling hunt in Pacific coastal waters, local media said. Credit: Getty Creative Japan's Fisheries Agency has said whalers planned to kill up to 51 minke whales in waters off Kushiro city through the end of October. Japan has hunted whales under a loophole in the 1986 global moratorium that allows lethal research on the mammals, but has made no secret of the fact that their meat ends up in restaurants and fish markets. Agency officials could not be immediately reached on Sunday. The smaller scale Pacific coastal whaling comes as Japan hopes to resume its Antarctic...

ROME - One of the handful of brown bears living in the Italian Alps has died after being tranquilised for capture in an operation ordered after she mauled a mushroom hunter. Credit: Getty Editorial In an incident that enfuriated animal rights groups, the 19-year-old female, Daniza, was knocked out so that she could be transferred to a more remote part of the Trento region of northern Italy, a spokesman for the provincial government said. "The bear was put to sleep but, unfortunately, did not survive," he said. An autopsy has been ordered to establish the cause of death. Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti said he had asked the region for an explanation. "We have to be sure this does...

A Maine man who dedicated his life to providing a home for ailing elephants may tragically have been killed when one of the animals he cared for stepped on him. Credit: Facebook/Hope Elephants Reports suggest that Dr. James Laurita, 56, founder of the non-profit group Hope Elephants (in Hope, Maine), fell in a corral while caring for the animals at his sanctuary. Laurita apparently fell and hit his head on the cement floor, knocking him unconscious, according to WCSH. Examinations by the state medical examiner's office indicate that an elephant then stepped on him. He died of asphyxiation and multiple chest fractures. RELATED: 10 Ways Elephants Are Like Us Paramedics responded to the...

BERLIN - Firefighters revived a cat found unconscious at the scene of an apartment blaze in Berlin using a tiny oxygen mask made for a child, authorities said Tuesday. Credit: Associated Press A rescue team sent to a fire Monday at a home in the western Moabit district of the German capital found the stricken animal, which had apparently suffered from smoke inhalation. "The fire brigade put out the smouldering blaze in the sitting room of the flat, where there were two cats and a rabbit," police said in a statement. They carried the pets out of the apartment and "had to resuscitate one of the cats using a breathing apparatus". A spokeswoman for the fire service told AFP that the mask...

HONG KONG - Hong Kong police said Sunday they had launched an animal cruelty investigation after a man joked online about killing a dog by trapping it inside a churning washing machine. Credit: Getty Creative An image uploaded to Facebook by a man calling himself Jacky Lo shows a small, white dog attempting to climb out of the machine, while another apparently portrays the animal struggling to keep its head above water with the washing cycle in full flow. A police spokeswoman told AFP that a case of suspected animal cruelty was under investigation. "A picture has been posted onto the internet about an animal suspected of being tortured. It is a case of animal cruelty," the spokeswoman...