Alex the Lion Stroke-King

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British wildlife expert Alex Larenty, 50, calms the savage cats with gentle foot-rubs. Alex, originally of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, moved to South Africa in 1999. He started massaging Jamu, nine, after putting insect repellent on him one day. He said: “I gave him a scratch and massage and he rolled around with his tongue out. Now he adores massages — his favourite game is This Little Piggy.”

Gorilla saves boy


A three-year old boy climbed the wall around her zoo enclosure and fell 18 feet onto concrete below, rendering him unconscious with a broken hand and a vicious gash on the side of his face.

Binti walked to the boy’s side while helpless spectators screamed, certain the gorilla would harm the child. Another larger female gorilla approached, and Binti growled.Binti picked up the child, cradling him with her right arm as she did her own infant, gave him a few pats on the back, and carried him 18 meters (59 ft) to an access entrance, so that zoo personnel could retrieve him. Her 17-month-old baby, Koola, clutched her back throughout the incident.

Britain’s Pigeon Fanciers

Pigeons were once briefly used to carry stock market price reports between Paris and Berlin in the early beginnings of the Reuters news agency. Now, with a world connected by fiber optics and satellite beams, aficionados still train, keep and race pigeons for sport. The membership of Britain’s Royal Pigeon Racing Associated is declining, but tens of thousands remain. This year, the 40th annual British Homing World Show of the Year, held in Blackpool, had 2,500 pigeon entries from around the world.

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