CLOSE

The Late Movies: 11 Animals Celebrating Their Birthdays in Style

Remember the excitement and joy you felt as a child when your annual birthday celebration finally rolled around? You can capture that feeling again, at least to some extent, by enjoying these fun videos of pets and zoo animals celebrating in delightful fashion.

A Panda

Here's Yun Zi from the San Diego Zoo digging into her ice and fruit birthday cake created in celebration of her second birthday. Pandas seem to be particularly fond of birthday celebrations, so for more panda parties, don't miss Panda Loves To Party over at Tumblr.

A Boston Terrier

There are tons of dog birthday videos online, but what makes little Rex here so special is the fact that he actually sneezes on cue, just in time to blow out his candle.

Tigers

Nick and Mick of the Oregon Zoo are celebrating their ninth birthday, that happens to land on Halloween, with a birthday cake present and a bunch of carved pumpkins filled with delicious breakfast treats.

Elephants

Just because humans don't like to celebrate their birthdays once they've become seniors doesn't mean elephants feel the same. Here's Tricia of the Perth Zoo celebrating her 55th with a massive ice cake that's just the right size for a few gals weighing in at over a dozen tons.

A Kitty

Pancake might not be quite as famous as Maru, but he's still up there as far as YouTube kitty celebrity is concerned. Here's Pancake pigging out on a stack of his namesake topped with tuna and corn in celebration of his first birthday.

A Cheetah

These days, it's common for zoo cheetahs to be raised with dogs as they provide the big cats with friendship and help them feel more comfortable around humans. Of course, being friends with a big kitty certainly has its perks when your best friend's birthday comes up and the workers at the Cincinnati Zoo where you work give you both a special beef cake with peanut butter and cream cheese frosting along with a bunch of toys.

A Husky

Laika is the tan husky in the family and she's quite happy to be turning one, or at least to get a yummy pupcake, best of all, she even helps sing along to the birthday song at one point.

An Orangutan

Robin of the Denver Zoo sure loves this giant frozen cake filled with peanut butter and covered in raspberry mousse. Of course, getting a delicious treat bag as a present makes turning 32 even sweeter.

A Bear

She may be over the hill, but Ms. Grizz of the Wildwood Zoo still looks gorgeous on her 40th birthday, and she certainly seems to be enjoying all the treats that come with the big celebration.

A Skunk

A lot of people still turn their noses up at the idea of owning a skunk, but Peaches' owner sure loves his little stinker. Here she is enjoying a cupcake and ball for her first birthday, which is a very special treat compared to her usual diet.

Baboons

At least one of these little babies from the Prospect Park Zoo is turning one, but without any information on the page, it's hard to tell whose birthday is actually being celebrated. At least everyone's having a good time though.

Do any of you pet owners celebrate your critters' birthdays? If so, have any of you uploaded the videos? Feel free to leave links to the celebrations in the comments!

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Aflac
arrow
technology
Aflac's Robotic Duck Comforts Kids with Cancer
Aflac
Aflac

Every year, close to 16,000 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer. That news can be the beginning of a long and draining battle that forces kids and their parents to spend large amounts of time with medical providers, enduring long and sometimes painful treatments. As The Verge reports, a bit of emotional support during that process might soon come from an unlikely source: the Alfac duck.

The supplemental insurance company announced at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that it has partnered with the medical robotics company Sproutel to design and manufacture My Special Aflac Duck, a responsive and emotive sim-bird intended exclusively for children undergoing cancer treatment.

When a child cuddles the fuzzy robotic duck, it can cuddle back. It reacts to being cradled and stroked by quacking or moving its head. Kids can also touch special RFID chips emblazoned with emoji on the duck's chest to tell it how they’re feeling, and the device will mimic those emotions.

But the duck isn’t solely for cuddling. In “IV Mode,” which can be switched on while a child is undergoing IV therapy, the duck can help the user relax by guiding them through breathing exercises. Accessories included with the toy also allow children to "draw blood" from the duck as well as administer medication, a kind of role-playing that may help patients feel more comfortable with their own treatments.

Aflac approached Sproutel with the idea after seeing Sproutel’s Jerry the Bear, a social companion robot intended to support kids with diabetes. Other robotic companions—like the Japanese-made seal Paro and Hasbro's Joy for All companion pets for seniors—have hinted at a new market for robotics that prioritize comfort over entertainment or play.

My Special Aflac Duck isn’t a commercial product and won’t be available for retail sale. Aflac intends to offer it as a gift directly to patients, with the first rollout expected at its own cancer treatment center in Atlanta, Georgia. Mass distribution is planned for later this year.

[h/t The Verge]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
arrow
Animals
Want to Recycle Your Christmas Tree? Feed It to an Elephant
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

When the holiday season finally comes to a close, people get creative with the surplus of dead Christmas trees. One San Francisco-based artist transformed brittle shrubs into hanging installation pieces. Others use pine needles for mulch, or repurpose trees into bird sanctuaries. For the average person, sticking it into a wood chipper or "treecycling" it as part of a community program are all eco-friendly ways to say goodbye to this year's Douglas fir. None of these solutions, however, are as cute as the waste-cutting strategy employed by some zoos around the world: giving them to elephants.

Each year, zookeepers at Tierpark Berlin—a facility that bills itself as “Europe’s largest adventure animal park”—feed the elephants unsold pine trees. The plants are reportedly pesticide-free, and they serve as a good (albeit prickly) supplement to the pachyderms' usual winter diets.

A bit closer to home, the residents of The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee rely on local residents to take part in their annual Christmas Tree Drive. In addition to being nutrient-rich, the tree's needles are said to help aid in an elephant's digestion. But beyond all that, it's pretty adorable to watch.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios