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This Week, Dog Lovers Can Take a London Bus Tour With Their Furry Friends

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Londoners are crazy for canines. Last year, a local restaurant launched a three-course pop-up brunch for dogs. One luxury hotel now has a special “Doggy Afternoon Tea," and boasts a “pet concierge.” Keeping with the trend, Time Out London reports that England’s capital city will soon be home to the world’s first bus tour for pups, for four days only next week.

Pet insurers MORE TH>N DOGGYSSENTI>LS created the 90-minute tour, which runs three times a day from Monday, January 16 to Thursday, January 19. It takes dog owners and their furry friends to London’s best parks and urban dog walking spots, including Hyde Park, Kensington Palace Gardens, and Green Park. Four-legged passengers can hop off the bus for a quick stroll, if their human companions are so inclined.

When they're not exploring the city's dog parks, guests will visit canine-inspired cultural attractions, including Victoria Tower Garden (site of the Annual Parliament Dog Show), The Kennel Club of Great Britain (home to the Europe's largest collection of dog paintings), and Buckingham Palace (the Queen's corgis; need we say more?). When the tour's all finished, a convenient map will help dog owners locate canine-friendly restaurants and watering holes.

Most of the doggy bus tours are already sold out, but you can check to see if tickets are still available online, or contact organizers about additional dates.

[Time Out London]

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Courtesy of The National Aviary
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Animals
Watch This Live Stream to See Two Rare Penguin Chicks Hatch From Their Eggs
Courtesy of The National Aviary
Courtesy of The National Aviary

Bringing an African penguin chick into the world is an involved process, with both penguin parents taking turns incubating the egg. Now, over a month since they were laid, two penguin eggs at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are ready to hatch. As Gizmodo reports, the baby birds will make their grand debut live for the world to see on the zoo's website.

The live stream follows couple Sidney and Bette in their nest, waiting for their young to emerge. The first egg was laid November 7 and is expected to hatch between December 14 and 18. The second, laid November 11, should hatch between December 18 and 22.

"We are thrilled to give the public this inside view of the arrival of these rare chicks," National Aviary executive director Cheryl Tracy said in a statement. "This is an important opportunity to raise awareness of a critically endangered species that is in rapid decline in the wild, and to learn about the work that the National Aviary is doing to care for and propagate African penguins."

African penguins are endangered, with less than 25,000 pairs left in the wild today. The National Aviary, the only independent indoor nonprofit aviary in the U.S., works to conserve threatened populations and raise awareness of them with bird breeding programs and educational campaigns.

After Sidney and Bette's new chicks are born, they will care for them in the nest for their first three weeks of life. The two penguins are parenting pros at this point: The monogamous couple has already hatched and raised three sets of chicks together.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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holidays
Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
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Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

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