1. Squirrels will adopt an orphan squirrel baby
Squirrels aren’t just adorable to look at. They also have a softer side. Research suggests that squirrels will take in orphaned pups if the babies are closely related to the adoptive mother. While adoptions do occur among social animals that live in extended family groups, it is quite rare among asocial animals like squirrels who are territorial.
2. Cows have best friends
Yes, you read that right. Research from the University of Northampton has shown that cows have selective friendships and get stressed when they are separated from their mates. Krista McLennan, one of the lead scientists of the study, further adds: “If we can encourage farmers to keep an eye out for those cows which like to keep their friends with them, it could have some real benefits, such as improving their milk yields and reducing stress for the animals, which is very important for their welfare.”
3. Dolphins give each other specific names
Scientists have revealed that dolphins call each other by "name". A team from the University of St Andrews in Scotland found that when these marine mammals hear their own call played back to them, they respond by using a unique signature whistle to identify each other. The team of scientists also found that individuals only responded to their own calls, by sounding their whistle back.
4. Luxembourg has the world’s only free nationwide public transport system
This European country has set a unique precedent by becoming the world’s only free nationwide public transport system. Having a population of just under 600,000, the small country abolished fares for trams, trains, and buses in February 2020, as the authorities felt that traffic jams were becoming a real menace.
5. An astronaut wrote his daughter’s initials on the moon!
Eugene Cernan, the Apollo astronaut, still remains the last man to have stepped off the moon. Cernan made two trips to the moon and his last one, as commander of the Apollo 17 mission in Dec. 1972, was the one in which he walked on its surface. He marked that momentous occasion by writing his daughter’s Tracy's initials — T D C — and leaving his footprints in the lunar dust. Now that is one gesture that will make any daughter proud with happiness.
6. Japanese Macaques enjoy making snowballs for fun
Japanese macaques happily embrace the extreme weather by making snowballs for fun from time to time. In fact, they even indulge in snowball fights with other members of their group. This yet again proves how similar they are to humans!
7. Bhutan measures its progress through “Gross National Happiness”
The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is perhaps the only place in the world that uses its country’s gross national happiness as a measure of progress.
The phrase 'gross national happiness' was first coined by the 4th King of Bhutan, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, in 1972 when he said, “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product.” Ever since then, the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) helped shape Bhutan’s economic and social policy and made the tiny kingdom one of the happiest and peaceful places on the globe.
8. A prison in Washington pairs up shelter cats with select inmates
They do this as part of a rehabilitation program for inmates. It seems to be an amazing thing for both the inmates and the cats.
“When you’re doing prison time, you get set in certain ways and forget what it’s like to have everyday interactions and be compassionate,” says one of the inmates. “It’s a little different when you have an animal depending on you to survive. Animals bring out the best in people.”
The selected inmates are appointed as “cat handlers,” and they get paid to leash-train, socialize, and groom the cats. So far, this process has resulted in great results.
9. Blind people smile even though they’ve never seen anyone else smile
Isn’t that amazing? They may not be able to see but they do know how to express the warmest and most natural human expression. This is possible because smiling and certain other facial expressions are innate and are not visually learned.
10. A village in the Netherlands is dedicated to people with dementia
A village called Hogeweyk in the Netherlands has been designed specifically as a novel and groundbreaking care facility for elderly people with dementia. The town has become famous these days as the 'dementia village' where, with the help of doctors, nurses, and specialists who are available round the clock, the residents enjoy outdoor gardens whenever they want, shop at a grocery store, and even visit a pub or storefront club. The 150-odd residents of Hogeweyk look healthier, are more active, and require less medication compared to those in traditional nursing homes.
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