Dog survives surgery to have Christmas decorations removed from his stomach

Christmas is a time for overindulgence. But this hungry hound took it too far when he swallowed a foot of fairy lights. Charlie, a seven-year-old crossbreed dog from Southampton, had to be rushed to the operating table and saved by a team of vets who performed life-saving surgery on him.
Owner Sharon Fay, who refers to her dog as the ‘light of her life’, became concerned when she noticed bits of wire sticking out of Charlie's faeces in the garden. The 45-year-old said: ‘I hadn't even noticed that the lights had been chewed at this stage but it quickly became clear what had happened. ‘Back in March he ate one of my scarves and needed an operation to remove it, but I thought it was just a one-off incident as he hadn't shown any signs that he was going to be a repeat offender. I've had dogs all my life and have never known a dog act like this before.’ An X-ray shed light on Charlie's problem - the tangled remains of the decorations showed up in his stomach and would have proved fatal if they were not removed.
PDSA senior veterinary surgeon Sophie Bell said that she had never seen a case like this before. ‘Over the years I've seen plenty of cases of dogs swallowing strange objects - socks, dummies, rubber ducks, but it's the first time any of us have treated a dog that has actually eaten fairy lights,’ she said. ‘A foreign body of this nature could easily have caused severe internal injuries so Charlie was very, very lucky. He was also fortunate that the glass didn't cut his mouth or throat. And he could have been electrocuted if he'd bitten through the wire when the lights were switched on.
‘With the Christmas season upon us, I'd advise owners to keep any edible items out of reach of inquisitive pets to avoid them from becoming ill over the festive season.’ Charlie returned home and has since gone on to make a full recovery, much to the delight of his owner. Ms Fay said: ‘I'll certainly be keeping an extra close eye on him from now on and have Charlie-proofed my house now.’ PDSA is advising pet owners to be extra cautious this Christmas. Its vets see many cases of pets getting their paws on inappropriate festive items every year, ranging from Christmas decorations, chocolate and cocktail sticks to toys, balloons and bones.

'Jesus was gay'! Church sparks outrage with claim son of God 'should come out'

It is the season of glad tidings and forgiveness. But many Christians living in Auckland, New Zealand, are struggling to find goodwill in their hearts for the latest in a series of controversial billboards coming out from the Church of St Matthew in the City. 'It's Christmas. Time for Jesus to come out', the sign proclaims, with an image of baby Jesus as a toddler in a manger, surrounded by a rainbow halo. The billboard was put up by the Reverend Glynn Cardy, who said it was meant to 'lift' the humanity of Jesus. But it is likely to face the same fate as last year's controversial poster - torn down by angry locals.
The Rev's message, while presented in a controversial manner, is to ask if it would change anything for the faithful if Jesus had been gay. He points out that there is no indication about Jesus's sexuality: 'The fact is we don't know what his sexual orientation was.'
This isn't the first time the church has erected a controversial billboard. Last year the church erected one showing the Virgin Mary looking shocked at the results of a pregnancy test. However it did not last long, after an angry protestor tore it down. But Cardy did not mind, especially as the image had already gone viral, seen by millions of people. He said: 'In the internet age though the image will be out there forever. They can do what they want to it.' On this year's billboard, Rev Cardy said that, as homosexuality was not a word until the 1800s, any mention of it in the Bible or other documents would have mistranslations. Fellow Reverend Clay Nelson said the billboard tries to humanise Jesus by getting people to think about the challenges he would have had growing up. He added: 'Some scholars have tried to make the case that he might have been gay. 'But it is all conjecture. Maybe gay, maybe not. Does it matter? 'There is almost nothing in the record of his teachings about sexuality while there is plenty about the perils of being rich. Certainly he always supported the marginalised in society.'
It is not the first time billboards have caused an outrage. In the UK, the gay lobby group Stonewall's bus poster campaign stating 'Some people are gay. Get over it' has raised debates over how far advertising should push a viewpoint. It has led to some controversy, including one Christian bus driver from Rotherham who left a bus-full of angry passengers waiting as he would not drive a bus with the banner on the side. Earlier this year, London Mayor Boris Johnson blocked a Christian group from running a 'Not gay and proud: Get over it' campaign on London buses.

Hilarious snap of cat that look alike Batman

A new dark knight detective has been prowling the rooftops and alleyways of Gotham City: Catman! Reddit user Hamsternose has posted a picture of a cat which bears a striking resemblance to Batman, the wildly popular superhero immortalised in film, video games, animation, TV, a stage show and, of course, comics, The cute, yet mildly intimidating, image took the internet by storm and at one point was even trending on Twitter.
Users of social media sites posted comments like 'now we know what happened to Robin' and 'can we somehow breed more?' However, Bruce Wayne's feline alter ego hasn't quite won over everyone who has seen it. One Reddit user posted: 'This is the most frightening thing I have ever seen.'
Batman was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger and made his debut in 1940. Since then he has become of of the world's most beloved superheroes and has even starred in one of the biggest box office smashes of all time. The Dark Knight, featuring Christian Bale as Batman and the late Heath Ledger as his nemesis the Joker, made over $1billion.

An African Python Swallows An Entire Wildebeest

This is the incredibly rare moment an African python was caught on camera trying to eat an entire wildebeest. The massive snake looked like its eyes were bigger than its belly when it was discovered in the South African bush swallowing the massive meal. It is thought to be the first time this behaviour has been caught on camera as the python - which can grow up to 16 foot - was believed to try for much smaller prey. The gruesome encounter was photographed at the Welgevonden Game Reserve, South Africa, by manager Rudi Hulshof.
Rudi, 35, said: 'This was the first time I had ever seen something like this, and I have been working as a game ranger for 15 years already in South Africa, and have also travelled to other African Countries. 'This is an incredibly rare sighting, and is by my knowledge the first time that it has been recorded, let alone photographed and documented that a Southern African python catches prey as big as the blue wildebeest, albeit a wildebeest calf. 'Herpetologists I have consulted are all impressed, and dumbfounded by the images when they have seen them.'
He added: 'It is not uncommon for pythons to catch live mammal prey, but this would usually consist of smaller species like hares, rabbits, impala lambs, duiker antelope, squirrels, birds, rats, cane rats and rodents etc. 'But to have managed something so big is mind boggling. This can be seen by how the python needed to really stretch its mouth to the limits to try and swallow the prey. 'I have been photographing wildlife for the past 15 years while I have been working in the industry, at various lodges and game reserves spread around South Africa.' Rudi said he came across the unusual encounter quite by chance while actually looking for lions and leopards. He said: 'I decided to investigate the area in the afternoon arriving at the spot where the alarm calls were heard hours before, I stopped and scanned the area with my binoculars, seeing only a few scattered Wildebeest, and a herd of Impala. 'The impala were staring down the back of a ridge drop off about 150 metres away, and it was enough for me to think there could have been a leopard or pride of lions feeding on something just out of sight. 'I took my rifle, left the guests on the vehicle and walked in to try and establish if it was in fact what I thought, and if I would be able to walk clients in safely to view the action.
'I however found nothing, and just as I turned to return to my guests, I saw this snake lying on the ground. Moving closer I saw that it was swallowing the Wildebeest calf, aged about two months old. 'I almost could not believe what I was seeing, and being someone normally really composed, my guests must have thought the worst, because I sprinted back to the road as fast as my legs would allow. 'I simply had to retrieve my camera and get pictures, and allow my guests to get pictures, before the sun set, which was only a few minutes away. 'I just told the guests to follow me with their own cameras, not letting the secret out just yet, and led them to the sighting. 'We watched for about 30 minutes, before descending darkness forced us to leave, and return to the car, all speechless at what we had just witnessed. 'We returned the following morning, first thing, but found nothing. No tracks, no scuff marks, no python and no prey. Everything was gone, and because it had rained, we could not read any tracks to see which way the snake may have slithered off.'