September 27, 2015

Money for dogs exists! It is used by Dutch customs to train sniffers

Filed under: Animals by Branko Collin @ 11:22 pm


This fake bank note is what Dutch customs officers use to train their sniffer dogs for detecting large quantities of cash.

According to the customs’ Facebook page, where we found this photo, “we’ve been using special training bank notes since 2014. The ink and paper are the same as those of real bank notes, so that the dogs are still able to make a positive match.”

The customs department uses fake money because some of the training sessions are performed in the wild. Using large amounts of real money would be risky in those cases.

(Photo: Facebook / Douane Nederland; link: Vice)

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August 17, 2015

Boy find bones of prehistoric cave lion

Filed under: Animals,History by Orangemaster @ 10:44 am


Ten-year-old Enzo Smink from Wekerom, Gelderland has found part of the jaw of a prehistoric cave lion, according to the director of prehistoric museum De Groene Poort in Boxtel, Noord-Brabant, who said a find like this only happens about every 20 years.

The boy had found the bones back in 2012 while swimming with his father near Oosterbeek, Gelderland, but nobody had realised what he had found. The bones then ended up in a box at his grandmother’s house. It was only when he decided to bring the bones to school for show and tell earlier this year did his mother take a picture of them and send it off to experts.

“The Eurasian cave lion commonly known as the European or Eurasian cave lion, is an extinct subspecies of lion. It is known from fossils and many examples of prehistoric art.”

Today the bones will become part of the De Groene Poort’s collection. They have been restored and one would imagine they’ll be on display soon enough.

(Links:,, Photo of Panthera leo spelaea in Vienna by FunkMonk, some rights reserved)

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July 31, 2015

Overijssel home to rare three-colour calf

Filed under: Animals,Weird by Orangemaster @ 9:16 pm

In the very religious town of Staphorst a three-colour calf (link to picture) has been born, which is said to be very rare. The Dutch called it a ‘lapjeskoe’, or ‘quilt cow’. The mother and father of the calf were white and black, but the calf also has reddish brown in its coat.

The Netherlands has about 10 ‘quilt cows’. In Noord-Brabant there is also a three-colour calf that people come and visit from far away just to take pictures, called Toos55:


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June 26, 2015

Photographers illegally disturb birds with song app

Filed under: Animals,Technology by Orangemaster @ 1:45 pm


Bird photographers are apparently causing problems for birds by using a phone app with bird song to lure the feathered creatures. Sounds harmless, but according to a Dutch nature website, the app used by the photographers stresses birds, making them want to defend their territory against an invisible enemy instead of using their energy for the breeding season, building nests and the likes.

The app can be played loudly on mobile devices, but should in fact be used to recognise bird song, not lure birds. By law, animals in nature that are protected species cannot be upset on purpose, but some photographers are probably going to continue to do so, as the chances of being caught are probably next to nothing.

(Link:, Photo of barnacle goose by Andreas Trepte, some rights reserved)

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June 19, 2015

Birds and bees found in bike saddle bags

Filed under: Animals,Bicycles,Nature by Orangemaster @ 9:22 am


This week there was a woman in Bloemendaal, North Holland who went grocery shopping with her bike and was about to load her saddle bags only to discover that an entire swarm of bees had moved in. The queen bee apparently decided to park it there and her entire buzzing entourage followed suit. They called in a beekeeper and he got them to move to a box.

Recently there was a woman in Oirschot, Noord-Brabant who noticed twigs in her saddle bags and kept forgetting to remove them every time she got on her bike until one day she decided to clear them out and noticed a bird’s nest with five robin eggs in it. She left her bike alone until last week when five baby robins emerged from the eggs.

(Link:, Photo of swarming bees by quisnovus, some rights reserved)

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June 5, 2015

‘Magic’ roundabout in Purmerend viewed by 250,000 so far

Filed under: Animals,Automobiles,Online by Orangemaster @ 10:27 am

The first webcam I ever watched back in the mid nineties was that of a litterbox were viewers waited to spot the cat using it. Over the litterbox there would be different messages everyday like ‘send tuna’. If you caught the cat going to the box you were asked to take a screenshot of it (nobody had digital cameras or mobile phones with digital cameras back then), you could send it to the owner and he would send you something cool, I don’t remember.

The Archie software company in Purmerend has set up a webcam on a roundabout to test its software. Funny thing is some 250,000 Dutch people have checked it out and it’s getting traction. A journalist on Twitter who wrote about it said he witnessed a car that wouldn’t yield to a scooter, which they should do, making his viewing ‘eventful’. For anyone who wants to see how a typical Dutch town deals with bike paths and cars, this is for you. The stream is in 1080HD and looks good.

It makes me want to go and skate around it for a while. For all we know a happening is being planned. A marching band going around in circles, could be fun. Stay tuned.


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May 17, 2015

Train driver stops for wounded cat

Filed under: Animals by Branko Collin @ 1:17 pm

intercity-train-dutch-rail-kismihokLast Monday a Dutch Rail train driver discovered a wounded cat on the rail road between Utrecht and The Hague near Gouda.

The driver of the ‘intercity’ train stopped his vehicle so that the conductor could take the cat on board. An animal ambulance took the cat from The Hague Central Station to a vet. According to AD, tweeting passengers praised Dutch Rail staff for their quick action.

Although it is unclear what how the cat had become injured, its front left paw had to be amputated, as had part of its tail. The bridge of its nose is also damaged and it has a concussion. The animal hospital reported on Facebook that all things considered the cat is doing well and is adapting quickly to its new situation. Although many people have shown interest in acquiring Juna, as the ambulance staff have called her, the hospital will wait two weeks for the original owner to report.

In 2013, a train driver in Limburg stopped to pick up a cat lying on the tracks. In 2014, a rail road employee caught a pregnant cat that had walked off the train in Enschede and brought it to a shelter.

(Photo by Flickr user Kismihok, some rights reserved)

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May 14, 2015

Dutchman cycles to London with his cats

Filed under: Animals,Bicycles,Design by Orangemaster @ 10:26 am


Using a modified cargo bike named the Poopymobile, inspired by the Popemobile, pet shop entrepreneur Thomas Vles cycled to London with his two cats Mushi and Cheesy last month. Owner of pet design company Poopy Cat in Amsterdam, he knows that cats hate to be locked up in small cages or fly and decided to cycle with a typical Dutch ‘bakfiets’. Mushi and Cheesy are apparently used to going everywhere by bike since they were kittens.

On YouTube Vles said that, “the cats were priority number one during the trip. Should we even remotely think that they were not comfortable, we would stop. There was driving an accompanying car with in which they could always go. Our trip was supported by two veterinarians and we kept an eye on everything 24/7. We have noticed that Mushi and Cheesy were really enjoying their time in the ‘kitty mobile’ – they wanted to stay in there even when we had to get out to sleep!”

(Link:, Screenshot of YouTube video)

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May 13, 2015

First-time spotting of nesting gull on Texel

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 4:10 pm


The Society for preservation of nature monuments in the Netherlands has recently found a nesting great black-backed gull on the island of Texel, officially the first time this bird has decided to nest there.

The great black-backed gull is the largest gull in the world with a wingspan of about 170 centimetres and a huge beak, which usually breeds in Scandinavia when in Europe. When the gull does decide to pay a visit to the Netherlands, it chooses Groningen where no more than 10 breeding pairs per year have been spotted. The first great black-backed gull nesting in the Netherlands is said to date back to 1993.

(Links: dearkitty,, Photo of Great black-backed gull by Robert Eliassen, some rights reserved)

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April 29, 2015

Lamppost caves under dog urine, injures woman

Filed under: Animals,General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 1:18 pm

This week on King’s Day in Zoetemeer, South Holland, a lamppost came crashing down on a woman while she was cycling by with her young daughters, giving her a concussion. The kids were a bit shocked to see mum bleeding from her head, as the event was as unexpected as could be. Passers-by called the emergency services and all is well.

The lamppost was fastened onto cement tiles by a metal plate with screws, but came crashing down because its base had been eroded by dog urine.

I hope the kids aren’t too scared of cycling anymore and yes, the lamppost could have done even more damage to the children. The question is why did that lamppost give way and could others do the same? We’ll keep you ‘lampposted’.


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