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Warsaw Zoo Treats Depressed Elephant With CBD

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  • How much of this stuff are you going to need to get an elephant to mellow out?

Did you already read our article about the advances the CBD industry has made in 2020? The products have gotten more effective, cheaper, and more consistent in quality.

The increased quality and potency of CBD has opened whole new avenues of use for the stuff. One of the more novel uses for CBD has emerged in Poland, where zookeepers are trying to use it to help a depressed elephant.

That’s right. Elephants are sensitive and intelligent animals, and can have strong reactions to negative life changes – just like people.

ElephantVoices – a charity dedicated to protecting elephants – says wild elephants can become grief-ridden and depressed. Some observed causes include abduction for their natural environment, stillbirth of an infant, or a death in the herd.

It seems elephants in captivity are not immune to sadness either, as a death of a loved one is what starts this story. In March, the African bush elephant herd of Warsaw Zoo went from four to three, wrote BBC.

Alas, Poor Erna!

Erna, the largest elephant in the zoo and the herd’s matriarch, passed away. African elephants usually live to 40-60 years old, but Erna was only 35 when she died.

The death of the herd’ leader affected all the other elephants. But a young elephant known as Fredzia took the loss particularly hard.

According to the zookeepers, they noticed an almost immediate change in Fredzia’s behavior.

“Fredzia reacted strangely when she saw Erna’s body. She was really excited. But you could see that she was also grieving actually, she was also depressed,” said Warsaw Zoo Animal Rehabilitation Department head Dr. Agniezska Czujowska.

Fredzia started to have issues establishing a new connection with another female elephant, Buba. According to the zoo, it might take years for a herd to recover with a new sense of unity after the death of an elder.

“This is a huge game changer in every elephant group. Elephants might have behavioral problems when the structure of a group changes,” Czujowska explained.

‘This Is the Experiment’

While the experience was distressing to Fredzia, and no doubt to her keepers, it presented the zoo with a scientific opportunity. Zoo animals are often prone to anxiety, and Warsaw Zoo was looking for new treatments to help them.

CBD oil was one of the potential experimental cures. According to BBC, Fredzia was chosen to be the test subject as she was undergoing stress and also because elephants are “relatively easy to monitor”.

Wonder why. Maybe it’s the humongous size?

The first stage of the experiment is already finished. It involved the scientist collecting material from the elephants to measure their level of cortisol – a major stress hormone.

More precisely, the collected materials included feces, saliva, and blood. This is the profession the zookeepers chose.

“We are planning to give them the CBD and measure the cortisol again. This is the experiment. Then we know for sure whether the CBD is working or not,” said Czujowska.

As with CBD marketed for human uses, the oil will not get the elephants high. In fact, Czujowska doesn’t expect there to be any mentionable side effects.

“It’s not very potent. The only side effect will be some behavioral changes. We will have to manage these to achieve the results we want,” she said.

The drug will be administered to the elephants as drops or mixed into their food. According to Czujowska, Warsaw Zoo is the first place in the world to attempt elephant stress treatment with CBD.

Here’s hoping Fredzia gets at least some help from the oil.

So What Is This Whole CBD Thing?

CBD – short for cannabidiol –  is a cannabinoid molecule, produced only by plants in the cannabis family, says LiveScience. Yes, it’s the same plant that’s used as wacky tobaccy.

One major difference, though, is that CBD has either negligibly little or none at all of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. That’s the stuff in weed that gets you high.

That means that even if you chugged a whole bottle of CBD oil at once, you will not feel any weirder. Well, you might puke, but that’s it.

We have special cannabinoid receptors in our brains that bond specifically with – you guessed it – cannabinoids. Assimilation of cannabinoids through these receptors can have a variety of influences, one of which is the famous high.

Some research has found that CBD can help reduce anxiety in people, while other studies have discovered that it has antipsychotic effects in schizophrenia patients. It has also been used in trials to treat epilepsy and arthritis, among other things.

LiveScience notes that still some other studies have found that CBD had no better effect than a placebo.

The bottomline seems to be, though, that CBD can help calm the nerves. Just for that, it’s probably worth researching, even on elephants.

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Bringing Sexy Back: Birdsong Gets Sultrier Due to Coronavirus

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  • You might not be crazy – the pigeons cooing in the backyard actually do sound more attractive

The COVID-19 pandemic is still going strong, with rates of new infections indicating that we might be heading towards a new spike. And with very well thought out responses from authorities – such as Florida lifting all coronavirus restrictions – it seems that the virus will not be going anywhere any time soon.

But at least the ‘Rona has opened up a treasure trove of scientific opportunities. Some of the discoveries we’ve previously covered include the psychology of toilet paper hoarding and that refusing to wear a face mask might mean you’re a sociopath.

It’s not just humans that scientists have turned their curious eye on, though. Just this week we wrote about the Finnish dogs trained to sniff out coronavirus infections.

Speaking of animals, have you noticed that the birds have sounded a lot sexier than usual lately? If you have, then first of all, that’s a bit weird. But second, you’re actually correct.

A brand-new study published in the journal Science has found out that male birds are singing to a different tune. It’s all thanks to lower noise levels as people have been isolating themselves from society.

White-crowned sparrows in the San Francisco Bay area are now able to sing more softly and still be heard, the researchers have found. This has allowed them to expand their vocal range and sing songs that are much more likely to get lady birds (not the bugs) in the mood.

Hey Little Mama, Lemme SCREAM IN YOUR EAR

In case you haven’t been to San Francisco, it’s usually pretty loud in the city. There’s a lot of traffic and yelling and other kinds of sounds that we the people like to emit.

Imagine then being a little birdie boy in the city, trying to find a hot chick to woo. You sing and sing until you’re hoarse, but no one listens.

That’s because no one can hear you.

“When the city was loud, [the sparrows] were singing really loudly,” the new study’s lead author Elizabeth Derryberry, a behavioral ecologist from the University of Tennesee, summarized to ScienceAlert.

Surely you’ve noticed a similar effect yourself when at a particularly loud bar or party. It’s hard to whisper sweet nothings into someone’s ear when the music’s so loud you have to scream bloody murder so they can hear you in the first place.

“Birds holding breeding territories in areas with higher noise levels sing higher amplitude songs, a common response to noise known as the Lombard effect,” the researchers state in the study.

“This improves signal efficacy by increasing communication distance, but it can come at a cost. Males that sing at higher minimum frequency often have lower vocal performance, which here is the ability to produce rapid trills at wide frequency bandwidths.”

To put that in plain terms, the birds have to sing so loudly that they’re unable to perform the voice tricks that get girl birds all hot and bothered. Basically, they’re expecting Tom Jones but are getting George Fisher.

Think what you will about their respective styles of music, but it’s pretty clear why Tom is a sex symbol and George… Isn’t.

“Jimmy’s singing ‘What’s New Pussycat’, and Bob’s doing ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ again… Ugh, I should’ve just stayed home tonight.”

Those Sexy, Sexy Birds

But now, with COVID-19 forcing everybody to stay home, San Fran has quieted down. So much, in fact, that noise levels in the city are lower than what they’ve been in decades.

Traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge has crashed to something we haven’t seen since 1954, the study states. Considering how many more cars there are around now than there were 70 years ago, that’s pretty astounding.

Even in the city, the ambient volume has fallen by 50% ever since the stay-at-home orders came into effect. The sparrows noticed that their surroundings had gotten quieter, too, and started singing differently.

Derryberry says that the male birds are now singing much more quietly, and are able to hit much lower notes than before. And what girl bird could resist the deep crooning voice of an avian Barry White?

“Their songs also sounded better. They sounded sexier,” says Derryberry. “They were better competitors, and they sounded like better mates to females.”

The study notes that the volume of the sparrows’ song fell by as much as a third. Despite this, their tweeting carried over twice the distance as before the coronavirus.

According to the researchers, these results are consistent with reports from people saying that birdsong has become more audible over the summer.

“A doubling [in the birds’ communication distance] would allow people to hear birds at twice the previous distance, or effectively four times more birds than usual,” the study reads.

So what’s the takeaway from all this? Derryberry says that the results show just how quickly birds adapt to environmental changes, and that curbing noise pollution could have positive effects on biodiversity.

Maybe we can also infer that ladies prefer a steamy ballad to brutal death metal. But that’d probably depend on the lady in question.

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Men Create Literal Man Cave Under Grand Central

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  • An electrician, carpenter, and wireman filled a secret storeroom with a futon couch, flatscreen tv, fridge, and microwave.

I’ve worked some unpleasant jobs before. Boring, endless jobs where I’d think, I’d give anything to get out of here. Even for a few hours to escape the interminable boredom of hourly employment. Three MTA workers actually did something with those feelings, converting a storeroom beneath Grand Central Station into a “man-cave.” The room, which looks pretty nice in the Associated Press story, has a flat-screen tv, refrigerator, microwave, and futon couch. 

Photo by Alec Favale on Unsplash

Literally a Man-Cave

Allegedly, a carpenter, an electrician (both foremen), and a wireman would hang out in the room, drinking, eating snacks, and partying. The Inspector General for the MTA, Carolyn Pokorny, got a tip about the room’s existence, leading to an investigation. If they ruined what they had because they couldn’t keep it off Instagram, I’m going to be so disappointed. 

Photo by Patrick Robert Doyle on Unsplash

Without the tip, it seems like the MTA would have never discovered them. The room was through a locked door for the exclusive use of the MTA Locksmiths. Then, they put a sign on the interior door saying “Foreman’s Office” (clever). It seems only the three men had keys for the man cave. 

 

The MTA suspended all three men without pay pending the investigation. These aren’t master criminals–they left receipts for things they ordered for the room with their names on it just lying around, including a pull-up bar and cot. According to a Gothamist post, the TV linked to the electrician’s phone. 

They Almost Got Away With It

Photo by S. on Unsplash

The carpenter and electrician closed ranks fast, claiming someone stole their devices. The wireman admitted the guilt of all three. Thanks to the carpenter (I assume), there were wooden cabinets in the room, hiding most contraband. It sounds like the MTA at least has a sense of humor about the discovery. 

 

 “Many a New Yorker has fantasized about kicking back with a cold beer in a prime piece of Manhattan Real Estate–especially one this close to public transportation,” the IG said in a statement, “But few would have the chutzpah to commandeer a secret room beneath Grand Central Terminal and make it their very own man-cave.”

 

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Australian Lingerie Ad Sparks Satanic Panic 2.0

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  • Hell must be running on a deficit if a two-bit skeleton onesie is the best they can afford.

Remember the 80s? What a great decade, with neon windbreakers, New Wave music, yuppies, late-stage Cold War… What a time to be alive.

And then there was also the Satanic Panic. You know, the mass hysteria about how supposedly everything from roleplaying games to heavy metal music and actual real-world social issues was some kind of a global conspiracy to turn the entire world to worshipping the Lord of the Pit?

Haha, what a silly thing to think! The people in the 80s sure had some wild imaginations. I sure am glad all that’s over.

Okay, fine. You know how these kinds of intros work. It’s not over at all.

This time it seems Old Nick is trying to get his sulfur-reeking claws on our souls through lingerie advertisements. At least that’s what people seem to think on social media, and when have they ever been wrong?

The vessel for Satan’s devilish plot is a new ad published by Australian lingerie firm Honey Birdette. But the arm of the Devil is long, and the company also operates some stores in California.

An underwear company seems like a fitting conduit for temptation. Why else would Honey Birdette produce such sinful attire if not to lead good people down the path into sins of the flesh?

In theory, Satan seems to be on the right track. But can the final product pull through?

A Sight for Sinful Eyes

The advertisement that’s set righteous souls aflame with divine fury is a video promoting Honey Birdette’s new bondage-inspired collection – aptly titled The 666 Club.

The firm uploaded the video on their Instagram page. Just so you know, it’s fairly saucy for an ad, as are the other related pictures. You might want to grab the Bible or some holy water or something to safeguard your eternal soul.

The red-tinted video opens up with an ominous line: “Don’t forgive them, Father, for they do know what they do.” Alright, that’s pretty clever.

Next, a pretty model starts wandering through a night club, which we can probably assume to be the titular 666 Club. She is clad in an ever-changing variety of undergarments from the company’s new line.

Apparently abyssal magic allows you to change clothes in the blink of an eye.

Underlining the tempting power of these bras and panties, the club is filled with writhing, smooching couples of all orientations. But they’re clearly in awe of the Satanic might of the main model, since none of them dares lay a hand on her.

And so she continues her journey through the club untouched until the Prince of Darkness himself appears to feel her up! No, it’s not Ozzy, just some dude painted red with a corny villain ‘stache and goatee.

The cartoon devil is quickly replaced by a bunch of people in equally cheap skeleton onesies. I think I’ve seen these things for sale at the Dollar Store for $1.99 around Halloween.

And then the ad’s over. Can you feel the forces of Hell grabbing hold of you already?

Me neither.

Empowering Satan

But some people sure did, since the video’s comment section is riddled with crusaders denouncing this blatantly Devil-worshipping sin fest.

“Thought it was just me. But all these Satan comments make me realize I’m not crazy for feeling a little [meh emoji] about this,” wrote username jsattt.

Yeah, we wouldn’t be so sure about that.

D_amatus007 saw the video as nothing more than yet another sign of our world slowly slipping down into the depths of Hell. “Not surprised everything you see in the video is satanic. It’s the new way and what many seek and are fighting for as we sit here,” they commented.

Others who have shopped with Honey Birdette before have been put off by the ad. Lingerie that covers barely anything is fine, but a devilish figure that looks like he could be an elementary school student’s home-made Halloween decoration?

How dare they!

“You guys just lost a very loyal customer you Satan worshippers! Disgraceful!” wrote username ezcali.

“WTF anti-Christian much? Unfollow. Not buying your brand now!!!” yelled mstessascott.

Still some thought the video was directly channeling power to the Devil. Or something like that.

“Little bit s**tty empowering Satan like that,” thought loius_meyer.

But, in the name of fairness, others had more reasonable criticisms for the ad. Sprinkled in the comments are people who are just straight-up not that excited about what they’re seeing.

“I’m gud luv, enjoy. So disappointed in the plain designs,” said username natvanel.

Poor Effort, Devil

Now, we here at Oddee don’t claim to be experts on all things Satanic or anything like that. And by no means do we want to disrespect anyone’s deeply held beliefs when it comes to what’s good for your soul.

But really, a guy in red bodypaint and a cartoon goatee? Some dudes in cheap skeleton bodysuits? At the end of October there’ll be a Halloween party on every block that will get more sacrilegious than this.

You’d imagine an organized group of Satan worshipping masterminds would be a bit more sinister. If this is the best Hell’s demonic legions can cook up, they’d better step up their game. The most sinful thing about this video is the costume department’s budget.

Is this really what’s supposed to tempt us into damnation? Not today, Satan.

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