Anyone who has spent any time on YouTube knows that animals love a good prank, too. Here are 9 practical jokers whose pranks are really the bee’s knees:
- When thieves in St. Helena Parish, Louisiana, hid a bag of stolen money in a creek, the resident beavers helped themselves to their share. Officers found hundreds of dollars in cash woven into a dam of tree branches. Police collected the money and arrested the crooks. The beavers’ response? “Dam!”
- A herd of elephants gave rangers at the Thula Thula wildlife reserve in Empangeni, South Africa, a run for their money. The rangers were studying six antelopes they had captured and put into a gated field when a herd of elephants who were passing by unhinged the latch, opened the gate, and watched as the freed antelopes bolted and the rangers stared in disbelief.
- In a video posted on YouTube, one theatrical golden retriever thinks he has the perfect reason why he can’t leave the dog park: He’s dead. No matter what the dog’s guardian tries, the pup gives a convincing performance that he is deceased, so he obviously can’t leave. The dog’s acting chops are Oscar-worthy until his guardian breaks out a trick of his own: “The Stick.”
- Shiny black African birds called fork-tailed drongos have figured out how to steal meerkats’ food by lying to them. Meerkats rely on birds’ alarm calls to alert them to predators approaching. So when a meerkat has a particularly yummy-looking piece of food, drongos might sound the alarm to send the meerkats scurrying and then steal the meal. How do they keep from getting caught? Drongos only cry wolf on occasion, and they mimic other birds’ alarm calls so that they don’t get blamed.
- Scientists have discovered the spider equivalent of Michelangelo in the Peruvian Amazon. A recently discovered species of spider can sculpt a shockingly life-like decoy of herself out of debris. Maybe that’s her way of making her parents think she’s home when she wants to sneak out of the web?
- Workers at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China are scratching their heads over one panda’s “phantom pregnancy.” The center went on baby watch after Ai Hin started showing the typical behavior of pregnant mothers. She was moved into an air-conditioned room and given extra food and treats, including fruit. But within two months, the pregnancy signs had disappeared, leading workers to think she faked the pregnancy to get the amenities.© iStock.com/lingbeek
- Residents of Charleston, West Virginia, have been victims of a string of robberies, and the perps keeping flying the coop. Crows have been stealing people’s windshield wiper blades, apparently because the soft rubber is fun to play with.
- It’s not just kidnappers in action movies who want to disguise their voices—like by holding a handkerchief over the phone. Orangutans in Borneo who are trying to mislead predators will hold leaves over their mouths to disguise their voices, too.
- Are you a male fish who has a lot of male friends who are guppies? It’s not because you’re so charismatic. Male guppies hang out with fish they think are unattractive so that they can get all the female fish.
Happy April Fools’ Day from animals who are clearly nobody’s fools.