You can't help but smile when you see this video of a squirrel hopping around the court during a recent U.S. Open match.

Julien Benneteau and Olivier Rochus, however, didn't think it was so funny.

Benneteau and Rochus were in the middle of their first-round match when the harmless rodent appeared out of nowhere. The squirrel ran onto the court and stopped right next to the net.

Benneteau tried to hit the animal with a ball, but to no avail. The squirrel proceeded to run up the side of a fence, then decided it wanted to stay on the court.

After prancing around for a few more seconds, the squirrel finally raced through a hole in the fence.

As upset as these players were with the squirrel, at least the didn't have to deal with a skunk.

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One whale's trash is an 8-year-old boy's treasure.

Charlie Naysmith was walking along the beach at Hengistbury Head in southern Britain when he picked up a large object that looked and felt like a stone.

As it turned out, that object was actually a piece of ambergris, a substance which is regurgitated by sperm whales. Ambergris is used to prolong the scent of perfume, and therefore is extremely valuable.

The vomit, which weighs a little more than one pound, could be worth as much as $63,000.

"He is into nature and is really interested in it," said Charlie's father, Alex. "We have discovered it is quite rare and are waiting for some more information from marine biology experts."

Charlie is still unsure what he will do with the profits, but according to the Daily Echo, he may build a house for animals.

It is rare that the ambergris gets to shore, but when it does, it is worth its weight in gold. In 2006 a man found a 32.5-pound piece of ambergris on a beach in South Australia that was estimated to be worth nearly $300,000.

(H/T to The Huffington Post)

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Would you believe there are ice cream trucks that cater specifically to dogs? Well, news reports in Maryland, New Jersey and England have documented this trend in recent years.

And if the enthusiasm of the dog in the video below is any indication, these trucks just might have a successful business model in place:

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Tags:
Dog, Organic

It's a script that sounds like it's straight out of a Disney movie. An 8-year-old Austrian boy named Matteo Walch has struck up an improbable friendship with a group of alpine marmots in the Austrian Alps.

According to the Daily Mail, Walch and his family have been visiting the Alps for two weeks every year for the past four years. And each time the family returns, the marmots gather around Walch.

"I could spend hours watching animals - it gives me a connection with nature and its life forms," Matteo said.

Alpine marmots, which can be found in certain mountainous regions of Europe, are not known to be particularly friendly with humans. But they have taken fondly to Walch.

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"He loves those animals and they are not at all afraid of Matteo because he has a feeling towards them and they understand that," said Matteo's mom, Michaela. "It’s amazing to watch the connection between a boy and his animal friends."

Michaela has photographed her son with the marmots, and she said she is greatful for the opportunity to capture the animals in a natural state.

"The picture of a curious animal approaching me is a thousand times more beautiful than the picture of any animal looking at me in fear before it takes flight," she said. "This is how I try to picture the proudest, more beautiful and also the funniest moments, giving others the opportunity to enjoy the miraculous world of animals."

For more photos, see here.

(H/T to Barstool Sports)

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You could say Agnieszka Radwanska has a killer instinct.

Radwanska, the rising WTA star who pushed Serena Williams to three sets in this summer's Wimbledon final, took no chances during a recent interview at the New Haven Open.

A reporter from WTNH in Connecticut was asking Radwanska a question when a bee flew into his shirt. Radwanska, who is allergic to bees, immediately spotted the insect and set out to destroy it. Together, Radwanska and the reporter made quick work of the unfortunate bee.

Unfortunately for Radwanska, that may have been the climax of her time in New Haven. She had to bow out of the tournament in her first match with a sore right shoulder.

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What's black and white and dreaded all over?

Skunks, apparently.

One skunk caused a stink at a Mississippi high school football game last weekend when it raced onto the field during a contest between Booneville and Baldwyn. Watch as the tiny skunk makes these humongous football players cower in fear.

From the reaction of the crowd, the cheerleaders and the football team, you'd think a UFO had landed on the field.

And here's a view from the opposing team. You've got to love the cheerleaders cheering on the skunk.

The only person brave enough to follow the skunk? Intrepid reporter Brandon Speck from the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

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Football games generally don't pose the same danger to spectators that baseball games do. Whereas foul balls are known to fly into the stands at baseball games, fans at football games don't have to worry about protecting themselves from flying objects. Until now.

At last week's Baltimore Ravens-Detroit Lions preseason game, a bat flew into M&T Bank Stadium, and officials think it could have exposed fans to rabies.

The bat landed on a spectator in the stadium's 500 section, and that fan proceeded to brush it away. Officials could not capture the animal, so no tests were performed. The Maryland Department of Health is asking anyone who may have come into contact with the bat to contact their health care provider.

"Bats are an important part of our environment; however, they can sometimes be infected with rabies," the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a statement. "Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that can be transmitted by infectious saliva, usually through a bite."

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There were two beauty pageants held in China last weekend. One set out to crown the most beautiful woman. That was the Miss World competition.

The other pageant set out to determine the most beautiful cow. That was the Miss Dairy Cow Pageant.

While the world's most gorgeous women gathered in northern China, 200 cows competed for a 50,000 yuan prize ($7,900) in the central Chinese province Shanxi. The contest was reportedly designed to promote the dairy industry of Shanxi's Shanyin County. According to the Wall Street Journal, the cows were judged on appearance, milk and pedigree.

You'll see that the contest featured several bikini-clad women milling around the cows. These women did not go unnoticed, and the state-run newspaper People's Daily ran an editorial questioning the ladies' place at the event.

“Beautiful girls have far greater ability to attract attention that the milk cow contestants,” it read. “How do you think that makes the cows feel?”

For photos of the event, see here.

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Tags:
Burn, China, Cows

For those who aren't familiar, parkour is a sport which involves athletes getting creative to avoid obstacles in an urban environment. This could mean leaping between buildings, climbing walls, jumping over fences or a number of other stunts.

While the activity is difficult to describe, one thing is clear: It is normally practiced by humans. And when you take that into account, you'll be much more impressed with what one dog is doing in Ukraine.

TreT, an American Staffordshire Terrier living in western Ukraine, was trained in the art of parkour by his owner, Evgeny Elchaninov. One day when TreT was 6 months old, he jumped onto a chair in the kitchen and then onto the refrigerator. A former parkour athlete himself, Elchaninov saw potential in the puppy. Elchaninov taught TreT the basics of parkour, and the dog took off. Literally.

Now, Elchaninov says much of what the K-9 does is improvised by the dog himself.

If nothing else, this is a pretty exciting way to take a dog out for some exercise.

-- Follow Robbie Levin on Twitter @Levin_TPG.

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Dogs, Parkour

Every now and then a story comes out about a few animals breaking out of the zoo. Usually the reason behind the escape is human error or some sort of broken equipment.

Not this time. Three kangaroos escaped from a German zoo thanks to a pair of holes dug by a young fox and a wild boar.

You read that right.

Zoo officials say the fox snuck into the zoo and dug a hole which allowed the kangaroos to break out of their enclosure. Then, two of the kangaroos used another hole dug by a wild boar to escape from the park entirely. Both the fox and the boar live in the woods surrounding the zoo.

Michael Hoffmann, assistant head of the zoo, said two of the three kangaroos have been captured while one remains on the loose.

In a bizarre coincidence, almost one month ago, five chimpanzees broke out of their enclosure in a separate German zoo and roamed around the park.

This is either a serious problem or the plot to Madagascar 4.

-- Follow Robbie Levin on Twitter @RobbieLevin.

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